Terrors of the Technosphere: Fresh Thinking on Climate

James Dyke, writing at The Technosphere, Our Agency, Our Planet blog:

As defined so far, there appears nothing to stop the technosphere liquidating most of the Earth’s biosphere to satisfy its growth. Just as long as goods and services are consumed, the technosphere can continue to grow.

And so those who fear the collapse of civilisation or those who have enduring faith in human innovation being able to solve all sustainability challenges may both be wrong.

After all, a much smaller and much richer population of the order of hundreds of millions could consume more than the current population of 7.6 billion or the projected population of nine billion by the middle of this century. While there would be widespread disruption, the technosphere may be able to weather climate change beyond 3°C. It does not care, cannot care, that billions of people would have died.

And at some point in the future, the technosphere could even function without humans. We worry about robots taking over human’s jobs. Perhaps we should be more concerned with them taking over our role as apex consumers.

From “We’ve Created a Civilisation Hell Bent on Destroying Itself”

Biospheric zones of max productivity, Kleidon model, after Field

Elsewhere, Co-blogger Axel Kleidon speaks, a sometimes quasi-critic of consensus ways of thinking about global warming and climate change, informed by a global thermodynamic analysis of both the biosphere and the physical planet (“MEP” – Maximum Entropy Principle)…

Kleidonic Technosphere vs. Planetary Boundaries, Hypothesis A:

Unless the systemic and regulatory framework of technosphere is radically changed, partial technological progress in greening the economy will not alter the current trajectory of growth of the technosphere and hence will not keep it within planetary boundaries.

Kleidon, Hypothesis B:

Mere incentivization of climate-friendly behaviour, while retaining the current systemic and regulatory features of the economy, will not change the growth dynamics of the technosphere, and will trigger countervailing political forces.

From Revolution Impossible? Us Against Us
Axel Kleidon

In short, we highly recommend you read anything you can get by Axel Kleidon, the more popular-slanted blog Agency in the Technosphere is good for starters… next, papers in his Earth System Dynamics journal

(Especially if you, like us, are frustrated with the frozen, hyper-politicized polarities of the climate debate, as it currently stands.)

Comments (1):

  1. Carsten Herrmann-Pillath

    2019, October at 3:40 am

    This comment contains some wrong information on authorship. This is not Axel Kleidon’s blog, but a blog managed by Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, with Axel Kleidon one contributor. The quotes are not from a post by Axel Kleidon, but by Carsten Herrmann-Pillath.

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