This guide calls on humanity to commit to multigenerational survival. We must begin extensive reform. We have to do everything, all at once.
This is not a scientific proclamation. If you need to validate the current science of global warming or debate the changes, you will need to find it elsewhere.
Our task is to face the human shock from environmental changes and then adapt and lessen future traumas. Humans have caused this rapid heating from the combustion of fossil fuels. This heating now triggers further melt, sea level rise and more climate destabilization.
Governments are way too late in recognizing dangers. Old style politics has failed, we must fully rely on science. The droughts and deluges, the famines, heatwaves, and other disturbances will prove to be greater calamities than humans have ever faced. Now, governments must drive the conversion from carbon fuels to clean, renewable energy. National policies must change from the belicose to the cooperative.
Over the next few years and centuries, our atmosphere, oceans and lands will thoroughly change. Each decade will be hotter than the previous. Each decade will be more unstable than ever before. Yet, all human reactions must happen now.
Any policy recommendation has to fully accept prevailing science. Remember that in order to step through to the next century we must get through the next few years. Actions must abide by existing science, and we put faith in undiscovered fantasy technology.
Our civilization must remain functional despite a persistently collapsing environment. This puts extraordinary demands on all systems and cultures. All energy must be clean and forever emit zero carbon. We must use all the tools and skills that humanity can bring to the process. Survival requires world-wide co-operation.
Inaction, or much more business-as-usual practice puts us in high-risk of extinction. A few metaphors might help our condition:
We could regard civilization as a patient in a cancer ward with stage three or four active cancer, life-threatening and still untreated. It is only with caring, aggressive treatment that slight recovery might be possible. There is no chance of a complete cure, it might be only possilble to prolong life and ease suffering somewhat.
We don't really know the speed with which climate change will be unfolding, we know generally what will happen but not precisely when each adversity will present. We do know there will be tremendous drought, famine, heating and melting that leads to maximum sea level rise. There will be growing stresses upon all nations, distributed unfairly across geography and chronology. We know this will be intolerable; we see signs that it's starting already. Humans must come together to share common interests and fight the physical reality of climate change.
Or to use a different metaphor, it is as if all of civilization is inside an airplane flying high above -- only now suffering a series of environmental cabin malfunctions. Some small fires, along with temperature, water, and food problems The plane will be running out of fuel-- the crew is concerned and looking for a safe place to land. We cannot maintain this flight, with no safe place to land in sight, we may have to put down where ever we can. We don't have a plan that if safe. It may be a crash landing or a water landing in the ocean. But now it looks certain the flight will not continue as it has been. Further flight is unsustainable, and we will have to work hard to make it survivable. The longer we wait, the less choice we have in the matter.
No matter the analogy, some think we have already passed the point of emergency and substantially missed the opportunity to prevent the disaster. Unknown to us, we are already in our lifeboats -- as if the Titanic is now sinking and survivors awaiting rescue. By this analogy, we are already in hospice, we just don't know it yet.
I prefer the analogy of the slow-crashing car. Our industrial world has been steering us on a glorious drive, but moving too fast, burning too much fuel and suddenly our vehicle has left the road and is crashing down the mountainside through brush and trees. No longer are we on a safe path, yet still going too fast. We should be slowing down before we are undone by the thousands of small crashes to come. We know the car will eventually stop, but we don't know what we will hit, nor when, just that gravity rules. Our car is filled with seven billion people. We are buckling seatbelts and holding tight, knowing that not all will survive and many will be lost. We are still in a slow crashing car.
There are many other metaphors for what's going on. The biggest problem for now is the deliberate misinformation and misdirection.
Climate Manifesto Mission
This document suggests reactions to an increasingly chaotic world caused by global warming and climate destabilization. First, we must agree to survive; then we must help our progeny. Science must dictate policy, then we act accordingly.
With unsure footing, we balance on the cusp between sustainability and survivability. We discover that sustainment is no longer obtainable, and long term survival only possible with great effort. A Climate Manifesto means we no longer have choices. We can only respect and obey the laws of science. To ignore physics is to expire. The swimmer does not fight water, instead understanding the flow and feel of fluid physics. It is as if suddenly we are thrown into deep and stormy seas with a distant shore not yet visible. Many can swim, many cannot. But we all know we must find safety. Working for a safe future requires radical reform of "everything all at once". The best scientific guides are the models and scenarios of global warming. These help us build the interim steps for a survivable future. Below we suggest a physically tenable list of political and economic actions and reforms.
Global Warming is the greatest challenge facing humankind. With current population levels, it cannot be stopped, it can only be slowed. Humans can only act to reduce, delay and accept. We can't repeal the laws of thermodynamics, we can only know it and work-through it, and work-around it. Presented are policies and aims for multigenerational survival. This has always been Spaceship Earth, even before we named it Earth. Only now we are the crew and passengers in charge of environmental controls. Innocence is lost, no longer is it a limitless world, we adapt to change; then lessen danger when we discover, create and obey new rules. Because lessons - not learned - will be repeated, there is no reason not to engage the future.
The Fast Closing Window of Relative Grace
The process of global heating and climate destabilization moves forward with increasing speed. It was unknowingly launched by us, unwillingly perpetuated, but now continues with increasing severity. It is unnerving to see climate graphs plotted in in linear maths now suddenly drawn with exponential rates of change. As if an airplane turned into a rocket. The harsh reality is that we failed to recognize and understand that we are failing to meet the danger head on. And worst of all, we have insufficient interest in halting the behavior that caused it. And so we do too little to secure our future. The victimized world is insane, it is misdirected, confused and asleep. But the harsh calamities of climate horrors begin to awaken us now. Although better informed and ready to face the danger, we are made ineffective or sabotaged outright by PR from carbon fuel interests. This has been a war of control of perceptions, where forces promoting ignorance and stagnation have divided and conquered the advocates of science. The in-activist against the activist. Our civilization has fanatically expanded our consumption of carbon fuel. Decades of mindless combustion has induced tipping points of warming that will continue for thousands of years. The arduous journey will be long, dangerous and uncertain. We need to unify, focus our humanity, identify effective tasks and start working. Now.
The physical consequences of global warming are served with uncertain timing; and We can only forestall and mitigate the inevitably harsh weather-related events. Unless mass volcanism obscures sunlight (but somehow does not add CO2) for years or if we invent a magical tool to intervene (fusion energy?), then heating and progressive weather chaos will continue to unfold as it has in past eras. But because we have injected far more carbon gases into the air and ocean than anytime and done it faster than anytime in the last 400,000 years, we are unsure of how much destabilization will happen and how fast. Expecting to learn the precise speed of specific actions evolving in a chaotic fluid system is nearly impossible. But there are trustworthy models and some have been proven dead-on correct.
The increasing frequency and intensity of social destabilizations, will track in sync with climate calamities. . With fewer exceptions, taken as a global average, each year will be more harsh, hot and stormy than the previous year. As the rate of change increments, too soon, and with few exceptions, every month will set a new record. This is widely studied in differing scenarios that include charting heat, sea level rise, storms, wildfires, drought and floods. Biological changes are harder to model, but are already demonstrated. The embroiled areas of violent political instability should be evaluated with a new point-of-view. Nations now practice a de facto form of climate triage as millions of refugees seek asylum. The world begins a serious struggle for the resources for survival. It will continue with unconscious violence or preferably, under mindful, careful planning. For multigenerational survival, we must constantly re-evaluate the re-organization required to keep a civil society. Author Elizabeth Kolbert shares the top concerns of many scientists: that of maintaining social cohesion in the coming years of tumult. She relays special concerns starting about mid-century.
So the problem is not really global warming, because that's just a name describing unraveling environmental conditions that so stresses our human responses, which is the real problem. Instead, we might redefine the problem as the human inability to step up to face increasing risk. It is a danger so great that it could knock down civilization. An accepted notion, the only real uncertainty is when. And human extinction cannot be ruled out. An honest and ruthless examination of these realities may help mobilize progress. People are too afraid, don't care, are willfully ignorant of the risk and successfully manipulated by propaganda. The shock and enormity of the problem makes denial a comforting psychological response. The fear is of the required solution which will radically change economic reality, break political systems, drain established wealth. shake the foundations of civility Even without purposeful change, most all the economic, political and physical disintegration will proceed anyway. We face a Sophie's Choice between deterioration or downfall. All the climate science describes progressive heating for centuries - no models, none predict cooling - even without humans. None predict stability. If our goal is long-term survival for our DNA, then what action is too extreme? (Perhaps for discussion at another time: are there reasons NOT to care about our future?) But the greatest concern is that the political and economic systems that reject this science modeling will insist on riding the momentum of inaction and prevent significant change. However, the systems of global heating and climate destabilization do not care one way or another about beliefs and biases and monetary fluctuations. Human emotions and ideology means nothing, what we physically do means all. Now and into the future, we have only one focus, one devotion: an inclination to survive. Anything else is meaningless.
Predictable Responses to Frenzied Rationalizations
Scientific uncertainty was an amazingly effective tactic used by the tobacco industry to forestall regulation for decades. Today this same tactic is used with devastating effect to suppress science - it strangles speech, silences researchers, harasses and drives brilliant scientists to seek other fields. But it does something far worse to the general public - we who listen to the science are exhorted to a blind faith acceptance of uncertainty. This helps build an entire psychology of the non-dire. "It is not that bad", "the Arctic will not melt that soon", "methane will not release that fast", "permafrost will not melt that soon". Unfortunately, this extends deep into politics, where even officials who understand global warming, will resist accepting the problem as dire. (This dysrationalia is often labeled as a normalcy bias, groupthink, bandwagon effect, or an optimism bias.)
Faced with the stark choice of acquiescence to the interests of the individual and the now or instead the duty to our offspring in the future - we rationalize our way out by claiming we are not yet in a serious place. This is an irrational extension of the scientific uncertainty. But this too is a very difficult deception, since the fundamentals of climate science and global warming are open, easy to read and with data sets that are public. It is so ironic that it was the climate change denial campaigns that forced climate scientists to post their research papers and document field work. So it becomes far more difficult to plead ignorance of the science.
The only choices we have are to ignore or accept scientific explanations. If we accept, the we must embrace the harsh reality no matter where it leads. To say it is not that bad means we have reverted to scientific uncertainty. Even one who accepts global warming and its causes may choose not to believe the severity of scenarios. Despite political parties or liberal intent, such semi-denial amounts to abandoning the future.
Now the happy-faced, equivocating politicians will brandish a meme of "denial of severity". This is related to the formally named -- scientific reticence, and so now both science and industry are supported by a complicit mass media that promises nominal, snap, uncomplicated coverage of the issue. The best examples of this are the current tokenistic coverage of real risks: food security, drought, wildfires and sea level rise. The subjects are mentioned, sometimes even examined as a real news event, but rarely does the subject permeate to serious analysis and news will never engage with long-term policy planning -- as it should. When did you last hear of a major project near a shoreline consider sea level rise? Superficial happy-talk news media stuck practicing cursory news coverage only ends up pushing serious news consumers directly to Internet science sites and alternative news sources.
General Options for Positive Action
Henceforth, everything we do must be carefully thought out. Every political structure must abide by the goals of survival. Every economic system should be optimized for future survival.
This brings us back to our first choices: What is it that we want to do? What is our goal now? We have moved our civilization into a delicate system, and each action, even the smallest will be amplified. Each gas powered car makes thousands of explosions per minuted. A typical auto delivers to the air a pound of CO2 for every mile traveled. Over 1 Billion gas powered cars now cruise our planet. Coal combustion for converting to electric power is measured by the ton. Every action must be consistent with our goals. The ultimatum, enormous.
Gradually, learning the range of challenges to our survival, we must carefully evaluate risks. Simple risk is the probability of an accident or event multiplied by the expected loss. As the expected loss approaches the infinite, and the probability near complete certainty, then the product - the defined risk is astoundingly high.
Unlike any other time in human history, the future stability of environment is not assured. And we have no precedent to guide us. Past human survival experiences include lessons from the turmoil of wars, the scourge of disease, along with all the weather and seismological catastrophes. Each misfortune, even the defeats, proved to be passing events and species recovery soon followed. Civilizations have gone extinct, yet others popped up. Survivors have always managed to regenerate culture. This time, the challenge is different, it's universal, it's progressively intensifying and scientifically inevitable. It's worrying that so many people underestimate or discount the risk. It is such a waste for science to INFORM policy -- which is politically and economically constructed. Instead, current reality and the laws of physics must dictate public policy. We exist in a world mired in cascading tipping points of environmental decline. Unlike the past, extending habitability requires we respect basic biological systems ruled by laws of physics, atmospheric chemistry and thermodynamics. Rejecting systems thinking is a perverse kind of adaptation. By our over-simplification of science, we miss the opportunity to properly respond and make a rapid decline inevitable. Entertaining such denial is not smart, and dumb of us to tolerate it.
The devotion to sustainability is often expressed by an endless false investment in adaptation. It's not the same as preparing for climate change by securing habitat and health. When sustainbility goals are given the tools of adaptation - then the current generation becomes a parasite to the rest of the world. Because adaptation involves physical actions that are often reactive, politically expedient, and usually visually apparent, then they easily fit the charge of exploitative of others. It is a short-sighted zero-sum solution to danger - unless adaptation yields to mitigation, it risks the criticism of being a temporary, generational, selfish indulgence. If we gave allegiance only to the present and abandoned the future then the ultimate act of adaptation would be to begin a serious global hospice movement. Yet the key purpose of adaptation should be to deploy only to preserve the social contracts foundational to government Humans band together for survival, we must preserve our community and representative governments of all levels. Governments must adapt to protect their citizens, the sovereign must protect the vassal from the violence of nature. Already, climate change is killing people, directly and indirectly. Many NGOs are tabulating annual climate related deaths. List of links for more info on counting victims of global warming. Adaptation starts from the comfort of the status quo - struggling to preserve it by renaming it sustainability. Whereas mitigation comes from realizing how the future degrades unless unlderlying causes are addressed.
Mitigation reduces the severity, and pain of global warming. This will include scientifically ruthless actions designed to extend habitability by reducing or preventing greenhouse gas emissions. Mitigation is an action dedicated to future generations. It is very costly, results may go unnoticed for decades, and consequently are politically difficult to deliver. Since any delay increases the amount of effort required for subsequent mitigation, it should never be delayed. Hence, it must take precedence over all other actions - such as adaptation. Without full devotion to mitigation, then we acquiesce to greater suffering that will arrive sooner. Geoengineering, as an act of either adaptation or mitigation is controversial. Promoting geoengineering is a poor excuse for inaction in reducing carbon emissions.
General Action Steps:
It is likely the Planet will warm to a global average of 4 degrees C. Predictions of 5 to 10 degrees C are not uncommon Unless we come up with a great invention or experience a massive volcanic eruption with plenty of soot and sulfur, then heating will continue for a few more centuries at least. Fully melted polar ice will eventually deliver a maximum of 270 feet of sea level rise. For our time, by 2100, we expect oceans to rise up to eye-level of a standing adult. But models and recent studies say it could be more than that. Much more is not improbable. One conservative description for the rate of increase is that it doubles every decade. With a rate now about 40mm per decade, so by that math, after running out of ice to melt, sea level will top out even as heating continues in less than 150 years. This theory challenges the rate of heating applied to Greenland and to East Antarctica. This area of study is most interesting and controversial.
Of all the ramifications of global warming the processes of heating and sea level rise are the most anticipated. All the ice will melt eventually and the only real uncertainty is the near timetable. While we can influence much now, tepid mitigation efforts will only intensify heating, making everything happening sooner. Indeed, a serious question is whether the world, instead should cease the struggle, fully accept fate and indulge in a type of joyful, apocalyptic cornucopianism. That may be a valid consideration, but not for this manifesto.
Imagine an international showdown where Bangladesh, desperate to save millions of citizens trapped by rising seas, asks the world to spend billions in building sea walls and safe housing along the coastline. Alas it would be a short-term solution, obsolete before completed. A struggling world might think it smarter spend on mitigation efforts. But with sealed borders to India, this unjust decision could condemn millions to death or outcast refugees. This may be the typical crisis in a future of rapidly rising oceans. We do not know how fast oceans will rise - currently controversial. Regarding adaptation, we may know what is politically possible, and we may seek what is economically feasible (more adaptation), but unless we join with global citizens in smart mitigation efforts, without constraints on carbon emissions, temperatures will continue to rise, so it means little to future generations. Mitigation is a government-intensive process requiring a global agreement supported by legislation, religion and political negotiations between groups and nations. Such an endlessly frustrating process should be instantaneous.
Two immediate actions must combine to secure our future: halt carbon emissions and reduce human population. Ignoring either problem assures a chaotic end to civilization. We are in a showdown with physical reality and our delay, denial and inaction puts us on the losing side. Having made the temporary choice for carbon-combustion-with-delayed-consequences, the dazzling benefits of easy carbon are drifting away. As Naomi Oreskes says, "the sumptuous carbon banquet is concluding, the waiter is presenting the bill".
As with any unfolding traumatic event, survival requires a calm, ruthless evaluation and equanimity. We presume that humans will join together in a decision to fully engage, but after decades of training from high carbon commercial interests, we are poorly practiced for rapid change. The transition to a no-carbon world will carry its own type of painful withdrawal. Famously Bill Nye said, "We have to do everything, all at once."
We must scrutinize ourselves, asking if we are passively giving up the fight. Dr. Peter Ward posits that all life, including human species as ultimately suicidal. The Medea Hypothesis We can ponder this question, but we should note that a natural death of an organism, is not the same as cognitively letting go of life. Even as a species, we are not letting go. But we have yet to unify in seeking new pathways to survival.
Why a Manifesto Must Be So Ruthless
Psychotherapist Betty Merton's Rule of Change says that "Of all the adaptation strategies, denial is the least effective." That rule should join with a corollary; the Climate Challenge Rule of Maximum Difficulty: Civilization progresses one-step-at-a-time with victories over challenges, until, ultimately intelligent life reaches a challenge it either cannot understand, or cannot conquer. We quite possibly reached that wall with global warming. The corollary says the ultimate challenge is the most difficult to recognize, and will be the most difficult to act upon (if only because lesser challenges have been met). That's what makes it the ultimate. Surviving warming climates requires the greatest effort, supported by near-universal cooperation and must be sustained across generations. Then after a half century of active emission reductions, the positive effects of improvement will be almost invisible. And of course to many, the entire expenditure of resources will be reviled, denied, delayed and violently opposed.
It is important to note this must be launched globally - promoted by the best marketing, full coverage cultural and political talent. Because so many business and political leaders can be corrupt, shortsighted, disorganized and selfish, we need to reform organizations at all levels. And just to make the task more difficult: global populations are geographically isolated and locked into disparate cultures by location and language. This will be a tough challenge. That's why this is a manifesto and not a poem.
Of course nobody really wants to delve into deep discussions of global warming. It is too depressing, dark, difficult and filled with grief over past blunders, and anticipatory grief over a chaotic future. Recently, US federal election candidates have started to recognize climate change, but stubbornly refused to elevate the issue above other domestic and foreign issue. Even people who clearly see the problem, dare not gaze upon solutions. Many may show a glimmer of understanding but totally under-appreciate contracting deadlines. Adaptation is like comfort-food on the couch, far easier to appreciate, likely to be the response. But for a more substantial future, only mitigation will do the job, and even then, success is not guaranteed.
We must learn new tasks we have never know or done before. For an analogy of what we must do: it is as if 7 billion child citizens of Earth simultaneously take toilet-training while studying for graduate school. And everyone must sustain a boot-camp level commitment for 40+ years. And after decades of total commitment we'll see tiny glimpses of positive effects on climate. Then, just as the child matriculates, they must step into the parenting role as subsequent generations repeat the process. No sane person would want take up that challenge. Nor vote for it in an election. Ugh. We must be driven to it. Driven insane to effect change. Yikes! The age of purposefully cultivated cognitive dissonance.
Perhaps our attitude must revert to a religious style of commitment and totalitarian type of civil devotion - after all, our goal should be peaceful co-existence while we problem-solve. Those who do not engage, cannot obstruct.
The flag of this crusade/jihad is not yet designed, the army not yet assembled, but the global meetings this year is an encouraging sign, (encouraging in that it imparts courage) courage to meet and do the right thing - reduce carbon emissions. And address overpopulation -- alas, if overlooked, it will be self-resolved by suffering. Pope Francis knows that stresses and assaults of global warming will bring famine, disease and conflict enough to sufficiently reduce our numbers. And outside of Catholicism, we know that willful population control is preferred. Alas, we will be shocked by yet unknown means of attrition. The global population will always naturally "stabilize" at the maximum sustainable numbers.
Notice how we talk of our species. And note that every individual was born of a loving mother, large groups now pluralized into "the people", then fitted into a label of "global population", now Humankind is measured by a number - 7 billion. Next we will begin again, defined as vessels of carbon. Humans as significant carbon sinks best returned to the earth. Tons of carbon returned to Earth. So maybe cemeteries should be among trees of struggling forests.
Ultimatums: Actions and Choices
Multigenerational Survival Requires Systemic Reforms: We can start with harsh, difficult voluntary reforms by a majority of the world. This must show effective results in the first section of our era of change. Thereafter the changes required will be edicts, ruthlessly enforced. Executed perfectly.
Apply the laws of science to all public policy There is no room for irrational thinking, no time for magical ideology.
Make huge, bold changes The greater the problem, the stronger the reaction required.
Revise governments extensively. Maintain and nurture social contracts; governments protect citizens. Keeping society together enough to face growing hardships. This may require revising the notion of community and democracy
Technocratic cybernetic Government A computer operating system is just another form of government; one that happens to be fast, efficient, and logical. Human governments have reached an end of useful life - they are corrupt, inbred, stuck in the past and not well suited for the global management of carbon and energy policy. System support by algorithm allows unbiased decsionmaking and ruthless enforcement. This must include direct regulation and managment of energy, chemical and biochemical systems. Decision-making for Spaceship Earth must be precise and fast. As much as possible we should rule by digital Artificial Intelligence Managing Spaceship Earth by digital algorithm is smart, apropriate where decision-making must be precise and fast. The predicted hypothetical technological singularity expected by mid century might be an interesting and necessary risk. The most useful aspect may be the fair, unbiased, ruthless enforcement. It is not too early to begin testing and deployment. Get over your fear of digital decision-making. Making the computer system is the democracy, the algorithm specification is the constitution to the government. Deploy ASAP.
Population control must be absolute. This is key. It will happen by willful action, or by catastrophic attrition. The preferred action is willful. Natural attrition will be uncontrollable and likely unanticipated Survival rules must consider triage, hospice, and eugenics.
Mass media communications require a complete re-focus, re-invention and re-tasking. All mass media, all advertising and public relations media must halt allegiance to carbon-fueled capitalism and turn to support objectives of the populace. This change need not be anti-capitalist, but it must be non-carbon capitalist.
Agriculture must be retro and constrictive. Tilling soil releases carbon, no-till farming is smarter. Little or no fertilizer. Carefully selected and managed chemicals. Complete oversight by a carbon management plan. Respect for goals of water and ground water restoration
A global government must follow life-boat rules that extends deep into personal and commercial interactions. Artificial intelligence should be deployed for the widespread evaluation, administration and fulfillment of global action... Construct a super operating system with applications fully assigned to administer civil behavior. Even very small segments of society should be commanded and managed by algorithm. It should hold a simple edict: assure the survival of human species - then all other actions can be derived from that directive.
Mitigate The immediate halt to emissions of greenhouse gasses and the sequestering of carbon dioxide will yield visible results in decades. Compliance will be horribly difficult. Whereas, Adaptation even proactive adaptation is wise when applied to survival -- not to sustainability. Reactive adaptation is panic. Luxurious adaptation is sabotage.
Climate refugees are not displaced victims, they inaugurate human migrations. From now on, regard humans as global citizens Island nations begin the expression of global citizen resettlement. As more severe changes intrude, more migrating populations will need constant resettling. Regional changes such as famine, drought and wildfires will drive populations to survivable locations.
Energy Conservation, applied immediately and extensively yields tremendous energy savings. Begin mandatory, optimized energy efficiency standards. Inefficient or faulty energy should be heavily taxed, punished and replaced.
Respect for the Tragedy of the Commons Consumption and pollution of shared resources ceases immediately. Pay for or deploy an escape and clean up; pay heavy fines or pay with a penalty.
Extensive Political change made efficient by accelerated criminal prosecution for sabotaging the future. Ethical transgressions having real consequences will have ruthless punishment and fines commensurate with the transgression. Smart punishment i.e. fines, work, and recompense will apply since parasitic punishment harms the goals of energy budgeting
Full compliance requires global governments to fully address all these challenges. Regions outside of government influence are tolerated as long as their energy and pollution impact is nil. Equitable enforcement of human impact must be universal.
Social systems and philosophies must address reality or get out of the way. Ethical transgressions with harmful physical consequences are to be considered criminal acts.
Ocean acidification, a related parallel, challenge to human survival, with similar, related solutions. Our carbon dioxide and nitrogen pollution dissolved in the ocean generates acid.Our tasks are greater than anything ever accomplished. We must globally reform and reestablish society, governments, commerce, and human interaction. We will be fortunate to retain many aspects of civilization.
Expect a managed economy, managed society and personal life. Managed energy usage. Every action evaluated for energy and purpose and goal.
Bypass obstacles or render them inconsequential Stay on track for the one goal - survival now and survival future.
Repeat Change means we respect the process of learning, grieving and acting. Change fast; learn more and implement new information. Repeat.
Radical Coalescence of Climate and Politics
Every global citizen, regardless of affiliation adheres to universal standard of emissions and pollution. We cannot allow individuals to derail efforts to regain control of runaway climate change. The most harsh practice of eco-totalitarianism is forcing full compliance. Citizens will have to decide how much respect should be given future interests; then what level of enforcement is necessary. Keeping in mind that anything less than 100% compliance is inefficient and amounts to vanquishment. This is a dynamic rule that will expand and contract according to the balances of how much Mitigation, Adaptation and Suffering you plan for the future of your society. It is sad to realize that a highly emotional, massive retribution against the old carbon wealth is probably to be expected. This is a wasted action. What shall we do in order to enforce compliance with the future? The most correct retribution is zero carbon combustion. Similar to vaccine enforcement or disease control, a national policy is one thing, but how does one enforce this globally? Any decision is the correct one for your future. It's just a matter of how much future you might want.
Dethroning individualism is the right of any species; as is the right to assert a future existence. Even if by constraining destructive aspects of individualism. Ask whether the rights of species DNA to supersede the interests of any group of individuals or nation. Species rights trump those of the group, and claim authority to fully repudiate individual rights. Sorry. Given the situation, this is correct. The only argument raised against this are is a strategy of lying - amounting to a scientific deceit about our condition. To argue for the rights of individual malfeasance, requires one to challenge physical inevitability of global warming. The accelerating rise in climate calamities will reveal the deceits of fanatical dogmatic denialism. This is a quite dangerous time for civilization. Given the depth and speed of decline, the promotion of individual desires promoted by governments works to sacrifice future generations. In other ways, organized opposition to future justice comes primarily from both political opposition and carbon business interests. Although this seems like a classic fanatical political showdown, it is more of a lose/lose standoff where everyone is victim, including the innocent.
Agents of power have long sought control of science and information, with such varied success in proclaiming their truth that they can claim a place in history, if not in power. For the last half century, the sciences and maths of global warming have been under attack from right-wing political armies and carbon interests trying to change reality. Until very recently, entrenched power interests could conduct and win propaganda battles for the hearts and minds of the voter and consumer. But the victories won by denialists and proponents of carbon energy will be temporary as reality grows more harsh and imposing. The bigger war is the human struggle to survive global warming caused catastrophes and it has no room for partisan struggles. All the great foundations of philosophy no longer apply to humans stepping into such an uncertain world. A civilization desperate to survive cannot be choked or bled or restrained by blatant propaganda. Current denialist PR campaigns exist in a feeble medium, but make for extremely harmful activities. The risk is that deliberate ignorance will infect such a large population that they self-sacrifice like lemmings off a cliff. Such offensives against the innocent must be stopped or politically removed. Selfish movements by corporations, individuals or even armies should never impinge on the rights of the species to unify and define a future. Humanity, having now reached an apex of peak oil and technology, grows increasingly dazed and injured by a destabilizing world. The injured patient is motivated to take needed medicine, even when it's a difficult pill to swallow.
Particulars: Specific Actions We Must Embrace
Global governments actively ruling over all human activity that either emits or sequesters carbon Every act should enhance global life support for human kind. Mitigation takes president over adaptation and suffering. When possible, preserve other species
Discover and review and constantly refine data and re-visit the situation. Regularly re-evaluate and fiercely re-examine the science of the situation. Below: list of links for more information climate models
Choose the goal of mitigation for multigenerational survival until reaching sufficient adaptation required to reduce suffering. Then act with certainty, act with political unity.
Institute a policy of a strong Precautionary Principle (retroactively applied) This is to reverse our current policy - when a new or disruptive chemical or product that contains pollutants is introduced to the environment - the burden of proof must fall to demonstrate it is benign before it is allow. The burden of population requires this to be applied to all manufactured products.
Polluters have full liability, pay fines Pay for clean up, pay fines or pay with penalty.
Energy Policy Conservation, decouple electric rates, immediately halt all carbon fuel exports and imports.
Social, Political, Systemic and Mechanical Specifics:
For Ourselves and Our Posterity: public policy must represent both ourselves and the future.
Ruthless population control , Until population is controlled, no other problem can be managed. Less than Zero Population Growth immediately. Tax incentives for the childless family, tax penalties for multiple births. Remove all tax deductions for children. Government birth control, coercive birth control.
Tax any religions that fail to engage with serious social actions or contributions. Religion is solace, but not a tax haven. And is often presented as entertainment.
Universal participation: Since we dwell on a globe this is a universal commitment Anything less than full allegiance assures global failure. Politics should not obstruct human life. No nation or peoples have the right to harm the future of all. Punishment, enforcement, and fines and taxation applied in service to future generations. To be determined is the how and the when of forceful compliance
Establish an International Army of Wildfire Fighters Fires are no longer incidental nor small, the effects of wildfires are global, and states can no longer bear the expanding burden of fighting wildfires. A national and international brigade of firefighters with the single task of fighting wildfires. Deploy widely.
Move forward with mindful, purposeful and ethical actions. Ethical lapses and misbehavior triggers exponential harm. Willful blindness, deliberate ignorance or anti-science will be regarded as criminal acts that harm us all. Sabotage of the future cannot be tolerated. The most vile criminality is the crime against the future.
End Zero Sum Capitalism All commerce and finance must be mutually beneficial to all parties now and into the future. Carbon capitalism is ethically unsustainable. End it immediately.
Immediate transitional change: Halt misuse of carbon fuels immediately; tweak later.
Move to World War status appoint generals to attack on all fronts - Our first allegiance is to global survival for as many humans as possible. Logistics, police operations, PsyOps, peace keeping, enforcement, re-education, social and community support.
Establish a Climate Control Corps domestic work project. Patterned after the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930's this would employ any and all at restoring and repairing infrastructure, of water systems, agriculture, roads and rails, all tasks to optimize resources.
Lessen the shock of disruptive, immediate change by using carbon energy only for the purpose of manufacturing and deploying clean, renewable energy systems, or emergencies. Curtail carbon combustion that pollutes atmosphere or ocean. Move to cap all carbon fuels, gas, coal, and oil. Even the minimal use of carbon energy for anything other than emergency use, should be heavily taxed. Inefficient carbon combustion must be incrementally taxed.
Appoint a Domestic Carbon CZAR with full command and control. powers of inspection, enforcement, punishment, innovation and administration.
No private ownership of carbon fuels Nationalize all carbon energy companies - immediately convert to publicly owned utilities. Carbon fuel companies are fully liable and should be shutdown, nationalized, socialized or regulated as needed. These should include transportation, utilities and certainly all oil and coal companies. Clean energy ventures should have no such restrictions.
Halt deforestation Start reforestation Nearly a third of carbon emissions come from deforestation. Forests restore healthy atmosphere. Plant 10 trees for every one harvested in the past or present.
No Meat Meat is water and energy intensive, unwise, falsely priced and illegally subsidized. It should be heavily taxed and halted.
Recycle, Reuse and Re-manufacture Heavy tax on new items according to levels of carbon in manufacturing. Halted/heavily taxed.
Restoration of meaning and language. Return the stricken phrase from the NASA motto (stricken by GW Bush in 2006) "to understand and protect our home planet."
Reassigned meaning for the Preamble to the US Constitution "..for ourselves and our posterity"
Tax Stupidity To move change, stupid behavior should be forbidden or must be heavily taxed. Soft drinks, tobacco, cosmetics, porn, anything superfluous
None or low air conditioning Consider rationing/taxing carbon energy sourced air conditioning. limits and BTU rationing.
Optimize Transportation Ride share, transit, alternative transportation. Heavily tax single driver transportation.
Air Travel curtailed Emergency Airline flight only over oceans . Heavily tax all airline flights to build high speed rails.
Full liability to carbon fuel companies A future for Humans requires a justice system that represents a human future, not corporate interests.
Building Codes: Optimize for energy conservation, plan and permit for above a sea level rise of 250 feet. Ride share, transit, alternative transportation should dominate travel. Heavily tax single driver transportation.
Politics and Economics
True Cost Accounting - The real cost of carbon energy must include full ramifications such as future impacts and toxic cleanup. Just as the cost of nuclear energy must include the cost of future waste containment - the cost of carbon combustion is infinite risk. By any measure of dirty pollution, Coal is the most costly energy. Ban new coal fired plants. Rapidly phase out existing by a progressive increasing taxes to carbon and emissions.
Decoupling of electric rates. Immediately remove the disincentive to conserve energy. Reward conservation, punish waste.
Corporate charter reform Redefine the state corporate charter to include healthy goals of responsible citizenship and dedicated future. Include full legal liability to any company or individual stockholder for direct damages and deliberate misinformation.
Tax reform Remove all tax incentives to stupid behavior Taxing carbon levels of all manufactured goods - from processed foods to autos All forms of carbon energy should see a progressive tax applied per unit / per year.
Halt high carbon commuting Tax single car commuting, taxed by mileage. The true cost of the carbon combustion vehicle is much higher than projected.
International carbon regulation Any earth derived carbon should be restricted or taxed in the ground. Set tariffs on carbon-based energy used in manufacturing, no matter where the product originated.
Forget carbon offsets completely (since they are a negative offset). These artificial financial constructs are counterproductive to effecting systemic change and the elimination of carbon energy systems.
Immediately Nationalize Carbon Energy instantly convert them to publicly owned utilities.. The goal is for all carbon to be left in the ground ASAP.
Geo Engineering is a research project, not a salvation that removes consequences of further carbon emissions. We have not fully realized that we've been conducting a geo-engineering experiment. Our first task should be to reverse it now. In any event, geo-engineering can only begin after the world agrees on adopting proven survival schemes. Geo-engineering is un-proven and fraught with unintended consequences. However, tremendous research in all aspects of energy should be deeply funded. The optimal geo-engineering system will be low energy and passive. Like planting trees.
Physical laws are non-negotiable. Humans will compromise, physics will never. Bargaining with reality is a waste of time and energy. Life is filled with lessons. Lessons not learned will be repeated.
Trigger new policy with benchmarks Decide to change policy as specified levels of changes occur. Extreme heat will stop agriculture.
Climate Triage and Climate Hospice. Inevitable concepts applied during destabilization. Stresses of retaining civilization will be impossible to meet, we must fail gracefully. Triage and Hospice each demonstrate authentic acceptance of the situation. Governments must attend to a suffering and anguished citizenry. Increasing incidents of famine, drought, fires will enhance civil decline. Stressed populations may require seasonal migration - further stressing both static and mobile social structures.
Remember The Stockdale Paradox:"It is an observation of rules that survivors follow under extreme duress. One should retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties. AND at the same time, Confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.
I didn’t say anything for many minutes, and we continued the slow walk toward the faculty club, Stockdale limping and arc-swinging his stiff leg that had never fully recovered from repeated torture. Finally, after about a hundred meters of silence, I asked, “Who didn’t make it out?”
“Oh, that’s easy,” he said. “The optimists.”
“The optimists? I don’t understand,” I said, now completely confused, given what he’d said a hundred meters earlier.
“The optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say,‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.”
Another long pause, and more walking. Then he turned to me and said, “This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”
To this day, I carry a mental image of Stockdale admonishing the optimists: “We’re not getting out by Christmas; deal with it!” Good To Great, by Jim Collins, The Stockdale Paradox, Chapter 4, pages 83–85
So it is by our actions as a species that we choose to adapt or die. None of our options are easy or fun. Long term survival requires tremendous psychological and social change. The quickness of our response means much. Of course, we don't like the options, we have very little experience in mindful, long-term thinking. We just have to learn fast.
Wasn't it Thomas Hobbes who said that the sovereign has a responsibility to protect the citizen?.
Governments will have to protect global citizens or by their failures become part of the problem. That suggests the only valid government would be an eco-totalitarian rule by cybernetic algorithm (for it's fairness and predictability). The expected resistance to that innovation will have us pay the price of failure: extinction. Or if we are lucky, an extreme die off – which might leave 10% of population to struggle with insane heating, 6 feet of sea level rise and destabilized climate.
Today we live in a quickly fading age of relative grace. Humans have never faced such colossal dangers. Our population numbers are out of control, our habitat is parched and evaporating more. We will probably revert to a migratory species just to stay alive. And the severity of the stresses (a 5 to 10 degree C avg global temp rise) demands hyper-dedication and no doubt an evolutionary jump in human speciation. And this certain transition must take place all within a few decades. These are ferociously interesting times.
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About this Manifesto
While we all desire a safe and prosperous future, alas, it no longer happens because of that emotion. The atmosphere and ocean will change according to physical laws whether or not we choose to understand why it happens.. Only with great effort, can humans slightly influence the environment. After 200 years of carbon emissions, we have proved the ability to slowly change our atmosphere and ocean. For the near future we can only adapt and hunker down to face the storms. For the longer time period we can stop making it worse and slowly restore a habitable world. This Manifesto is just a collection of ideas that flow from my understanding of climate science. I present these for consideration while we discover how much time and effort is required.
Sustainability (high carbon business-as-usual) may be possible for an elite few, but only for a little while. Meanwhile, the plebeians can only demand survivability. Yet we do not know the duration of the struggle, which means we should think of it as constant. Our increasing social divisions means real trouble, but humans are addicted to positive struggles and will do ANYTHING to retain a future. This may be just the challenge we need. You can ignore these commands, but you will come to know just how real consequences are inevitable. And with inaction, those consequences arrive sooner. It may be that the real humsn challenges are psychological, social and spiritual. It could be that all our planning and effort will mean little. We just don't know. Until we do, we might pretend that we know, pretend that we care, even pretend to act.
Anger is an imperfect step up from despair. I live today, alternately filled with grief and rage. Born mid-century last, and lucky to live during this glorious apex of techno-cultural civilization - an industrial world fueled by plentiful carbon fuel. And sooner than I wish, I may die disappointed by my species for the continued blundering that dooms our carbon civilization. I have anticipatory grief. Surely, children of tomorrow will rage against us. I push that aside knowing that what unfolds before us now is not tragedy, but rather an epic drama. This will completely re-define humanity. It is a willful human re-speciation that must define its own destiny. This Climate Manifesto is an offering of ideas to those who must abandon carbon errors and invent their own future. I wish I was young enough to share more of that future. No doubt it will be gloriously interesting
Finally, the reader may wish to know a little of my c.v. - I list informal climate studies and auditing of a few years of university courses in various aspects of global warming. The University of Washington says they offer more than 350 courses that touch some part of the subject. I have taken six of them - two were graduate seminars. So, although the courses were very current, this amounts to fractional education. So do not rely solely on me for either science or social advice. I label all this a guidelines, but it is your future, not much longer mine. Make your own decisions. Just don't allow carbon-biases to influence your thinking. Good luck.
Suggested edits in policy or phrasing,- send text-only email to me by correcting typos in my email address.
"At species culmination, each individual - exhausted as final parent or last orphan - will choose either to conclude or to redefine and begin anew. Survivability requires resilience. The duty of life is to survive and the duty of species to define and redefine meaning. Are we still Homo Sapiens?
Many Other Climate Manifestos
Pope Francis' climate manifesto http://w2.vatican.va/content/dam/francesco/pdf/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si_en.pdf "Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home"
From the International Islamic Climate Change Symposium Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change http://islamicclimatedeclaration.org/islamic-declaration-on-global-climate-change/
President Obama issued an executive order requiring all agencies to conduct climate change adaptation and environmental sustainability planning, 2009 https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/11/01/executive-order-preparing-united-states-impacts-climate-change
Sam Carana has run the "Arctic News" here offers an effective and comprehensive Climate Plan. http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/plan.html
Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2009-10-08/pdf/E9-24518.pdf
Uppsala Interfaith Climate Manifesto 2008 Faith traditions addressing Global Warming https://www.svenskakyrkan.se/default.aspx?id=664984
A Zero Emissions Manifesto for the Climate Justice Movement http://ecowatch.com/2014/09/03/zero-emissions-manifesto-climate-change/
Youth Manifesto www.plant-for-the-planet.org/bundles/.../40154307-youth-manifesto.pdf
Unity for the Climate Manifesto http://unityfortheclimate.ca/manifesto
Apocalypse Forever? Post-Political Populism and the Spectre of Climate Change http://www.researchgate.net/publication/249726327_Apocalypse_Forever_Post-political_Populism_and_the_Spectre_of_Climate_Change
BRASKEM MANIFESTO ON CLIMATE CHANGE http://www.braskem.com/site.aspx/Manifesto-Climate-Change-USA
Green Party's primary objective is the safeguarding of the climate https://policy.greenparty.org.uk/cc.html
Manifesto To Counter Global Warming And Climate Change http://www.countercurrents.org/basit150807.htm
Sam Carana facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SamCarana
Signs in the Trees Climate Manifesto http://www.livelihoods.eu/livelihoods-signs-the-trees4climate-manifesto/
New Commune-ist global warming manifesto http://newcommuneist.com/tag/global-warming/
Satirical 10 Climate Commandments- video humor https://youtu.be/fRRCqr-REh4 5:40 The Juice Media
Activist Organizations US
Sierra Club http://www.sierraclub.org/
350 Dot Org http://350.org/ Campaigns, projects and actions led from the bottom-up by people in 188 countries.
NextGen Climate https://nextgenclimate.org/ climate change to the forefront of American politics.
Union of Concerned Scientists http://www.ucsusa.org/
Energy Action Coalition http://www.energyactioncoalition.org/
Focus the Nation http://focusthenation.org/
The Climate Project http://www.theclimateproject.org/
Alliance for Climate Protection http://www.climateprotect.org/
Stop Global Warming http://www.stopglobalwarming.org/
Blue Gren Alliance http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/home
Apollo Alliance http://apolloalliance.org/
Earth Day Network http://www.earthday.net/
Envionmental Defense Fund http://www.edf.org/home.cfm
League of Conservation Voters
Rainforest Action Network http://ran.org/
Sangha Events Time to Stand Up http://www.oneearthsangha.org/events/
Climate Solutions http://climatesolutions.org/
RTCC Responding to Climate Change http://www.rtcc.org/
Citizens’ Climate Lobby https://citizensclimatelobby.org/
Natural Resources Defense Council http://www.nrdc.org/
Friends of the Earth http://www.foe.co.uk/climatetalks/petition.html
Oxfam International‘s Climate Change campaign http://www.oxfam.org/
Global Green USA http://www.globalgreen.org/
Green Cross International http://www.greencrossinternational.net/
The Nature Conservancy http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/urgentissues/climatechange/index.htm
One Drop Foundation http://www.onedrop.org/en/DiscoverOneDrop_Canada/WhoWeAre.aspx
Links of Interest
An 80 minute video documentary -
The Cross of the Moment https://vimeo.com/137432332
Fermi's Paradox, climate change, capitalism, and collapse are some of the subjects discussed in this feature length documentary on the environmental crisis. Interviewees include Bill McKibben, Gary Snyder, Derrick Jensen, Peter D. Ward, Jill Stein, Bill Patzert, Guy McPherson and other top academics, scientists and public intellectuals.
Risk Assessment from the Centre for Science and Policy University of Cambridge
Mass Extinction Caused by Carbon Emissions Similar to Today's
The Earth's Disappearing Cryosphere: Glaciers, Snow Cover, Floating Ice, and Permafrost
May 12, 2015 - FEEM Lecture: "Arctic Amplification, Climate Change, Global Warming"
TalkingStickTV - Lynn Fitz-Hugh - A Non-Depressing Talk on Climate Change
The fundamental text on climate change - college level. Free online.
Spencer Wearts "The Discovery of Global Warming" https://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.htm
From Anchorage to Paris: How to Curb Arctic—and Global—Warming in 2 Steps -
The Weight of the World - Can Christiana Figueres persuade humanity to save itself? by Elizbeth Kolbert
Dan Gilbert: Why we make bad decisions
Prof. Jim Hansen, Prof. Susan Solomon, Prof. Wallace Broecker, Mr. John Ashton CBE, and Prof. Sander Van Der Leeuw on Surviving the Future.
The Ultimatum Game
Reuters Climate Change http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/10/us-climatechange-idUSBREA390UM20140410
"Only the induced implosion of the carbon economy offers a chance to avoid possible disaster."
Thomas Friedman With Middle Eastern weather extremes, politics takes a back seat to the environment http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/19/opinion/thomas-friedman-the-worlds-hot-spot.html
2014: Putting The Hottest Year On Record In Perspective
Links for Climate Models and Scenarios
- Video:What Do Emission Scenarios and Climate Models Tell Us https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1z4v3GAWbMc