OPEC may not be the most disinterested source, but their projections are nonetheless disheartening:

In a forecast that will dismay environmentalists – and which questions the theory that oil company reserves will become “stranded assets” – Opec’s annual report significantly revised production estimates upwards. Most of the production increase will come from countries outside Opec, led by explosive growth from frackers in the United States, with China and India leading the increase in demand.

Opec expects global oil demand to reach nearly 112m barrels per day by 2040, driven by transportation and petrochemicals. That is up from almost 100m today and higher than last year’s projection.

Coal will continue to be be burned in record amounts, despite concerns about its impact on climate change. Opec estimates that coal usage in the OECD countries will plummet by a third by 2040, but it will increase by 20% in developing countries to reach five times the volumes burned in the west.

The world’s airlines will be the single fastest growing user of oil, increasing consumption by 2.2% a year on average, to 2040. However, the largest absolute growth is expected to come from road transport.

The number of vehicles on roads across the world are expected to leap from 1.1bn now to around 2.4bn in 2040. In its central scenario, Opec expects just 320m of those to be electric, a number that climbs to 720m in a scenario where battery-powered cars take off rapidly.

In short, knowing what a colossal threat climate change poses, and that the critical behaviour for averting the worst is decreasing fossil fuel use, the world seems set to keep burning heedlessly along, damn the consequences.

Related:

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The researchers and trauma experts Bessel A. van der Kolk and Alexander C. McFarlane write, “Reason and objectivity are not the primary determinants of society’s reactions to traumatized people. Rather … society’s reactions seem to be primarily conservative impulses in the service of maintaining the beliefs that the world is fundamentally just, that people can be in charge of their lives, and that bad things only happen to people who deserve them.”

I have frequently seen such irrational and defensive “conservative impulses” applied to organizational systems over the years, but perhaps never more than when I have collaborated with child protective services (CPS) workers and firefighters. Both groups have gruelling, scary, demanding jobs, and yet the way people react to them is strikingly different. CPS workers carry a heavy burden of feeling that they are hated—by everyone. Firefighters, on the other hand, tend to have the benefit of an age-old image of them as saviors and heroes. This contrast speaks to every level we’re touched on: the personal, the organizational, and the societal.

van Dernoot Lipsey, Laura and Connie Burk. Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others. 2009. p. 30–31 (ellipses in original)

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Amazonangst

2018-09-21

in Psychology, Rants

The irrational urgency of desperately awaiting a package delivery which you have no immediate need for, but which an online tracking system informs you could arrive at any time.

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We live under constant threat of sudden destruction via nuclear war. It wouldn’t take that many warheads falling on major cities to darken the atmosphere — making the consequences of even a regional exchange (or the payload of a single ‘boomer’ sub) global, and potentially a threat to the integrity of human civilization. The control systems carry a frightening risk of malfunction, particularly in a crisis when nuclear-armed forces may be out of communication with higher level command and at immediate risk of nuclear attack.

The only safe option is to disarm as a global community — spare everyone the costs of the nuclear arms complex, while greatly diminishing the total severity of potential wars.

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In the absence of real political solutions to climate change, Stephen Gardiner argues that: “we are susceptible to proposals for action that do not respond to the real problem. This provides a good explanation of what has gone wrong in the last two decades of climate policy, from Rio to Kyoto to Copenhagen. However, the form of such “shadow solutions” is likely to evolve as a the situation deteriorates. Some recent arguments for pursuing geoengineering may represent such an evolution.”

One example from today: Build walls on seafloor to stop glaciers melting, scientists say

Another example was back when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce suggested we could adapt to climate change by altering our physiology.

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Red tree

2018-09-19

in Photo of the day

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