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In this blog post, Dev Nambi writes about how __ can fight climate change.
climate change
professional development

Introduction to Climate Change

  • It's anthropogenic.

  • Why it matters: it's a problem we'll face as we age. Our children and grandchildren will face the full brunt of the problem. They would be justified to hate us if we do nothing and condemn them to a life far worse than ours.

Oh, and there's no escaping it. Its effects will be uneven, but inescapable.

That said, I'm not a climate scientist. I do read a lot of their research papers, and their conclusions are clearly supported by the data. I trust their and their analysis because I trust their incentives. Very, very few scientists stand to gain by falsifying data or results, and prominent scientists could easily get jobs in commercial outfits for far more money if they were motivated by money, power or influence.

What Problems Will We Face?

  • Lack of clean water
    • Consider condensation technology as a possible way forward. All of that agricultural water goes somewhere, and it's not into the food.
  • Not enough food
    • Drought in agricultural areas
  • Ocean acidification
    • Collapse of fishing as a means of subsistence
  • Heat waves in tropical and semi-temperate areas
  • Flooding cities from sea-level rise
  • Energy shortages
  • Refugee crises and humanitarian disasters
    • Mass human migrations
    • Political upheaval and revolution
  • Political blindless to the problem
  • Inability of humanity to understand the problem and its gravity.
    • Mass ignorance
    • Mass willful ignorance and denial
    • Inertia

One of the challenges is that we don't know many of the problems we'll face. Climate science can tell us about many, but not all, natural impacts. It can't tell us about our reactions to them, and how that changes our options.

What Can We Do?

We have some lead time. Not much (years, maybe a few decades).

In that time we can build systems and options to reduce the sheer impact coming our way. So, let's think of the problems faced, and what can be done about each.


Systems engineering. Triage. Bottleneck analysis.

  • Desalinization technology
  • Water-conservation technology
  • Advocacy
  • Battery technology
  • Solar electricity
  • Energy storage
  • Public health & overpopulation
  • Space travel
  • Carbon capture ME: how much volume of carbon would we need to capture to reduce down by 10ppm in the atmosphere? Say, in a graphite form? How much for each person? How much for each city?
  • Meterology
  • Climate science
  • Oceanography
  • Economics
  • Politics

Emphasize what we don't know

  • 19-Year-Old Student Develops Ocean Cleanup Array That Could Remove 7,250,00
  • Climate Change Seen Posing Risk to Food Supplies -
  • PwC Low Carbon Index Report is a call to arms for decarbonisation
  • Study predicts imminent irreversible planetary collapse - Public Affairs an
  • To Fight Climate Change, College Students Take Aim at the Endowment Portfol
  • Strong opinions on climate change are self-reinforcing | Ars Technica
  • Nassim Nicholas Taleb: The future will not be cool -
  • World Bank envisions a 4°C future | Ars Technica
  • "She's all river now": No more reservoirs on the Elwha | Field Notes | The
  • Groundwater Contamination May End the Gas-Fracking Boom
  • Sea-level rise could be way, way worse than we already thought | Grist
  • Seattle calculates how climate change will redraw its shores | Local News |
  • Cliff Mass Weather Blog: The Inevitability of Global Warming and the Need f
  • After extensive mathematical modeling, scientist declares "Earth is F**ked"
  • TomRaftery: US intelligence community warns of rising climate security thre
  • The grid of 2030: all renewable, 90 percent of the time | Ars Technica
  • Meest: Go see Chasing Ice. It's very real. RT @HuffingtonPost: West Antarct
  • Current drought is the worst in California’s history and may get much worse
  • How power companies rip you off
  • This Is What a Holy Shit Moment for Global Warming Looks Like | Mother Jone
  • DenisGobo: Google Launches Crisis Map for Hurricane Sandy
  • Cliff Mass Weather Blog: Hurricane Sandy's Transformation