Tuesday, December 21, 2010

joe romm

100.Wonhyo says:
December 19, 2010 at 2:02 am
I think Bill McKibben’s comments reflect naive optimism while Wit’s End reflects despairing reality.

Say one participates in a peaceful, community building exercise in preparation for climate change. Let’s say this community has provided for its water, food, and shelter needs. What will happen when resources decline? Unless this community is prepared to defend everything it worked for, it will be plundered by those who did oil their guns and hoard their ammo.

We have a significant gun worshipping culture in America. The members cite “for when TSHTF”, or “WROL (without rule of law)”, or “when the zombies attack” to justify their stockpiling of guns and ammo. These are code phrases meaning these people will greedily defend the property they are hoarding, and take property by force, if that becomes necessary for survival. Those who have guns, and are willing to use them, will control the communities that try to peacefully endure climate change.

Bill McKibben’s gunless communities exist only in a fantasy world where progressive principals guide social adaptation to climate change. If you look at the recent political fight between tax cuts for income above $250k vs. stimulus measures for the other 98%, you should realize that large scale robbery is already taking place, albeit with politics instead of guns, and we’re not even facing a national food shortage yet. Once the food shortage becomes real, the S will have hit the fan, the zombies will have attacked, and we will be WROL. Use any euplemism you want, but at that point the guns will come out. Those who have the guns will take the food.

It’s not a coincidence that the demographic that supports upward redistribution of wealth is generally the same demographic that is fanatical about guns.

While most readers will consider Wit’s End’s thoughts to be extreme, she is simply expressing an acceptance of social reality that the rest of us are in denial of.

101.Wonhyo says:
December 19, 2010 at 2:11 am
Back on topic…

By 2035, no location will be habitable year round. Few locations will be habitable more than a few consecutive years. The only survivors will be those who successfully migrate with climate change. In most parts of the world there will be no viable migration path that provides a continuous supply of survival necessities.

The best strategy will be to allow nature to be the guide. For example follow the animals in their migratory paths. Hunters know that migratory animals follow established routes that provide the needed water and food. Wherever migratory animals can survive, so can humans.

By 2060, the migratory animals will also be endangered with extinction.

102.Arnold says:
December 19, 2010 at 2:17 am
William P #68

I’m Norwegian. I have suspected for some time that Scandinavia could be among the better places, also when it comes to future climate. We do import quite a lot of our food, perhaps as much as half of it now. Much of it not really necessary, I suspect. But we also export enormous quantities of fish, in total and per capita. On the other hand, most of our electricity comes from hydropower and we have a very long and windy coast. And Sweden and Denmark have more and better arable land. So, I think, the Scandinavian peninsula as a whole could have a fair chance to be more or less self-sufficient. That is, with our present, rather low density of population… So, I suspect, in the longer term there may be a question here of heavy border control and/or sharing of resources with other European countries. From what I understand, Denmark, and southern parts of Sweden, probably will suffer some serious drought problems, as will the southeasterly parts of Norway. Less serious drought, obviously, than further south, on the European continent. The growth season in northern Sweden and Norway probably will be signigicantly prolonged. Unless there’s shutdown of the North-Atlantic Current.

103.paulm says:
December 19, 2010 at 2:38 am
Reality sinking in. Its going to get ugly.

104.Roger says:
December 19, 2010 at 2:54 am
At the rate that climate change is accelerating, one of the best places to live in 2035 will be in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom–as king! As for 2060, we could be on “The Road.”

Seriously, things in our society, and in nature are more delicately balanced than most people realize. Current carbon dioxide levels are dangerously destabilizing things, with a commitment to years of further climate deterioration from pollutants already emitted.

Our government is already beginning to fail. Otherwise it would be reacting with measures appropriate to the situation, beginning with informing citizens of the problem, and what we must be done. Obama needs to make a prime-time TV climate speech.

We Americans, as with most, deal best with things that have happened before: think, for example about our ‘before’ and ‘after’ stance on airport security with regard to 9/11. So, with climate change, we’re in big trouble. It’s new, and we only get one opportunity.

Thinking about where it’ll be best to live in 25 and 40 years is a great exercise. However, we do need to work hard together to make a climate movement powerful enough to out gun the fossil fuel interests, or few will survive until then.

105.Beam Me Up Scotty says:
December 19, 2010 at 3:01 am
The ground squirrel problem in central California began with the forest service (?) poisoning them, which was killing off their predators. That was 40 years ago. They did stop the poisoning, but the damage done to the natural balance is likely not yet repaired.
I’m only half joking when I recommend you try to attract coyotes. Lay out dog food… for a while. Keep your birds cooped and your toddlers and small pets indoors!

I saw first hand a massacre of a flock of chickens by a couple of raccoons when somebody forgot to close the chicken coop door at dusk. Bobcats are less common. Poultry must be in a protective coop by dusk. They learn to go there, so all you need to do is open the door in the morning and close it at dusk. Am I making sense?

I wonder what the other problems you are facing (besides the squirrels) that you can’t feed yourselves off 20 acres. Which side of the coastal range are you on (I figure east, hot and dry)? My ex-father in law had an ever shrinking (as he got older) garden in Cholame that was incredibly bountiful until the early ’90s when he got too old…I’m sure it had wire (or cinder block) at least 2 feet deep, and was surrounded by a 6 ft chicken wire fence.
For orchards, birds are a problem. I’ve seen lots of instances where the silhouette of a raptor hung from a branch discourages the prey birds. Bells too. Don’t know if it works though.
Deer can be a serious problem. When I lived in the Santa Cruz mountains west of San Jose, nothing but barriers would discourage them. Not even cougar urine.

106.Eric says:
December 19, 2010 at 3:13 am
I’m with Bill M (who appears to have the decency to identify himself, despite the fact that every time he does so in a public forum he must take heat from people like Wit’s End). The “every man for himself” survivalist mentality bred of ruminating too much over Mad Max and “the Road” doesn’t get one very far – unless you think that a short, desperate, predatory hand-to-mouth existence for the purpose of propagating your genetic material is the most one can aspire too in a changed world. Close knit communities that share/trade knowledge, commodities, labor, and friendship will give life in a harder environment the quality and purpose that will make it worth living. Okay, sure, such communities could provide for the common defense too; but let’s not let the wingnut survivalists define our priorities for us. Think Transition Town, not Thunderdome.

107.Roger says:
December 19, 2010 at 3:40 am
Great thread!

A suggested topic for next week: What could climate-concerned Americans do to get their elected officials (starting with Obama) to react aggressively enough to climate change to preserve a livable climate?

It seems to me, given input from Chu, Holdren, et al., that Obama knows the score, has thankfully taken steps in the right direction, but hasn’t thrown himself into the task to the extent that the situation demands. It doesn’t appear likely that nature will deliver a Pearl Harbor-like message that will be clear enough to convince confused citizens.

So, one wonders: Could it be that, FDR style, the climate science has convinced Obama of what may be needed, but that we concerned citizens haven’t yet “gone out and made him do it?” Is there something that we who know could do to spur Obama to do what’s necessary to save us all?

We need to know.

108.Ted Gleichman says:
December 19, 2010 at 3:44 am
One of the key anthropological insights developed by Richard Leakey et al is that early hominids were able to survive and thrive because they evolved the ability to share food for the good of the biocommunity.

That does not mean that they failed to defend themselves against external and internal threats; au contraire.

McKibben is not advocating unilateral disarmament; he simply elegantly and eloquently points out the reality that organized communities present the best odds for managing resource allocation and specialization of labor during times of stress. Such communities include police forces and armies.

It’s easy to hypothesize situations where sets of unified neighborhoods in Detroit and Portland, well-organized and protected agricultural and wind-farm communities in the Midwest, and Scandinavian mini-states (where social cooperation is deep in the cultural DNA) are thriving with difficulty in 2300 — the hard part will be making it all happen. It’s just as easy to hypothesize total collapse, and a global human population of much less than one billion.

For those who are focused on only their own nuclear families, remember that even Mad Max encountered remnant government. Tina Turner redux is not my idea of the optimal leadership and management structure; an organized community is much more likely to be able to provide my grandchildren with medical care (remember that?) — and to protect itself from marauding bands of rugged individualists seeking to raid the community stores of Tea for their Parties.

Life in the worst-case residual communities would doubtless match the Hobbsian characterization of “nasty, brutish, and short” — but it is not ’survivalism’ that will allow true survival in that worst case. It is practical, hard-nosed cooperation. And that’s not just for the wealthy; you can’t buy food that can’t be protected from ground squirrels and bobcats.

Listen to McKibben. Progressive community organizing, aiming for societies that preserve some form of painful but humane restructured civilization, may not succeed as we drift forward. If it doesn’t, though, the alternative is not isolated family success; the Swiss Family Robinson is not the anti-Mad Max formula.

The alternative to community would be a dictatorship of scarcity and devastation. To prevent that, the deniers, corporate profiteers, and social fascists simply have to be politically defeated. So our focus must be both yin and yang: build for the future; fight for the present.

So ask not what your suffering world can do for you; ask rather what you can do for it — and for your neighbors.

109.Roger says:
December 19, 2010 at 3:54 am
Correction to my above comment: “40″ should be “50.”

“Same difference,” as we say here in New England. It’ll be grim by then, and it’s so sad to think that this vision of Christmas future doesn’t need to come to pass. Could we send a ghost to visit Obama?

Might we all work hard together–with leadership–to change?

110.Roger says:
December 19, 2010 at 4:03 am
It’s a holy day, and six days to a special holiday, for Christians.

Dear God, please help us find the right path forward for your Earth.

Forgive us, and give us the wisdom and courage to do what’s right.

111.Jim Eaton says:
December 19, 2010 at 4:50 am
My body has not been very happy as I get into my 60s, but my mind is OK with the thought that I probably won’t see too much of the coming collapse. Glad we chose not to have kids, although I will worry about my nieces futures. It’s really strange, realizing that my wife and I have ridden the crest of the wave allowing us a wonderful lifestyle (hey, while our life is good, we both are committed conservationists with careers working to protect the environment) but seeing that the wave is about to crash on the rocks.

112.Heraclitus says:
December 19, 2010 at 6:16 am

They are positioning themselves to be the winners, if there are to be any.

The US will be a marginalised, dwindling power, doesn’t much matter which corner of it you choose.

113.fj3 says:
December 19, 2010 at 7:26 am
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ news/ article-1339475/ Global-warming-Sandal-wearers-wont-save-greed-US-Navy-will.html

His steely eyes and jutting jaw speak of his determination. His medal-festooned uniform underlines his power. Rear Admiral David Titley is a sea warrior, but also a scientist with a passion.

He is the U.S. Navy’s chief oceanographer and director of its climate change task force. Yes, the U.S. Navy has a climate change task force. With 450 staff.

‘We in the U.S. Navy believe climate change is real,’ Titley says.

‘It’s going to have big impacts, especially in the Arctic, which is changing before our eyes.’

He predicts an ice-free Arctic in late summer by 2020.

114.Sou says:
December 19, 2010 at 7:30 am
I feel fortunate to have moved to a small country town in the foothills of the mountains in south eastern Australia (hills to you in north America). We have first shot at the water that flows into the Murray Darling system. So the town water is (usually) clean – filtered, ozone treated with almost no chlorination.

The main problems are bushfires and floods (both of which can mess up the water supply). Fires are a more frequent and damaging occurrence. Drought is a problem, but not as bad as in some parts and a rainwater tank or two will generally see you through even a very long dry spell. Rising temperatures are a problem as well – already we’ve had it peak around 45C and get long spells of heat waves (35C to 42C usually, but rising). A trip up the mountain and it’s 10C cooler. At night a cool breeze blows down from the hills. Very good soil – lots of bees, worms and other bugs (also snails and slugs). And excellent neighbours.

I also feel fortunate that most people prefer to live in large towns or cities and find it too far to commute from here.

I’m staying put – and not telling too many people about this place

115.A face in the clouds says:
December 19, 2010 at 7:59 am
Southeast Oklahoma might be worth remembering as an oasis. Rivers and streams crisscross the region, fresh lakes are every where, and the soil is almost rich enough to eat with a spoon. The region toughed out the 1930’s and fed an awful lot of hungry people. I don’t know how it would fare in a future being discussed here, but it’s a place worth marking on the map for that time.

Northeast Texas is also a lush area but aquifers are failing fast and the Red River is almost certainly one source of dangerous pollutants turning up in water south of the Texas/Oklahoma border. If this were to be the first green place one came upon while migrating north, then it might be wise to cross on over the Red River at Paris, TX. If the river is dry, there may still be quicksand. If not, there may be Water Moccasins, so take the large bridge about 15 miles north of the Paris City Hall. Avoid the small bridges, they could collapse. If the signs are still standing, then one of your best bets might be to follow the Kiamichi River until it turns east. Continue north to Eufaula Lake and follow the water northeastward into SW Missouri. There are lots of caves with pockets of fresh water, and a large one just outside of Springfield once used as a nuclear bomb shelter. Hopefully it will still be stocked with medical supplies and sealed barrels of water and “super” crackers.

Spooky, huh?

116.Lore says:
December 19, 2010 at 8:33 am
The real questions should be, how many will be alive 2035 – 2060 and will it be living or just existing?

117.Chris Winter says:
December 19, 2010 at 9:40 am
Bill McKibben wrote (#80): “What’s going to be important in the future are strong, intact communities. Fossil fuel made us the first people on earth with no practical need of our neighbors, and as a result our communities have withered. But when times are tough, neighbors are what get you through. So settle in, go to church or synagogue or mosque or whatever, support your local food growers and other businesses, volunteer at the nursing home, be a useful part of a place. That will pay you more dividends (psychic and practical) than stockpiling food and oiling your guns.”

Bill McKibben is right. He doesn’t say that either food stockpiles or guns are unnecessary. That would be truly naive. Being able to defend yourself and your community is important. So is a supply of preserved food to let the community ride out a poor planting season.

In this respect, New England and upstate New York are better off than many areas. They’re filled with settled communities that have maintained many of the practical skills needed for self-sufficiency.

I’ve just read Early Spring, by Vermont ecologist Amy Seidl (for which McKibben wrote the Foreword). It’s a good example of people cooperating to endure the vagaries of climate (like that year of 1816).

118.Chris Winter says:
December 19, 2010 at 9:47 am
GFW wrote (#94): “However, I can’t but think that in a true “sh-t hits the fan” scenario, the people who built the hide outs and were hired to protect them will simply take them.”

True that. And an echo of a scene from Lucifer’s Hammer.

I expect that survivalists with guns will be a problem in the worst-case scenarios, but more so to each other than to peaceful communities that are barely self-sufficient. That is, unless the community leaders try to get hard-ass like the local sheriff did in Rambo: First Blood.

If the community lets a potentially violent band pass through peacefully, gives them a meal and perhaps some advice about conditions further on, there’s not likely to be a conflict. The reason is because the newcomers can see for themselves that a) the community has the means to defend itself, and b) it does not have the means to feed many more mouths.

Remember, while gunslingers and rowdy cowboys are legends of the Wild West, the people that won the West were the farmers and blacksmiths and grocers, the doctors and preachers and schoolmarms.

119.Chris Winter says:
December 19, 2010 at 9:56 am
It’s worthwhile thinking about where in the world survival is likely to be easiest in the years ahead. But, given that reliably assessing this is so difficult, a better question may be: What kinds of people are best fitted to survive, wherever they wind up?

It seems to me that an important part of the answer is people with practical skills like blacksmithing, or fixing radio transmitters, or first aid, or canning apricots so they stay good. Another part would be people that understand the value of community.

120.CW says:
December 19, 2010 at 10:10 am
If an area is physically more desirable in a climate-destabilized world will it necessarily be a desirable place to live socio-politically?

Wherever these future places may be that are a bit more habitable for humans, they will be highly sought after. This either means there will be enormous human conflict within them and/or they will become a fortress or constant emergency-state under surge after surge. So they may be livable physically but socially or politically, still be hellish.

I also tend to think that the “go north” thing is not an ecologically sound idea. As you go north on this planet, ecosystems get more fragile. In the timeline we’re considering they won’t ‘adapt’ as many seem to think. They’ll just be wiped out from the physical destabilization of the multitude of deleterious climate and climate-related effects.

So I think the answer to your question is really that nowhere will be nice to live in the future if the world continues to effectively do nothing on climate change for the next 15 to 20 years or more.

There are no escape hatches, life-boats or truly safe havens in this isolated and closed system we call Earth. We need to come to terms with this reality so as to better come to terms with the reality of climate change.

121.dp says:
December 19, 2010 at 10:18 am
i just realized i should’ve included the lyrics to woody guthrie’s great environmental migration cautionary song so to be as clear as possible what i was on about.

for anyone who maybe reads things a little too quick, the ‘do’ in ‘do re mi’ rhymes with ‘cash money.’

listen along: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46mO7jx3JEw

Do Re Mi

Lots of folks back East, they say, is leavin’ home every day,
Beatin’ the hot old dusty way to the California line.
‘Cross the desert sands they roll, gettin’ out of that old dust bowl,
They think they’re goin’ to a sugar bowl, but here’s what they find
Now, the police at the port of entry say,
“You’re number fourteen thousand for today.”

Oh, if you ain’t got the do re mi, folks, you ain’t got the do re mi,
Why, you better go back to beautiful Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia, Tennessee.
California is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or see;
But believe it or not, you won’t find it so hot
If you ain’t got the do re mi.

You want to buy you a home or a farm, that can’t deal nobody harm,
Or take your vacation by the mountains or sea.
Don’t swap your old cow for a car, you better stay right where you are,
Better take this little tip from me.
‘Cause I look through the want ads every day
But the headlines on the papers always say:

If you ain’t got the do re mi, boys, you ain’t got the do re mi,
Why, you better go back to beautiful Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia, Tennessee.
California is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or see;
But believe it or not, you won’t find it so hot
If you ain’t got the do re mi.

i can imagine what woody might’ve thought about people as rich & fortunate as us talking about taking up arms against each other just because food networks might need a little different thinking. i guess we’ve hit another low, as a nation — leaving tens of millions of families jobless or scared, planning on leaving even more hungry.

122.Prokaryotes says:
December 19, 2010 at 10:22 am
Chris Winter said #118 “It seems to me that an important part of the answer is people with practical skills like blacksmithing, or fixing radio transmitters, or first aid, or canning apricots so they stay good. Another part would be people that understand the value of community.”

Without “thinkers” the new society would make steps backwards and have trouble with predicting the future of their community or when faced with abstract problems. You need a mix of skills and a mix of DNA “breeding pairs”. Plato’s republic highlights these governing setups and part of the problem we face of climate change originates because our system is to flawed. A system where sociopaths are able to rule with an authoritarian style.

123.Pete Dunkelberg says:
December 19, 2010 at 10:44 am
Commenting late, have not read all 120 comments, but it looks like I disagree with most. Central Florida looks pretty good, and better still go south – from Belize to Brazil.

124.Wonhyo says:
December 19, 2010 at 10:44 am
The idea of joining progressive communities, like churches, to survive climate change has potential, but requires an acknowledgement of climate change to be effective.

Large church organizations have a national or global network of local chapters. This, along with the church’s charitable mission, makes the church an ideal institution to guide society through climate change. As climate catastrophes hit one area, the church has the institutional apparatus to rapidly distribute aid and supplies where needed. The church culture also promotes the idea of shared sacrifice, which will be critical for communities to survive climate change.

I’ve approached two church groups, helped form an environmental committee in one, and joined a similar group in the other. In the first case, all attempts at promoting the role of the church in climate survival were stymied by a single individual who is a climate denier. Everyone wanted to be sensitive to his convictions and avoided any substantive discussion of the church’s role in climate change. In the second church, the committee members gave me blank stares and changed the topic when I discussed the role of the church in climate change.

I also had a unique opportunity to pitch my thoughts to the Sierra Club when I was selected for a focus group a few years ago. The Sierra Club commisioned this focus group to help form their future goals. I expressed the opinion that Sierra Club is the best, perhaps only, national environmental organization with the means to inform and mobilize people to action. I said Sierra Club should make climate change messaging and mobilization its defining role in human history.

As I observe what the Sierra Clun has done in the few years since I participated in this focus group, I see it is business as usual. They have made token efforts on climate change, but they have not staked their core mission on it. Don’t get me wrong, as I realize those token efforts represent significant work by individuals and some local victories. Unfortunately, they are small battles being won in a war that is being lost. More accurate, The Sierra Club is not fully engaged in the war of climate change messaging.

Now, compare the Sierra Club to the National Rifle Association. The NRA is effective at messaging, fundraising, mobilization, and political influence to a degree that eclipses the Sierra Club. A recent Los Angeles Times article says the NRA has so thoroughly gripped the levers of government that the ATF operates within bounds effectivle set by the NRA.

When people start advocating environmental issues the way people advocate gun rights, when the Sierra Club gets as aggressive and effective as the NRA, that will be a sign that progressive adaptation is gaining the upper hand on prparing for WTSHTF. To believe otherwise is naive optimism.

125.George Ennis says:
December 19, 2010 at 11:01 am
As a Canadian I am simply amazed at the number of people who talk about an adaptation strategy based on migration northwards. In the case of Canada, on the surface that may seem plausible until you realize that you will in many areas run into something called the Canadian Shield. I seriously doubt that large scale farming as we know it today will ever be possible on rock.

If you go far enough north in Canada you will run into the “tundra”. Again this is currently characterized as “permafrost” transitioning to permamelt. Again assuming this transition was instantaneous (which it will not be) it seems extremely doubtful that soil could be created in this area to allow large scale farming.

The biggest issue in terms of adaptation that is emerging in Canada, mistakenly seen as a long term climate refuge, is that water supplies have already entered into what appears to be a long term decline. In western Canada most of our rivers are fed from glaciers and/or snow melt. The glaciers are retreating and rapidly. As for the snow melt well yes we will still (hopefully) get snow in the mountains. Unfortunately we are already experiencing sudden snow melt in the spring, meaning that the rivers experience extreme flooding in the spring. In the future river flows are expected to be extremely volatile, flooding in the spring (when you don’t need it for farming to a trickle in the summer when you do.

126.Wonhyo says:
December 19, 2010 at 11:13 am
George Ennis, thanks for the reality check. I think too many people naively believe there is a simple path to climate survival.

Bill McK’s suggestion to join and participate in communities does have some emotional value. Realizing that there is no simple path to climate survival, we should (peacefully) enjoy what remains of the livable, moderate climate.

At the same time, we should aggressively fight to extend what remains of this climate.

127.Deborah Stark says:
December 19, 2010 at 11:14 am
Good Morning!

2010’s world gone wild: Quakes, floods, blizzards
http://news.yahoo.com/ s/ ap/ 20101219/ ap_on_sc/ ye_sci_disastrous_year


…..White House science adviser John Holdren said we should get used to climate disasters or do something about global warming: “The science is clear that we can expect more and more of these kinds of damaging events unless and until society’s emissions of heat-trapping gases and particles are sharply reduced.”….. END excerpt.

For the record then…

128.Scrooge says:
December 19, 2010 at 11:17 am
A northern state east of the dakotas, new england, or canada. Don’t have the kids wait to long. I see the US becoming more fudalistic or tribal. States will have more power and the northern states where the food supply is may not take kindly to foreign states.

129.Leif says:
December 19, 2010 at 11:22 am
It is clear from the comments above that there is much to be gained by staying on the “we still got a chance” side of the equation rather than stepping across the “threshold of doom”. If society wants to survive, social order must be retained and “shared purpose” must be the glue. The only entity with more firepower than the red neck Tea Baggers is the military. The military must step forth with a leadership roll for the SURVIVAL OF ALL AMERICANS. (By extension the world!)

I have no lost love for the Military but have recently been advocating the “We All Win War” or WAWW. For starters we give the rich their tax break but with a string attached. They must invest an equal amount in the Green Awakening Economy to qualify. That money is not given to Congress or the President or Wall Street. It is given to a NEW Green Branch of the of the military with War Time Powers. Labor costs for mitigation become slashed because the largest Civil costs on a project is labor. We get to train the youth in meaningful jobs, give them a grub stake, get them healthy, clean their system of street drugs, get the non-violent out of prisons, perhaps even a few of the violent ones. No Post Traumatic Syndrome for the retiring. (I have to assume that charged with doing good and saving the future of humanity will leave a good taste in their brains.) The Rich, and the Nation, on the other hand will have TANGIBLE ASSETS at a Fraction of the cost of Corporate fingers in the pie. The Nation will not be adding as much to the deficit as we will be building renewable energy to start the healing process, retaining the deficit within our borders and paying interest to ourselves. In time and Gentle persuasion, (rummer has it that Water Boarding is cool) the rich will be able to be assimilated. We might even buy enough time to let them die Naturally! Forgot to mention. Denial or misleading contrary unsubstantiated statements are now Treasonable offenses.
It is a WAR of Survival!
Our Past is now the Enemy of our Future…

130.Scrooge says:
December 19, 2010 at 11:41 am
Pete, I keep hoping central florida might be OK but my major concern is drought and farming. Desalination plants may be needed.

131.John McCormick says:
December 19, 2010 at 12:00 pm
RE # 122

Prokaryotes, since I am an avid and appreciative fan of your many contributions to CP, allow me to offer some constructive advise.

There is a difference between to and too.

I went to Catholic school and can vouch for that.

“to flawed” should read ‘too’ flawed. I know the Sisters of Mercy would agree with me.

Keep your comments coming. You are a font of information and useful links.

John McCormick

132.Mark Hertsgaard says:
December 19, 2010 at 12:39 pm
Joe, You pose a great question that happens to be one of the central concerns explored in my new book, HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth (out in January 2011 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). I have a five year old daughter, and in the book I investigate how to help her and the rest of what I call Generation Hot cope with a climate that is soon going to be hotter and more volatile than ever before in our civilization’s history. I explicitly ask myself where she should live in the future.

I found many of the responses on this thread to be thoughtful and creative but also overlooking what, to me, is the most important criterion for deciding where to live in the future: the social context. Yes, the physical conditions will be changing, and challenging, almost everywhere. Thus, what matters most is to be in a place where people and institutions–especially local governments and civic groups–are WORKING THE PROBLEM. That is to say, places where leaders and ordinary folks alike are aware that the climate will be worsening, studying the exact conditions projected for their locality and working TODAY to put in place protective measures, be they stronger sea defenses, more efficient water supply systems, more resilient housing and neighborhood structures and much more. The idea that one can survive future climate change by moving far away from everyone else and living solo is a fantasy, albeit a widely shared one. People are going to have to work together to cope with all that’s coming.

So, my own list for future living places that I would recommend to my daughter starts with King County in Washington state, a county that includes the city of Seattle and many of its suburbs but extends eastward to the Cascades. Thanks to the pioneering efforts of former County Executive Ron Sims, King County is by far the municipality that has done the most (in the USA) to prepare for future climate change impacts. You can read the specifics in my book, but it’s heartening to know that King County’s example is being emulated by a number of other US localities, not least the cities of Chicago and New York. Overseas, the clear leaders in climate change adaptation are the United Kingdom and The Netherlands. The latter has initiated a well-funded, politically tough-minded 200 Year Plan to adapt to climate change (and no, 200 is not a typo).

Again, you can find more information in HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years, which ends with a letter to my daughter dated in the year 2020, wherein I advise her to think carefully about where she decides to live when I’m perhaps no longer around to look after her. “If it were me,” I tell her, “I’d look for a place that has a secure water supply, a capable government and a vibrant community–a place where people know how to work with their hands, where they look out for one another and practice the Golden Rule. That’s going to be your surest protection if things get difficult in the years ahead.”

Mark Hertsgaard

133.MR says:
December 19, 2010 at 12:52 pm
Quite a series of perspectives – wonder if there’s any real estate companies from northern regions that will jump on a marketing campaign targeted at well-off North American and European climate change refugees. Sounds like there might be a market given the comments we are hearing…

134.Robert H says:
December 19, 2010 at 1:04 pm
Such is the world we bequeath our children and grandchildren! Perhaps the greatest injustice will be that the ones most responsible for the debacle, and I put that responsibility chiefly on my generation’s shoulders (The Baby Boomers), is that they/we will not be the ones who will have to pay the price for our greed and our sloth-something to do with the sins of the parents… In my darker moments I envision a marriage of Logan’s Run to Childhood’s End, perhaps with Jim Jones officiating. Why were we so disastrously feckless?

Other thoughts: I realize it has already been mentioned upthread but there is a necessity to develop meaningful survival skills, especially those that transcend food production and storage.

A crucial matter is the preservation of knowledge and the arts, and I am not convinced that digital media will be all that useful 100 years from now. As a whole there is nothing contemptible about our cultural heritage; the error can be placed exclusively at the feet of our ignorant gluttony. Although scientific knowledge is crucial, and will undoubtedly be at risk, I am most greatly concerned about the protection of the works of people such as Euripides, Bach, or Frida Kahlo. Science is predicated on the physical world and its truths can only be misplaced or ignored. Once The Bacchae is lost, it is lost for eternity. I know it sounds of A Canticle for Leibowitz but the need is pressing nonetheless.

135.fj3 says:
December 19, 2010 at 1:08 pm
NetZero transportation’s high potential http://twitpic.com/3hihbq

136.Cinnamon Girl says:
December 19, 2010 at 1:28 pm
Good topic, Joe. RE: Jay 95, the north latitude sunlight issue is an often overlooked limiting factor. I wonder how much that would be lessened if reduced fossil fuel use reduces global dimming. It seems to me that greenhouses are a likely early attempt to adapt. In the northern lats, that would include artificial lighting to overcome the reduced sunlight issue–solar/wind powered, one would hope. I imagine that outdoor vegetable growing in the southern lats would move warm season varieties further into the cool season, and move cool season crops indoors or to some temperature management adaptations. It seems that security could become a serious concern for outdoor gardening. Keeping raccoons and mischievous kids out of the garden patch now is one thing. Hungry maybe-migrating people and habitat-deprived animals easily could make garden-guarding a round-the-clock proposition in the hot future. In my view, protein is likely to become the more limiting nutrient on a mass production scale, as the marine production vanishes and grain production for animal consumption recedes. We’d hope that plant sources can fill the void and meet the truly minimal protein needs (well below what the average extravagant Western diet now provides). It seems to me that we probably will not be able to rely on Canadian hospitality, as the stress of defending the melted Arctic against Russia leads Canada into an arms race, and increased anti-immigrant sentiment. I guess it’ll be “interesting” to see how the video-game generations cope when the climate Vogons we’ve created come calling.

137.L. Carey says:
December 19, 2010 at 1:33 pm
I strongly agree with Bill McKibben’s comments at #80 [and not just because I'm also Methodist ] regarding the importance of community. In large part it was thinking trapped in ruts of “rugged individualism”, “devil take the hindmost” and “me, me, me” that go us into this mess in the first place – and if we don’t start abandoning those in favor of community we are doomed to a “crabs in a bucket” future. Indeed the whole Tea Bagger mentality of “keep your hands off MY stuff” makes me very nervous about the future social stability of the U.S. if things really hit the fan. (For what it’s worth, my family and I will be spending spring break looking at business properties in British Columbia.)

138.fj3 says:
December 19, 2010 at 1:39 pm
Social #entrepreneurs see the change that is possible before anyone else. http://ht.ly/3rinb #socent #entrepreneurship (via @shreygoyal)

139.Daniel J. Andrews says:
December 19, 2010 at 1:42 pm
I agree with the people who’ve pointed out northern Ontario or Manitoba as ideal places. We have many freshwater lakes of differing sizes. Within an hours drive of me there are over a hundred lakes, almost half of them big enough to get lost on if you don’t have a map, compass (old school navigation) or a GPS. On my bicycle I can reach two large lakes and several smaller lakes within 15 minutes, plus there are countless streams flowing over the escarpment which are good for cooling down on hot days.

Some of the clay belts nearby are also good farming. Not enough for a nation or even southern Ontario, but enough for the northern communities living nearby.

Best part is that they’ll likely remain uncrowded as many will be flocking to the coasts rather than places where blackflies, mosquitoes, and other biting insects have made it into legend.
youtube.com/watch?v=qjLBXb1kgMo The Blackfly Song by Wade Hemsworth.

Heat waves will kill off the bugs early though, and once the bugs are gone or diminished, the area is gorgeous to live in. And you eventually develop an immunity to biting insects–no rashes, no bumps, no itching.

140.Alteredstory says:
December 19, 2010 at 1:57 pm
I have to say, when it comes to things like gardening and holding on to what you grow, the key question is water availability. If you’re somewhere with enough water, you can move towards a hydroponic system, and do most of your gardening on your roof, inside, and in vertical gardens, especially if you have a power supply like wind/solar to provide light, which would let you grow inside.

It would require you to control and monitor much less land, would make keeping pests out MUCH easier, and also keeping thieves out easier. Water storage, if done right, could also combine with controlled, indoor conditions to allow for a year-round growing season in areas with a dry season or a winter to interrupt things.

Again, it would require access to power and water, and the know-how to build the system, but I don’t see any reason why we can work to include at least some of the advances of our society in our plans for a distopian future. There’s no need to default to medieval farmland scenarios, and I don’t think we could do that if we tried, in this case, given the rate at which things are changing, and the rapid growth of the human population. We won’t have enough land to grow food on if we don’t garden UP.

141.Todd Tanner says:
December 19, 2010 at 3:02 pm
A few things I’d like to add to my earlier comments.

It’s likely that landscapes will change rapidly in the relatively near future. For example, trees across the western U.S. are dying twice as fast as they did 20 years ago, with no corresponding increase in recruitment – a change that scientists attribute solely to climate change. As time goes on, climate-influenced drought, wild fire, disease and insects will have profound impacts on landscapes the world over. If you’re looking to settle in what’s currently a remote wooded area, you might want to imagine your new home without most of the trees.

Regarding the discussion on communities – they’re going to be vital, but with a caveat. Communities that meet the basic criteria of low population, plentiful water, good topsoil and a reasonable distance from large cities will have a better chance than communities that don’t meet those minimum qualifications. That’s just common sense. (I’m afraid that a small, tight-knit community outside of Miami or Las Vegas doesn’t have much of a future in the long term.) But even the best situated communities will need a strong work ethic and a shared sense of sacrifice to get by for the next 40 or 50 years.

One final point. None of the climate change scenarios that we’re talking about are happening in a vacuum. Our energy situation, even with a major infusion of natural gas, is likely to become much more difficult in the coming decades. As is our financial situation. (It’s not hard to imagine what’s going to happen to a financial system predicated on growth and debt when it becomes apparent that the growth in GDP needed to repay our debt is no longer possible.) If you’re thinking that you have 20 years or so to find the best possible community and make the move, you may end up … well, “disappointed” may be a mild way of putting it.

142.Paulm says:
December 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm
#134 Robert, good point.

143.Paulm says:
December 19, 2010 at 3:32 pm
Joe, site morphing into a survival blog…

[JR: It always was....]

144.Beam Me Up Scotty says:
December 19, 2010 at 3:34 pm
The church should be helping, but not all do
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ 2010/ 12/ 17/ resisting-the-green-dragon_n_798387.html

145.Prokaryotes says:
December 19, 2010 at 3:53 pm
John McCormick, thanks for the correction it’s appreciated.

146.John McManus says:
December 19, 2010 at 4:07 pm
We have lived in Nova Scotia for 10 years. Great place but vulnerable too.
A bit of sea rise and Nova Scotia becomes an island. All imports doulbe in price. Our electricity comes from Venesualan coal which depends on cheap oil. We import food, heat,light, transportation, clothes etc. etc. etc.

There is hope, if the population stays small. Nova Scotia is self sufficient in milk, eggs, chicken, apples,peras etc. and blueberries. The province could be self sufficient in potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, beef, pork, cheese. Wool maybe, lumber maybe but water power would have to be relearned.

We live 250ft above sea level out in the boonies. Our 3/4 acre could grow all the potatoes, onions, tomatoes etc we need. The trees produce a few apples and we get some blackberries and blueberries. There are brook trout and deer a few feet away, but any increase in local hunting or fishing would destroy the stock forever. Our aquifer is shallow and a hand pump could be used. We burn 7 1/2 cords of local wood a winter. Photovoltaics (60 watts) mowes the lawn with a rideon and I am making more. The wind regime here is too low for the 2k turbine to produce much.

Could we survive sea level rise, transportation interupptions and power shortages? Could lots of people? No, the resourse base would get thin quick.

147.fj3 says:
December 19, 2010 at 6:05 pm
Environmental Refugees: The Rising Tide
“Once the storm passed, it was assumed that the million or so Katrina evacuees would, as in past cases, return to repair and rebuild their homes. Some 700,000 did return, but close to 300,000 did not. Nor do they plan to do so. Most of them have no home or job to return to. They are no longer evacuees. They are climate refugees. Interestingly, the first large wave of modern climate refugees emerged in the United States – the country most responsible for the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide that is warming the earth. New Orleans is the first modern coastal city to be partly abandoned.
. . .
“The flow of rising-sea refugees will come primarily from coastal cities. Among those most immediately affected are London, New York, Washington, Miami, Shanghai, Kolkata (Calcutta), Cairo, and Tokyo. If the rise in sea level cannot be checked, cities soon will have to start either planning for relocation or building barriers that will block the rising seas.”

Excerpt from
World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse
By Lester R. Brown, Copyright @ 2011 Earth Policy Institute
ISBN 978-0-393-08029-2 (cloth) 978-0-393-33949-9 (pbk)
http://www.earth-policy.org/ books/ wote/ wote_table_of_contents

148.Barry says:
December 19, 2010 at 6:31 pm
Best comment is Joe’s response to #142.

149.Roger Wehage says:
December 19, 2010 at 6:56 pm
I’ve a little pine box reserved in a 6′ by 3′ by 6′ hole on a hill, well above flood plain. My biggest concern is poison ivy and termites.

150.Barry says:
December 19, 2010 at 7:08 pm
Not the Sahel!

Here is an amazing, detailed story on the climate collapse happen now in parts of the Sahel:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/ news/ world/ africa-mideast/ on-the-move-in-a-warming-world-the-rise-of-climate-refugees/ article1843024/ page1/

In the region around his village, farmers need 400 millimetres of rain annually to produce a crop. Over the past four years, rainfall has varied from 135 millimetres to 358 millimetres – not enough to sustain a harvest. And much of the rainfall is produced in torrential storms that cause more damage than benefit.

This year, the village suffered a perverse twist of fate. When everyone had given up on the rains, suddenly there were torrential storms, more rainfall than the village had seen in many years. But the farmers gained nothing. They had not gambled on the cost of seeding their fields. “We weren’t expecting any rain, so I didn’t plant anything,” Mr. Goukouni said.

In the nearby town of Mao, the strange combination of drought and sudden torrential rain has had an unexpected result: huge fast-growing ravines that threaten to swallow up the town.

Hell and high water.

The article poses a very interesting question (that might be a good open forum blog post Joe): should humanity be trying to keep people on their climate ravaged lands — or move them. If we move them…where should they go?

The cruel reality of “adapting”.

151.John McCormick says:
December 19, 2010 at 7:18 pm

As are you.

John McCormick

152.catman306 says:
December 19, 2010 at 7:21 pm
Ayn Rand’s brand of ‘thinking’ helped push us to this point. Not much chance it will lead us to a sustainable future. Selfish, short term gain seems to win out when compared to long term sustainability. Britain goes to China. Unfortunately our changing climate doesn’t seem to care about our personal philosophies.

No place to run. The weather’s going to be so bad that travel will become difficult and dangerous. Imagine 12 inches of rain in one day, falling on Mad Max’s world, and then, the muddy aftermath. And just why wouldn’t most of Earth’s land surfaces get hit by an extreme weather event once a decade? Certainly not because ‘it’s never happened before’. This is chaos, chaotic whether events. Each is almost a one of a kind. Some will be often repeated, but not predictably.

So stay home and figure out just how you’ll weather the coming draughts and storms because, unfortunately that’s as close to experiencing climate change, that most of us will ever know.

Find yourself an old salt mine and build yourself a self contained town. It will need it’s own water, food, and energy resources. But the good thing is that there’s not much weather in a salt mine. Maybe this is how the world of THX 1138 was first formed.

153.Alex says:
December 19, 2010 at 7:39 pm
Large cities on the North Atlantic sound good. High density = low energy usage. Electric trains. Existing rail nodes, deepwater harbours, and inland waterways. Concentrated knowledge – universities, libraries and such. More manufacturing than you might think. They already have democratic government and organised police forces. Diverse cultures.

154.Leif says:
December 19, 2010 at 8:00 pm
Barry, @ 150 : ,,,”should humanity be trying to keep people on their climate ravaged lands — or move them.
If we move them…where should they go? ”
Who gets final say?
Won’t we just be setting up a lot of “Palestinians”?
Do they get their original laws and social customs in their new Nation?
If not why not?
Perhaps Reservations, That worked out well! Some of these dislocations will be Tens of millions of people.
Is there an upper limit that any country must take?
Must all countries take a percentage? Should Carbon Stomp emitters be responsible for higher percentages?
That is just the beginning.

155.John Mashey says:
December 19, 2010 at 8:07 pm
re: #125
As and old farmboy who visits Canad fairly often, and is thus not under the illusion that’s sort of like an extra big state up there…

Indeed, nobody is likely to do much farming on the Canadian Shield, whose topsoil mostly moved to the US quite a while ago.
Here are some images.
It has some spectacular country and lots of rocks. It is not Kansas.

156.Lore says:
December 19, 2010 at 8:09 pm
I would suggest planning and getting out to your doom-stead now. If that’s what you want. Once the real consequences of energy shortages hit, within the decade, you won’t be able to drive out. Wait a few more years after that for the roads to become unusable and you may find yourself hoofing it on foot across country.

Think again if you think it can’t happen.

157.Lew Johns says:
December 19, 2010 at 8:32 pm
Again, IMO Food is what we’re talking about. RE Food the first-felt effect of AGW will be some things disappearing from Supermarket shelves. It will be subtle at first and will probably be falsely attributed to “changes in the Market” but those items will never appear again. It may be California Navel Oranges or Georgia Pecans or Imperial Valley Cantaloupes or Green River, Ut Mellons. Next will be hyper-inflated prices of first one and then other food “commodity” items (winter wheat, corn syrup, pork bellies, soybeans). Again, this will initially be attributed to something like “a fungus due to too much rain at the wrong time”, but again those prices will never come back down. IMO that is how it will begin, the time when being “rich” will have a new meaning.

158.Artful Dodger says:
December 20, 2010 at 12:07 am
My only real question is, after the collapse, will we still have an Internet?

159.Pete Dunkelberg says:
December 20, 2010 at 1:33 am
Daniel # 139, think carefully. You want a small farming community, but you hope a heat wave will kill off the bugs. Assuming people survive that heat wave, good luck pollinating your crops by hand.

160.Artful Dodger says:
December 20, 2010 at 4:27 am
Joe, you were co-author of a 1987 MIT study “Nuclear crash. The U.S. Economy After Small Nuclear Attacks”

I find some of the methods and conclusions of this paper to be directly applicable to the risks we face today: simply substitute “Nuclear Attack” with “Climate Change” in the following excerpts from the Introduction:

“Chapter Two discusses the U.S. economy in terms of its vulnerability to nuclear attack. We examine the concentration of key industries, and the importance of energy (particularly liquid fuels) to the transportation sector and the rest of the economy.”

Much of vulnerability of our society applies equally to either threat.

“In Chapter Five, we consider the effects of three different scenarios on the U.S. economy… The smallest of the three attacks, the Counter-Energy Attack, destroys only commercial ports and the refining and storage facilities for liquid fossil fuels.”

Rising Sea Levels and Peak Oil will apply similar stresses to our System if we do not soon begin preparations for their inevitable arrival.

A final note: Thank-you Joe for the role you’ve played throughout your career in alerting us to the Dangers, and showing us a safe way forward. Your tireless efforts are greatly appreciated!

161.Rabid Doomsayer says:
December 20, 2010 at 6:00 am
Another reason to move now:
As a city slicker learning farming(self sufficiency) it is certain I will make mistakes. With civilisation functioning those mistakes would be mere annoyance, where in thirty or forty years they could be catastrophic.

Fifty out of the way acres will not ensure my families survival, but it would increase the odds. The odds will not be good in a city short of food, water, and power. Those shortages could arrive slowly or quite suddenly. Collapse will not be uniform, slow increasing unavailability’s in some places, sudden rioting and genocide in others.

Supposedly economically efficient systems can be very fragile. Resilience is not currently valued, it is inefficient. Consequently failure can cascade very quickly.

162.John McCormick says:
December 20, 2010 at 8:28 am
RE # 155

John Mashey, thanks for the link to those beautiful pictures of the Canadian Shield. They say it all.

A thousand pictures can say a million words.

Some commenters appear to think that one merely loads up the family and drives, flies or however goes to another country and sets up camp. Not going to happen unless they bring all they money needed to buy their way in.

When President Kennedy was inaugurated, the world’s population was one half what it is today. Lot more feet to relocate.

John McCormick

163.Chris Winter says:
December 20, 2010 at 10:43 am
Artful Dodger wrote (#158): “My only real question is, after the collapse, will we still have an Internet?”

Much depends on the depth of the collapse, and when it happens. But I would say almost certainly not.

It won’t go all at once. But without reliable power, most big server farms will be shut down. What’s whimsically called “backhoe fade” will also sever the net, over time. It happens even now, when the diagrams showing where optical fiber links are buried are easy to find. (I’m thinking of an incident near Gilroy, CA a couple of years ago.)

Both data and voice communications will survive, however, thanks to amateur radio operators. But that service will be reserved mostly for emergency and health-and-welfare messages.

164.Matto says:
December 20, 2010 at 1:46 pm
I don’t understand why we’re talking about 2035-2060, we should be doing this now. If we are wise enough to learn from history we can move to rural locations, become self sufficient farmers and live happily in an agrarian socialist paradise. Here’s a great historical example of how that can work out: http://bit.ly/MZJl0

165.David Smith says:
December 20, 2010 at 2:55 pm
So, you’re willing to contemplate a life disrupting (and possibly ending) crash due to AGW, in our lifetime. Why not stop buying dirty energy right now, take the lifestyle hit now and avoid the whole thing? This must be the definition of cultural insanity.


166.Alex says:
December 20, 2010 at 3:21 pm
sudden rioting and genocide in others

Most historical genocides are rural. Khmer Rouge. Rwanda. Poland, the Baltics, and the Ukraine 1941-1944. De Montfort’s suppression of the Cathars. The conquest of the American West. Most riots, on the other hand, mess up a bunch of cars and street furniture and really wouldn’t be my first concern.

The city I live in has been blockaded, placed under food and fuel rationing by a government with dictatorial war powers, bombed, attacked with ballistic missiles, threatened with invasion, deprived of its own mayoral government, and exposed to 2 depressions and a couple of recessions, and that’s just since 1914. And we’re still here, bigger and smellier than ever.

167.Alex says:
December 20, 2010 at 3:21 pm
164 FTW.

168.David B. Benson says:
December 20, 2010 at 8:06 pm
Joan Savage — The Hopi are (the descendants of) the Anasazi.

169.David B. Benson says:
December 20, 2010 at 8:08 pm
Disheartening to see so many who seem to think that the Pacific Northwest can prosper with even the current overpopulation, much less absorb all the Californians…

170.David B. Benson says:
December 20, 2010 at 8:09 pm
That includes Idaho, by the way.

171.Ron says:
December 20, 2010 at 8:32 pm
While I understand the reason the question was asked, I’m not very satisfied with it. Pursuing a “the grass will be greener on the other side of the fence” strategy for adaptation is a fool’s game. If you want to survive the next 20, 50 years of climate chaos – here are 10 better ideas than searching for Shangri-la.

1. Lose weight
2. Exercise more
3. Move closer to family
4. Get to know your neighbors
5. Join a church
6. Join a community organization
7. If you really live in flood zone or a few miles from a hurricane coast, move inland.
8. Store 30 days of food and water
9. Have an alternate, local heat source
10. Get an electric generator and store some fuel.

Extreme weather events are endurable – especially with some preparation. Some include a prolonged lack of electricity. Local shortages of fuel might occur. Natural gas deliveries may be disrupted. All can be dealt with by proper preparation. Harden your residence so you can survive 30 days without outside food, water, fuel, or power.

Climate change with peak oil could/will strain national economies – but 300 million Americans aren’t moving to Canada. Learn to live where you are. If you don’t have well water, create ponds and use water barrels. If you need heat, have a wood stove, wood piles, and chainsaws for backup. If your soil is poor, learn to improve it through composting and vermiculture. Redundancy and alternate systems are your friend. But remember this – YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL ALONE. But, then again, you won’t be all alone.

I sense a whiff of doom and hopeless inevitability through this thread. Banish it with work and learning and seizing opportunity. Dig in! Enjoy! You didn’t really want to spend your retirement playing World of Warcraft did you?

172.David B. Benson says:
December 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm
And also, those proposing Tierra del Fuego (tip of South America, south Argentina) probably don’t understand the current characteristics of the region, much less predictions for future decades.

173.Roger says:
December 21, 2010 at 12:48 am
Well, now that we’ve got some 14 dozen views of ‘the abyss’ we’re heading for, full steam ahead, we can see that it’s not pretty.

One can have many REACTIONS from reading through the 170+ comments to date. Here are a few of mine FWTW:

1. Joe, you should consider sticking links to these weekend threads into a seperate sidebar; they’re too valuable to allow them to simply fade into the background.

2. I can’t believe this is really happening, in the US, in the 21st century. Citizens are discussing how best to survive, and there’s still no national call to action for us to cooperate and solve it?

3. Are we all going to quietly file, like sheep to their slaughter, to this hell and high water future? As mentioned earlier, I hope Joe’s present to us all will be an open thread for ACTIONABLE and practical suggestions on what we can do, Scrooge-like, to avert such a bleak Christmas future.

(By actionable, I mean things that readers can go out and do, most likely in cooperation with others, to get our governments and our citizens on the 2011 path that the science demands.) NVDA anyone?

What do others think? Should we resign ourselves, or boldly act?

174.David Smith says:
December 21, 2010 at 8:22 am
Here is an action. Get a sticker and place it on your car. We need to find out who is out there and concerned. The first step in a full mobilization. Do it!


175.Nancy says:
December 21, 2010 at 9:19 am
#74, David: Wearing these sayings as a button or badge on your coat or backpack would enable you to respond to people who read it. That’s where a prepared 30-second elevator speech will come in handy. It should always conclude with “contact your representative and senator and demand action”.

I think you’ll be surprised how many people are alarmed about climate change, but don’t know what to do.

176.Anna Haynes says:
December 21, 2010 at 3:24 pm
Speaking of Open Threads (not of best places to live) -

The ClimateProgress weekend threads are a great idea, and I think they can be made way more helpful to readers with a few small changes.

How about…

1. Doing the weekend posts as a _triplet_ –
a) a true Open Thread
b) a “Theme Thread”
c) an “Actions done or in progress” thread, for stuff like Gail’s Climate Hawk lapel pins
(and moderate threads b) and c) by moving off-topic comments over to the Open Thread)

2. Have (or let) someone go through the “Theme thread” afterwards & pull out/summarize salient stuff, & post that summary where visitors to the orig. post will easily be able to see it.
(e.g. I’ve now “concentrated” the “What is the Call to Action” thread ideas, but need a place to put it…)

Some threads should continue or recur, e.g. the “What is the call to action” one; I missed the Dec4 thread so can’t add my 2 cents where it’ll be seen.

And please, please, please, have ClimateProgress use the “threaded comments” Wordpress plug-in.

Maybe have a thread for ‘blog feature’ suggestions, & pledge drives?

177.Anna Haynes says:
December 21, 2010 at 3:26 pm
…”blog feature” pledge drives, I mean; I’d donate $20 if ClimateProgress got threaded comments.

178.Marcus says:
December 21, 2010 at 6:00 pm
The city with the highest quality of living will still be Vienna (Austria/Europe).
Drinking water will be an issue…Vienna got it.
Energy will be an issue…Vienna.

It`s 400m above sea level.
There might be more snow or less snow, does not really matter for tourism.
Floddings are not a problem in the City. The danube can`t flood Vienna anymore since there has been dug a second canal.
The climate will still be good even if temperature rise in summer or fall in winter.

I don`t understand why anyone would care about property prices.
You buy something to live there. When you resell it for less than you bought it you still have lived there.
Just sell it cheaper and cheaper to the next one and so on.
When you sold it go inland and you will get something similar without the coast for about the same price or cheaper (depends on wehre you go).
You don`t need to make profit when reselling a house. You don`t expect the same from reselling your old car.
When you die before you have to abandon your house everything is fine also. It will be washed away with no loss (There is a German saying: The last shirt has no pockets.)


Chris Winter said...

I came across this thread because of a Google Alert on my name. Interesting to see there is more than one "Chris Winter" working on climate change and sustainability.

As I see it, there are two social forces at play across North America at the moment -- one builds bunkers, the other builds bridges. The former is reflected in Tea Party politics, and the latter in a renewed sense of community-based development. The two have an interesting common element in that they are both looking for less big government solutions and a renewed emphasis on independence.

Sooner or later, by choice or by crisis, we will all live in a conserver society. Personally, I prefer sooner and by choice. It give us far more options and allows us to design a desirable future rather than have one forced upon us.

This is why, for me, the future of the environmental movement is local. We need to promote and support community networks, collaboration, and innovation. We need to build local and regional economies; and vibrant urban villages within efficient municipalities.

This may sound daunting, but it really isn't. It just means that the green movement needs to tap into, and support, the community-based movement that is already out there. It means a shift in focus from being an "environmental" movement to being more of a "social" movement. The bonus is that there is nothing like personal and local action to bolster the demand for progressive policy.

We may not be able to save our treasured consumer lifestyle, but at least we can make the transition to a conserver lifestyle a little easier.

Anonymous said...

thanks Chris,,,,, yes there is another Chris Winter posting at Joe Romm's Climate Progress blog......YOUR comments above well said. i agree.

ever heard of my POLAR CITIES ideas?


what is your POV on this?


Chris Winter said...

After checking your link and rereading many of the above posts here are my thoughts...
1. climate change is with us now and we are seeing extreme effects in pockets across the globe. We are also seeing increased consumption, especially as the heavily populated countries such as China and Inda catch up to our western lifestyle.
2. there are also zones of ecological resiliency - those areas least likely to suffer catastrophic change.
3. the far north is not one of them.
4. my money is on adaptation: to a changing climate, and to a conserver lifestyle. This is probably because a conserver lifestyle is the most palatable solution of all (actually better than the current conventional consumer lifestyle in most cases), it shows true leadership within the Western world, and because adaptation within changing environments is the least socially disruptive.
5. Even with the best adaptation strategies, we are going to have to deal with major ecological collapses and climate refugees. This is already posing a major problem for aid agencies working in the Sahel and other regions -- do they feed for today, build for tomorrow, or relocate entire communities?.
6. there's not telling the lengths that people with power or money will go to, so a built refuge of any size is not completely out of the question. Back to points #2 and 3, the polar regions are not likely to be where a contained refuge would be built. The polar regions will probably be subject to more conventional development first.