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Author Topic: Future Earth  (Read 27631 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Future Earth
« Reply #315 on: January 08, 2019, 06:18:24 pm »
The Next American City is . . . ?


Thom Hartmann Program

Published on Jan 6, 2019

The Next American City is a story of civic engagement, inventive public policy, and smart urban design.

It is a study of the changes re-shaping American urban life-and a blueprint for those to come.

Thom reads an excerpt from the book, sub-titled 'The Big Promise of Our Midsize Metros ' written by Mick Cornett and Jayson White.

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He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37

AGelbert

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Re: Future Earth
« Reply #316 on: March 04, 2019, 09:57:50 pm »
Climate Catastrophe 😱 Dr Rupert Read Talk [06.02.2019]
9,823 views


Extinction Rebellion

Published on Feb 15, 2019

Filmed at the University of East Anglia [06.02.2019]

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37

AGelbert

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Re: Future Earth
« Reply #317 on: March 09, 2019, 02:18:57 pm »
Agelbert NOTE: Despite this fellow's proclivity to use the "F" word, and despite his bias towards the "free market" Libertarian flawed greed based world view, he states, in this podcast, many hard truths (e.g. the stupidity of Bitcoin investments in the present imminent collapse situation) about those who labor under the view that the world economic system is not a total, unsustainable RACKET. It is. It became the power structure by guile 😈 and by FORCE 🦍. AND, it is kept in place by FORCE. He quotes Napoleon:
Quote
"The one thing you cannot do with a bayonet is sit on it."
IOW, when TPTB force is insufficient, as is inevitable, due to the irrefutable fact that MORE force is required every day to keep the masses "in line" due to MORE people being cruelly exploited and abused by the system every day, anarchy ensues.

The upper middle class, who now foolishly believe they have "prepped sufficiently", who reside closer to the angry masses, will be attacked without mercy before the really monied elite feel the wrath of the masses. The monied elite greedballs, despite their clever hiding place bunkers, will not escape the wrath of the angry masses.

Although this fellow incorrectly eschews (and demonizes :P) Socialism, he understands that the current economic system, WORLDWIDE, is a RACKET that is destroying human society. Though he does not admit it, that RACKET destroying human society is CAPITALISM.

According to this fellow, those fine upstanding well heeled neighbors in the upper middle class neighborhoods, all across the small portion of well heeled America that still exists, ARE the FIRST folks that will forget every single promise they made to you and your family and your friends. Your NEIGHBORS, who too many people, particularly the well heeled, believe are true blue, same thinkin', "friends" will, in a collapse situation, weigh every single day what you have that they think they need, and will not hesitate to STOOP to "situational ethics" 🦍 as a "rational and reasonable" EXCUSE to kill you and take your stuff. I think he is right.

Quote
There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.

The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke. -- Proverbs 13:7-8

March 8, 2019


He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37

AGelbert

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Re: Future Earth
« Reply #318 on: March 11, 2019, 09:41:28 pm »

The Trillion Tree Campaign is featured in this YouTube video. 👍

Quote
When I watch a couple of Crowther’s YouTube video presentations, I’m stunned by the brand new maps of where things grow on our planet, or life we’ve never seen, hidden underground. We expect experts to use GIS – Geographic Information Systems – to communicate complex results. But now scientists can also use those maps as tools of discovery, to find new things.

And watch the background in this video, to get a sample of the cool new maps created by the Crowther Lab. This is a YouTube video recorded at an ESRI conference, the GIS people, published on Jul 10, 2018.


Quote
And this interview published Jan 2, 2019 on how ETH Zurich uses GIS. Great images in both videos, worth capturing…


Learn more:

Posted on March 6, 2019, by Radio Ecoshock

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37

AGelbert

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Re: Future Earth
« Reply #319 on: April 04, 2019, 12:58:25 pm »
Global CO2 Emissions Hit an All-Time High in 2018; is a Hothouse Earth in our Future?

Dr. Jeff Masters  ·  April 2, 2019, 11:43 AM EDT

 
During the Jurassic Period, 208 to 146 million years ago, CO2 levels were approximately 2000 ppm (five times the current level), and a “Hothouse Earth” climate with global temperatures 3°C or more above current levels existed. Lush tropical vegetation was widespread world-wide, and dinosaurs ruled the Earth. Above: Painting of a late Jurassic Scene in the Lower Saxony basin in northern Germany. It shows an adult and a juvenile specimen of the sauropod Europasaurus holgeri and iguanodons passing by. There are two Compsognathus in the foreground and an Archaeopteryx at the right. Image credit: Gerhard Boeggemann.

Global energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide jumped by 1.7% in 2018, reaching the highest levels ever recorded, 33.1 metric gigatons, announced the International Energy Agency (IEA) last week. The United States’ CO2 emissions grew by 3.1% in 2018, reversing a decline a year earlier, while China’s emissions rose by 2.5% and India’s by 4%. The global CO2 growth rate was the highest since 2013. Global energy consumption rose 2.3% in 2018, nearly twice the average rate of growth since 2010, and was driven by a robust global economy as well as higher heating and cooling needs in some parts of the world.

 
Figure 1. Global energy-related CO2 emissions hit a new record high of 33.1 gigatons in 2018, compared to levels just over 20 metric gigatons in 1990. Image credit: International Energy Agency.

A "Hothouse Earth" in our future?

The discouraging news on record-high CO2 emissions in 2018 should be a reminder to go back and look at the most talked-about climate science paper of the past year—“Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene“, which was the subject of 460 news stories in 326 news outlets. Using existing results from climate models but no new modeling of their own, the researchers’ analysis found that a warming threshold likely exists beyond which we would set in motion a series of vicious cycles (feedbacks) in the climate system that would catapult us into a “Hothouse Earth” climate extremely dangerous to the existence of modern civilization--defined as having a much higher global average temperature than any period of the past 1.2 million years. This threshold might be crossed even if we manage to limit global warming to the Paris Accord target of 2.0°C above pre-industrial levels, they said.

The past 1.2 million years of Earth's history have alternated between long intervals of glaciation and warmer interglacial periods, such as the one we're in now, dubbed the Holocene. The hottest period of the past 1.2 million years was the last interglacial, the Eemian, which occurred between 115,000 and 130,000 years ago. The Eemian was up to 2°C (3.6°F) warmer than the pre-industrial climate of the 1800s, and sea levels were 20 – 30 feet (6 – 9 meters) higher than they are now. A “Hothouse Earth” climate could easily end up 4 - 5°C (7 - 9°F) warmer in a few centuries, with sea levels stabilizing at up to 200 feet (60 meters) higher than today. According to the 2014 IPCC report (our review here), a 4°C warming can be expected to result in "substantial species extinction, global and regional food insecurity, consequential constraints on common human activities, and limited potential for adaptation in some cases (high confidence)."

 
Figure 2. Stability landscape showing the pathway of the Earth System from the era of ice ages, through the Holocene (the geological epoch that ended when humans began significantly modifying the climate, often cited as 1945), and into the hotter Anthropocene, our proposed new geologic epoch. We are at a fork in the road where the climate can follow one of two paths (broken arrows). Currently, the Earth System is on a Hothouse Earth pathway driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases and biosphere degradation toward a planetary threshold at about 2°C, beyond which the system follows an essentially irreversible pathway to a climate hotter than any in the past 1.2 million years. The other pathway leads to Stabilized Earth, a pathway of wise Earth System stewardship into a human-maintained basin of attraction. “Stability” (vertical axis) is defined here as the inverse of the potential energy of the system. Systems in a highly stable state (deep valley) have low potential energy, and considerable energy is required to move them out of this stable state. Systems in an unstable state (top of a hill) have high potential energy, and they require only a little additional energy to push them off the hill and down toward a valley of lower potential energy. Image credit: Steffan et al., 2018, “Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Even at the ambitious target temperature rise of no more than 2 °C by the end of the century--endorsed by 195 nations in Paris in 2015--humans might trigger a cascade of feedbacks that would set the planet sliding into a Hothouse Earth climate, the authors wrote. One of the more dangerous likely feedbacks is the release of heat-trapping carbon dioxide and methane from the melting Arctic permafrost. One 2017 study warned that every 1°C (1.8°F) of additional warming would thaw 25% of permafrost, which contains twice as much carbon as the atmosphere does today. Other dangerous amplifying feedbacks they listed included diebacks of the Amazon rainforest and boreal forests, reduction of northern hemisphere snow cover, loss of Arctic summer sea ice, and reduction of Antarctic sea ice and polar ice sheets. Triggering just a few of these feedbacks would likely “activate other tipping elements in a domino-like cascade” leading to an irreversible transition to a Hothouse Earth (Figure 1).


We're on course for 3.3°C (6°F) of warming by 2100

Unfortunately, we’re on a trajectory to exceed the dangerous 2°C warming threshold. The planet has already warmed by 1°C since pre-industrial times, and temperatures are climbing at a rate of 0.17 °C per decade. The decadal climate outlook issued by the UK Met Office in January predicted that global temperatures in the period 2019-2023 will likely average between 1.03°C and 1.57°C above the preindustrial levels of 1850-1900. They predicted a roughly 10% chance that the global average will spike above 1.5°C during that period.

As I wrote in my March post, Stopping Human-Caused Air Pollution Would Prevent 5.6 Million Air Pollution Deaths Per Year, air pollution is masking an additional 0.5°C of warming that will be realized once we stop emitting so much sunlight-reflecting small particles into the atmosphere.

According to the Climate Action Tracker (CAT), a consortium of three independent European research groups, the pledges and targets agreed to by the 195 nations that signed the 2016 Paris Climate Accord would result in global warming of 3°C (5.4°F) warming by 2100. That agreement counted on strong additional actions and leadership by the biggest emitting nations to force additional cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and keep warming below 2°C. However, the current policies we’ve adopted would result in 3.3°C (6°F) of warming, said CAT.

The authors of the Hothouse Earth paper have given us a convincing argument that even strong action to control greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming to 2°C may not be enough to prevent the destruction of a livable climate for humans. They applaud the significant progress that has been made in driving the renewable energy revolution and in slowing down population growth, but emphasize that “widespread, rapid, and fundamental transformations will likely be required to reduce the risk of crossing the threshold and locking in the Hothouse Earth pathway.”

https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/Global-CO2-Emissions-Hit-All-Time-High-2018-Hothouse-Earth-our-Future



Agelbert NOTE: THIS 🌊(see below) is guaranteed with the 3.3°C (6°F) of warming trajectory we ARE ON.


He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37

AGelbert

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Re: Future Earth
« Reply #320 on: April 10, 2019, 06:03:32 pm »

A Story of the Future of Earth | David Wallace-Wells | RSA Replay
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The RSA

Streamed live on Feb 13, 2019

We think we know what’s at stake when it comes to climate change, and we often treat it as if it’s tomorrow’s problem. The real story is much, much more urgent. We have released more carbon into the atmosphere over the last thirty years than in the rest of human history, bringing the planet to the brink of climate catastrophe in less than a generation. And yet we still think of climate action as a peripheral concern; a ‘nice to have’ once our more pressing priorities are taken care of.

New York magazine deputy editor and viral sensation David Wallace-Wells paints a disturbing picture of what we’re up against, warning of the real human costs and irrevocable planetary damage that climate change will bring – and sooner than we think. No longer can we live in ignorance or denial. He issues an urgent call to arms, imploring us to change the way we think and talk about our planet’s future.

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He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37

AGelbert

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Re: Future Earth
« Reply #321 on: April 18, 2019, 07:21:12 pm »
Agelbert NOTE: This video has some cool special effects, but it is way too optimistic, tragically so, about how things will be in the year 2100. Notice the military two jets (obviously running on FOSSIL FUELS) in one of the scenes. WTF was THAT about if not some clever subliminal message that BiG Oil and the Pentagon bloated budget are STILL GONNA BE HERE.

The discussion of melting glaciers gives the erroneous impression that there will still BE some ice left on glaciers in the year 2100. We will be lucky to have any ice on land based glaciers (outside of Greenland and Antarctica) by 2050!

Finally, there is ZERO talk about the horrendously high 🌡️ temperatures that will be killing people on most of the planet long before 2100.

IOW, the whole video is designed to take the edge off the extreme urgency of dealing with this Catastrophic Climate Change existential crisis now by showing a bit of flooding by the year 2100. Don't be lulled by this happy talk disguised as a "warning".

Both the temperatures AND the flooding will be far worse than this video assumes.


Enjoy the video but don't forget that the video failed to mention that over HALF of all the polluting emissions driving this sea level and temperature rise happened AFTER the year 2000! Showing a glacier in 1851 and then in 2019 serves only to cloud the urgency of dealing with the RECENT emissions that have already baked in over 4 degrees Celcius 😱 of temperature rise into our climate "cake".



Associated article:

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37

AGelbert

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Re: Future Earth
« Reply #322 on: April 20, 2019, 02:31:16 pm »
 

April 19th, 2019 by Zachary Shahan

This Is How It’s Gonna Go Down (With Tesla)

SNIPPET:

To have a little fun and to have something to check on later to see how crazy I am, I decided to come up with a forecast on some major Tesla milestones. I have a feeling this is not a smart thing to do, but I’m going to do it anyway. Here’s my wild ass guess at how it’s gonna go down with Tesla:

In 2018, Tesla Model 3 becomes one of the 5 best selling cars in the USA in the second half of the year and the 11th best selling car for the full year. (Easy one.)

In second half of 2018, Tesla Model 3 becomes best selling vehicle in California. (Another easy one.)

In 2019, Tesla Model 3 becomes best selling luxury vehicle (all classes) in USA. (Okay, the last “easy” one.)

In 2019, Tesla Model 3 becomes best selling vehicle in Norway.

In 2019, Tesla Model 3 is again one of the 15 best selling cars in the USA, and the best selling luxury car.

In 2020, Tesla Model 3 reaches 500,000 sales in a year.

In 2020, Tesla Model 3 is one of the 5 best selling cars in the USA.

In 2021, Tesla Model Y is one of the 10 best selling vehicles in USA and Model is again one of the 10 best selling vehicles.

In 2022, Tesla reaches 1 million vehicle sales in a year. (This is slightly behind Elon Musk’s forecast of 1.1 million sales in 2021.)

In 2024, Tesla Model 3 and Model Y are two of the world’s 15 best selling vehicles.

In 2025, Tesla is one of the world’s 5 best selling automakers.

What are your thoughts? Where do you think I’m crazy? Where do you think I’m spot on? 🧐

Note: Some of these forecasts could get screwed up if certain Chinese automakers blow up in size and their hottest models take control of global sales charts.

Full article:

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/04/19/this-is-how-its-gonna-go-down-with-tesla-maybe/

Agelbert COMMENT: 👍🍀I would add a slight modification to the events of 2021😀.

In 2021, Tesla Model Y is one of the 10 THE best selling vehicle in the USA due to the Electric Vehicle for Internal Combustion Engine Polluting Clunker Legislation passed by the Democratic Party controlled Senate and House of Representatives.

One month after being inaugurated, President Sanders signed this portion of extensive Green New Deal Legislation working its way through Congress to get the USA off of biosphere degrading hydrocarbon fuels.

A consortium of you know who (i.e. 🐉🦕🦖) corporations hired former Attorney General Barr 😈 to challenge this Legislation on the basis that it undermined National Security (i.e. 🐉🦕🦖) and was Super UnConstitutional. Barr stated that, "This energy sector (i.e. 🐉🦕🦖) and economy (i.e.💵🎩👹🍌) destroying Socialist/Communist evil gross attack on the freedom of all red blooded Americans (i.e.💵🐉🦕🦖🎩) will be overturned by the Supreme Court".

December 2021: Four Supreme Court Justices, all of whom were named by Republican Presidents, abruptly resigned within days of President Sanders signing into Law the recent Legislation authorizing a new total of 15 Justices for the Supreme Court.

December 25, 2021 🎄: According to Vice President Elizabeth Warren, the names of some of those being considered for the Supreme Court are Jay Inslee, Bill McKibben, Jill Stein and James Hansen.

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37

AGelbert

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Re: Future Earth
« Reply #323 on: July 05, 2019, 11:30:14 pm »
What will life be like after Arctic Blue-Ocean-Zero: Abrupt Climate System Disruption
10,268 views


Paul Beckwith
Published on Jul 4, 2019

Blue Ocean Zero (BO-0; first Sept with essentially zero Arctic sea ice) is ever more likely each year. I chat on when it will occur + dire consequences we can expect. BO+2 years will have 3 months ice-free (Aug-Sept-Oct); BO+6 extends to July and Nov; BO+9 will be ice-free year round. Greenland, alone and exposed, will shed ice like crazy (greatly increasing sea-level rise); the cold centroid will shift from the North Pole to be over Greenland. Jet streams can become quasi-stationary, only shifting with the seasons. Where will we live to avoid the worst; how will we grow food?

Please donate at http://paulbeckwith.net to support my video efforts to keep you informed on the latest abrupt climate change risks.

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He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37

Surly1

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'Florida really tops the charts' of states climate change will heat up, report says

https://phys.org/news/2019-07-florida-tops-states-climate.html



Miamians are already used to stifling heat waves that leave them sprinting from air-conditioned cars to air-conditioned buildings or flocking to the beach to cool off. Or so they think.

But if a new report on climate-change induced global warming is right, residents could feel the heat a lot more by the middle of the century. Scientists from the climate advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists are predicting that the city could go from a couple weeks a year that feel like 100 degrees to nearly four months of scorching hot days, with the rest of Florida not far behind.

High temperatures are linked to all kinds of health problems, from heart and lung conditions to exacerbating mental health issues. In South Florida, almost a dozen elderly people elderly people died when the air conditioning went out after Hurricane Irma. Soaring thermometer readings have already forced some outdoor workers to shift their labor earlier or later in the day.

"Florida really tops the charts on so many different metrics," said Erika Spanger-Siegfried, lead climate analyst for the group. "The southeast region leads the nation, and Florida is the state within that region that will be most affected."

Spanger-Sigfried and her team analyzed historical heat records from 1970 to 2000 to come up with historical averages for cities, counties, states and regions in the lower 48 states, and used 18 different climate models to project temperatures into the future. What they found: with no action to cut carbon emissions, temperatures could soar to harmful, even deadly, levels by mid-century.

High temperatures are historically most common in the southwest, where it got so hot in 2017 that airplanes couldn't take off.

But it's not temperature alone that matters for physical well-being. As most Floridians already know, it's not the heat—it's the humidity.

"Our bodies can cope with high temperatures if we can sweat," said Spanger-Siegfried. "But as the humidity rises, it gets harder for our body to cool."

The heat index is a combination of temperature and humidity that results in a "feels like" temperature.

Right now, there are about 25 days a year that feel like they're above 100 degrees in Florida, like the heatwave last month. Without action to change emissions, scientists estimate there will be 105 of those 100 degree plus days a year in Florida in a few decades, around 2036 to 2065. By late century, that number could climb to 141 days.

Predictions for Miami-Dade County are worse. Instead of the statewide average of 25 days where it feels like 100 degrees, Miami-Dade already has 41 and by the middle of the century, that could be 134. That's more than any other county in the state.

The researchers created an interactive tool to show how hot it might get in specific cities and counties depending on how much climate change is slowed, or if it's not slowed at all.

More hot days spells trouble for outdoor workers, who don't always have strict guidelines for breaks. More than half of agricultural workers in Homestead surveyed by the organization WeCount! last year reported they weren't allowed to rest in the shade, and 69% said they had experienced symptoms of heat-related illness.

It doesn't help that the natural instinct when the temperatures rise is to crank up the AC, which Spanger-Siegfried pointed out consumes even more electricity and burns even more fuel.

"If we use dirty sources of fuel to keep our indoor areas cool, we're making our outdoor areas warmer," she said.

Not that everyone even has AC. Federal rules for public housing don't require air conditioning, leaving low-income residents to buy their own or suffer without one.

On a hotter planet, people who use public transit will also bear the brunt of the higher temperatures. While Miami often reaches intense temperatures, the county installed its first—and what appears to be its only—air-conditioned bus stop in 2016.

A cheaper way to cool down urban areas, which are usually hotter than rural areas thanks to all the metal, glass and pavement, is nature's original solution: trees. Miami-Dade did a tree canopy survey in 2016 with the University of Florida and Florida International University and found that the county has about 20% of its land covered by trees, out of a possible 44 percent. Researchers found the trees were clustered in wealthier, whiter neighborhoods like Coral Gables and were lacking in lower income neighborhoods primarily occupied by people of color.

The county began the Million Trees Miami program to solve the problem and bring the total average canopy in the county up to 30% by 2020. They've since scrapped the deadline, said Gabriela Lopez, community image manager for Neat Streets Miami, and instead just focus on adding trees wherever they can.

"We have been able to record the planting of approximately 300,000 trees. However, we know that more trees have probably been planted since the initiative began," she said.

But while trees can help cool down a neighborhood, soak up flood waters and even raise property values, the ultimate solution to stop rising temperatures at their source is to emit less into the atmosphere, said Spanger-Siegfried.

"We need to start and end with thinking about making emissions cuts," she said.

AGelbert

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Yep. The heat plus sea level rise plus that coral base of Florida subsiding due to increased ocean acidification will result in the following long before (as the article that accompanies this graphic, and several other excellent 'before and after' graphics' :o, erroneously claims) 2100.


He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37

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Climate and collapse: Only through the insurrection of civil societies will we avoid the worst



Translation of an interview of Christophe Bonneuil, French historian and research director at the CNRS, by Ivan Du Roy for BastaMag, published on October 16th, 2018. [PDF version]



"Another end of the world is possible"



Are we under the threat of an imminent "collapse" as a result of global warming and the over-exploitation of resources? For the historian Christophe Bonneuil, there is no question: major social, economic and geopolitical upheavals have already been triggered and will only accelerate. Instead, the issue needs to be repositioned, in turn inciting "political thinking" of the current situation: who will be the winners and the losers? How can we exert an influence on the nature of these changes? Mass migrations, risk of conflicts over resources: despite his brutal observation of this emerging world, the historian appeals to avoid the trap of a "romanticism" of collapse. "Another end of the world is possible," he says. It is up to civil societies to write the final scenario. Interview.



Basta Mag: How has the climate situation evolved since the signing of the Paris Agreement - in the context of the COP 21 -, at the end of 2015?

Christophe Bonneuil [1]
: Greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise everywhere, France included. In view of the trajectory of global emissions, if we continue down that path, we take the direction of an overall increase in temperatures of at least +3°C well before the end of the century. We see here the limits of the non-compulsary nature of the agreement signed three years ago, at the Paris Climate Conference, the COP 21. The Paris Agreement is dangerously close to the 1938 Munich Agreement, which, believing it avoided a world war, actually precipitated it. This summer, the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere exceeded 411 ppm (part per million), a level unmatched for 800,000 years to 4 million years. We must be even more gullible than a "munichois" to believe that it will not have consequences of geological magnitude, or cause human disasters and major geopolitical upheavals.

What are the indicators showing that a fateful threshold, which would pave the way to a "Hothouse Earth", may likely be crossed in the coming decades?

Since the Quaternary era, the Earth oscillates approximately every 100,000 years between a glacial state and an interglacial state, between two periods of glaciation. What threatens us is an exit from the limits of this oscillation. The probability of a scenario in which Earth would switch to a hothouse state was accredited by an article published in July in the journal of the American Academy of Sciences [2]. In India, projected temperatures in ten or fifteen years show that some regions will experience peaks above 50°C [3], which could also happen in France at the end of the century [4]. Bodies will not be able to bear it, regions will become unlivable, and the poorest will be most affected.

Part of our greenhouse gas emissions is absorbed by the oceans, which have themselves not been as acidic for 300 million years. This destroys coral reefs and threatens aquatic wildlife. On land, the speed of plant migration is also not fast enough to adapt to climate change [5]. Added to this is the extent of deforestation, habitat fragmentation and the impacts of chemicals used by intensive agriculture: in German nature reserves, scientists have observed a fall of more than 75% in insect populations in less than three decades [6].

Some talk of a coming "collapse". Is this an adequate way of presenting the risks?

It is no longer about positioning oneself as optimistic or pessimistic, as an informed catastrophist – by appealing to the possibility of a catastrophe in order to arouse the mobilisation that will prevent it - or, on the contrary, as someone who refuses to use fear because it would be politically problematic. Whether we like it or not, a report was presented at the last World Geological Congress in 2016, declaring that the Earth has left the Holocene to enter a new geological era, the Anthropocene. Whether we like it or not, hundreds of scientific works show that thresholds have been crossed or are being crossed for a range of parameters of the Earth system, beyond which the evolutions are brutal: runaway climate change as a source of extreme events, rising sea levels requiring to move hundreds of large cities and billions of people across the century, biodiversity collapse, the cycle of nitrogen, phosphorus and water... multiple collapses are either already underway or coming.

What is looming over us is not a climate crisis to manage with "solutions" or economic globalisation to regulate, but the possibility of a collapse of the world we currently live in, a globalised industrial civilisation resulting from five centuries of capitalism. Some people prefer to define collapse as the extinction of the human species. Even with the worst climate and ecological scenario, this perspective remains less likely today than it was during the Cold War and the threat of nuclear winter.

Imagine the worst: climatic, ecological and geopolitical upheavals, devastating wars between powers for resources, civil wars fueled by xenophobic or religious fanaticism, clan wars in a devastated world... But why wouldn’t the few humans surviving and resisting barbarism, find no resource and habitable place on Earth? To adopt the end of the human race as the framework of thought for collapse is to risk inhibiting all thought and politics. I think that this scenario should not monopolise our attention: it only distracts from any geopolitical, social or geographical analysis.

What would be the most likely collapse scenario?

A more interesting definition, otherwise more probable in the 21st century than human extinction, is one given by Yves Cochet and the Momentum Institute: the collapse as a "process through which the basic needs (water, food, housing, clothing, energy...) are no longer provided - at a reasonable cost - to a majority of the population by services regulated by law". Just as the violence of the Greek crisis has shown us, this type of collapse can affect entire countries, even in Europe. Given the interconnected nature of the world economy, we can extend the hypothesis to that of the collapse of a system: the civilisation of industrial capitalism and its consumerist culture, nowadays a globalised civilisation, regardless of the vast disparities in social and territorial domains.

Following the erasure of so many political systems across the last 50 centuries, and while reports from all over describe the coming upheavals, isn’t it reckless to regard industrial and consumerist capitalism as immortal? Given it is the cause of global disarray [7], it seems rather interesting to think about its collapse, or even to prepare it!

How?

By multiplying, for example, the acts of non-cooperation with the consumerist model, by resisting the fascist drifts or oppressions enabled by the ecological crisis, by opposing useless projects and the pursuit of fossil fuel extraction and ore processing, by reinforcing emerging alternatives. With the image of the post-apocalyptic and Hollywood's individualistic “last man” in mind, I rather prefer the image of the collectives participating in the collapse of an old productivist world: those blocking the mines and bringing down the share price of multinationals, those reinventing the commons - from the transition movement of the Zone to Defend. Another end of the world is possible! [8]

Have such upheavals ever occurred in the past? What were the social, economic and geopolitical consequences?

It is interesting to look at the past, or else we will remain very politically naive, especially in the face of this fear of a future collapse. This kind of sublime of a collapse that will happen later is a representation of rich Western, white people. Populations and societies are either seeing their lives turned upside down, or have already seen it in the past. With the arrival of Europeans in America, Amerindian populations literally collapsed from 55 million people to 5 million between 1492 and 1650. Is that not a collapse? This genocide has left traces in the ice cores of climatologists. There is a drop of more than 5 ppm in the carbon concentration in the atmosphere between 1492 and 1610 [9]. This decline is due to the fact that, with 50 million Indians disappearing, more than 50 million cultivated hectares have returned to the fallow land and forest, capturing carbon in turn.

This European expansion was also a consequence of another upheaval, the Black Death of the 14th century. Nearly half of the European population was decimated. There was less manpower in the countryside, which in turn weakened the seigniorial power. Less numerous, the peasants then obtained certain rights. The aristocracy then went in search of new spaces to dominate and expand within, financing oceanic expeditions to Africa and the Americas. The establishment of the first sugar company in Madeira, off the coast of Morocco, served as a base for departure to the Americas. From the 16th to the 18th century, an important supply of European money came from mines exploited in the New World.

So there are winners and losers to the collapse?

After the Black Death, European peasantry was able to establish for itself a better position in society, ultimately recovering. The aristocracy and the nascent financial bourgeoisie continued to contribute to the emergence of capitalism and European expansion. The vanquished were Amerindians and Africans, captured as slaves until the 19th century. For this reason, we cannot say that everyone is in the same boat in the event of collapse.

Another example: in the years 1870-1900, El Niño events - the large-scale warming of ocean surface waters - caused droughts and famines in the Amazon, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, killing nearly 40 million people [10]. The consequences of these natural climatic phenomena were then aggravated by European expansion, in turn bringing with them geopolitical implications. In China, the Qing dynasty was weakened by European Imperialism following the Opium War. The imperial dynasty no longer had the means to meet the needs of its population in the event of a natural disaster, and lost its legitimacy. Hence the Boxer war in 1899-1901, which led to the fall of the dynasty in 1912. The disrupted monsoons also caused millions of deaths to famine in India because the British colonial power, far from supporting the rural population, continued to puncture their commodities, which at the time were exported to Britain. Colonial empires also benefited from the climate disruptions that profoundly destabilised Africa. The droughts and famines of the 1890s in East Africa facilitated colonial penetration, which in turn aided rinderpest and sleeping sickness that decimated livestock, wildlife and African societies in the early 20th century.

These examples illustrate how the impacts of ecological and climatic disasters, both their causes and their consequences, are never separated from forms of domination and exploitation. As a result, we cannot think of the collapse purely politically by simply comparing a graphed curve of the world's population against a curve of resource availability or planetary limits. These curves say nothing about what is happening geopolitically, how social and political relations evolve, lest of all who the winners and losers are in these upheavals. The poorest can lose even more than what they have already, while the richest 1% emerge unscathed.

What could be the consequences of the current climate and environmental upheavals?

A disastrous scenario could be that of an unrecognisable Earth, less habitable overall, with hundreds of millions of refugees ruined and forced to leave their homes, whole sub-continents left to the chaos of civil wars and the extraction of resources, and ultra-militarised world powers. These authoritarian regimes would fight each other for the control of Earth's resources, and would internally reign a dictatorship in the name of the ecological emergency and the exclusion of destitute foreigners hurrying to their doors.

In the name of climate emergency and in the face of a rapid degradation of Earth's habitability, these regimes will abolish the moral and social boundaries: we will be offered servitude and submission in exchange for survival. The control of our personal data will guide our behaviours. This totalitarian order will present itself as an ecologist and will ration the use of resources, but will maintain enormous inequalities between a general population with diminished life and an elite that will continue to over-consume.

This is the scenario of a capitalism partially de-globalised, and re-structured in dictatorial blocks, in which the militarised state and the economic power would become one. Fully privatised ecological service markets, climate geoengineering, military and extractivist space conquest or trans-humanism would be the "solutions" proposed by these regimes to the problems of the planet. This scenario sends chills up the spine. Yet we are already experiencing these premises, in China, the United States, Russia, Europe or Brazil.

Only a massive mobilisation of civil societies and victims of climate change already facing the damage of existing "globalisation", only an ethical and political insurrection against all attacks against the living and human dignity itself, only an archipelago of revolutionary changes towards well-being and self-reliant societies can thwart this scenario of ecofascist capitalism.

Yet many are those saying to themselves "So far, so good, so far, so good"...

If we look in the short term at how global imbalance changes the game, it seems that for a number of years to come, the top 5% to 10% of the world, living mainly in OECD countries [which includes the 36 most developed countries in the world, ed] as well as China and Russia, do not yet fully realize the seriousness of the situation: they are less fragile, live in relatively stable states erecting barriers against migrants, have access to a standard of living that requires an unequal ecological exchange with the rest of the planet, where most of the production workshops and sites of extraction are located. For them, "everything is fine" as long as they continue to benefit from a political and economic system externalising violence towards other territories, populations and species of the world.

On the other hand, the most underprivileged half of humanity, could be in vital danger. This half has received nothing from the wealth generated in 2017 worldwide while 82% of it benefited the richest 1% of the world [11]. While some buy lifeboats, others toil in the workshops of the world under conditions of extreme pollution, or on land becoming less and less fertile. Between 200 million and one billion people could become refugees by 2050. We must realise the violence of climate change that is adding to, and combining with, the social violence suffered by these "Wretched of the Earth".

We must therefore expect considerable political and geopolitical upheavals...

Europe is in the grip of a xenophobic push. On our doorstep, the drowning rate of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean has increased from one in 42 in 2017 to one in 18 in 2018, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. It's appalling! India erected a 4000 km long separation wall with Bangladesh. With the melting ice in the Himalayas and the disruption of monsoons, water regimes are changing, with effects on dams and irrigation systems. This is already creating tensions between China, India and Pakistan. The Himalayas become a kind of geopolitical bedlam, subject to a "hyper-siege" as Jean-Michel Valantin has shown [12]. Their populations are stuck between rising water on one side, and the relative drying of the Himalayan water tower on the other. This conjunction of climatic phenomena and geopolitical tensions is worrying in an area with nuclearised countries.

The disturbances of the planet also redistribute the power relations between nation-states as we have known them since the end of the Cold War. Among the potential winners, there is Russia, which has room - Siberia - which will be able to accommodate populations in the future. North America and China also have clear lands, which Europe doesn't have. These lands will allow the cultivation of millions of hectares of wheat.

Paradoxically, global warming also opens up new potential for fossil energy exploitation, doesn’t it?

The thaw of the Arctic sea ice is accelerating Russian fossil fuel extraction projects with massive Chinese funding, which, incidentally, may further worsen global warming. A new maritime route is opening, the passage of the North-East [which connects the Pacific to the Atlantic through northern Russia and Scandinavia, note]. The first big methane tanker - Christophe de Margerie [named after the former CEO of Total who died in 2014, ed] - sailed for the first time in the summer of 2017 without the necessity of an ice-breaking ship. The Northeast Passage is the equivalent of the Suez Canal or Panama in the 19th century: it brings China closer to Europe by three weeks. Floating nuclear power plants will likely be established by Russia in the Arctic, to provide power to the first cities that are set up in this 'frozen far-west', as well as the exploitation of gas and oil fields.

When we see the gap between the richest and the billions of people most affected by climate damage, or the differences in the costs and benefits of the warming depending on regions or states, it is clear that the rhetoric of "We are all concerned, we must act together", doesn’t hold water. There will be winners and losers to global warming. Some countries - like Russia and the oil monarchies of the Gulf - and some social groups have no interest in this changing. No, we are not all in the same boat, or not in the same class or with the same access to the restaurant and canoes [reference to Titanic]. A "positive ecology" made of concrete alternatives is useful, but it will not be enough without a fight. This is also the lesson to be learned from Nicolas Hulot's failure in the government [Nicolas Hulot was the French Minister of the Environment under Macron, resigning in August 2018].

Won’t the extraction of fossil fuels stop by itself, because of the limits of these resources, for example oil?

Since the 1970s, the environmental movement has highlighted these limits. But in terms of fossil resource reserves, we have, according to a study published in 2015, largely enough to increase the global temperature of the planet by more than 8°C, and the level of the oceans by 30 meters during the 3rd millennium [13]. We can no longer count on these limits and on a shortage of resources - the famous oil "spike" - to stop us on time. Only political voluntarism, spurred by an insurrection of civil societies, can help avoid the worst.

We know the existence of fossil reserves under our feet, which we must absolutely learn not to extract. We must leave a model of development dating back 500 years, when the conquistadores killed Amerindians for mere kilos of gold or silver. This model that must be overcome is capitalism: it is not only a question of returning to a Keynesian capitalism with a little more ecology in it. Our conception of the individual, "who is by himself a perfect and solitary whole" according to Rousseau, our conception of beings other than human beings, of the good life and of property, must be rethought.

We must work on the issue of the commons. And, beyond a collapsing industrial modernity, we must invent terrestrial futures[14]. In politics, it's time for the focus to shift. Political leaders, institutions or companies can no longer be taken seriously if they don’t have clear proposals to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the ecological footprint within the next five years. While they currently place competitiveness, growth and business above all, they will have to give way to policies more adequate to preserve our lives, our values of solidarity, and a habitable world.


Translated by Crystelle Vu - Edited by Julian Oliver - 2018 / Written with VIM / Last edit 30.10.2018


Notes
[1] Historian, research director at the CNRS, co-author of "L’événement Anthropocène. La Terre, l’histoire et nous" (Seuil, « Points Histoire », 2016) and director of the « Anthropocene » collection at Ed. du Seuil.
[2] Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene.
[3] Deadly heat waves could hit South Asia this century.
[4] France could experience heat peaks of 50°C at the end of the century, 'Le Monde' article in French
[5] Richard T. Corlett & David A.Westcott. « Will plant movements keep up with climate change ? ».
[6] More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas
[7] Christophe Bonneuil & Jean-Baptiste Fressoz, L’événement Anthropocène. La Terre, l’histoire et nous (Seuil, « Points Histoire », 2016).
[8] It is the slogan of a graffiti illustrating the political radicalisations of recent years, and the title of the latest book by Pablo Servigne, Raphael Stevens and Gauthier Chapelle, Une autre fin du monde est possible (Another end of the world is possible) (Seuil, 2018)
[9] Simon L. Lewis et Mark A. Maslin, « Defining the Anthropocene », Nature, 519, 2015, p. 171-180.
[10] Read the book by Mike Davis, Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World.
[11] Report by Oxfam NGO, january 2018.
[12] Jean-Michel Valantin, Géopolitique d’une planète déréglée (Seuil, 2017).
[13] R. Winkelmann, A. Levermann, A. Ridgwell, K. Caldeira, « Combustion of available fossil-fuel resources sufficient to eliminate the Antarctic Ice Sheet », Science Advances, 1 (2015).
[14] « Devenirs terrestres » (fr) : http://www.terrestres.org/2018/05/10/devenirs-terrestres/


AGelbert

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I have a mental picture of those locked into the 'greed + ambition = IT' world view. It is not pretty. However, it is not particularly ghastly. It is mostly, just sad. Why? Because all this destruction is so unnecessary for absolutely any of the reasons that elite profit over people and planet humans wrap around themselves like a comfortable blindfold.

I'm sure you've heard about the two groups of people sitting at two tables. One group is starving to death and one group is eating well. Both groups have the same amount of food on the table. Neither group can use anything but spoons to reach the food. However the spoons are longer than a person's arm (You cannot cheat by holding the spoon near the spoon cup, instead of at the end of the handle). IOW, you cannot feed yourself with the spoon you have.

One group spoons the food and feeds others in the group. They eat well. They live in harmony. They know that harmony and altruism equals survival in peace and plenty. They always look out for the other person as a utilitarian, practical matter. Every person in the group knows that if they do not feed someone else, the others will notice and not feed the selfish one, who will then starve to death.   

The group starving to death is the 'greed + ambition = IT' based human society.

Proverbs predicted all this thousands of years ago:

Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;

When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:

For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.

Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. -- Proverbs 1:20-32

Agelbert NOTE: As long as most people are more concerned with physical safety than spiritual safety, the violent climate upheavals which are undermining human civilization are guaranteed to increase in frequency and duration until our civilization is destroyed.

The 'escape clause', (see below) is NOT about physical safety; it is about spiritual safety. God fearing people have been victims of physical violence and various privations from the beginning, and will continue to suffer many of these harms till the end. 

But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil -- Proverbs 1:33
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37

Surly1

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You don't need a "grade"from me, but this was excellent.

AGelbert

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You don't need a "grade"from me, but this was excellent.

When you judge a comment of mine to be excellent, I feel honored. Thank you.
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37

 

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