Tag Archives: Capitalism

Planning for the future in the face of imminent catastrophe

Sorry everybody – this is a downer of a post. If you’re feeling that kinda tip, here’s some mood music to accompany yr reading.

It must take the patience of a saint and the optimism of a puppy to be James Hansen.

Hansen, as you may know, was a climate scientist with NASA up until a few years ago, when he quit his job to become a full-time Cassandra, travelling the world warning everybody who would listen about the perils of climate change. His predictions on the rapidity and severity of temperature and ocean level rises have been repeatedly dismissed as fringey and extreme, until they turned out to be prescient. (For instance, check this New York Times article about Hansen’s testimony to Congress on the threats global warming posed to the world…from 1988.)

A man like that could be dour and defeatist. After all, he’s been ringing the alarms on this issue for three decades, with only the most minimal of impacts. But Hansen continues to push people and governments to wake up to the extremity of the situation.

This week he announced the release of a new study showing that Antarctic glacial ice is now likely to melt at a rate for more rapid than had been previously predicted. The upshot is a ten-foot rise in ocean levels over the next half-century. Continue Reading

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