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Alex Diaz Eco
Because climate disruption is now priority #1
Because climate disruption is now priority #1


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2019 will be the year adaptation mainstreams in the boardroom, now that the UN guarantees catastrophic climate change. It's only a matter of time, and not much, before everyone gets the memo.
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An island of contrasts and mirrors

That's what Puerto Rico has become, a year after Maria. On the one hand, inspiring actions and expressions of hope and a relentless will to prevail. But on the other, a future that runs into a mountain of obstacles likely to impede the huge investments needed to save the place from ultimate climate calamity -- "ultimate" in as little as 20-30 years.

This story is about the latter. Read it, for it applies not just to Puerto Rico, but probably to your neck of the woods, as well -- unless you heed the warning and build Next Resilience, the climate adaptation you'll need to beat the post-1.5 degree climate change that will kick into high gear next decade.

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We must learn to live with the butterflies in the cone

That's a reference to the Butterfly Effect of the Chaos Theory, where small forcers within sensitive dynamic systems, like extreme weather events, lead to significant movement elsewhere in the system, keeping them chaotic and unpredictable.

So the challenge is to adapt and build resilience to whatever comes. It is what the Carolinas have largely failed to do, and now they face their eighth major hurricane since Diana in 1984. Our hearts and prayers are with y'all, Carolinians, and we'll be with you also as you rebuild with enduring resilience after this.
Cone of uncertainty
Cone of uncertainty

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A new reason to become politically engaged

Not just in protests and critique, though that has its definite place. Rather, engaged in the SYSTEM. To make it work for climate resilience, now that we can't possibly escape nature's 2C wrath.

That's anathema to so many of us, who consider politics a central cause of the crisis. So much like Mark Twain are we, no? On the other hand, though, if left entirely to the Grundys of the world, we'll have absolutely zero chance of surviving a post 2C world. We have no choice, therefore, but to engage.

Better said, to obsess.
Obsession redirected
Obsession redirected

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The mainstream global media are signaling the dawn of a new era. The pivot is happening right before our very eyes, as it dawns on people that the world will not stay below 2 degrees C and that the focus must now turn to adaptation, to make everything as resilient as possible against the climate wrath already upon us, but far more so against the change coming in 20-30 years.

That, in turn, calls for a level of innovation that must rival or surpass the historic leaps we've seen before. We have to come up with solutions to a lot of very big things, as this article makes clear. And that, in turn, will create unprecedented opportunities. It is a vast new space. Jump right in!!

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Oh, my dear Taura, what will we do with you?

So I start interviewing this gentleman, and he's so unassuming and soft spoken. His demeanor is of one so thankful to be interviewed at all. And thankful he was, he said, for me having discovered him and become interested in his work.

Halfway through, though, the thankful one was me. This humble man, a veritable water-resilience expert at the giant Perkins & Will architecture firm, with every conceivable resource at his fingertips to know what's going on and what to do about the world's myriad water crises, chose, to my huge surprise, not to talk at all about the latest in pump tech or sea barriers or floating docks. No, sir.

Instead, +Arlen Stawasz wants the world to know that at some point coming up, all of that, as sound as it is to pursue at least as an interim solution, will be overwhelmed by monster flood events and sea level rise, and that at that moment the path to resilience will reside deep within each of us.

And so today, as we prepare for that fate, we must "be the water," create participatory sharing-economy solutions, learn to "garden", be flexible and far more willing to migrate.

You owe it to yourself to read the post, watch the interview, and SHARE with everyone you know, because this is precisely the resilience we need, at precisely this moment in history.

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Another climate-crazy year so far

This story tells of a friend who had an epiphany last week during the passage of Tropical Wave Beryl through battered and bruised Puerto Rico. He suddenly realized these extreme weather events will continue coming fast and furious at us, at the world, so the only thing left to do is PREPARE and REBOUND.

It's precisely the dawning everyone on Earth needs to have, don't you think, and have it now, while there is still time. Although, careful when we say "while there is still time," because extreme weather is upon us NOW. It can happen, it is happening, anytime anywhere. We're already there, in the danger zone. I dug up a bunch of stories just from recent days that make that very clear.

Check them out...

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Is it OK now to be alarmist about climate change?

David Wallace-Wells thinks so, and I so agree. Do you? As he says in this story, 2017 truly changed the game, and people are readier for the truth about what's coming.

The studies that say people put up defense mechanisms and cognitive dissonance in the face of catastrophic scenarios are facing a stern test, because other studies show people reacting quite well, thank you, when the danger is perceived to be right upon them, as climate change is increasingly perceived today.

So go figure. We're in that moment of transition between the first and the second. I, for one, have been in the alarmist camp for several years. But David is right. Perhaps it was too soon pre-2017. The landscape is ready now.

About time.
In the saiga, the saga to tell
In the saiga, the saga to tell

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What kind of Transition?

Transition Network has grown to some 2,500 communities in 50 countries in a little over 10 years. That's crazy fast for a grassroots movement such as this one.

I interviewed co-founder Rob Hopkins to get his take on the role Transition can play as the world heads off the climate cliff and enters a period of resilience. His take is fascinating. Check it out.

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A provocative question for you

Please follow the five-point logic and let's see if this stirs a conversation.

Assertion #1: Science tells us conclusively that there is no way at all any longer of avoiding, or not overshooting, the 1.5-2 degree Celsius global average-temperature rise.

Assertion #2: The timing is likely the 15 years between between 2025-2040. If you're not positive about these first two, assume for the sake of this thinking that they're true (they actually are!).

Assertion #3: That means the long-feared widespread collapse of the global and therefore local economy everywhere, and a good measure of social and institutional collapse, is coming during the 2030s -- latest the 2040s -- as the seven climate monsters kick into very high gear: heat, drought, wildfires, storms, floods, sea level rise, and disease. Not long from now at all, is it.

Assertion #4: As we know from steady-state and ecological economics, collapse will lead to a dramatic and immediate drop in carbon emissions, far greater than the Paris commitments would have achieved under normal growth conditions.

Assertion #5: Between now and collapse, carbon emissions and the carbon in the atmosphere will increase warming further, triggering the long-feared historic release of methane emissions, which will worsen warming exponentially. Carbon then ceases to be the principal forcer of warming and is replaced by methane, which forces higher temperatures, which causes further methane release, which forces higher temps, etc., in an irreversible and catastrophic feedback loop.

Here's THE question, then: Since collapse will "take care" of our carbon problem and it is imminent and inevitable, what's the use of all our current sustainability efforts at executing the Paris Agreement? We can't avoid 1.5-2C anymore anyway. Our objective -- the end of carbon, or a carbon-free life -- will be achieved dramatically. So what's the use of our current plans?

Follow-up question: Shouldn't, then, ALL our efforts shift aggressively toward resilience? Again, we KNOW this is coming INESCAPABLY. So aren't our efforts at slashing carbon already taking up precious time and resources from what is now THE #1 priority? -- protecting the world from the impacts?

OK, the mic is open. Who goes first...
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