The Climate Emergency  –  quality of life

· The present disastrous developments, if allowed to continue, will lead to decades of worsening weather events, catastrophes that will become much more unpredictable, frequent and deadly. Not pursuing much more effective, radical actions to halt and start reversing global warming is complicity in genocides.
· Mitigation and adaption to a continuously worsening climate will not work.
· These developments can be halted, preventing the rapid deterioration of climates, but the people, scientists, activists, NGOs, and the media must demand decisive government action.
· People must understand the extreme seriousness of the problem, including the likelihood of imminent major population movements and worldwide violence.
· People also must understand the solution, government-led actions that are much more radical than what is being proposed and pursued and that will lead to a future of less consumerism and simpler lives with people being healthier and happier.
· Learning to live in ways that are ecologically sound and that follow most basic rules of ethics (being modest, generous, forgiving, cooperative, compassionate) enhances people’s health and happiness.
(The last section on Quality of life may in the future prove to be the most important issue.)

Contents:
Introduction
Short Summary
A cursory image of the near future according to HCW proposals 
Further description of problem areas, feedback loops and vicious cycles
Regarding problems in implementing necessary, radical changes
Regarding human nature 
Principal causes of the climate crisis
Further thoughts concerning the problem and looking towards a solution .
Basic suggestions for goals and actions  – Plans and proposals
Notes regarding weather and climate  and proposals that are our invention or reinvention and experimental (this include the central issue of carbon sequestration):.
Regarding quality of life, peace, prevention of wars  
–  Previously written material for this page

Introduction

We do not need pessimism or false hope; we need realism. GLOBAL WARMING IS THE WORST CRISIS IN HUMAN HISTORY – CERTAINLY WORSE THAN WWII. If we allow developments to continue on the present course, there will be unimaginable suffering and likely violence worldwide, including at the borders of and within the highly developed countries.
IS IT NOT TIME FOR THE NEXT STAGE IN CLIMATE ACTIONS – as radical as after the attack on Pearl Harbor? Then, our civilian industries were mandated to work for government contracts, mothers were pulled into the work force, and food was rationed.
We have the science; we have many technologies and projects; we appreciate all the efforts to inform interested people about the urgency of the climate crisis.
NOW WE NEED A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN OF ACTION, particularly saving energy and resources in every way possible to halt and start reversing global warming within years, we must slow down, consume and work less, travel slower, live more simply, etc. – it is far too late for a gradual piecemeal approach, relying on ‘business-as-usual-with-incentives.’ Many approaches will be needed and scaled up. Governments must lead decisive actions.

Relatively stable climates that lasted about ten thousand years are ending due to our economic activities that cause global warming; and vicious cycles accelerate global warming and destabilization. By human activities induced climate change threatens lives and livelihood of half to more than a billion most-affected poor people – common sense and compassion compel us to do what we can to stop spewing out greenhouse gases and start to actually decrease atmospheric CO2 levels without delay.

For-profit enterprises working with government incentives and people trying to invest in ‘green’ corporations has not worked and will not work. A worldwide movement must demand the restructuring of economic activities within years. America is in the best position to lead. There is NO rational alternative to decisive government action. Activists, scientists, science journalists, NGOs, media, and the populations must demand that governments act without delay.

Additional introductory thoughts regarding addressing the climate crisis:.
– It is most important that, when planning ways to avert catastrophic global warming, we also consider human needs and well-being.
– Much in recent profit-driven economic developments has been bad for people, communities and ecosystems, and much that is important for societies is not being addressed; we are not doing well. Recognizing and addressing these problems may be more important than plans for transitioning to renewable energy sources. Consumerism is bad for individuals, their families and communities; credit buying often leads to major debts which has severe emotional consequences. Driving cars is a major stress factor for most people; people readily get angry at other drivers and they generally do not handle unforeseen delays well; traffic safety in the U.S. is much worse than in Europe. Self-driving cars may be quite safe, but riding fast through dense traffic is nerve-wracking. Commuting in cars is physically and mentally unhealthy: sitting, lack of frequent short walks, and the psychological isolation in individual cars are unhealthy. Continuously looking straight ahead while driving and with frequent screen use, we are not stimulating the parts of the brain that are involved in looking to the sides; looking out of a moving train or bus is calming because, moving the eyes to both sides when following passing objects stimulates both hemispheres of the brain. People benefit from frequent encounters with strangers and acquaintances in train rides or when walking to train stations; train use may encourage a sense of temporary emotional connection, more than city buses and buses where people feel ‘cooped in.’
– Climate developments are not a high priority for most people. Instinctively, adults’ thoughts tend to be narrow-minded and short-term-oriented, and this is reinforced by our culture – rapid profit-driven developments are dangerous and unpredictable, thus adults think mostly about the next few years in their own and loved ones’ lives. Mainly young and some elderly people have eco anxiety, often worrying about the more distant future, their own and/or their children’s and grandchildren’s.
– What people hear and think about climate actions is very confusing. There is too much talk of successes that hardly change the trajectory of developments. The U.S. appears to be progressing towards producing more renewable energy than it needs, but research and development work to produce most cement, steel and glass with renewable energy is slow, and methane releases from oil and gas drilling and from cattle are not appropriately addressed. Even optimistic views concede that it is questionable whether the EU and U.S. will reach the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, and carbon neutrality is not even affecting the vicious cycles that drive global warming; the goal must be to radically decrease atmospheric CO2, methane, and other greenhouse gases human activities have been releasing.
– The U.S. is in some regards progressing rapidly, however, with only about 4% of the world population, it has an incredible amount of arable land and land that lends itself to solar and wind farms; Europe, Japan, and India, are much more densely populated. Furthermore, our private corporations cannot halt global warming, because their priorities are 1. profits for investors, 2. their public image; what is best for people and the planet may be a distant 3. or 4. priorities.
– Rather than dealing with the causes of global warming, some scientists propose to shield the earth from sunlight with in the atmosphere suspended particles or a “giant space parasol.” Obviously these proposals, while decreasing average temperatures, would not prevent worsening ocean acidification with its severe consequences for all marine life, and it would only slow the worldwide melting of ice, release of greenhouse gases from permafrost, and the rise of sea levels. (As an interim emergency measure, to save coral reefs, can icebergs be moved into the area, upstream from the reefs, to cool the water enough for corals to flourish.)
– The middle-class of poorer countries and to a lesser degree Europe and the other highly industrialized countries follow the U.S. model of pursuing much more renewable energy, electric cars, etc. rather than making radical changes to save energy and resources and minimizing waste. This ‘energy transition’ is far too slow to prevent extreme suffering and vicious cycles ‘spinning out of control’ as points-of-no-return are overstepped. Usually nothing is mentioned about rapidly absorbing much CO2*, except for fancy approaches that take far too much time and investments to adequately scale up**
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* According to a study on climate change by the ETH university, Zurich, Switzerland, there is enough land in the world that is not used by humans and suited for reforestation to plant 1.2 trillion trees (0.9 billion hectars or 9 million km2); we should add much land that is today used for cattle grazing and to produce feed for farm animals. Once matured, new forests of 1.2 trillion trees could store 205 billion tones of carbon, about 2/3 of the 300 billions that has been released as a result of human activities since 1850 (there is conflicting data re. CO2 releases) on [https://greenmax.eu/en/tree-planting-has-mind-blowing-potential-to-tackle-climate-crisis/]
** Oct 21, 2015 — New Climeworks plant in Hinwil (20 miles East of Zurich, Switzerland) has the capacity to capture 900 tons of CO₂ from the atmosphere per year. This is the first industrial-scale direct air-capture plant
The system has been used in Iceland where the CO2 was bound to powdered basalt. In the U.S. the system is expected to be able to pump much CO2 into geological formations that can hold and bind the CO2.
[Occidental and Climeworks are big winners as Biden allocates billions for CO2 removal. Occidental’s CEO, Vicki Hollub, said she estimates the hub has the potential to remove up to 30 million tons metric tons of CO2 per year through direct air capture once fully operational. Switzerland, currently has the world’s largest DAC (direct air capture) plant in Iceland, which removes about 4,000 tons of CO2 per year.] https://climeworks.com/news/climeworks-builds-first-commercial-scale-direct-air-capture-plant https://climeworks.com/press-release/expanding-our-us-tea.   

Short Summary

We need broad education describing and clarifying
– the severity of the climate crisis: feedback loops and vicious cycles speed up the deterioration of climate stability; densely populated areas become unlivable; we must expect mass migrations and world-wide violence;
– how Americans, particularly young people, are doing poorly regarding mental health and happiness, how living more simply, ecologically minded and ethical coincides with being healthier and happier;
– credit buying, pursuit of wealth and power and conspiracy theorizing being mental disorders that need treatment and should preclude people from leadership positions; also: major debts lead to cognitive impairments, anxiety, depressive and substance use disorders, sometimes crimes and suicides;
– needed government actions: dealing with the climate crisis requires laws akin to war powers act of 1941Governemnt actions,  establishing and funding public-private partnership nonprofit enterprises to enact major changes; and we need education regarding
– specific proposals

Following present plans of gradually decreasing greenhouse-gas releases over several decades is inconceivably cruel. Assuming we continue present policies:
• It is highly probable that due to worsening heat waves, droughts, storms, floods, and fires, along with rising sea levels, many densely populated areas become unlivable long before ‘carbon neutrality’ is reached. There will be rapidly rising numbers of deaths, migrations of half to one billion people, likely violence worldwide, including at the borders and within the highly developed countries, and a rapid decrease in biodiversity.
• With more intense heat waves, the human body will be defenseless – if wet bulb temperatures surpass 31°C [87°F, 100% humidity] – people suffer multi-organ and brain damage and perish.
• Hardly any country could afford the costs of necessary repairs, rebuilding, preventive measures, and the repatriation of climate refugees.
Some researchers may believe that the situation may be less dire, but who is cruel enough to gamble with the future of the world?

There is near unanimity among scientists: the world is rapidly moving towards catastrophic scenarios*. Consequently:
• The people deserve and should demand brutal honesty from scientists, activists, NGOs, science journalists, and politicians; we cannot rely on for-profit corporations to ‘fix’ the problems; we cannot keep building cars and skyscrapers; consumerism, the buying of clothing, gadgets, and food that is wasted, must dramatically decrease; etc. No more “the situation is serious, but we make great progress”; instead: “we are making progress, but much economic progress is misdirected; we are not halting global warming.” People’s belief in “climate action light” or “party-line climate denial”, and “think globally, act locally” is today our main problems.
• The people must understand alternatives to present developments. Many approaches are described by the Project Draw Down (drawdown.org). We (Humane Civilization Worldwide) describe an alternate future, replacing cars with rail lines that include a dense network of small narrow-track light-rail lines, electric buses, and 2-4 wheel ultra-light electric vehicles; building mostly with wood and bamboo instead of steel and concrete, planting trees instead of raising cattle, using cooling white paint, other radiative and reflective materials, and shade trees instead of more air conditioning, etc. We must minimize all waste of resources and energy, produce much less clothing and fabrics, eat mainly plant-based foods, produce goods more locally, and be judicious in when and where to travel and ship goods. Avoiding waste also includes addressing the incredible waste of electricity and computing resources by bitcoin (which is like a Ponzi Scheme – its value relies exclusively on new investments), and the ubiquitous data gathering, storing, and analyzing, which is done in the pursuit of promoting consumerism and other unethical goals. Useless organic matter, which includes most land-fill trash and dead wood and underbrush removed from forests, may be buried in soil that is soaked with stagnant water to minimize decomposition (imitating the low oxygen acidic condition of wetland bogs); and other ways of sequestering carbon are developed (enormous amounts of carbon must be sequestered to revers global warming**). Many such changes, if combined, will minimize greenhouse-gas releases, safely sequester much carbon and start decreasing atmospheric CO2 within years, not after several decades.
• The  people should also learn that proposed changes will enhance people’s health and happiness, as they will live more naturally and with more interpersonal connectedness. These changes should go along with worldwide education efforts that teach how happiness, health, and peace are fostered by living ethically (learning that we do better being cooperative, giving and forgiving, and compassionate, considering people worldwide and future generations, without us-against-them thinking).
• We need to determine how to finance the restructuring of industries and land management: governments must create and rely on public-private partnership nonprofit enterprises and limit financial institutions’ activities. If bank lending is severely restricted, which curbs consumerism, governments can create new money (instead of borrowing) without causing inflation.
• Governments need to take care of people’s needs; we suggest a guaranteed income for everybody and a comprehensive safety net.
• We may compare the situation with WWII when most civilian industries had to work for the military without any guarantee that the war would be winnable within a few years – America was in it for the long haul. Cooperation between public and private institutions also led to the rapid development and mass production of Covid vaccines, at reasonable costs.
• Activists, science journalists, scientists, NGOs, and the people must cooperate in demanding effective radical actions by governments without delay – no more corrupt protection of profits, helping the rich become richer, no more ‘climate action light’ and ‘politically correct climate denial.’.
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* Concerning continued global warming, some scientists claim that according to our best understanding “… if we bring CO2 [emissions] down to net zero (presumably somewhen after 2050), the warming will level off. The climate will stabilize within a decade or two. There will be very little or no additional warming. …” Paul Hawken, author of Draw Down-the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming 2017, and of Regeneration – Ending the climate crisis in one generation 2021, describes the above statement as a remarkable change in scientific consensus, apparently making the future look much better than previously describe.
Michael, E. Mann, in Our Fragile Moment 2023, p. 233, makes essentially the same point; the delay in ocean warming (committed warming) is cancelled by the oceans absorbing more CO2 and brining levels down.
The problem is: Global warming is not caused by the greenhouse gases that are being released by human activities at the time, but by the greenhouse effect of the present level of CO2, other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and other physical factors such as the earth’s changing albedo. Forests and other vegetations burn and dry up more than growing or expanding (even though CO2 fosters plant growth); there has been slow global warming; the warming of oceans lags; when oceans become warmer, the air above will absorb more moisture which is a powerful greenhouse gas, leading to further warming of the oceans, and with oceans becoming warmer, they will be less able to hold gases, such as O2 and CO2, the saturation point decreases; the areas of permafrost that is melting is likely to keep increasing; etc. While oceans appear to be able to absorb more CO2 than previously thought ; this added absorption of CO2 leads to acidification that is devastating to oceanic life and ecosystems; and the added absorption of CO2 will hardly be adequate to compensate for all the factors that further global warming. Given present CO2 levels and albedo of the earth, we must assume that all arctic, glacial and in permafrost stored ice will gradually melt, and multiple vicious cycles will continue. Areas previously covered much of the cool seasons with snow fields will be mostly green, and the sea will be larger, absorbing much sun light. Only Antarctica would stay ice covered due to its distance from the tropics and the high altitude (there are many mountains of  3,000-4,500m height and one over 4,800m high)..

**Approximate CO2 levels in 1850 were 285ppm (parts per million), in the late 1980s 350, in 2023 424; the Harvard educated environmentalist Bill McKibben and founder of 350.org advocates that our goal should be decreasing levels back to 350ppm. Approximately 1,200 billion tons of CO2 were emitted 1850-1980 and about the same amount from 1980 to 2023. We should find ways to absorb and sequester at least about 2,000 billion tons of CO2. It is estimated that 2001-2019, the world’s forests absorbed about 7.6 billion tons of CO2 annually (twice as much as they emit). For some time, plants (trees, bamboo, fast growing aquatic plants) may remain the best way societies can greatly increase CO2 absorption – obviously, much more plants are needed, dying plants must be prevented from burning or rapidly decomposing and releasing greenhouse gases, and CO2 emissions must be radically lowered.  

A cursory image of the near future, according to HCW proposals:

• Governmental policies efficiently enact decisive changes with high taxation of any greenhouse gas releases and taxation of wealth. The federal government establishes and funds public-private partnership nonprofit enterprises to reform industries and land management, it creates a comprehensive safety net, and it addresses income-wealth disparities and all forms of waste.
• Beef, pork, chicken, and egg production are very much reduced and there is less milk-cheese production; instead of using land for grazing and animal feed production, many people are employed planting trees for lumber and other industrial purposes and to reforest areas; there are efforts to save and protect wetlands, expand mangrove forests along seashores, and expand kelp forests in oceans. There is also much planting of bamboo, aquaculture with algae farming, and cultivating other fast-growing plants.
• Improved agriculture provides low-cost organic nutrition; soy and other legumes provide high quality protein and enrich the soil with nitrogen that is needed by grains, root vegetables, and other crops. Food industries create excellent vegetarian and vegan dishes, imitation meat products, and lab-grown meat, bringing down costs of healthy nutrition that omnivores will appreciate. There is significant investment in lab-grown bovine milk.
• Everywhere, rail lines are built for all types and sizes of trains, many narrow track, 100cm and less, mostly built on existing roads. In cities, electric buses, in mountainous areas aerial lifts complement trains. Workshops build kits to convert conventional busses, vans, delivery trucks, and pick-up trucks to electric, for limited in-city use. Ship traffic is saving energy by going slower and adding new technologies.
• Small industries build human-powered, electric hybrid, and electric ultra-light vehicles and, most with aerodynamic bodies, up to the size of narrow subcompact station wagons. Train cars and light vehicles are built with wood and possibly bamboo as much as feasible. Most streets and roads have extra lanes for bicycles and larger ultra-light vehicles, or there are low speed limits (20mph or less, for trucks lower than for cars).
• New buildings are relatively small, more compact, and built of wood (cross-laminated timber); mostly modular and rarely higher than 15-20 stories (units may be industrially produced).
• Efforts also focus on building healthy communities (neighborhoods, settlements) that produce many goods locally. Parks, playgrounds, libraries, adult education classes and interest groups, coffee shops and restaurants, and public transportation promote healthy interactions among community members.
• Many energy-saving products are further developed, mass-produced and made available worldwide, such as highly reflective, infra-red radiating cooling materials (paints, films, fabrics), highly efficient building climatization systems that mainly heat or cool most used areas, etc. In many places, split work hours with afternoon siesta may be re-introduced.
• Energy saving inventions and renewable and nuclear energy are further developed.
•  To minimize the decomposition of not commercially usable biological material, including wood collected from forest to minimize the spreading of wild fires and most landfill trash, it may be buried in soil that is soaked in stagnant water (imitating the low oxygen acidic condition of wetland bogs), stored dried, deposited in dead areas of lakes or the sea, or kept in areas with continuously subfreezing temperatures. Other approaches are developed to prevent the decomposition of organic material, avoiding the release of greenhouse gases. CO2 may also be sequestered by pyrolysis or by processing CO2 with powdered basalt. Utilizing wood, bamboo and other organic materials generally sequesters the contained carbon for long times. Other forms of sequestration are further developed.
•  Education addresses broad ethics, healthy lifestyles, and basic happiness research data – living ethically, pursuing health and happiness, and considering ecological responsibility largely coincide. 

Further description of the problem areas, feedback loops and vicious cycles:

Present plans to halt the disastrous consequences of rapid global warming are grossly inadequate, and they hardly consider the compounding vicious cycles that accelerate global warming. However, alternative, much more effective ways to address the climate crisis exist, and the needed radical changes are likely to make people healthier and happier. Compassion for those most affected by global warming demands an immediate, decisive response to global warming. The question is: will addictive consumerism, corrupt policies, near-universal short-sighted planning, and industry leaders’ addiction to wealth and power prevent real progress? It is incredible that some people are reluctant to look at needed changes because some scientists express optimism, however ill-founded. If only one in ten engineers would declare that a new plane is prone to fail in critical situations, what airline would buy it – who would want to fly in it? What reasonable person will gamble about the world’s future?
Scientists and organizations that are concerned with ecology and climate change still acquiesce to leaders of industries and financial institutions; they hold on to the deceiving notion that the significant progress in renewable energy warrants optimism, that our profit-driven corporations will solve the problems and/or that they are doing “the best we can.” There are still “scientists” and science journalists that express not only optimism, but even hold on to conspiracy lies. In the early 2020s, atmospheric CO2 levels have been rising at the highest rate ever; CO2 levels are already like over ten million years ago, long before the ice ages that formed much of today’s countrysides. The people must learn that present plans would move us rapidly towards worst-case scenarios, that recent progress at best slows the deterioration of climates, and that our thinking must change, NOW!
Climate change also adds to the problem of worsening food crises; extreme climate events destroy more and more crops. This point must concern us since, according to the studies of Greenland ice cores and lake sediments, the 200,000 years prior to the last 11,000 years (that were relatively warm, wet, stable) showed extremely unstable weather conditions, large, abrupt spikes of warm and cold periods, wet and dry periods, some of which lasted only  a decade or two and much more frequent disastrous floods, droughts, and windstorms – these conditions made the development of agriculture virtually impossible [ Joel K. Bourne Jr. describes in  the End of Plenty; p. 19]. Are we moving back towards such weather instability?
Regarding the still unacceptably high levels of chronic malnutrition (in the 10% range), main issues are income distribution and intermittent spikes in food prices (which often lead to violent riots and contributed to the “Arab Spring” uprisings). As Joel K. Bourne Jr. describes in  the End of Plenty, the Race to Feed a Crowded World 2015, many factors work against adequate production of food in the future, including competition between farmland for people’s food, versus exorbitant need of land for animal feed, and for biofuel. There has been decreased research, and problems with pollution, toxicity in foods and water, etc. There is a profound lack of realism – the world population must not indulge in cravings for meat and milk products, but consume healthy, mainly plant-based foods, and we use much less liquid fuels, not produce bio fuels from corn, sugar cane, palm oil, etc. Taxation of unsustainable use of agricultural land and ground water must redirect production and consumption habits.

As the climate crisis is rapidly getting worse, we have reason to be terrified about the near future – a world-wide movement must compel people to face reality. The more people are well informed and appropriately terrified about present developments, the better the chance that people, thinking about options more broadly, will accept and demand major changes. We believe that scientists,  journalists, pundits, educators, activists, politicians, and organizations that are concerned with ecology and climate have a responsibility, an ethical obligation, to inform and educate. Informed people have reason to be extremely concerned, but they have access to knowledge about alternatives to present developments. If our governments are compelled to work in “emergency mode” as if getting involved in a world war, it is possible to halt spewing out greenhouse gases within years; we do not need decades. However, only if a critical number of people is informed and scared, reaching a ‘tipping point,’ can we expect that they will succeed in their demands for immediate, effective climate actions by their governments, actions that will, within years, start to actually decrease atmospheric CO2 levels and possibly reverse global warming, while improving people’s quality of life. (Even starting to sequester much more carbon than is released may not immediately reverse climate change effects since there are vicious cycles that greatly add to global warming.) Our institutions have been failing, we must work to reform them – we should not focus on and blame individuals; in addition, even if many individuals work to minimize their ‘carbon footprint,’ this will be far from adequate.

Feedback loops and compounding vicious cycles significantly accelerate global warming and may soon be the main drivers:
– Polar ice caps and glaciers are rapidly melting, there are also less snow fields, and there is an increase in open water; these factors lead to a decrease of sunlight reflection from the earth’s surface; more energy from sunlight is absorbed. This is the reason why arctic and mountainous areas, such as the Alps, are warming much more rapidly than the world average. (According to recent reports, the loss of snow-ice covered areas have been decreasing about 5% annually; the melting of Greenland and Antarctic ice has been more rapid than anticipated.)
– The melting permafrost and the damaged peatlands and wetlands release much CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide (peatlands and wetlands are damaged by prolonged droughts and by human activities). The areas where permafrost melts will probably increase for many decades as global temperatures rise.
– There will be an increase in the warmer air’s water content; humidity, suspended water vapor, is a powerful greenhouse gas. Clouds during day time may decrease, letting more sunlight reach the earth’s surface, and clouds at night block infrared (heat) radiation into the universe.
– With rising sea levels, heavy rain, and higher storm waves, there will be more widespread flooding that adds to high humidity.
– Warmer oceans increase air humidity in coastal areas, cyclones and cyclone-related rain and tornadoes.
– Increased absorption of CO2 by the oceans due to high atmospheric CO2 levels leads to acidification that is destroying major ecosystems. Sea animals, such as corals and mollusks, which sequester carbon by synthesizing calcium carbonate, will die as their skeletons dissolve. At the same time, warming of oceans, particularly in cooler areas, decreases oceans’ readiness to absorb atmospheric CO2. There are multiple ways in which oceans absorb and sequester carbon; the role of the different processes are not well understood but they are greatly influenced by oceans’ acidity and temperatures.
– Unprecedented forest and brush fires, even in arctic areas and rain forests, directly raise CO2 in the atmosphere and decrease living plants that absorb CO2 – this counteracts the increase of plant growth with increased CO2 absorption by these plants when atmospheric CO2 levels are higher. In addition, the black burned plants and dirt absorb much sunlight. There is much natural vegetation that is in increasing danger of being destroyed by wildfires, and areas affected by wildfires at any time appear to be increasing.
– Projections indicate that more and more forests will release more CO2 than they absorb; present developments appear to predict that the Amazons rain forest area will become grass land with first much CO2 being released and later much less CO2 being absorbed by the plants of the area.
– Global warming appears to destabilize critical equilibriums; patterns of air movements and ocean currents, etc. Flooding, temporary droughts, and storms are already becoming more intense and much more damaging –  more plants are destroyed or damaged, and will be much less able to absorb much CO2.
– Droughts and desertification that are worsened by overgrazing and bad land management practices decrease the plant cover of land and contribute to heating the ground and the atmosphere above it, worsening progressive desertification.
– The changing ocean currents, wind, and weather patterns have unpredictable consequences that will require much time for natural vegetation and fauna to adapt.
– With oceans warming, there may be a significant danger that sea-beds will release much methane.
– All these factors will likely lead to many ecosystems dying, which will have severe consequences for the balances that allowed human civilizations to evolve and agriculture feeding the world population.
Additional vicious cycles include human responses to global warming. Increased use of air conditioning and sometimes heating with fossil fuels and electricity add to greenhouse gas releases. Replacing conventional vehicles with over a billion electric cars and trucks along with an electric infrastructure requires much steel production and mining of multiple metals; these activities result in enormous greenhouse gas releases and are polluting. Additionally, they often lead also to political conflicts and human rights violations in poor countries. Middle class people buy cheap air conditioners, hundreds every minute, which add to the local heat and require much electricity. Leaks of hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants, which are extremely powerful greenhouse gases, are very probable. In many places, human activities damage forests, peatlands, and wetlands that are important in the sequestration of carbon. Increased production of ‘bio fuels’ (particularly ethanol from corn and sugar cane, and palm oil as biodiesel) will compete with other needs for fresh water, and with land for food crops and the cultivation of fast-growing plants needed for carbon sequestration. As the production of goods for the energy transition adds to wealth and an increase in the middle class of poor countries, people feel they can afford to eat like wealthy Westerners: more meat, particularly more beef (cattle increase the agricultural release of methane and pasture land and crops to feed animals and for biofuels compete with the cultivation of food crops, forests and fast-growing plants for carbon sequestration). There is already less worldwide growth in food production compared with world population growth.

As natural balances are lost; climate unpredictability will make it impossible to adapt.
Some scientists have asserted that “if we bring down CO2 emissions to net zero, the warming will level off”. (12/2020 at IPCC, statement by Dr. Joeri Rogelj of the Grantham Institute in London). Natural vicious cycles are due to the present levels of greenhouse gases, not the greenhouse gases humans release at the time: How could the vicious cycles halt before either atmospheric greenhouse gas levels are much reduced, close to or below 350 ppm, or before all ice in permanent, snow fields, and glaciers melted, and before the continued loss of green plants due to fires, droughts, and floods ends? As long as CO2 levels continue to be higher than before the ice ages, we must assume that all snow fields and ice will melt completely, except for the ice cover of Antarctica, which is mountainous with many peaks in the 3,000-4,500m (10,000-15,000 foot) range. At this point we also do not know about the possible release of enormous amounts of methane from sea beds, as ocean temperatures rise.

Today’s ‘most progressive’ plans are not rational and grossly inhumane.
If an isolated island country would see some vital resource running out – who would ‘budget’ how long they can use and waste it at present levels? Would not any reasonable person, without delay, start saving it in any way possible while learning to live without it, seeking ways to replace its function? Planet earth is an isolated island in the universe but our wasteful lives destroy the equilibriums that vital ecosystems need and that have kept our climate relatively stable and livable for 5-10 billion humans.
Is there a reasonable alternative to decisive, highly effective government action?
Governments must, within years, stop most greenhouse gas releases and sequester vast amounts of carbon, while improving ways to meet people’s needs. ‘Business as usual,’ piecemeal work involving many enterprises (mostly for-profit corporations) with some incentives and government subsidies has not and will not work. We are destroying ecosystems, biodiversity will dramatically decrease, tropical diseases will spread into temperate zones, there will be frequent crop failures and a need to adjust what can be grown where, etc. Leaders in government, corporations, and nonprofit enterprises must stop pretending that we are doing everything possible: People must learn about the dire situation and about a feasible vision of the near future that includes people living healthier, more naturally, and happier while greatly decreasing production, consumption, transportation of goods, and waste of fresh water. Scientists and engineers should also participate in showing a positive vision of how necessary changes should and will be enacted, and how they will benefit us as individuals.
We may remind ourselves of the decisive rapid revamping of industrial production during WWII –  this is not like the Cold War; the climate crisis is worse than WWII.
As people generally ignore distant places and the future more than a few years ahead, many believe that only a cataclysmic event would move people to radical actions, allowing the government to act radically and halting their consumption patterns and wasteful lives. However, during WWII, Americans reacted with radical changes even though the war hardly affected them directly. Hawaii was not yet part of the U.S. and neither the Japanese nor the Germans could have possibly invaded the U.S. – Japan’s troops were stretched thin in East Asia, and Germany’s in Eastern Europe and North Africa. The people of the U.S. did not respond with resolve to an immediate major danger, their homeland was not threatened; they responded to a rather distant future of conflicts with hostile empires in Europe and East Asia as well as the loss of the U.S.’ dominant position in the world; maybe compassion for Europeans was a factor. With climate change we are looking at major worldwide problems in most people’s life time, with already heightened dangers from weather catastrophes but much worse to come.
We must also consider: living today, compared with a few decades ago, is in may ways better because of higher levels of scientific knowledge, much better health care and pain relief, improved human rights, and less warfare; the material living standard and all modern gadgets hardly improve people’s well-being and happiness. In fact, some ‘progress’ led to a deterioration of people’s mental health. Abuses of the internet aided by artificial intelligence: highly sophisticated games, forms of gambling and misleading advertisements, and the social media have overall a negative effect on people’s mental health, particularly in young people – there is not adequate screening of potential internet abuses. People tend to be more isolated with less personal connectedness. The increase in personal debt, credit-consumerism, has also profound negative effects on many people. Overall, the U.S. population is not a happy people, our economic system is not serving us well. While having done fairly well in reducing accidental injuries and deaths, there is much violence and the suicide rates is high with even many adolescents contemplating and committing suicide. An additional growing problem is ‘ecoanxiety’ which has similar effects as severe indebtedness; it should be addressed by people doing what they can to induce radical changes – meditation alone or prayers are not a good response. By some assessments, even a poor country like Costa Rica offers a higher quality of life than the U.S.
Recognizing these realities, the people must demand that governments take decisive, radical actions, curbing and redirecting present economic developments without delay. Plans we propose are described below.

Much of what we describe may not be original ideas, but this is a unique effort to put much knowledge into a fairly comprehensive, realistic proposal for action. A few ideas are our invention, or ‘re-invented’ by us.. 

Regarding problems in implementing necessary, radical changes:

We are listing here many factors that work against making necessary changes in time. We often hear the opinion that people have great difficulties to adapt to major changes; this is only true when there is no good reason for a change. Humans have an inherent adaptability and can change habits and attitudes, if positively motivated, for instance when joining the Peace Corps or Médecins Sans Frontier, and when signing up for military service as a perceived moral duty; or if responding to powerful negative emotions including terror: people migrating in very uncomfortable and dangerous ways to start a ‘new life’ in a less than hospitable place. Another example is Americans supporting the government-mandated ending of virtually all civilian production and rationing of food in response to WWII. People are also able to halt bad traditions, such as accepting sudden law changes regarding the previously common severe physical punishments of children, and they may make peace with historical enemies like the France and Germany after WWII; they became core members of the European Economic Community, the precursor organization to the E. U.

Today, even many highly educated people do not yet recognize the severity and acuteness of the climate crisis with compounding vicious cycles speeding up global warming; few people understand that, if developments continue on the present course, weather catastrophes will be much worse and much more deadly within decades; it will no longer be possible to adjust, and we must expect major migrations of climate refugees who seek to enter the E.U., the U.S., and other less directly affected countries. There will almost certainly be worldwide outbreaks of major violence.
Our conclusions in short:
• CO2 levels, which are still rapidly rising, are now like millions of years ago, and compounding vicious cycles, natural and directly human induced, further accelerate global warming in unpredictable ways – at this point it appears unavoidable that all glaciers, pack ice in the Arctic and ice of permafrost will gradually melt, except for the ice cover of the high mountains of Antarctica.
• Is it not most urgent that scientists and well-informed activists propagate knowledge about the urgency of the problem and at the same time about feasible proposals that can halt the world’s rapid descent into disastrous, largely unpredictable, scenarios? – this chapter contains quite specific proposals regarding the implementation of needed changes.
• A comprehensive vision of radically changed industries and land management must be promoted without consideration as to how that goal may be reached. Then, to realize that vision as quickly as feasible, our thinking must be original and radical, “outside the box,” as the seriousness of the situation requires.
• An assumption that much that is needed would not be accepted by the people and blocked by politicians will become a self-fulfilling prophecy with utterly disastrous consequences. In other words: if we only pursue what today’s progressive politicians may agree to and what most people may readily accept, there will be an unacceptable risk of unimaginable suffering with large, densely populated areas becoming unlivable.
• Humans have predispositions that became detrimental and hinder progress (more in ‘Regarding human nature’ below:

  1. Healthy people appear to inherently look past most that is bad in their future. Young women had to focus on the meaning and beauty of having their own children, not on first suffering severe pains and dangers; men focused on honors and people’s gratitude when returning from a war rather than the atrocities in warfare. Regarding the climate many try to look towards adjustments ‘after the climate change.’
  2. Humans’ charitable thoughts naturally focus on people of inner circles and rarely consider the distant future; with us-versus-them thinking, compassion for the “them” is much decreased, and when there is “us-against-them” thinking, people can be extremely cruel.
  3. As Homo sapiens moved into the continents outside Africa, they established local cultures of hunting that lead them to hunting almost all large animals to extinction; obviously nowhere did they think about what other sources of meat were readily available. Today’s treatment of resources is a similarly short-sighted way of blindly following our predispositions.
  4. People are able to hold on to multiple ‘realities,’ including that their local culture must be good even if they also see how destructive it is; they may believe that their gods will provide while seeing how they themselves destroy their livelihood; they may act and think rationally but then switch into believing quasi religious myths or absurd conspiracy lies.

These inherent propensities were important in our evolution, but they led to much misery. Jared Diamond shows how people’s thinking and attitudes led to the collapses of many civilizations as described in his book Collapse 2005.
Modern humans must fight these propensities and stop ignoring that present cultures rapidly move the world towards “climate hell” (term of the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres).

The following is needed but not yet happening broadly – present efforts are not adequately affecting public opinion:
• Broadly informed and self-educated people, activists, science journalists, scientists and teachers (climate and ecology related, history, geography, philosophy, etc.), and particularly organizations that deal with issues of climate and environments all must cooperate in spreading knowledge:

  1. regarding the extreme seriousness of the climate crisis with worsening weather catastrophes – there is reason to be terrified,
  2. that effective ways of decreasing CO2 levels in the coming years exist – and we have an ethical obligation to pursue them without delay. We must stop holding on to grossly inadequate proposals and plans that are endorsed and maintained by banks and industries to protect their profits.

• The people and our politicians must study a rational, feasible, comprehensive vision of how economic activities and our lives have to change (a proposal is presented in this chapter). We must recognize that piecemeal approaches that have been led by for profit enterprises have not and will not work. Steering investments towards projects that decrease CO2 emissions will be marred by conflicts – the investors are after profits, and appearance of being socially responsible, not idealistic goals. Saving energy and resources is not in the interest of entrepreneurs.
• Hopefully most people will appreciate that we may have healthier, simpler lives with more interpersonal connectedness and happiness.
• Scientists, climate activists, and NGOs. must start working with local and federal governments to enact effective, radial changes.
• The changes have to be enacted primarily by public-private partnership nonprofit enterprises that are established and funded by governments.
• We also need efforts to work with the United Nations. A worldwide movement is needed.

Observations and conclusions regarding the climate crisis and political will:
• A political will for radical changes is undermined by the media portraying events  as a “new normal,” even though the instability of climates is likely to keep worsening long after ‘carbon neutrality’ is reached. News hide the fact that all present measures only slow changes a tiny bit. Without talking about it, we are to tacitly accept that, most likely, there will be rapidly increasing death tolls, crop failures and starvation, half to one billion climate refugees, widespread violence, and a dramatic decrease in biodiversity.
• Following natural inclinations, most people continue their routines (more on human nature below):

  1. They completely ignore the acuteness of the climate crisis, believing that what is being planned and done is adequate and anyhow “the best we can do,” and they may assume that somehow, technologies will be found to prevent worst-case scenarios,
  2. To calm their concerns they work on some specific issue that will, in the big picture, do virtually nothing to halt global warming
  3. They may feel comforted by an insidious belief and trust in an almighty, compassionate God whom they can influence with prayers – we humans must be compassionate, not trust in a God’s compassionate intervention while we destroy the world’s ecosystems and civilizations.
  4. Most people want to be ‘good’ but their charitable actions mostly address hardships ‘close to home’; they hardly consider distant suffering people, the future, and future generations, even as they claim they care about and apparently love their children, their grandchildren and other young people.

• People are lulled into passivity by neither hearing serious discussions nor having a vision of effective, radical changes. Scientists, climate activists, science journalists, climate-related organizations and NGOs may describe the seriousness of specific consequences of climate change but not how to realistically address the global crisis, how to pay for needed actions, what adjustments and sacrifices will be required, and how our lives must change, now. There is still a widespread impression that governments and for-profit corporations are doing what is needed, which is basically to continue the failed policies of the last four decades. Thanks to incentives and some luck, there has been huge progress in renewable energy and a shift to ‘cleaner’ fossil fuels but there were/are no effective incentives to minimize the still-increasing use of fossil fuels.
• There is a widespread misconception that the enacting of radical changes in the U.S. or Europe will not be very significant because of increasing greenhouse gas releases from China, India, and other poorer countries. Actually, if we lead, China has great incentives to quickly follow our example, and so do India and the rest of the world. The U.S. is probably in the best position to lead.
• There are obvious and subtle forms of corruption: It appears that scientists do not dare to “go off the party line” fearing retaliation; newspapers seem to print only reports what is bad but not what radical changes are needed NOW, which their advertisers would not like. People in power are more concerned about our economy’s growth and people’s jobs than the livability of the planet, and industries want to continue earning big profits from the planned transition to an all-electric, luxurious future. The most problematic consequence is that when people see scientists and climate activist organizations acquiesce to industries and applaud small steps towards ‘carbon neutrality,’ they feel encouraged to continue their ‘normal’ lives as if climate change were a problem of the distant future.
• People, including many or most scientists and politicians, do not have (or are not promoting) a comprehensive vision of good alternative development goals. It is obvious that, to phase out cars, much resources must be invested in quickly designing and building alternate, more-rational, transportation systems; to minimize air conditioner use, we need to mass-produce and widely distribute cooling white paint and other radiative and reflective materials, along with planting shade trees and the wide use of fans and other low-cost/low-energy measures to keep indoor spaces livable. To keep people safe, guaranteed incomes and comprehensive safety nets are needed, while the required restructuring of industries and land management starts creating very different jobs.
• We obviously must not focus on moving towards an “all-electric future”; instead we must focus on reducing waste and consumerism, addressing un-ecological nutrition and food waste, transportation systems, building climatization, construction, marketing of trendy clothes and gadgets, abuses of internet and artificial intelligence, weapons production, and the space program.
• We need a way to finance the changes without waiting for profit-seeking investors. The approach of small steps led by for-profit enterprises fails because profits always interfere with making the common good the first priority. PROGRESS MUST BE ADVANCED BY PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP NONPROFIT ENTERPRISES (PPPNE) that will be able to radically reform the economy: transportation systems, land management, manufacturing, etc. And bank lending must be restricted to curb inflation, consumerism, and also other problems that are due to indebtedness.
• People have a vague sense that, due to our bad institutions, many inhabitants of the U.S. are far from happy; according to researchers, in metrics, the U.S. has even been consistently below the poor country Costa Rica. Most people sense that living more simply with much less consumerism, closer to nature, and with more interpersonal connectedness, we would be a happier people.   

Regarding human nature:
Basically, humans are very culture and tradition bound, suspicious of novelty, and readily following leaders. Like the few animal species which humans domesticated and often exploited, humans are docile and easily enslaved, eating and reproducing even in most abusive environments. Humans mostly adapt to changes when leader figures and/or peers adopt them, when the novelty is very enticing, if not addicting, and/or when it is associated with a perceived rise in rank.
Humans tend to pursue instinct and culture-based goals and in the process hardly consider pain, dangers, and other negative consequences before and after reaching a goal. While pursuing a goal, people tend to work as if with ‘tunnel-vision.’
Humans generally want to be ‘good’ or at least, according to their culture, ‘right.’ However, compassion and cooperation are mostly limited to one’s inner circles, people who are known or known about, and thoughts focus mainly on the near future. In addition, compassion is much diminished with humans’ inborn us-versus-them thinking (boys versus girls, wealthy versus poor, etc.), and, with us-against-them thinking, people can be very cruel towards enemies and even competitors.
Humans have a strong propensity towards abuse-addiction patterns. If something makes people feel better or relives some tension, but they have knowledge that it is ‘bad,’ people tend to rationalize repeating it, allowing it to become an abuse pattern and often an addiction. That includes substance abuse, food abuse, abusive sex, addictive shopping and acquiring goods that are hardly used and enjoyed (that may include seeking/accepting credit), computer misuse and gambling, conspiracy theorizing, pursuing unethical fantasies, and pursuing wealth and power. The rationalizing of addiction patterns, particularly with conspiracy theorizing, often lead to delusional thinking.
Humans have the ability to simultaneously hold contradictory moral systems and multiple realities, and to move between them. For instance deeply ethical thinking that focuses on broad loving forgiveness and compassion, versus conventional, on Roman law based, vindictive juris prudence, versus religiosity that focuses on specific outlier moral beliefs. Many religious traditions and beliefs are neither ethical nor part of the religion’s original teachings, such as problematic rituals and taboos, female genital cutting, or prohibition of abortions and contraception. People may believe in broad conspiracy theories, denying much of what the big majority of people consider truths and demonizing progressive politicians and scientists, but they rely in most instances on what sciences and technologies offer. For most people, local and family tradition or conventional job cultures are like “truths” – “behaviors that work and must be considered morally acceptable,” even if what is done is obviously detrimental or cruel.
Abuse-addiction thinking often becomes a ‘false reality’: wanting becomes need and abuse-related unethical behaviors become “normal” and “necessary.”
Particularly when distressed, but also when bored and lacking goals, people are very vulnerable to psychological contagion. Examples: risk-taking for “thrills,” abuse-addiction behaviors (substances and psychological-behavioral, including abuse behaviors that are not yet recognized as mental disorders), eating disorders, chronic pain without clear major physiological basis, self-injurious behaviors, voluntary tattooing (having tattoos that are likely regretted at a later time), militarism and dangerous vindictiveness and violence, extreme competitiveness, etc. Young people must be taught to keep psychological distance from people showing unusual behaviors and who take risks that are not clearly meaningful. Children must be taught: with all seemingly important decisions, a person must do a quick check as to whether a decision is ethical and involved risks justifiable. Abuse behaviors that are considered “calculated risks” and enjoying thoughts about any abuse behavior must be recognized as unethical – to be avoided and distracted from.
Humans are intelligent and inventive but seem to use their intelligence mainly in unusual situations, when challenged with difficult tasks. Intelligent calculating appears to be most often related to complex human relationships. Humans usually prefer avoiding changes, but, given certain circumstances, humans are very adaptable, even though major changes are stressful. Anxiety with changes is generally perceived as positive it the goals are positive and there are no major conflicts; anxiety feels bad when there are conflicts, when people are not ‘wholeheartedly’ pursuing their goals. If there is strong positive motivation, humans may change lifelong habits and attitudes, and they voluntarily accept apparently uncomfortable situations and dangers, if these are temporary or believed to become tolerable and even comfortable after some adjustment. If forced or compelled, people survive very difficult environments and severe abuses without becoming sick and die or becoming actively suicidal.

People must learn to look at science and science-based ethics as the only ‘truths,’ truths meaning reasonable models of reality that explain things and have predictive value. Religions may have important functions, but they must not try to teach ‘realities’ or maintain unethical traditional morals. Conspiracy theories and purposeful lies that are propagated must be exposed as invalid and dangerous. Being loyal to a tradition or leader is not ethical unless one keeps verifying that the tradition and/or leaders are ethical. Propagated novelties must be evaluated from the perspectives of sciences and ethics.

The principal causes of the climate crisis include:
Multiple inherent factors that made humans well adapted to small group living hinder our moving rapidly, with insight and broad compassion, towards a sustainable future.
A propensity to consumerism that was much exacerbated by the profit-driven, credit-based economic institutions and made worse by artificial intelligence-driven, targeted internet advertising.
An ideology that prioritizes economic growth above considering ecology, people’s quality of life, and ethics. This ideology also strives to largely maintain the status quo, maintaining jobs that should not even exist and protecting the investments of the wealthy.
The reliance on profit-driven corporations and financial institutions, widespread misinformation and lack of relevant information, and corruption in governments. U.S. representatives and senators are responsible for the whole country, not for priorities and economic benefits of lobbying groups and their constituents (they have to watch out for their constituents’ interests but without harming ecosystems and/or the rest of the country).
Regarding the role of individuals: we must recognize that while many people may feel good doing something that appears to ameliorate a crisis, most people assume that their actions are basically irrelevant, that individuals’ actions will never add up to measurably alter developments. To change most people’s behaviors, powerful institutional factors are needed, such as very high taxation of any greenhouse gas releases, hopefully combined with educational efforts that explain economic-political decisions.
Unchecked unethical data gathering, storing, and analyzing: corporations and political groups pay for the use of artificial intelligence algorithms to guide people’s use of cell phones and computers and to consequently indoctrinate or ‘brain wash’ them to become ‘super consumers’ who also incorporate false and biased ‘opinions’ into their thinking.
A culture of overspecialization in academia and agencies without ethical leadership – nobody is responsible to evaluate the totality of data, draw relevant conclusions, and help prevent foreseeable catastrophes.
The idea that what one country does is hardly relevant. Actually America can lead, other countries are likely to follow. Governments and the middle-class of poor countries will understand that they have to pursue a new approach, not follow our present disastrous growth model.
There has also been a profound failure in the teaching of ethics: most important are an understanding that ethical living brings more happiness than material possessions and power. The core issues of broad ethics are: giving is better than receiving, forgiving better than vengeance, cooperation better than harsh competition; as we expect reciprocal relationships, which includes being kind, honest, helpful, and reliable – practicing what we expect from others; it is ethical and feels good to be compassionate without us-against-them thinking, consideration of present and future people (and to a lesser degree all sentient beings) in all parts of the world, and we must be careful to be compassionate towards others when there is us-versus-them thinking. People must also learn that engaging in thoughts of unethical actions is unethical and dangerous –  in extraneous circumstances unethical thoughts are readily acted out.  

Further thoughts about the climate crisis and working towards a solution

The jig-saw puzzle comparison:
The answer to the climate crisis is not extremely complex; we may look at it as if it were a jig-saw puzzle. Why do we not see people identify the pieces that we find in different fields of study, put them together, and look at the emerging picture? As a vision becomes clear, everybody has an ethical obligation to work on moving public opinion towards real progress – developments must be redirected in a comprehensive way, as soon as possible.
Here a few puzzle pieces of readily available knowledge:
We apparently are moving full-speed into a very dangerous zone of accelerating global warming, unpredictable vicious cycles with probable points-of-no-return. Global warming may ‘spin out of control’ before carbon neutrality is reached. We believe that without radical changes, unimaginable suffering is all but certain.
Politicians and most climate scientists have been focusing on small steps in the pursuit of elusive, arbitrary goals, such as global warming not to surpass 1.5° or 2.0°C above pre-industrial levels, rather than stating that present goals present an absolutely unacceptable risk. Why?
• There is no agreement as to what is “acceptable” global warming versus absolutely catastrophic. Previously warming over 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels was considered catastrophic; then scientists and authors acted optimistic about halting global warming but stated, temperatures would probably reach 2-2.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Bill Gates, writer of the book How to Avoid a Climate Disaster still acts rather optimistic but reportedly described  at the COP28 “anything below 3°C as a “fortunate” outcome.
Scientists broadly agree that following planned and promised actions will not prevent significant worsening of the vicious cycles we already observe, creating compounding effects and climate instability, which computer models cannot predict.
• Our leaders could look at more effective ways of changing developments; but they don’t – why? CO2 levels are already like millions of years ago and they have been rising at the most rapid rate ever. Obviously there is no place for complacency and optimism. Renewable energy and batteries now being much cheaper than anticipated is no consolation – rather than replacing fossil fuels, civilizations simply add renewable energy to conventional fossil fuel use.
• Presently the production of renewable energy is almost as much as all energy consumption worldwide in 2000. However, fossil fuel use is now much more than twice the use two decades ago.
Needed technologies exist: Technologies for much more efficient transportation systems, more ecological land management, heating and cooling buildings with minimal energy use, and other changes that will slow greenhouse gas releases and sequester carbon.
• Profits will derail progress towards specific goals since for-profit enterprises have an obligation to maximize profits for the investors. However, even today, much research and development work is done in non-profit research institutions and small enterprises that have no investors; efficient research, development work, and production are possible without profits.
News reporting regarding climate change is inadequate, it has been focusing mostly on progress in some areas and on specific disastrous consequences of global warming. Much of today’s news reporting still appears to imply that the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 is reasonable although it appears elusive, and that the present climate instability will mainly worsen after 2050, if we fail to reach promoted goals.
• Many authors and journalists mainly write about adjusting to major climate changes in rather disingenuous ways, focusing on middleclass people and the privileged, saying little about the most affected poor, and not even alluding to the fact that disastrous developments can be halted, but if left unchecked, will continue to worsen – there would beno “after climate change.” Honest reporting about the need for much more radical responses and about existing technologies is largely missing but very much needed.
• The people can (they definitely should) educate themselves and others; and informed people should also contact activists, media, and organizations that deal with ecology and climate but appear to go along with “business as usual with incentives,” “gradual piecemeal approach to changes,” or “party line climate denial” (“climate actions light”).
• If people believe that change is meaningful and needed, they will adjust – most relevant for the present is the example of WWII: even though the country of USA was not directly threatened (Hawaii was not yet a state), people accepted that virtually all civilian production was halted and all industries worked for several years exclusively to fulfill government contracts – and nobody knew how long the war would last. Even more decisive changes are possible and necessary today.
Our government can (and must) act decisively – it can (and must) ESTABLISH AND FUND PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP NONPROFIT ENTERPRISES to restructure industries and land management. History teaches us what was and is possible: A decision to ‘get a man on the moon’ and safely back led to efficient work and succeeded within about four years. Covid 19 vaccines were developed and mass-produced much more rapidly than considered possible, with public research institutions and private pharmaceutical industries cooperating.

If we continue to move towards unprecedented catastrophes, very young, ill, and old poor people will be most affected and die in large numbers – what are then all the well-intentioned NGOs and organizations expecting to accomplish? If there are no radical changes and people basically assume a major decrease in the world population will be unavoidable and needed: does it really make sense to save starving children, improve people’s education and offer improved healthcare? Why protect the habitats of most endangered species while there is an impending mass extinction?.
Progressive non-profit organizations, groups that pursue sustainability and the protection of ecosystems, and all the NGOs with humanitarian goals and/or concerned about the future of the earth may present as a united agency and support each other in order to have political impact. Concerned people may urge activists and organizations to be more forthcoming, opposing inadequate goals and publicize proposed actions that have a chance to halt most greenhouse gas releases withing years. It might help if people of many groups demonstrate together for radical change. Organizations that represent at best a few percent of the population will be essentially ignored by politicians.

At this time, most climate scientists and politicians do not appear to look at the whole picture: thus it may help if climate activists demonstrate with signs that are specific as to what has to change –. Signs may read:
– We must halt global warming within years, not decades – living, simpler, healthier and happier.
– Living simpler, with much less consumerism, and closer to nature, we all would be happier.
– Do we need a depression to halt irresponsible, misdirected economic growth?
– Most lending by financial institutions is unethical and major religions forbid charging interest; it must be severely limited.
– Governments must lead, working with public-private partnership nonprofit enterprises.
– Governments must tax all energy use, highly tax all greenhouse gas releases; establish guaranteed incomes and improved safety nets.
– We must highly tax wealth and luxurious consumption since the 10% richest people create and estimated 50% of world emissions.
– If the 10% riches people in the world would live at average European standards, global emissions would be 35% less).
– America is in the best position to lead the world – we cannot wait for China and India.

Basic suggestions for goals and actions.

Governments must establish and fund Public-Private Partnership Nonprofit Enterprises that have to restructure the economy. They must:
• Build comprehensive rail systems, including high-speed trains and light-rail lines, mostly small narrow track (70-100cm) trains that reach all neighborhoods, settlements and points of interest, many built on present streets and roads.
• Develop and mass-produce many types of ultra-light 2-4 wheel electric vehicles, most with light, aerodynamic bodies; and complement trains with aerial lifts and energy-efficient ships.
• Reform agriculture and land management, plant  trees (over a trillion worldwide), bamboo, and other fast-growing plants; protect, restore, and extend natural forests and wetlands.
• Land management must restrict water use by agriculture, particularly well water from aquifers that are being depleted. It must be a first priority that all populations have ready access to safe water for consumption and cleanliness.
• People must move rapidly to plant-based diets. Legumes contain high quality proteins, need little water, and enrich soils with nitrogen, which is needed by other crops. Regarding chicken for food protein: it is likely that with global warming future heat waves will kill most chicken in an area. Cattle has also a limited tolerance of heat, particularly if if is humid.
• Prevent plant material from burning or rapidly decomposing, for instance by burying it in ground that is up to the surface soaked in stagnant water (imitating the low oxygen acidic condition of wetland bogs), sinking it into anoxic lakes or ocean areas (dead zones), storing it very dry, or keeping it in subfreezing temperatures. Other forms of carbon sequestration must be pursued, including CO2 being absorbed by powdered basalt or other types of rock and pyrolysis. (Many locally applicable approaches to prevent decomposition of organic material may be developed).
• Minimize the use of concrete, steel, aluminum, glass siding, and man-made fibers, replacing them with wood, bamboo, natural fibers, and recycled materials as feasible.
• Improve energy efficiency of buildings in many ways, including utilizing highly reflective, infrared radiating paints that cool buildings. Adjust systems to cool and heat mainly most-used parts of buildings.
See also proposals that are our invention or reinvention and experimental

While there has been much progress in sciences and technologies, our institutions are not serving us well. There is much misery – anxiety and depressive disorders and addictions are frequent. Consumerism (with credit buying) and the overvaluation of property and wealth are basic problems and root causes of climate change, they also may promote unethical thinking and corruption, and being indebted has major negative consequences for individuals. We must address these societal ills. Intuitively people sense: with simpler, healthier lives we would feel better and be more content.  

Plans and proposals:

To halt and reverse global warming, we must use known, broadly available technologies while developing additional approaches.

As an initial step, broad education is needed, describing and clarifying
– how serious the climate crisis is; how present plans lead to densely populated areas becoming unlivable; that we must expect mass migrations and world-wide violence in coming decades;
– that governments must enact radical changes, probably needing powers akin to the war powers act;
– how today Americans, particularly young people, are doing poorly regarding mental health and happiness; that living more simply, ecologically minded and ethical coincides with being healthier and happier;
– that credit buying, pursuit of wealth and power and conspiracy theorizing are mental disorders that need treatment and must preclude people from holding leadership positions; and that major debts lead to cognitive impairments, anxiety, depressive and substance use disorders, sometimes crimes and suicides;
– and broad education must describe specific proposals that can end global warming and start reversing it within years.

The role of the government:
• Governments must halt the present profit-driven and largely credit-based consumption economy by severely restricting activities of financial institutions, particularly bank lending.
• Governments must highly tax all greenhouse gas releases, including methane releases; particularly leaks where there was/is drilling for fossil fuels and from methane belching of cattle.
• Taxation must also address income inequality – wealth itself must be highly taxed (according to OXFAM studies, the 10% richest people create an estimated 50% of emissions; if they would live at average European standards, global emissions would be 35% less). Governments must directly guide economic activities, subsidize many approaches that save energy, avoid waste, add renewable energy, and sequester carbon (as described below).
• Governments must establish, fund and work with public-private partnership nonprofit enterprises (PPPNE). The enterprises that do contract work for governments, must be non-profit corporations that reinvest all profits into research and development, expansion, education, and/or other non-profit enterprises. It is important that scientists and engineers work for the common good, guided by scientific knowledge concerning human’s needs, not for investors; profits distort the goals of a project (for instance, selling an energy-saving product to the wealthy at a high price is more profitable than making it broadly available by selling it with a very low profit margin). We must remember, if engineers are employed with a purpose, they will do their work, be that in a for-profit corporation of America, in government contract work in Sweden, or in a state agency of China. Today much of the most valuable research wok is done by nonprofit or public universities.
• The federal government must create new money for government contract work, and it must severely restrict financial institutions’ activities. In this way we end financial institutions’ power to create, own, and allocate much of the circulating money supply; instead, most circulating money will be owned by government agencies, enterprises, and the people that work with it. The proposed changes will essentially stop institutional factors that promote addictive consumerism, greed, and personal indebtedness; frequent consequences of severe indebtedness include poor intellectual functioning, anxiety, depressive and substance use disorders, and a propensity to crimes and suicide. Governments must revise their flawed ideology that focuses on economic growth – we need reforms that focus on creating a sustainable economy and fulfilling people’ needs. Financial institutions have been a root cause of the climate crisis
• Governments must establish, as human rights: guaranteed incomes and comprehensive safety nets, free health care (including unrestricted access to all forms of birth control and abortions. and to palliative care), and free education. Education must include broad education concerning ethics and also life skills. This is particularly important as there will be major economic disruptions.
• We need taxation of all energy consumption and particularly high taxes on all greenhouse gas releases. Powerful incentives and disincentives must guide developments in the private sector, and lead to greatly decreased waste and decreased use of materials, such as cement, steel, aluminum, synthetic fibers, glass for siding of buildings, etc. Virtually all economic activities must lead to 1. saving resources and energy, minimizing waste, 2. creating more renewable energy as well nuclear power in small dispersed units, and 3. sequestering much carbon, as described below.
• Governments’ creating new money to fund the PPPNE projects and subsidize other climate-related projects, rather than borrowing, will not cause inflation, if bank lending is restricted. Inflation is caused by irresponsible fractional reserve banking, increasing the functional money supply by lending limited bank reserves to many individuals and corporations to promote consumerism and misguided economic growth.
• Governments must outlaw or add substantial taxation to minimize unethical waste and misallocation of resources, computing resources, energy, etc.; examples include bitcoin (which is like a Ponzi Scheme – its value is exclusively derived from new investments); data gathering, storing, and analyzing; and the abuse of artificial intelligence. Governments must also tax the trade of securities; and advertisements by big corporations (advertisements should simply inform).

Restructuring industries, transportation systems, agriculture and land management, utilizing PPPNEs:
Government-directed PPPNEs must
• Plant hundreds of billions of trees*, in reforestation efforts, for commercial use, nutrition, and shade; plant-cultivate other fast-growing plants, particularly bamboo and aquatic plants such as kelp and duck weed. Where trees are planted for reforestation and after forest fires, trees should initially be planted very densely or fast-growing shrubs can be planted between trees that will be allowed to grow to maturity – excess trees and shrubs can then be removed for sequestration, not allowed to decompose or burn.
• Wood and bamboo is to be used for buildings, bridges, vehicles including rail cars, etc.
• Manage the use of water; regular access to fresh water for drinking and washing must be a first priority in all parts of the world; particularly the pumping of water from most aquifers must be restricted. There needs to be much more water reclamation with sewage treatment for water recycling.
• Address today’s transportation systems and other wasteful industries. As an intermediary stage public transportation must greatly expanded with electric and diesel-electric hybrid buses, and increased use of existing rail lines. We must stop building cars, trucks, airplanes, roads, parking lots, etc. Instead PPPNEs must build a comprehensive rail system that includes high-speed and freight trains, subways, street cars and a dense network of light-rail lines that reach all neighborhoods, settlements, and places of interest; light-rail lines are to include standard gauge and small narrow track (70-100cm). Many lines may be built on existing roads and highways. Airplanes should rarely be used.
• Industries must also develop and mass-produce many types of 2-4 wheel ultra-light human-powered, hybrid, and electric vehicles, based on bicycle technology, most with aerodynamic light-weight bodies, (up to the size of narrow subcompact vans or station wagons). Most buses and trucks should be converted to electric, mostly for short-distance use (engines to be used for recycling steel). Conventional cars must be used much less (strongly discouraged by very high taxation of fuels and narrower streets and highways with speed limits as indicated for the safety of other vehicles); their engines may be adjusted to high fuel economy and added small electric engines may turn them into hybrids (e.g. electric drive on rear wheel in front wheel drive cars).
• Additionally, there needs to be slow ships designed to be highly fuel efficient, for transportation on rivers, in canals, and lakes and across the sea.
• In hilly and mountainous areas and within metropolitan areas it is highly efficient to use airlifts, gondolas, and cable cars.
• Regenerative braking has to be further developed and universally used in trains and ultra-light vehicles.
• Planners must consider that the increased mining of minerals for vehicles, batteries, and other electronic and electric equipment often leads to disastrous pollution that is very toxic for local populations. Profits of many mines subsidize militias and/or authoritarian, corrupt governments. The recycling of all needed metals must be rapidly expanded to largely avoid new mining.
• Electrolysis must be further developed for the production of hydrogen, to store energy from excess electricity production and to be used in transportation.
• Where electricity is needed for long-distance transportation, in trains and buses, there may be a few standard size batteries that can be exchanged at former gas filling stations and train stops, avoiding the need to  build many fast-charging stations.
• Land management must be reformed according to modern research and experiences from indigenous cultures. Diets must become mostly plant based with legumes serving as high quality sources of protein and enriching soils with nitrogen that is needed by other crops.
• To cool buildings, infrared radiating cooling ‘extreme white’ paints must be broadly used in place of more air conditioning; in addition passive solar principles,  shade trees and basic geothermal principles should be used to minimize energy use in buildings.
• The production of weaponry and rockets must be halted – we need alternatives to warfare and end launching rockets for space exploration or ‘space tourism.’
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* According to a study on climate change by the ETH university, Zurich, there is enough land in the world that is not used by humans and suited for reforestation to plant 1.2 trillion trees (0.9 billion hectars or 9 million km2); we should add much land that is today used for cattle grazing and to produce feed for farm animals. Once matured, new forests of 1.2 trillion trees could store 205billion tonnes of carbon, about 2/3 of the 300billionsthat has been released as a result of human activities since 1850

Other important work of government-directed PPPNEs, partly our ideas:
• Carbon sequestration: PPPNEs must sequester huge quantities of carbon by growing plants and by preventing the burning or decomposing of organic materials. A most readily available approach is wood being simply buried in trenches: it will decompose very slowly according to a 2008 paper by Ning Zeng (https://cbmjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1750-0680-3-1). Many proposals are described below in the following section under ‘our inventions, or re-invented and experimental approaches.’ (Today no broadly-propagated form of carbon sequestration is widely applicable and/or used, and the techniques that have been used are very expensive. Most trees grow slowly, some release greenhouse gases from their bark, and when rotting or burning release the carbon that was sequestered when the trees kept growing, consequently some forests release more CO2 than they absorb. Most CO2 capture and sequestration techniques are limited in their applicability.)
• Land management must minimize erosion of top soil and use techniques of regenerative agriculture.
• Not recyclable metals may be put into regular landfills. Plastics may be processed into fuels or pressed into bricks for buildings and paths. Bacteria may be bred that can metabolize (disintegrate) plastics. See also proposals that are our invention or reinvention and experimental.
• While minimizing the use of concrete, steel, and glass, carbon of plant material is also sequestered by utilizing it: cross-laminated timber and bamboo can replace concrete and metals in the construction of buildings (up to over 20 stories high), for light vehicles, and rail cars. We suggest that particularly bamboo may also be used to build bridges and overpasses, and wind-turbine towers. Bamboo combined with clay may be used for dikes and small dams. Large gravity dams may be built of large and small crystallin rocks, small rocks and gravel, covered with layers of asphalt, rather than concrete. Glass as siding for commercial buildings must be avoided – it is ecologically bad and kills birds. Large barges and ships may again be built of wood, and large sail ships may be re-developed.
• Most buildings must be improved: improving energy efficiency of buildings includes insulation and using highly reflective, infrared radiating white paints and other highly reflective and heat radiating materials that cool buildings where heat is often a problem. We must cool and heat mainly most-used parts of buildings; these may have lowered ceilings or form alcoves. New buildings must incorporate passive solar principles. Geothermal heating and cooling should be widely used (temperatures several meters underground are relatively cool all year, the average annual surface temperature, and much deeper, the ground becomes very hot, heated by the magma deep underground). In some areas, split work hours may be needed with people resting during the hottest times of day.
• Governments must buy patents and produce extreme white paint, films, and radiative cooling paper (with tunable stiffness usable for hats, other garments) in large quantities (developed in Purdue and Northeastern University, USA, and Beijing Jiaotong University), along with newer reflective and heat radiating materials that are being developed. Such paints and materials must become cheaply available worldwide. It is in everybody’s interests if tropical poor countries receive and use these paints instead of installing more air conditioners and building new powerplants. Use of radiative cooling garments may greatly decrease heat exhaustion, heat related organ damage, and heat strokes
• Conventional refrigerants (hydrofluorocarbons, etc.) that are powerful greenhouse gases must be phased out and safely disposed of as quickly as possible; safe refrigerants must replace them, and there should be much less use of conventional air-conditioning.
• Pursuing mostly plant-based nutrition is an ecological and ethical issue. The treatment of most chickens and large farm animals is strictly efficiency-based and often cruel; there are also ethical issues concerning whaling, and to a lesser degree fishing, and the processing of seafood (it is hard to find out how much sentience and pain sensation fish, octopi, and other aquatic animals have). Regarding chicken for food protein: it is likely that with global warming future heat waves may kill most or all chicken in affected areas. Cattle may also have difficulties to tolerate higher temperatures, particularly if nights are not cooling down much and if the humidity is high. Planting more legumes for nutritional protein and rotating crops will greatly decrease the need for nitrogen fertilizers; the energy-intensive production of nitrogen fertilizers and releases of nitrous oxide add to global warming.

For a transition period, simple approaches that are hardly talked about could greatly decrease vehicle fuel consumption and decrease greenhouse gas releases at factories that build machinery and steel vehicles: Public-private partnership nonprofit enterprises may develop kits that workshops can install locally, to
•  Make locally used vehicles electric, including buses, delivery vehicles, mail trucks, trucks of workmen, and other vehicles that are used in-town only. Gas (or diesel) engines should be removed for metal recycling). Battery packs should be adjusted to the area where the vehicle is used each day.
•  Make conventional vehicles hybrids; in front-wheel drive vehicles, an independent electric drive with regenerative braking may be installed on rear wheels.
•  Improve gas mileage of cars by changing gearing to where RPMs are lower at same speed or by adding a highly efficient overdrive; and by modifying the car’s engine adding efficiency at the cost of power, and possibly make the body more aerodynamic.
•  Speed limits, particularly for all types of trucks and heavy SUVs would save fuel and reduce likelihood and severity of accidents.
•  We need everywhere lanes for slow electric and human powered vehicles. Laws must allow ultralight slower four-wheel vehicles. Where cars and ultralight vehicles mix, there must be low speed limits
•  Solar panels may be installed on roofs of vehicles.    

Notes regarding weather and climate, and proposals including proposals that are partly experimental

Notes regarding heat distribution on the earth’s surface and on clouds:

Metropolitan “heat bubbles,” solar farms, and denuded land: Dry land and solar collectors may reflect sunlight better than open water and forests; however they become extremely hot. When sunlight hits water and forests, much material becomes slightly warmer during the day, but temperature differences between day and night are minor. Dry surfaces, and solar collectors become very hot which leads to evaporation of water in the area and heating of the atmosphere above them. The hot air rises and, as with sea breezes, cooler, possibly more humid, air is drawn to the hot areas. This air then also heats up, rises and cools while reaching height, however we often observe that cooling to the point of condensation and cloud formation only starts in the late evening and night. While during the day, moisture in the air is a greenhouse gas, the clouds at night also block heat radiation to pass through the atmosphere. Obviously, in cities there are not just hot roofs and road surfaces, heat is also produced by all energy used commercially and in households, most from air conditioners, cooking, and industrial production, but also from lighting, computer use, etc. Without any energy use, cities would be cooler than the environment since buildings shade surfaces much of the day; where hot surfaces heat the air, it rises, where surfaces are cold, the cool air sinks to between buildings.

How clouds affect climate is complex, I am lacking much data. It is hard to find data as to what time of the days there is cloud cover in different parts of the world. Theoretically, hot humid air rises and when rising cools off which should lead to cloud formation – this may be frequent over oceans; however clouds often do not form until wind leads to the mixing of colder and warmer humid air, or the air cools off at night. For instance, sea breezes often bring humid air far into the interior of Texas without cloud formation, until the warm air ‘collides’ with a cooler wind or the air cools off at night. We expect that forests, which absorb most of the incoming sunlight, are mostly covered by clouds, thus not warming up much; – the air in the forests is humid and as it rises, it cools down; however data indicate that this is often not the case.  

Other proposals relating to dealing with climate crisis (some are our inventions or re-invented, partly experimental):

Principally, plants use CO2 to grow but, unless eaten by animals, they should be prevented from rotting or burning in order to keep carbon and nitrogen sequestered rather than turned into the greenhouse gases CO2 and N2O.
• Much work is needed to further develop ways of preventing decomposition of plants and dead animals that are applicable in all parts of the world. Observations show that decomposition is very slow if organic material is kept dry, very cold, in anoxic water (dead zones of lakes and the sea), or in oxygen-deprived acid environments (as in bogs). Well preserved trees were observed deep under water of man-made lakes, where there is very little oxygen, and large numbers of cut trees appeared well preserved in very cold rivers in Canada.
• To minimize the need for composting and fertilizer use, regenerative agriculture-land management must prevent soil erosion by avoiding tilling and planting perennials and by cultivating diverse plants that includes legumes, etc. To prevent forest and brush fires, in place of ‘controlled burning,’ most dead trees, wood on the ground and dry shrubs should be removed and prepared for carbon sequestration along with trash lumber, other commercially worthless organic material including much that is today composted or in landfills, and plants that are grown for carbon sequestration (however, forests need some dead tree and brush for ecological equilibriums).
• Broad efforts are needed to increasing the world’s vegetation to sequester carbon: planting-cultivating over a trillion trees and many fast-growing plants, bamboo, kelp and other aquatic plants. This is obviously in addition to dramatically decreasing greenhouse gas releases, which includes the burning and rapid decomposing of organic material.
• Trees must be planted for natural reforestation, commercial uses (lumber and food), and shade. Expansion and newly planted mangrove forests also help protect coastal areas from flooding. Bamboo is valuable because it is fast-growing and grows in most climates, on poor soils, needs little water and has significant commercial value. Other valuable, fast-growing land plants include oaks and many temperate zone forest trees, arunda donax (giant reed), millettia pinnata (pongame oiltreea a legume), and paulownia tomentosa (empress tree). Many aquatic plants grow rapidly, some have commercial uses, examples include duck weed, azolla, kelp and other algae. Some water plants can be frequently ‘harvested’ from the surface waters of large ponds, lakes and shores of the sea for sequestration as described below.
• The goal is to keep much carbon sequestered for at least centuries or millennia. Peatland, wetlands, mangrove forests, and kelp forests in oceans are important ecosystems that must be protected and expanded. Reforestation needs to consider what naturally grew in the area and restores or expands natural ecosystems. (What to plant where must be determined by biologists and agronomists, taking ecological considerations, availability of water, etc. into consideration.) Two goals are to connect protected wildlife areas and to reach a state of half the land areas being protected and restored natural areas.

• Our specific proposals for readily available ways to minimize the decomposition of organic material (most not tried and proven – RESEARCH NEEDED):
– Burying organic material in ground that is up to the surface soaked in stagnant water, creating large pits like for regular landfills, lined with clay or asphalt, (decomposition by microorganisms essentially stops in anoxic conditions where fermentation of dying plants rapidly leads to oxygen depletion and acidification, as in sauerkraut or silage feed production and naturally in bogs. Re, salt, high concentrations further decrease decomposition, low concentration actually foster decomposition).
– For many areas, we suggest deep artificial ponds of stagnant water (mostly filled by precipitation), created with dikes that may be built with bamboo and clay and lined with clay and possibly asphalt – these are then filled with organic material that gets waterlogged and may be held down/mixed with rocks, soil and/or silt; the surface may be covered with plants: algae, other rapidly-growing water plants, possibly sphagnum moss that is anchored by sedges, imitating natural bogs.) Trees, e.g. cypress in and around such ‘artificial bogs’ may help decrease evaporation in relatively dry areas.
– Cultures should allow that dead animals that are not commercially useful and human bodies are buried along with plant material in soil that is up to the surface soaked with stagnant acidic water or deposited in places where temperatures are continuously below freezing in order to prevent degradation and the release of greenhouse gases.
– Sinking material into very cold or clod and anoxic lakes and ocean areas (dead zones), or sinking it into open water and covering it with rocks, sand and clay; the critical factor is that no new oxygen gets to the material, no flowing water, no exchange of gases in the deposits.
– Moving organic material in ships onto artic islands, piling them high, eventually forming mounds high enough to expose the tops to even lower temperatures.
– Whole trees can be stored dry; also material that is chopped up dried, and shortly heated to temperatures that kill all micro-organisms, maybe pressed into blocks. The material may be piled on a surface of bare rock, possibly with some places concrete or asphalt coved, building rapidly growing mounds; The dry organic material should always be protected from water and moving air with materials such as layers of roofing tar paper that is colored white (to prevent its heating up, releasing toxic chemicals, and decomposing). Sides/surfaces may be covered with asphalt to waterproof them. Piles of dried organic material may be covered with wood that is protected from rotting by coatings of bitumen, creosote, or other natural preservative substances (research needed?).
•  Research may develop solar energy use for pyrolysis, producing biochar (charcoal) that can be used to improve soils.
•  Other forms of safe permanent carbon sequestration must be pursued and further developed, such as exposing and breaking up rocks that absorb CO2, particularly powdered basalt and other volcanic rock, creating ‘synthetic limestone.
•  The use of wood products, bamboo and crude oil products (bitumen, asphalt) needs to be developed and expanded. Dikes and smaller dams may be constructed of bamboo and clay, maybe asphalt-covered.

•  Regarding “heat bubbles” in and around metropolitan areas: We must address local heat production in populated areas that lead to ‘heat bubbles’: nuclear, fossil fuel, and geothermal power plants produce considerably more heat than electricity, cooling them with water leads to much increased humidity. All energy use creates heat in cities, particularly air-conditioners. Solar collectors and solar panels produce also much more heat than electricity. Solar panels and condensers of air conditioners and refrigerators should be cooled by producing hot water that may be stored in large, isolated underground tanks, some of it to be used for heating in cold season. Most man-made surfaces, particularly roofs and roads, become very hot, unless special heat radiating and sun-reflecting surfaces are applied; optimally, they are painted extreme white; shading with trees is also beneficial. Hot air rising from cities and power stations may prevent the formation of shading clouds while increase evaporation; the humidity is a local greenhouse gas that further heats the metropolitan areas.
•  Large and high gravity dams may be built without concrete by piling up large rocks with uneven, rough surface, spaces between them filled with stones of different sizes, gravel, and sand, and the inside of the dam sealed with asphalt. To build the dam a layer of large rocks forms the foundation, spaces between the rocks are filled in first with mid-sized rocks, then small stones and finally gravel and sand; the dam is built up by adding layer after layer of big rocks, in each layer the spaces between the big rocks being filled in as in the lowest layer. A thick layer of asphalt inside the dam is to prevent water from washing out sand and rocks; some asphalt may also be used inside the dam. (Water that seeps through should be able to flow out at the base of the dam without damaging it.).
Regarding asphalt: in cool water, asphalt appears safe, hardly releasing toxic organic substances; however asphalt surfaces on streets, parking lots, etc. do release more or less toxic organic substances, particularly when hot hot. Top layers of asphalt streets/roads should use very light rocks that reflect most heat, or streets and roads should be hard-pressed rocks with rail lines (mostly narrow track, 70-100cm).

To save coral reefs, can icebergs be moved into the area, upstream from the reefs, to cool the water enough for corals to flourish? Efforts to save coral species that are in danger of extinction in cool tanks and expecting that they will flourish somewhen in the future will hardly save all the diverse plants and animals that are part of the reef ecosystem. (Although they cover less than 0.1% of the earth’s surface, coral reefs are the most biodiverse marine ecosystem in the world. Coral reefs reportedly are home to: 4,000 species of reef fish 840 species of corals over 1 million species of other animals).
To halt and reverse desertification, at the edges of steppe, savanna, and oasis, mounds or ditches, several feet high/deep and wide, running East-West, will decrease the earth’s heating up during daytime; we expect that rainwater will not evaporate before reaching the ground as is common when the ground is hot. The cooler ground prevents an up-draft of hot air, possibly allowing cloud formation and rain. (Forests and oases are more likely to get rain than dry land because there is not the updraft of hot air that dries up humidity and may dissolve clouds.) Particularly if there is an incline, the ditches should have frequent dams that, if there is rain, prevent the water from flowing East or West in the ditch. Any rain should collect in the ditches and may then allow the growth of drought-resistant plants.
• Since alcohol use is a worldwide problem and research now shows that even small amounts of alcohol are damaging to people’s health, it is proposed to tax alcohol, encouraging a rapid move towards alcoholic beverages with greatly decreased alcohol content that taste the same as real beer, wine and liquors. (People who like the effect of alcohol will get some effects as conditioned reflex, and/or learn to appreciate the very subtle effect of very low alcohol levels; they should be able to enjoy the taste.) The alcohol that is distilled from these beverages can be used as liquid fuel.
• Where global warming has been decreasing ice and snow, wind-powered snow making machines should be used to maintain reflectivity of areas and slow warming of the ground by the sun; we believe it is possible and advantageous to design snow making machines that work directly with wind generators, not with wind power-generated electricity; snow-making machines should be broadly used worldwide. Loss of ice and snow is very widespread: retreating glaciers in Greenland, Antarctica, other permanent snow-ice in polar area and high mountains; seasonal ice cover of lakes and the sea and usual seasonal snow cover of ground; permafrost in polar areas and high mountains.
Water desalination: an infrared radiating sheet of metal or other material (dark color), slightly tilted towards North, will get very cold when exposed to the night sky; if located above the ocean’s relatively warm water, there will be much  condensation – distilled water will run down the sheet on both sides and can be collected in gutters. With cooling extreme white that radiates infrared into the sky, condensation occurs day and night.
Heating and cooling buildings: Passive solar principles are valuable. As feasible, walls are to be designed to have a 12-hour delay for warmth to penetrate. In some places shaded roof gardens may keep in-door temperatures relatively stable. Evaporative cooling with heat exchangers may widely be used to produce cool, dry air. Research may further develop ways to utilize geothermal principles for heating and cooling. At some places there are hot springs, and/or the temperature of rocks is very high relatively close to the surface. Everywhere, at a certain depth, a few feet deep(?), the delay in penetration of summer heat is half a year; not far below, the temperature is essentially stable year-round at the annual average of the earth’s surface temperature (in areas where there is at times snow cover, the temperature of the earth’s surface is often much higher, sometimes lower, than the air temperature).
• Further developments in energy-efficient temperature control of buildings may use hot water from any power station, industry, or other installation that creates excess heat. Hot water may be gained from cooling solar panels and from condensers of air conditioners and refrigerators.
• Hot water and ice may be stored in large, insulated underground tanks. Ice may be stored in cold areas where it is produced and in summer shipped to hot places. During cold times, ice can be produced by pumping lake water from beneath a layer of ice to the surface where it will quickly freeze (the ice insulates the lake water from the cold air and it generally takes considerable time to form thick ice layers.).
• Not recyclable plastics, plastic removed from rivers and oceans may be pressed into blocks or tiles that may then be used for paths, maybe even as building material for structures that are not intended for human habitation. Some plastics may be safely transformed into fuel. In addition, bacteria may be found or bred that will decompose, “eat,” many useless plastics.•  

Regarding quality of life, peace, prevention of wars

Leaders worldwide must work on establishing universal goals of education, for children and adults, including as part of continued education of professionals.
Most important probably are: learning basics of happiness research and broad ethics – the two largely coincide.
These may be more important than ‘life skills’ as established at the end of the 20th century*.
The basic goal of happiness, contentedness, and health results primarily from being ethical. Main ethical principles in short: giving is better than receiving, forgiving than vindicating, and cooperating than competing; we must learn being broadly compassionate – compassionately empathetic, including towards people who are distant and considering distant future; and ethical behaving should help create cohesive supportive communities that seek and maintain good relationships with neighboring and distant communities.
People must learn to avoid religious and quasi-religious deference to abstract notions. That includes patriotism, the flag, ideologies, political leaders and political parties, loyalty to idealistic notions like “freedom” and “equality,” ethnic or racial groups, etc. It also includes religious notions – religions must not teach “truths” that compete with ethics and sciences, or interpretations of ‘the will of God’ – nobody can claim to have access to knowledge people of other religions do not have – and we must be tolerant to the different religious-cultural ways of admiring nature and celebrating life transitions, births, maturity, weddings, etc.
Everybody should learn:
•  For happiness most important is a sense of having a supportive community, considerable direct interactions even if in content trivial – NOT  (as schools often teach and focus on) money or raising the material living standard, ‘successes’ like winning in conflicts, or rise in professional hierarchies.
•  Giving feels better than receiving; forgiving leads to the peace we desire, while revenge leads to bitterness and lasting hostilities.
•  Cooperation feels better than competition; competition may be mostly with oneself, improving own performance; minor competitiveness is normal, for instance in games, but particularly if the person is good in some special field, it can quickly distorts a healthy equilibrium in growth and development of many aspects of a person.
•  There are diminishing returns when acquiring material resources and financial wealth. Only if if very deprived and below what is the standard range in a community, rising income and consumption may improve contentment and happiness; being above local standard and/or at a luxurious level, adding material resources hardly improve one’s happiness.
•  Ethically, it is our task to develop broad compassion and empathy, as feasible, without us-against-them thinking (we must seek peace with enemies and competitors) and across lines of us-versus-them thinking (if boys consider girls as “them,” too different to empathize with, compassion is greatly reduced). Practicing compassionate empathy without judging others gives life meaning. Still, empathy, attempts to put self into other’s place, understanding their fears, suffering, aspirations, etc. is always limited, we cannot know enough about others to be fully empathetic, compassion is more important; efforts to be compassionately empathetic must not be limited to inner circles of people but extend to all and future people and, to a lesser degree, other sentient beings.
•  Compassion requires that we only take risks if the risk is very meaningful since, if things go wrong, our loved ones and whole communities are severely affected.
•  Unethical fantasies are unethical and dangerous because they harm human relationships – it is hard to have a close caring relationship with all community members while often having violent fantasies against certain ‘types’ of people; and fantasies may be acted out under extraneous circumstances, such as very stressed and tired, being in a law-less place (rural very poor area or war zone) and/or when intoxicated.
•  Ethically, we must aim to be tolerant towards other cultures, their ways of fulfilling human needs, their ways of celebrating, and their rituals, except if rituals are inhumane (an extreme example of inhumane religious-cultural ritual is female genital cutting).
•  Ethics must never be taught as traditional-religious morality that promises rewards and threatens punishments in an afterlife.
•  Naturally, humans are very tradition-bound and they have an ability and propensity to hold multiple ’realities’; we must learn to avoid believing in local, family, group, and job traditions as being “right and working for us humans” without evaluating whether they are ethical, corresponding with considerable anecdotal data, ‘common sense,’ and sciences. There are many other forms of false ‘realities’ that are dangerous and should be avoided. Religions must serve as cultural expressions, celebrating stages in life, organizing support when people marry or die, etc. They must never teach ‘facts’ (false ‘realities’) about the origin of the world and humans, about an afterlife, how we are to behave, etc. If there is a personal God, nobody can know this God’s will.
•  Patriotism and loyalty to a person, group, company, or ideology are not virtues: before working with or for somebody, before supporting some group, abstract ideology, or ‘nation,’ we must examine if goals are truly ethical.
•  Abuse behaviors, unethical behaviors that feel in some way good, are very problematic: we must fight justifying, rationalizing, and repeating abuse behaviors; they can lead to addictions – in addiction, the abuse pattern continuously competes with all other first priorities Addictions often lead to the person believing in a false “reality” – the ‘disease’ makes the unethical behaviors ‘normal,’ ‘necessary’ and ‘right,’ etc. Actually, abuse patterns evolve because the person has no emotionally supported motivation that counters the behavior; example: with a desired pregnancy, women are usually able quit smoking and more seriously addicting drugs; people may quit addicting behaviors because loved children do not like a parent or grandparent smoke.
•  Societies must make efforts to treat all abuse patterns and addictions; involuntary if they seriously harm others.
•  Particularly important are the major psychological-behavioral addictions: forms of gambling with significant resources involved, addiction to consumption-credit buying, to conspiracy theorizing, to elaborating and enjoying unethical fantasies, and to the pursuit of wealth and power. These addictions often lead to false “realities” and delusional thinking and crimes.
•  In any activities and in problem solving, we must make efforts to see “the big picture” and “think things through.” Efforts to get a broad education and educating oneself broadly, is valuable. Creative and critical thinking are not valuable if staying focused on narrow fields, ignoring ethics and the broad contexts.

For progress towards world peace, people must clearly see when leaders become mentally ill, addicted to wealth and power, dishonest, no longer seeing what is relevant in reality, almost or frankly delusional and in many ways unethical. Economic leaders, investors, money managers, etc. must be more and more scrutinized – are their goal destructive to society and the world’s futures? Are they pursuing goals that are not contradicting universal goals of health and happiness of persons affected by their decisions? Profits should always be seen with suspicion and generally have a bad reputation – most profits are ethically questionable because they compete with what is good for societies.
We must express what we recognize and clearly advocate that any unethical leaders should be psychologically-psychiatrically treated; they must not be dealt with as a valuable partner. Leaders who commit major crimes must be internationally prosecuted and, as soon as they leave their country, be arrested and stripped of powers. When working to remove seriously and dangerously unethical leaders, everybody should be clear, sacrifices must be accepted; but more importantly, dealing with unethical leaders partly for one’s own material or political benefits is never worth it. We do best living more simply and humbly.
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* The World Health Organization (WHO) categorizes life skills into the following
three components:
a) Critical thinking skills/Decision-making skills – include decision-making/problem solving skills and information gathering skills. The individual
must also be skilled at evaluating the future consequences of their present actions and the actions of others. They need to be able to determine alternative solutions and to analyze the influence of their own values and the values of those around them.
b) Interpersonal/Communication skills – include verbal and non-verbal communication, active listening, and the ability to express feelings and give feed back. Also in this category, are negotiation/refusal skills and assertiveness skills that directly affect ones’ ability to manage conflict. Empathy, which is the ability to listen and understand others’ needs, is also a key interpersonal skill. Teamwork and the ability to cooperate include expressing respect for those around us. Development of this skill set enables the adolescent to be accepted in society. These skills result in the acceptance of social norms that provide the foundation for adult social behavior.
c) Coping and self-management skills refers to skills to increase the internal locus of control, so that the individual believes that they can make a difference in the world and affect change. Self esteem, self-awareness, self-evaluation skills and the ability to set goals are also part of the more general category of self-management skills. Anger, grief and anxiety must all be dealt with, and the individual learns to cope loss or trauma. Stress and time management are key, as are positive thinking and relaxation techniques.


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Previously written material for Climate Emergency chapter

C E 1. Introduction.
C E 2. Relevant and new ideas of Humane Civilization Worldwide
Legislatures must address the structure and organization of our economies
A broad high-profile education campaign is needed
Some novel ideas included below. See also:  Greta Thunberg inspired letter to politicians, organization leaders and scientists and please review also earlier posted material.

C E 1. Introduction

Today we have a stark choice: Reform the economic system and effectively minimize greenhouse gas releases before there is irreversible damage, versus gradually decreasing global warming while our profit-driven, ill-conceived economic system lets much of the world become unlivable and a mass extinction progresses? Caring about people’s quality of life, versus adhering to an ideology that assumes continuous economic growth is most important?
All present proposals to deal with climate change appear flawed and grossly inadequate; we already are close to 1.5ºC above pre-industrial temperatures and the CO2 levels are now like 2,500,000 years ago. And vicious cycles are speeding up climate change.
The root cause of the climate crisis is an economic system that promotes profits at the cost of people’s well-being and the world’s ecosystems; and the most detrimental institutions are protected and subsidized by our government.

To reform our civilization, we need a model, a clear image, of a better economic system. Transitions have to be worked out; food production and relevant services must not be interrupted; what is newly built has to complement, then replace the old. As many new rail lines, human-powered and ultra-light electric vehicles are built, cars and buses will be used much less. Small interacting non-profit enterprises must efficiently fulfill government contracts that aim to make the economy sustainable. To be able to adapt to new goals in research and development, large corporations should break up into small, non-profit enterprises, that rely on government grants and low-interest loans rather than profit-seeking investors. It is urgent that there is cooperation between universities and enterprises worldwide in order to rapidly develop efficient greenhouse gas-saving transportation, food production, and land management systems, as well as in the constructive use of artificial intelligence, robotics, and automation.

We can stop global warming and create more hospitable, humane conditions, but in order to redirect ill-conceived, untenable developments, economic systems must be reformed. Governments must create and allocate money in ways that effectively address our foremost problems, and laws must severely limit activities of financial institutions. Disastrous climate changes are progressing much faster than anticipated, affecting all continents. Immediate far-reaching actions must decrease greenhouse gases much more rapidly than proposed gradual approaches permit. The alternative, working with present business models, will almost certainly lead to inconceivable catastrophes, famines, mass migrations, much more violence, wars, and mass extinctions.
Perceptions about what people need are broadly changing in light of the climate emergency with worsening weather disasters, living through a pandemic, worldwide demonstrations concerning racism and economic inequalities, concerns about the abuse of artificial intelligence and the internet, escalating government debts, business failures, and a recession that is likely to become the worst since the Great Depression. These events not only offer a rare opportunity for politicians to realize major reforms, they DEMAND responsible actions by all governments and the U.N. NOW! To effectively address this crisis, we must reform the dysfunctional, profit-driven, bigoted, extremely unstable financial institutions. Then we can effectively address the wasteful transportation infrastructures and food production , many other known factors that contribute to global warming, and also urgent humanitarian crises.

C E 2. Relevant and new ideas of Humane Civilization Worldwide:

Legislatures must address the structure and organization of our economies: give governments and their national banks the power to create new money (that is not based on loans and bond issues, not increasing the government debt), while strictly limiting the lending by financial institutions. The circulating money must belong mostly to the people, enterprises and government agencies that work with it, not to banks and investors. Government spending must not rely on taxation, and borrowing to do work that saves energy and resources and that increases beneficial productivity.
Governments must work with public-private partnership nonprofit enterprises, assuring that money is allocated to what is needed for our future. Governments must first issue newly created money to fund  contract work that will save energy, minimize the release of greenhouse gases, and improve the lives of people. A reformed economy, has to include a guaranteed income for all and include good safety nets. People must be able to save and to buy goods with savings, and during transitions, people must be able to live temporarily with much decreased incomes while feeling economically secure.  see below

A broad high-profile education campaign is needed, since most people and policy makers still do not understand how serious the climate emergency is and some continue to deny the reality of climate change1. Thus present plans are grossly inadequate. An education campaign must emphasize that:

  • We can redirect misguided developments and stop global warming much faster and more effectively than concerned politicians, activists, and scientists envision. This is urgent since the climate emergency is much more severe than broadly portrayed. However, most important is addressing economic institutions.
  • Our response to the climate emergency must be as decisive as the US’ response to WWII and include sacrifices. The War Powers Act may be needed to enact changes. We must do everything humanly possible to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, by way of saving resources and energy particularly in transportation systems, by moving to mostly plant-based diets, and by making other known, relevant factors first priorities. (Plans for energy savings in transportation systems are described below.) While continuing to provide for basic needs, our industries must dramatically change their production programs and their goals for research and development, leading to major changes in many aspects of people’s lives. Many of these changes, rather than creating hardships, are likely to improve people’s lives.
  • Present economic institutions must be reformed; present conditions prevent rapid, sweeping changes, and they are poorly adapted to what people and societies need. The present organization of our economy is dominated by for-profit corporations – profits, not people’s needs are their primary concern; and there is widespread reliance on credit. Without reforms, people will resist necessary changes, fearing they will lose income, housing, investments, and everything that has been bought with credit. Problems for small businesses are similar.
  • Corporations abuse the internet and applications of artificial intelligence. Particularly objectionable are cryptocurrencies and the gathering, storing, analyzing and exploiting of personal data. These activities are unethical and an incredible waste of energy and of material and human resources; they must be outlawed. (Cryptocurrencies are also inflationary; they limit how much money governments can create without causing inflation.)
  • Proposed changes, as Humane Civilization Worldwide promote, consider human nature and needs of societies; they are expected to improve people’s quality of life. Making life less stressful and attending to people’s physical and mental health are investments that save much resources; people will be happier, more cooperative, function better, and also be more productive. Some proposed changes may be seen as returning to what was better in the past. This is to a large extent what humans naturally prefer: by nature, humans are very tradition-bound and suspicious of anything new, unless novelty symbolizes higher rank, is imminently enticing, and/or is addicting.
  • We know that people are very adaptable and readily change, if a critical number of people agree with the significance and meaning of needed changes, and if essentially all people have to participate2.
  • People must compel governments to act, disregarding industry and financial institution lobbyists. Lobbying by for-profit entities must be severely restricted.

Some novel ideas include:

  • Sequestering carbon by preventing organic material from burning or rapidly decomposing by burying it in up to the surface water-soaked ground, sinking it into anoxic lakes or ocean areas (dead zones) including waters with very high salinity, or sinking it into open water and covering it with rocks, sand and clay. Plant material may include dead wood removed from forests to decrease the danger of fires, wood from torn-down buildings and other waste wood, and rapidly grown vegetation that was planted to absorb CO2, including bamboo, fast-growing trees, algae, and duck weed, etc.; carbon in dead animals may also be sequestered along with plant material. While wetlands and some trees release methane and other greenhouse gases [volatile organic compounds] that partly counter the benefits of carbon sequestration, they are a major net benefit. Much natural plant material eventually burns or rots, producing CO2 and methane, but some also sequesters carbon in the form of biochar that enriches the top soil with carbon.
  • Stopping and reversing desertification by way of enlarging the surface of sun-exposed earth in deserts: building East-West running mounds or walls between ditches, several feet high/deep. This will lessen the soil’s heating up during daytime and decrease the updraft of hot air, allowing cloud formation and precipitation which does not evaporate before reaching the ground. Such efforts may be particularly valuable where there had been overgrazing, along rivers, around oasis, and at the edges of steppe and savanna.
  • Using primarily wood and bamboo in construction is a form of carbon sequestration since the wood and bamboo will not rot. Building with wood and recycled material also reduces greenhouse gas release from concrete, aluminum, and steel production. (At Vancouver’s University of British Columbia, the Brock Commons Tallwood House is an 18-story wood building that was erected rapidly with prefabricated component, cheaper than comparable conventional buildings.) In many functions, bamboo may replace wood or steel; light vehicles, including light rail cars, and towers of wind turbines may be built partly with bamboo and bamboo.
  • Transportation wastes much energy. We must design and build, in addition to standard gauge freight and high-speed trains, a dense light-rail network mostly narrow-track, 100cm and less (60, 70, and/or 80cm) that can be cheaply built on present roads and in very inhospitable, mountainous areas. Trains must be aerodynamic and most lines should have regular trains (close to three times as wide as the track and similarly high, some with two levels), and also much smaller aerodynamic trains that run frequently on the same tracks during low-use times. These small train cars may be the size of vans. Rail transportation is to be combined with human-powered and ultra-light electric vehicles. Trains are to be complemented by human powered, electro-assisted, and ultra-light electric vehicles, with or without aerodynamic bodies; these vehicles may use bicycle. Train cars and light vehicles should be built mostly using wood products and bamboo to sequester carbon and avoid greenhouse gas releases when being built.
  • Waste heat should be stored for heating in winter and for hot water in households; particularly the heat produced by air conditioners should heat well isolated underground water tanks. Water may be cooled in winter and stored in isolated cold-water tanks to aid cooling in summer. Water may be cooled by running at night through ‘reverse solar collectors’ and from heating with heat pumps.
  • Water desalination: A black or infrared radiating light colored sheet of metal, slightly tilted towards North, will get very cold when exposed to the night sky; if above the ocean’s relatively warm water, there will be plenty of condensation – distilled water – running down the metal sheet on both sides, to be collected in gutters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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