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Which will occur first.  a perenially ice-free arctic or a global 1 meter sea-level rise?

1 meter sea-level rise will be first by more than 10 years
7 (13.7%)
1 meter sea-level rise will be first by 2-10 years
3 (5.9%)
About the same time
0 (0%)
1 meter sea-level rise will follow by 2-10 years
7 (13.7%)
1 meter sea-level rise will follow by more than 10 years
34 (66.7%)

Total Members Voted: 48

Author Topic: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice  (Read 234105 times)

Shared Humanity

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #50 on: March 04, 2013, 11:42:18 PM »
I thought I would post a link to a Forbes article that hi-lights my point about the underlying logic of capitalism being the preservation of capital.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2013/02/17/arctic-ice-melt-is-accelerating-even-in-fall-and-winter/

The article looks at Boston and some estimates of investment needed to protect it from rising sea levels. All of our future investments will be to preserve existing capital from the effects of AGW. This is, in fact, logical. No nation, even one as wealthy as the U.S, could possibly have the resources to replace a Boston and efforts to protect the accumulated wealth of society will become increasingly expensive.

What will our battle to preserve the wealth represented by coastal cities look like? A glance at New Orleans tells a story. Just prior to hurricane Katrina, the population of New Orleans was about 470,000. This plummeted to just over 200,000, immediately following the hurricane in 2005. The population rebounded to 350,000 by 2010 and has been fairly steady since. If you use population as an indicator of economic activity and wealth, New Orleans has seen its regional economy shrink by 25% from the results of a single hurricane.


OldLeatherneck

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #51 on: March 05, 2013, 08:40:34 PM »
A Journey Through "Cajun Country"

This past weekend my wife and I spent several days touring southern Louisiana.  For those not familiar with 'Cajun Country', this is the swampland in the Atchafalaya basin of the Mississippi delta.  This land was settled by the French speaking Acadians when they were driven out of the Maritime provinces of Canada in the early 1800s.  The Cajuns have formed a unique culture known for their French dialect, Zydeco music and divine cuisine.  They still depend on the land and surrounding waters for their existence, making a living hunting and fishing.  While we visit this area quite often, this was the first time we'd been back there since I've been so avidly following the future impacts of AGW/CC.  This is also the first time that we ventured to the extreme south central region of Louisiana.  This land is low-lying and flat and extremely vulnerable to the ravages of AGW/CC.  At any given moment, I wasn't sure whether we were driving by land that was above or below sea-level.  It is hard to imagine what will happen to this land in the next 50-100 years.  The fact that this land is naturally subsiding makes it even more vulnerable to sea level rise.  And as Shared Humanity has so aptly described the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans, this entire area has no natural protection from future tropical storms or hurricanes.  Within the next 50-100 years, an entire culture and way of life will be destroyed, even if we begin mitigation efforts now.

EDIT: I forgot to include that the acidification of the Gulf of Mexico will eventually kill the shrimp and oyster industry.

What will our battle to preserve the wealth represented by coastal cities look like? A glance at New Orleans tells a story. Just prior to hurricane Katrina, the population of New Orleans was about 470,000. This plummeted to just over 200,000, immediately following the hurricane in 2005. The population rebounded to 350,000 by 2010 and has been fairly steady since. If you use population as an indicator of economic activity and wealth, New Orleans has seen its regional economy shrink by 25% from the results of a single hurricane.

The Cajun Country is also completely dependent on the petrochemical industry for it's economic development.  One can not drive along the major waterways for more than a few miles without seeing petrochemical plants and/or port facilities for the expanding off-shore oil and gas industry.  For many families, they have no way of making a living other than in the petrochemical industry, being that many of them are third-generation oil-field workers.  My wife grew up in the "Golden Triangle" of SE Texas, not 15 miles from the famed "Spindletop" oil-well, where her father was the only orthopedic surgeon in the entire region.  On many occasions, she was reminded that her college education was paid for by the broken backs of oil-field workers.  Whether the oil industry in Louisiana dies a slow death due to the inevitability of Peak Oil or whether production is curtailed to mitigate AGW/CC this entire region of Southern Louisiana and Southeast Texas will soon feel economic contractions not see since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Third example: Houston, Texas owes its very existence to the huge capital investments in the petroleum industry. People may argue that there are other enormous economic strengths in Houston but make no mistake. Take away this industry or even shrink it significantly and Houston becomes Detroit.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 10:26:46 PM by OldLeatherneck »
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #52 on: March 06, 2013, 07:55:50 PM »
Shared - the textile industry moved from England to New England to Appalachia to less developed countries over the years.  The auto industry in Detroit shrunk to the point of disappearing while it grew in several other locations.  The steel mills of Pittsburgh and other US industrial cities went away and steel industries grew elsewhere. 

Slide rules, typewriters and ledger books gave way to computers, film to digital.  Horses to cars.

All along great capital investments were lost or transformed.  Established wealth can slow change but it doesn't prevent change.

Right now we're watching the coal industry in the US beginning to die.  Coal's contribution to the US grid has fallen from over 50% to around 36% with more drops on the way.  At the same time we are witnessing the emergence of the wind and solar industries.  I suspect that within ten years wind and solar will produce more of our electricity than will coal.

Right now there are more voters who make their living from renewable energy than voters who make their living from coal.

Change will happen, change is happening.  The critical questions are whether change is happening fast enough and, if not, what might we do to speed change.

Doc Snow

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #53 on: March 06, 2013, 08:16:05 PM »
"We might have a year here and there where it won't be so bad, but overall the places where we currently grow food will shift north."

But of course there are limits to how far it can shift.  It isn't just temperature--it's the availability of good soil.  Most of the far North is recently de-glaciated and has precious little humus yet.

I expect that improved agriculture in the far North will be limited largely to places already being farmed--their growing season will get longer, and that probably will allow some increases in productivity, despite the caveats mentioned in comments above.  But you're not, I think, going to see much acreage actually added--mostly, it will be economics when it happens:  someplace where farming was uneconomic but possible could be nudged back over the line of economic viability by the longer season or by rising global (or regional) food prices.

But I expect it will be a much, *much* smaller increase than one would need to compensate for the decreases in productivity in Mexico, the American southwest, the Middle East, and perhaps wheat producers like Australia and Russia.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #54 on: March 06, 2013, 08:28:18 PM »
Let's not forget the lower half....

While there is some room to move our agriculture northward in the Northern hemisphere (lack of topsoil, massive amounts of upper Canada being mountains and lakes, and Siberia being a swamp waiting to be melted aside).  In the Southern hemisphere the continents taper as one flees the equator.  More people crammed into a rapidly shrinking land mass.

And poor Australia is almost cooked to nothing but a livable fringe already.

Shared Humanity

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #55 on: March 07, 2013, 01:56:00 AM »
Bob...I guess my point, illustrated by three examples, is that a system will behave by rules that follow the internal logic of the system. Capitalism encourages the accumulation and concentration of capital which is invested to generate income streams and wealth. These investments have time horizons that span several decades. The physical infrastructure, in the short term is quite inflexible. This is certainly true for industry and even more so for entire cities. The rapid and global nature of the changes coming will simply overwhelm the ability  of capitalism to absorb them. The resultant impact (read panic) in our financial markets could possibly cripple the world economy.

The financial crisis caused by some exotic investments required coordinated worldwide interventions by governments that continue today in order to stabilze the financial system. The perturbations caused by AGW will be worse and could require responses completely outside the system of capitalism.

Lucas Durand

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #56 on: March 07, 2013, 02:26:09 AM »
Right now we're watching the coal industry in the US beginning to die.  Coal's contribution to the US grid has fallen from over 50% to around 36% with more drops on the way.
Bob,
I don't think this is quite correct...
While coal's contribution to the US grid is falling, US coal exports have been steadily on the rise.
Some coal that would have been burned for electricity might be left in the ground, but you can bet that every effort is being/will be made to find a buyer somewhere.
Also, I think the latest numbers from the EIA show the US grid gets 46% power from coal.

Lucas Durand

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #57 on: March 07, 2013, 02:49:45 AM »
Capitalism encourages the accumulation and concentration of capital which is invested to generate income streams and wealth. These investments have time horizons that span several decades. The physical infrastructure, in the short term is quite inflexible. This is certainly true for industry and even more so for entire cities. The rapid and global nature of the changes coming will simply overwhelm the ability  of capitalism to absorb them.
Shared Humanity,
I can appreciate your "systems view" of events as I tend to have the same perspective.
I think you've articulated this point quite well here...

I brought up this link in another thread:
http://www.theoildrum.com/node/9841
The conclusion is interesting.
Political headwinds are rising in the face of what has been so far quite a successful move towards the adoption of renewable energy systems in some European countries.

In the context of your point about the historic accumulation of capital being inflexible, the political headwinds that have been rising are doing so in reaction to the perceived threat posed to legacy capital.

Perhaps one of the bigger roadblocks to a widespread transition to renewable energy systems is that such a transition essentially means stranding billions (trillions?) worth of capital that isn't compatible...

Shared Humanity

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #58 on: March 07, 2013, 06:57:12 AM »
Lucas....yes, that is really my point. I don't have a problem with capitalism. The system has delivered amazing benefits. But rapid flows of capital, caused by shocks, can really screw things up. Everything, physical capital and financial capital are interconnected in a complex web of income, savings, loans and investments. All of economic activity is dependent on these relationships working. What happens when physical shocks to the system rapidly and dramatically impact the conditions that made an investment make sense? A significant breakdown in one part of the system will move rapidly throughout the system.

For the past four years we have watched Europe try to keep the Eurozone intact. The entire world is focused on whether Greece or Spain may exit the Eurozone. The financial impact of such a decision would ripple across the world as the defaults would expose other organizations suddenly to losses as a result of defaults that occurred on the other side of the planet. I suppose the problem may not be as great if the effects of AGW are slow and predictable. My concern is they could be fast.

Shared Humanity

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #59 on: March 07, 2013, 10:04:26 PM »
Kind of a Good News/Bad News story. It's good news because business is taking seriously the impact of AGW. The bad news is there seems to be less profit in prevention of these impacts than can be found in exploitation. Leave it to capital to find the highest ROI.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-03-07/investors-seek-ways-to-profit-from-global-warming

Bob Wallace

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #60 on: March 08, 2013, 04:27:21 PM »
Lucus - coal produced 37% of US electricity in 2012.  It may produce the same or slightly more in 2013 if NG prices rise, but overall the trend will be down as many coal plants are scheduled to close over the next few years.

China will be capping its coal use starting in 2015 at roughly 2013 levels.  And the leaders of
China continue to state that they intend to cut China's CO2 output level.

Most countries are installing renewable energy.  If more coal is to be burned it's not clear where that will be.

Lucas Durand

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #61 on: March 08, 2013, 06:48:39 PM »
Bob,
Maybe we're looking at different sources re the percentage of coal in the US electricity mix.
In any case, I maintain that if the coal producers in the US are able, they will continue digging up as much coal as they can for export (these are competitive businesses after all).

I realize that many countries are installing renewable energy systems and I've also heard that China plans to cap its coal use.

But most countries are also projecting increased demand for energy as they also project increased growth of their economies (although whether or not these are realistic expectations is another matter).
If such projections are accurate, it is certainly not clear that this demand growth can be met with renewable energy systems alone (let alone force fossil fuel systems into a smaller share of the energy mix) which implies continued reliance on and demand for fossil fuels, including coal.

Presently, China consumes almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined - to cap coal use at 2013 levels still leaves an enourmous demand.
Exporting nations (like the US, Indonesia and Australia) probably won't have much trouble finding buyers for their coal which is probably why these nations are all planning on future expansion of coal export operations.
It is grievous to think that this may be what happens, which presumeably is why Greenpeace recently issued a report warning of the danger posed:
http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/climate-and-energy/Resources/Reports/Point-of-no-return/

gfwellman

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #62 on: March 08, 2013, 07:17:51 PM »
This is the problem as you, and Greenpeace, point out.  We have the technology to transition off fossil fuels and there are mechanisms that would work to push it (carbon tax) but we probably won't until truly horrific damage is locked in.  The people who will profit in the short term from the fossil fuel extraction have too much power and too much vested in denial.

OldLeatherneck

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #63 on: March 10, 2013, 04:07:32 PM »
Chief of US Pacific forces calls climate biggest worry

Quote from article in Boston Globe:
"But when it comes to pragmatic military planning, Locklear said he is increasingly focused on another highly destabilizing force.

“The ice is melting and sea is getting higher,” Locklear said, noting that 80 percent of the world’s population lives within 200 miles of the coast. “I’m into the consequence management side of it. I’m not a scientist, but the island of Tarawa in Kiribati, they’re contemplating moving their entire population to another country because [it] is not going to exist anymore.”

The US military, he said, is beginning to reach out to other armed forces in the region about the issue.

“We have interjected into our multilateral dialogue – even with China and India – the imperative to kind of get military capabilities aligned [for] when the effects of climate change start to impact these massive populations,” he said. “If it goes bad, you could have hundreds of thousands or millions of people displaced and then security will start to crumble pretty quickly.’’"

http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2013/03/09/admiral-samuel-locklear-commander-pacific-forces-warns-that-climate-change-top-threat/BHdPVCLrWEMxRe9IXJZcHL/story.html?s_campaign=sm_tw
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OldLeatherneck

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #64 on: March 11, 2013, 08:45:28 PM »
Amplified Greenhouse Effect Shifts North's Growing Seasons


Full Article in:
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/mar/HQ_13-069_Northern_Growing_Seasons.html

QUOTE:
"WASHINGTON -- Vegetation growth at Earth's northern latitudes increasingly resembles lusher latitudes to the south, according to a NASA-funded study based on a 30-year record of land surface and newly improved satellite data sets.

An international team of university and NASA scientists examined the relationship between changes in surface temperature and vegetation growth from 45 degrees north latitude to the Arctic Ocean. Results show temperature and vegetation growth at northern latitudes now resemble those found 4 degrees to 6 degrees of latitude farther south as recently as 1982.

"Higher northern latitudes are getting warmer, Arctic sea ice and the duration of snow cover are diminishing, the growing season is getting longer and plants are growing more," said Ranga Myneni of Boston University's Department of Earth and Environment. "In the north's Arctic and boreal areas, the characteristics of the seasons are changing, leading to great disruptions for plants and related ecosystems."

The study was published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change. "
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OldLeatherneck

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #65 on: March 18, 2013, 08:27:16 PM »
What Will the Impacts be in 2013???

We all are very aware of how the changes in the arctic impact global weather patterns.  Dr. Jennifer Francis has provided ample explanations about the effects of Arctic Amplification:

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/09/25/904311/how-the-arctic-death-spiral-fuels-a-wicked-backlash-on-our-weather/?mobile=nc

Already this year we are seeing numerous signs of the rapidly declining state of the arctic.  Among the most notable to date are:

1.  Unparalleled fracturing of the arctic icecap.
2.  Record breaking releases of Methane (CH4).
3.  Early melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS).
4.  Anomalously high temperatures along the western coast of Greenland.
     - Today, March 18th, Thule reached at least 43(F), whereas the normal temp is 0(F).

My question for discussion purposes is, what does everyone think will happen globally in 2013 due to what is happening in the arctic this year??
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Shared Humanity

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #66 on: March 18, 2013, 10:34:19 PM »
Old Leatherneck....

Can't be sure but I believe 2013 will be much like 2012. England will suffer torrential rains. The drought will spread in the western U.S. and crop failures will be widespread. The eastern half of the U.S., particularly the Northeast will be wet and relatively mild.

Glenn Tamblyn

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #67 on: March 21, 2013, 04:38:55 AM »
I have to admit that my take has become far more pessimistic in the last couple of years. Not about the final outcome, but how quickly it might arrive.

What has tipped me over the edge in this respect is the combination of the rate of Arctic Ice loss (and summer snow) combined with the emerging evidence that this is effecting the Polar Jet Stream leading to more extreme weather events across the Northern Hemisphere. Warmer temperatures lead to lower crop yields. Modest temp increases seem to produce small improvements in yield but beyond that yields drop off substantially. 20% to 40% after several degrees.

And weather extremes are even worse. Crop yields may be pretty good 3 years out of 4, but if they are disastrous in that 4th year, people can starve waiting for the next decent year; the world doesn't have the massive food reserves needed to survive on the 'average' yield. Each year stands on its own.

And this is why the possible Jet Stream/Extreme Weather linkage is important and frightening. Apart from being impacted by such changes, what do the US, Canada & Russia have in common? They are major food exporting nations; they are a big part of the breadbasket of the world. If their crop yields start to tank due to more extreme weather events, people elsewhere in the world will start to starve.

And that may not be end of the century time-frames. Perhaps more like 5-20 years.

Glenn Tamblyn

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #68 on: March 21, 2013, 04:49:20 AM »
Another point to consider, looking at the interplay between capitalism and addressing Climate Change.

Most assessments of what we need to do to limit warming essentially say that around 3/4 of all proven fossil fuel reserves can never be burned. We have to leave them in the ground.

But those reserves have been given a dollar value and are sitting on the balance sheets of companies around the world. One estimate I read put this total value at around $26 Trillion. So around $20 Trillion of 'assets' actually aren't assets. They are worthless. What happens when we wipe $20 Trillion off the total value of the stockmarket?

But if we don't, if they are still assets, and are mined and sold and burned, we are heading for a 6 Deg C warmer world!

Houston, we have a problem! A HUGE one.

OldLeatherneck

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #69 on: March 21, 2013, 06:16:59 PM »


And this is why the possible Jet Stream/Extreme Weather linkage is important and frightening. Apart from being impacted by such changes, what do the US, Canada & Russia have in common? They are major food exporting nations; they are a big part of the breadbasket of the world. If their crop yields start to tank due to more extreme weather events, people elsewhere in the world will start to starve.

And that may not be end of the century time-frames. Perhaps more like 5-20 years.
Glenn,

When I seriously started following AGW/CC about 5-6 years ago,  I accepted the models that indicated that sea-level rise (SLR) would probably be less than 0.5 meters by 2100.  If that had been accurate, civilization would have had 90 years to plan and prepare the impacted coastal communities, and relocate certain populations.

More realistically, it is quite plausible that SLR will reach 1 meter as early as 2050, if not sooner.  If any political leaders or policy makers were actually listening and thinking about the future, they have less than 40 years to prepare many more coastal communities for permanent abandonment and the relocation of 100s of millions of Climate Refugees.

I agree with you that the next 5-20 years will see devastating crop losses and other weather related disasters.  At my age (66), I will probably live to see many of these predictions come true.  However, I'm hopeful that the "End-Time" scenarios don't start playing out in that time frame.
Another point to consider, looking at the interplay between capitalism and addressing Climate Change.

Houston, we have a problem! A HUGE one.

Any economic system that requires growth (wealth and/or population) is a non-starter.  I'm not an economist, nor do I claim to be a knowledgeable amateur economist, however I'm certain that we need an entirely new global economic model that can manage an orderly economic decline as the world transitions to a stable, equitable steady-state economy.

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ritter

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #70 on: March 21, 2013, 07:01:26 PM »
@Glenn and OLN,

Excellent summary of the predicament. I don't see how we come to an "equitable steady-state economy" in the best of times. I believe we're looking at the beginning of the worst of times. Between the chaos that climate change has begun to unveil, current global economic frailty and the peaking of our primary energy source, I fail to see a path forward for humanity that does not result in massive die off. We have sorely strained the carrying capacity of this planet under the best of times with inputs of fossil fuel. Once erratic weather decimates crops and sea level rise forces mass relocation and abandonment of critical infrastructure, how do we meet those challenges in an energy deficit? I just hope my reading of the tea leaves is mistaken.

birthmark

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #71 on: March 21, 2013, 08:57:56 PM »
@Glenn and OLN,

Excellent summary of the predicament. I don't see how we come to an "equitable steady-state economy" in the best of times. I believe we're looking at the beginning of the worst of times. Between the chaos that climate change has begun to unveil, current global economic frailty and the peaking of our primary energy source, I fail to see a path forward for humanity that does not result in massive die off. We have sorely strained the carrying capacity of this planet under the best of times with inputs of fossil fuel. Once erratic weather decimates crops and sea level rise forces mass relocation and abandonment of critical infrastructure, how do we meet those challenges in an energy deficit? I just hope my reading of the tea leaves is mistaken.
We must be looking into the same cup, my friend. You've summed it up accurately, imo.

I could go for a really good Deus ex machina about now.

fishmahboi

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #72 on: March 21, 2013, 11:00:43 PM »
With the fractures in the Arctic ice along with the uptick in Methane concentrations, a sick feeling encroaches in my stomach when I think of the impacts this could have on food production.

Glenn Tamblyn

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #73 on: March 22, 2013, 07:00:57 AM »
Discussion of sustainable/steady-state economics produces an inevitable knee-jerk reaction from many conservative folks that this is all about an agenda against the Capitalist/Free-Enterprise system. That anyone even discussing such things is a Socialist or some such thing. So it is very hard to have a rational conversation with some people about it; they can't get beyond their fundamental, and deeply visceral attachment to the current system and it's seeming advantages.

When in reality we need to recognize that our current economic system is broken. And always has been. It is just that it has taken several generations for the flaws to become obvious; we are living in that generation.

At it's heart is the need the system has for growth. And it is truly a need, not just greed; our system can't function without growth. As one example of this, lets consider productivity. To an economist the growth of productivity is central to economic progress. Over time we can produce the same quantity of goods & services (GAS) using less labor. So those GASs get cheaper.

However, if we are producing the quantity of GASs needed to meet our material needs with less labor, fewer people are employed. Those people who are now unemployed cannot buy the GASs that are made. So we have the perverse result that we can not meet all our material needs, even though we are actually producing enough to do so, because some people are barred from access to them. In order for those people to have their need for GASs met, we now need to produce more GASs to provide employment for those excluded by rising productivity. So we must overproduce just to meet our needs. Then productivity increases and the cycle begins again. An ever rising crescendo of more and more production, just so we can stand still and meet our needs.

The most profound way this overproduction manifests itself is through the structure of the Consumer Society; planned obsolescence, the throw-away society, the endless drive to have something new. Essentially we accommodate massive overproduction through massive waste. Our endless quest for greater efficiency ends up being a quest to be more efficient wasters.

And to create a mental framework for ourselves that allows us to do this without cognitive dissonance the materialist values of the Consumer Society are the enabler of all of this. Meaning in life comes from our possessions. Our kitchen may be still perfectly usable but we can have a new designer kitchen and feel better about ourselves. Or a new car, or whatever. If we don't have the latest and greatest whatever, we are 'slipping behind'.

Make no mistake, the psychological drivers behind all this are VERY, VERY powerful. All the basic emotional drives of our primate brains are directed towards this. Our sense of security; our need to defend territory and access to resources against threats posed by others; a search for status and rank within the group by continually comparing ourselves to others in the group; our need to fit-in with the culture and mores of the group in order to not be ostracized and left vulnerable in the world.

Just as fundamental in a negative way is the impact on all those people who aren't succeeding in the materialistic world. They now that they are diminished according to the standards of the group, rather than being able to make the mental leap to recognizing that actually it is that the standards are BS.

Fundamental human nature has glued itself to the material implications of rising productivity in a way that creates a massive positive feedback.

So what does it take to end this? An end to materialism. An acceptance that we need to meet our needs as efficiently as possible and then share them equally so that we don't need to produce more for those who would otherwise be excluded. Sound idealistic, utopian? Actually it is desperately needed brutal practicality. Utopia may be our only chance.

We need to decouple all human psychology from material things. Anyone have a good idea of how to do that?

fishmahboi

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #74 on: March 22, 2013, 09:30:10 AM »
I wonder. Could the coming disastrous crop losses that are being predicted occur this coming summer?

JackTaylor

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #75 on: March 22, 2013, 06:30:44 PM »
I wonder. Could the coming disastrous crop losses that are being predicted occur this coming summer?
Not likely or hopefully not.
If disastrous crop losses should occur this growing season it could be the calamity to get more action focused on reducing AGW.

If this is a deep interest of yours suggest you track production:

FAO says rice production outpacing consumption. Try the HomePage for more.
http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/164713/icode/

USDA - stats
http://www.nass.usda.gov/
Suggest choose, Crops and Plants, then Field Crops, Corn, -- Measured IN BU

bon appétit

fishmahboi

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #76 on: March 22, 2013, 06:40:57 PM »
I wonder. Could the coming disastrous crop losses that are being predicted occur this coming summer?
Not likely or hopefully not.
If disastrous crop losses should occur this growing season it could be the calamity to get more action focused on reducing AGW.

If this is a deep interest of yours suggest you track production:

FAO says rice production outpacing consumption. Try the HomePage for more.
http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/164713/icode/

USDA - stats
http://www.nass.usda.gov/
Suggest choose, Crops and Plants, then Field Crops, Corn, -- Measured IN BU

bon appétit

Thanks.  ;)

I appreciate the response too and I agree that if another calamity did happen this growing season then more people would be focused on AGW.

Shared Humanity

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #77 on: March 22, 2013, 06:55:56 PM »
they can't get beyond their fundamental, and deeply visceral attachment to the current system and it's seeming advantages.

When in reality we need to recognize that our current economic system is broken. And always has been.

At it's heart is the need the system has for growth. And it is truly a need, not just greed...

Sound idealistic, utopian? Actually it is desperately needed brutal practicality. Utopia may be our only chance.

We need to decouple all human psychology from material things. Anyone have a good idea of how to do that?

I have no idea how to do this but agree with your analysis. Capitalism is a "growth system". It's underlying logic demands it. As with all growth systems (think of the way compounding interest works) the result is exponential growth.

One other example that helps drive home the point that growth is absolutely essential to the system is when capitalist countries have drops in fertility rates such that they fall below the replacement rate. These countries worry and fret and always pass laws that seek to increase the fertility rates. A growing population is a requirement.

The behavior of growth systems are well understood and there are countless ecological studies. A predator population will expand rapidly when faced with a seemingly endless prey. The population will expand beyond the ability of the prey population to support it. The prey population collapses, quickly followed by the predator population.

Our dilemma is this.....

Growth systems (capitalism) constrained by a finite resource (mother earth) with significant lags in feedback loops (AGW) generally crash. Efforts to delay the crash can be effective. For example, technological advances can serve to sustain capitalism. The Green Revolution would be an excellent example. These advances only serve to perpetuate the exponential growth (Look at the current population trends to understand this.) The result is the inevitable crash is even more severe.

Imagine a lab experiment with a liter container of food available for bacteria. The lab tech places a single bacteria into the container and it begins to multiply exponentially, doubling its population in each reproductive cycle. The population of bacteria has grown until it has consumed exactly half of the available food and everything seems fine. It however has only one last reproductive cycle available before all food is depleted and the entire population dies. Now, suppose there are some real smart bacteria that suddenly realize their near term fate. They look outside their liter bottle and discover another liter bottle filled with food. They announce the discovery to the masses. Have no fear we have doubled the resources available to our civilization. We are saved. Seems logical until you realize that they have only postponed the crash by one reproductive cycle and that crash is even more severe.

Will the likely inevitable crash completely wipe out humanity? Not likely. Examples in nature generally show that these types of systems cycle through booms and busts. We'll survive but it will not be pretty.

There is an alternative fate for these growth systems and the preferable fate for ours is to arrive at a "dynamic equilibrium". We better get working on this.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 07:30:19 PM by Shared Humanity »

OldLeatherneck

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #78 on: March 22, 2013, 09:07:40 PM »


The previous comments on this topic have tended towards discussions related to the viability of a "Growth Based" Economy in a world limited by finite resources and faced with the dual threats of AGW/CC and an ever expanding population.

Last fall I took an "Introduction to Sustainability" class from the University of Illinois, that was offered on-line through Coursera.  In preparation for the week's forum discussions, during the week that the earth's carrying capacity was discussed, I created the above hypothetical chart.

The one accurate figure in this chart is the world's current population of 7 billion people and most projections indicate that by 2050 the population will have increased to 9 billion. Among the things that I postulated in creating the chart are.

1.  Currently, there are more than enough resources available to provide basic sustenance for the worlds population.  However, these resources are not equitably distributed worldwide.

2.  I believe that resource needs will always outpace population growth, because no matter what new economic system and/or governmental systems are put in place, the human and natural factors will always place limits on achieving an ideal state. We also know that even without the ravages of AGW/CC there will always be infrastructure needs, whether it is new infrastructure due to expanding population or the replacement of decaying or storm ravaged infrastructure.

I have taken the extreme liberty of using only one set of Natural Resource Decline Curves.  I am well aware that not all finite resources have reached a peak at this time, nor that all finite resource are necessary to sustain life or social order.  However, we know that crude oil, phosphates and potash are all nearing a peak.  We also know that AGW/CC will soon begin to cause global agricultural yields to decline.   I'm again just arguing that between the physical availability of any resource coupled with the ability to exploit and/or transport that resource, as an aggregate, those resources necessary to either sustain life and/or social order globally are beginning to decline. 

If this hypothetical chart has any veracity, we see that even a 1% decline rate will drop the availability of essential resources to critical levels by the mid-2020s.  Any further havoc caused by AGW/CC, in the meantime, just further threatens individual lives as well as social and economic stability.
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TerryM

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #79 on: March 22, 2013, 11:12:33 PM »
OLN


I'd argue that even the perception of food scarcity can/will destabilise distribution systems. If it was the failure of Russian wheat crops that lead to price spikes that lead to the Arab Spring events, those that were counting on food being delivered were more impacted by the loss of secure transportation than by the lowering of the amount of food available for delivery.


If Russia, Canada and the US suffered a simultaneous wheat crop failure they would still be able to meet domestic requirements, but those counting on their exports might find that transportation of other staples is jeopardize when regional governments are destabilized. The initial shortage of wheat leads to populist uprisings which in turn leads to transportation breakdowns which ends with people starving as rice crops rot in warehouses.


It's the fragility of and interdependency on secure transportation systems that bothers me more than the net amounts of foodstuff available for export. A 1% decrease in production could produce a disproportionate breakdown of regional transportation leading to a much higher percentage of food wasted & a much larger number of people facing starvation than the initial 1% loss might indicate.


Terry

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #80 on: March 23, 2013, 01:45:01 AM »
-- "initial shortage of wheat leads to populist uprisings which in turn leads to transportation breakdowns which ends with people starving as rice crops rot in warehouses" --
With the large percentage of people who get many or most of their calories from a 'bread based' diet, it's entirely possible for that or a similar scenario to occur.

OldLeatherneck

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #81 on: March 25, 2013, 05:52:00 PM »
Prof Sir John Beddington warns of floods, droughts and storms

QUOTE from BBC News:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21357520

The UK government's chief scientist has said that there is already enough CO2 in the atmosphere for there to be more floods and droughts over the next 25 years.

Prof Sir John Beddington said there was a "need for urgency" in tackling climate change.

He said that the later governments left it, the harder it would be to combat.

Prof Beddington made his comments in the final week of his tenure as the government's chief scientific adviser.

"The [current] variation we are seeing in temperature or rainfall is double the rate of the average. That suggests that we are going to have more droughts, we are going to have more floods, we are going to have more sea surges and we are going to have more storms.

"These are the sort of changes that are going to affect us in quite a short timescale," he warned.


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CraigsIsland

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #82 on: March 25, 2013, 06:48:17 PM »
"The next 20 or 30 years are going to be determined by what's up there now".  Prof. Beddington from article.

I thought it'd be quicker than that- assuming Methane accelerates the effects of C02.

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #83 on: March 25, 2013, 07:08:54 PM »
"The next 20 or 30 years are going to be determined by what's up there now".  Prof. Beddington from article.

I thought it'd be quicker than that- assuming Methane accelerates the effects of C02.

You have to consider the fact that there is a significant lag time between CO2 levels reaching a certain level and the climate system's response to that level, due to the thermal dynamic inertia of the world's oceans.

This effect as it pertains to CO2 levels and the response of the oceans is well summarized in the following blog post by a J. W. Rider at:  http://jwrider.blogspot.com/2009/01/thermodynamic-inertia.html

Quote:

"..............As the atmospheric CO2 and temperature levels rise, the oceans start to act as reservoirs of both. Even downturns in CO2 and temperature will be more than compensated by the oceans releasing CO2 and heat back into the atmosphere.

My issue here is the the ocean has ALWAYS been acting like a reservoir. This is not new. Every change in the thermodynamic equilibrium of our planet needs to be driven by something happening in our atmosphere. The oceans are why we've been existing in this relatively mild climate for the past 10,000 years."
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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #84 on: April 04, 2013, 08:47:15 PM »
When I started this topic six weeks ago, I was looking at the potential of Societal Collapse occurring much later in the game than I now am beginning to consider.  I'm basing this on the many comments, in this thread as well as in other threads on this Forum as well as comments on the many other climate blogs many of us frequent regularly.

As difficult as it is to link any one weather-related event directly to changes in the arctic, we know that the loss of arctic sea ice is a major factor in changing the atmospheric and climatic patterns in the Northern Hemisphere, whereas, Climate Change is only one of many factors that can lead to societal collapse.  Economic instability, political instability, resource depletion as well as religious and territorial disputes are among just a few of the factors that are bringing us closer to the "brink".  However, it is AGW/CC that can take us beyond the "brink" to a point that recovery may take centuries if not millennia.
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fishmahboi

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #85 on: April 04, 2013, 09:20:52 PM »
When I started this topic six weeks ago, I was looking at the potential of Societal Collapse occurring much later in the game than I now am beginning to consider.  I'm basing this on the many comments, in this thread as well as in other threads on this Forum as well as comments on the many other climate blogs many of us frequent regularly.

As difficult as it is to link any one weather-related event directly to changes in the arctic, we know that the loss of arctic sea ice is a major factor in changing the atmospheric and climatic patterns in the Northern Hemisphere, whereas, Climate Change is only one of many factors that can lead to societal collapse.  Economic instability, political instability, resource depletion as well as religious and territorial disputes are among just a few of the factors that are bringing us closer to the "brink".  However, it is AGW/CC that can take us beyond the "brink" to a point that recovery may take centuries if not millennia.

If AGW is likely to cause societal collapse then I am of the opinion that society may be staring at Death's Door for to push humanity over the brink of collapse is very easy with regards Climate Change which is at its peak now it seems.

Lucas Durand

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #86 on: April 04, 2013, 09:59:58 PM »
Quote
However, it is AGW/CC that can take us beyond the "brink" to a point that recovery may take centuries if not millennia.
Old L,
I agree with you that we are close to the "brink" of something...
However, I'm not so sure that it will take climate change to push us over the edge...

The way I see it right now, we risk involuntary contraction of social and economic complexity simply because of the drawdown of natural capital over the last century or so (I refrain from using the adjective "collapse" because of it's implication about the rate of contraction which I try not to speculate on).

Even from a purely thermodynamic point of view, it doesn't seem clear that the net energy returns we're getting today from all sources are enough to support the complexity that was created by access to very high EROEI (cheap!) fossil fuels, hence the questionable performance of the global economy since the "great recession".

A comprehensive overview of this idea was recently posted by Gail "The Actuary" at her blog (a very good blog by the way):
http://ourfiniteworld.com/2013/03/29/how-resource-limits-lead-to-financial-collapse/

In other words, I think we're in trouble irrespective of climate change - climate change being a terrible backdrop that feeds into the human drama I'm describing.
If this turns out to be the case, then the "human drama" is going to make it very difficult to organize any coherent response to climate change (coherent in the sense that many people normally think of as an organized response today - well funded and supplied, centrally controlled).

Other ways to look at it:
It seems possible that the type of economic contraction I'm describing could reduce global CO2 output at a rate that may be othewrwise unachievable due to present political considerations...
On the other hand, maybe our "drama" will make us so desperate that we burn everything and anything we can get our hands on in a futile attempt to try to get things back to the way they were...

Time will tell...

ritter

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #87 on: April 04, 2013, 10:27:58 PM »
In other words, I think we're in trouble irrespective of climate change - climate change being a terrible backdrop that feeds into the human drama I'm describing.
This is another part of the equation that gives me an "oh sh!t" feeling that bad things are converging to create the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. Peak (conventional) oil occurred between 2005 and 2007. We've extended our ride on the black tide with fracking and biofules, neither of which are long lived strategies. Imagine constructing the new infrastructure to adapt to sea level rise and climate change in an energy poor world. I just don't see how it can be done in a fashion that in any way resembles life as we know it (at least in the developed world).

Then add in those externalities like destruction of the fisheries and oceans, colony collapse of bees further reducing our ability to conduct ag, new strains or antibiotic resistant diseases, expansion of vector habitat associate with climate change, etc., etc. The horses of the apocalypse are many and they seem to be gathering speed on the same trajectory--a human beat down.

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #88 on: April 04, 2013, 11:56:27 PM »
However, it is AGW/CC that can take us beyond the "brink" to a point that recovery may take centuries if not millennia.
I think it's also AGW/CC that puts us into a position where we are no longer the architects of our problems and no longer in control of them any more. That is to say - I agree entirely that we were headed for crisis even with climate change entirely subtracted, but I think without abrupt climate change in the picture we had a lot more time in which to try to change our approaches or innovate our way out of the mess. We now have a effective deadline that is beyond our control.

The nastiest thing about climate change isn't necessarily the extra stress factor it brings to trigger collapse but the fact it will affect things so fundamentally and for such a long time (thousands of years to a million potentially). Surviving it and rebuilding is an altogether different proposition than even quite a nasty nuclear war (where one has a limited duration nuclear winter and various other effects that mostly will recover over sensible timescales).

The very supports of civilisation itself stand to be largely eroded - namely that we may no longer be able to depend upon a relatively stable climatic regime aka the Holocene, notwithstanding that even the gentler climatic variability of that period could at times be enough to take out ancient civilisations of much greater longevity than our modern one.

Hence my concerns about focussing on some form of continuity for some form of civilisation. I think the ultimate threat is really that fundamental and serious.

Shared Humanity

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #89 on: April 05, 2013, 04:36:31 PM »
ritter....... "I just don't see how it can be done in a fashion that in any way resembles life as we know it (at least in the developed world)."

I could not agree with you more.

There is an optimistic outlook that runs through much of this discussion and other threads on this amazing website. The optimism focuses on the wealth and resilience of the western world. Surely, we are in a better position to sustain ourselves in the face of the pressures that will result from AGW effects on capitalism. The 3rd world will certainly suffer the most. It will surprise you that this is exactly the opposite of what will happen as the capitalist system declines and/or retrenches.

Over the past 30 years, there has been some amazing research on networks and their behavior. Professor Brian Uzzi at Northwestern University in Chicago is one of many prominent researchers who have advanced this area of knowledge. He began his studies looking at ecological and biological networks and now, as a business professor, focuses on business (transaction) networks. What these researchers have proven is that all networks behave similarly (ecological, computer, business, websites etc) and the statistics that describe these network behaviors are identical.

I've attached links to two pieces of research that you might find interesting. The 2nd link is only the abstract.

"The sources and consequences of embeddedness for the economic performance of organizations: The network effect."

http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/faculty/uzzi/ftp/sources.pdf

"Asymmetric disassembly and robustness in declining networks"

http://ateson.com/ws/r/www.pnas.org/content/105/43/16466.full

Two essential conclusions about network behavior are this:

In a growing network, (think of the expansion of capitalism over the past, say, 400 years) organizations (nodes) that are more embedded in this network (a higher number of connections or interconnectedness) benefit the most by the growth. In the case of capitalism, those nations who have the most trade links with other nations (Western Europe and North America) benefit the most by the expansion of capitalism and trade. Those nations least connected benefit the least (Cuba, North Korea, Marshall Islands, Ecuador etc.)

The second article looks at the way networks behave when declining. This process of disassembly is asymmetric. The organization (nodes) that have the highest number of connections within the network suffer the most by this decline. Just as the western world has benefited the most by the growth of capitalism, they will suffer the most by its decline. Those organizations with fewer interconnections in the system demonstrate a much higher degree of resilience or robustness. In the business world, these organizations have a much higher rate of survival while the interconnected businesses are far more likely to go bankrupt.

As you have pointed out, the developed world's way of life will suffer greater disruptions than say Cuba which, because of trade sanctions, is relatively disconnected from the network.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 04:41:51 PM by Shared Humanity »

OldLeatherneck

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #90 on: April 05, 2013, 05:01:58 PM »
THE CASSANDRA COMPLEX:COMPLEXITY AND SYSTEMS COLLAPSE Robert J. Brem

Quote
Collapse and instability in systems are normal from the perspective of modern physics, as opposed to the comforting progressive and invariant order and equilibrium posited in classical physics. Collapse and instability are in fact beneficial to long term systems vitality in a dynamic cycle of emergence, collapse, re-emergence. In this fashion, a process of evolutionary development takes place as systems change over time and adapt to new temporal and spatial realities. However, when the cycles and dynamics of emergent order, increasing complexity, bifurcation, and reordering are artificially stabilized beyond natural parameters, the potential for dysfunctional or catastrophic collapse is increased. With this perspective serving as background and context, this article explores two potentially dangerous problems inherent in American public and private culture.

First, it is characteristic of American attitudes to privileging of positive perspectives of the future while concurrently delegitimizing “bad-news” to the point of denial. The result is to silence important information which might be crucial in informing and shaping policy. Second, and related to the first, Americans have an over reliance and faith in certainty and linear  progressive policies designed to maximize growth within a system whose “rules” are artificially maintained as “stable” (that is beyond reasoned calls for systemic change) even to the point of absurdity in the face of evidence that such rules need be changed. This is done with an abstract faith in the notion that growth is always good and theoretically sustainable without end despite evidence from natural systems and daily life to the contrary. The results of these dynamics in complex interplay over time is to magnify potentially beneficial collapse into a situation of potentially catastrophic systems collapse. The process whereby such policy streams are pursued and warnings of danger are systemically delegitimated is called here  “The Cassandra Complex.”

This paper also tends to describe the fundamental motivation for the burgeoning "Denial Industry."

Full paper downloadable @:

http://www.academia.edu/472031/THE_CASSANDRA_COMPLEX_COMPLEXITY_AND_SYSTEMS_COLLAPSE
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Shared Humanity

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #91 on: April 05, 2013, 05:08:17 PM »
This is not to say that nations like Cuba with few connections to the larger system of capitalism will not be affected. This lack of connectedness, however, and resultant self-sufficiency does provide it a resiliency or robustness that does not exist in a nation like the U.S.

In 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba lost access to most of the oil it needed to fuel (pun intended) its economy. It is not that oil became more expensive. Due to the embargo, the oil was simply unavailable. The two years following the collapse of the Soviet Union is called the "Special Period" by Cubans.

(Link to article attached)

http://www.cubahistory.org/en/special-period-a-recovery.html

It is estimated that the average weight loss for residents of Havana was 15 pounds over this period. In the following two years, the city of Havana became self-sufficient in food production. Given the current life styles (relatively non-materialistic) of the average Cuban, the long term effect has been to further reduce the interconnectedness with the larger system and an increase in resilience and robustness.

Now, imagine a similar or even lesser disruption of the supply of oil to the U.S. Because of our (yes, I live in the U.S.) embeddedness in the system (dependent on trade to maintain our standard of living) our economy will suffer far more seriously.

This reality is what causes our obsessive attempts to sustain oil production and trade by maintaining a huge military presence throughout the world. If oil trade were to collapse, Cuba would be essentially unaffected. We would be devastated. The U.S. would have a "Special Period" far worse than Cuba's because of our interconnectedness.

What would be the cause of such a disruption? Why should we expect that this would occur? Since the 1980's Iraq has had three dramatic drops in oil production and export. The first occurred during the Iran/Iraq war. The second during the first Gulf War in the early 90's and the most recent during the U.S. ill advised invasion in 2003. Each time exports declined by more than 50% and it took about a decade for exports to rebound to previous levels. In fact, Iraq's peak oil production occurred in the late 70's, even though they have large proven reserves.

Imagine food pressures in areas like the Middle East where nations depend on imports to feed their citizens. The Arab Spring gave the world a taste of what this might look like. Good luck sustaining oil exports from the Middle East when a large portion of the exporting nations citizens become food insecure (a euphemism for starving) as a result of AGW.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 05:50:07 PM by Shared Humanity »

Shared Humanity

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #92 on: April 05, 2013, 05:19:21 PM »
OldLeatherneck......

Fascinating excerpt from article. I will have to read it.

OldLeatherneck

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #93 on: April 07, 2013, 10:59:49 AM »
'Melting of ice in Arctic and Himalayas to affect India, China'

Quote
Himalayan nations, including India and China, will be affected in a big way by the melting of the ice in Arctic and the glaciers in Himalayas, Iceland President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson today warned as he asked parties and organisations to hold dialogue to deal with the issue.

Noting that the Arctic, the Himalayas and Antarctica (AHA) are not isolated and separate parts of our global, he said their fate and fate of the people and future are closely connected. Addressing a special session on "The AHA Moment: India and our Ice-Covered World" organized by the Aspen Institute India here, Grímsson said the future of Himalayan nations will depend profoundly on the understanding of the science that ice is melting and also in reaching cooperation among nations to tackle the crisis looming large before them.

He said that the melting of the glaciers in Himalayas and ice in Arctic will lead to rising of sea levels and a large number of most populous coastal cities in India and China other nations then be totally submersed by sea

Full article here:
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/melting-of-ice-in-arctic-and-himalayas-to-affect-india-china/1098617/
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OldLeatherneck

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #94 on: April 08, 2013, 12:32:36 AM »
STERN REVIEW: The Economics of Climate Change

This report, from the UK, indicates that without mitigation, the global economic impact of AGW/CC will be an annual 5% reduction in GDP (best case), with a worst-case outlook of an annual GDP decline of 20%.  I don't think we are prepared to face a world with economic declines that severe.  Whereas, mitigating actions to reduce dependence on  fossil fuels will only result in an annual GDP decline of 1% annually.

Full pdf report:http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/CLOSED_SHORT_executive_summary.pdf

Quote
The scientific evidence is now overwhelming: climate change is a serious global
threat, and it demands an urgent global response.

This Review has assessed a wide range of evidence on the impacts of climate
change and on the economic costs, and has used a number of different techniques to
assess costs and risks. From all of these perspectives, the evidence gathered by the
Review leads to a simple conclusion: the benefits of strong and early action far
outweigh the economic costs of not acting.

Climate change will affect the basic elements of life for people around the world –
access to water, food production, health, and the environment. Hundreds of millions
of people could suffer hunger, water shortages and coastal flooding as the world
warms.

Using the results from formal economic models, the Review estimates that if we don’t
act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least
5% of global GDP each year, now and forever. If a wider range of risks and impacts
is taken into account, the estimates of damage could rise to 20% of GDP or more.
In contrast, the costs of action – reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the
worst impacts of climate change – can be limited to around 1% of global GDP each
year.
The investment that takes place in the next 10-20 years will have a profound effect
on the climate in the second half of this century and in the next. Our actions now and
over the coming decades could create risks of major disruption to economic and
social activity, on a scale similar to those associated with the great wars and the
economic depression of the first half of the 20th century. And it will be difficult or
impossible to reverse these changes.

So prompt and strong action is clearly warranted. Because climate change is a
global problem, the response to it must be international. It must be based on a
shared vision of long-term goals and agreement on frameworks that will accelerate
action over the next decade, and it must build on mutually reinforcing approaches at
national, regional and international level.
"Share Your Knowledge.  It's a Way to Achieve Immortality."  ......the Dalai Lama

Anne

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #95 on: April 10, 2013, 01:47:52 PM »
Two fairly recent reports seem relevant here. I haven't seen them mentioned on the forum, so please forgive me if I've missed it and I'm just repeating stuff. Both cite recent research and carry extensive footnotes. Both pdfs are free to download and worth a few minutes of your time if you're interested in the effect on people.

Elizabeth Ferris for the Brookings Institute:
A Complex Constellation: Displacement, Climate Change and Arctic Peoples (Brookings-LSE, January 2013) 28pp
http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2013/1/30%20arctic%20ferris/30%20arctic%20ferris%20paper.pdf
Quote
This research (preliminary as it is) suggests that the relationship between climate change, displacement and Arctic indigenous communities is a complex one. Broader analysis and
advocacy efforts are needed to ensure that indigenous peoples are able to minimize the threats
posed by the effects of climate change to their cultures, identities and livelihoods, that they are
able to participate in the decisions that affect their lives, and that they receive the support they
need from the broader international community.

Ronald O'Rourke
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress (Congressional Research Service, January 2 2013) 91pp
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41153.pdf
Quote
Record low extents of Arctic sea ice over the past decade have focused scientific and policy attention on links to global climate change and projected ice-free seasons in the Arctic within decades. These changes have potential consequences for weather in the United States, access to mineral and biological resources in the Arctic, the economies and cultures of peoples in the region, and national security.
I wonder how many Congressmen will actually read it and take on board its implications. Expect a lot more military involvement in the Arctic.

OldLeatherneck

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #96 on: April 10, 2013, 04:01:48 PM »
Anne,

Thanks for those links!  I haven't seen either of them referenced elsewhere on the Forum.  They are certainly relevant to this topic.  When I started this topic, with the hypothetical chart, one of the first events is the relocation of people at the local and regional levels.  This is obvious that it is already occurring and beginning to draw attention.

I'm not optimistic about our current crop of "Congress Critters" being able to comprehend the imminence and severity of what is happening.  I see the more progressive politicians wringing their hands in despair  while the conservatives remain locked in denial.  Both parties seem to be of the opinion that exponential economic growth is not only attainable but that it is desirable.

Meanwhile, I'm going fishing for 4-5 days and may only have time to lurk.  My wife seems to think I'm becoming obsessed with all things arctic.  To wit; the other night we came home from a social engagement and I sat down at my desk.  As I started to open my laptop, my wife said to me, "you realize there is just as much ice in the arctic ocean tonight as there was this morning!!"  My only reply was, "well, maybe."
"Share Your Knowledge.  It's a Way to Achieve Immortality."  ......the Dalai Lama

Jim Williams

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #97 on: April 10, 2013, 06:02:49 PM »
Meanwhile, I'm going fishing for 4-5 days and may only have time to lurk.  My wife seems to think I'm becoming obsessed with all things arctic.  To wit; the other night we came home from a social engagement and I sat down at my desk.  As I started to open my laptop, my wife said to me, "you realize there is just as much ice in the arctic ocean tonight as there was this morning!!"  My only reply was, "well, maybe."

On the average she is wrong.

Anne

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #98 on: April 10, 2013, 10:07:35 PM »
Thanks, OL.

This review from National Defense University is fascinating. It accepts the reality of climate change, with its threats and opportunities. It recommends signing up to UNLCOS. Admittedly it argues multilateralism from a position of strategic weakness, but the tone is still suprisingly bullish.

http://www.ndu.edu/press/arctic-new-cold-war.htm

TerryM

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Re: Global Impact (Economic & Societal) of Declining Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #99 on: April 10, 2013, 11:23:31 PM »
Thanks, OL.

This review from National Defense University is fascinating. It accepts the reality of climate change, with its threats and opportunities. It recommends signing up to UNLCOS. Admittedly it argues multilateralism from a position of strategic weakness, but the tone is still suprisingly bullish.

http://www.ndu.edu/press/arctic-new-cold-war.htm


Anne


For some reason the link does not work.


Terry