As NASA on Wednesday confirmed that the past five years have been the hottest on record, the United Kingdom's national weather service warned that the next five years could see global average surface temperature temporarily surpass the end-of-the-century target of the Paris climate agreement.
The “centrist” types have a plan. They are, after all, the adults in the room. We hold on to capitalism, use more reusable bags and reduce carbon emissions by 50% no later than 2360. They had a meeting with Mother Nature, and she gets their pragmatism. She agreed to modify her expectations, and will give us more time. See what pragmatism does? We say what is pragmatic and nature just works with us. So, good news, capitalism has a new lease on life, and we dont have to acknowledge limits to growth in resource consumption and pollutuon generation (both of which are highly inequitable), or markets (which are missing lots of relevant information).
Joan, your posts are always spot on- informative, well thought out and presented and bitingly sharp. This one is no exception.
I especially relate to the barely contained rage, if that is the right word choice, I can viscerally feel behind your posts… Keep writing. We need you.
DKos is talking AOC on Climate Change. Go over there & bomb them. The Democratic Leadership has killed The Green New Deal. www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/01/democrats-killed-the-green-new-deal/
Thanks, that is really nice of you to say that.
I found joan’s post humourous. Maybe a bit of sarcasm/tongue in cheek as well. Either way though what you and she said was right and good.
A no brainer. Use a model that takes into account future and presently occuring feedback loops and it’s even worse.
What do you get when the inputs are already baked into an exponential function?
You get an exponential increase that you can’t stop.
This article seems to suggest that 1.5 degrees C will be temporary? Well in a way, as we are already pretty much locked in to 3.0 in terms of continuous effects and feedback loops from what we have already done. It is no service to tell less than the terrible truth. Read Dahr Jamaii’s Climate Dispatches, and then after that The End of Ice. He asks us, “How then shall we live?” Another writer who has helped me face the grief and despair without giving up is Buddhist scholar and ecophilosopher Joanna Macy. We can mitigate to some extent but only if every nation pushes against the capitalist conquerors with the courage of our own new socialists and Greta Thunberg. We can fill the streets of the world with our demands in the face of so-called leaders like Pelosi and her “green dreams.”
I expect FossilPaul (PaulSwanee1) to show up any minute to inspect your t’s and i’s for proper crossing and dotting, so prepare yourself. After all, all questions must be answered before any action is taken, never mind that the planet will uninhabitable by the time that happens.
I’ve never seen a scientific estimate that wasn’t horrifically wrong in understating the situation and the urgency, they are always revised later to reflect serious underestimation of the dangers. The media always understates the seriousness of the science, if they report on it at all. The public always fails to comprehend the levels expressed by the media. The politicians never fail not to acknowledge any of it. The fossil fuel corporations never fail to fund huge amounts of false science to contradict the facts. The Ecosystem never fails to collapse when so brutally assaulted by so many for so long. Species extinctions always occur when a species outgrow their resources and fail to respond to changing conditions. This is not the final word, science will soon acknowledge that the tipping point was long passed before we acted at all to the crisis.
Thank you Joan - your so right. Centrists are in fact in denial, Nature doesn’t compromise and debate. Democrats pretend they are the adults and have a grasp of the situation, but their half measures amount to little else than sabotage for those who seek to actually succeed in resolving the problem. Under these conditions, in order to succeed we would have to assume we were way past the tipping point, and respond as it was a national and global emergency of unprecedented scale. If were are lucky, and overreact dramatically, and devise some sort of exotic multi trillion dollar geo-engineering to reverse the trend, we probably will still go extinct
Yeah, give me a break. Certainly the Green New Deal calls for radical changes (more are needed beyond it). If it calls for things that aren’t possible because of productive limitations, or because of resource constraints, fine. But, given what we are facing, we have to be all hands on deck and push existing institutions to their limits. Anyone that critiques it should be focused on those things, not whether or not we should do something like it. I am open to critics about what is possible, what the limits of our productive capacities are, but have no interest in entertaining not doing all we can to quickly move away from carbon based forms of energy, as well as capitalism. Some people talk about costs, as if we should be concerned about something like inflation or whatever, and as if we can price not doing what is needed to deal with the environmental crisis. Beyond the simplistic ideas out there on inflation and how inflation comes about, should we not do what we need to do to avoid environmental collapse because inflation MIGHT be high, or it will cost this or that dollar amount? What the hell does a monetary value or GDP (which is just the market value of goods and services produced) have to do with this? What will money do anyone if the worst case scenarios hit us?
Besides anyway, there are limits in regards to throughput and pollution generation. There are limits as to how much we can price these things, and even if we could, the costs of everything would explode. Capitalism cannot function in the absence of growth. And there is no way to do this without some form of (hopefully democratic) planning at the national level. Whatever system that is, it isn’t capitalism. If people want to argue that we can deal with the environmental crisis (which is beyond carbon emissions alone) and hold onto capitalism, the floor is theirs. It isn’t possible. People can accept that or not, but capitalism as we know it isn’t long for the world one way or another, so we on the left should get around to comprehensive alternatives out there that can address these issues in a democratic and equitable way. Robin Hahnel, for my money, is the best there is on that.
Right on all points. And Right On!
Is it not blatantly obvious by now that we can not sit around waiting for “leaders” to solve anything?
Instead of waiting for our “parents” to make the bobo go away, why not try acting like responsible adults instead?
We can make the transition to a green lifestyle on our own utilizing existing technology and local communities, in fact that may be the only way it can happen.
We are at least 2000 years overdue for collectively shedding our infantile and ultimately suicidal need to be led.
It’s like waiting for an Ent from Fangorn forest to make up their minds and act on something. Maybe when Sauron makes the blacktop on their driveways melt it will stir some concern.
I agree with merf, although I enjoy your rage even more when you let the reins slip a little!
Consumerism is king & we need many more consumers! Ya right.
Asylums, mainly in the first world, are full of people who think like this…the boys who began the renaissance by wanting to ‘torture the secrets out of nature’ have now conspired to make deals with her…but we should remember…
They never understood, or respected her, to begin with. They are extractivists…they take what they can get, and call it progress. At this point in their end game, they can claim whatever they like…only their absolute and total defeat offers the rest of us any kind of hope at all.
I’m not amused by them…I despise them. Can’t help but think that at some level, they despise themselves.
Transition now. It’s the only chance we have.
Everything else is merely a distraction –
In two years we could have “runaway Global Warming” –
or even sooner.
We must be the only adults in the room. We will grieve when our parents show signs of dementia.
A forest fire is approaching Paradise. We could quickly debate the speed of the fire’s approach, but we need “Let’s roll!” Sometimes we need “Evacuate!” Sometimes we need “Let’s set up a fire line from here to there and see if it holds.” How we’re going to use our resources to fight the fire is a vital part of the discussion.