Climate Emergency: It’s Not Over Until It Is Over

It is time to stop the use of coal and old forest logging using all means necessaryWe are witnessing a plethora of intensifying climate warnings from usually staid, and cautious scientists [search] — including at the recent emergency Copenhagen climate science meeting [ark | moreark]. It emerges that climate change is occurring far more abruptly [ark] and in a run-away fashion than all but a few (including EI) have predicted. It is critical to realize though that despite the readily apparent urgency, climate like all science is still predictive.
It is highly likely we will witness mass migration from flooded coastal cities, huge wildfires consuming rainforests [ark] and nations, both terrible water scarcity [ark] and flooding. But it is not certain. And while these are all happening already to a lesser extent — and global ecological collapse [search] is imminent — it HAS NOT YET occurred.
We still continue to control our future, and there is always hope for transformation. So do not give up, it is not over until it is over, as long as we focus upon ecologically sufficient solutions. The point being made here is simple: while the eventual fate is clear, much remains to be told regarding just how bad a climate changed world will be, and whether there will be any human and other species' survival or not. The science is strong, but still imperfect predictions. There may be unknown negative feedbacks which positively slow warming. Or the science may otherwise be wrong in a manner that slows the coming ecological apocalypse.
Personally, it is my opinion that we should all give it our all to get a good — strong, equitable and sufficient — Copenhagen international climate agreement [ark] by mobilizing mass protest [ark], resisting false ecologically damaging solutions such as biofuels and biochar [ark], while laying the foundation for a stewardship revolution should governments fail humanity, all species and the Earth at Copenhagen.

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13 Responses

  1. R. Gates says:

    Bravo Glen!
    In addition to mass protests, and other political action, we need to give our support to truly green and ecologically sound solutions by walking the walk and absolutely without reserve doing nothing that supports the current consumer driven economic system. This will mean true life-style changes NOW for everyone reading this. Here is where I think the “rubber meets the road” so to speak in scaling back the degreee of the coming catastrophe. Each of us must measure the degree to which they are willing to radically alter their own personal consumptive lifestyle to save humanity.
    1. If you life in a comfortable house in suburbia (that articial island of consumerism) would you be willing to sale (or even abandon) that house and move to a green rural community.
    2. Will you give up your vehicle for mass transit (or perhaps no transit)?
    3. Will you only eat organically and locally grown food (or food you've grown yourself?)
    4. Will you give up your computer? (see the numerous articles on the carbon footprint of internet related uses – it will shock you!)
    5. Will you give up all things made of plastic to have fewer items in general?
    6. Will you generally consume less of everything?
    These questions point more to the core reality of whether or not we can prevent the worst of the coming catastrophe. The point being that mass protests, politics, etc. are all well and necessary but it comes down to a personal consumptive lifestyle change and willingness of the wealthy in the world to reduce their consumption. If you are reading this, you can count yourself among the most wealthy of the world. For we know, in the coming catastrophe, the poor and impoverished will suffer the first blows, but by then it will be only a short while until all people, rich and poor alike, feel the awful effects of over-consumption and an ecologically unbalanced human civilization.
    R. Gates

  2. tony says:

    I understand the damage caused by biofuel, what is your objection to biochar? Is it the method (microwaving), the use of forest grown for the purpose of capturing carbon, or simply the distraction from carbon reduction?

  3. Here is a good overview on the issues with biochar, sharing much in common with biofuels. Namely, that growing the biomass would take up enormous amounts of land and increase the pressure upon native ecosystems.
    http://www.newearthrising.org/2008/11/proposal-to-replace-coal-with-wood-is-ecologically-misguided.asp

  4. Climate change effects the worlds poorest first. Bio fuels consume farmland and reduce the output of food, and help increase starvation.
    For more info on how climate change is effecting the third world visit
    http://tinyurl.com/oxfam-climate-change

  5. Anil Garg says:

    INSPIRED BY LINKS AND BLOGS LIKE THIS I HAVE SOMETHING TO OFFER:
    Car pooling is a very effective way to fight global warming. I have a site which helps ppl pool cars in metro ( only in the National Capital Region in India). We do not seek any money in any form from the users of the site. The intention is to save our environment and people's money.
    My site (www.giitsolutions.com/carpool.html) is currently the first link that opens on google search by key words "Car pool NCR" "Car pool Delhi" "Car pool Noida" and it is on the first page on writing "car pool" Avery good number of people visit the site and benefit from it every day.
    What i want?
    I want support to generate awareness about car pooling benefits and make car pooling a global practice. For who are having heavy commuting costs it saves money. for those who are concerned about our own welbeing and welbeing of future generations it is a noble cause. Please let me know how can I help.

  6. It appears that hundreds of billions of dollars, now amounting to trillions of dollars, and every available tool of governance and human enterprise, are being put into service for the sake of rescuing the global economy, but precious little money and scant tools are used to address the larger and much more forbidding, human-driven global challenges posed to the family of humanity by unbridled per-capita resource overconsumption and runaway climate change?
    Are the self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe who organize and manage the global economy refusing to recognize that there can be no such thing as a viable global economy on Earth if the planet's limited resources continue to be recklessly dissipated and its frangible environment relentlessly degraded?
    Who knows, perhaps necessary change from a soon to become patently unsustainable leviathan construction to a sustainable global human economy, one that benefits a democratic majority of the human community, is in the offing.
    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
    established 2001
    http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid=1176
    http://sustainabilitysoutheast.org/index.php

  7. R. Gates says:

    Well said Steven.
    On a human level, the issue of climate change must come down to one of developing a new kind of economic system for humanity. This system would be based on:
    sustainability vs. growth
    balance vs. consumption
    ecology vs. greed
    etc.
    The seeds of such a new economy are with us already, but whether or not they can grow fast enough before the worst of climate change hits us…is the true race against the clock.
    R. Gates

  8. Greg says:

    Climate change is real. Or, at least I believe it is real. The causes though are many. Just listen to the people that talk about climate change and the pending doom that can be real if the scenarios they propose indeed come true. What if there was no water? Fresh water.

  9. KN says:

    I've been trying to figure out the Masters of the Universe question for a while (actual research on the “national security” aspects of CC). My conclusion?
    (a) it's a mix of people who really just don't believe it (reality of CC), or are just sort of starting to believe it but are a long ways from coming to grips with the magnitude of the threat, to people who really get it.
    (b) much of the US national security state still thinks their job is to do military BAU, which means empire and neocolonialism in various disguises (IMHO), even if they don't think of it that way (the Masters do, but the military often don't. it's a weird world). Or at the very least, it means taking on operations in reactive mode: 'aid' operations, 'humanitarian' operations as climate impacts, desperation and possibly conflict evolve (this is the best 'spin' I can put on what they say, OK?).
    (c) the Pentagon has long been well-informed on climate.
    (d) DARPA is now getting in to geoengineering (who knows; perhaps has been for a while). To me this signals that those who get how serious it is are jumping from a “mitigation is not our job; we're the Army” position to “oh my god; we need to GE the climate,” skipping all the messy negotiations and climate policy along the way. I'm not totally opposed (altho I don't necessarily want the *military* or even the US running the show); I think we are going to need some forms of GE *along with* mitigation and adaptation. I know; I know; attack me now. I just think we've already committed to warming over the DAI threshold, so we'll *have* to jerry rig something to tide us over. I know; I know; it just encourages more fossil fuel burning, denial, and delay. I just don't have a better proposal, given how dire I think we've let things get already (do you?).
    Anyway some GE is better than others; I think we have to start assessing this and taking positions, much as we'd rather say “none of the above.” Like I'd rather someone spray sea water into the air than sulphate aerosols. Like that.
    My great gratitude to ArkPeople including writers, editors, and commentors. This is my first post here. Peace out, y'all.

  10. I agree that tough times may be ahead and we will have to make sacrifices. Scarcity of water has not hit where I live. We have other problems. Too often everyone thinks about themselves instead of the bigger picture. -Nate

  11. phill Parsons says:

    There will be a series of steps as people give up trying to do anything about the climate.
    The first stage will require a loss of hope and as yet this is not widespread.
    Copenhagen, given the understanding some in the scientific community have, will be the first point where hopelessness can start to eat away at action.
    Low targets and a belief that action can be taken later will signal that point.
    It will not be a complete cessation of protest and action. Even if longstanding activists walk away new ones will arise.
    However the laws of physic and chemistry are immutable and even if we arrest the growth of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere driving it down so the climate can return to what we built the complex of human activity upon is not assured although talk og global engineering does keep hope alive.
    If strong action [mitigation] is not agreed and carried out then the failure of the climate to provide will be relatively rapid the costs of adaptation overwhelming capacity.
    A final phase will see hope abandoned and anomic nihilism spread throughout the developed world.

  12. Corey Q. says:

    Climate change is one of the major reasons for economic crisis..Since the effect is very much evident in terms of prices of the prime commodities like food, the agricultural and environmental sectors must spearhead the programs addressing it. The World Water Forum just held a meeting. The World Water Forum just met for the fifth time in Istanbul (not Constantinople) to talk about the state of the world's water. The amount of water in the world seems to be receding. Before a shortage happens, most world governments agree that something needs to be done about it, even if it means taking out a payday loan or two to help out. Changes in the world water supply have been brought about by climate changes. The consensus among the political and scientific community is that we have to get every nation in on the World Water Forum. So why did Istanbul get the water works? That's nobody's business but the Turks.

  13. Annika-Maers says:

    I cannot believe this will work!

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