Category Archives: Government

Humanity needs to change course immediately on climate change

This report from the United Nations is sobering:

U.N. Says World Has 10 Months to Get Serious on Climate Goals

“The language of diplomacy rarely allows for a true sense of emotion or urgency. But reading between the lines of the latest report commissioned by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)—the body representing the 197 member nations of the Paris Agreement to minimize a global average temperature rise this century—the message is clear. The world has precisely ten months to get our act together if there is to be any hope of staving off a climate catastrophe by the end of the century.”

As described many times in this blog, there are steps that humanity could take (e.g. the immediate halt to fossil fuel usage and the immediate initiation of direct carbon dioxide capture from the atmosphere). But humanity shows little interest in averting the catastrophe that is approaching. Even though we know what will happen, and even though it will cause trillions of dollars in damage along with the displacement of millions of people, humanity seems unable to take action.

At this point it is difficult to imagine anything that would cause humanity to change course in any significant way. And what is really needed is an intense effort, similar to space program in the United States in the 1960s, where significant funding and hundreds of thousands of scientists and engineers are dedicated to the task of solving and then reversing climate change.

See also: ‘Mutual suicide’: US issues stark warning on climate change

“Failing to address climate change is “marching forward to what is almost tantamount to a mutual suicide pact”, said Kerry. “We bury our heads in the sand at our own peril. It’s urgent to treat the climate crisis as the urgent security threat that it is.””

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

John Kerry (Special Envoy for Climate) gives us 9 years to get our climate act together

According to John Kerry, we have 9 years to start getting out act together and 29 years to hit net-zero on Carbon:

Kerry warns the US has 9 years to avoid worst climate consequences

From the article:

““The scientists told us three years ago we had 12 years to avert the worst consequences of climate crisis. We are now three years gone, so we have nine years left,” Kerry said. The former secretary of State appeared to be referring to a 2018 United Nations report, which warned that global emissions needed to decrease 45 percent by 2030 in order to avert 1.5 degrees of global warming… “We all need to develop not just a number but a road map for how we will actually make the dramatic progress we need to make over the next 10 years and what we will specifically do to get to net-zero by no later than 2050,” Kerry stated.”

The question that many experts are exploring now is, “have we already stretched nature so far that 1.5 degrees is impossible without drastic measures.

What Kerry should instead be doing is taking a big leap and advocating dramatic global measures. Net Zero should be happening in 10 years, not 30, and CO2 needs to be extracted from the atmosphere to boot. Fossil fuel consumption must end quickly and completely, and we must remediate the carbon dioxide we have already released. Why should Kerry do this?

  • We have to do this if the planet is to survive
  • Dramic steps like this will drive publicity
  • If we turn on crisis mode behaviors, there is some hope that humanity can get the job done.

Trillions of dollars or infrastructure, millions of human lives and quadrillions of plant/animal lives are at stake. Humans must take drastic steps, and Kerry should be leading the charge globally.

U.S. Special Envoy for Climate, John Kerry at Climate Adaptation Summit

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

The Texas Power Grid nearly collapsed, and if it had the power would be out for weeks or months

It is unbelievable how close the Texas power grid came to complete shut down:

ERCOT: Texas was ‘seconds and minutes’ away from catastrophic months-long blackouts

From the article:

“Texas’ power grid was “seconds and minutes” away from a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months, officials with the entity that operates the grid said Thursday… The worst case scenario: Demand for power overwhelms the supply of power generation available on the grid, causing equipment to catch fire, substations to blow, power lines to go down. If the grid had gone totally offline, the physical damage to power infrastructure from overwhelming the grid can take months to repair, said Bernadette Johnson, senior vice president of power and renewables at Enverus, an oil and gas software and information company headquartered in Austin.”

This comment on Reddit described the worsening situation in real time:

Comment by /u/redditmudder

From the comment:

“Update8 (FEB15 12 noon): ERCOT’s poor planning (long term, not just last night) has now caused Texas to lose 30% of its generating capacity. When this is over, we need to insist that ERCOT change both the emergency response load-shedding model, and their worst-case temperature event model. ERCOT’s poorly-devised playbook last night has caused what should have been an 8 GW shortfall to become a 22 GW shortfall… in real-world terms, that means six million additional homes are without power, versus what could have happened if the grid didn’t nearly fall off a cliff last night. Note: Both numbers I mention above were possible given the current weather conditions. The additional 14 GW shortfall is a direct result of ERCOT’s emergency measures further destabilizing the (already unstable) grid… telling everyone to start brownouts at exactly the same time (as happened last night) destabilized the grid so greatly that several baseload plants offlined themselves (so they wouldn’t blow up). Here are my long term suggestions to ERCOT.”

Say that a month-long blackout had occurred. Texas would have likely descended into total mayhem – no power, no water, no food (the stores were already bare), people dying en masse and so on. It would have been a true doomsday situation. How would anyone prepare for that? This is an interesting video for a perspective on this question:

How to survive the first 2 months after SHTF

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

We are headed in a direction where large areas the planet become unihabitable

Collapseologists are warning humanity that business-as-usual will make the Earth uninhabitable

“In a report for the sustainability group Future Earth, a survey of scientists found that extreme weather events, food insecurity, freshwater shortages and the broad degradation of life-sustaining ecosystems “have the potential to impact and amplify one another in ways that might cascade to create global systemic collapse.” A 2019 report from the Breakthrough National Center for Climate Restoration, a think tank in Australia, projected that a rapidly warming world of depleted resources and mounting pollution would lead to “a largely uninhabitable Earth” and a “breakdown of nations and the international order.” Analysts in the U.S. and British military over the past two years have issued similar warnings of climate- and environment-driven chaos.”

It gets worse:

“If you are a nonhuman species, collapse is well underway. Ninety-nine percent of the tall grass prairie in North America is gone, by one estimate; 96% of the biomass of mammals — biomass is their weight on Earth — now consists of humans, our pets and our farm animals; nearly 90% of the fish stocks the U.N. monitors are either fully exploited, over exploited or depleted; a multiyear study in Germany showed a 76% decline in insect biomass.”

It will not be long before the Amazon rainforest and similar large ecosystems start collapsing and turning into deserts. Once that happens, equatorial regions are likely to become so hot that nothing can survive. Once that happens the oceans heat up to the point where they become uninhabitable as well. Melting ice raises sea levels a hundred feet or more and it is game-over for modern civilization as we know it.

What is so incredibly depressing here is that humanity could bind together and start correcting these problems. Humanity could:

All of these steps are within our grasp. But can humanity get its act together and undertake any of them?

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

Transporting natural gas by rail through cities – a doomsday scenario

If you have read The Doomsday Book, you know that one thing terrorists look for is places that store potential energy. They especially like to release potential energy in crowded areas. This proposal brings big concentrations of potential energy right through the heart of many cities:

‘That Terrifies Me’: Trump Rule Allows Natural Gas Transport By Rail In Dense Areas

What makes it terrifying?

In an effort to boost natural gas exports, the Trump administration has reversed longstanding federal policy and approved transport of gas by rail anywhere in the country. Opposition has come from Hollywood stars, state attorneys general and local residents who worry about the danger this poses. But plans are moving ahead for a New Jersey project that calls for one of the longest such transport routes in the country: 200 miles through densely populated areas of the East Coast.

The gas from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale would first be sent by pipeline to a new liquefaction plant in the rural northeast part of the state. Refrigeration units would chill it to negative-260 degrees Fahrenheit, at which point it becomes liquid and easier to ship. The part of the plan that scares a lot of people is the next step — transporting the gas by truck or rail down the busy I-95 corridor to a planned export terminal along the Delaware River in Gloucester County, New Jersey.

Generally speaking we do not ship gasoline – another flammable liquid – this way. Gasoline is flowing in underground pipelines, which is much safer.

What could go wrong? It is easy to imagine a 50-car train of liquified natural gas. Each car has 30,000 gallons say of LNG, or about 100,000 kilograms of LNG . That is 1.5 million gallons of LNG total, or 5 million kilograms. And now a bomb blows up a part of the train. If all of the LNG ignites, that’s the energy equivalent of about 50,000 tons of TNT (ref). That is 3 times more energy than the energy released by the nuclear bomb at Hiroshima. Even if only a few cars ignite, it is still a huge explosion. It is a doomsday scenario in the making. This video shows the potential problems:

Communities at Risk: Hazards of LNG

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

The Russian computer Breach is a doomsday sceanrio for the nation’s security

This article tells the tale of the massive Russian computer attack:

Why the Russian hack is so significant, and why it’s close to a worst-case scenario

From the article:

Around the world, at least hundreds, but more likely thousands or tens of thousands of organizations — including companies, schools, think tanks and, notably, every major government agency — have been working frantically to see whether they’ve been affected by the suspected Russian hacking campaign and, if so, how much access the hackers had.


The hackers’ lead time and extraordinary access mean victim organizations will have to choose between two unpleasant options: spending significant resources hunting through their computers in the hope that they can eradicate the hackers’ footholds or rebuilding their networks from scratch, said Suzanne Spaulding, the former head of what is now CISA and currently the director of the Defending Democratic Institutions project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank.

Plus we don’t yet know the full scale of what data was stolen, or how important/valuable it is.

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

Nuclear weapons agency (and many others) attacked by massive computer breach

Terrorism often comes in the form of bombs and poisons, but it can also come in the form of cyber attacks. There has been a massive attack in the United States stretching up to some of the most secure sites in the country:

Nuclear weapons agency breached amid massive cyber onslaught

The Energy Department and National Nuclear Security Administration, which maintains the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, have evidence that hackers accessed their networks as part of an extensive espionage operation that has affected at least half a dozen federal agencies, officials directly familiar with the matter said.

The breach is so bad and so far reaching, it is thought that entire computer networks will need to be “burned to the ground” in order to lock them down again:

Hacked networks will need to be burned ‘down to the ground’

“We have a serious problem. We don’t know what networks they are in, how deep they are, what access they have, what tools they left,” said Bruce Schneier, a prominent security expert and Harvard fellow… The only way to be sure a network is clean is “to burn it down to the ground and rebuild it,” Schneier said.

An unbelievable situation for a country as advanced and powerful as the United States.

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

French Protestors rioting because of restrictions on photographing Police

Tens of thousands of protestors took to the streets in France to protect Article 24 of France’s Global Security Bill.

French lawmakers pass controversial bill that restricts the publication of images of police

French lawmakers passed a bill on Tuesday that critics say could make it harder for journalists and human rights advocates to hold police accountable. The Global Security Bill’s most controversial section — Article 24 — which was approved by lawmakers on Friday, forbids the publication of images that allow the identification of a law enforcement officer “with the intent to cause them harm, physically or mentally.”


On Saturday, there were more protests against the bill with an estimated 22,000 people taking part in marches across France. In Paris the crowds included representatives of the media, along with some gilets jaunes (yellow vest) protesters and members of Extinction Rebellion.

Why is France’s new national security bill controversial?

The bill has been strongly criticised by journalists and rights groups who argue that it would curtail press freedom and lead to less police accountability. Those opposed to the legislation are concerned that, if it is enacted, it risks endangering journalists and other onlookers who film officers at work, especially during violent protests. They say documenting and sharing the actions of violent officers is essential in stopping future incidents of police brutality.

If police can act without accountability, they are free to do any heinous thing they want to citizens.

According to Cecile Coudriou, president of Amnesty International France: “If people cannot film anything in the streets when the police may sometimes have an illegal use of force it’s a very worrying message to send”

‘Republicans Remain Opposed to Any Policies That Would Reduce Fossil-Fuel Use’

‘Republicans Remain Opposed to Any Policies That Would Reduce Fossil-Fuel Use’

Back in the U.S., the relief of Donald Trump’s long good-bye will begin yielding to the stark reality that his party remains fundamentally pathological. No issue highlights this depressing reality more clearly than climate change. For more than a decade, the GOP has stood alone among major right-of-center parties in industrialized democracies worldwide in its refusal to endorse climate science. But during the Trump era, the party’s rhetorical emphasis shifted. The major Republican point of agreement is now to insist on fossil-fuel use as an inherent good.

This is a worst-case-scenario when it comes to Climate Change – an entire political party and tens of millions of voters all opposed to solving the problem at the root of the climate change crisis. The only hope we have is to stop burning fossil fuels immediately, and start pulling carbon back out of the atmosphere, and to probably deploy geoengineering measures as well. To have an entire political party opposing these measures is planetary suicide.

Geoengineering: A Horrible Idea We Might Have to Do
Geoengineering May Be the Answer to Climate Change

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

The world’s coming fresh water crisis will be a catastrophe for many major cities

We can see the fresh water catastrophe coming, but will we do enough in time to avert it? This video lays out the problem:

Explained | World’s Water Crisis | FULL EPISODE | Netflix

According to the video, these cities are on the brink of a fresh water crisis unless action is taken:

  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Jakarta
  • London
  • Beijing
  • Istanbul
  • Tokyo
  • Bangalore
  • Barcelona
  • Mexico City

Other well known problem areas are dry places like Las Vegas, Saudi Arabia (and many other desert areas in the Middle East and Africa), parts of China and India, etc. These places currently rely on aquifers that are going to soon be empty.

Some of the large urban areas are coastal so they will eventually resort to mass desalination (with its own pollution and energy problems, but better than dying of thirst), but a place like Mexico City or Las Vegas may not be so lucky.

This article paints a dire picture:

More than 3 billion people affected by water shortages, data shows – UN warns about consequences of not conserving water and tackling climate crisis

Water shortages are now affecting more than 3 billion people around the world, as the amount of fresh water available for each person has plunged by a fifth over two decades, data has shown. About 1.5 billion people are suffering severe water scarcity or even drought, as a combination of climate breakdown, rising demand and poor management has made agriculture increasingly difficult across swathes of the globe.

With human populations continuing to rise, the problems only get worse unless something causes the human population to crash.

One possible solution is purely economic. Municipal water in a place like Las Vegas might be a penny per gallon today. If it rises to 50 cents or a dollar per gallon, then people will treat water differently. It might mean the end of golf courses and giant artificial lakes in the desert: