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Climate Crisis and Managed Deindustrialization: Debating Alternatives to Ecological Collapse

Climate Crisis and Managed Deindustrialization: Debating Alternatives to Ecological Collapse

If we don’t change the conversation, if we don’t deal with the systemic problems of capitalism and come up with a viable alternative, our goose is cooked.

Demanding an end to coal and all forms of dirty energy extraction, over 4,000 activists descended on the Rhineland coalfields in Germany earlier this month in a mass demonstration just a day before COP23 climate talks began in Bonn. (Photo: Code Rood/Twitter)

On Monday November 13th, climate scientists from the Tyndal center for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia presented their carbon emissions research to the UN climate negotiators at Bonn Germany. The data were shocking: After three years in which human-caused emissions appeared to be leveling off, global CO2 emissions are now rising again to record levels in 2017. Global emissions are on course rise this year by 2%. China’s emissions are projected to rise by 3.5%. These may sound like small numbers but to climate scientists these are huge because if we’re to keep global temperatures from rising by more than 2 degrees Centigrade, those emissions need to be falling sharply, not just leveling off, let alone rising. Colorado State University climate scientist Scott Denning said “We’ve got to cut emissions by half in the next decade, and by half again in the next two decades, as well. The fact that it’s going up is like a red flag flashing light on the dashboard.”

“The problem is, we live in an economy built on perpetual growth but we on a finite planet with limited resources and sinks.”

The same day, the journal BioScience published a letter by more than 15,000 scientists from around the world that looks back at the human response to climate change and other environmental challenges in the 25 years since another large group of scientists published the 1992 “World Scientists Warning to Humanity.”

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