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02023-09-12 | Reading | 1 comment

Ozone Depletion versus Climate Change

In 1987, a United Nations summit in Montreal brought global leaders, scientists, and industry representatives together to address the problem. The treaty they ratified, known as the Montreal Protocol, was ultimately a success, pushing chemical companies to invest in profitable alternatives to help save the ozone. Earlier this year, scientists announced that Earth’s ozone layer was starting to recover. 
The Montreal Protocol has been recognized as a template for encouraging science-based policy and global cooperation to address environmental challenges. Today, as global warming caused by burning fossil fuels has become the most pressing climate problem, will the world be able to duplicate the Montreal Protocol’s success?

The Ozone Hole Showed Humans Could Damage Earth and That We Could Heal It – Scientific American


Sad Songs

The experts try to analyze this in terms of politics—because they analyze everything in terms of politics nowadays. But the hot cultural tone is larger than any political agenda, and cuts across party lines.

Politics does not shape the culture. Culture shapes politics. You can hear the future in hit songs long before any campaign slogan grasps the new reality.

Why Is Music Getting Sadder? – by Ted Gioia

How about that? Politics does not shape the culture. Culture shapes politics. You can hear the future in hit songs long before any campaign slogan grasps the new reality. And thanks to the streaming economy,  culture becomes a feedback loop. Artists are depended on streams and will research what is popular in order to copy it in order to get more streams, which will keep the culture going in the same direction…

and

Sad and angry songs have flourished in other times and places—and we can learn from this. Songs about melancholy or even suicidal lovers were popular in the early days of German romanticism, and you find similar themes in the British folk ballad tradition. Folk ballads almost demand bloodshed and conflict, even if they also tell a love story.

Time to make a different kind of music. I’m on it…. :-)


Landscape Designers

I’ve gained a steady distrust of landscapers. Some of them are my friends, but regardless, I distrust the entire profession. If anything, this is based on the attributes of what the general public wants and what the entire market is geared towards, more than it is based on any individual themselves.

The landscaping industry – like much of the entertainment industry in this country – is its own negative feedback loop where the public wants the unthinking, hideous lowest-common-denominator shit and the industry is forced to respond because that’s what sells. So the industry starts to produce even dumber, uglier shit, and the public eats it up, and so we are left with the unimaginative paint-by-numbers approach to landscaping “design” : blocks and swaths of color with no mixing, far too much (and eerily equal) spacing between plants. We end up with plants looking like products on a shelf at Walmart as opposed to a recreation of nature or or habitat restoration.

Midwest Landscaping Death Cult — Crime Pays But Botany Doesn’t


from my current read:

As the mesmerizing broadcast from the Martian surface appeared on my screen, I thought about all the engineers and scientists at NASA whose decades of devoted work had produced the technology that allowed us to send Curiosity to Mars. It was the same thrill I had back in 1969 as a ten-year-old watching the black-and-white TV broadcast of our lunar landing. Pondering the individual and collective creativity of those scientists, now as then, left me inspired and in awe. My heart swelled with excitement and pride in the possibilities of human scientific achievement.

 Complexity, however, reveals another, less anthropocentric view. A complementary perspective is one in which we consider that over the last 3.5 billion years, the atoms of this planet have slowly been organizing themselves in order to reach out and touch their neighboring sibling planet, Mars, on the shoulder.

 And if, in some undiscovered recesses on Mars or in a far-flung planetary system around some other star, the atoms are still self-organizing into living things, then they might one day reach out to touch us too. Perhaps they already have.

from Notes on Complexity by Neil Theise

1 Comment

  1. Steve

    > Today, as global warming caused by burning fossil fuels has become the most pressing climate problem, will the world be able to duplicate the Montreal Protocol’s success?

    I doubt it. Climate change is a much more complex problem than the problem addressed by the Montreal Protocol. Additionally, climate change as an issue has unfortunately taken on political baggage, and is now encumbered by that baggage.

    We go back and forth over “the models” … we go back and forth over urban heat island effect … we go back and forth over just about every piece of minutiae involved in the climate change discussion, and minimal progress is made at the macro level.

    But what we ought to be focused on is undeniable irrespective of which political side or what your scientific perspective is: The precautionary principle- we only have one planet. When we burn it up, it’s gone.

    Reply

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