Ways of Seeing II – The Mechanical View and the Treadmill of Techno-Fixes

Another excellent post by Chris Perley and the need to drastically rethink our direction.

Thoughtscapes - Reimagining

This is the second in a series.  I wanted to write about where we have come from in land use and conservation, what we are doing, and where we could be going: from Pre-modern (Pre-Industrial), To Modern (Industrial, or Productivist), to Late-Modern (Post-Industrial, Post-Productivist).  

The first discussed the Rise of the Mechanical View from the days of Bacon, Descartes and Newton.  The legacy of that view is that we are encouraged to view land in a particular way, not just something outside ourselves, but a highly simplified system that shuts down our options and solutions.  Since World War II the technocratic approach has led us to think at a symptom level rather than to go deep into our understanding of and belonging to land.

My father was a walking sartorial stereotype of the East Coast country boy going to town; aertex shirt and moleskin trousers, with a hat, a pipe…

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It’s getting quiet out there. Too quiet.

Live & Learn

Stuart Palley

“Have you heard? Or more accurately, not heard? Vicious fires and vanishing ice floes aside, there’s yet another ominous sign that all is not well with the natural world: it’s getting quiet out there. Too quiet. […]

This is the chilling news: Bit by bit, bird by bird, species by species, gurgling brook by gushing river, the song of wild nature is, in many places, falling deathly silent…In short: What once was a rich, varied symphony of sound has become a far more subdued chamber orchestra, with large spaces of eerie silence where there was once a vast natural racket, signifying everything. […]

But overall, the tonal shift is undeniable, and deeply unsettling: There is now less birdsong than at any time in human history. Fewer lions’ roars,  beehive hums, elephant rumbles, frog croakings, simply because we’ve killed off so many of them, and show no signs of slowing. One…

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Pope Benedict XVI – Towards a Human Ecology (reviewed)

The forthcoming issue of Human Ecology Review (vol 21: 2) has a review of Pope Benedict XVI book Towards a Human Ecology by Robin vanTine.

Is Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI a Human Ecologist?

In this collectPopeion of religious writings, sermons, talks, letters and encyclicals collected and edited by Maria Morciano, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI lays out a vision of a sacred human ecology which aligns very well with many if not most of the tenets of academic human ecology. He has been called, “The Green Pope”, and the writings in this book substantiate that moniker. The Catholic Church is well known for its stand and work for social justice, and it appears that social justice, equity and environmental sustainability are woven together by Pope Benedict, in this work. Of particular interest is Benedict’s (and John Paul II’s) use of the term “human ecology” to stand for the inclusion of…

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United Nations University Dr. James Hansen On Climate Change – YouTube

Follow ClimateState Dr. James Hansen speaking at the United Nations University. Key topics: Anthropogenic Climate Change … After Copenhagen: Looking for Real Solutions James Hansen is director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York and Adjunct Professor at … Dr. James E. Hansen (born March 29, 1941) heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, a part of the Goddard Space Flight Center in …United Nations University Dr. James Hansen On Climate Change

Our first, & not our last, climate change refugee at NZ’s barricade

A sobering and all too accurate commentary on the implications of climate change, the issue of refugees, and the problem with barricades.

First We Take Manhattan

In July of this year, the Supreme Court denied the application of Ioana Teitiota from Kiribati to be granted asylum in Aotearoa New Zealand as a climate change refugee. In its ruling, the Supreme Court said he could not be granted asylum as he was not in danger of harm because Kiribati were taking steps to protect their citizens from the affects of climate change.

Those strategies are a National Environmental Management Strategy that includes “vulnerability assessment and coastal zone management,” identifying gaps in their strategy, accepting development that is environmentally sustainable. Lately they have installed a lot of solar panels. They are also, as a last resort, encouraging planned emigration of their population and raising their qualifications so Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia want their population as skilled migrants.

None of these strategies will stop Kiribati being swamped by rising seas. They are already struggling to grow food crops…

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World Is Locked into About 1.5°C Warming & Risks Are Rising, New Climate Report Finds

In the Andes of South America and across the mountains of Central Asia, the glaciers are receding. As temperatures continue to warm, their melting will bring more water to farms and cities earlier in the growing season, raising the risk of damaging floods. Within a few decades, however, the risk of flood in these areas will become risk of drought. Without action to stop the drivers of climate change, most of the Andean glaciers and two-thirds of Central Asia’s glaciers could be gone by the end of the century.These changes are already underway, with global temperatures 0.8 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, and the impact on food security, water supplies and livelihoods is just beginning.A new report explores the impact of climate change in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia and finds that warming of close to 1.5°C above pre-industrial times is already locked into Earth’s atmospheric system by past and predicted greenhouse gas emissions. Without concerted action to reduce emissions, the planet is on pace for 2°C warming by mid-century and 4°C or more by the time today’s teenagers are in their 80s.The report warns that as temperatures rise, heat extremes on par with the heat waves in the United States in 2012 and Russia in 2010 will become more common. Melting permafrost will release methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that will drive more warming in a dangerous feedback loop. Forests, including the Amazon, are also at risk. A world even 1.5°C will mean more severe droughts and global sea level rise, increasing the risk of damage from storm surges and crop loss and raising the cost of adaptation for millions of people.

Source: World Is Locked into About 1.5°C Warming & Risks Are Rising, New Climate Report Finds

Combustion of available fossil fuel resources sufficient to eliminate the Antarctic Ice Sheet | Winkelmann, R. Levermann, A. Ridgwell, A. Caldeira, K. Science Advances

The Antarctic Ice Sheet stores water equivalent to 58 m in global sea-level rise. We show in simulations using the Parallel Ice Sheet Model that burning the currently attainable fossil fuel resources is sufficient to eliminate the ice sheet. With cumulative fossil fuel emissions of 10,000 gigatonnes of carbon (GtC), Antarctica is projected to become almost ice-free with an average contribution to sea-level rise exceeding 3 m per century during the first millennium. Consistent with recent observations and simulations, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet becomes unstable with 600 to 800 GtC of additional carbon emissions. Beyond this additional carbon release, the destabilization of ice basins in both West and East Antarctica results in a threshold increase in global sea level. Unabated carbon emissions thus threaten the Antarctic Ice Sheet in its entirety with associated sea-level rise that far exceeds that of all other possible sources.

Source: Combustion of available fossil fuel resources sufficient to eliminate the Antarctic Ice Sheet | Science Advances

Monsters amongst us: inhumane commentators damn us all in their refugee crisis response

Thank you Graham, thank you.

First We Take Manhattan

[Trigger warning: the photos of Alyan Kurdi’s body and Laith Majid with his children are in this blog]

This is not a blog about Alyan Kurdi.

But it is a blog about who we allow to speak to us about Alyan Kurdi.

The public outpouring of grief and the demand for change in the pathetic refugee intake here in Aotearoa New Zealand was the subject of commentary in all of our major newspapers and channels over the past five days.

Some of those commentators have done an outstanding job of expressing our pain and our hopelessness in text. This is not a blog about those commentators, though I want to express my thanks to Heather du Plessis-Allan, Duncan Garner, Andrea Vance and actionstation.org.nz in particular for their considered responses.

This is a blog about the monsters that reside amongst us. The monsters that we consistently allow on our…

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