Poor societal response

  • Eight categories of environmentally based societal collapse: deforestation/habitat destruction, soil erosion/salinization/fertility loss, water management issues, overhunting, overfishing, non-native species effects, overpopulation (human), high impact per capita Diamond, 15
  • Five factors in societal collapse: environmental damage, climate change, hostile neighbors, friendly trade partners (these four optional), and society's response to its problems (always significant) Diamond, 13
  • Past societal collapse theme: a series of good years --> population growth --> intensified (unsustainable) agriculture --> adoption of marginal lands for agriculture and interdependence (trade) --> environmental damage --> inability to continue using marginal lands --> poor resilience due to interdependence, food shortages --> starvation/war/weakness and disease, etc. Diamond, 15, 97
  • Difference between modern world and past societies which collapsed. Risk-lowering differences: tech advances, globalization, medicine, knowledge of other societies. Risk-heightening differences: unintended effects of tech, global interdependence, dependence on modern medicine for survival, enormous population Diamond, 11
  • Global emissions dipped in 2009 (likely due to the financial crisis) and increased 5.9% in 2010 - largest absolute increase since the Industrial Revolution Klein, 20
  • The ~500 million richest humans on earth are responsible for about half of global emissions Klein, 104
  • Public spending on the level of wartime expenditures need to occur in order to prevent catastrophic levels of global warming and to mitigate the effects which will reach us. This is largely energy efficiency and public transit expenditure. Klein, 99
  • In the neoliberal era, the rate of emissions growth had been declining: 4.5% annual increases in the 1960s were down to 1% annual increase in the 1990s. Between 2000 and 2008, they shot up to 3.4%/year Klein, 74
  • Countries are currently allocated responsible for emissions created in their country, not for emissions caused by their consumption. Shipping/etc. in the open ocean is not accounted for. Klein, 73
  • Climate change predictions have been underpredicted 20% more often than they have been overpredicted in the past 20 years Brysse

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