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Dear Yiannis and ASI, thank you for this excellent pertinent analysis, which relates to my goxi blog post on carbon mining.  I recently finished working with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, with a focus on mining governance, and hope to engage in discussion further on climate and mining. As per the arguments in my carbon mining essay, there are several points you make which I think need further discussion.

Firstly, your title “2030: A climate catastrophe?” well captures the massive risks of failure to respond adequately to global warming. As well, systems thinking presents the clear map required for discussion of these risks.  However, I question whether the scenarios that you outline adequately capture the data that arises from a clear systems map for global climate change. 

Your first nightmare scenario, the Wild West, begins to approach the risks of failure to regulate climate.  I fear these risks could be even worse in terms of conflict and poverty.  I also wonder if such a world would actually deliver commodities at lower prices as you suggest, since a lack of supply could force up prices in a world where rich countries can temporarily insulate themselves from climate catastrophe. 

It is your second scenario that I really question.  You suggest a world of “global action to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, which, along with adaptation measures, averted the worst impacts of climate change.” I am sorry, but I do not believe this is realistic.  A systems map for global warming shows firstly that emission reduction and adaptation are nowhere near what is needed for climate stability.  As well, the inability of the IPCC to engage constructively with critics of the economic harm from emission reduction means the level of political conflict around the Paris Agreement will only grow, as President Trump’s election attests.  Rather than frame this debate as good versus bad, it is essential for the mining industry to engage in realistic scenario planning about how to avert this looming catastrophe, by exploring how research and development of negative emission technology such as carbon mining presents an alternative scenario compared to the vigorous prosecution of the Paris agenda.