Saturday, 5 July 2014

Climate threat....

Written on 17th January 2013

A draft version of the 2013 National Climate Assessment is in the headlines this week. According to the report, the effects of climate change are becoming alarmingly visible throughout America and the rest of the world.

The report reads less like a government assessment and more like the Old Testament. Accounts of hurricanes, droughts, floods, impending famines, and natural disasters of every kind are listed in the report, and all of these occurrences have been linked directly to climate change. It is the mature stage of the anthropocene age.

Extracts from summary of the report:

Many aspects of the global climate are changing rapidly, and the primary drivers of that change are human in origin. Evidence for climate change abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans (Kennedy et al. 2010). This evidence has been painstakingly compiled by scientists and engineers from around the world using satellites, weather balloons, thermometers at surface stations, and many other types of observing systems that monitor the Earth's climate system.

The sum total of this evidence tells an unambiguous story: the planet is warming. Temperatures at the surface, in the troposphere (the active weather layer extending up to about 8 to 12 miles above the ground), and in the oceans have all increased over recent decades.

The report is unequivocal about both the causes of climate change and the impacts. As evidenced in the excerpt above, this information was compiled by experts from all over the scientific community, using every possible instrument to be as accurate as possible.

Reuters highlights a few of the more dire consequences of climate change listed in the report:

Threats to human health from increased extreme weather events, wildfires and air pollution, as well as diseases spread by insects and through food and water;

Less reliable water supply, and the potential for water rights to become a hot-button legal issue;

More vulnerable infrastructure due to sea-level rise, bigger storm surges, heavy downpours and extreme heat;

Warmer and more acidic oceans.

An interesting point about the report, a point that was put forward recently by Chris Mooney for Mother Jones, is that it finally puts climate change in terms that the average, unconcerned American citizen can understand: It points out how individuals will be affected in their "own backyards."

This is something that was missing from previous climate assessments, as Mooney points out:

The good news is that the process involves scientists traveling around the country and getting people's reactions to this series of alarming predictions - which makes the final assessment more likely to gain traction. Indeed, the development of the draft report coincides with the launch of "NCANet," a "network of networks" to get everyone from civil engineers to zoo to aquarium managers involved. So far, 60 organizations have signed on...

This may be the real genius of such an approach - and the thing that really terrifies the deniers. If you go into communities and get people thinking about what they will have to do to prepare for climate change, there's a good chance they will conclude that they can't simply "get ready." Preparedness and adaptation may sound good in theory, but are they really plausible when we're talking about turning planetary knobs far past the settings that have endured for most of recent human civilization?

Despite the dire situation that the report describes, there could still be reason for optimism. If the research process has the public talking about the climate change links to the extreme weather they're experiencing, it could open the doors for an honest, open discussion in Washington about addressing climate change impacts.

But that will require the American public to demand action from elected officials, and to remain vigilant about the matter regardless of the view out their window at any given moment.

Conditioning: its insane norms

Centuries of deep conditioning have left indelible scars upon human kind. Generally there is a herd instinct where most of us make choices based upon the predominant conditioning patterns either imposed on us from childhood by parents, surrounding society or hard coded genetic or biological conditioning.

There is a need to analyse the anatomy of the adverse conditioning cycles across the spectrum which have detrimental impact upon both societies and economies which in turn accelerates climate and environmental degradation.

The dualistic nature of conditioning which  forces individuals and societies to choose the more deeply ingrained positions which blindly bereft of any logic, people have been doing so because that is the expected choice they are supposed to take.

Some of the popular blind conditioning stances societies choose to adopt en masse  leading to hugely negative outcomes are:

Colour prejudice or racial discrimination; rich poor divide; blind pursuit of money at any cost and trampling upon fellow human beings in the process;

Rampant corruption mainly financial, legal, political; all businesses and corporations wanting to get bigger and declare more profits hook or by crook ushering in hypercompetion aided and abetted by unfettered principles of free markets, mass consumerism, burgeoning defence budgets;

Love for power and pandering to the whims of king size egos;

Class exploitation where the ruling classes have all the privileges and laws in their favour and 80% of the population forever condemned to their deprived existences;

Rich colluding in reducing taxes for rich so over time so their wealth multiplies at higher rates than the salaried and working classes where often in real terms the net assets of the non rich classes shrink over time;

Possessing bigger homes, cars, etc packed with energy intensive gadgets which are hurtling our planet closer to its doom;

Pleasure seeking hedonistic lifestyles where the senses and palate dictate all living, expenditure, eating, sex patterns and levels, with the modern media like TV and Internet spreading the message among both the haves and have nots (a la medium is the message) forcing all to live a perpetual state of orgasm;

Good life is the sole objective of everyone with all manner of comfort leading to heavy urbanisation, concrete jungles, alienation, urban chaos, energy dependent, meaningless existences;

Best syndrome where all right from school to working life, corporations want to top the list with winner takes all attitudes;

The norms of society have long become insane as postulated by RD Laing, those not able to cope with this conditioning are labeled as insane.

There is an urgent need to decondition and wean ourselves from this insane race which is propelling the human race and earth to oblivion.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

New Grammar of Living Model

The New Grammar of Living Model (NGL) is an attempt to forecast the future of the world economy, countries and economic blocs based upon an integrated, interdependent and holistic structured model premised upon the triad of the important planks, namely, social, economic and climate / environment. The NGL incorporates a wide spectrum of causal critical factors which are intertwined with cross impacts.

The NLG will be capturing cross sectional time series data in its most complex version. The model will be capable of combining the noise and signals of the factors across several disciples into weighted rank scores for any point of time, and also projections over a period of time. Based upon these, the model will be to forecast the position obtaining at future points of time, say, 2025, 2050. The prediction will be both in term of the country as a whole encapsulating all the critical factors, and as well as for each of he factors.

Each of the factors will be assigned appropriate weights based upon its criticality, whether its a necessary and sufficient condition. Weights will be flexible so as to vary across countries based upon their relative criticality with respect to local relevant situations obtaining. Once there is sufficient data, factor analysis will help in arriving at appropriate weights.

The scores of various countries can be normalized by dividing by cumulative weights in order reduce all countries, large or small, rich or poor, to a standardized  score which irons out all biases due to size. 

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Conditioning......

Conditioning of human beings is one of the main contributing factors for most of the problems facing humanity today. Everything we think, do, say is based upon centuries of conditioning right from Neanderthal man. Broadly conditioning may be divided into two categories: basic or existential and social. The first one is linked to survival instincts like fear of fire, large water bodies, death, falling, physical harm, etc. The second type of conditioning, social conditioning which has evolved later has originated from from social mores evolved from centuries of living in groups of humans.

One part of this social conditioning has been thrust upon us from early religion and scriptures, like right and wrong, holy / unholy, approved activities / sin. The priestly classes who took it upon them to lay down the religious laws in order to control the lives of the masses with the threat that those who do not live according to their precepts will be damned to hell after death. Hence most of us in the hope of eternal life or going to heaven after our mortal lives here on earth subscribed to religion like an insurance or opiate which will ensure eternal life after death. Hence institutionalised religion became a powerful industry or mafia which controlled human thought and action. Anything which went against their mores was considered sinful or heretic and punished. Some of these punishments in the Middle Ages were barbaric. Even today some of the religions have strict mores with fundamentalism and fanaticism.

The other part of social conditioning emanates from centuries of social living and formation of societies. It is basically this variant of social conditioning which is really most inimical to the healthy and sound evolution of society and economies. The most dangerous conditioning is almost hard coded into the mind sets of people and everyone aspires to lead their lives according to these pernicious influences. These social and class oriented conditioning forms the bulwark of free markets. It's a mad race by all trying the reach the pinnacle as per the unfair and ultimately self defeating norms of these class based social conditioning.

According to this school of conditioning which is insidiously passed on to us in our childhood the desired states which are so called positive, good and desirable are: rich, big, faster, powerful, white, handsome, energy intensive, wealth, status, expensive, hi tech, high society, normal, acceptable mores, conventional, right, etc. so basically a bipolar spectrum is created for all attributes where only being on one side is supposed to be good for self and society.

This very attitude fuels a strong movement where all are veering to the so called right end of the spectrum. This concentration of human behaviour at the extreme end leads to sub optimal imbalances for society and eco systems which ultimately impact upon climate change.



                                                                     


TO BE COMPLETED SOON

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