What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

Blog Archive

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Business as Usual

Business as usual solutions to the financial crisis mean an attempt to return to the same old exploitative model that got us into this mess. Far worse are business as usual solutions to climate change. Business as usual is no solution. The consequences are dire.

There are 3 types of Business as Usual, herein referred to as BaU.

1. Industry BaU, the type of behaviour we have seen from the oil barons and their corporate toadies who will do antything to maintain their stranglehold on the planet; deny, obfuscate, lie, and kill.

2. Governmental BaU, closely related to industry BaU as government tends to be of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations.

3. Personal BaU, this is the most important BaU because until government and industry see us making the necessary changes in our own lives they will not believe they have to make changes. The changes are significant. We can't wait for some government sponsored industry to come forward with a technology that will enable us all to live the wasteful hedonistic way we do today into infinity. It will involve some sacrifice. But what we sacrifice in consumerism and convenience we will gain in self sufficiency, health, and a deeper connection to the natural world and each other. This is because what is required is re-localization, a return to thrift and common sense, and a reconnection with and reliance on local community. Our attachment to Business as Usual in our own lives and in industry and business must be abandoned! Innovation in all things is required. If we don't ... read on to see what we face.

One of the most respected research organizations in the world, The Hadley Center at the UK Met office equates "business as usual" with "worst case scenario".

I used to read science fiction but science fact has become so scary, tense, and exciting that I've lost interest in science fiction.

Read about it at Climate Progress Joe Romm's Blog, where I found the Met office graphic. Here is an excerpt,

"A 5.5°C warming would inevitably lead to the mid- to high-range of currently projected sea level rise — 5 feet or more by 2100, followed by 6 to 20 inches a decade for centuries (see “
Startling new sea level rise research: “Most likely” 0.8 to 2.0 meters by 2100“). That means 100 million or more environmental refugees by century’s end alone.

Then we have desertification of one third the planet and moderate drought over half the planet, plus the loss of all inland glaciers that provide water to a billion people.

The unexpectedly rapid expansion of the tropical belt constitutes yet another signal that climate change is occurring sooner than expected,” noted one climate researcher last December. As a recent study led by NOAA noted, “A poleward expansion of the tropics is likely to bring even drier conditions to” the U.S. Southwest, Mexico, Australia and parts of Africa and South America.”

In 2007, Science (subs. req’d) published research that “predicted a permanent drought by 2050 throughout the Southwest” — levels of aridity comparable to the 1930s Dust Bowl would stretch from Kansas to California. And they were only looking at a 720 ppm case! The Dust Bowl was a sustained decrease in soil moisture of about 15% (”which is calculated by subtracting evaporation from precipitation”).

Yet even the “one-third desertification of the planet by 2100″ scenario from the Hadley Center is only based on 850 ppm (in 2100). Princeton has done an analysis on “Century-scale change in water availability: CO2-quadrupling experiment,” which is to say 1100 ppm. The grim result: Most of the South and Southwest ultimately sees a 20% to 50% (!) decline in soil moisture." - Joseph Romm

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