Professor Mark Howden from ANU zoom broadcasted this excellent hour and a half presentation. It is an expert and comprehensive overall view of the current global warming processes, and what we should be doing now. Three other speakers followed, giving valuable insights into the responses of government, people and environment in NSW. This was all recorded along with responses and questions. My summary of the points made is not verbatim, and my own personal response below this, is what I feel are implications for everyone. The pictures and graphics shown in the youtube video can tell us much more than mere words.
There has been news of a large backlog of ships full of Australian coal waiting in line to unload at Chinese ports. This has been mentioned in the news a while ago. It is now officially acknowledged, since Scott Morrison has spoken up with umbrage. What ever he said was not very interesting. The claim that other nations coal is "50% dirtier" than Australian coal could only come direct from the Minerals Council of Australia, who probably told the Prime Minister to appear to "do something".
In response to a recent article at "resilience.org" from Will Steffen, Emeritus Professor at Australia National University. How can we alter our future reality faster? By seeking new answers to it every day.
The momentum of global heating heating is a now fully activated threat. It has a predictive timetable, set by our rate of global heating that is getting worse. Effective survival responses are required now. For many nations and species, our fastest institutional responses will be too slow to survive. Our current wasteful way of life is as good as gone now. We are among so many dead systems still working without lasting purpose. Sad, because there our energy, transport and production systems seem to have started adapting. The rate of climate change is much faster.
Heart-felt essay by Dr. Joëlle Gergis, Australian climate scientist. Our great barrier reef is now mostly dead. Australian ecosystems have been badly burnt. Koalas are facing extinction. Prime Minister Scott Morrison harps on about a "gas-led recovery"?. Which one is your worst nightmare?
Global heating continues to accelerate. We continue to add greenhouse gases to global solar radiation imbalance. We lose a little more ice every year. Permafrost systems thaw.
This is all so slowly incremental, the warming pot syndrome, that to refer to it becomes "alarmism". Too many of our conventional politicians and media can deny we have a global climate emergency. After all, all the people that matter to elites are mostly still here, and those falling off into the unemployment social abyss can still be ignored. Denial of slow social collapse is a national behavioral blind spot, only felt by those on the margins.
Overgrown global Humpty Dumpty is not ready for his big fall. He is much bigger after 3 decades of global growth since the first IPCC report of 1990. But everything I read adds up to more growth.
Mathias Cormann has experienced a sudden fervent "conversion" for the cause of urgent greenhouse gas emissions reduction, on the road to Paris. As well as wearing a new political skin cover in which to apply for an OECD position, Mr Cormann gets the use of tax-payer Australian air force plane, and tax-payer funded staff. Too bad he won't be coming back to Australia backed by the same tax-payer resources to preach his newly found beliefs to the Australian public, media and mining friends.
This is the best evidence yet that Australian government resource management has always understood the logic of why global carbon emissions must be reduced as quickly as possible. Making "exceptions" for Australia for more than three decades can only have been to help best mates in foreign mining corporations reap investment billions in Australian coal and gas.
This is how Australian politics has always "worked". Up close it stinks like a very deep old cess pitt, still being filled up with fresh sewage. Australian governments and the mining (Murdoch) media are so good at telling climate lies. Alan Jones, the old climate-change denial radio-parrot, was happy to state every day to the public, that Australian contributions to climate change were negligible. This is no doubt because of the billions of dollars of mining profits involved. With such sums, a small public conscience salve became necessary. Big money flows work some into the pockets of current climate-denial government, in quantities that are surely non-negligible.
As the Amazon burns, its time to roll up our sleeves. (published 2019, September 5th)
The tragedy of civilization -
If you convert the land that previously grew bushes and trees that fed
elephants into wheat that feeds humans, you can grow more humans per
hectare. Many of these humans can become a standing army. And you can
use those trees you cut down to build ships of war. You now have a
competitive military advantage over those who live sustainably, over
those who do not destroy their land base. Further, because you’ve
degraded your own land base, you must expand into other land bases. But
fortunately for you, you’ve got a standing military.
Roger Hallam XR (Extinction Rebellion), has a discussion with Dr Peter Carter, expert reviewer for next IPPC report, AR6. We almost don't need the IPPC anymore. Life and death experience of climate reality surpasses climate models.
Scenario 1: High probability of high damage with reducing time to act. You are the driver of a car going at high speed, full of many other people. Your path goes straight into a massive brick wall. Brakes need to be applied right now to rapidly slow
the vehicle down, so some might still be able to walk away after the impact.
This is our climate emergency situation right now. The last term , time left T, is already less than the time required for intervention. Scenario 2: The Australian Government is your driver, and says "There is no brick wall!" and pushes the gas pedal to the metal" **
** - because climate change is not as tangible as a lump of coal
The country of which I became an adopted citizen of, Australia, has a
federal government which always claims that Australia "is a
unique case" when negotiating in international forums for climate
action. It is the most unique crime case. Like many selfish anti-social
crimes justice must ensure hurt rebounds on the criminal more at the
end. The uniqueness involves an extreme belligerent hard-nosed attitude
with carbon accounting combined with public denial of climate change
when it comes to action. This is very much opposite to the global
behavior required to have a safe global climate system. This is being
done on behalf of global fossil fuel corporations, that are totally into
colonial exploitation, and our government is helping them every way it
can, because - money.
This is a link to a guest article at "Cassandra Legacy" by Lukas Fierz, Swiss physician. Humanity has finally been forced to go the emergency room and consult the authority of climate physicians, because signs and symptoms of disease appear everywhere. The complex systems of our biosphere are "de-compensating" beyond their capacity limits.
The climate physicians diagnose a risk that our biosphere systems are too close to a zone of no return to health. All possible effective treatments will be costly and difficult. Despite this, the patient just wants a quick dose of economic medicine and wants to get back to growth business as normal. Patient humanity denies current behavior is causing life-risks, and denies needing to follow prescriptions that require more behavior change.
Dr Ye Tao, at "The Rowland Institute" at Harvard, is explicit about what we need to do in order to escape our near-term extinction. We need to reverse the temperature rise caused by our rapid production of greenhouse gases, and also negate the hidden part of its temperature rise that is currently masked by all of our transient aerosol pollution. The challenge and its difficulty is made clear in this you-tube presentation.
With so many people, and so much of nature in climate trouble, global warming requires much more than a cosmetic changes to our global economy. Now with increasing urgency and short time remaining to avoid future catastrophe.
This is different to many of the environmental campaigns of the past, where often corporate - acceptable solutions already existed, that were technically possible within the existing system frameworks, and system economic benefits exceeded costs. Yet decades of public and political pressure, and even public casualties, were required to bring it about.
Global industrial production has foisted so much of its environmental problems onto growth in China. The pollution costs are high for environment, health and society. The global predicament is ultimately one of scale and duration. The bigger the scale, the shorter the time before collapse
Some corporations obviously realise they have behavior problems. Corporations play a major role in economies and government, and so much is not going well, so who to blame?
Is this just PR? Corporations and government surely understand that their impacts on life's bio-systems and society are far more complex, unstable and dangerous. They can ignore problems so long as their money grows. Are they actually able to change their basic operating principles?
Overall our global civilisation is in deep trouble. Using "All as means", is the exploitation of everything, for growth unending. This is unsustainable and destructive.
We watch the unravelling of global ecological services and exceed safe biosphere limits. There are limits to how much our biosphere can be hacked.
So far, a cure seems remote, as the social stigmas of our system diseases are extensive, malignant, denied, and hidden.
John McMurtry documents our worsening systems disease extensively in "The cancer stage of capitalism from crisis to cure" , now in second edition.
For this is a general systems problem. For any particular corporate production issue, eventually some sort of environmental accommodation is reached, sometimes finally after decades of pressure and protest, sometimes after public casualties, and when there had always been a solution that didn't interfere too much with corporate money systems growth.
If the global reduction of fossil fuel burning goes down as fast as needs to, lack of demand for them should soon drop their selling price below their production cost floor. Everyone knows the target of 50% reduction by 2030, as required for even a two thirds chance of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees C. Many nations targets are being set by this.
Climate for Change news-letter reported the following news items in recognition and encouragement of those many already ahead of the rushing crowd. Don't be the last institution or the last laggard nation left holding stranded assets!
"The Conversation" has some detailed articles with strong criticisms of the recent Australian Governments Climate and Energy road map, and budget. I find these articles to be rather lame in their criticism. They do not scream out "climate emergency", which ought to be considered a rational response by now.
Human states and cities have been trying grow bigger than their neighbours, since the discovery of metal technologies - the copper and bronze ages, for 5000 years. Domination by weaponized warriors became possible. Metal technology brought with it, mining, smelting and money, requiring states to exploit more energy, resources, and the sacrifice of forests.
States and Corporations co-evolved as a "Metallurgical complex" It became necessary for states to compete or be dominated. Since then we have been perfecting the technologies of exploitation, and war. Civilization for the next 5 millennium has tried to organize around four tyrannies: Military domination, Economic capitalism, Ideology and Linear thinking.
We are not good at fixing the problems that our Megamachine causes. Mining corporations and wealth accumulation systems now dominate the globe. States are struggling to manage the end of growth. Our world is becoming crippled by our many accumulating problems, while our institutions keep trying to maintain their roles in causing them.
The Megamachine is run using people, and people can change their views and choices, which is what is happening now.
Even aiming to stay within the global warming range of 1.5 to 2 degrees C, the earth systems are pushed on a path that takes us to the kind of climate of 3 million years ago, Pliocene or even 50 million years ago, the Miocene. The Holocene, which nutured our civilizations, is over forever.
Right now, to avoid the extreme, conditions of the Miocene, not compatible with human civilization at all, and insure that only Pliocene conditions are reached, a rapid, global exponential decarbonization is required
Climacide is the usual cause of termination of Apex Species
David Suzuki points out, that a recent climate science paper says there remains only a 5 percent chance of staying below 2 degrees this Century, and we have actually more chance of reaching 6 degrees of warming (10%), than staying below 2 C. So we'ed better get on with it, as a global apex species, because even 2 degrees is not favourable to the long term survival biosphere apex species such as ourselves. Australia is especially singled out for its rigged corporate games in government..
A Six Million Year Plan for Earth
Everything politicians think they know is most certainly wrong for the real world. Global governments fixation on mutual traded, competitive, exponential, fossil fueled growth. This is the worst possible, long term option ever. There is no wriggle out of contract consequences - Making a Hell of Earth. So what is the cause of this collective insanity? Rapid extinction is nature's unthinking plan for a species that collectively destroys its foundational environment.
Growth still the climate killer
The Global Carbon Project, which collects and analyses our global carbon behaviour, shows that nearly everybody is misbehaving.
Growth in global carbon emissions in 2018 looks to be around 2%, which is exactly tied to the rate of economic growth (by GDP) Growth in Gas was the worst at 3.0%, and almost certainly involves a growth in total methane leakage. It is not provable that the rise in global carbon emissions with GDP has produced a similar rise in global well-being.
Humanity are still trying to collectively have infinite growth on this finite planet. Here in Australia, our Prime Madman Scott Morrison, keeps defiantly shouting his "Strong Economy" slogan, in the tones of "Resistance is useless", while Australia burns hotter. After Albert Einstein, we could say that only one thing is infinite, and that is human collective stupidity.
Absent any serious form of global self-control, human global demolition will be future choked by several possible natural "Limits to Growth". Given our massed social and technical ingenuity, we might even manage to have several at once. We might escape the global decline in essential heavy fuel oil supply to power our global big machines, or spend all our energies against the inexorable rise in new climate disasters. This is probably already out of our control, as we struggle to keep creating new limits by growing our ongoing demolition of biodiversity and natural sustainability.
Climate Emergency Declaration
If enough people demand it, governments could declare a
climate emergency tomorrow, and we could all get on with the job of