As we enter the era of the New Abnormal  – much faster than most of us expected – where will people go “when there is no longer any other choice”?  Abrahm Lustgarten explores the prospects of American migration, greater than any movement in its history, in this New York Times Magazine article:

Here are the paragraphs directly relevant to us:

The millions of people moving north will mostly head to the cities of the Northeast and Northwest, which will see their populations grow by roughly 10 percent, according to one model.

Once-chilly places like Minnesota and Michigan and Vermont will become more temperate, verdant and inviting. Vast regions will prosper; just as Hsiang’s research forecast that Southern counties could see a tenth of their economy dry up, he projects that others as far as North Dakota and Minnesota will enjoy a corresponding expansion. Cities like Detroit, Rochester, Buffalo and Milwaukee will see a renaissance, with their excess capacity in infrastructure, water supplies and highways once again put to good use.

One day, it’s possible that a high-speed rail line could race across the Dakotas, through Idaho’s up-and-coming wine country and the country’s new breadbasket along the Canadian border, to the megalopolis of Seattle, which by then has nearly merged with Vancouver to its north.

Oh well then, you can bet that this will be interpreted by some to mean better wine, wealth and keeping the border closed.

ProPublica presents the climate changes graphically:

 

Comments

  1. The future is in the north. Wishing otherwise won’t make that reality go away. Hard choices coming fast. Us doomsayers ain’t answering to Chicken Little anymore.

  2. This was a fine read. When even the dimmest state legislators realize they can’t afford to subsidize insurance in guaranteed flood and drought zones, the dopes who’ve moved to lowland coasts and deserts will vote with their feet. Subsidized sprawl has been our default setting for almost 80 years; so much so that most North Americans are oblivious to the fact that it’s the intentional result of policy and not simply the natural order of things. This sense of entitlement will die kicking and screaming and there will be a lot of anger for some plucky demagogue to take advantage of. We will look back fondly at 2020 as simple and stress-free time.

  3. ‘The niche of human habitability’ is an interesting phrase indicating a rising consciousness of our human environmental requirements. We frequently discuss the loss of habitat in regard to wildlife, seldom in regard to ourselves. It is shocking to see these environmental scenarios projected to unfold in the short time span of fifty years hence. The ‘environmental niche’ may indeed move northward but it is hard to believe that millions of migrants will orderly follow along re-establishing themselves. A more likely scenario will be a chaotic flight from heat waves, wildfires, hurricanes and flooding, just as we see happening today in many parts of the world where people huddle in the last niche sustaining life, the refugee camp.

  4. I would have thought eschatology would draw a bit more interest from Price Tags posters, given its importance to our culture. It is after all the driving force for Christianity and couple other belief systems, such as War.

    1. Living in a world of ensured doom robs us of any will to continue to work toward solutions. It is defeatist and plays right into the hands of those destructive religious beliefs that bring all of society down with them. We’ve guaranteed that we will needlessly suffer through our lack of action to date. But we have not yet guaranteed that we won’t turn a corner and create a world still worth living in. We’re not all running away from the problem.

      Mixed in with the mini apocalypse we are witnessing this year are a lot of very hopeful signs of change. And I have no doubt that many people will wake up from this smack upside the head and become part of the solution. Whether it is enough remains to be seen. Giving up guarantees defeat.

  5. Ensured doom? I hope you are sitting down for this. Nobody and nothing lasts. Ensured doom is the one thing you can count on.

    I am amused that you think confronting reality is ‘giving up’ Ron. You can’t change paths without acknowledging where the one we are on leads. That gives one a useful perspective to consider Deep Adaptation’s most important offering:

    The Four R’s of Deep Adaptation
    Resilience – What values and behaviors do you want to keep in our culture and your daily life?
    Relinquishment – What values and behaviors are you ready to let go of?
    Restoration – What are the values and behaviors that you used to have in your culture or another culture that you’d like to adopt?
    Reconciliation – With whom do you want to make peace while you can?

    The reality is that many people are quite convinced the world ends – be it by fire or ice. Religion and Science agree on this.

    The only quibble is when.

    Those proffering forced optimism and vainglorious attempts to keep what is not needed may be the the real denialists. Those clinging to systems that will not survive are holding us back (example: modern urbanity and its huge GHG costs for what amounts to little more than concrete landscapes, distractions, and diversions). It’s over Man, to quote Bill Paxton in Aliens.

    Time to do for ourselves in places where it is possible. So, if you please, don’t shit on those of us who are looking at other ways of living in an eco-conscious fashion. Or do. It matters not to me.

    As Krishanmurti notes (I paraphrase) “I have been called a genius. I have been called an idiot. Who should I believe?”

    I know I am neither of those things. I am however a realist.

    https://www.resilience.org/stories/2019-04-15/responding-to-green-positivity-critiques-of-deep-adaptation/

  6. That is hardly a quibble.

    If you really are having less environmental impact than me, that’s great. I’m doubtful, but you could give us some specifics. I’m aware that I live lighter in the city than most – but don’t blame the city. I’m also aware that some rural/small town people have a huge footprint – but don’t blame where they live.

    If we don’t solve the problems we face both in and out of cities then we are doomed. I’m not so pessimistic. The end will indeed come. But it could be millions of years away.

  7. “If you really are having less environmental impact than me, that’s great. ”

    I did not make that claim. But you are making it for me.

    “I’m also aware that some rural/small town people have a huge footprint – but don’t blame where they live.”

    Are you sure? Definitely sounds like it.

    You mistake adaptation for pessimism IMO.

    “but you could give us some specifics.”

    Darers go first. 🙂 I want specifics on your lifetime tally of air travel, vacation destinations et al. A snapshot doesn’t give the full picture.

    Or we could agree that playing ‘greenier than thou’ is just an ego trip and a distraction. I’d sooner debate the efficacy of urban living versus other options as our current systems disintegrate (a process already underway).

    Human settlements have an optimal size and make-up that can deliver green living . It’s probably bigger than most small towns, but it is not the vast conurbations we currently see metastasizing (yes I chose that word in full recognition of its associations) across the globe. Finding that sweet spot demands we keep an open mind and try new things. I suspect my little move up-country won’t break the carbon bank. I know it gives me a chance to experiment with finding more sustainable ways to live in a rural setting. That’s a big reason why I am where I am. Not to seek the approval of anyone.

    1. I smell a little delusion. Reading your thread I come across both explicit doom and implicit attempts at approval for moving out of the big bad city and what appears to be a life of little flying(?).

      But you’re cleverly changing the subject. Flying around and taking high footprint vacations are independent of the footprint of urban vs rural living. Both urban and rural people are guilty of too much flying. But, for example, my very rural sister flies 20X more than I do mostly because she is so rural. She drives way way way more too for the same reason. I don’t think she is a rural anomaly.

      I’m certainly not going to apologize for my past air travel. Before about 2003, or so, I wasn’t fully aware of how serious a threat climate change really was nor all of our roles in it. It’s what I’ve done since then that is important to me. I’ve rarely flown since and taken many other steps to cut my GHGs in about half. The other half mostly requires societal/industrial change. I’m not looking for approval either, but I am looking to be an example of what is both possible and satisfying. We could all cut our GHGs significantly and up to about a half without any of the frustratingly difficult political changes we need for the other half. We’d be well ahead of our international climate commitments. (On the other hand, if people were willing to make those personal changes the politics of it wouldn’t be so difficult either.)

      The lack of willingness to change does not leave me as discouraged as it used to. I like Jane Jacobs’ quote, “Societal change comes one funeral at a time”, or something to that effect. I’ve come to realize, like all major social change that turns society on its head, it takes two generations. We’re about one generation (plus?) into the climate crisis. This is where the positive change becomes exponential.

      I absolutely agree with you that cities have an optimal size. But I’m pretty sure we’d disagree what that is. There are a dozen variables that play significant roles.

  8. “I smell a little delusion. Reading your thread I come across both explicit doom and implicit attempts at approval for moving out of the big bad city and what appears to be a life of little flying(?).”

    Stick to the facts Ron. Attempting to read between the lines leads to misapprehensions. You are so wrong about my need for approval, and greenier than thou nonsense is just divisive. As I say, I’m not here to seek approval, but neither will I be castigated for speaking the truth.

    “But you’re cleverly changing the subject.”

    You went off topic on enviro bona fides. The topic is what to expect in the years to come. I shared my opinion on that. But you are busy telling me what I am thinking. Not helping. I told you why I made my choice. You can call me a dissembler, but then we reach the point where no one believes anyone. Counter productive. Why not take my viewpoint at face value and show me how I am wrong? I am doing you the courtesy of addressing your comments as though they are honest.

    By all means let’s get back on track and tackle the topic of the post (near and long-term impacts of environmental upheaval). Anyone who thinks that doesn’t come with an extra helping of humanity’s tendency toward conflict is delusional IMO. I feel like I am not the only one… as Deep Adaptation and Extinction Rebellion’s major talking points align with my personal opinions.

    It’s condescending and counter-productive to lie to people and assure them we can step back from this brink. We cannot. The die is cast. It’s time to ‘tell the truth’.

    “Living in a world of ensured doom robs us of any will to continue to work toward solutions”

    Incredibly patronizing. Don’t do that.

  9. “I’m certainly not going to apologize for my past air travel. Before about 2003, or so, I wasn’t fully aware of how serious a threat climate change really was nor all of our roles in it.”

    You changed your thinking based on new information. So have I. You dispute my conclusion, but I point to the facts – such as those in the post above about the UN Secretary General. Show me how you will hand wave that away? Is it true or not? What do you think?

    And if you think it’s wrong, tell me why I should believe you over a world leader calling for immediate action?

    1. I don’t dispute the UNSG – I align with his position. Nowhere does he say we should run away from cities. I contend that cities are more likely to provide solutions, although I don’t discount for a second that many of those solutions will come from rural areas. In particular massive gains that can be made in forestry practices, soil management and better farming techniques.

      But:

      “Guterres said technology is on the side of those seeking to tackle climate change.”

      “He cited the rising use of renewable energy, saying “today, it is competitive with — “and even cheaper — than coal and oil, especially if one factors in the cost of pollution.” And he singled out innovative programs in China, Sweden, Morocco, Scotland and Thailand.”

      “Guterres also pointed to other signs of hope including oil-rich Saudi Arabia investing heavily in renewable energy and oil-rich Norway’s sovereign wealth fund — the largest in the world — moving away from investments in coal as well as in palm and pulp paper companies because of the forests they destroy.”

      1. Again with the ‘run away’

        No point debating you if you misrepresent my choice to explore the ability to live rurally and lightly as cowardice.

        If solutions are going to come from rural areas as you suggest, one surmises somebody might need to live there for that to happen.

        1. “Those clinging to systems that will not survive are holding us back (example: modern urbanity and its huge GHG costs for what amounts to little more than concrete landscapes, distractions, and diversions). It’s over Man, to quote Bill Paxton in Aliens.”

          1. You really hate to have your ideology challenged and that’s cool. But it is worth noting that you are presenting a belief system, not some something rooted in nature or reality. When we examine the world through those lens, we see how cities are literally artificial environments. As such they cannot survive without external inputs.

            Contrast this with rural places. We have lived in them for most of time. We know they are viable and sustainable in the long term. There is not a single closed loop city on the planet nor even any that only require minimal inputs. Those are facts and the reality is that it will continue to be so. They (cities) survive on the outsize contributions of oppressed people and a vicious cycle of production to benefit others for the chance to purchase necessities. All of it so dreadfully emblematic of human misapprehensions regarding the true nature of existence.

            We are not here to deliver profits to the wealthy and idolize them for bending us over, but that is exactly what cities are for when you strip away the pretty ribbons.

            The whole edifice is a sham. I understand people wanting to make their cities better, but it is naive to be think bike lanes and farmers markets

          2. Bike lanes and farmers markets are a worthwhile trade for giving up so much and making others pay the price.

          3. I would say there are two people in this thread defending their ideology. But, as I’ve also said to Jolson, if you’re not making your own solar panels, shoes, pencils and computers you are guilty of the very thing you are accusing cities of.

            Even if you’re in a village of traders you are not likely to accept going back to the way things were 200 years ago and you therefore still need external inputs based on the same sorts negative impositions on others. Scale is irrelevant.

      1. YUp Fortune 500 companies are going to pivot immediately to avoid being yelled at at an agm.

        Deck chair rearrangement. The water continues to rise.

        1. “Guterres said technology is on the side of those seeking to tackle climate change.”

          “He cited the rising use of renewable energy, saying “today, it is competitive with — “and even cheaper — than coal and oil, especially if one factors in the cost of pollution.” And he singled out innovative programs in China, Sweden, Morocco, Scotland and Thailand.”

          “Guterres also pointed to other signs of hope including oil-rich Saudi Arabia investing heavily in renewable energy and oil-rich Norway’s sovereign wealth fund — the largest in the world — moving away from investments in coal as well as in palm and pulp paper companies because of the forests they destroy.”

  10. “Nowhere does he say we should run away from cities.”

    I did not suggest he made that claim. This is a little tiresome. I provided the quote to point to the urgency of the situation and the unlikelihood of the substantive change required to keep cities habitable in the commonly accepted scenario that is unfolding.

    1. You say cities are incapable of adapting and so you’ve moved to the sticks to save yourself. I don’t know what else you’d call it.

      If the nearly 4 billion people living in cities decided to all stake out their self sustaining place in the country side the planet would be in ruins.

      1. No Ron you put words in my mouth again. I did not say cities are incapable of adapting or that I moved to save myself. I think they will be victims of impossible demands put upon them by timelines too short for orderly transitions. I think they are too big in many cases to change course without a shock to the system. Adapting takes time we are rapidly wasting. Surely this is the over arching theme of the missives we hear from science and activists and secretary generals? So we best consider alternatives. One alternative is to explore new ways of living that we can try in different places. I moved to see if will work for me. But your focus on my position and choice removes the opportunity for a bigger conversation you aren’t ready to have I guess.

        I am less defending my position and ideology than asking you to believe that my points are a good faith description of why I made a choice. Then I will be happy to defend my ideology. I am not sitting here saying you defend cities because you couldn’t get work doing what you do in a rural setting, but it would be the equivalent to your position on my choice — ie calling into question my honesty. I take your comments to be A good faith representation of your desire to have a small footprint. But you continue to misrepresent my position and call me a liar. I can argue with Susan Finbar and enjoy that kind of disrespect. I expect higher ground from you.

        And if three billion rural people move to the cities we are equally screwed. This is not a time for absolutes or that sort of foolish speculation about things that will never happen. Foolishnss and begging the question. It gives me a sad.

  11. “if you’re not making your own solar panels, shoes, pencils and computers you are guilty of the very thing you are accusing cities of.”

    That is such a jejune and frankly stupid position, now I think you are just trying to score points instead of consider what I am actually talking about.

    That is the kind of ego trip I have no interest in feeding. The original post made my point. The future is in the north and cities are going to fail under the weight of climate catastrophe, not least of all due to their locations in largely temperate bands of ground that will heat up beyond livability in the next few decades. Any other conclusion is denialism of the worst sort. Tell the truth!

    1. I think why I’m having a hard time with your position is because you simultaneously say things like, “cities are going to fail under the weight of climate catastrophe” and ” I did not say cities are incapable of adapting” and “I think they will be victims of impossible demands put upon them by timelines too short for orderly transitions”. It seems a little odd to have a caveat that they can adapt but only after it’s too late and they’re in ruins. That doesn’t sound like adaptation.

      I don’t think you’ve been clear about what your point is nor how you plan to make a difference. If this is the beginning of your exploration and you don’t know what that is yet then that’s fair enough. I’m curious to hear where that takes you. But then why are you so sure it’s a better course than making better cities?

      Still, I stand by my point of requiring outside resources and manufactured goods no matter where you live – unless you’re willing to live much as rural people did 200 years ago.

          1. What tune are you whistling as you walk past the graveyard Ron? Need I repost the UN quote?

            Tell me how we are going to pivot to sustainbility en masse now? Can’t even get a few bike lanes without 20 years of butting heads with idiots. And you think society is about to have an a-hah moment?

            LOL. Crack a history book. We (humans) are unchanged after 2000 years of ‘progress’.

          2. I suspect you overstate my influence on others. I don’t think I’m Moses about to manifest an exodus.

            Flattering, but just an ego trip. No thanks.

          3. Tell me how moving to the sticks id going to lower your GHGs.

            I’m asking for the evidence you said you had that cities won’t adapt to climate change. But GHGs are up in Canada almost exclusively because of Alberta and its dependence on growing the despicable tar sands – most of which revolves around small towns and settlements outside of the big cities. Even Edmonton’s high GHGs are related more to its industries than to the functioning of the city itself.

            Canada’s GHGs outside of the tar sands have mostly peaked and are not falling nearly fast enough. But that’s as true for rural and small towns as it is for cities. Cities are leading the way though.

          4. Hmm, it sounds like we need some people to head to the country and bring those fancy city ideas with them. And you chastise me for this sacrifice. Harumph!

          5. Is this a sacrifice for you?

            The best ideas should be shared no matter where they are from. But there is a lot more research being done in cities and their universities than in rural areas.

            Having said that, I’m a huge fan of permaculture and that obviously evolved in rural settings. All settlement types have solutions to offer and responsibilities to uphold. I just wouldn’t be so quick to count out the role and robustness of cities.

          6. “Tell me how we are going to pivot to sustainability en masse now? Can’t even get a few bike lanes without 20 years of butting heads with idiots.”

            Chris, it’s easy to look at the slow pace of change and be so frustrated that you can’t see that change becoming exponential almost over night. It took 20 years to get the first bike lane in, two years to get the second, a year for the third and now they’re going in with near zero opposition.

            Look at the many headlines in this link:

            https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/article-fossil-fuel-demand-may-have-hit-its-peak-bp-says/

            This is the trend we are in and this change is also exponential. If oil demand really has peaked and the energy transition is exponential then we’re in much better shape than the bleak picture of just a year or two ago. Yes, Chris, I do expect the world will change en masse. Every major change in our ever changing societies over thousands of years has occurred in this way: no hope of the necessary change, still no hope, still no hope, a glimmer of hope, then boom “how did that happen?”.

            From slavery to women’s rights to black rights to gay rights to LGBTQ rights. It is always thus.

          7. Missing my point… again. But I think it is deliberate.

            All the groups I mentioned are still being discriminated against. But they are all protected by law – at least in most western societies. It is a massive leap from no protection to legal protection and still takes the laggards in society generations to catch up.

            But you are taking us way way off topic. You accused me of trying to score points. Stick with the topic and don’t turn analogies into the topic itself.

        1. Don’t make the mistake of confusing recent Western/Christian homophobia with the history of the whole world. We are getting back to a place other cultures have occupied for a long time.

      1. “Still, I stand by my point of requiring outside resources and manufactured goods no matter where you live – unless you’re willing to live much as rural people did 200 years ago.”

        First part is rather obvious. Second part ignores the fact that the whole point is you can mix old and new and see if there are other ways to live that aren’t absolutist.

        1. Yes you’ll have all the understanding of 200 years of scientific advances that will certainly be helpful. But you won’t be able to access them without resources and manufacturing inputs from elsewhere and/or long long trips to the hospital. By what means will you travel there?

          1. Hospital is 8 miles away. I have no interest in becoming a GHG-emitting slab of meat in a hospital bed as modern medicine keeps me alive with disposable everything anyway. I think it will be OK. Thanks for your concern.

          2. That’s a long walk with a broken leg.

            Nobody wants to be that slab of meat but you might have a different perspective if you can get effective treatment for something curable but you have to walk to Vancouver to get it.

  12. “you are not likely to accept going back to the way things were 200 years ago ”

    I move forward. I explore new ideas. No desire to go backwards, but certainly amenable to looking backward to see if there are things that can still serve us even if they are old ideas.

    What are modern city dwellers if not simply the latest in a long line of people who choose to congregate in one place for convenience and opportunity. It’s not some new thing. It’s an old idea that you are repositioning as though it is new. Exact same as me just the flip side of the coin.

  13. “I’m asking for the evidence you said you had that cities won’t adapt to climate change”

    Performance to date shows that we are currently on a path of too little, too late.

    Show me the evidence that they will make enough of a shift. It’s all speculation.

    1. I completely agree we’re currently at too little too late. That applies across the board. But cities are no more guilty than elsewhere and I’d argue they are more advanced in terms of change and adaption.

      Your whole point is that cities are incapable of the changes necessary and rural areas are. But you provide no evidence.

  14. “Your whole point is that cities are incapable of the changes necessary and rural areas are”

    Actually that’s not my point. My entire point is encapsulated in my first post, first sentence. The future is in the north. Plan for that. But you are not going to offer evidence of your position that urban areas can and will pivot in time to avoid the worst of a bad scenario. There’s no evidence of that. Quite the opposite.

    You demand proof, but offer none. And that makes the whole exercise pointless when you won’t rise to your own standard.

    1. I can’t tell if you’re suggesting cities won’t be effective at reducing their GHGs or that they won’t be able to adapt to the climate events that are already baked in. But I still don’t see where rural living offers anything better and you haven’t expressed what that is. It is you who are criticizing cities so the burden of proof is on you. I’m merely saying cities are capable, not necessarily criticizing the rural lifestyle. If I was I would need proof of that.

      But I think you are wrong about cities and I can only really use Vancouver as an example:
      Vancouver has already reduced its carbon footprint. It has slashed its solid waste and and its water consumption. It has had some success in reducing MV traffic and increasing transit use. Cycling is the fastest growing mode of transportation. It is implementing more dense, mixed-use walkable communities. It is quicly advancing energy performance in its building code and demanding Passive House or similar for many rezonings

      None of that is enough if you only look in the rear view mirror but these are the growing trends that will make a big difference as they become common rather than the beginning of change.

      As for resiliency/adaptation one need only look at the current pandemic to see how quickly the city snapped to attention when it was necessary. Hundreds of pop-up patios were implemented within weeks of restaurants reopening. It’s not just the speed of reaction from business but the speed of reaction from Vancouver’s notoriously glacial bureaucracy. Within months we have mask policies for transit and indoor spaces that make those safe places to be. It’s not perfect but we’re in the middle of profound changes in society under the burden of ever evolving understanding of a virus that was not understood at all just six months ago.

  15. “But I think you are wrong about cities and I can only really use Vancouver as an example”

    Biggest data cherry-pick every. Vancouver exceptionalism rears its head once again.

    We speak of global events and must look at the reality at a global level. CO2 keeps climbing. No other fact is partic. important beyond this essential reality.

    As for the pandemic. Thank you for making my point. We have had all the info to expect this scenario for years. And did nothing until it was too late for too many. Just like climate change.

    From 2012:

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/david-quammen-how-animal-infections-spill-over-to-humans/

    1. I do not have an intimate knowledge of other cities and certainly not in real time so I can only use Vancouver. Vancouver is exceptional in North America. It would be a laggard in Europe. It is not much above average globally. So I challenge the cherry picking comment.

      In any case, leadership always starts in isolated places and spreads from there.

      “CO2 keeps climbing. No other fact is partic. important beyond this essential reality.”

      And what does that have to do with rural vs Urban? You are not making your point.

      1. I really have made my point and restated it Ron. In fact you agree with it.

        “I completely agree we’re currently at too little too late.”

          1. But you have not answered it. You just keep repeating that we’re behind where we need to be on climate action. But you haven’t made any case that cities are to blame nor that leaving them will help.

            I know we’re behind where we need to be. Please tell us how leaving the city makes a difference. This is getting really annoying.

  16. “But I still don’t see where rural living offers anything better and you haven’t expressed what that is”

    Check the COVID stats for northern BC.

    1. Really? Puhleez Chris.

      That is so off topic I don’t even know where to begin. It just plays against your point that you’re not running away. Living in isolated cocoons outside of travel and trade is not a viable way forward.

      1. Really Ron.

        Your assumptions about rural living are hilarious. Esp in the age of the Internet, where we can argue in near real time across a thousand kilometres of distance.

        I have little or no need to travel outside of my area. I like where I live. Happiness is a life you don’t need a vacation from.

        And please don’t tell me that travel broadens my horizons. People have been decent human beings for thousands of years without having to go places.

        1. Missing my point again. If you want to live in the sticks that’s cool. You still haven’t shown why cities can’t adapt. I’ll keep asking if you keep dodging the question.

          1. Ah but it’s not cool. That appears to be your position. I am ‘running away’.

            Again, I did not say cities cities could not adapt. They might. That would be great and no harm no foul IMO. I don’t see evidence that they can do so sufficiently quickly to meet the challenge, or that there is the groundswell of public sentiment to make it happen. I have adjusted my living situation to reflect this perspective. I know I lack the affluence to be anything but Soylent Keam were I to be an urban dweller in a worst case scenario. This is borne out by the countless links I have provided in this thread and simple observation of our current reality. I keep answering the question and you keep looking for an answer you approve of. You would get more satisfaction and better results trying to keep a colander full of water IMO, but to suggest I have not addressed your question is false.

          2. “You still haven’t shown why cities can’t adapt.”

            And you haven’t shown that they can do so quickly enough or in sufficient numbers to reverse course. And all evidence at this point suggests they cannot. You are operating on pure supposition and wishful thinking based upon one outlier city of 600,000 people in a world of 7 billion. My position is based upon current realities and a realistic appraisal of where that takes us.

            ‘Wish in one hand and spit in the other, see which one fills up first’ as Gran used to say. I think I’ll use my hands to dig a big garden and share the bounty with friends and neighbours.

          3. Could you tell me what’s the difference between my supposition and wishful thinking and yours?

            You can grow all the veggies you want. How is that helping? What is the net gain? Except to yourself.

          4. “Could you tell me what’s the difference between my supposition and wishful thinking and yours?”

            Nope. Can you?

          5. “There are solutions we can’t yet imagine.”

            – Mr. R van der Eerden
            Sept. 9, 2019
            On this very blog.

            We agree on something.

          6. >>>“Could you tell me what’s the difference between my supposition and wishful thinking and yours?”

            Nope. Can you?<<<

            Thank you. Then what are we debating?

          7. “OH no, I’m aligned with the vegans!”

            Is there something wrong with that? After all animal farming, whether for meat or anything else, is one of the largest contributors to GHGs on the planet. I’m all for growing your own vegetables and that is obviously more limited in the city. But the GHG and other environmental benefits of doing so pale in comparison to having a typical western meat diet.

    1. For the same reason we failed to respond to a looming climate change. Humans are not wired for what they can’t see or experience directly. It requires overcoming our immediate senses and understanding something purely intellectually.

      Those in cities, towns and rural areas are equally limited by this. But cities have more universities and research facilities and highly educated people that grasp that understanding and disseminate it to all who will listen. So, again, you are not making your point.

      1. Unless my point is that perhaps I can bring a little of that urban awareness to rural areas. Not saying I’m a white knight or anything, but your claim that people in cities are more advanced than rural dwellers isn’t borne out by my experience. And if it is the case, then surely somebody needs to get out there and share some new ideas?

        Your argument is faulty — mostly because you are sitting in judgement, instead of looking at the facts.

          1. I am reflecting reality Ron. I know you don’t like it (obviously). I dare to question the popular narrative of the green movement. But I have no beef with people who want to remain in cities as they fail. Just not my preferred choice.

          2. Another LOL. If I had known the fate of the world was was riding on my decision I would have shaved this morning. Nobody’s gonna take me seriously with this 5 o clock shadow.

          3. So there is no point to your leaving the city but to wave a waging finger at us dummies who are going to suffer for not following you.

            Got it.

            I’m done.

          4. You sure project a lot. All we need is a screen and some popcorn and we could go on a date. Maybe Children of Men. It’s a gooder. Or we can wait until somebody adapts Year of the Flood for requisite Canadian content.

            Have a nice weekend.

      2. “Humans are not wired for what they can’t see or experience directly.”

        You and I were able to. Millions of others are the same. But the numbers demonstrate that is insufficient at this time.

        If a ship is sinking it is not running away to put on a life jacket. If you are headed for the rocks and the captain shows no desire to change course, it is not running away to lower a life boat.

        I’m not continuing to debate this because your approval or approbation matters to me. I really believe your assumptions about the possibility of change are simply unrealistic. I believe rural self-sufficiency is a valid approach to weathering the current storm and avoiding the worst excesses of what’s coming. If I am wrong there will be no real downside to anyone. If I am right, well, that’s the experiment.

          1. What *is* your point?

            Cities are going to fail but you’re not running away.
            Cities are to blame for climate change so you’re going to leave. And make things better?
            Or not?
            You’re not looking for confirmation but you’ve posted 30 comments to prove your point?
            Which is????
            We’re all going to suffer because we’re all too dumb to follow you out to the boonies?
            I really don’t get what you’re trying to say?

            The only thing that’s left is that you don’t want to be in the city so you’ve moved away. Fine. Don’t make such a big deal about it. If you figure out a great new way for humanity to survive please keep us posted.

  17. My first comment was clear.

    “The future is in the north. Wishing otherwise won’t make that reality go away. Hard choices coming fast. Us doomsayers ain’t answering to Chicken Little anymore.”

    I spoke plainly and you are offended. Nothing about the original link disavows a single point in the above. You understood it perfectly. Don’t play the fool lest we take you for your word.

    “The only thing that’s left is that you don’t want to be in the city so you’ve moved away. Fine. Don’t make such a big deal about it.”

    Come now sir. I have not made a big deal about it. You certainly have and I have engaged with you in good faith as you continued to put words in my mouth and assign positions to me that I have not taken. This is verging on abusive. Be better.

    1. Everybody knows that north is going to become more attractive. But north of what? You’ve been trying to make the case that you need to leave the city (but not run away) because cities are to blame and are ill suited to adapt. But you haven’t shown how leaving helps at all. “North” and “rural” are not the same thing.

      If Vancouver becomes like San Diego many would argue that’s just cushy. But those who know better are equally aware that if that happens quickly the entire planet will be in ecosystem collapse and you’re not going to fare better a few hours out of the big bad city.

      Unless… Unless…. Unless you plan on loading up on the weapons and joining a prepper militia guarding your new little kingdom. Is that what you’re aiming for?

      1. The continued attempts to assign positions and statements to me without basis are unfortunate. You know that it is called begging the question and yet you persist. And we both know why. Because all signs point to my assumption being very likely. I’m sorry it scares you. You wouldn’t oppose these facts did they not.

        You have failed to engage with the original post or repudiate it in any substantive fashion. Now it turns out you agree with it. As do I. As I stated at the outset.

        Now you must stereotype to score lame little insults and bait me for a reaction.

        Attend to your own behaviour Ron.

  18. “But you haven’t shown how leaving helps at all.”

    Made space in Vancouver for a climate refugee. You’re welcome.

    (Since we are being facile and all)

  19. “I really don’t get what you’re trying to say?”

    Perhaps you are not as bright as you surmise. Welcome to the club.

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