Monday, October 21, 2019

Five Billion - Does That Get Your Attention?

Five by fifty - there's a catchy way to remember it. Five billion by 2050 will be beset by hunger and a lack of clean water if we stay on the current path. That'll be about half the world's population in 2050, if wars and plagues don't clean them out long before that.

The good news - most of the loss and suffering will be focused on Africa and Asia. The bad news - we live in a global civilization that tenaciously clings to a global economy that enshrines perpetual exponential growth and so we can expect to feel the knock-on effects.
Climate activists have been telling us for a while now that global warming isn’t just about the polar bears, so it’s hardly breaking news that humans are going to suffer because nature is suffering. But what is new about this model is the degree of geographic specificity. It pinpoints the places where projected environmental losses overlap with human populations who depend on those resources and maps them with a nifty interactive viewer
This model identifies not just the general ways climate change harms the environment and how people will feel those changes, but also where these changes will likely occur, and how significant they’ll be. It’s an unprecedented degree of detail for a global biodiversity model. 
The model looks at three specific natural systems that humans benefit from: pollination (which enables crops to grow), freshwater systems (which provide drinking water), and coastal ecosystems (which provide a buffer from storm surges and prevent erosion). Using fine-scale satellite imagery, the team of scientists mapped predicted losses to these natural systems onto human population maps. The resulting map allows you to see how many people could be impacted by environmental changes, and where. 
“We were specifically trying to look at how nature is changing in delivering [a] benefit, and then where it overlaps with people’s needs,” said Rebecca Chaplin-Kramer, the lead scientist at the Natural Capital Project, a Stanford University-based research group that produced the study.
To understand why the Natural Capital Project’s model is groundbreaking, you need to understand a little bit about past attempts to gauge how the environmental effects of climate change will impact people. It’s a pretty hard thing to do — natural processes are interconnected systems, and many of the ways that humans benefit from these natural processes (what scientists call “ecosystem services” or “nature’s contributions to humanity”) aren’t obvious. 
“The real challenge, with nature’s contributions to people, is that it benefits us in so many ways that it’s sort of mind-boggling,” Chaplin-Kramer said. “It’s just so abstract that it tends to be disregarded.”
You see, natural capital is what keeps people alive. It's what keeps pretty much everything alive. And what keeps you alive, you might agree, has value. That's not hard to grasp, is it?

But natural capital has almost no value to the guy you will elect as our next prime minister today. We've been treating nature, natural capital, as a giant freebie especially when it comes to those massively profitable fossil energy giants. We're afraid if we dare ask them to pay for what they freely take and what they freely foul, they'll bugger off. They've got us by the cojones and they know it.  That's why, kids, the IMF claims Canadian governments are subsidizing the energy giants to the tune of $60 billion every year but our governments lie to us and tell us it's a mere $2 billion.

The thing about democracy is that every voice is to be heard and our rulers are to govern with the informed consent of the public. That shit all goes out the window when they mask the truth and their real intentions by feeding us fabrications, distortions and distractions.

Today you get to vote and, like it or not, you may be putting your thumb on the scale. We've all got our thumb on that scale now. Act like it.


Anonymous said...

"The good news - most of the loss and suffering will be focused on Africa and Asia."

I don't suppose Africa and Asia inhabitants will find this good news, and they're humans too. Late to the party, first to get kicked out while enduring loss and suffering.

I don't think this is actually what you meant. You might want to re-word that.


the salamander said...

.. what if the deal, the new deal, the real deal.. was we shut off all oil and gas subsidies ? Over, Rover.. all gone.. The Prime Minister and his PMO are our employees.. not royalty. So the real money could be distributed to paying for localized refining.. Canadian owned and operated upgrading, connection to main existing pipeline feeds, east, west, north and excess as exports to friendly American states.

OK OK .. I can imagine the howling and screetching.. but Alberta could face reality. Sl could the rest of Canada. Sure the resources are in their provinces, Amen.. so get used to realism instead of dreamland. Bitumen harvest would be only for those markets.. domestic & some to America. Remediation could be appraised be started or restarted .. show Canadians you will pay the freight re remediation or uh, well.. pull up stakes & f off.. they plan to anyway. Alberta and the feds forgot or forgave to collect the remediation $$$ IN ADVANCE.. right.. All those annual give aways, all those sweetheart low royalties, all those deals for political donations in the trash basket ! Holy Hell.. anarchy ? Or an awakening to reality..

All that money available for green or renewable development.. infrastructure, jobs, retraining, support, retool for other progressive industry, research.. Science & Biology.. remediation of salmon streams, restocking.. what a scandal eh ? Reality !! The next four years, regardless of the 'wiinner' or 'losers.. has to be about conforming politcs to serve US.. Fire the party Whips.. they're a blight on riding democracy.. screw their chokehold.. WE apply the chokeholds .. WE are the employer.. they our employees.. How did we let this get backasswards ? No Whips.. no Backroom orders.. no scams, no secret deals, no dark donations.

Radical eh ? Reality instead of sold out or captured dreamland.. and screw the lobbyists too.. that's an industry we cannot afford.. and take the pollsters and hired PR firms, every Party hires wih ya.. just more excess baggage

Ya want to streamline your budget ? Start as per above.. and get real or just go..

The Mound of Sound said...

BM - it's called sarcasm.