Sunday, February 25, 2018

Welcome to the Anthropocene

It could be a short epoch.There is no more room for economic growth on this planet, per a conference from  April 29, 2017.  In this presentation at Columbia University's Low Memorial Library, Stuart Scott lays bare the seriousness of climate change, the 'conspiracy of complacency' in which most of society is engaged, and a simple action to shift the paradigm that is leading humanity to the destruction of the global ecology - called Creation by some, called Nature by others - upon which we all depend. Scott emphasizes the realization by economists that the global operating system of our civilization is seriously flawed, and is known by two names: Money and Economics. Per Dr. Herman Daly, former World Bank senior economist, ecology and ethics are not externalities to an economic system. In this presentation, Scott discusses the update to the original book, "Limits to Growth".

In thinking we were ensuring our survival, we have created the conditions for our own destruction, as is now obvious in the actuality of climate change and of unsustainable production and consumption. Elaborated by Pope Francis, in Laudato Si: "Given the insatiable and irresponsible growth produced over many decades, we need also to think of containing growth by setting some reasonable limits and even retracing our steps before it is too late."

Corporate power is now global, and resistance to it cannot be restricted by national boundaries. Corporations have no regard for nation-states. They assert their power to exploit the land and the people everywhere. They play worker off of worker and nation off of nation. They control the political elites in Ottawa as they do in London, Paris and Washington. The Citizens United decision was the ultimate power play in the US, and our judiciary is not independent. Nor is the media. Try to understand the relationship between money laundering, cyber warfare and influence-peddling...disguise sources of money for political action groups that allow Russian influence on targeted US voting districts. These are proven tactics in European democracies as well. Which is why we see the sudden emergence of "conservative" politicians in the Western democracies that are attempting to tear down democratic processes and actively oppose any actions on climate change with authoritarian controls. And corporations are the "Climate Bad Boys"- in the driver's seat.

Each year, the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report works with experts and decision-makers across the world to identify and analyse the most pressing risks that we face. The 2018 report from Davos finds that extreme weather events, natural disasters, and failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation are perceived as three of the biggest global risks today. And all of the top risks this year, other than cybersecurity and involuntary migration, are climate or environment related.

To hit the 1.5C optimistic Paris goal, researcher Glenn Peters calculates that—even if emissions flatline now—we’ve used up our quota by 2021. Even if they begin to steeply decline, they’d have to be zero by 2026 for a 66 percent chance of 1.5C of warming. Similar calculations suggest, for a good chance at 2C, we need to be at zero net emissions by 2035. These are not realistic scenarios. Zero carbon emissions by 2026 will only happen if a rogue asteroid wipes out all life on Earth. We are truly up against the wall.

It is worth remembering the results of a government ACD report that leaked in August of 2017. The product of 13 federal agencies, the National Climate Assessment showed that, via their "higher emissions" scenario, the US will experience a stunning 8°F to 10°F warming above where we are now over the interior of the country by 2100.

Update 2/26/18: GDP yardstick is choking us and the planet

Update 2/28/18: A window onto the acquisitive impulses of the jet-posession set, burning resources into the stratosphere

Update 3/3/18: Kevin Anderson: Economics and technology sideline the climate change issues - a failure of honesty (27 min)

Update 3/5/18: Blowback: Humanity Nailed to a Cross of Coal. Exxon knew.

Update 3/9/18: Why economic orthodoxy is a dangerous ideology that is destabilising the planet

Update 3/11/18: Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center: global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades