Lawrence Wollersheim published Welcome to Universe Day April 10th 2021: The 13th Annual Coming Together to Celebrate Our Amazing Universe in Blog 2021-04-01 19:23:48 -0700
Welcome to the 13th Annual Universe Day April 10, 2021: Come Together and Celebrate Our Amazing Universe
Announcing the 13th annual Universe Day! Universe Day is an annual birthday for the Universe event on April 10, 2021.
Lawrence Wollersheim published Everything you need to know about the global warming emergency in 3 sentences! in Blog 2021-03-30 13:58:11 -0700
Lawrence Wollersheim published Why Our Organization is NOT a Survivalist, Prepper, Doomer, Post-Doomer, or "Near Term Humanity Extinction" Community in Blog 2021-03-11 11:36:26 -0800
Why Our Organization is NOT a Survivalist, Prepper, Doomer, Post-Doomer or "Near Term Humanity Extinction" Community!
After reviewing all of the scary future consequences concerning the 12 major challenges of our future found on the Universe Spirt and Job One for Humanity websites, it is only fair to wonder if we are some group of survivalists or end of the world preppers, doomers, or supporters of the growing "near term human extinction" or post-doom movements. We are definitively not!
Our focus is education and engaged social activism. We are although, wisely helping to prepare others for the unavoidably painful road ahead created by our previous individual and collective bad decisions.
We also are not techno-optimists or techno-delusionists. We do not believe that magical carbon-sucking unicorns, desperate last chance geo-engineering, or other delusional techno-miracles will save us in time or without even worse side effects.
We do not support the growing premise that total human extinction sometime over the rest of this century is a certainty. The qualified truth is that --- only if we do not come close to the 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets will the likelihood of total human extinction rise to the level of urgent threat. Furthermore, total extinction in this worst-case will take at least another 50-70 years to begin its final phases.
Therefore, all is not lost --- yet! We do have some time left (to about 2025) to make the needed critical changes.
On the other hand, it is also essential to be candid that many horrendous global warming and other related consequences are already "baked into" our global systems, and those consequences are now unavoidable! These many "baked in" consequences will also eventually cause the inevitable die-off of much of humanity by mid-century.
Because of this cascade of unavoidable coming consequences, we also face a probable widespread and intensifying collapse of many of our weakest local, regional, and national social and economic systems as we approach the mid-century.
Yes, we certainly do face yet the largest evolutionary challenge in humanity's long history of great survival challenges. And, there are still some positive things we can do.
To manage our 12 worst global crises will require nothing less than radical global changes to our current lifestyles and livelihoods. At the same time, we also will have to vigorously prepare for and adapt to the catastrophic consequences we can no longer prevent.
To learn more about the radical changes in our livelihoods and lifestyles needed to survive and thrive through the coming consequences and post-collapse era, click here first and read about the principles of sustainable prosperity. Then click the following links to see Part 1 and Part 2 of the Job One for Humanity Plan, which will provide detailed emergency preparation and adaptation steps, respectively.
Do not mistake us for some survivalist or apocalyptic community concerning our research on the current out-of-control global warming and the other 11 major converging global adaptive challenges facing our collective future.
Our message is simple, proactive, and not a doomer or a fatalistic message:
1. "We are a community of activists that believes in learning from our mistakes, being prepared, and that being adaptable is a wise evolutionary strategy.
2. We, as humans, are intelligent and adaptive beings, and we can solve or adapt to almost anything.
3. Life on Earth has always found a way to learn, adapt, and survive so. In the last 4.5 billion years of Earth's evolution, life has survived 5 previous mass extinctions. (See this page for more on life's evolutionary success.)
4. The future is unknown and full of unpredictable negative and positive wild cards. This means that there is still hope for some part of humanity and our civilization to survive if we quickly execute responsible, intelligent, and effective adaptive actions that will resolve our most pressing global challenges using a "first things first" strategy.
5. When we or future generations do get through our current 12 major global challenges, we will have built something new together that is far better adapted and suitable for achieving a positive and sustainable future for ALL.
6. Overcoming this emergency will help us better solve our challenges as one effective and united human family. This experience also will teach us and help us to live the Universe Principles of progressive evolution and sustainable prosperity.
7. In spite of the rough road ahead, we can still fully enjoy each day (as best as we can, even in spite of the worsening of these 12 global challenges.)
8. Working together in new sustainable communities (like our Universe Spirit Eco-community model,) we can make our lives as happy and as good as they will get during this temporary retrogression and transition period. And finally,
9. We are not survivalists or end of the world preppers, doomers, or avid supporters of the growing "near term human extinction" or post-doom movements. If you want to call us by some new name, call us post-collapse thrivers. This name reflects our focus on doing all that is needed to get through this transition to thrive in the post-collapse future.
As Michael Dowd, the evolutionary teacher likes to say, "what really matters is coming back into the right relationship with reality." Because humanity has repeatedly failed to effectively resolve the escalating global warming emergency as well as our other 11 deteriorating global challenges, we are forced by their unthinkable and unbearable consequences to come back into the right relationship to reality and each other, or we will eventually perish.
The power of reality is the force motivating us to evolve and it is truly great news!
Have no doubt about it, humanity has reached a monumental evolutionary juncture and, we are running out of time to prevent the eventual complete extinction of humanity. Only a comprehensive mass mobilization by our governments can lessen the coming suffering and save the future.
In our organization, we see ourselves as a new evolutionary community of Evolutioneers and Planetary and Universe Citizens that value the historical wisdom of appropriate threat preparedness and living sustainably to model the new world we want to live in. We are not fear manipulated or fear dominated, but we do not ignore data that should trigger positive, protective, and appropriate evolutionary fear reactions.
We will always use the appropriate and positive evolutionary fear warning feedback contained within accurate but survival-negative information to wisely anticipate, prepare, and quickly adapt.
We know that it is better to act and save something than not to act and lose everything!
We are not doomers, post-doomers, or preppers who have given up on the future, are living in hiding or resignation. We are sustainability activists still full of hope that we can:
1. face the true urgency of all of our current global crises, resolve what we can, and adapt to what we can't.
2. create the new community model needed for the new behaviors and systems that will resolve today's biggest global problems and become a global basis of a better world for ALL.
Yes, we also are preparing new sustainable communities in advance for this human-created crisis and this temporary, and transitional "evolutionary bottleneck and retrogression." We are doing this solely because the current facts clearly shout that many of our global systems are in a severe challenge or are nearing critical tipping points with no or low remaining recovery resilience.
To the discerning evaluator and researcher, both human history and the current worsening 12 global challenges indicate that our lives will continue to get worse with little realistic hope of correction until the chain reaction of cascading multiple global catastrophes and crossed tipping points shake us awake to the need for drastic evolutionary change toward more sustainable livelihoods and lifestyles.
We hold that the main unrecognized threats for today and the future are that:
1. other than nuclear war, the main accelerator and driver of humanity's total extinction is now global warming.
2. the world still does not realize that when the climate system goes over its extinction-triggering tipping points, there is nothing you can do to stop the physics and mathematics of the consequences of those tipping points from manifesting their deadly consequences. (How soon we will cross the extinction-triggering global warming tipping points are described here.)
Once you realize the hard reality of where we are...
It is also critical to keep our dangerous global threats in an appropriate time perspective to avoid counter-productive panic. Depending on your current location, you should still have enough time to prepare for and adapt to the myriad of now unavoidable global warming consequences. It is wholly appropriate to feel fear at this dangerous juncture in the evolution of humanity because of the many known consequences of accelerating global warming and the worsening of these 11 additional global crises.
While generalized fear or panic often paralyzes, there are positive evolutionary reasons for why the emotion of fear exists. The positive use of fear exists for when there are REAL threats to your survival. Positive fear mobilizes the observant and wise to act before it is too late!
To support the positive and wise use of fear relating to global warming and other consequences (from these 11 other global crises,) here are the critical deadlines to remember:
a. The 5-year deadline: (From now until the end of 2025.) At this time, it is appropriate to admit it is all but impossible for us to reach the full 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets! But, we still do have enough time left to slow down (but not avoid,) a mid-century mass extinction event for much of humanity by getting close to them. Although we passed the point of being able to avoid the die-off of much of humanity by 2050, we still can maintain some level of control of our global warming future. Most importantly, we can still prevent total extinction by at least getting very close to the 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets!
This total extinction danger also means we have to educate the world about the extinction-evoking global warming tipping point deadlines of this emergency after preparing our personal survive and thrive provisions and/or creating safe sustainable community cooperatives or sanctuaries.
b. The 5-10-year deadline: (This assumes we will miss the 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets and did not get close to them.) From 2020 to 2027, global warming consequences will steadily worsen in a rising but steeper linear progression. More people will wisely migrate to safer areas. Millions more will die because of climate-related food shortages and other global warming-related catastrophes.
If you have prepared, adapted, and are in a global warming safer location before 2027 and have a good Plan B in place, depending upon your location, relative stability and security for family and business are probable until about 2030 to 2040. (See this Plan B page, which discusses how to prepare in the safest locations and what are the least safe places to ride out the global warming extinction emergency.)
c. The 10-15 year deadline: (This assumes we will miss the 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets and we did not get close to the 2025 targets.) After 2030-2035 many other climate, human, ecological, political, and economic tipping points will be crossed due to global warming consequences and global warming amplifying the consequences of most of these 11 other critical global challenges.
The stability and security of even the safest and best prepared global warming safer locations will lessen and become increasingly challenging. Those individuals in supportive cooperatives or sustainable communities should be significantly safer and better adapted than those who are not.
d. The 15-25 year deadline: (This assumes we will miss the 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets and we did not get close to meeting these targets.) Beginning around 2030, the frequency, severity, and size of 20 worst global warming consequences will move from a steeply rising linear progression into an exponential progression. Stability and security for even the best prepared, safer global warming locations, cooperatives, and sustainable communities will become far more difficult and dangerous.
e. The 25-30-year deadline: (This assumes we will miss the 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets and at least, we got close to them or compensated for these targets somewhere over this time period.) By mid-century, extinction for much of humanity will be still unavoidable. From 2030-2050 will be the riskiest period to survive for much to most of society. Generally, things will be better in the safer global warming locations, and in special cooperatives, and sustainable communities. But even there, survival is far from guaranteed without the highest levels of preparation, adaptation, and cooperation.
f. The 50-year deadline: (This assumes we will miss the 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets and unfortunately, we did not even get close to them.) In this case, we will face the worst consequences of runaway global warming, and we will be heading toward the beginning of the runaway greenhouse gas effect, which ripped the atmosphere off Venus. Because of this escalating runaway global warming reality and not getting close to the 2025 reduction targets, humanity will, unfortunately, finally face a total extinction event beginning as soon as 2070-2100. We call this the full Climageddon Scenario.
The good timeline news here is simple. If we at least, get close to the 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets, we can still prevent total human extinction. If we do not, we begin crossing too many additional extinction-triggering tipping points far too fast to prevent the worst consequences of runaway global warming multiplying the worsening effects of the other 11 major global crises.
We believe that it is important not to hide these reasonable and rational facts and high probabilities.
We believe there is a real urgency to get prepared for what is soon unavoidable.
We are not detached, survivalists. We are engaged sustainability advocates, Evolutioneers, and Planetary Citizens.
We can make it through this great evolutionary transition period, capture the once-in-a-generation opportunity from the collective catharsis of the pandemic catastrophe, and then use that energy to make long-overdue and critically needed improvements to our social systems!
We can re-build our social systems based upon sustainable and limited growth for all vs. the cancer-like concepts of uncontrolled growth or unlimited growth for the few.
We believe in whole-heartedly working for the best possible future while at the same time wisely being prepared for the worst possible temporary human transition period.
We fully prepare for the worst and then "forget" about those preparations while focusing and wholeheartedly working for the best!
We hold that actively saving all we can is far better than inactively saving nothing.
We hold that some of us will prepare, adapt, survive and thrive once again if we act wisely. We should not give up the small amount of rational, appropriate hope that remains. The history of life evolving on Earth strongly supports the premise that some of us will survive. (See this page with the big picture view of evolution on Earth.)
We envision that the establishment of new sustainable communities around the world will play an essential role in securing the long-term survival of humanity and establishing the new sustainable prosperity vision for the post widespread collapse world.
We will deal with our 12 global challenges by using only peaceful and evolutionary means.
We can still find daily enjoyment and joy in our relationships and life experiences no matter how bad it gets.
We can together create a long-term future for humanity and our civilization. And, if we are wise and work together, someday we or our children will successfully evolve both here on Earth and eventually out into the stars.
And finally, even if the accelerating global warming emergency and the convergence of it with humanity's 11 other key global challenges were somehow resolved in the next 30 to 50 years or turned out to be not as bad as currently is predicted by our best scientists, the new sustainable communities which we are co-creating would function even better and more joyously on their other main goals of helping to co-create the necessary restructuring and re-alignment of society to create:
a,) a sustainable prosperity for ALL of humanity,
b.) a just and equitable civilization,
c.) thriving and meaning-filled individuals and communities --- all of which align with and forward the progressive evolution of life in the universe.
For the last 11 years, our organization has been working on that plan called the Job One for Humanity Plan. It is called that because that is exactly what it is; humanity's job number one to survive and thrive.
The good news is that if we want to survive and lessen the coming suffering, we need to execute this plan NOW.
For additional support and evaluation
1. Please use the 40 plus warning signs found on this page to monitor the worsening of our 12 major global crises. Print them out. Watch for the news to see them unfold one by one until we take full responsibility for the mess we have created by our individual and collective bad decisions.
2. If you need help processing the facts on this page emotionally, we have two pages to get you through the typical reactions of anger, grief, denial, sadness, etc. The first page covers the challenging emotional process that most people will go through after realizing that we are providing an accurate, big picture view of their future risks and probabilities.
Lawrence Wollersheim commented on We are facing an unparalleled moment of peak collective challenge far beyond the hardships of the Covid pandemic and its economic hardship. We now face a DOUBLE whammy. 2021-03-22 09:42:20 -0700Floyd you are right about all of your suggestions!
In fact, on Part 2 of the Job One plan on this page ( https://www.joboneforhumanity.org/individual_positive_actions ) we go over the dietary and most of the other issues you mention.
In our sustainable prosperity work on this page ( https://www.joboneforhumanity.org/sustainable_prosperity_booklet ) we cover population management and other key issues.
The Job One Volunteer Team
Lawrence Wollersheim published 2021 Global Warming & Climate Change Predictions in Blog 2021-02-02 10:04:18 -0800
Every year we put out our list of new global warming predictions early in the new year. Year after year we have been very accurate! Psychologists say it is best to provide the bad news first.Read more
Today, no matter where you live in the world, you can start on and self-organize a meaningful and vital volunteer project at Job One for Humanity. Our volunteer projects below are based mostly upon our Job One for Humanity Plan to manage, reduce, or slow down our accelerating global warming consequences and, help lessen many of these other major global crises.
Here is how to start:
1. Before you pick your project(s) below, please read this brief overview of the Job One Plan. It will help you select a volunteer project best suited for your current interests and circumstances. Next,
2. Pick a project below to begin.
3. Once you feel comfortable then recruit other like-minded people in your areas to help support you and your new group, but most importantly, to expand the success of your chosen project area. This will help make these projects much easier to move forward.
Here are our current projects:
Project 1: Part One of the Job One Plan. Emergency Adaptation, Preparation & Migration Survival Kit for Global Warming and Climate Change
This is primarily about getting you and your loved ones prepared for what is coming.
Project 2: Part Two of the Job One Plan. Individual Adaption Actions to Reduce Fossil Fuel Use & Survive and Thrive Through What is Coming
This is primarily about all of the actions you can take to reduce your fossil fuel use and the other things you can do to increase your sustainability.
Project 3: Part Three of the Job One Plan. Critical Government-Driven Actions Needed to Slow a Global Warming Triggered Extinction Event
This is for individuals with direct influence with politicians, ultra-wealthy individuals or corporations, or celebrities. You will use that influence to influence our current politicians to act. This urgency is because we have delayed effective action so long that only immediate radical government action can save us.
Project 4: Part Four of the Job One Plan Step 1. What will it take to get our governments to end the global warming-caused extinction emergency?
Project 4: Part Four of the Job One Plan Step 2. How to Get Our Governments to Act to Prevent Human, Animal, and Biological Extinction, Step 2
This is for individuals without direct influence with politicians, ultra-wealthy individuals or corporations, or celebrities. Part Four offers indirect strategies to get governments to do the steps in Part Three of the Job One Plan.
Project 5: Get involved in our new Eco-communities project, described briefly below.
Enthusiastic volunteers worldwide are self-organizing new eco-communities. They will have a higher survival potential where you live now and in safer global warming areas, possibly in the future. These new eco-communities will become places where you and your family can survive global warming and these other 11 crises.
They will also be places where you can thrive because these new eco-communities will be places working toward:
a. having sustainable gardens and farms (an agrihood)
b. net-zero energy construction,
c. individual growth and development,
d. off-the-grid independence,
f. a new system of personalized democratic management.
If you want to be involved in helping to co-create these new eco-community(s) by becoming a liaison, leader, or coordinator we suggest the following:
1. Read this page first to get a quick general idea of what is happening with the global warming emergency.
3. Then read this page for why it is necessary to get prepared NOW.
4. Next, read this page to learn more about us. And,
5. Next, become a member here. Then read the members-only information on the Universe Communities and the global warming migration sections. After that, go to the "how to be a part of these self-organizing new eco-communities section at the end of the Universe community articles.
To see other current volunteer administrative, managerial, or supervisory positions within our organization, click here.
We are a 25-year-old, tax-deductible United States IRS recognized and approved 5013(c) non-profit organization.
We have received the Seal of Financial Transparency by Guidestar. Guidestar is the leading non-profit organization that monitors and evaluates other non-profit organizations for financial and mission transparency.
We often have membership promotions with great gifts and values. You will discover them in the onetime and monthly donation links below.
Here are the many ways you can donate and help keep our mission alive:
To donate securely online one time, click here.
To make a secure monthly online donation automatically, click here.
To donate by mail, make your check payable to Factnet, PMB 2167, 1650 S. Casino Dr. Laughlin, Nevada 89029
All donations will always receive either an electronic or mailed tax-deductible donation receipt for your donation.
Other Ways to Donate, Personal Property, Planned Giving:
Charitable Gift Annuity
Charitable Remainder Trust
Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust
Charitable Remainder Unitrust
Charitable Lead Trust
Our Responsible Donation Management
Contributions to Job One for Humanity are treated with special stewardship and the utmost respect for your intent. All donations will be used in a manner consistent with our stated goals, values, mission and in accordance with the highest administrative practices of not-for-profit spiritual organizations. Donations received in excess of our operating budget and costs, will be held in reserves and invested in a socially responsible manner.
This contributes to:
- Conscious allocation of resources in investments with values.
- Replenishment instead of depletion of resources.
- Multiplying abundance and making a difference within a context of sufficiency.
- Prospecting a sustainable future for society and the environment.
All member's receive three ebook copies (a $26.00 value) of critical books relevant to global warming and other global issues:
a. The first free ebook is Climageddon; the Global Warming Emergency and How to Survive it. It is an $8.95 value. This ebook is getting great reviews on Amazon and, you can download it in one of the three most popular ebook reader formats.
To download this ebook go to http://www.joboneforhumanity.org/climageddon_free_download Once at this URL, enter your email address, and you will immediately be sent all of the downloading instructions to instantly receiving the Climageddon ebook in 3 different popular ebook reader formats. If you do not get a download location email in 5 minutes, check your spam filter file. (For more information about the Climageddon ebook before you download you can read an overview here or read its many great four and five-star reviews at Amazon here!)
Don't forget there are also free updates for the Climageddon book since it was published. These regular updates are based on worsening global warming conditions and far less global fossil fuel reductions than were agreed to and executed.
All of the free Climageddon book updates can be found on this page. (We strongly recommend you look at these updates after you have familiarized yourself with Part 1 of the Climageddon book and before you begin the other parts of the book!)
And finally; when you have finished reading Climageddon, please go to this Climageddon book review link at Amazon and write a book review. The more reviews Climageddon gets, the more people will see it because more reviews make it more visible at Amazon. The more people that read Climageddon means that more people will be better prepared for the coming painful consequences of the accelerating global warming emergency.
b. The second book is Climate and Ecological Delusions and Contradictions that Will Soon End Humanity by Michael Mielke. This $8.95 value ebook explains and elaborates in great detail on the carbon capture technology delusion and the many other global crises we face.
To download and read Climate and Ecological Delusions and Contradictions that Will Soon End Humanity by Michael Mielke, click here.
c. The third ebook is Collapse 2020, Vol 1: Fall of the First Global Civilization by Bruce Nappi. This $8.95 value ebook lays out a strong case on why we must prepare for the first-ever global warming-aggravated, global collapse coming within mere decades. Collapse 2020 digs into the major chaos of today’s world: climate change, liberal-conservative polarization, gridlock in governments, and massive social injustice. It provides a NEW understanding for what has and is going wrong. It also provides revolutionary solutions for those who survive to build a world that will NOT repeat the 10 millenniums of carnage that have defined humanity.
To receive and read Collapse 2020, Vol 1: Fall of the First Global Civilization in either a Pages or Word format, email us at [email protected]@org and put only "Collapse Pages" or "Collapse Word" in the email subject line depending upon which format you would like to receive.
Lawrence Wollersheim published Migration Evaluation 3: Check Sheets in Migration Evaluation 1: Overview 2021-01-22 12:03:26 -0800
By Mid February 2021, we will publish our extensive Migration Location Evaluation checklists. We have been working on them for three years.
These checklists have been compiled from 12 weeks of physical travel by staff and volunteers to find and evaluate the best locations for purchasing land and purchasing or building homes and businesses. These checklists will include additional critical criteria not previously disclosed on whether migration is wise for you and your loved ones either sooner or later.
This checklist by far may become the most valuable information on our website. It cost our organization over $20,000 US in expenses discovering this information,
Lawrence Wollersheim published The Four Types of Universe Communities in Introducing the Universe Eco-Communities 2021-01-20 15:58:10 -0800
As you are discovering, the new Universe communities are capable of doing many things. Three of the four types of Universe communities are also designed to be prepared to survive any large-scale global or regional emergency.
This preparedness includes being ready for crises such as:
a. accelerating global warming,
b. large-scale resource depletion,
c. economic instabilities,
d. distribution breakdowns,
e. more pandemics,
d. economic crashes, deep recessions or depressions,
f. breakdowns of law and order, etc.
(The many emergencies, crises, and local and global challenges that these communities must survive over the following next few decades are described in detail in this article.)
At the worst, these new small communities, sanctuaries, and micro-cultures should allow you (and your families) to survive through the coming difficult times with as much peace, stability, security, comfort, happiness, and meaningful relationships that remain possible. At the same time, many of our large macro-cultures will be convulsing and collapsing.
These new communities located in global warming safer areas may turn out to be humanity's best chances to save and salvage whatever we can of society and civilization. These migrations are done exclusively so that humanity and civilization will survive and thrive over the coming decades and eventually re-emerge to reboot the world onto a wiser, better path.
In the safest land-based locations, individuals can look forward to a higher probability of having meaningful lives in the post-extinction and subsequent collapse and reboot cycle. The better life to come will occur once nature and the consequences from humanity's previous bad decisions have run their course.
The Universe Community Global Structure
The Job One for Humanity and Universe Spirit organizations focus on educating individuals and businesses about what is avoidable and what is unavoidable in the face of many rapidly unfolding environmental and social global collapse processes. Its primary mission is to help individuals, as a society, prepare for and optimally adapt to survive the coming collapses.
These nonprofit organizations will help individuals form groups that will evolve and create sustainable lifestyles, livelihoods, and new communities in global warming and crises safer locations. Job One for Humanity will also continue to educate governments and support government-driven migration, infrastructure transfer, and emergency backup programs to deal with the accelerating global warming extinction emergency.
Universe Spirit provides a broad science-grounded knowledge base, focusing on biological evolution, to explain what is developing in both society and the physical world. This "fact-based" foundation is then used to create remedial "survive and thrive" strategies.
Universe Spirit also contains a balanced and healthy vision of open-source personal spirituality called Evolution Spirituality. This vision uniquely captures a new moral and ethical "high road" to achieve a sustainable, equitable, thriving future for all while also providing the most profound meaning, purpose, and values needed to emotionally and spiritually survive the coming hardships.
The Universe Community Structure Options
An important part of the bond that defines this new evolutionary organization is our shared belief that the world will soon be facing a severe and unavoidable cascading chain of global warming and these other interconnected catastrophes. Anticipating these catastrophes, we are following two paths while we also do everything we can through demanding government action to mitigate and lessen the coming tragedies:
a. One way is creating three kinds of land-based sustainable eco-communities.
b. The other way is gathering a virtual online worldwide support and action community.
(If you are uncertain about the seriousness of what we mean when we say the world is facing an unavoidable accelerating chain of catastrophes, click here. To see the government actions we must resolutely push while building these communities, click here.)
What are the four types of Universe communities?
The Universe Community (UC) program includes four community types: ( three land-based; one virtual.) All three of the land-based paths are defined by physical, land-based groupings of individuals. These physically close member relationships will provide a higher potential to survive and thrive by being closer-knit communities of mutual support and advanced preparation and adaptation.
Everyone who is volunteering and co-ordinating or co-creating any of the 4 types of Universe communities will have open-source access to all of the evolving information on the creation, maintenance, and expansion of these communities.
The following provides more details on each of these four community paths:
1. The Integrated Universe Community Option
This is a land-based community located in areas known to be at LOW risk of climate damage and LOW social unrest. These individuals could live separately in private homes, either near each other or even with each other in some form of communal housing. This kind of community would also have the ability to attract a large membership to the area capable of exerting enough influence on its surrounding population to gain some level of independence in its culture and economic and political activity.
These communities can be structured to follow surrounding urban, suburban, and rural architectures worldwide. They will preferably use repurposed existing structures rather than building from scratch to minimize environmental impact and start quickly.
As such, to a surrounding community, they would appear not unlike any other "immigrant" implant community with its own culture and commercial practices. For example, consider the many religious groups who are conspicuous because of dress, holiday observance, religious schooling, etc. While adopting many cultural changes in these new areas, these people will not appear any more disruptive to the surrounding people than the range of current norms. Integrated community members would also be expected to participate in most of the essential activities of the communities surrounding them.
The Universe One version of the Integrated community model is primarily a community for those in close agreement with the Universe community values, and already in or can migrate to a climate and migration safe living area. (Some individuals will choose to create their own independent integrative communities and we wish them success with that as well.)
Here are some additional special efforts that apply to an Integrated Community:
Actions will be taken to prepare for long and even persistent social and material disruptions. These will not only include establishing stockpiles of food and materials but also manufacturing facilities for necessary items.
Actions will be taken to establish "preferred" trade links and transportation systems to supply "necessities" that can not be produced in the local community.
Because of eventual and anticipated breakdowns in social structure and governance at all levels, actions will be taken to organize the community to overcome any outdated or corrupt processes causing the world's breakdowns.
The above will be accomplished while, at the same time, trying to maintain peaceful adherence to and interaction with local customs in the "surrounding community." (More details describing the basics for how much of this will be accomplished are presented on the Job One and Universe Spirit websites. A reading guide for this material is included at the end of this article.)
Please also be aware that the Universe Integrated Communities are the farthest along in their creation having seed liaisons/organizers in several key areas willing to help others migrate to those selected and currently secret areas.
Universe One: The first Universe Integrated Community
Universe One is the first Integrated Universe community to form, and it is now taking applications. The Universe One eco-community is created directly by the volunteer staff and management team at Job One for Humanity and Universe Spirit.
Universe One will also be the new relocated administrative headquarters for Job One for Humanity and Universe Spirit and the relocated new homes of willing Job One for Humanity and Universe Spirit volunteers and members.
The Universe One community is the community vision upon which we have spent the most time and resources to find the best area for the safest relocation area that would survive best in the US with global warming and the other 11 global crises worsening. It is also a membership by-application-only community.
As the first of the Universe communities, it will strive to reflect the highest application of the ideas, values, and principles found on the Job One for Humanity and Universe Spirit websites. If you feel that you are well aligned with the ideas, values, and principles found on the Job One for Humanity and Universe Spirit websites, and you are interested in becoming a part of our community, please follow the application instructions on another page of this document.
For those needing to migrate soon and be a part of the first Universe Integrated Communities: Universe One
If you are not in a climate safer location and you are financially able to move on your own, your first step is applying and being accepted for Universe One membership. Once accepted for membership, migration and the current location information will be provided to help you make a wise decision to select the best land or new home in the Universe One area.
Please note we do not give out Universe One's location until you have been accepted as a provisional member and passed through our interviewing process. Universe one is the safest practical location we could find after many visits to many areas and complex and costly evaluations.
Universe One is located where there was the convergence of the most safety and security factors, and the area is still affordable to middle-class and lower-middle-class individuals. It is in a climate where there will be cold winters and considerable snowfall alternating with warm and humid summers. (Areas other than the Universe One location where independent Integrated communities are being seeded are listed further below.)
2. The Satellite Universe Community:
(Please note the Satellite community model has not yet begun as it is waiting for new volunteers to create it.)
This is a land-based community that can be located anywhere in the world. It has either a very sparse membership (compared to its surroundings) or is found in a location known to be at high risk of climate damage or social unrest. Its members are close enough to meet occasionally physically, usually live in separate housing, but have little ability to significantly change the larger community.
Their membership gives them the benefit of UC knowledge, companionship, and support to plan for emergency preparedness and self-protection during the crises to come. They also would use the Universe community's cultural changes and values, but these will not appear to most people as any more disruptive than the range of current norms.
The Universe Satellite Community will allow you to make temporary preparations and adaptations right where you live now! Individuals and small groups will receive informational and virtual support from the existing membership in other Universe communities. These Satellite communities can be formed in any part of the world. Their culture and commercial structures can vary widely.
Here is a summary of the typical steps you would take to integrate into one of these communities after being accepted for membership.
1. You will receive a lot of informational support material. What is essential at this point is to find out the "alignment" of your community role. Your new role will depend on a large number of factors like: your type of housing, what you do for employment, any special skills you have, your skill levels in those areas; any public roles or positions you have; your interests and hobbies, etc. Of particular importance is understanding the key reasons you chose to join the Universe community.
Based on this information, you will be given contact information for other members in your area to help you integrate into the community. Specifically, however, the following elements will be true:
You will continue to live, in your current housing situation.
You will continue to work, in your current employment.
A large part of your "free time" will turn toward the community's efforts to prepare for the coming crises.
As you "learn your way around the community," including attending volunteered offered training programs, you will have the opportunity to also lead various efforts.
As a member, you will have access to all the preparedness, sustainability, and management guidance information developed for participation within any Universe community.
(This above information assumes there is already an active Satalitte community at your current location, or you will start one. If you want to establish a new community, see the new member "how to join" section at the end of this overview to provide relevant details. After joining, expect to be contacted by your community coordinator based on the information provided during the membership process.
We will set up a Zoom group video "question and answers" meeting for those most interested in getting started in a Universe Satalite community as soon as we have completed some critical volunteer staffing requirements for this particular project.)
3. The Unified Universe Community:
(Please note the Unified community model has not yet begun as it is waiting for new volunteers to create it.)
This is a land-based community that is essentially built from the ground up with legal provisions to establish a community boundary and exclude non-members from the community. It would only be located in an area known to be at LOW risk of climate damage and LOW social unrest. Its residential accommodations and commercial structures would be custom designed to support an ideal and sustainable Universe community culture and commerce.
A Universe Unified Community is a “contiguous” physical community that is mostly composed of Universe community members. That means the land, living structures, and commercial structures within a bounded area defined as the “community” are mostly owned or operated by Universe community members. These communities will all be located in climate, migration, and other critical crisis safer living areas.
These types of Universe communities will take many years to build and require millions of dollars in financing.
What, of course, differentiates the “Unified” community from the “Integrated” community is the absence of interspersed social and commercial activities that differ from Universe community values and practices.
There are two different models for how such “Unified” communities could emerge. The first and most difficult is to build a unified eco-community from the ground up. Such a community could realistically include about 500 to about 2,000 individuals on about 2,000 to 10,000 acres of fertile land.
Such a community could take an estimated 10 to 20 years to complete. Its major obstacle will be financing because of the cost of building all the structures, plus installing all the infrastructure, i.e., utilities, sewer, roads, etc. However, such communities are not impossible, as the explosive growth of entire “suburbs” has shown in California and the Southwest.
The second model starts with a thriving “Integrated” community established in a relatively sparse or abandoned area of an existing city or town. As the community becomes successful, it can attract local people or purchase additional properties from non Universe community citizens selling their properties.
While including all the steps shown for both the Satellite and Integrated Communities above, the Unified Community would add the following elements:
1. the ability to grow substantial amounts of “local” food in both fertile farms and aquaponics pods.
2. the reorganization of social culture and commercial markets in the form of the ideals of Personalized Democracy could become complete. This reorganization would produce an explosion of creativity and personal freedoms. It would also eliminate many human-made oppressions humans have suffered from since the dawn of “civilization.”
3. crime, poverty, homelessness, starvation, racism, and commercial wage-slavery would eventually be eliminated.
4. reduced transport costs, environmental harm, and improved food quality.
Along with a substantially reduced world population, these steps will finally bring about the abundance, and excellent quality of life humans have always sought.
(This project is off in the future for quite a while. It will take a very large team of well-financed, dedicated and skilled volunteers to lead it.)
4. The Virtual Universe Community:
(Please note the Virtual community model has not yet begun as it is waiting for new volunteers to create it.)
This community path consists of developing a virtually connected community of individuals. These are physically remote members, who share common Job One for Humanity and Universe Spirit values, but are currently unable to move into other existing communities.
Their primary activity will be collecting and promoting climate, ecological and other needed evidence and facts. They will provide trustworthy resources to help other members who have self-organized local eco-communities or cooperatives and for those who have moved to safer locations to continue the necessary development and adaptation for looming disasters.
Three factors unite these virtual members into a community:
1. They share common Universe Community values;
2. They can turn to other community members for mutual support and survival. This mutual support action draws on the community's shared worldview to provide relevant help.
3. The community members are strongly driven by a mutual "love of knowledge and truth." They understand the importance of having a compendium of knowledge based on reliable facts.
4. they can turn to the Universe Community for reliable information about global warming, migration, and other related world crises issues, and
5. they are primarily "identified" by subject matter interest. For example, sub online groups and communities will form around interests like climate change, resource depletion, psychology, medicine, permaculture, net-zero home design, etc. Many hundreds of online interest groups like this are expected.
Membership in this virtual community gives one the benefit of ALL UC knowledge to improve their individual development, adaptation, and protection.
These are a Universe community based primarily online. While their members may meet physically for meetings or conferences, they wouldn't meet physically with frequency. Furthermore, they are not geographically bounded as the "land-based" communities are. They are intentionally structured to develop online a broad international, supportive, internet-connected community of individuals and small organizations.
Their primary activity will be collecting evidence-based subject matter of relevance and subsequently adding it into community knowledge databases. Like members of the Satellite Community, their membership gives them the benefit of ALL UC knowledge to improve their individual development, adaptation, and protection.
Each community's primary activity will be collecting climate and social truth information related to their subject interest and adding it into specialized knowledge forums and databases. These forums and databases will have novel provisions that achieve the following:
- The information is easily accessible, even for complex subjects.
- Data is entered in a form that allows biases to be spotted.
- Knowledge entries are "comprehensive." That is, "mainstream" control is eliminated.
- The data capture process overcomes the significant flaws that have crippled most internet discussions and communications.
- Commercial firms or governments will no longer control knowledge with political or other bias.
- All members will have no-cost access to the database, both for finding and reading information and for contributing knowledge.
This combination of provisions gives a virtual Universe community membership great value because it will provide a new level of visibility for people and organizations worldwide and easy access to the highest levels of natural truth. Specifically:
- They can discover wisdom and creativity in the new concepts presented by the Universe community model
- They see personal, social, and possibly professional benefits for applying the new concepts to their efforts
- They see the benefits of belonging to the Universe community for the unique networking opportunities it will provide them
- They understand the survival need for the mutual support these collaborative and supportive virtual eco-communities can bring.
- They see within themselves the qualities and aspirations sought in the Universe community principles and values.
- They see in themselves unique talents to contribute to and be acknowledged for making improvements to the community's efforts and the world as a whole.
Common similarities between the four types of Universe communities
Given the above specific differences for the four community types, all four Universe communities also have the following similarities:
- A primary goal is bringing together, either physically or virtually, a very diverse group of individuals working peacefully toward similar goals.
- Interactions with others will be approached as mutual learning experiences based on our foundation of natural knowledge and scientific inquiry processes.
- After secure and established in their communities, individuals or groups would also begin to guide newer members.
- All USC members will be expected to be tolerant of all other members' diverse "heritage cultures" on an individual by individual basis. This tolerance factor can be enhanced using the creative new approaches of Personalized Democracy.
- All members will be expected to accept and practice the member "Qualities" listed elsewhere in this overview and linked in the Job One and Universe Spirit websites' materials.
- We anticipate the creation of many of the different types of Universe communities around the world. Once established, these communities might also engage in trade and barter of goods and services that they might not produce in their area.
- We also acknowledge that any USC established will have to live and work among existing cultures that may differ from those of the USC.
We will set up a Zoom group video "question and answers" meeting for those most interested in getting started in the Universe Virtual community as soon as we have completed some additional and critical volunteer staffing requirements needed for this project)
Factors that Unite the Members of the Integrated, Satellite, Unified, and Virtual Universe Communities:
1. They share common Universe Community values.
2. They can turn to other members of the community for mutual survival and support. This trust draws on the community's shared worldview.
3. Community members are strongly driven by a mutual "love of knowledge and truth." They understand the importance of having and using a compendium of knowledge based on reliable facts. This shared knowledge is a primary foundation for joint action and assistance.
The previous three items define the primary activity of the community. That is, each member will use their skills to collect evidence-based subject matter of relevance to creating a sustainable, surviving, and thriving community in a collapsing world. The new knowledge being developed will be subsequently added into a new Universal knowledge database.
Membership in any of the Universe community types gives them the benefit of ALL UC knowledge to improve their individual development, adaptation, and protection.
How the New Universe Communities Will Come into Existence and Grow
Several factors will drive the creation and growth rates of the four different types of Universe Communities:
- How fast and how many self-organizing competent volunteers show up to help us with this challenge of historic dimensions,
- The natural forces of evolution,
- The dynamics of how fast things worsen and where they worsen will also be a decisive selection factor for community growth and which communities grow the fastest,
- How new volunteers will maintain and expand these new communities.
For any of the four kinds of Universe communities to appear, there must be people who understand our emergency's urgency need to come forward and take one of the many self-organizing volunteer leadership positions available. Then they will then need to self-organize their chosen project area with other volunteers with similar interests.
The Universe community needs many kinds of volunteers. We need community liaisons, coordinators, and leaders/co-creators:
1. Community liaisons already live in the area or are highly knowledgeable about it. They share that information with new or potentially new members.
2. Community coordinators are more involved in greeting and supporting new or potential new members and assisting them in coming up to speed on what the community is doing. Among other things, a coordinator might set up and oversee a community buying cooperative.
3. Community leaders/co-creators do everything necessary to lead, maintain, or co-create these new eco-communities.
Here are just a few of the four community type of specialized positions we need to fill quickly:
- Integrated Universe community liaisons, coordinators, and leader/co-creators: These are individuals who want to liaise, organize or lead a Universe Integrated community in a new global warming safer area. They also want to collectively get prepared for and execute the Job One Plan's steps most applicable to their group's resources and interests. (This kind of community is farthest along with existing seed liaisons already in global warming safe areas.)
- Satellite Universe community liaisons, coordinators, and leaders/co-creators: These are individuals who want to organize or lead a new Universe Satalite community in their existing area. They also want to collectively prepare for and act on the Job One Plan's steps most applicable to their group's resources and interests.
- Virtual Universe community liaisons, coordinators, and leaders/co-creators: These are individuals or groups who want to help organize and run the virtual Universe community. Here they will also help others get prepared and act on the Job One Plan's steps most applicable to that virtual individual's (or group's) resources and interests. The virtual community will need discussion forum administrators, moderators, content creators, researchers, and software engineers, among other positions.
- Unified Universe community liaisons, coordinators, and leaders/co-creators: These are individuals or groups who want to help organize and run the Unified Universe communities.
- For the many other Universe community volunteer positions and projects currently available within our organizations, please click here.
All active volunteers helping to create these new Universe communities will receive free annual membership and access to all members-only areas of our Job One and Universe Spirit websites during their first 90 days of volunteering.
Seeds of the First Universe Communities
Almost all of the currently forming Universe communities below are close to the 45th parallel North in the US or Canada. Each of the areas listed below now has a community liaison living in that area (or knowledgeable about it) that can help with local migration information. (The areas below still need to recruit community coordinators and leader/co-creators to bring them into operational reality as communities.)
Our first new Universe community seed areas are:
a. Eastern Washington State/Western Idaho,
b. the Vancouver and Vancouver Islands area in British Columbia, Canada,
c. northeastern upper Wisconsin/ northeastern Upper Michigan,
If you are interested in being part of a Universe community in any of these areas, other than the Universe One community please let us know by following the "how to join" information later in this Universe community overview. Be sure to let us know which current migration location above most interests you.
These first communities need well-resourced, highly developed, and skilled individuals to build them out. These early-adopters are also individuals who are highly willing to learn, adapt, evolve, and thrive.
Let us know if you want to be a liaison, coordinator, or leader for a new worldwide location.
As new eco-communities form in new areas, we will add them to the running list above.
As appropriate, we will connect you to the liaison, coordinators, or leaders for that forming Universe community.
Timeframes for the When Four Types of Universe Communities Will Come into Existence, Our Projected Timelines
The launch of the four types of new Universe Communities will occur in the general phases and time frames described below. The roll-out time deadlines or sequences for the projects listed below will vary depending upon:
1. having enough skilled volunteers show up to help co-create and manage each particular phase and,
2. new information requiring that we adapt and evolve these time frames and deadlines accordingly.
For instance, because Satellite communities are easier to build in existing locations than migration-dependent Integrated communities into global warming safer locations. Satellite communities may start sooner than the timeline below. This early start for the Satellite communities will be especially true if volunteers in existing cities let us know that they want to get started immediately with the Job One for Humanity emergency preparation and adaptation steps (found in Part 1 and Part 2 of the Job One plan.)
If you are interested in any project below, let us know, even if it is before the project officially launches. Please email us at m[email protected] and put the Project number (1,2,3,4,5,6) in the subject line, so your email is routed to the correct team member.
Project 1: March- June 2021
Basic, person-to-person recruiting for all communities starts. In Phase 1, and as the first priority for the virtual and other types of Universe communities we will need volunteers for the following areas:
- A Deputy Project Director will be key to developing the four types of Universe communities.
- Volunteer Manager who will help inspire, train, and manage the first community member/volunteers.
We need to have the above key volunteers in place before we can launch and/or expand any of the four kinds new of communities listed below. Having dedicated volunteers trained and ready to help others will ensure our success and a smooth launch.
Project 2: Dates to be determined by new volunteers
We have already begun recruiting for the Universe One integrated community described above.
We will be setting up a Zoom group video "question and answers" meeting for those accepted as soon as we have completed some critical administrative and volunteer staffing requirements for the Universe One project.
Project 3: Dates to be determined by new volunteers
Private Recruiting for the Universe Integrated Communities starts
- This will be primarily for recruiting Integrated community liaisons, leaders, or key implementers who will begin an Integrated Universe community in their chosen migration area and, among other things,
- start its members on the emergency preparation and adaptation steps found in Part 1 and Part 2 of the Job One plan.
We will set up an early-bird Zoom group video "question and answers" meeting for those most interested in getting started as soon as we have completed some critical volunteer staffing requirements for this particular project.
Project 4: Dates to be determined by new volunteers
Private Recruiting for the Universe Satellite Communities starts (Private recruiting in most cases means that someone will personally refer and recommend you to someone on our team, and then we will contact you.)
- This private Satalite community recruiting will be primarily for community leaders or key implementers who will begin a Satellite Universe community in their chosen area and, among other things, start its members on the emergency preparation and adaptation steps found in Part 1 and Part 2 of the Job One plan.
We will set up a Zoom group video "question and answers" meeting for those most interested in getting started as soon as we have completed some critical volunteer staffing requirements for this particular project.
Project 5: Dates to be determined by new volunteers
For the Virtual Community we will be recruiting volunteers for the following areas:
Computer Science Specialist to help us find or create the best labor tracking software. We want to find or make the best barter/time tracking software so that volunteers and members without adequate finances can trade/barter their services with other better-financed community volunteers and members. They could also use this barter/trades software for community housing, health, and other community services.
- Human Resource Manager to assist the eco-community project director on all Universe community personnel issues
- Discussion forum moderators
- Software programmers - online Forum development
- Software programmers - large scale database experience
- Software programmers - project management software
- Software programmers - new virtual work credit currencies
- Individuals or organizations with topic interests that have temporary data storage resources
- Many topic specialists willing to be topic managers or to contribute– to be announced in detail one the JobOne website
- Complete software systems testing for new Universe Community communication, coordination, contribution tracking, and new volunteer training
We will set up an early-bird Zoom group video "question and answers" meeting for those most interested in getting started as soon as we have completed some critical volunteer staffing requirements for this particular project.
Project 6: Dates to be determined by new volunteers
Recruiting for the ground-up Universe Unified Communities starts
- This will be primarily for community leaders or key implementers who will begin a Unified Universe community in their chosen migration area.
If you are interested in joining any of the above types of Universe communities, go to this joining and getting started page now.
Lawrence Wollersheim published Three New Climate Emergency Articles Well Worth Reading in Blog 2021-01-18 10:21:29 -0800
How bad is the climate emergency really and, are current government solutions working? Make up your own mind with these three new articles.
Lawrence Wollersheim donated 2020-12-31 16:11:42 -0800$15,172.33 raisedGOAL: $20,000.00
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About ten years ago, with our sister website, The Association for the Tree of Life, we introduced the idea that we need to declare an immediate climate and global warming state of emergency. We began promoting this idea to hundreds of our peer environmental organizations worldwide. Here is what has happened since we introduced the global warming emergency idea:
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Carbon unicorns and fossil futures. Whose emission reduction pathways is the IPCC performing?
Wim Carton – [email protected]
Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS)
This is a book chapter in an anthology on the politics of geoengineering. It is published as:
Carton, W. (2020). Carbon unicorns and fossil futures. Whose emission reduction pathways is the IPCC performing? In: Sapinski JP., Buck H., Malm A. (eds) Has it Come to This? The Promises and Perils of Geoengineering on the Brink. Rutgers University Press.
If one is to believe recent IPCC reports, then gone are the days when the world could resolve the climate crisis merely by reducing emissions. Avoiding global warming in excess of 2°C/1.5°C now also involves a rather more interventionist enterprise: to remove vast amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, amounts that only increase the longer emissions refuse to fall.1 The basic problem with this idea is that the technologies supposed to deliver these “negative emissions” currently do not exist at any meaningful scale. Given the large uncertainties surrounding their feasibility, their expected effects on land use change, food security and biodiversity, and their scalability, it moreover seems improbable that they ever will.2 Indeed, there appears to be something of an unspoken consensus among scientists that the mitigation scenarios represented in the IPCC increasingly mirror science fiction-writing. The European Academies Science Advisory Council for example, in a recent assessment concluded that negative emission technologies (NETs) have “limited realistic potential” to help mitigate climate change on the scale that many scenarios assume will be needed.3 One expert summarized the skepticism well when she recently characterized such technologies as “carbon unicorns”,4 underscoring the widening gap between the level of mitigation that is needed, and the apparent infeasibility of the pathways that are supposed to take us there.
Despite its fantastical nature however, the negative emissions idea has recently burst into the public arena, where it is already leading a life of its own. For skeptics, this raises the concern of a “moral hazard”, or the possibility that the mere promise of future NETs could act as a break on emission reductions in the present.5 Techno-optimist policy makers, the thinking goes, might very well seize on the negative emissions idea as a “get-out-of-jail” card, holding back from rapid near-term decarbonization in the belief that opportunities for future negative emissions offer sufficient guarantee that the climate crisis can be contained. It is above all future generations, and particularly the poorest among them, that would face the consequences when this “high-stakes gamble” eventually backfires and large-scale NETs turn out to be little more than a pipedream.6 At that point, the window of opportunity for avoiding dangerous warming through conventional mitigation would have closed, and the world would be left with the unenviable choice between runaway warming or implementing some of the more dystopian geoengineering technologies that this book documents. These are not empty fears: as I discuss below, the perceived necessity to defer the bulk of mitigation into a discounted future is the exact logic that underpins the rise-to-prominence of NETs in mitigation scenarios.7 How can we expect of policy makers that they guard against wishful thinking when even scientists appear unable to do so? Besides, the negative emissions concept has already strayed beyond the realm of abstract science and policy debates. The business case for mitigation deferral is already under construction, suggesting that NETs are already performing valuable political economic work. This makes it necessary to scrutinize much more closely what is actually going on in the various models that generate the apparent need for negative emissions.
Take the example of Shell. While not exactly known for its vanguard mitigation actions, the company recently released a document in which it outlines its vision to keep global warming to “well below 2°C”.8 Unsurprisingly perhaps, Shell’s “most ambitious climate scenario” turns out to include substantial fossil fuel use well into the future. It for example assumes that demand for oil will grow until about 2025, and then decrease only gradually. By 2050, the year when the world needs to reach net zero emissions in order to stay below 1.5°C,9 oil demand in this scenario would still account for about 85% of current consumption. By 2070, the net zero target for 2°C, fossil fuel production is still responsible for 16.5 GtCO2, or almost half of what it is today. For Shell to be able to claim that these estimates are compatible with the targets of the Paris Agreement, it heavily relies on speculative technologies, in particular carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) and NETs. It thus assumes that all that remaining fossil fuel carbon can be captured and/or compensated for by storing it in products (6.1 CO2/yr), applying direct CCS to oil and gas installations (3.4 GtCO2/yr), and deploying large-scale bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS - 6.1 CO2/yr), which is the NET most often favoured in models. In total this would require that “some 10,000 large carbon capture and storage facilities are built, compared to fewer than 50 in operation in 2020”.10 To reach 1.5°C, the company then imagines that an additional effort could be made by planting “another Brazil in terms of rainforest”.11
These astonishing claims fulfill a clear function, even if they are only a scenario exercise, a best-case “possible” future, not a concrete prediction or commitment. The inclusion of NETs and CCUS in Shell’s future scenario constructs a vision in which the risk for stranded assets is minimized. It makes it possible to claim, as Shell does in its Energy Transition Report, that all of the company’s proven and potential fossil fuel reserves could be utilized – around 25 years of reserves at current production rates – while still staying within the limits of the Paris Agreement.12 Invoking a future of large-scale negative emissions in this way suggests that there is no need to cut fossil fuel production before its economic value has been fully recovered, no need for drastic short-term changes in the company’s business model.13 Given the urgency of the climate problem, this surely seems extraordinary. Is Shell making these numbers up? An analysis by Carbon Brief suggests that the math does indeed add up. Despite being somewhat optimistic about future energy demand in general, Shell’s projections of future coal, oil and gas demand, and of the scale at which NETs could be deployed, are all broadly in line with those of 2°C-compatible IPCC scenarios. If anything, Shell’s scenario is at the lower end of how much negative emissions models say could be deployed by the end of the century.14
In itself, of course, it is unremarkable that a fossil fuel company would use all means possible to help justify the continued use of oil and gas, including fostering narratives about the large-scale deployment of future “carbon unicorns”. This, after all, is the company that has known about the dangers of climate change since at least the 1980s and still decided to double down on oil and gas investments.15 More surprising is the fact that this logic appears fully internalized in mainstream climate scenarios, in other words, that IPCC reports appear to feature emission reduction pathways that seem fully compatible with massive continued fossil fuel use in the medium term. More than a “moral hazard”, this suggests some fairly hazardous scientific morals. Surely this should raise a few eyebrows. How is it possible that the world’s most authoritative science on climate change is generative of scenarios that play directly in the hands of the fossil fuel industry? In this chapter I want to explore some of the reasons for why this is occurring. I want to argue that the path that led to the inclusion of negative emissions in models, and from there into the IPCC, was a profoundly ideological one, and that we need to understand it as such to make sense of the way in which negative emissions are already being invoked to justify business-as-usual. Doing so, I suggest, helps us in challenging the now common idea that negative emissions are somehow an inevitable reality of climate politics.
Negative emissions as convenient fiction
To unpack the work that negative emission scenarios perform, we need to start with the science that produces them. The scenarios represented in the IPCC are generated by using so-called integrated assessment models (IAMs), which are designed to model the complex relationship between social and biophysical systems.16 Briefly put, these models seek to project future technological innovation, economic growth, demographic change, energy use, etc., and how these interact with changes in the climate system. A first important observation is that economics plays a central role in this exercise, in that IAMs are generally made to operate in line with mainstream economic theories. The IPCC is quite explicit about what this means. The fifth assessment report (AR5) for example notes that “[t]he models use economics as the basis for decision making. This may be implemented in a variety of ways, but it fundamentally implies that the models tend toward the goal of minimizing aggregate economic costs of achieving mitigation outcomes [...]. In this sense, the scenarios tend towards normative, economics- focused descriptions of the future”.17 The IPCC also acknowledges that models “typically assume fully functioning markets and competitive market behavior” and therefore do not take account of existing asymmetries and (market) power relations.18
This focus on economics is important for a number of reasons. Most directly, it means that climate policy in IAMs is interpreted as the implementation of a carbon price, that is, it is the assumed cost of carbon that gives the main incentive for a specific level of mitigation. Other mechanisms by which transformational change might come about, for example through mass behavioral changes or non- market government interventions on the scale of recent Green New Deal proposals, are largely ignored by the models.19 A second and related constraint lies in the cost-minimization focus that the IPCC mentions. Essentially, IAMs are designed to “maximize overall welfare” and find the most cost- effective emission reduction pathways. This effectively means that they prioritize between different mitigation technologies on the basis of primarily economic and technological criteria, and underplay social, political and broader environmental reasons why society might opt for one mitigation technology over another.20 In fact, this is the main reason why a technology like BECCS can be modelled by IAMs at such obviously unrealistic scales (e.g. requiring a land area twice the size of India). Even when modelers taken into account more explicitly social factors (for example to assess the public acceptability of different technologies), these are usually still translated to economic terms.21
Now, this primary concern in IAMs with optimized, cost-effective mitigation pathways long meant that very few scenarios were compatible with keeping temperatures below 2°C. Up to the fourth assessment report or so, models tended to generate results that stabilized greenhouse gas concentrations at levels that were significantly higher than those corresponding with what are now the Paris Agreement targets.22 As political recognition on the need for a 2°C limit grew, first in Europe and then elsewhere, policy makers asked the modelling community to come up with scenarios that would be consistent with this.23 This confronted modelers with a considerable dilemma. As Parson notes, “[m]ost of the Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) [...] found that the target could not be met via plausible and cost-effective levels of mitigation”.24 The solution they came up with was as innovative as it is problematic. Modelers decided to include in IAMs novel mitigation options that allow for the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere, primarily BECCS and afforestation. These were not entirely conjured out of thin air, of course. Afforestation had long been promoted as a carbon offsetting strategy, and researchers had put forward the possibility for BECCS already in the late 90s- early 2000s, though it had so far only been considered as a “backstop” option. Now, however, it became the go-to method.25 Not only did this significantly decrease the costs of achieving stringent mitigation targets,26 it also introduced a debt mechanism into the models.27 By allowing for large-scale carbon dioxide removal, it suddenly became possible to exceed carbon budgets in the short-term, on the assumption that this ‘overspending’ would be compensated for by net-negative emissions in the second half of the 21st century.28
The inclusion of NETs in integrated assessment models in this way played a crucial role in upholding the possibility of the 2°C limit. As Dooley et al. argue, “the availability of BECCS proved critical to the cost-efficiency, and indeed the theoretical possibility, of these deep mitigation scenarios, leading to systemic inclusion of BECCS in RCP2.6 scenarios included in AR5”.29 It is worth underscoring what this means. NETs were mainstreamed in IAMs in order to square the request of policy makers (i.e. to provide 2°C pathways) with the specific economic framework within which these models operate. Current scenarios are in this sense the result of a cost-minimization exercise,30 a fully institutionalized effort to keep the costs of mitigation as low as possible. The models are therefore not actually telling us that NETs are a biophysical necessity to achieve stringent mitigation targets. They are merely saying that these technologies are more cost-effective than other forms of mitigation. Whether or not one accepts the need for negative emissions in this sense ultimately depends on whether one agrees with the various economic assumptions upon which the models are based. As I discuss below, there are plenty of reasons not to do so.
The politics of a pathway
Modelers tend to see their work as “objective input[s] to the climate policy debate”,31 as do, presumably, most policy makers. They are generally quite candid about the assumptions that underpin their models but insist that scenarios are still useful, because they are not actually meant to be policy- prescriptive, or offer accurate predictions of the future. Rather, modelers argue, scenarios are merely supposed to be policy-relevant, to “support policy decisions between different choices” and point to those pathways that what would be most efficient.32 The IPCC has in many ways sought to patrol this border between policy-relevant and policy-prescriptive science.33
A rich literature in science and technology studies however suggests that this distinction is difficult to uphold in practice. Scholars in this discipline point out that any kind of scientific knowledge production comes with value-judgements, and therefore inevitably ends up fulfilling some kind of political function.34 The incorporation of NETs in IPCC scenarios is one clear illustration of how, as Turnhout et al. put it, “dominant political discourses compel scientists to create assessments that work within these discourses”,35 a process that involves the articulation of problems that are legible to, and the proposal of solutions compatible with, prevailing political and economic logics. Knowledge production, in other words, is often reflective of existing power relations in society, while at the same time contributing to, and justifying the reproduction of those relations. The future focus and therefore unverifiable and speculative character of scenario production significantly amplifies these dynamics.36 In this, the problem is not that science is political per se, but that its political character remains unrecognized or actively denied by the actors involved, either directly or as a consequence of the methods that are used. As a result, value-laden and contestable assumptions appear as somehow unavoidable or “natural”, which closes opportunities for debate and the involvement of dissenting voices. The use of models, particularly ones as complex as IAMs, further contributes to this process of depoliticization by shrouding assumptions and value judgements behind seemingly technocratic and objective modelling choices.37
Beck and Mahony argue that the increasing importance of modelled emission reduction pathways in the IPCC in this way represents a shift towards a “new politics of anticipation, wherein potentially contestable choices for climate futures are woven into the technical elaboration of alternative pathways”.38 They note that by being included in the authoritative assessments of the IPCC, such pathways do not just describe possible climate futures, but potentially help bring them into being, that is, they perform certain futures as seemingly legitimate, necessary and desirable. IAMs in this sense provide scientific backing for the kind of mitigation scenarios that are “thinkable and therefore actionable”,39 while simultaneously sidelining others. One of the clearest examples of this is the negative emissions idea. Before they appeared in IAMs, negative emission technologies were virtually absent from the climate policy arena. Following their inclusion in models, they appeared in IPCC assessments and from there have become an increasingly common topic in mainstream policy debates. As the above Shell example shows, they have now moved into the delaying tactics of the fossil fuel industry. The modelling community in this way “performed an important legitimating function for the speculative technology of BECCS, pulling it into the political world, making previously unthinkable notions [...] more mainstream and acceptable, as well as perhaps pushing it ahead of policy options (such as radical mitigation) in political calculations”.40 The speculative and contestable inclusion of NETs in influential and seemingly neutral IPCC assessments served to normalize and mainstream the idea that negative emissions are both feasible and necessary.
Taking this one step further, some scholars have argued that the negative emissions idea is performing an important legitimizing role for the existing architecture of climate policy as a whole.41 By perpetuating the idea that cost-effective pathways to 2°C, and now also 1.5°C are still available, the argument goes, the IPCC is providing a rather convenient narrative to governments. The possibility of future NETs appears to suggest that more of the same incremental policies will eventually get us there; that there is no need for drastic or economically “irrational” actions.42 As such it helps preserve a sense of normality against increasingly dire warnings – and observations – of an unfolding climate emergency, against 30 years of political delay in delivering serious mitigation efforts. The science- sanctioned normalization of negative emissions in this sense reproduces the idea that all is as it should be in the magical wonderland of climate politics, where mitigation need not imply efforts to cut actual fossil fuel production, at least not in the short-term. When at the same time this discourse builds on highly improbable projections of the future, on the hypothetical deployment of technologies that – at the scale they are being proposed – reasonably belong in the realm of science fiction; and when it so obviously constitutes a form of risk transfer, in which it is the powers-that-be that stand to gain, while it is future generations that will be left to pick up what pieces remain,43 then the need for critique runs very deep indeed.
Performing the imperative of gradualism
So how did it come to this? To understand how IPCC scenarios end up being “performative” in the way that they are requires that we scrutinize not just model outcomes and the political work that these perform, but also the logics that generate these outcomes in the first place. There is plenty to suggest that the dynamics described in the science and technology literature can in large part be traced back to the various, connected assumptions that underlie IAMs, assumptions that together constitute an ideological commitment to the postulates of mainstream economic theory. This is, of course, hardly a unique case. In important ways it reflects the wider trend by which economics has come to dominate the terms of the climate policy debate – of how to assess and understand both the problem and its potential solutions.
Consider again the focus of IAMs on cost-effective mitigation. Why exactly is it that the prioritization of cost-effective solutions leads to the need for negative emissions? There are a number of intertwined reasons for this, and while I cannot consider all of them here, a few stand out as particularly important. First, it is worth noting that mitigation costs in IAMs are usually calculated on the basis of a comparison with a so-called “baseline”, meaning a counterfactual scenario of what the world would look like in the absence of climate policies. The cost of mitigation in other words is an estimate of what it takes, in economic terms, to move from the assumed baseline to the desired mitigation scenario. Observe that these baselines are necessarily hypothetical exercises, not in the least because, with a few exceptions, models so far do not take into consideration the many feedbacks of a warming climate itself.44 Essentially they assume that economic growth, population growth, consumption, energy demand etc. will continue as an extrapolation of existing trends, despite rapidly increasing temperatures, as if climate change has no societal impact at all. This crucial omission is acknowledged by modelers as a shortcoming, but in itself arguably already invalidates the entire scenario-building exercise. Calculating costs and cost-dependent mitigation pathways in relation to an impossible baseline clearly overstates the benefits of the “no-policy” scenario, and therefore presumably inflates the aggregate costs of mitigation. More generally, it means that the choice of baseline significantly influences the outcomes of the model.45 Modelers generally deal with this by considering a large range of possible baselines, which are grouped together under stylized ‘socioeconomic pathways’.46
To different extents, these baseline scenarios assume continued (and often growing) fossil fuel consumption and trade well into the 21st century.47 Moving to a mitigation scenario then logically implies significantly reducing that consumption and trade as well as its corresponding economic value (since baselines are seen as economically optimal, any deviation from them becomes a cost). The extent to which fossil fuel consumption needs to be reduced, however, and the exact costs this corresponds to, fundamentally depend on the kind of mitigation technologies that are included in the model. For example, if one assumes a future in which no CCS technologies are implemented, then fossil fuel consumption needs to fall rapidly to stay within the targeted temperature limits, reaching zero before the end of the century.48 Indeed, many of the scenarios that explicitly exclude CCS (including BECCS) are unable to generate 2°C-compatible pathways at all, because of prohibitively high costs.49 This not only reflects the substantial investments needed to rapidly replace current high-carbon infrastructure, but also the fact that for many sectors where there are currently few low-carbon technological alternatives on the horizon – think cement and steel production, aviation, etc. – drastic emission cuts would almost by necessity involve cuts in economic production. With CCS, some of those fossil fuels can continue to be used and their corresponding economic value recovered. The inclusion of negative emissions from BECCS in particular extends this effect further. BECCS essentially enlarges the carbon budget while also providing a source of energy, allowing even more fossil fuels to be used in the medium-term.50 Observe here that the cost-effective focus of IAMs in this way renders different mitigation technologies qualitatively substitutable, meaning that as long as a given technology is available and economically attractive (within the assumptions used by the model), it will be prioritized. As noted above, this ignores obvious social justice or environmental sustainability concerns.
From this discussion it appears that the cost of mitigation tends to decrease the more fossil fuels we can continue using. This is obviously not fully true. As the IPCC points out, aggregate mitigation costs in IAMs generally increase when action is delayed.51 The reason for this is fairly simple – scenarios still need to reach 2°C or 1.5°C by the end of the century. The longer mitigation is delayed, the more fossil fuels that are “locked into” a (growing) economy, and the more investments and/or devaluations it will therefore take to eventually bring emissions down to net zero/net negative. The cost of mitigation is therefore not a function of continued fossil fuel use per se, but of the steepness of the mitigation curve, that is, of how quickly fossil fuel consumption needs to fall in order to reach the specified temperature target. The faster fossil fuels are eliminated, the steeper the emission reduction curve, and therefore the higher the cost. This seems like a trivial consideration but it is critical to understand its implications. Since IAMs are designed to minimize mitigation costs, this means that they by definition select for the most gradual reduction in fossil fuel use. As long as emissions and fossil fuel consumption go hand in hand, this also means that they select for the most gradual emission reduction curve. Including CCS in IAMs essentially decouples fossil fuel consumption from emissions, and therefore allows the former to fall more slowly relative to the latter. Negative emissions go even further in that they actually extend the carbon budget and thus stretch out the emission reduction curve itself. The effect is to reduce the rate at which fossil fuel use needs to fall, which in turn leads to lower mitigation costs. One could say that the inclusion of NETs in IAMs in this way serves to recover as much economic value from fossil fuel consumption and trade as possible within the limits of a 2°C or 1.5°C budget.
Some of this “gradualizing” of the mitigation curve is done quite explicitly by modelers themselves. Van Vuuren et al.,52 for example, using an earlier version of the integrated assessment model IMAGE, explain the criteria they used when developing their mitigation pathways as follows:
“[F]irst, a maximum reduction rate was assumed reflecting the technical (and political) inertia that limits emission reductions. Fast reduction rates would require the early replacement of fossil-fuel-based capital stock, and this may involve high costs. Secondly the reduction rates compared to baseline were spread out over time as far as possible – but avoiding rapid early reduction rates and, thirdly, the reduction rates were only allowed to change slowly over time”.53
Kriegler et al.,54 using a different IAM, similarly note that their model does not allow for the early retirement of existing fossil fuel infrastructure. In other words, the models are actively designed so as to avoid the devaluation of economically valuable fossil fuel assets, believing this to be unfeasible, and so as to make full use of the window of opportunity for reaching the desired mitigation target. In this, their assumptions are directly in line with the arguments of the fossil fuel industry. In Shell’s “well- below 2°C” scenario as well, the imperative for NETs logically follows from the assumed inevitability of socio-economic and technological inertia, i.e. the idea that until 2030 or so, “energy system CO2 emissions are largely locked in by existing technologies, capital stock, and societal resistance to change”.55 Modelers and industry interests in this way agree that there is no alternative to incremental change, even if that means conjuring up improbable technological solutions.
These dynamics are reinforced by the idea that future costs and benefits need to be discounted relative to the present. IAMs generally use a discount rate of 5%,56 which means they weigh costs and benefits in the present more heavily than those that will occur in the future. The reasoning here, imported directly from financial markets, is that future generations will be wealthier (given continued economic growth) than current generations, and will therefore better be able to pay for any future costs that arise from climate change. This is a contentious and oft-debated assumption. For one, it assumes, wrongly, that the costs and benefits of mitigation/adaptation, and indeed the impacts of climate change itself, can be straightforwardly captured/compensated for in monetary terms. As above, it also suggests that growth can and will continue despite an accelerating environmental crisis, which seems improbable to say the least. There is furthermore no consensus among economists about what exact discount rate to use, which is unsurprising given the inherently subjective and speculative nature of the exercise.57 As Stanton et al. note, selecting a discount rate essentially means making a judgement about how to value the benefits of avoided warming for future generations, which is “a problem of ethics, not economic theory or scientific fact”.58 A high discount rate is an implicit prioritization of short-term interests over long-term ones, or as Jasanoff pointedly puts it, “erases the distant future as a topic of calculable concern”.59 In the IAMs we are here concerned with, applying a discount rate of 5% has the effect of deferring mitigation costs into the future, when those costs will supposedly be more affordable. Because large-scale NETs are projected to be implemented mainly in the 2nd half of the century, discounting makes them comparatively more attractive than mitigation measures that are rolled out in the near-term, and therefore gives them a direct advantage in the model.
So what is actually going on here? Clearly, the supposed necessity of negative emissions in mitigation scenarios is the result of a number of specific assumptions and value-judgements, all of which can reasonably be questioned. But the problem seems broader than just the negative emissions issue alone. Essentially, what is being performed in IPCC scenarios is the imperative of gradualism, that is, the idea that mitigation needs to be incremental if it is to materialize at all. The “naturalization” of fossil fuel benefits through business-as-usual baselines; the management of the rate of mitigation by way of cost-effective technology choices; the direct “gradualization” of model inputs and the application of a high discount rate; all of these modeling characteristics perform the idea that some degree of emissions are inevitable, indeed, that the economic benefits of fossil fuel production must be defended to the extent possible. Models in this way institutionalize the assumption that short-term devaluation of fossil fuel assets is untenable and economically undesirable, hence that socio-economic inertia is an unavoidable feature of the current energy system. This de facto enacts inertia as some kind of natural law, rather than a condition that is maintained and reproduced through historically- specific socio-economic structures and therefore responsive to political choice.
Connecting integrated assessment modelling to the interests of polluters like Shell, then, is a commitment to the ideology of mainstream economics, a narrow reliance on cost-effectiveness as the most appropriate way to mediate between alternative climate futures. By reducing mitigation to a question of carbon costs and then applying a cost-minimization model to it, IAMs render climate change mitigation legible to vested political and economic interests, but at the same time also delimit the range of mitigation options that seem feasible. As a result, modelled pathways end up being biased against more radical, near-term emission reductions, against opportunities for widespread behavioural changes or the kind of state-driven economic planning proposed by Andreas Malm in this book.60 It then becomes more logical to imagine that warming will be contained by a massive roll-out of fantastical negative emissions technologies than to try and project, for example, a portfolio of more short-term and risk-averse strategies, even if that means accepting a higher economic cost (for some!). By giving IAM-based scenarios center stage in its assessments, the IPCC in this way reproduces the idea that it is the (contestable and flawed) laws of economic theory that should determine the rules of engagement in climate policy, not the laws of the biogeochemical carbon cycle or consideration for the ethical distribution of mitigation risks and responsibilities. The inevitable end-result, ironically, is that the IPCC, as the most authoritative international body on climate change, is providing scientific backing for the kind of delaying tactics that companies like Shell excel in.
The point is to change it
To be sure, there are plenty of good reasons to support certain kinds of carbon dioxide removal, at least in principle. Afforestation is direly needed not just to sequester carbon but also to bend the trend of rapid biodiversity loss. Soil carbon sequestration not only takes carbon out of the atmosphere but also increases soil organic matter and therefore improves soil structure, helps build soil fertility and benefits soil organisms.61 Neither of these however are the silver bullets that IPCC scenarios are projecting with NETs. Implementing these technologies at planetary scale comes with enormous challenges, and it therefore seems problematic to treat them as real alternatives to direct emission cuts. In fact, no new research is needed to demonstrate that afforestation, bioenergy production or CCS are not the convenient and inexpensive mitigation options that they are now being portrayed as. These technologies already exist at smaller scales and have already been extensively studied. The vast literature on carbon forestry, for example, confirms the potential benefits that tree planting offers, but also vividly illustrates the trade-offs commonly involved, including a real possibility for violence and dispossession, project failure, public disapproval, or the marginalization of the interests and voices of those most affected.62 Debates on forest-based carbon offsetting – a mechanism that in many ways overlaps with the logic of negative emissions – furthermore underscore the ethical problems with the idea that land use change should compensate for the continued emissions of fossil fuels. Fairhead et al. in this context speak of the “economy of repair”, or the idea that “unsustainable use ‘here’ can be repaired by sustainable practices ‘there’”,63 where “there” often ends up meaning the developing world, since the “economy of repair” too is a cost-optimizing one. If large-scale negative emissions provide the next frontier for this perverse logic, as seems a real risk, it needs to be challenged and resisted.
I have suggested that a good place to start this task is by scrutinizing the idea that negative emissions are necessary in the first place. It turns out that NETs were introduced in models first and foremost as an economic necessity, given in by the character of the models themselves. Whether or not we accept the inevitability of negative emissions – at scale – is therefore entirely contingent on whether we subscribe to the economic assumptions that they extend from. These assumptions ultimately revolve around the treatment of climate change as primarily a question of cost-minimizing economics. It seems obvious that this is a wholly inadequate way to decide on the most feasible, desirable or appropriate way to cut emissions. It falsely constructs all forms of mitigation as qualitatively equal (ignoring important ethical, political and ecological differences64), perpetuates simplistic assumptions of how change occurs in complex social systems, and orients the mitigation curve towards gradualism despite the social and environmental risks this entails. The cost of mitigation in models is moreover a constructed category, fully dependent on assumed long-term technology costs, the exclusion of climate feedbacks and the choice of discount rates and baselines. Translating this inherently partial approach into concrete mitigation pathways seems like high-risk theoretical myopia and ends up ignoring real opportunities for more just and immediate cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Modelers might insist that their scenarios are not predictions, but their inclusion into the IPCC still gives them undue real-world validity and political influence. It is illuminating in this respect that Van Vuuren et al. recently published a study that modelled scenarios to 1.5°C with minimal negative emissions, simply by assuming more rapid electrification of the energy system and far-reaching lifestyle changes, among other things.65 While they don’t provide a cost analysis for these scenarios, one can assume that they would be significantly more costly – in the way IAMs assess this – than “standard” mitigation approaches. What this illustrates is that, if one tinkers long enough with inputs and assumptions, it is possible to make these models come up with virtually anything. As Tavoni and Socolow note, this “should make the reader cautious about carrying modeling results into the real world”.66
In the end then, while modelers acknowledge that the choice between different mitigation options remains a political one, their models only give credibility to a select range of options. By reducing climate policy to a question of cost-optimization, IAMs appear to take the cost of mitigation outside of the political debate. They seem to suggest that mitigation needs to be cost-effective if it will materialize at all, which underplays both the scope and the urgency of the change that is needed. The need for rapid, radical emission reductions suggests a need to repoliticize discussions on what forms of mitigation are most appropriate and how we will be paying for it. Surely, if the responsibility of the IPCC extends beyond minimizing the devaluation of fossil fuel assets – as of course it does – then its work should involve highlighting, in a much more direct way, the benefits of certain emission reduction pathways in spite of their cost, that is, to illuminate the many uncertainties and risks of incremental climate policy? Surely assessing opportunities for mitigation should involve not just acquiescing to the inevitability of fossil-infused inertia, but actively challenging it, by providing an open an honest evaluation of the social, economic, political and environmental pros and cons of the full range of mitigation options, including those that are inconvenient to vested political and economic interests?
Of course some economists would fume that no such thing is possible, that high-cost scenarios are politically unrealistic, not policy-relevant; that no politician or business would implement a policy that is not cost-effective. But that would be missing the point entirely. As Alyssa Battistoni rightly observed recently, there are no politically realistic climate change mitigation options.67 There is nothing politically realistic about assuming that large-scale NETs are going to save the day. It merely defers the political inconvenience of implementing those technologies to future generations, pushing the problem out of sight for the current generation of decision makers. To accept this as a matter of fact is to fail to stand up to the magnitude of the challenge, to default on our collective responsibility towards future generations. It is to deny that the only realistic way forward involves a fundamental change of politics. Moreover, even if it were true that political decisions are necessarily made in narrowly defined, cost-optimizing ways, hence that the political arena is locked into long-term socio- economic inertia – why should scientists have to play by that game? Why would modelers need to build political feasibility into their models, if all this does is lead to future scenarios populated by carbon unicorns? Why should the academic community not point out that there is in fact a choice here, even if it is an unpopular and economically difficult one? When climate policies turn out to be so woefully inadequate, it is perhaps time for the scientific community to become a little less policy- relevant, and a little more confrontational in its engagement with decision makers.68 It is perhaps time to start refusing to perform, through seemingly innocuous models, the kind of gradualism that has long-ago proven incapable of taking us out of this mess.
1 Schleussner et al., “Science and Policy Characteristics of the Paris Agreement Temperature Goal”; Peters and Geden, “Catalysing a Political Shift from Low to Negative Carbon”; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “Global Warming of 1.5°C: An IPCC Special Report on the Impacts of Global Warming of 1.5 °C above Pre- Industrial Levels and Related Global Greenhouse Gas Emission Pathways, in the Context of Strengthening the Global Response to the Threat of Climate Change”; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change.
2 see Anderson and Peters, “The Trouble with Negative Emissions”; Scott and Geden, “The Challenge of Carbon Dioxide Removal for EU Policy-Making”; Smith et al., “Biophysical and Economic Limits to Negative CO2 Emissions”; Larkin et al., “What If Negative Emission Technologies Fail at Scale? Implications of the Paris Agreement for Big Emitting Nations”; Fuss et al., “Betting on Negative Emissions”; Harper et al., “Land-Use Emissions Play a Critical Role in Land-Based Mitigation for Paris Climate Targets.”
3 European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC), Negative Emission Technologies: What Role in Meeting Paris Agreement Targets?
4 McGrath, “Caution Urged over Use of ‘carbon Unicorns’ to Limit Warming.”
5 Markusson, McLaren, and Tyfield, “Towards a Cultural Political Economy of Mitigation Deterrence by Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs)”; Lenzi, “The Ethics of Negative Emissions”; Minx et al., “Negative Emissions: Part 1 - Research Landscape, Ethics and Synthesis.”
6 Shue, “Climate Dreaming: Negative Emissions, Risk Transfer, and Irreversibility”; Anderson and Peters, “The Trouble with Negative Emissions.”
7 Minx et al., “Negative Emissions: Part 1 - Research Landscape, Ethics and Synthesis.”
8 Shell, “Shell Scenarios: Sky - Meeting the Goals of the Paris Agreement.”
9 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “Global Warming of 1.5°C: An IPCC Special Report on the Impacts of Global Warming of 1.5 °C above Pre-Industrial Levels and Related Global Greenhouse Gas Emission Pathways, in the Context of Strengthening the Global Response to the Threat of Climate Change.”
10 Shell, “Shell Scenarios: Sky - Meeting the Goals of the Paris Agreement,” 6.
11 Vaughan, “Shell Boss Says Mass Reforestation Needed to Limit Temperature Rises to 1.5C.”
12 Shell, “Energy Transition Report.”
13 Carton, “‘Fixing’ Climate Change by Mortgaging the Future: Negative Emissions, Spatiotemporal Fixes, and the Political Economy of Delay.”
14 Evans, “In-Depth: Is Shell’s New Climate Scenario as ‘Radical’ as It Says?”
15 Carrington and Mommers, “‘Shell Knew’: Oil Giant’s 1991 Film Warned of Climate Change Danger.”
16 Note that there is also a different set of IAMs, which are used to calculate the social cost of carbon and are not used in producing emission reduction pathways. These more simple models make a cost-benefit analysis of different emission reduction pathways, by weighing the economic costs of various mitigation options against the risks (again, in economic terms) of climate change. This is the kind of thinking that for example leads William Nordhaus – using his DICE model – to the conclusion that the economically “optimal” level of warming is somewhere from 2.6°C to 3.5°C and that “the advantage of geoengineering over other policies is enormous”. See Nordhaus, “Projections and Uncertainties about Climate Change in an Era of Minimal Climate Policies”; Nordhaus, A Question of Balance: Weighing the Options on Global Warming Policies; Stern, “The Structure of Economic Modeling of the Potential Impacts of Climate Change: Grafting Gross Underestimation of Risk onto Already Narrow Science Models.”, Nordhaus, “An Optimal Transision Path for Controlling Greenhouse Gases,” 1319.
17 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change, 422. 18 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 422.
19 Beck and Mahony, “The Politics of Anticipation: The IPCC and the Negative Emissions Technologies Experience.”
20 Larkin et al., “What If Negative Emission Technologies Fail at Scale? Implications of the Paris Agreement for Big Emitting Nations”; Van Vuuren et al., “Open Discussion of Negative Emissions Is Urgently Needed.”
21 Carbon Brief, “Q&A: How ‘Integrated Assessment Models’ Are Used to Study Climate Change.”
22 Tavoni and Socolow, “Modeling Meets Science and Technology: An Introduction to a Special Issue on Negative Emissions”; Van Vuuren et al., “Stabilizing Greenhouse Gas Concentrations at Low Levels: An Assessment of Reduction Strategies and Costs.”
23 Tavoni and Socolow, “Modeling Meets Science and Technology: An Introduction to a Special Issue on Negative Emissions”; Beck and Mahony, “The IPCC and the Politics of Anticipation.”
24 Parson, “Climate Policymakers and Assessments Must Get Serious about Climate Engineering,” 9228.
25 Hickman, “Timeline: How BECCS Became Climate Change’s ‘Saviour’ Technology.”
26 Van Vuuren et al., “Stabilizing Greenhouse Gas Concentrations at Low Levels: An Assessment of Reduction Strategies and Costs”; Azar et al., “Carbon Capture and Storage from Fossil Fuels and Biomass - Costs and Potential Role in Stabilizing the Atmosphere.”
27 Carton, “‘Fixing’ Climate Change by Mortgaging the Future: Negative Emissions, Spatiotemporal Fixes, and the Political Economy of Delay.”
28 Geden, “The Paris Agreement and the Inherent Inconsistency of Climate Policymaking”; Geden, “Politically Informed Advice for Climate Action.”
29 Dooley, Christoff, and Nicholas, “Co-Producing Climate Policy and Negative Emissions: Trade-Offs for Sustainable Land-Use,” 6.
30 Parson, “Climate Policymakers and Assessments Must Get Serious about Climate Engineering.”
31 Dooley, Christoff, and Nicholas, “Co-Producing Climate Policy and Negative Emissions: Trade-Offs for Sustainable Land-Use,” 7.
32 Carbon Brief, “Q&A: How ‘Integrated Assessment Models’ Are Used to Study Climate Change.”
33 Beck and Mahony, “The Politics of Anticipation: The IPCC and the Negative Emissions Technologies Experience”; Dooley, Christoff, and Nicholas, “Co-Producing Climate Policy and Negative Emissions: Trade-Offs for Sustainable Land-Use.”
34 Turnhout, “The Politics of Environmental Knowledge”; Jasanoff, States of Knowledge: The Co-Production of Science and the Social Order.
35 Turnhout, Neves, and De Lijster, “‘Measurementality’ in Biodiversity Governance: Knowledge, Transparency, and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (Ipbes),” 583.
36 Low, “The Futures of Climate Engineering.”
37 Demeritt, “The Construction of Global Warming and the Politics of Science”; Mahony and Hulme, “Epistemic Geographies of Climate Change”; Beck and Mahony, “The Politics of Anticipation: The IPCC and the Negative Emissions Technologies Experience.”
38 Beck and Mahony, “The IPCC and the Politics of Anticipation,” 312.
39 Beck and Mahony, “The Politics of Anticipation: The IPCC and the Negative Emissions Technologies Experience,” 5.
40 Beck and Mahony, 4.
41 Geden, “The Paris Agreement and the Inherent Inconsistency of Climate Policymaking.”
42 Larkin et al., “What If Negative Emission Technologies Fail at Scale? Implications of the Paris Agreement for Big Emitting Nations.”
43 Shue, “Climate Dreaming: Negative Emissions, Risk Transfer, and Irreversibility.”
44 Carbon Brief, “Q&A: How ‘Integrated Assessment Models’ Are Used to Study Climate Change”; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change, chap. 6.
45 cf. Van Vuuren et al., “Stabilizing Greenhouse Gas Concentrations at Low Levels: An Assessment of Reduction Strategies and Costs”; Riahi et al., “The Shared Socioeconomic Pathways and Their Energy, Land Use, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Implications: An Overview.”
46 Riahi et al., “The Shared Socioeconomic Pathways and Their Energy, Land Use, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Implications: An Overview.”
47 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change, sec. 184.108.40.206.
48 Klein et al., “Global Economic Consequences of Deploying Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS).”
49 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change, chap. 6.
50 Kriegler et al., “Is Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Removal a Game Changer for Climate Change Mitigation?”
51 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change, sec. 220.127.116.11.
52 Van Vuuren et al., “Stabilizing Greenhouse Gas Concentrations at Low Levels: An Assessment of Reduction Strategies and Costs.”
53 Van Vuuren et al., 131.
54 “Is Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Removal a Game Changer for Climate Change Mitigation?”
55 Shell, “Sky Scenario,” 23.
56 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change; Van Vuuren et al., “Open Discussion of Negative Emissions Is Urgently Needed.”
57 Pindyck, “The Use and Misuse of Models for Climate Policy.”
58 Stanton, Ackerman, and Kartha, “Inside the Integrated Assessment Models: Four Issues in Climate Economics,” 174.
59 Jasanoff, “A New Climate for Society,” 242.
60 Larkin et al., “What If Negative Emission Technologies Fail at Scale? Implications of the Paris Agreement for Big Emitting Nations”; see also Beck and Mahony, “The Politics of Anticipation: The IPCC and the Negative Emissions Technologies Experience.”
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63 Fairhead, Leach, and Scoones, “Green Grabbing: A New Appropriation of Nature?,” 242.
64 Cusack et al., “An Interdisciplinary Assessment of Climate Engineering Strategies.”
65 Van Vuuren et al., “Alternative Pathways to the 1.5 °c Target Reduce the Need for Negative Emission Technologies.”
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Lawrence Wollersheim commented on 9 Facts the World's Governments and Largest Environmental Groups are Hiding about Climate Change 2020-11-19 12:00:08 -0800Dear Milan,
You are correct about this problem, but we cover it extensively on our website in the Plan B article in the section on what our governments must do. See this section, Plan B Action Steps for the World’s Governments to Save and Salvage Whatever We Can before it is too Late on this page https://www.joboneforhumanity.org/the_global_warming_extinction_emergency_plan_b
Lawrence Wollersheim published A Fun Video Inspiring Improvement on Our Big Global Challenges Including Global Warming in Blog 2020-11-11 13:00:11 -0800
You have to see this short fun global video and get re-inspired! It was the #Film4Climate 1st Prize Short Film Winner.Read more
Lawrence Wollersheim commented on Climate Week 2020 Weak Response from Governments 2020-10-02 15:43:36 -0700Dear Liz,
While local governments can do many small things, the global warming problem is so far out of control that only national government action can save us at this time. Please see our detailed action plan for governments at the following page link. Local governments can also do many of the actions described on this page as well. https://www.joboneforhumanity.org/the_job_one_plan_part_3_collective_actions_to_survive_global_warming
Lawrence Wollersheim commented on Record High Northern Hemisphere Summer Heating is the Worst News 2020-10-02 10:46:22 -0700Great article Peter! You really make the climate starvation link clear, but will our leaders react?
Lawrence Wollersheim published Here Are the Surprisingly Aligned Positions on Climate Change and Global Warming Positions from the World's Major Religions in Blog 2020-09-18 15:10:05 -0700
Here Are the Surprisingly Aligned Positions on Climate Change and Global Warming from the World's Major Religions
Most major world religions have released important statements on the need to end Climate Change and Global Warming. Here they are.
Lawrence Wollersheim commented on How our future will be controlled or destroyed over the next 10-20 years by these 13 critical global challenges! 2020-07-23 20:16:57 -0700We know how you feel but there is also this: https://www.joboneforhumanity.org/surprise_benefits_of_global_warming
The Job One Team