30 July 2014 - "The front line of climate change," Yosemite National Park ablaze; hugely damaging and very costly to fight (Credit NBC)

Fires burning in Yosemite National Park.
Hugely damaging and very costly to fight.

Cost of just one fire-retardant drop from a DC 10, $60,000 (not $6,000).
Fire fighters describe this as, -the front line of climate change.

All credit to NBC


30 July 2014 - David Bohm & a Well Tempered Climate Accord ('The Past Tense - In Our Time'?)

David Bohm - Wholeness and the Implicate Order deep insight book . . .

David Joseph Bohm FRS[1] (20 December 1917 – 27 October 1992) was an American theoretical physicist who contributed innovative and unorthodox ideas to quantum theoryphilosophy of mind, and neuropsychology. He is considered to be one of the most significant theoretical physicists of the 20th century. Wikipedia.

The more I think about it, the more stock:flow issues and how to comprehend and cope with them goes (for me) along lines like this.

There is a new row here at the minute between 'super-beasts' of the broadcasting world, John Humphreys & Melvyn Bragg.

  • John Humphreys fronts BBC Radio Four News
  • Melvyn Bragg is a very well-known and well-informed generalist who inter-alia has a programme on BBC R4 called 'In Our Time'.

Humphreys has started sounding off saying,

"What's wrong with the PAST TENSE?" "The Queen arrives and opens and goes home." etc Why can't it be "the Queen arrived opened and went home?" etc When MB's programme covers 100s of years of history, why does it have be called 'In Our Time'? Sounds poncy; what's wrong with the past tense?. (He's allegedly waiting nervously for a counter-blast from MB).

Just seems to me to be just another stock:flow argument . . . .

How does this relate to coping with climate change? Consider this perhaps: -

  • You're sitting in the bath with the tap flowing (emissions) where flow moment to moment has flow-past, flow-present and flow-future
  • However, the bath stock increases so the level is rising (concentrations) and has a sort of 'continuous present ('In Our Bath' maybe)
  • The point is that preventing bath-overflow means the tap-flow has to be Budgeted (the flow has to be stopped completely, so the stock (the bath - doesn't 'over-flow').
  • That's a finite measurement issue - putting a 'budget' on the future flow means it has to be less than what it takes for the bath to over-flow QED. Words like 'Containment' don't cut it.

I get the point often made which is how do you handle all these economist who just want to talk flow with no stock (All tap no bath)!
We need a global tax - we don't need a global budget. This is the argument from economists in the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) in the US now.

When you say will it work enough, soon enough and how will you know (?) they then say that's above their pay-grade.
That sounds a bit like a White Flag to me.

Fact is you need both; its flow & stock (tax & budget) or kitchen downstairs gets flooded because the both overflows.
What James Hansen once upon a time somewhere over the rainbow called 'the whole truth' . . .

This relates to 'Climate Truth and Reconciliation' and David Bohm's, "Wholeness and the Implicate Order".

How? Very simply

  • God Does Play Dice - (Because God Designed Them). 1,2,3 are stock (The Dice) . . . and
  • Flow (Playing the Dice) - only starts after 'inflation' with 'evolution' from 4,5,6 and the Pythagorean Comma onwards.

Stringularity (wholeness) commutes: - Bohm's discussion of quantum mechanics: - is great fun but starts after integers 1,2,3, . . . . where the Pythagorean Comma gets going and things don't commute anywmore (and evolution begins) . . . but we are here as a function (a result) of that wholeness, that evolution in the 'Implicate Order' and that (Guess What?) the Comma emerges universally at the Golden Section (The very source-code of the Implicate Order; even after this stringularity, in the quantum domain Eigen-Functions have Eigen Values).

Now we are in 'the existential crisis of Climate Change' and fundamental to facing and dealing with this is the 'measurement problem' where nothing adds up any more. This is worse than the Second Law (entropy) and an ever-wackier set of differential equations, the measurement crisis has become a measurement catastrophe because the uber-numeraire of policy measurement is 'money' aimed at the physical impossibility of infinite growth . . . (if you take that position, everything adds up to infinity and eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end).

Oh Dear - Its that finite measurement issue again and at least putting a 'budget' on the future flow of the thing we don't want. That means that global-emissions-flow has to be less than what it takes for the global-atmosphere-bath to over-flow and we have to make sure that we commute with that limit and not more than that limit and we can't get out of that.

Words like 'Carbon Containment' don't really cut into that flow. And money (just putting a $-sign in front of bits of the problem (whether as 'price' or 'tax' or 'fee' or 'penalty' or 'dividend' or 'levy' etc) presumes that we don't even need to know what the limit of the total flow actually is, because we'll just buy our way out of trouble - uttering a few Hail Mary's) . . . .

To proceed this ways is utter bathos - the Gotterdamerung of Monetarism, Civilization and (thank God - some would say) every trace of us.
We must regain and observe the Implicate Order or perish. This is 'In Our Time' and 'We have to be In Tune and to be in Time' to resolve it.

The Implicate Order - Solution?

To get agreement, we have to measure and well-temper our management concept (A Well Tempered Climate Accord) and then get on with it from there (that starting point) . . . . otherwise we will become part of what John Humphrey's calls 'The Past Tense' and in what Melvyn Bragg calls 'Our Time'.



30 July 2014 - "Dreams of a Low Carbon Future." Envisionment of where we need to go & who we want to be (Direct & Inspiring)

Summary of the Royal Academy of Engineering-funded project:

‘Dreams of a Low Carbon Future’

The aim of this project is to develop engineering researchers’ communication skills, by enabling them to work with schoolchildren and professional artists to produce a ‘graphic novel’ (comic) that explores the children’s visions of a sustainable ‘low carbon’ future society.

Engineering PhD students ran a number of workshops where children had the opportunity to produce artwork depicting their visions of a sustainable future. This artwork was compiled and edited to form a graphic novel. The graphic novel aims to explore different versions of the future – some bad, some good, and how technology will affect everything from what cities will look like to what fuels your car or your TV. We hope that through this project awareness of the issues of energy, resources and climate change will be increased.

The graphic novel is being circulated to schools and museums throughout the UK, as well as selected comics shops. It is being launched in parallel at the Leeds Science Festival and at ‘Thought Bubble’, a leading UK comics festival.

Exhibitions of project artwork will be held at: Cartoon Museum, London 35 Little Russell Street, London WC1A 2HH (3rd January – 1st June 2014) Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT (10th February – 31st March 2014). For further details, please e-mail James McKay

29 July 2014 - "Dark Snow". (As if it wasn't already bad enough).
25 July 2014 - James Hansen "Unless Governments accept my Fee & Dividend, we're all going to Venus." (Wheel Meet Again)

This is the guts of Hansen's Agenda - Continued government deception by goal setting, will lead to the Venus syndrome.

"What happens if, instead of accepting the need for a rising carbon price, our governments continue to deceive us, setting goals and targets for carbon emissions reductions? In that case we had better start thinking about the Venus syndrome."

So its just the -pick-a-number' 'dollar' versus the 'pick-a-number' carbon tonne' (even Roulette has a Wheel).
No wonder James Hansen doesn't care when his global carbon budgets range from below 200 Gt C to over 500 Gt C.


Whatever happens next, the Governments of the world will see and (gratefully?) accept that: -

"It's just Hansen all by himself "negotiating" with countries for years on his own dime, right..." (from a friend in CCL)

With the rider that . . .

"Unless the US invokes the deniability it can claim because what's going on here is "unofficial" via the Wilson Centre and Bryson is no longer Secretary of Commerce." (from a friend in CCL)

Truly bizarre - but I guess its the only way you can keep this at the centre . . .

  • that choice means taking a chance . . .
  • so Christianity equals Capitalism
  • and Governments must back off
  • so Las Vegas (but without a Wheel) rules . . . .
  • & Venus here we come . . . .


24 July 2014 - "Advocates of the sharing economy should promote C&C." CounterPunch Magazine

On the Rise Global Justice, Sustainability and the Sharing Economy by RAJESH MAKWANA

If the sharing economy movement is to play a role in shifting society away from the dominant economic paradigm, it will have to get political. And this means guarding against the co-optation of sharing by the corporate sector, while joining forces with a much larger body of activists that have long been calling – either explicitly or implicitly – for more transformative and fundamental forms of economic sharing across the world. ***

With public interest in the sharing economy on the rise, a polarisation of views on its potential benefits and drawbacks is fast becoming apparent. Much of the mainstream media continues to focus on the ability of the sharing economy to generate wealth and create new billionaires, while some social entrepreneurs and progressives claim that interpersonal sharing is the solution to the world’s most intractable problems. At the same time, a growing number of analysts are concerned that the sharing economy could enable businesses to evade regulations and even break the law. These increasingly conflicting views reflect the diverse interests of the many individuals, organisations and businesses engaged in what is essentially an emerging movement for sharing that has yet to clarify its purpose.

To add a further layer of confusion to the debate, there is little agreement on what the sharing economy actually is. For example, Rachel Botsman – a leading proponent of the ‘what’s mine is yours’ philosophy – argues that the sharing economy forms part of a much wider collaborative economy that leverages technology and trust to facilitate a more efficient distribution of goods and services. A broader definition has been put forward by The People Who Share, who regard the sharing economy as an “alternative socio-economic system which embeds sharing and collaboration at its heart – across all aspects of social and economic life”. Friends of the Earth have also significantly expanded the discourse on sharing to include the political sphere, albeit focussing on city-wide sharing as a means for improving environmental sustainability and equity among citizens.

All of these existing definitions still pay insufficient attention to national and global forms of economic sharing, particularly those facilitated by democratically elected governments. Instead, the focus generally remains limited to individual (peer-to-peer) and local sharing initiatives. Apart from those advocating for localised forms of sharing to be replicated in cities across the world, rarely is the sharing economy discussed in terms of systems of sharing and redistribution that operate on a nationwide or global scale, or in relation to calls for governments to institute the more transformative forms of economic sharing that are possible today.

This is not to deny the very real potential of the sharing economy to help strengthen communities, reduce the rate at which resources are consumed, and create financial returns at very low marginal cost. However, if our reason for supporting different modes of sharing is a desire to create a more equitable and sustainable economic system, we need to significantly broaden our understanding and interpretation of what constitutes a sharing economy. There is no question that it makes sound economic and environmental sense for businesses and individuals to reduce their carbon footprints and share scarce resources. But government policy (enacted either nationally or through international agreements) ultimately determines how effectively nations and the international community can address the underlying causes of inequality, climate change and resource wars – some of the most pressing challenges that face humanity in the 21st century.

Bearing in mind the urgent need to implement sharing on a systemic and global basis, a fresh evaluation of the sharing economy from the perspective of social justice and environmental sustainability is presented below. The five general positions that follow do not present a comprehensive critique by any standards, but they are a starting point for broadening the sharing economy discourse and making it more relevant to the bigger picture issues that concern many progressives today. In particular, this perspective questions the role of commerce in so-called sharing-related business activities. It also proposes that we should include longstanding national and global forms of sharing in our definition of what constitutes a sharing economy, especially if we are working towards the creation of a more equal, just and sustainable world.

Interpersonal forms of sharing are not enough to deliver social justice or environmental sustainability

There is good reason to doubt whether the sharing economy (at least as it is generally understood today in terms of peer-to-peer activities) can ever have a significant impact on pressing global crises. For example, many people involved in the sharing economy aim to reduce their personal consumption to sustainable levels. While this is an important practice, the sheer scale of the ecological crisis suggests that simply sharing surplus or under-utilised personal goods is not a sufficient response to a global problem that requires systemic change at all levels to resolve. As often repeated, humanity as a whole is consuming natural resources 50% faster than the planet can replenish them. Not only is this massive overshoot in global consumption levels set to worsen as the world’s consumer class expands, it is also further complicated by huge imbalances. Around 20% of the world’s population are responsible for 80% of all resource consumption, while the remaining 80% are surviving on a ‘low consumption pathway’ and 20% are in ‘basic needs deficit.’

Clearly the global sustainability crisis cannot be addressed effectively until the structural factors that are responsible for creating these inequalities are fully addressed, and this has huge implications for transforming government policies and economic systems both nationally and globally. A huge array of reforms are needed to reconfigure the way nations extract, produce, distribute and consume resources across the world. For instance, this would include rethinking our notions of progress and prosperity, ending the dominance of consumption-led economic growth over government policy, and reversing the relentless push towards trade liberalisation. Much also needs to be done to dismantle the culture of consumerism, reconceptualise financial measures like GDP, and shift investment towards building and sustaining a low-carbon infrastructure, as endlessly debated by civil society.

In fact, the entire ecological conundrum is increasingly being framed in terms of sharing by progressive analysts – either through an ‘equity and fair shares’ lens or from the perspective of sharing the planet’s resources more sustainably to secure basic human rights for all. Although these critical discourses on sharing are becoming ever more urgent and popular among civil society thinkers, sharing economy advocates have generally neglected these systemic issues and failed to connect with environmentalists and anti-poverty campaigners who are often calling for vital forms of global economic sharing.

The need for public sector-driven solutions is also evident in relation to tackling poverty and inequality which, in simple terms, requires governments to ensure universal access to essential goods and services. But instead of promoting or facilitating these fundamental aspects of economic sharing, most sharing economy supporters tend to focus on the collaborative (and often for-profit) sharing of household items, cars or spare rooms – not the resources that people most desperately need to be shared today such as nutritious food, healthcare and essential public services. Similarly, while sharing in terms of charitable giving and voluntary assistance within communities can help redistribute wealth and alleviate some instances of human deprivation, it cannot address the structural causes of poverty and inequality that have their basis in public policy.

If advocates of the sharing economy are really motivated to tackle complex social and ecological issues, they should also devote time and energy to promoting forms of sharing that are far more effective at addressing these problems, such as universal social protection or contraction and convergence approaches to addressing climate change. This means moving beyond the solely personal, community and city-oriented view of sharing, and embracing a wider understanding of sharing that includes the role of governments in advancing effective social policy and environmental regulations. Most of all, it is at the national and global level that the sharing economy can be revolutionary and transformative – if its supporters are willing to engage in the gritty politics of reforming government policy to establish truly effective and ‘sharing’ societies.

A much broader definition of the sharing economy is needed

Existing definitions of the sharing economy tend to focus on personal, local and business approaches to sharing, even when those involved in the sharing movement profess to care deeply about climate change and other global issues. But these definitions present a very limited and superficial understanding of what the sharing economy is, which disconnects the sharing economy movement from serious attempts to address social injustice or environmental degradation. For instance, national systems of sharing are arguably the most established, important and fundamental examples of sharing economies that exist in the modern world, as alluded to above. Through systems of progressive taxation and the provision of essential public services and social protection for all, the vast majority of people in most developed countries are involved in and benefit from these broad-based sharing systems. Why aren’t these crucial examples of sharing part of the discourse and evolving definition of the sharing economy?

Perhaps a majority of those involved in the sharing economy come from an entrepreneurial or technology background, and therefore prefer to focus on social enterprise solutions or software-driven and online peer-to-peer platforms. Others might be deeply sceptical about state intervention and regulation – a view that is particularly prominent in the United States. Or perhaps, as various commentators are increasingly suggesting, the sharing economy is more concerned with profit and the private sector than it is with the ethic of sharing per se. It stands to reason that if the sharing economy movement had a more robust focus on the welfare of people and the planet, one would expect more vocal opposition to austerity measures or greater support for environmental campaigns by organisations like Greenpeace – issues that are rarely if ever mentioned on the pages of the most prominent sharing economy websites. In this sense, the millions of people across the US and Europe who are mobilising against government austerity policies could be considered the real champions of the sharing economy.

In some cases, focussing on new sharing economy platforms, technologies and initiatives could even undermine more effective and established systems of national sharing. For example, while car sharing schemes are clearly good for the environment, a universally accessible public transport system is undeniably better. Indeed public transport can be regarded as a greener citywide or nationwide sharing platform – but few people promoting the sharing economy are advocating to improve such services. The intense focus that the sharing economy places on individuals and the private sector might also explain the recurring issues around sharing-oriented businesses flaunting regulatory and licencing conventions designed to protect society at large.

If a key focus for the sharing economy movement is on resolving global crises, it stands to reason that our understanding and definition of the sharing economy must include critical forms of sharing resources on an international basis that urgently need strengthening and scaling-up. Sharing resources on a finite planet, almost by definition, must take place globally and between governments. Even though international mechanisms for sharing are still in their infancy compared to the national systems of sharing mentioned above, some examples do already exist. These include essential forms of global redistribution such as humanitarian aid; emergent systems of global governance (as ineffectual and biased as they currently are); and frameworks and agreements that facilitate the protection and sharing of the planet’s scarce natural resources. This international aspect of sharing is the most crucial with regards to social and environmental justice, although it still remains the least developed or discussed among proponents of the sharing economy.

Supporters of peer-to-peer sharing could help build a much stronger identity by recognising that their activities form part of these much broader and more fundamental sharing systems that operate at all levels of society. An inclusive working definition that can embrace the diverse national and international forms of sharing was put forward in STWR’s report Financing the global sharing economy, and is worth revisiting:

“The sharing economy is a broad term used in this report that encompasses the many systems of sharing and redistribution that exist locally, nationally and globally – whether facilitated by individuals, states or other institutions. It is concerned with the social, economic, environmental, political and spiritual benefits of sharing both material and non-material resources – everything from time and love to money and natural resources.” “In comparison, the global sharing economy refers specifically to systems of sharing and redistribution that are international or global in nature – whether facilitated directly by people and governments or by global institutions like the United Nations. It refers to the many methods by which the international community can share their financial, technical, natural and other resources for the common good of all people. The global sharing economy is still in its infancy, but is nonetheless an important expression of the growing sense of solidarity and unity between people and nations.”

The sharing economy movement must resist co-optation by the corporate sector

In a worrying phenomenon sometimes described as ‘sharewashing’, commercial activities that have never before been regarded as sharing are now re-branded under this trendy new meme. For example, most people would agree that renting is not the same as sharing and neither is giving people a lift in your car in exchange for cash. Room sharing and car sharing enterprises might offer excellent and rewarding services in their own right, but they may have little to do with the principle of sharing in relation to human rights and concerns for equity, democracy, justice and sustainability, especially when the main beneficiaries are company shareholders and not customers or employees. It is already well recognised that many so-called sharing enterprises adopt business models and ethics that do not allow wealth, income or decision-making to be shared with their employees or customers to any significant extent.

Above all, we must guard against sharing-oriented initiatives from being co-opted by the corporate sector. Rampant commercialisation is at the heart of the social and environmental problems we face, so those involved in the sharing economy movement should be cautious about supporting large corporations whose wider business models and practices fail to embody the principle of sharing in any real sense. This sort of co-optation is a well-documented phenomenon in relation to social and environmental issues, with the ‘greenwashing’ of oil companies that supposedly pursue an ecological agenda, and the ‘whitewashing’ of unethical corporations through Corporate Social Responsibility programs.

If sharing is not to be co-opted by venture capital and the corporate sector, perhaps there should be a minimum criteria for any company that professes to be part of the sharing economy. At the very least, sharing economy businesses should be set up as not-for-profits or cooperatives, or else they should adopt business models that promote the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. They must also pay their fair share of taxes, as this is a key part of the established and most important system of sharing that we have (yet) created.

Sharing is already a common cause for the global justice movement

Many supporters of sharing economy initiatives think that sharing is fashionable and trendy – a lifestyle choice – and that by sharing they are doing their bit to promote egalitarian or environmentally conscious ethics and values. But if the sharing movement is to play a role in shifting society away from the dominant economic paradigm and help to resolve global crises, it will have to get political. This means recognising that sharing economy advocates are part of a much larger body of people calling for more transformative forms of economic sharing in relation to pressing social and environmental concerns.

Millions of people across the world are already campaigning for economic and political reforms that embody the principle of sharing, although they don’t always use the term ‘sharing’ in their advocacy and activities. The sharing of wealth, power or resources is central to what progressives have long been calling for, and supporting these demands for social justice, peace and ecological sustainability is fundamental to affecting structural change on the scale that is now necessary. This means being more aware of the issues that environmentalists and activists campaign on, and explicitly aligning local sharing activities with their broader justice-based vision of economic and ecological sharing.

For example, as mentioned above, strengthening systems of progressive taxation and public services is essential at the national level – and this means opposing economic austerity measures and supporting nationwide systems of sharing. Campaigners are also calling for new mechanisms for sharing the global commons (including the atmosphere – a key issue in international climate change negotiations) as this is the only way to create a more sustainable and peaceful world. If we support the sharing economy in its broadest sense as outlined here, we need to support these and other sharing-related campaigns in their many and diverse forms.

The sharing economy is best promoted by appealing to intrinsic values

It is not hard to imagine how a process of sharing could theoretically play a key role in addressing multiple global crises, as genuine forms of economic sharing should result in a fairer distribution of resources for all people within planetary limits. However, there is a great deal of evidence to suggest that promoting the sharing economy as another way to supplement our income is likely to promote extrinsic values that will undermine efforts to create a more equitable and sustainable world. According to detailed studies, promoting intrinsic values that go beyond concerns about oneself are far more likely to encourage sustainable lifestyles than a focus on extrinsic values, such as personal financial gain. In other words, those who share because they are told it can help them make some spare cash are less likely to engage in other environmentally beneficial activities, compared to those who share out of purely environmental concerns.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with making some extra money or being motivated by extrinsic values. However, if our goal is to help address the world’s interconnected and intractable crises, the evidence suggests that our campaigning activities must remain firmly aligned to intrinsic values. This has huge implications for all those involved in promoting the sharing economy at a time when so much of the public discourse on sharing highlights the growth and success of certain businesses in predominantly monetary terms.

To conclude, there is little doubt that through the time-honoured act of sharing we can strengthen communities, reduce consumption and facilitate the non-monetary distribution of goods and services – and this can potentially help rebalance an economic system that is increasingly dependent on greed and hyper-consumerism for its continued success. But interpersonal sharing is not enough at a time when humanity is facing what can only be described as a global emergency that includes massive poverty and rising levels of inequality, climate change and the wider ecological crisis, as well as ongoing conflicts over the world’s dwindling natural resources.

The process of sharing can only play a transformative role in addressing these crises if we move beyond our egocentric understanding of the sharing economy, and embrace national and global forms of sharing that are facilitated by government bodies in response to urgent social and environmental needs. By being vigilant about how we promote and participate in the sharing economy, we can also guard against the pervasive influence of commerce as it seeks to expand into new markets in a last ditch attempt to preserve the status quo. And by working more closely with the many millions of campaigners and organisations across the world who recognise the transformative potential of economic sharing – whether this is explicitly or implicitly expressed – we can significantly strengthen our chances of establishing an ecologically viable and socially just future for all.

Rajesh Makwana is the director of Share The World’s Resources. He can be contacted at rajesh(at)stwr.org.

24 July 2014 - "Potential Amplifying Feedbacks." Radio Eco-Shock with George Marshall, author of, "Don't Even Think About It".

"Potential Amplifying Feedbacks in Context

During recent years, scientists have been concerned by what appears to be an increased waviness and northward retreat of the northern hemisphere Jet Stream. This retreat and proliferation of ridge and trough patterns is thought to be a result of a combined loss of snow and sea ice coverage over the past century and increasing over the past few decades. In 2012, sea ice coverage fell to as low as 55% below 1979 levels with volume dropping as low as 80% below previous values. Over the past seven years, not one day has seen sea ice at average levels for the late 20th Century in the north.

Meanwhile, northern polar temperatures have risen very rapidly under the rapidly rising human greenhouse gas heat forcing, increasing by 0.5 C per decade or about double the global average. It is this combination of conditions that set the stage for fixed ridges over both Russia and Canada creating extreme risk for extraordinary fires.

Should both the current sets of fires continue to rage under anomalous high amplitude jet stream waves setting off extreme heat in these Arctic regions, it is possible that large clouds of heat absorbing black carbon could ring the Arctic in a kind of hot halo. The dark smoke particles in the atmosphere would trap more heat locally even as they rained down to cover both sea ice and ice sheets. With the Canadian fires, deposition and snow darkening are a likely result, especially along the western regions of the Greenland Ice Sheet — zones that have already seen a multiplication of melt ponds and increasing glacial destabilization over recent years.....

And though climate models are in general agreement that the frequency of fires in tundra regions will increase, doubling or more by the end of this century, it is uncertain how extensive and explosive such an increase would be given the high volume of fuel available. Direct and large-scale burning of these stores, which in tundra alone house about 1,500 gigatons of carbon, could provide a major climate and Earth System response to the already powerful human heat forcing....

Read that whole post in Robert Scribbler's blog here.

Robert Scribbler adds this as an update:

"Atmospheric black carbon and methane loading (more in a new post) likely contributed to temperatures in the range of 95 degrees F (35 C) near the shores of the Arctic Ocean’s Laptev Sea yesterday as recorded in the following screen capture from Earth Nullschool/GFS..."

Excellent interview with Georg Marshall here about his new book

and debated here on Facebook

Here's George on C&C in his earlier book Carbon Detox

“So the only other option requires us to make deeper cuts in our emissions in order to allow developing countries some room to expand theirs. If we divided up the total allowance of 10 billion tonnes equally between the 7 billion people in the world that would give us a new target of 1.5 tonnes each – just 1,500 carbos. This requires that we reduce our emissions by 87% by 2050, and if the world population keeps increasing, by even more. This proposal called Contraction and Convergence has many powerful supporters. Like them I believe it is the only just and politically feasible option.”
Carbon Detox
George Marshall



19 July 2014 - "C&C is the basic principle that should guide climate policy." Professor Herman Daly University of Maryland


It seems to me that Contraction and Convergence is the basic principle that should guide climate policy, and that this policy is really unchallenged in principle by any of the climate models under discussion.

Granted that it is good to have accurate models of how the world works, and to work out the numerical balances of C&C.

Nevertheless, I wonder at what point complex and uncertain empirical models become a distraction from simple first principles?

C&C is a necessary condition for a just and sustainable world."

With best wishes and admiration for your and your colleagues' important work on C&C,


This question was the theme of a short speech I gave some years ago to the American Meteorological Society.

Herman Daly
Emeritus Professor

University of Maryland

19 July 2014 - Tim Smit Director of the Eden Centre on why its important to get behind C&C

"How appropriate that in the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin that I should be standing here in front of the Eden domes, itself a monument to high technological achievement, talking about why it is important that everybody in the world gets behind Contraction and Convergence [C&C].

I don’t say things like this lightly. I am not really one for hyperbole or strange religious motivations. What I find is important is that my whole life experience has taught me that things that have proportionality to them, that have melody to them, that are profoundly simple, usually have something right going for them.

And secondly that you can judge an idea by the quality of the enemies it gets and there have been some profound enemies for C&C, which is based on an understanding that perhaps there is something of the night about it there is something not properly scientific.

Well actually it is, it is totally scientific and more important than that it has blended something the age of reason was never able totally to do which is blending the empiricism of it with ‘soul’; the quite obvious rightness of a system that apportions to every person on earth a carbon contract that it theirs to dispose of over a period of time to create a parity that enables us to live one with another in a way that enables us to be connected to the earth itself in terms of being able to make us live with the grain of nature and not apart from it.

I have yet to hear anyone provide an argument that makes it ethically unsound, however uncomfortable they may feel about it. I have yet to find someone who can scientifically disprove the work of Aubrey Meyer.

All I have heard is male testosterone-led vanity . . . and I would ask anybody watching this to ask yourself whether you are not actually standing at the moment where we are going to have to reduce carbon by a phenomenal amount over the next forty years. 80% is some poeple's guess. But if you look at the figures it could be far less tha forty years.

We're going to have to have tactics in place to deal with it otherwise we're not going to worthy of the name 'homo sapiens' - what a joke, the wise hominid.

Are we? If we were truly wise we would realize the rightness of this, the mathematics of this; the rightness of the ethics of it and actually understand that even if it is slightly flawed - which I don't think it is - even if it is, its so far better than anything else that has been put on offer, that we should actually go with it simply on a precautionary basis because at least along the path towards it, those little glitches that need to be ironed out, can be.

But the first thing is a statement of commitment and conviction that we truly are worthy of the name that we gave ourselves. And that is why I return to Charles Darwin. Evolution was the most unpopular theory there was. The amount of people who came out on the streets and said, "we're not descended from apes you know"; adaptation . . . then they suddenly realized that adaptation was rather clever - the survival of the fittest . . . that actually makes us top-chaps, actually in authority worthy of it - there's biological reason . . .

Well let me tell you if we can't sort this out, if we can't embrace C&C, the biologicval reason will have shown why we are redundant.

Wake up, support this, be excited, know you are living in a time in history which is about as important, if not more so, as the dawning of the Renairssance."

Tim Smit Chief Executive and Co-Founder of the EDEN Project


18 July 2014 - Preparing for the How bad is this going to get maybe? NHS Heatwave Plan for England 2014

Heatwave Plan for England 2014
Protecting health and reducing harm from severe heat and heatwaves

Executive Summary

The Heatwave Plan for England is a plan intended to protect the population from heat-related harm to health. It aims to prepare for, alert people to, and prevent, the major avoidable effects on health during periods of severe heat in England.

It recommends a series of steps to reduce the risks to health from prolonged exposure to severe heat for:

  • The NHS, local authorities, social care, and other public agencies
  • Professionals working with people at risk
  • Individuals, local communities and voluntary groups.

The Heatwave Plan has been published annually since 2004, following the devastating pan-European heatwave in 2003. This year’s plan builds on many years of experience of developing and improving the ability of the health sector and its partners to deal with significant periods of hot weather.

The Heatwave Plan was significantly re-shaped in 2012 from previous years. There have since been changes to reflect the changes in the health care and public health landscape, to align the Heatwave plan more closely with its sister Cold Weather Plan and to link planning for severe heat with the Public Health Outcomes Framework.

The plan continues to be underpinned by a system of heatwave alerts, developed with the Met Office. The Heatwave Plan describes the Heat-Health Watch system which operates in England from 1 June to 15 September each year. During this period, the Met Office may forecast heatwaves, as defined by forecasts of day and night-time temperatures and their duration.

The Heat-Health Watch system now comprises five main levels (Levels 0-4), from long-term planning for severe heat, through summer and heatwave preparedness, to a major national emergency. Each alert level should trigger a series of appropriate actions which are detailed in the Heatwave Plan.

The plan is a good practice guide and the actions denoted within it are illustrative. It is a collaborative plan supported by NHS England to protect and promote the health of the population. There are three key messages we recommend to all local areas, particularly in view of recent structural changes:

  1. All local organisations should consider this document and satisfy themselves that the suggested actions and Heat-Health Watch Alerts are understood across the system, and that local plans are adapted as appropriate to the local context. Heatwave Plan for England – Protecting health and reducing harm from severe heat and heatwaves 5
  2. NHS and local authority commissioners, together with multi-agency Local Resilience Forums and Local Health Resilience Partnerships, should satisfy themselves that the distribution of Heat-Health Watch Alerts will reach those that need to take action, especially in light of recent structural changes.
  3. NHS and local authority commissioners, together with multi-agency Local Resilience Forums, should satisfy themselves that providers and stakeholders take appropriate action according to the Heat-Health Watch Alert level in place and their professional judgements.
18 July 2014 - "Australia lurches backwards as pollution is free again." Climate Institute

Australia lurches backwards as pollution is free again

By repealing laws that price and limit carbon pollution, Australia today became the world’s first country to dismantle a functioning and effective carbon market, taking a monumentally reckless backward leap even as other major countries are stepping up climate action, said The Climate Institute.

“Today’s repeal of laws that price and limit carbon pollution is an historic act of irresponsibility and recklessness,” said John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute.

“With the Senate’s vote today, Australia not only lurches to the back of the pack of countries taking action on climate, but sees the responsibility of emission reductions shift from major polluters to the taxpayer.”

“Today we lose a credible framework of limiting pollution that was a firm foundation for a fair dinkum Australian contribution to global climate efforts.” “What we are left with as potential replacement policy rests on three wobbly legs – a Government fund subject to an annual budgetary arm wrestle, uncertain non-binding limits on some company emissions, and a renewable energy target under assault.”

No modelling to date, independent or from the Government, has shown that the proposed replacement policy can reduce Australia’s pollution or achieve the minimum bipartisan emissions reduction target of five per cent below 2000 levels by 2020, let alone the more ambitious up to 25 per cent cut that Australia is still committed to internationally. The Government’s own modelling shows that without a credible price and limit on pollution, our emissions will increase by 30 per cent over the next 15 years.”

“The result of repeal today is that Australia is bereft of credible climate policy just as the international community focuses on deeper reduction targets for 2025 and 2030, and even the heads of organisations like the International Monetary Fund, OECD and World Bank talk of the need to completely decarbonise the global economy by the second half of this century.”

“The last seven years have been a sorry and sordid tale of greed, incompetence and rotten luck, which has reduced Australian policy making to scaremongering, self-interest and reckless short termism,” said Connor.

“If there is any solace to be taken, it’s that we now have two years of experience of carbon laws that have worked reducing pollution in a growing economy, with minimal price impacts, as predicted.”

“We also appear not to have lost all the house furniture, with important elements such as the renewable energy target, the Climate Change Authority, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and ARENA looking like they may survive. And the focus on emissions trading is set to continue in Australian political debate.”

“A further solace is that Australian public attitudes and hunger for action is rebounding. The most reckless act today may yet turn out to be the Government’s disconnect from this rebound in public sentiment.”

“Climate politics has been a roller-coaster for nearly a decade and all parties share some responsibility for today’s decision. But that roller-coaster ride doesn’t end today – it just gets more intense.”

For more information Garrett Stringer | Communications Manager, The Climate Institute | 02 8239 6299


16 July 2014 - "COP 21 must ensure a deal that is equitable & sufficient to keep below 2° Celsius." Federal Minister Hendricks Germany.

Germany, Peru co-host key climate meeting in build up to COP20

Europe, South America, Policy The fifth Petersberg Climate Dialogue concluded on Tuesday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Peruvian President Ollanta Humala calling on countries to target a legally binding agreement on emissions reduction by 2015.

The meeting was co-chaired by Germany and Peru and Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks summed up the positive results by saying: "There is a spirit of change in international climate policy. The message of these last few days is that together we can tame climate change. Many countries are working on new, ambitious climate goals for the global agreement we want to adopt in 2015."

At the Climate Change Conference in Warsaw in December 2013, countries agreed to a deadline of March 2015 to present their national climate action contributions to a new agreement set to begin in 2020.

Hendricks expressed her confidence that the major emitters such as China, the EU, and the United States would meet the deadline and that many smaller nations would follow suit.

Hendricks added: "Before the 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris, we must make sure that the effort is shared equitably and that the actions proposed are sufficient to limit the temperature increase to below two degrees. By 2030 we aim to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 55 per cent compared to 1990 levels and are thus setting a good example."

The German Government supports reducing GHG emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2030.

Hendricks pledged support for developing nations that require technical assistance in drafting their own ambitious climate action plans.

Germany’s Federal Environment Ministry has given support to 19 countries through the International Climate Initiative and will assist them in drafting new climate targets as their contribution to the 2015 climate agreement.

Countries that will receive help include Peru, Armenia, Viet Nam, the Gambia and Lebanon and there is the possibility of expanding this support to more countries.

Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal highlighted the sense of urgency that should lead this process by saying: "to be successful, the new climate agreement needs to reflect a balance between mitigation and adaptation, between national action and multilateral rules and between the response to climate action and sustainable de-velopment, supported by financial and technological assistance".

Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Peruvian President Ollanta Humala also gave keynote speeches.

Minister Pulgar Vidal stressed that "the Lima Conference should agree on a strong, clear and coherent draft text of the 2015 agreement", as well as on "a practical and collaborative decision for the presentation of nationally determined contributions by all parties during next year".


16 July 2014 - "Before we enter an irreversible environmental collapse; one framework that works fairly is C&C." Greensward Civitas

Lets Frame It

Our world is facing a crucial point of decision making as a civilization, in that climate change must be grappled with very soon, before we enter an irreversible environmental collapse because of our carbon emissions.The graph above shows rather simply that we've almost burned up the entire safe budget of emissions to stay under 2C temperature increase from 1750.

The US Congress needs to support the US participation as signatory to the global climate agreement at COP 21 for carbon emissions. Theagreement is scheduled to be finalized via the UNFCCC in December of 2015 in Paris, France. There is a Key Drafting Step in December 2014 (COP 20 in Lima, Peru). 

1. This is necessary because we are facing a global climate emergency due to excessive carbon emissions.
2. This deeply impacts every citizen, country and corporation on the planet, thus the US must be present, given its extensive presence in policies and economies of all other countries.
3. The UN is negotiating a total carbon budget with the world; it should be the smallest carbon budget on the table, a precautionary approach. Based upon the preliminary total Absolute Limit IGPG UNFCCC IPCC allowed REMAINING carbon budget of 250 Gt C emitted since 2010 to keep global temperature increases under 2C, it is necessary to allocate future emissions goals to each country. Best estimates are that we have already burned through most of the 1 trillion ton budget overall i.e. going back to ~ 1800 budget and face the necessary implementation of a rapidreduction of carbon emissions to avoid dangerous climate change.

4.The UN is negotiating a rate of carbon reduction with the world based upon equity and fairness with zero carbon emissions by 2050. It is important to agree on a neutral equity framework rather than ones that require damages from richer nations. The US must be at the UN table to defend an equitable framework instead of fighting a "damages" framework like GDR.

"Developing nations see [damages] as a way to underline the fact that the rich have burnt most fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution. Rich nations say it would take too long to figure out, and that blame is constantly shifting. A related idea by developing nations to ask the IPCC to examine historical responsibility for causing global warming, as a guide to future action in sharing out emissions, is also a minefield at the Warsaw talks...Robert Stavins, director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program, said it would be disastrous to try to apportion historical blame."

Frameworks that attempt to address this by incorporating a GDP formula are bound to fail because of the arbitrary nature of that metric.It's already outdated as a basis for a true measure of economic value because it ignores damages and risk and relies on growth. This would be the GDR framework as well as others that import arbitrary GDP formulae that distort the emissions budget allocations along economic lines to the point where the first world countries are pushed into "negative emissions" and will therefore never agree to or comply with such a framework. Carbon doesn't disappear from the environment because you pay money to someone.

One framework that works fairly is Contraction and Convergence, by GCI. It is based purely upon the science of carbon impact on global climate and resulting concentration of atmospheric gasses. We must return to a carbon level of 350ppmv in the atmosphere for a safe climate; we are now at 400ppmv, according to global carbon emissions measurements.

5. Leadership is necessary in Congress to achieve these ends. Ways to accomplish the carbon reductions to meet our agreed emissions goalare:
  • Economic - Carbon tax, remove fossil fuel subsidies, increase subsidies for non-carbon energy sources and technology development. Corporate accountability.
  • Resources - Move rapidly to renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, wave technology, hydropower, earth-bio, geothermal, algae fuels and close obsolete power plants
  • Human habitation and buildings - Zero carbon in new construction by 2030, adapt existing structures and recycle all materials, incorporate water collection in native landscapes
  • Agriculture - reduce wasteful watering practices, immediately shift away from oil-based fertilizers and toxic pesticides, shift to appropriate crops and reduce meat production
  • Technology - Rapidly evolve efficient power grids, new ways of power generation and storage, efficient public transportation, electric vehicles
  • Carbon absorption - protect existing natural lands and watersheds with conservancies, regenerate forest lands and wetlands, shrink human habitation. This is absolutely necessary to restore atmospheric carbon to the 1990 level of 350ppmv.
A graphic demonstrating how these can work in concert is here. It's all do-able, and can generate tremendous global revenue, but the need to forge consensus has become urgent, and all of us must be at the table to achieve a global climate agreement. Nothing else really matters any more.

16 July 2014 - Hansen sells CCL & 350.org carbon levy/taxes & then sells them out in China.

Hansen has essentially sold the 350.org movement and the Citizen's Climate Lobby on the carbon-tax and then sold them to the Chinese.

This is the GCI response to Ross Cann's CCL carbon enthusisast for taxes.
Anyone who doubts the observations made about Hansen see here


From Ross Cann of the US Citizen's Climate Lobby (CCL).
CCL strongly advocate a 'Carbon tax', following a lead taken by Dr James Hansen.

A carbon tax will result in gasoline costing $10 per gallon and an electric car will run on plug in power at the equivalent of $ 1.50 per gallon. What kind of car do think people will buy? The electricity will be generated by wind and solar at 8.5 cents per KWH because a power plant using natural gas would cost 17 cents per KWH. That is the economics of the plan to tax carbon. Those who believe a carbon budget is the answer, please tell me how that would be enacted. The carbon budget we need is zero carbon, and we need it by 2050.

I repeat my question; please tell me precisely how a "carbon budget" would be enacted? Would people be told they could only buy x gallons of gasoline per month? How would that be enforced? Ration coupons? The point is it an easy matter to progressively tax it out of existence. That is the practical beauty of the carbon tax with 100% rebate approach.

Aubrey: Your post "by for example reading the answer previously offered to the question you raised." Please tell me the "answer previously offered" which are referring to. It is not clear to me what answer was given. Since I have a PhD in Earth Science you can be quite certain I fully understand the enormity of the risks we are facing and the time factors involved.

To Ross Cann of the US Citizen's Climate Lobby (CCL).

In answer to your valid question and especially since you write that you fully understand the enormity of the risks we are running; please, after going through the slides at this web-address write which *Rate of Risk* you advise we should run.

We all need a quantified answer to this key strategic question in order for the valid 'process question' you raise (how would it work?) to be answered. This obviously & inescapably relates the time-size shape and weight (the *path-integral*) of the carbon budget. So it translates into a *carbon-weight" (in Gigatonnes (Gt C) - McKibben suggested 154 Gt C for example).

These slides are a simplified summary of the 4 Heads of argument related to answering that question and the questions arising. This is being animated in more detail in the CBAT (Carbon Budget Analysis Tool - work in progress). But primarily CBAT is a tool intended to help answer this *now all-critical question* about the *rates* of response.

A carbon tax can obviously be useful inside the answer to this qeustion. Without this answer, a carbon tax gives no information at all about the rate-of-risk we face let alone how fast we need to respond to it. These slides do introduce viewers to that information.

As there is widespread unawareness of how much faster we are causing this problem than we are responding to avoid it, there is a corresponding unawareness of even the question of how fast should we respond. This is very worrying.

At the same time, it has been suggested by some in the carbon-tax campaign, that people who advocate this structure of analysis and argument are opposed to carbon taxation. This is quite incorrect.

What we have consistently been saying is that carbon taxation is one of a range of tactics that are vital & become valid & necessary when this key strategic question has at least a ball-park answer, & taking the follow-on that the strategic answer implies a structure.

Without this answer, like everything else in the whole response panorama, it is increasingly frantic *shooting in the dark* - i.e. pure guesswork.

14 July 2014 - "Absurdly relaxed conclusion in this IPCC Report on 'Tipping Points'."

This IPCC Report on 'Tipping Points' even actually contradicts what AR5 said about carbon budgeting (see here) to reach this absurdly relaxed conclusion: -

"To have a better than two-thirds chance of limiting warming to less than 2°C from pre-industrial levels, the total cumulative CO2 emissions since the start of the industrial era would need to be limited to 1,000 gigatonnes of carbon. About half of this amount had already been emitted by 2011. The amount of carbon that can be released would be reduced if concentrations of non-CO2 greenhouse gases continue to rise. Other factors (for example, the unexpected release of greenhouse gases from permafrost) could also tighten this ‘carbon budget’."

The issue is the curvature of the trend path & UKMO using climate models that omit many feedback effects has played a major part in gerrymandering reality to fit these inadequate and misleading climate models: -



13 July 2014 - "Expanding the use of C&C." Weinzetttel et al, Global Environmental Change

"To reverse the trend of an increasing resource demand by rich countries, Kitzes et al. (2008) suggested the expansion of the ‘‘contraction and convergence’’ framework (Meyer, 2000) used in the global debate on carbon emissions to the wider range of ecological demands humans are placing on the planet. Sustainable intensification (Foley et al., 2011) can certainly meet part of the unmet biomass demand; however, at one point, our land footprints will have to stop growing and, for the sake of biodiversity conservation and the sharing of global resources, may have to decline in some rich countries."
Affluence drives the global displacement of land use
Jan Weinzettel a , Edgar G. Hertwicha, *, Glen P. Peters b , Kjartan Steen-Olsena , Alessandro Galli c
a Industrial Ecology Programme, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
b Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO), N-0318 Oslo, Norway
c Global Footprint Network, International Environment House 2, 7-9 Chemin de Balexert, 1219 Geneva, Switzerland

12 July 2014 - AECB Climate Strategy Presentation Slides now on-line; "Doing Enough Soon Enough versus Doing Too Little Too Late."

Use Keyboard Arrow Keys to advance/retreat slides - (the animation at slide 11 is here ) larger screen version here

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Dear Mayer


This GCI Presentation to the Association of Environment Conscious Building (AECB): -
"Heads Up on the Heads of Argument; Doing Enough soon Enough versus Too Little Too Late,"
was presented as a key-note Friday 11th July at the Wills Halls University of Bristol.

It is now on-line here: - http://www.gci.org.uk/AECB.html

AECB is an important organisation doing very important work.
Andy Simmonds the Exec does an excellent job of informing and steering this Group.

Probably thanks to you and your earlier efforts, they were overwhelmingly aware of the C&C argument.
The session went well. There were around 300 people present.

The session for the presentation above lasted just under 3/4 of an hour, just over 1/2 of which was a very lively Q&A.
In the session, shared concerns about dealing global climate change embraced: -
  • Measuring Growth
  • Measuring "Doing enough soon enough" and also that,
  • "A carbon fee/tax without a global carbon budget is a dodge."
These messages were discussed and reinforced with tweets from the conference.
It was clear that AECB members: -
  • were most concerned about the prospects for future generations.
  • feel drag from the centre that is inappropriate and unwelcome
  • want no more disinformation from parties so positioned and so influenced.

With best wishes



Material in the Appendix to the presentation: - http://www.gci.org.uk/AECB.html
  1. Your still unanswered questions to James Hansen 
  2. His self-contradiction on carbon-budgets
  3. His unresolved differences with the UKMO 
  4. (Since he attacked the UK Climate Act as "too weak" in the UK Parliament)
. . . are included.


12 July 2014 - From the Big Bang on, is the Pythagorean Comma in the source-code of 'evolution' - anology or homology?

First mouse-click inside the image and then use Keyboard Arrow Keys to advance/retreat slides - dedicated page here - Zoomable pdf here

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04 July 2014 - Video of Climate Damages versus Growth "This is EXCELLENT Aubrey - give it your best shot at AECB next Friday."

"Aubrey, this is EXCELLENT and it's significant that this conversation is starting to include your material. I've attended industry conferences where some of the seminars are now including major insurers showing slides from IPCC sources that map the planetary heating over the last 100 years; they're taking it very, very seriously and the building industry is beginning to respond to it.

Give it your best "scientific" shot at the AECB Conference! This will significantly enhance your credibility."

Laurie Barlow

Built on these images from 1999, published here

"What does it really take to frame precautionary global climate policy?"
AECB July 11th, 2014 Annual Conference Bristol

03 July 2014 - "Without mitigation on a per capita basis . . " MOD Report says this (next to the bit about Catastrophic Climate Change).

"Without a strategic context there is a risk that planners, policy-makers and capability developers may assume a future that adheres to preconceived thoughts and assumptions.

Without mitigating action on a per capita basis, most developed countries’ emissions are likely to remain higher than those of most developing countries.

Catastrophic climate change

If advances in energy technology are insufficient to ensure the required amounts of electricity for economic growth, countries could burn hydrocarbons at ever-higher rates. This may increase greenhouse gas levels, causing global temperature rise.

In turn, this could lead to long heat waves in normally temperate latitudes. Sustained drought could contribute to repeated harvest failures, as arable crops would be unable to cope with the high temperatures.

Severe food shortages could lead to sudden mass migration of populations across national borders, triggering widespread social unrest."


01 July 2014 - "C&C - The twin principles of sustainability & justice, familiar in the climate change debate." Ecology & Ethics Rozz et al

Need for a Paradigm Shift in Assumptions, Two New Principles of Justice and Cultivation of a New Ethos

Here I would suggest two very broad normative principles that answer to the demands of justice in the circumstances prevailing today. These can be described, adapting familiar from climate change debate, as the twin principles of Contraction and Convergence. Concerns to protect interests of future people require contraction of our demands on the planet to make these sustainable in the long term; concerns to achieve that equitably, and in particular in a way that is compatible with protecting the worst off in the current generation, require convergence between the demands of the better off and the worst off.
Linking Ecology and Ethics for a Changing World: Values, Philosophy, and Action
Ricardo Rozzi, S.T.A. Pickett, Clare Palmer, Juan J. Armesto, Baird Callicott