The modern version of “Let them eat cake”

“In this spontaneous conversation between two of Britain’s most vocal scientists on climate change and engineering, we see a frank analysis of the details that belie inconvenient truths for each one us.

Our current carbon pollution rate is taking us towards a planet that is on average 4°C warmer than today with regional variations far exceeding this and changes to the natural world that will be so profound that it is fair to say, this will not be the same planet.”

~~~~~~~~~~Mike Stasse (Damn the Matrix)

 

Well worth watching when you have half an hour to spare:

 

Anderson: “I take the view that we can actually make a big difference by making social changes now. We can still just make the 2ºC but it needs rapid and deep reductions by this relatively small set of big emitters.”

 

That small set of emitters is us. We in the industrialised, developed world with our computers, cars and electrical toys. I’m not hopeful that enough of us will make the necessary changes.

 

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18 Responses to “The modern version of “Let them eat cake””

  1. notsomethingelse Says:

    I just wonder when scientists are going to give up on the “We can still just make the 2ºC” nonsense and admit that there is no chance of that happening as a cut-off for global warming. Until they do that, no-one is going to get serious about the situation and everyone will be expecting a miracle to happen when the 2ºC point gets close. Wrong.

    As of last year (2015), we reached the 1.0ºC point and averaging the previous three years it is clear that average global temperatures are currently rising at 0.1ºC per year (much faster than in earlier years). So, 2.0ºC by 2025? Does anybody seriously think we can alter the course of that trajectory even if we stopped all industrial activity of any kind tomorrow? Of course not. There are no levers that we could push to change that.

    That does not mean that we shouldn’t stop all industrial activity of every kind tomorrow. That would be the sensible thing to do. It depends on how much we want to live in a world that is grossly uncomfortable, one that can only support a much depleted human population, or a world where there is very little chance that any of us could continue to exist.

    Liked by 1 person

    • foodnstuff Says:

      I agree. I don’t post this stuff to try and get people to change, simply to get them to accept the magnitude of the problem and that there is nothing that can be done, given our present trajectory. We have come too far down the wrong path to go back now. All that is left is adaptation to whatever the system throws up at us.

      Liked by 1 person

    • foodnstuff Says:

      Note also that one is a climate scientist and one is an engineer. Two different mindsets. Engineers think we can engineer our way out of any problem. Climate scientists know differently.

      Like

  2. Yvonne Kelly Says:

    Very well presented and easily understandable to the average person such as myself. Touches of humour and a glimmer of hope to keep us, the listeners, engaged. I like the philosophy of each of us taking personal responsibility.

    Like

  3. Chris Says:

    On one hand it was great to hear them put into words, what needs to change. So there’s no longer a conversation about denial. But behind the deceptive words of we have to change, is this…they still believe effective change can ONLY come from a white, first world, education degree.

    After criticising every approach science was attempting to take, to mitigate the problem of climate change, they said they were optimistic about the generations coming through the universities, who could change “something” in the future.

    All I could think at that point was, haven’t you guys ever heard of trees and covering the soil with greenery, so the sunlight can’t reflect back up into the atmosphere? What they need is a Geoff Lawton to stand up in front of them, explaining how to solve the problem of increasing global temperature. We have small scale models all over the world, of how to change climate with plants and landscape, today.

    Why are the scientists being paid to fly to conferences and talk about the climate, and not include a permaculture perspective? Because a permaculture certificate doesn’t come from a recognised university, so it doesn’t make it into all these important conferences about climate change.

    We have the technology and the solutions. They are being practised in many parts of the first and third world countries, today, and delivering positive results. But until the white, first world, education degrees stop looking to the skies, and instead, look to the ancient system of climate management of eco-systems, they can only continue to hammer on about solutions that won’t come in time. Science isn’t fast enough to adapt, but our natural ecologies are. So we better get busy planting and nurturing them.

    That’s what I’m optimistic about.

    Like

    • foodnstuff Says:

      I have to admit I don’t share your optimism, Chris. There are too many problems coming down the pipeline, energy decline to name the biggest one and another financial collapse isn’t off the radar either. I agree that small-scale, local food systems like permaculture will have to be part of the solution, but how many people are actually growing their own food, or trying to? We should have started preparing for peak oil dozens of years ago and if we had, by cutting energy use or moving to renewable (and sustainable) energy systems, we might have cut or at least slowed emissions. The problem is, everyone in the developed world wants to continue their present lifestyle and those in the developing world want to emulate it. And population is still growing. That’s the elephant in the room that no-one is discussing.

      The only solutions are nature’s….a collapse and die-off and a return to human numbers the earth can actually support. And the extra CO2 in the atmosphere won’t be sequestered by green plants in time to avoid it.

      Like

      • Chris Says:

        I’m only optimistic, because as a species, more and more of the first world populations, are shifting towards building eco-systems again. Especially within city limits. That was in decline before. Now it’s on the increase.

        I thoroughly accept the predictions of catastrophe are still on the cards, but I also accept any field of science, cannot take into consideration what natural ecology is capable of remedying either. They don’t really study ecology as a unified system. They only remove the parts, and study how inefficient they are, with our interference. 😉

        Permaculture is the only field of study I know, which unites the ecological “living” system – to understand how best it operates, and more importantly, how to determine our level of interference with it. When I see more and more people being influenced by permaculture, I feel more optimistic. Because we’re developing the kind of people who can understand what nature is capable of, with less of our interference. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • foodnstuff Says:

          When you made that first comment above, Chris, had you been reading this:

          http://peaksurfer.blogspot.com.au/2016/11/trumproofing.html

          Exactly what you were saying about planting biodiversity. Permaculture gets a mention too.

          Like

          • Chris Says:

            It was great to read some parts of the world were prepared to take a different approach, involving natural systems as their guiding principles. Although I had a hard time accepting biomimicry would be included as a solution, along with something like permaculture.

            The former creates pollution through bioengineering natural blueprints, where as permaculture uses the real deal and reduces pollution because of it.

            But at least its a start. 🙂

            Like

  4. Chris Says:

    I did like the comments about economics though. One was how economics trump physics, meant sarcastically. And the other was how economics was compared to astrology. Like it’s a bit mystical and doesn’t make a lot of sense to policy. But I’m guessing a lot of people still believe what they read, and attempt to live as if what their astrology said for the day, was true.

    Like

    • foodnstuff Says:

      Economics always trumps everything, that’s a major part of the problem. Until people recognise that they depend on functioning ecosystems and start putting the welfare of the earth ahead of that of humans, nothing will change. Economics are a human construct and a subset of the biosphere. The biosphere doesn’t care about economics.

      Like

  5. narf7 Says:

    Steve and I have been watching Netflix films about how much carbon dioxide is produced in the meat industry. It’s gobsmacking to see how humanity is railroading itself down a one way track and how we are eating ourselves out of existence and taking everything else with us. It affected Steve so much he has decided to become a vego.

    Like

    • foodnstuff Says:

      I eat very little meat, but don’t think I could ever go vegan. I think the nutrients from meat are too important to do without, especially those that can’t be obtained in sufficient quantities, or at all, from plants. Farming in general is the problem…..that which uses oil-driven machinery and transport to markets. Meat harvested sustainably from the wild is an option (someone in our street should be trapping all these damn rabbits and sharing them around for a start!). I just hope that by growing as much of my fruit and veggies as I can, I’ve reduced my carbon footprint a bit more than the average person. By the sound of it, you and Steve, by the way you’re living, wouldn’t have a very high carbon footprint anyway. I think it’s important for a man, with a higher muscle mass than a woman, should get as much protein as he can, but kudos to Steve anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jane Says:

    I grew up as a child in the English countryside. Friday or maybe Saturday nights were pub nights. Mum and Dad used to take me and a friend and leave us in the car outside the pub listening to the radio and bring us fizzy drinks and crisps (chips). Quite often on the way there or back we would find dead rabbits or hares on the road. If they were still warm they were taken home for our dinner. If they were cold or stiff they became dog food. Many many years later in Glenroy Melbourne I lived next door to an elderly man who used to go ferreting and would regularly give me rabbits which l made into casseroles. He knew the signs of diseases in the rabbits and of course only gave me the good ones, skinned and gutted. As a child and as an adult I never got sick from eating theses animals, though most people are horrified to hear the story.

    Like

    • foodnstuff Says:

      I think your experience would have been common in those days, particularly if meat was scarce. I’ve sometimes found dead rabbits here but have been a bit nervous about eating them, not knowing why they died. My neighbour told me recently he caught one in a snare and ate it, but was sick afterwards. That put me right off. Thanks for sharing your story.

      Like

  7. Jane Says:

    Yes I haven’t eaten any dead ones I’ve found as an adult. I think you have to know the signs of a diseased animal by examining its innards which my neighbour in Glenroy did. The rabbits we ate when I was a child had been hit by cars and we never ate ones that had been dead long enough to be cold.

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