Paradox: Linchpin Of The Long Emergency

In older, more traditional civilizations preceding our own, one finds a remarkable capacity for embracing paradox. In fact, paradox inhabited the psyches of indigenous cultures as if in their DNA, as exemplified in their art, literature, stories, and other cultural artifacts. It was not until the dawn of modernity, greatly facilitated by Rene Descartes’ dualistic perspective which became increasingly predominate in Western intellectual tradition, that either/or thinking triumphed.

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Changing With The Climate

Seattle hopes to become the world’s first climate-neutral city. It’s no small task: The City must account for, and reduce, the carbon footprint of everything from transportation to trash for hundreds of thousands of people. City Council President and YES! Magazine board member Richard Conlin is blogging about the city’s efforts. The climate is already changing and will keep changing—no matter how rapidly we are able to turn around greenhouse gas accumulation. So we will need a strategy for adapting to the expected impacts (which were reviewed in the previous post). Here is what Seattle is doing.


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Namibia: When We Have Food, We Are Rich

In the deep north of Southern Africa’s driest country, Namibia, about 10km from the Angolan border, live an elderly farming couple and their 10 adopted children, who watch the sky every day for rain. If the heavens do not open in another three weeks, they will not have enough food this year. Pearl millet, the staple grain in northern Namibia and known as mahangu in the local language, is a drought-tolerant grain grown in semi-arid and arid areas.

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Rising Food And Energy Prices Could Be Here To Stay

Josette Sheeran at the UN’s World Food Programme puts it well: “If people don’t have enough to eat they only have three options: they can revolt, they can migrate or they can die.” Shortages of all commodities can cause hardship, but only food and water exact the ultimate price. It is no wonder that spiralling prices are grabbing the headlines again.

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Catastrophic Weather Events Are Becoming The New Normal

For two decades now we’ve been ignoring the impassioned pleas of scientists that our burning of fossil fuels was a bad idea. And now we’re paying a heavy price. We’ve been able to forget that fact for the last ten thousand years, the period of remarkable climatic stability that underwrote the rise of civilization. But we won’t be able to forget it much longer. Days like yesterday will keep slapping us upside the head, until we take it in. The third rock from the sun is a very different place than it used to be.
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World Is One Poor Harvest Away From Chaos, New Book Warns

In his new book “World on the Edge,” released this week, Brown says mankind has pushed civilization to the brink of collapse by bleeding aquifers dry and overplowing land to feed an ever-growing population, while overloading the atmosphere with carbon dioxide.

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Linking Extreme Weather And Global Warming

And while no single weather event can be linked definitively to global climate change, a growing number of scientists say these extreme events represent the face of a warming world. “Any one of these events is remarkable,” said Jay Gulledge, senior scientist for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. “But all of this taken together could not happen without the extra heat that’s in the ocean. It defies common sense to overlook that link.”

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Are You Financially Ready For A Food Crisis?

 

By now, you have probably seen the headlines about runaway food inflation and the challenges that the authorities are facing in bringing prices down. This is not just an issue in India. What will you be able to afford, and how much of a compromise will you have to make? Its worth taking a pause to think about this before the crisis unfold, if at all it does, because now is the time to start changing your habits.

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Steep Oil Prices, Food Shortages Will Likely Spark Deadly Riots This Year

Get ready for a rocky year.  From now on, rising prices, powerful storms, severe droughts and floods, and other unexpected events are likely to play havoc with the fabric of global society, producing chaos and political unrest. Start with a simple fact: the prices of basic food staples are already approaching or exceeding their 2008 peaks, that year when deadly riots erupted in dozens of countries around the world.

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Preparing For Life In A Peak Oil World

We know that peak oil will be here soon, and we feel like we should be doing something. But what? It is frustrating to know where to start. In this chapter, we will discuss a few ideas about what we as individuals can do.

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