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Showing posts from August 4, 2019

Green New Deal VII - Ideas Matter

This post has been precipitated by the following question Christoph Becker asked rhetorically in a comment to Part VI : " Is education in our situation still of any use or is it just depressing, unwanted or even dangerous? " Mike Haywood, of course, found this cartoon that illustrates so well the fundamental quandary of the Green New Deal: Economic growth we got accustomed to will stop, and with it the global Ponzi scheme, which is a synonym for the global economy, will crumble. My short answer to Christoph was that good education would always be necessary for a functioning democracy. We see great examples of this requirement in Denmark, Finland, Holland, Norway, Sweden and Germany, for example. Education is the necessary condition for a thriving democracy, but it alone is woefully insufficient.  Democracy must also be antifragile in the sense of Nassim Taleb . That is, any perturbation that attempts to blow up an antifragile democracy, will only make it stronger

Green New Deal VI - Urgency and oil production constraint

Amid an ongoing Arctic heat wave , the Greenland ice sheet is in the middle of its biggest melt season in recorded history. It’s the latest worrying signal climate change is accelerating far beyond the worst fears of even climate scientists. This is how the RollingStone put it, following an unspoken rule of never discouraging too much the clueless and faint at heart.  The reason is clear, we don't want 299 million Americans to freeze like deer in headlights, and exclaim: "Let's have an insanely rich farewell party before it all ends!". Free-floating ice floats jammed into the Ilulissat Icefjord during unseasonably warm weather on July 30, 2019 near Ilulissat, Greenland. Ten billion ton of water melted in a single day. I am a geoscientist, and in my book this is an instantaneous positive feedback to global heating that must be very bad for humans. Image Source: Sean Gallup/Getty Images. My take on this 100-year ice melt on Greenland that just happened for the