Insisting on the Old Paradigm

As you may have guessed it has been raining here today. I have nipped out between showers to do the out of doors chores.

If Britishvolt folds and Renault/Nissan relocate because of Brexit induced difficulty, the UK is up the proverbial Sierra creek in a barbed wire canoe without a paddle, when it comes to Lithium batteries.

What worked and could be relied on prior to Brexit has been put at risk because of Brexit. So, the UK has changed its EU member paradigm a little and the consequences continue to unfold as they will do for decades.

COP 27 is at Sharm-el-Sheikh this month. It was pretty hot there in August 2003 when I went on a dive vacation. The average high in November is 27˚C with a record high of 37˚C. There are some swanky hotels there. When I went, on my own, I ended up having a few beers with some of the numerous Russians who were there. They seemed to enjoy a good piss up. There was a terrorist attack there and from time to time there is a shark attack, in the bay where I did my underwater navigation task.

As Greta says greenwashing is the new de rigueur trend in governmental and corporate public relations hyper-spin. Everyone needs a green fairy-tale to hand out to the punters with their logo.

From what I can see the rationale behind trying to limit global warming is to insist that the old socio-economic paradigm can be sustained and global warming slowed.  People seem to be adamant about this.

It is the I can have my cake and eat it too catch 22 paradigm. It involves a lot of finger crossing and burying of head in the sand.

With the upcoming winter of discontent, 2050 looks a long way away with the repo man at the door.

The war in Ukraine has turned very attritional, and compassion fatigue may be setting in. I suspect that things will get ever more difficult in Ukraine. Russia has people from Siberia…

I am no economist but this paradigm of continuous growth lies aback all the fiscal models of government and taxation. People have become accustomed to all the luxuries they can afford and now expect. People { even those on benefits} expect wide screen TVs and smartphones with space telescope quality CCD cameras. The idea is get electric cars and grid charging infrastructure. It is not to reduce travel nor the speed of travel. Bigger batteries, mean more weight, means more power needed for same velocity.

Growth is not infinitely sustainable on a planet of finite resource. Sooner or later there has to be the big crunch. Everybody crosses their fingers hoping that the bubble will not burst.

Everybody else should do something about climate change, it is their fault, not mine.

Nobody is mentioning reduction in consumption as a climate change solution. But it is so obvious. Stop or significantly reduce consuming, reuse and there is less carbon dioxide in the air. I am not an anti-phone fascist but nobody needs a new ‘phone every two years, just to show off with. Nor do we need frequent shiny new cars. We don’t have to take Instagram multi-megapixel photos in the Maldives. Therefore, we don’t need giga-server farms with energy gobbling air-conditioning.

Unless a new paradigm emerges, the growth mantra will clash with the flood defence mantra. We must not drown. We must not drown.

Something big is going to have to give.

This year we have learned how fragile our dependency of fossil fuels makes us. Soon we shall have a Lithium dependence too.

How long will humanity cling to the old paradigm of continuous economic growth before it is forced by nature to change its ways? How long will hedonistic acquisitional materialism be the driver and aim of human desires? We locust beings are damaging our home.

Who is going to win the debate about finite resource, humanity or the planet?

How Did Buddha Know?

It seems 2500 years ago Siddhartha foresaw not only global warming, but chemical pollution, “Love Island”, Only Fans and Porn Hub. He predicted sleazy and corrupt self-centred politics. He saw “Leaders” prepared to burn the lungs of the planet for a few quid and others out of touch with physical plane reality about a presidential election. Perhaps he also saw the watering down of his teachings for mass audiences.

{see previous post}

I’ll estimate that the situation in Ukraine will head towards a stalemate. It will, perhaps, remain a running sore for a long time. Russia has two trump cards, fossil fuels and nukes. My guess is that their fossil fuels will, in time, trump their nukes in terms of applicable leverage.

People are talking about food security and energy security. They mean for US, me, we. They do not mean for everyone. As it was with Covid vaccines the rich buy them up. If the economies of the west tank, there will not be the cash surplus to pay top dollar for grain. Arguments about water along the Nile are current and ongoing. Water security could become an issue. It is a part of the debate here in France.

Where are the bulk of solar panels made? China…

The climate is oscillating more wildly than ever. If that goes fully non-linear, we are in for a truly game changing time, far beyond anything we can currently imagine.

When our little river is full and above bank, it changes from being a bucolic trickle into a force of nature and it is tiny even then.

We can spend billions on clever ways to mitigate climate change. Would it not be simpler to change the way we live? It is a no brainer. But no, we must continue to consume and try to put a sticking plaster over the chasm we have created. We can kid ourselves that our tweaks are making a difference and then book a holiday in the Maldives.

Despite all the hyperbole, the extensive justifications in thousands of research grant applications, the projections in the climate models and the ticking global temperature clock, it is possible that we will enter truly uncharted territory. The assumptions in the vast climate modelling programmes will cease to be valid.

Will we then as a humanity kill each other over a kilojoule of chemical potential energy, a kilogram of wheat flour and a litre of water?

Yes, perhaps we will…