UPDATE 2-Global CO2 emissions hit record in 2011 led by China-IEA

"When I look at this data, the trend is perfectly in line with a temperature increase of 6 degrees Celsius (by 2050), which would have devastating consequences for the planet," Fatih Birol, IEA's chief economist told Reuters.

CO2 emissions rose by 3.2 pct last year

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Thanks for the update Ruth! I think it seems hotter in TX.

It's definitely hotter in NJ! We had only two snows, which is really weak judging from how I grew up, and one of them was in late October! The trees are not used to having leaves AND snow dumped on them, so there were falling branches EVERYWHERE, which knocked out power everywhere, and flooding - it was a serious spectacle!


I'm really thinking these days about what I should be investing in, what I should do with my money in general as far as maybe starting a business, and also places I should be looking to live, with access to fresh water and not too close to coasts which will be underwater. Any good long-term pointers on any of these or related points?

On east coast, I think you would be looking at New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, maybe Canada.  On west coast, there's Oregon, Washington, Vancouver.  Seattle and Vancouver are on the water, so if interested in major cities, that leaves Portland.  Portland has 2 rivers, but is very hilly, so mostly (not all) far above potential river flooding.  Portland uses water from Mt. Hood, but if snow doesn't accumulate there could be water shortage.  Of course, the Pacific Northwest does have its volcanoes, but the last one to seriously erupt was Mt. St. Helens in 1980, and there was lots of warning about that.  For most people here, it was just exciting.

Climate change will have a lot of unpredictable effects.  Will Alaska be like Miami?  CSI-Ankorage, featuring bikinis and volley ball?  Who knows.  What most think is there will be chaos, misery, and social disruption on a global scale.  It's kind of like watching the Titanic head toward an iceberg, and these reports are saying "iceberg in 60 minutes.  iceberg in 30 minutes.  iceberg in 15 minutes". 

If you think you have a long life ahead, and think you might be around in 30 years, you could do worse than move to a place that at least has a chance of staying afloat.  You may have to take in some refugees - better have an extra room or two.

Consider this sentence by Steven Cohen, Executive Director of Columbia University's Earth Institute, in his Huffington Post blog.

Politicians concerned about retaining power would never allow the world's economy to be slowed down to prevent climate change and so there is no chance that such a sudden and dramatic reduction in fossil fuel use would reach the political agenda...

Politicians in power are alpha males. What hubris, to imagine that you're an alpha male to planet Earth. Buried in this perspective is an anthropomophic presupposition that Mother Nature is their bitch, as if they could force nature to yield up her bounty by threat of force

They "will not allow" the economy to be slowed down, as if climate destabilization won't knock over the human economy like an elephant walking through grass. Will they demand the corn fields stop whining about heat and drought? Will they intimidate acidic seas into yielding bountiful seafood?

Thanks for the apt Titanic analogy, Sentient Biped. I'm feeling it too.

As a senior citizen, I expected to shuffle off before the shit really hit the fan. However impacts are looming.

Ruth, you are one of the few that recognizes the dilemma we face and offers material to explain it. I appreciate your participation educating others about the economic and political challenges facing us. There is still a lot of thinking to be done about how to go about managing one's life in facing all this. 

S.B. I agree with your assessment, especially the social upheaval that comes with all the changes taking place. 

Jedi, I was not aware of the consequences of our political and economic systems until I took a leadership course involving democracy. There were authors that stood out to help me understand what is happening and why. 

Keen, Steve, "Debunking Economics". He describes how the period after WWII and the New Deal involved protection for workers, break up of oligarchies, and the role of GI bill in educatinf a huge population of former uneducated people. Access to opportunity was the key issue. He then describes how the breakdown of these elements beginning in mid-1970s, and increase of women in the paid labor force, with family income requiring two paychecks to thrive. The role of private credit and credit cards put huge burdens on working people and changes in tax laws and deregulation took away protection of consumers. From 1970 to today, wage earner income has remained flat while production and profits have gone up precipitously. 

He has much more to say and he speaks English. He is worth the time to search out information you seek. 

Another who is easy for me to understand,  His diagnosis seems right on to me.
Martin Wolf, http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF7596480FD9AFB6C.

and Richard Wolff, I have trouble understanding how his remedy will work. http://youtu.be/0HTkEBIoxBA


"society should be analyzed not by who has wealth or power, but by who controls surplus.  Surplus is the profit left over after wages and materials have been paid for, and normally either a businesses owner or a small board of directors appropriates and controls all surplus."

As to investing, I boycott the trouble makers and legal thieves. Finding something to replace my teacher's pension is now a process of getting rid of the bad guys and looking for honorable and people willing to pay their fair share of taxes. If you find any, let me know. 

I wish it felt good to say to the climate change deniers, "I told you so!" Alas, no comfort in those words. 

David Orr says "climate destabilization" instead of waffling. Stop being "resolutely upbeat", he urges us, and speak the truth.

When in Doubt ...

Mark Twain once said that when in doubt, tell the truth because it amazes your friends and confounds your enemies. Applied to rapid climate changes gathering momentum the best chance we have of coming through the traumas ahead intact is to tell the truth about our situation -- without exaggeration or embellishment...

... imagine Winston Churchill saying to the British people in 1940 that the Nazi bombing of London presented a wonderful opportunity to build the city that Christopher Wren had proposed in the 17th century. Instead he offered only "blood, toil, tears, and sweat" and they responded heroically. Imagine Martin Luther King downsizing his "I Have a Dream" to merely to a jobs program instead of a moral challenge to the nation.

Told the truth about, say, life-threatening illnesses people can and often do rise to a higher level of awareness and behavior. Facing local disasters, people more often than not show a remarkable capacity to self-organize and cooperate... [emphasis mine]

Ruth, at seems to me the general public does not realize the challenges facing us and your use of Mark Twain's quote provides unforgettable images. I fear the dust bowl and rising waters will have to make their mark before many take heed. 

As David Orr wrote, "The picture is clear: If we humans want to hang around for a while we will have to quickly "disinvent fire" or else we'll fry. The big numbers that govern climate and Earth systems don't give a damn about Capitalism, the Dow Jones, or the American Dream. They work with no remorse whatsoever."

I am reposting David Orr's piece on Facebook. Thanks. 

Thanks for the reposting, Joan. After I read his article, I signed up to follow Orr's blog. (I'd never done that before.)

I've been thinking about our apparent impasse, "not having enough money" to invest in the alternative energy programs critical to civilization's survival, yet the super rich have the equivalent of the combined GDP of the US and Japan sequestered in tax havens. If the whole world's 99% got aroused enough we could force the release of three quarters of those funds to pay for a massive alternative energy project to save us all.

little fallout from the above-mentioned temperature rise, courtesy of a friend of mine on another board.


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