Posts tagged policy

Explainer: How ‘Shared Socioeconomic Pathways’ explore future climate change

climate, IPCC, AR5, AR6, SSP, SRES, climate-policy, policy, foresight, futures, pathways, 2018

Over the past few years, an international team of climate scientists, economists and energy systems modellers have built a range of new “pathways” that examine how global society, demographics and economics might change over the next century. They are collectively known as the “Shared Socioeconomic Pathways” (SSPs). These SSPs are now being used as important inputs for the latest climate models, feeding into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sixth assessment report due to be published in 2020-21. They are also being used to explore how societal choices will affect greenhouse gas emissions and, therefore, how the climate goals of the Paris Agreement could be met. The new SSPs offer five pathways that the world could take. Compared to previous scenarios, these offer a broader view of a “business as usual” world without future climate policy, with global warming in 2100 ranging from a low of 3.1C to a high of 5.1C above pre-industrial levels.


Why Networks Are States That Need Democratic Government

P2P, deliberation, policy, politics, blockchain, ETH, XBT, BTC, power, distributed-systems, decentra

One of the governance problems of blockchains, related to the fundamental error of decentralization theater, is the failure to build deliberative institutions on top of the “parliament of miners.” Voting by proof of work is great, especially if the majority is well above 51%, and can demonstrate its strength without an actual hashing race. It’s a good way to finalize decisions. But not a good way to make them. But blockchain governance would be considerably improved if the miners actually had a formal way to delegate their power to a structured institution that represented them. Both Bitcoin and Ethereum have foundations and/or core teams, but authority in these institutions isn’t tied in any way to actual mining power. Informal politics fills this void with personality cults and eloquent blogposts, all hoping to create collective agreement among the actual voting miners. History shows this is not a great way to run a railroad. Misalignment between a fundamental power, like the miners, and a group purporting to represent them, like the foundations, is inherently dangerous.


Fossil fuels subsidised by $10m a minute, says IMF

IMF, energy, economics, policy, subsidies, climate change, fossil fuel dependence

Fossil fuel companies are benefitting from global subsidies of $5.3tn (£3.4tn) a year, equivalent to $10m a minute every day, according to a startling new estimate by the International Monetary Fund. The IMF calls the revelation “shocking” and says the figure is an “extremely robust” estimate of the true cost of fossil fuels. The $5.3tn subsidy estimated for 2015 is greater than the total health spending of all the world’s governments.–10m-a-minute-in-subsidies-says-imf?CMP=share_btn_tw

The dangers of letting algorithms enforce policy.

policy, responsibility, liability, descion making, algorithms, algorithmics, state, legal, locus, Sl

Policy algorithms can cause real damage that is difficult to remedy under existing legal protections, especially when algorithms terminate basic services. If community members are unfairly stigmatized by police surveillance or incorrectly denied care for acute medical conditions, it is nearly impossible to make them whole after the fact. So how do we preserve fairness, due process, and equity in automated decision-making?

RealClimate: The new IPCC climate report

IPCC, UN, climate, climate change, policy, politics, interesting graphs

The time has come: the new IPCC report is here! After several years of work by over 800 scientists from around the world, and after days of extensive discussion at the IPCC plenary meeting in Stockholm, the Summary for Policymakers was formally adopted at 5 o’clock this morning. Congratulations to all the colleagues who were there and worked night shifts. The full text of the report will be available online beginning of next week. Realclimate summarizes the key findings and shows the most interesting graphs.