The Quartermaster’s Report – 2017
During the writing of “This Spaceship Earth”, my co-author Tim Rumage introduced me, a non-sailor, to the concept of what a quartermaster does. We had been trying to come up with a way to take a snapshot in time of the health of the planet. As we wrote in the book:
“The Quartermaster supervises, stores, and distributes supplies and provisions. The Quartermaster is also the one responsible for making sure equipment, materials and systems are available and functioning. This not about what is preferred or desired, but what is. Therefore, in the world of the Quartermaster, if a 16 oz. glass has 8 ounces of liquid, the glass is neither half full nor half empty – it simply has 8 ounces of liquid”
It therefore made great sense, since we were using the metaphor spaceship for Earth to use the Quartermaster’s report as a good way to measure the status of Spaceship Earth as it is. The first Quartermaster’s Report became Chapter 2 of the book, published in December 2015. It is consistently referenced by readers as the chapter that brought the “aha moment” of the reality of Climate Change.
As readers here know, in 2016 Tim and I co-founded a non-profit, ThisSpaceshipEarth.Org to create crew consciousness, moving people from being idle passengers to active crew members. One goal was to issue an annual Quartermaster’s Report on the status of Spaceship Earth.
We are happy to announce the release of the 2017 Quartermaster’s Report!
You can find it posted report here.
In addition, we have created a free download of the very first report, which is Chapter 2 of “This Spaceship Earth”. You can access, read and download that PDF here.
We have issued a press release as well which you can find and download as a Word document here.
As the press release states:
“Tim Rumage, planetary ethicist and Chief Science Officer of ThisSpaceshipEarth.Org has researched and published this Quartermaster’s Report.
This Quartermaster’s Report includes the following statistics and multi-year trends:
-Human Population Growth
-Global Temperature Trends
-Global Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions
-Annual Average Atmospheric Concentrations of CO2
-Annual Earth Overshoot Date
– Global Resource Usage Footprint
-Identification and Measurement of All Greenhouse Gases
-Global Rate of CO2 Emissions
-Danger of Growth in Natural Gas/Methane Use
-Global Rate of Ice Loss
-Coral Reef Status
-Rate of Soil and Arable Land Loss
-Plastics and Pollution in the Oceans
-Rate of Fishery Loss
-PCBs in Marine Mammals
Tim’s synopsis of the current state of “This Spaceship Earth:
We continue to operate This Spaceship Earth in the ‘red zone’. While the CO2 emissions appear to be stabilizing, we are accomplishing that feat by increasing the use of natural gas which has a greater global warming potential than CO2. New studies and reports show how ubiquitous our pollutants are in the oceans, and they show the growing risk posed by plastic pollution in the marine environment. The rate of ice melt in both Greenland and Antarctica is increasing and putting coastal communities at great risk of sea level rise. We are creating greater potential risks through the loss of soil and coral reefs”
I urge you to read the report on the web site, to read, download and share the press release with others and, if you have not yet read “This Spaceship Earth” to download Chapter 2, as linked above. [Note: we have always had Chapter 1 posted here, so that all can understand the concept of Crew Consciousness]
Where is the Data We Paid For? Free the Data!
Tim explained to me that this year it took far longer to compile the Quartermaster’s Report. The reason is simple: the new administration in Washington has taken down data relative perceived to be related to Climate Change. A use of government power to censor research that tax payers have already paid to have published on-line. It is anti-science, anti-data in the era of big data, censorship, and possibly a restriction of free speech as the data is supposed to be publicly available.
Tim has just published a post on his planetary ethicist blog about this called “Free the Data” Please read it.
This is why our mission to publish an annual Quartermaster’s Report is so important. It is imperative that we have an annual report on the status of our planet and what we are doing to it. Spaceship Earth is the only place we now live. We should have facts that can be discussed and then addressed with action.
Once you read the Quartermaster’s report, there are two questions for you to answer:
First, how well do your assumptions about each topic match the reality of the data?
Second, does the information reflect an outcome that you wish humanity to achieve?
Your reflections on your answers to these two question determine your consciousness and participation in defining and creating our common future.