Month: June 2015

The climate change movement must overcome political tribalism. #Auspol

How can we change the conversation about climate change? Activist and thinker George Marshall has an idea or two, and shared them with the Guardian’s George Monbiot at a Guardian Live event in London this week
We’re all hardwired to ignore climate change: the issue is impossibly slippery and open to bias, and political tribalism has been a catastrophe for those trying to tackle it, according to social change activist and leading climate change thinker, George Marshall.
Speaking to Guardian columnist George Monbiot at a Guardian Live event in London this week, Marshall said that while much of the world still denies or ignores the obvious impacts of climate change, there are some simple ways to go about changing public opinion.
Politicisation has been a catastrophe for climate change

“We will not win on this issue until we have equal representation and diversity of people demanding action,” he said. “What the election showed us is that half the British population is voting for conservative parties for whatever reason. Are we just going to disregard those people, pretend they don’t exist? Or are we going to reach across to them … and get them on board?”
Unlike Naomi Klein, Marshall is wary of framing the debate in terms of left and right; creating a potentially Manichean divide with climate activism on one side and Neoliberalism on the other. “We need to fight against some forms of the economy at the moment, but I’m not persuaded that there was some kind of golden age when we were so cooperative and socially minded,” he said. “It will always be a bad time to deal with climate change – part of the reason for that is that we’re all involved in it.”

I don’t think there’s any fundamental reason why climate change should belong to one political world view or another.

Marshall believes the climate change movement must overcome political tribalism and find an inclusive narrative to build a collective identity for people, whatever their values. “It’s become part of people’s political identity whether they believe in climate change or not, but I don’t think there’s any fundamental reason why climate change should belong to one political worldview or another,” he said. “This is not an issue where we can have some kind of vanguardist approach – it’s far too big for that.”

Press link for more: Dominic Bates | theguardian.com

If everyone lived in an ‘ecovillage’, the Earth would still be in trouble #Auspol 

Republish

We are used to hearing that if everyone lived in the same way as North Americans or Australians, we would need four or five planet Earths to sustain us.
This sort of analysis is known as the “ecological footprint” and shows that even the so-called “green” western European nations, with their more progressive approaches to renewable energy, energy efficiency and public transport, would require more than three planets.
How can we live within the means of our planet? When we delve seriously into this question it becomes clear that almost all environmental literature grossly underestimates what is needed for our civilisation to become sustainable.
Only the brave should read on.
The ‘ecological footprint’ analysis
In order to explore the question of what “one planet living” would look like, let us turn to what is arguably the world’s most prominent metric for environmental accounting – the ecological footprint analysis. This was developed by Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees, then at the University of British Columbia, and is now institutionalised by the scientific body, The Global Footprint Network, of which Wackernagel is president.
This method of environmental accounting attempts to measure the amount of productive land and water a given population has available to it, and then evaluates the demands that population makes upon those ecosystems. A sustainable society is one that operates within the carrying capacity of its dependent ecosystems.

While this form of accounting is not without its critics – it is certainly not an exact science – the worrying thing is that many of its critics actually claim that it underestimates humanity’s environmental impact. Even Wackernagel, the concept’s co-originator, is convinced the numbers are underestimates.
According to the most recent data from the Global Footprint Network, humanity as a whole is currently in ecological overshoot, demanding one and a half planet’s worth of Earth’s biocapacity. As the global population continues its trend toward 11 billion people, and while the growth fetish continues to shape the global economy, the extent of overshoot is only going to increase.
Every year this worsening state of ecological overshoot persists, the biophysical foundations of our existence, and that of other species, are undermined.
The footprint of an ecovillage
As I have noted, the basic contours of environmental degradation are relatively well known. What is far less widely known, however, is that even the world’s most successful and long-lasting ecovillages have yet to attain a “fair share” ecological footprint.
Take the Findhorn Ecovillage in Scotland, for example, probably the most famous ecovillage in the world. An ecovillage can be broadly understood as an “intentional community” that forms with the explicit aim of living more lightly on the planet. Among other things, the Findhorn community has adopted an almost exclusively vegetarian diet, produces renewable energy and makes many of their houses out of mud or reclaimed materials.

An ecological footprint analysis was undertaken of this community. It was discovered that even the committed efforts of this ecovillage still left the Findhorn community consuming resources and emitting waste far in excess of what could be sustained if everyone lived in this way. (Part of the problem is that the community tends to fly as often as the ordinary Westerner, increasing their otherwise small footprint.)
Put otherwise, based on my calculations, if the whole world came to look like one of our most successful ecovillages, we would still need one and a half planet’s worth of Earth’s biocapacity. Dwell on that for a moment.

I do not share this conclusion to provoke despair, although I admit that it conveys the magnitude of our ecological predicament with disarming clarity. Nor do I share this to criticise the noble and necessary efforts of the ecovillage movement, which clearly is doing far more than most to push the frontiers of environmental practice.
Rather, I share this in the hope of shaking the environmental movement, and the broader public, awake. With our eyes open, let us begin by acknowledging that tinkering around the edges of consumer capitalism is utterly inadequate.

Press link for more: theconversation.com

Thinking beyond a global carbon price. #Auspol #ClimateChange

In December talks in Paris involving more than 200 countries may result in a new agreement aimed at reducing carbon emissions. In the months leading up to the conference, The Economist will be publishing guest columns by experts on the economic issues involved. In our last post, Christian Gollier and Jean Tirole of the Toulouse School of Economics explained why a carbon tax, or a carbon cap-and-trade system, should be policymakers’ preferred weapon. Here, Marianne Fay and Stephane Hallegatte from the World Bank explain what governments can do to achieve their climate targets.
LAST month the G7 heads of state reaffirmed their commitment to stabilising global temperature rise at no more than 2°C above preindustrial levels. That in itself was not new: the 2°C goal was formally adopted in 2010 by the 195 member countries of the UNFCCC. What was new was the explicit mention in the G7 communiqué of what it will take to stabilise at or near 2°C: the need to reduce net global carbon emissions to zero before the end of the century.

While the science behind this may be complex (and is laid out in the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report), the intuition is not. As long as we emit more carbon than can be absorbed by natural sinks such as forests, concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere will keep rising, and the climate will keep warming. So while the 2°C target increases the urgency of action, stabilising climate change at any temperature requires achieving zero net emissions.

What does it take for such a fundamental transition of the global economy to happen? In their recent blog, Professors Tirole and Gollier gave us the standard economist’s answer: put the same price on carbon in all sectors and all countries. This way, the environmental cost of economic activities can become apparent to investors and consumers, and markets can efficiently work to reduce emissions, wherever they are the cheapest.
There are two shortcomings to this approach: countries have different economic and political conditions, and a carbon price alone cannot solve the climate change problem—complementary policies are necessary.
Looking at carbon prices through a narrow climate lens provides only part of the picture. Over and above environmental concerns, carbon and energy taxes make economic and fiscal sense, making them relevant for both developing and developed countries. By taxing the “bads” (carbon), countries can reduce taxes on the “goods” (labor and capital). Carbon taxes are also easier to administer as carbon sources are concentrated. Experience shows that tax evasion for carbon or energy taxes is much lower than for VAT or income taxes (e.g. 1% instead of 17% in the UK). This should make carbon taxes the darling of any tax collector, especially in countries with weak fiscal administration and a large informal sector.
Fossil fuel consumption also affects more than just the climate. Congestion and air pollution are also undesirable by-products. Estimates are that health impacts alone could justify a carbon price well above $30 per ton. Since fiscal needs and local co-benefits vary across countries and contexts, there is no reason for an “optimal” carbon price to be the same everywhere.

Press link for more: Marianne Fay & Stephane Hallegatte | economist.com

Enerfin’s $460m Bulgana wind farm in western Victoria gets final approval #Auspol

The 63-turbine wind farm proposed for the Bulgana area in western Victoria has been given the final go-ahead.

The Northern Grampians Shire approved Enerfin’s planning application for the $460 million project several months ago


However, the proposal needed to be assessed under national environment laws.


Enerfin spokesman Brett Thomas said construction could start in the second half of 2016.


“The project was given [a] planning permit by the Northern Grampians Shire Council and then … we applied to the Federal Government for clearance under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and we’ve received that clearance this week,” he said.


“So the project has all its environmental and planning permits required to go ahead.


We are talking to the network companies about how we connect the project to the transmission system that runs up through that area.


“We’re talking to providers of wind turbines and all the other infrastructure that is needed to build the project and going through those discussion to refine the technical design of the project.”


RET impasse blamed for delaying Ararat wind farm plans


Meanwhile, the Australian Wind Alliance said the financing of the Ararat Wind Farm should have happened years ago.


The wind farm in south-west Victoria became the first project to benefit from the restoration of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) last week.


A global consortium of investors has committed to the $450 million project, which is set to inject about $8 million into Ararat’s economy.


The alliance’s Andrew Bray said the impasse over the RET held the project back.


“It does remind us of the opportunities that have been lost over the last two years as the Government has attacked the Renewable Energy Target and pulled it down as far as they possibly could,” he said.

Press link for more: abc.net.au


Climate Change Demands Moral Change. #Auspol 

“God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”” (cf. Gen 1:28).
Whether or not you are religious, this iconic phrase from the Book of Genesis has had immense influence on the way you live. So much of what has come before you, be it Enlightenment thought, the Industrial Revolution, urbanization or otherwise, has been shaped by the fundamental notion that man ruled over the Earth and its creatures. Its consequences may never have been clearer than today, when scientists are debating if we have entered the geological epoch of the Anthropocene, when human behavior directly shapes the Earth’s ecosystems.
This thought is central to Pope Francis’s Encyclical on climate change: he seeks to replace the understanding of man’s dominion over the Earth as a license to pillage it with an understanding of our responsibility to till and keep it. While this objection concerns only a couple of verses in the Old Testament, it reflects the enormous demand for a paradigm shift within the Christian faith and beyond. Pope Francis demands that we take responsibility for the havoc we are causing our planet. And when we do, we must change our entire way of inhabiting it. This recognition of climate change as a moral question is growing, as exemplified by the Summit of Conscience for the Climate taking place in Paris on 21 July in preparation for the COP 21 climate negotiations.

Morality versus politics
The Pope does not offer any new insights into the facts of climate change. Indeed, he aligns himself with the most moderate scientists in the field. Where his encyclical contributes something new is in terms of its insistence that climate change is not simply a scientific, or even a political or economic issue — at its core, it is a moral issue.

“God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”” (cf. Gen 1:28).
Whether or not you are religious, this iconic phrase from the Book of Genesis has had immense influence on the way you live. So much of what has come before you, be it Enlightenment thought, the Industrial Revolution, urbanization or otherwise, has been shaped by the fundamental notion that man ruled over the Earth and its creatures. Its consequences may never have been clearer than today, when scientists are debating if we have entered the geological epoch of the Anthropocene, when human behavior directly shapes the Earth’s ecosystems.
This thought is central to Pope Francis’s Encyclical on climate change: he seeks to replace the understanding of man’s dominion over the Earth as a license to pillage it with an understanding of our responsibility to till and keep it. While this objection concerns only a couple of verses in the Old Testament, it reflects the enormous demand for a paradigm shift within the Christian faith and beyond. Pope Francis demands that we take responsibility for the havoc we are causing our planet. And when we do, we must change our entire way of inhabiting it. This recognition of climate change as a moral question is growing, as exemplified by the Summit of Conscience for the Climate taking place in Paris on 21 July in preparation for the COP 21 climate negotiations.
Morality versus politics
The Pope does not offer any new insights into the facts of climate change. Indeed, he aligns himself with the most moderate scientists in the field. Where his encyclical contributes something new is in terms of its insistence that climate change is not simply a scientific, or even a political or economic issue — at its core, it is a moral issue.
In its insistence on climate change as a moral issue, the Encyclical challenges the entire existing debate on climate change, which thus far has often been relegated to political bickering or downright disregard. This dilemma posed by the Encyclical is nowhere clearer than among so-called “climate skeptic” Catholics, particularly in the United States. As one commentator asked after the publication of the encyclical, “In the age of Pope Francis, can a good Republican be a good Catholic?” If a good Catholic follows the Pope’s teachings, the answer thus far appears to be no. Presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Rick Santorum have openly declared their skepticism towards the Pope’s stance on climate change, asking that the Church stick to “making us better as people”, without interfering in politics. Meanwhile, only a quarter of Republican Catholics believe climate change is man-made and a serious problem, compared to 71% of American Catholics overall. Republican politicians in turn have made a virtue out of explaining their lack of knowledge about climate change with the defense “I am not a scientist,” insinuating again that climate change is a subject with which they do not have to engage.
As nonsensical as the position of American “climate skeptics” appears to most outsiders, the perceived rift between morality and science is not unique to them. As Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder and head of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and a primary environmental adviser to Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany explains, scientists are reluctant to making moral recommendations. Thus far, an assumption has persisted that if people were simply presented with the horrid facts on climate change, they would be immediately moved to action. This has proved not to be the case. The question is if this may not have something to do with our failure to understand climate change as a moral and spiritual challenge concerning every person on the planet.
Ignorance is not bliss
As Pope Francis insists, climate change touches on every aspect of modern civilization. It irrevocably impacts communities around the world, and especially the poorest and most marginalized. In terms of the way we think about democracy and living together within our separate societies, and perhaps even more in terms of the way we think about global solidarity and assisting those in need, climate change will define our future.
That is why it is long overdue that climate change is addressed as a moral issue. The linkage between morality and religion on the one hand and climate change on the other is evident from the increased activism among religious, spiritual, and interfaith groups, such as the Alliance of Religion and Conservation (ARC) and the World Council of Churches. Governments, too, are recognizing the importance of spiritual and religious engagement: on 21 July, the French Government will host a “Summit of Conscience” for major religious and moral figures ahead of the UN Climate negotiations in Paris this December.
At this summit, a new initiative will be launched :The Green Faith in Action. Its aim is reducing the carbon footprint of the 330 million people who go on pilgrimages every year and thus inspire a connection between faith and environmental protection. The initiative is a joint venture between the ARC, an interfaith environmental organization; R20, an organization that connects regions, technology and finance to build sustainable low-carbon projects; and the Scandinavian based thinktank Sustainia, focusing on identifying sustainable solutions from all parts of the world . The new initiative demonstrates the potential for the discourse around climate change to be turned into a moral, spiritual, and solutions-oriented conversation.
As Yolanda Kakabadse, President of WWF International stated after the release of the Encyclical, “the message from Pope Francis adds a much needed moral approach to the climate debate.” One might go further and wonder if the Pope is not actually taking the debate back to its moral beginnings.
A new consciousness for a new agenda
We are not lacking evidence, scientific or otherwise, that climate change is happening. Rather than discuss the extent of our possible extinction,, we need to discuss what climate change really means. We are likely to find that it means we must shift our mindset in the direction that Pope Francis demands. A mindset that understands the limitations of our dominion over the Earth, and a mindset that contains solidarity with those most affected by climate change and least able to mitigate We have passed the time , where climate change was a scientific, political, economic or business issue. It deals with our moral as human beings and our joint responsibility for the future of The Planet.
Whether one is optimistic about the prospects of such a conversation is another matter. The fact remains that it is our only option, because climate change demands more of our moral imagination than ever before. As Malcolm Bull, Professor of the History of Ideas at Oxford University has expressed it, “climate ethics is not morality applied but morality discovered.” The problem of climate change requires a new understanding of our responsibilities toward each other, a new understanding of democracy, and ultimately “a new chapter in the moral education of mankind.” Rather than an ideological battle, climate change invites humanity on a quest to find solutions for people of all persuasions, and as such, this moral challenge contains vast new possibilities of how to imagine the future.
Mobilizing our conscience could be the game changer in fighting climate change.

Press link for more: Erik Rasmussen | huffingtonpost.com

 Australian climate policy paralysis has to end, business roundtable says. #Auspol 

Business and industry alliance sets out climate ‘principles’, including that climate policy should be ‘capable of achieving deep reductions’ in emissions.

An unprecedented alliance of business, welfare and environmental groups and trade unions is demanding an end to Australia’s decade of political paralysis and division on climate policy, insisting the Abbott government make credible emission reduction commitments and the major parties agree on how the pledges should be implemented.
In an attempt to reset the bitter political debate on climate policy, the powerful line-up of interest groups has reached a historic agreement on “principles” that should guide Australia’s climate policy.

The principles do not explicitly mention the Abbott government’s Direct Action climate plan or the former Labor government’s emissions trading scheme, but they include objectives Direct Action fails to meet in its current form – including being “internationally linked”, being “capable of achieving deep reductions” and achieving greenhouse reductions “across all sections of the economy”.

Another principle is that policies should “prevent the unnecessary loss of competitiveness by Australia’s trade-exposed industries” – a charge levelled against Labor’s ETS by the Coalition, who repealed it.
Crucially, the new principles demand a policy that allows Australia to play a fair role in limiting global warming to 2C and eventually achieves no net greenhouse emissions – meaning more emissions are taken out of the atmosphere or bought from overseas than emitted by activities in Australia.
Groups included in the “climate roundtable”, which has been meeting secretly for more than a year, are the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group, the Australian Aluminium Council, the Investor Group on Climate Change, the Australian Conservation Foundation, WWF, the Energy Supply Association of Australia (ESAA), the Australian Aluminium Council and the ACTU.

“This is born of collective frustration,” said the chief executive of the ESAA, Matthew Warren.
“We are tired of the politicking on climate policy. We have had a decade of policy uncertainty … we need a target and we need an agreed policy to get there, but we have to know we aren’t going to keep changing track,” he said.

Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott said the aim of the exercise was to “send climate policy in the right direction and avoid years of costly policy uncertainty and reversals”.

Press link for more: Lenore Taylor | theguardian.com

It’s time for conservatives to end the denial on climate change. #Auspol 

Reducing Pope Francis’s encyclical “Laudato Si” to a white paper on global warming is, in George Weigel’s fitting analogy, “akin to reading ‘Moby Dick’ as if it were a treatise on the 19th-century New England whaling industry.” The whole spirit and story of the thing are missed.
The pope’s sprawling, ambitious statement — setting out a theory of nature and of the human person — will be profitably scrutinized for decades. Environmentalists who like some of Francis’s conclusions will find, if they sit quietly with the text rather than rummage through it for the politically relevant bits, that the pope is making a frontal assault on a technological and utilitarian worldview that treats creation as “raw material to be hammered into useful shape,” reduces humans to mere consumers and treats inconvenient people as so much refuse.

In the pope’s vision, both nature and human nature are gifts to be appreciated and accepted, not despoiled or redefined. And the ultimate demonstration of God’s attitude toward nature is the incarnation, in which the creator — so the remarkable story goes — somehow became a crawling, puking, sleeping, living, dying creature, occupying a biological niche, in a thin layer of air, on a floating, fragile ball.

Francis is offended — infuriated, really — by how humans have treated their home and one another. And he has particularly harsh words for habits of consumption and exploitation in rich countries. The pope is frankly distrustful of global capitalism and the “logic of markets.” It is fair to say that he has a broader understanding of the (very real) flaws of the developed world than he has of the economic conditions that might allow large numbers of poor people to join the developed world. But an uncomfortable relationship with modernity — including classical liberal economics — is hardly new in Catholic social thought.
The pope’s environmental concerns are broad (clean drinking water and biodiversity rank high). But there is no getting around the fact that Francis regards potentially catastrophic, human-caused global warming as a fact. “A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. . . . [a] number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases . . . released mainly as a result of human activity.”

In American politics, the pope’s encyclical has not made legislative action on climate change inevitable, but it has made the issue unavoidable. The politician’s shrug — “I’m no scientist” — is no longer acceptable. If climate change is a global threat, then addressing it, as the pope argues, is both a moral and public requirement.
But the dysfunctional American debate on climate change illustrates a broader challenge. Ten or 15 years ago, this issue was less divisive. But it got pulled into the polarization vortex. And now the two sides do not merely hold different policy views; they have different versions of reality. The camps not only advocate different solutions; they also inhabit different factual universes.
Many conservative Republicans now deny the existence or danger of human-caused warming and routinely question the motives of scientists who speak up on the issue. For a conservative to stray from skepticism is regarded as ideological betrayal.
In a recent National Affairs essay, Jim Manzi and Peter Wehner provide an explanation: “The Republican position — either avowed ignorance or conspiracy theorizing — is ultimately unsustainable, but some still cling to it because they believe that accepting the premise that some climate change is occurring as a result of human action means accepting the conclusions of the most rabid left-wing climate activists. They fear, at least implicitly, that the politics of climate change is just a twisted road with a known destination . . . ceding yet another key economic sector to government control.”
This is the temptation of the ideologically intense on the left and right: Truth exists to serve the narrative rather than the narrative arising from truth. It is a malady easy to see in others and harder to diagnose in ourselves. But it is dangerous to democracy. Without a common factual basis, it is impossible to make incremental progress on public matters. All that remains are shouting matches and power plays.
The pope’s views on climate change are shared by every national academy of science in the world, including our own. But, as Manzi and Wehner demonstrate in their essay, there are distinctly conservative responses to global warming, particularly in promoting energy innovation.

Conservatives can choose their policy reaction but not their own reality.

Michael Gerson | washingtonpost.com

EPA Report Puts a Staggering Price Tag on Climate Inaction #Auspol 

According to a report released Monday by the Obama administration, doing nothing to rein in greenhouse gas emissions would cost the United States billions of dollars and thousands lives.
The findings come as part of an attempt by the Environmental Protection Agency to quantify the human and economic benefits of cutting emissions in an effort to reduce global warming. The report is the latest piece of President Obama’s recent climate push and provides a tool that he hopes to use in negotiations at the UN climate talks in Paris later this year.
The report, which was peer reviewed, estimates that if nothing is done to curb global warming, by 2100, the United States will see an additional 12,000 annual deaths related to extreme temperatures in the 49 cities analyzed for the report. In addition, the report projects an increase of 57,000 premature deaths annually related to poor air quality. The economic costs would be enormous as well. By 2100, climate inaction will result in:
$4.2-$7.4 billion in additional road maintenance costs each year.

$3.1 billion annually in damages to coastal regions due to sea-level rise and storm surges.

$6.6-$11 billion annually in agricultural damages.

A loss of 230,000 to 360,000 acres of cold-water fish habitat.

A loss of 34 percent of the US oyster supply and 29 percent of the clam supply.

$110 billion annually in lost labor due to unsuitable working conditions.

The EPA also used a number of charts to illustrate the difference between taking action to stop (or “mitigate”) climate change and continuing with business as usual (which the charts refer to as the “reference” case).
For example, if we don’t mitigate climate change, temperatures will continue to skyrocket:

Press link for more: Luke Whelan | motherjones.com

We should let climate change refugees resettle here. #Auspol 

By Michael B. Gerrard June 25Michael B. Gerrard, associate faculty chair at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, is the Andrew Sabin professor of professional practice and director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School.

Toward the end of this century, if current trends are not reversed, large parts of Bangladesh, the Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt and Vietnam, among other countries, will be under water. Some small island nations, such as Kiribati and the Marshall Islands, will be close to disappearing entirely. Swaths of Africa from Sierra Leone to Ethiopia will be turning into desert. Glaciers in the Himalayas and the Andes, on which entire regions depend for drinking water, will be melting away. Many habitable parts of the world will no longer be able to support agriculture or produce clean water.
The people who live there will not sit passively by while they and their children starve to death. Tens or hundreds of millions of people will try very hard to go somewhere they can survive. They will be hungry, thirsty, hot — and desperate. If the search for safety involves piling into perilous boats and enduring miserable and dangerous journeys, they will do it. They will cross borders, regardless of whether they are welcome. And in their desperation, they could become violent: Forced migration can exacerbate ethnic and political tensions. Studies show that more heat tends to increase violence.
The United Nations says the maximum tolerable increase in global average temperatures is 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial conditions. (Small island nations argued for a much lower figure; at 3.6 degrees, they’ll be gone.) But the promises that nations are making ahead of the U.N. climate summit in Paris in December would still, according to the International Energy Agency, lead the average temperature to rise by about 4.7 degrees before the end of the century. Those promises are voluntary and nonbinding, and if they aren’t kept, the thermometer could go much higher. Which means our children and grandchildren will be confronting a humanitarian crisis unlike anything the world has ever faced.
Absent the political will to prevent it, the least we can do is to start planning for it.

Press link for more: Michael B. Gerrard | washingtonpost.com

Here is a virtual hug to all my 2,139 followers on Totally Inspired Mind

Totally Inspired Mind

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Hard to believe that I created Totally Inspired Mind over 2 years ago…
Last count was 94 countries monthly read regularly. People from all walks of life find inspiration, good information, and entertainment here.

I have met so many incredible people here on WordPress from reblogging their content.

I am going to have to update my data base of people I have recently met who are wtiters, photographers, civil rights advocates, and creative souls who make a difference with theur words, by putting something great into the universe that will be their living legacy.

I am overwhelmed with such a feeling of love and warmth from your kind comments and also with the many awards you have nominated Totally Inspired Mind and me the creator for.

Paulette Motzko, creator of Totally Inspired Mind Where Positive Minds Congregate outside The Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa.

High definition self shot and…

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