Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Climate Mash

"Much of our obsession about knowing in advance what is coming has to do with fear."

  Our favorite subjects for this blog are climate change, energy and civilization collapse. We spend equal amounts of time describing the remedies for these evils — permaculture, ecovillage, biochar, and carbon farming, for instance, because we hold out a sliver of hope humanity still might be able to redirect our otherwise dismal prospects.

Malcolm X said "tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” Much of our obsession about knowing in advance what is coming has to do with fear. We feel insecure about the future. We sense a chill wind blowing, a storm approaching. It is visceral. It is in the zeitgeist. No one has to speak of it, we all … just … know. Can we find a safe place? Can we lay in some supplies? What about our loved ones? What about our previous life, possessions, skills, interests?

But to prepare we first need to know. What are we talking about? Can we know, even in rough outlines? And if we get that right, can we do anything now that would change the outcome to something more to our liking?

That is why we study climate, and write about it, and try to understand. It is a really angry beast at the gates. A hundred thousand years ago it gave us an extraordinary gift, and by delicately, respectfully, reverently abiding within a dance of life and death with that gift, we won an extraordinary, unprecedented run of the perfect global climate for mammalian life, capped by 12000 years of exceptionally good days. And what did we do? We blew it off for an infatuation with muscle cars and motorcycles.

Here then is what we learned about the future in 2014.

Our special thanks for the many who contributed to this report:

BBC News
Bill McKibben
Biochar Bob Cirino
Biochar Solutions
Biodiversity for a Livable Climate   
Blue Sky Biochar
Carbon Roots International
Eoin Campbell / GoPro Camera
Fox News
General Anthony Zinni
General Chuck Wald
General Gordon Sullivan
General Ron Keyes
General Wesley Clark
Global National
Global Observatory
Guy McPherson
Hugh McLaughlin
Jason A YouTube Channel
Jeffrey Wallin
Johannes Lehmann
Josiah Hunt
Kelpie Wilson
Michael Wittman
Mycorrhizal Applications, Inc.
Natalia Shakova
Paul Beckwith
Peter Sinclair
Peter Wadhaus
Rear Admiral David Titley
Right Livelihood Foundation
Rosie Boycott
Stuart Scott, UPFSI
The Biochar Company
Tom Goreau, Global Coral Reef Alliance
Tom Newmark, The Carbon Underground
Tufts University
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
US Biochar Initiative
Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn


Danny C said...

Thank you. And thank you for finishing on the up. We need to be alarmed and hopeful and perhaps between the two we can continue to take action.

Erich J. Knight said...

The military is all about logistics, with Logistics threatened by climate we see all the top brass struggle to get politicians to listen.

If the republicans cannot be swayed by the command general staff of every branch of the US military services, I don't know of any authority that could be successful.

Unknown said...

Thanks for a great post. Can you provide a list of links to the included videos? I'd like to watch the original presentations too.

Albert Bates said...

Dear Unknown: The Biodiversity for a Liveable Climate videos are indexed at The Arctic Methane Research Group press conference in Lima is at The archival footage of military people concerned about climate comes from Peter Sinclair's channel:
Any remaining YouTubes should be available on my channel:




The Great Change is published whenever the spirit moves me. Writings on this site are purely the opinion of Albert Bates and are subject to a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike 3.0 "unported" copyright. People are free to share (i.e, to copy, distribute and transmit this work) and to build upon and adapt this work – under the following conditions of attribution, n on-commercial use, and share alike: Attribution (BY): You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Non-Commercial (NC): You may not use this work for commercial purposes. Share Alike (SA): If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one. Nothing in this license is intended to reduce, limit, or restrict any rights arising from fair use or other limitations on the exclusive rights of the copyright owner under copyright law or other applicable laws. Therefore, the content of
this publication may be quoted or cited as per fair use rights. Any of the conditions of this license can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder (i.e., the Author). Where the work or any of its elements is in the public domain under applicable law, that status is in no way affected by the license. For the complete Creative Commons legal code affecting this publication, see here. Writings on this site do not constitute legal or financial advice, and do not reflect the views of any other firm, employer, or organization. Information on this site is not classified and is not otherwise subject to confidentiality or non-disclosure.