Friday, March 5, 2021
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Friday, February 19, 2021
It May Be Too Late for Paris Climate Conference Goal of 1.5 C Meaning "a further 70–90%" of Earth's Coral Reefs May Be Lost According to IPCC
Dave Borlace, noted as best "explainer" in my "Updated Best Practices for Climate Crisis," posted a helpful video on 1/27/21 Is it too late to avoid 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming?. His video notes on 1/8/21 "the European Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) published a climate update [ . . . . ]." Borlace says we may reach 1.5 C above the year 1850 baseline "as early as the 2030s, and almost certainly no later than the 2050s." This fits the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) post Why are we talking about 1.5°C? noting "If the current warming rate continues, the world would reach human-induced global warming of 1.5°C around 2040."
In my post Two Charts Showing What 2 C, 3 C, 4 C, and 5 C Mean [ . . . . ], I wrote the "IPCC report noted 'Coral reefs, for example, are projected to decline by a further 70–90% at 1.5°C (high confidence) with larger losses (>99%) at 2°C (very high confidence).' I have seen pushback claiming humanity is not in a climate crisis, but tell that to the estimated 500 million to 1 billion people depending on those coral reefs for food and/or jobs that will clearly be lost unless some miracle science, not yet invented, saves them."
Monday, February 15, 2021
Why We Won't Just Leave -- What Alaska Is Telling the World About Climate Change, Virtual Opening and Curatorial Talk by Lindsay Carron on February 27th at 4:00 PM PST Presented on Zoom by Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) in Los Angeles
Sunday, February 7, 2021
As I wrote in my post below, "Next, I hope we can help orcas and salmon by legally removing the lower four Snake River dams."
Regarding the salmon issue, I'm grateful to fisher/writer Henry Hughes, Alaskan fiddling poet Ken Waldman, and Oregon poet Florence Sage for endorsing my forthcoming book Between River and Street (MoonPath, 2021). I was outfished by Hughes in 2016, and greatly enjoyed his recent Harvard Review fishing story "Rocky and Rose." After reading it, I wrote him the story reminded me of my "social awkwardness due to my obsession with reading water and chasing fish—even when fishing partners, men and women, were troubled, ill, or had enough fishing for the day as I was just getting started with many holes, runs, undercut banks, etc to explore before dark. I’m grateful my wife, Suz, who was raised fishing the Molalla and Clackamas Rivers, fishes with me, and tolerates my fishing obsession. I may have told you about my friend Slim Bracken’s fishing bud who was late to his own wedding because fishing was good that morning. 'Don’t make Suz a fish widow' Slim warned me, explaining his friend was soon divorced after his wedding because he made his bride 'a fish widow.'"
Saturday, January 23, 2021
Congratulations to many activists who helped stop, for now, the Jordan Cove LNG terminal in Coos Bay, Oregon, and proposed world's largest Kalama, Washington methanol refinery. According to Ted Sickinger, at The Oregonian/OregonLive, Pembina Pipeline Corp. can reapply to build the LNG terminal, but recently "Federal regulators deliver[ed] [a] potentially fatal blow" to their plans. According to Troy Brynelson (OPB), "NW Innovation Works, the company behind the [Kalama refinery] project, has 21 days [from January 19, 2021] to file an appeal." He quoted Laura Watson, Washington Department of Ecology Director, who said "At the end of the day, we know with certainty that this proposal would result in significant, new greenhouse gas emissions.” and it "would not benefit the environment, like some people are claiming.”
I, and 88 others, attended the Kalama Methanol Pre-hearing Rally and Comment Workshop organized by Sierra Club, and I wrote an Open Letter to Director Watson and Washington Dept. of Ecology to Please Do a Climate Analysis of Northwest Innovation Works’ (NWIW) Proposed Fracked Gas-to-methanol Refinery in Kalama. Columbia Riverkeeper reported "a broad coalition of over 30 community organizations representing tens of thousands of people from across the Northwest urged the Washington Department of Ecology and Governor Jay Inslee to deny the refinery."
Next, I hope we can help orcas and salmon by legally removing the lower four Snake River dams.
Regarding the above photo, there are few things sadder than when your wife chooses a lure "because it is pretty" and outfishes you.
Saturday, December 19, 2020
Dakota/Salish Artist Robert "Running Fisher" Upham wrote "Tahlequah is an orca, part of the 'J Pod' which spends part of each year off the northern coast of Washington State. Her story became known to the human community in 2018, when she carried her calf for 17 days, refusing to let her baby go to the Spirit World. There was something about her life and her baby’s death, which spoke to human hearts. Particularly women were moved. It felt at the time, that there was a collective grieving with her. Anyone who’s ever lost a loved one that you did not want to let go of can understand this mother’s grieving. Especially a young, sacred one, who has died too soon. It felt that she was calling heart to heart. The story brought attention not only to her child’s death but also to the very difficult times in which her nation has fallen. The imbalance which pits orcas and sea lions and salmon for the same resources is a microcosm of ecological disease. The human nation, particularly those who see our mother earth as merely a source of 'resources' is under indictment by the simple act of love of a mother for her baby. This drawing, 'Tahlequah’s Baby' is the moment when she finally allowed her beloved to move on to the Spirit World. There are many helpers assisting her to lift her baby to its final moments in this world."
Upham continued, "I had heard of Tahlequah and her baby, and several people asked me to do a ledger of her story. But it wasn’t until a young woman understood the meaning and intent behind the signatures on my ledgers, and she sparked my creativity by saying, 'You should do a piece honoring the names of all the orcas who have died.' And, just like that, the idea for this piece was born." Other examples of his ledger art and paintings are here.
Upham's art brought focus to learning from the nonhuman world. He gave me permission to include his art and text above. Tahlequah, noted by scientists as a Southern Resident orca, showed the importance of real grieving before moving on. National Geographic authors Lori Cuthbert and Douglas Main wrote August 13, 2018, "The death of another calf is a significant blow to J Pod, which hasn’t seen a successful birth in three years. Combined, the three pods have 75 members, and time is running out to maintain its viability. Ken Balcomb, founder and principal investigator at the Center for Whale Research, gives it five years [ . . . . ] to have viable offspring [ . . . . ] 'We have long demonstrated that these fish-eating whales are getting skinnier and skinnier, and the death rate is increasing,' [Balcomb] writes on the center’s website. 'Whales in this endangered population are dependent upon Chinook salmon for their primary food source. Unfortunately, Chinook salmon are also endangered.'"
My May 2, 2019 post "Epic of Gilgamesh and Climate Change" cited a report from The Guardian, "The Lummi Nation is dropping live salmon into the sea in a last-ditch rescue effort" to save starving orcas. I included the Dammed to Extinction Trailer, about a minute long, showing the best way to help orcas, as Dr. Deborah Giles said, "is to breach the lower four Snake River dams." The post links to the anthology FOR LOVE OF ORCAS. Editors Andrew Shattuck McBride and Jill McCabe Johnson noted "proceeds from sales of the book will benefit the SeaDoc Society's efforts to restore the Southern Resident orcas and their extended ecosystem."
Sunday, December 6, 2020
Climate Scientists Plan for Their Families, COVID Scientists Struggle to Help in December 2020, as I Again Recall Words of Isaac Asimov
The video below is a repost of my May 20, 2018 list "Climate Scientists Expressing Nightmare/Anger/Fear/Gratitude/Other Feelings."
I was reminded of it after reading Hanna Krueger's December 4, 2020 Boston Globe article "‘Makes you ask why the hell we even bother.’ Infectious disease experts face disillusionment as COVID-19 pandemic worsens."
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
"UN Secretary General: Without the US in the Paris Agreement, Humanity Faces Climate ‘Suicide’" by Mark Hertsgaard in The Nation, Dec. 2, 2020
Quotes from Hertsgaard's article in the Dec. 2, 2020 issue of The Nation include: "In an extraordinary, if largely unheralded, diplomatic achievement, most of the world’s leading emitters have already joined the UN’s 'net zero by 2050' coalition, including the European Union, Japan, the United Kingdom, and China (which is the world’s largest source of annual emissions and has committed to achieving carbon neutrality 'before 2060'). India, meanwhile, the world’s third largest annual emitter, is the only Group of 20 country on track to limit temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius by 2100, despite needing to lift many of its people out of poverty, an achievement Guterres called 'remarkable.'"
"[Global average temperature above year 1850 baseline . . . ] could be limited to 2.1 C, the group said—higher than the agreement’s target of 1.5 to 2 C, but a major improvement from the 3 to 5 C future that business as usual would deliver."
"[T]he 26th Conference of the Parties, or COP 26, was supposed to take place this week but was postponed because of the pandemic."
"A total of 110 countries have joined the 'net zero by 2050' coalition [ . . . . ]"
"I’m totally convinced that a lot of the oil and gas that is today in the soil,” [UN Secretary General Guterres] said, “will remain in the soil.”
Guterres' belief is interesting because a Feb. 15, 2020 investopedia.com article "What Percentage of the Global Economy Is the Oil and Gas Drilling Sector?" reported "According to market research by IBISWorld, a leading business intelligence firm, the total revenues for the oil and gas drilling sector came to approximately $3.3 trillion in 2019. This sector is composed of companies that explore for, develop, and operate oil and gas fields. It is also sometimes referred to as the oil and gas exploration and production industry, or simply E&P. With 2019 global GDP estimated to be $86 trillion, the oil and gas drilling sector alone makes up around 3.8% of the global economy."
In contrast, Bill McKibben wrote a Nov. 15, 2019 article at yesmagazine.org, "Big Oil Needs to Pay for the Damage It Caused," noting "Indeed, the high-end estimate for economic damage from the global warming we’re on track to cause is $551 trillion, which is more money than exists on planet Earth. Even that figure is notional: How do you compensate the generations of people yet unborn who will inherit a badly degraded world? Even if Exxon et al were to disgorge every dirty penny they’d ever made, it wouldn’t pay for relocating Miami, much less Mumbai [ . . . . ] But at this point, even the best-case scenarios are relentlessly grim; lots of damage has been done, and far more is in the offing. We’re going to have to remake much of the world to have a chance at survival. And if we’re going to try, then that repair job shouldn’t repeat the imbalances of power and wealth that mark our current planet. Justice demands a real effort to make the last, first this time around."
My question is "What will be the value of the oil and gas drilling sector if humans are extinct?"
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Yale Climate Connections recently published an audio/text article by psychologist/researcher/journalist Renée Lertzman, "Why frightening facts don't always move people to action on climate change." The article noted "Ask people what they know and want to learn. Then have a conversation [ . . . because] it can get results faster." She said “When we take a compassion-based approach, we are actively disarming defenses so that people are actually more willing and able to respond and engage quicker. And we don’t have time right now to mess around, and so I do actually come to this topic with a sense of urgency…. We do not have time to not take this approach.”
With some groups, especially those at or under the age of 16, I agree. However, in general with those 17 and above, I prefer writer James Baldwin's quote, "Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." In the 2016 documentary film Before the Flood, astronaut and former Director, Earth Sciences Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Piers Sellers says "the ice is melting, the Earth is warming, the sea level is rising – those are facts. Rather than being, 'oh my god, this is hopeless', say, 'OK, this is the problem, let’s be realistic and let’s find a way out of it'. And there are ways out of it. If we stopped burning fossil fuels right now, the planet would still keep warming for a little while before cooling off again." At the time he says this, he has "pancreatic cancer, stage four," and dies December 23, 2016, about two months after the film is released October 21, 2016. I observed people close to death get rare perspective and honesty, and Sellers gives both. He said his experience in space made him "immensely more fond of the planet [ . . . ] which I never thought about when I [ . . . ] just lived on the surface. And also kind of fond of the people on there too. It's like being taken away from your family and coming back. And [ . . . ] I wish it all well."
In the past four years, however, climate news has grown much worse. In the reposted video below, Dahr Jamail says "At this point, knowing all of the science as I know it, it's really hard to see how humans make it through this." and "Today's carbon dioxide levels [in May, 2019, of 412 ppm] are already in accordance with what historically brought about a steady state temperature of 7 C higher globally [above year 1850 baseline]. [NOAA's climate.gov site noted "The global average atmospheric carbon dioxide in 2019 was 409.8 parts per million (ppm for short), with a range of uncertainty of plus or minus 0.1 ppm. Carbon dioxide levels today are higher than at any point in at least the past 800,000 years.] Jamail continues, "We're losing 2.4 percent of global insect biomass every year. [ . . . ] There will be no insects within a hundred years. No insects basically means no humans." and "The International Energy Agency stated that preserving our current economic paradigm virtually guarantees a 6 C rise in Earth's average temperature before 2050."
According to Jamail's Website, his book The End of Ice was "one of Smithsonian Magazine’s 10 Best Science Books of 2019, and was a finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award in 2020." The book's Website notes "Jamail embarks on a journey to the geographical front lines of this crisis—from Alaska to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, via the Amazon rainforest" and includes "the tundra of St. Paul Island where he meets the last subsistence seal hunters of the Bering Sea and witnesses its collapsing food web." Jamail, a fourth-generation Lebanese American, received the 2008 Martha Gellhorn Award for Journalism, The Lannan Foundation Writing Residency Fellowship, the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, the Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage, and five Project Censored awards.
Regarding the often-heard "People are too stressed to think about climate change," I recall Jeff Goodell, Rolling Stone contributing editor and author of The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World, in a Comedy Central interview, "We can do more than one thing at a time. We're not like one-year-olds. It's possible to think about two, maybe three things, simultaneously, and I think that climate change should be one of them."
At 42:10 in the video below Jamail asks "What do we do knowing all of that, [ . . . ] and I think more importantly, how are we going to be in what we do?" He suggests Cherokee Elder Stan Rushworth's point about "rights vs obligations." Jamail said, "I am obliged, no matter what, to serve future generations, and to serve the planet. [ . . . . ] Since we've never been here, we don't know what's going to happen. [ . . . . ] One of the stories that I write about is being up on a peak in the Deception Basin area in the Olympics [ . . .] at 7,000 feet, roughly 2000 feet above treeline, [and] there is this tree growing [ . . .] out of this [ . . . ] crack in this rock. [ . . . ] Given half a chance, life is going to persist. [ . . . . ] The two questions I'll send you home to ponder are: 'Where do you go to listen to Mis Misa [healing, and centering place]?' and 'When was the last time you went there to listen?'"
When Suz and I visited trails near Mt. Shasta (Mis Misa), I took the photos below Jamail's video.
|On the Trail to Avalanche Gulch|
|Castle Lake from Above|
|Gateway Peace Garden|
Monday, November 9, 2020
"What Biden will and won’t be able to achieve on climate change" by James Temple at MIT Technology Review
James Temple's subtitle is "Passing aggressive climate laws will be highly difficult without Democratic control of the Senate. But there are other ways to make progress." See the November 6, 2020 article here.
Temple wrote "A Biden administration would [ . . . ] be likely to quickly remove the roster of climate deniers, fossil-fuel lobbyists, and oil executives that Trump placed in positions of power throughout federal agencies; end the suppression of scientific reports; and restore the federal government’s reliance on scientists and other experts to make critical decisions on climate change (and other crucial issues like the covid-19 pandemic)."
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
I invited Richard Tibbetts, Communications Specialist for the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE), to write a guest post because I was impressed with CASSE's steadystate.org Website, and saw writer David Orr on the Executive Board. It seems CASSE Mission's second point of "promoting the steady state economy as a desirable alternative to economic growth" is nearly impossible, but I like what Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Fridtjof Nansen, known for helping hundreds of thousands of refugees, said to a group at the 1925 League of Nations, "the impossible is that which takes a little longer." I respect CASSE's vision, team, and work, and, in a related matter, I chose Manfred Max-Neef as the top economist in my Updated Best Practices for Climate Crisis. Please visit CASSE's podcast The Steady Stater, and share on social media, to help speed inevitable change global governments will make, or be forced to make, at a greater loss of biodiversity than necessary.
For the Sake of Our Only Planet: A Nonprofit’s Fight Against Economic Growth by Richard Tibbetts
What do most economic publications, forums, and scholars have in common? A fixation with endless GDP growth. Mainstream, neoclassical economics posits that an economy can grow infinitely and that this growth is always desirable. In other words, the higher the GDP, the better off society becomes.
Unfortunately, proponents of this view ignore the reality that all economies are undergirded by a finite ecological base. As an economy expands, it requires evermore natural resources — such as timber, soil, water, oil, metals, plants, and animals — to sustain its growing size. This ecological structure guarantees that the more an economy grows, the more damage it inflicts on the environment.
Leading the fight against GDP growth is the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE), a small non-profit in Arlington, Virginia. Environmental protection is at the core of CASSE’s educational mission. However, instead of leading with a message of recycling or clean energy, CASSE advocates for a steady state economy with stabilized population and consumption, not just in some vague manner but as an explicit policy goal.
In 2003, CASSE founder and current Executive Director Brian Czech created the nonprofit to counter the fallacious and dangerous rhetoric that “there is no conflict between growing the economy and protecting the environment.” The “win-win rhetoric,” as Czech calls it, was prominent in American politics and even within the U.S. government. Czech was serving in the headquarters of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and had been prohibited from speaking on the conflict between growth and wildlife conservation. This prohibition was the impetus for the establishment of CASSE.
Czech’s efforts are rooted in the growing field of ecological economics, which recognizes that economic activity is inextricably linked to — and limited by — the natural world. He asserts, “Mainstream economists with no background in the environmental sciences continue to promote the fallacy of perpetual GDP growth. It’s about time that fallacy is challenged.” In recent years, a sizeable number of CASSE advocates — better known as “steady staters” — have formed in countries around the world, but Czech still faces an uphill battle convincing those in power to adopt his line of thinking. “Pro-growth rhetoric is the status quo in economics, business, and politics,” says Czech.
CASSE seeks to disrupt the status quo by creating a groundswell of public support for a steady state economy through multiple educational outlets. For example, the nonprofit posts high-quality weekly articles to its blog, The Steady StateHerald, publishes books out of its inhouse publishing company, Steady State Press, and shares daily steady-state content on its social media pages.
Most recently, CASSE added a new public education tactic to its arsenal: The Steady Stater podcast, hosted by Czech and produced by CASSE Communications Specialist Rick Tibbetts. The podcast covers a range of topics, including limits to GDP growth, the implications of a steady state economy, salient current events, sustainable solutions, and the burgeoning degrowth movement. Most episodes feature guest appearances from prominent steady staters, like the current Secretary of State of Wisconsin Doug LaFollette and CEO of the Global Footprint Network Laurel Hanscom. New episodes air Mondays at 8 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) and are available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, and the CASSE website.
You can help make CASSE’s vision a reality by following the The Steady Stater, signing its online position statement, and becoming a member. Structural change does not come easily, but with your support, CASSE can achieve a smarter, fully sustainable economy for the betterment of our planet — and the people who have no other planet to occupy.
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Open Letter to Director Watson and Washington Dept. of Ecology to Please Do a Climate Analysis of Northwest Innovation Works’ (NWIW) Proposed Fracked Gas-to-methanol Refinery in Kalama
UPDATE: Columbia Riverkeeper reported "a broad coalition of over 30 community organizations representing tens of thousands of people from across the Northwest urged the Washington Department of Ecology and Governor Jay Inslee to deny the world’s largest fracked gas-to-methanol refinery, proposed in Kalama, Washington. Over the past 40 days, thousands of commenters urged denial of the massive refinery, which would use up to 320 million cubic feet of fracked gas per day, more than all of Washington’s gas-fired power plants combined. At least 6,000 comments were submitted in opposition to the project. [par break] Altogether, Ecology concluded the methanol refinery would cause 4.6 million tons of climate pollution every year for 40 years—making it one of Washington’s largest sources of climate pollution." In addition to Columbia Riverkeeper, organizations working "to deny the . . . refinery" included Washington Environmental Council, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, Natural Resources Defense Council, Food & Water Watch, 350 Seattle, 350 Tacoma, NoMethanol360.org (Kalama), Lower Columbia Stewardship Community, Green Energy Institute, Don & Along Steinke, Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light, Friends of the San Juans, STAND.earth, 350 PDX, Breach Collective, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Save our Wild Salmon, Neighbors for Clean Air, Rogue Climate, Portland Audubon Society, Northwest Environmental Defense Center, Oregon Conservancy Foundation, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Power Past Fracked Gas Coalition, Stop Fracked Gas PDX, Stop Zenith Collaborative, Climate Action Coalition, Sunrise PDX, and First Unitarian Church of Portland.
UPDATE: Columbia Riverkeeper reported "The Washington Department of Ecology just extended the Kalama methanol comment period deadline to October 9, 2020."
Last night I, and 88 others, attended the Kalama Methanol Pre-hearing Rally and Comment Workshop organized by Sierra Club, and this morning I sent the email below to support "a Climate Analysis" and consider earthquake risk to what could become "the world’s largest fracked gas-to-methanol refinery in Kalama, Washington" if money and politics win instead of conscience and common sense. Please consider opposing this project by using the Washington's Department of Ecology Website, mailing comments to Rich Doenges, Department of Ecology, PO Box 47775, Olympia, WA 98504-7775, or giving oral comments during one of three online public hearings. Register for online hearings here.
Director Watson and Dept. of Ecology:
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Thinking of Orwell’s 1984, Australia’s 2019-2020 Fires That Killed or Destroyed Habitat for Nearly Three Billion Animals, Oregon’s 500,000 Citizens Widely-reported as Fleeing Fires, or Ordered to Prepare to Flee Yesterday, and California and Washington Fires, as Climate Crisis Morphs into Climate Tsunami
In George Orwell's novel 1984, he wrote “It is not merely that speeches, statistics, and records of every kind must be constantly brought up to date in order to show that the predictions of the Party were in all cases right. It is also that no change in doctrine or in political alignment can ever be admitted. [ . . . . ] And if the facts say otherwise, then the facts must be altered. Thus history is continuously rewritten. This day-to-day falsification of the past, carried out by the Ministry of Truth, is as necessary to the stability of the regime as the work of repression and espionage carried out by the Ministry of Love. [par break] The mutability of the past is the central tenet of Ingsoc.”
“Australia’s 2019-2020 Fires That Killed or Destroyed Habitat for Nearly Three Billion Animals” may be easier for readers to understand if they see just one rescued Koala. The “Nearly Three Billion” number, from a July 28, 2020 bbc.com article citing the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), also noted an Australian “royal commission inquiry” “has heard overwhelming evidence from scientists who said the unprecedented frequency and severity of the blazes were a result of climate change.”
I know some people mistakenly think La Niña in the Pacific Ocean is the major reason for Oregon’s current historic fires that various media sources noted burned about a million acres. The Los Angeles Times reported Sept. 10, 2020, “So far, this [La Niña] is fairly weak.” In contrast, oregonlive.com’s Ted Sickenger noted Sept. 13, 2020, “ The [‘rare’ east] winds were the main culprit in making the catastrophic infernos as fast moving as they were.” and “there is broad consensus that climate change is driving higher temperatures, changes in precipitation patterns and drought cycles across the west and in Western Oregon. [ . . . . ] A 2019 report by the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute found that fire risk due to climate change is projected to increase across the state by mid-century, with the largest increases in the Willamette Valley and Eastern Oregon.”
How many years
did the naming monkey
As Earth warms,
soothing words attempt
but the ancient voice,
old as missing rain,
says look, look, look.
I recall in the film I Am, the Dalai Lama said the most important meditation of our time is critical thinking followed by action.
Friday, September 4, 2020
I read Jeff Gibbs' interview regarding his controversial film Planet of the Humans which I saw. In Gibbs' interview he noted "All of the data in the form of charts and graphs are from the most recent year available, typically 2019 or 2020." The problem, as Dave Borlace notes, is Gibbs' main arguments in the film about such things as solar panels and electric cars are from long ago, not "2019 or 2020." However, I like Gibbs' argument about "a vast amount of energy storage which does not exist at scale" which is what Paul Kingsnorth also said.
According to Borlace's evidence, this Gibbs' statement is the wrong focus: "Switching from carbon based energy sources to so-called 'renewables,' even if it was possible, INCREASES our dependency on, and consumption of, non-renewable resources, hastening the demise of industrial civilization." Overall, carbon-burning is the main problem with the focus being fossil fuels, and while switching to "renewables" will increase dependency on non-renewable items used to make them, favoring "carbon-based energy" is what is currently "hastening the demise of" all civilizations and all human, and non-human, life on Earth.
Thursday, August 20, 2020
Video used with permission of Aspen Strategy Group.
In the above video Pulitzer-winning science reporter Laurie Garrett and New York Times writer David Leonhardt give an overview of the COVID-19 situation in the United States as they explain "How COVID-19 Will Reshape the Globe." Garrett notes regarding "economic disruption," "I'm looking at it from the 50,000 foot level, and if you look at the IMF details regarding their projected negative 8.5 % GDP for the United States, negative 4.8 GDP for the world for this year, if you look at the Eurobank projections for the European region, the Asia Development Bank projections for that region, they're all really grim [ . . . ]. You can start going through the list in your mind of governments/countries, and then here inside the United States of cities and counties that were already facing problems A, B, C, then COVID came in, and one more problem. NOAA just put out their forecast for this summer's hurricane season. They're calling it a historic season coming with 22 hurricanes and tropical storms due to slam the United States between now and October. [ . . . .] They're saying at least 9 of them will reach major hurricane status."
Laurie Garrett's Twitter page linked David Wallace-Wells' nymag.com//intelligencer article "California Has Australian Problems Now" noting "Over just the last seven days, 700,000 acres have burned in California [ . . . . ] Update August 25, 2020 -- The Guardian reported "an Associated Press reporter and photographer hiked the renowned Redwood Trail at Big Basin Redwoods state park on Monday and confirmed most of the ancient redwoods had withstood the blaze."
Yesterday at The Guardian Adam Gabbatt reported "Almost 250,000 people are under fire evacuation orders and warnings in California, as three huge fires continue to rage around the San Francisco Bay Area."
November 24, 2019 and December 14, 2019 I warned "U. S. winter is Australia's summer so it's vital to watch what is happening in Australia 'with summer yet to start' according to Nine News Australia to preview the trend of possible U. S. climate impacts June through September 2020. The 40.9 C Melbourne's 'hottest November day on record' equals 105.6 F." In my December 14, 2019 post I added "The slowness of meaningful COP response is like being at a party inside a house on fire where so-called leaders are fighting over the last bag of chips. I recall a Shell CEO told Hans Schellnhuber (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research), 'The climate problem is real but it is completely intractable. You can not solve it. So, let's get rich quick before the world ends, huh?'"
UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain wrote on his blog Weather West, "Size and scope of NorCal fires is historically unprecedented -- As I’ve stated publicly, I’m essentially at a loss for words to describe the scope of the lightning-sparked fire outbreak that has rapidly evolved in northern California–even in the context of the extraordinary fires of recent years. It’s truly astonishing. By the time this post is published [Aug. 21, 2020], around 800,000 acres of land will have burned over the past 8 days in California–over 700,000 of which in the northern part of the state, and about 500,000 within 100 miles of San Francisco. For perspective: less than 250,000 acres burned in California in all of 2019. There are so many fires right now that multiple wildfires under 5,000 acres have gone largely unattended, and unmentioned in the media. CalFire stated earlier today that to fight these fires to the maximum of their ability, the agency would [need] nearly 10 times more firefighting resources than are available."
In a related matter, Bill Gates' blog GatesNotes August 4 post "COVID-19 is awful. Climate change could be worse." reported "If you want to understand the kind of damage that climate change will inflict, look at COVID-19 and spread the pain out over a much longer period of time. The loss of life and economic misery caused by this pandemic are on par with what will happen regularly if we do not eliminate the world’s carbon emissions. [ . . . . ] In other words, by 2060 climate change could be just as deadly as COVID-19, and by 2100 it could be five times as deadly. [par break] The economic picture is also stark. The range of likely impacts from climate change and from COVID-19 varies quite a bit, depending on which economic model you use. But the conclusion is unmistakable: In the next decade or two, the economic damage caused by climate change will likely be as bad as having a COVID-sized pandemic every ten years."
Regarding the climate issue, I recently taught another poetry workshop at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Masters of Advanced Studies in Climate Science and Policy (MAS CSP), like I did last year. Students in this interdisciplinary program are excellent, and it will take the best of their hearts and minds to respond to these challenges.