Unprecedented: Can Civilization Survive the Co2 Crisis?

By David Ray Griffin | Go to book overview

19
MOBILIZATION

“In the face of an absolutely unprecedented emergency, society has no
choice but to take dramatic action to avert a collapse of civilization.”

– Blue Planet Laureates, 2012

We are facing issues of near-overwhelming complexity
and unprecedented urgency
.”

– Lester Brown, Plan B 4.0, 2009

Lester Brown’s Plan B is subtitled Mobilizing to Save Civilization.1 To save civilization, he explained, would mean moving its energy basis from fossil fuels to clean energy. In another book, Brown said that this effort “will take a massive mobilization – at wartime speed.”2 What would this mean?

Americans are most naturally led by this language to think of the mobilization for World War II. Joe Romm, speaking of the need for industry to switch to clean energy, wrote: “This national (and global) re-industrialization effort would be on the scale of what we did during World War II, except it would last far longer.” How much longer? Although many writers suggest that this transition would take 50 or even 100 years, Romm said:

If humanity gets truly serious about emissions reduction –
and by serious I mean “World War II serious” in both scale
and urgency – we could go to near-zero global emissions
in, say, 2 decades and then quickly go carbon negative.3

“[W]e need to mobilize like the WW II mobilization,” added Ross Gelbspan, “but worldwide and even more thorough.” The mobilization must be unprecedented, Brown agrees, “because the entire world has never before been so threatened.”4

It could be said that carrying out a worldwide transformation in a few decades is unreasonable; such a major transformation should be carried

-391-

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Unprecedented: Can Civilization Survive the Co2 Crisis?
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Table of Contents 5
  • Preface 8
  • Part I - Unprecedented Threats 9
  • Introduction 11
  • 1 - Extreme Weather 24
  • 2 - Heat Waves 33
  • 3 - Droughts and Wildfires 40
  • 4 - Storms 54
  • 5 - Sea-Level Rise 68
  • 6 - Fresh Water Shortage 80
  • 7 - Food Shortage 94
  • 8 - Climate Refugees 106
  • 9 - Climate Wars 118
  • 10 - Ecosystem Collapse and Extinction 134
  • Part II - Unprecedented Challenges and Failures 151
  • 11 - Climate Change Denial 153
  • 12 - Media Failure 181
  • 13 - Political Failure 200
  • 14 - Moral Challenge 227
  • 15 - Religious Challenge 244
  • 16 - Economic Challenge 264
  • Part III - What Is to Be Done 301
  • 17 - The Transition to Clean Energy 303
  • 18 - The Abolition of Dirty Energy 362
  • 19 - Mobilization 391
  • 20 - Conclusion 421
  • EndNotes 425
  • Acknowledgments 503
  • Index 504
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