“Ecological Survival and Revolutionary Change”

Announcing ES Featured Image

Given the rapid degradation of the Earth’s environment, it is now indisputable that humankind’s ecological survival will require revolutionary change.  Today’s social leaders are shepherding our species towards catastrophe and quite possibly extinction.  They must be quickly replaced by leaders who are fully dedicated to a sustainable future.  In Ecological Survival and Revolutionary Change (PDF) I develop and substantiate this thesis. Continue reading

REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE! A Youth Ecological Manifesto

We, the young, reject the lies we have been told about the ecological crisis.  We know that the problems have been massively distorted and that promising solutions have been callously dismissed.  We know we will suffer intensely and in many cases die prematurely as a result.  We are also convinced that, under current political conditions, nothing will be done before the crisis spins out of human control.  In brief, we understand that we have been abandoned to a grim ecological fate. Continue reading

Light of the Stars: Earth’s Overshoot in the Cosmic Context

Book Cover - Light of the Stars

From the intellectual perspective, humankind faces two major challenges in tackling the ecological crisis.  The first is that the problem is massive and unprecedented, which means that critical areas such as economic theory and social organization must be rethought from the ground up.  Unfortunately most intellectuals, particularly academics, are rewarded for throwing bricks onto the existing piles of knowledge rather than starting new piles.  Their usefulness in such rethinking is therefore limited. Continue reading

Extinction Rebellion: Courageous Activism, Flawed Strategy

A newly-formed activist group, Extinction Rebellion, deserves high praise for its protests against the UK government’s inaction on climate change.  Guided by the principles of non-violent civil disobedience, the group has courageously blocked roads and invited arrests.  During the October 31 event in London, about 1,000 protesters expressed their outrage, and 15 were temporarily jailed.  Further actions are planned as the group tries to intensify and broaden its initiative. Continue reading

The IPCC’s Long Escape from Ecological Reality

In my last post I said that the IPCC has abandoned the original, scientifically sound strategy of reducing GHG concentrations to their safe levels.  It is now fixated on reducing emissions – the increments to the problem rather than the problem itself – in order to keep the global temperature rise below a specified target.  Its recent report, Global Warming of 1.5°C, is the latest example of this emissions fallacy.  Although the report proposes a decrease in the temperature limit from 2°C to 1.5°C, this retains the false strategy and is far from sufficient to prevent ecological collapse. Continue reading

“The Economics of Needs and Limits” – Kindle edition

The Economics of Needs and Limits - Book Front Cover

In 2007 I self-published a book that presented an economic theory called the Economics of Needs and Limits, or ENL.  As my economic thought evolved over the years I released several updates.  The most recent of these is now available at Amazon’s Kindle Store under the title, The Economics of Needs and Limits: A theory for sustainable well-being.  The book is available in paperback form, and it can also be downloaded as a free PDF.  For an overview of ENL itself, click here. Continue reading

The IPCC has Failed. Should it be Replaced?

A well-known scientist who has strongly criticized the IPCC responded positively to my last post.  I therefore proposed a joint article that would discuss the organization’s performance.  He agreed, and I submitted the draft article below.  This was summarily rejected because, “Although I agree with much of what you say, it is put in a way that is needlessly provocative – starting with the title.”   In my view this assessment is nonsense, and indicates the reluctance of even the most critical voices to seriously consider the IPCC’s radical reform and possible replacement. Continue reading

The True Danger is SOLUTIONS Denial

For those of us who are deeply concerned about the GHG crisis, an extremely useful YouTube channel is that of Peter Sinclair.  In his “Climate Denial Crock of the Week” series, which comprises 92 high-quality videos, he calmly demolishes the cherry-picking, illogic, and plain stupidity of those who dismiss this mounting disaster.  He admirably achieves what his channel promises: “Knocking down the nonsense of Climate denial”.  Unfortunately, confirming that a problem exists doesn’t fix it. Continue reading

The Material Interests Driving IPCC Support

This is the second of two posts that address the question: Why do the environmentally concerned continue to support the IPCC despite its objective failure?  In my first post I said that various manipulations have been used to achieve this end.  The most important of these was the creation of a false choice between the IPCC and the absurdities of climate denialism, which made this support almost inevitable.  In this post I briefly discuss the role of material interests in bolstering IPCC support among the global rich.  I then identify some key implications of these roadblocks to a sustainable world. Continue reading

The Manipulations Driving IPCC Support

In a recent post I stated that the supporters of business-as-usual (BAU) have used the IPCC to filter out any solutions to the GHG crisis that threaten economic expansion, thereby ensuring the organization’s environmental failure.  What must be explained now is why, despite this failure, the IPCC continues to be strongly supported by the environmentally concerned.  I believe there are two primary reasons: manipulations by the BAU supporters and the material interests of the global rich.  Here I discuss the manipulations; in my next post I will address the interests. Continue reading

My Demands for the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report

The IPCC has to date released five Assessment Reports (ARs) about the state of the climate system.  However, these reports and their resultant policies have failed to slow the Arctic meltdown or to reverse the atmospheric accumulation of GHGs.  With each AR cycle the organization boasts about the knowledge it has gained and the details it can now supply, but the outcome is always the same: a deepening and escalating ecological crisis. Continue reading

The Economic Roots of the IPCC’s Failure

As previously described (here and here), the IPCC has failed to rationally address the GHG crisis.  Like climate science as a whole, the organization uses poorly defined and conflated terms, illogically aims for reduced emissions instead of safe concentrations, lacks a valid ecological damage function, accepts a 2°C limit that has no scientific foundation, and marginalizes the only solution to global warming – geoengineering. Continue reading

Bending the Wrong Curve: the IPCC’s Ecocidal Strategy

Featured image - IPCC meeting

In my last post I said that climate scientists have done an admirable job of researching the environmental problems resulting from excess greenhouse gases (GHGs), but that they have failed to guide society towards rational solutions.  Here I address the IPCC‘s central role in this failure.  My claim is that the distortions of climate science are rooted in the IPCC’s ecocidal strategy: to bend the emissions curve to zero rather than the concentrations curve to a safe level. Continue reading

Capitalism’s Historical Dead End

In several of my previous posts, particularly Mainstream Emissions Reductions and The Deep Politics of Ecological Inaction, I explained that nothing of any significance is being done to resolve the ecological crisis. In this post I identify the core reason for this disastrous inaction: the decision by the ruling capitalist class to remain in power after its economic system became objectively obsolete about 60 years ago. Continue reading

A critique of two marches

For the environmentally concerned, two important marches were held this month.  On April 22 (Earth Day) the March for Science defended the integrity of science while protesting the anti-science policies of the Trump administration.  On April 29 the People’s Climate March chanted for environmental justice and jeered Trump’s anti-climate policies.  Although these events were superficially encouraging, they both featured major errors that must be identified and critiqued. Continue reading

Geoengineering taboo is waning, but urgency still missing

A few days ago the Guardian newspaper printed an article by Martin Lukacs that criticized an upcoming experiment on solar geoengineering (i.e., solar radiation management or SRM).  In today’s Guardian the main target of that criticism, David Keith, offered an effective rebuttal.  The only problem with Keith’s position is that it continues to downplay the extreme urgency of our climate predicament. Continue reading

A Rational Response to the Ecological Crisis

Rodan's Thinker

As previously stated, the ecological crisis is the result of humankind’s uncontrolled economic expansion since the Industrial Revolution.  This led to overshoot in the 1950s as numerous environmental limits were violated.  The most serious of these violations were the skyrocketing greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations that produced today’s climate and ocean emergencies.  My proposed response to the crisis thus begins with measures that address these disasters.  I then proceed to measures for tackling overshoot itself. Continue reading

Geoengineering: the Arguments

In my last post I addressed the key facts about geoengineering.  Here I examine the arguments for and against this contentious approach.  Because emissions mitigation is often cited as an alternative to geoengineering, I begin by explaining their respective impacts on the environment.  For simplicity, I consider only the global warming effects of greenhouse gases (GHGs).  Ocean acidification and other non-warming effects are thus ignored.  See the diagram below. Continue reading

The Point Of No Return

Graphic of globe poised at edge of a cliff

When a team is behind in a basketball game, time becomes a serious factor several minutes before the final buzzer. What typically happens is that the team’s normal style of play gives way to an accelerated pace and intense pressure to regain the ball and score points. The ecological crisis is roughly analogous. We’re losing a game called “human survival,” and time is now a critical factor. Any strategy for resolving the crisis must therefore incorporate a sense of extreme urgency and a fixed deadline for decisive action. I use the “point of no return” concept to address these imperatives. Continue reading

Mainstream Emissions Reductions, or How to do NOTHING

Mainstream Mitigation - To-do-list-nothing

Unless the emissions fallacy is quickly rejected, it will be calamitous for humankind and the biosphere. The fixation on GHG emissions while ignoring their existing concentration levels means that global warming and ocean degradation will proceed virtually unchecked. Unfortunately the situation is even worse than this because the mainstream approach to emissions reductions is itself severely restricted. Continue reading

The Emissions Fallacy

I recently said that mainstream sources such as the IPCC implicitly use a falsified model of greenhouse gas (GHG) effects when offering policy prescriptions and making public statements. The central feature of this falsification is the emissions fallacy. This is the idea that the climate and ocean emergencies should be addressed exclusively through emissions mitigation, thereby ignoring reductions in existing GHG concentrations. In this post I address the fallacy in more detail. Continue reading

My Strategy for Ecological Survival

The most remarkable fact about the ecological crisis is that, even at this perilously late hour, no-one has devised a strategy to seriously address it. On second thought, the situation is far worse than that. With our ecological survival at stake, no-one has even come to grips with the basic realities that would allow such a strategy to be formulated. This is truly humankind’s darkest hour: we are facing an existential threat, we are equipped with powerful brains and impressive knowledge, but we have no clue how to proceed. What the hell is going on? Continue reading

The “Decoupling” Travesty

The economic growth fanatics have reached a new low in rationality and integrity. Recently the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced that, despite 3% global economic growth, CO2 emissions from energy sources increased only slightly for the second straight year. The fanatics immediately told us what this meant: energy use has been decoupled from economic growth, so the latter can continue indefinitely. Continue reading

Book Review: Climate Change, Capitalism, and Corporations

Climate Change, Capitalism, and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-Destruction.
Christopher Wright and Daniel Nyberg (2015).

Christopher Wright and Daniel Nyberg are business-oriented academics associated with the University of Sydney. Starting in 2008 they interviewed 70 employees at 25 Australian corporations to determine the corporate response to climate change. Continue reading

Rational Capitalists: Free the Thinkers!

Until recently I firmly believed that bottom-up action could resolve the ecological crisis. It was therefore a shock when I realized that this view had become untenable. It is now clear to me that popular initiatives such as the environmental and progressive movements have failed to prevent the biosphere’s rapid degradation, and that they lack the potential to turn this around. If there is any hope for future generations, it lies with the world’s rational capitalists, particularly those in the richest and most ecologically destructive countries. Continue reading

The Perilous Deceit behind Emission Targets

In the months leading up to the UN climate change conference in Paris this December there will likely be increasing chatter about emission targets – the percentage decrease in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that must be achieved by a specified date. The most ambitious of these may well appear to be serious attempts to address the crisis of global warming. Continue reading