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    Climate Chaos and other Human- Caused Unintended Consequences

    Climate Chaos and other Human- Caused Unintended Consequences

    Under a White Sky:the Nature of the Future interview  Elizabeth Kolbert in her new book visits cases where humans have "shot themselves in the foot" and examines whether attempts, such as geoengineering to block the sun and cool the planet, are crazy or better than not doing anything.  She goes into the problems of rabbits and cane toads displacing many creatures in australia and of canals allowing invasive species  such as zebra mussels to spread. -

    Scientists now consider using genetically modified gene drives to wipe out introduced species such as mice, rats, cats, snails, or goats that are themselves killing off native rare species such as albatrosses, ducks, which have evolved on islands and have no adaptation to survive the introduced species.  What could possible go wrong?

    NPR's Science Friday 3-12-21.

    Article by Elizabeth Kolbert

    Upbeat article on Costa Rica; Adelaide, Australia, Gary, Indiana- Becoming Renewable

    Examples and stories of building local movements for renewable society, carbon neutral, with local food, tree planting,  and economy.  New stories.  

    Cost Rica did  massive tree planting:"Now on track to become a carbon-neutral country, Costa Rica has restored 60% of the country's tropical forests in the last two decades by passing strict forestry laws, ending cattle subsidies, and promoting agroforestry and ecotourism."

    "They're about rebuilding our local economies in ways that restore our relationships with nature and our communities, and regenerate the ecosystems we desperately need. 

    This process is not about terrifying people with apocalyptic images but bringing them into the loop with stories, starting with people on the front lines of environmental ruin and injustice who are struggling for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—that's at the heart of understanding how we will survive in an age of climate emergencies."  

    Electric Utilities Bribe Legislators and Regulators with Dark Money

    Electric Utility Corruption  they are paying $200 million fines for bribery etc. 

    The 8-3-20 NYT editorial, “When Utility Money Talks”, illustrates the corrupt side of electric utilities.

    “citizens are getting a clearer picture of what they are up against. They are not just fighting dirty energy — they are also fighting the dirty money in politics that keeps it alive.”

    " in Illinois, Commonwealth Edison, admitted in federal court to bribing political figures in that state and agreed to pay a $200 million fine”

    “in Ohio “operating a $60 million political slush fund to elect their candidates, with the money coming from one of the state’s largest electricity companies”

    “In New Orleans, the utility Entergy was caught hiring actors to show up at City Hall and pretend to be citizens in favor of a controversial gas-fired power plant; the company was fined $5 million. A big Arizona utility, Arizona Public Service, has become embroiled in repeated political scandals, including pumping millions in dark money into a campaign to stack the state regulatory board with its lackeys.”

    “the big message from all these scandals is that you cannot assume your state government is working in the public interest as it oversees the energy transition.”

    Building a Sustainable community = Solution to Climate Change

    Article  "the slow work of listening to and learning from one another; of building relationships and a shared vision of a new world. The number of people truly benefiting from the existing system is quite small, so it can undoubtedly be improved.

    The choices Holthaus blames for the state of the world are the choices that leaders make to build economies based on unlimited growth in a limited world. Choices that leaders make to perpetuate a status quo that benefits the few at the expense of the many. Choices that leaders make to exacerbate inequities and avoid course corrections.

    Because these are choices, they are remade every day. And every choice, he says, is an opportunity to either repeat these mistakes and maintain the status quo, or to make changes.

    “The status quo is comfortable for a reason,” he writes. “It makes daily life easier to manage, especially when the alternative doesn’t yet exist—or, more accurately, when those in power are actively opposed to making a better world a reality.”

    Holthaus argues that people need to be brave in imagining something better. For starters, he says, success needs a different metric. Rather than endless growth, how about thriving? And in place of innovation and efficiency, Holthaus argues for a focus on repair and maintenance."



    "mostly by women of color. And so in his reporting, he aims to center the stories and voices of those communities doing this work, in the Marshall Islands, Puerto Rico, and other places where climate change is not some future fear, but the present."

    "the best “technology” for decarbonization is social movements. Care work and conversations are the tools to enable a society to change course. And that’s going to have to happen at the individual community level"

    Bacigalupi Thrillers about Drought, Rising Seas, & Loss of Biodiversity

    Here is one interview.

    The Water Knife is a detective thriller set amidst drought refugees and physical battles between cities over water.  It has romance, murder, gangs, chases, and journalists.

    The Windup Girl is about a future of GMOs, rising sea levels, hunger, loss of species of food crops,  racial blaming, and hunger after terminator genes wipe out many food varieties.  Oil is gone.  It is a very violent.

    Another interview.

    Drowned Cities and Ship Breaker are about societies where the oil based energy system is gone, and people struggle in gangs over the spoils or else move on to wind-powered ships.

    Zombie Baseball Beatdown is about middle schoolers battling GMO mad cows from a slaughter house.  It also touches on bullying, discrimination against  immigrants, corporate power over local government, and friendship.  

    The Doubt Factory  is about radicals protesting against toxic products .  It focuses on a high school girl’s relationship to her father, who is doing the fake pr for tobacco, pesticide, drug,  and  oil companies.  She is attracted to rebellious radicals who want to expose the corporate PR.

    Posted on September 22, 2015