The report, which took the form of a survey of 222 leading scientists from 52 countries, conducted by the international sustainability network Future Earth, found that the responses to these emergencies by governments, civil society, business and institutions did not recognise their interlinked nature. Trying to solve the problems individually, without taking account of the “cascading” impacts, was likely to be ineffective, the scientists said.
More than a third of the scientists surveyed said the five crisis types would worsen one another “in ways that might cascade to create global systemic collapse”.
Warming of small patches of frozen ground that contain large veins of ice will release far more emissions than once thought. This process, called “abrupt thaw,” will probably hit just 5 percent of Arctic permafrost. But that will likely be enough, conservatively, to double permafrost’s overall contribution to the warming of the planet, the team of researchers led by Turetsky concluded in a study published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience.
Wired dazu: Permafrost Is Thawing So Fast, It’s Gouging Holes in the Arctic. Normally, these terrains of frozen soil thaw gradually. But in some places, it’s thawing so abruptly that landscapes are collapsing in on themselves.
In 1930, the English economist John Maynard Keynes took a break from writing about the problems of the interwar economy and indulged in a bit of futurology. In an essay entitled “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren,” he speculated that by the year 2030 capital investment and technological progress would have raised living standards as much as eightfold, creating a society so rich that people would work as little as fifteen hours a week, devoting the rest of their time to leisure and other “non-economic purposes.” As striving for greater affluence faded, he predicted, “the love of money as a possession… will be recognized for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity.”