Transition Brockville archive

Category : Big picture (606)

Exploring timelapse in Google Earth

Google / 15 April 2021

See humanity’s impact on the Earth through a global time-lapse video of the planet since 1984.

Benefits of ‘drastic’ climate action outweigh costs: economists

CTV News / Patrick Galey / 30 March 2021

The cost of global warming will far outweigh the cost of rapidly cutting greenhouse gas emissions, more than 700 economists from around the world said Tuesday in an unprecedented call to climate action.

A major international survey found that nearly three-quarters of the economists responding believed that “immediate and drastic” action was needed to limit the fallout of climate change, warning that the costs of failing to slash carbon pollution would rapidly balloon to reach trillions of dollars every year.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Value(s) by Mark Carney – call for a new kind of economics

The Guardian / Will Hutton / 21 March 2021

In a mix of rich analysis mixed with pages that read like a dry Bank of England minute, he blames the three great crises of our times – the financial crash, the pandemic and the climate emergency (he is the UN’s special envoy on climate action and finance) – on twisted economics, an accompanying amoral culture, and degraded institutions whose lack of accountability and integrity accelerate the system’s dysfunction. Thus banks lost control of reality in a fantasy world in which balance sheets could grow exponentially without risk – another market would handle that – indulged by governments and regulators who believed that markets were always right. Then came the Covid pandemic, for which western governments were singularly unready, relying on dubious cost-benefit analysis rather than valuing what we as humans tend to – our lives and looking out for one another. The same mistake is being made with climate change.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Land could be worth more left to nature than when farmed

The Guardian / Phoebe Weston / 8 March 2021

The economic benefits of protecting nature-rich sites such as wetlands and woodlands outweigh the profit that could be made from using the land for resource extraction, according to the largest study yet to look at the value of protecting nature at specific locations.

Scientists analysed 24 sites in six continents and found the asset returns of “ecosystem services” such as carbon storage and flood prevention created by conservation work was, pound for pound, greater than manmade capital created by using the land for activities such as forestry or farming cereals, sugar, tea or cocoa.

The study, which was led by academics at Cambridge University with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), suggests further modifying nature for human use could be costing society more than it benefits it, but these “natural capital” costs are often not taken into account by decision-makers.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Mann: ‘Good people fall victim to doomism. I do too sometimes’

The Guardian / Jonathan Watts / 27 February 2021

The author and eminent climate scientist on the deniers’ new tactics and why positive change feels closer than it has done in 20 years

Michael E Mann is one of the world’s most influential climate scientists. He rose to prominence in 1999 as the co-author of the “hockey-stick graph”, which showed the sharp rise in global temperatures since the industrial age. This was the clearest evidence anyone had provided of the link between human emissions and global warming. This made him a target. He and other scientists have been subject to “climategate” email hacking, personal abuse and online trolling. In his new book, The New Climate War, he argues the tide may finally be turning in a hopeful direction.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

For energy security, power is the new oil

Forbes / Mark Finley / 25 February 2021

[ TB: “Power” as used here appears to mean “electricity”. ]

The deep freeze that afflicted the center of the US last week caused massive power outages in Texas and surrounding states. The plight of millions without power and heat captured the headlines and attracted world-wide attention.

In the meantime, other energy-related disruptions triggered by the same weather events remained largely unnoticed, despite the fact that any of one of them would be on the list of biggest US energy disruptions ever:

  • As much as 4 million barrels per day (Mb/d) of US oil production was shut-in, nearly 40% of domestic crude supply, with the Permian basin especially impacted;
  • Nearly 6 Mb/d US Gulf Coast refining capacity was shut-in (roughly 30% of the national total);
  • Up to 20 billion cubic feet per day of US natural gas production was shut-in (20% of total production);

What little discussion there was of shortages at gasoline stations and of natural gas outages, was in the context of the power outages.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

Inner Transition is occasionally overlooked in favour of more immediately ‘practical’ undertakings, reinforcing an observed and acknowledged division in many Transition Initiatives between “doers” and “talkers”, but for Transition Initiatives looking to foster a kind of community resilience that is equitable, inclusive, nimble, responsive, caring, and cohesive, Inner Transition efforts are a necessary place to start.

— Anne Rucchetto, Blake Poland
TB Projects

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