On which to play the human game
I'm sitting here in Calgary on a hotel roof deck. The air is clearer today but the table that I cleaned off when I sat with my timmies is becoming covered with a fine ash. And yet the locals just complain about Trudeau's carbon tax ... and ignore their house literally burning down around them.
Our board continues to get smaller, indeed. Please Bill, while I understand the past justifications for flying - meetings with others on pipelines, conferences on climate, etc- we cannot continue to be flying. Zoom meetings can help us stop dumping carbon. Stay put!
Incidentally, Bill, here in Lexington we're trying to stop an expansion of Hanscom Field, the impetus for which is that owners of private jets want easier access. Their emissions--as you probably know better than I--are many times the per person emissions of people flying commercial.
Who has expectations for COP 28 in Dubai? Outcomes? Attendance? Should not use jet fuel when Zoom available. IPCC has already announced no more science, correct? Hardly needed as we watch our beautiful planet burn. 🌎🔥
Thank you for your continued hard work. While we stay glued to the Trump debacle, attention to what might be done to assuage climate crises disappears. If, God forbid, GOP take election 2024 they have promised to tear it all down with the GOP PLAN 2025. I sense that rational people can see what’s happening without benefit of non-profit media, so I must retain HOPE because no other approach will produce results. But the cult of the GOP are not rational. So here we are supporting each other. There is that. And sharing far and wide. And ANGER directed positively can produce results in my experience.
As a reporter on the U.S. side of the Okanogan back in the late 80s - we spelled it with an O rather than the A in the Canadian Okanagan - I used to get up to Kelowna. Indeed, a beautiful place now deeply threatened. I do think we now need to center on the places we have, focusing actions that reduce the trajectory toward catastrophe while making them stronger in the face of what’s coming. That is why we focused housing as a climate solution at 350 Seattle some years back, seeing how the rapidly ascending housing costs were driving people most likely to use transit to areas they were forced to use cars. I will be writing more about building strong places in my The Raven substack which you recommend in your page. It’s really a key answer to the range of crises we face, ecological, social and political.
I don’t have many, but Bill McKibben is a hero to me. My children are in their twenties and I fear, yes, fear, for their future, a future I am not likely to see. Looking at our feeble, selfish and contradictory response to the climate crisis we made, I have little faith in our species. The good in us seems overwhelmed by the greedy and complaisant.
Ty Bill McKibben
I was into Ice Pilots a few years ago. And I have a friend in Spokane, Wash. this weekend. I can't but think of your words in "The End of Nature," "Eaarth," and "Oil and Honey," whenever I look on the brown, exposed rock on Mt. Rainier, or hear of our burning world. It's scary.
"Job one, of course, is to limit the rise in temperature..." and it is assumed & widely advertised by advocates that new solar, wind & battery storage together provide a major solution; that this tech reduces emissions and is environmentally friendly. But these are projections made from whole cloth, not presented with hard, justifying evidence. I have come to believe, on mounting evidence, that the claims are not true, are misleading, and that all concerned need to reconsider what is & is not possible with "renewables.
[Lest anyone here presumes I am a pro FF troll for opposing the promise of renewables, nothing is further from the truth. I was an organizer for Earth Day/Week 1970 & have been an enviro/climate activist for 50 years. Most of that time I was a staunch advocate for "appropriate technology" including solar, wind & advanced geothermal.]
As a baseline for discussion, consider U.S. EIA statistics: "In 2022, about 4,243 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) (or about 4.24 trillion kWh) of electricity were generated at utility-scale electricity generation facilities in the United States.1 About 60% of this electricity generation was from fossil fuels—coal, natural gas, petroleum, and other gases. About 18% was from nuclear energy, and about 22% was from renewable energy sources.". And of those renewable sources, wind contributed ~10.2% of power generated and solar ~3.4%. [https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3]
Now consider that even though renewables are growing fast as an industry, they are not expected to have a 50% share of the power sector until 2035 or later. In our closing-window time frame this not a knockout punch against power sector FF generation, and certainly not a dent in total energy production & use. Globally, renewables now account for ~0.03% of total energy. That's a lot of catching up to do.
Hey Bill, the link you put in for the below bit of your piece doesn't work! Can you make it work?
"Thanks to Jacqui Patterson for alerting me to a new report on the particular dangers faced by Black women organizers on social justice issues including the environment."
You get more bees with honey then with vinegar. If you were studying for a PhD in evolutionary biology you might make a different decision about visiting the Galapogos.
" Infill, densification, community—these are going to need to be our watchwords." Guess what the big local kerfuffle is where I live: re-zoning. In a small neighborhood originally built for the soldiers returning from the Korean War, the current residents are throwing a fit at the idea of allowing multi-family housing. Sheesh. Wonder if their outlook will be different when they're the refugees...
Sooner or later we must: Introduce world-wide rationing of all greenhouse-gas-producing products, services and activities. Equal share for everyone. An individual who does not use his share may sell it.
It also might be a good idea to:
Terminate ALL armed conflicts.
Terminate ALL funding and manufacture of weapons and cease all shipments of existing weapons to foreign nations
Close ALL foreign military bases
Bring home all military personnel and put them to work on the restoration of infrastructure including renewable energy projects and projects aimed at decreasing energy consumption.
Immediately begin an international program to rapidly eliminate all nuclear weapons.
Is Climate the Worst Casualty of War?
“one key thing is: the number of places humans can safely live is now shrinking. Fast.”
We are embarked upon a dangerous experiment with geoengineering the future habitats on earth with near-scientific certainty that future us will not be able to inhabit these geoengineered habitats.
So, we face these choice.
Do we continue this experiment, and hey, let’s see what happens?
Or, do we cancel the experiment to avoid catastrophic consequences?
Which choice do you think is prudent?