Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Appointment in Samarra

Yesterday, Population Media Center’s daily e-mail contained a link to an excellent .pdf, by Doctor William E. Rees, on issues of sustainability. It boasts lots of fun facts and more than a few interesting parallels that suggest the golden age of unbridled capitalism, unlimited economic growth and mass consumption is about over.

This excerpt―especially the highlighted portions, which are particularly relevant to current economic and environmental conditions―imparts a sense of urgency and fairly demands that people start taking this shit seriously:

 “To stabilize GHGs at even 650 ppmv CO2e, the majority of OECD nations must begin to make draconian emission reductions soon (by 2015).*

650 ppmv CO2e implies a catastrophic four degree C mean global temperature increase.

Unless we can reconcile economic growth with unprecedented rates of decarbonization (in excess of 6% per year), avoiding this increase will require a planned economic recession.”*

Wait! We’re in a recession, aren’t we? Well, okay, then; now it all makes sense.

Still, it seems the prudent thing for us humans is to take immediate steps to ensure that we miss our appointment in Samarra.

*Highlighting/bolding mine.


  1. Indeed I do, BDR, but I often wonder why I bother. Still too early to tell if the long slump is over, but recovering from a computer crash forced me to rethink my priorities, so maybe it is. Thanks, it's good to hear from you.