Much as I want to see the ongoing climate change stopped and reversed, I honestly don't have hope that humanity has the ability to stop, turn around, and ease our way back from the tipping point that may already be irreversably tipping.  I personally tread a narrow knife-edge between pragmatic and idealistic.  First, I have not given up driving to work.  I may work on practices to reduce my carbon footprint, keep the heat down, not using air conditioning (fortunate to live in mild climate), drive a modest car that is not a gas guzzler, mainly eat foods that are cooked at home, garden, compost, recycle, reuse, repurpose, but still I know that my personal carbon footprint is far, far greater than the vast majority of people in other countries.  And I'm fairly motivated.  Most people are not.  

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Add to that, the US and world's political and economic systems are not motivated to bring about rapid movement toward reversing climate change.  It's not even fair to ask countries like China and India, and the African continent, not to develop in ways similar to the West.  Then there is religion, with narcissistic "god made the world for us to suck dry" mentality, and "the world is going to end anyway, for god to make the new world to come".  A billion catholics, give-or-take, all being told to reproduce like rabbits.  A billion muslims, give-or-take, who knows what they are told, but I doubt they are going cut back today's population for tomorrow's children.  A billion Chinese, with a country rapidly developing and growing, seduced into flashy comfortable fun consumer society.  A billion Indians, also headed that way.  A western culture, elite, addicted to consumer goods and amazingly wasteful commuting lifestyles.  And the great portion of humanity just doesn't agree or have the where-with-all to think about climate change.

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So is there a choice other than hoping for the world to "listen" and "act" in ways that it doesn't appear willing to do, vs. nihilism, vs. survivalism?  Is it time to think about a "third way".  Which could be, "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Climate Change".

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Hoping for, and decrying, climate change diverts resources from finding ways to adapt to, and maybe thrive, in a changed world.  The future will belong to people and cultures and companies and countries that embrace the future, plan for the future, and devote resources to the future.  As individuals, what can we do to anticipate the changed world that may well arrive during our lifetimes, and certainly in the next generation?

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Searching on the topic, most hits land on decrying climate change, deer-in-the-headlights "The end is near", or denying climate change, or arguing about the cause, or decrying the climate change denialists.  It's much harder to find ways that people think about learning to live in a changed world.

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I may well get slammed for suggesting this.  I am re-reading the book "1491", which describes the Americas prior to the incursion of invading people, animals, plants, philosophies, economic, political, and religious systems, and most of all, microorganisms.  Bottom line - the native peoples had no way to know, understand, or prepare for the apocalypse to come.  They were decimated, according to the author, 90 to 97% dying off in the greatest destruction of humanity in history.  The "pristine" world that explorers found, was the result of local peoples and their agricultural and social systems vanishing.  

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We have the advantage of seeing, imperfectly, the world to come.  How do we prepare our society and culture to survive and even thrive in that world?

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I don't have answers.  I would love to see discussion on how society can realistically prepare.  Should we continue building metropolises at sea level?  Should we be working on farm crops that will do well in expected climates of the future?  How do we, if imperfectly, preserve and promote biodiversity?  What happens to the people who will be displaced from coastal areas and new deserts?  Think New Orleans / Katrina.  I don't want to see a "survivalist" mentality, so how do we prevent that and still prepare?  If there will be a changed world, what would a successful society look like?

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Replies to This Discussion

That first one's a doozey.  I think Pol Pot tried that, but it didn't turn out to be very popular.

Again, you insinuate something that was never relevant in the first place. The point is to stop our breeding, especially WE high consumers in the Northern Hemisphere.

Oh dear, I did stray. OK, quick return. 

1. Stop building at sea level and move at-risk communities to higher ground. No insurance for those who refuse to leave or who start new projects at sea level. 

2. Return to diversified farming, with many kinds of corn, for example, or whatever. 

3. Hold users liable if their Genetically Modified Foods contaminate organic farmers. 

4. Use state land-grant colleges for research on seeds for each particular area. One size does not fit all when it comes to agriculture. 

5. Water is to be allocated for human consumption for populations in drought areas. Stop using fossil water for agriculture and urban development. Don't allow building if there is not renewable water. 

6. Develop water reclamation projects to recycle grey water and for human consumption, and sewage water for reforestation projects. 

7. Develop community support groups to solve problems at the local level. Fund community development.  

8. Get out of wars. 

9. Charge people with crimes in financial and banking industry who broke laws and cheated customers. 

10. Pursue research on renewable, sustainable energy. What is this thing I keep hearing of running cars on hydrogen? Can sea water be used? 

11. What did I forget? 

How do we pay for all this? ... by stopping wars and using a fair tax code with no loopholes. 

Whew! I have whiplash! 

1. Homo sapiens is by evolution a water-side species

2. Yes, reinstate millenia evolved species and ban H.sapiens interfered species

3. Plant genes don't recognize borders and fences, contamination has already begun to happen across the board, the only way to 'stop it' is to ban transgenic species, and eventually all GMOs

4. Disagree... nothing we have ever 'researched' when it comes to food has improved H.sapiens relationship to our ecosystem. Evolution is always for sustainable than H.sapiens interfered

5. Drought places need to be DE-populated, potable aquifer/spring/river water is getting rarer and rarer, it is not sustainable for us to expect parks/golfs/gardens/agriculture from 'drought' areas.

6. Gray/black water... ban it all! All household water needs to be reused. Industry must have NO FREE access to water. That will force industry to be sustainable.

7. "Local" problems generally result from global tycoon/corporate abuse, expecting community support groups to solve global problems is unfair IMO

8. Will never happen, the more people we have on this planet, the more wars there will be. Warfare is a principal compoment of many nations economy. The only way to 'end wars' is to end weaponry/military manufacturing or put a cigarette-like TAX on those industries!

9. Those people write the laws, and they write laws in their favour... the only way to stop that kind of abuse is to take government away from money and back to "the people"

10. We already have all the sustainable energy developed, we're not using it because our tycoons won't allow them. But that will change. China's the world's first manufacturer or solar panels, and soon wind power, then we in the west will be completely out of the loop and at Asias mercy, woo hoo :) At least a majority of them are atheist...

11. forgot to stop slam your fist down and let go of bandaid solutions?

 

Joan I nag here because if an environmental group is not going to push the issue more than average society... what's the point of having this group at all? Most of what you 'hope' for has already been happening for decades... We must think new.

 

After some thought I've realize I'm burned out on this topic.  The person who starts a topic is responsible to  moderate it.  I'm leaving this topic, so will close it.  For further discussion, anyone who wants to say more can start a topi and, if you want continuity, can link to this one although it's OK by me if you don't   Either way.  Go forth and prosper.

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