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The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian
The problem is political. A fascinating analysis by the social science professor Kevin MacKay contends that oligarchy has been a more fundamental cause of the collapse of civilisations than social complexity or energy demand. Control by oligarchs, he argues, thwarts rational decision-making, because the short-term interests of the elite are radically different to the long-term interests of society. This explains why past civilisations have collapsed “despite possessing the cultural and technological know-how needed to resolve their crises”. Economic elites, which benefit from social dysfunction, block the necessary solutions.
economics  climatechange  politics 
yesterday by juliusbeezer
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Cities have two main challenges, the and the capacity to deal with global society challenges as refu…
climatechange  from twitter_favs
yesterday by edsonm
Is Your Home At Risk Of Flooding From Rising Seas By 2050? Check This Map.
Homeowners in these areas will need to get used to flooding year after year.
softapocalypse  flooding  rpg  climatechange 
2 days ago by josephaleo
'Evacuation fatigue': danger after people flee wildfires five times in two years
Authorities fear that residents will increasingly ignore repeated calls to flee as devastating wildfires become routine.
softapocalypse  rpg  climatechange  wildfires 
2 days ago by josephaleo
Svalbard Global Seed Vault - Crop Trust
Deep inside a mountain on a remote island in the Svalbard archipelago, halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, lies the Global Seed Vault.
rpg  softapocalypse  climatechange 
2 days ago by josephaleo
Purple bacteria can turn sewage into clean hydrogen energy while reducing carbon emissions from waste treatment.
The new method reduces carbon emissions and turns wastewater treatment plants into green generators. A significant downside to wastewater treatment plants is their carbon footprint. Now, researchers have found a way to reduce carbon emissions from sewage and produce hydrogen energy at the...
greenEconomy  climateChange  scienceAdvancement  win 
2 days ago by joeybaker
The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? | Environment | The Guardian
A journalist at the Daily Mail, which was one of the first newspapers on the plastic beat, told me that they received more mail about plastic than any other environmental issue (“beats climate change every time,” they said).
And then there is Blue Planet II. Last December, the final episode of the series dedicated six minutes to the impact of plastic on sea life. There was a turtle, hopelessly tangled in plastic netting, and an albatross, dead, from shards of plastic lodged in her gut. “It was the biggest reaction to anything in the whole series,” Tom McDonald, head of commissioning at the BBC, told me. “People didn’t just want to talk about the episode – which is the usual – they were asking us how to fix things.” Over the next few days, politicians fielded calls and received a flood of emails from their constituents who felt moved to action by the programme. People started referring to the “Blue Planet II effect” to explain why public opinion had shifted against plastic so decisively.

The shift in thinking started with the public outcry over microbeads, the small, abrasive grains of plastic that companies began pouring into cosmetic and cleaning products in the mid-1990s to add grit… Scientists began raising the alarm about potential dangers posed to sea life in 2010, and people were shocked to learn that microbeads were in thousands of products, from Johnson & Johnson’s spot-clearing face scrubs, to supposedly eco-friendly brands like the Body Shop.

The public turn against plastic was not foreseen by scientists or environmental activists, most of whom are used to their warnings going unheeded. In fact, today some scientists seem vaguely embarrassed by the scale of the backlash. “I scratch my head about it every day,” says the Imperial College oceanographer Erik van Sebille. “How is plastic public enemy No 1? That should be climate change.” Other scientists I spoke to downplayed plastic pollution as one problem among many, albeit one that had crowded out public interest in more pressing problems.
But unlike climate change, which seems vague, vast, and apocalyptic, plastic is smaller, more tangible, it is in your life right now. “The public doesn’t make these fine calculations – this is X times worse than that,” says Tom Burke, a former director of Friends of the Earth. “A moment crystallises and people see that other people feel the same way they do about an issue, then you get a push. People just want things fixed.”

There is a slight tinge of mania to all this. Natalie Fee, an activist who founded the Bristol-based campaign group City to Sea, told me that after appearing on the BBC last year to talk about plastic she began receiving multiple requests to speak at banks and corporate boardrooms about her work, like a motivational guru. And there is also a clear note of opportunism. A former highly placed staff member at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) told me that the recent focus on plastics was widely seen within the department as a ministerial scramble for popular non-partisan policies to fill the void after the Brexit referendum. “[Michael] Gove was keen to show we could do it alone, and to show he was doing something good as environment secretary. It’s turned out both of those have worked really well for plastics,” the Defra staffer said.
environment  plastic  climatechange 
2 days ago by gimber
California's Deadly Wildfires: The Worst Is Yet to Come - The Atlantic
Yet the worst is probably still to come for much of the state. The California fire season usually ends with the first rains of fall. In recent years, these rains have been arriving later, and precipitation has concentrated in the darkest winter months. California’s hilly scrubland is at its driest—and most fire-prone—right before the rains arrive, so their delay can lengthen and intensify the fire season. Climate change appears likely to push the rains to even later in the year.
USA  California  wildfire  CampFire  WoolseyFire  climateChange  rain  fire 
2 days ago by petej

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