(We know this transcript sucks, we'll fix it as soon as we can!)
[0:05] I'm David Torcivia.
[0:07] I'm Daniel Forkner.
[0:09] And this is Ashes Ashes, a show about systemic issues, cracks in civilization, collapse of the environment, and if we're unlucky, the end of the world.
[0:19] But if we learn from all of this, maybe we can stop that. The world might be broken, but it doesn't have to be.
[0:31] Climate change is is shaping the future of our civilization action is not taken it will take the planet into an unprecedented climate future if we compared to what has happened during all of human evolutionary history so the scale, all of the changes that we are experiencing in the climate system is unprecedented. The scale of the changes that humans would have to implement in order to keep climate change under control is unprecedented so it's a challenge for human civilization and this report, is it definitely might Stone in conveying that message to Human Society.
[1:14] That's right David that was a member of the 48 session of the ipcc and first joint session of working groups 1 2 & 3 holding a press conference on the 8th of October in the Republic of Korea, announcing the release of a brand new ipcc report the ipcc of course being the intergovernmental panel on climate change, and they offer their estimates of how we might get to a world of 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer then pre-industrial levels at 1750, they offer a comparison of how the world might be different in a 1.5 degree scenario versus a 2 degrees Celsius scenario. And they offer what they believe are strong recommendations of how we can avoid what is honestly David a catastrophe looming on the horizon.
[2:08] By now it's certain that in the media you've seen the Doom surrounding this report and I've heard it from people who aren't normally interested in climate change how scared they are other things that this report predicts could happen if drastic action is not taken, but here in ashes ashes we are never content just to sit here and take things at face value into this report, and as you might expect we found that things might be worse than even what the media is screaming about.
[2:38] Perhaps ways that they fall short in the recommendations of what we really need to do in order to truly a vertice crisis and, this will be somewhat of a complex show not necessarily complicated in the details we'll discuss but maybe complex in the structure of this discussion the subject of course is this ipcc report and we'll go over some of the details in that report maybe summarize what they're trying to say, some of the implications that we see for our environment. And then the bulk of the show will be focused on ways that the intergovernmental panel on climate change fails to properly address This Global crisis. And we'll use that ipcc failure to point out broader failures of our economy and clues as to how we should go forward. Know any discussion of climate changes is honestly pretty dark David I mean. Just thinking about it often leaves me with a little bit of existential dread but we hope to leave you the listener with a little bit of Hope and maybe some inspiration about a world that we can envision, a future that we should strive towards in the face of this existential threat.
[3:47] So let's get this boring stuff out of the way and it's that was the Baseline information that this report tries to get across,
A 1.5C World [3:54] more or less this all comes down to the fact that humans have caused the world to warm between .8 degrees Celsius and 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels since 1750. Now the rate of this warming is a direct result of human activity and right now that's around .2 degrees every 10 years. So this means at current rates we should expect a 1.5 c summer between 2030 and 2052 depending on our actions, now of course any warming is bad in terms of the stress it places on not just human systems but natural ones as well. A warmer Planet means drought unpredictable and violent weather patterns. During Hurricane Season that means more frequent and much larger typhoons and storms and during Summers the frequency and intensity of wildfires will increase just as we're seeing now it means extreme heat in mid-latitudes which will disrupt crops in human life it means the disruption of important ecosystem services like a building for ocean habitat to absorb that carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, it means dramatic sea level rise what shortens all the beautiful sand castles that we built along our Coast. But you already know this because you listen to this show.
[5:09] The ipcc report points out the obvious that risks to human and natural systems increase with warming, 82 degrees Celsius increase is worse than 1.5 and pointing out these different scenarios is perhaps important for understanding the risks and the way that these consequences scale, an exponential rate for instant at 1.5 degrees we should expect the Arctic to experience an ice free summer every 100 years. But at 2 degrees this would occur once every 10 years, this is of course significant for many reasons which we go over in our very first podcast episode then ice and for coral reefs 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming means a further 70 to 90% destruction worldwide, where is at 2 degrees so we have a total and absolute collapse of coral reefs pretty much everywhere, but there are also additional variables that play then just the global temperature itself, the rate at which we arrive at a higher temperature plays an important role the faster the Earth warms the more dramatic the impact even if we ultimately taper off at the same degree of warming. In addition because the impacts of warming are dramatic, they're often irreversible meaning is much better to slowly heartwarming at that 1.5 degree level or lower than it would be to allow it to exceed it and then try to bring it back down.
[6:36] Or another illustration sea level rise is already baked into our climate systems there's no way that we can stop the oceans rising at this point, but the rate at which the sea level climbed will depend on the rate we allow warming to continue from the report quote sea levels will continue to rise well beyond 2100 and the magnitude and rate of this rise depends on future admission pathways. A slower rate of sea level rise enables greater opportunities for adaptation in the human and ecological systems of small Islands low-lying coastal areas and Delta's in the quote. So even if we can halt current warming at 1.5 degrees C C levels will continue to rise for centuries to come. In part because your reversible instabilities in the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets are likely to be triggered from warming in the next few decades which will catalyzed Unstoppable melting over thousands of years.
[7:34] The ipcc outlined a few different Pathways by which our actions could lower the risk of the earth warming to that 1.5 number,
Preventing A 1.5C World [7:43] and it's important to size the Monumental nature of these pathways. In the second worst pathway the worst case scenario being our current path which is doing nothing we reached Net Zero carbon emissions by 2055. And this requires admission to basically drop off a cliff starting and just 20/20 and further that we significantly reduce all non carbon dioxide radiative forcing after 20-30 and this includes things like methane nitrous oxide of the aerosols that plane to me and other human-caused factors like our Land Management and our agricultural choices. But even this pathway we sacrificed so much still results and warming range between 1 degrees C and 1.8.
[8:27] In the best-case pathway we reach Net Zero carbon emissions 15 years earlier so that's by 2040, and that results in a projected range of warming that halts summer between just under 1 C or about current levels we could still climb as high as 1.7 degrees Celsius, think about this for a moment the most dramatic shift in human civilization our economy our standard of living in the history. All humankind still will only put us in an extreme future, this is how serious this story is and then we'll discuss this more as the episode was on but we promise that is Dumas is already starting out that that it isn't all negativity and there is some hope here to be found.
[9:12] So of course the ipcc recommends ways that we might achieve these Pathways in and hopefully that best case scenario pathway and they make it clear that the current situation is dire, and so I response must be a media and dramatic to avoid 1.5 degrees of warming we need to cut carbon emissions by 45%. Not from our current levels that's 45% less than what we produced in 2010 and according to the report if we want to avoid overshoot of human civilization we must begin this rapid reduction well before 2030. At the latest by 2020 as you pointed out there and by 2050 just 32 years from now our admissions need to hit NetZero. So that means going from over 36 Giga tons of CO2.
[10:02] Gigaton of course meaning billions.
[10:05] 36 billion tons of CO2 emitted this year and we need to drop that to zero. Now in order to achieve that the ipcc makes several recommendations like huge emission reductions in pretty much every single sector of the economy they stress the importance of investing in new technologies like renewable energy solar wind Hydro. We need changes in Land Management we need to change the way we build our structures we need to change the way we use land for agriculture or energy, and they also recommend several methods for directly capturing carbon from the air remember we can do that through natural systems like a forest station, in addition in several Pathways the ipcc assumes that in order to avoid this catastrophe we will need to employ certain Technologies to remove CO2 from the atmosphere through Technologies like direct air carbon capture and storage and bioenergy in carbon capture storage which is something we're going to go over in a little bit.
[11:03] And as alarm is as we sound right now and throughout the show we're not the only ones with this message.
[11:09] Can I just make the comment that saying option X or option why is not the way this report is framed, the world or does not work in relation to the ambition of 1.5 degrees warming the only linking words you can use his and there is a very clear message that in the pathways that we have assessed all auctions need to be exercised in order to achieve the kind of level of ambition of 1.5 degrees the idea that you can leave anything out it is not possible so the key thing is auction X & auction y and options e it is the only option we really have you to achieve this kind of Life of ambition.
[11:53] But of course there are problems with some of these recommendations for One Mini the pathways projected make huge assumptions about our ability to employ technology that frankly has yet to be developed, for instance when it comes to renewable energy, despite the fact that we sourced 80% of our energy from fossil fuels the ipcc models possibility that by 2050 up to 85% of our energy Supply will come from Renewables, after the technology required to make that transition possible the ipcc merely states that quote. Well if knowledge in the challenges and differences between the options and National circumstances the feasibility of solar energy wind energy and electricity storage Technologies has substantially improved over the past few years, these improvements signal a potential system transition in electricity generation in quote. We don't have the technology but we've made progress so hopefully it'll keep going that way and eventually will have it and it'll stay with smaller problem.
[12:52] And this is kind of a foreshadowing of things to come and problems within this report where, I mean that's a pretty dramatic shift will use a vast majority of all our energy comes from fossil fuels and they're basically saying, somehow by investing in technology that hasn't been proven yet and hasn't been scaled and would require a complete transformation of our our electrical grids which is something David we covered in episode 13 lights out. The assumption is just that this will just magically happen in this is a bit discouraging especially given that at this moment, every single National pledge committed to combating climate change falls short of even what the ipcc claims is necessary in this report, and these claims themselves likely fall short of what is actually necessary.
[13:39] Absolutely fall short which one will get to don't worry.
Ecological Consequences Of 1.5C
[13:42] Yeah but let's take a step back real quick David because.
[13:50] Find people of how this can impact the very sensitive ecological habitats and services that we rely on every day.
[13:58] Yeah that's a great idea because if we take out the ecologically component of everything going on here we're just saying well we don't want it to be slightly hotter or little bit storm here which is understandable. Which understand that these systems that are all around us that we depend on for a very survival are hugely dependent and responsive to even small fluctuations in temperature and the natural systems of Earth can be thrown very quickly out of whack, and that unfortunately affects us and could throw us off the Earth as well as in earlier that 1.5 degrees Celsius number that is the Baseline that we're desperately trying to stay under, well that figure which is considered basically a best case scenario if we can hate it that puts up to 90% of all coral reefs on Earth at risk, and if we surpassed that number and hit 2 degrees Celsius which is something that is hugely likely if not inevitable at this point. Basically every coral reef currently on this planet is dead.
[14:55] But David why do I care beyond the fact that they're colorful and I won't be able to scuba dive in the tropical islands that I vacation it.
[15:03] Will Daniel if you want to play the heartless Devil's Advocate fair enough. Coral reefs have a huge number of things and make an important to the Earth and to each and everyone of us and they make up less than 1% of ocean habitats but these are some of the most diverse habitats on the planet, and they provided number of and I will services do us humans now warming Trends coral reefs most notably through a symbiotic relationship with algae. Corals get their color from the algae that lives in their cells is a symbiotic relationship and a source of food for the coral but when the ocean warms around these Coral habitats Beyonce becomes damaged Advent accumulation of dead cells, corals a check them this causes the coils to lose their color and fat phrase that you've heard so much Coral bleaching who without this symbiotic relationship goals like they're necessary nutrition and are at greater risk for disease and ultimately death.
[15:59] Yet in this symbiotic relationship is pretty sensitive, in 2005 half of all coral reefs in the Caribbean were lost after warm Waters flowed into the area at temperatures exceeding every single record for the previous 150 years in that area. 80% of the coral was bleached and 1/2 were lost. The stress experienced by the coral and just that one event was greater than the past two decades combined with a huge bleaching event, extremely catastrophic that was just totally unprecedented and came about seemingly instantaneously and that's the type of future were looking at here David, not one in which we slowly adapt to a changing World which all systems are merely altered but held intact we're looking at a future in which large sweeping systems suddenly experience catastrophic failure as a result of the dramatic. Unpredictable shifts caused by increased climate variability but again why do I care.
[16:59] Well I'm sure there are still many many people out there that hear this news about things like whole reason to shrug their shoulders like well you know, I live in New York City I go to the movies I have a good job what do I care about a coral reef I mean it's sad that this beautiful places lost but it doesn't affect me, so we want to highlight Sony's important facts real quick just have some of the Irreplaceable values these coral reefs offer. We touched just briefly on the value of the biodiversity in the episode Irreplaceable, coral reefs support more diversity of species than any other ocean habitat their home to over 4,000 fish species to Coral species themselves and there's an estimated 1 to 8 million undiscovered species that are currently living among these coral reefs. And as you'd expect from such a diverse habitats these reefs are crucial for Feud Security in Minion trees as much as 25% of the total fish catch its source from these Reef habitats. And we discuss this in episode 42 no catch even in the 18th century people recognize the value of coral reefs as nurseries or young fish. And we need all the help we can get the ipcc reports that at 1.5 degrees C fish cats worldwide will The Climb by 1.5 million tons and it doubles to 3 million times if we had two degrees.
[18:18] Cerise I'm going to raising the fish we need and it's not to mention the other tangible benefits we derive from these trees. Things like medicine reef animals and plants provide medicines which we were lying for research and treatments for diseases as wide-ranging is cancer arthritis bacterial infections and even virus.
[18:38] Getting and losing fish dock to something that is actually pretty tangible we should be able to visualize how that would impact Our Lives when our food security is threatened but, another great example of their values is kind of the ways they protect us that we don't really think about we mention sea level rise and right now, there are nearly 500 million people around the globe. Actively being protected from some of the consequences of sea-level Rise due to the protection that they enjoy from Reese on their Coast which can absorb the shock from waves prevent a rosian on the coast, help avoid property damage. It's all these types of habitats there's so many services that we rely on for our survival that we kind of take for granted and we don't realize the value they provided us until we lose them and then it's too late.
[19:28] But David we touch on specific climate topics in episodes that we dedicate to them specifically and we have a number of episodes on everything from wildfires to the sea level rise melting sea ice in the Arctic that we alluded to air pollution and we encourage you to check out specific episode we've done on the way that this climate change impacts specific systems and regions of our world, one of our favorite episodes was last gas where we talked about unforeseen consequences of this climate change particularly in the accumulation of CO2, where we traditionally think of CO2 as this greenhouse gas which is contributing the most to global warming which is true but often what we don't think about is how this directly affects our health, where we evolved under a certain Baseline of parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere but we now have to live with almost double that and the applications that has where are cognition and are held goes pretty deep and not many people are talking about that but so we do cover these and other episodes we don't want to go too deep in them there any topics that you are listeners would like us to cover specifically let us know leave a comment in the Reddit post for this episode or send us an email.
[20:37] Yeah like Daniel mention we spend so much time exploring many of these climate environmental and other topics throughout this series. So we're not going to waste any more time going to the background of everything right now there's plenty of backlog feel free to take. So instead let's turn our attention to this ipcc report and specifically the failures it has Within.
Ipcc Failures [20:59] Probably we can classify the failures of this report into categories what they left out and what they are grown easily assumed now what they let that is well significance and we've gotten across the severity of the situation as already outlined by the ipcc and we mentioned that no nation has even bothered to pledge to make the necessary steps to enable the pathways for a good case scenario interport so it's already and we already need your Matic change would that brings his question, what do they leave out and how much worse is it actually. Okay Daniel and listeners at home we have a bunch of links on our website of PDFs from this report we could you to check them out, but I want everyone who is reading along to turn to chapter 2 of the full report. And scroll down to section 2.2.1 .22 point-to-point 1.2.
[21:56] 2.2 point on my God that's so many numbers.
[21:58] It specifically page 2-17 down at line number 23 Daniel and and read that sentence.
[22:06] Okay 23 the reduced complexity climate models employed in this assessment do not take into account permafrost or non CO2 Earth system feedbacks, although the Magic model has a permafrost module that can be an able taking the current climate and Earth system feedback understanding together, there is a possibility that these models would underestimate the longer-term future temperature response to stringent emission pathways. That's the end of the quote David.
[22:37] Okay so everyone this is the most important sentence in this entire report and if you read the actual chapters I it's literally well over a thousand pages I mean this is dense but this sentence right here is important because it tells us one. At the fact that the report that's published and went out to media that everyone has been talking about how we had 12 years left to save the world and really its 11 because their number is 2020 in 2018 is almost over. 3 of aloe.
[23:03] Are we still got a full month David come on now.
[23:06] Okay we have 11 years and 1 month left to save the world the really get our butts in gear.
[23:12] Don't take my Christmas away from me.
[23:13] But the problem is is that number was calculated by leaving out huge amounts of feedback systems and if they say that right here and I love this language you use here there is a possibility that these models would under estimate of course there's a possible it's going to estimate this thing you took out some of the largest feedback loops of global warming because either the signs wasn't there for modeling this because it was politically inconvenient to do that because of political pressures from the governmental organizations that basically make up the ipcc, and demand that it has to meet certain ideas of what is acceptable or what is it or because people in the scientific Community have a tendency to just be conservative, and not one overestimate things in and be seen as alarm is but.
[23:58] Real quick David I do want to get into the details of of the severity of leaving out things like permafrost but I think the concept of feedback loops is really important I mean it's really Central to any discussions of climate systems and ecological systems in you know going back to our very first episode thin ice I do remember you talked about the feedback system in the Arctic for example where. Does all this ice up there and it helps to reflect much of the sunlight and and help keep the Earth cool but as the climate warms and that warming happens three to four times faster in the Arctic than anywhere else that ice melts which means there's less of it to reflect, back that sunlight and then when it comes back because it's newer eyes if not as reflective so the Earth continues to warm which melts more eyes which means less I'll be there which means less reflecting the sun which warms the Earth more is it creates this I mean that's the feedback the more warming that occurs there are a number of systems that then accelerate that warming getting back into themselves and encouraging even more warming and it kind of creates this runaway thing and that's what we mean when we say like things like sea level rise is already baked in even if we could take out all the CO2 that we put into the the system. Some of these feedback loops have been triggered and we can't get them back because I just set off this runaway process.
[25:17] Exactly Daniel and these feedback loops are what really Drive The Runaway nature of climate change emissions increased every year what is the things that the compound are contributions to this overall heat and carbon system that makes it so dangerous and turns it into that famous hockey stick graph that Al Gore talked about all those years ago. And one of the most important feedback loops and what are the largest contributors of carbon dioxide and methane the more potent of the greenhouse gases, is the melting of the permafrost in the northern and southern hemispheres of the world, and this is predominantly Northern history of thing in life Dental mention the Arctic is warming much faster than the rest of the world and this is compounding the effect of this permafrost, and we do talk about this another episodes but it is a Frozen, so basically in an extreme latitudes far north or south it's so cold year-round that this soil freezes and never thought it's permanently frosted permantly Frozen permafrost.
[26:21] And what that means is that when organic matter decays in the soil, it freezes in that shuts down the rot and that rot is what releases carbon dioxide or methane in the atmosphere and so what we have right now is basically a time capsule, and in quite literally and in places this is why you find frozen wooly mammoths and things what is a time capsule of Frozen, carpet it's been locked up here for decades centuries thousands of years eons and prevented from escaping into our atmosphere.
[26:51] What hazard temperature on Earth warms this permafrost for the first time and tens of thousands of years is starting to melt.
[27:01] And as it starts to melt and wakes up all the little microbes that live inside is dirt and they come back alive, and they look around and they have all this delicious carbon matter that they want to eat consume and release into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and methane. And there is a lot of carbon locked up in the system.
[27:21] Give me the numbers David so according to the ipcc we need to dramatically cut our emissions we need to be at Net Zero by 2050.
[27:30] Okay Daniel and this is again on that same page we mentioned on the carbon report for those following along to look at a line 14 you can read this to. There's an estimated 5600 gigatons of carbon locked up in these permafrost soil, now in comparison we don't have an up-to-date number on this but in the past 260 270 or so years humans have released 1500 you could tons of carbon.
[27:58] So total in aggregate if you compound every single year that we admitted things 1500 gigatons total and in this permafrost is 5600 gigaton it's okay.
[28:09] Yes so there's a lot of carbon there but fortunately for us not all of that carbon is vulnerable.
[28:15] It's estimated at 5 to 15% of that permafrost oil is vulnerable and ultimately will melt because of the warming that we're doing right now but that number I had to 15% is still mat. Worst case scenario were talking over 800 Giga tons of carbon released from this. That's the equivalent of 2 Decades of our current business as usual carbon emissions and that's sort of, at this point if it's not going to be by 2100 is going to be shortly after we're going to be admitting this stuff and remember what was that number Daniel we need to have a net zero carbon by 2040 to 2055 depending on which pathway we want to take.
[28:53] We've already got another 20 years of admissions locked in Within These permafrost that we know is going to be releasing, so that means that that let's see what year did 20 18 to 20 years from now this equivalently 2038 do we have 2 years to get to zero. Carbon if you want to hit that best case scenario that's not going to happen sorry to spoil it for you and I said two years but really it's one year and 1 month, the fact that the ipcc left out such an enormous component of the potential warming that we have here, and I see the report that this number comes from which is published in nature in 2015 Lincoln on the website, they mention specifically in the end of this report that the ipcc models desperately need to include permafrost and also methane it doesn't count methane releases either, so they know that this is a problem three years ago they wrote about how this is a problem and that here's the solution in the ipcc has ignored it and then talks about how they ignored in this report.
[29:51] Yeah that's what's so ironic to me is they quote this paper from 2015 saying, you know we're going to release 840 gigatons of CO2 and equivalence from this dog permafrost compared to 32 Giga tonnes of total Global emissions every year right now or 36.
[30:08] Well this is not just this is not just you two equivalence this is just you two if you add the methane in terms of CO2 equivalent that number can be almost 1200 CO2.
[30:18] And then the ipcc basically just says but we just want to quit.
[30:21] So I mean I'm not sure if this is incompetence if this is ignorance if they if they didn't want to overestimate things because the signs including it in their model isn't there yet, and he mentioned earlier on in the same chapter about how it's when they include permafrost methane estimates the models as give wacky and way more warming happens and they don't agree with each other and so they decide to throw it out but it seems when you're making these things these estimates to say we have to do this by this year or would doomed but you're ignoring a huge component of the warming. That is so unbelievably disingenuous in line and it's basically like you walk into a doctor the doctors that you have stage 4 cancer. But we can fight this we can try and fight it, I think you have enough for years left to live and we'll fight this when really the doctor's like ignoring this huge tumor that sticking out the side of your face it's like eating you, and he's like all that that's nothing even though when you include that tumor and you got like 3 days left to live that's what he has done to us by the ignoring of this thing and this fact that it's just here one or two paragraphs buried under this paper that's messy chapter 2 is what my a hundred pages long and it's one of like five or six chapters.
[31:33] The idea that you can leave anything I would just not possible so the key thing is option X induction light on. Shamsi it is the only option we really have you to achieve this kind of Life of ambition.
[31:47] David I think discussing why the ipcc chooses to frame the situation as dire as it is but then holding back some of the worst things to give us a little bit of Hope I mean maybe there's some political reasons for that and I think we should discuss that later on in this episode but, why do we table the missing feedback loops for just a second because you mentioned that there's basically two categories in which the ipcc has failed Us in this report and, one of them of course being leaving out important feedbacks like the permafrost, also the things that they included and what they assumed we can do to achieve these pathways.
[32:25] Yeah I mean I'm really getting into this I'm super stuck on this point this I think it's really important we spread this but you're right we've lost sight of the bigger picture so let's let's turn our attention I guess to the things that they said that we can do but.
[32:40] One of the other major flaws with the ipcc report is it still relies on unfeasible Technologies to reject our path towards limited warming the so-called negative emission and carbon capture Technologies,
Magic Technology Needed [32:53] specifically the panel assumes that by 2030 so just 12 years, we will be using backs becs or bile energy and carbon capture and sequestration to remove between 0 to 1 gigatons of CO2 per year, in 2030 between 0 to 8 gigatons by 2050 and somewhere between 0 to 16 gigatons by 21.
[33:16] Actually agree with these ranges I definitely think that they will be pretty much zero and several those years.
[33:22] Exactly and so the inclusion of these Technologies ultimately betrays a flawed acceptance not only our economies work which I want to get into but quite possibly more damning. Pendants on a technology so obviously impossible is perhaps a sign that this panel is offering the governments of the world a plan that they can pretend to agree to in order to save face. But a plan that does not directly challenge their goals of short-term economic growth and extraction. We have discussed backs before and episode 21 climate ex machina briefly go over what this technology is for the listeners David.
[34:02] Of course Daniel and so what first I mean what is Bex so bioenergy with carbon capture and storage apartment options that we can grow crops for fuel. Okay cut them down driving to a power plant burn the plant material or bottom fuel then when the CO2 is released from burning the plants we capture that and we buried in the ground. So I mean as much of a Rube Goldberg system for powering the world as that sounds, even on the surface level when you dig into it deeper look at the numbers in the scale will it really starts looking questionable number reasons why I mean for 1, Forest is already sequestering carbon dioxide in the air through photosynthesis, convert a forest or field or whatever it is the fuel you have to cut it down and that also sequestration's to the voice only works if you're growing crops that otherwise wouldn't be grow. In at the scale needed to meet those projections you need to employee additional land equal to the size of Australia. Now this is absurd because inappropriate land use is already one of the biggest drivers of climate change mostly through this conversion of forest dragon cultural lag. This not only exacerbate that Trend while already threatening are shaky food security it destroys that biodiversity that exist in these places before their turn, the cash crops it sucks up more than double the amount of the precious water that we are already running out of.
[35:30] Another problem is the fact that the cut down these crops for biofuel transport into power plants only supply chain activities themselves require fuel, it is estimated that for each ton of carbon dioxide that you ultimately bury in the ground at the end of the day you admitted 1.1 tons of carbon dioxide in the process so after all that it's not even a negative admission technology except in the most optimistic projections by the companies trying to sell us the technology and that's not even beginning to touch on the costume piece of building at the technology itself.
[36:03] You know what's interesting is that back started out as a theoretical concept. That could be potentially used in a small-scale way for certain industries specifically Switzerland paper mills. Early adopters encouraged us to think of it as a last-ditch risk management strategy if the world simply could not come together to reduce ignition output levels. It was never intended by the researchers who first studied it to be included in projections of how we could avoid global warming of this 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius, it's to this day and untested and speculative technology that as you pointed out David is ultimately unsustainable anyway, and so the inclusion of these types of Technologies in the ipcc's projections is hugely problematic like I mentioned it's essentially a get-out-of-jail-free card where, governments they get to sign treaties saying they will commit to reducing carbon emissions they will cite the ipcc report will say Hayward investing x amount of billions of dollars into technology which ultimately allows them to maintain the status quo of their economies, but when you look at the fine print it's only because they assume you'll be able to feel their economies in the future using these types of magic negative admission unrealistic Technologies.
[37:21] And of course this story repeats with all the other Technologies mentioned Acts. His latest report in panel the even brought up the topic of geoengineering what you've explored in-depth in the same, ex machina episode. Where we just don't know the risk of what we're doing what we're getting into and when we are looking seriously at spraying the world with aerosols or other geoengineering Technologies we know that we've gone way too far and that we should be looking at ourselves and the systems that create his problems. To fix instead of trying to rely on these magic pill Solutions once more.
Indegenous Knowledge And Economic Growth
[37:55] Let's pause for a second David because there are a couple things from this ipcc report that actually I found a bit encouraging I don't want to completely demonized. One thing to encourage me David is that the report calls our attention to the values of local knowledge and bottom-up approaches to some of these problems something that we have harp done mostly in our agriculture shows. Here's a quote from the report. Education information and Community approaches including those that are informed by indigenous knowledge and local knowledge, can accelerate the wide-scale behavior changes consistent with adapting to and limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. Indigenous knowledge is critical for adaptation underpinning adaptive capacity through the diversity of indigenous agro-ecological and Forest Management Systems Collective social memory. Repository of accumulated experience and social network.
[38:55] And in one of the things I think is important about this is that it. Challenges does Trope in Western media and propaganda that supports imperialism by asserting that those in developing countries are poor regions, they're backwards are primitive their incompetent and that it's we as educated westerners who need to go over there and show them how to live how to farm how to be educated and speak English, but even the ipcc here is saying that the most valuable knowledge in adapting to our environment. Comes locally comes from memory and experience that has been accumulated in community, and that it is important for us to place higher value on Knowledge from local Knowledge from this ground up the ipcc also list some of the threats to this local knowledge. Quotes.
[39:45] Local knowledge is threatened by acculturation dispossession of lambright's in mind grabbing rapid environmental changes colonization and social change increasing vulnerability to climate change, what kind of policy can exacerbate if based on limited understanding of indigenous worldviews in quote.
[40:03] What's up this is a hint at how are underlying economic structures are implicit in this climate catastrophe. And how seemingly unrelated things like oppression in a quality social issues like the type that we discuss on the show they are directly tied to the structure of our economy in our society. Which then informs us of why this runaway climate change is happening and we'll elaborate this in just a second with a quote by and its sing, David last week when we published our Public Presentation that we gave it a conference the world might be broken, in that discussion with the audience you mentioned to someone that our cultural emphasis on recycling is largely a scam, that was encouraged by corporations who wanted to shift the burden of responsibility away from themselves and onto individual consumers. You stress the point that if we really want to solve these large Global problems we need change to the underlying Rules by which large companies and governments are allowed to play by, how to get this is kind of a point that the ipcc report makes which perhaps I'm reaching to find a redeeming quote from them but here it is. Besides climate change economic and social conditions can constrain the capacity to adapt unless resources and cooperation are available from public and private sector actor.
[41:25] And despite that the ipcc might ultimately fall short of making the necessary recommendations for changed I think it is at least, true in the recognition that our ability to solve climate catastrophe will depend in large part on how the underlying systems of our society either give us the freedom to adapt, or constrain us biscuits at the heart David a pretty much every episode we do and it's ultimately what we want you as a listener to Come Away with understanding. The problems of our world in a quality global conflict a warming planet, these problems are a direct result of the way we have structured these so-called rules of the game princess the structures that dictate how corporations are incentivized.
[42:09] Following the banking crisis of 2008 mini of you remember hearing demands for Bankers to be thrown in jail and while I'm in no way against that. Chuck you know I'm not against that but we have to recognize it if the economic system is flop simply recycling individuals through that system doesn't change anything, but unfortunately as we'll see although the ipcc acknowledges this concept to a degree it doesn't really address the economic and political reality that we face today and this is a huge failing from the span, rather than condemn our current economic structure. The ipcc actually suggest that we can and should continue to grow our economies in the process of tackling this climate disaster.
[42:54] Recently we read one of the best descriptions of how are economy operates an anthropologist named Anna she writes in her book The Mushroom at the end of the world.
[43:05] Well I refuse to reduce either economy or ecology to the other, there is one connection between economy and environment that seems important introduced upfront the history of the human concentration of wealth through making both humans and non-humans into resources, investment. This history has inspired investors to view both people and things with alienation that is the ability to stand alone as if the entanglement of living did not matter, through alienation people and things became mobile assets, they can be removed from their life worlds and distance to find transport to be exchanged with other assets from other life world elsewhere. Alienation obviates living space entanglement. The dream of alienation spires landscape modification in which only one stand-alone acid matters everything else becomes weeds or waste. Attending to living space entanglement steams inefficient and perhaps archaic when it's singular acid can no longer be produced a place can be a bandit. The timber has been cut the oil has run out to plantation soil no longer supports crops the search for assets resumes elsewhere. The simplification for alienation produces ruin spaces of Abandonment for acid production Global Landscapes today are strewn with this kind of ruin.
[44:29] It's so this David I think is where the ipcc report fails the most. And that while it does recognize that underlying structures are what determines Our Fate and then fails to comment on the core nature of our economy's dependence on growth and the way concentration of wealth and extraction itself, is totally and completely incompatible, what does sustainable future the report by the ipcc relies on GDP as a way to measure losses that arise from climate disasters like sea level rise. And it often refers to the risks to climate poses on economic growth. In the problem with this is that by making the assumption that economic growth is good but that's how we should justify these efforts so that we can protect that. We're ignoring the extent to which this economic growth itself is one of the main destructive force is responsible for the dire situation we now find ourselves in, I mean the panel even suggest David meeting its emission recommendations will require the mobilization. Institutional investors and investment Banks the same banks that we quoted in episode 46 till of sale who advised pharmaceutical companies to avoid investing in cures for diseases. That aren't profitable.
[45:47] You can hear that discussion at the 31-minute 21-second mark of that episode but this emphasis on finance and market-based solutions is a huge failure of the ipcc. Global Finance led by groups like the international monetary fund, those groups are aimed directly at policies of privatization and Export economies which are exactly the top down profit-driven approaches responsible for much of the global destruction, and which necessarily opposed the type of local knowledge approach emphasized by the panel elsewhere. David we don't need innovation in finance we need among many other things the dismantling of these harmful financial institutions in the first place.
[46:30] You know Daniel and even the language is report uses we have to justify the way that we need to save the world because of how many dollars I can save from the global GDP with the economic impact of saving a coral reef, everything in this world is natural world with we are all born into and collectively create together, has been driven down into a dollar sign for somebody and some boardroom to say it's worth saving this person, or this thing or this Earth because I'm going to profit off. Because if I don't do this thing that I'm going to end up losing more money than I would anyway and so much of the language of this report is couch in this assumption that things are only worth saving if it's profitable to do so if the market can make it cheap enough that green energy can save the day these assumptions are what God is in these problems in the first place we don't need to justify the monetary value of the living world around us in order for it to be worth, stating when you stand in the edge of a field and the Sun is setting in the wind is light and clean. And War and you can hear the Crickets behind you on the forest edge and in front of you the swallows are swarming. La Crosse the sky and the light perfectly touches all this life in front of you we don't need to pretend that we need a dollar sign to make this worth saving. Our natural world as implicit value.
[48:00] And because it cannot be assigned to some balance book in some Global estimation of how much things are worth and whether that dollar sign is worth paying the cost to save them. Doesn't matter, we should be saving them because that's part of what it is to live on this Earth because we are part of these systems as alienated from them as we may feel as we walk through our loud cacophonous, cities of concrete separated from these natural world it doesn't mean that we're not still part of it and that we long for it in our heart, and ultimately that's what these reports should be about because of this is not just a conversation of what it takes to save civilization what it takes to save a global economy. But a conversation of what it is to save the Earth. All these living organisms that depend on the climate that we have decided is less important than the bottom line.
[48:55] David to comment real quickly on how you mentioned the report counts as a lot of its language in terms of market-based solutions and, and how this affects our economy is another Insidious thing about these market-based solution to that in a lot of ways there a paradox. Carbon taxes and he's carbon offsets for example the try to price in the environmental damage of a meeting carbon dioxide is supposed to incentivize companies to increasing their efficiencies in lowering their output and their carbon footprint. Again it's a paradox Marcus that profit from the destruction of the environment would necessarily disappear. If that damage was totally priced into their activities and so if such prices don't do that and they're obviously not doing their job. But additionally we allow our companies to exist as International entities it so these types of reforms they're not going to do enough to close loopholes that companies can use to ignore them. Princess we in episode 37 Logistics of slavery we talked about how shipping companies skirt labor regulations by registering their ships under flags with loose regulations like the Marshall Islands in Panama,
Why Does The Ipcc Miss The Target? [50:01] it'll all this David Backes the question why has the ipcc overlooked the core economic structures that underpin this Runway destruction, maybe there's a clue in that live press conference in which a question was asked about kind of the true nature of the economy and our ability to adapt to these Pathways that they recommend.
[50:22] The question again about feasibility when you look at the number of countries that are extremely reliant on coal for example other fossil fuels. Extent to which molten Economist rest on fossil fuels genuinely hand on heart how feasible is this plan of yours. This is not a plan David we are setting up the evidence on the open side of the pullet policymakers face I mean we can't we can't decide on country's energy policies we hope you 295 Southern countries who make up the Paris agreement and her members of the intergovernmental panel on climate change so we can tell them as we were invited what would need to happen to put you on that part way but the question as to whether this will happen I have to repeat. This is over to the government's when they meet in Poland later in the year and work on the evidence that we have provided them with.
[51:21] This is such a cop out right here and I think it really helps us understand a lot of the motivation in the way that this report is written the sections that are left out with a scientist throw up their arms and say will you know this is all we're just going to tell you what things will happen and that will offer possible scenarios But ultimately in the end we have no control it's up to the politicians to make these things have what do politicians turn to the scientist for the recommendations of what to say this needs to be done and when the scientist limit, scope of their solutions to things that they think I'm going to eat palatable to these government well that is part of the corruption and graph that occurs in this entire system that gives us to this point all we need to have dramatic Solutions here in these reports because we the media and all of us consume these things are also part of this conversation we're not going to limit the control of our future the earth and the ecosystems all around us to a corrupt bunch of old rich people who are completely out of touch with the needs and wants and desires of the people that they claim to serve, Indus ipcc report themselves they mention the need for bottom-up change in these indigenous populations in agriculture in the way that we approach the world but why is that not the same in the way that we approach these solutions from a political system bottom-up change is what we need and what enables us to make a difference and I'm getting ahead of myself here and we'll get to this in a moment but it's just so frustrating to hear them put things down this way.
[52:43] Richard heinberg a senior fellow at the post carbon Institute. Offers an analysis of why the IPC acts in this way and I think it's worth quoting at link.
[52:55] Why are The Conjuring and sleight of hand because policymakers have effectively asked Sciences to do the impossible, no politician in a wealthy country wants to inform constituents the further economic growth is unachievable and no International agency with a 900 of millions of poor people the hope of bettering their lives through economic growth in the developing world, that growth is built into the UN sustainable development goals which are hardwired into the ipcc scenarios. The essence of the problem is this growth currently comes from burning ever-growing quantities of fossil fuels in order to do economic work from extracting resources to manufacturing products to delivering goods and services, renewable energy sources can also do this work but they have characteristics that are different from those of fossil fuels, they're intermittent and produce electricity directly While most of our current energy is used in the forms of liquid or gaseous fuel, therefore two entirely replace fossil fuels with Renewables would require a nearly complete transformation and how we use energy, and an extensive redesign of systems for generating storing and distributing energy, switching to new and relatively clean energy sources while trying to maintain growth of the overall economy would be a little like redesigning and reconfiguring an airplane while it's in flight.
[54:15] And I think that really gets at the heart of the issue our economy is broken fundamentally to its core, but the ipcc cannot or will not address this fact without attracting raid from its government patrons. So instead it's only recourse is to offer impossible paradoxes and temporary Band-Aids to cover up symptoms suggesting that we continue growing our economy while investing in Green Technology to curb warming, which again it's it's kind of like encouraging the lumber industry to maintain steady profit growth while cutting down the street, it doesn't make any sense the two goals are diametrically opposed.
[54:52] We must look at the airline industry, the ipcc models are future based on whether we can reduce emissions as well does non radiative forcing which is basically just fancy scientific talk for everything else that is not directly carbon dioxide emissions, severely Industries International transport including Aviation takes up a significant portion of our Global greenhouse gas emissions and he's are projected to rise precipitously over the coming decades. So there have been efforts to impose limits on the amount of carbon dioxide is plants getting in it but in fact the CO2 is only a small part of the total contribution these planes make to global warming, other factors like water vapor sulfur oxide hydrocarbons and more contribute to to four times greater impact been those CO2 emissions alone and impacts of these other forces to pin highly on situational variables like time of day the atmosphere conditions and location. If we were truly serious about addressing Airline contributions to global warming, simply texting these carbon dioxide emissions or designing more fuel efficient planes is wildly falling short we would need to gimatic Lee decrease the demand for air travel and then on top of that, airspace to certain times of the day and certain locations and sometimes shutting down and tire routes for months at a time.
[56:13] According to recent paper and science not only is babies in the most difficult sector in which decreased warming effects, growing demand for Aviation and other difficult to eliminate emissions will their magnitude quote could in the future be comfortable with the level of total current admissions. Does not simply enough to offer symptom fixes, but easy problems while allowing these underlying structures to persist because doing so only offers token prizes like solar panels on a roof well elsewhere destructive Industries grow to ever larger more Epic Proportions addressing this requires a fundamental change to the underlying economic rules, I wish all Industries operate it should not cost $600 to fly across this country or $300 when you get a deal. A flight from New York to San Francisco.
[57:05] If you involved just a basic carbon taxes that the ipcc themselves recommend should start at $1,000 one-way minimum. And that number they recommend very soon to put a $5,500 tax per ton of carbon dioxide emitted. So that means that flight from New York to San Francisco should be over $5,000, and I number climbs as time goes on and are carbon contributions become more and more potent and need to be cut down ever Higher by the end of the century the ipcc says carbon taxes could be as high as $27,000, per ton admitted this. Destroys the airline industry and if we were really serious about saving the world stopping this climate change when we would ground all these planes today.
[57:56] And we wouldn't be able to do that. Through market-based solution that would require a total transformation of our economy and this example involving the airline industry is such a great illustration of this where that quote that you just took from.
[58:23] All the missions are at right now. That means that if we simply focus on Band-Aid Solutions like renewable technology showing up at fishing seas in our supply chains were necessarily targeting. Easiest. Areas for change we're necessarily improving technology in places that is easiest to do that while allowing these more difficult to Target Industries to grow to a I have, the ultimately negates all that work that we're doing so again. If we don't address this problem at the core root the very structure and fabric of our society we're not going anywhere we're going backwards.
[59:02] You don't need to take our word for it a couple months ago a report was published which will inform the United Nations 2019 Global sustainable development report. And our chapter on the transformations of our global economy and in this report they say that our economy well it's going to have to undergo major transformations to meet sustainability goals, they cite that the key reasons we have destroyed the world around us and are not ill prepared for the consequences, is that we have built economies on flawed economic models that both ignore ecology and assume that markets are best left alone from the paper quote, economic models which inform political decision-making in rich countries almost completely disregard the energetic and material dimensions of the economy today's dominant economic theories approaches and models, what developed during the era of energetic and material abundance. The dominant economic theories as well as policy-related economic modeling rely on the presupposition of continued energetic and material growth, the theories and models anticipate only incremental changes in the existing economic order tents that are inadequate for explaining the current turmoil, it can be safely sad the no Wiley applicable economic models have been developed specifically for the upcoming era and quote.
[1:00:22] The report goes on to outline some of the fundamental problems of our current economic structure which again if the ipcc largely ignores, Princeton the panel as we pointed out encourages our economy to grow while investing in renewable energy sources as if we could continue to assume an infinite growth and energy consumption by, simply replacing coal plants with solar panels on everyone's roof and again expanding on why renewable technology won't necessarily save us, from this report quote 80% of the global net primary energy Supply comes from fossil fuels, easily available fossil fuels have powered the industrialization of Nations worldwide, but because Renewables have a lower energy return on investment and different technical requirement such as the need to build energy storage facilities meeting current or growing levels of energy need in the next few decades with low carbon Solutions will be extremely difficult if not impossible. Best there is considerable pressure to lower total energy use in the quote. Another word to make a transformation to renewable energy our energy demands first Must Fall and that requires a commitment to a smaller economy.
[1:01:30] We discuss the unsustainability of our current food system in both episode 16 and 26 that's what we reap in Berry to grow, and this report acknowledges how the market ization of food has put Regional food security at risk quote in developing countries the regime of exporting a narrow selection of Commodities and raw materials and importing cheap basic food items, does not work for local communities a wide array of research shows that developing countries ought to focus on providing diverse nutrition for their own people and thereby increase local livelihood opportunities and improved social material conditions in general.
[1:02:10] And All Nations rich and development will have to attain a high degree of food self-sufficiency International Food trade we're gaining its position as a crucial component of food security rather than serving as a commodity Market in quote, but I get a world in which food imports and exports are not Commodities what components of a broader commitment to food security requires a fundamentally different economic structure, that ideal is not achievable under a profit-driven market first Paradigm it's just not an incremental or foreign policy absolutely will not get us there, the report concludes that what we need going for our economic models that recognize planetary boundaries and which quote unique autonomous economies and societies engage in regulated international trade for specific reasons such as food security, rather than for the sake of free trade as a principal.
Shared Memory And Loss
[1:03:07] David as we come to the tail end of this episode I want to come back briefly to this concept that values indigenous and local knowledge. In a beautifully and poignant article by Wade Davis he discusses are forgetfulness as a society to the ethological destruction all around. Passenger pigeons used to be 40% of all bird populations in North America they used to obscure the light of the Sun. And it 1870 observers witnessed a single column of around 2 billion passenger pigeons that was a mile wide and 320 miles long. As early as 1871. The buffalo population outnumber humans in North America and standing on a bluff in The Dakotas a person could see nothing but buffalo in every direction for 30 miles. But nine years later the Buffalo populations were largely gone and today resident stand in the same regions surrounded by nothing but corn. And feel nothing amiss in Haiti a single generation has witnessed the island go from 80% Forest coverage to just less than 2%.
[1:04:22] Wade Davis rights from a distance both in time and in space we can perceive these terrible and pulling into dense for what they were. Unmitigated ecological disasters that robbed us and the future of something unimaginably precious in order to satisfy the immediate Monday needs of the present. The luxury of hindsight however his little to cure the blindness with which we today Overlook deed of equal magnitude and Folly in three generations a mirror moment in the history of our species we have throughout the world contaminated the water, air and soil given countless species to Extinction. Dan the rivers poison the rain and torn down the Ancient Forest in quote.
[1:05:08] And his loss of memory is something that's real Tivoli modern in our culture worldwide something that we should learn to overcome by looking towards indigenous people, Wade Davis continues most indigenous peoples cultivate Fidelity to the deepest of memories, Miss campus link the living to the ancestral past and illuminate the way to the Future take for example the indigenous people of Australia with right as Guardians of the world for or 55 thousand years, in all that time it desire to improve upon the natural world to tame the rhythm of the wild never touch them. Indigenous people accepted life as it was a cosmological whole the unchanging creation of the first Dawn when the primordial ancestors saying the world into existence.
[1:05:54] But then of course European settlers came and what they saw in the native was not wisdom but savatree, the exploited and murdered in destroying that relationship that they had built with their environment over countless Generations. But they were not Savages if anything there scientific wisdom surpassed that of Western institutions back to the article. The manner by which the indigenous peoples of Australia imbued the natural world with a sense of the Sacred is not contrary to science, the weather in acknowledgement of the complexity and wonder of ecological and biological systems that science illuminates, it suggests that our capacity to forget an adapt to success of degrees of environmental degradation is less a human trait than a consequence of culture. So David not only have we built an economic structure for ourselves which destroys the environment upon which Our Lives depend it works our culture. It allows us to forget, a precludes knowledge and Community for too long our culture has been instructed by an education system that exists to support the economy annexing describes. One in which the Earth is atomized into separate things that we can extract and deplete. The extent to which we are taught to be stewards of the land is a small reaction to a much larger force of total Destruction.
[1:07:17] End of this week and learn once again from the indigenous back to the article. Nomadic hunters and gatherers in Borneo have no conscious sense of stewardship for Mountain Forest that they lack the technical capacity to destroy. What these cultures have done however it's a Ford through time and ritual a traditional Mystique of the earth that is based not only on deep attachment to the land but also I'm far more subtle intuition, the idea that the land itself is breathed into being by human consciousness they do not perceive mountains rivers and Forest is being inanimate. As mere props on a stage upon which the human drama unfold for these societies the land is alive a dynamic force to be embraced and transformed. By the human imagination and sustained by memory.
[1:08:06] We lost so much does Endless flocks of passenger pigeons Buffalo as far as you can see. Ancient semen used to be terrified that they would run aground on the huge masses of sea turtles that spread out in the ocean ahead of them so dense that they feel they could walk from one to the other instead of stealing through them, ships in the past were pushed back by schools of cod so large that even with the winds at their back the force of the fish push their ships backwards, the world was filled with so much life overflowing and we've lost so much. In the past we talked about this gentle solar racing of what has been lost.
[1:08:47] Each new generation is born into a world that's just filled with less light. But we fail to realize how much has been lost because each generation just knows the world as it stands, a static line that they go forward they pass the information on to the ones that come, but the realization that we can no longer stand on these places and look at a world exploding with the life of the natural is something that never strikes us. That's important the context of this ipcc report because the world that were trying to preserve and we're trying to sacrifice our entire way of living in order to protect. In order to get to the last catastrophic scenario. At 1.5 C the will need to radically change everything to achieve is a world that is already broken world that is on its way to die. And that emphasizes how important is and we achieve these goals. Because if we go to 2 degrees Celsius all that Coral is lost the animals that live there they're gone. If we passed that and we go to four or six or seven degrees Celsius things that were very much on track for especially when you throw on those feedback loops. The report has so conveniently left out that is a world-wide calamity.
[1:10:05] Is pretty dark David and I have to admit when I initially read through this ipcc report. I feel kind of hopeless and discouraged I mean understandably and the reason is because even under our most intense efforts. We are still facing a warmer and more environmentally chaotic and destructive world that's just the future we're going into we can avoid. Even though there appears to be a way to level after warming affects it means that this future world under a best case scenario will involve more extreme and unpredictable weather patterns harsher environment less biodiversity. Destruction and death and I thought to myself the world is pretty terrible for so many people already. We discussed topics of slavery nationalism surveillance widespread and equality and suffering. And I thought to myself surely if we've allowed all this evil to occur in our stable environment. It will be so much worse as we enter a world was so much more instability.
[1:11:08] But then I checked my own memory David and I realized that when we try to imagine the future. It's much easier to imagine incremental changes and it is to imagine dramatic transformation. It's so much easier to imagine loss then it is to imagine gaining something that we are unfamiliar with in the same way that we forgot what it's like to live in North America was so many carrier pigeons they block out the Sun, we forget what life could be like. If we were to restore the communities livelihoods relationships and social stability that we have so thoroughly jettisoned from our current culture.
[1:11:46] Yes we Face the world Rife with harsh climate shift and yes if we want to be sustainable it means giving up much of the luxury we had taken for granted it means Less meat consumption less travel fewer gadgets. But if we all commit to a sustainable World Imagine all that we might game sustainability means societies that are you Gala Therrien.
[1:12:10] It means restoring communities in which every individual can experience dignity regardless of their value to some extractive economic entity. It means encouraging local knowledge generational knowledge and memory of our shared time and space. For those of you who live on the coast of the Atlantic or West Africa or the Philippines and elsewhere. It means looking out at the mangrove forest that you and your community that helped cultivate and feeling secure in the knowledge that well yes ocean surges and hurricanes threaten your world there are natural systems in place working hard. To Shield you from the worst of it it means that while no it won't be possible for us to fly around the world every year for lavish vacations. We will be able to walk outside visit our local market and know that our food did not fly across the world either and we can meet the people just outside or city or town or perhaps our neighbors who harvested our food in a way we can count on, well into the future and the ipcc David doesn't necessarily disagree with this although perhaps their imagination is a bit Limited.
[1:13:20] There are lots of reasons other than climate change for shifting diets if we changed our diets to fulfill Health recommendations, we would all live longer we Bounce Around Much More and how much nicer wives and we would reduce greenhouse gas emissions so let's look at the optimistic side of this climate change in litigation is not necessarily a button and Times of climate change it could you it can bring other benefits as well and I think we need to hold on to that. Factor.
[1:13:52] With limited imagination Daniel but really when it comes down to this end of this report and what the future holds I think imagination is where we need to start. Pink for a second how big must the world have felt in the days when our world was limited to our communities and those around us. When stepping onto a boat in sailing into the unknown when traveling around the world was something that would take a lifetime to do. How big must the world have been when you stood in the middle of those planes and watched as a herd of buffalo spent hours Crossing in front of you. With the sea ride with fish jumping out throwing themselves into your boat because there's just so much life under those waves. And today with all the power knowledge technology of the sum of human history of billions of lives lived and lost. Our world has shrunk it means we can reach out and touch people directly around the world.
[1:14:52] Daniel and I hope to do right now it means I can step into an airport purchase a ticket and travel Halfway Around the World in a matter of hours. We have such Limitless unbelievable power has been created by our imagination a daring to dream imagine what could be possible. We've use that knowledge and incredible creative spirit that is what defines Humanity to destroy the world that fostered it in the first place. We're taking these actions and chased whatever ideas we came up with without thinking what the consequences could be for everything around us. So we stand here now staring at the end maybe that's alarmist one for so much of the world so much of the living organisms that compose everything that is the absolute truth. Well humans might be able to survive in limited numbers of 4 or 7 degrees Celsius World someone to the life that encouraged us to reach these Heights of imagination will not. And the fact that these researchers do scientists governmental panels and the politicians that drive all of this.
[1:15:59] And only suggest solutions that are limited in scope and Imagination is a tragedy and it is up to all of us, instead to take this bottom-up approach and realize that the only way, that we can stop this tragedy is by taking power into our own hands and realizing that the solutions don't lie in a green energy Market in a carbon tax in more of the same, with some technology and hope thrown in radical new transitions to a better world, to an economic system that isn't based on the exploitation of people environment and the natural world to a world that recognizes that we have impact not just on ourselves but on those around us and the natural world itself and realizing that because of this we are responsible for making sure that we are good stewards of all of this, the question we ask at the end of all these episodes throughout the series has always been what can we do. But this report shows it's at the time of asking what can we do is done.
[1:17:06] Luxury the privilege of being able to sit around and argue to question to research to think and Reach For answers is over cuz if we don't act right now we're doing. And the world around us is doomed as well and so the question no longer becomes what can we do but this is what we are doing now. And realizing that is up to each and every one of us there is no waiting around for politician to save us anymore this is about taking, the future into her own hands taking it back into our hands instead of grafting it away to the people that got us in this problem in the first place. This is where radical change starts with each of us with the lies that we touch through the ways that we live our own did the ideas we spread.
[1:17:54] Enter the actions that we take one of their radical or extreme in nature. Or just making sure that those around you a comfortable and cared for and then includes not just the people in our own lives for the people we encounter and the world around us as well. And if we can hold these basic tenants as we go forward and deny the systems that incurs exploitation then we might stand a chance of saving as much of the world as we can.
[1:18:22] I love what you said about imagination and it's eating one more time Global Landscapes today are strewn with this kind of ruin. Still these places can be Lively despite announcements of their death abandoned asset Fields sometimes you knew multi-species and Multicultural life. And a global state of precarity we don't have two choices other than looking for life in this ruin. Our first step is to bring back curiosity unencumbered by the simplifications of progress narratives the knots and pulses of patchiness are there to explore.
[1:19:06] With a lot to think about and it's a lot to do we hope you will thank you for joining us through these first 50 episodes of Ashes ashes we can't believe it's been almost a year at this point and I can't believe that I'll somehow we've gotten these out every single week so far we're actually going to take our first brake don't worry if I can be a long one we're just going to take two weeks off for Thanksgiving and the following week, and then we'll be right back December 6th with a brand new episode digging into other things that run our world just like we have been. I hope you'll be there to join us but until then you can read more about all the topics we talked about on our website. We've got PDF of the ipcc report as well as lots of additional links reading and information. You can find all of that plus the transcript of this episode at ashes ashes. Org.
[1:19:59] As always a lot of time and research goes into making these episodes possible. And we will never use ads to support the show so if you are listener enjoy it would like us to keep going actually want us to come back from that break you can support us by giving us a review.
[1:20:22] I have an email address it's contact at ashes ashes. Org and we encourage you to send us your thoughts we do appreciate them.
[1:20:30] You can also find us on your favorite social media Network at ashes ashes cast.
[1:20:35] Well until December 6th keep imagination alive.
[1:20:37] This is Ashley's ashes.