As you know I follow this story quite closely, and I can confirm that these figures are an accurate representation of the science. The problem of course is politics: right now it is looking very unlikely we will avert this. Which basically means most humans are going to die in the next few decades.
However there is a silver lining (if you can call it that): at 1.5-2.0 degrees the massive crop failures and resulting famine, whilst leading to enormous suffering and death (from starvation and war) in the short term, will lead (once enough humans are dead) to a collapse of the world’s civilization: at that point carbon emissions will drop to (near) zero, and since nature abhors a vacuum, trees and animals will take over again – those trees will absorb CO2 which in time will cool the earth again.
WARNING: this post contains (quoted) racist language
People often comment that I am of a somewhat darker complexion than the average white England person. In the mid-eighties, when my family moved to the white largely rural-working class village of Charfield in South Gloucestershire, I started attending the local comprehensive school (Katherine Lady Berkeley’s school, or KLB) and this quirk of my appearance quickly gained me a new nickname: “Paki” (explanation: the word “paki” is a shortening of “Pakistani” and in England is derogatory slang for someone of east Asian origin).
A month or so ago I posted a few paragraphs on Facebook about how I am seriously reconsidering my use of social media. Since then I have done virtually no scrolling through my feeds, and have limited myself to very occasional posts. And I think my life is much better for it – social media was eating up more of my time than I realized, time I now use out in the real world.
So much so that I am considering deleting my accounts – particularly of timeline-based “scrolling” sns (facebook, instagram, twitter). Socially/ethically I believe this is a good thing to do (do I really want to support these companies?), though this isn’t significant in my decision – rather, my motivation is selfish: much like giving up other unhealthy addictions like smoking (admittedly I never really smoked beyond a short phase of smoking-while-drinking) and drinking (which i surely did to excess), quitting social media has made my life better.
Yesterday a friend of mine shared the Carole Cadwalladr TED talk “Facebook’s role in Brexit – and the threat to democracy” in which she explains how she led an Observer newspaper investigation into the role Facebook played in the Brexit and Trump elections. The talk is absolutely jaw-dropping, so if you haven’t seen it yet then watch it now, because I’m going to discuss it with spoilers.
To summarize: People with a lot of money paid Cambridge Analytica to use Facebook to spread carefully targeted misinformation (and outright lies, and hate speech) with the specific aim of influencing the result of the UK Brexit election as a testing ground for technology that they then deployed in the US election of Donald Trump. And so as Cadwalladr says:
Surfers (and other sea-faring types): ever needed to make an appointment and wanted to check the tide times for that day before making a commitment? Looking at a tide chart every time is kind of a pain (and a bit embarrassing, depending on the situation…), luckily it’s very easy to import the tide data into Google Calendar (note that you can’t do this on a mobile, you’ll need to do it on a desktop): “How to import tide info into Google Calendar” の続きを読む