[GWSG] Local disasters; approaching 1.5C; Brazil's climate show, and the reactions; sports and politics; small businesses, big effect

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Sun Aug 7 12:16:58 EDT 2016

1.  A Global Hazard news service from England makes it clear that we are suffering a series of catastrophic local events which sum to a general emergency.  663 disasters were recorded last year, and the number is rising.  http://motherboard.vice.com/read/how-the-world-breaks

2.  We are fast approaching the 1.5C limit of warning adopted in the Paris agreement.  The limit is still conceivably achievable, perhaps in retrospect through carbon capture and sequestration.  https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/aug/06/global-warming-target-miss-scientists-warn

3.  Brazil's opening ceremony for the Olympic games highlighted a sequence on climate change viewed by 3.3 billion people.  Many people reacted enthusiastically; perhaps more interesting were the negative comments, mostly charging that Brazil was hypocritical or deceptive because of their pollution, corruption, and ecological failures.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/08/05/in-olympics-opening-ceremony-brazil-goes-big-on-climate-change/?utm_term=.0defbdd00d88

The hostile reactions illustrated for me the psychology of those who reject messages on the climate crisis.  Their reactions combine disgusted challenges of hypocrisy ("All the while these guys are really just getting rich," whether wealthy activists, greedy scientists, or corrupt and careless Brazilians), and with despair ("They are really doing nothing which will have an impact on the problem" because they drive cars or otherwise pollute or must deal with intractable political opposition).  We register our own guilt and fear in our refusal to recognize the threat.  The psychological mechanism is projection.  That is why we heard so much about Al Gore's electric bill (until Nashville finally approved his solar panels) and his investments in renewable energy, and are hearing so much about Leonardo DiCaprio's transportation emissions, which were of little interest until he began to get some traction with his efforts on behalf of climate action.  The same sort of identification which can lead to projection also underlies the positive effect that people such as Gore and DiCaprio can have.  http://www.forbes.com/sites/marshallshepherd/2016/08/06/why-the-rio-olympics-and-leonardo-dicaprio-get-your-attention-on-climate-change/#746d0a6d53a0

How might we interrupt shadow projection, even if it is not easily turned toward enthusiastic identification?  We might begin by recognizing that it is legitimate to become aware of the ways we and others contribute to the problem, and of the difficulty of its solution, but that we need not be crippled by our awareness.  At that point it might be possible to interrupt the shadow projection by analyzing examples-such as the tweets about the Olympic climate show in the WA Post article.

4.  Sydney's Greg Baum offers a meditation on the way sports and politics merged in the opening ceremony.  http://www.smh.com.au/sport/olympics/rio-2016/first-green-now-gold-the-climate-changes-in-rio-20160806-gqmhy8.html

5.  Germany is a leader in the energy transition, thanks in part to its large number of small and medium size businesses supporting the Energiewende.  https://theecoreport.com/energiewendes-real-backbone/  ?

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