Earth now way outside "safe operating space for humanity," says new report

Sounds like we’re failing a trolley problem where switching only gives the passengers mild whiplash, because people don’t even consider that staying on the same track is also a choice. :frowning:


Oh man, nooooooooooooooooo!

Here’s hoping that someone, somewhere and somehow, gets through to her, even though you are the best advocate for fact-based results and well-documented courses of action for that child.

She’ll have an incredible burden to bear if the worst comes to pass, by her own inaction and irrational biases. I hope to high heaven this never comes to pass. Maybe she’ll carry the epi-pen around and some bystander whose wits are more about her will take it from her and use it on the child in extremis.



Not looking to derail, but the reason she called was to get us to change the emergency plan for the child at school so they were disallowed from giving epi in an emergency. I just can’t even…

(ETA: I refused to do so. Not on my conscience will she do that to her child.)


Reminded me of the Le Guin quote:

“We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.”


Good point. My underlying point is that because we toppled big tobacco, we can topple big oil and gas, but it will take a much greater effort for most of everyone to be informed and realize that they are unwitting participants in the same game. I, too, hope it’s not too late. There are lots of great technologies and projects on the horizon that might help.


Hope springs eternal, but a hope is just a dream until the work begins. Then it becomes a goal.


Thanks. Nice link. I wasn’t trying to start an argument either. I was trying to give it context for those short on reading time. It’s certainly interesting that draining aquifers has a measurable effect on the poles, but none of the authors involved are flagging the changes in the pole wobbles as creating new climate problems. But we do know that draining the aquifers has more direct and extremely dangerous effects for our survival. Eventually the aquifers expire or become too saline for agricultural use, and farmland that relied on bore water ceases to be farmland. In some places draining aquifers has caused land to collapse many metres, enough to destroy roads. Those with limited reading time should probably concentrate on those issues instead.

Past tense might be a bit optimistic, but we’ve certainly got the bastards starting too topple. We’ve got the smoking rates way down in most of the developed world, but the tobacco companies countered by pushing more strongly into the developing world, where they are still unashamedly marketing to minors, mostly successfully. In Australia we got the proportion of adults who smoke down to around 14%. In some developing countries it’s over 50%. Many Western countries still offer tobacco farmers exactly the same assistance that they offer to farmers of useful products. Governments don’t seem in a hurry to change this, since most of the tobacco grown and most of the damage to human life is exported to third world countries. And of course the tobacco industry continues to donate to any political party that will take their money, but it’s good to hear of the occasional case of minor parties refusing to take the money.

Interesting thing here is that in Australia the tobacco companies already had their exit strategies in place back in the 1980s. In Australia, the common corporate structure for tobacco manufacturer is a holding company that does essentially nothing, a subsidiary which makes and sells cigarettes but never manages to make a profit, because it is paying inflated prices for clean products such as paper or computer support which it buys from other subsidiaries in the group which are wildly profitable. If the industry gets hit with a successful bankruptcy-level class action suit in an Australian court, the already barely solvent subsidiary that makes the cigarettes takes the hit and goes bankrupt and rest of the group escapes with the money, so the class action victims get virtually nothing. The fact that they had this strategy set up in the 1980s meant that they thought they were nearing the end of their run in Australia, and they are probably as amazed as I am that they are still running a very profitable business 40 years on, though on a much smaller scale. I haven’t been active in the anti-tobacco activism since the 1980s, since environmental issues became more important. But there are still activists working on these issues. They’ll get the tobacco industry in Australia fully toppled eventually.


Oh please no. Underground cities are one of the first solutions I hear thrown out for climate adaptation and they are really bad ideas. It turns out that most of the benefit of underground living can be obtained with thicker masonry walls with far less resources. As you get to the sizes needed to support any substantial population you start very quickly running into waste problems. You need powered ventilation, powered sewage, and powered solid waste removal. When you see stable underground settlements like Cappodocia, Petra, or Coober Pedy there tend to be other factors that drove both the digging and the continued use as habitations.


I’m a veteran, having served in the USAF. I do believe we need some national military, but nothing even close to what the USA has right now. (We could slash the budget by ~50% and still be spending as much as the next three most funded militaries combined. There’s not a word to describe that in vile enough terms for my taste.) It’s absolutely not worthy of that level of funding. It may be necessary, but it’s not a good thing.

I will note, as I always do in these discussions, it’s downright shocking how very little of the military funding goes to the actual troops, of course. When I was in service, I knew several people who’s families were on food stamps. (This was during the Gulf War, so 1989 - 90 or so. The service member had been deployed overseas, meaning the stipend they would normally be authorized for food as a member living off base was cut off, as was the BAQ - basic allowance for quarters – which they would also normally have been receiving.) Many service members are receiving close to minimum wage for a job that can require you to actively put your life in danger.


Reading the latest pluralistic post and was reminded again of this concept during the following passage,

When Lessig formulated this argument, much of the focus was on technology – how file-sharing changed norms, which changed law. But as the decades passed, I’ve come to appreciate what the argument says about norms, the conversations we have with one another.

And sure enough, climate change emergency was brought in as an example right after (the post itself though was about labor),

Neoliberalism wants you to think that you’re an individual, not a member of a polity. Neoliberalism wants you to bargain with your boss as a “free agent,” not a union member. It wants you to address the climate emergency by recycling more carefully – not by demanding laws banning single-use plastics. It wants you to fight monopolies by shopping harder – not by busting trusts.

Great read anyhow.


You sure about that?

… those are freedom particles




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Completely agree.

And waste problems are not so easy to sort at scale even above ground, so the added layers of complexity are significant.

One thing I never quite figured out, when I was reading Dune was “what are the Fremen doing with all their poop?” Not pee. Pee is mostly water.

At the ISS, the poop problem is solved by burning it.

But… lookit all those Fremen crowded into those sietches!
How is their waste being dealt with? If feces are processed in the thigh pads of stillsuits (something else I have issues with btw, re laws of physics and biology), where does it go when one empties those? Etc.

Pfff: Frank Herbert, you are not so smart. :woman_shrugging:

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the worms actually start life as intestinal parasites, so there’s not much poop just baby spice factories

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