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.
Me too. Australian government is dissing the rights of every living being on the globe, including those on pacific islands, by its disregard of global warming. Australia ought to remember that it is also an island continent, and not just a coal and gas mining quarry for foreign corporations and billionaire mates.
We are the great Australian gas swindled. That is you and me, whether we have seen through it or not. The gas industry is still getting away with it. Their game pieces are all lined up. The gas lies have been building up thick and fast over the decade, backed by billions of dollars of conviction money from the banks. Dollars buy conviction. Mostly convinced are our conventional standard politicians in Australia, who allow the lies to be repeated wholesale. They also don't want to be seen opposing "progress". The mainstream media are professionally devoted to not joining the dots.
The lies start from the fossil fuel gas corporations, are echoed in every possible way by our domesticated Australian governments and their tame environment and planning departments. Gas industry lies have corralled the main political parties. The whole and entire aim is to produce profits from high exported gas prices, for the benefit of tax-dodging foreign corporations like Santos. For political brains, we have gas industry zombies. We have an overwhelming supply of self-important suckers for a government. We are the great Australia gas swindled because we keep electing them to high office.
The "Galilee Blockade" activists continue to track down potential Adani corporate enablers, and stick pins into corporate coal fantasy balloons. Insurance companies and banks still try to hide their business connections behind green-washed frontage. They have to squirm in public when caught doing deals under the bed with Adani. Yesterday members briefly confronted Insurance giant AON, at their fancy office front. Go to the facebook group "Galillee Blockade" for more online and offline actions.
The Adani Coal Saga stretches on. I have no special insights into how this gravity-defying coal mining project appears to levitate. I suspect this has something to do with corporate hopes of attracting more billions of dollars from financial money-print markets, to pour down the drain, in a hope of rescuing some of the billions already disappeared by the corporate spouts. Many of Adani's top political connections are glued on with the same kind of money.
We still keep fiddling with our denial-worry beads. While we are still choosing to fry, large areas in the once cold Arctic of our planet are burning hot.
The Arctic freezer is where nature keeps huge amounts carbon in its deep permafrost soil. Permafrost thaw emissions could use up 25% of the global carbon budget available for staying under 1.5 deg C in a few decades.
Lots of carbon to burn, lots of peat. Peat fires can burn for a very long time. Area of permafrost comprises about one quarter of the northern hemisphere land mass. These are small increases in the rate of our natural systems additions to atmosphere and ocean carbon. Small that is, compared to human caused additions, which are still hard to beat, now at around 2.5-3.0 ppm every year.
The world meteorological organisation, and many Arctic climate science watchers, are showing signs of wanting everyone to panic, not just at a SARS-Cov-2 level panic. We need a permanent fossil fuels lock-down. It is a climate emergency happening now. We either rapidly pull-down our greenhouse gas production, or our globe has a frying melt-down. Impacts of 1.5 deg C will be bad enough, with much worse if we let it go on.
"Drawdown Review", available for download, publishes two alternative scenarios, as guidance for 2020 - 2050, for how our world can avoid exceeding 1.5 or 2 degrees C margins of warming by 2100, instead of our present fatal course. Drawdown shows what can do now, to reduce human sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance biological carbon sinks, and still improve the net well-being of humanity.
Drawdown claims we can avoid catastrophic warming with climate solutions in hand today. This requires collective ambition and determined action. Adoption by our economic and political systems is all that is missing.
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