Seeds of Change - Heiner Benking's Blog - 43 years & 23 years and so little learning !! - anyone listening & acting?    
 43 years & 23 years and so little learning !! - anyone listening & acting?
picture 30 May 2013 @ 07:47, by Heiner Benking

DRAFT - just typing in the finla wrap-up session.
I am at the International Conference on Climate Change Effects, Impacts World 2013 [link] and I am getting very sad and angry.

But first her the core questions discussed here for 4 days:

1. Can we integrate our existing knowledge across sectors?
2. How certain are we?
3. What is still missing?
4. How do we bridge the divide between regional and global impact studies?
5. Is anybody listening?

Maybe see also this VISIONING DOCUMENT first: [link] and note that you seldom get so many Nobel Laureats (2007) into one room ! (they all are Laureates as IPCC was awarded) [link]

Very good and earnest scientist around. I specially mentioned IIASA and Nathan Keyfitz a couple times.. See page 17-18 [link] also mentioned in this article (FN15): [link]

Yes there is a chance for change of mindsets and rulesets... see MINDPRINT website [link] and maybe flatworlds and deepworlds: [link]

I learned as a child "View of the Whole, Responsibility for the Whole" "Sicht aufs Ganze, Pflicht fürs Ganze" and realize that is actually what is missing in all these muddling through in view of the Problematique and the Predicament of Mankind we are confronted with.
In the opening discussion it was made clear that we know enough to act, but we do not know the root causes and can not manage vulnerability and fragility of of highly complex dynamic changes. Maybe revist again the lecture of Chrales Francois when introducing the 2nd edition of the Internation Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics. His title: The need for an integrated systemic-cybernetic language for concepts and models in complex and vague subject areas: "fields" such as humanities, cultural-, anthropological- and environmental- studies, education,… and last not least: governance
[link] maybe also see our presentation we did 10 years ago: [link] and when you then see the Need for a New Science, New Language, New Thinking [link]

there were in my view central leverage points missed this today, Mai 30th

exactly 43 years ago
when the Club of Rome did not get their early work and jumped onto Prognostic Futures, ignoring the Particiaptory and Normative aspects. See my interviews about the matter here in EUROPEsWORLD: [link]

exactly 23 years ago
when we had the vernisage of the GLOBAL CHANGE touring exhibition - it subtitle was Challenges to Science and Politics !!!!! Since then Science and politics seem to have ignored most of the messages and presentations, work by a lot of scientist over years and an interesting "status quo" documentation by-the-way.... We introduced for example a "0-Energy House" and still we are fighting for other ways of building; we introduced the Rubik's Cube of Ecology to provide a view for general orientation. Read this text by Anthony Judge [link] "Pointers to possibilities, [link]
but who reads and who cares?

I specially want to highlight this paper by him ! Subtitle:
Why Nothing is Happening in Response to Global Challenges - Mind Map of Global Civilizational Collapse [link]
this only to show that I am opting not for ONE "orthogonal" model - so please go here at : Computation for Metaphors, Analogy and Agents: [link]

I am just recalling the SANTA FE workshops ***** in the late 90ies or was it 80ies !? When will we go to make real "vulnerability" studies ! and revisit this book "capacity to govern and the recommendations we did at the UN Climate Summit in Berlin in 1995 [link] this "robust paths to global stability at the World Futures Study Federation Conference in Nairobi, also in 1995. see 1) GLOBAL CHALLENGE [link]

The Final Wrap-Up session here is full of "food for thought and action" - they ask for better media coverage - maybe we need to invest into that !! We should talk to some Foundations next week !! [link]

Meanwhile please go to the Conference Website. All Summaries will be up in a few hours - as was just promised. Here are the titles as copied from the website. So I urge you to get going for answers and take critical and proactive issues discussed here in Potsdam carefully !

IMPACTS WORLD 2013 is a discussion-based conference designed to tackle five fundamental challenges: check the website !! and maybe check tomorrow where we have in the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences "Academia Reloaded" [link] for which I just revited our LOCAL AND GLOBAL CHANGE [link] exhibtion hall at the geotechnica fair in 1991 and the profile and Poster Exhibition for the Alfred Wegener Foundation - Ethical and Historical Dimensions [link] and last not least Responsibility and Science with Space and Time horizon at the 90th birthday celebrations "in memoriam" for Hans Jonas [link] (we called in integral environmental sciences back then... and wrote about the CREDIBILITY OF ECOLOGY in 1987 ... [link])
More about this tomorrow and more details from IMPACT WORLDS below:

1. Can we integrate our existing knowledge across sectors?

Climate change will have impacts in a wide range of sectors that belong to both the natural and the socio-economic sphere. The issue transcends the traditional research boundaries and creates multiple cross-disciplinary challenges.

How can we understand interactions and feedbacks between sectors, including possible non-linear amplifications of impacts?
How can we advance our understanding of cross-cutting, cascading impacts of future extreme-event regimes?
How do we achieve cross-sectoral integration without losing necessary sectoral detail?
What are adequate biophysical and socio-economic metrics and models to synthesize impacts across sectors and regions (including policy decisions)?
What are the most useful common baselines for different sectors to identify pure climate change induced impacts, and to quantify the effects of different adaptation measures?

2. How certain are we?

The utility and credibility of climate impacts research is heavily reliant on the robustness of impact projections. Uncertainty propagates from observational data, climate models and socio-economic scenarios, through to impact and adaptation assessments.
How can we improve the observational data base for the impacts we already observe? Which role can field experiments play in improving impact models? How can we deal with small sample sizes and incomplete data sets?
How can we ensure rigorous validation and quality-check of impact models? What are the main sources of uncertainty along the chain from climate change and socio-economic drivers to impact projections?
For the benefit of adaptation strategies, are we able to project the timing of impacts?
How can assumptions about different levels of adaptation be factored into the discussion about model uncertainty?
What is the most relevant time horizon for measuring uncertainty?
Can observations of past extreme events help to reduce related uncertainty? How can an ongoing observation effort be ensured to study impacts of extreme events?

3. What is still missing?

A comprehensive and systematic gap analysis is needed to identify mechanisms, sectors and regions which are currently under-researched.
Where are the gaps in climate impact research with respect to sectoral coverage?
Are our current models the adequate tools to identify biophysical and/or social tipping points? If not, what else is needed?
What is needed to better understand impacts of extreme events?
Which impacts can be avoided or notably reduced by adaptation measures for different sectors at different scales?
What is needed to systematically address individual and societal consequences of climate change impacts? What methods are appropriate for this?
How can biophysical impact studies (e.g. on ecosystems, water availability, agricultural crops) be used for quantification of impacts on human systems (e.g. food security, wildfire management, public health, power generation)?
How can we improve consistency between interacting climate and impact models?

4. How do we bridge the divide between regional and global impact studies?

Global assessments of climate change impacts are important to inform the policy making process at international, regional, and local levels. Therefore, to ensure that research meets the demands of decision-makers and communities for reliable and timely information, details of climate impacts must be provided at the appropriate geographic scale. Bridging the scales between global and regional impact research and models can go in both directions.
How do we ensure representative sets of comparative regional case studies?
How should we apply and couple regional models to achieve a global picture for different sectors, whilst retaining the regional resolution?
How can we achieve a more complete regional coverage of impact studies? Can results for a representative set of regions be transferred to other regions?
How can the SSP process be utilized as a context for coordinated development of global, regional and local impact studies?
How does a global perspective influence local adaptation decisions and (how) should this be accounted for in impact assessments?

5. Is anybody listening?

Research provides crucial information to global, regional, national and local policy makers and practitioners. Research results must be relevant, intelligible and concise not only for the scientific community, but also to stakeholders and the wider public. Quantitative syntheses as well as powerful narratives are crucial.

How shall we marry impacts and adaptation research?
How has impacts research influenced adaptation policy-making thus far? What has and has not worked at the science-policy interface?
How can we achieve more active exchange and a better two-way communication with policy makers?
How can we ensure a systematic quantification of adaptation options including local knowledge?
How do we improve the construction of damage functions, in order to produce more consistent economic risk assessments? How do we appropriately address concerns of equity and discounting?
How do we best communicate the magnitude and inevitability of uncertainty in order to support policy makers in dealing with climate-related risks?
How can the widespread use of global mean temperature as base variable among policy makers be reconciled with a more broad approach suggested by science?
How can attribution of observed impacts best be communicated without sacrificing scientific rigor?

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