A heating planet delivers a Climate Manifesto that humans cannot ignore.
The few generations remaining will be sustained by unified action - or by inaction, reduced.
Modern governments can be a most efficient, equitable means of protecting citizens. Nations must cede power to physcical reality and unify globally in order to extend relative climate stability.
US citizens should convene a Constitutional Convention, all nations must revise ruling styles and work to physically change our environment. We have very little time to build a survivable world before runaway, cascading warming events and climate destabilization makes change impossible.
We have built huge political and economic empires. However now, human survival requires unrestricted respect for the laws of science.
Immediate changes that will extend our future:1. Refocus the political and financial initiatives to aim governments toward a scientific foundation for survival.
Appoint a Czar of Civic Survival with full power to regulate commerce and compbustion
2. Halt all carbon combustion ASAP and deploy clean energy. Continued carbon use will be heavily fined.
Disallow private ownership of carbon fuels. Halt all subsidies to carbon fuels
Adopt true-cost accounting practices - i.e. Track every cost to future generations.
3. De-couple electric rates. Remove profit from increased energy use and immediately reward energy conservation
4. Institute policy of strong precautionary principles.
5. Move to meat-free diets, planet-wide, stop factory livestock and redeploy land resources by deploying taxation, fines and fees.
Global warming has triggered environmental destabilizations that will continue to worsen for a long time beyond the year 2100. From now on, climate systems will be resetting in increasingly harsh ways. Heatwaves will grow hotter every year, polar ice will melt and sea levels will be rising over decades and for centuries to come. All this will continue along scientifically modeled and predictable ways. It's alarming, we can read models and scenarios, but we should expect the unexpected.
Meteorologist Ed Hummel says over the next few decades, "climate change will probably take over as the main disrupter and destroyer of civilization as it accelerates and makes an increasingly abrupt change."
Seven more generations of human survival is possible; predicting fewer generations, 3 or 4, is harsh, but may not be unduely alarmist. And to say that humans have an endless future is polyannishly deluded. Anyone with high school science trainging can learn the fundamentals of climate science. Global warming and related sciences are some of the most scientifically open studies on the internet today. Anyone can see the videos, check the research data and read the original writings of climate scientists. But more important is that most people now -- and everyone in the near future -- will directly feel the changes, too often facing unpleasant heating and life-stressing destabilizing weather in all areas of oceans, atmosphere and land. By mid-century, we will experience all the ramifications of seas rising above the levels of storms and tsunamis of today. Severely stressed civilizations will be shrinking everywhere.
The prediction for human extinction comes directly from looking at the graphs and data of climate studies. As you see the science charts, notice most projections go to the year 2100 - some 80+ years hence. But realize that all the trends in global warming will be extendeing into and through the next century. A radically heated climate may persist for thousands of years. Living on this plantet for much more than 30 years will require tremendous effort.
Some indigionous cultures plan for seven generations. Such planning would place us at mid-century next - about 2160. I invite readers to seek out the science and charts, especially for years beyond 2100. As we approach the turn of the next century, we should notice that charts of climate changes show lines rising in a straight ramp upward, increasingly the chart lines will appear like an arc of a rocket. From linear to exponential, hyperbolic lines. In every way, in every part of our world, survival will be more, and more difficult. It is easy to reach the rational conclusion that world population will be significantly less over the next seven generations. Today, much depends on our actions, because by our acts we contract or extend the estimate. Humans have caused the industrial emissions that for 200 years have gradually heated the world, and so far as we know, we can stop the heating and only cool Earth very gradually, but only by a superhuman effort.
As the situation grows worse, so too will populations decline. Climate scientists issue so many reports detailing what will happen - with great confidence, and it is more interesting to read projections of when all this will happen. For decades, scientists have reported the accelerating rates of change. In the next century, the survival stresses will be so great that our world will more resemble a hostile alien planet - overheated and hostile to most all life. In the next century, it's hard to envision more than a very small population of humans struggling to survive. Survivors will return to living in caves. No matter how great the challenge, it is important to speak about what we can do about it. First we stop making it worse. We have plenty of opportunities for mitigation. We can influence our global climate, and we can extend our survival. Why wouldn't we want to know of our opportunities?
If we work very hard now, we might add a little more time. Or at anytime, if we manage to invent something astoundingly great, we might possibly reverse it all. (Notice that after 60 years of trying, fusion energy seems to be an unattainable quest) But we must be realistic, we cannot disobey the laws of physical science, we cannot depend on magic, we cannot knit the parachute as we free-fall, But we can make it less bad. We are trapped in the corner of a dilemma of our own making. For years we have been leaving ourselves with only the most radical and difficult solutions. Now a mountain of difficult exits is all we have left ourselves. And now, we are desperate to avoid our bitter medicine, so we deny the severity of our problem, we deliberately underestimate the risk as the excuse to avoid the politically and economically difficult changes. As if we say since the medicine is too much, then we redefine the disease to something easier. To know the problem, then we can know our solution. After all, that's what a manifesto is and why it is so important. It just clearly defines what we have to do. And we deal with it in our own way.
We have accidentally made our world into a severe test of human survival.
For centuries now, carbon fuels enabled our exuberant civilization to wildly expand and improve. Their combustion is now a serious problem.
The carbon dioxide emissions of our industrial age trap the heat that increases global warming and triggers climate destabilization. This constant process of heating melts ice, warms oceans, raises sea level, inflicts drought, deluge and heatwaves, and even makes some areas colder. The average temperature of Earth is rising. It will take centuries to stop it, but right now we can slow it down somewhat.
By almost every measurement, henceforth, human civilization will be in decline. Due to incremental global warming, the future will be more stressful than the past. Even with the deepest commitment to sustainability, we can only slow rampant change and reduce the rate of warming.
The task is both simple and challenging: halt all carbon emissions and remove as much as possible from the atmosphere and oceans. This is a difficult and painful mission. It requires that all humans, world-wide, commit to radical reforms. We pretty much have to start changing right now; everything from society and government to industry and commerce. The only goal is carbon-free energy everywhere and forever. We must be resolute and not permit the obstacles of ideology, politics, or nationalism to hinder progress.
So by this manifesto we say, "we must do this now."
This guide presumes humanity commits to multigenerational survival. We begin with extensive, precise definition of the problem. Then, even as we learn to cope with risk, everything we do must be scrupulously correct.
Unlike any other time, the future will not resemble the past. We can see this, feel it directly and know it by the data. If you seek validation of the current science of global warming or wish to debate the changes, you will need to find it elsewhere.
Our task is to face the shock of the environmental changes to come, survive encounters and then adapt and lessen future traumas. Humans have caused this rapid heating from fossil fuel combustion. This heating now triggers further melt, sea level rise and more climate destabilization.
Most governments are way too late in recognizing the dangers. Old-style politics has failed to face the problem; we must trust scientific research. The droughts and deluges, the famines, heatwaves, wildfires and other calamities are greater than humans have ever faced before. And growing larger. Now governments must drive the conversion from carbon fuels to clean, renewable energy and then begin to remove CO2 from the atmosphere - either via biological or chemical/mechanical means. National policies must change from the commercially belicose to the socially cooperative. This most certainly requires creating social and political institutions never before seen in human civilization.
Over the nearer years and coming centuries, our atmosphere, oceans and lands will continue to heat. Each decade will be hotter than the previous. Continued emissions will drive higher acidification levels in oceans. Each decade will be more unstable than the prior. All human influences to mitigate global warming must happen now. Our actions are driving the extinction of so many other life forms. Our planet has seen many extinctions, only this time, we are the asteroid.
Any policy recommendations must fully adhere to prevailing science. When politics drives policy then gains will be brief. In order to step into the next century, first we must get through the next few years. Actions must abide by existing science, and yet we extend risk when we put faith in undiscovered fantasy technologies.
Our civilization must remain functional despite a persistently collapsing environment. This puts extraordinary demands on all systems and cultures which must keep their goals in view. All energy must be clean and forever carbon free. We must use all the tools and skills that humanity can bring to the process. Survival requires world-wide co-ordinated effort.
Inaction, or continued business-as-usual carbon emission practices puts us into a higher-risk for extinction. A few metaphors might help understand our condition: We can think of civilization as a patient in a cancer ward with stage three or four active cancer. We can regard our condition as 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 may be that we can only prolong life and ease suffering somewhat. Like a late stage patient, we focus on optimizing current health, and we stay ready for a new cure.
We have a good idea about the intensity of the changes to come (very intense), but don't precisely know the speed that global warming and climate destabilization will be unfolding. We know generally what will happen but surprise adversities will become distinct; this is the Black Swan event. We already see the beginnings of predicted events: tremendous drought, famine, heating and ice melt that's leading to sea level rise. We mistakenly perceive changes as constantly rising with a linear intensity, but the models and scenarios describe the changes as exponentially rising. The growing stresses to all nations will be distributed unfairly across geography and chronology. We know this will be intolerable; we see the beginnings of predicted social distruptions. It is embarassing to write the obvious, but 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 suddenly 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 soon -- 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 missed a chance to prevent disaster. Unknown to us, we are already in our lifeboats -- as if the Titanic is now sinking and survivors are awaiting rescue. By this analogy, we are already in hospice, already in lifeboats. We just don't know it yet.
I prefer the analogy of the slow-crashing car. Our industrial world is the vehicle taking us on a glorious drive in the mountains of civilization, but moving too fast, burning too much fuel and suddenly our car 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 fully wreck and stop, but we don't know what we will hit, nor when, just that gravity rules. Our car is filled with seven billion people. The fortunate ones are buckling seatbelts and holding tight, knowing that not all will survive. Unless the crash kills us, we are still in that slow crashing car.
There are many other metaphors for what's going on. The biggest problem for now is the deliberate misinformation and misdirection.
Beginning, Middle, and End:
Being stuck in the middle of a growing, inescapable crisis is the very worst time and place in which to be trapped.
At the beginning of a crisis, the smallest labor can affect huge, positive outcomes.
And that effort, with a touch of wisdom and bit of luck will favor larger, better outcomes.
Whereas, at the very peak of the crisis, with a dark, unknown ending in view, is when a high-risk sacrifice can yield either death or exultation. Often in true end-times can a desperate, ruthless, heroic struggle emerge victorious.
Perhaps the very worst spot is the turbid, chaotic middle, where there's nothing but squabbling, wasted effort, confused arguments and misguided blunders. Our desperate quest keeps us looking in any direction for a safe harbor.
Now we are deeply mired in a time and place where agitation abounds, misinformation flies, and leaders cannot be trusted.
Must our quandary worsen before it can improve?
Centering in our time and place means we can borrow wisdom and luck from the past.
We should just declare the situation as much worse, commit to uncompromising resolution and get to work fixing it.
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.
In preparation for this manifesto, the individual must psychologially embrace the monster of the dire future conditions we now discover we face. And then know, that it is not too late, no one is giving up, we have been disempowered, but we still have power and influence. We choose to survive. Next preparation is recall the foundational rule of co-existence: "First, do no harm". This rule will spawn all other ethical actions.
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, even as we are learning to swim. We are entering a new world Working for a safe future requires great effort, 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. 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. . 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 don't care one way or another about beliefs and biases and monetary fluctuations. Human emotions and ideology means nothing, but physical actions 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 accept uncertainty. This helps build an entire psychology of the non-dire. We might think, "It's 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 expensive nurturing of 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's ironic that it was 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 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 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 now is seen in the token 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 do we see a serious analysis. Popular news will never have anything to do with serious policy planning. When did you last hear of a major project near a shoreline consider sea level rise? So much superficial happy-talk news media ends up pushing serious news consumers directly to Internet sites and alternative news sources. Serious news consumers reach primary 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 as our guide. Human survival experiences include lessons from wars, disease, famine, floods and storms and all the weather and seismological catastrophes and a thousand other misfortunes. Each calamity, even the victories, proved to be passing events and the species recovered and readied for the next challenge better prepared. Civilizations have gone extinct, yet others popped up. Survivors have always managed to regenerate culture or at least keep a DNA lineage (that we know of). This time, the challenge is different, it's universal, it's progressively intensifying and it is scientifically inevitable. It's worrying that so many people underestimate or discount the risk. It's 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. One does not have to believe in science for it to work anyway. Acting with an understanding of reality conveys a survival advantage. While this law applies to individuals, it just as well applies to whole populations and species.
The devotion to sustainability is often expressed by an endless false investment in adaptation. Sustainment is not just preparing for climate change by securing habitat and health - that is only momentary survival. Sustainbility goals are political and economic goals. Once the tools of adaptation are taken up by those who can afford them, then that current generation acts as a parasite to the future of the rest of the world. Because adaptation and acts of resilience are all reactive, protective of property and are usually politically expedient, and most always visually apparent. Resilience and adaptation then easily fits the charge of exploitative to others. It is a short-sighted zero-sum solution to danger. The King of the Cave sleeps furthest from the Sabre Toothed Tiger. Unless climate change adaptation and resilience yields resources to the cause of mitigation, then it accepts criticism of being a temporary, generational, and selfish indulgence. If we gave allegiance only to the present and abandoned the future then the ultimate, ethical 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 governments and other organizations. 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. While 2015 will see nearly 1 million climate refugees - Time Magazine quotes a UN report that says we can expect 50 million refugees in the next 10 years. How does civilization adapt to that? 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, may go unnoticed for decades, and consequently, results 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 neither adaptation or mitigation is controversial. Promoting geoengineering is a poor excuse for inaction in reducing carbon emissions. It amounts to false optimism and denial. Writer Dave Roberts suggests, "we view climate change mitigation as a kind of insurance." "We pay for fire insurance for our homes, not because we think a fire is likely, but because the price of a fire would be so large if it occurred. Unlikely as it may be, it's worth the money to hedge against it. This isn't an exotic approach — market traders and analysts price risk all the time." The highest risk is infinite risk.
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 and well modeled. Eventually, all the ice on the planet will melt, 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 then dedicate ourselves to indulging in joyful, apocalyptic cornucopianism. That may be a valid consideration, worthy of fantasy, perhaps even a modern religous movement, but not suitable 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 - an adaptive act. Alas, it would be a short-term solution, obsolete before completed. A struggling world might think it smarter spend on adaptation efforts. But with sealed borders to India, future climate refugees wouild be trapped and the number of victims difficult to count. 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. "Mitigating climate change must proceed regardless of long-run economic analyses." 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 with little influence upon the rate of decline. 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 the battle, but after decades of training from high carbon commercial interests, we are burdened with carbon luxury and poorly practiced for rapid change. The transition to a no-carbon world will carry its own type of painful withdrawal. Most of it likely psychological. Famously Bill Nye said, "We have to do everything, all at once."
We must fiercely scrutinize our motives and goals, asking if we are passively giving up the fight. Dr. Peter Ward posits that all life, including human species will ultimately act against itself. The Medea Hypothesis We can ponder whether we too conform to such a 'biocidal' tendency, 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. Perhaps all intelligent life will face this crucible.
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. Perhaps we are ill-suited to this particular challenge. We may have reached that wall with global warming. The rule might say the ultimate challenge is the most difficult to recognize, since it stands outside our perception and experience zone . And if we face it, the monster will be the most difficult to fight (if only because lesser challenges have been met and dispatched). That's what makes it the ultimate. Surviving global heating and destabilizing climates requires the greatest effort, supported by near-universal cooperation and must be sustained across generations. Even 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. Quite a challenge.
All 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: we must connect with geographically isolated global populations that are 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 deep into discussions of global warming. It's too depressing, dark, difficult and filled with grief over past blunders, and anticipatory grief over chaotic futures. We must guard against despair or despondency - neither emotion is useful. Worse yet, cultivating despair is sometimes called a tactic that promotes surrender. The changes required are so great that we can expect opposition. It takes a strong disposition to face bad news or deliver a dark diagnosis. Every human condition generates an appropriate response.
Recently, US federal election candidates have started to recognize climate change, but stubbornly refuse to elevate the issue above other domestic and foreign issues. 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, easy to select and habituation is almost certain. But for a more substantial future, only mitigation will do the job, and even then, success is not guaranteed. Quite a difficult platform to sell.
We must learn new tasks. 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 are an encouraging sign, (encouraging in that it imparts courage) showing courage to meet and do the right thing - reduce carbon emissions. And we must address overpopulation -- alas, if overlooked, it will self-resolve 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 = Choices and Consequences
Multigenerational Survival Requires Systemic Reforms: We can start with harsh, difficult voluntary reforms by a majority of the world. This must show effective results immediately 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.
Halt All Subsides for Fossil Fuels International subsidies for 2015 are US$5.3 Trillion. Or US$10 million every minute. Subsidies act to hide "true costs" of fossil fuels. According to IMF, China spends $2.3 Trillion per year in subsidies. The US has the greatest tax incentives that promote fossil fuels. Not sensible. See also: Reforming Energy Subsidies
End to Mad Dog Capitalism Rapacious capitalism has proved unwilling or unable to self-regulate its very worst aspects. Capitalism must embrace an ethical code that respects the tragedy of the commons and preserves future markets. No economic system may long engage in carbon toxification of our environment. Enlightened capitalism has much more to accomplish than carbon profiteering - no matter how widespread the wealth creation. Any entity, organization or movement that engages in carbon commerce is killing our species and destroying long term markets. Not very smart. Move off carbon fuel immediately. Or expire sooner.
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.
from CERES 2015 and the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) http://www.ceres.org
We, therefore, call on governments to:
■ Provide stable, reliable and economically meaningful carbon pricing that helps redirect investment commensurate with the scale of the climate change challenge.
■ Strengthen regulatory support for energy efficiency and renewable energy, where this is needed to facilitate deployment.
■ Support innovation in and deployment of low carbon technologies, including financing clean energy research and development.
■ Develop plans to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels.
■ Ensure that national adaptation strategies are structured to deliver investment.
■ Consider the effect of unintended constraints from financial regulations on investments in low carbon technologies and in climate resilience.
-- 2014 GLOBAL INVESTOR STATEMENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Technocratic Cybernetic Government We face a myriad of tipping points, each with a modeled nexus point of influence; biological, chemical or physical. We might call this micro-geoengineering. 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. And totally inept at modeling and acting on micro changes according to complex rules. 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 apropriate for invoking rapid change. 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 to long term survival of our species. However we are committed to catastrophic global warming and reducing population no longer carries the impact it once had. A few decades ago, zero-population grouth would have meant much. Now, global population control just means we can slow the increase in stresses. Population reduction will happen by willful action, or by catastrophic attrition. Natural courses of decline will be uncontrollable, unpleasant and likely unanticipated As survival stresses set the rules we must consider triage, hospice, and eugenics.
Mass media communication requires 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.
Prosecute Ecocide Internationally. Now. Since 1978 nations have proposed that the UN enforce earth rights, punish ecocide, and recognize international corporate liability for damage to the future. The US should prosecute under RICO statuets
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.
Embrace Global Warming Migration and Climate Refugees Regard humans as global citizens Global peace requires ethical treatment of Global Citizens. Nations must meet to protect our existing populations . 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. Soon, seasonal migrations may be required to survive.
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.
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, the speed of change may be slower than the heating of land. However, ocean acidification has much greater consequences than a heated atmosphere.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.
For Ourselves and Our Posterity: public policy must represent both ourselves and the future.
Ruthless population control , Until population is reduced and 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. Global governments sponsored 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 and immediately convert to publicly-owned utilities. Immoral actions by carbon fuel companies abrogates their rights to continue in business. States should revoke corporate licenses and hold them fully liable. Consider a shutdown, nationalization, or conversion to regulated utility 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, junk food, tobacco, cosmetics, entertainment, fashion, strong inebriants, 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. Corporations must disclose not only 'what they are emitting today, but how they plan their transition to the net-zero world of the future’.
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.
GeoEngineering is a research project, not an engineered salvation to remove consequences of further carbon emissions. We have not fully realized that we've been conducting a geoengineering experiment. Our first task should be to reverse it now. In any event, geoengineering can only begin after the world agrees on adopting proven survival schemes. Geoengineering 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
Culmination: Cutting the Gordian Knot
The legend holds that Alexander the Great was blocked by a complex knot with hidden ends that could not be untied. Alexander sliced throught he knot with his sword. The phrase “cutting the Gordian knot” now denotes a bold solution to a complicated problem. We have tied our own Climate Gordian Knot -- one that amplifies the myth with real horrors. The scientific systems can be outlined, but remains entangled with international politics, human culture, technological addictions, runaway population growth. The knot grows larger and complex with continuing combustion and warming release of methane. The knot grows tighter as it sinks below rising seas into acidifying oceans. Only by wielding the sword of ruthless, forceful, mindful change, can we move beyond convoluted, intractable blockades.
So it is by our actions as a species that we choose to adapt or die. As we begin to build survivalble future, 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. We cannot untie this knot. We must decisively sever it
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.
About this Manifesto
I just had the foresight to buy the domain name ClimateManifesto. That's a small status, like being the first to publish. After learning that every climate scientist describes the problem as continuosly growing, I could see the need to ponder how it will progress. I know that our kids will need some guidance. After they mature, they will need information. Our governments and schools failed miserably in educating the public. We knew of the problem in the 1960's - (check old newspapers for small articles , old films quoting scientists from the 1950s). Later, we knew in the late 1970's as mainstream media started occasional reports. And then when there was a clear PR campaign to make CO2 friendly - it was obvious as an audience, we are fully engaged in a propaganda war. Starting in the early 80's I became more curious, I worked in media messaging - local TV news - and learned the rude lesson that commercial sponsorship of programming is designed to move audiences to see more commercials. Not serve the audience needs. Worse, is that those who purchase advertising could influence news reporting of climate news stories. The FCC abandoned the doctrine of fairness and balance, and later completely sold broadcasting to a digital delivery by broadcast, cable and network that is far more malleable to measuring audiences and defining highly targeted commercial messages. The goal was commerce, not improvement. Meanwhile our economy was so locked-in to free carbon energy - much like a fisherman harvesting free fish - the charge is for capture and delivery not the product. Unlike fish, the after-effects of combustion are toxic. Such an empire of carbon became a carbon civilization. And now we are in a civilization of overshoot and over-population. It is unfortunate that we face an extinction from that carbon. And the extinction could include humans.
Starting about a decade ago, scientists stopped saying that we could halt or fix global warming. They said that we really only have two options - to adapt to global warming and mitigate the changes. That was dispriting conclusion. I wanted a better future. Maybe if I studied more of the science. Maybe if I read everything I could and even took college level courses - even auditiing graduate courses at the University of Washington. Maybe then I could learn how my kids, your children and our posterity will survive. Maybe even thrive. Sorry, I still do not know how. But I think there is much that can help. Many, many, changes needed. And we can extend habitable life for humans. However, our carbon combustion civilization is completely unsustainable. The sooner we understand that, the sooner we can adapt, mitigate and survive. The first challenge is just knowing the situation.
One interesting aspect of global warming is how many different scientific directions touch this issue. Atmospheric sciences of course. Then oceanography - where serious researchers consider the atmosphere and oceans to be different states of teh same entity. After all, the temperature and moisture of each influences the other so that it is just one giant system. And you may as well include cryogenics in there - study of ice - because it influences the stability of both atmosphere and ocean whenever it forms or disappears. And all systems do all this according to the laws of thermodynamics - laws which rule over everything. Meteorology of course. And geology to see in stone and rock and mountain the evidence of past eras. (Isn't it ironic that geology is the one science that the carbon fuel industry relies upon most?) The history of geology as it moves toward paleontology, for more exploration - and even my favorite specialty name - paleo-tempestology - where the history of great storms and other violent events are teased out of location and types of geo-structures. It is so very much like tree rings revealing the drought years and verdant growth marked plainly in the size of the tree rings. Tree ring research can confirm past climates as far as the oldest tree. And ice cores show layers of climate imformation in layers like a tree ring, but extending back thousands of years. One science validates another. Toss in a little math, some computational studies, planetary sciences, solar astronomy, electrical engineering, and of course all the fundamental studies of chemistry, biology, and physics.-->
Some academicians think that the entire university curricula should be changed to "future studies" - because, what else is there? And, aren't the histories and languages and maths all part of future studies? As of 2012 - the Univ of Washington offered over 350- courses which somehow touched global warming or climate change.
While we all desire a safe and prosperous future, alas, it no longer happens by force of that desire. If willpower is based on emotion only it's just cheerleading. The atmosphere and ocean will change according to physical laws whether or not we choose to understand why it happens. Belief has no impact on physical events. 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 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.
Sustaining a high-carbon business-as-usual lifestyle 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 this struggle, which means we should think of it as beginning now and continuing always. 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 that 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.
For suggestions for edits in policy or phrasing,- send a text-only email to me by correcting the address 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 Climate Manifestos
List of 42 declarations and manifestos reviewd at Climate & Capitalism http://climateandcapitalism.com/category/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/
British banking industry manifesto - from the Bank of England presented to Lloyd's of London Sept,2015.
Speech by Mark Carney http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Pages/speeches/2015/844.aspx
Leap Manifesto - A Call for a Canada Based on Caring for the Earth and One Another The Leap Manifesto 15 Demands. https://leapmanifesto.org/en/sign-the-manifesto/
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 runs the "Arctic News" and 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
Arctic Methane Emergency Group http://ameg.me/
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
Elephand Podcasts deliver up to date information A href="http://www.elephantpodcast.org/episodes" target=_blank> http://www.elephantpodcast.org/episodes
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
Deflationary Collapse Ahead? http://ourfiniteworld.com/2015/08/26/deflationary-collapse-ahead/
Five ways CEO pay is accelerating climate change
When the End of Human Civilization Is Your Day Job. Among many climate scientists, gloom has set in. Things are worse than we think, but they can't really talk about it.
Climate Trauma - comment by professor Steve Easterbrook, professor of computational climate modeling.
Links for Climate Models and Scenarios
- Video:What Do Emission Scenarios and Climate Models Tell Us https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1z4v3GAWbMc