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Author Paul Gilding Talks Wild Weather And Global Warming

Fire and flood. Drought and tornado. We talk with Australian environmentalist Paul Gilding who says we’re facing what he calls “The Great Disruption.”

Trees as firefighters battle the Wallow Fire in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Arizona. (AP)

Trees as firefighters battle the Wallow Fire in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Arizona. (AP)

Half a lifetime ago, Australian Paul Gilding was head of Greenpeace International.

Then the lifelong environmentalist went into business.

Now, Gilding is back with a message that the environment, and business, and all our lives are tumbling into a giant change. The tornadoes, wildfire, drought and flood the world is seeing are the trumpet blast, he says.

Climate change is upon us. It’s going to profoundly change the way we live. And much sooner than we think.

He calls it the Great Disruption. He says it’s here.

This hour On Point: Paul Gilding, on the new life he says we will live.

- Tom Ashbrook


Guest:

Paul Gilding, veteran environmentalist and social entrepreneur. He’s the former executive director of Greenpeace International and founder of the environmental consulting firm ECOS.  His new book is, “The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World.”

Excerpt:

The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World by Paul Gilding

Chapter 1: An Economic and Social Hurricane

The earth is full.

Our human society and economy has grown so large that we have now passed the limits of our planet’s capacity to support us. There can be no further growth following the current model without tipping the system we rely upon for our day-to-day lives – for our present and future prosperity – over the cliff. This in itself presents a major problem. It becomes a much larger and more urgent challenge when we consider that billions of people are living desperate lives in appalling poverty and need their personal “economy” to rapidly grow to alleviate their suffering.

The Great Disruption by Paul Gilding

What this means is things are going to change. Not because we will choose change out of philosophical or political preference, but because if we don’t transform our society and economy, we face social and economic collapse and the descent into chaos. This science on this is now clear and accepted by any rational observer. While an initial look at the public debate may suggest controversy, any serious examination of the peer reviewed conclusions of leading science bodies shows the core direction we are heading in is now very clear. Things do not look good.

These challenges and the facts behind them are well known by experts and leaders around the world and have been for decades. But despite this understanding that we have passed the limits, it has been continually filed away to the back of our mind and the back of our drawers, with the label “Interesting – for consideration later” prominently attached. Well later has arrived.

This is because the passing of the limits is not philosophical but physical and rooted in the rules of physics, chemistry and biology. These are not preferences, these are strict laws set in science and not changeable. So now that we have broken the rules there are consequences – serious, significant and far reaching consequences.

If you cut down more trees than you grow, you run out of trees. If you put additional nitrogen into a water system you change the type and quantity of life that water can support. If you thicken the earth’s CO2 blanket, the earth gets warmer. If you do all these and many more things at once, you change the way the whole system of planet earth behaves, with social, economic and life support impacts. This is not philosophy, nor speculation, this is high school science. We’ve now passed the limits, so we need to get ready for what’s coming.

In all this, there is a surprising case for optimism. As a species, we are good in a crisis and passing the limits will certainly be the biggest crisis our species has ever faced. Our backs will be up against the wall, and in that situation we have proven ourselves to be quite extraordinary. As the full scale of the imminent crisis hits us, our response will be proportionally dramatic. This is why I don’t despair in the face of the science – it is precisely the severity of the problem that will allow us to realise our next great evolutionary potential, and that will drive a response that is overwhelming in scale and speed and will go right to the core of our societies.

This is the story we will tell here. It is a story that starts in the past, passes through the present and then extends into the future. The past is the story of warnings issued, and decisions made. The present, the story of today, is the factual result of our failure to heed those warnings. But rather than a platform for issuing recriminations, our present situation is the foundation for our future story, a story of great challenges and comparably great opportunity.

By coincidence this story spans my lifetime, having been born in 1959. However, this story is not about me but about us. It is about our world, what has been happening in it, the state it is currently in and what is going to happen next. It is not however a passive commentary about the world we live in. It is more a call to arms, a statement that we all now need to engage – to decide what kind of world we want to live in and what kind of contribution we can each make to define that. It is about a future we must choose.

Excerpted by permission of Bloomsbury Publishing.

 

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  • Terry Tree Tree

    Don’t believe that man causes Global Warming, Climate Change, or whatever you want to call it?  Take a thermometer on any rural road , with trees.  Measure temperature 1 foot off ground, twenty feet from side of highway, repeat measurement every five feet, until you’re in center of highway.  Same simple process, from the center of a city, to the woods, twenty miles out of town, at five-mile intervals.  Can you handle that?  Now, multiply that by all the asphalt in the world, and you see, if you are not blind, or too much or a Rush believer (the career drug addict, that committed multiple frauds)!  Guess how much I believe the talk-show-bully.
         How many Wind Turbines can we build, for the price of 1 ‘nukelar’ (word of a proponent) power house?  How much faster can they be on-line?  How much does the fuel for a Wind Turbine cost?  Does OPEC control the fuel for a Wind Turbine?  How much pollution does a Wind Turbine give off?  Now, do an HONEST APPRAISAL of the other energy sources, dictated by the SECRET Energy Policy Panel, of the last administration!!  Pretty simple, if you can think, and are NOT paid by the oilgliarchs.  Much more to say, just don’t want to overload the minds that got us into this mess.

    Terry, in Brewstertown, Tenn.

    • Cory

      That’s “nookyaler”, Terry.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Thanks, Cory,  I despised listening to the Coward of Crawford, who couldn’t read a page, or teleprompter, or catch  a full phrase from the radio in his ear, so I didn’t memorize his pronunciations.

      • nj

        Hmmm, and i though it was “nukuler” (new-que-ler).

    • wauch

      Great post Terry you forgot to add Rush’s hectoring regarding healthcare while he sucks the life out of our stretched system with his continued profligacy in the kitchen and the drugstore

      • Terry Tree Tree

        wauch,   It would take far too much space for me to list all I disagree with the career drug-addict, and much would be off the stated subject.  That he has an audience of more than two, is such an embarassment for my country!

  • Loring, Somerville

    For another fascinating look at this question, google:  Peter Ward, “THE MEDEA HYPOTHESIS, Is Life on Earth Ultimately Destructive?”  This is on http://www.research.microsoft.com.
      Tom:  please ask Paul Gilding if he’s familiar with Peter Ward’s research.Thank you.

  • http://www.bookofzo.blogspot.com Joshua Hendrickson

    At this point, we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t.  But if we don’t, we will have missed our opportunty to install a green-energy air-conditioner in Hell.

    • Cory

      Joshua, isn’t it both ironic and appropriate that an Aussie is telling us that we are headed for a “Madmax” future?

  • Zing

    Or, put another way, we’ll change when we have to.  Anything else would be impractical and unnatural. 

    • Cory

      Do you wait until your shoes are making a squishing sound to buy an umberella?  Do you wait until the baby is home from the hospital to buy a crib?  Do you wait until the oil light on your dashboard goes on before you get an oil change?  Do you wait until you soil your britches to go to the bathroom?

      I hope a few of these really simple everyday examples illustrate the stunning silliness of your post.

      IF…  IF you for a moment accept what this author says is true, you have to admit that the conservative/teabag/libertarian ideologies are woefully unable to deal with this sort of crisis.  Some things take longer than a single business cycle to resolve.  A problem like this takes a good ole fashioned big government, socialisty, central planning, law and regulation approach.  You’ll have to look beyond the end of your nose and think outside of your pocketbook if you are going to meet this challenge, Zinger. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Rice/100000693874282 Joseph Rice

        Do we wait…

        With the first snow storm of the season the news broadcasts up here in the northeast always seem to show people trying to buy snow shovels, as if they never expected snow in New England…

        So I suspect that when climate change has an even more visible and immediate impact, the cry will be “why didn’t the government (the one that we don’t want intruding on us) do something?”

        Joseph

    • nj

      This may be the dumbest post of the day.

      • Cory

        ZING!!!  :)

      • Zing

        Maybe…depends on your definition of dumb.  To me “dumb” is a fat guy who made poor  education and career choices who can’t make a living, and who cries about it every day on this comment board.  Whatever.

  • Cory

    I really appreciate the frank and forthright style the author uses in the above excerpt.

    I think more of us every day are begining to see that something in the world has to give.  Climate change, peak oil, debt, China, overpopulation…  I guess you can discount one or two of these things, but it is pretty difficult to discount them all.

    We need to evolve here.  Politically, socially, morally…  We just can’t continue to do things the way we have without facing a calamity.  Liberals don’t necessarily have the answers, but conservatives don’t have a damned clue.  I am by nature a pessimist, so I don’t think we in America are up to this challenge.  We will bicker and slap at each other as our raft goes over the waterfall.  

    My plan?  I am getting aquainted with my neighbors and expanding my garden.  This may not be enough to gird my existence against the coming “MadMax” future, but it is the best plan I have right now.

    See you in hell? 

  • Markus

    As a selectively conservative person, who believes that global warming is real and largely man made, it’s disappointing that right wing pundits and leaders are often so, well, dumb on this issue. Of course, left wingers don’t seem all that bright when they feel that immigration is more important than global warming even though every 3rd worlder added to this country multiplies the amount of carbon by 8 times (or something close to this). But this isn’t about immigration, so I’ll get to my point
     
    I suspect part of the ignorance or denial of many is due to the hopelessness of it all. I’ve listened to countless programs which list how much damage we’re doing and how much it’s increasing. With China adding a fossil fuel power plant every week, the use of cars increasing rapidly, population going to 11 billion (or whatever it is), and all the rest, it just seems like all the suggestions of cutting back or alternatives will be dwarfed by the understandable changes in lifestyle demanded by China, India, and others. If the reality is hopeless, don’t be surprised that people move to denial.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The only HOPELESS part is that the people in places that could make the fastest and largest difference, are making too much money off of the polluting!  Oil, coal, chemical, extractive executives prefer to spend multiples of money for denial, or obfustication, to what it would cost to clean up.

    • http://www.bookofzo.blogspot.com Joshua Hendrickson

      “If the reality is hopeless, don’t be surprised that people move to denial.”

      What a succinct excuse for the Christian belief in everlasting life!  That’s not what you intended, I know, but it fits so nicely.

    • http://www.bookofzo.blogspot.com Joshua Hendrickson

      By the way, while I don’t dispute the increased carbon output of immigrants that you cite, that will occur no matter where people live, and the global carbon problem is just that:  global.  National borders just aren’t applicable any longer.  If that makes me a “one world government” advocate, then so be it.  This is a holistic world, and it’s time the various human tribes grew up and recognized that fact.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I wondered why this book seemed so familiar; now I realize I did a speed-reading sort of feat at the bookstore, thought it was almost exactly my own perspective, and hopefully other people will read it.  I think there needs to be vastly more elaboration in terms of cultural and economic, um, diplomacy, in order to start moving in the directions, um, advisable.  
    If world food prices double in the few years that are predicted, and droughts and floods and storms and so on accelerate, and species that are part of the whole house of cards start to vanish, there may not be time to plan, just the necessity to do emergency response (conflictual, more likely than cooperative, I suppose) for a hundred years or so, until our precious oils and minerals are all plundered out, and anyone still standing can see what’s left.  But even with maximum cooperation, it’ll take a generation of scientists and planners to set the path.  This book is one brick on that path. 
       I’m sure the author has further been elaborating since the book came out, so I’ll certainly wait to hear.

  • William

    The foolish thought that we are going to “fight” global warming is always worth a laugh.

    • Brett

      Yeah, and some believe things like the dust bowl in the ’30′s was caused by a drought! …You should read up on that period of environmental history, William, it would enlighten your viewpoint! 

      • David

        Actually, the family farmer plowed up too much land that created the dust bowl problem. Then, FDR, got involved with farming, telling them what to grow, kill off animals to boost prices, (while millions where going hungry), pay farmers not to grow, etc…etc…etc…and today we are stuck with billion dollars in welfare payments to farmers. Once again, progressive ideas out of control, but “we had such good intentions”. So here comes the new religion, Global Warming, and once again, the same players, will enact a bunch of laws to make our lives more expensive. (i.e. the light bulb), all in the name of “fighting global warming”. You need to look at making the world we live in clean, but not to enrich these crooks like Al Gore.

        • Cory

          So to clarify your position…  Man-made global climate change is hogwash, and even if it is real the worst thing we could do is try to do something about it.

          I’d also like to ask you who is worse:  A guy who makes money trying to warn the world about an ecological catastrophe or a guy who makes money causing said catastrophe?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Well said, Cory!!

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            Your defense of Al Gore would work IF ALGORE wasn’t one of the largest per capita producers of CO2.  If ALGORE was truly worried about said ‘catastrophe’ he surely wouldn’t be flying private jets all over the world.

          • Chris

            The locomotive on a train uses more energy per vehicle than a Hummer.  Does that decrease the value of mass transit? 

          • nj

            Is the science of global climate change in error because Mr Gore flies in a private jet? Please explain.

          • David

            If Al Gore is right, why does he not want to debate the issue?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            David,  Debate the issue with whom?  Rush Limbaugh only flushes any meaningful opposing views, substituting persons portraying the most insane possible oppostion.  Rush will not debate anyone anywhere that he cannot control the flush effect, is my impression.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          David,  Was there NO wide-spread drought during that time?                                                                                         Please name one worthwhile endeavor, that someone did not find a way to profit personally from, even corrupt.  Priests and preachers are exposed quite often, for personal gain, yet people still promote religion, as the one true answer.   Corporate farms, from my understanding, get the lion’s share of the farm subsidies, who should not qualify.  
               Out of the dust-bowl 30′s, came the Ag Extension,  contour planting, low-till planting, and several other more-sensibile farming methods. 
               The price of Liberty, or anything else worthwhile, is eternal vigilance.  The scum of society, will always find a way to steal an easy buck.  If you advocate giving up as the answer, just stop breathing.  otherwise, anyone that cares about their children, their grandchildren, or the future generations, must keep trying to make it better.

          • David

            One of the largest thefts from the taxpayers is being done by farmers.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            David,  If you’ll change that to corporations, farms and all, I’ll agree with you!  Many expose’s of corporate farms getting subsidies originally meant for family farms, to the exclusion of family farms.

        • nj

          Whenever someone refers to anthropogenic climate disruption as a “religion,” anything they say can safely be ignored. As with David, the people using this terminology are usually afflicted with GOS (Gore Obsession Syndrome).

        • Brett

          The important information gleaned from the dust bowl cataclysm is that there were several significant droughts in the early and mid 1800′s, in the heartland, of the magnitude of the one that lasted through most of the 1930′s. In comparing the historic weather events, the difference is that there were no climatic catastrophes as a result of those droughts from the 1800′s! Farmers in the 1930′s, as you mention, ravaged the land; the prairie grasses were destroyed, rich soils were stripped away, and “black blizzards” began coming east to NYC and Wash., D.C. Farmers were taught better practices, e.g., contour plowing, crop rotation, etc. Prairie grasses were replanted (a WPA project) and the problem was headed off. 

          Then came irrigation…as a result, farmers didn’t have to modify their practices…we now have a problem in the heartland once again as a result of not heeding the warnings of the dust bowl.

          This is a complex problem, David, and it’s not ideologically based. Because Al Gore is a flawed human being, in many respects, does not mean that we have to ignore history, dismiss any environmental impact from humans, and so on. It is an opportunity to work on a new paradigm. Frankly, holding up a caricature to bolster some neo-con view that climate change does not exist, no matter how many fake concessions to other viewpoints are presented, is counterproductive.     

    • Cory

      Hell, I’m just pleased that your post seems to acknowledge the existence of climate change.  Kudos to you, Willy!

  • JP

    Of course, Conservatives are certain Global climate change doesn’t exist… except for those living in Tuscaloosa and Joplin, who are now convinced.

    … and it didn’t take any science whatever for all these conservatives to come to their brilliant conclusion that man has nothing to do with anything that happens to our planet.

    • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

      Are you saying that the Joplin tornado had something to do with climate change? Every now and then a tornado strikes a town or city. The fact that we’ve had a few “hits” doesn’t make for a connection.

      I do think man causes global warming but I don’t see how that steers a tornado toward a city.

      • JP

        Yes, but we never had a record 742 tornadoes early in the year before!!!!!!’

        Wake up!!!!

        • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

          I’m quite awake and I believe that man causes global climate change. But, when trying to convince people of that connection you have to be careful with the examples and statistics you pull from.

          Yes, it’s been a rough year for weather but most meteorologists who believe in global climate change have not made a connection between current weather patterns and global climate change. They need more time and data.

          It’s easy to toss any current weather anomaly into the global climate change cauldron, a lot harder to prove it.

          • JP

            I think you’re wrong here…

              In fact, this is the most convincing thing for me as to whether or not current drastic climate change is man-made or not…

            No natural weather model accounts for the drastic, almost immediate changes we are now witnessing… on the other hand, models which account for man-made pollutants, greennhouse gasses, deforestation, population growth and the accompanying urban development and farming, as well as world-wide ice melt and the related sea chemistry and physical dynamic changes, which are potentially man-made or natural (I opt for the former)… these models predict very welll the kinds of immediate, drastic climate changes we are seeing.

            According to these more complete models, more extreme weather events and more extreme temperature fluctuations, as well as vast regional changes in normal weather patterns is what we can expect.

            This very fact… that models don’t accurately predict what we’re seeing unless all of the anthropomorphic data is plugged in, is enough to convince me that man is the  cause of all the record extreme events(including the record rash of tornadoes this year), and it is also why there is an almost uniform scientific concensus that man-made climate change is real and should be of genuine concern to everyone.

        • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

          I don’t know what the number 742 means. It would be more convincing if you produced a list of how many tornados had struck by this time each year for the past x years to show an increase.

          The reason meteorologists aren’t willing to make the connection with this year’s weather is that they can’t say that this year isn’t an anomaly without that list.

          • JP

            You’re right, the number needs context and the number I had heard earlier this year was for the month of April alone, not the whole year… it has been revised higher by the NWS.

            Here are the horrifying record numbers for April, 2011:

            April 2011 is ranked as the most active tornado month on record with 875 tornadoes. There were an estimated 361 fatalities.
            The previous record was set in April 1974 with 267 tornadoes.
            The average number of tornadoes for the month of April during the past decade is 161.
            The previous record number of tornadoes during any month was 542 tornadoes set in May 2003.

          • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

            I agree JP, horrifying numbers. But, to tip people who are reluctant to make the connection we need to show long term trends and your April stats, while horrifying for this year don’t show a trend upward, just a bad year. Am I missing something?

          • JP

            Try all the other extreme records that have been broken or tested in the last decade, if you want a pattern… year after year of extreme flood, extreme drought, extreme ice melt, extreme heat, extreme cold, extreme # of tornadoes, etc…

            How’s this for extreme… an EXTREME NUMBER OF RECORDS have been broken or tested in the last decade!!!!

            … and the pace is quickening year upon year for new and record extremes.

            What do people like you want???!!!! … to have to actually die from drowning before you realize you’re under water???!!!

        • nj

          There are many severe weather events that have a plausible connection to climate change. From what i understand, tornadoes do not. Some aspects of climate change exacerbate or encourage tornado development, others hinder it. 

          • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

            Thanks nj, that’s what I was thinking.

            A lot of “earth events” have been happening lately: volcanoes erupting, earthquakes and tsunamis and severe weather as well. Very destructive stuff and it seems like the world is coming to an end.

            And, in addition to this spike in bad stuff, we find out we’re messing things up in a way that’s affecting long term climate patterns.

            Parsing out what’s connected to what is important lest we come to the conclusion that the tsunami that wiped out parts of northern Japan was the result of global warming and not plate tectonics and a bad earthquake.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            nj,   Which aspects of climate change hinder tornado creation and/or growth, near as much as increased temperature, land-clearing, increased humidity, and increased upper-air moisture encourage it?

          • nj

            I’m not sure, exactly. I just remember reading—in more than one place—that a number of climate scientists could not reasonably associate increased tornadic activity with AGW. I remember something about climate change reducing the conditions that contribute to tornado formation. But how that compares in magnitude to the positive associations, i can’t say.

          • nj

            I’m not sure, exactly. I just remember reading—in more than one place—that a number of climate scientists could not reasonably associate increased tornadic activity with AGW. I remember something about climate change reducing the conditions that contribute to tornado formation. But how that compares in magnitude to the positive associations, i can’t say.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Interesting selection of the photo of the Arizona wildfires.  There was another NPR program with scientists contending these wildfires have nothing to due with climate.  They are the result of environmentalist policies preventing natural fires and selective pruning of forest growth over decades.  The claim is these fires were completely predictable.

    btw – I remember all the stories in the 70s that the ‘earth is full’ when we had 4 billion.  Now we have 7 billion.  This author seems to have simply glommed on to the AGW bandwagon.

    Please ask the author what his position is on nuclear power generation.  That is my litmus test on the seriousness of anyone who believes CO2 is a poison.  You can tilt at windmills but nuclear is the only current technology that scales.

    • Ellen Dibble

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43475479/ns/us_news-environment/Second of three AP reports spelling the end of our faith in the NRC.   I’ll spell out more.

    • Cory

      So are you argueing for the limitless growth model?  We’ll need cold fusion and interplanetary colonization soon if you are.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        Limitless growth?  No.  Will basic economics limit growth?

    • Ellen Dibble

      Editorial in Daily Hampshire Gazette, 6/21/11, excerpts.  Note, we live downstream from Vermont Yankee, a Fukushima-style plant, lately approved for continuation by the NRC, but Vermont believes its laws allow it to block continuation.  Massachusetts’ attorney general is joining in.  The plant is right on the Connecticut River, just over the border to the north.
          “When reports began to mount about leaks of radioactive tritium at the country’s nuclear power plants… the Nuclear Regulatory Commission sounded more like a trade group than a watchdog.  The task force it established last year on tritium leaks played down danger to public health and noted that leaks of this radioactive form of hydrogen have ‘impacted public confidence’ and pose ‘a challenging issue from the perspective of communications around environmental protectionl.’”
      …The AP series ‘Aging Nukes’ — the second installment of which [I attached the link just below -- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43475479/ns/us_news-environment/ ] is based on an analysis of tens of thousands of pages of government and industry reports, scores of interviews and tours of plants across the country…. The picture that emerges:  As our country’s nuclear plants age, safety standards have been regularly diluted to enable the industry to continue to provide 19 percent of the US electricity supply.”  Maybe I’ll post more.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        Ellen, yes, these reports are troubling.  However, you may know that tritium has a very short half life.  I’m not sure about the dilution of safety standards.  In fact, the NRC has been actively adding regulations over the last 30 years.  This is one of the major reasons there has been a slowdown of new reactor development in the US.

        These reports much be placed in context.    For instance, the coal industry releases tons of radiation and mercury in the atmosphere every year.

        We will be much better of with the getting the newer, safer plants online ASAP.  The molten salt thorium – LFTR looks the most interesting of the newer designs.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Worried,    A nuclear physisist friend of mine says that Thorium is not a nuclear fuel.  The Oak Ridge Molten Salt reactor ran on Uranium Isotope.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            Terry, check again with your friend.  Something may be lost in translation but thorium is certainly a nuclear fuel.  India has  major development program for thorium.  However, your friend is correct on the ORNL MSR program – no thorium was used.  This is one of the beauties of the MSR technology.  It can be used to destroy nuclear waste from uranium reactors or burn thorium.

            There is a plethora  of information at this website or you can check out many google tech talks on thorium.
            http://energyfromthorium.com/

          • nj

            Ah, the unending quest for the techno, Silver Bullet. 

            Repeat after me, “There are no technological solutions to technological problems.” Any “solution” will have, after it’s full implementation, a set on unintended, unanticipated, negative consequences that will, in turn, require yet more “solutions.”Early developers of the internal combustion engine could not foresee the tens of thousands of yearly accident deaths, landfills full of vehicle carcasses, climate change from fossil fuel combustion.

            Ready Kilowatt assured us that nuclear power was going to be “too cheap to meter.” 

            Horizontal-shaft windmills puree birds and bats and possibly create health effects for people living near them.

            To be putting our future energy eggs in the basket of thorium when  a full-size, functioning plant doesn’t yet exist seems, at best, highly premature.

          • Nicholas Bodley

            It’s a radioactive isotope of thorium that’s a nuclear fuel, just about sure, just as radioactive isotopes of uranium are.

    • Nicholas Bodley

      CO-two is not a poison, as conventionally defined. After all, it’s what we breathe out, and plants thrive on it — it’s essential for them. No question, though, that excess CO-two in the atmosphere is a problem.

  • Henry de Vere

    I am looking forward to this program.  As hopeless as it all seems, remember the successes occurring when the world did come together to solve environmental problems.  What happened to the ozone hole/s?  Anyone remember?   You don’t really hear about that because the world came together for once and banned globally cfcs once and for all.  The ozone hole as a direct result has shrunken right back down, with the one in the S. Hemisphere taking a bit longer if I understand that right.  There may, in future years be a sudden sharp rise in melanomas from when the holes reached their largest size, but the threat of widespread skin cancers and other problems as abated for now. Dupont  & other chemical companies that balked and tried to make excuses for why they couldn’t possibly do this, “it will cost US too much money, kill jobs, blah blah blah” were completely wrong.  Finding an alternative actually saved them millions of dollars as the alternative product was much less expensive to produce.  Yes, climate change is  MUCH more complicated.  BUT we have to start somewhere, folks.  Just as with the ozone hole our future is at  stake.  Those who say nothing can be done now because the economy is in too bad a shape ought to consider the alternative, not acting.  What sore of economy will that yield?

  • Ellen Dibble

    Remember the OnPoint show earlier this year with the author, Curt Stager, of Deep Future, the Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth?  This paleogeologist set forth, if I’m summarizing correctly, that we may stave off the next Ice Age regardless but in the process of depleting the oil used to turn our planet into a greenhouse, we will do damage (expletive deleted), but will eventually run out of fuel (like a fever running its course?).  He thinks we can survive it.  But the human race can arrange to make less of a cauldron along the way.
       A couple other books: Charles Fishman, The Big Thirst, The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water.  (It is related…)  Michael Graetz, The End of Energy, the Unmaking of America’s Environment, Security, and Independence.  Of course Bill McKibben’s Eaarth.
        Remember Galileo?  Remember Copernicus?  People can have vested interests in ideas that are very flimsy things to hang the future upon, like the fact of our helplessness in the face of God and our environment.  Or the centrality and permanence of homo sapiens.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I recommend that everyone get $200/year please-call-every-10-days and-visit-if-possible support contracts with Geek Nerds or whatever they’re called from near Delhi.  I asked, aren’t you worried that the Ganges will stop being replenished by glacial melt from the Himalayas?  
    Oh, that won’t happen in our lifetime.  You can ignore that.
    How old are you?
    Twenty-six.
    I’ve lived the span of time that will be stretched in which that river will suffer.
    Well, well.

    • Nicholas Bodley

      Ellen,
      Something seems wrong with the link you gave. It brings up a Web site in India that deals with Internet problems and such.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Nicholas, it is not so clear from the internet where that help facility is located, so I found the page that showed it.  They are a phone help facility, 1-888-977-3765, and I asked why there were different ways of accessing them today than Monday, different names and search patterns.  It scares the knickers off me, but I can understand that they are doing various promotions with different pop-ups, or sponsors.  
        QResolve in the search will get you there, but their phone lines are unbelievably busy today.  I think they are busy every day, actually, but our time 10:00 PM is their time 7:00 AM, and a very good time to call, 24/7.  I have all sorts of things I could do if I had 24/7 someone to ask why this, why that, how to do this, how to do that.  If they haven’t scammed me out of a mountain of money and plundered all my passwords in the meantime.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Nicholas, it is not so clear from the internet where that help facility is located, so I found the page that showed it.  They are a phone help facility, 1-888-977-3765, and I asked why there were different ways of accessing them today than Monday, different names and search patterns.  It scares the knickers off me, but I can understand that they are doing various promotions with different pop-ups, or sponsors.  
        QResolve in the search will get you there, but their phone lines are unbelievably busy today.  I think they are busy every day, actually, but our time 10:00 PM is their time 7:00 AM, and a very good time to call, 24/7.  I have all sorts of things I could do if I had 24/7 someone to ask why this, why that, how to do this, how to do that.  If they haven’t scammed me out of a mountain of money and plundered all my passwords in the meantime.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Nicholas, it is not so clear from the internet where that help facility is located, so I found the page that showed it.  They are a phone help facility, 1-888-977-3765, and I asked why there were different ways of accessing them today than Monday, different names and search patterns.  It scares the knickers off me, but I can understand that they are doing various promotions with different pop-ups, or sponsors.  
        QResolve in the search will get you there, but their phone lines are unbelievably busy today.  I think they are busy every day, actually, but our time 10:00 PM is their time 7:00 AM, and a very good time to call, 24/7.  I have all sorts of things I could do if I had 24/7 someone to ask why this, why that, how to do this, how to do that.  If they haven’t scammed me out of a mountain of money and plundered all my passwords in the meantime.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Nicholas, it is not so clear from the internet where that help facility is located, so I found the page that showed it.  They are a phone help facility, 1-888-977-3765, and I asked why there were different ways of accessing them today than Monday, different names and search patterns.  It scares the knickers off me, but I can understand that they are doing various promotions with different pop-ups, or sponsors.  
        QResolve in the search will get you there, but their phone lines are unbelievably busy today.  I think they are busy every day, actually, but our time 10:00 PM is their time 7:00 AM, and a very good time to call, 24/7.  I have all sorts of things I could do if I had 24/7 someone to ask why this, why that, how to do this, how to do that.  If they haven’t scammed me out of a mountain of money and plundered all my passwords in the meantime.

  • Anonymous

    No rightwing blogger or industry sponsored scientist to provide “balance” today? 

  • JP

    We finally got a little wlecome rain here last night in Austin. Texas, after months of nothing.

    … unfortunately, we’ve already broken some serious records!

    We are now in the hottest year on record in Austin, as well as the worst drought period on record!

  • Chris

    Global warming isn’t real.

    God is just giving the “Christains” a preview of the fires of hell which is where these evil hypocrites who are bound and determined to destroy the earth are going.

  • Taxonomy

    I cannot see us changing before we’ve killed every tiger, clear cut to the limits of our ability to produce softer toilet paper, and rushed headlong into irreversible and catastrophic climate change.  We’re riding this one into the ditch.   The pressure to keep this reality going is so strong, the deniers so shrill that we’ll kill the oceans with acidity and fill the air with carbon and methane.

    We’re be remembered for nothing but leaving a burned out wreck behind us.  Our art and works won’t matter at all. If we engineered this for maximum suffering and damage it couldn’t be worse than what will happen.  We’ll wring out every last short term gain at the expense of generations.  Look around if you don’t believe me.

    • Cory

      Taxonomy, I’d like to buy you an ale or lager of your choosing…

      “We’re riding this one into the ditch.”

      • Taxonomy

        Party on, as there is nothing else left to do.  The time for constructive action is over.   Start throwing old cathode ray televisions out your window like Kid Rock if that suits you.  

        Sure, I can use that beer about now. 

    • nj

      History is not made by quietism

      but by the historic achievement

      of those who seek perfection.

      Those who are self-conceited

      lose the bliss of searching.

      And the self-conceited are 

      condemned to sterility.

      There is no inevitability,

      there is only possibility.

      —Helena Roerich

      There is no inevitability in history except as men make it.

      —Felix Frankfurter

      There is no inevitability, as long as there is a willingness to contemplate what is happening. 

      —Marshall McLuhan

      • Taxonomy

        Please, now go and complete your graduate degree in liberal arts. 

    • Nicholas Bodley

      Imho, rather pessimistic.
      Methane, just as is CO-two, is a carbon compound.

  • Sarah

    I would like to know what Paul Gilding is doing in his own home/business to set his family up to survive and thrive with the coming environmental changes. Thanks!

  • Freeman

    Tom & Paul;
                     Great show ! Yes, we are “IN IT ” ! Where in the %#$@ are the supposed Leaders and Specialists that WE pay for ??

  • Ellen Dibble

    It seems to me all the international talking heads of the conservative sort are hoping that every developing country will have “institutions” that are stable, noncorrupt, functional.  They hope Egypt will graduate from stable autocracy to stable institutionocracy.  Right now they have no leaders, no parties, no think tanks, no noncorrupt this, that, or the other.
       If they can’t have stable democracy/institutionacracy, they would prefer the kind of autocracies the USA propped up in trying to counter the USSR (if my history is right).
       My point is that the Right, the Republicans, the conservatives — are really promoting something like socialism, something like Big Government — i.e., effective, lean and mean government — to wit, fine institutions that can cooperate internationally and preserve the climate or whatever seems to be needed.
       So where are these Right-wingers who think government planning or personal planning should NOT be organized?
        Emergencies could move us in the same direction, but probably with the thugs taking the lead.

  • Jean

    What is it when any significant event is a record setter. Four weeks ago we had a record setting tornado outbreak. The other day we had one to beat it. In between Joplin got our attention. EF-5 used to represent the edge of the tornado distribution now it’s just one of ten.

    • Nicholas Bodley

      Not sure, but I think I read or heard about designing tornado-proof buildings: They would need to withstand wind speeds of 400 miles/hour.

      I’ve thought of a cartoon depicting a structure like a World War concrete “pillbox” or a rocket-test-range blockhouse (a friend says most of it would be underground) as a dwelling.

  • Chris

    No it won’t be heaven.

    That’s what we had here on earth before we destroyed it.

    • http://www.bookofzo.blogspot.com Joshua Hendrickson

      No, we never had “heaven on earth.”  We had life–red in tooth and claw, nasty, brutish and short (to quote Hobbes and others).  Eden was never anything but a childish dream–literally, a dream of childhood!  The only potential for “heaven” remains in our future, but only if we match technology to maturity–and that is a tall order indeed.

  • Dennis

    A quote from Sun Ra (circa 1970′s) will help bring focus to this discussion: “It’s after the end of the world, don’t you know that yet!”

  • Cmiller212

    How will a steady state economy work if population continues to increase?

    • Chris

      The oceans are dying. Once that source of protean is gone, the warming disrupts photosynthesis in our crops and oil becomes scarce there will be a decline in population.

  • nj

    Mr. Gilding is entirely correct, but as an antidote (or complement) to the implied we-have-to-wait-until-things-get-really-really-bad-before-we-do-anything-to-change-the-course-we’re-on thinking, folks should check out the Transition Towns movement which began a few years back in England.

    The future can be abundant, sustainable, cooperative, fulfilling. But we must start to plan and work for the inevitable now, rather than be forced by events.

    Introductory video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8meWY0W40OA&feature=related

    The book (one of many, this was the first, i believe):

    http://transitionculture.org/shop/the-transition-handbook/

    I hope Tom will mention the Transition Towns movement.

    • nj

      I should say that the focus of the Transition Towns movement is for people to take actions in their local communities to make them more resilient and sustainable. 

      (One caller is now discussing money systems. One tool for local activists to develop their own local currency systems.)

      People increasingly have little control over national politics, but can often achieve quite a lot (and quite quickly) in their own towns. In many cases, just a few people can initiate profound and significant changes.

      These local initiatives can lead the way and give examples of meaningful change toward a sustainable future.

      As fossil fuels get more expensive, and eventually run out, things *will* change. Whether we are ready for them depends on us and what we do to move through this transition.

  • Freeman

    Tom;
            Why can’t we FIX this mess? Check out the article on the Politico websight ” New York Fed Mum on Missing billions” sent to Iraq; Oh “chump change” about 18 billion. Remind me please,why was is that the Arab Spring came about—Hmmmm Corruption ?

  • Heidideidi in Burlington, VT

    Re the US economy, if 70% of our economy is consumption, how and to what do we readjust our economy to make it sustainable?

    • NorthOfTheBorder

      Exactly my question. I have this ominous feeling that we’ll need to work a lot more just to put food on the table and heat our homes in winter.  But beyond that there’ll be a need for a spiritual revolution where we live through gratifications and relationships that are not hinged on consumption. Judging by the way we value..no believe in..materialism at this point in time we have a long way to go.

  • Stephanie

    At this moment in time, I believe it is imperative for all environmentalists to listen to Gilding when he says that we have to accept we are already in the Great Disruption. As an environmental educator, I am devastated by this realization as well, but it is so encouraging to think that we may now be shifting to a different way of life that may be more sustainable for all life. Authors of “The death of environmentalism” (Michael Shellenberger, Ted Nordhaus) or “Living Through the End of Nature” (Paul Wapner) also talk about coming to terms with this reality, and “The Death of Environmentalism” focuses on using economics to face this reality. I am so grateful for this program. Thank you, Tom.

  • JP

    I agree with your guest 100%… we’ve reached too many tipping points to have our old solutions work any more in the same ways they have in the past.

    … and I’ve been applying this to our current economic and job woes as well… none of the old solutions will work anymore, the rules have all changed as have all of the underlying circumstances.

    Almost every tipping point that can be reached has been reached!!!!

  • ThresherK

    Yes, Tom, you should be pretty careful how you describe this. Living in huts != what our guest is talking about.

    I invite you to tour Foreclosureville, USA: Any of the great swaths of the exurban south, midwest and west where tracts with signs celebrating 2006 stand in front of developments half completed, a quarter occupied, and already falling apart before being lived in.

    To quote the old joke, “What, and give up all this?”

    • Nicholas Bodley

      A bit of clarification about a notation which will mystify most readers: “Living in huts != what our guest is talking about.” That “!=” is a concise way of saying “is not equals to”, or, more loosely, is not the same as.

      It’s part of the popular and well-established computer programming language simply known as C, and is probably used in its descendants, as well.

  • justin

    Mr. Gilding is absolutely correct. I’m appalled at all the stuff that gets thrown away that could be repaired and is often still usable but is either too “expensive” to repair or “yesterdays” model. The cost to our environment doesn’t get factored into the cost of products. 

    I don’t see how we can continue this never ending consumption and waste indefinitely.

    • Nicholas Bodley

      I was born into poverty (essentially) in 1936, and have always been distressed by how easily we discard things. While I understand the reasons, I’m still pained to see discarded TV on the curb, to cite a minor example. I’ve already commented about reusable food containers (older folk: remember returnable milk bottles?) that are discarded after one use; most unfortunate.

  • Michael

    I expect that when the 2×4 finally hits us in the forehead, the result won’t be a positive society, but instead, a fortress society. Those who can will tighten their grip on their power and wealth, leaving the rest of us to fight among ourselves – an efficient way to reduce the population. Why would anyone expect an outcome other than this?

    • Chris

      That is the likeliest outcome.

      Let’s work to change that as it won’t be good for 90%+ of the population.

  • Jdsmith02115

    Agreed all around! All of your guests comments and prognostications were foretold by Marx in 

    “Das Kapital”.

  • Freeman

    Tom;
           Great observation, its about SUSTAINABILITY ! Why don’t those in government DIRECT the society to that end ? Our resourses ARE NOT infinite.

  • Hcweatherall

    A disruption of consumerism would/is something to celebrate. I always felt that the “growth” that everyone strives for is unhealthy. Cancer after all is unrestrained growth.

    • KAS

      indeed, WE are the cancer…

      • Cory

        Twelve monkeys then?

  • nj

    Suggestion to OP producers: How about, every so often, you give over both hours in a day to topics of critical importance, of which, i’d say, today’s is one.

    Forty minutes into the show, and you’re just getting to listeners’/commenters’ comments and input. An hour just doesn’t seem like enough time to do just to the Really Big Issues. Maybe start a series called “Critical Issues of Our Time” or something, and some how give more time to them on an ongoing basis.

    I recognize the need for the “light” features, but i’d rather hear another hour’s discussion on this. I would think flea markets could wait.

    • Nicholas Bodley

      Very good point! Many times, I have felt that an OnPoint topic merited use of both hours, and was artificially cut short  After all, Diane Rehm’s weekly news roundup on Fridays (WGBH, live at the same time as OnPoint) runs for both hours — the first domestic, and the second, foreign.

      Science Friday, after all, actually runs for two hours. (WBUR eventually decided to run the second hour delayed until 9 PM or so, instead of ignoring it.)

      Then, there’s All Things Considered, which repeats to some degree on both ‘BUR and ‘GBH.

      I suspect that OnPoint is sold to some stations elsewhere by the hour, and some buy only one hour. Continuing over two hours would make such listeners and stations unhappy. Unfortunately, making a complete break between first and second hour seems, if anything, too important at present.

      Nevertheless, intelligent planning (such with Diane Rehm’s show) can tie together two hours; the basic topic could be the same, but the individual hours would be devoted to differing aspects of that topic.
      I think the BBC has done that.

      Perhaps in the future, broadcasting schedules could respond to the course of a given show, scheduled dynamically according to the progress of the show.
      (Guests scheduled for following hours would have to be considered in advance; perhaps the hours following a dynamically-scheduled show would not have guests?)

      (Terry Gross once had an incredibly uncooperative guest who was hopeless; how she filled the rest of the show, I don’t know.)

  • Tim

    Are you kidding me Paul.  I totally agree with your analysis that we are coming to the end of growth and there will be a great disruption but we are not going to change for the better.  For example, remember Easter Island.  There are no people there anymore.  They turned on each other.

    Countries will turn on each other and you seem to be forgetting one big thing.  Nuclear Bombs!  Wars will come and the missle will eventually fly.  Your utopian view is going to evaporatein in a radioactive cloud.

  • DavidBCambridge

    There seems little doubt that Paul is right about living happily with less.  Not so different from the technical fix others describe, but with more behavior impact for “all of us”

    BIG Question:  Is there a “soft landing” scenario where the changes take place with reasonable speed , some pain, but minimal global disruption.  Or do we have to pass through a new dark age to get there — a period of global change so chaotic and challenging that civilization carries on only in pockets? 

    How much pain will be required to get there?

    • nj

      Dave, i think the answers to your questions are, “Yes,” “Not necessarily,” and, “It’s up to us.”

    • Nicholas Bodley

      I keep getting this persistent feeling that humans will not disappear from the Earth, but that the total population of the entire planet will be sixty thousand people. It’s a nutty idea, but, for me, rather difficult to get rid of. Talk about starting from scratch, and their descendants mangling to a fare-thee-well what their parents told them. (“We had very big metal ‘birds’ (their wings did not flap) that we could go inside of, which would carry us really far!” “We had boats so big it would take ten minutes to walk from bow to stern!”)
      Think cargo cults…

      =+=+=

      (How did Noah’s work force control dinosaurs when he brought them aboard the Ark? Their cages must have been utterly huge and strong.)

      • Jono

        Yep. You are right. It is a nutty idea. Take two asperin and rethink it in the morning

    • Jono

      He’s living well with more. This is how he makes his living and he uses thousands of gallons of jet fuel roaming around the world telling everyone else they must conserve.

    • Ellen Dibble

      The last question, as I recall, at the end of the show, maybe from Tom himself, was the steps Gilding and his family themselves are taking in the face of their view of the future.  Speaking from Australia (as I heard Ashbrook tell it), Gilding spoke about deliberately living with less money, fewer resources, and focusing on resilience and flexibility.

  • http://climate-research.com Prof. T.C. Weiskel

    Glad you are addressing this now. It is perhaps already too late, though. 

    We have been teaching about this for 20 years, and it is a bit surprising and disappointing to witness your rehearsed naivete on this topic, Tom.

    Surely by now we should have absorbed the ideas of:
    The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality by Richard Heinberg (Paperback – Aug 9, 2011)
    http://www.amazon.com/End-Growth-Adapting-Economic-Reality/dp/0865716951/ref=ecoethicsA/

    Herman Daly has provided very clear insights about this since the 1980s.

    Courses available locally on these topics include:
    Global Climate Change
       http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
    Environmental Justice
       http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
    Environment Ethics
       http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

    and in the Summer School:
    http://www.climate-talks.net/2011-ENVRS130/index.html

    The BBC covered this back in 2006 in an extended series of interviews with Jim Lovelock:
    http://www.climate-talks.net/2006-ENVRE130/Audio/20060706-BBC-Lovelock-Panel.htm

    Locally, here in Boston, we have been hearing this from the Pulitzer Prizing winning former editor at the Boston Globe:
    http://www.climate-talks.net/2008-ENVRE130/Video/20110227-HeatIsOnline-Ross-Gelbspan-Conclusion.htm

    It has become the topic of annual “updates” for Middle Eastern public health officials run in Cyprus – http://cyprus-institute.us and
    http://cyprus-institute.us/2011-Menu.htm

    And, in fact, in Cambridge, the information has been available to the public for several years through an active community television station:
    http://climate-research.tv/  and even more directly:
    http://climate-research.com/

       Glad to see you are joining in on this important topic. 

        Keep up the good work.

    Tim Weiskel

  • http://en-gb.facebook.com/onanov Donald Baxter

    How much would gasoline be if it were not subsidized by the governments of the world?  $10/gallon? $15?  Is it enough to get us back on our bicycles?  I sure hope so.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Donald, let’s do the arithmetic of your assertion.

      85 million barrels of oil consumed per day worldwide
      42 gallons/barrel.  365 days per year.
      Annual oil consumption = 1.3 trillion gallons / year

      Lets look at your $10 and $15 price points per gallon:
      Subsidy of $7/gallon = $9T subsidy
      Subsidy of $12/gallon = $15.6T subsidy

      The tax breaks debated in congress a few weeks ago was a few billion $. 

    • ThresherK

      Don’t forget externalized costs, too.

    • Jono

      You’ve got it backwards. If gasoline was not required to subsidize governments, it would be a lot cheaper.

  • Chris

    A caller asks about the connection between pocketbooks and the environment and whether people would make the choice if they saw good results.

    Old way of thinking. That system is failing and will collapse in our lifetimes. Probably much sooner then we think.

  • Mark

    I have felt this in my bones for as long as I can remember.  I bet Paul is a man with a personal strategy for protecting himself & his family when the system falls apart.

  • Revelz

    A key issue is reshaping the distribution networks. Here are some separate riffs:

    1) Reconnect: I work at Macy’s but I shop and donate second hand. I encourage my shoppers to make purchases which will last, sprinkled with the occasional fun stuff, and when they’re done, to donate rather than discard.

    2) Disconnect: Small solar panels installations, by houses, groups of houses or blocks, should restore both the environment and the neighborhood. But the technologies were invented by the Chinese and are marketed primarily in Africa, so we don’t think it’s possible. We need to learn from places which are developing without creating grids.

    3) Save for emergencies: As caregiver to various folks with disabilities, it bothers me to see how much their healthiness depends (pardon the pun) on disposable hygiene products. Any of us who can bathe and dress without disposables should just think of ourselves of saving space in the landfills for the day when we need this kind of product. Of course, I also support taxing unnecessarily destructive components in these products and their containers.

    • Nicholas Bodley

      Regarding  small solar panels, I don’t think that technology was invented by the Chinese, although I’m not reluctant to credit them. (For instance, they invented movable type, and several centuries ago, a Chinese astronomer (iirc) discovered 355/113, a remarkably-good approximation to [pi]. Roughly two millennia ago, they had a full chromatic musical scale, and subsequently “lost” it; acoustically-sophisticated bells proved that.)

      It’s likely that Bell Labs (destroyed by Carly Fiorina, btw) invented (or discovered?)  photovoltaic p-n junctions, the key to solar cells. If not Bell Labs, then it was quite likely some other scientist or engineer elsewhere besides China. Again, don’t discount the ability of the Chinese; consider relatively how many engineers are graduating there (many more than here!).

      As to Revelz’ 3rd point, I’m somewhat distressed by the sheer number of food containers designed to be used just once and then discarded. Surely glass bottles (remember glass milk bottles?) and jars could be re-used many hundreds of time (if they didn’t break), /provided/ there was trustworthy sanitation in effect. Food containers are so well designed and made that single use seems very wasteful and unfortunate. I currently must discard a lot of them that I was reluctant to recycle. (Recycling requires energy, after all.)

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Nicholas,  Re-purpose, re-use, reduce, recycle.  Far less energy expended.

        • Jono

          Sorry Terry, wrong. But thanks for playing. 

  • CD

    Everything Mr. Gilding says is correct.  But what is happening in our political system is against embracing this information and for denial.  It will happen as long as our population chooses to remain blissfully ignorant and our leaders continue to lie.  The international response will be manifest in a new type of expansion so that the powerful industrialized countries will appropriate more and more of the land and resources of the 3rd world.  This will only put off the inevitable.  

  • Kevin

    Tom,

    From listening to the calls so far, listeners are having difficulty shifting from the typical argument about whether or why “changes will happen”.

    Your guest’s argument is “I don’t bother discussing whether changes will happen or why (because I’m so convinced it is already happening, that I’ve moved away from wasting my time with that debate). I’m focusing on how to manage the crisis change and channel efforts into reducing pain and suffering while the new status quo is not yet in view.”

    Kevin

  • Shannonstoney

    Very few people will cut back on consumption voluntarily. Those of us who have been doing this for years are seen as hopelessly backward hippies.

  • Katherine

    Question: Has Paul seen the movie Logan’s Run? Does he see, can he deny, the distinct possibility of that world as a reality ie big government (as you just spoke of) control our all food, population control (death at 30) and a completely enclosed environment ie one big biosphere that generations from now aren’t eve aware that there is a world outside, and everything run by high tech computers.
    I find it interesting that all the callers seem to concur that this change is upon us and inevitable and not going to a good place but we all, the avg citizen, feel powerless to change it.  The system IS flawed!  How can the system possibly be changed?!  The powers that be seem to be utterly useless to the point of destruction. … ?!?!

  • ThresherK

    Let’s step back and look at work and consumption.

    I know plenty of people who work hard, as Tom describes, and the one thing they can’t get is time. Not because they’re career-driven monomaniacs who want corner offices, but because to maintain a decent job and salary in their (overtime-exempt) profession, they need to put in 60 hours a week.

  • Mizlizzee

    I agree in a reduction of stuff! I am trying to reduce things in my own life. Wading through two previous generations of things the couldn’t part with even when it was no longer useful. Then trying to remove all things I thought I needed when I was younger. It is daunting and overwhelming. But I agree the people and relationships are more important than surrounding ourselves with “things”. I have made a commitment to myself, the year of the downsize! Maybe I should start a blog, lol!

  • Glenn Pollock

    Conservative Christian Religion will not and does not except that there is a climate problem.  One US Senator even said that God will not allow the world to be destroyed. The Republican how wish to become President no not believe in Climate change. We are domed with that type of leadership.
     

    • nj

      There are plenty of reasons to take issue with the motley crew of Republican candidates, so it’s not necessary to make them up. Both Romney and Huntsman acknowledge AGW, although, from what i’ve seen, it’s not clear what either of them propose to do about it.

  • DaveE

    Malthus wasn’t talking about the future, he said that in the absence of what he called “vice” (birth control) that the population would always expand until the general level of poverty became bad enough to limit future growth.  This was happening in his time and has continued to the present–the only difference is the amount of resources we have been able to command.  In Malthus’ day there was no danger of depleteing the entire earth–our temporary mining of the earth’s resources has enable a flush of growth before the crash.

  • Kat

    Human Population IS the problem!!!  But nobody is going to advocate “population control”…  If we don’t change, war is upon us so population control will happen…

    • Ellen Dibble

      For one thing, in a hotter world (and a polluted world, weakening our immune systems), infectious agents will evolve that will likely outstrip the best (affordable) medicine.  But I’m not convinced that war will resolve this.  Armies depleting the young generation by the 10s of millions is not likely to recur, in my opinion.  I’m not convinced that even an insane administration anywhere in the world will see advantage in dropping atomic bombs and thereby gaining rights to cropland or something like that.  Think Chernobyl.  I think instead, people will find they do better with fewer children, rather than with more (the old insurance system for old age:  some surviving children).  And beyond that, I think people will find ways to pool their resources to nurture children more in the way small groups of humans way back 200,000 years ago began to group together in order to keep the generations flowing.  The extended family will reformulate itself into the extended community, not so much bonded by religion or blood as by — by chance?  Part of the resilience of humans will be the ability to quickly make common cause, with practically anyone.

  • Nicholas Bodley

    Paul seems to have, by far, the most-reasonable and believable ideas regarding what will happen at the end of the Mayan Long Count, or the singularity predicted by Ray Kurzweil. I’m [saying] this somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but am, at least, partly serious.

    I’ve been reading Thom Hartmann’s _Unequal Protection_; while it’s a good book and important, Paul’s seems far more important and basic.

    As well, I greatly appreciate his relative optimism.

  • Onthego

    Excellent program; Mr. Gilding tells us the unvarnished truth without the political and dogmatic spin that so often surrounds these issues. Climate and weather is one reality check we are all cashing every day in this country.

  • Daveaustin1

    As one caller suggested, we have disconnects where we fail to act when bona fide solutions to problems are reported.

    The most recent case in point regards nuclear power.  It’s been recently reported that we could/should use thorium and/or sodium reactors without having the downsides of uranium reactors.   The very next day there was a story about TVA buying more uranium reactors. 

  • Daveaustin1

    As one caller suggested, we have disconnects where we fail to act when bona fide solutions to problems are reported.

    The most recent case in point regards nuclear power.  It’s been recently reported that we could/should use thorium and/or sodium reactors without having the downsides of uranium reactors.   The very next day there was a story about TVA buying more uranium reactors. 

  • Daveaustin1

    As one caller suggested, we have disconnects where we fail to act when bona fide solutions to problems are reported.

    The most recent case in point regards nuclear power.  It’s been recently reported that we could/should use thorium and/or sodium reactors without having the downsides of uranium reactors.   The very next day there was a story about TVA buying more uranium reactors. 

  • Elka

    How do we create a believeable economy based on retraction?  This is our big challenge.  It is opposite to how we as humans see the world…our bodies grow up, grow stronger, get bigger, etc.  The human experience of decline is negative and described as such.  We need to change our language and viewpoint before we will change our behaviour.

    • Ellen Dibble

      The black plague, brought to Europe right on the cusp of expansion, to China, over the seas by rat-laden boat, caused a great deflation in populations.  I’d look to see what kind of rebound was achieved then, and how.  I believe to some extent, people left for the Americas.  I’ll have to read up some on that.  Think about Shakespeare’s The Tempest as relates to a semi-failed trip to Jamestown circa 1610.  No, there were waves upon waves of plague.  But we emerged from the Dark Ages anyway.

      • Jono

        The black plague killed 2.5 million people (one of every two alive) in the 40 years of the mid 14th century. By the time Shakespeare was born almost 200 years later, it was a distant memory.  Are you just making it up as you go along?

      • Ellen Dibble

        The bit about original Pilgrims (or early settlers in general) fleeing the plague as part of their reasons is not at my fingertips.  I read it or heard it at some point over the last 50 years and made a mental note that it makes some sense to displace what we were all taught in school about coming here for religious freedom (freedom to be Puritan, not freedom to be anything else).  To arrive on Cape Cod and find a vacated community, buildings empty and ready due to Indians having been wiped out by something, perhaps smallpox, must have been an eye-opener.  
           But my point is that there have been great collapses of populations and civilizations.  Right now I’m reading about the “decline of the Harappan civilization was the result of a series of important changes in the environment.  Around 1700 BC the Indus River… caused a series of disastrous floods.”  This proto-civilization’s people, the Vasas, became the servants of the invading Aryans around 1500 BC, who themselves had been displaced from Central Asia, the steppes between the Caspian and Black Seas, warlike gamblers, the inventors or the spoked wheel and the racing chariot, Car One.  “Around 200 BC these tribes were driven from their homeland in Southern Russia.  We do not know what brought this about, possibly plague or famine, or some natural disaster like a prolonged frost.”  Author Sinharaja Tammita-Delgoda.  First as Hittites in Anatolia, then to Celtic and Greek and Teutonic lands in Europe, and around 1500 BC across the Hindu Kush.  In these cases, environmental stressors led to vast cultural and population displacements, and lots of war.

    • nj

      Well, just to follow through with your example, “our bodies grow up, grow stronger, get bigger, etc.,” the “etc.” being, “and we all eventually die.” Sometimes the demise is quick, sometimes, yes, a long, painful decline.

  • Ljabernathy

    My question is: are we feeling the effects that WE’VE created, or is the climate reacting to the massive amount of pollution that was created by the industrial revolution where there was NO regulation? 

    How quickly does all this work?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Ljabernathy,   Astute question!  The gross expenditures of fuels and munitions, of BOTH World Wars, the Industrial Revolution, the doubling of world population in 30 years, the continued waste of fuels and resources, (over ten years ago, 4,000 miles per gallon was exceeded, yet auto companies brag about 30mpg!),  the difficulty of lower-income people to afford efficient methods, in my self-educated opinion, ALL have led to this mess.  Will waiting for it to settle down work?  Almost certainly NOT!  Remember, most of the regulation in the U.S., is challenged, so NOT followed, and is non-existent in most of the rest of the world.

      • Jono

        Sorry, you need more self-education. Munitions do not cause pollution, of any sort. And there is no vehicle powered by gasoline that gets 4,000 mpg. Whoever told you there was, probably was named Gore and had one hand on your wallet.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Jono,  Shell Oil corporation sponsors a contest every year.  Their latest ad about it claims over 8800 miles per gallon equivalent.  The fuel is measured with a syringe.  Look up mpg contest, or peruse the magazine rack at any large book store.  I am not making the claim, repeating it from an oil company.  Railroads are claiming over 400 miles per ton of cargo per gallon. Their figures, not mine!

          • Jono

            I know the railroads figures are accurate but you should recognize that car mpg is not measured per ton.

            I Googled both oil contest and shell oil contest and found no reference to this magic 8800 mpg – straight or “equivalent.”

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Jono,   Shell states it as 8800 mpg, which I interpret as miles per gallon.  the last weight I saw for one of these  was 250 lbs.  Very aerodynamic, but next to nothing was revealed about the engine, except it was internal combustion, as I recall.
                You know the railroad figures are accurate, or you have heard it from the railroad ads, as I have?

          • Jono

            The sites I did find all showed Vespas with roofs over them. I’d rather drive a golf cart. Let me know, when-if a car carrying 4 people and their dog travels from Trenton to Camden

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Jono,   Even small arms fire can make it hard to breathe.  Shell-holes in battlefields are toxic, for a while.  Munitions do cause pollution.  Ask any of the battlefield survivors.  Napalm, Agent Orange, and a whole host of munitions don’t cause pollution?  I’m looking forward to your explaination.  Since the best mpg offered by auto companies os 90mpg, the results of the Popular Science and Shell Oil contests, haven’t “trickled down” yet!

          • Jono

            Then I must be dead. After spending a fair amount of time firing an M60, I know exactly what the air smells and tastes like after a gunfight. Now if you have similar experiences, maybe we can swap stories. On the other hand, if all you have is what you Googled, maybe you don’t know quite as much as you think. 

            Napalm and Agent Orange are not usually referred to as munitions in my book, maybe they are in yours – which should probably also include a bunch of pesticides and weed killers. Then again, you probably think that Dihydrogen Monoxide is a pollutant.

            First I’m told to look it up, then I’m told I can’t look it up cause its still a secret??? Oh, please.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Jono,  I served, and fired a few weapons that I would not like to do in an unventillated space.  No fire-fights, fortunately, although I volunteered for ‘Nam.  Uncle chose a different path for my service.  Napalm and Agent Orange not munitions?  Isn’t that  what they were used for, and the way they were deployed?  What about Willy Peter?  Phosgene? Mustard?  
                 I haven’t Googled in months.  As my other comments say, I have a varied background, like yourself.  My occupation, and my expensive hobbies of Volunteer Fire-Fighting and Rescue Squad, are counter-conducive to lying.  Someone gets hurt or killed. 
                 Water is not a pollutant, as far as I know, but it can be deadly.
                 I have seen many unions, but never one that was a monopoly.  Many companies and corporations are, however, members of ‘trade associations’, and other entities that give each other far more power over their employees, like very powerful unions!  Some unions are only a company-establlished arm, to say they have a union, when it answers only to the company, to eliminate employees, that try to get safe and decent working conditions.  More?

          • Jono

            I think of munitions as things that require explosive ammo, but I checked, and you’re righter than I am. By by my defintion my point is made, and by yours your point is. I also admit that a Huey was well ventilated – the trick was to keep from being ventilated while I stood in the doorway.

            Firefighters are my personal heroes – long before 9/11 I noticed that cops, firefighters and infantry were the guys who ran towards trouble – and firefighters did it unarmed.

            Every union is a monopoly. You cannot be a teacher in New Jersey unless you belong to the Union.  You cannot be a firefighter in NYC, unless you belong to the Union.  You cannot be an actor on Broadway or in Hollywood unless you belong to the union. You cannot be a doctor unless you belong to the AMA, you cannot be a lawyer unless you belong to the bar association. A union is simply an attempt to control the price of labor as a cartel is an attempt to control the price of goods.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Thanks Jono,  It’s nice to know I get some of your respect.  And the concession on munitions, wasn’t sure it would happen.  By the way, I refer to my expensive hobbies, because I’m an un-paid volunteer in both, and it costs my money to respond, go to training, pay for some of the training, do fund–raisers, maintain equipment, and so, and so, and so.  I am quite beyond the age of active paid  fire-fighters, and would quit, if we had the personnel to replace me.  I guess it’ll be on the job, one of them.
                 You’ve never heard of an open shop.  No ALL unions are not monopolies.   Doctors and Lawyers would argue night and day that they aren’t unions, far beneath them.  Doctors spend a lot of time trying to bust nurses’ unions, and others.  I see that as you do.  Although price (wages, benefits) is a part of it, unions are quite a lot about safe and decent work conditions.  For all workers, believe it or not, not just union ones.  Did ever union member take home a $20Million BONUS, for running GM into the ground, like Rick Waggoner did?  I still see nothing that justified that, and a lot of others.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Terry Tree Tree, wow, you are good.  The difficulty of lower-income to afford efficient methods…  I’m thinking the difficulty of lower-income people to have to the time to cut through the misleading slush and TV warping of our perspectives such that they think the bigger car is the better car and so on and so forth. A lot that we need to know is not at all self-evident (yet), and those with lots of money to manipulate public opinion (Madison Avenue, ads for big corporations and their backers — banks maybe?) would further keep those with less money in the cars of the most polluting type.   It’s not their money that is paying to sustain their health decades down the line, not their money that is paying to repair the environment…  No, the middle class tax payers will do that, those with just enough money to be highly taxable but not enough money to angle for the tax breaks.

    • Jono

      No. We are experiencing a return to the normal temperatures of the earth after a particularly cold spell.

    • Anonymous

      It works fairly quickly.  Since the amount of carbon has increased much more quickly in the last few decades, the effects have been more and more noticeable in the data.  About half the oil ever consumed has been since the 1980′s, if I recall correctly.

      Scientists can also tell where carbon comes from, by looking at the isotopes.

      Neil

  • Jack

    From an evolutionary point of view, most humans are simply ill-equiped to deal with massive climate change.  We aren’t patterned to deal with the time frame or the scale of the problem.  First we ensure with our daily survival, then that of our family, then of our “village” (however each of us defines that term).  And that’s about where it ends for most of us.

    Remember the climate change conference in Copenhagen last fall?
    About 100 presidents & prime ministers attended, all agreeing on the problem.  Yet no solutions emerged.  None.  Not even the usual boiler plate target dates for this or that greenhouse gas reduction.  Too many conflicting national interests.

    When there’s 6 inches of water in the streets of Miami, then we’ll act…by freaking out.  Sadly, it’s all devolution from here.

    • Nicholas Bodley

      I live in what must have been a swamp before 1957; through it ran a brook that drained into the Charles River. The brook was covered over, and the swamp (today, we’d call it a “wetland”) filled in. Our lawns have round manholes covered with slotted cast-iron drain grates. Naturally, they drain into the brook. A couple of years ago (iirc!) we had a sustained cloudburst that included the headwaters of the Charles. I went out to see the water level in the nearest manhole, and it was about four feet below lawn level (and well above basement floor level). (It’s normally something like 20 feet down.) We were lucky.

    • Jono

      You’re an idiot. We lived through a major ice age as well as the minor ice age of the 1700s. And we survived them both, one day at a time. 

    • Anonymous

       there was no conflicting interests among the naysayers–it was the same–money, power, damn the earth and damn the people.

  • Jim Pyrzynski

    Last week there was an op/ed in the paper by Thomas Friedman on climate change and the changes that are needed in our lifestyle. The newspaper (Omaha World Herald) had an editorial on the opposite page attacking his opinions saying that his ideas would limit are freedoms (sounding something along the lines of what you would hear from the likes of Rush Limbaugh). Then on Monday of this week there was a comment about the supposed Mcmansion that Friedman lives in, etc. And on the opposite page there was an op/ed by Jonah Goldberg attacking Friedman and extolling the free market system.

    These are just some of the “debaters” and debates that have to be traversed before some sort of consensus can be reached. The Friedman and Goldberg comments can probably be found on their websites; the Omaha World Herald’s editorials can be found at Omaha.com.

    • Ellen Dibble

      http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11742Jim, Tom Friedman was on Charlie Rose last night, with David Brooks, David Leonhardt, and Roger Cohen, discussing the position of America vis-a-vis the future.  It wasn’t a frontal confrontation with global climate change per se, but they did discuss it, as I recall, consonant with what we heard today.  Four interesting perspectives.

    • nj

      Why the hell anyone takes seriously much of anything Tom Friedman says or writes is totally baffling. Rich white guy (seven-figure salary, $10-mil house); big supporter of globalization; tireless supporter of the war in Iraq; hypocritical and self-contradictory…

      Here’s one cogent critique:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-sirota/an-idiots-guide-to-tom-fr_b_298371.html

      Google “Friedman is an idiot” for many more.

    • Jono

      So anyone who thinks that limiting freedom sounds like Limbaugh? Does that include Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin? Is Patrick Henry one of the “debaters” you’d like to “traverse?”

  • Bill

    Just as the Pacific Islanders sat around thousands of years ago, knowing full well the impact of cutting down and burning that last tree… I suspect we will do the same.  I don’t like being a pessimist, but I’m not sure humanity has the love for itself – or individuals for their neighbors, to enact much of a change.  

    Simply put, for change even to start, the US capitalist methodology has to change.  You see that taking place outside of the US, but within the US – even the mention gets tossed to the side as socialized rhetoric.  

    So, when I see Arizona burn up or the Midwest drown under water… I think, yep, the short sighted and greedy minority who shove unbridled capitalism down our throats are getting their due.  

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

      I agree with you. And with the corporate stranglehold on DC, nothing meaningful will be done. A rational society would ban all corporate money and lobbyists from government….as a first step.

    • Jono

      Oh yeah its the bad old capitalists that are the cause of all of mankind’s ills. Here’s your clue: there is no unbridled capitalism any more if there ever was. What we have in this country is national socialism where the government controls production and labor without owning them. 

      • Anonymous

        Better to say: socialism is for the corporations and the 1%; free market capitalism for the rest.

        • Jono

          huh?  What does that mean in English?

          • ThresherK

            There are plenty of things said here which are less clear, so:

            Competition ‘mongst the masses, socialism for the classes.

            Poor rabble don’t form monopolies and cartels like the uberwealthy and corporations.

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

        And how SPECIFICALLY does the government control production and labor via “national socialism”? Where are your examples…besides over generalized claims?

        • Jono

          Did you provide examples or anything beyond generalized claims when you ranted about “corporate stranglehold on DC???” Or are you special?

  • Bernadette Bostwick

    The Great Work of our generation is to carry out the transition from a period of human devastation of Earth to a period when humans would be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner… to ensure each species of their proper habitat and to conserve the basic functioning of the bio-systems of the planet.
             Thomas Berry, “The Great Work”

    The devastation that is taking place at this time through the industrial-technological exploitation of Earth is already so great that future generations will be condemned to live not only in the ruins of its failed industrial infrastructures but also amid the ruins of the natural world itself. 
    As a student of Thomas Berry I have known for many year now that our generation will decide, consciously or by default, how much of nature will survives, and which life forms will vanish. For those who hold that the economy is the bottom line to life, My question is: What good will economies be once we sink our life boat?  There will never be healthy economies unless we have a healthy Earth economy. I strongly suggest that the destiny of Earth, and of our own well-being, lies in the hands of this generation.

  • Cabmanjohnny

    Nothing will change on anthropogenic warming. Coal will be used more as oil production fades and few want to live as the Amish. Myself, I think the present energy system and collapse of economic capital markets will go in crisis before climate disruptions kills us off in greater mass. Either one, civilization will go quickly. I’ve my 40 acres an a mule, not planning on feeding strangers either. Good time to get prepared
    http://www.urbansurvival.com/week.htm
    http://www.survivalblog.com/
    http://www.kunstler.com/

    • nj

      Granted, i only glanced through the urbansurvival and survivalblog sites, so i’m not sure if this completely applies to them, but the problem i have with a lot of this “survivalist” thinking is that it mostly seems targeted solely to individuals or families.

      This is problematic for a few reasons. The main one is that people living as individuals are still subject to and connected to the larger world. No amount of “preparation” is going to protect anyone from the effects of climate change, pollution, political repression, etc.

      And, the things needed for people to be “prepared” still largely come from systems beyond the property lines of isolated individuals and families.

      What does make sense is to work to make communities and regions more resilient, sustainable, and self-sufficient.

      If we fail to organize and change our direction, the resulting world is not going to be very pleasant, and living in a bunker eating through piles of packaged food isn’t a future most people would look forward to.

      • Cabmanjohnny

        I agree about the communities-sustainable local thinking. I’ve tried to form community, but you’d be pressed to find a few. Few want to think and work “collectively” since that has been painted as a bad term.There are tho a lot that are working: http://www.earthaven.org/maps_of_earthaven.php
        http://directory.ic.org/

        • Jono

          Whenever someone tries to form a “community” to “work collectively,” he also volunteers to do the work of being the leader, doesn’t he.

    • Jono

      urban survival is a contradiction in terms 

  • Anonymous

    .  There’s nothing in there about harm or disease from pollution or other environmental damage.  So all this destruction, harm, and havoc, which require huge amounts of spending and rebuilding, ADDS to our GDP, the size and growth of which is held out as the gold standard of determining our success.  So it’s actually a good thing, economically speaking.OK, sarcasm over.  The real problem is that disease, environmental and other such damage is not incorporated into our economy.  These costs are not internalized into any pricing mechanism.  Until they are, no change for the better will occur, short of disaster.  People my age reemember that it literally took rivers on fire from pollution to get the EPA up and running.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

    Isn’t the root cause of the problem overpopulation? And with religion, and its related craziness, overpopulation cannot be controlled. 

    • fred manning

      Paul Erdman said the population bomd would kill us 30 yers ago

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

        I think it was closer to 40 years ago…but yes, I am aware of the book. Seems to be true.

        • Modavations

          Whenever I fly over the US,or Canada,all I see are wide open spaces.Mr Erdman predicted we’d be dead 30 years ago.Don’t even get me started with Global Winter.That was also going to kill us 30 years ago.The only population malfeasance I see, is in the Black Ghetto where there is up to 90% illegitimacy.Democrat Welfare policy at rascist worst.

          • Justin Greyson

            Unless you have eyes like a spy satellite, you are not seeing the details…..

      • David

        I remember we read that book back in the early 1970′s when I was in the 6th grade. It was a rather depressing book and good to see it was incorrect.

    • Jono

      No the root problem is that the left is doing their best to eliminate any reason to work hard or create wealth. 

    • Jono

      No the root problem is that the left is doing their best to eliminate any reason to work hard or create wealth. 

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

        And the corporations are succeeding at corrupting the entire political process.

        • Jono

          There is no real difference between the government, labor, and corporations, any more. All three are eagerly corrupting the other two and all three are eagerly being corrupted.  GM, AIG, GE – all are so intertwined with the unions and with the White House that only a fool would think there was a hands-breadth of difference between them

          • 1sacredearth

            Now that’s the first true thing you have said!

    • Anonymous

      No, the root problem is blind consumption, and the fact that we have injected millions and millions of years worth of carbon into the air in a very short period of time.

      We can live very well without oil or coal or natural gas.

      Neil

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

        There is no modern society which has proven your assertion to be true.

        I submit that we can live even better with about 1/3 the current population of the planet. And the abandonmnet of religion.

        • Anonymous

          Jason,

          Neither of those is achievable, so why worry about it?  Infinite growth is simply not possible, and so whether we like it or not, we will have to use our human intelligence to figure out how to deal with reality.

          Neil

      • 1sacredearth

        Neil, thank you for staying so reasonable with some of these raving idiots here trying to dispute real facts.  I on the other hand let myself get too emotional with some of the comments of Juno and his cronies here.  Your comebacks are great.

        • Anonymous

          You’re quite welcome!  As a Quaker, I know the power of a good question.  :-)

          Neil

  • Rgoodman

    In terms of reducing driving and encouraging other ways of getting paces you might want to check out an Oped article I wrote for the NY Times (“Tax Brakes” June 29, 2008)
    In it I proposed:
     
    “the federal government could set
    a baseline annual driving distance per registered vehicle of, say,
    12,000 miles, the amount that the average American drives. (This number
    could be adjusted for those who drive more because they live in rural
    areas.) … drivers could be awarded tax
    credits based on how many fewer miles they drove. Taxpayers who didn’t
    drive at all would receive the maximum number of credits.

    Keeping track of the miles could easily be done with the same
    electronic devices that some insurance companies have recently installed
    in some of their customers’ cars for their usage-based programs.
    Studies have shown that the more closely people are able to monitor how
    their energy use affects what they pay, the more likely they are to use
    less energy”

    • Jono

      Here’s a thought. The Federal Government could stop paying for Michelle’s vacations in Africa – the savings in fuel and mo0ney would be enormous. Tracking her mileage wouldn’t require an entire bureaucracy, either 

    • Jono

      Here’s a thought. The Federal Government could stop paying for Michelle’s vacations in Africa – the savings in fuel and mo0ney would be enormous. Tracking her mileage wouldn’t require an entire bureaucracy, either 

  • Gwheyduke

    How true and how very inconvenient !   I became aware of this about 2005.

    • Anonymous

      I have known about climate change since 1987!

  • Modavations

    Patrick Moore, the other founder of Green Peace ,quit when he realized that the movement had been taken over by ideologues.The “Population bomb” was totally the discredited.Mr Mann and the guys at E.Anglia were caught saying “hide the decline”.A judge in London forbid Al Gore’s movie be shown in Public Schools,saying it was a political screed.I wonder if the author is making money off of this?Human’s are adaptable and we’ll figure it all out when we’re forced too.

  • Modavations

    Curiously,Al Gore came out with the same speel,last night.Do you think the two are colluding.Listen,Malthuis in the 1700′s, said we’d die from overpopulation,as did the totally discredited Paul Erdman(Population Bomb).Only the left would give a discredited author, a professorship for life.The same crew was crying Global Winter,thirty years ago,by the way.

  • Modavations

    Curiously,Al Gore came out with the same speel,last night.Do you think the two are colluding.Listen,Malthuis in the 1700′s, said we’d die from overpopulation,as did the totally discredited Paul Erdman(Population Bomb).Only the left would give a discredited author, a professorship for life.The same crew was crying Global Winter,thirty years ago,by the way.

  • Mike

    What changes has Mr. Gilding made in his personal life?  Does he consume less? 

    • Jono

      Are you kidding? He makes a bundle doing this. And burns jet fuel like crazy going all around the world telling everyone else how they must sacrifice.

    • Jono

      Are you kidding? He makes a bundle doing this. And burns jet fuel like crazy going all around the world telling everyone else how they must sacrifice.

    • Anonymous

      Did you listen to the program?  He answers this question.

      What are you doing to consume less?

      Have you insulated your home?  Have you learned to ecodrive?  Have you bought local food in season?  Have you tracked the energy consumption of your home?

      Neil

  • public_enemy

    I found this discussion so obvious to any reasoning person that it is almost not worth mentioning – the only problem is few are truly considering this in meaningful ways.  The issues of resource limitation, impending economic collapse, environmental degradation, are well known, but seem to never adequately be considered in the way we all go about our business.  Many of the tools that will prove useful in the coming transition are becoming common parlance (e.g. Local, local, local), but I still believe it will be a scary and painful transition – never mind for those at the bottom of the pyramid (developing countries).  I think many in those countries believe they will transition to a developed type of lifestyle and in the process distance themselves from the very skills that will be most useful in post-collapse economies.

    • Modavations

      Someone please translate!!!!!!!

    • Jono

      You forgot to mention that the sky was falling, Chicken Little

    • Jono

      You forgot to mention that the sky was falling, Chicken Little

  • SteveV

    When people say we’re not going to deal with this until the crisis arrives, they are right on target. I don’t know what the trigger will be, perhaps a shortage of gas for our vehicles or heating fuel for our homes, but I suspect that sooner rather than later things are going to get real ugly. Then we’ll see how “civilized” a society we are.

    • Modavations

      We are awash in oil,but leftist ideologues  won’t let us drill.Because they litigate and litigate and litigate, we can’t clear the forests of underbrush and thus the fires!!!!!!!!!!

      • Anonymous

        The US is drilling more today than ever before – and Obama wants to drill more. As for your comment about fires, there is not enough space to debunk it. You need to do a little fact hunting.

      • 1sacredearth

        Where were you when we had the Gulf Oil explosion and oil poured for months into the ocean millions of gallons, not to speak of countless other oil disasters from transporting and drilling accidents.  And don’t believe that this oil spilled into out oceans, marshes etc. has all dissapeared from the environment, just because mass media brainwashes the masses with that.

    • Jono

      We have enough gas and oil in this country to last us at least 100 years. 

      • Anonymous

        And, your point is?  Do you want to use it all up as fast as possible?  Or, should we move now over to energy sources that will last as long as the Earth and Sun does?

        Neil

        • Jono

          Here’s your clue: There is no way in Hades that wind, and solar power can support everyone on earth even at subsistence levels. If you don’t believe me – look it up. 

          There is also no way in Hades that you will ever convince Russia, China, and India to sink back into third world status.

          • Anonymous

            Enough of the sun’s energy strikes the Earth in one hour to meet all of the worlds needs for one year.

            Think about it.

            Why do you think that continuing to depend on the finite oil and coal and gas will work for very long?

            Renewable energy can meet our needs, and it will last as long as the Earth does.

            Neil

          • Jono

            And the release of the energy in an ounce of uranium provides all of the. . . .

            If that’s your best argument, you haven’t got one. Solar technology is inherently inefficient and expensive. In spite of the fact that billions of dollars have been spent the only thing that solar power can beat economically speaking is offshore wind turbines. 

          • Ellen Dibble

            The cost of using up our 100-years-worth of oil and coal and gas (nationally and/or globally) is that the planet more or less cooks, and we may survive as a species, but along the way many of the billions of us will be living like those Indian peasants you speak of, refugees from one catastrophe or another, pretty much totally dependent on whatever power (most likely international corporation or their military “fronts”) is trying to keep us on board as serfs of one kind or another.  
              Gilding is saying that inevitably we will start to avoid that situation, and points to our swift adaptability after Pearl Harbor as an example of human capacity for change.
               I’m not sure what you want us to do instead.  But you certainly represent the sort of forces that a steady approach to the coming circumstances is up against.  Are you with us or against us?  Apparently you know what that means, if you were marching in 1963 for civil rights.  In this case, I think we’re talking about the civil rights of future generations.  And we try to talk civilly here, by the way.

          • Jono

            Now that is just plain stupid. The worst case scenario being predicted by the most outrageous of the alarmists is 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit increase. That’s not nearly as hot as it has been in the past during epochs when this planet supported more kinds of vegetation and land and sea animals than it does today. 

            Glidding makes the claim that we are responsible for whatever Global Warming there might be. That claim is essential to his agenda even though most of the “proof” that has been offered of that claim has been shown to be false and most of the predictions made about our climate today from ten years ago are laughable.

          • Anonymous

            Germany is already getting ~18% of their electricity from solar PV, land based wind, and biogas (methane from plant waste), and they have a storage solution that works.

            Oil, coal, and gas are all finite.  As they run down, they will get very expensive.  And we are all already paying a lot more than cash for them.

            Renewable energy is all around us, in huge quantities (which was your original argument) and they are virtually infinite.

            * Solar PV can be put on most buildings.  The sun shines on the panel and they produce power — where’s the waste?  Efficiency doesn’t matter when you are tapping into renewable energy.

            * Solar heat has huge potential.

            * Land and water based wind power has a very consistent output at about 35-45% of the maximum output.

            * Wave power is readily available to all ocean coasts, and there are already 2 or 3 companies around the world making them; including one in New Jersey.

            * Geothermal power can be done anywhere, by drilling.

            * Biomass includes methane and liquid fuels, and these have huge potential.

            * Small scale hydro power can be set up in the numerous mills around some areas — these were powered by water.

            None of these have waste or pollution or produce any excess carbon.  None of these have catastrophic failure, nor can they be used by terrorists.  They are not perfect, and they will require us to do work to transition to them.  But, they will not run out, and they will not have large irreversible affects on the environment.

            What’s not to like?

            Neil

          • Jono

            And we get almost 10% from hydroelectric – which is great. That doesn’t mean that Washington should start digging lots more rivers. 

            The truth is simple. The cost of generating electricity from Coal, Gas, and Nuclear ranges from one third to one half the cost of solar and wind. You cannot explain that away. 

            Future scenario: The U.S. pulls out of NATO and removes its men, fires its native employees and stops paying rent for the privilege of defending Europe. Prediction: Germany’s budget is flushed right down the drain and they will stop spending taxpayer money to support the inordinate cost of solar panel electricity.  

          • Anonymous

            The true costs of finite energy is much higher than we are paying.  Oil spills, air and water pollution, military spending to defend overseas oil supply, mountaintop removal, mine explosions and collapses, myriad of health problems, dead forests due to large hydro projects — never mind global climate change, which is causing crop failures four years in a row now, ocean acidification which is contributing to fish depletion, melting “perma” frost and Arctic ice caps, garbage flotillas and microscopic plastic entering the food chain, dead zones, dropping water aquifers, soil erosion and desertification, record flooding almost every year, more droughts and fires…  Food shortages are the direct result of our unsustainable food system, and they are the cause of much of the political unrest.

            We have had crop failures because of drought, and because of higher temperatures.  We have had crop failures because of massive floods.  We are turning food into fuel — and using lots and lots of fuel to make the food.  This is simply unsustainable.  We must return to the natural cycle of food that builds up the dirt with nutrients; rather than mining it and leaving it depleted.

            Oh, I’d say that the costs of using up the Earth’s oil, coal and gas as fast as we can — has a *very* high cost.

            There is no one easy answer — diversification of energy sources is the way to go.  A wide mix over a wide geographic area is obviously the only way to go; and it is the only way for humans to survive another 10,000 years at least.

            We will stop spending so much on our military when we don’t need to defend overseas oil supply.  I agree that we are spending way too much on this.  And our military is already moving to renewable energy and efficiency; as we all should.

            I am reading Mr. Gilding’s book, and you should read it, too.

            Neil

      • Anonymous

        Where do you get that information from?!!!!!
        GLOBAL oil production peaked 5 years ago. I don’t know what country you are talking about – Iraq?

        • Jono

          I get that information from the U.S. Geological survey reports. Maybe if you read what I said which was not talking about how much production there is but how much potential there is inside the U.S. You wouldn’t have asked such a bonehead question.

      • 1sacredearth

        That’s not very long! And then what??????????????????

        • Jono

          Your question is legit. In 1811, the primary method of lighting the home was whale oil. By 1911, it had been replaced by kerosene. By 2011 it has been replaced by electricity generated by oil and natural gas (along with coal and nuclear.) In 2111, it is very likely that something else will light our homes. Maybe bioluminescence, maybe cheap and efficient solar microwaved from space, maybe fusion, maybe pastafarian prayer wheels. None of the other energy sources were predictable so I won’t pretend to be a soothsayer charlatan like Al Gore and know the future. But I am relatively sure that what will replace generated electricity will be cheap and abundant, not the inefficient and extremely expensive wind and solar panels of today and that it will be adopted because of the marketplace, not because of presidential fiats.

          By the way: Three question marks is usually considered enough. More makes you look a bit rabid. 

  • Amy

    The topic of today’s “On Point” was extremely important, but I think that’s been adequately covered in the comments below. Beyond that… this was a great interview, on both sides. I think the interviewer and interviewee both met their match. Thought-provoking questions and careful answers, with amazing ease. Nice work!

  • Ellen Dibble

    I was interested to hear Gilding talk about current global inflation (waves of inflation actually) of prices (of food and fuel, etc.) as indicative of the coming of true scarcity (tsunami or high tide?).  

    I thought American economists (and the public) were just beginning to come to terms with what I as a noneconomist always anticipated would be significant inflation if the supply of American dollars (whether in the coffers of banks and big corporations waiting for a clear view of the lay of the land or otherwise), if that supply was made to grow without growing the supply of everything at the same time.   Simply issuing dollars seems to me a hollowing-out gesture in terms of those dollars’ worth.  More money standing in for the same US of A equals money worth exactly that much less, not necessarily right away but soon.  Listening to analysts lately, it seems economists are beginning to sing my song.
     
    Now comes Paul Gilding talking about the global scarcity contributing, regardless of whether the Federal Reserve tweaks the supply of dollars.  So I found this link where Gilding spells this out on CNN:
    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/06/21/gilding.environment.economy/
    From his twitter link way down at the bottom of this thread; he is upbeat, about how economies can accommodate.  Must do so.

    • Jono

      Scarcity doesn’t cause inflation. Rising prices are an effect of inflation, not a cause and not the same as. Inflation is caused by an increase in the money supply (or in credit). Glidding knows less about inflation than most college freshmen taking economics 101. Neither his accent nor his ability to yammer on and on and on saying the same (inconsequential) thing over and over can substitute for the fact that he is either ignorant or duplicitous.

      • Anonymous

        You’ve heard of supply and demand, right?

        Scarce things that are in demand have high prices.

        What is a clean environment worth?

        Neil

        • Jono

          Yes I have heard of it – and, unlike you, I understand it. 

          So our choices are for everyone to live like the peasants in India and the serfs in China or we’re all going to die of nuclear cooling? 

          • Anonymous

            So, what happens to the price of scarce resources, when there is high demand?

            Did you listen to the program?  Nobody is suggesting serfdom, or anything of the kind.

            Neil

          • Jono

            If something becomes scarce it will become more attractive to produce it. If oil is scarce, the price will rise and methods of extracting it that were not economical will be used. If oil becomes scarce enough we will go to Titan where its surface hydrocarbons are greater than all of the known gas and oil reserves here on Earth.  By “we,” of course, I mean the Russians and Chinese since they have active space programs.

          • Don’t Laugh, This is Cirrus!

            The dire straights we are in right now demonstrate just how wrong the ‘market’ often is. Economic rationalism has shown how ineffectual its advocates are.
            BTW, Jono … if you paid such close attention to Mr. Gilding, how come you can’t get his name right? If you get details like this wrong, why should we pay anthing you say any respect at all?

          • Jono

            The dire straights we are in right now demonstrate the bankruptcy of the Keynesian economic policy that has been followed since the 30′s. It also demonstrates why Barney Frank and Chris Dodd shouldn’t start micromanaging creditworthiness just to get black and Hispanic votes.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Jono,   Go to Titan for oil?  What would the price of oil have to be, in today’s dollars, for that to be economical, $! Billion/gal?  Several other questions arise.

          • Jono

            Don’t be silly. We could do it in ten years, not 100 if Obama would spend half the money he’s putting into killing Libyans, Afghans and Pakistanis. In 100 years, we (again, I mean the Chinese and Russians) will inhabit the solar system.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Jono,  Why did you not include the person that led the charge to kill Afghans, Pakistanis, Iraqis, and others, evidently for his, and his cronies’ plundering gains?  The same one that we were going to Mars, and did nothing to really finance, or encourage that hollow goal.  I, too, long for man to inhabit the solar system, and more, for many reasons.

          • Jono

            Here’s your clue: I blame Bush just as much or more for the waste of lives and money in stupid foreign wars as I do Obama. Likewise I think the S.O.B. was almost as bad for the space program as Obama is.  But neither one of them is an excuse for the other. They both sold our birthright for a mess of pottage.

          • Anonymous

             You don’t know what’s on Titan.  Its speculation.  You ruined earth earth, now you want to ruin everything in the universe.  Why must you insist on oil.  There are alternatives.  Your reasoning is like cavemen insisting on the use of wood and fire.

            Concerning Germany.  Germany has always been at the forefront of technology and they don’t make rash decisions when it comes to these things.  They are smart people.  They are willing to move forward. And I’m willing to bet they know more than we do.  Recently Fusion technology was developed that it is said will be usable if not marketable.  America refuses to accept this and the technology was sought after in Europe, Greece, etc, and I think Germany is banking on it.  Nearly unlimited energy from seawater.

            Earlier you said my opinions are baseless–pertaining to china and American democracy.  I have lived in China for quite some time.  I lived many places.  America is fascist.  China is a polluted sore and a stain on the earth–due to consumerism.

          • Anonymous

            but you said the federal government should not levy taxes.  Local taxes and disconnected interests will never get us to Titan.  It requires collaboration, probably worldwide collaboration.  

          • Anonymous

             dont be so dramatic.  We just want to free the little boys you got locked up in your tool shed.  Think about the sacrifice you make them take.

          • Ruben

            You are just wasting everyone’s time and your own lifetime with your biased arguments which have no scientific or fact base whatsoever other than a regressive ideological denial. You would do the whole planet a favor if you just shut up. 

          • Jono

            Talking to yourself again? It’s probably a sign of advancing senility.  Out in the real world, every day, fewer and fewer people are buying the warming alarmist announcements about the sky falling and foxy-loxy Gore is making less and less money.

          • Anonymous

             in reply to your deleted comment of red clay…

             whatever.  You are a psychopath.  You didn’t do anything of the kind. 
            You were the one protesting against the ‘other’ in your midst.  Don’t
            lie to us.  Racist.  Go ahead call me a wounded warrior–go ahead do
            it.  Racist.  liar.  ‘tard.  How many broken-down pickups you got in
            your weedy yard?  How much Hitler and Bush paraphernalia do you have in
            your garage and your tool shed?  how many little boys do you have locked
            up in the basement?  You’re a psychopath. ‘The red clay…’ Nobody
            asked you where you came form boy, that is all ready evident.   It’s
            glaringly obvious. 

            how would oyu like a chance to serve your
            country and make up for the ill you’ve done to humanity?  We could get
            you up in a labor camp asap.  We wont even black bag you.  You wont be
            alone, we can chain you up next to Cheney and Bush and you boys can spit
            and slobber Copenhagen all the live long day.

      • Anonymous

        You’ve heard of supply and demand, right?

        Scarce things that are in demand have high prices.

        What is a clean environment worth?

        Neil

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Scarcity doesn’t cause inflation.  Been to an airport lately, and bought water at 2-4 times convienence store prices, which have a huge mark-up?  The sun, wind, tides, and other renewable energy sources, exist close to most consumption points, in useable form.  Coal, oil, uranium, gas, et al,  have to be transported, processed, and transported to consumption site, almost unamiously.  One of the MANY cost differences, pollution, health problems, importation costs,  transportation losses, higher maintenance costs, and a myriad of others, make them far costier, than the offered price.

        • Jono

          No scarcity doesn’t cause high prices. Stop thinking you know it all and look it up

          In spite of what you say, Coal, Gas, Oil, and Nuclear are all much cheaper to produce and distribute that Solar or Wind – and have the advantage of using far less of desirable real estate when they do so. Solar and Wind cannot compete, even with outrageous subsidies.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Jono,  I’m trying to see your point of view.  Are you saying that it costs less to manufacture a well-drilling rig, supply casing pipe, and the other piping and controls, drill a well (last figures from a local driller is $80,000 per well, adjust for dry wells, truck, ship, or pipe crude to a refinery (quite a capital outlay for construction, maintenance and operation),  process , package, and ship the refined fuel to storage depots (another sizable capital outlay as a refinery), ship to service stations (more capital equipment costs), packaged in smaller containers, and transported to a generator, (you guessed it!) , burned in an internal combustion engine, with its 20%-40% efficiency, and the pollution thereof contributing to health problems and their costs, is more expensive than the equal-output Wind-Turbines and Solar Panels, with their transformers, and control equipment, connected to your house, or the grid?   The above oil-related equipment takes up a lot of otherwise-unusable space.  Both Wind-Turbines and Solar Panels, can be mounted in a minimal ground space, that can serve more purposes.   I’ll check back for your explaination.  Maybe we can discuss coal at a future time.

          • Jono

            Yes. I again urge you to look it up. And stop thinking about solar panels on the roof of Al Gore’s mansion or a windmill in the back yard. That is NOT how you power a city – It is not how you power an industrial building and it is not how you power an apartment building, especially some of the semi-arcologies that are the wave of the future, or so I am told. For wind and solar to match the output of present technology they must be able to produce the same amount of power in the same space and on demand, not just when conditions are right. Right now the cost runs from triple that of nukes to double that of gas.

          • Anonymous

            Reduce your consumption.  renewables along with practical constructions that mimic nature and recycle in addition to dramatic reductions in selfishness and consumerism will benefit everyone. You simply do not want to think out of the box or see the world other than you think it is.  You are thr problem and cannot be the solution.

            And your comments about the ‘left’ not wanting to work hard or produce wealth is asinine and false.  What we do with our wealth is the difference.  And we don’t measure ourselves by wealth–you do.  You are lost.

        • Ellen Dibble

          So unlike a nuclear plant that would have to be torn down and redesigned upgraded every say 40 years, the sun is just there?  And the waves with their energy?  And the geothermal heat, once tapped, it’s just there?  You’ve got to be kidding.   Scarcity isn’t going to start sapping our solar supply in a generation?  How could that be?  I thought the sun over China was already pretty much occluded by smog and pollution.  But I guess they can still try geothermal.
               I mean — scarcity causing inflation, the theory of current prices being driven by the forces of global climate change — I guess it’s not because the oil executives are looking at declining reserves but because the costs of industrial degradation of our systems are beginning to be part of the equation, globally speaking, whether by regulation or regulation.
              — besides the costs you’ve outlined, many of which we’ve always paid for — defending and maintaining pipelines, defending and maintaining fleets of tankers… 

  • david

    Evidence in Arizona’s biggest fire (Monument) was started by illegal’s campfires, states local sheriff.
    Reports are out that the sun is undergoing a change, sunspot and solar flares are in a cycle of slow down, even ceasing for a period. Last time this happened they called it a mini iceage???? That would throw a wrench in the global warming theory.
    The problem may be people pollution!!
    Maybe Mr. Gliding will sell millions of his books and retire so he spend more time relating!
    At present, coal and other petro products produce 50% of our electricity. If we dump just these two as Obama is trying, what do we have to replace that 50%????????
    All the solutions of enviromentalist cost tons of money, there has got to be a better way.

    • Anonymous

      Global climate change is here and now.  I think the scientists doing the work on this have accounted for the sun and it’s changes, and many other things, too.

      Oil and coal and methane gas are finite, and they will run out.  What will we do as they become more and more scarce?

      Renewable energy will be here as long as the Earth exists; and it’s time we got all of our energy as directly from the myriad of renewable sources.  In the end, these are the only energy sources that will be workable.

      Neil

    • Anonymous

      Wishful thinking won’t get us very far.  
      You don’t need Obama to get rid of your oil and gas. Oil production peaked in 2006 (according to amongst others, the IEA) and is declining at up to 9 % a year.  What are you going to do with that?

    • 1sacredearth

      All solutions of “environmentalists” costs lots of money.  How much do you suppose it costs to fix all these major crisis areas that are devastating homes and land that we need to grow food on????

      All the governments will eventually go bankrupt trying to bail out all of the affected disaster areas, and you think the solutions of us common sense environmentalists that look into the future long term, instead of just putting on bandaids is expensive. 

      DO THE MATH!!!!  YOU ARE DISCONNECTED FROM YOUR MOTHER, REMEMBER WHO SHE WAS?  HER NAME IS EARTH, OH, AND YES YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT HER.  YOU SHOULD RESPECT HER.  SHE HAS SWEET MOTHER LOVE, BUT YOU MAY NOT DESERVE IT. 

      • Terry Tree Tree

        1sacred,   Apologies for getting your name wrong earlier.  NO, all solutions of environmentalists do not cost a lot of money.  They do, however, require some extra thought before acting.   What is the goal of the action?  What are the positive and negative ramifications , that I can think of?   How can it be done economically, environmentally, and with all, or the most important considerations. 
               A new building that complies with the Americans With Disabilities Act, costs little, or no more, than one that doesn’t, if planned that way.  Sensible options exist.  People do have to look for them.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      david,  $Millions are spent each year, on minimal maintenance of eachcoal-fired power plant that are decades old.  They are constantly losing ground!  Worked at both, seeing far more than most people.  $Billions will have to be spent to ‘safely’ dispose of nuclear waste.  That same money invested into Wind Turbines, and solar equipment, that produces NO pollution, in comparision, would bring us far closer to ‘Energy Independence’, than can be done with  fossil fuels.  Not to mention all the ways we subsidize coal, oil, and natural gas.   There are far more ways, that we are spending more than is needed, to achieve far less than what is possible!

  • Jono

    The man is a raving idiot.  He’s using science that was debunked years ago to advance a pathetic agenda in order to punish the producers and reward the consumers. Van Jones with an Aussie accent.

    • Anonymous

      He sounds pretty darn sane to me.

      The science he refers to is also very sound.

      The Earth is not here for us humans to consume.

      Neil

      • Jono

        Sounding sane is not the same as being sane. The science he refers to is junk science with all the same people making all the same claims that they made about nuclear winter 30 years earlier.

        • Anonymous

          The science he refers to is correct and based on the data.

          Nuclear winter is hypothesis of the results of a huge nuclear war.  As far as I know, we have had no nuclear war.

          Neil

          • Jono

            The science he refers to has been debunked.  You are correct, I mean to write Global Cooling which is what was au currant in the 70′s, Although  I did read one freakazoid’s claim that Japan’s reactor fiasco might cause a Nuclear Winter.

            I expect that in 30 years we’ll go back to the Population Bomb being the reason to live like peasants (except, of course, for Glidding and the other who must oversee the rest of the world.) and 30 years after that we’ll cycle around to global cooling again. . .

        • Anonymous

          The science he refers to is correct and based on the data.

          Nuclear winter is hypothesis of the results of a huge nuclear war.  As far as I know, we have had no nuclear war.

          Neil

        • Anonymous

          Nuclear winter?  Had the yanks set off a nuclear bomb there would CERTAINLY have been nuclear winter.  Luckily we were spared that one.

          • Jono

            And of course the peace-loving Russians never would have done anything like that, would they? After all, they’re socialists.

    • Anonymous

      Why is he a “raving idiot”?!  Seems perfectly sane to me, and the science is perfectly sound.

      • Jono

        Because he raves and what he spouts is nonsense. And no. the science is not sound. The sky is not falling.

        • Anonymous

          The sky may not be falling, but we have severe weather conditions simultaneously over the world, including flooding of the Missouri. Spring blossoms come out in early winter and everyone everywhere says weather is ‘queer’. I suppose if you sit in front of a computer all the time you may not notice!

          • Jono

            Here’s another clue: we have similar condition every frackin time we have a strong el Nina condition. 

            Here’s another clue: the Missouri floods almost every year. Some years worse than others. Because of our extraordinarily LOW (LOW) did you catch that? L.O.W. temperatures last winter we had more snowfall than usual which cause more flooding that usual. 

          • Don’t Laugh, This is Cirrus!

            The science was confirmed to be correct over a decade ago.

            Jono is representative of the kicking, biting and scratching that is inevitable by the gainsayers. It will, sadly, only get worse as the undeniability of global warming/climate change and all that goes with it becomes more apparent. I hear people saying that we should respect all points of view even if we don’t agree with them. I disagree.

            There are some viewpoints – like Jono’s – that are just plain dangerous; let Jono speak, by all means. I’m not in favour of censorship, but let’s not ‘respect’ such misinformed views for to do so gives them a validity of which they are unworthy.

            For those still fence-sitting, I not only thoroughly recommend Gilding’s writings but Naomi Oreske’s ‘Merchants of Doubt’ is a must-read. This very well informed woman is a historian of science. You can see YouTubes of talks she’s given. I don’t expect Jono to take a look but he’s probably in the company of people now denying the laws of physics in their desperate scrambling to deny climate science findings..

          • Jono

            Its not “gainsayers” its “naysayers.” At least if your going to spout nonsense, about Global Alarmist learn what the words you are using mean!

          • ThresherK

            Saying “Van Jones” reveals more about you than about the guest.

          • Jono

            Oh oh oh the race card!!! That’s always a great substitute for rational thought!!!

            Here’s your clue: I walked the red clay of South Carolina in the summer of 1963 registering black voters when it could have meant my life. Take your innuendo and your slurs and shove them where the sun don’t shine.

          • Ellen Dibble

            Have you never been gainsaid against?  I guess not.
                By the way, wounded warriors and their families is a separate issue, and one very close to the heart of the First Lady.   I don’t think you’ll make a lot of headway on that issue in this particular thread, but maybe another day OnPoint will address that.  In that case, the issues are in the bones and the brains and the muscles of those afflicted, not in 50 years, but yesterday and today and for the rest of the particular lives involved.
                I would suggest that for those whose lives have been hugely and negatively impacted by America’s wars, looking to make the future more tenable for future generations — of Chinese, of Indians, of Russians, of Americans, etc., etc. — would be virtually the only way to escape the pain, depression, near-despair of the moment.   If you can’t escape your own pain, and think of the pain of others down the line, then you are condemned to your own pain.   I know it takes a leap of imagination, but it’s worth a try.

          • Jono

            You’re right – though gainsayer is a bit awkward, it would work. Naysayer would have been better diction.  I doubt anything is close to Michelle’s heart, except Michele, but if she takes time out from her vacations to write a check to Wounded Warriors, I’m delighted. As to your blather about feeling each other’s pain, save it for Clinton. 

          • Owl2z

            I heard the program and went out and bought the book the next day. I live on a small farm with only solar and wind for power and have done so for 3 years with more time than ever to grow vegetables. The book while slightly depressing initially gave a great sense of hope for humanity. He has put into words what a large group of us ex-hippies have realized are whole life.

        • Anonymous

          The sky may not be falling, but we have severe weather conditions simultaneously over the world, including flooding of the Missouri. Spring blossoms come out in early winter and everyone everywhere says weather is ‘queer’. I suppose if you sit in front of a computer all the time you may not notice!

    • Anonymous

      I’ve read your other posts – it seems you’re the “raving idiot”, not Mr Gilding.

      • Jono

        Did I upset you? Are you going to call me lots of bad names? Maybe whine a little? 

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Jono, you have thrown a few names, yourself, in many postings.  Are you subscribing to the Rush Limbaugh rules of Fair and Balanced, what you say is right, therefore no one that opposes has a right to reply?  I’m happy for you, if you are wealthy , and never have been subjected to abuse by a company, or someone that had more power than you, in a bad way.  BTW, have you read my comment here that was #2, at beginning?  Other comments explain my take on the energy, and resources issues.

          • Jono

            I play by the rules I find. People treat me with respect, I respond in kind. They react to my post by calling me names, I either walk away, or spit in their face, depending on my time and mood.

            I have been employed by all sorts and I have employed all sorts. I have behaved well and I have behaved badly in both roles. 

            I am delighted when someone provides me with facts I didn’t know or makes me look at something in a different light. I am disgusted when someone calls me a Downs Syndrome (as if that was good English), and starts going into all sorts of details about how I’ll be sentenced to labor camps because I don’t agree with ‘em. I’m not particular impressed with someone who keeps saying I don’t know what I am talking about, when every conclusion I take the time to write has been reached ONLY because I took the time to research the issue, rather than simply taking Al Gore’s word for it. (There are almost more lies in “Inconvenient Truth” than in “Pulp Fiction.”)

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Jono,  I agree with most of these comments.  I prefer to give respect, and expect respect.  Civil debate is my preference, although I know most of the ‘words’, some in other languages, I strive for a civil tongue.  I don’t remember being discourteous to you. If I have, I apologize.  Evidently, I’m a little younger than you, but I’m far from a chilld.  I give them the respect to listen, and consider their views, also.  Not being an Alpha Male, I can lead, or follow good leadership. 
                 This planet is all we have for my probable life-time.  I have been guilty of some of the transgressions, in small ways, that I wish the world to avoid in the future.   Looking forward to further discourse.

          • Jono

            Terry, reading the other comments, especially Myrroynomous, aren’t you just a little uncomfortable about the company you’re keeping?  If someone like him agreed with me, I’d immediately starting re-examining what I believed in.

          • Anonymous

             he did not begin with civility. He began by slinging insults.  it is not intelligent or civil or practical.  It has one purpose–two–to steer the debate into irrationality and to insult.  That is traditionally how all conservatives (teabag types especially) conduct themselves.  They take guns to town halls.  They torture people.  They black bag people.  They shoot elected officials in public.  they shoot children.  the blow office buildings with nurseries in Oklahoma.  They do not believe in civil discourse nor do they believe in democracy.  Do not be fooled by his traditional twist of words.  These people will tell you black is white and up is down and do it with passion and all seriousness.  the live in a twisted incomprehensible insane world and they are the cause for an insane world.  His job is to stir up anger on sites like this–he’s probably getting paid–his job is to steer us away from sensible debate just as they did in town halls with guns and screaming idiots.  Now that he has been ‘debunked’ we should not respond to him.  He did his job, he did it well.  He can be proud of that.  but he still deserves community service–my labor camp!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Myrro,    I did not detect the first incidents that you refer to.  I was responding to some of Jono’s replies to my comments. However, I did see some of his name-calling, and put-downs, as I saw of others.   I try to keep my comments on a plane that I can live with.  When need be, my background allows me to utilize gutter language. 
                 My first comment was the first or second on this article, and no one has refuted it with facts,or ‘facts’, yet. 
                 My family is raised, and raising theirs.  Therefore, I am free to express myself, and take the risks of that expression.  I feel a deep obligation to do so for my grandchildren, your grandchildren, and their grandchildren’s grandchildren.  Mankind is NOT going to destroy the Earth, nor all life on it.  Good chance of Man destroying man and a lot of other life-forms, though. 
                 I have changed a few minds, over the years, and have had mine changed, with civil debate.   Few times have I seen vitriol accomplish this, if ever.  Almost always, it causes the other person to more deeply entrench. 
                As a door-gunner in ‘Nam, he saw and experienced things I did not.  That doesn’t make him right or wrong, but does engender some of my respect for him.
                 As much as I’d like it to , this forum will probably not save the world.  I think it will help, and remain hopeful.  There’s a lot wrong with it, in many facets. 
                 If Jono is a paid lackey of a corporation, or a mischieveous provacateur, he has acknowledged a few points of mine, and others.  We shall see.

          • Anonymous

            TTT,
            “Mankind is NOT going to destroy the Earth, nor all life on it. Good
            chance of Man destroying man and a lot of other life-forms, though.”

            I mostly agree with this, but nothing is impossible. And consumerism
            will certainly ruin the earth for mankind and many other creatures and
            life–which all have souls/spirits/living energy. I have been in Cina
            for sometime and traveled extensively in China-the whole nation is a
            sore-it so so so so polluted and contaminated that I swear I can feel
            the earth moaning–there is a dead feeling in nature here, what nature
            there is. The entire coastline is like the city dump and you scoop
            solidified oil up out of the water in your hand. I cant even begin to
            tell you all the atrocities i have witnessed and seen in China. There
            are simply too many people in China all with a powerful desire to mimic
            American lifestyle and world economic conquest and there is little,
            almost no sympathy for the environment or respect for it, let alone
            community or even individuals outside the family or close circles of
            friends. This is not sustainable–so whether people want to issue red
            herrings like global warming truth or untruth is irrelevant. The fact is
            our lifestyle is unsustainable and poisonous and seriously harming the
            earth. Anything can die, even the earth. But i think it will vanquish us
            first, unless we devise some weapon or device that disrupts
            life-sustaining perimeters or splits the core. But we also have to
            consider the unlikely but possible and unrelated stellar phenomenon that
            could in fact kill all life on earth–quasars…

            I hope that people understand sooner than later that we must form a
            special relationship with the biosphere and that we need earth-rights
            now, not tomorrow.

            I felt trees breathing. I have been touched by living tree spirits. I
            pity those that would call me crazy. I pity them because they don’t take
            the time to see and feel. And though we need everyone to understand
            empathize of their own volition, i do feel that some people will need to
            be forced, as we encourage children to behave or brush their teeth and
            if they cant be reasoned with or taught they must be forced (kindly).
            Compassionate environmental despotism. We force people to obey laws
            everyday–we arrest and incarcerate those that can’t folllow the laws we
            deem right for the greater good. How is portection of the environment
            and the earth and human health any different? It is not. laws too, can
            teach people to behave and eventually they begin to understand. If
            people refuse to come along anf choose to poop in my cereal they should
            be arrested and forced to do community service in environmental labor
            camps until they learn to appreciate ecology and society. If that takes
            a life time so be it. They will be treated with kindness and get three
            squares.

            I was in the military. I know how it functions. i do not support the
            troops in any fashion. But i would support wounded veterans because they
            need compassion, not war. They made immature often ignorant or foolish
            decisions to support the evil of war and conquest and murder hyponotized
            very powerful beliefs–brainwashing. I was one of them. The spell must
            be broken.

          • Anonymous

            Down syndrome was selected because i though it was more ‘civil’ than retard.  I donot want to insult anyone with such a condition but I  do want to insult you and by calling you this I compare somebody with a reasonably good mind with somebody who has lost much of their reasoning faculty.  You on the other hand, I presume have a healthy brain but waste it.  There is nothing sadder than the waste of human potential.  You make outlandish statements about these facts that you possess based on what–you don’t tell us–and then claim nobody else is reasoning.  I think you need to get your bullshit meter fixed and go back to school and stop listening to daddy–your daddy doesn’t know what he is talking about. 

            Don’t worry, you won’t be sentenced to labor camps because its idealist fantasy that can never happen in unjust unfair world where money and inhumanity rules.  A labor camp doesn’t have to be a bad thing.  I did say you would be treated with kindness.  Nobody will flog you or harass you or spit on you or put you into sexual pyramids as your kind are apt to do. 

            Everyone has a sense of justice.  What does the death penalty accomplish or life in gang-raping prisons–that is your world–look in the mirror–its cruel and insane and torturous.  My vision is kind and gentle and just–criminals have the opportunity to redeem their inhumanity, fix the things they did wrong–think of it as community service.  That is a good thing.  I believe in open prisons where people are treated as human beings–that is far more than you or your ilk have ever done for others.  Your kind certainly dont treat ‘criminals’ as human beings. 

            My bullshit meter is telling me that Jono doesn’t know what he thinks or believes and just like to sling bullshit to stir people up.  perhaps you should find something productive to do.  Maybe your diaper needs changing.  Maybe your daddy needs to limit the time you spend playing on the Internet?

            Don’t worry little one, nobody is coming to take to some scary labor camp.  You can relax.  Put your guns away.

    • 1sacredearth!@gmail.com

      You are in denial.  I bet you are Rush Limbaugh advocate, or perhaps one of the zealots of the Tea Party, at the very least a Republican.  I hope when we go through the change, you will have to beg, for help and won’t get it until you are nearly dead.  Wonder if you’ll believe hundreds of current scientist and economists then?  Wonder if you’ll finally be in touch with the earth and yourself.

      • Jono

        You lose your bet – send $5.00 to the Wounded Warriors.  Here’s a clue. What I am is not a True Believer.  I have a very sensitive b.s., meter and it works when  I look at the left and when I look at the right.

        • Vulturesign

          Jono, your sensitive BS meter must be going off everytime you open your mouth. Has it driven you mad?

    • Anonymous

       Sorry I clicked like–didn’t mean it–i think your comment is down syndrome. 

      How was it debunked pray tell? no don’t.  you don’t have any idea what you are talking about.  i can’t wait for the world to change and people like you will be in labor camps and chain gangs for your violence and refusal to participate in harmony.  Somebody will be needed to clean up all YOUR superfund contamination and pollution.  it will not be a happy job–and will most likely lead to deformities, malformation, cancers, brain dysfunctions (not that that will change much for you).. but who better to clean it up than the people/proles responsible, the people who refuse to change for the greater good, for every individual, for our only home, the blue earth.

      • Jono

        The fact that you used Downs’ syndrome as an insult pretty much sums up your character, your knowledge, and your civility. Your slavering over the idea of labor camps demonstrates the level of freedom that most progressives would prefer to have in this country.  Thank you for a most enlightening post.

        • Anonymous

           You talk about civility but you call the speaker a raving idiot.  Do you realize you are the one brainwashed by propaganda.  You talk about opinions masquerading as facts and everything you say is an opinion manufactured by unintelligent energy barons and fascist aristocrats that refuse to change, vested in the status qou–and who own the media and spend billions of dollars to shape your very small very few thoughts. 

          Insults are figures of speech.  Language is semantics and rhetorical.  Everything is idiomatic.  Symbolism.  And why would I be civil’?  what does that have to with anything?  There comes a time when you stop being ‘civil’ and tolerant and you say and do what needs to be said and done.  Would you be civil with Hitler?  You certainly weren’t civil with non-whites or ‘foreigners’ or Saddam or Osama Bin Laden or all the other criminals and innocent boys locked up in and tortured in secret prisons and Guantanamo–is that civil?  NO.  You think that torture is necessary. You think that assassination is necessary–simply because somebody has a different world view than yours–a view that comes of experience and knowledge, unlike conservative Americans, the most cloistered ignorant people on the face of the earth.  What does civility have to do with war?  Would have all the soldiers dress in pretty red tuxedos and white gloves and march into gun fire?  There is no civility for people like you.  You start your argument with insults and attacks and then expect your opponent to be civil.  That’s not how intelligent discourse works.  No you’re wasting my time, so climb back into the waste barrel and leave the dialogue to grown-ups and the educated.

    • reality, sorry

      A raving idiot?  Someone who points out that infinite growth cannot continue on a finite planet with finite resources is an idiot?  We fight over resources.  The natural world is taking a beating and it is less resilient and diverse each year.  Every year there is less clean water, less unpolluted soil and fish, less arable land.  

      Look around you- people are fighting over fishing grounds, berry picking places, trees, animals- pitting wild predators against human predators.  People are fighting over water, good food, mushroom spots.  More and more of the real things in life, wild fish for example like salmon, are increasingly only existing as subsidized fake versions of the real thing.  Your beloved growth economy cant afford to grow a cow on nutritious healthy grass, because its just too inefficient.  So produce shit loads of unhealthy, hormone fed, antibiotic fed, roundup-ready corn-fed cattle and call it good.  And keep on growing because theres plenty where that came from. 

      All the while a burgeoning population is building more roads, mines, dams, power plants, landfills, housing tracts…  Spreading more weeds and diseases into the last corners of whatever remains of “nature”.

      Our economy is all about breaking natural laws.  Heat in the winter, cool in the summer, water in the desert, survival for the unfit.  Get anywhere fast and comfortable.  Grow grow grow.  Its all about the entitled human being.  And the more people we have the more we are forced away from natural and gentle methods of food production, because its more “efficient” to spray poisons, genetically engineer species, and squeeze a few more pounds off each acre than use those hippy-dippy organic farms.

      Its a natural world, not an economic one, and someday that will become only too apparent.  When that day comes, of course, and the shit hits the fan, you will blame the liberals.

    • Bob Hearns

      Isn’t our ability to live in a state of denial a wonderful thing? A raving idiot, you say. Are you sure you’re not looking into a mirror? No insult intended. Denial is what it is and has the potential to allow disastrous consequences.

  • http://twitter.com/Teknophilia Teknophilia

    In U.S., and across the world, the weather really has been spectacular. Up to 5 years ago, I thought that I would face this climate change and economic repercussion in old age. Lately though, I’m realizing that this WILL take place in my lifetime. I feel that this is a fantastic opportunity to change, but like all change, this will be costly, painful, and fought every step of the way.

    • Zing

      Not really…the author says we’ll change when we have to and probably be successful.  Anything else is impractical and unnatural.

    • Zing

      Not really…the author says we’ll change when we have to and probably be successful.  Anything else is impractical and unnatural.

  • Anonymous

    The party’s over. The economics are going to be painful and many people will break the law to make a buck. It’s going to take a long time for us to  get used to it. Of course, we might be more worried about food than new iPods. But there will have to be a whole new school of economics to deal with this. It should be very interesting.

  • Anonymous

    The party’s over. The economics are going to be painful and many people will break the law to make a buck. It’s going to take a long time for us to  get used to it. Of course, we might be more worried about food than new iPods. But there will have to be a whole new school of economics to deal with this. It should be very interesting.

  • Ceolen

    Mr. Gilding echoes what I’ve thought would happen—what needs to happen. I look around and see people behaving badly when it comes to consumption, selfishness, and environmental crime, and it’s obvious to me that that the only way we will change for the better is by force. I am prepared for this. I’m already poor and couldn’t be a wild consumer if I wanted to be.
    The thing is, I don’t want to be. I don’t understand people who have to buy buy buy the latest model of cell phone, the next huge TV, yet another pair of trendy shoes, another new car, or an ever larger house. I can’t comprehend such a consumer mindset, nor the culture that has actually created a booming industry providing storage units for all the excess stuff people own.
    What’s painful to me is the fact that our economy is driven by rampant consumerism. But I guess all economies are basically driven by consumption, aren’t they? We’re animals, therefore we consume. It’s the scale that matters. We need to pare back on our lifestyle. We will be forced to—probably sooner than we think—and I for one, welcome that day.

  • Ceolen

    Mr. Gilding echoes what I’ve thought would happen—what needs to happen. I look around and see people behaving badly when it comes to consumption, selfishness, and environmental crime, and it’s obvious to me that that the only way we will change for the better is by force. I am prepared for this. I’m already poor and couldn’t be a wild consumer if I wanted to be.
    The thing is, I don’t want to be. I don’t understand people who have to buy buy buy the latest model of cell phone, the next huge TV, yet another pair of trendy shoes, another new car, or an ever larger house. I can’t comprehend such a consumer mindset, nor the culture that has actually created a booming industry providing storage units for all the excess stuff people own.
    What’s painful to me is the fact that our economy is driven by rampant consumerism. But I guess all economies are basically driven by consumption, aren’t they? We’re animals, therefore we consume. It’s the scale that matters. We need to pare back on our lifestyle. We will be forced to—probably sooner than we think—and I for one, welcome that day.

  • 1sacredearth

    Fabulous program!!  I love Paul’s stance. It’s realistic, no nonsense; and IT IS THE WAY IT IS!  Bravo. So many environmental issues have been discussed and studied to death.  Time to act in a responsible manner.  Yes we certainly have passed our limits and the file drawer ” with the label “Interesting – for consideration later” prominently attached is now a priority, “later” has indeed arrived.

    I am a single mom that recently changed careers to be an elementary school teacher.  I have a BA/BS in Environmental Studies/Sciences and have been so concerned about what our children are learning and not learning in school to be able to live in the world that we have created.  My goal is to open a school with like minded others, that is accessible to the average family and teach the kids not only basic academics, but how to heal the earth, how to garden, keep livestock, make a fire, peaceful conflict resolution tactics and the fact that we have to work together as a global community, appreciating and embracing our differences. 

    I subscribe to diverstiy in all areas; i.e. ethnic, cultural, environmental etc.  It makes for a vibrant, dynamic healthy world.  We need to teach our children that greed kills and breeds contempt.  Teach them why they should appreciate a clean glass of water.  Thank you for this down to earth truthful program.  Wish I could talk further with Mr. Gilding.

    I welcome the day when the realization is finally here that we have finally no choice, but to do it right or parish.  I am saddened as I have been for decades that it takes our getting to “our knees” to do it.  I and many others were ready decades ago.

    • Anonymous

       I also dream of a school like this.  I would welcome friends of the earth to collaborate with me.  Why do we sit in monotonous vaulted school-rooms in rows upon rows and rank upon rank studying chalk and digital impressions?  The students are disengaged and snoring–daydreaming out the window–because that is naturally where they should be!  Why don’t we take the children outside? This is where the classroom should be–hands on.  Books are good too.  But as a supplement to activities in the functioning world and biosphere. 

      Whats wrong with woodworking classes holding hands?  Sounds awesome to me!  Books are imppossible without expereinces.  We must live to write.

      P.s. down with Kindle and ebooks–i spit on you and step on you. (at least for novels).  a Kindle like device for comprehensive facts to aid in the wilderness, in the garden, in the woodworking shop or the boatcrafting shop would be welcome. 

      • 1sacredearth

        Hi, I just posted a comment to Terry Tree Tree.  Let’s start the school!  I bet there are many more of us out there.  Some will have land, some will have knowledge, some will have finances, etc.  Let’s make this dream reality.  What can you contribute? I can teach and I have other assets.  Thanks for your post.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      1scared,   Such a school, on a farm designed to be earth-friendly, could support itself, within a few years.  I hold a similiar dream, a farm, staffed mostly with older (retired) people, that would recruit children that no one really wants.  Put the two together, and watch MAGIC happen.  I haven’t the  farm, the finances, or the current credentials to make it happen.  It remains one of my goals.

      • 1sacredearth

        How many folks do you know that are teachers, artists, musicians, health care professionals?  I want to meet those interested and wanting to contribute to such a setting.  We need folks that are good at grant writing.  I think it is time to step out and make these things happen.  Even if we have to pool our own resources to get started.  In fact, it may be the only way.  Depending on this “system” which I think is destined to collapse is a balancing act.  We need to find interested parents and other like minded individuals.  I would love to keep this conversation going.  Thank you for your input.  I have long thought about just starting such a school and talking to those that are interested.  We can help ourselves. This message is to all of you out there (guest) who want to collaborate.  The time has never been riper!  Time is SO precious, and we are wasting the time of our young people if we contiune on in the traditonal way.

        Many of them sense this.  I believe that is one reason teenage suicide is high.  They are feeling useless, and nothing they learn and see really makes sense.  They subconsicoulsy know that something is wrong.  The leaders are wrong, the truth they hear is warped! 
        1sacredearth. 

  • Frank

    It is so depressing reading the fools who invade spaces devoted to intelligent thought and ideas. Close the comments section on this site, it only caters to crackpots with time on their hands. I feel sad having come to this conclusion.

  • Don’t Laugh, This is Cirrus!

    Judging by his postings, I think we can assume that Jono is a spokesperson for the Marshall Institute, a peddler of misinformation on behalf of vested interests and therefore best ignored.

    • Ellen Dibble

      If I can’t help myself, I weigh in on an issue Jono points to not as a response but in answer to myself or whomever he/she is pointing at.  Mostly there are not issues raised, however, but just “smart” remarks, IMHO.  Sometimes I like sassy.  Sometimes.

      • Jono

        Gee, Ellen, thanks for sharing. But, maybe a little too much information, you know?

    • Jono

      I don’t even know who the Marshall Institute is. I just know b.s. when I hear it.  But by all means ignore an inconvenient truth when you hear it.

  • Anonymous

    The analogy with China is false.  Yes, China is hierarchical and authoritarian, and they are leading the world in renewable s (aside from Germany maybe), but they are also leading the world in pollution and coal burning.  The guest says this is a bad thing because it shows that totalitarianism is the way to go rather than democracy–he says the conservatives in America are holding us back (they totally are); however, this is not the failure of democracy. 

    The fact is, our system in America is not wholly different than China–we have no democracy in America among the people.  America is a plutocracy, an oligarchy–corporatism–which equals fascism.  And yet these fascist can’t make the changes necessary. 

    If we had a democracy that includes the people of the USA statistics show that we would definitely  make the changes needed and quickly–in fact if we actually had democracy in America we would remain the best country on earth.  Unfortunately, the mega juggernaut corporations and aristocrats control policy and the economy–dooming us all–because they are cruel and immensely foolish.   Corporations are not humans. Corporations are anti-human and insane.   Withdemocracy in America we would lead the world in a green social paradigm and renewable energy and there would be jobs and prosperity for all!  But fascists, apathy, and conservatives stand in the way.

    • Jono

      You make a whole bunch of unsubstantiated claims presenting opinions as if they were facts. 

      The kind of changes envisioned by the mobocrats will destroy the U.S. economy

      • Anonymous

        If you are referring to Obama with such racist idiotic slanders I do not support Obama.  He is a pawn for fascists–he is on the same side as your teabags. 

        And you cannot sum up somebodies character in a blog comment, on a postcard.  YOU certainly cannot judge character because on e must be able to see and judge himself before he can see and judge another.  Yo live in selfish insane ridiculous and cruel genocidal racist fantasy.  you are everything terrible about the world.  Go back to church and spit tobacca with the other meatheads.

        Do I contradict myself, then i contradict myself.  There can be no tolerance for slugs.  Please excuse yourself from half-way intelligent conversation and go snort some speed with your buddy Rush.  criminals flock together.

        • Jono

          goodness gracious, I think I hurt your feelings. “No tolerance?” Is that a threat? How do you plan a shutting me and the majority of Americans up? 

    • Jono

      ROFl, you just HAD to work in “racist,” didn’t you? So predictable. 

      Mobocracy is in the process of destroying America. That’s not an opinion, nor is it blind and wishful thinking like your blather. Anyone with an IQ of 125 or better can see it happening.

      But here’s your clue. Mobocracy, throughout history has always, without exception, led to Autocracy. Sometimes it happens over night, sometimes is takes years, but it always happens – and mostly it happens because some particularly cynical man starts telling zealots like you what they want to hear.

  • Nancy Knoll

    Loved your show today–listened to it twice–this morning and again tonight. One of the best interviews and subject matter you have presented yet. Mr. Gilding is right… we absolutely need to change the operational paradigm on this earth, or perish. Hopefully, still in my lifetime, we will do the former. Thank you again for such a breath-of-fresh-air program today!

  • Jono

    What is a union except a monopoly? 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      A union is a way for the working man to stop companies from promising pay, stated in dollars, and paying in company script, useable only in the company store, for company housing, etc…, that makes the employee a slave to the company, to be abused, and risked, to the great profit of the company owners.

      • Jono

        Translation: A union is a monopoly formed to fight another monopoly

        Here’s your clue: people who understand what slavery was all about despise fools who use the term incorrectly. You insult every black man who was whipped by his owner, every black woman who was raped by her owner, every black child who was sold off at the age of ten.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          No, Jono,  I do NOT insult every black, or other minority, that has been abused, by those that held them in captivity,for labor and abuse.   As I pointed out, companies made promises of pay, to recruit labor and skilled craftspeople.  Pay periods were per month, with a month hold-back.  During those months, bills were run up at the company store, with the worker unaware they would be paid in ‘script’, which they couldn’t use outside the company.  If they left the company, after finding the truth, the company had ‘bounty hunters’, that would forcibly bring them back.  To me, that is a form of slavery, because the worker was powerless to do anything but work for that company, or find a way to run.
               If you truly risked your life to register black and minority voters in the sixties, I thank you for your contribution to a better society.  It makes it harder to understand some of your other stands, such as so anti-union.  Labor unions were, and are some of the leaders in equality pay and employment, minorities, and gender.
               I do not ascribe to “Might makes Right”, in force, arms, money, or other manifestations.  Companies and corporations do not have the right to take, by wrongful ‘Immenit Domain’, or other forceful and criminal or immoral means, the work or property of those less strong.

          • Jono

            There are no forms of slavery though there may be kinder or less kind owners. While i certainly agree that there were terrible abuses of employees by some (not all, far from all) companies they were not slavers.

            I am anti-group think. I am anti-mob. I am anti everything that smacks of limiting freedom and eliminating personal responsibility. That defines all the big corporations that buy politicians (mostly Democrats – look it up before you protest) and big labor that buys politicians – mostly Democrats.

            Presumably you agree with me that no-one has the right to take the work or property of anyone else – even when they are poorer than the person they are stealing from. (Even when they call it taxes and the White House is the one saying that might makes right.)

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Jono,  Having recently been burglarized, and my Volunteer Fire Department having been robbed several times,  you presume correctly that I agree that no one has the right to take the property of another, without permission.  I still believe that what i described is a form of slavery, as is the offer to a female of a waitress job, then she is sold into prostitution. 
                We share several outlooks, anti-mob, the right to personal freedom (that stops at the next person’s rights), and more.  I will endeavor to agree, or disagree, in a civil manner.  
                I agree that it is not ALL companies, or corporations that have done damage to society, and the world.  Some have egregiously done so, and use the corporate structure, and corporate money, and power, to facilitate, and then hide behind. 
                 Few countries can afford to do without taxes, to provide common-use services.  (How many wage-earners could afford to pave the road to his neighbor?)   Few people want to pay more taxes, than their fair share.  Each system has its pros and cons.

          • Jono

            I am far less worried about my county taxes being used to pave the road I live on than with my federal taxes being used to set up a “cotton institute” — in India. 

            One of the really nice things about having locals decide how to spend your taxes is that they know the problems and share them – when the feds do it most of those who decide about highways to nowhere neither know of nor care about any problems created or solved with their vote.

            The Federal Government was set up to protect our national borders, to create coins, to deliver the mail, and to provide a forum to resolve disagreements between states. It has turn into a monstrous, bloated, ugly nanny that attempt to micromanage the life and lifestyle of each citizen whether they live in Florida, Hawaii, or Alaska. It is run by a bunch of arrogant clods who have no skill or talent that would be employable in the real world who are sure that they know what you should eat, when you should sleep, which hand to use in the toilet, and why you should give half your income to people who don’t choose to work very hard.

            Cowboy poetry festivals??? Give me a break!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Jono,   Again, much I agree with.  I am for the smallest government that provides the necessary services, with a small margin for contingencies.  I am for limits that the government can spend for individual art, say $500, preferably less.   I also endorse a national standard of education for each grade level.  States can go above, but not below , as the National Electrical Code is set up.  National Parks, and protecting the national environment, plus minimal standards for air travel, etc…, are Federal concerns.

          • Jono

            Any teacher who cares about teaching will tell you that the Bush-Kennedy muscling ion to create national educational standards was the absolute wrong thing to do – creating, as it did, a large bureaucracy intent on reducing what is an art into something that bean counters understand. How did you set the same standard for a 5th grade in the poorest section of Los Angeles where half the kids are either illegal or whose parents are illegals and three fourths of whom have no books in their houses, that you do the the 5th grade 20 miles away in Beverly Hills – and do it all from Washington???

            Screw national standards let each neighborhood create the best school it can for its people. Will there be inequities? You betcha! There will be with national standards, too. The difference being that with national standards, it is usually the best and the brightest (black, white, brown, or yellow) who are ignored as the teachers face the mandate to bring the scores of of the apathetic and the truly stupid, or be fired.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Jono,  I really do not condone passing children out of the fourth grade, that cannot read, write, and spell on a third-grade level, and cannot add, subtract, multiply, divide, and know their multiplication tables.  No one should be passed on to High School, that cannot perform on a sixth-grade level. 
                 I raised two that were told they needed to be in gifted classes.  Not available, and not affordable for me on many levels.  Instead, I suggested their teachers pair them with one of the slowest students in their class.  Brings up the slow one, and the class average, keeps mine occupied, challenges them, and re-inforces their learning, ALL WIN!! 
                 If you know how to contact those lesser-priviledged neighborhoods, perhaps we can set up a web-site to get donated books to them.  People discard books all the time.  Most of them would like them to go to a good cause.  I know people trying to get their citizenship through proper channels, so I don’t like amnesty, or favoring illegals.  If they’re in school, they need books!  Even if they go back, books and education will help improve their country.  Rather simple answer to that problem.  Salvation Army, Council for the Blind, and other organizations get books all the time.  Holes in my solution?
                 I have dealt with some priviledged kids, that had no interest in learning, until someone found a way to get through to them, and make it interesting to them.  (another part of that background)

          • Anonymous

             No i dont agree.  Many properties were stolen to begin with or conquered.  What is property anyways?  If you are a criminal and anti-himan and antisociety said society has every right to take away your property. Guns are property too.  Do we have a right to take away the murderer’s gun?  yes we do.  Did we ‘supposedly’ put a hold on all of Osama’s bank accounts–his property?  Yes we did.  The better question is do billionaires have the right to steal and cheat and conquer and kill and lie and maim and assassinate at will and own properties as big as cities?  No they do not have that right.  They are criminals.  I have every right to the beach front as they do yet they bar us out and control the police–who by the way were created to control peasants–us–not to serve and rotect–only to to serve the rich and protect wealth.  That is what the police force exists for.  It is by the way why you see very few police in China and other less developed countires with long traditons of corporate wealth.  Police are fascist by nature. 

            We all ready are autocrats.  And part of the reason is not the left–traditional champions of freedom and equality–the blame is on you–corporate monger.  Libertarians–the bane of existence. 

        • Anonymous

          why do you keep dolling out your clues.  Do you think you are some kind of genius.  We have our very own Sherlock with us.  What’s it like not to have any friends?  You can’t include the boys in your bunker.

    • Anonymous

      nonsense. drivel.  Gobblydygook.  It cant be a monopoly because it has to negotiate its terms with the all-powerful despot that lords over it, the serfs.

  • Bochko

    Absolutely agree with Mr.Gilding, we are hitting many physical limits all at the same time, and the crisis will come sooner than many people think. This is one of the systems properties called reinforcing feedback loops. Ones started, the process grows exponentially! Anyway, we will change, not because we want, but because we will not have any other choice.

    Oh, and I read some of the negative feedbacks here, that is exactly what Paul is talking about – the denial of the an adict. Why we should respond to these people at all, can you change a drug addict by just trying to explain to him the danger of drugs?

  • Shakti

    Crops in India are failing. Farmers are complaining- too much rain when it is not suppose to rain and not enough sun to ripen crops like rice. I see that in my own garden in New England. My tomatoes are not getting enough sun and when they finally manged to put flowers, it rained so much that all flowers are rotting. Plants like cucumber didn’t even take off this year. The predictability with which I gardened for last 20 years is disappearing fast.

    • Jono

      things are tough all over. I lived in New England for years – even raised roses up there which isn’t easy to do. However I would never, ever, in my wildest dreams, referred to New England weather (which is what you have been talking about, not climate) as predictable.

      • Anonymous

         because you are foreign and southern born in the red clay

  • Ellen Dibble

    And you are insulting someone who’s trying to answer a question of yours.  It is important to understand that human slavery has been part of the way people conducted wars of conquest from time immemorial.  And slavery has had many forms.  And right now I wouldn’t want to be a child prostitute in parts of Southeast Asia, and I would pull out the word “slave,” whether the parents sold that child to the pimp of the child ran away for the “opportunity.”  The way people in this forum sometimes use “slave” in the context of international corporations and their use and abuse of labor points to something quite different from the antebellum slavery of the South.   The similarity has to do with people being trapped and losing choices, and often enough having their health ruined, essentially being expendable pieces in the search of profit by a non-person/corporation that never sees the pain that is caused.  There is less of this in this country, but the irregularities in a country like ours that currently only reliably provides health care to those with regular jobs, for instance, means that we have families doing just about anything, legal or illegal, in order to keep relatives alive.  That kind of thing.  The “playing field” will never be level, but we all do better when opportunity is spread as wide as possible.  We are all stronger because of it.  And if people are being “used up,” they are more squelched than activated.   At the cost of a huge number of fighting Americans in the 19th century, we got past slavery, which is not to say the struggle is over.  People will always try to “use” others.
    This is meant to be in response to Jono’s post that begins: “Translation.”

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Thanks, Ellen,   Excellent expression of my perception of slavery, and its history.

    • Jono

      As usual you take an awfully long time to make very little sense. Humpty Dumpty told Alice that words could means only what he wanted them to mean. In “”Looking Glass” that was funny – here, not so much. 

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Jono,  Using your most recent comment, in case you look again.  The Shell Oil mpg contest info can be found at
        Answer.com What is the record mpg for a car?  
         Just saw their new ad with 8800-plus listed, but cannot find.  Many links there to many references.   Also, search    MPG Contests

        • Jono

          servfail. I’ll check it later

    • Anonymous

      Words are images.  Slavery has many forms.  I think some people are a little to sensitive to the use of the word.  In many ways wage-slaves are slaves.  Also, rhetoric is used to shake people up and get them to pay attention to something that might never have paid any attention to otherwise.  There is nothing wrong with the use of the word slavery.  Your mind can be enslaved.  And that is one sense of the word, and one way Marx, I think, was referring.  The way you guys get so pedantic over words reduces the language to nothing–choking it–making it very mechanical.  With this reasoning we would have no Shakespeare and Faulkners and no Morrisons or Dellilos or artists of any kind–no Rapheals, no Piccasos no great architects.  language is art and art cannot be rigid.  Neither can philosophy or politics or economies.    

      • Ellen Dibble

        I wrote a reply to this via the e-mail, which doesn’t seem to be bringing it up.  I’ll wait a bit and then copy it in as an edit, I think.

        Found online yesterday: New York Times reporter “Chris Hedges: Global revolution must begin in America,” noting the video “Endgame Strategy” piece for AdBusters – warning, I tried to link and froze my computer. But Hedges’ conclusions go like this: “We will have to take care of ourselves… We will have to rapidly create small, monastic communities where we can sustain and feed ourselves. It will be up to us to keep alive the intellectual, moral, and cultural values the corporate state has attempted to snuff out. It is either that or become drones and serfs in a global corporate dystopia. It is not much of a choice. But at least we still have one.”
        This is similar to Gilding’s perspective, and similar to mine. If we say “serfs” when speaking of this choice, the descendants of Russian serfs are not out there saying no, no, that is nothing like what our ancestors suffered. No, it isn’t. At least in the United States, the corporate plutocracy is glad to take as tax deductions all sorts of protections for those pushed to the wall in the course of Big Business’s search for greater profits. Being a ward of the state in one way or the other, being a ward of the corporate tax-loophole-seekers, is not at all the same as being chained and whipped. So it’s hard to get the language right. That’s for sure.

  • jolene

     http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/16/on-the-hijacking-of-the-american-meteorological-society-ams/

    • Jono

      Unfortunately Jolene, very few people will get past the first paragraph – it’s an inconvenient truth, don’t you know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Alden/100000962790506 Daniel Alden

    Classical economic theory always discounts and undervalues ecological services.  If the true costs to existing systems were evaluated or were not externalized, the cost-benefit equation would not balance; or, “We could not afford to do that!” Time for contingent valuation of ecological services.  Stop internalizing profits, externalizing expenses, and discounting future costs.

    • Jono

      I agree. One of the first things we need to do is start costing out the environmental impact of electric cars that are putting a strain on the grid and increasing the amount of CO2 being released into the atmosphere in much greater quantities than happens with internal combustion engines.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Jono, I have worked in battery rooms larger than a semi-trailer.  The fumes from the batteries were not near as noxious, nor toxic, as a small internal combustion engine idling in the same space, much less the size that would put out the same amout of electrical energy.  Does your vehicle’s internal combustion engine not use a battery or two to start it, and maintain the electrical system?  I’ll bet it has an electric starter motor, and fan motor!  Now, to those basic components of an electric vehicle, please add your internal combustion engine, the toxic cooling fluid, the quantity of toxic motor oil, and the fumes of each, plus exhaust gasses.  Your sources, please. 

        • Jono

          Yes, it uses a battery to provide the sparks that ignite the gasoline, and of course the engine turns a generator that recharges the battery. It also works wonders for my car radio and headlight – but it cannot provide the kind of power needed to take me in one trip from Bangor, Maine to the Florida Keyes. But you know what – that internal combustion engine will not produce the kind of pollutants in a 40 mile trip that the coal fired generator does to provide a little under-powered Leaf with a range of 40 miles, or that would be necessary to power the Leaf for the month it would need to get from Maine to the Gulf.

          • Anonymous

             you are wrong.  China is now all ready building the infrastructure for electric car refueling and battery stations.  Some stations are all ready complete in Dalian.  They are also building a super straddling bus that partly runs on solar.  Technology advances exponentially, especially when idiots stop supporting ancient establishment and get with he program.  Improvements in electric and solar etc cant happen until we start investing in them dramatically and using them.  In using them we work out the kinks an more minds are engaged and wonders created.  How much money does koch pay you to troll?

            How bout this–we don’t need cars.  God made feet.  Now before you get all biblical on me Jesus boy–I am not a Christian or religious.  It’s a figure of speech. 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Jono,    The first point, is that your internal combustion engine auto has more sources of different pollution.   Second point, if you live where the electricity is provided by Wind Turbines, Hydroelectric, Solar Panels, or other renewables, the electric car’s only pollution is the Hydrogen and Oxygen, outgassed as batteries produce voltage.

  • Shakti

    Here is a great lecture at the University of Rhode Island on Climate Change, which people have tried to falsify the science behind it, how and why- 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXyTpY0NCp0
    After seeing it, it is clear that talking facts, sense and science will not work with people who have already made up their mind for ideological reasons. They will find something to say to put your comment down. It is not hard to do. Did that in Debate Club myself.

    So please do not let your efforts be wasted with people like that and lets continue the discussion with people who truly care to learn about the climate disruption and find out how to resolve it. 

    • Jono

      Ignore inconvenient truths at all costs!!! Never listen to someone who might know something you do not know!!! Tell yourself that you are better than they do and you have the revealed truth of Al Gore, Allah bless his name, to guide you!!! And attack by any means anyone who wants to know why all the predictions about what the world would be like now that were made only ten years ago turned out to be laughable! To question is to doubt. To doubt is to commit heresy!

      • Anonymous

        Actually, Climate Change is proceeding faster than scientists predicted – but then you probably would not know, not ever having checked any of the data.

        • Jono

          FYI, ten years ago I believed in global warming; believed that CO2 was a pollutant. But I did what you apparently have not done. I checked ALL the resources, those who were telling me what I didn’t want to hear as well as those who agreed with my preconceptions. And little by little,  I was forced to realize that the amount of b.s. being spread by the alarmists was MUCH greater than  the amount being spread by the deniers. As time went on, I saw prediction after prediction fail. I saw alarmists admit they’d lied. That they’d fudged the data and thrown away the truth. That stories about the Himalayan snow tops melting were based on a drunken reporter’s fiction. I can go back and read the dire predictions made in 2000 that by 2010, there would be no winter in England – which just had its coldest whitest winter since 1947.

          So before you tell me to take the mote out of my eye, I suggest you remove the beam from your own.

          • Anonymous

             u are so full of shit.  climate change is radical unpredictable weather.  There maybe many factors contributing to it but one can not deny that human industry contributes to it. personally, I don’t think it matters so much that it needs to be the locus focus of everyone’s myopic crap.  The point is unchecked industry and consumerism and a consuming population bomb are polluting beyond comprehension and i should have to breath shit.  The earth is hurting.  All you have to do is open you eyes.  $ bedroom houses are not natural. American lifestyle is grotesque and inhuman and inhumane.    So whether you want to believe global warming is a natural phenomenon or man made or non-existent, pollution is very very real.

            The fudged data comes from the oil industry research ignoramus.  UEA did not have fudged data, if you refer to that.

            You should be concerned about what you read and who sponsors it.
            Let go of the whole global warming thing and understand that pollution is bad.  You do not have the right to shit in my cereal.

            I never threatened you.  Why do you feel so threatened.  Typical gun nut and teabagger.  WHat shut up dont lie racist teabagger boy napper!

          • Anonymous

            I have a long list of links about Climate Change on my website, and have read extensively. One has to differentiate between serious study and wild speculation. I tend to follow NASA. It is amazing to me that the same people that laud space science findings by NASA dismiss the climate science research.

            As for the role of CO2, this video is one of the best:
            http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/lectures/lecture_videos/A23A.shtml

            Also, check out this out – possibly you have been fooled by the Merchants of Doubt
            http://www.jri.org.uk/index.php/2011/03/merchants-of-doubt/

          • http://www.facebook.com/n.elizabeth.markovich Nancy Elizabeth Markovich

            Do you think that the majority of climate scientists are wrong, having never looked at the data? 

  • Rrmorant

    Eco-nomics   Eco-nomics might be a new field of economics in which the effect of cost free pollution and environmental change are shown for what they actually are and that is very expensive.  The majority of households, businesses, and governments costs are undervalued because the cost and future costs of climate changing pollution are not factored in.  If costs are undervalued then net income is inflated leading over time to inflated equity.  In other words, if we don’t add in the costs of our environmental change we end up appearing wealthier than we truly.  We might feel good fooling ourselves on our net worth but Gaia, the whole earth and atmospheric entity we inhabit, can’t be fooled and will erase our fake equity.     Katrina might be considered the first mega storm in the US in what seems to be a continuing stream of unprecedented catastrophic weather events  The hurricane season of 2005  can be viewed as the starting point for Gaia’s recalculation.  Katrina did huge and expensive damage.  It was Gaia adjusting our national net worth to a lower level.  The United State’s extensive CO2 emissions is as we all know a contributor to climate change.  More and strong hurricanes are a predicted consequence of that warming.  We haven’t expensed our CO2 emissions, looked wealthier than we were causing our inflated net worth to devalued.   Unfortunately the counter effect that Gaia generates for our polluting is not distributed to all polluters evenly.  During that season Guatemala paid a heavy price for the polluting ways of more industrialized nations.  Guatemala generates CO2 emissions but not in proportion to the punishment it took that hurricane season when whole villages were buried.  So did the citizens and business of New Orleans that year pay a far greater cost for their CO2 generation then they caused.  Unfortunately weather is not fair and not precise.  People who die driving in ice storms in places like Atlanta shouldn’t pay so hugely for our cost dodging.  Yet when taken as a whole all these localized costs add up to a huge downward adjustment to our worth.     Traditional economics has a national and international perspective and not a whole earth Gaia perspective.  Our net income and accumulated equity should factor in the real economic impact of climatic change generated by economic activities.  Eco-nomics should be the study of this true calculation.  Once the true cost of environmental changes are identified for economic reasons rather than environmental ones we will hopefully lower our damaging and falsely free outputs. ————–I originally wrote a version of this back in 2005.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Global Warming, Nuclear Winter, and a lot of other ways of stating, some more correctly than othere, that many things that Mankind has affected the climate of the Earth. My first comment in this article proves that Man indeed does!  The degree, and the effects are what is actually being debated, and obfusticated.  The Detroit River, the Los Angeles smog of the 50′s and 60′s, and many other examples, proved that Man has polluted to the point of death.  The clean-up of some of them, proves that we can correct it.  Both are FAR more expensive than thinking about the possible pollution, and other adverse effects, and avoiding or mimimizing it.
         Denying, obfusticating, distracting, and other ruses, only delay the fixing of the problems.
         You choose to be either part of the solution, or part of the problem.

  • Margiswett

    I don’t doubt his facts but his conclusions remind me of Malthus… we just don’t know what we don’t know.

    • durham kid

      Yes, it does sound like Malthus, but so what?

      Conventional wisdom says Malthus was proven wrong but his fundamental idea never was – he was just a couple hundred years ahead of his time (like daVinci).

      And, in the geologic time of the earth, a couple hundred years is pretty much spot on!

  • Rjschundlr

    Paul Gilding is a young man with a short memory, and his understanding is pre-economics (Malthus), nor does he considered the fact that our knowledge and technology is increasing at an ever faster rate. The economic system will direct labor, time , and resources to where our demand/needs direct it. We will develop new sources of energy, and new way to provide food and water. And as for climate change, we are lock step with Mars, so let credit the sun for warming, and blame the sun for cooling.

    • durham kid

      Rjschundlr, in attempting to reply to you, I accidentally ‘liked’ your comment.

      While I appreciate your civility – and applaud your optimism, I think your analysis grossly oversimplifies a very complex and dangerous situation.  Any situation that you are in the middle of is very difficult to have an objective perspective about.

      The problem of having to maintain exponential growth indefinitely is the show-stopper here – you just can’t get around it with any amount of logic or technology. 

  • Pingback: The End of Global Consumerism « Ruben Bernardino

  • durham kid

    This was an EXCELLENT program, repeating much of what Lester Brown and Chris Martenson (The Crash Course at http://www.chrismartenson.com) have been saying for some time.  I encourage other folks to check out this other information.

    The comments from people that follow reveal how difficult this information is to process. 

    I am a physicist who has worried about the state of the world since I was fairly young and, in college, after taking some basic economics courses, I realized how some of the basic assumptions about economics are the root of the problem, namely that resources have no limits and that continuous growth is even a possibility.

    Chris Martenson quotes someone on his website who states that mankind’s greatest weakness is his inability to understand exponential growth.  

  • Pingback: Crowdsourcing TEDx Theme |

  • Slipstream

    I agree with Mr. Gilding, and he reminds me of another interesting thinker I first encountered here, James Howard Kunstler – altho his focus is more on the decline of the petroleum-based economy, but they reach the same conclusions.  I am increasingly convinced by people like them, and why?  Well, for one thing there is not much of a counter-narrative, other than the notion that we humans, and especially we Americans, are so technically gifted that we will surely find some solution to these problems, we always have before, havent we?  We won World War II and put a man on the moon – surely we can find a new way to run our automobiles.  Unfortunately, this is wishful, nostalgic thinking, of the kind that the Republican Party in particular specializes in, and will not solve these growing dilemmas.  Endless growth on a finite planet is not even remotely a possibility. 

    Pride goeth before a fall, and so does greed, arrogance, foolishness, and a refusal to plan for the future.  More trouble is surely on the way, and I can only hope that Gilding is right and we will be able to deal with it, and that it will not be of Biblical proportions.  The first steps have got to be to put a stop to population growth and to begin seriously working on renewable energy sources, imho.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Thomas-Simon/1233725194 Thomas Simon

    This was a great interview and led me to obtain the Great Disruption through my library. The book does an excellent job outlining the reasons we are now seeing disruption in our economy.  Some of the responses here reflect why it will take real calamity to open the eyes of those who seem intent on continuing the consumption economy. But do note that Michael Bloomberg – a true capitalist in every way has donated $50 Million to the Sierra Club to fund educating the public as to why we need to move away form coal. If this is the start of the “Great Awakening” then there is hope after all. 

  • Anonymous

    is a transcript for this interview available?

  • Ozel Sagir

    The statements by the author are simple,clear and very easy to understand. The meanings of those statements are being observed and lived by all of us humans. The transition to the future shall occur, the question is, how our–humans adoption to that future shall take place !..
    Our ansestors over thousands of years ago had experienced similar,if not worse problems and the journey wasn’t easy.
    Thanks to all concerned,
    Ozel Sagir  

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