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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
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VIII. Earth Earns: An Open Participatory Earthropocene to Astropocene CoCreative Future

A. The Old World: Its Archaic, Polar, War Torn, Rapacious Critical Life Support Condition

Goudie, Andrew, editor-in-chief. Encyclopedia of Global Change. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. An authoritative compendium on every issue such as Hazardous Waste, Salinization and Acid Rain.

Haggstrom, Olle and Catherine Rhodes. Existential Risk to Humanity. Foresight. 21/1, 2019. In this Emerald Insight journal of future perspectives, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden and Cambridge University scholars introduce a litany of very bad potential threats to Earth, people, and all living beings. Some papers are Facing Disaster: The Great Challenges Framework by Phil Torres, Long-Term Trajectories of Human Civilization by Seth Baum, et al (search) and Predicting Future AI Failures from Historic Examples by Roman Yampolsky. A nexus for such studies revolves somewhat around the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University (Google).

Hansen, James. Game Over for the Climate. New York Times. May 10, 2012. The director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies has for three decades tried to get our attention about increasingly evident, perilous, soon irreversible global weather changes. His latest book is Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity. While President Barack Obama has vetoed the exploitation of oil from tar sands, Canada now plans to go ahead with this anyway. Rather than sensible conservation measures, this desperate fuel source to keep business as usual is “saturated with bitumen” which makes it a filthy, invasive pollutant. If scientific studies mean anything, such dumping into the atmosphere will blow carbon dioxide levels beyond any control and devastate human civilization.

Hansen, James, et al. Global warming in the pipeline. Oxford Open Climate Change. 3/1, 2023. Eighteen scientists in the USA, Germany, China, Korea, the Netherlands, and France, led by the Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions, Columbia University Earth Institute (Hansen) contribute a thirty page, 280 reference edition whereby the cur Earth system miasmas are traced over millions and thousands of years to Cenozoic and Holocene eras. Along with the Anthropocene phase, the present critical condition is so unstable that it must be resolved in this decade.

By way of the planatural philosophia view of this website, these worldwise scientific resources the authors draw on could well be seen as an entire historic accumulated knowledge, which can now availed in turn to remediate the many intertwined perils Earthropocene Era). See also The Godfather of Climate Science Turns Up the Heat by Davld Wallace-Wells in the New York Times (Nov. 8, 2023) for the dilemmas. We reprint the whole abstract for its urgency.

Improved knowledge of glacial-to-interglacial global temperature change yields Charney (fast-feedback) equilibrium climate sensitivity 1.2 ± 0.3°C (2σ) per W/m2, which is 4.8°C ± 1.2°C for doubled CO2. Consistent analysis of temperature over the full Cenozoic era—including ‘slow’ feedbacks by ice sheets and trace gases—supports this sensitivity and implies that CO2 was 300–350 ppm in the Pliocene and about 450 ppm at transition to a nearly ice-free planet, exposing unrealistic lethargy of ice sheet models. Equilibrium global warming for today’s GHG amount is 10°C, which is reduced to 8°C by today’s human-made aerosols. Equilibrium warming is not ‘committed’ warming; rapid phaseout of GHG emissions would prevent most equilibrium warming from occurring. However, decline of aerosol emissions since 2010 should increase the 1970–2010 global warming rate of 0.18°C per decade to a post-2010 rate of at least 0.27°C per decade.

Thus, under the present geopolitical approach to GHG emissions, global warming will exceed 1.5°C in the 2020s and 2°C before 2050. Impacts on people and nature will accelerate as global warming increases hydrologic (weather) extremes. The enormity of consequences demands a return to Holocene-level global temperature. Required actions include: (1) a global increasing price on GHG emissions accompanied by development of abundant, affordable, dispatchable clean energy, (2) East-West cooperation in a way that accommodates developing world needs, and (3) intervention with Earth’s radiation imbalance to phase down today’s massive human-made ‘geo-transformation’ of Earth’s climate. Current political crises present an opportunity for reset, especially if young people can grasp their situation. (Abstract)

Hansen, James, et al. Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 16/3761, 2016. (An interactive, open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union) An international team of 19 environmental scientists, led by the Columbia University, Earth Institute, authority, achieve a 53 page manifesto about the clear and present dangers of abrupt climate change. This is the final version of a July 2015 draft which received vigorous and vehement peer review, see a March 22 New York Times article Scientists Warn of Perilous Climate Shift Within Decades for coverage. Based on a combination of paleoclimate data, modelings, and current observations, at least 2 degrees Centigrade warming is ominously evident. On this second day of Spring, in New England after its snowiest winter last year, 2016 has seen almost the least amount – just the kind of increasingly erratic, out of control weather that the report documents.

Hansen, James, et al. Perception of Climate Change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Online August, 2012. NASA and Columbia University researchers post an updated extensive analysis of increasing extreme, erratic national and worldwide weather. Drought, fires, and storms raging across most of the United States this summer is an example, but Europe and Asia have also been subject to wild events, floods, record temperatures. Its technical documentation is posted at www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/PerceptionsAndDice. Should we be worried asked this veteran climate expert on The News Hour for August 6, who seemed weary of sounding alarms since the 1980s? If we care about a liveable future for our children, very seriously concerned.

“Climate dice,” describing the chance of unusually warm or cool seasons, have become more and more “loaded” in the past 30 y, coincident with rapid global warming. The distribution of seasonal mean temperature anomalies has shifted toward higher temperatures and the range of anomalies has increased. An important change is the emergence of a category of summertime extremely hot outliers, more than three standard deviations (3σ) warmer than the climatology of the 1951–1980 base period. This hot extreme, which covered much less than 1% of Earth’s surface during the base period, now typically covers about 10% of the land area. It follows that we can state, with a high degree of confidence, that extreme anomalies such as those in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 and Moscow in 2010 were a consequence of global warming because their likelihood in the absence of global warming was exceedingly small. We discuss practical implications of this substantial, growing, climate change. (Abstract)

Extreme heat waves and record floods receive public attention, yet we wonder if there are not more pervasive impacts of warming. Natural ecosystems are adapted to the Holocene climate. Although climate fluctuations are normal, the rapid global warming in the past three decades, from an already warm level, is highly unusual. Warmer winters have led to an epidemic of pine bark beetles and widespread destruction of forests in Canada and the western United States. Global warming is already affecting the geographical and seasonal range of animals, birds, and insects to a degree that is sometimes noticeable to the public. Such changes should be more perceptible to the public during the next decade as the distribution of temperature anomalies continues to shift toward higher values. (9)

Hetherington, Renee and Robert G. B. Reid. The Climate Connection: Climate Connection and Modern Human Evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Hetherington has an interdisciplinary doctorate in anthropology, biology, and geology from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and Reid is emeritus University of Victoria biologist and author of Biological Emergences. (2007, search). Hetherington also wrote Living in a Dangerous Climate: Climate Change and Human Evolution (Cambridge, 2012). What makes this volume special is its basis in Reid’s respected evolutionary revisions that organisms are not really at the mercy of vicarious environments to which they must adapt. In regard, selection is not the only force, creatures of all kinds are more proactive than realized by way of pre-adaptive, beneficial modifications of their biotic niche. Similarly we dominant humans, as lately beset by our rapacious biosphere impacts, need to seriously become aware, informed and moved to heal and save this precious planet before it is too late.

Adaption and adaptability are hopelessly confused in the public mind, as well as in the writings of anthropologists and archaeologists. The adaptations with which neo-Darwinists work are random, genetically fixed mutations that require the approval of natural selection to become general species characteristics. Adaptability is what the individual organism can do to respond physiologically and behaviorally to change. In the case of humans, the proper application of intelligence is part of our adaptability. The distinction is particularly important in the context of this book, since the process of adaptation and natural selection in the strict sense is much too slow to respond to sudden environmental alteration. In contrast, the adaptable organism can doo something about it instantly. (Preface, xv)

We contrast two theories of evolution. The first, Darwinian theory, progenitor of the modern synthesis of evolution, emphasizes gradual change through natural selection over geological time. The second, emergence theory, treats evolutionary change as a saltatory (or rapid) process, combining internal organismal causes with environmental causes. Emergence theory therefore accepts the idea that the history of life takes the form of punctuated equilibria, with rapid emergent evolution punctuating the bulk of geological time, which is made up of states of dynamic stability in communities and ecosystems. (9-10)

Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove, et al. The Human Imperative of Stabilizing Global Climate Change at 1.50 C. Science. 365/eaaw6974, 2019. As the reality of catastrophic weather finally gains popular notice, if not governmental, a 21 person team from Australia, Germany, Jamaica, Italy, the UK, USA, Bahamas, Argentina, Switzerland, South Africa, France and China, a worldly group, scope out requirements and programs for holding to this feasible, viable limit. An increasing shift in public awareness, especially among young people since it is their future, can aid the vital changes in energies, consumption, waste, travel, the whole litany of sensible adjustments, which could mitigate and sustain.

surface temperature 1.0°C higher than during the pre-industrial period. We expand on the recent IPCC Special Report on global warming of 1.5°C and review the additional risks associated with higher levels of warming, each with major implications for multiple geographies, climates, and ecosystems. These conclusions are relevant for people everywhere, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, where the escalation of climate-related risks may prevent the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. (Abstract)

Houghton, John. Global Warming: The Complete Briefing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Sir John provides a comprehensive, timely volume on the realities of intensifying climate change. The issue is not whether this is happening, just look out the window, but beyond denial how can peoples collaborate to research, understand, and mitigate. Nor is it just a matter of milder weather, rather its result will be extreme droughts, floods, hurricanes, heat waves and other calamities already being felt.

Hunter, Robert. Thermageddon: Countdown to 2030. New York: Arcade Publishing, 2003. A Canadian activist, ecologist and writer dramatizes the dangers of out-of-control climate change, which begs a planetwide incentive to back off.

Johansen, Bruce. Global Warming in the 21st Century. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2007. A three volume resource by the Research Professor of Communication and Native American Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha which covers these areas: Vol. 1: Our Evolving Climate Crisis, Vol. 2: Melting Ice and Warming Seas
Vol. 3: Plants and Animals in Peril. (See also a Time Magazine special issue (October 2007) also entitled Global Warming) Surely climates always change and, quite simply, the more we can learn and quantify, mitigate, rather than in denial smearing Al Gore, the better to respond and mitigate.

Kieran, David and Edwin Martini, eds. At War: The Military and American Culture in the Twentieth Century and Beyond. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2018. The editors are Washington and Jefferson College and Western Michigan University historians. We note as one volume among a growing number (survey Amazon) that try to identity and indict how much the United States has been taken over and defines itself by an extreme obsession with perpetual global warfare.

The country’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, its interventions around the world, and its global military presence make war, the military, and militarism defining features of contemporary American life. The armed services and the wars they fight shape all aspects of life—from the formation of racial and gendered identities to debates over environmental and immigration policy. Warfare and the military are ubiquitous in popular culture. At War offers short, accessible essays addressing the central issues in the new military history—ranging from diplomacy and the history of imperialism to the environmental issues that war raises and the ways that war shapes and is shaped by discourses of identity, to questions of who serves in the U.S. military and why and how U.S. wars have been represented in the media and in popular culture.

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