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'Existential' Risk of Climate Crisis Could Lead to Civilizational Collapse by 2050, Warns Report

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/06/04/existential-risk-climate-crisis-could-lead-civilizational-collapse-2050-warns-report

2050? I love their optimism. The earths energies are shifting all around us, to think our minds aren’t being effected as well is folly. Look at how people, nation states and communities across the globe are freaking out. It is here already. Take a good careful look at who and what we are today, compare and contrast. It is here, it is now. 2050 my ass!


This complements Michael Mann’s piece here - that to avoid catastrophe, more than individual actions are required.

I totally agree with this premise, and with this new report highlighted here.

Having polluted the atmosphere with CO2, and acidified the world oceans, we need to first use the CO2 in the atmosphere until fossil fuels are eliminated almost entirely. I say almost because I am a practical man.

Then we have to switch to solar energy - much as the photosynthesizing microbes did in the early days of our biosphere, ca 3.5 billion years ago. First the photosynthesis was anoxygenic. This polluted the microbes world with CO2 and methane, CH4.

Then they learned to use these pollutants and began oxygenic photogenesis. This polluted the atmosphere with Oxygen.

Then they learned to use the Oxygen, and Eukaryotic life was enabled.

Then we arrived.

Now we need to eliminate the excess CO2 in our atmosphere by hook or by crook, and switch to solar power, and to space for resources from asteroids, while developing the capacity to protect ourselves from bolide impact.

Are we up to this task.

Yes - but we are lacking a leader.


Hi many :-))) you might want to pay a visit here…

Civilization collapse is a negative feedback loop.


Make that plural…leaders. Until a war is declared on the fossil fuel industries and their greedy OILIGARCHS, I do not see any substantial change until it is too late. The one leader that seems to be genuinely concerned about the coming CLIMATE CRISIS…is Jay Inslee, the Governor of Washington State.


We have plenty of leaders. Unfortunately they all being lead around by those with money under the illusion that they will get a cut.


Republicans (to the last man/woman, irony notwithstanding) want to wring every dollar out of this planet even if their children die from the effort. Democrats (many, not all) are involved in an incestuous love affair with corporate planet killers. We will merrily trip down the path to extinction unless and until the republican party and complicit corporate democrats are utterly destroyed (or reduced to no more than a minimal opposition to sanity). Personally, absent a revolution of some sort, I do not believe we will survive as a species. Moneyed interests are so entrenched, and control so much, that unless we collectively eliminate them any other actions we take to save ourselves will be way too little and way too late. As of now, we are trapped in a metaphorical Bastille while the elites cry let them eat cake. Does anyone here have any ideas on how to save ourselves (beyond our individual actions to minimize our footprint on the planet)?


To have a discussion about global warming and not overturn the norms surrounding cars is probably not going to succeed. I really don’t see an overarching urge in Americans to ditch the happy motoring culture. All they want to do is instead have self-driving electric cars. I really think that the only way to change our course is a national effort towards re-localization and new urbanism. It feels like a fat chance though. The average American is so brainwashed by mainstream media about cars that they can’t stop to think about why they may actually be in most cases a net negative. And this is especially true in terms of global warming over the longer term. The solution? IDK, but maybe a truly radical re-implementation of market policies. I say that with the utmost regret, since I think that talk of the market has lobotomized so many people’s brains in this country. But really, just disallow virtually ANY zoning laws and let people build what they wish, where they wish. This would hopefully cause a tidal wave of re-localization so that people start having more local shops in their communities and maybe even start some light farming more locally as well.


I think the answer is, we just don’t know.

Now, smoking can cause lung cancer but again we just don’t know in any particular case. President Ulysses S. Grant knew that lots of other cigar smokers were getting lung cancer and he couldn’t seem to quit, so in order to feed his family after he was deceased he wrote his extensive memoirs. The memoirs sold well. Sure enough, he got lung cancer in due time.

So, if there’s a fair chance of civilizational collapse we should act and plan appropriately, now, while we have time and resources.

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It’s a dark view, but it’s what the extinction rebellion movement is pushing. A lot of the most hardcore proponents think that they shouldn’t have nuclear power, just in case civilization collapses anyway and they can make the planet more hospitable for any remaining survivors after the collapse.

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Industrialized capitalism and the market mindset that goes with it must be replaced with thinking and systems based on love and life. We save the planet by grounding our thinking and building our systems around morality, biology, botany, climate science, psychology, and sociology (and “doughnut economics”), not around the thinking of neoclassical economics, business, and manufacturing. This Life Mindset means we embrace things that cost more up front, are less convenient for us individually, but that better sustain human and planetary life. Love for all life and the needs of life must be in the driver’s seat. In addition to reducing energy consumption, green energy, plant-based diets, most current man-made objects and chemicals must be replaced by vastly more eco-friendly ones, usually made of simpler materials (stone, wood, glass, natural fibers), allowing for cradle-to-cradle design in a circular economy. But the trick is to teach the whole world that the problem is ultimately not this or that ethnic group or local scapegoat, but that industrialized capitalism doesn’t fit the laws of nature and we need to re-build our entire civilization around the Life Mindset and the goal of getting our civilization into “the lifeboat”–meeting the needs of everyone on Earth in a fair and just way while staying within planetary limits. To promote these ideas, the challenges are enormous in terms of overcoming the defensive abilities of the human mind, the power of big money, deadly civilizational inertia, and unwillingness to sacrifice for the common good. For example, the science is very clear that reducing beef consumption sharply is absolutely critical for saving the planet, but most people will freak out if you bring that one up–let alone the many other big changes we all need to make in our lifestyles. The science is overwhelming on that one, but people don’t know the science, or the causal change is too long for them to feel moved to action, or they just won’t change today to be a small part of a long-term planetary success. How we tap into people’s inborn empathy or sense of fairness or helpful aspects of their identity in order for them to be willing to make the changes needed is part of what I’m struggling with in the book I’m writing about how to save the world. (P.S. love your username) . Take care.


So here’s Biden’s brand new program: BY 2050 ! interesting coincidence

Just in time for Civilization to “Collapse” Way to go Neoliberals

Is THIS your ‘middle ground’ Joe?

The only folks who didn’t get the memo on this appears to be the neoliberal mafia that runs the Democratic Party and the mainstream media here in the US.


Cars and beef both have to go (or must drop to very low usage compared to today), and both are heavy lifts psychologically and culturally.

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I’m not really sure how to save ourselves, but it should be said that even though collective action is required, the fact is that Americans actually WANT the goods that corporations produce. If it wasn’t Shell, it would just be some other entity. Re-localization is a good solution though, and that’s something that partially lies as a responsibility in every community in this country and all the HOA organizations that set the rules and norms.

I have a zip line system for that. A zip line system has about 1/10 as much infrastructure as an above-street pod system. My target is 1 cent of (renewable) electricity per passenger-mile. In time you can go anywhere that a car can go and perhaps more places. The system plugs into trains and also drops people off on subway platforms.

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An interesting – and ultimately disheartening – take in the NYTimes today:

I’d never vote for Biden, but to be fair, if we reached zero emissions by 2050, we would have been well on our way with substantially reduced emissions by 2030…2040…

Is it too little, too late? Oh, yeah. Will it or the New Green Deal happen? Nope. Is catastrophe baked into our future? You betcha.

Even though they are definitely heavy lifts, everyone should ask themselves the most important question around what can be done to still accomplish it? The answer is that you have to find a way to build consensus. How do you build consensus? Maybe at local churches, but not everyone goes to church and many times only once a week anyway. But it’s important that everyone stop being passive sheep and thinking that the only opinions that they can even have in the first place must first be filtered through the mainstream media. But that’s why it’s important to establish some areas where people can meet and talk about things, find agreement and then act. Of course, I’ve said many times over the years that America has a nasty problem with access to truly open public spaces where this can happen. Most places are just private locations in which, sure, I guess you can have light discussions with random people, but they usually aren’t places people go on a regular basis to talk things out. Maybe churches should open up their buildings during the week to let the community use them. I think it would be a good idea. It doesn’t really happen where I’m at though, at least not that I’m aware of.

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We have to push harder.