Brush Fires

Stories from the media

From this article:

"Accepting risk is not itself a form of negligence; ... The problem at Fukushima ... was that its designers and managers did not acknowledge or make provision for the risk they had undertaken, so the plant was unprepared when disaster struck. "

Climate disruption and ecosystem collapse isn't the only problem our world has, and they don't operate independently. As the crises proliferate and redound upon each other, human social order will come under increasing stress, and survival will depend upon our ability to respond constructively to disruptions as they wash over us. This is my definition of Resilience. What are the features of resilience and how is it developed?

Link for the PDF

We combed 82 databases of public records to document billionaires’ houses, vehicles, aircraft and yachts. After an exhaustive search, we started with 20 well-known billionaires, whose possessions we were able to ascertain, while trying to include some diversity in gender and geography. We have submitted our paper for peer review but plan to continue adding to our list.

We then used a wide range of sources, such as the U.S. Energy Information Administration and Carbon Footprint,

to estimate the annual CO2 emissions of each house, aircraft, vehicle and yacht. In some cases we had to estimate the size of houses from satellite images or photos and the use of private aircraft and yachts by searching the popular press and drawing on other studies. Our results are based on analyzing typical use of each asset given its size and everything else we could learn.

We did not try to calculate each asset’s “embodied carbon” emissions – that is, how much CO2 is burned throughout the supply chain in making the product – or the emissions produced by their family, household employees or entourage. We also didn’t include the emissions of companies of which they own part or all, because that would have added another significant degree of complexity. For example, we didn’t calculate the emissions of Tesla or Amazon when calculating Musk’s or Bezos’ footprints.

In other words, these are all likely conservative estimates of how much they emit.

Residents of the U.S., including billionaires, emitted about 15 tons of CO2 per person in 2018. The global average footprint is smaller, at just about 5 tons per person.

In contrast, the 20 people in our sample contributed an average of about 8,190 tons of CO2 in 2018.

See the pdf for more detail.

This is why no action has been taken: The economy down by 10% by the end of the century? What about choking on plastics, global heat exhaustion, and mass extinction, don't you understand?

"After a summer of extreme heat, wildfires and floods in Europe, the costs of climate change — human and financial — have become increasingly stark. And a new report by the European Central Bank has reaffirmed the severe consequences of delays or inaction on climate change.

"By the end of the century, more frequent and severe natural disasters could shrink the region’s economy by 10 percent if no new policies to mitigate climate change are introduced, the report said. By comparison, the costs of transition would be no more than 2 percent of gross domestic product."

Community Planning and Applied Economics: How a political economy engineered to protect private wealth handles a collective disaster.

Posted 09/22/2021

From the article by Shelly Fagan

"Pointe-aux-Chênes is but one small community already making tough decisions about the future due to climate change. Larger cities may not have it so easy. Civic leaders seeking to abandon coastlines and resettle residents will likely meet with great resistance from the populace. No doubt locals will pressure officials to “do something” especially when wealthy landowners see property values plummet in response to the federal government declaring a future disaster area.

"It’s clear most communities are on their own. Rather than preparing the public for the inevitability that some regions may be permanently uninhabitable, FEMA is relying on local civic leaders to become disaster experts and deal with the problem themselves.

"The agency is focusing efforts on guiding cities in developing a Hazard Mitigation Plan, a program addressing issues such as zoning and development that should have been implemented 30 years ago. Vulnerable regions should move from the planning stage to implementation by actively resettling communities and relocating infrastructure. Without accepting the region may be a complete loss, thousands of communities will have adopted different plans and competing approaches to deal with climate hazards."

After significant declines in new funding for new powerplants abroad, the announcement merely validated policy. Meanwhile, China continues to build coal powered plants at home.

Posted 09/22/2021

Dated 09/13/2021. Fever. 50 degrees Celsius is halfway between freezing and boiling. 25C is a comfy 72-ish(F). Over 37C, wetbulb adjusted, a human being cannot shed excess heat. (At lower humidities, higher temperatures can be tolerated, but a person needs a lot of water, and a lot of electrolytes!)