Tuesday, September 18, 2018

As the Biosphere Dies, So Do We: Using the Power of Nature to Heal the Planet


One only need look outside the window to understand that human-caused climate disruption is in overdrive.

Record warm temperatures, floods, droughts, wildfires and increasing incidents of extreme weather events have run rampant across the Northern Hemisphere this summer. These events, at least in part, stem from a global temperature increase of “only” 1 degree Celsius (1°C) above preindustrial baseline temperatures.

Harvard and MIT biogeochemist and climate and coral reef expert Dr. Thomas Goreau put this in stark perspective.

“Today’s carbon dioxide levels at 400 parts per million (ppm) [are] akin to bringing about a steady state temperature of 7°C higher and sea levels 23 meters higher than they are today,” Goreau, who is also president of the Global Coral Reef Alliance and coordinator of the Soil Carbon Alliance, told Truthout. In other words, the last time there was this much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it increased the Earth’s temperature to a point 7°C higher than it is today, and increased sea levels 23 meters above their current level. Hence, we are now only waiting for the planet to catch up to what we’ve done to the atmosphere.
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Sunday, September 16, 2018

Global Warming’s Paper Trail


In the 1980s, oil companies like Exxon and Shell carried out internal assessments of the carbon dioxide released by fossil fuels, and forecast the planetary consequences of these emissions. In 1982, for example, Exxon predicted that by about 2060, CO2 levels would double relative to the 1800s, and that this, according to the best science at the time, would push the planet’s average temperatures up by about 3°C.

Later that decade, in 1988, an internal report by Shell projected similar effects, but also found that CO2 could double even earlier, by 2030. Privately, these companies did not dispute the links between their products, global warming, and ecological calamity. On the contrary, their research confirmed the connections.

Shell’s assessment foresaw a 60-70 cm rise in sea level, and noted that warming could also fuel the disintegration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, resulting in a worldwide rise in sea level of “five to six meters.” That would be enough to inundate entire low-lying countries.

Shell’s analysts also warned of the “disappearance of specific ecosystems or habitat destruction,” predicted an increase in “runoff, destructive floods, and inundation of low-lying farmland,” and said that “new sources of freshwater would be required” to compensate for changes in precipitation. Global changes in air temperature would also “drastically change the way people live and work.” All told, Shell concluded, “the changes may be the greatest in recorded history.”

For its part, Exxon warned of “potentially catastrophic events that must be considered.” Like Shell’s experts, Exxon’s scientists predicted devastating sea-level rise, and warned that the American Midwest and other parts of the world could become desert-like. Looking on the bright side, the company expressed its confidence that “this problem is not as significant to mankind as a nuclear holocaust or world famine.”

The documents make for frightening reading. And the effect is all the more chilling in view of the oil giants’ refusal to warn the public about the damage that their own researchers predicted. Shell’s report, marked “confidential,” was first disclosed by a Dutch news organization earlier this year. Exxon’s study was not intended for external distribution, either; it was leaked in 2015. Read More

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Douglas Rushkoff: “Survival of the Richest”

Five wealthy investors asked Douglas how to survive environmental collapse. But what they really wanted to know was how to transcend the human world they look down upon.


Douglas realized that these one-percenters just shy of the .01 percent really sought an escape — and reliable protection from — human beings. To these billionaires, regular humans are the enemy: inferior, particularly in their unpredictability and insubordination, to robots and machines. So naturally, Douglas’s advice to focus on a humanist approach to apocalypse fell on deaf ears. These investors don’t want to invest in community and environment; they want to invest in themselves — in their own power and domination. This begs the question: Will the apocalypse happen to them, or have they already started it for all of us? http://bit.ly/2QaaWdO

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Planetary Emergency

I would argue that under the premise of the Geneva Conventions, and with the threat of global heating and climate change, a Planetary Emergency, no Nation State can be bar anyone from entering their country.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele hits out at climate change sceptics during fiery speech


Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele has lashed out at climate sceptics and urged Australia to make deeper cuts to carbon emissions to help save Pacific Island nations from the "disaster" of climate change.

Mr Sailele told the Lowy Institute in Sydney that climate change posed an "existential challenge" to low lying islands in the Pacific, and developed countries needed to reduce pollution in order to curb rising temperatures and sea levels.
"We all know the problem, we all know the solutions, and all that is left would be some political courage, some political guts, to tell people of your country there is a certainty of disaster," Mr Sailele said.
"So any leader of any country who believes that there is no climate change, I think he ought to be taken to mental confinement. He is utterly stupid. And I say the same thing to any leader here."
The Prime Minister's intervention came as some Coalition MPs press the new Prime Minister Scott Morrison to abandon Australia's promise to cut carbon emissions under the Paris agreement.

New Foreign Minister Marise Payne is also expected to face questions about Australia's climate change policies at the Pacific Islands Forum leader's meeting in Nauru next week.
Senator Payne and Pacific leaders are set to sign the "Biketawa Plus" security agreement, which declares that climate change remains the "single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific".
Several other leaders — including Fiji's President Frank Bainimarama and the Marshall Island's President Hilda Heine — have also called on Australia to do more to cut emissions.
Mr Sailele told the audience that "greater ambition" was needed to stop the destructive impact of climate change. Read More

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Trump Nudges Global Climate-Change Politics to the Right - The Atlantic

Without Visionary Leadership and a Global Effort Homo Sapiens future looks exceedingly bleak


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. Read More

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

BP buys US shale assets for 10Bn


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BP, in a splurge of unadulterated capitalism, continues to invest in US shale assets as higher oil prices makes new and highly polluting extraction techniques more attractive again, which will boost its dividend to shareholders.

This goes to prove that the petroleum multi-nationals care more for profits than for the lives of our children and future generations. Editor
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British oil and gas giant BP is buying $10.5bn (£8bn) of US shale assets as the higher oil price makes new extraction techniques more attractive again.
BP's purchase is its largest acquisition since the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico, which it is still paying for in the US.
The assets are being sold by Australian mining firm BHP Billiton. BP's boss, Bob Dudley, called the deal "a transformational acquisition". "This is... a major step in delivering our upstream strategy and a world-class addition to BP's distinctive portfolio," he said in a statement.
The deal marks a turning point for BP, which has had to rebuild its reputation in the US and is still paying the $65bn bill in clean-up and penalty costs resulting from the Gulf of Mexico rig disaster in 2010.

BP said it was confident of the deal's positive impact on its fortunes, and as a result would increase the dividend it pays to its shareholders for the first time in four years and would buy back $6bn worth of shares. Read More