In our lifetimes, we'll see
the collapse of the environmental infrastructure
(land, oceans, lakes, rivers, atmosphere, and the
biological web that infuses them)
that feeds and protects us.
(This essay regards the environment;
here's another that focuses on
peak oil and related economic issues.)
It will occur with a rapidity
that will catch most of humanity unprepared.
Though the portents are mounting, like in prewar
Germany, Cambodia, and elsewhere, we are
individually and collectively refusing or unable to
A new and unprecedented holocaust is fast brewing.
The suffering will be great.
I think of the stunned denial of Jews in Nazi Germany.
These were people who had been successful and prosperous,
and could not respond rationally to evidence that they were
under attack and that their way of life was ending.
Most clung to their world as it disintegrated around them.
Giving it up was unthinkable.
The reality, they thought, was distant and
affected only faraway people.
Life, they thought, could only continue
as it had, as it should.
"It can't happen here."
But it did. Today, a holocaust of another kind is brewing.
We are they.
An Orwellian doublethink makes this denial palatable.
For example, consider the marketing hype that accompanies
so-called green products such as toilet paper made from
recycled materials. It certainly is true that recycling reduces
the harm done by industry. However, it's often portrayed as
"doing good for the environment"; no doubt, many consumers
believe that by using such products they are indeed doing
good for the environment. In fact, all they do is a little
The denial is especially prominent in the political arena.
Funded largely by a powerful fossil-fuels lobby
hellbent on preserving its hegemony, the administration
of George W. Bush shuns the Kyoto accord on global warming.
With only four percent of the world's population,
the United States is a leading source (25%) of the greenhouse
gas emissions that cause global warming.
(China, too, is a major emitter and, with its coal-based
energy economy, will within a decade eclipse the U.S.)
There is no room for doubt that this must be
halted if unthinkable upheaval and misery is to be avoided.
Yet, the short-sightedness of our "leaders" simply hastens
our travel down the path of self-destruction.
Few of us have failed to observe that the last
few summers have been the hottest on record.
How about the unusual number of forest fires in the
western U.S. and the unprecedented floods in central Europe?
How much longer can we fool ourselves into attributing
extreme weather to vagaries and probabilistics in the
physics of the planetary climate?
[We must deal with] ...the serious nature
of the environmental threats faced by the international community.
Special attention should be paid to unsustainable consumption patterns
among the richer segments in all countries, particularly developed countries...
Environmental threats resulting from the accelerating trends
of urbanization and the development of megacities,
the tremendous risk of climate change,
the freshwater crisis and its consequences
for food security and the environment,
the unsustainable exploitation
and depletion of biological resources,
drought and desertification,
and uncontrolled deforestation,
increasing environmental emergencies,
the risk to human health and the environment
from hazardous chemicals, and land-based sources of pollution,
are all issues that need to be addressed...
To confront the underlying causes of environmental degradation and poverty,
we must integrate environmental considerations in the mainstream of decision-making.
We must also intensify our efforts in developing preventive action
and a concerted response, including national environmental governance
and the international rule of law, awareness-raising and education,
and harness the power of information technology to this end.
All actors involved must work together in the interest of a sustainable future.
In other words, the notion of a sustainable future is not just
feel-good talk, it's synonymous with survival.
Is anyone listening?
The future is bleak.
Only those few realists with
the foresight to prepare will survive.
Our policymakers aren't listening.
How is it possible to accept such irresponsibility?
Even George Bush has children... does he think that
his family's wealth will feed them when agriculture
fails and protect them when disease and infestations
sweep the earth? Perhaps he does. More likely, he
and his ilk don't think about it beyond dismissing the
Not all politicians are so weak-minded.
Alas, politics does not deal well with uncertainty.
There is no experiment or line of inquiry that can
be conducted that will say precisely what will happen
and when. The world's physical systems are too big and
its processes are too complex. We'll never have
In a political context, it's hard to combat the
position that we should do nothing until we know more.
But physics trumps politics.
We won't know more until it's too late.
The Bush administration goes beyond simple denial.
Having finally admitted that global warming is reality,
their policy is not to reduce fossil fuel consumption
-- we can permit no obstacles to the cashflow of those Texas oilmen! --
but to adapt to climate change.
The fault lies, too, in the political process.
Scientists speak of changes occurring over decades and centuries
but in politics the time horizon is the two years to the next
Incentives for long-term thinking are few.
If you want to get elected, your primary allegiance must
be to economic growth.
The electorate is not clamoring for
rational climate-change policy.
The pocketbook issues get the votes.
By the time the climate and the environment
become obvious economic forces (they always
have been, but this hasn't been obvious)
it will be far too late to save ourselves.
The first step in confronting these overwhelming
-- indeed unthinkable -- challenges is to identify them.
As the food chain and the mechanisms of weather fail,
there will be massive failures
of human systems and of society.
Many of these can be anticipated today.
Next, formulate a vision and strategy for survival.
The objective is to prevent the demise of our various
social structures: family, community, country,
civilization, history, technology, art and culture.
Next, put these plans into action.
But how? Build a bunker
to hide in? Become an activist? Become a farmer?
Finally, help others do likewise:
Teach seminars? Market survival products?
Engage in politics?
When you have a mission, everything changes.
You make different decisions. Priorities find focus.
The mission? Yours may differ from mine.
I'd save the world for our children, or at least
save our children; create a safe place for them, give
them a chance to survive.
There are already too many people.
And it will get worse, fast:
our population will double in the next 60 years.
Our food supply must likewise double.
Thanks to the Green Revolution, factory fishing techniques,
livestock antibiotics, and numerous other technologies,
our food supply has thus far been able to grow and keep up,
but growth is leveling off as these reach their limits.
Some -- seafood in particular -- are now reversing their
growth trends and have dwindling yields as a result of
We will certainly outrun our food supply.
Global Climate Change
We can't see nor smell the increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
We can't feel the one degree of average planetary temperature increase.
Thus, these things are easy to argue about and deny.
Indeed, as is well documented
by Gelbspan and others, the fossil fuel industries have erected vast
lobbying and public relations organizations to promote misinformation
to further their own short-term interests.
But the threat is now becoming reality.
Here are the global processes related to climate change:
Increased carbon dioxide (reinforces the greenhouse effect)
Increased temperature (bad for most ecosystems but good for locusts)
Decreased soil moisture (more dust bowls)
Increased ultraviolet radiation (weakened vegetation and agriculture,
Increased extreme weather events (we're already seeing more violent
Sea-level rise (obvious implications for coastal communities and
Eutrophication and algal blooms (catastrophic for local fish populations
of lakes, rivers, and bays)
Water pollution (control of dwindling water resources will ignite
Acid rain (caused primarily by burning coal, the most
abundant domestic energy source, devastates forests and lakes)
Air pollution (bad for humans and forests)
Invasive species (both intentional and unwitting destruction of
Loss of biodiversity
One form taken by this denial is, in effect, to say, "Yeah,
it's bad, but it's biting the other guy, not me."
Who is impacted by climate change and environmental
destruction? The obvious answer is, "Everybody."
Digging a little deeper, we can list the following
sub-populations and sub-systems as being the first
Human populations: as heat waves become more frequent,
we'll suffer more heat-related stresses.
Coastal ecosystems: sea-level rise will cause the loss
of some barrier beaches, islands, marshes, and coastal forests.
Floodplains: More rain will come in heavy downpours and
Coastal communities and infrastructure:
coastal inundation from storm surges combined
with rising sea level threatens water and sewer systems,
transportation and communication systems, homes and
Species diversity: it is possible that some species
will adapt to changes in climate by shifting their ranges,
human and geographic barriers, but losses in local
biodiversity are nonetheless accelerating.
Permafrost areas: rising temperatures are causing permafrost to
thaw, damaging roads, buildings, and forests.
Water supply: reduced summer runoff, increased winter runoff,
and increased demands compound current stresses on water supplies
and flood management, especially in the western US.
Islands: sea-level rise and storm surges threaten public health, safety,
and reduce the availability of fresh water.
Coral reefs: increased carbon dioxide and ocean temperatures,
combined with destructive harvesting and fishing practices and
toxic pollution exacerbates coral reef bleaching and die-off.
Freshwater ecosystems: increases in water temperature and changes
in seasonal runoff disturb fish habitat and affect recreational uses
of lakes, streams, and wetlands.
Rare ecosystems: alpine meadows, mangroves
(sheltered coastal breeding areas for many species) and tropical mountain
forests are disappearing.
Limits to Growth, Economic Collapse
Here's just one example of the magnitude of the denial
and its inevitable result.
China is the biggest fisherman.
With an astonishingly blind official policy, it
inflates the numbers it reports of the
volume of fish caught each year.
The purpose of the policy is
to avoid alarming its neighbors.
Otherwise, they might become
motivated to impose restrictions.
Of course, the obvious outcome
when there are no fish left is starvation.
Policies such as these -- and those of our own and
other governments are no better -- serve only
short-term goals and will, ultimately, accelerate
"Ecological limits require an immediate end to our current
maximum economic growth strategies... the consequence will
inevitably alter all our socioeconomic structures, particularly
our assumptions about jobs and employment." (Theobald, Reworking Success, 1996).
Baldly stated: there will be massive social upheaval as people are
thrown out of work by economic shrinkage and pauperized by rising food prices.
Hundreds of millions (especially in developing countries)
will face starvation and thirst.
"Africans and Latin Americans who now have water will be short of it
in less than 20 years. By 2050, more than 1 billion people in Asia
could face water shortages.
Death rates for the world's poor from global warming-related
such as malnutrition and diarrhea, will rise by 2030." 
Overtaxed and Failing Public Services
Systems at risk:
- safe drinking water
- health care/medical
- national defense
- roads, transportation
- social unrest
- war over increasingly scarce resources
- Diminishing food and water supplies threaten
democracy in the developing world.
- Market crash, depression, hyper-inflation
In 2001, research results were released by the
UN Environmental Program at
the Marrakech, Morocco negotiations on global
warming (continuing discussion of accords
reched earlier at Kyoto, Japan).
This research warns that global crop yields
could fall 30 percent over the twenty-first century.
Agricultural output will decline due to:
Increased ultraviolet radiation due to the reduced ozone layer
Decreased resistance to disease of monocultures
Dwindling water tables
Loss of topsoil
Warming-driven insect population explosion
Massive changes in land use, especially deforestation
Changed rain patterns due to deforestation (forests produce rain clouds);
alteration of the global atmosphere changes how water
is transferred from oceans to land
Aquifers sucked dry by irrigation pumping
Loss of arable land due to invasion by salt water as sea levels rise
A 1996 US Geological Survey study concluded that
US Midwestern crop-growing plains are susceptible
both to massive floods and to desertification
due to migration of sand dunes as a result of
relatively small changes in atmospheric circulation patterns.
Desert conditions are also spreading in southern Europe.
Reduced rainfall and droughts are increasing there,
according to a 1996 European Commission analysis
of rainfall data, and to a 1996 FAO survey of recent research.
In California, we see our snow pack (our primary water source)
dwindling as our snow line recedes. Each year we heave a
collective sigh of relief when there's a heavy snowfall;
another year of drought has been avoided.
Nonetheless, the well-documented trend is toward
water shortages even as our population and demand grows.
Disruption of agriculture by global warming will
cause food shortages, hence social unrest and breakdown
of public systems, supply mechanisms.
Changes in climate will force rapid changes in the way
the world's food crops are grown.
Says Lester R. Brown, founder of the
Earth Policy Institute
and a noted environmental analyst who spent ten years
as a policy advisor in the Department of Agriculture:
Global warming will cause major instabilities in the
developing world world that could disrupt the global economy...
The vast corn belt of the Northern Hemisphere, for example,
will become hotter and drier, and that change can't be
resolved merely by creating new corn belts further north,
because the soils further north are not the same at all...
Each global increase of one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees
Fahrenheit) around the world will reduce grain yields
like rice and wheat, as well as corn, by at least
ten percent... This disruption by a combination of
climate change and water shortages has the potential
for creating political instabilities on a scale that
we can't even foresee.
From countries suffering floods, drought, devastated crops, etc.
Unprecedented migration and immigration,
esp. from rising sea levels (33% of population lives within 60 km of coastline)
Buildup of greenhouse gases.
Effects on atmospheric chemistry.
Pesticides, nuclear waste,
waterways poisoned by mining and logging operations,
industrial effluents and dumps
New Diseases, Resurgence of Old Diseases
Global warming increases the spread of infectious diseases
including malaria, dengue, yellow fever, cholera, hantavirus, and encephalitis.
The aedes aegypti mosquito (carries dengue and yellow fever),
formerly limited to near sea level, is surviving at higher altitudes.
The range of malaria, too, is growing.
As warming continues, the epidemic potential of mosquito populations grows.
There is a real risk of the reintroduction of malaria into nonmalarial areas,
including portions of Australia, the U.S., and southern Europe.
Hemorrhagic dengue has quadrupled from 100,000 cases worldwide
1981-1985 to 450,000 1986-1990.
Tropical diseases are moving north.
Several million acres of Alaskan forest
have been devastated by severe outbreaks
of bark beetles whose reproductive cycle
has been halved from two years to one by climate warming.
Forest growth is stunted by increased moisture loss due to warming.
- dams and water projects
- diversion of water for agriculture, industry, and population centers
- encroaching populations
- collection of firewood
Plenty of precedent.
At the dawn of the new millennium,
the tragic loss of the Mesopotamian marshlands
stands out as one of the world's
greatest environmental disasters.
Dams and drainage schemes have transformed
one of the finest wetlands into salt-encrusted desert.
Loss of Biodiversity
The number of species becoming extinct is accelerating.
Warming-driven migrations are evidenced by butterfly
studies that show impacts on geographies of migration patterns.
Depredation by imported exotics.
The loss of germplasm and increased vulnerability
of food crops to their natural enemies.
Scientists have never created a new gene;
they simply recombine the genes they find in nature,
the supply of which is now diminishing.
Over the past century, we have seen about one degree (Fahrenheit)
increase in average temperatures.
Scientists expect four to eleven degrees of
additional warming by 2100.
This will bring more violent weather, flooded coastlines,
decreased food production, and social havoc.
Melting of the world's glaciers is accelerating.
Alpine glaciers have lost almost 50% of their ice.
Ice cores drilled in Tibetan glaciers show that
the last fifty years have been the warmest in the
last 12,000 years.
Erosion and Loss of Topsoil
High-yield farming methods in US Midwest
loosen and pulverize topsoil so that
it washes away with each rain.
American farmers already have extensive
experience with the dustbowls that result,
and have modified their practices accordingly.
However, agriculture by its very nature cannot
completely avoid loss of topsoil.
Future generations won't be able to grow
similar quantities on the same land.
Collapse of Fisheries
Fisheries output is declining due to:
Habitat destruction partly by fishing trawlers that
sweep the ocean floor with miles-long drag nets
Shrimp farms in the Philippines, Thailand, Ecuador,
and elsewhere, have displaced coastal mangrove,
the nursery grounds of much of the sea.
Native stocks are harmed by the vast quantities
of pesticides and antibiotics used by shrimp and salmon farms.
These farms' waste pollutes surrounding areas.
Fish migration routes are being disrupted by warming,
impacting their reproductive cycles.
Loss of water supplies
Decline of zooplankton, an essential lower layer in the food chain
Destruction of coral
Species that have crashed:
- cod (Atlantic)
- sardines (West Coast)
- anchovies (West Coast)
- Chilean sea bass
- rockfish, Pacific red snapper, rock cod (West Coast)
- caviar (Caspian Sea)
- sea scallops (New England)
- orange roughy (New Zealand/Australia)
- East Coast swordfish
A study off the coast of southern California found a
startling decline (70%) in the density of ocean-borne zooplankton.
It concluded that the decrease is
due to 2-to-3-degree-Fahrenheit increase
in surface water temperature over the last 40 years.
Zooplankton is an essential food source for
hake, Pacific mackerel, and other commercial species.
More than 25% of the world's coral reefs
have been destroyed by pollution, global warming, and overfishing,
at the 9th Intl. Coral Reef Symposium in 10/2000 on Bali.
Up to 90% of coral reefs have been killed
in some areas such as the Maldives
and Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean.
Coral Reefs play an essential role
as an anchor for most marine ecosystems.
Their loss would place thousands of species
of fish and other marine life at risk of extinction.
To prevent their further loss,
we must reverse global warming,
cut pollution, and stop overfishing.
Rising water temperatures in Monterey Bay
have triggered an exodus of cold water crabs,
snails, and other species.
Fresh Water Supplies Threatened
Human civilization has been restricted to
the geographic pattern of the distribution
of fresh water around the planet.
Any lasting alteration of that pattern
would pose a strategic threat to global civilization.
Our alteration of the global atmosphere
is changing the way water is transferred
from the oceans to the land and back again.
Aquifers are being tapped at an increasing pace
throughout the world and water tables are falling.
The outcome will soon be a devastating blow to agriculture,
particularly in the developing world.
California depends for its water supply
on a heavy snowfall in the mountains during the winter.
In the last few years, as global temperatures
have reached record high levels, California has
in fact begun to experience a sharp drop
in the amount of snowfall.
We mustn't underestimate the vulnerability
of our civilization to even small changes
in climate patterns.
Regional predictions are speculative,
but warmer temperatures have indeed been
associated with water shortages
in the West and with collateral effects
such as increased forest fires due to drier conditions.
Disruption of Familiar Weather Patterns: Stronger Storms
Hurricanes and floods more violent.
Warmer ocean top layer strengthens hurricanes
El Nino is part of the large, complex interaction of
the Pacific Ocean with the global atmosphere.
The pattern is changing due to global warming.
El Nino events now last longer and their effects
(storms in the Pacific, floods in California,
droughts in Australia and Africa) are growing.
A 1993 study of the height of waves
in the North Atlantic
showed them to be 50% higher
in the 1990s than in the 1960s.
The evidence suggests that this
is associated with global warming.
Rising Sea Level
Melting of ice sheets and shelves
in Arctic and Antarctica
is predicted to cause a three-foot sea level rise
by the next century.
At the end of the last ice age
only ten thousand years ago,
melting ice raised sea levels
by thirty feet in only a few hundred years.
15% of Arctic ice cap melted between 1980 and 2000.
- high incidence of skin cancer in Queensland, Australia
- blind rabbits, blind salmon in Patagonia
- Ethiopia dropped from 40% to 1% forest and is now in perpetual drought
- sudden worldwide explosion of oceanic algae blooms and toxic red tides
- sharp declines in frogs, toads, salamanders on every continent
These things will certainly happen, but how soon?
Timing is the wildcard in the personal preparedness equation.
How much time do I have?
Carbon-based energy industries are perhaps the largest of human economic systems.
They depend on denial for their continued existence and growth.
Their incentives drive them to apply their considerable resources
and influence to oppose conservation and alternatives.
On the other side of the scale of economic incentives are the insurance companies.
Increasing casualty losses due to harsher natural phenomena reduce their
industry's profitability. Actuarial trends indicate that this is indeed happening.
Businesses are largely captive to the short-term demands
of their shareholders and directors.
Government leaders rarely address problems that cannot
be solved before their next reelection campaign.
Institutions respond to events only
when they reach emergency proportions.
Policy-makers in denial (quote from UN):
It is necessary that the environmental perspective is taken into account
in both the design and the assessment of macro-economic policy-making,
as well as practices of government and multilateral lending
and credit institutions such as export credit agencies.
The trends of globalization in the world economy,
with the attendant environmental risks and opportunities,
require international institutions to adopt new approaches
and to engage the major actors involved in globalization in new ways.
We should encourage a balanced and integrated approach
to trade and environment policies
in pursuit of sustainable development...
The private sector:
The private sector has emerged as a global actor
that has a significant impact on environmental trends
through its investment and technology decisions.
In this regard, Governments have a crucial role
in creating an enabling environment.
The institutional and regulatory capacities of Governments
to interact with the private sector should be enhanced.
A greater commitment by the private sector should
be pursued to engender a new culture of
environmental accountability through the application
of the polluter-pays principle,
environmental performance indicators and reporting,
and the establishment of a precautionary approach
in investment and technology decisions.
This approach must be linked to the development
of cleaner and more resource efficient technologies
for a life-cycle economy and efforts to facilitate
the transfer of environmentally sound technologies.
With research and planning, there are things we can do
to reduce the ill effects of climate change.
These include identifying and cultivating new
and adapted varieties of crops, trees, and livestock
that are better suited to hotter conditions.
Short-term thinking precludes conservation, but
conserve we must -- energy, water, and all the other
precious and dwindling resources of this earth.
Our public officials must cease their dances to the tunes played
by the industrialists and their short-term thinking.
The denial must cease and clear-eyed research and
planning must begin.
As an Individual
The elaborate and delicate infrastructures that have made possible
urban density cannot endure.
Cities are doomed.
To survive, we must find a different way of life.
This will be especially challenging for city-dwellers.
It demands a complete uprooting, something that few of us are
likely to choose.
However, as resources dwindle and contention for them intensifies,
survival will translate to local access to -- and control of --
Much thought has been given to survivable alternatives.
One approach is to organize our living units into
-- dense yet sustainable human settlements; cities with reduced
ecological footprints. The notion is intriguiing but unproven.
More realistic in the near-term are mini-arcologies and co-housing.
These are small communities that we could begin to develop now.
Their long-term goal would be self-sufficiency.
They could perhaps be described as kibbutzes with higher standards of living.
To appeal to me (and to anyone else, I'd imagine, that would join me)
it would be essential to maintain a late 20th century standard of living.
As in a kibbutz, a communitarian social structure makes sense;
all must contribute and be involved.
It is difficult to engage in discussion of such communities without
invoking visions of vigilantes or survivalist whackos.
Yet, crumbling infrastructures demand planning of a new kind.
must have farming and energy-generation components.
Above all, they must have water.
Choosing a Site
By far the most essential resource -- which must be the top priority
in site selection for survival communities -- is plentiful fresh water.
Energy is important and is capturing today's headlines,
but the twenty-first is undoubtedly shaping up to be
the century of water wars.
Cheap energy is essential to our standard of living, but
water is essential to life.
Climate change and environmental degradation are changing the
patterns of water flow and delivery, and the profligate ways
in which we have mismanaged this resource (case in point:
most of the planet's major aquifers -- which were built
up over millennia -- have, in a few short decades, been pumped dry
and approach collapse) combined with ever-increasing demand
guarantee that it will become increasingly, disastrously scarce.
Canada has 80% of the earth's entire supply of fresh water.
In selecting a site, many more factors, too, must be considered.
We must anticipate and avoid
the likely destinations of displaced populations.
We must go where subsistence is possible without industrial infrastructure.
At the site I propose the creation of a cohousing community.
The issues to resolve in creating such a community include:
Forming the group
Learning to work together
Financing, money requirements
Organizing ourselves to make decisions effectively
Designing for community
How many households?
Division of labor
On 8/12/05, Brian Howell wrote: I'll relocate and bring friends along
with me. My criteria:
1,000 acres (min; 1,600 pref.), at least 75% arable (and
allowed to be)
Surrounding area zoned agricultural or non-commercial, low
Flowing water with no precedential/antecedant riparian rights
10 acres (min) flat for residential purposes
5 acres with unobstructed view of the sky across at least 80% of
the solar transit (for photovoltaics)
Facilities for max 25 people.
Limitations on family size (if gets to too large, asked to leave).
Cisterns and impoundments to be created for drinking/agricultural
Water to be cached for three years' need. (That'll be a lot.)
On-site water treatment; both potable and wastewater (outflow to
Methane produced by wastewater treatment to be used for running
farm machinery, as needed.
Storage needed for 60 years' supply of replacement PV arrays.
Composting and use of biomass from bioremediation of wastewater to
be used as fertilizer.
Crops with reasonable yield without nitrogenated,
Crop rotation will alternate nitrogen-fixing (peanuts, soybeans)
with nitrogen-consumers (most others).
Crops need to withstand rising global temperatures of approx. 8C
over forty years.
As practical, additional electricity generated using methane
fueled, microturbine powerplants and miniature Pelton wheel
On 8/12/05, David Glober wrote:
So Bri, what are your action items if the lit is already telling you
keep trying anyway?
save yourself and your friends?
live out days as happily as possible?
find a nice bunker in a good climate and bring survival gear?
keep calculating the odds of survival based on research?
On 8/12/05, Brian Howell wrote:
The world has already come to an end. People just don't know it yet.
I'm tracking worldwide scientific literature on global warming. Truly,
there is every indication that the global ecosystem is about to crash.
Politicians are making noises about reducing GHG emissions by 5%, 10%,
20% by 2020. That's about 30 years too late.
I propose to assemble a community of like-minded visionaries.
We'll get some acres in Alaska's Southeast and each
build (or adapt) a house in a semi-communal arrangement (i.e.
cohoused -- separate living but some shared facilities, esp.
power generation, food production, dining, workshop, etc.) and
each live there a few weeks out of each year (as our busy
professional schedules permit) with enough of us (say a dozen
cohorts? where a cohort is an individual or a couple or a family)
so that the place is never empty) while we develop systems for
self-sustenance over a period of decades... How's that for
Climate change is the defining human development challenge of the
21st Century. Failure to respond to that challenge will stall and
then reverse international efforts to reduce poverty. The poorest
countries and most vulnerable citizens will suffer the earliest
and most damaging setbacks, even though they have contributed
least to the problem. Looking to the future, no country.however
wealthy or powerful.will be immune to the impact of global