Friday, August 10, 2018

Time Has Come Today

I thought she was saying good luck 
She was saying goodbye
           - Richard Thompson

The carpet now
Is moving under you
           -Bob Dylan



       In light of a new editorial policy, we will now be offering Public Service Announcements, as well as at least one piece of good news!   You spoke, and we listened!

First, PSAs

I want to invite everyone to Salem 350's Run For the Climate on August 25.  See here.

And remind you that the Joint Interim Committee on Carbon Reduction is holding hearings in an effort to craft a bill for next session. The next meeting is on August 28th.      You can watch the most recent hearing here.  

And here's the good news. 

And my personal favorite: 

OK you can stop reading now.  

        Happy overshoot day.  

        So, how are you adapting to our new climate?  Enjoying the heat?   Are you ready for the future?

            How far into the future?  Most of us have a pretty steep discount curve, so the farther something is in the future, the less we care.  Which is why people don't save for retirement or buy insurance 

  That may be a problem (!)

        Let's start with now.  Here's a summary of the  current situation from meteorologist  Eric Holthaus

In recent weeks, high-temperature records have been set on nearly every continent. On Monday, Japan had its hottest temperature in recorded history — 106 degrees Fahrenheit — just days after one of the worst flooding disasters the country has ever seen.
Algeria has recorded the highest reliably measured temperature in Africa, 124 degrees Fahrenheit. In late June, the temperature never dropped below 108 degrees Fahrenheit in Oman — the highest overnight low temperature anywhere in the world.
Even in normally temperate places, the air has been sweltering: Temperatures approaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit hit parts of Canada, overwhelming hospitals in Montreal — where another heat wave is imminent this week.
See also here

       How about next year?   Well, 2019 doesn't look like a big improvement, as it may well be an El Nino year.  See here.     What does that mean? see here

"...initial estimates show that, if the building El Niño actually arrives, 2019 would stand a good chance at knocking off 2016 as the warmest year on record. With a strong El Niño, next year might even tiptoe across the 1.5 degree-Celsius mark — the first major milestone that locks in at least some of global warming’s worst impacts

        That sounds bad, even if we hit 1.5 next year, it won't last through the next la Nina.   It won't be a permanent situation for at least a decade.  It looks like it'll be somewhere between 2030 (various studies) and 2040. (IPCC draft report).

         But, it's important to remember that once we hit it , absent some miraculous technology, there's no going back.   As  Clive Hamilton, author of Climate Code Red, explains.

It is not widely understood that carbon dioxide persists in the atmosphere for centuries, so our future will depend on the total amount we humans put into it over the next several decades. This is the paramount fact that separates climate change from all other environmental problems.

      Hamilton also offers a concise assessment of what is reasonably likely.    (Note that he does not factor in "negative emissions", which recent editorial in Nature described as " magical thinking"  See also here
On top of past emissions, the total amount will depend on two critical factors—the year in which global emissions reach their peak, and how quickly they fall thereafter. Let’s make some optimistic forecasts. Firstly, assume that global emissions peak in 2020, so that after that year any increase in emissions from poor countries must be more than offset by declines in rich countries. Realistically, after persistent failure to reach an international agreement, global emissions are likely to keep growing until 2030 or beyond.
Second, assume that global emissions fall by 3% each year after the 2020 peak until they reach a floor, the minimum necessary to supply the world’s population with food. Of course, we cannot expect poor countries to cut their emissions as fast as rich ones, so a global decline of 3% per annum translates into a 6-7% per annum decline in energy and industrial emissions in rich countries.
Can this be done? It would certainly be unprecedented. After the collapse of the Soviet
Union, Russia’s total emissions in the 1990s fell by 5.2% per annum, which is close to the rate of decline needed. However, the sharp decline in emissions was associated with a halving of that nation’s GDP, with widespread social misery.
Nevertheless, if we think positive and assume global emissions do peak in 2020 and decline by 3% annually thereafter, with rich country energy and industrial emissions falling by 67%, where would that leave us? The shocking fact is that this optimistic scenario would see concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reach 650 ppm (the pre-industrial level was 280 ppm and it now stands at 392 ppm). That level translates into warming of 4°C above the pre-industrial global average. As oceans warm more slowly, a global average of 4°C means warming of 5-6°C on land, and even higher closer to the poles. Warming on this scale and at the expected rate would radically change the conditions of life on earth. The world would be hotter than at any time for 15 million years, yet this is now regarded by leading climate scientists as the most likely future before the end of the century.

In case this isn't clear, he gives you this handy chart.

Warming approaching 4°C is uncharted territory. As is apparent from Figure 3, the climate
system would cross several tipping points and trigger various feedback effects that would
render the climate system largely beyond human control. The idea that when things get
too hot we can then turn the thermostat down is not how the climate system works. On the
road to warming of 4ºC, the Earth system would cross several thresholds that would amplify
warming and make the climate system unstable. The planet has warmed by 0.8ºC above
the pre-industrial average already and inertia in the system means that 2.4ºC of warming is
already locked in, with heating reaching 4ºC perhaps in the 2070s.

Will emissions peak in 2020?  Will the industrialized west reduce its emissions by 6-7%?  No one knows.  But so far it doesn't look promising.  see here

Despite clean energy’s meteoric growth, a new global assessment from the International Energy Association shows that fossil fuel projects are growing even faster. The money going to fossil fuel projects accounted for 59 percent of all energy investments last year. Sorry to say but clean energy’s share is shrinking.

So what happened to all that good news about renewables? Well, it’s real. Investment in solar photovoltaics reached record levels in 2017, while the price of solar power was falling fast, which means those investments are getting more bang for the buck. Investment in offshore wind also hit a record last year, but investment in land-based wind turbines, hydropower, and nuclear fell. The world put nearly $300 billion into renewables, which is a lot, enough to dominate the electric power sector:

But that’s not as much as we spent on in oil and gas drilling and exploration (also known as “upstream” investment) — $450 billion. And that doesn’t count all the money that went into building new pipelines, refineries, and gas stations.

All our driving and shipping and air travel caused oil consumption to grow by “1.6 million barrels per day,” according to the IEA. All the electric cars on the road trimmed consumption by 30,000 barrels a day.

But, let's say we get our shit together and adapt very "aggressive" programs   Here is one from Carbon Brief

The study looks at a range of “aggressive” alternative scenarios to meet the 1.5C goal, reducing reliance on BECCS. Deployment of each mitigation option is designed to be “ambitious but not unrealistic”, the paper says. These alternatives are:
  • Renewable electrification: All energy end-use sectors are rapidly electrified, including heat. The technical constraints to integrating variable renewables on the grid are overcome. Some fossil-fuelled power stations retire early and, by 2030, all new cars are electric.
  • High efficiency: The best available technologies are quickly adopted for all energy and material uses, including cement and steel. From 2025 onwards, only highly efficient new cars and airplanes are sold and only the most efficient home appliances allowed.
  • Agricultural intensification: Optimistic assumptions for crop yield improvements are combined with 80% worldwide adoption of the most efficient livestock systems, including improved feed digestibility and “genetic improvements”.
  • Low non-CO2: Non-CO2 greenhouse gases are reduced using the best-available technologies and further technological progress. For example, by 2050, fugitive emissions of methane are cut by 100% in the oil-and-gas sector and by 90% for coal mining. Methane emissions from livestock are cut significantly and, by 2050, 80% of meat and eggs are replaced by cultured protein, including lab-grown meat.
  • Population: Improved access to education accelerates the trend towards reduced fertility, so that global population rises from 7 billion people today to 8.4 billion in 2050, before falling to 6.9 billion in 2100. This is broadly in line with the UN’s lowest scenario for population, whereas the high end of UN projections reaches 13.2 billion people in 2100.
  • Lifestyle change: The majority of the world population adopts sustainable lifestyles, including, by 2050, 100% adoption of healthy diets with lower levels of meat consumption. There is less private car use and more walking or cycling, while air travel is reduced.

Of course if we lived in a saner world, these are the types of proposals that would be adopted quickly and perhaps .     And we need to continue to try to convince the powers that be to do so as soon as possible.  We may not succeed in keeping warming below 1.5, but we can slow down the process.

 But we are already in the midst of climate change, and we don't really know how to deal with it.   What are the implications?  We know what it means in terms of weather - storms, floods, fires etc. Lots more disasters and cleanups of disasters, and lots more building of walls around coastal cities , or moving entire towns away from the coast.  like in  Alaska or Louisiana..   And the continued displacement of people from the areas that are hit hardest first. see   here      (140 million by 2050 )

Hamilton suggests that we will be devoting more and more resources to these activities, in an attempt to keep things as they are.   What does it mean for the way we view the world and the future?   We may need to re-examine some of our basic assumptions.   For instance, many of us have an unstated assumption ( which was developed in an era of abundant energy, and a stable climate ). that things will always get better and better.   There will less war, less poverty, more fairness.   This has been assumed to be the "arc of history"  see here  , and assumed to be inevitable.    Hamilton calls it  "the law of progress".

[Thanks to our belief in the law of progress], "... all champions of social transformation—democrats, Marxists and liberators of all kinds—could believe that history was on their side. That is what it meant to be ‘progressive’. Philosophers like Hegel provided the dialectic motor for the iron logic of progress, but in the end, the proof was there for all to see in the relentless advance of gross domestic product.

But what happens to the law of progress when the law fails or proves to have been true only for an epoch that has now passed? The law can live on only at the price of denying the passing, of the age of progress and pretending that the Anthropocene is something for scientists alone to worry about. Although the births of utopias are precipitated by times of great turmoil, all presuppose stability and the absence of conflict; yet there will be no stability in the Anthropocene, especially if the expectations of abrupt change (unprecedented rates of warming, tipping points, feedback effects and so future? to pass. Instead ore-examinedsomere growth we will be pouring resources into trying to climate-proof our lives—our cities, our coasts, our infrastructure, our houses and our food supplies. The dominant task will be to
protect the gains of the past and manage the effects of climatic insecurity so that they do not spill into conflict.

Are you still reading?  Stop now

Of course, these concerns pale,  once one looks at the potential "tipping points"     A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences  addresses this issue in some detail,   and comes to the chilling conclusion that we may loose control of the climate very soon.  In which case earth will seek a new equilibrium state, what they call "Hothouse Earth"    See also here    

Our analysis suggests that the Earth System may be approaching a planetary threshold that could lock in a continuing rapid pathway toward much hotter conditions—Hothouse Earth. This pathway would be propelled by strong, intrinsic, biogeophysical feedbacks difficult to influence by human actions, a pathway that could not be reversed, steered, or substantially slowed.
Where such a threshold might be is uncertain, but it could be only decades ahead at a temperature rise of ∼2.0 °C above preindustrial, and thus, it could be within the range of the Paris Accord temperature targets.

The present dominant socioeconomic system, however, is based on high-carbon economic growth and exploitative resource use (9). Attempts to modify this system have met with some success locally but little success globally in reducing greenhouse gas emissions or building more effective stewardship of the biosphere. Incremental linear changes to the present socioeconomic system are not enough to stabilize the Earth System. Widespread, rapid, and fundamental transformations will likely be required to reduce the risk of crossing the threshold and locking in the Hothouse Earth pathway; these include changes in behavior, technology and innovation, governance, and values (486263).


Reflecting on this paper, Eric Holthaus sees a call to action.

The next decade will almost surely decide our fate. That should empower us. It means every act has meaning; we have the chance to save the world as we know it every single day. In this scenario we now find ourselves in, radical, disruptive climate action is the only course of action that makes sense.

However the authors of the paper seem to rule out "saving the world as we know it".  They say that even if action is taken, we are entering a new world.  

Even if a Stabilized Earth pathway is achieved, humanity will face a turbulent road of rapid and profound changes and uncertainties on route to it—politically, socially, and environmentally—that challenge the resilience of human societies (7982). Stabilized Earth will likely be warmer than any other time over the last 800,000 years at least (83) (that is, warmer than at any other time in which fully modern humans have existed).
In addition, the Stabilized Earth trajectory will almost surely be characterized by the activation of some tipping elements (Tipping Cascades and Fig. 3) and by nonlinear dynamics and abrupt shifts at the level of critical biomes that support humanity (SI Appendix, Table S4). Current rates of change of important features of the Earth System already match or exceed those of abrupt geophysical events in the past (SI Appendix). With these trends likely to continue for the next several decades at least, the contemporary way of guiding development founded on theories, tools, and beliefs of gradual or incremental change, with a focus on economy efficiency, will likely not be adequate to cope with this trajectory. Thus, in addition to adaptation, increasing resilience will become a key strategy for navigating the future.
Further they suggest the following

We suggest that a deep transformation based on a fundamental reorientation of human values, equity, behavior, institutions, economies, and technologies is required. Even so, the pathway toward Stabilized Earth will involve considerable changes to the structure and functioning of the Earth System, suggesting that resilience-building strategies be given much higher priority than at present in decision making. Some signs are emerging that societies are initiating some of the necessary transformations. However, these transformations are still in initial stages, and the social/political tipping points that definitively move the current trajectory away from Hothouse Earth have not yet been crossed, while the door to the Stabilized Earth pathway may be rapidly closing.

Surprising, the worse its gets the less you hear about it.

Here's an interesting article by  David Wallace Wells., called   How Did The End of The World Become Old News?

He In other words, it has been a month of historic, even unprecedented, climate horrors. But you may not have noticed, if you are anything but the most discriminating consumer of news. The major networks aired 127 segments on the unprecedented July heat wave, Media Matters usefully tabulated, and only one so much as mentioned climate change. The New York Times has done admirable work on global warming over the last year, launching a new climate desk and devoting tremendous resources to high-production-value special climate “features.” But even their original story on the wildfires in Greece made no mention of climate change — after some criticism on Twitter, they added a reference.
Over the last few days, there has been a flurry of chatter among climate writers and climate scientists, and the climate-curious who follow them, about this failure. In perhaps the most widely parsed and debated Twitter exchange, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes — whose show, All In, has distinguished itself with the seriousness of its climate coverage — described the dilemma facing every well-intentioned person in his spot: the transformation of the planet and the degradation may be the biggest and most important story of our time, indeed of all time, but on television, at least, it has nevertheless proven, so far, a “palpable ratings killer.” All of which raises a very dispiriting possibility, considering the scale of the climate crisis: Has the end of the world as we know it become, already, old news?

And if we don't hear about, we don't think about it.  Ugo Bardi did an interesting piece tracking google searches for climate change   Why, In a Few Years,Nobody Will Be Talking About Climate Change Anymore.   He notes that one effective means of controlling the public dialogue, used by the Nazis, was  "Deception By Omission".  The government doesn't talk about it, the media doesn't report.  People move on to the next  interesting topic.   Iran? Manafort?  Immigration?  Rambo V?   He compares the interest in cliamte change witrh that of drone assassinations, an issue which has now gone out of vogue (although the strikes continue)

                                            First of all, here are some results from Google Trends.

Here, we don't see the same evident decline in interest we saw for the case of "drone kills," but I think it is reasonable to say that there has been a detectable decline during the past year or so (note that the 2017 spike corresponds to Trump's announcement that the US would withdraw from the Paris Climate Treaty). This interpretation may be confirmed by the most recent Gallup poll. Again, the declining trend is still uncertain, but it seems to be there. In March 2018, Americans were less convinced that climate change is a threat than they were in 2017.


  Some of you may be interested in a piece by Jim Bendell, a professor at the Institute for Sustainability Leadership at the University of Cumbria.  Based on  climate data noted above, he argues that  we are likely to see a very different world in the not too distant future.  He agrees that our current way of addressing problems will not be effective in dealing with this situation.    He argues that what will be needed  is what he calls "Deep Adaptation"  You can read more about it here...  Here is  a piece of his conclusion.

It is a truism that we do not know what the future will be. But we can see trends. We do not know if the power of human ingenuity will help sufficiently to change the environmental trajectory we are on. Unfortunately, the recent years of innovation, investment and patenting indicate how human ingenuity has increasingly been channelled into consumerism and financial engineering. We might pray for time. But the evidence before us suggests that we are set for disruptive and uncontrollable levels of climate change, bringing starvation, destruction, migration, disease and war.

 We do not know for certain how disruptive the impacts of climate change will be or where will be most affected, especially as economic and social systems will respond in complex ways. But the evidence is mounting that the impacts will be catastrophic to our livelihoods and the societies that we live within. Our norms of behaviour, that we call our “civilisation,” may also degrade. When we contemplate this possibility, it can seem abstract. The words I ended the previous paragraph with may seem, subconsciously at least, to be describing a situation to feel sorry about as we witness scenes on TV or online. But when I say starvation, destruction, migration, disease and war, I mean in your own life. With the power down, soon you wouldn’t have water coming out of your tap. You will depend on your neighbours for food and some warmth. You will become malnourished. You won’t know whether to stay or go. You will fear being violently killed before starving to death.

 These descriptions may seem overly dramatic. Some readers might consider them an unacademic form of writing. Which would be an interesting comment on why we even write at all. I chose the words above as an attempt to cut through the sense that this topic is purely theoretical. As we are considering here a situation where the publishers of this journal would no longer exist, the electricity to read its outputs won’t exist, and a profession to educate won’t exist, I think it time we break some of the conventions of this format. However, some of us may take pride in upholding the norms of the current society, even amidst collapse. Even though some of us might believe in the importance of maintaining norms of behaviour, as indicators of shared values, others will consider that the probability of collapse means that effort at reforming our current system is no longer the pragmatic choice. My conclusion to this situation has been that we need to expand our work on “sustainability” to consider how communities, countries and humanity can adapt to the coming troubles. I have dubbed this the “Deep Adaptation Agenda,” to contrast it with the limited scope of current climate adaptation activities. My experience is that a lot of people are resistant to the conclusions I have just shared. So before explaining the implications, let us consider some of the emotional and psychological responses to the information I have just summarised.

This is something that is hard to get our minds around.  In fact, we actively avoid trying to deal with this possibility.  It's actually very similar to our attitude towards our own mortality.   Which is fine, most of the time.  Who wants to think about such things?

Generally, we avoid it until we face the death of a loved one or a serious illness.

Perhaps this is a serious illness.  The scientists are saying the Holocene is dying and it's not going to get better.   We will need to adapt to that.  The adaptation we are going to go beyond any politicsocial, to the psychological or perhaps spiritual

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Didn't see that coming!

Blinded by the light
Revved up like a deuce
Another runner in the night

Manfred Mann

Running on empty 
Running blind

Jackson Brown


        Happy Solstice. (late, as usual).  

 So, of course, these days we have learned to accept climate change.    But we naturally hope it would be in some other place, or some other time.   For instance,  In Alaska they have to move entire towns;  south Florida is flooding without storms, see here (nice maps here
 ;  water shortages in  India .  But not in my city.  Surely not in Salem.  Yes, in Salem, you can't drink the water

   And maybe lots of other places.  Here's an explanation form The Climate Institute

Climate change contributes to excess cyanobacteria blooms by creating ideal conditions for cyanobacteria to grow. Cyanobacteria thrive in warm waters: as global temperatures rise, so too does global water temperatures. Cyanobacteria not only grow more rapidly in warm water from increased temperatures, but warmer waters also make it more difficult for water to mix, meaning the surface of the water remains much warmer than the rest of the body of water—and cyanobacteria grow more successfully on the surface.5 This is also disadvantageous because growing a thick cover on the surface of the water means that this photosynthetic organism can absorb sunlight easily, and grow even more rapidly.
Furthermore, increasing concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide are also favorable to the growth of cyanobacteria.The combination of warmer water temperatures and carbon dioxide absorption further creates perfect conditions for cyanobacteria growth and blooms.
A change in climate also affects precipitation rates and patterns. According to NASA, “Rising temperatures will intensify the Earth’s water cycle, increasing evaporation.  Increased evaporation will result in more storms, but also contribute to drying over some land areas.”7 This poses a problem when increased rainfall and storms causes more frequent nutrient pollution, “Thus, fertilization of arable land, sewage discharging, industrial effluents, use of detergents, extensive livestock farming are some of the activities that are responsible for the anthropogenic input of nutrients.”8

I guess the bottom line is, we need to expect the unexpected.  Here's  Michael Mann

Uncertainty is not our friend here," said Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann. "We are seeing increases in extreme weather events that go well beyond what has been predicted or projected in the past. We're learning that there are factors we were not previously aware of that may be magnifying the impacts of human-caused climate change." Among those are "subtle mechanisms involving the behavior of the jet stream that may be involved in explaining the dramatic increase we've seen in floods, droughts, heat waves and wildfires," he said.
"Increasingly, the science suggests that many of the impacts are occurring earlier and with greater amplitude than was predicted," Mann said, after considering new research since the milestone of the IPCC's Fifth Assessment, which served as the scientific basis for the Paris Agreement.
"We have literally, in the space of a year, doubled our assessment of the potential sea level rise we could see by the end of this century. That is simply remarkable. And it is sobering," he said.

Who was expecting toxic algea blooms?  How about "rain bombs" like Houston had?  Or the "hot blob"?

'An ocean heating event called the Blob resulted in mass loss of sea life during the period of 2013-2014. It was associated with a towering high pressure ridge in which the upper level winds ran far to the north and into the Arctic. Beneath the ridge, temperatures both at the land and ocean surface grew to be much warmer than normal.

Or how about " insect Armageddon"?

"An insect Armageddon is under way, say many entomologists, the result of a multiple whammy of environmental impacts: pollution, habitat changes, overuse of pesticides, and global warming. And it is a decline that could have crucial consequences. Our creepy crawlies may have unsettling looks but they lie at the foot of a wildlife food chain that makes them vitally important to the makeup and nature of the countryside. They are “the little things that run the world” according to the distinguished Harvard biologist Edward O Wilson, who once observed: “If all humankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed 10,000 years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.”

So, the impacts are worse than we had expected at this temperature.    And the temperature is rising faster than we had expected.  How fast?   How about  4 degrees above pre industrial as early as 2064?

A great many record-breaking heat events, heavy floods, and extreme droughts would occur if global warming crosses the 4 °C level, with respect to the preindustrial period," said Dabang Jiang, a senior researcher at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. "The temperature increase would cause severe threats to ecosystems, human systems, and associated societies and economies."
In the analysis, Jiang and his team used the parameters of scenario in which there was no mitigation of rising greenhouse gas emissions. They compared 39 coordinated climate model experiments from the fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (, which develops and reviews climate models to ensure the most accurate climate simulations possible.
They found that most of the models projected an increase of 4°C as early as 2064 and as late as 2095 in the 21st century, with 2084 appearing as the median year.

Study here
Of course that's the "worst case".  Unfortunately, expecting the worst case seems to be the most prudent approach..

According to a recentanalysis from scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR),  "[t]he worst case projections for global warming may be the most likely.”

 Are we already in a "climate emergency"?  I recently came across a book that suggests we are, and  offer a somewhat different slant on our predicament.  It's called, "Climate and Ecological Delusions and Contradictions That Will Rapidly End Humanity…Unless..."Free download here.    

The author argues that our current "plan", designed by politicians, is a recipe for disaster.  it consists of a rapid build-out of renewables (and a conversion of industrial and transportation to electricity).   As that cannot achieve the necessary reductions in CO2, a carbon sucking technology is proposed to fill the gap. 

 Relying on the work of Kevin Anderson, the book argues that while the plan is politically feasible, in practice it will not, and perhaps can not succeed.  The build-out would need to be much faster (perhaps 400 times as fast - see here ).  The current Paris agreement  proposals  will lead to 2-3 degrees beyond pre-industrial.  And the countries that agreed to them are not following through (see UN emissions gap report).  Furthermore, the carbon sucking technology has not been demonstrated . and the leading contender BECC, is potentially harmful.

But these facts are not well known.   In fact, we are flooded with,"feel good " stories about high tech making great strides.  Of course, strides are being made but they are dwarfed by the size of the problem.

And so the "problem,". (i.e.  something that can be solved,)  is rapidly turning into a "predicament ", (something that must be endured.)  Some aspects are already out of our control - see e.g. melting glaciers in the Arctic.  They argue that the only counterweight to the press and the politicians is the philanthropies .  These organizations control billions of dollars, they could illuminate our actual situation, and what it would really take to adapt to our current predicament and to avoid even more dangerous climate change.

The authors recognized the difficulty in getting through to the general public in a way that is " visible and visceral", a gut punch  of reality.  They offer some examples of techniques but recognize the competing  strength of our habitual world views.

           The  stories we  tell  ourselves,  the  cultural  paradigms that  represent  the  water  we  fish  swim  in,  change slowly  until  they  no  longer  work.   It  is  easy  then  to  ignore  coming  disasters,  even  though  we  may acknowledge  their  looming  reality.  Most  people  continue  to  use  vast  amounts of  fossil  fuels,  and  to consume far  more  than  our  happiness  requires,  even  though  we  are  aware  our  excesses  will  have  dark consequences  down  the  road.  The  future  is  “discounted”168  by  all  of  us,  not  only  by  economists. There  is  no  evidence-based,  rational way  that  we  can  continue  current operating systems–taking  twice  what  Mother  Earth  can maintain, sustain,  regenerate,  supply  to  us without exhaustion.  These  are delusions,  multi-faceted and interconnected.   Yet  facts  alone  will not move  or  change  dominant  human  behavioral  patterns or habituated cultural perspectives.

Here is James Hansons assessment of our actions to date.

All we’ve done is agree there’s a problem,” Hansen told the Guardian. “We agreed that in 1992 [at the Earth summit in Rio] and re-agreed it again in Paris [at the 2015 climate accord]. We haven’t acknowledged what is required to solve it. Promises like Paris don’t mean much, it’s wishful thinking. It’s a hoax that governments have played on us since the 1990s.”
Hansen’s long list of culprits for this inertia are both familiar – the nefarious lobbying of the fossil fuel industry – and surprising. Jerry Brown, the progressive governor of California, and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, are “both pretending to be solving the problem” while being unambitious and shunning low-carbon nuclear power, Hansen argues.
There is particular scorn for Barack Obama. Hansen says in a scathing upcoming book that the former president “failed miserably” on climate change and oversaw policies that were “late, ineffectual and partisan”.

So, instead of dealing with the problem - our hyper consumption paradigm that is creating the overshoot in so many areas, we deal only with the symptoms.  Some symptoms are anticipated like wildfires and drought .  Some are not,  like toxic algea.  Are we ready for this Brave New Climate?  

And what about the issue of the day, immigration?  Here's an interesting analysis .    from here.  See also Welcome to the age of climate migration

One factor causing migrants to risk everything—even potentially losing their children—to travel through the heat of summer in the dangerous desert and towards the barbed wire fences and tent cities springing up just south of the United States border: climate change.
Many of the migrants being detained here now hail from what's referred variously as the Dry Corridor or the Northern Triangle, which consists of the three countries immediately south of Mexico: Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.
The agricultural crisis of the Northern Triangle area isn't something that cropped up overnight, but has been in the making for more than a decade. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations published a report in June 2016 that described the depth of the food insecurity crisis in the region, leaving 3.5 million people, or nearly 30 percent of the population, food insecure from crop losses estimated to be as high as 90 percent.
Why the high crop losses? It’s due to a cycle of severe drought followed by tumultuous rainfall in the region, a pair of extreme weather patterns attributed to El Nino and La Nina.
Kicking off in 2015, this latest cycle of El Nino has twisted normal weather patterns in the region. By the next year, 2016, many in the Dry Corridor region reported at least two failed harvests as local weather patterns turned to La Nina, which is characterized by above-normal summer rainfall. That rainfall is made doubly dangerous when the Atlantic hurricane season—which has gotten more violent every year—dumps plenty of its own rainfall, making farming difficult, if not absolutely impossible.
"What we're talking about here are changing precipitation patterns," Robert Albro, a research associate professor in the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies at American University, said. "Climate scientists have observed that climate change is exacerbating El Nino and La Nina, so we see radically changing seasonal patterns."

      So, how are we going to deal with all these changes.  Be resilient, I suppose.   Be prepared, be flexible, have good community networks.  One lesson from Salem's water problems is that average citizens are very unprepared for any emergency.  They expect to be bailed out by somebody else - the government.    see Statesman editorial.

It's flawed reasoning for most residents to assume government will provide all necessary supplies in an emergency or that outside assistance will be instantly ready to offer aid.
The run early last week on water at area stores was worrisome but understandable because few were aware of the potential toxins threatening the water supply, so to them, it came without warning.
But residents with the means should have been able to crack open their emergency kit and take water from it.
It was an ideal opportunity to use water that might have been stored for a few months, and then replace it when the threat receded.
And yet, most raced to the store to buy water and other supplies causing many retailers to run out. Others took advantage of city and state water-distribution points.

With these recent water advisories, too many residents demonstrated they were unprepared to be without water and other supplies for a couple of days, let alone the couple of weeks.
Individuals who can, bear primary responsibility for preparing themselves. 
It's easy to bellyache about the failures of government; it's much harder to take responsibility for our own. 

So, expect the unexpected.  And prepare.

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