The Living Thing / Notebooks :

Climate change

The malign conspiracy of the incumbent powers, the laws of physics, against the plucky underdog, coal megacorporations

Dealing with it, predicting it etc.

1200 years of kyoto cherry blossom records Source: The Economist

I’d been arguing that my research is in some way relevant to this. Specifically, I’d argued that a model of technology is important to consider climate change adaptation strategies – e.g. to cost them, to make arguments about it in policy circles.

When I last visited my friend, economist Kathryn Smith she argued that this is bollocks, since (don’t quote her on this; this is my from-memory understanding) any conceivable gains in technological efficiency are dwarfed both in magnitude and in variance, by the costs of climate change mitigation – essentially, she posits, a couple of orders of magnitudes of improvements in industrial process make at most a few percent difference to the projected bottom line costs of climate change. (citation needed) In any case, the projected costs of runaway climate change are large and also highly uncertain. A few percentage points don’t change that you are fucked, just marginally change your expected degree of fuckedness.

Hm. I’d like a reference for that.

Anyway, here are some other things upon which I’d like to expand.

Fixing climate change

Mitigating, capitalising upon

Chicago’s Future of water

“We’re going to be like the Saudi Arabia of freshwater. This is one of the best places in the world to live out global warming.”

Robert Pollin, De-growth vs a green new deal

it is in fact absolutely imperative that some categories of economic activity should now grow massively—those associated with the production and distribution of clean energy. Concurrently, the global fossil-fuel industry needs to contract massively—that is, to ‘de-grow’ relentlessly over the next forty or fifty years until it has virtually shut down. In my view, addressing these matters in terms of their specifics is more constructive in addressing climate change than presenting broad generalities about the nature of economic growth, positive or negative.

Carbon offsets

Opinion dynamics of climate change science

Bathtub Dynamics

Mental models of climate change and their difficulties for our ape brains. TBD.

Graphing it