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Humans, amazing!

By | Algemeen | No Comments

Life’s evolution follows a pattern of diversification and subsequent integration of diversity at higher levels of complexity. Throughout evolution this integration has predominantly been achieved through new forms of cooperation and symbiosis. It is time to reperceive life as a planetary process of cooperation in which a unified whole expressing itself on nested temporal and spatial scales of complexity evolves in intimate reciprocity as a living planet. Life is a regenerative community rooted in patters of symbiosis and cooperation that creates shared abundance and conditions to life. Competition clearly does exist, but in far smaller proportions than over our myopic…

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We are in a moment of deep institutional inertia

By | Algemeen | No Comments

After 40 years of comprehensive climate reports by the world’s leading authority (the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC],) the IPCC has made the most significant single change to its climate position and predictions in its decades-long history! The IPCC now says we can no longer prevent many of the worst consequences of global warming. A glance at the news media on any given week will likely highlight all sorts of climate change impacts. From declining Arctic Sea ice and record-breaking heatwaves to melting glaciers and worsening droughts, the increase in global average temperature is being felt around the world. Broadly, these impacts reflect gradual changes caused by a climate that is steadily…

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A systemic crisis urges a systemic response

By | Algemeen | No Comments

When a great number of factors congeal and the future of a complex system is dependent on a multiplicity of actors, there is never only one possible future. We need to take account of a plethora of changes that intermesh – from demographics to the possibility of sustained major migratory movements (associated with security, war, and conflict and destined in future to be increasingly caused by the fall-out effects of climate change) and globalization (which exacerbates still further the rapid spatial shifting through digitization and automation). Other factors in the global context are security /data security as a possible disruptor…

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I don’t think people realize how little time we have left.

By | Algemeen | No Comments

There are socioeconomic and socioecological systems that are changing quickly. Human-caused environmental changes can materialize very rapidly, or abruptly, typically at rates much faster than sustained natural changes of the past. In the Anthropocene biosphere, systems of people and nature are not just linked but intertwined and intertwined across temporal and spatial scales. Local events can escalate into global challenges, and local places are shaped by global dynamics. The tightly coupled human interactions of globalization that allow for the continued flow of information, capital, goods, services, and people, also create global systemic risk. However, this interplay is not only global…

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Nearly 50 years after ….

By | Algemeen | No Comments

The Club of Rome concluded in Limits to Growth (1972) that if humanity kept pursuing economic growth without regard for environmental and social costs, global society would experience a sharp decline (i.e., collapse) in economic, social, and environmental conditions within the twenty-first century. The message was clear: continuous growth in industrial output cannot be sustained indefinitely. Effectively, humanity can either choose its own limit or at some point reach an imposed limit, at which time a decline in human welfare will have become unavoidable. An often missed, but key point is the plural of limits.  In an interconnected system like…

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Shifting boundaries … a new Renaissance.

By | Algemeen | No Comments

Caught in the grip of ecological, social, political, and economic risks and conflicts, the world hovers between optimism and pessimism. The Renaissance, coming a thousand years after the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, reestablished science on a stronger basis than before, and technological advancement has continued on an accelerating path since then. The hallmark of the Renaissance was its holistic quality, as all fields of art, engineering, science, and culture shared the same exciting spirit and many of the same intellectual principles. However, as the centuries passed, the holism of the Renaissance gave way to specialization and intellectual…

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I am hopeful

By | Algemeen | No Comments

The evolution of intelligent life on a planet requires not only that planetary conditions are conducive to life at the start, as it first evolves, but also that the planet remains habitable subsequently, without interruption. This is because there has to be enough time to allow life to increase in complexity from simple cells to more sophisticated single cells to multicellular life and eventually to intelligent life. On Earth this development took something like 3 or 4 billion years throughout which time liquid water appears to have been present somewhere on Earth’s surface, implying temperatures between its freezing and boiling…

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Changing how the planet works

By | Algemeen | No Comments

The chemical and biological signatures of our species are everywhere. Transported around the globe by fierce atmospheric winds, relentless ocean currents, and the capacious cargo-holds of millions of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, nowhere on Earth is free from humanity’s imprint. Pristine nature has permanently blinked out of existence. The idea that humanity has forced a geological transition is capturing people’s attention not just because changes in epochs are rare. It is attracting notice because our species is gripped by the idea that we possess planetary powers. One million plant and animal species are now facing possible extinction due to a range of…

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WHO DECIDES?

By | Algemeen | No Comments

There are no longer any places left on Earth untouched by humans. In the newly designated ‘human age’, our species’ impact on the oceans, the land and the atmosphere has become an inescapable feature of the Earth. This idea that humanity has forced a geological transition is capturing people’s attention not just because changes in epochs are rare. It is attracting notice because our species is gripped by the idea that we possess planetary powers. The significance of this goes beyond statistics documenting melting glaciers and shrinking species counts. It signals a new geological epoch, The Anthropocene. One of the…

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Attention to our oceans please. Should we be worried?

By | Algemeen | No Comments

The ocean is constantly exchanging with the atmosphere. It stores and distributes large amounts of heat around the globe via ocean currents. The ocean plays a key role for the global climate. It controls how heat, carbon, nutrients and dissolved gases are exchanged between the upper and lower layers of the ocean. However, this regulatory mechanism is presently disturbed by global warming, consequence of the greenhouse effect. It is important to raise awareness of tipping points in the Earth system under human-induced climate change. Ocean heatwaves have led to mass coral bleaching and to the loss of half of the…

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