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Archive for the ‘Climate Change’ Category

2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years

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2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years”, written by Jorgen Randers (Co-Author of “The Limits to Growth”, launched by the Club of Rome on May 7, raises the possibility that humankind might not survive on the planet if it continues on its path of over-consumption and short-termism.

In the Report author Jorgen Randers raises essential questions: How many people will the planet be able to support? Will the belief in endless growth crumble? Will runaway climate change take hold? Where will quality of life improve, and where will it decline? Using painstaking research, and drawing on contributions from more than 30 thinkers in the field, he concludes that:

– While the process of adapting humanity to the planet’s limitations has started, the human response could be too slow.
– The current dominant global economies, particularly the United States, will stagnate. Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa and ten leading emerging economies (referred to as ‘BRISE’ in the Report) will progress.
– But there will still be 3 billion poor in 2052.
– China will be a success story, because of its ability to act.
– Global population will peak in 2042, because of falling fertility in urban areas
– Global GDP will grow much slower than expected, because of slower productivity growth in mature economies.
– CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere will continue to grow and cause +2°C in 2052; temperatures will reach +2.8°C in 2080, which may well trigger self-reinforcing climate change.

Written by mo

December 2nd, 2012 at 6:47 pm

U.S. food banks running low on supplies

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Reuters reports that the U.S. food banks are starting to run low on supplies, caused by a combination of this years drought, raising food prices (again, caused by drought and endless money printing by governments) and a general lack of funds, due to budget cuts across the board. Mind you, we’re talking about those food programs, which are currently supplying close to 50 million of US citizen with food aid. That’s almost 1 in 6 Americans…

Executives at major food banks across the United States worry they will not be able to keep pace with demand, which they don’t expect to ease until more Americans find better paying jobs. In a sign of how stressed the budgets of many Americans are, a record 47.1 million people used food stamps in August 2012, up from 45.8 million the year earlier.

With such pressures at work, on-hand supplies at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank have fallen from a peak of about 3.3 weeks in 2010 to less than two weeks – the lowest in recent history, according to its president and CEO, Michael Flood.

Tightening food supplies last summer forced the food bank to start a waiting list because it does not have enough inventory to expand beyond the 640 agencies it already supplies with food. There are now 565 nonprofits on the waiting list, Flood said.

And of course it doesn’t look like things are going to get better anytime soon:

But they are bracing for more challenges in 2013. Food prices are forecast to move even higher, making it harder for people with limited means to stretch their money.

Current proposals for the new U.S. farm bill – which sets funding for TEFAP and the food stamp program – include small increases for TEFAP.

But those increases would be dwarfed by proposals for billion-dollar cuts to the food stamp program.

Washington’s the “fiscal cliff” fight over planned tax increases and spending cuts due to start in January is adding to the anxiety, since sharply partisan U.S. lawmakers need to come together to avert a big hit to the economy that likely would hurt the country’s most vulnerable.

Read the full story

Written by mo

November 25th, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Dennis Meadows – Economics and Limits to Growth

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Watch this talk by Dennis Meadows at the Population Institute. It touches upon a vast number of important topics from resource depletion to overpopulation.

Written by mo

April 10th, 2012 at 6:06 pm

World flood map

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Have you ever wondered what the impact of rising sea levels would actually look like? Well, I have – especially what kind of difference the best-case (0-3 meter) and worst-case (12-13 meters, up to 20) scenarios make… Wonder no more – here’s a very nice one!

If you live in a coastal area or anywhere else near the sea, I suggest you check it out and think about planing your life accordingly. Hell, it’s worth checking out even if you’re living in a completely landlocked area.

 

And here’s the explanation how it actually works, in case you wondered (hint: Google Maps API + NASA data + a skilled hacker from the UK). Yes, there are quite a few non-trivial problems and inaccuracies due to the available data, but at the very least it’s way better than just guesstimating the geographic impact of rising sea levels.

Written by mo

January 6th, 2012 at 12:08 am

Posted in Climate Change

Peter Ward on Global Warming

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From the bigthink series How Will the World Really End?, Peter Ward talking about the changes in global temperature during the history of our planet, the current developments and likely causes and some of the not-so-obvious possible results (like global anoxia of the oceans) of an increase in temperature on a global scale and the likely economic impact of even a rather small rise in sea levels, rare earth theory, extraterrestrial intelligent life, saganization in science and the failure of modern science in communicating with the average person, the upcoming need for the relocation of cities and much more…

Content:

  • We’re Headed for a Hothouse World
  • The Seas Could Turn to Sulfur
  • Antarctica’s Feeling the Heat. Are We?
  • The Recession: Humanity’s Best Hope
  • Is Life Suicidal?
  • The Oddest Little Planet in the Galaxy?
  • Why ET Never Calls
  • How to Fix Science
  • Scrapping the Gaia Hypothesis
  • Peter Ward’s Hero
  • What Keeps Peter Ward Up At Night

 

Peter D. Ward, Ph.D., is a paleontologist and professor in the Departments of Geology and Biology at the University of Washington in Seattle. He also serves as an adjunct professor of zoology and astronomy. His research specialties include the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event and mass extinctions generally. His books include the best-selling “Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe” (co-author Donald Brownlee, 2000), “Under a Green Sky: Global Warming, the Mass Extinctions of the Past, and What They Can Tell Us About Our Future” (2007), and “The Medea Hypothesis: Is Life on Earth Ultimately Self-Destructive?” (2009).

Written by mo

January 1st, 2012 at 9:57 pm

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