Saturday, July 09, 2011

Long Range Thinking: Links of interest

Some links about long-range thinking ...

Bill Ford: A future beyond traffic gridlock | Video on

This is a pretty interesting talk. Bill Ford is representing the Ford motor company - but he's also doing a good job of talking about a zero-emission private transport system where individual vehicles are highly networked (for maximum fuel and travel-time efficiency).

I'd love to see an equivalent talk about the future of shared transportation.

The Earth Is Full -

Thomas Friedman's op-ed makes for a good read about how economic and environmental red-lining are going to force changes in the way we live.

"We are currently growing at a rate that is using up the Earth’s resources far faster than they can be sustainably replenished, so we are eating into the future. Right now, global growth is using about 1.5 Earths. “Having only one planet makes this a rather significant problem,” says Gilding. 
This is not science fiction. This is what happens when our system of growth and the system of nature hit the wall at once.
While in Yemen last year, I saw a tanker truck delivering water in the capital, Sana. Why? Because Sana could be the first big city in the world to run out of water, within a decade. That is what happens when one generation in one country lives at 150 percent of sustainable capacity."

The most powerful climate video you’ll see all week | Grist

A combination of this op-ed by Bill McKibben ( with footage of extreme weather events. My response: as a civilisation, the first world has had about 250 years of benefits, abundance, and growth from the Industrial Revolution. I'm thinking it's about time for us to start sucking up the consequences of that for the next 250 years, which is going to involve some pretty fundamental changes in what we want and how we behave.

World on course for catastrophic 6° rise, reveal scientists - Climate Change, Environment - The Independent

This article is from November 2009 (pre-Copenhagen). I need to do some research about what's happening now.

The exponential function : James Shaw:

James pointed me towards this video, in which Albert Bartlett, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder, notes that, “the greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.”"

The trouble with predicting climate change

University of Bristol Earth scientist Paul Valdes argues that climate change is best understood as a series of 'tipping points' rather than gradual, incremental shifts.

I'll be blogging more about this once I've finished digesting Dr James Hansen's 'Storms of my Grandchildren'.

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