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Everything posted by CharonY

  1. Given all the same parameters of course a smaller population has likely fewer emission, though it would depend on other factors, too. Things like travel and energy use can be big factors. Canada has about four times the per capita emission of Switzerland, for example. This is of course an imperfect comparison as in a globalized economy carbon emissions can be outsourced, but at least taken at face value, 3 billion Canadians would produce as much as 12 billion Swiss folks. That would cover the range from the proposed 3 billion sustainable population to the likely maximum population that we are going to see. To be fair, most folks do not like substantial changes in their day-to-day. Folks railed against simple measures like seat belts and masks. Having to have to change habits or convenience in any sudden way usually results in sever pushback, and this is often something folks with power can leverage. Things change either slowly, require legislation or have to freak out folks enough that they are willing to do something. A level-headed cost-benefit calculation only seems works for some folks some of the time.
  2. Oh, don't threaten me with a good time. Perhaps Disney will send in Basil to solve the murders!
  3. It is actually a thing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_lives_clause as to address rules against perpetuities https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_against_perpetuities.
  4. I think the original argument was worse, as it appears that the claim was that the natural sciences had to be hundreds of years old to be valid. This is of course silly as modern methodologies and theoretical frameworks have shifted especially in the life sciences, with rather few concepts being several hundreds years old (but still heavily modified). But that all being said, climate science is actually fairly old though it was not a separate science. Mathematicians and physicists like Fourier and Tyndall looked at factors affecting Earth's temperature back then, for example. I think most environmentalists, activists, but also climate researchers would agree with you. There was economic argument that starting earlier would have been way cheaper, but we sat on our collective arses until things got really urgent. Generally speaking, politicians do not like big changes as they (similar to companies) dislike uncertainty. Up until it is certain to be bad, so they are forced to make some moves. It is a tragedy of commons all over, and denial seems to be one of the few ways to feel good about it. But not to sound too fatalistic, one could argue that some movement is better than no movement.
  5. That is the thing, one would normally not just eyeball things arbitrarily but one can calculate trends. And if one look at the calculations associated with the graph, it is shown that that the current shrink rate is about 12.6% per decade. Visually, the 2012 data point is misleading as it has huge drop which kind of makes the subsequent movements more shallow. Basically the fluctuations (or noise) in the system makes eyeballing trends difficult. A different way to look at the same time is to add more months and then plot averages over several decades , which smoothes out things a bit. Here you can see that especially starting around 2001-2010 not only the overall loss was quite a bit steeper, but also that recovery did not reach previous levels anymore, resulting in an increased net loss (red dashed line is the aforementioned extreme case of 2012). That being said, the situation is likely more dire, as newer methods including measuring the depth of ice (as these are only measuring the extent) suggest that the ice is also getting thinner. So the volume of ice lost, is actually a fair bit higher.
  6. So the answer is no, I take it?
  7. Can you show us the studies predicting complete loss of sea ice by 2023? Meanwhile long-term studies show reduction in extent and thickness, especially in recent years. DOI 10.1088/1748-9326/aae3ec
  8. There are always multiple factors, but your interpretation is a bit misleading. I assume you refer to absolute sea level (as shown here https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-sea-level) If we take those 70 years (1880-1950) and let's say it is 4 inches, then we can see that the next 4 inches were reached already in about 55 years. The next 2 inches were reached around 2021. In other words, the increase is accelerating rate analysis show that starting around 2006 the annual increase was around 2.5 that of the 20th century. It should also be noted that CO2 has seen quite an increase between 1880 and 1950, though the increase was not quite as steep as the following increase. https://www.sealevel.info/co2.html But to say that it was insignificant is probably not accurate. Finally regarding grazing and population density being the drivers of desertification, do you have data? I am no expert, but intuitively I would expect a fairly low population density in most deserts. There are exceptions, like e.g. Phoenix, but there birth rate is not the driver of population density.
  9. Sure, why not? I I'll throw in antibiotics resistance for free.
  10. Well, most things won't happen rapidly, though the largest magnifier are likely going to be armed conflicts. Well, that or another pandemic.
  11. Without knowing the likely maximum population, how would one ascertain what is sustainable at which lifestyle? That being said, most estimates suggest that the the world population is likely to flatten off at around 11 billion people. The next is what factors one would consider. I remember vaguely data suggesting that even with the capacity we got today, estimates suggest that can produce the necessary calories to sustain that number, but distribution would need to be more efficient. But high consumption lifestyles (like in many industrialized nations), technical changes would be necessary, including reduced use of fossil fuels, for example. Pretty much for these reasons, the resistance to sustainable industries is going to hurt folks down the road. It is not as if we couldn't have started decades ago.
  12. Short sequences have been created for a long time. Oligos (for PCRs) are made like that. More recent development have allowed de novo synthesis of longer stretches and really long sequences can be ligated together using shorter fragments. I assume you mean the sequence coding for a protein (i.e. gene, not genome) and today you can do the whole thing, custom DNA sequence as well as protein expression in vitro. The yield is lower than using e.g. bacterial or yeast expression systems, but it is doable.
  13. Sure or just freeze everyone.
  14. I am not aware that we draw lines, we try to define things mostly to help our methodological approaches, but often times these are definitions based on convention or convenience. Historically we defined bacterial species based on >70% divergence in DNA hybridization assays. There is no reason to believe that e.g. 69% or 71% would not be similarly reasonable. As the definition of awareness is fuzzy, the "line" would be fuzzy, too. Most would assume that we would have to look at vertebrates (and potentially some mollusks) at minimum. But I don't think (though I may be wrong) that we have something much more concrete. There are some tests (like the famous mirror test) but quite a few folks challenge the validity of them for such classifications (passing might be sufficient, but not neccessary).
  15. Might be, but outside of biological evolution, the term is rather poorly defined. I do not think that we have a very stringent definition of awareness. That being said, all existing attempts are tied to higher mental functions and require a brain of some complexity.
  16. No stochastic would also includes who get to have children. If not every carrier of certain alleles reproduce at the same rate (because some folks don't have kids) it will shift the frequency. To avoid that you need everyone to mate randomly and have a large pop.
  17. Not necessarily. Fundamentally evolution is just a change in the gene pool over time. In order for it to happen one would need a situation that fulfils the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Which also includes no sexual selection, sufficiently large population to eliminate stochastic effects and so on.
  18. That is not what they are doing, though. This assertion is based on the fact that folks do not understand their vulnerability to climate change. As you noted yourself, many low-income communities are more vulnerable. There are for example many African organizations and summit focusing on their specific struggles with the effects of climate change and I think you are really underestimating them. I had the privilege with working with students from different African countries and it is part of their regular school curriculum, for example. Quite a few of them want to study ways to better implement policies in their home countries and so on. Again, the extremely poor might not care as much, but it is part of general awareness as well as policy. And the latter is important as this is what makes meaningful changes. And here you are again underestimating those countries. Many (again, island countries are leading the way here) are acutely aware how much climate change is going to impact them. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/feb/26/african-countries-spending-billions-to-cope-with-climate-crisis They are not doing mitigation because rich nations force them to. Rather, they need to. And which is why they highlight the injustice and require industrialized nations to do more, not less. Again, they are ignorant of the issue, they feel it more than we do and they are trying to pressure rich notions to fulfil the commitment they promised, but not delivered. For them, it is not a theoretical and not doing mitigation is just not an option for them. So when we talk about not caring, realistically it is about rich nations who are less impacted than the poor. I will also add that your last comment does not support your former assertions. Poor nations care increasingly about climate change, specifically because rich nations don't. On the sub-national level I will concede that folks with low educational background are less likely to be even aware of climate change issues, but that is an universal pattern. Similarly, folks with experience with droughts or other extreme weather patterns were more likely (internationally) to perceive global warming as a threat. In the US for, for example, farmers have some of the highest percentage of folks thinking that climate change is real and an issue (>80%, well above national average). Yet depending on political leaning, the opinion diverge on whether it is human-made or not (forgot the split, but among GOP voters the majority does not think it is anthropogenic, from what I remember).
  19. I think no one is disputing that rich nations should shoulder more of the burden (especially as they still the benefits) and this is the argument that many low-income countries are making. Rather, I was disputing your earlier comment: This I understood as meaning that most folks around the world would not see climate change as a priority. The data from surveys suggest that it does not seem to be the case. Likewise, policies of exactly those two countries demonstrate that while there might be prioritization of economic well-being, there are massive mitigation efforts, rather than the 24/7 CO2 production as done by the industrialized nations in the past.
  20. Regarding your first citation, Goklany is an engineer and has been an advisor under the Trump administration and is known to misrepresent climate research and is known to work with think tanks known to promote climate change denial. The paper is also an opinion paper and does not discuss actual attitudes among the population. The second paper basically argues that higher income countries should shoulder more of the burden and allow low-income countries establish a better standard, something that is in discussion and there is little disagreement that limiting climate change has to be equitable. Especially as the high-income countries already reaped the benefits. Third paper discusses the divergence of opinion within countries. But as I noted even among low-income countries the majority of the population considers the climate change a threat. How much depends obviously on immediate impact and other concerns. I.e. folks on islands with risk of flooding see it as a critical essential threat, whereas folks in Poland have some of the lowest concerns (despite higher overall standard of living). In other words, data suggests that almost everywhere climate change is considered to be a significant concern. The fact that you can find folks who disagree does not change that.
  21. In microbiology one of the criteria is often the exchange of nutrients. While control of other bacteria is a benefit, it is usually not described as a mutualistic interaction. Rather the interaction between the bacteria would be characterized as amensalism (e.g. one bacterium harms a pathogenic one). I suspect in an ecological research context these interactions could be described as mutualistic, but not sure about that.
  22. And it should be added that all these talks an urgency are not useless- they do influence policy. Despite China's continued heavy reliance on coal, they were at least motivated to also heavily invest in green energy (around 25% of their energy, I believe), India is at 40% Sweden at 60% while USA and Canada are somewhere between 12-18%, I believe. An issue is that transitioning can be costly and painful and folks want to avoid these costs, as you mentioned. The problem only is that it is only externalizing the costs, as droughts, floods, heat-associated health care costs, biodiversity issues, food safety issues, etc. are also costly and someone is going to have should them. The strength of capitalism is the short feedback loops that keep the economy going. The weakness is the in-built shortsightedness due to these feedback loops.
  23. I addressed that above, policy is about a larger scale. Using this type of argument we wouldn't have any laws, regulations or society, as feeding your belly would always take precedence. That being said, Sub-Saharan folks are not idiots. If they notice their wells drying up, they do wonder what is happening. Also, it is not that all folks there are constantly on the brink of starvation, either. The polls do show that over half of the folks in the region see climate changes as a substantial threat, indicating that quite a few folks there see a link between climate change and challenges to their lives. You seem to think that folks somehow stop thinking when hungry, but quite a few likely will think why their harvests are failing, why areas are flooding and so on. Now, information flow are a bit more limited there, but many African government are acutely aware of the issues (again, policy). In other words, contrary to your claims it is not that the folks are unaware or uncaring about climate change. And I do not think your example is particular helpful to understand attitudes. It is not about asking a drowning person whether they want to prioritize climate actions over getting fished out of the water. It is about talking to folks about their risk that their area might get under water and how to prevent that. Yes exactly, that is what the various UN reports are calling for in their call for net zero. High-income nations should provide more assistance in reaching climate goals and also to to change the system in high-income, high emission. A Canadian person able to cut their average consumption in half would have the impact of ten Gambians cutting their emission to zero. The net zero focusses specifically on high emitters, and also puts the onus on them to transfer green energy to those who cannot afford it. You know, in global collaborative fashion to counter a global threat. Instead, there is a lot of niggling and downplaying local risks, so that we can pawn of much of the issues to the next generations.
  24. Actually in many cases the reverse is true. High-income nations have more options to deal with climate change. Especially developing countries have been calling folks to do more as they will be more impacted by food and water insecurity, for example. A pew survey shows that e.g. 71% of folks in Kenya think it is a major threat (vs 9% thinking no threat), which is higher than e.g. global economy worries (58%).Even in Nigeria, where ISIS is an ongoing threat (especially at time of polling) the differential between ISIS as the major threat (61%) was not that far away from climate worries (41%, with 21% no threat) and was more or less on par with global economy worries (49%). https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/04/18/a-look-at-how-people-around-the-world-view-climate-change/ So I think that we cannot really assume attitudes of low-income countries based on our rather cozy situation. Ultimately you have to ask them. And there is an UN study doing just that https://www.undp.org/publications/peoples-climate-vote And the overall findings are that the highest concerns are (unsurprisingly) among small island development states. While it is overall true that lower income countries have a lower belief in climate change as an emergency, it still sits at 58% at the lowest. Dividing by region, the difference between Western Europe and NA to Sab-Saharan Africa is about 10% (72%-61%). There is quite a difference between countries within a region, with South Africa sharing similar worries as Canada and Poland having fairly low worries (still 59%) which is similar to India. But overall, the assertion that developing countries just ignore climate or do not think it is relevant at all, appears to be inaccurate. That being said, if you argue that day-to-day worries are higher, that would be accurate for everyone. The trouble is that using that as the guiding post, there would be virtually no space for any types of policy, as they are systemic and the impact on the individuals day-to-day are often hard or impossible to predict. That would basically put us into a perpetual paralysis and we might only consider doing something once the dam is broken.
  25. A couple of things, China still relies too much on coal, but green energy has been pushed heavily in their energy portfolio. Not enough, and there has been some backsliding, but they are for example leaders in solar energy, for example. Also important to note that a lot of carbon emission is outsourced to China (i.e. production). So it is doubly important to have global policies in place that create favourable conditions for green energy (and unfavourable for fossil fuels) so that China is further encouraged to continue that road. The alternative is of course to use the situation elsewhere as an excuse to do nothing and then complain when things get bad. We did nothing when we were the top producers and now we won't do anything because someone else produces more.
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