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sidd

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Ecosystem service collapse
« on: October 19, 2018, 07:06:57 AM »
In another thread I mentioned that global mean temperature rise and climate sensitivities were of peripheral interest to me. I stated:


" we subject Gaia to multiple stressors, CO2 being just one. We use around a third of NPP, we hugely increase runoff impermeable surface, we establish monoculture and GMO crop to exclusion of else, we suck underground aquifers dry and mighty rivers, and poison both and kill oceans to boot. And many more stressors will occur to you.
 
Doom looms nigh. The threat that will overtake us first is not direct temperature increase but habitat collapse. Our habitat.

There's probably a thread for that discussion, but it is not here, so i'll shutup."

So I started a thread.

The way models price in climate damage is thru integrated assessment models (IAMs).

Points that immediately strike me are:

1)Integrated assessment models (IAM) do not fairly price ecosystem services
2)IAM discount rate estimates do not price in near term ecosystem collapse

sidd


Neven

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Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2018, 09:40:37 AM »
Look, sidd, it's impossible to estimate, so we'll just put it at zero, okay?

Dismal, indeed...
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Sleepy

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Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2018, 11:53:23 AM »
Input zero; or doing a Nordhaus; or how to get the Swedish National Bank's award in economic science to Alfred Nobel's memory.
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gerontocrat

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Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2018, 01:01:16 PM »
In another thread I mentioned that global mean temperature rise and climate sensitivities were of peripheral interest to me. I stated:


" we subject Gaia to multiple stressors, CO2 being just one. We use around a third of NPP, we hugely increase runoff impermeable surface, we establish monoculture and GMO crop to exclusion of else, we suck underground aquifers dry and mighty rivers, and poison both and kill oceans to boot. And many more stressors will occur to you.
 
Doom looms nigh. The threat that will overtake us first is not direct temperature increase but habitat collapse. Our habitat.

There's probably a thread for that discussion, but it is not here, so i'll shutup."

So I started a thread.

The way models price in climate damage is thru integrated assessment models (IAMs).

Points that immediately strike me are:

1)Integrated assessment models (IAM) do not fairly price ecosystem services
2)IAM discount rate estimates do not price in near term ecosystem collapse

sidd
Hullo sidd,

Have a look at https://www.footprintnetwork.org/ They are the people that are saying in 2018 we are using 1.7 times the earth's capacity to renew natural resources.

I am downloading their excel file which should have the methodology and data used.

USA is No 4 - but with Trump in charge "America First !! ?

A thread which pulls together all the horrible stuff in the various threads in "consequences" is a super idea, even if somewhat scary.
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oren

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Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2018, 02:32:50 PM »
There was an aborted thread by JimD back in 2015 called "carrying capacity issues" which dealt with similar subjects. I will take the liberty of copying those posts here, avoiding quotation marks for easier reading.

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1180.msg47536.html

Post #1 from JimD:
Intertwined with Climate Change are global carrying capacity issues.  We talk about carrying capacity a lot and how it interrelates with all the other problems we face.  If one actually could magically set aside all of the issues of climate change, as some are trying so hard to do, the issues of global carrying capacity would easily replace climate change as the greatest challenge of human history.  So what we face in the combination of carrying capacity and climate change are the two greatest challenges of human history.  Together that makes them what?

So let us try and bring this issue home to those who don't recognize its significance.  This discussion is most closely related to the famous (infamous?) Limits to Growth books (there are 4 of them) the first of which was published circa 1973.  If you read these books you will find them absolutely frighteningly accurate to date.  We are dead on the the BAU projected pathway to collapse detailed in 1973.  That curve train wrecks circa 2050.  It is worth mentioning once again that the Limits to Growth projections did not take into account climate change.

Historically civilizational collapses are due to carrying capacity issues.  We have a lot of knowledge of how this actually happens and its effects on various cultures/civilizations.  This is not climate modeling.  This is history and actual data.  We have a large body of research on this topic that also covers others species and how their populations reach and exceed their ecosystems carrying capacities and then collapse. 

We are well in excess of the Earth's carrying capacity for our species.  How far?  This is where one starts to get many answers and we wrestle over definitions.  For instance the key definition is how we set the limits (does it have limits??) of the word sustainable.

One sees a wild span of definitions of sustainability.  The BAU folks seem to think that all the green technologies are sustainable because they touch some form of renewable energy.  Or they talk about fish farming or hydroponics or some other nonsense.  But what really makes sense when we say sustainable?  To some it means 'forever'.  Which means what?  A million years?  A hundred thousand?  Ten thousand?  50?  Sad to say that many people only seem to mean the span of their lives and f**k anyone else.  What does it mean to you as this is the crux of the argument.  The Sun will expand and fry us all eventually so there is no real forever.  But if you pick 50 years we may as well get the party going as time is wasting..right?  My favorite is 50,000 years...but I will settle for 1000.  How about you?  I note that even picking 1000 years makes solving our problems wickedly hard.

So we are done picking the span of time.  Now what does that mean really?  Does sustainable really mean only for humans or does it include other species?  This is a big issue and, after the duration point above, is the most critical.  These two points drive the vast differences in figures stating how far over the carrying capacity we are today.  One side ends up with numbers which sound not so bad (approximately 1.5 times) and others come up with numbers much scarier (as bad as 5 times).  Pushing these numbers of course is a rapidly rising population along with growing affluence and consumption.  Additionally, since we are already over the ecosystems capacity our continued actions reduce said capacity a little bit every day.  We are currently consuming well beyond sustainable levels across a wide and diverse range of support mechanisms.  The way to understand this for example is that row cropping farm land results in some inevitable loss of top soil and nutrients.  Being sustainable would have to mean that natural top soil generation would have to equal losses from farming and the replacements of nutrients taken out for consumption is required.  Otherwise the soil loses fertility and production drops (starvation).  Any body of good soil can be farmed for some time past these sustainable requirements but eventually its fertility will plunge.  We can offset that for a time with artificial fertilizers of course, but then we seem to have issues there..right?   Collapse dynamics.  Climate change, of course, is now and will in spades later, reduce global carrying capacity significantly.  We are the Red Queen running.

Climate change gets us to collapse.  Exceeding the carrying capacity gets us to collapse.  Together they really get us to collapse.  Thus my insistence on managed collapse - or degrowth if you will.  And once again I repeat my point that NONE of the critical problems we face can be solved unless we dramatically reduce total population levels.  We really and truely do not have the luxury of time.  We must act now and make dramatic change.

So feel free to jump in and chew on this one a bit.  I will post next the article which triggered this new topic.


Post #2 from JimD:

Water supplies.

As we know the Central Valley of California is one of the most productive agricultural regions of the world and number one in the US.  Approximately 50% of our fruits and vegetables come from this valley.  It is actually a desert and the crops are fed via irrigation systems.  That is not sustainable you say?  A fair point I think, but it is worse than many think.  Especially in light of the long term drought in the region as well as in light  of the projections of what is going to happen here over the next 50 years as climate change kicks in harder. 

Eventually there will be little food grown here.

Quote
California is pumping water that fell to Earth 20,000 years ago

As California farms and cities drill deeper for groundwater in an era of drought and climate change, they no longer are tapping reserves that percolated into the soil over recent centuries. They are pumping water that fell to Earth during a much wetter climatic regime – the ice age.

Such water is not just old. It’s prehistoric. It is older than the earliest pyramids on the Nile, older than the world’s oldest tree, the bristlecone pine. It was swirling down rivers and streams 15,000 to 20,000 years ago when humans were crossing the Bering Strait from Asia....

Groundwater is crucial to California. In an average year, nearly 40 percent of the state’s water comes from underground sources. In the current extended drought, it’s more than half. Eighty percent of California residents rely to some degree on groundwater. Some towns, cities and farming operations depend entirely on it....

But deep in the scientific sediment are nuggets worth sharing with friends – a sentence here, a table there. They show water pumped from some deep public supply wells in the valley is 10,000 to more than 30,000 years old. ...

Pretty fair to say this is not meeting the definition of sustainable.

Quote
...A new article by Konikow in the journal Groundwater estimates that nearly 1,000 cubic kilometers – about twice the volume of Lake Erie – was depleted across the United States from 1900 to 2008. That’s enough to contribute to rising sea levels, along with melting glaciers and polar ice...

This is, of course, a global phenomenom and other critical production areas where they are doing the exact same thing are the Punjab and the North China plain.

The vast majority of food production in the world is not sustainable and there is no such thing as sustainable industrial agriculture (even on as little as a 1000 year definition). 

Reality bites.

http://www.revealnews.org/article/california-is-pumping-water-that-fell-to-earth-20000-years-ago/

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1674356-konikow-2015-groundwater.html

etienne

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Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2018, 04:08:38 PM »
The earth overshoot day by country graph is not fair for Luxembourg. We manage the money of so many countries, shouldn't we get some of their natural ressources for that job ? ;)

Let's be more serious, the country of Luxembourg looks always more like just a city, I read somewhere that water and meat are the two only things where the country is self-sufficient (probably not for cow food). We are often removed of international statistics because it doesn't make sence, we are just too small (around 500 inhabitants).

wdmn

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Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2018, 05:02:45 PM »
@Oren

Thanks for posting those.

The criteria we choose for sustainability seems so wrapped up with our hopes and fears about quality of life. We know that the wealthiest members of society generally consume the most. They do this because it is part of a quality of life that is highly desirable (whether or not such a life should be desired is another question). "Environmentalism" is always seen as an attack on quality of life (shrinking economy, costing jobs, etc). However, the opposing argument is also made; we lose something of our quality of life when we lose species, habitat, the ability to breathe clean air, see dark skies, hear a full chorus of birds, frogs, and insects, look at undisturbed or intact landscapes. We point to the fact that the wealthiest people pay a lot of money to have such experiences as evidence of their desirability.

To get to the point, making the decisions on how much to reduce population, and modify our lifestyles in order to become sustainable for 50 years, or for 1000, or for 10,000 is really a question about what sort of quality of life is required for life to be desirable at all? We could live a neolithic lifestyle indefinitely, but no one (sane) wants that. If we only eat foods from a 10km radius humans could survive longer, but how many people desire such a life? There are anarchoprimitivists who think that they would be happy in such a world. I tend to think the romanticism would wear off quickly.

In other words, I think that some of the "denial" about climate change etc. is not really denial at all. It's simply the manifestation of the sentiment that "we all die, so why shouldn't the earth?" (which is something I once read on a billboard in the USA; still not sure if it was ironic).

This is probably much more pervasive on a subconscious level than we might think. What do we hope for the future anyway? What are we trying to become? If we're children of the enlightenment, maybe we have some sort of star trek like vision of the future, and we think, with so much suffering alleviated, and the possibility to discover new worlds, and constant advances in science that real progress is possible and life is worth living and continuing. But if we start to doubt this. If we start to get tickled by the thought that maybe progress is always a dead end, and that sustainability means returning to something like what the enlightenment rejected with some much effort, then is it something that's desirable? In other words, was the Bhudda wrong? Is there a third route?

Perhaps, if we could check our world population, we could develop new technologies and ways of living that would allow us to do incredible things, and all without destroying much that does improve the quality of our lives in other ways: the clean water to swim in and drink, the clean air, the sight of a wild animal crossing an untouched landscape...

How confident are we that we can pull of the third way? How confident are we that there's a way of doing things that makes human life not only sustainable but worth sustaining?

josh-j

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Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2018, 01:20:20 PM »
"Environmentalism" is always seen as an attack on quality of life (shrinking economy, costing jobs, etc). However, the opposing argument is also made; we lose something of our quality of life when we lose species, habitat, the ability to breathe clean air, see dark skies, hear a full chorus of birds, frogs, and insects, look at undisturbed or intact landscapes. We point to the fact that the wealthiest people pay a lot of money to have such experiences as evidence of their desirability.

Thanks for that wdmn, I'd never really thought of it with that level of clarity.

vox_mundi

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Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2018, 07:14:21 PM »
OECD Predicts Unsustainable Rise In Use of Raw Materials
http://www.oecd.org/env/indicators-modelling-outlooks/raw-materials-use-to-double-by-2060-with-severe-environmental-consequences.htm



The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is warning that the world's consumption of raw materials will rise sharply, putting greater pressure on the environment.

The Paris-based think tank said Monday that with a growing global population and rising living standards, the amount of raw materials used each year will increase to 167 gigatons by 2060, from 90 gigatons today.

The OECD says increased extraction and processing of wood, oil, gas, metals and building materials "is likely to worsen pollution of air, water and soils, and contribute significantly to climate change."

In a report presented during a meeting in Yokohama, Japan, the OECD says carbon emissions from burning of fossil fuels and production of iron, cement and other materials could almost double to 50 gigatons of CO2 equivalent by 2060.

Report: Global Material Resources Outlook to 2060

This report presents global projections of materials use and their environmental consequences, providing a quantitative outlook to 2060 at the global, sectoral and regional levels for 61 different materials (biomass resources, fossil fuels, metals and non-metallic minerals). It explains the economic drivers determining the decoupling of economic growth and materials use, and assesses how the projected shifts in sectoral and regional economic activity influence the use of different materials. The projections include both primary and secondary materials, which provides a deeper understanding of what drives the synergies and trade-offs between extraction and recycling.

The report projects a doubling of global primary materials use between today and 2060. Population and converging per capita income growth drive the growth in materials use. However, structural change, especially in non-OECD countries, and technology improvements partially dampen that growth. Metals and non-metallic minerals are projected to grow more rapidly than other types of materials.

Without concrete actions to address these challenges, the projected increase in the extraction and processing of raw materials such as biomass, fossil fuels, metals and non-metallic minerals is likely to worsen pollution of air, water and soils, and contribute significantly to climate change. The increase comes despite a shift from manufacturing to service industries and continual improvements in manufacturing efficiency, which has lessened the amount of resources consumed for each unit of GDP. Without this, environmental pressures would be worse. The projection also takes account of flattening demand in China and other emerging economies as their infrastructure booms end.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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GoSouthYoungins

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Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2018, 08:45:24 PM »
For all of us seeking a safe place for the collapse or extreme storms...

Every ecosystem will be ****ed.  Mad Max dust storm terribleness most places.

Dust storms? In a world where the Arctic is no longer a desert and there will be much more water vapour in the NH midlatitudes?
I very much doubt it.

Sorry about the offtopic...

I hear your point. That makes sense. But I think dust storms are not predominately a function of precip vs pan-evap. I think it is mostly about the health of the ecosystem. A healthy dry ecosystem can still hold the soil/dirt in place. (Yes, there are some places where dust storms are the norm, but not many.)

If precip patterns and overall climate change, the flora and fauna of any area become stressed. If the changes are severe, almost everything dies in an ecosystem collapse. Obviously life goes on and something fills the void, but it will be a drastically less complex and less stable set up. Too much rain can paradoxically lead to fires and dust storms.

I'm a total amateur in ecology but I think my thesis is based quite soundly off some very fundamental principles.
big time oops

Human Habitat Index

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Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2018, 01:34:57 AM »
In another thread I mentioned that global mean temperature rise and climate sensitivities were of peripheral interest to me. I stated:


" we subject Gaia to multiple stressors, CO2 being just one. We use around a third of NPP, we hugely increase runoff impermeable surface, we establish monoculture and GMO crop to exclusion of else, we suck underground aquifers dry and mighty rivers, and poison both and kill oceans to boot. And many more stressors will occur to you.
 
Doom looms nigh. The threat that will overtake us first is not direct temperature increase but habitat collapse. Our habitat.

There's probably a thread for that discussion, but it is not here, so i'll shutup."

So I started a thread.

The way models price in climate damage is thru integrated assessment models (IAMs).

Points that immediately strike me are:

1)Integrated assessment models (IAM) do not fairly price ecosystem services
2)IAM discount rate estimates do not price in near term ecosystem collapse

sidd

There should be a Human Habitat Index.
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is contempt prior to investigation. - Herbert Spencer

Sleepy

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Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2018, 07:44:06 AM »
Videos from the 50th Anniversary Summit of the Club of Rome on 17-18 October in Rome has been posted now.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSVaEtHMi2FOUhtHQKPWoNPh4DUG7liNP

A few of them below.

Ugo Bardi - The Seneca Effect (50 Years CoR)

8 views now.

Also adding the paper and a recent blog post by him.
https://arxiv.org/abs/1810.07056
https://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/2018/10/how-could-europe-conquer-world-seneca.html


Johan Rockström - Attaining the SDGs within the Planetary Boundaries (50 Years CoR)

124 views now.


Jorgen Randers - The Limits to Growth (1972) in a 50-year perspective

39 views now.

Adding a snippet from the last one below.
Omnia mirari, etiam tritissima.
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Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2018, 08:14:06 AM »
Thanks for the links, Sleepy!

Wherestheice

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Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2018, 08:50:18 AM »
The newer limits to growth seems very conservative and optimistic. 2.75 C by 2075? They only factor in emissions and not feedback loops. I don't see how the industrial output can reach what they predict, short of ecological collapse, the food per capita is interesting. Interesting source to look at
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oren

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Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2018, 12:06:33 PM »
Sleepy, regarding view counts and your concern that important matters are not interesting to most anyone, please be aware that some people (myself included) don't watch most videos but prefer to digest information by reading, which is far less time consuming, less subject to emotional effects and overselling and simplification by presenters, and can be consumed in quiet without bothering others in the room. I'd much rather read a transcript (or the book, in the case of Limits to Growth) than watch or listen to something. So don't be alarmed - the level of interest is higher than you think.

Sleepy

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Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2018, 05:00:12 PM »
Don't worry oren. Book reading is on decline (at least here) and I've been taking notes of views for years now. Just a habit, sometimes useful.

Here's a video from UQx DENIAL101x with Mike Lockwood, posted 20150511, on 20151116 it had 335 views, now 894 views.
http://youtu.be/NqHQ8i6G-eI?t=16m11s

Stuff like this is of course much more fun, posted 20140407 and a week later on 20140414 it had 22,911,020 views since it went through the roof right away.
https://youtu.be/XYKwqj5QViQ?t=5
64,522,638 views now.

Edit; on 20140828 the last one had 36,370,833 views. Call me a nut.
Or is it The Power of Willful Ignorance?
« Last Edit: November 22, 2018, 05:08:56 PM by Sleepy »
Omnia mirari, etiam tritissima.
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Science is a jealous mistress and takes little account of a man's feelings.

Sleepy

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Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2018, 08:28:46 AM »
Re: The Power Of Willful Ignorance.


8,860,782 views.

Quote
The power of willful ignorance cannot be overstated. This is systemized cruelty on a massive scale and we only get away with it because everyone is prepared to look the other way.

Edit; the above is from 20140512 and maybe I should point out that she's an actress, but what she says is not fake.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2018, 08:42:40 AM by Sleepy »
Omnia mirari, etiam tritissima.
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Science is a jealous mistress and takes little account of a man's feelings.

Sleepy

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Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2018, 04:09:14 PM »
THE CLUB OF ROME CLIMATE EMERGENCY PLAN.
Out now, have at it:
http://www.clubofrome.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Climate_Emergency_Plan_Final.pdf
Omnia mirari, etiam tritissima.
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Science is a jealous mistress and takes little account of a man's feelings.

Human Habitat Index

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Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2018, 11:53:02 PM »
Re: The Power Of Willful Ignorance.


8,860,782 views.

Quote
The power of willful ignorance cannot be overstated. This is systemized cruelty on a massive scale and we only get away with it because everyone is prepared to look the other way.

Edit; the above is from 20140512 and maybe I should point out that she's an actress, but what she says is not fake.

That's why we have governments, to rise above our foibles such as wilful ignorance but the corporations control the govt.
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is contempt prior to investigation. - Herbert Spencer

TerryM

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Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2018, 08:10:45 PM »
THE CLUB OF ROME CLIMATE EMERGENCY PLAN.
Out now, have at it:
http://www.clubofrome.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Climate_Emergency_Plan_Final.pdf


Sleepy, that damn Roman Club keeps beating any hopes of survival out of my increasingly battered head.


Does anyone believe that no one will invest in "coal, oil and gas exploration or development" after 2020?  Or even that developed countries will end direct or indirect fossil fuel subsides by 2020-2025?


2020 begins in less than 402 days.
By then we must:
Introduce realistic pricing and taxation to reflect the true cost of fossil fuel use and embedded carbon.

Introduce carbon floor prices.

Tax embedded carbon through targeted consumption taxes. Direct tax revenues to research, development and innovation for low-carbon solutions, cutting taxes or propping up the welfare state.

Converge carbon markets and instruments into a worldwide structure, particularly covering energy and energy-intensive sectors.

Replace GDP growth as the main objective for societal progress.

..........................

Global GHG emissions "would have to peak no later than 2020 and be reduced by more than 7% annually thereafter"

 "There is no carbon budget left today to keep temperature rise below 2°C, let alone 1.5°C."

This isn't a "Rationale for Emergency Action", rather a dirge to accompany our failure as a civilization tasked with nothing more profound than providing for it's own perpetuation.
Terry


oren

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Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2018, 08:56:46 AM »
There's still zero interest from the wealthy on this planet for limits to growth or solutions to climate change that would benefit all people.
I should say I've read the document and thought it was very well written. However, I have no hope that those in power around the world will adopt such a plan.

Sleepy

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Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2018, 11:04:59 AM »
My point was about the level of interest, crossposting these here.

Try to be on team human?
https://medium.com/s/futurehuman/survival-of-the-richest-9ef6cddd0cc1
Quote
All this technological wizardry could be applied toward less romantic but entirely more collective interests right now.

They were amused by my optimism, but they didn’t really buy it. They were not interested in how to avoid a calamity; they’re convinced we are too far gone. For all their wealth and power, they don’t believe they can affect the future. They are simply accepting the darkest of all scenarios and then bringing whatever money and technology they can employ to insulate themselves — especially if they can’t get a seat on the rocket to Mars.

Luckily, those of us without the funding to consider disowning our own humanity have much better options available to us. We don’t have to use technology in such antisocial, atomizing ways. We can become the individual consumers and profiles that our devices and platforms want us to be, or we can remember that the truly evolved human doesn’t go it alone.

Being human is not about individual survival or escape. It’s a team sport. Whatever future humans have, it will be together.

And.

I think Sasja Beslik is wrong about limiting warming to 1.5°C but close to reality on sustainable finance.

The quick fix for climate change.
https://twitter.com/SasjaBeslik/status/1069717425279643648


Omnia mirari, etiam tritissima.
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Science is a jealous mistress and takes little account of a man's feelings.