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Author Topic: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?  (Read 31765 times)

JimD

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #50 on: April 07, 2015, 06:32:24 PM »
ASLR

Quote
...This is very much a continuation of the type of "privatization" that Dick Cheney brought to the services side of the US military (catering, security, base construction, etc.), and is a tip of the spear of the 1%'s goals of privatizing other public infrastructure from ports, to roads, to inland waterways, to future adaptions to resist coming climate change, for which citizens will need to pay "user fees" (not taxes) in order to benefit from.  These are all examples of vulture capitalism, that accelerate when opportunistic elites see opportunities for profiteering during times of stress (& increasingly climate change induced stress)....

I am not sure if you are implying that this privatization of federal lands movement is an outgrowth from the time of the Bush administrations or not.  But if that is what you are indicating it is completely mistaken.

The belief among various political movements over American history that federal lands should not exist in an significant amount and that all land under the control of the US should pass to private hands for use is as old as our country.  There have been gigantic land giveaways at various times throughout our history.  Most of these were done with the goal of generating a growing economy.  My family participated in several of these programs as several different generations were allowed to homestead federal land and eventually get free title to it without having to pay for it.  When the transcontinental railroad was built in the 1860's as an inducement to get the railroads to build it they were given title to 'every other square mile' on each side of the railroad from the Mississippi River to California.

During the creation of the National forest system the "only" way that agreement could be reached was to set it up so that private citizens could access that wealth (be it logging, mining or whatever).  There was fierce opposition to the National Forest system being created and even afterwords.  The system has been run mostly to help businesses.  The same kind of history follows the structure of US mining law.  If you place a claim and mine it on federal land you don't have to pay the taxpayers much of anything and the government will build you the roads you need.

Having grown up in Wyoming a long time ago I can state for certain that very strong feelings pervade the western US over there being so much federal land out west.  In Wyoming I believe the percentage of its land which is federally owned is over 80%.  This type of figure is common out west.  The people who live here hate it.  And it is not a small percentage of them.  There was a rancher in Nevada who was in the news a bunch a year of so ago who had refused to pay his federal grazing fees for a couple of decades and owed the taxpayers over 1 million.  The BLM decided that they were going to round up his cattle on federal land and sell them for the money owed.  A few hundred extremist rightwing states rights anti-government militia members from all over the country (including some of my neighbors here in AZ) loaded up their trucks with their assault rifles, ammo and food and went to his ranch to protect it from the feds.  It came very close to an actual battle with guns drawn.  If the sheriff had not backed down many would have died.  The rancher has never paid and the authorities leave him alone and the militia guys keep a permanent camp and lookouts at his ranch still.  Nevada state politicians have protected him and the militias from prosecution so far (and these guys had 15-20 policemen under gun point).  Most of the people I grew up with felt exactly this way.

Conservative political philosophy of the kind predominant out here in the west does not believe in federal lands.  Many of them do not even believe in National Parks.  If you believe in almost no government (anarchist/llibertarian ideology) then, yes, all roads should be privately owned and you pay to use them, you contract out the security/military functions and do not have standing armies or large security forces, etc.  There is an extensive body of work on this type of thought going back hundreds of years.  Our modern outlook on how to manage these issues is not the only way it is looked at and our current method is wholly dependent on our ability to maintain a very structured complex societal structure.

As we decline over the next few decades my bet is that federal control will cease and the folks who have access to the land will do what the hell they want with it.  And there will be no one with the means or will to stop them.  Global cooperation?  Hmmm....
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

AbruptSLR

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #51 on: April 07, 2015, 08:08:44 PM »
JimD,

Thank you for another very thoughtful post, which provides a counter-balancing perspective to my brief (incomplete) post.  However, while I do not dispute the historical color commentary that you provide, I must say that I have come to distrust the position that you are articulating as much as I distrust the Green BAU position that others on this forum are promoting. 

I believe that it is fanciful to believe that if we accelerate the collapse of the modern socio-economic system that the remaining population will live according to anarchist/libertarian ideals.  Thus I continue to promote trying to correct the short-comings of our current dysfunctional modern socio-economic system (which will certainly include CoP21 in one form or another, that will certainly fall far short of a climate change solution).

However, as I doubt that we can convince each other of the correctness of our respective different positions, I think that we may need to agree to disagree.

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

wili

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #52 on: April 07, 2015, 08:47:14 PM »
There is kind of a middle ground, it seems to me, between uncontrolled collapse and Green (or other) BAU--a planned reduction in complexity.

A lot of that would look a bit like some of what some libertarians and anarchists (there is a distinction, you know) are calling for.

That would involve, if not total dissolution of the national gov, at least devolving a lot of power back to states and perhaps regions. The anarchist side would say that this should also involve dissolving others centers of power, such as corporations, or severely limiting their power.

Most of the people that I know who are inside politics admit that, while at the local and state level it is still sometimes possible to create sane policies, the federal level is just too hopelessly swamped with well funded powerful interests and other dysfunctions to have much hope of getting much of anything effective and sane in place. So there might not be all that much lost from reducing power at that level.

The problem is that corporate power, already pretty much in charge at the national level, can in any one instant generally really totally overwhelm smaller local elections and decisions making if they want to. So it's not really a devolution of power unless somehow the corporate monster is slain.

Tainter in one of his videos notes that there have, in fact, been a (very) few instances in history when complex societies and empires have chosen to de-complexify in order to avoid total collapse, but they really had to have their backs to the wall to make this radical move. I believe one example was the Byzantine Empire devolving much of its power to local districts under pressure from Arab invaders. It lead to what was known as the Byzantine Dark Ages, but eventually the empire recovered and had in the meantime preserved much of its essential character.

at about minute 4
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 08:57:20 PM by wili »
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ccgwebmaster

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #53 on: April 07, 2015, 10:57:46 PM »
There is kind of a middle ground, it seems to me, between uncontrolled collapse and Green (or other) BAU--a planned reduction in complexity.

I agree with you about Tainter in principle but how is there a genuine middle ground when right now nobody is really talking about collapse in the bigger picture, let along controlling it or strategies for dealing with it? (and whatever strategy you choose, how are you going to sell it to the "losers" which assuredly there will be, and which until now have squarely been those who must suffer the future being inflicted upon them as they are powerless to represent themselves)

Intellectually I agree with at least some things some people are saying about various management strategies and ideas to cope with this, but practically, my money (literally) and efforts are more in alignment with what JimD states.

To act effectively we have to have meaningful understanding of real world constraints. If we were going to do what would be a good idea, what we should or could have done - we would have already avoided all this mess, but we did not. Expecting sudden transformation to common sense as stress factors rise is ... well, magical thinking.

We can only operate within reality, including the failures of our species, past and current (and by reasonable extrapolation future). To fail to do so is to continue to fail our and later generations.

LRC1962

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #54 on: April 08, 2015, 12:06:54 AM »
Based on historical examples I see only one of two paths. Example one is when the bowl years occurred which has always been acknowledged as a man made disaster. That was only fixed when FDR introduced farming practice regulations that actually saved a greater catastrophe in the 50's. Government regulation did that not private industry doing the right thing.
The other example can be taken from almost every empire collapse that is known. In almost every case environmental degradation can be pointed at as being a major influence in the collapse. In each of those cases the environmental issues were ignored or papered over and in the end the environment helped greatly in the downfall. Based on that premise if the governments of the world do not make major regulatory changes very soon, BAU is going to be the BAU of the Dark Ages because I can guarantee you Shell Oil, Exxon, Walmart, MacDonalds ..... are not going to fork over the money and make changes on their own to fix what needs to be fixed.
"All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second,  it is violently opposed; and Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
       - Arthur Schopenhauer

JimD

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #55 on: April 08, 2015, 12:09:52 AM »
ASLR

I hope you don't think I am advocating for the anarchist/libertarian ideology.  I am just trying to give an accurate picture of how a large and influential group thinks.  I just happen to have been raised in that world and speak it pretty well.  I think many aspects of it not at all good ideas...and some I admit I favor.

The trouble (in my mind) with being an adherent to any political ideology is that, in rough terms, each one is on the right track about 1/3 of the time, and dead wrong about 1/3 of the time and the last 1/3  they are neither right or wrong.  The great problem for all of us is it is not possible to know in advance which of the 3rds we are dealing with at any given time.

My opinion is that for the global governance that many have wanted to actually have occurred we would have needed the wealth to allow one more step up the civilizational complexity ladder.  That wealth did not come and is not coming.  Close, but no cigar!  In the real world of today's politics and strategic confrontations between nations which are clearly struggling to maintain their relative positions it would be very difficult to paint a probable scenario where any form of real global governance could come about.  We have peaked in other words.  All indications are that there will be a global decline going forward and for many it is already well underway.

It is inevitable when decline occurs in a centrally managed organization like the US that the power to make decisions about issues in the various regions will tend to migrate towards those local powers.  This is just part of human nature that people want to make decisions about what effects them themselves.  Decline just feeds this natural tendency as lowering overall complexity reduces the need for taking into account global issues.  This trend clearly does not favor us dealing with climate change on a globally organized basis.  And it definitely is my opinion that we will not get to any globally organized response to climate change unless that response is managed via an imposed  authoritarian system.  And there is no nice way to get to that situation.  I do not actually think it will ever happen that way but the attempt is certainly possible sometime in the future.  But I would expect it to fail.

I expect collapse to result in the world getting MUCH larger.  Global level organizations will lose effectiveness, then regional blocks, then large countries and so on.  There are many here in the US who would welcome this situation (to their ultimate regret I am sure).

wili;

I have fun discussions with my anarchist relatives (party members) about whether libertarians are anarchists.  In a pure sense there is no argument as they are clearly descended from the conservative side of the anarchist ideology.  After all it is not a coincidence that the original name for this political ideology was Libertarian-Anarchism.  Our current US libertarians are clearly a local branch of what are known as Anarcho-Capitalists with a strong influence in outlook based upon very conservative views of what our constitution means.  Sort of an American version of the anarcho-capitalist.  Now my relatives who are Syndicalists (left wing) really do not like the Libertarians and tend to state that they are not 'real' anarchists but rather some form of fascists.   I'm not convinced, but it may be a fair argument.

And I do agree there is a middle ground where degrowth could live and make things much better.  But we have to get the BAU crowd out of the way....

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

AbruptSLR

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #56 on: April 08, 2015, 01:48:33 AM »
JimD,

First, I do not believe that when decline occurs that centrally managed systems (like the USA, China or Russia) naturally tend to migrate to local power.  As the attached graph shows that when Russia population dropped from about 170 million in 1910 down to about 140 million in 1920 (including WWI & the Russian Revolution), and dropped from about 195 million in 1941 to about 165 million in 1945 (i.e. during WWII); in both cases the central government was strengthened.

Second, when I talk about nations working together towards CoP21, I am not talking about one world government; so your talk about a global totalitarian state sounds extreme.

Personally I believe that CoP21 will limit global mean temperature rise to about 3 C by 2050-2060; after which coalitions of governments with common interests will band together (like a NATO sphere, a China sphere and a Russian sphere, of influence), for trade tariffs against outsiders, for mutual defense, and for geoengineering implementation.  I would expect world population to drop from 9 to 10 Billion in 2050 to about 4 to 5 Billion by 2100, however, I do not believe that the losses will be evenly distributed between countries.  In this picture individual central governments continue to exist, and hopefully they will learn more sustainable behavior sometime between 2070 & 2100 possibly including by AI.

Got to run,
ASLR
« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 04:33:36 AM by AbruptSLR »
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Laurent

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #57 on: April 08, 2015, 09:45:02 AM »
May be that does fit in here :
Can the world economy survive without fossil fuels?
http://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/apr/08/can-world-economy-survive-without-fossil-fuels
Quote
This is one of the reasons why the deep-green approach to climate change is fraught with difficulty. The fossil fuel companies are in business because we want the products that fossil fuels make and power. It is not just a question of supply, but also a question of demand, which is why many people now have more than one smartphone and lust after the Apple watch. Does this make us any happier?

AbruptSLR

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #58 on: April 08, 2015, 05:39:48 PM »
May be that does fit in here :
Can the world economy survive without fossil fuels?
http://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/apr/08/can-world-economy-survive-without-fossil-fuels
Quote
This is one of the reasons why the deep-green approach to climate change is fraught with difficulty. The fossil fuel companies are in business because we want the products that fossil fuels make and power. It is not just a question of supply, but also a question of demand, which is why many people now have more than one smartphone and lust after the Apple watch. Does this make us any happier?

Laurent,

Thanks for the interesting linked article; however, their conclusion that as a transitory measure we should accelerate the switch from coal to natural gas seem to me to be very risky at best, as the methane concentration in the atmosphere is currently raising very quickly and I believe that we will all regret this trend very shortly.

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

Laurent

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #59 on: April 08, 2015, 05:43:46 PM »
I do share the same point of view as you (mine would be even more radical...I am not for violence in any case just at the last end). I did put the link for infos of what others try to push.

JimD

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #60 on: April 08, 2015, 09:18:48 PM »
ASLR

I am not sure that using the example of Russia/Soviet Union in that timeframe to base your conclusion on is a good idea.  Even during the great wars the overall world economy was not being crushed and there was significant growth.  Additionally the global population was not in decline even during those wars.  We were fully in the adding phase of civilizational complexity and only getting started with the exploitation of fossil fuels.

Going forward we will be in real decline and, as you point out, eventually dramatic population reductions will occur.  In those circumstances I think events will unfold quite differently.  But you and I will of course not be around to admit our mistakes and crow about our good predictions...should we be so inclined.

You mention that you think there will be a population decline of 5 billion in 50 years.  You are better at math than I am so I will ask you to run the numbers for us.  I have done it myself a number of times and that scale of reduction is not possible via the commonly stated methods of reducing birth rates, educating women, rising affluence and all that stuff.    So run the numbers and paint me a picture how that scale of reduction does not result in a civilizational structure radically different than any BAU scenario can get us to.  What my numbers tell me is the story of a large collapse and there is no BAU picture I have ever seen which trumps those numbers.

Global population is growing at near 80 million a year presently.  Your numbers give a net reduction of 100 million a year for 50 years.  About 130 million are born each year right now. 

And how do you avoid collapse in this circumstance.  Climate change effects will be very severe by then and over the span of time from now to then how much further will carrying capacity be reduced.  And it is worth pointing out that carrying capacity is less than your 4-5 billion in 2100 number right now.  Agricultural collapse is likely to be underway in earnest by 2050 if the numbers and trends do not lie.  There are of course lots of other factors which make impacts I have not mentioned here.

Personally I don't think we will ever see the 9-10 billion number as I expect events to overtake us before then and the birth/death rates to come to equalization sooner than 2050.  But I still see no logic to avoid collapse.  And that gets back to my main point I always return to.  Collapse is so certain and effects of that collapse are so dire that the situation is to be avoided at all costs.  BAU green or black makes things worse not better as it uses up so many resources in a futile attempt to not change our way of life.  The only rational thing to do is to start dramatic change now in order to reduce the magnitude of future suffering and in order to leave as many resources and a less destroyed world to our descendants. 
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

oren

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #61 on: April 09, 2015, 12:31:12 AM »
So in the vein of a nation deciding to position itself for the coming collapse, how do you see a single-child policy? Does it make the nation stronger, as it will need less food and other resources during the collapse, or weaker, as it will lack young strong hands when the time comes?

Beyond this question, could the immediate enactment of a global single-child policy bring about a managed partial collapse in a relatively easy manner within a few decades? And might it be enough to save us? As it should decrease the pressure on all resources as we move forward.

Personally I believe such a policy can only be enacted in an authoritarian country, and that even if applied globally it will be too slow to save us, but I am keen to hear experts' opinions on the matter.

AbruptSLR

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #62 on: April 09, 2015, 02:06:22 AM »
Jim & oren,

As I am not retired, and my family keeps me busy when I am not working, I will keep my responses as brief as practicable:

First, my points are in-line with George Orwell's in his book 1984, in that authoritarian states are more than willing to crush individualism & individuals in order to maintain control.  Furthermore they are willing to sustain more or less perpetual war over the zones of influence of three, or more, central countries/authorities.  Certainly, the death of 4 to 5 billion people over 50-years qualifies as an Orwellian nightmare where reproduction, consumption, and deaths occur under the heavy hand of central state controlled authoritarianism.

Second, my point about Russian population declines is most relevant for the period during and after the Russian Revolution where Orwellian central state control maintained itself in the face of steep population drops.  Similarly, the attached graph of Chinese population shows that from 1958 to 1962 the Chinese population dropped by 13 million people in peacetime, when the "Great Leap Forward" lead to millions of people starving to death but no reduction in the power of the central state authority.

Third, to respond to oren's question, the same graph shows that in 1979 China adopted (and physically tired to impose) a one child policy; which, was followed by continued population growth from about 900 million to about 1.3 billion and a now rapidly aging population.  I think that China did what it thought necessary and it is probably better-off for doing so, even if it is now becoming less strict on the one child policy.  While I do not believe that modern democratic countries can impose such strict one-child policies any time soon, I imagine that after 2040 to 2050 many democracies will impose martial law and then will impose (physically) restrictions on numbers of children allowed and on consumption.

Finally, I believe that the state elite in many countries are counting on rapid development of robots, smart equipment/infrastructure & AI becoming widespread by 2040 to 2050; which will help stabilize civilization even if the population is dropping due to a combination of: authoritarian population control, warfare, drought, famine, pollution, disease, etc.  Furthermore, as most military equipment are heavily dependent on fossil fuels, I imagine that many countries will try to ensure that they have ready access to developed oil/gas reserves (say from fracking and the Arctic) by 2040 to 2050.

I only hope that if I am right about a coming Orwellian period from 2050 to 2100, that it is followed by a more enlightened period, as with regard to climate change human willpower/wisdom is the problem, and without some form of human/social enlightenment after 2100 we may indeed continue to spiral down to feudal states but I hope not. 

Best,
ASLR
« Last Edit: April 09, 2015, 02:26:25 AM by AbruptSLR »
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #63 on: April 10, 2015, 12:04:25 AM »
Per the linked article: "Robert Reich: The rich have bought America’s silence - The former secretary of labor on the insidious ways colleges and nonprofits are beholden to their wealthy donors."

http://www.salon.com/2015/04/08/robert_reich_the_rich_have_bought_americas_silence_partner/
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

JackTaylor

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #64 on: April 10, 2015, 02:28:09 PM »
A 'snippet' from AbruptSLR link above.  Thanks
Quote
http://www.salon.com/2015/04/08/robert_reich_the_rich_have_bought_americas_silence_partner/
"So the presidents of universities, congregations, and think tanks, other nonprofits are now kissing wealthy posteriors as never before."
Should they receive nominations for the annual Equine Posterior Achievement Award?
http://www.commondreams.org/pressreleases/may99/051999d.htm

It's been around forever - more BAU, IMHO.

The same as knowing which side your bread is buttered on,
or
knowing who butters your bread.



JimD

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #65 on: April 10, 2015, 07:24:24 PM »
ASLR & oren

No problem.  We are just chewing things over here...what we say has little to no impact in my estimation.  We are all collectively fascinated with watching the train wreck.

One of the take aways from looking at the episodes of mass death in the Middle Ages and the 20th century is the deep momentum in the growth of the human population.  While in localized areas for periods of a few years there have been some reasonably significant periods of stagnation in populations and, in the case of the Black Death in Europe or the huge population drop in the Americas  following the introduction of disease from Europe (the 2 biggest percentage population drops we know of) some big declines, we have never seen anything like the reductions in population we are talking about here.

WWII may have resulted in 60 million deaths over the period from 1938-1945.  Less than 10 million a year.  This did not significantly slow global population growth and did not result in a decline in total population.  What ALSR has mentioned would result in a net decline of 100 million a year.  In effect when compared to WWII this would be an impact at the equivalent of FOUR WWII's each and every year.  For 50 years.  This is a solid definition of catastrophic collapse.

We see this by the following:

Current global population growth is approx 75 million a year
Global death rate is approx 55 million a year
Global birth rate is approx 130 million a year.

Keep the births the same and the death rate has to go to 230 million a year to get a net loss of 100 million.  You can work the numbers several ways but the effective result is the same every time.  You just move the impact to a different place.

A one child per couple (not per person) started now would be a huge help by the time we get to 2050.  But it would not solve the problem by itself.  What would be much more effective would be 1 child per every TWO couples ( start a lottery). 

This is of course the very degrowth (or managed collapse) I advocate for all the time.

While it would take a good 10-15 years for this program to really have a big impact, by 2050 it would result in a much lower population than we have now (vice the insane 9-10 BAU will bring us).  It also would result in a HUGE drop in carbon emissions far in excess of anything else and would facilitate all of the technological transitions others advocate for.  Green BAU in a rapidly declining population has real benefits because it occurs while we are heading back towards the positive side of the global carrying capacity number (which will continue to decline away from us until we cross back over into positive territory)..but we can catch it in this scenario.  If we implemented this we also can keep the collapse in agriculture from happening around 2050 as the drop in population reduces demand for food.  Thus the huge decline in our ability to produce food due to declining carrying capacity, loss of the use of fossil fuels and worsening climate change will not overtake us.

Thus if we implemented the population reduction program in concert with the Green BAU technologies we can get back to the positive side of the carrying capacity equation by around 2050.  We have then fundamentally solved one of the two critical problems.  And we create a situation where it may be possible to get a handle on the climate change problem.

It is not possible to solve the climate change problem if we do not solve the population - carrying capacity - problem.  As it is not possible to live in any conceivable modern civilizational structure and not have some level of positive carbon emissions per capita.  But we can deal with that IF we get the population down sufficiently.  If everyone on Earth today had a carbon footprint of the average African we would still be at about 7+ gigatonnes of emissions.  If we go to 9-10 billion that would be about 10 gigatonnes of emissions.  Even the best result of Green BAU is not going to get us below that number.  But if we have reduced our population to say 3 billion people ( and that is a lot of people still around) then we could be at 3 gigatonnes.  We can mange that I think - I hope anyway. 

This gives us a good chance.  We reduce the burden on the natural world.  Nature then works to our benefit again as we can let the vast forests regrow and suck up carbon, work further on reducing emissions, maybe (a very big maybe) institute some carefully thought out geo-engineering to sequester carbon to offset part of the 3 billion gigatonnes we still omit, and lots of other things of course.

This is a workable path forward and is doable, humane, and it rests on the moral and ethical high ground (a scary place for us to think about being I acknowledge).  Or we can choose to be the greedy selfish bastards we are more comfortable with being.

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

AbruptSLR

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #66 on: April 10, 2015, 10:05:08 PM »
It is my opinion that significant population control is too difficult for our modern socio-economic world market system to manage before conditions deteriorate sufficiently to declare martial law (which in my opinion will not occur before 2050).  This is why, at the moment, I continue to promote the use of carbon pricing (which would at least allow all income taxes and other sales taxes to be eliminated); which, I believe will become politically feasible in developed countries starting around 2025.  Nevertheless, for the rest of this post I focus on population projections. 
The linked 2014 UN population status report (with a free pdf), projects that by 2050 the world's population will be between 8.5 and 11 billion people (see also the attached image).

Furthermore, per the following extract, population growth in the 49 least developed countries in the world should double by 2050, and nine countries will account for more than half of the world's projected population increase.  Furthermore, this report states that this world population is continuing to both ages and to become more urban, and therefore, will consume more resources per capita (not less).

The world population is currently over 7.3 billion and its growth rate is currently not slowing; but rather the current trend is that every few years "expects" increase their projections of world population by 2050, due to measures such as those taken by the Gates Foundation in the developing world.  As the developing world in general has access to large quantities of relatively cheap coal, it is not realistic to believe that these developing countries will not follow the example set by China to improve their livelihoods by building more fossil fuel plants, often using financing provided by new development banks now being established by China.

Therefore, unless JimD can convince the state elites around the world to drastically control their various country's populations in the next decade or two; then I think that our time is better spent discussing how to convince the state elite how to correct the extant crony-capitalistic system (including regulations, carbon fees, family planning, etc.) in order to better help the population remaining after the coming collapse, beginning around 2040 to 2050 (which is only unavoidable because people will not change their thinking in time to take truly effective action).

http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/trends/Concise%20Report%20on%20the%20World%20Population%20Situation%202014/en.pdf

Extract: "During the period 2014-2050, nine countries are expected to account for more than half of the world’s projected increase: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the United Republic of Tanzania, the United States of America and Uganda.  Several of these countries are among the most populous today. Given its anticipated growth, India is projected to overtake China and become the world’s most populous country by 2028. High population growth rates prevail in many of the countries that are on the United Nations list of 49 least developed countries. Between 2014 and 2050, the total population of these countries is projected to double, according to the medium-fertility variant, putting additional pressure on resources and the environment and straining government capacities to provide high-quality services."
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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #67 on: April 10, 2015, 10:56:04 PM »
Further to my last post, the linked website about world population risks break-down this risk in many different ways including:

(1) The first figure shows that as populations age they tend to incur more debit; and as the average world population age will increase by 2050 (see the second attached image of the most probably UN projection, not the high-end projection), we can expect an increasing per capita carbon footprint rather than a decreasing footprint.

(2) The third figure shows that Africa will contribute the most to world population growth by 2050, which will attract foreign investment to spur economic growth, which will increase the carbon footprint of Africa by 2050; while the fourth figure shows that the age of the population in China (which is relatively rich compared to Africa) will increase rapidly, again increasing Asia's carbon footprint by 2100.


http://deconstructingrisk.com/2015/01/11/
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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #68 on: April 10, 2015, 11:37:28 PM »
For those who think that I may be exaggerating about the potential population declines after 2050, please consider that the linked article indicates that the UN recently warned that the entire planet will likely experience a 40 percent shortfall of water by 2030, and that individual countries will be hit even harder by that time (see extract):

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/20/water-shortfall-un_n_6908268.html?ir=Green&ncid=newsltushpmg00000003

Extract: "In agriculture-intense India, where studies show some aquifers are being depleted at the world's fastest rates, the shortfall has been forecast at 50 percent or even higher. Climate change is expected to make the situation worse, as higher temperatures and more erratic weather patterns could disrupt rainfall.

Currently, about 748 million people worldwide have poor access to clean drinking water, the report said, cautioning that economic growth alone is not the solution — and could make the situation worse unless reforms ensure more efficiency and less pollution.
"Unsustainable development pathways and governance failures have affected the quality and availability of water resources, compromising their capacity to generate social and economic benefits," it said. "Economic growth itself is not a guarantee for wider social progress.""
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #69 on: April 11, 2015, 05:09:26 PM »
ASLR

Quote
Therefore, unless JimD can convince the state elites around the world to drastically control their various country's populations in the next decade or two; then I think that our time is better spent discussing how to convince the state elite how to correct the extant crony-capitalistic system (including regulations, carbon fees, family planning, etc.) in order to better help the population remaining after the coming collapse, beginning around 2040 to 2050 (which is only unavoidable because people will not change their thinking in time to take truly effective action).

We seem to agree on the outlines of what is likely to happen re the climate, population and the general timing of when deep collapse happens.  We also agree that what I so strongly argue in favor of (degrowth or managed collapse) is not likely going to be implemented.  The conceptual hurdle is huge and implementation would be even more difficult.  Though rational it is not really possible in the real world.  I know that, but I must still point out that it is by far the best solution.

Unfortunately I don't think the approach you advocate for has much prospect of being implemented either.  There is strong support for that opinion in the data in your last several posts above.  The same level of global cooperation required to implement the approach I advocate for is also required for your approach. 

I am quite sure that at a very high level of policy and decision making both of our approaches have been looked at and analyses run.  And it is recognized that neither approach is practically possible in the real world.  This then gets right back to what I have stated a number of times before in different ways.

Globally managed approaches to the problems we face are not practical in the real world.  Technically possible yes, but beyond our capabilities.  So what do we do?

We plan to take care of ourselves as best as possible and let go over time everything which does not add to our fundamental goal of suffering the least decline ourselves.  This approach is going to be taken by almost everyone as they will be left with no other choice since the global cooperation regimes cannot be implemented (at least for several decades yet and they require authoritarian government to be implemented).  So we will all compete with each other to suffer the least decline and the weak and defenseless will fall by the wayside every so often (some will, of course, be pushed sad to say).  As this happens the death rates will rise and the curves in the graphs will flatten and then trend downwards - collapse. 

Desperate people will do everything they can to survive which will result in actions which worsen carbon emissions and do further damage to the globes carrying capacity.  It is quite possible that these types of actions will eventually result in responses from outside their countries/regions to stop those actions (your point about the poor in Africa burning coal for instance).  It will be perceived as a form of self defense even though there is no moral justification for such actions. 

One only has to read about what goes on in the world of politics, economics and the global struggle between countries, religions and races to see how difficult it has been and is to find ways to accommodate each others needs.  We have been totally trapped by our basic natures.  There is no indication that going forward we have the inclination to change our ways either. 

I expect we both can expect to be disappointed.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #70 on: April 11, 2015, 06:26:17 PM »
I expect we both can expect to be disappointed.

Jim,

While it is true that I am already disappointed in man's attempts to manage our current situation (which is not limited to just our management of climate change issues), my disappointment doesn't matter any more than a hill of beans.  Everyone (myself included) has a worldview that does not match reality (resulting in disappointment when our expectations are not met); but that does not mean that individually, or collectively, that we should stop working towards bringing our thinking more closely in alignment with reality (which will then reduce our individual and/or collective disappointments).

Historically (generally speaking), the state elite have been more than willing to throw the common man under the bus, and while you may be correct that once he/she finally wakes-up the common man may over-throw the state elites in a series of revolutions around the globe, leaving the "Marlboro-Man" types (rugged individuals) to live anarchist/libertarian lifestyles as best they can, I suspect that your thinking is well behind the reality of our current (& coming) "Information Age" (see the following Wiki link).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_Age
 
The state elite are currently (and will increasingly) use information to dominate the common man, even more than they are currently using (and used) crony-capitalism to buy/dominate/control the common man (may of who like to put on airs and pretend to be associated with the state elite).  By putting bandages (e.g. making the minor corrections to crony-capitalism that I have been discussing, such as CoP21, environmental regulations, some modern forms of family planning, some promotion of alternate energy, some cap-&-trade/carbon-pricing) on our current dysfunctional capitalistic world marketplace, the state elite are buying time for the Information Age to come into full-bloom.  By 2050, robots, AI, quantum computers, smart machines & infrastructure will make the state elite much less subject to overthrow by the common man (in the most crude example large numbers of industrial, & service industry, robots can easily be reprogrammed to physically defend the state elite from attacks by the common man [whether lead my "Marlboro-Men" or not]).

Who cares whether you and I are dead (or not) by that time; the Earth & science, do not even care whether mankind's numbers radically decrease; or that the survivors live under either feudal, or Orwellian, rule; or that the surviving humans live in parallel with hybrid (genetically and/or biomechanically) hominids (much like homo sapiens living side by side with Neanderthal).  While people's thinking resists change (& in a non-stationary situation this brings them seriously out of touch with reality), evolution (& economic survival of the fittest socio-economic action) has addressed this problem with the "Darwin Award".  Therefore, when you set-up the "Triage" thread you were promoting actions that would sustain your worldview; while I am more interested in bringing the worldview of those who survive the collapse (and the hybrid hominids that live in parallel with those survivors) into a more sustainable synergy with the ever changing, coming, reality (with a note that the quantum equation for the universe does not include any terms for time; which to me indicates that "change" only represents differences in information states).

Very best,
ASLR
« Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 06:33:52 PM by AbruptSLR »
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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #71 on: April 12, 2015, 06:18:27 PM »
ASLR

Quote
Historically (generally speaking), the state elite have been more than willing to throw the common man under the bus, and while you may be correct that once he/she finally wakes-up the common man may over-throw the state elites in a series of revolutions around the globe, leaving the "Marlboro-Man" types (rugged individuals) to live anarchist/libertarian lifestyles as best they can, I suspect that your thinking is well behind the reality of our current (& coming) "Information Age" (see the following Wiki link).

You have misunderstood me here.  That is not what I think is going to happen at all.  My thinking is much more inline with with your idea below that the powerful will do everything to stay in power that they can.  The rugged individualist is NOT going to thrive at all in the future.  As civilization collapses the span of control also diminishes.  Global, regional, country, state, county, city, town, village, tribe, clan, family.  Different places to different levels depending on their levels of wealth and access to resources.  At no place in this tableau does it tend towards the individualist.  Individualists were not highly regarding during our past history.  Those who were most strongly tied to their respective social organizations were.  The cult of individualism in America is not healthy and is especially dangerous going forward.  If America had less of this cultural frontier mentality we would be much more oriented towards fixing global problems rather than using them to maintain our relative dominance I think.

You seem to react very strongly to descriptions of how some people have been trained to think and come to their life approaches and to maybe attribute those thoughts to the speaker.  That is not me.  I am just trying to describe how I think people will behave.

It seems that you and I appear to have very different desires for the future of humanity.  I see the machine/human melding into a man/AI interface as an abomination.  While there are certainly a lot of people out there that I really dislike and many act in morally and ethically repugnant ways, I am for our species and humanity.  I am dead set against the kind of creature you speak of replacing us.  This creature you speak of is not an evolutionary advancement which is part of nature to me.  It is not an improvement of our basic being nor even just a change in it.  It denies our basic existence.  Should it actually become independently intelligent - sapient -, as you seem to hope for, it will eliminate or enslave us.  This is the way of things.  It is not something to be hoped for in any way as it leads to our extinction.  And most importantly we don't have any need of it.

Hoping for the Singularity is an example of what many describe as the 'religion' of Progress.  It has its own mythology and its own desire for The End of Days (our end).  Faith in Progress is no different than faith in any other kind of religion.  It is the opposite of rationality.

Your point about how the 'wealthy' elites like in America will use technology to manipulate and control the population is very accurate.  After all it is exactly what they have been doing for decades - it is just that the technology is getting better at it.  Technology has certainly made a large percentage of the population superfluous already as can be seen by the large numbers of people who have no access to meaningful lives.  And there will be no need to reprogram the robots to be soldiers as the DOD and industry are well into the projects to design and build specialized robotic soldiers and AI operated weapons systems.

But there is another point here that I think needs emphasis.  Given what you have said above about the intentions of the elites and how our technological developments work to support them.  And given my descriptions of how I think the elites are preparing for the future.  Where does any logical path lead to a future world of liberal democracy where we are governed by enlightened ideals.  The intensely constrained situation we face cannot lead to more freedom whether it follow my projected path or whether it follows yours.  Both lead to a huge excess of people, a huge collapse (whether it be what I project or you project it is a disaster for humanity), a demolished world and a diminished future.

I agree with your philosophical comments about our ultimate importance as you would know from my brief conversations with Martin on that subject.  But our insignificance in and to the universe does not imply there is something wrong with acting like we have purpose and meaning in our existence.  It is what has driven all the good parts of our past history.  It does not mean we lay down in the face of adversity and wish for our replacements to show up so we can pass quietly from the scene either.  Let alone try and make that happen.  Let's fight for humanity, not against it.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #72 on: April 13, 2015, 06:09:00 PM »
I agree with your philosophical comments about our ultimate importance as you would know from my brief conversations with Martin on that subject.  But our insignificance in and to the universe does not imply there is something wrong with acting like we have purpose and meaning in our existence.  It is what has driven all the good parts of our past history.  It does not mean we lay down in the face of adversity and wish for our replacements to show up so we can pass quietly from the scene either.  Let alone try and make that happen.  Let's fight for humanity, not against it.

Jim,

It can be very difficult to discuss such complex matters, so I will just say that even in the face of the coming collapse that I do have hope that mankind (in whatever evolutionary state that he/she is in after the collapse) can exert freewill to improve the their conditions.  At no time do I advocate laying down & shirking our individual/collective responsibilities to make things better, or to act like thralls to some preconceived ideas of the past or future.  I believe that everyone should learn better how to practice the art of living & just because our socio-economic system is apparently headed for a period of darker times, does not mean that there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

Have a Nice Day,
ASLR
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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #73 on: April 14, 2015, 05:09:32 AM »
I think that the linked article has a lot of relevance to this thread, in that it describes our social/legal pathway to destroy the commons (including destroying the common climate):

http://www.thenation.com/article/198513/killing-commons#
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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #74 on: April 17, 2015, 11:45:41 PM »
The first linked article discusses evidence that as mankind left the hunter-gather stage (& entered the agricultural stage that allowed for higher population densities) that well-connected social networks blossomed as more aggressive male (genetic) behavior diminished.  Another recent study (see the second link, & that attached image) found that at this same transitional stage the average ratio of genes passed down to subsequence generations indicated that on average the successfully reproductive man had 17 mates; which is a clear sign that social-networks (including organized farming, mining, trades & crafts) allowed more social males (whether cad-types or dad-types) to accumulate sufficient wealth to maximize their reproductive success.  It would seem logical that natural selection will further promote more social (empathic) behavior as we transition from the industrial age (dominated by fossil fuels) to the information age (which in my opinion will facilitate sustainable behavior with less externalization of dis-benefits like pollution and GHGs).

http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/Science-Notebook/2015/0416/Why-do-humans-have-chins

Extract: "The hormonal changes were associated with behavioral changes. As population density increased, small bands of hunter-gatherers began to encounter one another more frequently. As the number of interactions with outsiders increased, those who were less aggressive and more empathetic toward unfamiliar people – which tended to be men with relatively lower levels of testosterone – finally began to see success, cooperating to obtain food and sharing techniques to make tools, for instance.
"What we're arguing is that modern humans had an advantage at some point to have a well-connected social network, they can exchange information, and mates, more readily, there's innovation," says Franciscus in the press release, "and for that to happen, males have to tolerate each other."

http://phys.org/news/2015-03-wealth-power-stronger-role-survival.html
« Last Edit: April 22, 2015, 08:29:21 PM by AbruptSLR »
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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #75 on: April 22, 2015, 08:26:40 PM »
The title of this thread focuses on the question of the difference between "The Tragedy of the Commons" and the tendency for state elite to intentionally plan to acquire more power at the expense of others; apparently with the goal of finding a more effective path forward to fight climate change; as our current efforts are woefully inadequate.  As the two linked studies (focused on the socio-political divide between believers & skeptics in the USA with regard to climate change, with the four attached images coming from the Kahan (2015) reference) cite that the real reason that more progress isn't being made is not that we do not understand the science of climate change but rather that we do not yet effectively manage the socio-political conflict between these opposing groups who are vying for cultural status.  As I am a believer in anthropogenic climate change, I propose to post a short series of replies in this thread to address how to better manage this difference in world views w.r.t. climate change risk, and I for this series of posts I offer the following alter re-framed titles for this thread in order to better highlight these cultural differences:

"Gratitude vs Contempt for the Common Good" or "Rule by the Law vs Rule by the Man (with the corollary of the Fossil Fuel Industry's version of the Golden Rule: "He with the Gold Rules")"
In this re-framed gestalt, I postulate that so little has been achieved in the fight against climate change because the power elite (who promote Rule by Man with contempt for the common good w.r.t climate change) have corrupted (or undermined): politics, press-coverage, legislative & executive governmental branches, and even the scientific message conveyed by the IPCC.  Furthermore, I propose that the judicial branch of government may be one of the more effective manner to force the legislative & executive branches of government to appropriately internalize the externalization of dis-benefits of anthropogenic radiative forcing (which under current law amounts to theft by those who benefit vs those who sustain dis-benefit due to costs of non-internalized anthropogenic radiative forcing).  In the planned following series of posts I hope to examine a variety of issues associated with this socio-economic competition between believers & "skeptics", including: (a) philosophy, (b) information theory and (c) legal arguments to support judicially mandated corrections to our currently dysfunctional socio-economic system (including: taxes, insurance, mitigation, adaption, etc.).

Kahan, Dan M. (2015), "Climate-Science Communication and the Measurement Problem (June 25, 2014)", Advances in Pol. Psych., 36, 1-43. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2459057

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2459057

Extract: "… there is in fact little disagreement among culturally diverse citizens on what science knows about climate change. The source of the climate-change controversy and like disputes is the contamination of education and politics with forms of cultural status competition that make it impossible for diverse citizens to express their reason as collective-knowledge acquirers and cultural-identity protectors at the same time."

Ana-Maria Bliuc, Craig McGarty, Emma F. Thomas, Girish Lala, Mariette Berndsen & RoseAnne Misajon  (2015), "Public division about climate change rooted in conflicting socio-political identities", Nature Climate Change, Volume: 5, 226–229, doi:10.1038/nclimate2507

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v5/n3/full/nclimate2507.html
or
http://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2507.epdf?referrer_access_token=aCz3sFuHvQuyTMXT7D9H19RgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0OAKw2nHWCb5x5H65YGZy5zqUi2dBMTRh7Vk47gMCvP-gs_VVR3Gz5oprOkzSuR7v8s2AH6ybSaLyhF0Bx_7IczLWtvL_UbeeZbAxLb3q0lZBdRr0e2nzFrVqh-WcZRlZ-pekrp24ciP3W7I0WkqZRYcgrtXyXzzn_NkqYdLcB9eoOEyWKH3od_yoZ6lhvSJ_fqZKbFr4-bP8dmEnO_FWxmtJJlMLmQgkVazbNd4Yw6T-oou7n98UL4hcHf8DFgxCxsdD1qVNgkMlx4mhYNOO5U&tracking_referrer=www.washingtonpost.com

Abstract: "Of the climate science papers that take a position on the issue, 97% agree that climate change is caused by humans, but less than half of the US population shares this belief. This misalignment between scientific and public views has been attributed to a range of factors, including political attitudes, socio-economic status, moral values, levels of scientific understanding, and failure of scientific communication. The public is divided between climate change 'believers' (whose views align with those of the scientific community) and 'sceptics' (whose views are in disagreement with those of the scientific community). We propose that this division is best explained as a socio-political conflict between these opposing groups. Here we demonstrate that US believers and sceptics have distinct social identities, beliefs and emotional reactions that systematically predict their support for action to advance their respective positions. The key implication is that the divisions between sceptics and believers are unlikely to be overcome solely through communication and education strategies, and that interventions that increase angry opposition to action on climate change are especially problematic. Thus, strategies for building support for mitigation policies should go beyond attempts to improve the public’s understanding of science, to include approaches that transform intergroup relations."

See also:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/02/02/new-research-suggests-climate-skeptics-and-believers-really-really-dont-like-each-other/
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #76 on: April 22, 2015, 11:02:39 PM »
This first follow-on to Reply #75, entitled: "Gratitude vs Contempt for the Common Good" or "Rule by the Law vs Rule by the Man (with the corollary of the Fossil Fuel Industry's version of the Golden Rule: "He with the Gold Rules")", focuses on philosophy and I start with a quote by John William Money (1921-2006):

"Lust is lewd, love is lyrical"

Indeed, during socio-economic intercourse, lust for power is lewd while love of the common good is lyrical.  However, the two socio-economic cultures of "Believers" & "Skeptics" are interconnected as illustrated by the Taoist concept of "Yin & Yang", where: "… apparently opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. Many tangible dualities (such as light and dark, fire and water, and male and female) are thought of as physical manifestations of the duality of yin and yang.
 ….
Yin and yang can be thought of as complementary (rather than opposing) forces that interact to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the assembled parts. Everything has both yin and yang aspects, (for instance shadow cannot exist without light). Either of the two major aspects may manifest more strongly in a particular object, depending on the criterion of the observation. The yin yang shows a balance between two opposites with a little bit in each.
In Daoist metaphysics, distinctions between good and bad, along with other dichotomous moral judgments, are perceptual, not real; so, the duality of yin and yang is an indivisible whole.""

see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yin_and_yang

As yin & yang is an indivisible whole, liberal & conservative cultures in modern socio-economic systems are indivisible but can be (should be) re-balanced to better face the coming climate change challenge.  However, such re-balancing requires hard work as believers and skeptics are competing for cultural status, and change is painful. 

Furthermore, without science society is effectively blind as to how to re-balance our socio-economic system in order to better meet the challenges of climate change; and in this regard I provide the following quote from the philosopher C.D. Broad (1925), "The Mind and its Place in Nature", New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, Inc.:

Quote: "The speculative philosopher and the scientific specialist are liable to two opposite mistakes. The former tends to deliver frontal attacks on Reality as a whole, armed only with a few wide general principles, and to neglect to isolate and master in detail particular problems. The latter tends to forget that he has violently abstracted one part or one aspect of Reality from the rest, and to imagine that the success which this abstraction has given him within a limited field justifies him in taking the principles which hold therein as the whole truth about the whole world. The one cannot see the trees for the wood, and the other cannot see the wood for the trees. The result of both kinds of mistake is the same, viz., to produce philosophical theories which may be self-consistent but which must be described as "silly". By a "silly" theory I mean one which may be held at the time when one is talking or writing professionally, but which only an inmate of a lunatic asylum would think of carrying into daily life."

Furthermore, C. D. Broad is often misquoted as saying: "induction is the glory of science and the scandal of philosophy"; however, the actual quote was: "May we venture to hope that when Bacon's next centenary is celebrated the great work which he set going will be completed; and that Inductive Reasoning, which has long been the glory of Science, will have ceased to be the scandal of Philosophy? "  Broad, C.D. (1926), "The philosophy of Francis Bacon: An address delivered at Cambridge on the occasion of the Bacon tercentenary, 5 October, 1926", Cambridge: University Press, p. 67.

I provide these quotes from C.D. Broad to emphasize that in order to re-balance our climate change stressed modern socio-economic world system we need to consider the whole system (including man & nature) and not to focus excessively on deductive scientific logic (which can leave parts out of consideration when re-assembling the whole after applying the reductionist scientific method), but rather use inductive logic while working to re-balance our currently dysfunctional system; while guarding (via the judicial system) against the corrupting influence of executive, & legislative, power.  Currently, skeptics have expertly played the card of scientific uncertainty to avoid implementing effective climate change action by means such as:

- While most initial climate damage will be economic which is addressed by tort law, and carries a burden of legal evidence of the "preponderance of proof", rather than proof "beyond a reasonable doubt" associated with criminal law; nevertheless, both in the court of public opinion and in the judicial courts, skeptics high-handedly demand proof "beyond a reasonable doubt", and scientific experts are all too happy to play into this morally corrupting gambit player by the skeptics; which will likely cost society hundreds of trillions of dollars of wait by 2100.

- The conservative state elite powers who commissioned the IPCC, encourage the Assessment Reports (ARs) to ignore the "fat-right-tails" of the climate change risk PDFs and to emphasize the acceptance of unrealistic assumptions such as RCP 2.6 radiative forcing input (and the IPCC scientists who tend to "err on the side of least drama" are all too willing to comply).  Thus making it more difficult to present the true risks in both the court of public opinion and the judicial courts.

-  The fossil fuel industry inappropriately emphasize that they are job creators in order to get the public (& politicians) to resist the implementation of obvious socio-economic adjustments like regulations, carbon pricing, family planning and pollution controls.  In reality, socio-economic measures to fight climate change will create more jobs than will be lost by restricting carbon emissions.

- Climate change skeptics (denialists) inappropriately emphasize that science cannot yet provide high precision projections for the timing of climate change damage; and they high-handedly demand the "right" to continue doing what they are doing until all of the highly speculative/uncertain IPCC "Carbon Budget" is entirely used-up.  While in reality, the IPCC "Carbon Budget" may already be used-up (which we would know if there was less uncertainty especially w.r.t. our understanding of cloud dynamics); and also, there are numerous examples of abrupt climate change in the paleo-record which emphasizes that we should always maintain a margin of err w.r.t. any "Carbon Budget".

I will discuss more misconceptions promoted by skeptics in my next post; where I plan to focus on the use of information theory/technology to help limit uncertainties and to facilitate the implementation of inductive reasoning to re-balance our crony-capitalistic socio-economic world market place, in order to better address climate change challenges.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #77 on: April 23, 2015, 12:30:01 AM »
This second follow-on to Reply #75, entitled: "Gratitude vs Contempt for the Common Good" or "Rule by the Law vs Rule by the Man (with the corollary of the Fossil Fuel Industry's version of the Golden Rule: "He with the Gold Rules")", focuses on information theory & borrows language from Ray Kurzweil's "How to Create a Mind – The Secret of Human Thought Revealed", about how information theory & AI could contribute to reducing the polarization of the Believer and Skeptic cultural camps so that effective action can be taken to achieving sustainable socio-economic international systems.

In this discussion non-sustainable behavior is treated as a Black Swan (or Dragon King) event on the assumption that no entity would willingly/knowingly continue non-sustainable behavior.  By definition Black Swan (& Dragon King) events are not subject to identification by deductive logic; which is not to say that their probable occurrence cannot be identified by inductive logic (provided that the user of the inductive logic is willing to acknowledge the uncertainties associated with the use of inductive logic).  AI is actively working to simulate the inductive pattern recognizing abilities of the human brain/mind, and between around 2025 & 2050 AI is projected to equal or exceed human inductive reasoning, and could be used together with human reasoning to help identify probabilistic climate change risks.  Furthermore, as the human brain consists of different layers with the reptilian layer at the base and the neocortex on top; therefore it seems reasonable for an AI layer (presumed here to reside primarily external to the body, in the cloud) to interact seamlessly with the existing human brain organic layers.  In the following, I start with the paradigm that AI will parallel human thought and that AI is neither inherently evil nor benevolent (and any human concern that is one or the other results from human projection of archetypal human behavior on to machine responses).

Human thought uses hierarchical metaphors that match mental constructs (or AI constructs) as models of the external reality in order to accelerate projections of the future in order promote sustainable (reproducible) survival of the individual's tribe/family.  In this sense, human ego (which can be inflated by power) is a mental construct; that facilities reproduction (becoming) in a stationary (traditional) situation; but which limits sustainable reproduction in a highly non-stationary (changing) situation.  Indeed, the current ACME (accelerated climate model energy) program sponsored by the DOE includes a "Big Data" model to identify climate change patterns in the DOE's data base; and when the ACME project is completed by 2024 it is not difficult to imagine that its successor project will incorporate an AI model to determine projections that will clearly define what qualifies as the "preponderance of evidence" to support the numerous climate change lawsuits that will be filed after 2025.

Furthermore, such future AI assisted Earth System Model, ESM, projections can enhance their signal to noise ratio via information theory of climate change projections, by means of:

(a) probabilistic language software and hierarchical pattern recognition theory,
(see:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/inside_microsoft_research/archive/2015/04/09/probabilistic-programming-goes-large-scale-from-reducing-email-clutter-to-any-machine-learning-task.aspx

http://www.darpa.mil/our_work/i2o/programs/probabilistic_programming_for_advanced_machine_learning_(ppaml).aspx
http://ppaml.galois.com/wiki/

Extract: "Probabilistic Programming is a new programming paradigm for managing uncertain information. The goal of the Probabilistic Programming for Advancing Machine Learning (PPAML) program is to facilitate the construction of machine learning applications by using probabilistic programming to:

1.   Dramatically increase the number of people who can successfully build machine learning applications;
2.   Make machine learning experts radically more effective; and
3.   Enable new applications that are inconceivable today.

The PPAML program started in November 2013 and is scheduled to run 46 months, with three phases of activity through 2017.")

(b) characterization of the initial starting conditions and the data of initiation of the models; and

(c) use of threshold, dynamical system theory and signal amplification, approaches to clarify both the paleo-climatic hind-castes, instrumental observations and current ESM projections.
 
See a Summary of the Blue Brain Project at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Brain_Project

Also see the EU's Human Brain Project Technical Review Report April 14 2015 at:

https://www.humanbrainproject.eu/-/hbp-technical-review-report-now-available?redirect=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.humanbrainproject.eu%2Fnews-events%3Bjsessionid%3Dg3wg0e3z5efe11ml5a4als741%3Fp_p_id%3D101_INSTANCE_qvWAPKvcO4xA%26p_p_lifecycle%3D0%26p_p_state%3Dnormal%26p_p_mode%3Dview%26p_p_col_id%3Dcolumn-2%26p_p_col_count%3D1

https://www.humanbrainproject.eu/documents/10180/538356/HBP+1st+Technical+Review+Report/7737276c-3447-4bdb-bb5b-7a9f858345fa
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #78 on: April 24, 2015, 07:47:24 PM »
As I doubt that this thread will change anyone's position on this matter, I will make this post my third & final follow-on to Reply #75, entitled: "Gratitude vs Contempt for the Common Good" or "Rule by the Law vs Rule by the Man (with the corollary of the Fossil Fuel Industry's version of the Golden Rule: "He with the Gold Rules")", and I will provide a few random thoughts about the judicial considerations associated with trying to impose "Rule by Law instead of Rule by the Man (or the 1% state elite)".

First, I note that traditionally, and still effectively, no one or entity assumes full responsibility for anthropogenic radiative forcing; which is why we have a "Tragedy of the Commons" problem to begin with, and which can make it more difficult to prosecute offending parties; which they can say that they didn't know they were responsible for the impact of their emissions.  In the medieval era this problems was solved by the Overlord assuming control/responsibility for the commons; while in the current CoP21 plan this is addressed by voluntary national emission limits follow-up by efforts to track and shame (if necessary) offending parties; which largely circumvents (or makes more difficult) the ability to sue for failure to assume responsibility.

Second, in a court of law one needs standing (or actual damage) to file most forms of tort lawsuits.  Unfortunately, the IPCC has set a relatively high limit of 2C for the acceptable global mean surface temperature rise allowance; thus making it more difficult for developing nations to sue when they are being damaged as a result of 1.5C global mean surface temperature rise.

Third, "the Man (or fossil fuel backed state elite)" are very effective at breaking down their defensive strategy into a large number of small objectives (that are difficult to attack even judicially), but that are devised so that when all of the small dots are connected their objective is achieved.  For example: (a) RCP 2.6 & 4.5 are very difficult to achieve without either early agreements from developing countries to limit growth (which the failed Kyoto Protocol never achieved) or by applying Negative Emission Technology, NET; which no one is willing to pay for, so we continue down RCP 8.5 90%CL and hope to transition to RCP 6.0; (b) the TCRE use to determine the AR5 Carbon Budget has been watered down by the IPCC process; (c) ECS & ESS are excluded from the AR5 Carbon Budget determination, due to word-smithing of definitions; (d) the scientific input has been bullied by politics to err on the side of least drama; and (e) the public has been told that if they want to keep their jobs and maintain their lifestyle they will need to learn to adapt and accept higher risks without compensation from the state elite.

Lastly, the state elite play the time game effectively to: (a) artificially discount future damage; (b) confuse the public who have short attention spans; and to (c) indicate to the public (especially conservatives) that they will not suffer climate consequences in their lifetimes.

I could go on about the implication of the legal/economic definitions of value/disbenefits; about the role of insurance in legal settlements; and about the impacts of the first large legal settlements on the stock values of the fossil fuel industry (who may realize that they will need to leave proven reserves in the ground if the settlements have teeth); however, as the legal process will take years/decades to unfold, I will leave this series of posts for now; and I will just conclude by noting that when one spills a glass of milk but manages to save half of the glass (such as is the case for the Kyoto Protocol), one should be proud of saving the half a glass of milk (and not point fingers at the hand that spilled the milk) but one should realize the hard work necessary to earn the money needed to pay to re-fill the glass and not just accept that the world's population will need to learn to live on half a glass of milk.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #79 on: April 27, 2015, 07:05:12 PM »
As a follow-on to my Reply #78, readers who are not familiar with the various threads in this forum, you can find other discussion of climate change related litigation here:

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1207.0.html

, and you can find discussion of climate change related insurance claims & lawsuits here:

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,871.50.html

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #80 on: April 30, 2015, 07:59:29 PM »
Charles Darwin once said: "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."

Most of the general public that are susceptible to denalist manipulation, succumb to the desire to be affiliated with the top dog / elite / job creators.  However, the paraphrase Darwin: when natural selection pressures increase due to climate change, it is not the strongest, or the smartest, or the most elite, who will be selected, it is the ones who are most responsive to change who will carry the torch forward.

The fossil fuel industry's asset value will crash when they are required to leave them in the ground (after about 2050), so siding with these "job creators" may not be a very good idea for up-coming generations.  Furthermore, the world's international financial sector is now only kept afloat by the AI algorithms used by derivatives/hedge funds, insurance industry and the banking system; and when the financial sector is hit by the losses from the fossil fuel asset devaluation; it will take very nimble venture capitalist type (think Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, etc.) to stay ahead of the shockwaves soon coming to our current crony capitalistic system.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

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The linked article indicates that in addition to climate stress the public will soon suffer job relocation stress associated with increasing robotics.  This trend could make the masses increasingly dependent on the 1%, making it that much more important shine a light on the intention of the 1% with regards to the common good.

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/41932/20150324/robots-replace-half-jobs-20-years.htm


Extract: "If we’re to believe University of Oxford associate professor Michael Osborne, then robots will replace 47 percent of all jobs by the year 2035.

If you want to stay employed by then, you better think about a career shift into software development, higher level management or the information sector. Those professions are only at a 10 percent risk of replacement by robots, according to Osborne. By contrast, lower-skilled jobs in the accommodation and food service industries are at a 87 percent risk, transportation and warehousing are at a 75 percent risk and real estate at 67 percent. The researcher warns that driverless cars, burger-flipping robots and other automatons taking over low-skilled jobs is the way of the future."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

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There is a long and thoughtful article by John Lanchester in a recent London Review of Books on this very subject.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n05/john-lanchester/the-robots-are-coming

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The first linked Nature editorial article discusses some of the considerations of the fact that at least four Chinese groups (see extract below) are actively editing human genes in embryos (see the second link to the open access Protein & Cell peer reviewed paper).  With the Chinese openly moving actively forward in this area of research other state elite organizations will (or already are) follow suit; which when combined with AI and robotic developments, will give the state elite (& the associated 1%) unprecedented power relative to the general public; which when combined with over-population and climate change stress may not bode well for the common good of the common man.

David Cyranoski & Sara Reardon (April 22 2015), "Chinese scientists genetically modify human embryos: Rumours of germline modification prove true — and look set to reignite an ethical debate", Nature, doi:10.1038/nature.2015.17378

http://www.nature.com/news/chinese-scientists-genetically-modify-human-embryos-1.17378

Extract: "A Chinese source familiar with developments in the field said that at least four groups in China are pursuing gene editing in human embryos."

Puping Liang, et. al. (2015), "CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing in human tripronuclear zygotes", Protein & Cell, DOI 10.1007/s13238-015-0153-5

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13238-015-0153-5

Abstract: "Genome editing tools such as the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-associated system (Cas) have been widely used to modify genes in model systems including animal zygotes and human cells, and hold tremendous promise for both basic research and clinical applications. To date, a serious knowledge gap remains in our understanding of DNA repair mechanisms in human early embryos, and in the efficiency and potential off-target effects of using technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9 in human pre-implantation embryos. In this report, we used tripronuclear (3PN) zygotes to further investigate CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing in human cells. We found that CRISPR/Cas9 could effectively cleave the endogenous β-globin gene (HBB). However, the efficiency of homologous recombination directed repair (HDR) of HBB was low and the edited embryos were mosaic. Off-target cleavage was also apparent in these 3PN zygotes as revealed by the T7E1 assay and whole-exome sequencing. Furthermore, the endogenous delta-globin gene (HBD), which is homologous to HBB, competed with exogenous donor oligos to act as the repair template, leading to untoward mutations. Our data also indicated that repair of the HBB locus in these embryos occurred preferentially through the non-crossover HDR pathway. Taken together, our work highlights the pressing need to further improve the fidelity and specificity of the CRISPR/Cas9 platform, a prerequisite for any clinical applications of CRSIPR/Cas9-mediated editing."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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In keeping with the theme of "Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defense": the linked article discusses a growing movement in the USA for local government and private entities to "reclaim" land held in public trust from the Federal government.  Whether such behavior is an example of the Tragedy of the Commons or an example of misguided belief in manifest destiny; if this movement succeeds it will promote more BAU behavior; which will further destabilize our climate:

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-ff-land-battle-20150510-story.html#page=1
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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #85 on: March 22, 2016, 10:45:49 PM »
If Hansen et al (2016) are correct, then the risk and consequences of abrupt sea level rise (ASLR), will have such highly negative impacts on all countries that we may all soon wish that we had learned how to cooperate better even in the face of market pressures and/or higher-level strategic gamesmanship between nations:


James Hansen, Makiko Sato, Paul Hearty, Reto Ruedy, Maxwell Kelley, Valerie Masson-Delmotte, Gary Russell, George Tselioudis, Junji Cao, Eric Rignot, Isabella Velicogna, Blair Tormey, Bailey Donovan, Evgeniya Kandiano, Karina von Schuckmann, Pushker Kharecha, Allegra N. Legrande, Michael Bauer, and Kwok-Wai Lo (2016), "Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2 °C global warming could be dangerous", Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 3761-3812, doi:10.5194/acp-16-3761-2016

http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/16/3761/2016/acp-16-3761-2016.html

Abstract: "We use numerical climate simulations, paleoclimate data, and modern observations to study the effect of growing ice melt from Antarctica and Greenland. Meltwater tends to stabilize the ocean column, inducing amplifying feedbacks that increase subsurface ocean warming and ice shelf melting. Cold meltwater and induced dynamical effects cause ocean surface cooling in the Southern Ocean and North Atlantic, thus increasing Earth's energy imbalance and heat flux into most of the global ocean's surface. Southern Ocean surface cooling, while lower latitudes are warming, increases precipitation on the Southern Ocean, increasing ocean stratification, slowing deepwater formation, and increasing ice sheet mass loss. These feedbacks make ice sheets in contact with the ocean vulnerable to accelerating disintegration. We hypothesize that ice mass loss from the most vulnerable ice, sufficient to raise sea level several meters, is better approximated as exponential than by a more linear response. Doubling times of 10, 20 or 40 years yield multi-meter sea level rise in about 50, 100 or 200 years. Recent ice melt doubling times are near the lower end of the 10–40-year range, but the record is too short to confirm the nature of the response. The feedbacks, including subsurface ocean warming, help explain paleoclimate data and point to a dominant Southern Ocean role in controlling atmospheric CO2, which in turn exercised tight control on global temperature and sea level. The millennial (500–2000-year) timescale of deep-ocean ventilation affects the timescale for natural CO2 change and thus the timescale for paleo-global climate, ice sheet, and sea level changes, but this paleo-millennial timescale should not be misinterpreted as the timescale for ice sheet response to a rapid, large, human-made climate forcing. These climate feedbacks aid interpretation of events late in the prior interglacial, when sea level rose to +6–9 m with evidence of extreme storms while Earth was less than 1 °C warmer than today. Ice melt cooling of the North Atlantic and Southern oceans increases atmospheric temperature gradients, eddy kinetic energy and baroclinicity, thus driving more powerful storms. The modeling, paleoclimate evidence, and ongoing observations together imply that 2 °C global warming above the preindustrial level could be dangerous. Continued high fossil fuel emissions this century are predicted to yield (1) cooling of the Southern Ocean, especially in the Western Hemisphere; (2) slowing of the Southern Ocean overturning circulation, warming of the ice shelves, and growing ice sheet mass loss; (3) slowdown and eventual shutdown of the Atlantic overturning circulation with cooling of the North Atlantic region; (4) increasingly powerful storms; and (5) nonlinearly growing sea level rise, reaching several meters over a timescale of 50–150 years. These predictions, especially the cooling in the Southern Ocean and North Atlantic with markedly reduced warming or even cooling in Europe, differ fundamentally from existing climate change assessments. We discuss observations and modeling studies needed to refute or clarify these assertions."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Climate Destabilization: Tragedy of the Markets or Imperial Defence ?
« Reply #86 on: October 01, 2016, 06:21:46 PM »
The linked reference demonstrates that human lethal violence has phylogenetic roots, but that civilization has reduced the expression of this lethal violence.  Thus if/when socio-economic collapse occurs, the is little doubt that we will return to our violent roots with a vengeance.  For example, modern humans now kill each other on a rate of 13 in 1000; while during the medieval period that deadly rate shot up to about 120 per 1000:

José María Gómez, Miguel Verdú, Adela González-Megías & Marcos Méndez (2016), "The phylogenetic roots of human lethal violence", Nature, doi:10.1038/nature19758

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature19758.html

Extract: "The psychological, sociological and evolutionary roots of conspecific violence in humans are still debated, despite attracting the attention of intellectuals for over two millennia. Here we propose a conceptual approach towards understanding these roots based on the assumption that aggression in mammals, including humans, has a significant phylogenetic component. By compiling sources of mortality from a comprehensive sample of mammals, we assessed the percentage of deaths due to conspecifics and, using phylogenetic comparative tools, predicted this value for humans. The proportion of human deaths phylogenetically predicted to be caused by interpersonal violence stood at 2%. This value was similar to the one phylogenetically inferred for the evolutionary ancestor of primates and apes, indicating that a certain level of lethal violence arises owing to our position within the phylogeny of mammals. It was also similar to the percentage seen in prehistoric bands and tribes, indicating that we were as lethally violent then as common mammalian evolutionary history would predict. However, the level of lethal violence has changed through human history and can be associated with changes in the socio-political organization of human populations. Our study provides a detailed phylogenetic and historical context against which to compare levels of lethal violence observed throughout our history."

See also:
https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2016/10/01/humans-are-descended-from-murderous-beasts-but-civilization-has-tamed-us.html

Extract: "Humans are “in a position within a particularly violent mammalian clade, in which violence seems to have been ancestrally present,” the study in the journal Nature says. That means that based on other rather murderous species closely related to us, humans have “inherited their propensity for violence.”
As a group, mammals average a lethal violence rate against their own of about three killings of their own species in 1,000 deaths. The “root” violence rate of early humans and many of our closer primate cousins is about 20 in 1,000, said study lead author Jose Maria Gomez at the University of Granada in Spain. But in the medieval period, between 700 and 1500 A.D., that deadly rate shot up to about 120 per 1000.
But we’ve gotten less murderous.
On average, modern humans now kill each other on a rate of 13 in 1000, Gomez said, basing his calculations on World Health Organization data. But he says the exact numbers are rough and depend on many technical variables, so what is more accurate is to say “violence has decreased significantly in the contemporary age.”

Pinker praised the Gomez study as creative and thorough.
“Based on three biological facts — we are apes, we are social and we are territorial — one would predict that humans should engage in lethal violence in our natural conditions,” Pinker wrote in an email. “Modern societies have developed, especially the rule of law, that have reduced rates of lethal violence below what would expect for a mammal with our ancestry and ecology.”
Harvard biological anthropologist Richard Wrangham, who studies the roots of violence, praised the breadth Gomez study, but said there some issues remain. He’s especially concerned about too closely linking primates killing their own, which is more the murdering of infants, to humans whose killing their own mostly involves adults.
Few species beyond humans and some social territorial carnivores like wolves and lions are part of the “adult-killing club” of their own species, Wrangham said. “Humans really are exceptional.” "
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson