Still a chance for survival?

A new report in Nature Communications states that if, from the end of 2018, there were no new fossil-fuel powered installations, and existing ones were replaced with renewable alternatives, then we could keep global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees C, the aim of the Paris Accord.

With climate-change-denying governments in power in various countries, including the USA and now Brazil, and with coal and oil money lubricating many politicians in other countries, this is not practically possible, but at least gives us ammunition to fight the dinosaurs.

Right now, we are suffering the consequences of a 1 degree global rise since the start of the Industrial Revolution (Revolting Industry?). This has killed millions of people, caused terrible suffering in many places, and billions of dollars of damage. A 1.5 degree rise will not be heaven — but at least should be survivable.

Trouble is, this study follows the pattern of most others: single line thinking. It is horrendously optimistic. Apart from politics, we need to consider many other interacting factors. Examples are plastic and overfishing destroying marine life at a great rate; the destruction of topsoil and its replacement by human settlements, roads, dams etc.; world population growth, which will increase simply because such a high proportion of the population is under 25 years old; and the effects of social pressures on aggression including wars and terrorism.

What we need is a new culture that does things differently, not merely the same things with different technology. Above all, we need compassion instead of conflict, simplifying instead of spending. We are the future past generations have stolen from. There is no future for us to steal from.

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About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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7 Responses to Still a chance for survival?

  1. Rhobin says:

    As usually, I agree with your analysis and I also don’t believe those with money and power in the U.S. will change their stances. It’s all about the money for them. Do I think they know about the dangers? Yes I do. But believe they think they can buy a safe place to live. And very few in media or power talk about human over-population even as it causes the extinction of so many other species. I worry about my children and grand-childrens’ futures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Thank you, Rhobin. Yes, cognitive dissonance has a lot to answer for. They think they’ll go to New Zealand (has the same problems), or Mars (pie in the sky), or eat their money.
      It’s a miracle a global crash hasn’t come so far. But it’s all right. This planet is a school for souls, one of many billions. When the students have burned it down, we can meet in some other school.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Sound Eagle, my dear young friend, I agree with every word you have written, and I hope lots of visitors will read your comment. As you will know from looking around my blog, I have also lived a life of deliberate simplicity for many years, as a form of environmental action.
    My aim in everything I do, including my writing, is to work for a survivable world, and one worth surviving in.
    As you and I know, an as I’ve said in this post, this is not a matter of energy use, or technology, but attitudes. While I agree that we have evolved to deal with a world in which expansion was beneficial to having more offspring, and that is hardwired, we also have choices. Genetics is not doom, but potential and tendency.
    Humanity needs to choose to change. It’s probably too late, but we should do our best anyway. And the tragedy is not if we join the dinosaurs, but all the damage we are doing to other people like frogs and elephants and trees and birds and all the many other kinds of beautiful life on this planet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your reply here and for offering me to read “Doom Healer”.

      Regarding alien civilizations, there is still the enigma of the Fermi paradox. I have read Carl Sagan’s Project Blue Book many years ago. There is now a TV series of that name, even though I am almost certain that I do not have the time to watch it.

      In any case, I have mentioned how extra-terrestrial contacts may challenge our ongoing speciesism in my multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary post entitled “SoundEagle in Debating Animal Artistry and Musicality” at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/soundeagle-in-debating-animal-artistry-and-musicality/

      I do hope that you will read my said posts and give me your feedback and critiques in the respective comment sections of those posts.

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    • Please be informed that you might need to use a desktop or laptop computer with a large screen to view the rich multimedia contents available for heightening your multisensory enjoyment at my websites, some of which could be too powerful and feature-rich for iPad, iPhone, tablet or other portable devices to handle properly or adequately. A fast broadband connection is also helpful. 🙂

      If your web browser can run Adobe Flash Player properly, then you will be able to play games, solve puzzles and/or see more animations on my websites.

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  3. Moreover, even if we could indeed manage to find some ingenious ways to stave off an ecological crisis or environmental holocaust, we are still very much going to face certain latent, intractable and/or escalating issues and dilemmas. In a few decades or even much sooner, we could indeed end up with the futuristic scenario as depicted in my post published at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/facing-the-noise-music-playgrounds-for-biophobic-citizens/

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  4. Hello Dr Bob Rich,

    I agree with you that the culture of expansion and exploitation as well as the ever-burgeoning population is the crux and bottleneck.

    Since the human species has not (always, adequately and/or consistently) been a good custodian of the environment and the Earth (not to mention countless wars, atrocities, resource depletions, species extinctions, environmental degradations and so on, plus an area of rainforest as big as 100,000 football courts is being cleared or destroyed everyday), there is no assurance that once the human species migrates to another planet, the same problems would not again surface and plague us, perhaps at an even quickening and/or devastating pace as a result of better and greater expansion, production and technology. We would indeed export our baggage and problems to other worlds!

    A friend of mine wrote to me:

    I think if we went to Mars, we’d deal to it the same way we’re currently dealing to Earth. Richard Attenborough summed it up when he referred to us as the ‘scourge’ of the planet. Caused an outcry, but it seems to be true. Jared Diamond has published a good analysis of it, if a little deterministic for my liking. The reason would seem to be a faulty survival mechanism – hard-wired techniques for maximising resources that worked when we were on the ragged edge of extinction in the ice age, but now serve to create problems.

    Perhaps we could also liken humans as cancer cells on the petri dish that is Earth.

    Extinction is a euphemism for extermination, considering how many and the manner in which members of many endangered species have met their fate and untimely end.

    99% of all species that ever appear on Earth are already extinct since life began.

    The average lifespan of a species is one million years. The human species (counting the early hominids) has lasted six million years. Extinction is the rule; survival is the exception.

    Even if humanity were to survive and later conquer other planets, there will be no guarantee that humanity will not repeat its mistakes and export its problems to other extra-terrestrial worlds.

    Personally, I do not use any hot water at all, not even in the dead of winter, the coldest time of the year. I also don’t use any form of heating to warm the house during winter.

    As for plastics, I create the space at home to store them and give them a second or third use, and seldom just throw them away in the rubbish bin, not even just directly into the recycle bin.

    I also travel as little as I can to cut down my ecological footprints.

    As you know, we are already in the midst of the Sixth Great Extinction. If you are interested, the main issue is twofold: speciesism and anthropocentricism. Until we critically deal with the main issue, even environmentalism in all its diversity may not suffice to turn things around, as discussed in my multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary post entitled “SoundEagle in Debating Animal Artistry and Musicality” at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/soundeagle-in-debating-animal-artistry-and-musicality/, which is simultaneously witty and serious about a number of outstanding issues.

    The said post actually ventures far beyond whatever its title may suggest or mean to any reader, especially in the very long “Conclusions” section. Please note the ISEA Model that I have devised to analyse and describe the Instrumental, Spiritual, Pro-Environment and Pro-Animal/Plant perspectives.

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