47 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2022
    1. Peter Kalmus, Data Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory: [Update 23 August 2019: This comment was updated for clarity.] What science projects under plausible scenarios of human courses of action is varying degrees of further disruption of fundamental planetary life support systems (e.g. water, agriculture, ecosystems) needed to support the nearly 8 billion humans currently living on Earth. This disruption poses some degree of existential risk to civilization as we know it—with the amount of risk likely still depending on how rapidly we reduce radiative and ecological forcings—but these degrees of risk are not quantified with any certainty. Ice models have had difficulty projecting the melting rate of the Greenland ice sheet; predicting the mechanism of the collapse of civilization and the number of lives lost as a result is a far more complex problem, and there is no scientific consensus that six billion lives will be lost. On the other hand, models have tended to underestimate ice sheet melting, and model projections in general have been systematically “conservative.” I unfortunately don’t see how the possibility of six billion deaths can be ruled out with confidence, especially when the intrinsically unpredictable but real possibility of climate-related war (which could include nuclear weapons) is considered. In other words, Hallam’s claim is speculative, but given the depth and rapidity of anthropogenic change, so is confidently ruling it out. While I don’t agree that “science predicts” the death of six billion people, in my opinion Hallam’s broader warning has qualitative merit and in the context of a lay translation of risk his use of “six billion” might reasonably be interpreted as figurative, an illustration of a worst-case scenario (again, that I don’t think can be ruled out). Whether to interpret this claim literally or figuratively is a question perhaps best left to humanists. Given this ambiguity I judge it “unrateable.”

      He is basically saying this is plausible. And his is the most sensible answer here by far IMO.

      The whole point of "bad case" scenarios is that they involve feedback effects and breakdown of "civilization" as we know it.

      This article as a whole is an illustration of the narrow, conventional thinking.

      NB: i came here via https://passivehouseaccelerator.com/articles/building-our-solarpunk-future where they are citing this as evidence future won't be too bad:

      For many of us, it’s all too easy to imagine the terrible, particularly as we witness the damage caused by just 1.2°C of global heating today. We’re also bombarded by Doomist messages.

      For example, Roger Hallam, the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, recently said this of climate change: “I am talking about the slaughter, death, and starvation of 6 billion people this century. That’s what the science predicts.”

      Only that’s not what the science predicts. According to the fact-checker website, Climate Feedback: “Research shows that continuing climate change results in a broad array of serious threats to humans and other species. However, counter to Hallam’s statement, published studies have not predicted 6 billion human deaths this century and there is no credible mechanism referred to justify how this could happen.”

  2. Sep 2022
    1. Leaving aside those far-right doubts about the existence of a climateproblem, any government that wanted to cut carbon emissions substantiallycould not avoid implementing much tougher emissions regulations andhigher business taxes. But any government that did so in advance of othergovernments would only force its corporations to move production andthousands of jobs elsewhere.

      !- example : DGC - also, Yellow jackets in France and working class in Sri Lanka paralyzed their respective country due to rising fuel costs - the precariat class is threatened and are also caught in the wicked problem

    1. "Respondents across all countries were worried about climate change (59% were very or extremely worried and 84% were at least moderately worried). More than 50% reported each of the following emotions: sad, anxious, angry, powerless, helpless, and guilty. More than 45% of respondents said their feelings about climate change negatively affected their daily life and functioning, and many reported a high number of negative thoughts about climate change (eg, 75% said that they think the future is frightening and 83% said that they think people have failed to take care of the planet).

      !- for : Social Tipping Points - Tipping Point Festival - Meaning crisis

  3. Aug 2022
    1. This comes at a momentous time in Australia’s history as we confront the devastating consequences of whitefella knowledge systems and ways of thinking that have led inexorably to a combination of global warming and environmental degradation that is threatening the viability of human habitation in vast areas of the world.
  4. Jan 2022
  5. notesfromasmallpress.substack.com notesfromasmallpress.substack.com
    1. If booksellers like to blame publishers for books not being available, publishers like to blame printers for being backed up. Who do printers blame? The paper mill, of course.

      The problem with capitalism is that in times of fecundity things can seem to magically work so incredibly well because so much of the system is hidden, yet when problems arise so much becomes much more obvious.

      Unseen during fecundity is the amount of waste and damage done to our environments and places we live. Unseen are the interconnections and the reliances we make on our environment and each other.

      There is certainly a longer essay hiding in this idea.

  6. Dec 2021
  7. Nov 2021
    1. Trans Mountain said there have not been any oil leaks due to the flooding, which has triggered an emergency shutdown of the pipeline lasting longer than any previous stoppage in its nearly 70-year-history.
    1. Poultry scientists have also succeeded in selecting for parthenogenesis, increasing the incidence in Beltsville small white turkeys more than threefold, to 41.5 percent in five generations. Environmental factors—like high temperatures or a viral infection—also seem to trigger poultry parthenogenesis.

      Parthenogenesis can be selected for in breeding.

      What might this look like in other animal models. What do the long term effects of such high percentages potentially look like?

      Could this be a tool for guarding against rising temperatures in the looming climate crisis?

  8. Sep 2021
    1. No one but Humboldt had looked at the relationship between humankind and nature like this before.

      Apparently even with massive globalization since the 1960s, many humans (Americans in particular) are still unable to see our impacts on the world in which we live. How can we make our impact more noticed at the personal and smaller levels? Perhaps this will help to uncover the harms which we're doing to each other and the world around us?

  9. Jul 2021
    1. Limiting warming to 1.5°C implies reaching net zero CO2 emissions globally around 2050 and concurrent deep reductions in emissions of non-CO2 forcers, particularly methane (high confidence). Such mitigation pathways are characterized by energy-demand reductions, decarbonization of electricity and other fuels, electrification of energy end use, deep reductions in agricultural emissions, and some form of CDR with carbon storage on land or sequestration in geological reservoirs.

      This is where the net zero by 2050 comes from. Note in this scenario it requires CDR ... plus massive transformations in energy and production systems.

    2. Limiting warming to 1.5°C depends on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the next decades, where lower GHG emissions in 2030 lead to a higher chance of keeping peak warming to 1.5°C (high confidence). Available pathways that aim for no or limited (less than 0.1°C) overshoot of 1.5°C keep GHG emissions in 2030 to 25–30 GtCO2e yr−1 in 2030 (interquartile range). This contrasts with median estimates for current unconditional NDCs of 52–58 GtCO2e yr−1 in 2030.

      i.e. current commitments have 2x the amount of CO2 emitted per year in 2030 that is compatible with 1.5°.

  10. Jun 2021
    1. Ultimately, having access to the top political decision makers and using biased studies, the industrial lobbies have managed to sabotage the reforms the Convention Citoyenne pour le Climat called for. A context and tactic we are only too familiar with.

      Details? What biased studies? how did they sabotage this?

  11. May 2021
    1. 71% of global emissions can be traced back to 100 companies,

      This would seem to fall into the Pareto principle guidelines. How can we minimize the emissions from just these 100 companies?

    1. Right now, most of the blockchain mining in the world happens in China, where provinces with the cheapest energy set up mining operations to do the ‘proof of work’ calculations that the dominant paradigm of blockchain requires. Factories that ostensibly make other things now acquire significant computing hardware and dedicate energy in order to, essentially, print money that’s then stored offshore. A recent study shows that 40% of China’s mostly bitcoin mining is powered by coal-burning. We also already know that non-blockchain server farms in cheap energy countries consume so much energy they distort national grids, and throw off huge amounts of heat that then need cooling for the servers to operate, creating a vicious cycle of energy consumption
  12. Mar 2021
  13. Feb 2021
  14. Jan 2021
    1. These predictions are absurd. A 3°C increase could trigger, and a6°C increase would trigger, every “tipping element” shown in Table 2. The Earth would have a climate unlike anything our species has experienced in its existence, and the Earth would transition to it hundreds of times faster than it has in any previous naturally-driven global warming event (McNeall et al., 2011). The Tropics and much of the globe’s temperate zone would be uninhabitable by humans and most other life forms. And yet Nordhaus thinks it would only reduce the global economy by just 8%?Comically, Nordhaus’s damage function is symmetrical — it predicts the same damages from a fall in temperature as for an equivalent rise. It therefore predicts that a 6°C fall in global temperature would also reduce GGP by just 7.9% (see Figure 3). Unlike global warming, we do know what the world was like when the temperature was 6°C below 20th century levels: that was the average temperature of the planet during the last Ice Age (Tierney et al., 2020), which ended about 20,000 years ago. At the time, all of America north of New York, and of Europe north of Berlin, was beneath a kilometre of ice. The thought that a transition to such a climate in just over a century would cause global production to fall by less than 8% is laughable.Again, I found myself in the position of a forensic detective, trying to work out how on Earth could otherwise intelligent people come to believe that climate change would only affect industries that are directly exposed to the weather, and that the correlation between climate today and economic output today across the globe could be used to predict the impact of global warming on the economy? The only explanation that made sense is that these economists were mistaking the weather for the climate.

      Wow!

    1. If human beings really were able to take the long view — to consider seriously the fate of civilization decades or centuries after our deaths — we would be forced to grapple with the transience of all we know and love in the great sweep of time. So we have trained ourselves, whether culturally or evolutionarily, to obsess over the present, worry about the medium term and cast the long term out of our minds, as we might spit out a poison.

      +10

    2. These theories share a common principle: that human beings, whether in global organizations, democracies, industries, political parties or as individuals, are incapable of sacrificing present convenience to forestall a penalty imposed on future generations. When I asked John Sununu about his part in this history — whether he considered himself personally responsible for killing the best chance at an effective global-warming treaty — his response echoed Meyer-Abich. “It couldn’t have happened,” he told me, “because, frankly, the leaders in the world at that time were at a stage where they were all looking how to seem like they were supporting the policy without having to make hard commitments that would cost their nations serious resources.” He added, “Frankly, that’s about where we are today.”
  15. Dec 2020
    1. It seems to also highlight how much our governments, banks and big corporations roles play into the state of our planet, how much we need them to change so that our individual choices can actually make a significant difference. Read more

      Notice the subtle othering: it's not "us" who have been doing this but the "governments, banks and big corporations" ... But who are their shareholders, who are their citizens, staff, customers etc? Us ...

      Note this is a comment on Attenborough's book. I do wonder what his recommendations are...

  16. Oct 2020
    1. The places migrants left behind never fully recovered. Eighty years later, Dust Bowl towns still have slower economic growth and lower per capita income than the rest of the country. Dust Bowl survivors and their children are less likely to go to college and more likely to live in poverty. Climatic change made them poor, and it has kept them poor ever since.

      Intergenerational social problems here; we should be able to learn from the past and not repeat our mistakes.

    2. Part of the problem is that most policies look only 12 months into the future, ignoring long-term trends even as insurance availability influences development and drives people’s long-term decision-making.

      Another place where markets are failing us. We need better regulation for this sort of behavior.

    1. Miya Yoshitani, executive director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, which focuses on environmental justice issues affecting working-class Asian and Pacific Islander immigrant and refugee communities.
    2. There's a grassy vacant lot near her apartment where Franklin often takes a break from her job as a landscaping crew supervisor at Bon Secours Community Works, a nearby community organization owned by Bon Secours Health System. It's one of the few places in the neighborhood with a lot of shade — mainly from a large tree Franklin calls the mother shade. She helped come up with the idea to build a free splash park in the lot for residents to cool down in the heat. Now Bon Secours is taking on the project. "This was me taking my stand," Franklin says. "I didn't sit around and wait for everybody to say, 'Well, who's going to redo the park?' "

      Reminiscent of the story in Judith Rodin's The Resilience Dividend about the Kambi Moto neighborhood in the Huruma slum of Nairobi. The area and some of the responsibility became a part of ownership of the space from the government. Meanwhile NPR's story here is doing some of the counting which parallels the Kambi Moto story.

    1. Consumer demand is one of four important variables that, when combined, can influence and shape farming practices, according to Festa. The other three are the culture of farming communities, governmental policies, and the economic system that drives farming.
    2. Festa argues that this is why organic farming in the U.S. saw a 56 percent increase between 2011 and 2016.

      A useful statistic but it needs more context. What is the percentage of organic farming to the overall total of farming?

      Fortunately the linked article provides some additional data: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/01/10/organic-farming-is-on-the-rise-in-the-u-s/

    3. "The fundamental problem with climate change is that it's a collective problem, but it rises out of lots of individual decisions. Society's challenge is to figure out how we can influence those decisions in a way that generates a more positive collective outcome," says Keith Wiebe, senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute.
    4. Agriculture, forestry, and other types of land use account for 23 percent of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, according to the IPCC.
    1. Still, organic farming makes up a small share of U.S. farmland overall. There were 5 million certified organic acres of farmland in 2016, representing less than 1% of the 911 million acres of total farmland nationwide. Some states, however, had relatively large shares of organic farmland. Vermont’s 134,000 certified organic acres accounted for 11% of its total 1.25 million farm acres. California, Maine and New York followed in largest shares of organic acreage – in each, certified organic acres made up 4% of total farmland.
    1. climate theorists

      I find it interesting to be reading about a completely different sort of climate theory in this book than the one commonly known in popular society.

  17. Sep 2020
    1. Keenan calls the practice of drawing arbitrary lending boundaries around areas of perceived environmental risk “bluelining,” and indeed many of the neighborhoods that banks are bluelining are the same as the ones that were hit by the racist redlining practice in days past. This summer, climate-data analysts at the First Street Foundation released maps showing that 70% more buildings in the United States were vulnerable to flood risk than previously thought; most of the underestimated risk was in low-income neighborhoods.

      Bluelining--a neologism I've not seen before, but it's roughly what one would expect.

    2. Jesse Keenan, an urban-planning and climate-change specialist then at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, who advises the federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission on market hazards from climate change. Keenan, who is now an associate professor of real estate at Tulane University’s School of Architecture, had been in the news last year for projecting where people might move to — suggesting that Duluth, Minnesota, for instance, should brace for a coming real estate boom as climate migrants move north.

      Why can't we project additional places like this and begin investing in infrastructure and growth in those places?

    3. That’s what happened in Florida. Hurricane Andrew reduced parts of cities to landfill and cost insurers nearly $16 billion in payouts. Many insurance companies, recognizing the likelihood that it would happen again, declined to renew policies and left the state. So the Florida Legislature created a state-run company to insure properties itself, preventing both an exodus and an economic collapse by essentially pretending that the climate vulnerabilities didn’t exist.

      This is an interesting and telling example.

    4. And federal agriculture aid withholds subsidies from farmers who switch to drought-resistant crops, while paying growers to replant the same ones that failed.

      Here's a place were those who cry capitalism will save us should be shouting the loudest!

    5. The federal National Flood Insurance Program has paid to rebuild houses that have flooded six times over in the same spot.

      We definitely need to quit putting good money after bad.

    6. Similar patterns are evident across the country. Census data shows us how Americans move: toward heat, toward coastlines, toward drought, regardless of evidence of increasing storms and flooding and other disasters.

      And we wonder why there are climate deniers in the United States?

  18. Jul 2020
  19. Sep 2019
  20. Aug 2019