As we stumble through a second consecutive season of record hurricanes and fires, more academics are approaching questions once reserved for doomsday cults. Can modern society prepare for a world in which global warming threatens large-scale social, economic, and political upheaval? What are the policy and social implications of rapid, and mostly unpleasant, climate disruption?
“Elites” aren’t accustomed to adversity, being challenged, or having their birthright entitlements questioned. They coast through their prep schools and Ivy League, and slide into their preordained adult lives without ever experiencing the daily struggles of working people. Their lives exist in a collective bubble, constantly protected from the harsh realities of life that most of us face.
The discussion I’m inviting is about collective responses to reduce harm, rather than how a few people could tough it out to survive longer than others.
Robots will wipe out humanity in few hundred years
People with dementia may be taken to a mock-up bus stop, where they sit and wait for a bus that never comes. At some point, when they are tired, and have forgotten what they are doing there, they are persuaded to go back
Larissa MacFarquar – a parable
Australia’s transport sector adds 100 million tonnes of greenhouse gas per year. Transport is the second largest source of greenhouse gas pollution (after electricity), rising by around 2.5% each year and expected to double by 2050. Nearly 80% travel to work, etc.We have no greenhouse emissions standards for vehicles
British tourists’ pets would face four days of quarantine, and flights could indeed be grounded despite claims to the contrary emanating from Whitehall. Somebody should’ve told them that beforehand
Deep Adaptation to Climate Chaos
This analysis leads the author to conclude that climate-induced collapse is now inevitable. The measured changes in our current environment have outpaced even the worst predictions of the IPCC over the past decades. “The leading climate scientists are reporting a much worse situation than the IPCC.” The paper looks at peer reviewed journals and supplements that with the latest data direct from research institutes on climate. “The whole field of sustainable development research, policy and education, and sustainable business in particular, is based on the view that we can halt climate change and avert catastrophe. By returning to the science, I discovered that this view is no longer tenable.” Important, if you have any doubts, read this
There is a 93 per cent chance that global warming will exceed 4C
Worst-case global warming predictions are the most accurate, say climate experts
Current predictions of climate change may significantly underestimate the speed and severity of global warming. Reappraisal of the models climate scientists use to determine future warming has revealed that less optimistic estimates are more realistic. Models of energy flow from Earth to space, as measured by satellites, suggest that the amount of sunlight reflected away from the planet by clouds will decrease as the world gets warmer, increasing the magnitude of climate change. Read this
A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy
The purpose is to provide readers with an opportunity to reassess their work and life in the face of an inevitable near term social collapse due to climate change by analysing recent studies on climate change and its implications for our ecosystems, economies and societies, as provided by academic publications from research institutes. That synthesis leads to a conclusion there will be a near term collapse in society with serious ramifications in our lives. The Deep Adaptation Agenda with key aspects of resilience, relinquishment and restoration are explained with the view that social collapse is now inevitable in the near term. Read this
How to Adapt to the End of the World
Propelling the movement are signs that the problem is worsening at an accelerating rate. “The evidence before us suggests that we are set for disruptive and uncontrollable levels of climate change, bringing starvation, destruction, migration, disease and war. We need to appreciate what kind of adaptation is possible.” Read this
BP and Shell planning for catastrophic 5°C global warming despite publicly backing Paris climate agreement
They are planning for global temperatures to rise as much as 5°C during the next 30 years. [30 years!! Does that imply 2.5C in 15 years? You mean, I really can experience the end of my world before I die? !!@!!] Companies are trying to ‘have their oil and drink it’ by committing to 2°C in public while planning for much higher temperature rises, and keeping shareholders in the dark about the risks from climate change. Neither company sets targets to reduce emissions and BP’s total investment in renewable and clean technologies has actually shrunk since 2005, and that’s despite the company’s public-facing image of being “beyond petroleum”. Read thisOrigin Energy calculates that solar is cheaper than coal
“I have been in this game for so long … the one thing I have seen is just the cost of renewables really change the game. It is amazing what we have been seeing.” The cost of solar in the mid $40s/MWh and the cost of wind at the low $50s/MWh. That cost of solar is around half the average price of wholesale electricity this year. Read this
In the ongoing battle between coal-produced power and renewables – with the Coalition government on the side of the coal barons – only the now out-of-date regulations that limit what can be done on the grid with the new giant batteries – like the Tesla storage in South Australia – are preventing not only a secure supply but much cheaper prices. The government is trying to bully the suppliers to get the prices down (think elections) while doing nothing to enable the combination of wind+solar and big batteries that have now proven they can do the job. The national grid is the largest single industry in the country and is being run to support the existing coal+gas power system, and (from government directives) is not altering the rules to make a cheaper future possible. Two articles will give you more of the picture, complex as it is. Read this and Read this.
Coal binge puts Paris climate targets further out of reach
The capacity of the world’s coal-fired power stations would increase by a third if all 1380 plants planned or under development are built, making it tougher to meet Paris climate goals. Plants will be built in 16 nations that do not currently generate electricity from coal, while 11 other countries now have just 600 megawatts of capacity or less. All up, the projects would add more than 672 gigawatts of capacity. Read itA joyful flashmob staged in Spain
If you don’t know what a flashmob is, it is a gathering of people who have rehearsed some sort of innocent activity and spring it on the general public. Watch this
Stephen Hawking warned artificial intelligence could end mankind
“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.” Read moreIn 1959, Edward Teller warned the oil industry about global warming
“Carbon dioxide has a strange property. It transmits visible light but it absorbs the infrared radiation which is emitted from the earth. Its presence in the atmosphere causes a greenhouse effect [….] It has been calculated that a temperature rise corresponding to a 10 per cent increase in carbon dioxide will be sufficient to melt the icecap and submerge New York.” And ten years later one oil executive in that audience told Congress “We in the petroleum industry are convinced that by the time a practical electric car can be mass-produced and marketed, it will not enjoy any meaningful advantage from an air pollution standpoint. Emissions from internal-combustion engines will have long since been controlled.” Read more6 Months Before Brexit, Many in UK Fear ‘It’s Looking Very Grisly’
Northern Ireland has only one energy link to the mainland, so a no-deal Brexit could lead to rolling blackouts and steep price rises; and the energy system could collapse, forcing the military to redeploy generators from Afghanistan to the Irish Sea. With an eye toward the March 29 deadline, the government has appointed a minister to guarantee food supplies. Pharmaceutical companies are planning a six-week stockpile of lifesaving medications like insulin and considering flying planeloads of medicine into the country until imports resume. That is, if planes can still land in Britain — something thrown into doubt after the government admitted that aircraft could, in theory, be grounded by a sudden exit. In many ways, the country is in the same position it was on the morning after the 2016 referendum: without a clear plan. “We’re just rolling toward the cliff, and nobody out there is going to stop it,” Read moreThe new normal? How climate change is making droughts worse
According to the most recent State of the Climate report, Australia has already warmed by 1C since 1910. Here, you can see the trend towards warmer years over the period:
This drought is different: it’s drier and hotter – and getting worse Read more and ThisThe Comforting Fictions of Dementia Care
In order to keep a person safely inside their world, it was necessary to figure out the boundaries and contents of their world—who lived in it, what activities took place there, and in what era—so there would be as little dissonance as possible when the person used information from that past world to interpret the present. If there was someone missing from the present, for instance—because that person had moved away, or died—it was necessary to arrive at an explanation for this absence that the person with dementia would accept. If, for example, the person asked often where their son was, it was necessary to find out, by experimenting with answers and watching their reactions, how old they believed their son to be at that moment. If they believed him to be a small child, then telling them truthfully that he was out of town at a medical conference would cause bewilderment or suspicion; but if they believed their son to be a college student, telling them that he was playing in the garden would also be a mistake. Continuity was essential. Even a momentary glimpse of another reality that led patients to doubt their understanding of things could be horribly traumatic. With proper care, a person can live as good a life with dementia as without—in some ways and in some cases even better. Sometimes relationships between a person with dementia and their family grow more fulfilling and intimate as talking falls away. Read moreChina Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate Industry
The attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 US companies, including Amazon and Apple, a major bank and government contractors, by compromising America’s technology supply chain. Nested on the servers’ motherboards, the testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that wasn’t part of the boards’ original design. Amazon reported the discovery to U.S. authorities, sending a shudder through the intelligence community. The chips allowed the attackers to create a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines. China’s spies appear to have found a perfect conduit for the most significant supply chain attack known to have been carried out against American companies. Read moreThe March to War with Iran – one has to ask on whose behalf?
A steady, coordinated drumbeat of anti-Iran activities. It began with the US withdrawal from the successful anti-nuclear deal that had reduced Iran’s nuclear program to a fraction of its former size, froze it for at least 15 years, and put it under the most intrusive inspection regime ever negotiated. But Bolton saw it as an obstacle to a regime-change strategy. Trump, obsessed with demolishing all that President Barack Obama achieved, was only too happy to raze the agreement. The day Trump abandoned the accord, Bolton signaled that “what comes next” would be “a much broader resolution of the malign behavior that we see from Iran.” He quickly established an Iran Action Group to coordinate activities across agencies. The operation appears modeled on the White House Iraq Group created by the Bush administration to sell the public on the invasion of Iraq. It is not clear if Trump actually wants a war, but Bolton and Pompeo certainly seem to. Read morePhotographer Sunil Sharma took this glistening shot of undulating patterns in the snow, captioned
“Life always finds a way”