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Thread by @AlexSteffen: "I've been fairly good at anticipating the general direction of the planetary crisis and our responses over the last 25 years. Was asked rece […]"

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I've been fairly good at anticipating the general direction of the planetary crisis and our responses over the last 25 years.

Was asked recently what I thought would shift on our understanding of climate over the next stage, say by 2025.

Here's an off-the-cuff list:
(thread)

1. I think we will increasingly identify 2º C as a potentially catastrophic level of warming, even as our window to act in any way that would keep us under 2º C closes.
2. I think we will increasingly see, with tragic clarity, that catastrophe is a spectrum.

That is, that we will (/have) likely set in motion truly disastrous consequences, but we'll see that much worse consequences will arise the longer we delay disruptive climate action.
2a. I think we're coming to see now that the idea that climate victory means no we experience no dire consequences is already outdated and unreal.

We'll start to get a grip on what the range of consequences actually is, and to understand the effectively existential risks ahead.
3. I'm pretty sure the idea that climate change is a collective action problem will not survive this decade, and climate politics will increasingly be seen as inherently conflictual, zero-sum (between old economy and new) and multi-polar in geopolitical terms.
4. I'm pretty sure that the staggering intergenerational injustice of predatory delay will fuel angrier and more radical youth climate politics, around the world.
5. I suspect that as the magnitude and momentum of our peril becomes clear, the idea that large-scale institutions, global corporations, investment funds and massive building projects are of necessity a core part of climate action on the scale needed will become taken for granted
6. We will likely not think in terms of "the economy" but in terms of competing economies, each with their fierce political partisans.

Industrial policy will be a thing smart people discuss more frequently.

Regions will compete with each other for position.
7. We will become more resigned to the reality that "reversing" climate change is not actually within our power, on any meaningful time scale...
8. We will be forced to acknowledge the harsh limits to our ability to do "negative emissions," even as early feedback mechanisms force us to admit that we'll need to do our best with atmospheric restoration despite those limits.
9. Geoengineering will be given more and more attention, despite greater and greater evidence that nothing we yet know how to do is a) a fix, b) without potentially massive consequences, c) politically acceptable.
10. There's a real chance we could see an early carbon crash scenario unfold. I don't think anyone has yet quite gotten our heads around how much of a wild card this would be in climate politics.
11. Similarly—and related—I think most people still seriously underestimate the potential for doublings of deployment in clean solutions to drive costs down to completely revolutionary levels even within this time frame. Not certain, but way more likely than most folks assume.
(If there are interesting to folks, I'll add some more tomorrow...)
12. We'll see more unofficial abandonment, as brittle systems/places are destroyed by disaster and largely not rebuilt, with investor capital (and educated people with resources) fleeing to less brittle places.

No one will ever come and put up a sign saying "This is abandoned."
13. We'll also see more secure places/regions making explicit pitches to attract those investors and workers, by advertising their geographic advantages and proactive climate ruggedization and clean economy strategies.

Honestly amazed this hasn't happened yet.
14. Coal is even more dead than we think.

It staggers on for the moment, but it's a zombie fuel, ready to drop.

By 2025 this will obvious in hindsight.
15. We underestimate the dead weight of sunk-cost expertise in our society.

Many solutions will not be deployed as fast as they should be because they challenge the authority—or even the jobs—of incumbent professionals.

This will exacerbate intergenerational workplace conflict.
15a. (As an aside, faced with reality-based futures they can't really understand, folks tend to be more ready to deny reality than change their minds.

Helping them experientially grasp the workings of better futures is critical to positive change.)

thenearlynow.com/being-too-far-…
16. Though climate and sustainability have been made irretrievably partisan in the US, UK, AUS, NZ and CA, there are also serious forces of delay, denial and downplaying on the Left in these countries.

These will become impossible to ignore as the situation grows more urgent.
17. Electric vehicles will move slower than their most enthusiastic supporters suggest for the first half of next decade, then much faster than most of us imagine in the second half, as battery tech, learning curves and major supports kick in.
17b. Very few oil-burning cars sold today will be driven for their their full operational lifespans.
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