Only geo-engineering can reverse climate change — too bad it won’t work

seeing through car dashboard

In September, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), among the most conservative scientific organizations on Earth, issued a report concluding that global warming is irreversible without geo-engineering. Yet, as Earth System Dynamics recently pointed out, known strategies for geo-engineering are unlikely to succeed and that "climate geo-engineering cannot simply be used to undo … [Read more...]

Before it goes dark, let’s live

candle smoke

For my initial forty years on Earth, I was an unrepentant idealist. Surrounded by students I loved, pursuing a life of excellence rooted in inquiry, striving to serve humanity and the living planet, I cared about humans and other species to the point of heartbreak. I pinned my dreams on people and believed they would rise to the occasion. No more. Color me cynical in the spirit of comedian … [Read more...]

Hopium for the masses, renewable energy edition

fuel cell car

As Derrick Jensen points out, this "culture as a whole and most of its members are insane." For my part, I continue to be surprised at the number of people who believe in infinite growth on a finite planet. I continue to be amazed at the number of people who believe a politician cares about them, and that their favorite politician will act in their best interests. I continue to be surprised … [Read more...]

How to respond to climate chaos

spirit of compassion

Just when I think the climate-change situation can become no worse, additional information appears on my screen. Six self-reinforcing feedback loops have been documented since last month's essay on the topic. The four-minute video embedded below describes the dire nature of climate chaos and indicates how individuals might respond to the information. Guy-3Min from Pauline Schneider on … [Read more...]

As the Empire declines it gets nastier

riot police in Chicago

Any empire requires three elements for its own survival. As an empire declines, it becomes necessary to push harder on all three fronts: obedience at home, oppression abroad, and destruction of the living planet. I present a few examples of each phenomenon and embed a brief video clip at the end. Obedience at home was the subject of a recent essay in this space. Those who do not obey the … [Read more...]

19 ways climate change is now feeding itself

Arctic ice shrinkage

This essay updates my earlier effort to tally and describe self-reinforcing feedback loops with respect to climate change. At that time, seven months ago, we had strong evidence of nine such catastrophic phenomena. The nineteen I currently know about are described below. Only the final one is reversible over a temporal span relevant to humanity. Methane hydrates are bubbling out the Arctic … [Read more...]

Disobedience the true foundation of liberty

life is struggle

As if he could peer into the future, Henry David Thoreau is credited with the expression: "Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves." Herein I present a few recent examples of obedience at home. This essay is hardly comprehensive, and the hits keep coming, so this essay represents a minor start to a major issue. I'm certain many more examples will appear until … [Read more...]

And then what? How shall I live my life?

flowers on snow

And then what? As Garrett Hardin pointed out long before his death a decade ago, that’s the ecologically relevant question. Anybody interested in individual or societal action must be willing to answer this question. With respect to ongoing depletion of fossil fuels, any response to Hardin’s question must include the matter of scale. Individuals are able to abandon fossil fuels before they … [Read more...]

Waiting for the asteroid, eyes open

Photo: ethermoon/Flickr.

I'm pretty sure you know the drill. You pose the scenario and ask the hypothetical questions: There's an asteroid headed for Earth. We know exactly when it will strike, and it will kill all humans. Do you want to know it will strike? Do you want to know when? Some people want to know everything. Others don't want to know anything. People who want to know when the asteroid will strike … [Read more...]

For sale, habitable planet, too late

Wave Breaker

According to legend, Ernest Hemingway bet his 1920s-era colleagues he could write a complete story in just six words. Hemingway is said to have considered the resulting piece his best work: “For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn.” Making no attempt to keep up with Hemingway, this article provides an overview of the dire climate-change situation in fewer than 300 words. Perhaps even Twitter users … [Read more...]