Tag Archives: climate change
How to wake society up to the big issues we collectively face
by Adam Taggart
Thursday, July 25, 2019, 5:23 PM
Are humans wired to deal with the kinds of existential threats facing society today? This is not just an intellectually-interesting metaphysical question. The answer may well determine whether our species makes it to the next century or not. As PeakProsperity.com readers know well, humans’ relentless pursuit of ‘ever more’ growth is finally slamming into the…
It's a process, not an event
by Chris Martenson
Sunday, March 10, 2019, 11:54 AM
Many people are expecting some degree of approaching collapse — be it economic, environmental and/or societal — thinking that they’ll recognize the danger signs in time.
As if it will be completely obvious, like a Hollywood blockbuster. Complete with clear warnings from scientists, politicians and the media. And everyone can then get busy either panicking or becoming the plucky heroes.
That's not how collapse works.
Collapse is a process, not an event.
And it's already underway, all around us.
Collapse is already here.
Daily DigestImage by push1, Flickr Creative Commons
Daily Digest 8/22 – The American Dream Is Getting Smaller, Arctic’s Strongest Sea Ice Breaks Up For First Time
Wednesday, August 22, 2018, 1:45 PM
- California Sticks Its Schoolkids’ Futures in a Vise
- Venezuela rolls out new currency amid rampant hyperinflation
- Credit card debt default rising despite strong economy
- Moody’s extends rating review period for Italy
- Student loan assistance may become as popular as 401(k) plans
- The American Dream is getting smaller
- Greece exits bailout, but ‘public debt tragedy’ persists
- How Heroin Came for Middle-Class Moms
- Parts of the Arctic are not freezing in winter 'increasing the likelihood that Earth's permafrost will melt and release huge amounts of greenhouse gas'
- Melting Arctic Could Rapidly Unlock 'Deep Carbon' Buried in Permafrost
- Arctic’s strongest sea ice breaks up for first time on record
- 'We Are Climbing Rapidly Out of Humankind's Safe Zone': New Report Warns Dire Climate Warnings Not Dire Enough
Sequestering atmospheric carbon through natural means
by Adam Taggart
Monday, October 9, 2017, 9:10 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.
The latest on what science has to say
by Adam Taggart
Sunday, November 27, 2016, 9:27 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.
Without it, we're slaves to our beliefs
by Adam Taggart
Wednesday, August 3, 2016, 6:34 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.
One of the best ways to address climate change
by Adam Taggart
Sunday, July 5, 2015, 7:03 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.
We are killing the ecosystems we depend on
by Adam Taggart
Friday, December 5, 2014, 11:54 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.
It all depends on how well we manage contraction
Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 12:18 AM
- The 3 fundamental activities society will need to prioritize in order to manage our contracting economy & resources
- How food production will need to evolve if we are to continue to feed ourselves in the future
- How pursuing "growth" is wasting us precious time and energy
- Mandatory transition will be needed across all sectors: transportation, health care, urban planning, manufacturing, trade, etc..
The problem of growth in its current context is first a problem of language, but do not make the mistake of supposing that this is just a semantic argument. Language is the human animal's primary tool-kit for accomplishing anything in groups, whether it is hunting bison or putting a spacecraft on the moon. If you use the wrong tool you are likely to mismanage the task. Now the primary task facing humans in this moment of history is managing contraction and our goal should be to manage it in a way that minimizes the potential for hardship and suffering. It must be obvious, then, that "growth" in the broad sense that we use the term is not conducive to facilitate "contraction" in the broad sense. The promiscuous use of the word "growth" in our economic debates only confuses us and paralyzes our ability to construct a coherent narrative about what is happening in the world and how we might enter a plausible future which extraordinary events are now shaping.
Three Fundamental Activities
I propose that we substitute the term "activity" for "growth" in our public debates over how our economy can function in the face of the manifold crises of population overshoot, climate change, peak cheap oil, and capital scarcity. There are an endless number of purposeful activities we can undertake to address these large problems that do not connote growth. The three fundamental categories of these activities can be stated with precision, namely:
- downscaling, and
The quality in common with all of them is indeed the opposite of growth. Yet they all imply a range of positive actions that we can undertake as communities to make new arrangements for the human project to continue in a favorable way.
I will describe the particulars in a moment, but first the point must be made that…