Climate Change

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Bad Money

Our debt-based fiat money system poses an existential threat
Friday, September 14, 2018, 6:51 PM

We’re all going to have to be a lot more resilient in the future.  The long emergency, as Jim Kunstler put it, is now upon us.  It comes from every direction, and the trick is going to be remaining alert, oriented and positive.

If ever there was a wake-up call from the natural world it was this year’s weather events combined with the storms from last year.  » Read more

Insider

Mark Mulligan

Building Resilience In A Warming World

Preparations for a world on fire
Friday, August 3, 2018, 3:46 PM

Executive Summary

  • Future shock (on track, unfortunately)
  • Hope for the best, plan for the worst
  • What too little water means to those living without reliable rains
  • Planning for too much water
  • How great garden soils mitigate...well...practically every ill
  • Electricity at risk.  Plan accordingly.
  • Storms and rising seas.  Got any coastal real estate in low lying areas?  Get rid of it.

If you have not yet read Time For Some Climate Honesty, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Truth be told, I would prefer to live in a world that is 3 degrees warmer than 3 degrees cooler. Ice ages and cooling are associated with crop failures and famines. In New England, where I live, there was a mile or two of ice overhead as recently as 10,000 years ago.

I love my garden here in western MA and know nothing at all about how to grow veggies on top of a mile-thick sheet of ice. I suspect it’s difficult.

So I guess that’s the best spin I can put on it. Warmer is better than colder, all things being equal.

However, beyond that there are a growing number of new risks that we need to take into account. Heat waves. Too much rain. Too little rain. Punishing arctic cold making winters long and delaying spring planting. Crop failures.

These are all things that I laid out in the Crash Course back in 2008. Here’s what I said about the convergence of dangerous trends in the... » Read more

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kienyke.com

Time For Some Climate Honesty

Half-truths are doing no good
Friday, August 3, 2018, 12:35 PM

Let’s assume that you have doubts about 'global warming'. 

Some people do and, truthfully, we utterly lack the ability to accurately model how much warming will happen, where and by when (emphasis on accurately)

The reason is not for lack of trying or continual learning and model refinement, but centers on the complexity of the task.

Even seemingly simple systems that are actually complex are impossible to predictively model.  An example is a pile of sand growing grain by grain that will finally slump at some unpredictable time and in an unpredictable way.  You would think that such a simple system could be accurately modeled, but that’s not the case.  Exactly when the pile will finally slump is unpredictable.  Exactly how large the resulting slump will be is also unpredictable.  The “when” and the “how much” are unknowable (using current modeling techniques).

All that can be calculated for certain is that a higher pile with steeper sides/areas (a.k.a. “fingers of instability”) is more likely to slump sooner and more catastrophically.  » Read more

Blog

Prince Ea

Making It To The 4th Second

A hard-hitting delivery of the predicament humanity faces
Wednesday, May 30, 2018, 4:38 PM

As older guys in our forties and fifties, Chris and I realize that we're probably not the most compelling messengers to the Millenials and the generations behind them. So we're constantly looking for others who can be.

In that vein, this short video below from Prince Ea recently caught our attention. It delivers a hard-hitting emotional call-to-action for sustainability and resilience using much of the same data we frequently cite here at Peak Prosperity. » Read more

Podcast

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Connor Stedman: Carbon Farming

Sequestering atmospheric carbon through natural means
Monday, October 9, 2017, 5:10 PM

Climate change remains a hotly debated topic. But a scientific fact not up for dispute is the pronounced spike in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere over the past two centuries.

There's a building urgency to find solutions that can manage/reverse that spike -- a process known as carbon sequestration. But how to do that on a planetary scale? It's a massive predicament. And most of the 'solutions' being proposed are technologically unproven, prohibitively costly and/or completely impractical.

Enter carbon farming. It uses nature-based farming practices to park gigatons of carbon in the soil, rebuild soil health and complexity, and revitalize the nutrient density of the foods that we eat. » Read more

Podcast

Chakrapong Zyn/Shutterstock

Mark Cochrane: Climate Change, Revisited

The latest on what science has to say
Sunday, November 27, 2016, 5:27 PM

Mark Cochrane, Professor and Senior Research Scientist at the Geospatial Science Center of Excellence at South Dakota State University, returns to the podcast after a year and a half to update us on what the latest science has to tell us on the (often controversial) topic of climate change.

Mark has been researching the climate for over 20 years, and among his many other accomplishments, moderates what we believe to be the most level-headed, open-minded and data-centric discussion forum on climate change available on the Internet today.

In this week's podcast, Mark updates us on the latest empirical data, separates out what science can and cannot prove today regarding climate change, and provides clarity into closely-related but less well-understood issues, such as ocean acidification. » Read more

Podcast

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Michael Shermer: The Importance Of Skepticism

Without it, we're slaves to our beliefs
Wednesday, August 3, 2016, 2:34 PM

As humans, the way we process and react to information is influenced by both the biology of our brains as well as our social and cultural norms. We've talked many times here at PeakProsperity.com about the influence -- conscious and subconsious -- that our beliefs exert on our actions. Our past podcasts on behavioral economics have delved into this in detail.

But just because we believe something, that doesn't make it true. Which is why the scientific process is so important: when followed without bias, it enables us to understand reality as it truly is. And such accurate understanding of the facts allows us to make more useful decisions.

In this week's podcast, Chris speaks with Michael Shermer, monthly columnist for Scientific American and founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, about the importance of cultivating a questioning mindset. » Read more

Podcast

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Bill McKibben: The Planet's Future Depends On Distributed Systems

One of the best ways to address climate change
Sunday, July 5, 2015, 3:03 PM

To environmental activist Bill McKibben, it's all about math. The planet has warmed 1 degree Celsius over the past few decades and is on track to rise another 4 to 5 before the end of the century. An increase of this magnitude is simply too much for the ecosystems we depend on to adapt to that quickly. » Read more

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Scary Data

Scary Data

Scientists are warning that humanity has exceeded 4 of 9 planetary boundaries

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The Environment: Increasing Waste - Crash Course Chapter 24

We are killing the ecosystems we depend on
Friday, December 5, 2014, 7:54 PM

Following up on the previous chapter focusing on human-caused resource depletion, the other disheartening part of the story of the environment concerns the things we humans put back into it, and the impact they have on the ecosystems that support all of life -- ours included.

Like the economy, ecosystems are complex systems.  That means that they owe their complexity and order to energy flows and, most importantly, they are inherently unpredictable.  How they will respond to the change by a thousand rapid insults is unknown and literally unknowable. » Read more