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Thursday, September 19, 2019

"Covering Climate Now." Why should you care?

Those are just the looming individual and "population health" risks (which also map overlappingly to concomitant economic and geopolitical adversities).
I was born in 1946. The U.S. population has doubled since then. World population has more than tripled across that span. We comprise only about 4% of that world population, yet consume 32 times per capita the resources of the poorest nations on the planet. It cannot continue.
Children Know It’s Time to Panic About Climate Change
Teen activist Greta Thunberg has taken on anxieties far beyond her years. Adults should listen.
Franklin Foer

I used to think that one of the gifts of growing older was that anxiety slowly abates with time. When the mind gravitates to the worst-case scenario, the years suggest that it rarely arrives. Experience teaches the brain to stave off its tendency to catastrophize. This is the wisdom that a parent whispers into a child’s ear after a nightmare. Everything will be alright.

Sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg, the Scandinavian climate activist in fleece and braids, decries this adult capacity to self-soothe. Grown-ups claim to have a monopoly on realism—to possess a superior capacity for assessing risk—but it’s precisely that supposed realism which has led them to delusion. With their rationalizations, and their armor against anxiety, they have failed to grasp the greatest threat of them all, the warming of the planet…
"When I think about climate change, my mind loops in the direction of hope. It generates a thousand reasons to feel reassured. Humans have an incredible capacity to innovate and to band together in the face of crisis, I tell myself—and then order another hamburger."

I am soon to again be a grandfather. My worries are persistent.


The "Anthropocene" villain? The "Capitalocene?"
You and I have the unfortunate honor of facing down a crisis the likes of which our species has never before seen. Rapid climate change of our own making is transforming every bit of ocean and land, imperiling organisms clear across the tree of life. It’s killing people by way of stronger storms and hotter heat waves and unchecked pollution.

You can and should do your part—fly less if you can, buy local foods that haven’t been shipped thousands of miles, get solar panels and an electric car. But let’s not lose sight of the root cause of this crisis: rampant capitalism. Capitalism has steamrolled this planet and its organisms, gouging out mountains, overexploiting fish stocks, and burning fossil fuels to power the maniacal pursuit of growth and enrich a fraction of humanity. Since 1988, 100 corporations have been responsible for 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions...
...I would just remind everyone that climate change is bad for ruling classes. It's miserable for all the rest of us over the time spans of 10 and 20 and 30 years, that we're all going to be living through very difficult times. But there will also be times at which the 1 percent, in whatever form that takes, will be thoroughly and radically destabilized. I don't think ruling classes are at all prepared for the kinds of political and cultural transformations that will occur in this period...
Yeah. It could get ugly. I am recurrently reminded of Peter Frase's Quadrant IV.

See also "Money is the oxygen of global warming."


Of course, there's this sentiment:

No less fatuous for its utterly clownish straw man predictability.


If I'm still alive in 2050 (doubt it) I'll be 104.

"0.0143%" -- 1/7,000th, ~ 0.000142857143.

According to Alun Anderson of New Scientist" (as seen in a post entitled "The Sunlight-Powered Future" in response to the question "what makes you optimistic, and why?" at,

"I'm optimistic about…a pair of very big numbers. The first is 4.5 x 10ˆ20. That is the current world annual energy use, measured in joules. It is a truly huge number and not usually a cause for optimism as 70 per cent of that energy comes from burning fossil fuels.

Thankfully, the second number is even bigger: 3,000,000 x 10ˆ20 joules. That is the amount of clean, green energy that pours down on the Earth totally free of charge every year. The Sun is providing 7,000 times as much energy as we are using, which leaves plenty for developing China, India and everyone else. How can we not be optimistic? We don't have a long-term energy problem. Our only worries are whether we can find smart ways to use that sunlight efficiently and whether we can move quickly enough from the energy systems we are entrenched in now to the ones we should be using. Given the perils of climate change and dependence on foreign energy, the motivation is there..."

I've checked a few other sources (e.g., here and here, among others), and his "7,000x" assertion seems well within the ballpark, certainly precise enough for the point I wish to proffer here.

Which is simply this: anyone arguing that we cannot relatively rapidly achieve a net aggregate large-scale solar energy capture-conversion-production-distribution efficiency rate of less than two one-hundreths of one percent (worldwide energy consumption per unit period divided by total solar energy accrual per the same period) is either ignorant or lying
Even adjusting for approximate cumulative global energy use increase across the past 11 years since these data were published (I estimate ~30%), still, ~99.98% of the solar energy hitting our planet annually remains uncaptured and converted for human use.

America’s Great Climate Exodus Is Starting in the Florida Keys
Mass migration begins as coastal homes are bulldozed in the state facing the biggest threat from climate-driven inundation.
Climate Protestors and World Leaders: Same Planet, Different Worlds

UNITED NATIONS — This is the world we live in: Punishing heat waves, catastrophic floods, huge fires and climate conditions so uncertain that children took to the streets en masse in global protests to demand action.

But this is also the world we live in: A pantheon of world leaders who have deep ties to the industries that are the biggest sources of planet-warming emissions, are hostile to protests or use climate science denial to score political points…

More to come... #CoveringClimateNow

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