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Innula Zenovka

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Innula Zenovka

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Or, to frame it in another way, parliamentary democracy is in conflict with the need for extreme climate mitigation. By its nature, democracy takes time to build a consensus -- sometimes many decades -- and a deeply unpopular and uncomfortable policy may never garner enough support in a democracy to enable forceful action. Add profit-based capitalism into the mix, and you have a recipe for not only inaction, but for downright obstruction.

Radical activists will piss everyone off because they rip off the emotionally-comforting bandaids of gentle green technologies coming to the rescue. They will raise their voices to strident levels and disrupt the public order trying to demand real action from politicians and populace who have more immediate priorities: whether it's getting to a dying parent's bedside or buying a condo on the beach. Activists will insist these are luxuries in a world headed for an apocalypse and people will get very very tired of them. which will result in even more inaction.

When conditions get bad enough -- which they undoubtedly will by the end of the century -- society will convulse. The populace that has dug in its heels to resist voting for drastic change will turn around and blame democratically elected officials for not having acted before, conveniently overlooking the fact that there was absolutely no wide-spread support for unpalatable sacrifices.

Unfortunately, most autocrats who rise to power and have the means to enforce drastic change are probably the least likely to care about saving humanity.

So it's a lose-lose situation, no matter how you cut it.
Humanity, I think, has always been in a lose-lose situation, in the sense that we're always at the mercy of forces completely beyond our control, whether initiated by human activity or not. You and I both spent more than half our lives, I think, with nuclear annihilation as a very real and immediate threat, just as our parents and their parents both saw terrible destruction in both Europe and Asia during WWI and WWII, resulting in the destruction of countless lives and of whole societies. Most other people had already seen that, of course, whether at the hands of European imperialists or more local ones.

What's happening, I think, is that we're being reminded, yet again, that the idea of history having a predetermined, human-centred, path and outcome is a myth we've imported unexamined from Abrahamic religions. Possibly, though, this is one of the final reminders we'll be around to receive.
 

Beebo Brink

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This essay echoes so much of my thoughts and feelings over the past decade. Words of comfort, although not necessarily in the way you might expect:

Because the subject is so tragic and because it can scare or anger people, this is not an essay I ever wanted to write; it is one I would have wanted to read along the way. But the words on these pages are meant only for those who are ready for them. I offer no hope or solutions for our continuation, only companionship and empathy to you, the reader, who either knows or suspects that there is no hope or solutions to be found. What we now need to find is courage.
So much richness in this essay. Here's one passage that especially caught my eye:
Becker’s work relied on examining defense strategies for denial of personal death. We are now faced with the death of all. Therefore denial and defense of denial are accordingly amplified and dangerous. There is now a desperate rise of religious fundamentalism, superstition, and new age magical thinking, as predicted in 1996 by astronomer Carl Sagan in his final book, The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. To an increasingly anxious species, cultural and religious belief systems offer the promise of eternal life. And people will literally fight to the death for them.

Or they will offer up their children. From the Mayan priests who threw children from cliffs to the families of suicide bombers in present time who joyously celebrate the martyrdom of their son or daughter in the streets with their friends, people would rather see their children die than forego the preservation and defense of their culture or religion. In places where climate chaos is already underway, we are seeing a solidification of tribalism and battle lines drawn between communities who have formerly lived together in relative harmony. These pressures are bound to increase.
 
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danielravennest

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House Committees Plot Route to 100% 'Clean Economy' in the US by 2050

A trio of House committee chairs have introduced a plan to transition the US to shift to a “100% clean economy” by 2050.

A series of meetings and consultations will be launched to draw on a wide pool of relevant stakeholders. The results of those meetings will then inform a piece of legislation with the 2050 target at its heart.
Given that McConnell and Trump are in office, I don't expect this legislation to pass now, but it will be an issue that highlights the difference between parties. "Vote for us if you want to live" could be a campaign slogan.
 

Cindy Claveau

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I'm a scientist. Under Trump I lost my job for refusing to hide climate crisis facts | Maria Caffrey

The Trump administration’s hostility towards climate science is not new. Interior climate staffer Joel Clement’s reassignment and the blocking of intelligence aide Rod Schoonover’s climate testimony, which forced both federal employees to resign in protest, are just two of the innumerable examples. These attempts to suppress climate science can manifest themselves in many ways. It starts with burying important climate reports and becomes something more insidious like stopping climate scientists from doing their jobs. In February 2019, I lost my job because I was a climate scientist in a climate-denying administration. And yet my story is no longer unique.
 

Beebo Brink

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It is extremely inconvenient and unsettling to believe in climate change. Resistance is going to continue to grow as the in-your-face evidence grows. That would appear to be a paradox, but people who are not on the autistic spectrum have a mind uniquely suited to ignoring reality. As reality grows uglier by the day, they will just work that much harder to avoid facing it.
 

Innula Zenovka

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I've several times mentioned my cousin, who makes a great deal of money from running an energy consultancy and trading business and who has long tried to advise his clients that renewable energy is a far better investment in the medium to long term than are fossil fuels:

 

Beebo Brink

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Dakota Tebaldi

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That last one's going to be tough, because as animals we need to grow other organisms for our food and that requires participating in the carbon cycle in ways that are irreducible beyond a certain point.
 
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Beebo Brink

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The familiar mantra: This is happening faster than expected. (emphasis is mine)


Hannah Cloke, a climate researcher at the University of Reading, said it's worrying for the future that temperatures during the recent heat waves in Europe soared beyond what climate models projected at this level of global warming, spiking to life-threatening levels across a section of Europe about as big as the eastern third of the United States, affecting more than 100 million people.

Greenland's Melting: Heat Waves Are Changing the Landscape Before Their Eyes

"The current melt rate is equivalent to what the model projects for 2070, using the most pessimistic model," Fettweis said. That melting has global implications—if Greenland's ice sheet were to melt entirely, it would result in about 20 feet of global sea level rise.
 
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Dakota Tebaldi

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Want to make a difference?


My company expects us to attend manager training following any promotion. I've declined that invitation for a number of reasons, but one of them was the need to fly to another city and my growing awareness of the damage associated with this form of travel.
I'm really interested in this, because it's a very complex thing. Giving up air travel is easy in some ways and not others. In Europe it's immensely easier to travel by train rather than air because the trains are there. In the US it's feasible in theory, but not yet in practice because our rail systems as they are now are slow and utterly monopolized by the cargo transport industry, with not nearly enough passenger capacity to share the load. And the biggest problem is the one you mention - traveling across the country by train takes days in the US, which is unacceptable for non-leisure trips (and a lot of leisure trips too, for that matter, considering how little vacation time Americans are given). The flip side is that I think the internet makes much if not most business travel superfluous. There's no need for you to have to physically travel to attend a group management training; the technology is there and well-supported to make this a remote thing - and I'm not talking settling for conference calls, I mean with video and realtime interaction by participants.

Transoceanic travel is trickier. It's great that Greta found somebody with a sailboat to take her to the UN conference, but surely nobody needs to be told that's not practical or reliable enough for mass travel, and using actual ships is no better than planes in terms of pollution.