Thursday, December 26, 2019

Christmas


It was inevitable that Christmas would feel strange. Instead of being an orgy of consumption, the value of life was celebrated around the world with limited gift-giving. It was widely reported as the closest in history to the “peace on Earth” that people have been hoping for. 

Many noted the coincidence of hopeful acceptance of an immigrant in the Christian story with WICO’s recent release of updated migration recommendations. They seem to be consistent with the simpler 30/20 rule – consume no more than 30% of what’s available (capacity) within 20 years – which amounts to an average 4% annual decrease in per-capita consumption while not having children. 

If the 30% cannot be reached by cutting back, cleaning up, or removing of what can’t be used by other species, then people will leave to make up the difference. Where they go will depend on extra capacity and how much easier it would be to reach the 30% if there isn’t any. Presently no nation has extra capacity (less than 30% consumed), so migration is currently based on people’s ability to reduce their consumption and the risk to their survival if they stay where they are.

About half the population found in 104 nations is extremely challenged, so priority is being given to helping those who can be helped and moving the estimated 30 million now in harm’s way.

Reality Check


Those in harm’s way are arbitrarily chosen as those in nations with a maximum phase of 7 or higher in 2018. The global total today is 3.2 billion.

For maps, see “Global Strategy Maps.” For more about how Will spent his Christmas, see Will Jackson’s Personal Log.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Adaptation


Today the world formally approved an update of the global strategy that incorporates the Leveloff trajectory. This coincidentally followed certification of Sally’s health and reliability by the AI Evaluation task force that Maura and I were on for nearly a month.

We learned from the task force that STRIDE (WICO’s office of Strategy Tracking, Response, Integration, Development, and Execution) is now primarily focused on developing ways to avert the large spike in deaths expected if efforts to stop external impacts are not successful during the transition. Relevant research organizations not already involved in stopping external impacts are being asked to assist in this backup adaptation planning. Many of those organizations, referred to by STRIDE as backup adaptation planning organizations (BAPOs), are departments and laboratories in colleges and universities, while others are consortia that are large enough to have their own staff and dedicated resources.

Of course, I have direct experience with two of the first BAPOs, which are part of Colorado Holistic University where I work. In addition to performing their educational functions, which remain extremely valuable in their own right, the history and physics departments explore the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of the global strategy to map out new scenarios. Those scenarios are tested using physical and social analogs from both the recent and distant past with the assistance of experts from other departments who are now available to help, as well as others with specialized experience such as me, Al, and former members of WICO’s test communities.

Maura is using lessons learned about habitat rehabilitation technologies during our working honeymoon to include more likely ecosystem states in existing and new scenarios. Al, who took off on his own after the wedding, remains in Hawaii to get direct data that can be fed into the environmental model that our physics department is contributing to and using. Sally’s maintenance break resulted in a considerable increase in her efficiency, freeing plenty of bandwidth to help with the entire effort in addition to her other duties.

Reality Check


The updated simulation, now called Hikeyay Prime, has the following present and future:



Past and projected annual rates of change are shown below.



Following is what today and a likely future looks like in a simulated version of our world.



Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Risk and Thanksgiving

 
Today WICO Ambassador Lazlo announced that global consumption has converged on the Leveloff trajectory, in part as a result of Sally’s interruption of coordination during her maintenance two weeks ago. Discussions among representatives of national extinction response units are likewise approaching consensus that the new trajectory should be adopted in the global strategy. A formal vote to do so has been tentatively scheduled for two weeks from now.

The U.S. Extinction Response Unit is contributing to a task force whose purpose is to identify and evaluate any risk of any future interruptions. Maura and I were recruited to help based on our experience following the server crash, and have been interviewing Sally and checking her work since returning to full-time work last week. We have so far learned that the maintenance was a proactive response to new information that challenged some basic assumptions in Sally’s operations protocol. She set up in-line test and tracking tools to recheck the assumptions and flag any significant impacts on global strategy implementation.

President Larson has designated tomorrow, Thanksgiving, as a day of appreciation for the progress made toward our national goals in fighting the extinction threat. Instead of the traditional gluttony, people are being encouraged to share food they already have with others locally and fast for at least half the day.

Reality Check


The projected trajectory and variable values for today are shown below.



Some of the information that prompted “maintenance” by Sally the AI is related to new insights from the Timelines model, and some is tied to Maura’s experience when she was in her coma (see Will Jackson’s Personal Log).

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Recovery

 
Maura came out of her coma last night, and will be taking a few days off on her doctor’s orders after tests revealed no cause or ill effects just like the last time. Sally became available soon after Maura woke up, and gave no explanation for her absence other than “unscheduled maintenance.”

I am staying at home with Maura and reviewing the demolition plan being finalized for my neighborhood. Unlike that used to be normal for such things, the plan involves removing all artificial structures, including building foundations and pavement that would hinder regrowth of plants and settlement by animals. A preliminary assessment of toxic substances was already done, including thorough inspections of all buildings and analysis of soil from representative core samples. 

Dedicated safing facilities co-located with existing landfills have already been built to handle what can’t be processed onsite, and use similar technology to the safing centers. That technology was developed during the five-year preparation period that coincided with the biosphere assessment and is the basis of several systems coming online to deal with external impacts. Al calls them “juiced up recycling plants” because they share some functional similarities, mostly at the front and back ends of the process such as sorting and distribution. The main difference, of course, is the conversion into bio-safe material (thus “safing”) where possible.

A second-generation Personal Environmental Assessment Kit has been useful for checking some of the assumptions built into the plan, such as the projected ecological impact reductions based on local species distribution and services. It’s been fun reliving with Maura some of our test experience from April, which feels like an eternity ago.

Reality Check


The safing facilities do not exist. While the term “bioprocessing” has a very specific meaning, applicable to the creation of products instead of the opposite, I anticipate a similar use in conversion of existing products into forms that other species can use. All technologies described here are based on my own imagination and speculation, and applicable mainly to the “other worlds” to which they are addressed.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Pause and Review


Maura didn’t wake up this morning. My first thought was that she was just extremely tired, but it now appears that she’s in a coma like she was back in July. Waiting for Maura’s condition to change has presented the chance to catch up on this blog, neglected because we’ve been so busy, and because WICO has done an excellent job of coordination that makes it redundant.

I took the unorthodox step of requesting an opinion about what’s happening to her from our artificially intelligent friend Sally who has been working nonstop along with all of us to implement the global strategy for fighting the extinction threat. The virtual equivalent of an out-of-office greeting was her only reply, which I was informed by a WICO network administrator has popped up only a handful of times in the past, the last one being the day before yesterday.

My personal experience, shared with Maura, has been dominated by three activities: helping compile the history of the extinction response; investigating options under consideration and development for accelerating biosphere restoration; and performing the core duty of reducing ecological impact of infrastructure and activities in my home subregion. 

We made a lot of progress with the first two activities during what ended up being a month-long visit to Hawaii that provided convincing evidence of the ability to prevent about quarter of the currently projected drop in total resources due to external impacts following the transition. The rest may be achievable by increases in scale, but we couldn’t find anyone willing to guarantee its success. 

As for our progress at home, we brought about half the transportable belongings we had in July to our local bioconversion and decommissioning center (what many call a “safing center”), one of a dozen that are now operational between Denver and Boulder. We have also found a small house closer to work that we plan to move into just before demolition of our present house that is scheduled for the end of the year.

Based on interviews with people who should know, there is no consensus yet about alternative population-consumption trajectories, including whether an alternative is needed. A major criterion for supporting change appears to be whether population loss should be traded for extra time to stop the external impacts; and that criterion depends on when the impacts are likely to be stopped. WICO’s leadership continues to assert that the impacts can be stopped by 2040, though half the technical experts I’ve consulted argue that it could take until 2060 if at all. That later estimate favors buying more time with the so-called “Leveloff” option that forces per-capita consumption to stay roughly fixed after the transition instead of dropping in response to falling resources.

Maura has just started moving, like she’s having a very distressful dream. I think I heard her say, very softly, “You bastards!”

Reality Check


I have been refining the Timelines model, including research into how change over time can be simulated as the continuous merging of two groups into a mixed group. One of them (“Group 1”) represents the past; and the other (“Group 2”) represents future change.


For each of several scenarios, the following animation shows phase diagrams for representative years (where Group 1 is the world in each year) along with graphs of how global variables change over time. The “Green” scenario is the expected past and future for our world, whose phase diagram is given for mid-2019 as indicated by the listed date. “Hikeyay” is the simulated world’s past and future based on the global strategy in its current form, and its phase diagram is for the end of the transition in 2040. The futures presented in the “Projected” and “Projected Sratio” scenarios are the options under consideration by the simulated world, with phase diagrams for 2040 and graphs of the past in common with the Green scenario as a reminder that they could also be adopted by us.


Maura’s condition is in response to the event in the final scene of the online book BIOME: ATTACK and its follow-up described in the e-book series BIOME. Additional backstory is available to patrons in Will Jackson’s Personal Log.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Testing Ground


Maura and I started the working part of our honeymoon yesterday, visiting one of three sites on Hawaii’s Big Island that WICO is using to integrate and test some of the technologies that will likely be deployed to rehabilitate land and water ecosystems as part of the global strategy. The site was one of WICO’s test communities until three months ago and has many of the original personnel still working there. I recognized several of the names from my brief time in Quality Assurance; and as their former boss, Maura was recognized by all of them.

“Invasives remain our biggest problem,” said Dan Rogan, the leader of the testing group, as he took us on a tour. “We’ve got robots out hunting the worst of them, most by air.” A small drone whirred past us, as if for emphasis. “They’re still a stopgap, of course, because those technologies have too high a footprint beyond about two years. You’re going to hate this, Maura, but we’ve been given a green light for biotech alternatives.” She stood stunned as he continued, “The effort is being led by a company that’s trying to get them to gorge on pollution and then safely decompose when it kills them.”

“Safely?” she asked. “How can something like that be safe? You’re not testing it now are you?”

“Two years,” I said as he shook his head, “Wouldn’t you need that long just for development?”

He shrugged. “I’m told that they’re fast-tracking it.”

“You don’t fast-track something like that!” Maura was as agitated as I’ve ever seen her.

“I heard the transition time might be cut in half. Maybe they don’t have a choice.”

“I doubt that will happen,” she said. “Nobody’s going to sign off on the resulting casualties.”

“We’ll be ready if they do,” he said optimistically. “Meanwhile, we’ve also got to deal with drought and typhoons. Some of the new portable building designs with attachable shielding and catchments are showing a lot of promise. As soon as they’re proven, the county will deploy them to vulnerable communities and safer areas that people can use as soon as possible.”

“What about volcano eruptions?” I asked while we walked to an area dominated by three demonstration structures that resembled lumpy yurts.

He explained that air pollution was the main issue after people got out of the way of lava. “In addition to portability, suitable filters and building materials are being designed into the buildings.” He then invited us to stay overnight in one of them.

Reality Check


The descriptions of the technologies are fictional and intended mostly as requirements.

Discussion of the timeline is based on multiple simulations related to the “C-low” scenario previously discussed. For example:






Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Review


Sally visited Maura and me at Colorado Holistic University yesterday, “wearing” one of three specially-fabricated robots so she can have a physical presence. Her essence is still distributed among a classified number of servers throughout the world, awaiting the development of a single multi-purpose body that she can fully inhabit when global computer technology is no longer available to support her. 

The purpose of her visit was to brief us and get feedback about a significant update to the global strategy being considered for roll-out before the end of the year. The update would use fixed annual rates for population change and per-capita consumption instead of the linear decrease in total consumption that drives the present strategy, resulting in about half the death rate which was found to be unacceptably high.

“There is a higher probability of success doing it this way,” she told us, “because the targets are simpler. Progress is easier to verify and therefore control. We have also eliminated the most controversial aspect of the current strategy, maintaining zero births, although the birth rate will be very low.”

Maura and I stood facing the history department’s conference table where Sally sat and the screen behind her that showed a set of charts for the projected year 2040. Total consumption was higher than the present target, which was particularly problematic for Maura. “The whole point of driving down consumption to give ecosystems a better chance of recovery and offsetting the impacts,” she said rhetorically. “Are you sure enough of the death rate savings to justify taking the extra risk?”

“Yes,” Sally said bluntly.

 One of the charts suggested another motivation. “The new end-state is pushing up against the peak phase at the high end,” I said to Maura. “Is that even sustainable?”

“It depends on the cause,” Maura replied.

“The cause is the trajectory,” Sally answered the implied question. “Continuing the population and per-capita consumption rates past 2040 will maintain the distribution of people across the phases, but…”

“But?” Maura and I asked simultaneously.

Sally frowned realistically, no doubt for our benefit. “After 2050 there will not be enough resources to avoid collapse. Increasingly unable to meet its needs, humanity will cease to exist after 2080.”

I did a quick mental calculation based on the last hope chart. “That’s 14 years more than we have now. I’d say that’s a reasonable tradeoff.”

“What’s the overall impact on the strategy?” Maura asked Sally. Her expression revealed that she already knew the answer.

“It is considerably simplified and more aggressive in reducing direct consumption. Because implementation has already been more aggressive than planned due to the creativity provisions that Will inspired, there will be little change to existing preparations.” Sally unnecessarily gestured to the screen, where the charts were replaced with an image of a bound book about half the thickness of the global strategy. “A draft is ready if you would like to read it.”

We spent most of the day reviewing the draft with Sally. She collected our comments and changes into a new draft that could be merged with feedback from others who I assumed she was meeting with simultaneously using her other forms. 

The existence of the draft update was announced by WICO while we were on our way home. In the news clip played on all radio stations, Ambassador Lazlo described it as “the result of lessons learned over a very productive two months that will radically improve our chance of survival.” Maura lurched the car slightly as she drove, a clear sign that she disagreed with the assessment, and at that moment I thought I saw a small aircraft fly over us. “Over the next few days, details about the update will leak out,” Lazlo continued. “I urge everyone to ignore any such details and wait for the release of the final version.”

“They’re getting ahead of themselves,” Maura said, focusing on the road, “and you,” referring to this blog post.

I glimpsed the reflection of the aircraft, which was probably a drone, just as it disappeared behind a hill. “Somebody wants those details to get out anyway,” I speculated. “Given the time constraints, they’d be irresponsible not to, creativity provisions notwithstanding.”

“You’re not easily complimented, are you?” she asked, turned to me, and smiled. “That’s a good thing.”

“I don’t like being played,” I said, as an old concern began to nag at me again. 

ABOVE: Maura, Sally, and Will.

Reality Check


The new scenario is described in the Idea Explorer blog post C-low. The related summary of global variables in the year 2040 is shown below.


For reference, projections for the current scenario are as follows for 2040:


Note in particular the difference in Total Consumption between the two scenarios that Maura highlighted, about 0.1 Earth.
The business-as-usual scenario for the Green simulation representing our world is shown below, with detail for mid-year 2019 that applies to all simulations:


For fiction backstory, see Will Jackson's Personal Log (patrons only).

Friday, September 6, 2019

Preparations and Phases

 
We heard today that the Extinction Response Unit is officially on schedule to begin decommissioning high-impact structures and technologies by the end of the year. That scared a lot of people in subregions like ours who hoped they would have more time to develop natural ways of meeting basic needs before the current means disappear. 

Meeting one of those needs, water, is particularly problematic because it must currently be pumped or imported to grow an adequate amount of food for all the people who rely on it. This is made even more difficult by the already-erratic climate that is making access unpredictable while noticeably turning our home into a desert. In addition, the water must be cleaned by natural ecosystems that are either not available or not healthy enough to adequately perform the task. Few of us have any doubt that a mass exodus to places with more resources will be necessary within the next five years, and indeed dynamic contingency plans are already being developed domestically and internationally.

As Maura anticipated, the phase nomenclature has been rapidly adopted by both planning agencies and the public to communicate about the complex issues involved in the transition. We are already seeing a convergence of names for each phase in social and professional use which tend to have an economic theme similar to a business supply chain. That theme is likely to change since the world economic system will be undergoing a major overhaul during the transition - mainly to limit private ownership of ecological resources so that Consumers (the currently popular name for people in Phase 1) and Marketers (in Phase 2) aren’t rewarded for destroying functioning ecosystems. As Phase 4 Processors (performing multiple functions) we will soon be cut off from Phase 5 Manufacturers and the Phase 6 Suppliers we and the Manufacturers depend on for raw materials. The world has only recently seen the future it’s trying to avoid in the Perishers of Phase 7 who as a result of our efforts might yet be saved from their doom.

Reality Check


Some major discoveries have resulted in a revamping of how global variables are distributed throughout the global population. One consequence is a better ability to characterize how phases correspond with the way people live their lives, especially on an economic basis. The world map shown below is one result, constructed from GDP data with an error margin of plus-or-minus 0.6 phase.


Following is an updated phase diagram for when the global strategy was executed:




Friday, August 16, 2019

Dreamworld


After a week of planting native trees with me and Al as part of the new region-wide Restoration program, Maura awoke from a dream of a day in a world where such a program and the strategy that inspired it were never considered more than a dream themselves.

As “Mari,” she worked as a low-level financial analyst at a defense company that had no interest in developing truly life-saving technologies. The day began with a casual breakfast in front of her television, swearing at news reports of a self-destructing federal government led by isolationists who were focused on accumulating as much personal power as possible for themselves and their supporters. Her live-in fiancĂ© John, an electronics store technician she met in a previous job, reminded her that the current focus on weapons development and profit-boosting deregulation meant they had a better chance of paying off her recent medical bills and moving from their tiny apartment into a real house just in time for their wedding at the end of the year.

Mari’s commute was excruciatingly long and perilous, spent mostly in start-and-stop traffic undeterred by automated signs requesting that people not drive due to elevated ozone levels exacerbated by vehicle exhaust. Bored by the music choices on the radio, she gambled on listening to more news, and almost caused a crash when a reporter announced that a deep recession might be imminent if not already in progress. She had a flash of a global trend analysis that Maura had done months ago, which anticipated just such a possibility in this timeframe as a precursor of a world population peak five years in the future. The implication of the report sent a shock through her mind; if it turned out to be true, then the peak might be too, along with the rapid fall toward extinction that followed. 

She took a deep breath as she listened to the much more benign explanations being offered by economists: that the government’s corruption had critically reduced market confidence in it exercising rational economic policy; that recent GDP fluctuations indicated a reset was due following the last twelve years of growth; and that automation and other technologies were reshaping the workplace faster than expected. All of them would have been enough for the original Mari, but as Mari/Maura she knew there were much larger forces in play that demanded an understanding that encompassed more than strictly political and economic considerations.

By the time she arrived at work, the company’s Chief Financial Officer had already directed analysts in her office and elsewhere to run reality checks on the recession fears, develop likely scenarios, and recommend strategies for minimizing exposure to losses that might result. Technically, Mari’s role was to error-check the scenarios and strategies that the experts produced, but she felt compelled to share her concerns with them directly at the earliest stage. The dream ended following a particularly uncomfortable meeting with them.

“They acted like she was crazy,” Maura told me near the end of her narrative, “dismissing it as a dystopian fantasy that no rational person would subscribe to. It reminds me of the debate when WICO proposed the biosphere assessment. At least we finally agreed to replace opinion with facts, and accept all their implications. These people were limiting the scope of the ‘reality’ they considered, based on their own opinions, and blaming her for questioning it.”

I decided to play the devil’s advocate. “To be fair, she couldn’t divulge the source of her concern, what you learned, mainly because they reasonably wouldn’t believe it coming from her.”

“They had more than enough information already. Their scientists and a lot of activists were already sounding the alarm over several aspects of the extinction threat. The United Nations, their version of WICO, was even getting nations to enter treaties to deal with it. Private industry was pushing what they called renewable technology, an ill-conceived attempt to continue the status quo without a very limited set of environmental costs. Unfortunately, they failed to consider a lot of the critical costs.”

“You learned all that in a dream?” I asked.

“You can learn a lot when you share someone’s mind.”

“Which outside of a dream would sound crazy, right?”

“Right,” she admitted. “Some of the simulations I did when I was at WICO were turned into a story by my subconscious. I’m sure that with some research I could identify which ones they were, which makes the story worth telling.”

Reality Check



Mari’s world is based on the simulation Hella, whose history and future starting in 2015 matches simulation Green - what I judge to be the best match to our real world. In the fictional backstory (explored in Will Jackson’s Personal Log), Maura has a limited ability to observe and interact with versions of herself in the “worlds” of other simulations (as they can with her) - providing a means of comparing relevant parts of the simulations in any given story.

In Hella, global variables change annually as follows:


In all three simulations, self-sustaining impacts reduce total resources after 2014, but of course Hikeyay (Maura’s world) is intentionally decreasing consumption as part of the global strategy.




Thursday, August 8, 2019

Phases of Time

 
Maura recently had a new insight about the historical context framework she first lectured about on June 21. Today she shared it with other members of the history department, many of whom were onsite to prepare for the beginning of classes.

“WICO’s decision to add subregions got me thinking about how to make sense of all the new information.” Behind her at the head of one of the lecture halls, a world map displayed the thousand subregions color-coded according to which of the original regions they were part of. 

“Instead of thinking in terms of ecosystem types, or biomes, we can look at them in simpler terms.” She pressed a hidden button on the lectern and only seven colors remained. “Here, they’re categorized according to their dominant phases. WICO came up with the concept of phases while trying to predict behaviors based on observed correlations with the ratio of basic consumption by people to basic consumption by members of other species.” She showed a graph of the behaviors as a function of phase. “Those behaviors include living longer, seeking happiness, and having children and dying which affects population. Each phase is a range of the ratio that corresponds to aspects of the behaviors. Until the addition of subregions, there was a lot more uncertainty in the predictions than some of us who worked on the global strategy were comfortable with. With refined data collection and testing, it is now possible to have better resolution on what phase a person or group occupies at a given time.”

She scanned the nearly-full hall and smiled coyly. “So… what does this have to do with history? Just as people and groups move through phases, all of humanity has moved through what I call ‘phase epochs’ that each correspond to a range of time where the characteristics of a particular phase are dominant. In my first lecture, I used a crude version of that concept to define ‘milestones’ marking off certain trends in history. Now, I propose being more explicit about the nature of the phases in all its manifestations as the characterization of life’s interactions over time and space.”

A review of the past two centuries followed, where she referenced the milestones in their new context and suggested some new directions of research using both historical records and the growing dataset of observations taken by professionals and the global network of trained citizens living out the transition.

Reality Check


A phase diagram for today is shown below, where L is life expectancy, h is happiness, Fert is fertility, P is population, R is consumption by a group, Cap is capacity (total resources), C is per-capita consumption, and Wealth/p is per-capita wealth (fixed 2010 dollars). Years listed at the 90% value are the original milestones.




Phase epochs are based on which phases are dominant over a period of time. Every epoch except the first epoch is represented in the following graph, which shows the fraction of global population in each phase from 1800 through the transition for the simulated world as indicated by the difference in population ratio between any pair of colored lines. The black line is the projected phase for the population. 


Epoch 1 (dominated by phase 1, the purple line) ended in the year 152. Epoch 2 ended between 1810 and 1850 (likely 1837), when the dark blue line representing phase 2 reached 100%. Epoch 3 ended between 1940 and 1950 (likely 1947). Epoch 4 ended in 1973, and Epoch 5 ended in 1999. The present Epoch 6 (yellow) first ended in 2014, which began the present Epoch 7.

The global strategy intends to reverse the progress this year, and reenter Epoch 6 by 2022. Epoch 5 will be reentered in 2031, where the world will hopefully stay past 2040.

Following is the equivalent graph for our world (“Green”):



Friday, August 2, 2019

Month One Status


On today’s one-month anniversary of strategy execution, Ambassador Lazlo announced on video that progress is on schedule. Among her comments:

“The expected changes in key indicators have been observed, verifying our assumptions within known statistical uncertainty, but we don’t expect any noticeable declines traceable to our actions for another eleven months. Decommissioning plans are being implemented for the top unsafe technologies, especially in the energy, extraction, and weapons industries. National extinction response units have reported receiving all initial individual and community commitments, and are in the process of updating adaptation and transition plans to match the new subregion guidance, whose activation will trigger inter-regional interaction limits whose trials are practically complete. 

“Regarding environment-assisting technology, WICO is closely monitoring all related development and deployment activities, which by their creative nature are not conducive to detailed scheduling, but are driven by the behaviors of natural systems they must influence - better known as self-sustained impacts, such as polar ice loss, marine ecosystem collapse from ocean acidification, and methane emissions from melting permafrost. We need to stop these impacts by the hard deadline of 2040, or else we will have added only another 35 years to the lifetime of our species.”

Reality Check


The changes in key indicators over the course of the month are depicted in the following graph, and are expected for both the simulated world and ours. Actual changes may be influenced by other variables that would not be reflected in a statistical approximation like this.


Note that this graph includes waste at the earliest phase.

The extension of time without stopping self-sustained impacts is the difference between the projected final years for the simulated world and the “Green” simulation that best matches our historical trend.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Context


By what WICO claims is coincidence, the number of regions and subregions now totals exactly one thousand. Maura suspects that such a round number is more likely an error correction based on the remote and direct observations accumulated over the past month, similar to the earlier increase in regions from around 120 to 300.

Maura and I went to the mountains for a break from work and the summer heat, but I knew it would be more than that when I found a Personal Environmental Assessment Kit in the trunk. We ended up at the site of the local test community (TC-013). “For fun” she demonstrated the full set of citizen observations, which includes a dozen added after I resigned from the GAP team. Several of the original residents were still there, and brought out their remaining instruments to verify our results. Maura and the others cheered when the observations matched to within ten percent, and teased me for not joining in.

Lei Kaleo and Maura’s cousin Ciera Johnson insisted that we all go to the nearest hot springs, which reminds the two best friends of one of their favorite activities when growing up. They lamented that the impending curtailment of air travel means they likely won’t get to return to their childhood home in Hawaii, whose rainforests are a large part of what led them to their present careers, but neither regrets moving to Colorado. During the trip, they all told stories of their time together, especially on the mountain; generally happy, some intriguing, and all providing context for current and future projects of both a personal and professional nature. 

ABOVE (L-R): Me, Maura, and Ciera.

Reality Check


I derived a mathematical formula for the cumulative population as a function of phase, and used it to derive total consumption as a function of phase. A key factor in the population function is dependent on sample size used in the calculation, which equals 1,000 when tweaked to get accurate values for global variables such as total resources and resources used by nature (as determined from historical analysis). 

The results for Hikeyay are shown below for 2019 year and 2040, the end of the transition. Basic functions of phase for life expectancy, happiness, fertility, and normalized population/nature are displayed along with the historical years that the world crossed, or is projected to cross, from one phase to another. Cumulative population is shown the given year. Cumulative consumption is also shown for the given year, as the fraction of maximum resources ever available (a total ecological footprint of approximately 3 Earths/year), while the total resources actually available due to reduction by self-sustained impacts is indicated by a dotted black line.