Understanding Climate Risk

Science, policy and decision-making

Posts Tagged ‘Happy New Year

Happy last year?

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Welcome all to the New Year of the western Calendar: 2012. For those with other New Years, welcome with a delay. This also pretty much equals the first year of the blog – got my report from WordPress the other day – won’t publish it, the numbers are very humble. Thank you to both my readers 🙂

This blog serves a couple of purposes. One is to get some of my thoughts into written form, another is to practise communicating complex issues simply (Ha – don’t always often succeed on that one!). Yet another is to use the research behind posts to expand my knowledge of particular issues. Many of last year’s posts are too complicated and detailed – often because I’m exploring the edges of what’s known – but in future I’ll try to balance these out with simpler summaries. There will continue to be gaps where I get too busy to post, but hopefully the regularity of posts will increase. I’m interested to hear of issues that readers and lurkers have which they would like expanded upon.

Is 2012 the last year? One of the running topics in the media this year is that it is the year of a b’ak’tun, the end of a Long Count Mayan Calendar. Some writers have linked the b’ak’tun with the apocalypse; the Mayans say that has no basis. But we love a good disaster, don’t we? Wikipedia has along post on the eschatology of 2012, showing that links to end of the world come from a variety of (mainly New Age) sources. Go read – it’s interesting and entertaining. The end is nigh!

In addition to the end of the world, other themes I follow will seek the transformation of the existing world and the path it is on into an imagined future. One that our descendants can look back from and say “They did good”. What might that world look like, how will our current values translate into the future, and how do we get there?

Topics include:

  • How the climate changes – hopefully putting the signal-to-noise model of climate change in it’s place. The world ain’t linear.
  • Some insights from research behind the IPCC chapter Foundations of Decision-making that I am currently working on (without divulging its contents). It’s a fascinating pot-pourri of different disciplines seeking a solid narrative.
  • Bulletins from the climate science-policy interface.
  • Exposing misinformation, misdirection and agnotogeny (the generation of ignorance) designed to divert our attention from risks in social-ecological systems.
  • Using scenarios to imagine the future. Turning the problem-based scientific scenario into a solution-based creative scenario. Wicked problems – with even wickeder solutions!

I kind of like the symbolism behind the b’ak’tun. The end of a long count, a celebration, the start of a new one. Let’s make this year a good one.


Written by Roger Jones

January 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm