18 August 2019

At 4°C of warming, would a billion people survive? What scientists say.

Courtesy: The Guardian
by David Spratt

In a way it’s an obscene question: if the planet warms by 4 degrees Celsius (°C), would only a billion
people survive and many billions perish?  Obscene in the sense of the obscenity of arguing about the exact body count from a genocide. In the end it’s about the immorality, the crime, the responsibility, not the precise numbers.

But it’s a relevant question, in that Earth is heading towards 4°C  of warming, based on emission reduction commitments so far. The Paris commitments are a path of warming of around 3.3°C, but that does not include some carbon cycle feedbacks that have already become active (e.g. permafrost, Amazon, other declines in carbon store efficiency) which would push that warming towards 5°C. So saying we are presently on a 4°C path is about right.

10 August 2019

Australia’s climate stance is inflicting criminal damage on humanity

Courtesy: The Guardian
 by Ian Dunlop and David Spratt, first published at The Guardian

The top priority of government is security of the people. Yet on the greatest threat of all, most governments are failing abysmally.

As the global influence of western democracies wanes with the ascendancy of China, India and other emerging countries, the resulting power struggle is diverting attention from the great issues the world faces, to their symptoms.

The neoliberal market economy, with its unregulated consumption and rapacious short-term outlook, is destroying modern civilisation. The warning signs are obvious, not least burgeoning high-consuming populations, massive biodiversity loss and multiple resource scarcities. Yet rather than reform an unsustainable system, political leaders scramble to prop it up and compound the problem. The result is Brexit, Trump’s Mexican wall, escalating Middle East tension, the US-China trade standoff, a global arms and space race, Amazon deforestation and much more.