Posted by: Dr Churchill | November 20, 2012

Climate Certainties, Survival Cliches & Economic Theories, busted

Whether you are human or a primate, a pear tree, or a broccoli shrub — survival depends on using your energy efficiently.

The energy of photosynthesis as produced with the help of the sun…

When a difficult or dangerous situation – such as Climate Change – presents itself, your response might mean survival or death.

The key question is management.

Because what you take from the situation, how you mange your response, and whether exerting effort, by defending your cities against sea level rises in order to be more settled, in a war of attrition we surely can’t win — is like building trenches in Verdun at the time of the Great war…


On the other hand we can be adapting while defending our turf, in a natural and asymmetrical way and offering systemic change and root solutions, as our way of response. That is retreating from our entrenched positions and changing our way of life.

Primates, often settle for a fight before running away in front of poachers and not being able to outrun bullets, they end up as mantle piece decorations for the trophy rooms of white hunters. Big glass eyes staring at you from the wall where their heads are now mounted – while their back sides became stool seats on the bar, and their palms and hands are turned into fancy cigar ashtrays for the aforementioned gentlemen’s hunting lodge in the Veldt – or in their up country England and Scotland pile.

Plants and especially fruit bearing trees are choosing to send out their roots deep and wide in a frantic search of nutrients in a drought and this last effort usually kills them sooner, because they do not preserve their last energy reserves to outlast the drought.

An antelope will be the smartest one, when we see her running at top speed away from a predator and that action will be worth the energy expended because this is her route to survival.

And the new World Bank report on our Economic behaviour ruining our chances of survival is just in:

“A 4 degree Celsius warmer world must be, avoided at all costs. We need to hold global warming below the 2 degrees Celsius global warming threshold” said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.  

“Lack of action on climate change threatens to make the world our children inherit a completely different world than we are living in today. Climate change is one of the single biggest challenges facing development, and we need to assume the moral responsibility to take action on behalf of future generations, especially the poorest.”

The report says that the 4° Celsius global mean temperature increase scenarios are devastating, with the water flood inundation of coastal cities; with the increasing risks for food production leading to higher malnutrition rates and famines; and with many dry regions becoming dryer, while wet regions become wetter; and with unprecedented heat waves in many parts of this Earth, especially in the tropics, substantially exacerbate water scarcity in all regions, and that along with the increased intensity and recurrence of the tropical cyclones, the irreversible loss of species, destruction of biodiversity, oceanic acidification and desertification will do us all in…

Remember the gorilla head hanging on the wall, above the fireplace?

Yup – that one.

Now imagine a human head there…

Unsettling eh?

Things are coming down the pike that will make us an endangered species…

The Earth system’s responses to climate change appear to be non-linear,” points out the report.

“If we venture beyond the 2 degrees guard-rail, towards the 4 degrees Celsius, the risk of crossing tipping points rises sharply. The only way to avoid this is to break the business-as-usual pattern of production and consumption.”

The report notes, that although a 4° Celsius increase in our world maybe is inevitable long term  — yet with sustained policy action global warming can still be held around 2° Celsius, which is the goal adopted by the international community and one that already brings some serious damages and risks to the environment and human populations.

The unfortunate thing is our perceived Supremacy over Nature and our egotistical exceptionalism as an ideology is all pervasive throughout our cultures and civilization. And that somewhat informs our destiny…


What us humans do — depends a lot more on the primate genes and our esoteric psychology, rather than on the reality of Climate Change threats.

And that sadly is “The Writing on the Wall”




“The world must tackle the problem of climate change more aggressively,” World Bank’s Kim said.

“Greater adaptation and mitigation efforts are essential and solutions existWe need a global response equal to the scale of the climate problem, a response that puts us on a new path of climate smart development and shared prosperity.  But time is very short.”

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