Immediate fossil fuel phaseout could arrest climate change – study | Environment | The Guardian
The study found that if all fossil fuel infrastructure – power plants, factories, vehicles, ships and planes – from now on are replaced by zero-carbon alternatives at the end of their useful lives, there is a 64% chance of staying under 1.5C.
climate  change  guardian  study  solutions 
7 days ago
How Governments React to Climate Change: An Interview with the Political Theorists Joel Wainwright and Geoff Mann | The New Yorker
What’s notable is the disjuncture between what any clear-eyed observer will see really needs to happen fast and the depth of the seeming incapacity in the world’s political and economic arrangements to move beyond even the first basic steps.
government  climate  change  politics  interview  newyorker 
7 days ago
BBC - Culture - How science fiction helps readers understand climate change
In the quest to adopt climate change as a topic, writers are doing what they do best: trying to tell a good story. Sometimes they write with a touch of optimism as they negotiate the current crisis. But even with this optimism, these writers want to make sure the world knows they, at least, are paying attention.
writing  fiction  climate  change  future  bbc 
7 days ago
Climate Change Denial | Psychology Today
In addition to motivated interference, there is also a powerful psychological component to this blindness to scientific reality: denial. A lot has been written about climate change denial and there are clearly many explanations for it. For one thing, an enormous amount of money is being spent encouraging us to ignore climate change. Corporations, especially the fossil fuel industry, have spent huge sums attempting to obfuscate the reality of climate change. We are constantly told by them that “more data are needed” because “climate scientists don’t agree.” While no scientist would ever disagree with a call for more research—that line is, after all, found near the end of almost every scientific paper ever written—it just is not true that scientists don’t agree that climate change is real. To some extent, then, we are the victims of a well-funded and sophisticated misinformation campaign that attempts to keep us in the dark about climate change.

But studies persistently show us that simply providing people with the facts about climate does not reliably change minds. The science that proves the earth is warming is very technical and difficult for most of us to grasp. “Humans aren’t well wired to act on complex statistical risks,” according to a Brookings Institute report. Even when the evidence about climate change is relayed in very clear terms with lots of compelling graphics, many people either don’t believe it or shrug it off. Hence, the problem of climate change denial is not simply a matter of an information gap.
psychology  climate  change  denial 
8 days ago
Scientists Work to Build Climate Change Resilience in Caribbean Coral Reef
scientists intend to devise a mix of “green” and “gray” adaptation measures. For one, they plan to inform land developers of coastal areas about how they can use a combination of vegetation, natural barriers, and hard infrastructure to simultaneously guard their properties from sea level rise and climate events, and to promote ecotourism. “They may decide to conserve 25 to 50 percent of the mangroves on their properties and build a bridge or boardwalk, so [tourists] can come in and view the nature and wildlife within the mangroves,” suggested Bood. “They could also use large rocks to help stabilize and beautify their coastlines.” For coastal areas that are quickly eroding and that do not have suitable habitats for vegetation, hard infrastructure such as sea walls may be the only remedy.
climate  change  adaptation  resilience 
12 days ago
Once derided, ways of adapting to climate change are gaining steam
In the meantime, a string of studies, along with an October special report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, have increasingly linked human-driven global warming to the intensity and size of heat waves, potent downpours, coral reef die-offs, some aspects of hurricanes in some regions, coastal flooding, the spread of tropical diseases, and other hazards.

Another source of concern is accumulating research revealing patterns of extraordinarily extreme weather through the last several thousand years in places now heavily built and populated. Scientists dissecting cores of layered ancient marsh and lake mud and other clues to past climate conditions have revealed spasms of frequent, powerful hurricanes even in past cooler periods around Puerto Rico, extreme hill-scouring rainstorms in Vermont, and century-long megadroughts in Ghana—meaning calamities that might be perceived as “unprecedented” are in fact simply rare, and thus unmeasured, threats.
climate  change  adaptation  resilience  future  natgeo 
12 days ago
What Deniers of Climate Change and Racism Share - The Atlantic
In order to reinforce the scientific certainty that human action and inaction are disastrously warming the globe and racist action and inaction are disastrously causing racial inequities, environmentalists and anti-racists must separate belief from science. Instead of caring about belief, environmentalists and anti-racists should care about knowledge, especially our own. Instead of asking, “Are you a racist?” we should be asking, “What is a racist?” Instead of asking, “Do you believe in climate change?” we should be asking, “What does climate change look like?”
atlantic  climate  change  racism  beliefs 
19 days ago
Opinion | The Story of 2018 Was Climate Change - The New York Times
The past year is on pace to be the earth’s fourth warmest on record, and the five warmest years have all occurred since 2010. This warming is now starting to cause a lot of damage.

In 2018, heat waves killed people in Montreal, Karachi, Tokyo and elsewhere. Extreme rain battered North Carolina and the Indian state of Kerala. The Horn of Africa suffered from drought. Large swaths of the American West burned. When I was in Portland, Ore., this summer, the air quality — from nearby wildfires — was among the worst in the world. It would have been healthier to be breathing outdoors in Beijing or Mumbai.
opinion  nytimes  climate  change  2018 
19 days ago
The Guardian view on climate change: too much, too soon | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian
The most worrying feature of the latest UN report is the suggestion that the relatively good performance of the years 2014-16 in reducing carbon emissions was the result of an economic slowdown. The political consequences of the resulting discontent are with us still. They produced Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro and gravely weakened the EU. All those factors make a sane policy on climate change less likely. The purely physical feedback loops that drive climate change, such as the reduction of reflective ice surface, are now well enough understood. But it may be that the long-term message of the years since the Paris summit is that this understanding is not enough. We must also learn somehow to disrupt the political and economic feedback loops which are driving our civilisation to the brink of catastrophe.
climate  change  guardian  editorial 
19 days ago
Climate change is causing extreme weather around the globe - CNN
Scientists found that record warm waters in the Tasman Sea in 2017 and 2018 "were virtually impossible without global warming," and they concluded that a crippling drought in East Africa that has led to food shortages for millions of people would not have occurred naturally before the Industrial Revolution, when humans began to interfere with the climate system.
climate  change  weather  cnn 
19 days ago
'Climate grief': The growing emotional toll of climate change
The increasing visibility of climate change, combined with bleak scientific reports and rising carbon dioxide emissions, is taking a toll on mental health, especially among young people, who are increasingly losing hope for their future. Experts call it “climate grief,” depression, anxiety and mourning over climate change.

Last year, the American Psychological Association issued a report on climate change’s effect on mental health. The report primarily dealt with trauma from extreme weather but also recognized that “gradual, long-term changes in climate can also surface a number of different emotions, including fear, anger, feelings of powerlessness, or exhaustion.”
climate  change  grief  nbc  psychology 
19 days ago
Opinion | Going Nowhere Fast on Climate, Year After Year - The New York Times
Three decades after a top climate scientist warned Congress of the dangers of global warming, greenhouse gas emissions keep rising and so do global temperatures.
timeline  nytimes  climate  history  change 
19 days ago
Elena Ferrante on climate change: ‘I've become obsessive. Black skies terrify me' | Life and style | The Guardian
I repeat to friends and relatives: the sea level is rising, the ice is melting, greenhouse gases are increasing, the atmosphere is warming, and it’s our fault, the fault of the way of life and production imposed on us: it has to be changed immediately. Mainly, though, my lighthearted pleasure in the seasons has disappeared. Now I hate these eternal summers, I’m afraid of the furious heat that starts early and won’t end. And the black skies with the rain cascading down terrify me, making streets into rivers, burying people and things under the mud.
future  ferrante  guardian  climate  change  dread 
19 days ago
Americans Believe in Climate Change, But Not Climate Action
thinking climate change will only hit elsewhere, or only in the future, pummeling others but sparing you — these are delusions, too, ones powered by many of the same coping mechanisms that give rise to outright denialism.

What are those coping mechanisms? Why can’t we see the threat right in front of us? The most immediate answer is obvious: It’s fucking scary. For years now, researchers have known that “unrealistic optimism is a pervasive human trait,” one that, whatever you know about how social-media addicts get used to bad news, leads us to discount scary information and embrace the sunnier stuff. And the generation of economists and behavioral psychologists who’ve spent the last few decades enumerating all of our cognitive biases have compiled a whole literature of problems with how we process the world, almost every single example of which distorts and distends our perception of a changing climate, typically by making us discount the threat.
climate  change  future  coping  grief  nymag 
19 days ago
It's All Over - Justin Erik Halldór Smith
Someone who thinks about their place in the world in terms of the structural violence inflicted on them as they move through it is thinking of themselves, among other things, in structural terms, which is to say, again among other things, not as subjects. This gutting of our human subjecthood is currently being stoked and exacerbated, and integrated into a causal loop with, the financial incentives of the tech companies. People are now speaking in a way that  results directly from the recent moneyballing of all of human existence. They are speaking, that is, algorithmically rather than subjectively, and at this point it is not only the extremely online who are showing the symptoms of this transformation. They are only the vanguard, but, as with vocal fry and other linguistic phenomena, their tics and habits spread soon enough to the inept and the elderly, to the oblivious normies who continue to proclaim that they “don't like reading on screens,” or they “prefer an old-fashioned book or newspaper,” as if that were going to stop history from happening. 
media  technology  language  discourse  culture 
19 days ago
A Reflection on Children in the Face of Climate Change
One climate writer I know has, in the last few years, taken his teenage children to see the Great Barrier Reef, which was once a natural wonder of the world, with the complexity of a great city, and which is now inarguably dying, and Glacier National Park, so named because it once held 150 glaciers; today all but 26 have melted. It’s a beautiful gesture, almost mythological — a parent giving a simultaneous tour of the past and the future to his children. But there are also those parents I know who wonder whether it would be better to spare their children memories like that, memories that will be carried forward for many decades as reminders of what has been lost — or, rather, destroyed.
climate  change  parenting  future 
4 weeks ago
The day I tasted climate change - MIT Technology Review
I’ve long understood that the dangers of global warming are real and rising. I’ve seen its power firsthand in the form of receding glaciers, dried lake beds, and Sierra tree stands taken down by bark beetles.

This is the first time, though, that I smelled and tasted it in my home.

Obviously, a sore throat and a flight change are trivial compared with the lives and homes lost in the Camp Fire. But after I spent a week living under a haze of smoke, it did resonate on a deeper level that we’re really going to let this happen.

Thousands if not millions of people are going to starve, drown, burn to death, or live out lives of misery because we’ve failed to pull together in the face of the ultimate tragedy of the commons. Many more will find themselves scrambling for basic survival goods and fretting over the prospect of more fires, more ferocious hurricanes, and summer days of blistering heat.

There’s no solving climate change any longer. There’s only living with it and doing everything in our power to limit the damage.
climate  change  future  live  mit 
4 weeks ago
Against Human Extinction – Current Affairs | Culture & Politics
People who are alive right now—like me, and presumably you—are both fortunate and unfortunate. We are unfortunate in that we are on Earth at a time when the threats of climate change and global nuclear conflict mean “doom” can seem just around the corner. We are fortunate, however, in that we also happen to have showed up at a moment when it was possible to do something about it. At the moment, the world is still (relatively) at peace and the worst effects of climate change have still not yet set in. Scientists are warning that we only have a decade to act on climate change in order to mitigate its most severe consequences, but a decade is not nothing. It is the job of socialists, and really anyone who cares about their “fellow creatures,” not to fall into despair or conclude that “extinction is the only option.” Hopelessness is what conservatives want, and pessimism means death. Todd May’s thinking is dangerous, suicidal, wrong. Reject it. It’s not only depressing, it’s irrational. Laugh at it. Write it off. And join the fight to build a humane, decent, and nurturing civilization in which we live in harmony with other species. We have the technology, we have the brains. We just need the resolve. A better world is possible. Death is not the only option.
climate  change  future  solutions  options  currentaffairs 
4 weeks ago
What Can We Do? - Resilience
Reduce meat consumption, reduce livestock herds, through taxes and lifestyle changes.
Support and preserve the cultures and lifestyles among Indigenous and modest farmer communities.
Campaign to limit corporate power in politics.
Campaign to publicly fund universities, all education, to limit corporate corruption of education.
Start an economic de-growth group. Start a campaign to create a new micro-economic system in your community, your state, your county, your nation, your company, your family.
Start a school for the homeless and disenfranchised; teach localized, useful skills, gardening, tool repairs.
Lobby your local government to create community gardens.
Study and create renewable energy systems that can be built, operated, and maintained locally.
Campaign to consume only locally produced products; reduce the energy cost of transported goods.
Start or join campaigns to preserve ecosystems, rivers, lakes, the oceans, forests, biodiversity, and all non-human habitats.
Open or join a clinic and begin to research localized, small-scale healthcare.
Lobby governments to create walking neighbourhoods; ban cars from city centres, create public transit projects, and make cities serve community.
Start a company that uses local resources and local skills to create useful locally consumed tools and resources.
Start a “free store” in your community, where people can drop off used goods, and pick up useful used items they may need.
Start a local support group or psychology practice and begin to learn and support community therapy; build community trust; help others deal with depression and anxiety. The best therapy is a friend.
Legal support: are you a lawyer, or do you want to be? Could you work as a paralegal? Start a practice to defend ecology activists, and start class action lawsuits against corporations that pollute.
Start or join a campaign to impose carbon taxation and other pollution charges on contaminating products; lobby for resource depletion fees, true cost pricing, and import tariffs on ecologically dangerous goods.
Help restore damaged ecosystems; lobby governments and corporations to make funds available to restore damaged ecosystems; plant trees, build soils, re-establish natural water flows.
Start or join a campaign to achieve whatever is close and dear to your heart.
climate  change  solutions 
4 weeks ago
How Climate Change Is Driving Central American Migrants to the United States
Recent spikes in migration have tracked with precipitation patterns. In 2014, the year of the much-politicized surge in families and unaccompanied children arriving at the border, a drought struck the dry corridor. Farmers were still scrambling to recover when another untimely drought hit early this summer, wiping out first harvests of beans and maize. Many of the asylum-seekers caught up in Trump’s short-lived family separation policy were indigenous Guatemalan farmers fleeing the specter of starvation.
climate  change  refugees 
6 weeks ago
‘A kind of dark realism’: Why the climate change problem is starting to look too big to solve - The Washington Post
Climate scientists and policy experts realize that they walk a fine line between jolting consumers and policymakers into action and immobilizing them with paralyzing pessimism about the world’s ability to hit climate targets.

“If you’re driving on a highway and the car in front of you stops short, and you slam on brakes and realize that you’re going to hit the guy no matter what, that’s not the time to take your foot off the brake,” said John Sterman, a professor of management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s business school. “And you certainly don’t step on the gas.”

Sterman said that the world has missed the chance to contain warming without huge disruptions. “Now, it’s technically possible to do that, but we don’t have the policies in place,” he said. “That’s discouraging. But that just means we have to redouble our efforts.”
climate  change  future  wapost 
7 weeks ago
Why Is Japan Still So Attached to Paper? - The New York Times
In an age of sharply escalating computerization and digitization of everything into an intangible ether, it can be hard to remember that paper, too, is just another medium, something that acts as a transmitter for something written or typed in the past. Or better, it’s too easy to imagine that replacing paper with digital screens is just moving from one medium to another. Digitization has produced a change not just in what we see and feel but in what we control. The world of new media — of what the left-wing theorist Jodi Dean calls “communicative capitalism” — is standardized in a way that not even the most fantastical efficiency expert could have dreamed. If thousands of families could once make their own paper, it is now only a few monopoly companies that create virtually all the media through which we transmit communication today, and virtually all of it is being data mined in a way that letters never could be. The fetish for media like washi is nostalgic on one account, cleareyed on another: The paper bears an imprint, of the maker and eventually of the user, in a way no digital object ever can.
paper  culture  japan  history  nytimes 
7 weeks ago
Reducing your carbon footprint still matters.
We don’t recommend taking personal actions like limiting plane rides, eating less meat, or investing in solar energy because all of these small tweaks will build up to enough carbon savings (though it could help). We do so because people taking action in their personal lives is actually one of the best ways to get to a society that implements the policy-level change that is truly needed. Research on social behavior suggests lifestyle change can build momentum for systemic change. Humans are social animals, and we use social cues to recognize emergencies. People don’t spring into action just because they see smoke; they spring into action because they see others rushing in with water. The same principle applies to personal actions on climate change.
climate  change  slate 
7 weeks ago
Could an anti-global warming atmospheric spraying program really work? -- ScienceDaily
A program to reduce Earth's heat capture by injecting aerosols into the atmosphere from high-altitude aircraft is possible, but unreasonably costly with current technology, and would be unlikely to remain secret.
climate  change  solutions  geoengineering 
7 weeks ago
Study: World vertebrates population down 60 percent in 40 years
The study stated the biggest losses happened in the tropics of South and Central America where there has been an 89 percent decline in vertebrates from 1970. Freshwater species have also suffered greatly, declining 83 percent over the same period.

"The current rate of species extinction is 100 to 1,000 times higher than the background rate, the standard rate of extinction in Earth's history before human pressure became a prominent factor," the report said in its executive summary.
climate  change  extinction  upi 
7 weeks ago
A 14-year-long oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico verges on becoming one of the worst in U.S. history - The Washington Post
Between 300 and 700 barrels of oil per day have been spewing from a site 12 miles off the Louisiana coast since 2004, when an oil-production platform owned by Taylor Energy sank in a mudslide triggered by Hurricane Ivan. Many of the wells have not been capped, and federal officials estimate that the spill could continue through this century. With no fix in sight, the Taylor offshore spill is threatening to overtake BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster as the largest ever.
environment  climate  politics  oil 
7 weeks ago
Can beer be saved from climate change? | The Outline
it is clear that due to perilous changes in the natural environment, futuristic practices in food production will continue to emerge, and beer is an ideal test subject.
beer  climate  change  outline 
7 weeks ago
Climate change is scary. ‘Rat explosion’ is way scarier. — Contributors — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine
while extinctions may inspire a sense of tragedy, it’s the creatures multiplying in outbreaks and infestations that generate horror. As rat expert Bobby Corrigan of Cornell University has told various media outlets, rats have a gestation period of 14 days. The babies can start reproducing after a month. That means that in one year, one pregnant rat can result in 15,000 to 18,000 new rats. Warmer winters will continue to dial up rat fecundity.
climate  change  future 
7 weeks ago
How Climate-Change Fiction, or “Cli-Fi,” Forces Us to Confront the Incipient Death of the Planet | The New Yorker
Taken together, the stories in “Warmer” raise the question of whether a poetics of climate change exists. As with gun violence, the crisis demands a form of literary expression that lifts it out of the realm of intellectual knowing and lodges it deep in readers’ bodies. Novels about mass shootings often incorporate black humor, the dispersal of meaning through repetition, and a flat or deadened tone. The works in this collection feel less consistent in mood or manner, but they are similarly occupied by a shared set of challenges: the bigness, the unknowability, of the looming transformations, and how surreal it all seems, and how the author or reader might chart a path between hope and hopelessness.
climate  change  writing  fiction  newyorker 
7 weeks ago
Would flooding the deserts help stop global warming?
With unlimited capital and political will — both far from given — experts said the scheme would stand a chance of reducing dangerous greenhouse gas levels. But while they generally believe the climate crisis has become severe enough to push even extreme options onto the table, the experts cautioned against interventions that might create as many problems as they solve.
climate  change  solutions  geoengineering  nbc 
7 weeks ago
Inside Geoengineers’ Risky Plan To Block Out the Sun
GEOENGINEERING IS BROADLY DISCUSSED BY RESEARCHERS as a tool to allow more time to achieve the goal of decarbonization, but SRM alone does nothing to reduce carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, negative emissions technologies—actually removing carbon from the atmosphere—are seen by many as a core part of the solution. The IPCC report authors expect them to play a central role in restricting warming to 1.5 degrees.

But the problem, as Johnston says, is that “we’re betting on this technology that doesn’t even exist.”
climate  change  inthesetimes  solutions  environment  politics 
7 weeks ago
How the rich will survive climate change disaster | The Outline
We are entering a dystopian future in which class-privileged white people are using privatized systems and their obscene wealth to avoid the catastrophic environmental effects of the racist capitalist system that they forced upon the world. While they are funding these privatized resource systems with the wealth they built off of marginalized peoples, wealthy white people are simultaneously supporting Trump in droves, who blamed forest management for these current fires and derided a United Nations report released last month finding that the world has 12 years to avert global environmental catastrophe. These fires and their disparate impact demonstrate a necessity for structural action on climate change and support for those who will be most harmed—poor people and people of color.
climate  change  class  outline 
7 weeks ago
Part of the Answer to Climate Change May Be America’s Trees and Dirt, Scientists Say - The New York Times
Other scientists agreed that storing more carbon in forests and soils could be a potent tool, though some were more cautious about how much was feasible in practice. For instance, the authors of the study used remote-sensing data to identify more than 100 million acres of land in the United States that is not currently being used for crops or pasture but that could be suitable for planting more trees, which absorb carbon from the air.
nytimes  climate  change  solutions 
7 weeks ago
Scientists Have Found Rare Giant Viruses Lurking in The Soil of a US Forest
With the way climate change is going, you could say the future itself is buried in that heated dirt. But our unknown tomorrows aren't all that's hiding there.

In this oversized outdoor research laboratory, scientists have made an unexpected discovery, finding 16 rare 'giant' viruses that are completely new to science.

"We were not looking for giant viruses," says biologist Jeff Blanchard from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass).

"Our goal was to isolate bacteria directly from the environment to understand how microbial communities are changing in response to soil warming."
climate  change  environment  disease  virus 
7 weeks ago
I was wrong on climate change. Why can’t other conservatives admit it, too? - The Washington Post
I’ve owned up to the danger. Why haven’t other conservatives? They are captives, first and foremost, of the fossil fuel industry, which outspent green groups 10 to 1 in lobbying on climate change from 2000 to 2016. But they are also captives of their own rigid ideology. It is a tragedy for the entire planet that the United States’ governing party is impervious to science and reason.
wapost  climate  change  politics 
8 weeks ago
Opinion | Knowledge, Ignorance and Climate Change - The New York Times
One way to counter the effects of skepticism is to stop talking about “knowledge” and switch to talking about probabilities. Instead of saying that you don’t know some claim, try to estimate the probability that it is true. As hedge fund managers, economists, policy researchers, doctors and bookmakers have long been aware, the way to make decisions while managing risk is through probabilities. Once we switch to this perspective, claims to “not know,” like those made by Trump, lose their force and we are pushed to think more carefully about the existing data and engage in cost-benefit analyses.
climate  change  discourse  nytimes  rhetoric 
8 weeks ago
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Reportedly Pay for Private Firefighters While California Burns
For perspective, the National Wildfire Suppression Association represents 150 wildfire contract service companies with more than 10,000 employees. It can cost in excess of $100,000 just to enter the field of private firefighting work, meaning individual missions can cost insurance companies tens of thousands of dollars.

The need for a private firefighting industry is fueled by the growing risk of climate change-related damages, which is exacerbated by defunding and undermining action related to climate change at the federal level.
climate  change  class  vice 
8 weeks ago
Why Publish a Dire Federal Climate Report on Black Friday? - The Atlantic
“This isn’t information that’s only for the federal government. This is information that every city needs, every state needs, increasingly every business needs, and every homeowner needs. This is information that every human needs.”

“It’s not that we care about a 1-degree increase in global temperature in the abstract,” she said. “We care about water, we care about food, we care about the economy—and every single one of those things is being affected by climate change today.”
climate  change  report  atlantic 
8 weeks ago
‘Like a Terror Movie’: How Climate Change Will Cause More Simultaneous Disasters - The New York Times
New York can expect to be hit by four climate crises at a time by 2100 if carbon emissions continue at their current pace, the study says, but if emissions are cut significantly that number could be reduced to one. The troubled regions of the coastal tropics could see their number of concurrent hazards reduced from six to three.

The paper explores the ways that climate change intensifies hazards and describes the interconnected nature of such crises. Greenhouse gas emissions, by warming the atmosphere, can enhance drought in places that are normally dry, “ripening conditions for wildfires and heat waves,” the researchers say. In wetter areas, a warmer atmosphere retains more moisture and strengthens downpours, while higher sea levels increase storm surge and warmer ocean waters can contribute to the overall destructiveness of storms.
climate  change  future  nytimes 
8 weeks ago
My Son Was Born During the Pre-Apocalypse of California’s Woolsey Fire
So it is certain that my kids are going to come of age in a world that is rapidly warming and rapidly changing—that is literally more on fire—but also in a country that in a given year may or may not be governed by politicians in stark denial of those changes. When I started covering climate change ten years ago, the GOP candidate for president had a climate plan—now, the notion that that we all, Democrats and Republicans alike, might unite to inadequately address global warming with market-based solutions seems like a hopeless utopian dream.
climate  change  politics  future  parenting  vice 
8 weeks ago
Climate perils driving some in Minn. to change habits - StarTribune.com
While the science suggests that individual actions by individual households won’t solve the problem alone, hopelessness is wrong, said University of Minnesota economics Prof. Stephen Polasky. It’s not too late, he said, and the fix can be made with tools we already have.

“We don’t have to come up with some brand-new [technology] that we’ve never thought about,” said Polasky, who studies the intersection of ecology and the economy. It’s just a question of whether or not we act, he said.
climate  change  minnesota  life 
8 weeks ago
Slaying the Climate Dragon - Scientific American Blog Network
But here is another ending. It’s not a happy one. No one slays the dragon, not even by half. It rises up, more powerful than even the wisest woman had predicted. Villages burn; the land is alternately parched and flooded. Fairies go extinct in the wild. But the kingdom does not retreat. Heroes challenge the dragon, repeatedly. When they fall, others rise to take their place. They know their quest is a doomed one; they set out nevertheless. They did not all live happily ever after. But they lived. And, most importantly, they had something to live for.
sciam  climate  change  story  narrative 
october 2018
Who the hell cares what old people think about climate change? | The Outline
Here’s a simple maxim we can all probably live by: your contribution to an argument is probably worthless if you have zero stake in what is being argued. Right? Unless we’re playing parlour games, it seems like we should have a mild interest in the outcome of what we are arguing — if you don’t, you’re likely just being an asshole. Strangely, we don’t apply this common sense to climate change. The greatest victory of the old and monied among us is that they’ve dragged an inclement apocalypse into the arena of seemingly endless debate rather than immediate action.
climate  change  outline  generation  future  argument 
october 2018
U.S. government embraces climate catastrophe, but is it a 'crisis'? - Resilience
slowing down is really the first step. The availability of cheap and growing energy supplies in the industrial age has beckoned us to go faster and faster and never slower. And yet, slowing down is a first step in noticing. And, noticing is a next step toward understanding. After that comes imagining how we might live in ways that mitigate the onrushing catastrophe of climate change and resource depletion. That’s what the mature mind does in the face of unalterable change.
climate  change  resilience 
october 2018
KCEP BLOG: Texas Sea Wall Shows Inadequate Disclosure on Climate Risk
I’m not sure any rational investor would read these disclosures and understand the gravity of the Texas coastal situation, or the need for an enormous taxpayer investment to protect Gulf Coast assets from climate-related impacts.

For example, would an investor know the following from reading these disclosures?

The costal concern is not new—the study leading to the project was authorized in 2004 by the U.S. Senate in response to severe coastal erosion and storm damages, then re-scoped and expanded in 2011.
The estimated sea level rise for the first 20 years of the coastal spine project is between 0.83 to 2.38 feet. (p. 3-19)
The existing infrastructure that is in place (i.e. the hurricane flood protection project) is at risk of failure in multiple locations.
climate  change  preparedness  future  texas 
september 2018
Disaster Planning Often Leaves Disabled People Behind - Tonic
For nondisabled people and those without disabled or elderly family members, concerns about resilient disaster planning may seem like an afterthought, but the stakes can be very real for those on the front lines. In an era where climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of disasters and communities are struggling to keep up, inclusive planning is extremely important—particularly when 20 percent of the population is disabled and an aging Boomer generation is finding itself with increasing needs. Without incorporating robust planning from the start, communities could find themselves facing another preventable tragedy like Hollywood Hills or Puerto Rico.
climate  change  future  vice 
september 2018
Trump Nudges Global Climate-Change Politics to the Right - The Atlantic
Moderate national leaders—on both the center-left and center-right—in some of the world’s richest and most advanced countries are finding it far easier to talk about climate change than to actually fight it.

At a basic level, this pattern holds up, well, everywhere. Every country except the United States supports the Paris Agreement on climate change. But no major developed country is on track to meet its Paris climate goals, according to the Climate Action Tracker, an independent analysis produced by three European research organizations. Even Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom—where right-wing governments have made combatting climate change a national priority—seem likely to miss their goals.

Simply put: This kind of failure, writ large, would devastate Earth in the century to come. The world would blow its stated goal of limiting atmospheric temperature rise. Heatwaves might regularly last for six punishing weeks, sea levels could soar by feet in a few short decades, and certain fragile ecosystems—like the delicate Arctic permafrost or the kaleidoscopic plenty of coral reefs—would disappear from the planet entirely.
atlantic  politics  climate  change  future 
august 2018
Big oil asks government to protect it from climate change
As the nation plans new defenses against the more powerful storms and higher tides expected from climate change, one project stands out: an ambitious proposal to build a nearly 60-mile "spine" of concrete seawalls, earthen barriers, floating gates and steel levees on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Like other oceanfront projects, this one would protect homes, delicate ecosystems and vital infrastructure, but it also has another priority — to shield some of the crown jewels of the petroleum industry, which is blamed for contributing to global warming and now wants the federal government to build safeguards against the consequences of it.
climate  change  funding  future  infrastructure 
august 2018
Florida's red tide shows that climate change isn't just dangerous—it's ugly — Quartz
There’s a lot of talk about the threats posed by climate change—to animals, people, and the environment. But abstract chatter is hard to fathom. We can’t really imagine what it will be like when the reality we know is replaced, and what’s beautiful turns to rot. The red tide in Florida doesn’t just make the issue of global warming visible; it’s an all-out sensory onslaught. And it’s a reminder that climate change isn’t just dangerous. It’s also going to make the world an increasingly ugly and unpleasant place.
qz  climate  change  visual  rhetoric  future 
august 2018
Climate Change Already Has Countless Victims - The Atlantic
Climate change is not a future problem. Climate change is a current problem. Yet the United States—despite this recent history—has pulled back from a number of already-insufficient commitments to reversing emissions and global warming. Faced with this vacuum, American non-governmental organizations and states have stepped forward with campaigns designed to reinvigorate climate activism and policy-making. But they have a long way to go, especially in connecting a mainstream climate movement with the majority of the victims of those disasters.
climate  change  atlantic  action  activism 
august 2018
West Coast Smoke: Scientists Warn Of Longer And Harsher Season : NPR
Just as the wildfire season is getting longer and more destructive in the West due to climate change and prior forest management, scientists are warning of a lengthening — and worsening — smoke season. The fires themselves have burned hundreds of homes and forced thousands to evacuate. But the smoke, and the unhealthy toxins blowing in with it, will directly affect hundreds of thousands more people. It used to be just a few days here or there. Now, the smoke pollution is lasting for weeks, even months.
climate  change  npr 
august 2018
Environmental collapse makes for terrifying nightmares, and compelling art | The Outline
Taken together, these three works don’t offer much comfort to those of us agonizing over whether to bring children into the world (a dilemma Schrader lingers on) or how to stop deforestation (one of Powers’s main concerns). After reading Vollmann’s book, every daily task, from grinding coffee to washing your hands, feels like punching Mother Nature in the face. The time for comfort has come and gone, and the realization that we’ve arrived at this knowledge so late suffuses these three narratives.
outline  art  climate  change  environment  vollmann 
august 2018
This is what the ecological crisis sounds like | The Outline
When I push Kanngieser on what the sound of ecological crisis sounds like to them, they pause for a few moments before answering. Thinking back to a time on Kiribati, an island under acute threat from rising sea levels, Kanngieser said: “It was just a normal high tide and the water was just washing over the road as the cars were driving through. I was standing on a beach, recording the ocean and kids were playing on the sand and running away from the waves. People are just living their lives in spite of being inundated. It’s the sound of that just being a normal way of life.”
climate  change  outline  sound  music 
august 2018
Six Proposals for the Reform of Literature in the Age of Climate Change - The Critical Flame | The Critical Flame
y, human activity fills the atmosphere with carbon, transforming Earth’s climate, melting the polar ice caps, already destroying the homes and habitats of the planet’s many creatures—including ourselves. Yet we lack the ability to visualize these problems, to locate their source in our own actions and lives, to tell and transform the stories of the interactions between our behavior and our biome.

This is not a failing of science, the science is quite clear: it is a failing of culture. The single most influential artwork of climate change remains Al Gore standing in front of a Powerpoint presentation ten years ago. Global culture has not just failed to adapt to the challenges we now face: it actively prevents us from facing those challenges.

To change this, we need to break with our existing traditions of art and media, even if that means rejecting some of the works we love most.
climate  change  literature 
august 2018
The swiftness of glaciers: language in a time of climate change | Aeon Ideas
As consciousness of climate change has grown, a new class of dead metaphors has entered the English language. We speak routinely of carbon footprints, of wiping species off the face of the Earth, and of greenhouse gases, but we no longer see the feet, the hands, the faces and the backyard sheds that were once vivid when those phrases were newly coined. Geologists now talk of searching for the ‘human signature’ in the fossil record. Some geo-engineers want to inject vast clouds of sulphur aerosols into Earth’s atmosphere in the hopes of ‘resetting the global thermostat’. Many of these coinages attempt to give an intimate, human dimension to planetary phenomena that can seem intimidatingly vast and abstract. Adam Smith in 1759 responded similarly to the massive scale of economic forces by inserting the human body in the form of the ‘invisible hand’ of the market. Today, the science-fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson brings that dead metaphor back to life, complaining that, when it comes to the environment, ‘the invisible hand never picks up the check’.
language  climate  change  aeon 
august 2018
Elegy for a Country’s Seasons | by Zadie Smith | The New York Review of Books
Although many harsh words are said about the childlike response of the public to the coming emergency, the response doesn’t seem to me very surprising, either. It’s hard to keep apocalypse consistently in mind, especially if you want to get out of bed in the morning. What’s missing from the account is how much of our reaction is emotional. If it weren’t, the whole landscape of debate would be different. We can easily imagine, for example, a world in which the deniers were not deniers at all, but simple ruthless pragmatists, the kind of people who say: “I understand very well what’s coming, but I am not concerned with my grandchildren; I am concerned with myself, my shareholders, and the Chinese competition.” And there are indeed a few who say this, but not as many as it might be reasonable to expect.
climate  change  future  nyr  zadie  environment 
august 2018
We are not the ones we have been waiting for – An und für sich
Two possibilities present themselves. The first is to call the elites on their bullshit. “We” didn’t torpedo climate change action, Bush’s asshole chief of staff did. “We” didn’t despoil the planet, corporate elites did. Human civilization has been placed on a trajectory toward extinction by identifiable individuals with institutional power. But to make good on those accusations, we need to take the bad-faith accusation of collective responsibility as a prophecy and become the collective agent that they say “we” already are.
climate  change  politics  blame 
august 2018
The future of the climate debate | openDemocracy
future debates about climate change will have to be very different to anything that was on offer in the conference centres or on the streets of New York. It’s this future debate that we need to explore ourselves--and urgently--even if politicians, businesses, and mainstream environmental groups are not ready to acknowledge it. On the sidelines, I’m seeing four emerging lines of thinking and action: profound change, emergency response, local resilience, and transcendence.
climate  change  bendell 
august 2018
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