A new study sponsored by Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.
Noting that warnings of ‘collapse’ are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.” Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to “precipitous collapse – often lasting centuries – have been quite common.”
The research project is based on a new cross-disciplinary ‘Human And Nature DYnamical’ (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharrei of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural and social scientists. The study based on the HANDY model has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal, Ecological Economics.
via Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for ‘irreversible collapse’? | Nafeez Ahmed | Environment | theguardian.com.
Thanks to Anake Goodall for posting this.
Via Business Insider: “As the war over income inequality wages on, super-rich Seattle entrepreneur Nick Hanauer has been raising the hackles of his fellow 1-percenters, espousing the contrarian argument that rich people don’t actually create jobs. The position is controversial — so much so that TED is refusing to post a talk that Hanauer gave on the subject. National Journal reports today that TED officials decided not to put Hanauer’s March 1 speech up online after deeming his remarks “too politically controversial” for the site…”.
via Banned TED Talk: Nick Hanauer – “Rich people don’t create jobs” | anakegoodall.
Kim said there would be no solution to climate change without private sector involvement and urged companies to seize the opportunity to make profits: “There is a lot of money to be made in building the technologies and bending the arc of climate change.”
via Nicholas Stern: ‘I got it wrong on climate change – it’s far, far worse’ | Environment | The Observer.
Severe droughts in Amazon linked to climate change, says study – CBS News.
An area in the Amazon twice the size of California is experiencing what scientists call a “megadrought.” The prolonged drought, which began in 2005, has caused widespread damage to the area and may possibly be a sign that the rainforest is showing the first signs of large-scale degradation due to climate change.
A research team, led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, analyzed nearly a decade of satellite data over the Amazon. The team looked at rainfall measurements and the moisture content of the forest canopy.
The Post-Crisis Crises.
08/01/2013 BY JOSEPH STIGLITZ 9 COMMENTS
In the shadow of the euro crisis and America’s fiscal cliff, it is easy to ignore the global economy’s long-term problems. But, while we focus on immediate concerns, they continue to fester, and we overlook them at our peril.
The most serious is global warming. While the global economy’s weak performance has led to a corresponding slowdown in the increase in carbon emissions, it amounts to only a short respite. And we are far behind the curve: Because we have been so slow to respond to climate change, achieving the targeted limit of a two-degree (centigrade) rise in global temperature, will require sharp reductions in emissions in the future.
Some suggest that, given the economic slowdown, we should put global warming on the backburner. On the contrary, retrofitting the global economy for climate change would help to restore aggregate demand and growth.
At the same time, the pace of technological progress and globalization necessitates rapid structural changes in both developed and developing countries alike. Such changes can be traumatic, and markets often do not handle them well.