Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, May 06, 2019

The Long Emergency

The cold truth is that the condition of the planet is dire. The facts are just too frightening and too difficult for people to accept. The radical changes we need to make in the organization of our societies, energy sources, diet, and processing of materials; along with the critical need to limit and ultimately reduce the human population are all so daunting that people prefer to turn away. Meghan Markle's baby is bigger news that the consensus UN report.

Here's the link to the primary document, issued by The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). They scream at us with the headlines:

Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’
Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’

Current global response insufficient;
‘Transformative changes’ needed to restore and protect nature;
Opposition from vested interests can be overcome for public good

Most comprehensive assessment of its kind;
1,000,000 species threatened with extinction

Chair Robert Watson writes:

The Report also tells us that it is not too late to make a difference, but only if we start now at every level from local to global. Through ‘transformative change’, nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably – this is also key to meeting most other global goals. By transformative change, we mean a fundamental, system-wide reorganization across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values. 

Yes, we still need to be concerned about a range of subjects and we need to take a break and amuse ourselves sometimes, as well as continuing with our jobs and our daily responsibilities. But everyone, everyone, must focus on the urgent challenges facing humanity and do our part to save nature and a human civilization worth being a part of.

So I'm going to add another regular feature to this blog. Every Monday will be dedicated to some aspect of the Long Emergency, with an emphasis whenever possible on effective actions we can take.


Don Quixote said...

Great news. I personally would be willing to transform my life drastically and immediately.

I had a job once, overseas, making music. It was 1998. Email was just beginning to become indispensable; I used the public library for it. I had no phone, no computer at home, no radio, no television.

I'd go to work (making music, either rehearsing or performing), exercise, go hiking with friends, prepare meals or go out to eat, and practice my music on my own. I read about one book per week, usually novels. Once a week, I'd insert a lot of change into a payphone on the street and call back to the States to talk to people I was close to.

It was a great existence. It was all real reality, not virtual, very rewarding, with no car or digital devices. I had what I needed, without excess.

I'd be happy with community, mass transit, proximity to friends, contributing through useful work. Maybe one day we'll be able to teleport. You may say I'm a dreamer ... but I'm not the only one, JL! Change our ideas about what is important and what "success" is, and we'll be able to live in a paradise. It was before we messed with it. Keep our technology and science and find benign ways to power it. And for God's sake, end war. Have an international army, no national ones, and a World Court, like in the wonderful book I'm reading, Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land."

robin andrea said...

I'm looking forward to your new Monday report. I have absolutely no hope that there will necessary action taken on a global scale to change things. None. But it's always good to stay informed.