As the Amazon burns, its time to roll up our sleeves. (published 2019, September 5th)
The tragedy of civilization -
If you convert the land that previously grew bushes and trees that fed
elephants into wheat that feeds humans, you can grow more humans per
hectare. Many of these humans can become a standing army. And you can
use those trees you cut down to build ships of war. You now have a
competitive military advantage over those who live sustainably, over
those who do not destroy their land base. Further, because you’ve
degraded your own land base, you must expand into other land bases. But
fortunately for you, you’ve got a standing military.
Roger Hallam XR (Extinction Rebellion), has a discussion with Dr Peter Carter, expert reviewer for next IPPC report, AR6. We almost don't need the IPPC anymore. Life and death experience of climate reality surpasses climate models.
Scenario 1: High probability of high damage with reducing time to act. You are the driver of a car going at high speed, full of many other people. Your path goes straight into a massive brick wall. Brakes need to be applied right now to rapidly slow
the vehicle down, so some might still be able to walk away after the impact.
This is our climate emergency situation right now. The last term , time left T, is already less than the time required for intervention. Scenario 2: The Australian Government is your driver, and says "There is no brick wall!" and pushes the gas pedal to the metal" **
** - because climate change is not as tangible as a lump of coal
The country of which I became an adopted citizen of, Australia, has a
federal government which always claims that Australia "is a
unique case" when negotiating in international forums for climate
action. It is the most unique crime case. Like many selfish anti-social
crimes justice must ensure hurt rebounds on the criminal more at the
end. The uniqueness involves an extreme belligerent hard-nosed attitude
with carbon accounting combined with public denial of climate change
when it comes to action. This is very much opposite to the global
behavior required to have a safe global climate system. This is being
done on behalf of global fossil fuel corporations, that are totally into
colonial exploitation, and our government is helping them every way it
can, because - money.
This is a link to a guest article at "Cassandra Legacy" by Lukas Fierz, Swiss physician. Humanity has finally been forced to go the emergency room and consult the authority of climate physicians, because signs and symptoms of disease appear everywhere. The complex systems of our biosphere are "de-compensating" beyond their capacity limits.
The climate physicians diagnose a risk that our biosphere systems are too close to a zone of no return to health. All possible effective treatments will be costly and difficult. Despite this, the patient just wants a quick dose of economic medicine and wants to get back to growth business as normal. Patient humanity denies current behavior is causing life-risks, and denies needing to follow prescriptions that require more behavior change.
Dr Ye Tao, at "The Rowland Institute" at Harvard, is explicit about what we need to do in order to escape our near-term extinction. We need to reverse the temperature rise caused by our rapid production of greenhouse gases, and also negate the hidden part of its temperature rise that is currently masked by all of our transient aerosol pollution. The challenge and its difficulty is made clear in this you-tube presentation.
With so many people, and so much of nature in climate trouble, global warming requires much more than a cosmetic changes to our global economy. Now with increasing urgency and short time remaining to avoid future catastrophe.
This is different to many of the environmental campaigns of the past, where often corporate - acceptable solutions already existed, that were technically possible within the existing system frameworks, and system economic benefits exceeded costs. Yet decades of public and political pressure, and even public casualties, were required to bring it about.
Global industrial production has foisted so much of its environmental problems onto growth in China. The pollution costs are high for environment, health and society. The global predicament is ultimately one of scale and duration. The bigger the scale, the shorter the time before collapse
Some corporations obviously realise they have behavior problems. Corporations play a major role in economies and government, and so much is not going well, so who to blame?
Is this just PR? Corporations and government surely understand that their impacts on life's bio-systems and society are far more complex, unstable and dangerous. They can ignore problems so long as their money grows. Are they actually able to change their basic operating principles?
Overall our global civilisation is in deep trouble. Using "All as means", is the exploitation of everything, for growth unending. This is unsustainable and destructive.
We watch the unravelling of global ecological services and exceed safe biosphere limits. There are limits to how much our biosphere can be hacked.
So far, a cure seems remote, as the social stigmas of our system diseases are extensive, malignant, denied, and hidden.
John McMurtry documents our worsening systems disease extensively in "The cancer stage of capitalism from crisis to cure" , now in second edition.
For this is a general systems problem. For any particular corporate production issue, eventually some sort of environmental accommodation is reached, sometimes finally after decades of pressure and protest, sometimes after public casualties, and when there had always been a solution that didn't interfere too much with corporate money systems growth.
If the global reduction of fossil fuel burning goes down as fast as needs to, lack of demand for them should soon drop their selling price below their production cost floor. Everyone knows the target of 50% reduction by 2030, as required for even a two thirds chance of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees C. Many nations targets are being set by this.
Climate for Change news-letter reported the following news items in recognition and encouragement of those many already ahead of the rushing crowd. Don't be the last institution or the last laggard nation left holding stranded assets!
"The Conversation" has some detailed articles with strong criticisms of the recent Australian Governments Climate and Energy road map, and budget. I find these articles to be rather lame in their criticism. They do not scream out "climate emergency", which ought to be considered a rational response by now.
Human states and cities have been trying grow bigger than their neighbours, since the discovery of metal technologies - the copper and bronze ages, for 5000 years. Domination by weaponized warriors became possible. Metal technology brought with it, mining, smelting and money, requiring states to exploit more energy, resources, and the sacrifice of forests.
States and Corporations co-evolved as a "Metallurgical complex" It became necessary for states to compete or be dominated. Since then we have been perfecting the technologies of exploitation, and war. Civilization for the next 5 millennium has tried to organize around four tyrannies: Military domination, Economic capitalism, Ideology and Linear thinking.
We are not good at fixing the problems that our Megamachine causes. Mining corporations and wealth accumulation systems now dominate the globe. States are struggling to manage the end of growth. Our world is becoming crippled by our many accumulating problems, while our institutions keep trying to maintain their roles in causing them.
The Megamachine is run using people, and people can change their views and choices, which is what is happening now.
The Adani Coal Mine is still being stalled, while various economic and political forces still want to start turning the Galilee Basin of Queensland into yet another quarry of Australia. This did not develop in a cultural vacuum. Who and what is behind it? What are the economic and political forces pushing it. What culture, life values and future for all of us are still at stake?
Many people are still absorbing the flurry of Australian Government climate, energy and "Big Gas" announcements. They make up a confusing and contradictory "wish list". Some of them relate to important ideas. Too much of the whole package relates to the wishful thinking of our mining industry biased government, manifest in statements which say that climate mitigation cannot be allowed to impact our "economy". Still telling the big economy lie.
This is ludicrous, because climate change is already impacting our economy. Too much of our economy is seriously tied up with green house gas emissions, including "Big Gas". We are not defining what is really important for our economy. Failure of sufficient action now dooms the economy later on. Damage and withdrawal of many parts of our economy cannot be avoided. What is missing are plans to have a climate safe economy. And this is entirely possible now.
"Earth may temporarily pass dangerous 1.5℃ warming limit by 2024, major new report says" is the headline of this piece online for "The Conversation". The only uncertainty about this lies in year-to-year variations in climate as measured by our averaging models. A few key graphs in this article, indicate the rising trends we will still have to break in the next few decades.
Our daily news is accustomed to breaking records around the globe, for temperatures, fires, ice melts, and extreme weather catastrophes. These happen worse and more frequently every year. At the same time our fossil fool government continues to operate by pretending all is normal, no need to panic.
In what possible way can this be temporary? It really is a matter of a short number of years, give or take a few, before our "average measure" is in the ball park of 1.5 from our arbitrary pre-industrial baseline. What does the term "temporary" really apply to? Is it the dangerous rise in climate averages, or the ability of nature to cater to the consuming ways of our civilisation?
Climate change is described as a "threat to our way of life" by USA presidential candidate Mr Biden. Should not this be put the other way around? Our way of life is the threat to global climate stability. Which one do you think is the most fragile? Or shall we all continue, like Australian government political parties, deny the challenge of conflicts with our "lifestyles" and "vested interests", by pretending on the fundamental level of actions, that the whole predicament does not exist?
Here we have a government that has said it doesn't "pick winners". This is unfortunately very true, it picks the real losers. If all these gas projects were so obvious winners, they would not need the wholesale corruption of government to make them possible. Decades of stink of foreign corporate money, and mates obligations hangs around the Morrison Government and its "Labor Party" opposition. The book "The Carbon Club" account of our history shows, that people who become determined to bend or destroy political and climate systems by any means, for their own power gain, tend to get what they want. Reasonable balanced people can get to stay home. We all avoid confrontational discomfort, unless backed by enough social support.
The federal government parties have been pre-selected and paid so well, so that they are now overly concerned about rescuing their losing future that is tied to the foreign corporate gas export industry and support of foreign media in Australia. All they want to do now is burn clean money after throwing all their dirty gambling money at it. "Throwing good money after bad"
If you wonder how a state of educated people can allow this to happen, look at pre-world war II Nazi Germany. Nation-states brainwash best, and plan to keep us all insecure and ignorant, while it all happens again.
Johan Rockström is a Swedish professor of Earth Systems Science and director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He says the planet cannot tolerate any more abuse. The science is clear. Political ineptitude, economic short-sightedness, manipulation by stakeholders, and the media’s inability to deal with loud climate change denial has brought us to our current position, and that is political failure.
Not much time left before we will be losing everything.
Even aiming to stay within the global warming range of 1.5 to 2 degrees C, the earth systems are pushed on a path that takes us to the kind of climate of 3 million years ago, Pliocene or even 50 million years ago, the Miocene. The Holocene, which nutured our civilizations, is over forever.
Right now, to avoid the extreme, conditions of the Miocene, not compatible with human civilization at all, and insure that only Pliocene conditions are reached, a rapid, global exponential decarbonization is required
Climacide is the usual cause of termination of Apex Species
David Suzuki points out, that a recent climate science paper says there remains only a 5 percent chance of staying below 2 degrees this Century, and we have actually more chance of reaching 6 degrees of warming (10%), than staying below 2 C. So we'ed better get on with it, as a global apex species, because even 2 degrees is not favourable to the long term survival biosphere apex species such as ourselves. Australia is especially singled out for its rigged corporate games in government..
A Six Million Year Plan for Earth
Everything politicians think they know is most certainly wrong for the real world. Global governments fixation on mutual traded, competitive, exponential, fossil fueled growth. This is the worst possible, long term option ever. There is no wriggle out of contract consequences - Making a Hell of Earth. So what is the cause of this collective insanity? Rapid extinction is nature's unthinking plan for a species that collectively destroys its foundational environment.
Growth still the climate killer
The Global Carbon Project, which collects and analyses our global carbon behaviour, shows that nearly everybody is misbehaving.
Growth in global carbon emissions in 2018 looks to be around 2%, which is exactly tied to the rate of economic growth (by GDP) Growth in Gas was the worst at 3.0%, and almost certainly involves a growth in total methane leakage. It is not provable that the rise in global carbon emissions with GDP has produced a similar rise in global well-being.
Humanity are still trying to collectively have infinite growth on this finite planet. Here in Australia, our Prime Madman Scott Morrison, keeps defiantly shouting his "Strong Economy" slogan, in the tones of "Resistance is useless", while Australia burns hotter. After Albert Einstein, we could say that only one thing is infinite, and that is human collective stupidity.
Absent any serious form of global self-control, human global demolition will be future choked by several possible natural "Limits to Growth". Given our massed social and technical ingenuity, we might even manage to have several at once. We might escape the global decline in essential heavy fuel oil supply to power our global big machines, or spend all our energies against the inexorable rise in new climate disasters. This is probably already out of our control, as we struggle to keep creating new limits by growing our ongoing demolition of biodiversity and natural sustainability.
Climate Emergency Declaration
If enough people demand it, governments could declare a
climate emergency tomorrow, and we could all get on with the job of