Scifi Econ Residency - Facilitation and program wiki

I found the Design Variables chapter of this anthology relevant to our residency: Dropbox - Cities of Light.pdf - Simplify your life


Hi there. Looking for concrete translations of the Paris agreement’s goals, I came back to the Ademe scenarios I have already mentioned earlier. For a workshop we ran during the World Futures Studies Federation last December, we described 2 alternative pathways to a Net Zero France in 2050 and used some of Ademe’s figures to describe some concrete changes in both scenarios:

1/ Alt-Development: “This Bifurcation rests on a fundamental choice to transform consumption and production modes in order to drastically reduce carbon emissions, as well as all other factors of environmental degradation. It focuses on qualitative growth over quantity and values. (…)”

INDICATORS (Reference: France; inspired by ADEME’s 2050 scenarios):

  • Raw CO2 emissions: -85%.
  • Energy consumption: -50% (renewables: 88% vs. 15% today).
  • Meat consumption: divided by 2-3.
  • Housing: zero new constructions; massive sharing; lower individual surfaces.
  • Space: de-metropolization towards medium & small cities, land regeneration for natural carbon sinks.
  • Mobility: -20-30% kms, 50% foot-bike (2024: 3%).
  • Consumption quota & rationing for scarce resources.
  • Carbon taxation, redistributive taxation.
  • Strongly reduced international commerce.
  • 70%-80% raw material for industry reused or recycled.

2. Eco-Modernism: “The transition towards “net-zero” rests on a fundamental choice to privilege the intensive use of technology in order to [1] rapidly decarbonate energy sources while keeping energy supply at a high level (focus on renewables, nuclear and new technologies such as fusion and hydrogen), [2] reduce energy and resource consumption in all industries without reducing economic growth (“absolute” decoupling), and [3] massively develop and deploy Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) solutions. Technological innovation is therefore highly encouraged and valued, with very little control. (…)”

INDICATORS (Reference: France; inspired by ADEME’s 2050 scenarios)

  • Raw CO2 emissions: -50%.
  • Energy consumption: -27% (renewables: 50% vs. 15% today).
  • Meat consumption: -10-30%, complemented by synthetic proteins.
  • Smart housing, smart cities, metropolization continues.
  • Mobility: +15-30% kms, 10-30% foot & bike. EVs replace old cars.
  • Free markets, low taxation, lightly regulated commerce.
  • 45-60% raw material for industry reused or recycled.
  • Massive investment in carbon capture, storage and reuse to compensate for excessive emissions.

The full workshop’s report is here. It was short, more like a game than a serious exercise, and the stories are probably not economically coherent. However, it did bring home two important messages: (1) that there are several very, very different ways for societies to become "carbonically"sustainable, each with specific success/failure factors, and leading to very different worlds; (2) that a rapid transition to Net Zero is likely to be traumatic, focusing on a small number of core issues and leaving a lot of unresolved (or worsened) issues for the following period…

Hope it helps a little!

Thanks, @dkaplan, very interesting. Ademe did four transition pathways, right? And each pathway led to specific reductions, all of which, with the exception of meat, were quantitatively similar? So how about identifying the reduction or use targets, and let the participants figure out the pathways? It could be fun to compare results in terms of the Ademe versions, ie like restoration and frugality, or some other combinations.

The most interesting aspect of the four pathways to me were the revealed values underlying each. To be useful to Messina, it could be good to 1) clarify which targets areas and numbers are most suitable, and 2) get a sense of the value landscape. 2 could then inform character development, with characters representing the different values and relative power dynamics extant in the broad Messina community. That could properly ground us is the locality, something I’m not seeing yet with characters.

1 should be easy and likely already set out somewhere. (I couldn’t pull anything out of the mayors agreement but may have been looking in the wrong place.) @Nic010, thoughts on 2? Any ethnographies on Messina? How would you describe the current values landscape?

See also: Understanding how governance emerges in social-ecological systems: insights from archetype analysis - Ecology & Society

‘Drawing inspiration from grid-group typology of cultural theory, we developed four specific archetypes: egalitarian, individualist, hierarchical, and fatalist.’

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Yes, there are 4 transition pathways in Ademe’s work. However, the reductions are not really quantitatively similar, they are just hard to read because there are so many dimensions. As an example, -27% energy consumption w/ 50% renewable may be an evolutionary transformation over 30 years (although I don’t think we have ever reduced our energy consumption, except perhaps during Covid), while -50% w/88% renewable is basically 2x the former, and probably not reachable in an evolutionary way.
I agree on the values being (along with the reflexion on success/failure factors, imho) the most interesting aspect. Ademe has only recently included social scientists in its team, and it is beginning to bear fruits.

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Hi there. During yesterday’s call with Alberto, Joffa, Nicolo and Tim, we said we would need a few data on Messina’s situation in 2050 re:climate change. Here’s what I found. Note that the scale is Sicily, rather than Messina (which will likely be less hard-hit by climate change). Let me know whether it helps and how it might be improved.

We also said we would greatly benefit from having some elements on the consequences of climate change happening outside of Messina/Sicily - such as, more difficult access to food and other resources produced elsewhere, etc. Who could have a go at that, and/or is there an easy-to-use source from which a short set of facts could be extracted?

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This is great, @dkaplan.

I’d imagine if we’re in a global breakdown situation:

  1. tourism dries up
  2. imports are unreliable.

This would have variable effects on water: tourism increases demand, so total effects on lack of water are unclear. Would people migrate from other parts of Sicily to the NE region of the island, or would water falling in Messina be transported to the SW?

Very interesting observations about changing agriculture, ie planting more tropical crops.

It doesn’t seem that Sicily as a whole is a net importer of ag goods.

So while Messina doesn’t spend a lot of energy on Ag, seems that Sicily in general could perhaps feed itself. So perhaps the imports questions wouldn’t catastrophically affect food supplies.

Minerals for chemical manufacturing seems to make up vast majority of imports . . .

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Yeah, figures. I think this comes with the data being at the municipal level. There’s local farming, but just outside the city limits. Let’s verify that.