White guys and aliens

Published on Medium “An invasive species is defined as a species that is: 1) non-native (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration and, 2) whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.” – USDA legal definition “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community.  It is … Continue reading White guys and aliens

The economy of nature and the case for big government

I am an economist. As a professional ecologist I have been trained in the economy of nature. It is only those economists that service the financial industry who treat the human economy as if it is separate from the economy of nature. Since the time of Adam Smith the evidence has been overwhelming that they are tragically wrong. I continue to be impressed by the … Continue reading The economy of nature and the case for big government

On the survival of civilization – Earth Day 2020

An Australian NGO has been following the anthropogenic decimation of our planet for the past few years. The group, known as The Commission For The Future of Humanity, notes that there are ten existential issues that could spell the demise of civilization during this century. No single one of these is unfolding in isolation because they are potentially mutually reinforcing calamities on a global scale. … Continue reading On the survival of civilization – Earth Day 2020

Misrepresentation of business-as-usual emissions: The red herring of RCP8.5

The Breakthrough Institute has been busy. Their director of climate and energy has published a critique of the use of RCP8.5 as BAU.* While it is true that many papers misinterpret RCP8.5 as being the worst case scenario and that this is equivalent to BAU, the authors of the RCPs recently reminded the climate community that RCP8.5 assumed maximum burning of coal , which is not what is … Continue reading Misrepresentation of business-as-usual emissions: The red herring of RCP8.5

Methane bubbles and other surreal observations

Recently researchers have noticed several areas where large amounts of methane are bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean. The press has quoted one of the observers as saying that this is “terrifying.” Another recent report has declared that the Arctic tundra is now a net source of carbon emissions. Perhaps. Has the Arctic passed a tipping point? Circumstantial evidence is pretty scary, but … Continue reading Methane bubbles and other surreal observations

Dorian and his family welcome you to the Anthropocene

It is obvious that all weather now occurs in a human-altered climate. Thus, the question is not if a weather event has been caused by climate change, but rather which features of that event are attributable to climate change. Attribution is a rapidly growing branch of climate science that is showing us how features of extreme weather, floods, droughts, and fires are likely connected to climate change. … Continue reading Dorian and his family welcome you to the Anthropocene

So, what do we do now that we know we are probably screwed

“The IPCC report demonstrates that it is still possible to keep the climate relatively safe, provided we muster an unprecedented level of cooperation, extraordinary speed, and heroic scale of action.”— Mario Molina. 2018. IPCC Nobel Laureate Science does not blink. The special report issued by the IPCC in October 2018 is unequivocal in its warnings. We are out of time to take action to reduce … Continue reading So, what do we do now that we know we are probably screwed