Context

Purpose of this site

This site is less a call to action than an opportunity for you to see the big picture. It makes clear the coming dangers, how and why we are failing to address them and what can be done to ameliorate the condition we find ourselves in. I have faith that you will make a more useful difference once you become familiar with the information herein.

Big picture

Seeing the big picture on climate change means understanding the fundamentals. Why is it happening? Why is it so difficult to reduce emissions? What does the future hold even if global emissions become significantly reduced? These questions encompass many disciplines: science, economics, politics, business and human thinking and behaviour.

Capitalism leads us to specialise, but understanding climate change solutions and problems requires wide knowledge – being a jack of all trades, and being willing to stand back to see the key drivers – seeing the wood for the trees

This site distils and clarifies the most important issues using language accessible to professional level people.

Science

Humans understand complex physical realities with science. This gives us a superior kind of way of ‘seeing’ that no other species possess. Reliable information and metrics are vital for us to have any chance of plotting a successful course through the uncertain future we face. What the eyes don’t see the heart doesn’t grieve over, but cutting science budgets is like blindfolding ourselves while walking along a foggy precipice.

Previous apocalypses

The Sumers, Mesopotamians, Minoans, Mayans, Egyptians, Romans and Easter Islanders are all civilisations known to have ended up waging resource wars owing to dwindling food supplies. Usually this was the result of agricultural land becoming over-salinated or suffering soil degradation and eventual loss of fertility following deforestation. Like climate change the problems crept up gradually, and in some cases strategies were deployed that kept disaster at bay for several centuries. But in the end sophisticated societies disintegrated – into cannibalism in the case of the Easter Islanders – and entire cities were abandoned. We have much more to lose this time.

The risk now is that the whole world descends into a vortex of violence, in which dwindling resources and instability lead to ever increasing conflict. The need for expanded – high emissions – military industrial complexes would add to existing self-reinforcing feedbacks, ending in irreversible climate catastrophe.

Forget Planet B

Luckily for us, past environmental disasters did not threaten the entire planet’s ecosystems, and other people lived to tell the tale. However, if the Earth becomes uninhabitable the idea of mankind departing in time to colonise another planet is pure fantasy. We should forget Planet B. There isn’t one. The question is: Are we willing to do the hard thinking and work together effectively enough to build a sustainable future for the uniquely benign one we already have, with its pre-built-in, highly robust, corrective mechanisms?

 

Next: Earth System