10 October 2013

timeline for climate 'tip'... strategic issues will be many...

Climate studies have spoken of how things might be in 2050, 2100, etc.

A study published in Nature today takes a different approach, endeavouring to pin down dates on which particular places may tip into a 'new normal' of hotter and wilder (including hotter, colder, more persistently extreme and violent) climate.

Reuters offered summary here, but it is worth looking at the openly accessible bits in Nature, including the three Figures at the bottom. All sobering.

Where on the maps there is the slightest suggestion that in some ways Australia (and Argentina) may lag a bit behind in the timeline, we will already be caught up in the many international strategic consequences as other places begin to suffer.

No discussion of this at APEC this week (but there is a reference to 'investment climate'), nor at the East Asia Summit, where the big background issue is sharing or not sharing oil under the South China Sea.

A small contest compared with those arising from climate change.

It's thirty years since surveys showed that the majority of young Australians expected to experience a nuclear war. Perhaps that, and the fact that it didn't happen, contributed to some generational attitudes including expectation that climate change won't happen or if it does, there's nothing to be done about it. There's sort of a hole in that thinking, in that even if one argues that itty bitty contributions by people in one country (albeit the richest in the world with one of the highest carbon footprints per capita) individual adjustment to big future problems at family and community level deserves forethought! Somewhere though, back in that period 25 years ago, we learned to look no further than the next 12 months in business planning. John Elliot, in the days when he presided over the Liberal Party in oblivion, knocked dead a series of his acquisitions, keeping only profit centres defined as being able to turn a whacking profit in the next 12 months with no view beyonder. While adding sugar to beer to draw in the young palates, more sugar in the IXL jam to make it cheaper.

Lord Krebs, President elect of British Science Association, in The Guardian today writes of the inadequacy of 'nudge' policies to change social attitudes. Would that we had nudge in Australia, land of fudge and not-budge.


I've saved my garden (I hope) from extravagant heat today (anticipated 38 degrees C, hottest October day on record) with water early in the morning.

And have been researching electric bikes. The electric bike industry reminds me of the PC industry about 25 years ago, with a hectic array of labels and qualities, back when still a lot of people liked to take the computers apart and put them together again (like cars, in 1910) and the really big challenge among bike options now, as for those things before, is to find one you don't have to improve and fiddle with and that's really fit for significant future outside the scrap heap. I think I may have found one, wait and see... :-)