Living with Climate Change

California drought.originally published by Transition Culture

No water.  That pretty much sums up living with climate change around here, in Los Angeles.  California is currently experiencing “the worst drought in 500 years.”  We had one minor “rain event” in October just before Rob Hopkins came to town, and another minor rain event in late January. Up until this week, we’d had 1.02 inches of rainfall since last July, instead of our normal 15 inches.  So much for our so-called “rainy season.”

As I write this, we’re experiencing an extraordinarily severe “biggest rainstorm in two years” (which may bring our total annual rainfall up to 3 inches, approximately the level of a prior “record drought”).  Soon we’re headed into what are traditionally our dry months.  In a normal year, zero rain typically falls between May and November.

Powerdown: Let’s Talk About It

We’re caught in the squeeze right now.

Climate change is advancing at an incredible speed. We know we should do something, but we lack the political will to do what it takes to hold it to 2°C. UN committees are now being counseled to prepare for 4°C of warming. To keep it survivable, there’s got to be a powerdown — starting today.

Meanwhile green-tech enthusiasts cheer the rapid rate at which certain countries are installing renewable energy infrastructure. But reports are now surfacing of shortages in the rare earth ingredients needed to make that renewable infrastructure. We don’t have enough rare earth materials to replace the whole fossil infrastructure and continue on our current level of consumption. No one dares speak the little secret: Even with renewables, there’s got be a powerdown.