Daily Archives: December 8, 2019

“Greta, What’s Your Problem?” – Marginalizing & Dismissing the Rational & Humane Voice of Youth | EV & N #334 | CCTV

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http://ecoethics.net/2014-ENVRE120/20191208-EV&N-334-Link.html

https://www.cctvcambridge.org/node/685169

YouTube Version

Why are our educational institutions working to destroy the best and the brightest of our youth?  See related:

Institutions that are intended to teach students how to act responsibly on a personal level and throughout their future lives are failing in this mission as they reveal themselves to be a major part of the problem of limitless corporate expansion as the beneficiaries of fossil fuel investments.

People like Greta Thunberg and, indeed, the  multiple generations she has inspired are increasingly depicted as a “problem” for the institutions hopelessly wedded to the profits obtained from fossil carbon extraction and combustion.  As one headline put it: “The world economy ‘would collapse’ if it followed the ‘Greta Thunberg approach.'”

Greta-collapse

In reality, if world corporate, institutional and political leaders fail to follow the insights offered by Greta and the millions of people that are now moving to implement the vision she is articulating, then it is surely the case that the entire global ecosystem will suffer such abrupt and catastrophic transformations as to cause the dependent “world economy” to collapse very quickly.   As out-of-control fires devastate the continents, floods and droughts destroy the human food supply and as the seas continue to rise forcing hundreds of millions of people to become climate refugees, there is little prospect for the stable continuity of the “world economy.”

Both the desperation and self-evident absurdity of our current global circumstance is apparent in the headlines of the talks given by the techno-scientific-salvationists like Michael Shellenberger — a Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment” and President of Environmental Progress, a research and policy organization.   At the beginning of 2019 Michael Shellenberger entitled one of his TED talks: “Why renewables can’t save the planet.”  

renewables

While one can understand the attraction of devising a snappy little title for a TED talk (TED=Technology, Entertainment & Design; n.b., the “E” is for “entertainment,” not “education”), and the tee-shirt with Madam Marie Curie on it is cute, it is not clear that Mr. Schellenberger has paused long enough in his breathless techno-scientific, nuclear-boomer enthusiasm to reflect upon the fundamental message of his own title.  Simply put, if the planet cannot be “saved” with renewables, this means, presumably that it can only be “saved” by non-renewables.   Yet, this is logically impossible, since by definition non-renewables will not be renewed — and hence the planet’s “salvation” will not be “renewed” and must, per force, inevitably “die.”

In the face of this kind of contorted and perverse logic, it is little wonder that the direct, clear and honest words of Greta Thunberg sound rational and humane by comparison.  In fact, the fear, the rage and the evident compassion of this Swedish teenager have gripped the world for their immediacy and honesty in the face of the “fairy tales” spun out by techno-boomers and go-growth politicians around the world.

At this moment, an entire generation of students is beginning to questioning every institution from corporations like Exxon Mobil through to the colleges and universities that finance these entities  through their endowments.   All of these entities are coming under the scrutiny of students who see through the hypocrisy of those in positions of institutional power.

Consider, for example, the contorted rationale for the obstinate investment policies of universities like Harvard.

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For convenience, students and faculty have made these discussions immediately accessible to anyone who can read or view a T.V. screen.  You can review material on these topics by taking a “snapshot” of the QR Code below with an iPhone or iPad equipped with a camera or a freely downloadable QR Scanner or QR Code Reader app.

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Arctic Warming: Risks for Methane Emissions


WGBHForum
Dr. Ronald Prinn, TEPCO Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT shares the result of his project measuring the rates of change in atmospheric concentrations of trace greenhouse gases. After more than 30 years of research, he and his colleagues recently noted an unexplained increase in methane concentrations. He outlines the risks posed by this finding in his discussion of “Arctic Warming: Risks for Methane Emissions, Sea Ice Loss, and Ocean Overturn.”

This talk is part of Cambridge Forum’s After Copenhagen: Global Climate Change Conference, recorded by Steve MacAusland. http://forum-network.org This talk was taped on January 28, 2010.

See related topics:

Patrick Stewart: millions of refugees need our help

International Rescue Committee

Nov 19, 2019

Patrick Stewart shares why he supports the International Rescue Committee and how you can make an immediate impact on the lives of refugees who have fled their homes. The IRC helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future. LEARN MORE https://www.Rescue.org/
https://twitter.com/RESCUEorg/
https://www.facebook.com/Internationa…
https://www.instagram.com/RESCUEorg/

OCHA – UN asks the world to invest $29 billion in humanity in 2020

OCHA –  UN asks the world to invest $29 billion in humanity in 2020

BBC Report on OCHA – Newshour, 4 December 2019,

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See related work of the Global Humanitarian Overview:

GHO

Launch of the Global Humanitarian Overview 2020

The Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO) 2020 launched on 4 December 2019. The GHO is the most comprehensive, authoritative and evidence-based assessment of world humanitarian needs. (PDF Version)

The Global Humanitarian Overview is the most comprehensive, authoritative and evidence-based assessment of world humanitarian needs. The GHO is based on detailed analysis of comprehensive data from a wide range of sources, and face-to-face interviews with hundreds of thousands of people directly affected by humanitarian crises across the globe. Our global plan facilitates effective, rapid and coordinated responses to humanitarian crises, supporting prompt life-saving action by humanitarian agencies, generously financed by governmental, private and individual donors.

The global event was held in Geneva with simultaneous launches in Berlin, Brussels, London and Washington, D.C. These events are part of a global strategy to engage decision-makers and humanitarian actors in highlighting the key themes covered in the 2020 GHO, encourage generous contributions to humanitarian response, and amplify the voices of affected people.

Resources for Media

A Message from UN Secretary-General António Guterres
About the GHO
B-roll and Shot List
Data set: Needs and requirements – Overview for 2020 [GHO 2020
pp. 28-29]

GHO 2020 Photographs
Press Releases – Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish
USG/ERC Mark Lowcock’s Remarks at the launch of the Global Humanitarian Overview 2020 in Geneva

Global Launch

Geneva

Theme: Driving a better response in a challenging world
Concept Note

Registration for the event is now closed. Please visit the registration page for more information.

For directions, please refer to the Map of the Palais des Nations.

Click here to view the live event from 4 December 2019.

Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against

Rockstrom-Nature
The growing threat of abrupt and irreversible climate changes must compel political and economic action on emissions.

Timothy M. Lenton, Johan Rockström, Owen Gaffney, Stefan Rahmstorf, Katherine Richardson, Will Steffen & Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

PDF version

Politicians, economists and even some natural scientists have tended to assume that tipping points1 in the Earth system — such as the loss of the Amazon rainforest or the West Antarctic ice sheet — are of low probability and little understood. Yet evidence is mounting that these events could be more likely than was thought, have high impacts and are interconnected across different biophysical systems, potentially committing the world to long-term irreversible changes.

Here we summarize evidence on the threat of exceeding tipping points, identify knowledge gaps and suggest how these should be plugged. We explore the effects of such large-scale changes, how quickly they might unfold and whether we still have any control over them.

In our view, the consideration of tipping points helps to define that we are in a climate emergency and strengthens this year’s chorus of calls for urgent climate action — from schoolchildren to scientists, cities and countries.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) introduced the idea of tipping points two decades ago. At that time, these ‘large-scale discontinuities’ in the climate system were considered likely only if global warming exceeded 5 °C above pre-industrial levels. Information summarized in the two most recent IPCC Special Reports (published in 2018 and in September this year)2,3 suggests that tipping points could be exceeded even between 1 and 2 °C of warming (see ‘Too close for comfort’).

If current national pledges to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions are implemented — and that’s a big ‘if’ — they are likely to result in at least 3 °C of global warming. This is despite the goal of the 2015 Paris agreement to limit warming to well below 2 °C. Some economists, assuming that climate tipping points are of very low probability (even if they would be catastrophic), have suggested that 3 °C warming is optimal from a cost–benefit perspective. However, if tipping points are looking more likely, then the ‘optimal policy’ recommendation of simple cost–benefit climate-economy models4 aligns with those of the recent IPCC report2. In other words, warming must be limited to 1.5 °C. This requires an emergency response.

Ice collapse

We think that several cryosphere tipping points are dangerously close, but mitigating greenhouse-gas emissions could still slow down the inevitable accumulation of impacts and help us to adapt.

Research in the past decade has shown that the Amundsen Sea embayment of West Antarctica might have passed a tipping point3: the ‘grounding line’ where ice, ocean and bedrock meet is retreating irreversibly. A model study shows5 that when this sector collapses, it could destabilize the rest of the West Antarctic ice sheet like toppling dominoes — leading to about 3 metres of sea-level rise on a timescale of centuries to millennia. Palaeo-evidence shows that such widespread collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet has occurred repeatedly in the past.

The latest data show that part of the East Antarctic ice sheet — the Wilkes Basin — might be similarly unstable3. Modelling work suggests that it could add another 3–4 m to sea level on timescales beyond a century.

The Greenland ice sheet is melting at an accelerating rate3. It could add a further 7 m to sea level over thousands of years if it passes a particular threshold. Beyond that, as the elevation of the ice sheet lowers, it melts further, exposing the surface to ever-warmer air. Models suggest that the Greenland ice sheet could be doomed at 1.5 °C of warming3, which could happen as soon as 2030.

Thus, we might already have committed future generations to living with sea-level rises of around 10 m over thousands of years3. But that timescale is still under our control. The rate of melting depends on the magnitude of warming above the tipping point. At 1.5 °C, it could take 10,000 years to unfold3; above 2 °C it could take less than 1,000 years6. Researchers need more observational data to establish whether ice sheets are reaching a tipping point, and require better models constrained by past and present data to resolve how soon and how fast the ice sheets could collapse.

Whatever those data show, action must be taken to slow sea-level rise. This will aid adaptation, including the eventual resettling of large, low-lying population centres.

A further key impetus to limit warming to 1.5 °C is that other tipping points could be triggered at low levels of global warming. The latest IPCC models projected a cluster of abrupt shifts7 between 1.5 °C and 2 °C, several of which involve sea ice. This ice is already shrinking rapidly in the Arctic, indicating that, at 2 °C of warming, the region has a 10–35% chance3 of becoming largely ice-free in summer.

…(read more).

Global Environment Outlook | UNEP – UN Environment Programme

GEO-6 Process

Global Environment Outlook 6 Launched! Click here to access the report

The sixth edition of the Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) provides

a clear assessment of the current state of the environment, the challenges that we face and how well we have dealt with them, with due consideration given to gender, indigenous knowledge and cultural dimensions. The assessment lays the foundation for continued socio-environmental assessments across relevant scales, with a thematic as well as an integrated focus, enabling and informing societal transitions and the tracking of Sustainable Development Goal targets and goals as well as previously agreed internationally environmental goals. The enhanced policy analysis in this sixth edition is aimed at assisting member states to position themselves on the most effective pathways for transformations toward a sustainable future. The preparation of the sixth edition of the Global Environment Outlook involved various activities to bring experts and stakeholders together as well as update the world on the process as well as the progress of the report. These activities included; global author’s meetings, Monthly newsletters, Outreach Events, Visioning workshops, and the use of the Environment Live platform.

Read More

 

World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency | BioScience | Oxford Academic

Bioscience-warning

BioScience, biz088, https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biz088   Published:  05 November 2019

William J Ripple, Christopher Wolf, Thomas M Newsome, Phoebe Barnard, William R Moomaw, World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency, BioScience, , biz088, https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biz088

Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to “tell it like it is.” On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.

Exactly 40 years ago, scientists from 50 nations met at the First World Climate Conference (in Geneva 1979) and agreed that alarming trends for climate change made it urgently necessary to act. Since then, similar alarms have been made through the 1992 Rio Summit, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, and the 2015 Paris Agreement, as well as scores of other global assemblies and scientists’ explicit warnings of insufficient progress (Ripple et al. 2017). Yet greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are still rapidly rising, with increasingly damaging effects on the Earth’s climate. An immense increase of scale in endeavors to conserve our biosphere is needed to avoid untold suffering due to the climate crisis (IPCC 2018).

Most public discussions on climate change are based on global surface temperature only, an inadequate measure to capture the breadth of human activities and the real dangers stemming from a warming planet (Briggs et al. 2015).

Policymakers and the public now urgently need access to a set of indicators that convey the effects of human activities on GHG emissions and the consequent impacts on climate, our environment, and society. Building on prior work (see supplemental file S2), we present a suite of graphical vital signs of climate change over the last 40 years for human activities that can affect GHG emissions and change the climate (figure 1), as well as actual climatic impacts (figure 2). We use only relevant data sets that are clear, understandable, systematically collected for at least the last 5 years, and updated at least annually.

…(read more).

PDF Version

See related:  The Alliance of World Scientists