World Initiative is launched

Our exist­ing endeav­ors do lit­tle more than rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic. The net effect of our mit­i­ga­tion efforts has been less than zero—as the global pace of envi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion and CO2 emis­sions increases annu­ally. Against this back­drop, I have launched World Initiative. It is a long shot, but it also might be a real shot to change our tra­jec­tory and pull our world away from the eco­log­i­cal brink.

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This ini­tia­tive has two phases. The first is a year­long inten­sive pro­gram for young adults, ages 17 thru 18, train­ing them to become global lead­ers expressly primed to tackle the plan­e­tary issues that plague our world. Augmenting this pro­gram are guest speak­ers: some of the most emi­nent pro­fes­sors and experts from around the world. Among other things, the young adults will undergo rig­or­ous study of all per­ti­nent aspects of the crisis—from inter­na­tional pol­icy to energy gen­er­a­tion to water shortages.

During the sec­ond phase, the young adults will break up to task teams and develop an array of tech­no­log­i­cal, logis­ti­cal, eco­nomic, and polit­i­cal mit­i­ga­tion mea­sures. Concurrently, they will reach out and enlist numer­ous NGOs, experts, and the pub­lic at large to flesh out those mea­sures and have those task teams morph into becom­ing the seeds of a world­wide change.

Good luck to all of us.

Obama’s climate-change speech: “invest, divest.” Yeah, whatever.

Climatologist Michael Mann said of the speech, “It is the most aggres­sive and promis­ing cli­mate plan to come out of the exec­u­tive branch in years.” Now, that is a sad statement.

Today, June 25th, Obama gave a speech in Georgetown University, lay­ing out his col­lec­tion of new pol­icy mea­sures and direc­tives in regards to cli­mate change. They are as fol­lows: cap­ping car­bon emis­sions from power plant; the approval of the Keystone Pipeline System is to be con­tin­gent on it not sig­nif­i­cantly increas­ing the Greenhouse Effect; increas­ing the pro­duc­tion of nat­ural gas; end­ing tax breaks for big oil and allo­cat­ing those funds to com­pa­nies engag­ing in elec­tric­ity pro­duc­tion from renew­ables; end­ing the pub­lic financ­ing for new coal plants overseas—unless they deploy car­bon cap­ture tech­nolo­gies, or there is no other viable way to gen­er­ate electricity.

In addi­tion, Obama declared that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment will con­sume 20 per­cent of its elec­tric­ity from renew­able sources within the next seven years. In that spirit, the Department of Defense will install three gigawatts worth of renew­able power on its bases. Finally, the gov­ern­ment would gen­er­ate per­mits for renew­able energy projects on pub­lic lands, enough to power more than 6 mil­lion homes by 2020.

Whether this col­lec­tion of mea­sures will cut the global annual Greenhouse gas emis­sions by 1% or 2% is moot. Whether this col­lec­tion of mea­sures will post­pone the cli­mate cri­sis by a few months or a few years is moot. (And there is no cer­tainty about either). The main thing is that we will get to add to our generation’s tomb­stone the words: “but…we tried.”

No one, least of all Obama, think that some­thing fun­da­men­tal is going to change out of those mea­sures. The train is hurtling down­hill. Hence, He fol­lowed his litany of mea­sures with a warn­ing that we need to get pre­pared and brace ourselves.

Pity our lead­ers don’t have the balls, vision, and gen­uine power of lead­er­ship to set in place mea­sures that will see us avert­ing the impend­ing calamity.

 

 

writing a variant on The Blueprint: Averting Global Collapse

I have decided to write a lite ver­sion of The Blueprint: Averting Global Collapse. Its work­ing title is The Plan: Averting Global Collapse. This book will be a thor­oughly updated ver­sion that will dis­till the for­mer book to its essence, skip­ping many of the tables and calculations–all designed to make it more easy reading.

Tentatively, I plan to have it com­pleted before the end of the summer.

the rarely-told story of the American Great Plains

The bound­less panorama of the American Great Plains teemed with life. Camels treaded along the Missouri River and giant ground-sloth ambled about, tow­er­ing over some of the widely dis­persed trees of the prairie. Out in the vast open ter­ri­to­ries, herds of horses grazed the tall grass along with herds of prong­horns, mam­moths, and bison. Packs of scim­i­tar cats and majes­tic American lions closely trailed the graz­ing masses. Titanic condor-like birds flew under the big blue sky.

About 10,000 years ago, as the most recent spring era gave way to the long sum­mer to come, most of these mas­sive ani­mals were dead.

Continue read­ing