This page contains the sources and the background information to my online presentation Having your planet and eat it:
- Short introduction video.
- Full presentation.
I apologize for only providing a recorded presentation, but it keeps the production costs down. After all, the content is more important than the presentation in this case.
What do we tell our children?
This excellent cartoon by Justin Bilicki won the Science Idol Contest organized by the Union of Concerned Scientist in 2008.
The cote by Upton Sinclair is from The Jungle.
The March of Folly
The March of Folly by Barbara W. Tuchmann was published in 1984. The full quote reads:
A phenomenon noticeable throughout history regardless of place or period is the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interests. Mankind, it seems, makes a poorer performance of government than of almost any other human activity. In this sphere, wisdom, which may be defined as the exercise of judgment acting on experience, common sense and available information, is less operative and more frustrated than it should be. Why do holders of high office so often act contrary to the way reason points and enlightened self-interest suggests? Why does intelligent mental process seem so often not to function?Tuchman, Barbara W.. The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam . Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
In the world of Brexit and US withdrawing from the Paris agreement, the question is very relevant today.
Can disaster be averted?
Recently, there have been an number of newspaper and articles and report claiming that it is all over. A small sample is given here:
- David Wallace-Wells, Uninhabitable Earth (annotated version)
- Chris Hedges, The Last Act of the Human Comedy.
- Jonathan Franzen, What if We Stopped Pretending.
- Nafeez Ahmed, New Report Suggests ‘High Likelihood of Human Civilization Coming to an End’ Starting in 2050
Note that the authors are not maniacs wearing tinfoil hats but respectable scientists and journalists. This is not funny! We are being asked to accept the premature deaths of our children without being able to do anything about it.
Exxon 1982: It was never about science
I had a blog entry about this a while ago but the basic message is simple. The oil companies were very aware of what they were doing in the 70s. They even decided to act on this knowledge by spreading doubt and confusion. Some sources can be found here:
- Exxon was right
The Keeling curve – CO2 in the atmosphere
The data for the Keeling curve is publicly available and can be found here. ??. I have imported the data into Matlab and plotted it myself. It tur