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fishmahboi

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #50 on: June 09, 2013, 09:51:40 PM »
Thank you for that hint, Laurent. Maybe collapse is step-by-step and allready happening: After the dot.com bubble collapsed the finance bubble is collapsing for some years. Maybe after that we will face collapsing of redundant lawyers and marketing experts? Somehow we have to concentrate our work on things poeple really need. If ressources are tight we do not want to feed other poeple in the same way as we did when ressources where "unlimitted". And if we are able to reduce our consumption to a reasonable one, e.g. to share a car and a TV between 10 families, then we should be safe to sustain a similar living standard for all 9 billion poeple on the planet - that could be a stable civilization system.

I see some problems for areas like Berlin, London, New York city, Phoenix and especially Los Angeles and the Bay Area - how can one feed that much poeple living in a desert like area producing mostly virtual things? E.g. after a earthquake if poeple have drunken all the water in their swimming pools - what could they do?
If you live in places like that you should not do survival training but find some good friends e.g. in Missouri where you could move to when you realize the first signs of collapse. Because what would you do with millions of strange survival trained poeple in the desert? Poeple from Berlin e.g. could easily move to northern Mc.Pom - lots of space there. Similar maybe in northern California/Oregon? And if you are a lawyer or banker or so - maybe you try to get some additional skills enabling you to impress a farmer in case of collapse?

I wonder what the timescale of the step by step would be for the disasters that will occur with the gradual decline of civilisation; enough for to plan ahead against it or just too quick for one to devise a plan for survival in a post collapse world?

 

SATire

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #51 on: June 09, 2013, 11:54:13 PM »
I wonder what the timescale of the step by step would be for the disasters that will occur with the gradual decline of civilisation; enough for to plan ahead against it or just too quick for one to devise a plan for survival in a post collapse world?
fishmahboi, I would not consider the transition as "gradual decline of civilisation". The only thing we need to do is to consume less and to reduce the amount of resources in such a way, that the resources will be enough for all poeple in the world. But civilization and social life can still be similar or even better in future - I think that is the direction to work for. To consume less und to live better together with your friend next to you and the friends abroad. Collapse would only happen if we stay with selective exponential growth on the cost of others or the future.

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #52 on: June 10, 2013, 12:26:00 AM »
Well since I seemed to have partly caused this discussion to occur I guess I should comment also.

In regards to archiving knowledge and keeping alive all the various skills humans have accumulated over thousands of years I can see no possible argument or problem with folks performing those tasks.  Especially skills related to pre-computer technology.  We were a very capable species already by then; we even put people on the moon largely with slide rules.  I am getting along in years now but over the course of my life I never stopped learning new hand skills (it is sort of a hobby).  Like many others I have a lot of books on all those skills and I have probably not even learned half of them yet.  It is good mind training and calms the soul.  Try and avoid TV.

However, there is one area in which I want to agree with Bob (surprised you there didn't I?).  As I mentioned in other posts I am with Bob in that I think the most probable timeframe for collapse to be roughly 2050.  For a variety of reasons I think that the available data indicates that is when real crunch time comes and it will no longer be possible to extend BAU.  We currently have slack in terms of poor efficiencies in many areas that we can work out of the system and thereby sustain it for a time.  AGW and Peak Oil/energy issues will eventually bite hard but not for some time yet. Agriculture metrics will slowly deteriorate over time.  Fresh water sources will shrink.  Etc.  But, baring several of what appear to be low probability events happening at the same time, I do not think one can make a case for a timeframe much sooner than 2050.  But back to the main subject.

Like Neven, I have the same opinion of John Geer and his projections.  If you have not read his work (especially his blog) it is very worthwhile.  He is to say the least a gifted writer and I learn a lot from him even though I disagree with his projections.  I think, when things finally reach the point where the system cannot maintain its complexity and has no choice but to shrink to a lower level, that there will already be such stress in the system that the initial drop will be a long ways.  The reason I think it will happen this way is just because no one (but a few bloggers) will openly discuss what really needs to be done and institute action to make some of those things happen (thus Bob was asking me for a plan earlier).  We are stuck in a paradigm right now where two largely opposed camps are proposing their solutions; one I call the Progressive BAU approach and the other I call the Tea Party (or maybe Establishment would be better) BAU approach.  I think both a different version of dead ends and think that, for a variety of factors which I will not go into here, that the current BAU approach will largely dominate and we best make our plans assuming such.  Saying it makes no sense, or that it is inhumane, or it is not fair, begs the point.  Our civilization has a general approach to functioning and changes very slowly in how it operates.  In hard times people fall back upon what worked for them in the past (people are fundamentally conservative in this respect) and are not inclined to take what appear to be chances on new ideas... like sacrificing a hunk of your financial lifestyle for people on the other side of the world you do not even know and in general are not sure you would even like.  We have to deal with reality.  Doing anything else is pointless.

So how do I think collapse manifests itself?  I think that, just like Peak Oil, we are actually already beginning to collapse and just think our current problems are temporary situations.  As the next 35 years pass we will see a steady constrictions of options for our civilization to take as the metrics of resources, AGW, financial constraints and such tighten.  Between now and the table edge we will see the costs of implementing potential mitigation efforts dramatically rise and they will have to fight for resources with all the other demands of a world of a growing population, deteriorating infrastructure, climate disasters, shifting populations, food scarcities and such.  It is going to get increasingly harder as time goes on to execute anything.  Results of big efforts will take longer and cost more than expected leaving less for other efforts.  Thus is scarcity manifested in a complex system.  Eventually it breaks. 

When it breaks war will not be the main driver of population decline.  Not that there will not be a lot of military conflicts of one sort or another, but they are going to be driven largely by resource needs and protecting what various countries/organizations already control.  The big drivers of population decline will be the historical norms; i.e. starvation and disease.  They always come together.  They can kill people much faster than the military is practically capable of.  Long before the general collapse starvation, malnutrition and disease will be allowed to grow in places where they no longer have the wealth to participate in the global system.  They will be eased off the back of the bus so to speak.  When resources get tight enough down the road it will be a pay to play situation.  If you can no longer give people stuff for free you won't.  So they will starve.  We are going to do this whether it is nice or not.  And when I say "We" I am not just including Americans in the statement.  Any student of history knows that when it comes to facilitating the end of people that Americans are not alone in their willingness to engage nor are they even on the top of the list.  But there is a big difference between stepping back and saying there is nothing I can do to help you and taking an active position in helping you go.  At the tables edge is where one can expect active positions to come into play..subtle perhaps but active.  But dramatic population decline will have to happen and there is no alternative to starvation and disease.  But enough on that as it will come and there is not much we can do about it on a system level.

Where do we end up.  Tough question.  I agree with Geer in that he expects a stair step type of descent, but I think for most people that the first one is going to be huge in that they do not make it through it.  For those in privileged positions like the Americans, Europeans (some of them anyway), some of the Chinese, and other power blocks scattered among various countries and corporations they will plan ahead by restructuring their infrastructures, economies, manufacturing (the US is going to build a lot of capability back up as we wind down globalization), controlling resources, security arrangements, and other such things with the goal of maintaining as much of the technological capabilities as they can.  I expect that Democracy will largely disappear as a practiced form of government and that the remaining large powerful countries will orient towards authoritarian structures and the smaller towards a modern type of Feudalism.  This is going to be particularly interesting in America, which is already seeing the effects of resistance to its slow drift towards socialist/authoritarian/corporate governance.

Bob wanted to know what my 'plan' was.  I have no plan because I am not in charge.  If I was it would be a different world already.  However, I can think of one thing that would help immensely even at this late stage.  The first and most important thing we as a global civilization could do to facilitate the future would be to STOP HAVING BABIES.  Period.  Not the crap nonsense about declining birth rates, educating poor women, etc.  Not encouraging smaller families.  Just STOP.  For  20-25 years.  That might actually come close to fixing things.  It would make the crash much less severe and we would have consumed much less resources when it happened.  But that is not going to happen. 

But I am a hard nosed guy and I would make no effort to maintain BAU.  I would support working on capabilities (solar is one) that would help us adapt to our post collapse situation.  All efforts from here forward would be to plan for maximum benefit after the collapse.  Any effort intended to ensure the collapse would not happen is wasting resources that can be better utilized.  I don't believe that humans are capable of global kumbayaness and would not 'plan' for it.  People in general are not very admirable and when they are in dire straights they are pretty damn ugly.  Plan for that if you are smart.  Everyone is going to try and make it.  Those who are in good positions in terms of where they live or how wealthy or powerful they are have the best chance of succeeding.  Some from both sides will make it some won't.  All that matters is that some make it.  Our duty now is not to try and maintain and save BAU it is to leave the most resources and capabilities for the post collapse survivors.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #53 on: June 10, 2013, 06:41:42 AM »

If one looked at what I'm doing personally, you'd label me a survivalist. However I'm setting my aspirations much higher. I don't like survivalism - I don't want to see lots of people thinking only about "how to survive". That isn't the right mindset in my opinion. I'd be happier to see more people thinking about "how can we survive and do well". How can we build the sort of world we know we could achieve, even if we must go through collapse in the interim? (and yes, this is very long term thinking - far beyond my lifetime (especially if collapse occurred to a low floor, as I think it would currently without appropriate policies in place).

I largely agree, there are just dilemmas in this that make it hard to know what structures even still exist in a real collapse of things. I mean, policies at large scales are not going to plan for the fall of national governments or their basic structures; they would have no real way to know how to do that. What would remain, I suspect, would be local level structures, and those vary widely -- I think that far beyond just individual survival, having a pre-existing strong support network, and having the knowledge base that can adapt to fostering its members and so on, is honestly all I can think to do to even _get_ to a place, from real collapse, where we don't just survive as individuals, but actually build something better.

In a sense you've touched on exactly where I'm pitching this thread with "policies at large scales are not going to plan for the fall of national governments or their basic structure". Without collapse, we will continue to be determined by the policies of said governments.

With collapse, however, it seems highly unlikely that any government would ever have sufficient concern for it's people to plan or prepare for a scenario where the government itself fell or could no longer operate. I think this is actually a problem in itself as it implies there are situations where what would clearly be in the interests of the population or (bigger picture) our species would never be considered by the powers of the day.

I don't think that shrugging is the answer, or sitting around doing nothing, I just think that figuring out what to do in a real, large-scale collapse of things is a little like trying to figure out what to do ahead of time if a meteor hits. I mean, you can have some general preparations for disasters, and you can have solid social networks built that will support each other when other networks fail, but you don't know what is left and what isn't, ahead of time, or what scale of recovery-followed-by-building you face.

I think some general principles can at least be determined, though I don't dispute the importance of specifics (and these will vary depending on where you live - mass starvation seems a threat first and foremost to significant net importers of food, for instance).

For example, general principles I think that have emerged so far:
- reducing dependent interconnections on the wider system to enable smaller units to continue to operate raises resilience (this is true for whatever size of smaller unit you take)
- social fairness is important to retain social cohesion, again this factor would be relevant in units of just about any size

I'd argue with respect to the second point that injustice and inequality drive conflict more than basic need. If I take a country where the bottom 10% are hungry and desperate and the top 1% are comfortable and flaunting their affluence but overall the country has enough food - I think this country would be a far more explosive mixture than a country where there isn't enough to go around but everyone is hungry.

I honestly think that knowing the people around you well is what provides the base for all rebuilding. I don't have any idea how one would go about trying to set up for the systems that come after the collapse and recovery from it -- with what structure?

Actually, I think one could also argue some concept of community is in itself a valuable policy for raising resilience and promoting social cohesion. In the UK community is an idea that has largely died at this point. It is easier to enact violence against strangers to obtain basic resources than against people you have known and been friends with for a long time.

The specifics all matter immensely.

A lot of my thinking has been along the lines of planning for the worst, hoping for the best - and accordingly I've thought more about a total and relatively rapid (years) collapse scenario, which is simpler in many ways as one can discard a lot of specifics.

Some of the things we're coming up with though - are at least things that people could start to do themselves without relying on wider policy drivers - for example trying to do ones bit to increase the cohesion of local community? (otherwise known as "getting to know the neighbours better")

A lot of vulnerability is forced upon poorer people in developed nations. For example, in the UK, if you want to grow your own food on a useful scale - how do you do it? A richer person might buy land (in which case they can afford food anyway) but a poorer person has no such option. If they are lucky they might get an allotment - but most areas have a significant waiting list and there appears to be no strong government policy to meet demand (I think that giving people more control over their food security would also make them feel more responsible for it, versus the odds they just riot and resort to crime if they can't find or afford food in the shops).

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #54 on: June 10, 2013, 06:44:54 AM »
I wonder what the timescale of the step by step would be for the disasters that will occur with the gradual decline of civilisation; enough for to plan ahead against it or just too quick for one to devise a plan for survival in a post collapse world?
I think the premise of this thread has to be that there is time to implement policies and solutions (and in that sense I'm keen to advance the discussion on from "consequences" in this respect).

Laurent

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #55 on: June 10, 2013, 03:26:23 PM »
Satire a possible solution for German people :
https://www.gls.de/privatkunden/english/
You may be the perfect one who do not release CO2 in any case but if your money is in a bank that exactly do the opposite then you are wasting your time and efforts.
In France we have something called "NEF" but is not a bank, being a bank is nearly impossible !

SATire

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #56 on: June 10, 2013, 04:10:18 PM »
Indeed Laurent. I know some poeple over at GLS (Gemeinschaftsbank für Leihen und Schenken - translated to "community bank for loans and gifts". Where money makes sense.

We can also buy our daily products at dm or organic food in super markets and pure renewable electricity from our local grid - everything is doable today and a collapse can easily avoided, if you want.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2013, 04:19:08 PM by SATire »

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #57 on: June 10, 2013, 06:45:38 PM »
We can also buy our daily products at dm or organic food in super markets and pure renewable electricity from our local grid - everything is doable today and a collapse can easily avoided, if you want.
I think I'd amend "you want" to "we all want" - in the sense that an individual or small group are not going to be able to influence collapse at the macroscopic level.

Currently there seems to me to be a real problem in communication and understanding so very few people are even able to contemplate the possibility of a form of collapse - an awful lot of dogmatic assumptions (and a certain amount of ignorance) get in the way of even communicating the possibility of the problem to people.

While one might naturally say "we all do want" to avoid collapse, I'm not sure that can be true if the majority of people aren't even able to engage the issues effectively. To that extent a solution to the problem would be far more likely if it was well understood by the population and far more people would therefore meaningful engage.

How to achieve that though? If the last forty years failed to communicate these things to enough people to effect change - what could be done differently for the next forty? (taking the Limits to Growth outlook)

retiredbill

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #58 on: June 11, 2013, 05:39:07 AM »
We believe that climate change will cause major disruption
to our standard of living and will impact mankind adversely.
We also wonder why people don't listen to us and take corrective
action while there is still time.

Other people believe that the world is going to end soon and some
even predict specific days and times. We scoff at these people and
say they are 'unscientific'. But they still believe that the world
is going to end.

Perhaps the general populace looks at us the same way that we look
at doomsayers. We think the difference is that we know science is on
our side. We have faith in science that many other people may not have.

So how do we overcome denial? I don't think we can. There are too few
of us who are willing to sacrifice our standard of living to try and
convince others of the validity of science and climate change. I know
that I won't do anything that will impact my standard of living. I'm
65 and I don't believe that there will be major impacts from climate
change until around 2050 or 2075. If I was only 25, I sure would look
at things differently and would have begun preparing by now.

By 2040/2050, when the number and severity of climate events will get
the attention of enough people to make a difference, it will be too
late to avoid collapse of our technological civilization. There are no
effective mitigating strategies once the tipping point has been passed.
Those people still living will have to hope that our species will not go extinct.

SATire

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #59 on: June 11, 2013, 10:29:08 AM »
I think I'd amend "you want" to "we all want" - in the sense that an individual or small group are not going to be able to influence collapse at the macroscopic level.
Two things we learned '68 while overcoming Nazi-behaviour in Germany: "Think global & act local" and "you can not force someone to happiness" (after Nietzsche). So everybody is free to find his/her own way of life.
Since we are democracies we have to wait for the slower communities e.g. to sign Kyoto ff. later. I think Germany will slow down a bit in the next years to wait for some more countries to agree to the treaty - we have some time since we easily can prepare for a sea-level rise of 4-5 m, flooding and drought.
On the other hand if there is the risk to excess the collapse-threshold of several societies, e.g. even pacifist green poeple would probably not hesitate to destroy others capability to harm the childrens life by excessively emitting CO2. Reasonable societies will have to prevent unreasonable ones from destroying the basis of all of us.
Maybe if China is really going to lead the world as some suppose to, they could act even more straight-forward in future.

Laurent

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #60 on: June 12, 2013, 10:30:44 AM »
incredible !
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/11/state-broadcaster-ert-shut-down-greece?INTCMP=SRCH
The public broadcast is over in Greece !
Imagine the BBC being shutdown from one day to the next !
That's reality ! not a scenario (may be of topic) !

LurkyMcLurkerson

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #61 on: June 12, 2013, 08:40:21 PM »
(Bah, fixed my too-little-coffee formatting mess. Didn't actually need any of the quotey bits anyhow. -McL)

ccgwebmaster --

I actually think we agree on the vastest vast majority here, and I'm maybe talking in circles a bit.

One of my biggest concerns in _whatever_ set of details is coming our way is making sure that the greatest burden of all adjustments, both in hopefully halting further climate disaster as much as we still can, and in adapting as needed to the world we find ourselves living in, does not fall disproportionately on those who already have the least means to survive.

And ethical considerations there aside, it's also just practical to future survival, to me -- conflict and further catastrophe can only be avoided well if we are prepared to make sure that we can apply basic fairness. There is nothing so explosive or so stubbornly unable to consider long term, large scale change in a solid way as a society with a vast, suffering, desperate underclass. We will have to find ways to interact and to share resources as fairly and justly as possible for there to be any larger-scale stability, I think.

Pushes now for ideas on what a fairer _economy_ can look like, both on local scales and larger, is maybe a worthwhile preparation for future mitigation. All ideas will have problems or need to deal with unforseen specifics, but yes, I think that inequality will be a driving force, if we let it. I actually think it already is one, a factor in our wider-scale resistance to change that would help.

LurkyMcLurkerson

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #62 on: June 12, 2013, 09:00:47 PM »
I think I'd amend "you want" to "we all want" - in the sense that an individual or small group are not going to be able to influence collapse at the macroscopic level.
Two things we learned '68 while overcoming Nazi-behaviour in Germany: "Think global & act local" and "you can not force someone to happiness" (after Nietzsche). So everybody is free to find his/her own way of life.
Since we are democracies we have to wait for the slower communities e.g. to sign Kyoto ff. later. I think Germany will slow down a bit in the next years to wait for some more countries to agree to the treaty - we have some time since we easily can prepare for a sea-level rise of 4-5 m, flooding and drought.
On the other hand if there is the risk to excess the collapse-threshold of several societies, e.g. even pacifist green poeple would probably not hesitate to destroy others capability to harm the childrens life by excessively emitting CO2. Reasonable societies will have to prevent unreasonable ones from destroying the basis of all of us.
Maybe if China is really going to lead the world as some suppose to, they could act even more straight-forward in future.

This hits on exactly one of the greatest challenges in almost any similar situation on almost any similar scale, honestly -- when one's own survival is dependent on the actions of neighbors, other communities, other nations, it becomes really difficult to balance those free ways of life with the realities of the consequences to others, in some ways people choose to live.

It's almost like the tragedy of the commons, writ large.

And no, I have no real idea what to do about it, either. I think we're at a point that will require large scale management and fairly constructed binding agreements, and I think we're already out of time for the versions that would have been better -- which doesn't mean that we shouldn't act now.

By the time everybody is on the same page, more or less, it's going to be too late to get around the worst case scenarios, I fear.

Sometimes, I view all of this as sort of a test -- humanity will start to get it right, when it comes to interdependence and organizing around fairer principles, or humanity will get baffed even worse, right down to every self-interested nation, state, city, individual who would simply rather not worry about what happens to the folks down the river or down the street, if it would require any work on their part.

jonthed

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #63 on: June 13, 2013, 06:36:16 AM »
Some people seem doubtful as to the level and scale of the collapses that may occur. I say collapses as I do believe different nations and regions will face their own set of problems and be able to deal with them to different degrees.

I highly recommend reading Climate Wars by Gwynne Dyer if you haven't already, or you can watch one of his talks about it on youtube. He has interviewed many policy and military folk and outlines several different scenarios whereby some form of collapse occurs.

I wanted to comment on my thoughts for the UK in particular. We are very densely populated and import about half of our food by necessity. If climate change begins to hurt global crop yields to the point where major food exporters stop exporting (russia did this not so long ago) then there will simply not be enough food to go round globally, and the UK will not be able to get enough to feed its people. Rationing would have to be introduced, but even then there might not be enough. It wouldn't take much for food riots from there, and food motivated crimes.

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #64 on: June 15, 2013, 06:41:50 PM »
So how do we overcome denial? I don't think we can. There are too few
of us who are willing to sacrifice our standard of living to try and
convince others of the validity of science and climate change. I know
that I won't do anything that will impact my standard of living. I'm
65 and I don't believe that there will be major impacts from climate
change until around 2050 or 2075. If I was only 25, I sure would look
at things differently and would have begun preparing by now.

So why won't you do anything that would impact your standard of living? As you say - for those of us who are younger, we face a future where it is very hard to see how our standard of living won't be impacted far worse than anyone today would need to accept in the name of a solution (excepting that once you're dead, I'm not sure standard of living applies.

Having never really achieved much of a standard of living by western standards, I obviously wonder personally - but also at a wider scale - as people who are refusing to consider changing, even for the ultimate sake of billions of others including their children and grandchildren are surely part of the problem. A solution to all this must therefore find some means by which to change this part of the problem? (and it is part of the problem - even if the consequences of all this were decades away as people prefer to believe - their attitudes are typically indoctrinated into the next generation).

By 2040/2050, when the number and severity of climate events will get
the attention of enough people to make a difference, it will be too
late to avoid collapse of our technological civilization. There are no
effective mitigating strategies once the tipping point has been passed.
Those people still living will have to hope that our species will not go extinct.

Those people still living will have to get off their backsides and make sure it doesn't - not just vaguely hope. Hope achieves nothing without action and that is as true today as it will be later.

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #65 on: June 15, 2013, 06:45:15 PM »
I wanted to comment on my thoughts for the UK in particular. We are very densely populated and import about half of our food by necessity. If climate change begins to hurt global crop yields to the point where major food exporters stop exporting (russia did this not so long ago) then there will simply not be enough food to go round globally, and the UK will not be able to get enough to feed its people. Rationing would have to be introduced, but even then there might not be enough. It wouldn't take much for food riots from there, and food motivated crimes.
Sadly people can starve even in major agricultural exporter nations - if money talks loudly enough to get the food shipped off to people with more money. I think in the initial stages of decline rationing and better management of food tempered with social justice could buy more time - but past a point cutting the interconnections starts to make sense - and trying to isolate and let sink regions that are far above their carrying capacity (such as the UK).

Then the management of those regions becomes a different question - one of managed decline if possible. Again - social justice would be an absolute requirement here, you can't expect a society to generally maintain coherence while people at the top are comfortable in their private jets eating caviar and drinking champagne while the masses starve...

There are exceptions of course, such as North Korea. That's where I see the UK as being headed in the end if it retains coherence.

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #66 on: June 15, 2013, 07:10:11 PM »
I'm going to stick this under this thread - as I think it's a good fit.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jun/15/transition-towns-way-forward

retiredbill

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #67 on: June 16, 2013, 11:27:01 PM »
So how do we overcome denial? I don't think we can. There are too few
of us who are willing to sacrifice our standard of living to try and
convince others of the validity of science and climate change. I know
that I won't do anything that will impact my standard of living. I'm
65 and I don't believe that there will be major impacts from climate
change until around 2050 or 2075. If I was only 25, I sure would look
at things differently and would have begun preparing by now.

So why won't you do anything that would impact your standard of living? As you say - for those of us who are younger, we face a future where it is very hard to see how our standard of living won't be impacted far worse than anyone today would need to accept in the name of a solution (excepting that once you're dead, I'm not sure standard of living applies.


The American dream is a high standard of living. Americans don't want their living standard reduced unless
 we are directly attacked e.g. rationing was accepted during WWII because of Pearl Harbor. Since almost
 no one else is voluntarily reducing their standard, I feel no compunction to do otherwise. By the time we
 feel attacked by climate change, it will be too late to take effective action. The 'attack' will not take place
 until  after I'm dead.

Dromicosuchus

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #68 on: June 17, 2013, 04:06:49 AM »
One could make an argument for altering one's way of life towards a less carbon-intensive mode in preparation for future and current climatic disruptions, rather than just in the hopes of avoiding them.  The survivors of any extinction event are always the small generalists: the creatures that can survive on pretty much anything, and don't need much of anything to survive.  In first-world countries, however, many humans live as large specialists.  We've incorporated our homes, our entertainment systems, our pets, etc. into the "bodies" that we need to sustain, and we often rely on being very, very good at one narrowly defined thing to maintain that gigantic, hungry "body."  This lifestyle, so unsuited for upheavals in our social or physical environment, also happens to be immensely carbon-intensive.  In order to survive what's to come, it might be very wise to attempt to shift from being a specialist to a generalist, and to shuck off much of our "bodies" in favor of a leaner, lower-intensity, more nimble existence.  Simply trying to hunker down, barricading oneself inside one's house and stockpiling food, is utterly pointless; it may take a ceratopsian longer to starve than it does a multituberculate, but if the good times never return the dinosaur will still ultimately starve while the mammal survives.

Now, I personally have it easy; I'm young (24), I own little property, and I don't have the debts sunk fallacy to drive me to cling to things that, ultimately, I won't be able to maintain.  No car for me, either now or in the future, and if/when I do eventually find someplace that I'm comfortable enough in to put down some shallow roots, I'll be angling for a very small one to three-room house, and nothing more.  What possessions I do have I plan to pare down further, hopefully eventually reaching the point where I can carry what I really need on my back.

...But then, that's all plans and good intentions.  Who knows how well I'll stick to them; those good intentions might well end up being used as paving stones along a certain road.

SATire

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #69 on: June 17, 2013, 11:44:45 AM »
The American dream is a high standard of living. Americans don't want their living standard reduced unless we are directly attacked [...] The 'attack' will not take place
 until  after I'm dead.
That is a common attitude - but not very helpful.

I would consider a United Nations Law for every society to get over this shortsighted selfishness:
1) Distribution of AGW-refugees proportional to the historical accumulated CO2 emission of that society (who had the lunch will have to pay for it). The refugees have to get work permission or alternatively housing & food for free.
2) If one society really wants to reduce its bill by geoengineering - that must be done only on the territory of that society and any side effects for neighbours must be compensated. If USA really wants to nuke Yellowstone in future, maybe the poeple are going to change their mind.
3) Any action on cost of future generations elsewhere are no option for every society.

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #70 on: June 17, 2013, 03:58:36 PM »
The American dream is a high standard of living. Americans don't want their living standard reduced unless we are directly attacked [...] The 'attack' will not take place
 until  after I'm dead.
That is a common attitude - but not very helpful.

All too common - and at the risk of offending delicate sensibilities in some quarters - liable to increase anti American sentiment around the world in any society affected by climate change that understands how it works and that contributed substantially less to it.

Unfortunately all too many peoples of various nations have too little ability to empathise with people of other nations. Changing this is a requirement to avoid large scale conflict from which there would be no winners.

SATire

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #71 on: June 17, 2013, 05:18:30 PM »
All too common - and at the risk of offending delicate sensibilities in some quarters - liable to increase anti American sentiment around the world in any society affected by climate change that understands how it works and that contributed substantially less to it.
Oh - in no way I wanted to increase anti American sentiment or something similar. That was only an example relating to the "american dream" in a prior post. Of course the rule would be applied to any society in the world - so it is purely "anti CO2-emitting" and follows the simple rule "who had the lunch has to pay for it". I think nobody in any culture of the world would dispute that point.

It would be nice if the big/rich/powerful nations could declare above laws first. Just to prevent some simple minded poeple in some backward regions from the strange idea, that it could be a bit more likely that geoengineers in future would nuke Krakatau instead of Yellowstone to cool down the world. I know American poeple are responsible poeple and that the world can rely on the honor of that nation once more. Everybody will stay at their side.

The main point is: Such a law would make it easier for poeple to agree, that emitting CO2 produces some kind of cost and to accept that cost. By this acception the collapse could be prevented easily, because poeple would start to move for a reason and their own benefit.

By the way - even denialists could sign such a law: Since they assume there will be no AGW-refugees just because there will be no AGW, the cost of such a treaty is exactly zero for them. Isn't that a nice idea?
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 05:24:21 PM by SATire »

JimD

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #72 on: June 17, 2013, 06:55:07 PM »
That is a common attitude - but not very helpful.

I would consider a United Nations Law for every society to get over this shortsighted selfishness:
1) Distribution of AGW-refugees proportional to the historical accumulated CO2 emission of that society (who had the lunch will have to pay for it). The refugees have to get work permission or alternatively housing & food for free.
2) If one society really wants to reduce its bill by geoengineering - that must be done only on the territory of that society and any side effects for neighbours must be compensated. If USA really wants to nuke Yellowstone in future, maybe the poeple are going to change their mind.
3) Any action on cost of future generations elsewhere are no option for every society.

Ok SATire,

Assuming for arguments sake that such a law could be passed (which it couldn't considering which countries have veto power).  You do realize that 1) UN 'Laws" have no jurisdiction over sovereign entities, and 2) none of the countries which have "eaten the lunch" would stand for the UN trying to force them to do something. 

The UN has occasionally forced a country to do something it did not want to do, but only when the strong countries used the UN as a means of political cover.  And even then it does not work very well.  In the only instance where the UN tried to force a strong country(s) to bend to its will the carnage was pretty bad and the end result was a stalemate even for the US (Korean War).

But imagine what the response of countries like Germany, Japan, The UK, France would be if you tried to force their citizens to give up about 80% of their lifestyle.  Not to mention the US.  In the US there is serious dislike of the UN even among moderates and it is not uncommon among the left either.  On the right there is serious almost universal hatred of the place.  If the UN members even tried to enact such a 'Law' the US would tear the place down around your ears.  The political backlash here in the US would be such that the UN would largely cease to function and it would probably be looking for a new HQ's outside the US. 

It is not possible to over emphasize how unlikely it is that ANY country will willingly give up a substantial percentage of its wealth and power to assist weaker entities.  Humans just will not do such a thing.  We are inherently selfish and will remain so.  If a people or country do not see something in an action that is good for themselves the only way you can get them to do it is to force them.  No one can 'force' the US to do anything it does not want to do and the US has real limits on how far it can force issues as well.       
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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

Bruce Steele

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #73 on: June 17, 2013, 09:16:24 PM »
JimD, I have talked to enough people to know there are certain things people will say when seriously confronted with global warming, ocean acidification or the melting of the arctic ocean. One of those pat responses is " I won't be here to see the results "( like retired bill ).Although bill may have been trolling the question of responsibility , individually or collectively , is still valid. So if an individual or a country doesn't accept responsibility for their actions how would you propose to level the playing field? Shunning? Economic sanctions? Or violence?   I would like to believe economic sanctions would be the first choice  but  it is also the most easily avoided with mutually dependent trade and a world economic system based on growth. So where does that leave us?  I don't like the answer because I live to close to L.A.   

OldLeatherneck

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #74 on: June 18, 2013, 01:39:56 AM »


Assuming for arguments sake that such a law could be passed (which it couldn't considering which countries have veto power).  You do realize that 1) UN 'Laws" have no jurisdiction over sovereign entities, and 2) none of the countries which have "eaten the lunch" would stand for the UN trying to force them to do something. 

The UN has occasionally forced a country to do something it did not want to do, but only when the strong countries used the UN as a means of political cover.  And even then it does not work very well.  In the only instance where the UN tried to force a strong country(s) to bend to its will the carnage was pretty bad and the end result was a stalemate even for the US (Korean War).

But imagine what the response of countries like Germany, Japan, The UK, France would be if you tried to force their citizens to give up about 80% of their lifestyle.  Not to mention the US.  In the US there is serious dislike of the UN even among moderates and it is not uncommon among the left either.  On the right there is serious almost universal hatred of the place.  If the UN members even tried to enact such a 'Law' the US would tear the place down around your ears.  The political backlash here in the US would be such that the UN would largely cease to function and it would probably be looking for a new HQ's outside the US...................................
     

JimD,

I can not agree more wholeheartedly.  We currently live in a world that values "sovereignty" over almost anything else.  As you mentioned, the right-wing here in the US has a vitriolic hatred of the federal government, particularly when it is headed by a black president.  Already, we hear the right-wing nutjobs like Glenn Beck warning their listeners about the UN's Agenda-21 and how it is a plot for the UN to assume global control of everything.

While I believe, philosophically and morally, that there must be limits to the sovereignty of any nation or state/province within that nation.  I am just at a loss as to how that can ever be implemented without a great deal of bloodshed.  And after having been in multiple war-zones, I will never advocate any armed effort to subjugate anyone in the name of mitigating AGW/CC.

Like others on this Forum, I'm of an age (66+) that I may not be around when the various collapse scenarios start to unfold.  That does not alleviate me from a moral obligation to do something to provide future generations with a path towards a different world with multiple new paradigms covering every aspect of economics, governing and social order.
"Share Your Knowledge.  It's a Way to Achieve Immortality."  ......the Dalai Lama

retiredbill

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #75 on: June 18, 2013, 07:50:14 AM »
It would be nice if laws were passed and people felt a moral responsibility for
climate change.

It would be even nicer if 10 years ago laws were passed and people took effective
action to reduce climate change.

But without a compelling reason, people are not going to do much. By the time people
are forced to do something in response to the destruction caused by change,
it will be too late to avoid collapse of civilization. Optimists are free to hope for the
invietable not to happen.

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #76 on: June 18, 2013, 08:23:59 AM »
Like others on this Forum, I'm of an age (66+) that I may not be around when the various collapse scenarios start to unfold.  That does not alleviate me from a moral obligation to do something to provide future generations with a path towards a different world with multiple new paradigms covering every aspect of economics, governing and social order.

It will be decades by the time I'm 66+. Enough decades that even if those who think it will take several decades for things to get really bad are right, it's in my lifetime. Given the views expressed by some about them not being willing to do anything to improve the situation and disclaiming their own responsibilities in the matter - I'm rather curious what sort of world they think they are shaping for their species (and children if they have any).

What can an older person who doesn't recognise their moral obligations say to me? To just accept my lot and accept a pat on the head telling me I am powerless, and they are entitled to destroy my future? Or that I should be like them - selfish and only interested in myself?

It is no more selfish for me to plan and prepare for the world they are shaping, just a shame that as it arrives I can't imagine there will be an easy way to discriminate between those who accepted a moral responsibility and those who did not.

I think there is an important question hidden in this though as it is a major part of why societies are failing to get to grips with climate change (both at a national and individual level).

Do we:

1) View it as a mutable part of the problem, and examine/attempt solutions to correct it?

2) Accept it as immutable and make solutions accept it as a basic input fact?

I tend towards 2 as I am rather cynical of human nature and capacity of people to behave morally (in the general case), but I'm interested in alternative opinions - and I think it's quite a pivotal question. There is obviously a danger with 2 that it perpetuates the status quo and provides no mechanism for 1 if explored significantly, to that extent the two paths are effectively mutually exclusive if pursued to the logical conclusions. It's called hypocrisy to ask other people to do things one isn't prepared to do oneself.

JimD

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #77 on: June 18, 2013, 04:47:14 PM »
.... So if an individual or a country doesn't accept responsibility for their actions how would you propose to level the playing field? Shunning? Economic sanctions? Or violence?   I would like to believe economic sanctions would be the first choice  but  it is also the most easily avoided with mutually dependent trade and a world economic system based on growth. So where does that leave us?  I don't like the answer because I live to close to L.A.   

Bruce,

I think you know what I am going to say.  The playing field is NOT going to be leveled.  Asking for that ignores reality and how the world works.  Never has been, never will be.  Rich and powerful entities just do not EVER give up what they have without a struggle.  And since they ARE the rich and powerful then no one else has the ability to sanction them, shun them or force them.  This is just the way it is and we have to deal with it from that basis.

Where does it leave us?  In a hard spot to be sure.  Is there a way out?  IMHO no there is not.   Baring a miracle from either God or the religion of Technical Progress.  I must admit I do not believe in the former and the Laws of Physics preclude the later.  But a miracle may happen in any case.  Pray to your favorite religion as they say.  This is a main focus of my posts.  We are not going to fix this issue.  We are going to have to figure out how to live with the consequences.

Like OLN likely has, I have survived a couple of times when the odds were heavily stacked against me.  Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.  And the Lord knows we are anything but good.   One should do what they can in their own sphere of influence just because it is the right thing to do and do their best to prepare for the future as it comes.  Live a good meaningful life, have friends, don't despair, be cheerful (us old folks use cynicism as a substitute a lot :), get mad once in awhile.    After all, Stephen hawking says that there are 10 to the 500th universes out there somewhere.  By probability we got it right in one of them.  Not to mention that in another one of them I did end up with that beautiful blonde from high school whose father hated me :)
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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

SATire

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #78 on: June 18, 2013, 07:38:24 PM »
I think you know what I am going to say.  The playing field is NOT going to be leveled.  Asking for that ignores reality and how the world works.  Never has been, never will be.  Rich and powerful entities just do not EVER give up what they have without a struggle.  And since they ARE the rich and powerful then no one else has the ability to sanction them, shun them or force them.  This is just the way it is and we have to deal with it from that basis.
Do you want to say because one nation is powerful and decided not to take responsibility of what it does (like reducing CO2 emission or helping CO2-refugees), the collapse will come? And this collapse is irresistible, because the poweful nation does not have any power to change its life-style and therefore, accepts the complete death of that life-style? Very strange logic. 

I do not agree. Mankind did it once in the case of CFC (the ozone-killer) - so it is possible. If you do not like UN for some reasons, a treaty can be found somehow else.

And also the rich nations play with the future of their own children. It is not a big deal to  abstain from some things. Nobody wants someone to reduce the quality of life, but it is no problem to reduce life-style - that is just a fashion and can easily be exchanged by a nature-friendly fashion. If that is not possible e.g. in some societies which are powerful today, it is very sure that these societies will change and a more reasonable society will lead the world towards a sustainable quality life in future. So collapse will be only for some societies, some others will not realize the change as collapse but a different way of life e.g. by concentration on quality instead of quantity or by taking care instead of consuming their future.

And to remember - the only reason for the laws mentioned some post above is to make all poeple accepting in an easy way, that the price for CO2-emission will have to be paid one day. If you prefer the hard way, that may be suitable for a hard nation. But softer societies will surely prefer to act differently. Some societies are allready quite well prepared, others are on the way and some will perhaps not even try to manage the necessary transition and perhaps collapse. That is freedom.

retiredbill

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #79 on: June 18, 2013, 09:51:10 PM »
Rather than go to the trouble of quoting a previous message, I'll paraphrase:

People took actions on CFCs so action on climate change is possible.

True, but there was almost no cost or inconvenience to reducing CFCs. The change was less
than switching from incandescent bulbs to CFLs or LEDs. People may accept a 1 or 2 MPG
mandated automotive efficiency improvement, but they will not forgo gas-powered cars voluntarily.

We shouldn't think that just because people are willing to make small, ineffective changes,
they will also be willing to reduce their standard of living appreciably. Change in attitudes will
come, but not quickly enough. It took more than 20 years to reduce smoking in the US and
cigarettes were actually killing and damaging a large number of people.

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #80 on: June 18, 2013, 10:39:21 PM »
We shouldn't think that just because people are willing to make small, ineffective changes,
they will also be willing to reduce their standard of living appreciably. Change in attitudes will
come, but not quickly enough. It took more than 20 years to reduce smoking in the US and
cigarettes were actually killing and damaging a large number of people.

As per what I wrote in #76 - what would you tell a younger person like me to do, given you're telling me you personally are not prepared to make any real sacrifices to give us a future? Can you see the dangers in the message being sent out here - by both nations and individuals?

retiredbill

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #81 on: June 19, 2013, 12:38:36 AM »

As per what I wrote in #76 - what would you tell a younger person like me to do, given you're telling me you personally are not prepared to make any real sacrifices to give us a future? Can you see the dangers in the message being sent out here - by both nations and individuals?

I wouldn't tell you what to do, since you know your age and beliefs. If I was 50, I'd act differently than
if I was 25. Basically, the younger I was, the more action I would take e.g. moving to a place
less likely to be impacted if I was 25. The dangerous message being sent out by most nations and
individuals is that climate change is either not happening or future generations will be able to cope
with it.

TerryM

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #82 on: June 19, 2013, 01:17:35 AM »
We shouldn't think that just because people are willing to make small, ineffective changes,
they will also be willing to reduce their standard of living appreciably. Change in attitudes will
come, but not quickly enough. It took more than 20 years to reduce smoking in the US and
cigarettes were actually killing and damaging a large number of people.

As per what I wrote in #76 - what would you tell a younger person like me to do, given you're telling me you personally are not prepared to make any real sacrifices to give us a future? Can you see the dangers in the message being sent out here - by both nations and individuals?


ccg
 My generation has done more harm to the planet than any other, but we won't be around for the endgame. We've got the money & senior discounts. We're increasing your tuition fees as we demand that you pay our health care.
As the baby boom swept through we grabbed everything we wanted & passed the costs on to you. You're left with crumbling infrastructure that still hasn't been paid for. We ate the salmon and left you with jellyfish. If there was justice you'd kick us out of our McMansions, but we run the justice system.
We grew up in a time of affluence & sucked the marrow out of everything we came in contact with. When we were young we attacked our elders. When we gained control we slammed the gates to power behind us & by the time we're done there won't be anything that we haven't degraded or destroyed.
We never made personal sacrifices and wouldn't know how to go about it. We've got the money, the votes, and we'll change the rules of the game whenever we think anyone has a chance of toppling us from our gilded perch at the apex.
Don't waste your time and energy expecting change from us. We'd rather die than lose control & we'll be happy taking everyone along with us.
I wish the above wasn't true, but I've seen what we boomers have done.
Terry

Neven

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #83 on: June 19, 2013, 09:54:20 AM »
That's a sweet little rant, Terry! Have to show it to my parents and parents-in-law. I wish they had your awareness.  8)
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 07:36:17 PM by Neven »
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #84 on: June 19, 2013, 01:09:20 PM »
We ate the salmon and left you with jellyfish.

That's true on all levels you might think about.

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #85 on: June 19, 2013, 07:03:12 PM »
I wouldn't tell you what to do, since you know your age and beliefs. If I was 50, I'd act differently than
if I was 25. Basically, the younger I was, the more action I would take e.g. moving to a place
less likely to be impacted if I was 25. The dangerous message being sent out by most nations and
individuals is that climate change is either not happening or future generations will be able to cope
with it.

So pretty much "do what you will", right? An awful lot of younger people have no prospect of moving to a "less likely to be impacted region" due to financial and bureaucratic constraints - and it isn't feasible for everyone to do so anyway. Therefore that's a very selfish line of thinking to offer on many levels.

I don't see any reason why people who are seeing their quantity and quality of life likely to be severely impacted or totally destroyed (at some point) should honour the legal and cultural norms of societies that are created by and that produce people who think this way. What right can people who think like this have to expect us to play within their rules?

It is dangerous because if collapse occurs faster than most expect, even older people today (and it isn't a binary split - people are of course continually moving along the spectrum) may get a little taste of the fruits of their labour. Anyone in their 60s today in a developed nation has likely got 1-3 more decades to go before a normal death (by modern day standards). The danger of the message you send out (and many nations) is that it encourages the destruction of social cohesion - it underlines the severing of any implied contract between parents and their children, or any idea of basic human conscience/goodness (OK, I'm not sure this last one was ever well supported anyway).

You can't expect to enchain and frogmarch people to their deaths without the prospect of resistance at some point (even if the small amount of it is severely disappointing at this point in history).

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #86 on: June 19, 2013, 07:33:06 PM »
My generation has done more harm to the planet than any other, but we won't be around for the endgame. We've got the money & senior discounts. We're increasing your tuition fees as we demand that you pay our health care.
As the baby boom swept through we grabbed everything we wanted & passed the costs on to you. You're left with crumbling infrastructure that still hasn't been paid for. We ate the salmon and left you with jellyfish. If there was justice you'd kick us out of our McMansions, but we run the justice system.
We grew up in a time of affluence & sucked the marrow out of everything we came in contact with. When we were young we attacked our elders. When we gained control we slammed the gates to power behind us & by the time we're done there won't be anything that we haven't degraded or destroyed.
We never made personal sacrifices and wouldn't know how to go about it. We've got the money, the votes, and we'll change the rules of the game whenever we think anyone has a chance of toppling us from our gilded perch at the apex.
Don't waste your time and energy expecting change from us. We'd rather die than lose control & we'll be happy taking everyone along with us.
I wish the above wasn't true, but I've seen what we boomers have done.

I agree entirely - great post.

However, I feel a need to inject some balance by asking the question - are younger generations really (on average) much better? While it is true that older generations have wrought more cumulative harm on the world we live in and will live in - younger people have had less opportunity to do so and more information describing precisely just how harmful this behaviour is. Most of them seem to adopt the behaviour of their parents or to find other justifications to continue it (ie other than "it won't happen in my lifetime").

For example, I regularly find younger people are not interested as they are apathetic and feel that circumstances are beyond their control. The justification of continuing this collectively suicidal (and by implication murderous) behaviour is a perceived lack of personal influence and a short term (somewhat hedonistic) attitude "might as well enjoy it while it lasts". So it's something like "yes, we're all screwed... oh look, new Iphone!".

While it is arguably the case in most western cultures (with the odd exception) that younger people are marginalised on economic and democratic grounds - there are enough of us that we could change the existing order by sheer brute force if enough of us wanted to. What we lack in our wallets and our votes, we have available in more primitive ways of attacking the problem. Most of us seem happy to conform to the society that is shaping us instead.

Quote
Don't waste your time and energy expecting change from us.

I can't say I do expect change. However what I'm doing feels pretty selfish and I think it's important to explore other possibilities (and see if there are ideas or information I'm missing) and make sure I can tick off my moral checklist (so to speak) - to assure myself that I considered any other available ideas and options as I adjust my behaviour and attitudes to suit what I think the coming future holds.

The conclusion I draw from this thread so far is that there are available options that could significantly mitigate (if not prevent) collapse - but the prospects for their implementation seem exceedingly remote. There are some good things happening (eg the transition initiative) but on the whole there is a serious shortage of appropriately ambitious policy/solution initiatives - or even the ideas that could lead to such.

A little disappointing perhaps, but a valuable discussion regardless.

Laurent

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #87 on: June 19, 2013, 09:08:45 PM »
Cgwebmaster wrote :
Quote
there is a serious shortage of appropriately ambitious policy/solution initiatives - or even the ideas that could lead to such.

That is what we need ! There is no real option, for the people with kids it is like jumping in the void...not easy ! There is people mad enough to try doing something else like me (I am single)! I must admit it is not really coherent yet ! All ideas are welcome !

JimD

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #88 on: June 19, 2013, 10:05:16 PM »
Neven

I had a long post here that has not appeared.  Can you find it?  Thanks.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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

Neven

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #89 on: June 19, 2013, 11:27:25 PM »
Neven

I had a long post here that has not appeared.  Can you find it?  Thanks.

JimD, what happened exactly? You pressed the 'post' button and then...
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SATire

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #90 on: June 20, 2013, 12:45:23 AM »
ccgwebmaster,
I think after reading TerryM's very precise analysis one may now have the Young Man Blues for a reason. The situation is unfair and needs to be changed. There is a saying "if you are young and are not a revolutionist - you have no heart. If you are old and still a revolutionist, you are narrow minded".
The nowadays established generation once tried to get their share by fighting in the streets (Street Fighting Man, Rolling Stones) with "violence against things". They made it their way and somehow the "things" turned out to be our planet.

Maybe it is now your turn to show, that one can't fool all the people all the time (Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up) and to start some action to save your future.

For readers of this forum it is obviously clear, that we will have to transit to 100% renewables sooner or later and that the deceasing "growth-goal" needs to be substituted by something else. The more different societies will find different possible ways, the better - so try to follow one possibility which is accepted by poeple near you and that fits to you. And look how others do and learn from them, if adequate.

If you feel the need to revolt I would suggest to revolt against money. In the current crisis that antagonist is allready crippled - e.g. if you do not need money you are now able to get it for free in huge amounts. The "rich" poeple in most cases just own papers of promises - in the case the money is not payed "back" (and there is no chance on the long run that it will be payed anyway), they will realize, that they are not rich by any means.
Usually - in a crysis the value of money is destroyed and the of course still existing virtue is newly distributed more evenly than before. For most poeple in a society that is a good thing and not a collapse (if the virtues are not destroyed in a war or other absurdity).

There is no correlation between money and happiness - so I would draw conclusions about your individual path way to happiness and develop strategies to reach that. Still believing in money or endless growth is just naive and must be overcome somehow, therefore. 
 
« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 08:36:05 AM by SATire »

JimD

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #91 on: June 20, 2013, 03:52:49 PM »
Neven,

I guess that means that it is not in the spam filter.

I just hit Post and then the screen did its normal flip back to the screen which shows the topics for that sub-forum.  But no  post. 

Did it just disappear?  Another lost masterpiece!  Shakespeare is safe for now.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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

Anne

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #92 on: June 20, 2013, 04:04:40 PM »
You might be able to retrieve your post by hitting the back button until you get the screen where you were posting it.

Neven

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #93 on: June 20, 2013, 05:05:00 PM »
Neven,

I guess that means that it is not in the spam filter.

I just hit Post and then the screen did its normal flip back to the screen which shows the topics for that sub-forum.  But no  post. 

Did it just disappear?  Another lost masterpiece!  Shakespeare is safe for now.

Jim, I'm afraid it can't be retrieved (first time this happens), but I'll ask the Dungeon Master.
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NeilT

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #94 on: June 20, 2013, 06:33:16 PM »
I have found that over the last 16 years I've had to deal with ridicule, laughter, lack of interest and, finally, some slight sniffing the atmosphere of disaster pending down the road.

The biggest issue I find is belief.  So long as there is an option to believe something else, then most people will take it.

The next issue is the "It's not my problem".  Older people tend to exhibit this even if they are parents or even grandparents.

Then, when they start to believe and start to recognise it's a problem for the family, they then look to see what they can do for themselves.  No way are they going to PAY for anyone else to be fixed, they're looking at their own survival and their families.

Then in the smallest group possible, there are those who accept, know we have to do something, are willing to pay for it and want to do something.

In that smallest of groups, many don't have a clue where to even look for options.  Many more are just plainly apathetic. What can "I" do about it.

Before we can even start talking about mitigating strategies, we have to fix the acceptance.  We also have to communicate the sheet scale of the collapse.  Our interconnected world will fold like a house of cards when it starts to fail.  Even without war, if we lose confidence, then people will act as individuals, not a group and will let everyone else fend for themselves.  Did anyone in Europe notice the lack of many foodstuffs in the supermarkets during the Eya eruption?

Once we have convinced people that they will fall back almost to the middle ages, or worse because there won't be the travelling traders who sell iron, or the tinkers who know how to work it so well.  There will be a lot of raw materials but in a full collapse, it will be a race between dodging disease and crumbling infrastructure.  Some places will fare better than others, but the millions leaving the barren cities will do so much damage to country infrastructure that everyone will die.  Only those who group together with the right technology will survive it and they may not be the people with the correct knowledge to rise again.

Only once we have explained the cost of inaction, in all it's gory details, will people be convinced to pay to act.  Even then it will be hard.

I don't honestly believe that we will act fast enough to avoid the worst of the catastrophe.  When it comes, it will restrict our ability to even fight the change which is coming.

I don't like being a doomsayer, but I'm also a realist.  I don't trust my fellow humanity to do the right thing.
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fishmahboi

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #95 on: June 20, 2013, 07:28:19 PM »
I have found that over the last 16 years I've had to deal with ridicule, laughter, lack of interest and, finally, some slight sniffing the atmosphere of disaster pending down the road.

The biggest issue I find is belief.  So long as there is an option to believe something else, then most people will take it.

The next issue is the "It's not my problem".  Older people tend to exhibit this even if they are parents or even grandparents.

Then, when they start to believe and start to recognise it's a problem for the family, they then look to see what they can do for themselves.  No way are they going to PAY for anyone else to be fixed, they're looking at their own survival and their families.

Then in the smallest group possible, there are those who accept, know we have to do something, are willing to pay for it and want to do something.

In that smallest of groups, many don't have a clue where to even look for options.  Many more are just plainly apathetic. What can "I" do about it.

Before we can even start talking about mitigating strategies, we have to fix the acceptance.  We also have to communicate the sheet scale of the collapse.  Our interconnected world will fold like a house of cards when it starts to fail.  Even without war, if we lose confidence, then people will act as individuals, not a group and will let everyone else fend for themselves.  Did anyone in Europe notice the lack of many foodstuffs in the supermarkets during the Eya eruption?

Once we have convinced people that they will fall back almost to the middle ages, or worse because there won't be the travelling traders who sell iron, or the tinkers who know how to work it so well.  There will be a lot of raw materials but in a full collapse, it will be a race between dodging disease and crumbling infrastructure.  Some places will fare better than others, but the millions leaving the barren cities will do so much damage to country infrastructure that everyone will die.  Only those who group together with the right technology will survive it and they may not be the people with the correct knowledge to rise again.

Only once we have explained the cost of inaction, in all it's gory details, will people be convinced to pay to act.  Even then it will be hard.

I don't honestly believe that we will act fast enough to avoid the worst of the catastrophe.  When it comes, it will restrict our ability to even fight the change which is coming.

I don't like being a doomsayer, but I'm also a realist.  I don't trust my fellow humanity to do the right thing.

I have close to the same opinion with regards man's reaction to the collapse of society in the sense that people are not likely to do anything now to mitigate the inevitable and people are going to be scattered and everything is just going to melt down.

But I guess one cannot give up hope yet for there is still a limited about of time for people to react in a meaningful manner to the inevitable collapse. Try to avoid what is avoidable and try to mitigate the inevitable.

JimD

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #96 on: June 20, 2013, 09:48:00 PM »
My lost post was a reply to SARire above and its content was repeated to some extent by the last posts of fishmaboi and NeilT.  So I will be much briefer in this one.

SATire I wanted to say to your Reply #78 on the 18th is that you are not understanding what I am trying to say.

What it comes down to is my understanding of human nature precludes the solutions you are advocating.  For the kind of solutions you advocate will not work unless humans can make and execute decisions that are contrary to basic human nature.  Your solutions are premised upon issues of fairness and responsibility.  Those required to act (the rich and powerful entities) must accept your premises and then willingly give up most of their wealth and power and dramatically decrease their standards of living.

Human nature, in regards to how we deal with threats, security, long or short term issues, scarcity of resources, strangers, etc., was not built over a couple of hundred thousand years of survival to react the way you need to happen for your solutions to be viable.  Humans are programed to discount the future; think of themselves and family first, tribe second, country last, humanity never; in times of scarcity to take and kill rather than cooperate; to distrust strangers as most of the time they are enemies.  Those who are rich and powerful do NOT feel guilt about it but rather are proud of what they have accomplished and will fight hard to maintain what the feel they deserve through their efforts.   There is a strong aspect of survival of the fittest and lack of consideration of the weak in our natures.  We have not yet evolved to where our core emotions and actions will be any different from the above.  Some few people do reason their way to other behaviors and a few more intellectualize such thoughts but do not act upon them.  So this is what I am trying to give a  picture of.

Any solution proposed, no matter how logical and reasoned, has no chance of success if it requires a basic change in human behavior.  This is the reality of our world and we must take it into account or we fail.  Solutions which require a change in human nature are doomed to failure because a vast majority of the people will just not be able to behave the way needed.  Many will actively fight against it.  All it takes is a small number not cooperating to kill a solution requiring global cooperation.

The rich and powerful (like America) will never willingly give up their position and wealth.  They will work as hard as they can to maintain it as their culture and nature tell them they earned the right to be where they are (they think they are exceptional and thus more valuable).  Human nature tells us that in time of danger and scarcity that the best thing to do is to protect oneself and fight it out.  We are all descended from people who survived by these very types of actions. It is like asking a cat to behave like a dog.  A couple might but the vast majority will not cooperate.  Humans are humans and we will not behave like dogs either. 

I am convinced that all BAU type solutions, whether Status Quo BAU or Progressive BAU are doomed to failure because of the dictates of human nature.  Status Quo BAU will fail because we live in a finite world and continuing BAU will destroy it.  Progressive BAU will fail for two reasons; one is that its solutions defy human nature and the 2nd is that its solutions, if implemented, would continue the rise of human population and overconsumption of finite resources.  Both approaches orient towards trying to maintain our civilization fundamentally as is.  What we should be doing is forcibly winding down population and the complexity of civilization as fast as possible to some level approximating the carrying capacity of the planet.  Then we could reboot and try to get it right the next time.  But human nature will not allow us to work that way and we will continue on until we cannot.  So I support neither type of BAU solution as I consider both of them a waste of time and energy.  This conclusion leads me to say that we should plan for eventual collapse and survival.  We mitigate what we little we can and adapt to the world we are creating.  It is the only realistic option.

When I was young I thought pretty much along the lines of how you reason.  Over the course of my life I have learned that logic and reason seldom hold sway in any decision process or human action.  It has been disappointing to me, but I slowly gained an understanding of the nature of what we are and why we behave the way we do.  Does this clarify things for you?

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

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

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #97 on: June 20, 2013, 10:16:38 PM »
That was well said, Jim. Unfortunately, I can't say I disagree. My mitigation strategy is to do what I can to get my little family through the coming bottleneck. However, I fear such strategy relies a lot more heavily on luck than I would like it to.

Laurent

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #98 on: June 20, 2013, 10:35:51 PM »
Jimd :
You are certainly right about the collapse what does interest me is what happen after the collapse !
A collapse situation won't last for ever, we have to prepare the next part overwise someone else will do it for you and it may not solve the AGW problem that we have !
For me one of the solutions is to change the way we own and manage properties because I am not completely against capitalism, it may take a capitalist shape all depends of the limits that are fixed to it ! We dont have to wait, it can be done now !

OldLeatherneck

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Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« Reply #99 on: June 20, 2013, 10:53:14 PM »
I can echo the statements of both Terry and JimD.  Like Terry, I'm a member of the freshman class of "Baby Boomers" and I have previously written elsewhere that we, as a generation, have failed future generations.  I also share JimD's assessment that the ruling elite are not going to willingly relinquish their reigns of power and excessive consumption habits.  The number of those that do so willingly, will be such a small minority that it will have no significant impact.

Since retirement, I've been quite active politically for progressives causes and candidates.  However, I'm becoming almost as disillusioned with them as I am disgusted with the policies and polemics of the extreme conservatives.  While most progressives I know understand that AGW/CC is a real problem, none of them seem to be aware about how severe and how imminent the impacts will be.  There are those who are more worried about saving stray cats than they are about saving the earth's biosphere.  Among the rest, they all have their pet progressive cause that to them must be the #1 priority.  While I may agree philosophically or ideologically with their causes, all 20+ causes can not be given #1 priority.  Meanwhile, I'm hard-pressed to find a progressive that would list AGW/CC among their top 3 concerns.  Fewer even still are willing to admit that a growth based economy is unsustainable.

While I will still continue supporting progressive causes as the lesser of two evils, I think $100 in Neven's Tip Jar is money better spent than a similar donation to a candidate that only provides lip service to the real problems facing humanity!!

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