Lack of Environment

A blog on the politics and psychology underlying the denial of all our environmental problems

What on Earth are we doing?

with 40 comments

I appear to have a habit of posting items starting with the words “What on Earth..”.  Here, then, is another one to add to that list

A few weeks ago, one of the regular contributors to discussion on this blog (Pendantry), brought the work of Professor Guy McPherson (University of Arizona) to my attention. I must admit that I was a bit lazy and just watched the video embedded on Pendantry’s blog. However, in my defence, that was partly because I was shocked by what I saw and heard. Even though I have since embedded the same video on this blog, I had still done little more than scratch the surface to examine the huge amount of research to which McPherson refers. Here and now, I intend to put that right.

Having worked out how to get Professor McPherson’s attention (by inserting a link in my post to a specific post on his blog), he has since graciously joined the discussion. In welcoming him to my blog, I said this:

…Thanks also for providing a link to the new article on your brilliantly-named Nature Bats Last blog… I had thereby also found the Think Progress article by Joe Romm, highlighting the fact that, even today, the IPCC is still not incorporating the effects of positive feedback mechanisms into its projections. This would be truly incredible, were it not for the fact that I understand the pressure the IPCC is put under to avoid being “alarmist”… What amazes me, therefore, is that there are not more scientists like you who are speaking out about the way in which humanity is sleepwalking to catastrophe. However, I know, you say this is because they want to keep their jobs. What about [preserving] the lives of their children? By 2030, I will have reached retirement age, but my children will only be in their early 30s; they may even still be childless…

So, then, I am reluctantly coming round to Professor Guy McPherson’s view that both mainstream climate scientists and climate change sceptics are equally guilty of believing what they want to believe and seeing only what they want to see. This is because, when you investigate the ten positive feedback loops that McPherson has recently highlighted (see below) you realise that, in doing so, he is referring to the results of peer-reviewed research; all of which is already in the public domain.

The problem is that the vast majority of mainstream scientists are refusing to join the dots and admit that these 10 feedback loops are going to interfere with – and mutually reinforce – each other. It also does not help that the IPCC is still not incorporating these feedback loops into its projections (link below).

I started by reading what is currently the most popular post on McPherson’s blog, Climate-change summary and update, which starts by listing a nasty-looking trend in large-scale projections of global average temperature rise:

  1. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (late 2007): 1 C by 2100
  2. Hadley Centre for Meteorological Research (late 2008): 2 C by 2100
  3. United Nations Environment Programme (mid 2009): 3.5 C by 2100
  4. Hadley Centre for Meteorological Research (October 2009): 4 C by 2060
  5. Global Carbon Project, Copenhagen Diagnosis (November 2009): 6 C by 2100
  6. International Energy Agency (November 2010): 3.5 C by 2050
  7. United Nations Environment Programme (December 2010): up to 5 C by 2050

Having done this, McPherson then goes on to list the 10 Positive Feedback Mechanisms that he has identified from recent research. Below, I have reproduced his list and, where they were missing, inserted links to more information in each case.

10 positive feedback mechanisms:
Methane hydrates are bubbling out the Arctic Ocean (Science, March 2010)
Warm Atlantic water is defrosting the Arctic as it shoots through the Fram Strait (Science, January 2011)
Siberian methane vents have increased… to about a kilometer across in 2011 (Tellus, February 2011)
Drought in the Amazon triggered the release of more carbon than the USA in 2010 (Science, February 2011)
Peat in the world’s boreal forests is decomposing at an astonishing rate (Nature Comms., November 2011)
Methane is being released from the Antarctic (Nature, August 2012)
Russian forest and bog fires are growing (NASA, August 2012)
Cracking of glaciers accelerates in the presence of increased carbon dioxide (J. of App. Physics, October 2012)
Exposure to sunlight increases [is] accelerating thawing of the permafrost (PNAS, February 2013)
Arctic drilling was fast-tracked by the Obama administration during the summer of 2012

Having listed these, McPherson then points out that the only one of these over which humanity has any control (and can therefore choose to stop or reverse) is the decision to drill for oil in the Arctic. The same could be said for all unconventional fossil fuels. However, acknowledging this reality, McPherson then adds… “Because we’ve entered the era of expensive oil, I can’t imagine we’ll voluntarily terminate the process of drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic (or anywhere else).”

For the sake of brevity, I will not comment on all of these mechanisms but, for those that are interested, here are some of the more notable responses I found (both dismissive and concerned) on the Internet.

Dismissive responses:

Concerned responses: (includes a good list of references);; and (discussed below).

As intimated above, I want to focus on the fact that the IPCC is still not including any of these positive feedback mechanisms and is therefore continuing to be overly optimistic (i.e. under-reporting the nature, scale and urgency of the problems we have now created by failing to decarbonise our economies already).

Why is the IPCC being unduly optimistic?
Writing in the Scientific American magazine 6 years ago, in an article entitled ‘Conservative Climate’, David Biello gave us all the answer:

By excluding statements that provoked disagreement and adhering strictly to data published in peer-reviewed journals, the IPCC has generated a conservative document that may underestimate the changes that will result from a warming world, much as its 2001 report did.

The IPCC was set up by conservative political leaders in the 1980s (Reagan, Thatcher and Gorbachov) but its hands were tied from the start; its complicated internal and external review process (i.e. government-appointed reviewers) ensuring that it never publishes anything that is too scary. By refusing to countenance the possibility that more pessimistic opinions amongst the scientific community might actually be coming from those that are being the most objective, it has completely inverted the well-respected precautionary principle; and promoted instead the wait and see approach of climate sceptics everywhere.

However, the IPCC has not just wasted 6 years, it has wasted 20 years; and things are now getting serious: If you are not convinced, then I would invite you to read what Joe Romm on the Think Progress website has to say about all of this: He starts by informing the reader that the thawing of the permafrost will release “a staggering 1.5 trillion tons of frozen carbon, about twice as much carbon as contained in the atmosphere, much of which would be released as methane… 25 times as potent a heat-trapping gas as CO2 over a 100 year time horizon, but 72 to 100 times as potent over 20 years!”

Carbon emission (in billions of tons of carbon a year) from thawing permafrost
[from Schaefer et al, 2011]

Therefore, with reference to the above graph, the thawing permafrost is already releasing 0.2 Gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere on an annual basis. You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to realise that, in the short term, even this has the warming potential of 20 Gigatons of carbon, which is twice the global anthropogenic carbon emissions in 2010. Given that the thawing of the permafrost is something we cannot now stop; and it is not going to be possible to capture and burn all this methane, the fact that the quantities being released are projected to quadruple between now and 2030 is not good news.

It is little wonder, then, that Dave Roberts posted an item on the Grist website almost a year ago, entitled: Climate change is simple: We do something or we’re screwed.

If you have not done so already, please join Bill McKibben’s and/or join a local group promoting sustainable responses to the approaching socio-economic meltdown: To me, and many others who are not ideologically blinded to the nature of reality, this now seems to be the inevitable consequence of the refusal of our carbon-based civilisation to acknowledge the impossibility of perpetual growth on a finite planet.

I therefore fear that it may be time to “brace for impact!”.

40 Responses

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  1. Hello Martin, I just returned from San Francisco, attending the and Sierra Club’s Forward on the Climate rally. Finally some are recognizing the science, unfortunately 25 years too late, all the while our planet is further impacted daily. You have written a very thoughtful analysis of our planet’s condition.
    Thank you,

    D. A. Hartley

    19 February 2013 at 04:18

    • You are very kind, Denise, but I have done little more than climb onto the shoulders of giants (and dig out a few references).

      Martin Lack

      19 February 2013 at 09:41

  2. Martin: Excellent putting together (I will not use a big Latin word so as not to worry Pendantry!) of lots of information bearing on the non linear catastrophe we are busy working towards.

    Scientists fed by the powers that be, want to be well considered. In that sense, they are like pigeons. It’s not just that they like to be loved, respected, and go to the plushest hotel; their daily bread and shelter depend upon it. In that sense, they are worse than pigeons. So they produce honorable science, and honorable thinking. It’s not about rocking the boat.

    As it is, civilization is busy organizing a vast gas chamber, and all they want to talk about is the shower, and how clean it’s going to make them all. That’s as dirty as minds can get.

    Patrice Ayme

    19 February 2013 at 06:54

    • As you did repeatedly with me, Patrice, I think you mistake Pendantry’s playful sense of humour for animosity. I have used the word synopsis many times without complaint from him (or anyone else). In every other respect, I think your comments here are absolutely brilliant.

      Martin Lack

      19 February 2013 at 09:45

  3. BTW my latest essay,, expands upon the remarks I made on this site, and the problem of the Habitable Zone (and evokes remedies, lest I be considered all negative).

    Patrice Ayme

    19 February 2013 at 07:13

  4. Thanks for finding me brilliant, Martin! Now I am going to preen like a pigeon, all the more since I now know that Pendantry is not going to gobble me up because a miscommunication of some sort.

    Patrice Ayme

    19 February 2013 at 17:33

    • Look out for the cats (amongst the pigeons)!

      Martin Lack

      19 February 2013 at 17:56

      • The best effort I can make from all this is: To err is human; to really fowl things up requires a tiger (if you can find one).

        Seriously: though he’s talking at a slight tangent to the main thrust of your post here, I suspect the attitude of the misanthrope who speaks briefly in the film Fuel (which Paul highlighted a short while ago) at about 3mins36seconds in goes a long way to explain why we’re still in head-in-the-sand mode:

        I shall be dead by then so it’s not my problem, it’s your problem.


        19 February 2013 at 21:18

        • I am afraid I have been erring as well: I sent Paul the HTML for this post with 3 erroneous mentions – not of the IPCC but – of the IPPC (i.e. “Independent Police Complaints Commission” or “Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control”…?).

          Martin Lack

          20 February 2013 at 10:54

        • ‘IPPC’? Never heard of them! On the other hand, these days I’m hearing more and more about the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) and, were I a believer in conspiracy theories, I might be tempted to think that a) some climate change denier somewhere high up in the UK government who understands the psychology of confusion thought it would be a good idea to name a high-profile organisation in such a way as to provide it with the same abbreviation as the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) so as to sow confusion, and b) that some climate change denier high up in the BBC is promoting every story she can that involves the IPCC (police variety) so as to dilute the effects of when the other one is mentioned…

          I note that the IPCC was established in 1988, whereas the IPCC was named in about 2002 and became operational in April 2004. Confused yet? I’m not, but I’m sure that many people are…


          20 February 2013 at 19:44

        • Thanks for all of that Pendantry. IPPC is a now defunct piece of EU legislation with which I am familiar (hence my original typo), whereas the UK body to which we have both now referred does actually use the same acronym as the relevant international organization. My apologies to anyone who was or is confused by any of this.

          Martin Lack

          20 February 2013 at 20:05

        • Nothing new there. “Apres moi, le deluge!” [Louis XV.] Such people are not stewards of the Earth. Our problem is that they are in leadership positions. They should be removed from such.

          Patrice Ayme

          21 February 2013 at 02:47

  5. […] This essay brings attention to recent projections and positive feedbacks… All information and sources are readily confirmed with an online search, and links to information about feedbacks can be found here. […]

  6. For years I have said, and it has been obvious, that the IPCC was under-critical (ha ha ha). As proven by the fact it refused obstinately to include in possible predictions, well, the melting of the ice shields… That being not a detail, but the whole point, in my not so humble opinion…

    Patrice Ayme

    21 February 2013 at 15:15

  7. […] 2013/02/19: LoE: What on Earth are we doing? […]

  8. I hate to break it to you, but your analysis in the last graph is wrong. That study DID NOT look at the methane that was going to be released from the permafrost, it was only looking at carbon dioxide. So no, we are currently not seeing the equivalent of 20 gigatons of carbon.

    Eduardo Vargas

    1 March 2013 at 23:32

  9. Baked beans and bullets – the investments I recommend for those of my age or younger.


    24 March 2013 at 19:43

  10. […] regards to his reference of (Guy Mcpherson's) findings that climate change is virtually autonomous: What on Earth are we doing? | Lack of Environment – and that given positive feedback loops we can expect to hit 4 degrees (fatal) temperature […]

  11. Permafrost carbon flux graph in the article is extremely devastating as it is, and quadrupling of carbon flux between now and 2030 is indeed very important to understand. However, using my own rough estimates, annual polar (both Arctic and Antarctic) methane emissions during 2030s will be about 3…7Gt – not 0.8 or 1Gt, but times more indeed. Note, my number includes not just land permafrost (which is perhaps what the graph above is projecting?), but also and most importantly emissions from shallow parts of polar parts of world ocean.

    If to (very roughly, “by eye”) integrate total amount of carbon on the graph above, then it’s (again, extremely roughly) about average 1Gt carbon flux every year for 200 years = 200Gt carbon. However, ESAS (east siberian arctic shelf) alone contains more than 1000Gt of methane, as estimated by Shakhova et al (about this and other quite interesting things, see, for example, ). Assuming Earth will go hot-house state (some +10 degrees celcius or so above pre-industrial during 22th century and beyond), it’s hard to see how carbon flux would start to go down after only about ~120Gt or so of carbon would go out. This again makes me think that above graph is only about land permafrost, and thus does not include carbon flux from shallow Arctic and Antarctic shelves – which are likely to be the largest source, and by far so.


    6 June 2013 at 10:45

    • Many thanks for all of these thoughts; and for the additional link to the TP website. However, if you follow my link (i.e. via the TP website) back to the paper from which the graph has come – I am sure it will list the assumptions used to generate it.

      Martin Lack

      6 June 2013 at 11:06

      • My pleasure, sir.

        As for assumptions used by said paper, i chose not to pay to read the full paper, and its abstract – – does not say a word about seabed, nor about methane clathrates; however, neither does it specify whether the paper is only about land-based permafrost (even if some terms of the abstract indicate, indirectly, that it is so – i still can’t be entirely sure).

        Best wishes.


        10 June 2013 at 09:59

  12. […] Oakwood claims to have read a big proportion of IPCC reports (more than me I suspect) but, even so, fails to address the reality that IPCC reports have consistently under-reported the scale and urgency of the problems we face. The AR5 report due out later this year will also do this because it still does not include positive feedback mechanisms causing current rates of change to accelerate. […]

    • Well, it probably is not that easy, though. Personally, I suspect that there are more than 1 IPCC reports for each 1 IPCC report. I mean:
      – The public is fed with what we all see, a report which indeed underestimates thing much; it’s quite clear reading “public” AR4 that it was a deliberate goal of makers of the report not to allow anyone to think that some serious (say, business-interrupting!) global risks – are possible during next 2-3 decades. It freely admits various grave dangers, but only if it’s closer to 2100 or at least post-2050, there is lots and lots of talk how and why things are to be done at present to prevent catastrophe – but every last time, it’s about kinds of catastrophes more than 2-3 ahead. This, naturally, pacifies people who a) are doing anything significant, like some not-so-small business, and b) could change their decisions as soon as new serious systematic risks appear within typical risk-planning horizon (which is what, 10-20 years or even less?).
      – The highest levels of state and corporation ruling class is given very different report – one which is not available to the public. In which, true state of affairs, indeed cutting edge of present-day science (proper science, not crap) is summed up. They can discuss it among themselves behind closed doors of those meeting of theirs, such as Bilderberg group forums and such, and privately one to another.
      – Perhaps there are even “combined”, “hybrid” versions, being not exactly objective, but less “pacifying” than the true one? Those could be given for some specific class of managers – say, all top-managers of all big-enough companies, and it could be said to them that it’s the real, true one – while in fact it’d be simply less pacifying and more skillfully hiding the worst bits.

      See, there is actually much sense if it is indeed so: if large mass of humans and businesses would start to pile up resources and goods which are to be piled if person (or, company) plans to remain functioning no matter all the risks catastrophic climate change will be bringing, then this itself can most likely deal massive damage to world economy, national economies, and corporate economies just as well. It’d ruin lots and lots of profits, but even if elites would be willing to go for it, – the massive damage is not to profits only, but as usual, it’ll be all sorts of harm: unemployment, poverty, possibly sudden scarcity of various types of goods, including very essential like food and energy (at least in some regions/countries).

      I’ve been thinking for a long time whether general public should be allowed to know all the true, all the details. We all start thinking that “of course!!! Democracy!!! Justice!!! We have the right to know, it’s our life at stake!!!”. But, lately, I find this kind of thinking being quite naive; sad truth is, general public is not qualified to make proper judgement on quite large number of matters. Climate change is very complex one, and its consequences is even more complex one. Now, look, imagine you’re professional investor, and imagine that your own kids, being some 12 to 14 years of age, would demand one day that you would explain to them how you invest, how much, where, why, – and also would demand that you would allow them to influence your investment decisions significantly. Would you tell them everything? Would you allow them to have any influence, perhaps control parts of your capital? Most likely you wouldn’t. Why? For their own good. They have no qualifications – nor the education – to invest efficiently. Almost guaranteed, they’d very soon find whatever capital they invest vanishing. Assuming they would be carrying responsibility for it themselves, it could put them into debt for life. What parent wants this for his own children? Same thing with IPCC reports. No matter how dire things are, it makes sense not to allow the public to be too concerned: if public would become too concerned, then public would start to act, yet, in a complex and definitely “life-or-death” matter such as climate change, wrong decisions can lead to things which are even much, much worse than being in debt for life – such as death of whole countries and nations.

      As for control and “right to know” which “we the people” are often think we should have, – well, for some matters it definitely works – ones which are simple enough; but for complex ones, I don’t see any sense in it, either. In the above example, kids’ future definitely could be very dramatically affected by father’s investment decisions – but does this mean father needs to give detailed reports to his early-teen kids about how and where he invests, does he have to explain what risks he takes, what dangers it brings? Quite unlikely; risks and possible dangers will only make kids worry – since they can’t help the father anyways, not being qualified specialists on the subject.


      21 June 2013 at 12:48

      • Wow, thanks for taking the time, F.Tnioli. Where to start? Well, firstly, did you mean to post this comment here or on the post to which this ‘trackback’ refers?

        Your suspicions regarding the IPCC are, in my view, entirely justified. This is because, as David Beillo made clear in the Scientific American magazine in 2007, the IPCC was set up in the Reagan/Thatcher era to guarantee government veto over anything likely to upset the status quo/business as usual paradigm.

        Although conspiracy theories are really the domain of so-called climate change sceptics, I am beginning to wonder whether rumours might be true that governments already know that a climate catastrophe is now unavoidable but cannot admit it because doing so would cause civil unrest that would make Brazil today seem trivial by comparison.

        Arthur P.J. Mol once described modernity as having a design flaw that makes environmental degradation inevitable, by which I understand him to have been referring to what has been variously described as ‘money fetishism’ (Karl Marx) and ‘growthmania’ (Herman Daly). However, I do not think it is Capitalism as such that is the problem; it is the libertarian baggage that comes with it that produces the ideological blindness and willful ignorance of those that consider concepts such as ‘ecological carrying capacity‘ to be eco-Fascist propaganda.

        Martin Lack

        21 June 2013 at 14:09

        • To answer your question, my previous message here was intended, and afaict, indeed is an answer to another message here, one which was made 17 June 2013 at 9:00 AM, in particular to the statement that IPCC underreports urgency of the problems we nowadays face. With which statement i entirely agree, but i wished to elaborate why and how i agree with it, which i did. Since the statement i was reacting to is “here”, my reply to it is also “here”.

          Your opinion about libertarian baggage is quite true, but in the same time is not. Because, just like ideological blindness and wilful ignorance, which are produced by said libertarian baggage, – this libertarian baggage itself is not a root cause itself – but a consequence of something else.

          What exactly produces this libertarian baggage you spoke about? Omitting quite a large number of intermediate processes, i dare to state that the root cause is laws of physics. You see, just like a drop of water which, if left alone without any forces acting on it, would always get a perfect sphere shape, – humans also have the tendency to such a “perfect state”. Since humans are a bit more complex than a drop of water, man’s “perfect state” is a bit more complex than curling up. However, very very simplifying, i can describe such a state as “spending as little energy as possible” for most of activities our body and mind does.

          Man invented money to spend less energy while trading. Man invented fire to spend less energy during cold nights, and less energy digesting food (raw, non-cooked food requires much more energy to be spent by the body to digest it). Man invented wheel to spend less energy while moving things. Etc etc. Even when he wasn’t even knowing he invents things to spend less energy – like when our first human-like ancestors were inventing first languages and words, bit by bit, – it’s still so (language allows to spend less energy by making actions of individuals more fitting a particular situation – less energy spent “per tribe”, so to say).

          Now i am not any much educated about libertarian things, but i guess those are also, in some or other ways, serve as means of reducing energy spent by its adepts. At least, its consequences you mention – namely ideological blindness and wilful ignorance, – those definitely are so: less thinking = less energy spent. Quite easy, eh. Same for growthmania and money fetishism: the former allows to construct some system once (say, factory, state’s economy, personal business, whatever), – and then lay down on a bed and watch it grow (well, it’s almost often much more complicated in practice, sure, but isn’t this the idea?); and the latter is simply a system which reduces one’s efforts indeed as long as money can buy “almost anything” one would want. Eh?

          Just thoughts aloud, anyhow. Cheers.


          24 June 2013 at 09:24

        • At the risk of repeating myself, the thing (at 0900 hrs on 17/6) was not a comment – it was a trackback from an item posted on a friend’s blog at that time. As such, your comment would be more appropriate there (but I don’t mind it here). As to your further remarks, these are most welcome too. Your comment about the tendency of organisms to minimise their energy use appears to be another way of stating H.T. Odum’s ‘Maximum Power Principle’ (by which he meant maximimum ‘energy conversion efficiency’).

          Martin Lack

          24 June 2013 at 16:42

  13. I am not familiar with H.T. Odum’s works. Energy conversion efficiency, though, is not the thing i meant – what i meant is optimization of organisms’ personal “energy budget” in terms of “spending”, only. In particular, by means such as growthmania, money fetishism, ideological blindness and wilful ignorance.

    Here’s the simple example to illustrate. Marine mammals – dolphins, whales, pinquins etc, – have somewhat varying energy conversion efficiency in terms of conversion of chemical energy (stored within their food) into mechanical energy (which they need when they swim through ’em seas). Many factors influence said efficiency, including characteristics of foods eaten (is it fish? crill? plants?), size and shape of bodies, usual debth, bodies’ and environment temperatures, whether they are amphibious, pollutants’ levels, muscle cell efficiency, etc. Some species with lower energy conversion efficiency, however, may have much better optimizations in terms of “energy spent” – more “hydrodinamically” sleek bodies (like dolphins), lower average swim speeds they are adapted to survive with, adaptations required to feed on easier to “catch” food. The latter is what some types of whales do – ones who have their food literally flowing into their throats all by itself, thus not spending energy required to actively pursue and catch their prey.

    So i was saying above about how growthmania, money fetishism, ideological blindness and wilful ignorance in some or other ways allow to _spend_ less energy. How much energy is there in the 1st place is different thing which i was not talking about; and so, i wasn’t talking about energy conversion efficiency either.


    23 July 2013 at 11:13

    • I think you and Odum are not that far apart. Odum proposed that organisms tend to strive to find the most energy-efficient way of operating (maximum gain for minimum effort).

      Martin Lack

      23 July 2013 at 12:41

      • Yes. Not far apart indeed. It’s just that he was talking about both “halves” – both seeking “more energy to control” and “less energy to spend” (everything else being equal that is), – while i was talking only about the latter half – “less energy to spend”. Both seem to be true to me; and most likely 1st half – greater energy input, – is also much involved in at least some of behaviours here discussed, at least in form of more money earned (lobbies, bribes, whatever); it’s just was not my point, though. Because i think the 2nd half – minimizing one’s energy spent – is the deciding factor in discussed cases. Perhaps i am wrong to think so, though, – again, i am not any much educated about libertarian things, that’s for sure.

        Good luck out there, Martin.


        26 July 2013 at 11:34

        • Thanks. Apologies for delay (I have been away on holiday).

          Martin Lack

          6 August 2013 at 13:58

  14. […] This essay brings attention to recent projections and positive feedbacks. I presented much of this information at the Bluegrass Bioneers conference (Alex Smith at Radio Ecoshock evaluates my presentation here). More recently, I presented an updated version on the campus of the University of Massachusetts. All information and sources are readily confirmed with an online search, and links to information about feedbacks can be found here. […]

  15. […] For links to data sources, see: What on Earth are we doing (19 February 2013). […]

  16. […] ‘planned obsolescence’ of the AR5 – as a result of systematically ignoring the effects of positive feedback mechanisms that are already observable – I suspect that the same is true for all the other entries in Table […]

  17. […] This essay brings attention to recent projections and positive feedbacks. I presented much of this information at the Bluegrass Bioneers conference (Alex Smith at Radio Ecoshock evaluates my presentation here). More recently, I presented an updated version on the campus of the University of Massachusetts. All information and sources are readily confirmed with an online search, and links to information about feedbacks can be found here. […]

  18. […] environmental change is now in the process of accelerating beyond our capacity to mitigate it: – What on Earth are we doing? (19 February 2013). – A summary of the ‘Climate Departure’ research of Mora et al. (11 October […]

  19. […] This essay brings attention to recent projections and self-reinforcing feedback loops (i.e., positive feedbacks). I presented much of this information at the Bluegrass Bioneers conference (Alex Smith at Radio Ecoshock evaluates my presentation here). More recently, I presented an updated version in a studio in Bolingbrook, Illinois. All information and sources are readily confirmed with an online search, and links to information about feedbacks can be found here. […]

  20. […] Thanks for the explanation, Patrice. This is all very reminiscent of the position of (Arizona) Professor Guy McPherson, who believes most scientists are in denial about the consequences of multiple positive feedback mechanisms we can already see operating: […]

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