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

The Perilous Distortions of Climate Science

The Perilous Distoration of Climate Science - Featured Image

Due to the struggles against denialism and the political pressures to safeguard economic growth, climate science has become conceptually distorted.  This has severely compromised its capacity to assist humankind in finding rational solutions to the climate crisis.  In this post I identify the most significant of these distortions and suggest how they might be rectified. Continue reading

Capitalism’s Historical Dead End

In several of my previous posts, particularly Mainstream Mitigation 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 Mitigation, 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 increases in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations while ignoring their existing levels means that global warming and ocean acidification will proceed virtually unchecked. Unfortunately the situation is even worse than this because the mainstream approach to emissions mitigation is itself severely restricted. The result is that humankind’s response to the GHG-based emergencies is essentially zero – nothing at all. My aim in this post is to substantiate this claim. 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