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Decline or Greentech growth: your opinion & your favourite forum/places to talk about ecology & technology!


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Hi everyone,

I am new to the forum😎.
After reading about carbon footprint I have decided to change job and to focus only on environmental projects😃

I am a believer that 2 things to solve climate change (and our planet), it will be a combination of high carbon footprint activity decline (stop taking a car when you can avoid it, stop flying 2000 miles for a week end trip etc, don't buy plastic packaging when you can avoid it) and green technology development (electric cars with low carbon footprint mix like nuclear or renewables, carbon sequestration etc). 

I feel like the community is generally split between the 2 sides: Aurelien Barreau or others for the decline side (and many more I don't know!) and Elon Musk for the "technology will save us, don't worry", what do you think?

Also, I am looking for places where I can discuss tech and environment, this place looks great but there are probably a lot of others! What are your favorites 😃?

 

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59 minutes ago, greeneye12 said:

Hi everyone,

I am new to the forum😎.
After reading about carbon footprint I have decided to change job and to focus only on environmental projects😃

I am a believer that 2 things to solve climate change (and our planet), it will be a combination of high carbon footprint activity decline (stop taking a car when you can avoid it, stop flying 2000 miles for a week end trip etc, don't buy plastic packaging when you can avoid it) and green technology development (electric cars with low carbon footprint mix like nuclear or renewables, carbon sequestration etc). 

I feel like the community is generally split between the 2 sides: Aurelien Barreau or others for the decline side (and many more I don't know!) and Elon Musk for the "technology will save us, don't worry", what do you think?

Also, I am looking for places where I can discuss tech and environment, this place looks great but there are probably a lot of others! What are your favorites 😃?

 

So do you have something specific to discuss ?

Remember that this part of the forum (like most of ScienceForums) is for science and technical stuff.

There is also politcial section if you want to discuss political aspect.

 

Note you are allowed a total of 5 posts in your first 24 hours to prevent members being bombarded with spam (It works quite well)
After that you can post to your heart's content.

Edited by studiot
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Hi, thank you for the quick response.

Indeed, this post was more of an introduction, as I could not find a specific section where members can introduce themselves, maybe there is?

Nothing science specific to discuss right now, but I will deep dive in the relevant sections to check the content!

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1 hour ago, greeneye12 said:

I feel like the community is generally split between the 2 sides: Aurelien Barreau or others for the decline side (and many more I don't know!) and Elon Musk for the "technology will save us, don't worry", what do you think?

We need a fundamental change in the economy, for technology to save us; but do what you can to help, for instance:

 Stop buying shit you don't need...

Stop buying more than you eat, only to throw away the excess...

Stop trying to gather more money than you can spend...

Though I fear Aurelien Barreau may have a point, history provides many examples of it happening on a local scale; but now we have a global economy. 

 

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You can't deny human nature. Expecting that humans can be cajoled into greener behaviours is like expecting that the cyanobacterias that caused the oxygen holocaust could have been convinced to do otherwise. You'd hope education would change behaviours, but isn't it the case that the most educated are also the most polluting?

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@dimreeprI agree with you, and I turned to vegetarian for this reason, trying to reduce my carbon footprint.

Though, reducing waste, reducing consumption etc is great but it does not get you there. You can probably reduce your carbon footprint from 12-15 tons per year to let's say 6-8 tons a year. Though if we are still 7 billions in 2050, it means 3 tons per person, if we are 10 billions, that's 2 tons per person....

To get there we also need low emissions energy, low emissions food production etc etc

@Prometheus Only solution to me is carbon tax. Tax high carbon activities
It's tough for low income households as everything will have to make efforts. But if the price of a car and the price of gas does not factor in pollution, it's flawed to give an easy access to it, as it should not have been in the first place (IMO) 

 

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1 minute ago, greeneye12 said:

@dimreeprI agree with you, and I turned to vegetarian for this reason, trying to reduce my carbon footprint.

Yet, you've missed my point...

3 minutes ago, greeneye12 said:

Though, reducing waste, reducing consumption etc is great but it does not get you there. You can probably reduce your carbon footprint from 12-15 tons per year to let's say 6-8 tons a year. Though if we are still 7 billions in 2050, it means 3 tons per person, if we are 10 billions, that's 2 tons per person....

To get there we also need low emissions energy, low emissions food production etc etc

Reducing your carbon footprint, is a red herring; perpetrated by those who want to maintain the status quo and "Stop trying try to gather more money than you one can spend..."

15 minutes ago, greeneye12 said:

It's tough for low income households as everything will have to make efforts.

Do you mean the low income households:

Who don't have a car.

Who struggle to find enough money to be both, warm and enough food to eat.

Who can't afford to buy shit they don't need.

???

What's tough, is for a middle-class person to look in the mirror... 😉

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Posted (edited)

Sorry, yes I don't understand your point!

reducing waste, reducing consumption, being vegetarian (reducing water use and reducing soil area required) = reducing carbon footprint. So how is carbon footprint reduction going in the wrong direction? As to wait for the global system based on "rich trying to get richer" to be taken down before 2050 I would not bet on it. 
If pollution are accounted for in all activities, it's fine, someone can be richer, there will just be nowhere to spend it on as things will get too expensive, so not worth it. So it becomes less of an incentive to gather money. Yes, this approach only works if every country has the same regulations, not going to happen soon either, but any country can become a leader in this field and make their population proud :)
Obviously this is only my personal opinion, I am not an economic researcher, not been studying human psychology etc 

And regarding the low-income, using the definition you give, I meant middle class indeed, not low income 🙂

Edited by greeneye12
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7 minutes ago, greeneye12 said:

Sorry, yes I don't understand your point!

Indeed:

9 minutes ago, greeneye12 said:

reducing waste, reducing consumption, being vegetarian (reducing water use and reducing soil area required) = reducing carbon footprint.

If you have enough money, you have a choice... :doh:

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Posted (edited)

haha sorry I still dont get it.

If you don't have enough money, you will naturally be ecological. If you have money, with the current system, you have a choice of being or not being ecological. With a carbontax system, you are artificially poor as not being ecological is too expensive. Other solution is too have everyone without money at all, that works too, but we still end up with 6-8 tons per year, not 2-3, or we are talking about not heating houses, everyone growing their crops etc

 

Edited by greeneye12
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3 minutes ago, greeneye12 said:

If you don't have enough money, you will naturally be ecological.

Well, I have to walk to my local shop and carry home what I need to eat; and if I'm cold I throw on a blanket; how many tons does that equal?

36 minutes ago, greeneye12 said:

haha sorry I still dont get it

I wouldn't expect you too...

The neg rep; is a badge of honour; thanks...

 

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1 hour ago, greeneye12 said:

Only solution to me is carbon tax. Tax high carbon activities
It's tough for low income households as everything will have to make efforts. But if the price of a car and the price of gas does not factor in pollution, it's flawed to give an easy access to it, as it should not have been in the first place (IMO) 

I think dim is alluding to the abuse of tax credit systems and i'm inclined to agree just based on Goodhart's law. That doesn't mean some form of top down approach isn't viable though, especially in societies such as China where the population will trust government rules so long as it can validate that trust. America on the other hand i'm not so sure about. Europe might be a mixed bag. The pandemic has been a good way of seeing how different societies react to a crisis, and America seems to be fracturing under an assumption of 'if the government told me to do something, they must be trying to manipulate me'. Unless the pandemic just happened to hit at a time when America was already dividing? - but i'm getting off-topic now.

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1 hour ago, greeneye12 said:

haha sorry I still dont get it.

If you don't have enough money, you will naturally be ecological.

No, this doesn’t follow.

We did not get into this situation because fossil fuels and other polluting actions were more expensive, we got here because they were the cheapest and/or easiest option. If you lack the means, you are generally forced into course of action that pollutes. Money gives you other options.

 

1 hour ago, greeneye12 said:

If you have money, with the current system, you have a choice of being or not being ecological.

Yes, precisely.

1 hour ago, greeneye12 said:

With a carbontax system, you are artificially poor as not being ecological is too expensive. Other solution is too have everyone without money at all, that works too, but we still end up with 6-8 tons per year, not 2-3, or we are talking about not heating houses, everyone growing their crops etc

That requires that a carbon tax be implemented. The countries doing the most damage (USA, China) don’t have a carbon tax. 

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On 4/16/2021 at 2:23 PM, dimreepr said:

I wouldn't expect you too...

The neg rep; is a badge of honour; thanks...

I'm sorry that seems a little aggressive, I forget you're new to the forum; thanks for the neg rep, whoever it was...

On 4/16/2021 at 2:14 PM, greeneye12 said:

If you don't have enough money, you will naturally be ecological. If you have money, with the current system, you have a choice of being or not being ecological.

Only if you chose to spend more money, a privilege only afforded to people with an excess; and they tend to spend more money on protecting their money.

It's a curious concept (money), it has no value, yet it's all we seem to care about...

15 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

thanks for the neg rep, whoever it was...

Two now!!! That's rubbing it in... 😣 🤣

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43 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Two now!!! That's rubbing it in... 😣 🤣

Corrected. At least for the moment. Perhaps if you were less obtuse people would better understand your intent. (Or, perhaps, if you were more obtuse people wouldn't discern your intent. One wonders which is true.)

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Just now, Area54 said:

Corrected. At least for the moment. Perhaps if you were less obtuse people would better understand your intent. (Or, perhaps, if you were more obtuse people wouldn't discern your intent. One wonders which is true.)

Being obtuse is a great way to dig through the knowledge of understanding, and a great way to disguise one's knowledge...

34 minutes ago, Area54 said:

(Or, perhaps, if you were more obtuse people wouldn't discern your intent. One wonders which is true.)

I have no idea... 

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I am of the view that the problem must be addressed at the energy industry level, through government policy planning and regulation inducing a transition to very low to below zero emissions. To be effective clean energy abundance such that even people with extravagantly wasteful lifestyles who do not care will have low emissions is necessary.  Personal choices to avoid waste, choose lower emissions options and otherwise reduce personal emissions are helpful - and necessary for our sanity and self respect - but without that fundamental shift to clean energy they cannot solve the problem. Going stone age by choice is not a viable choice and failing to go stone age by choice is no more hypocritical than justifying no efforts to reduce emissions through economy wide policy on the basis of a choice to deny or ignore climate science or just not caring.

We can mostly agree that stealing is wrong but it takes laws and enforcement to discourage it - and still stealing is widespread; relying on that in-principle agreement that it is wrong is insufficient. I think the climate problem is like that - something widely agreed should be addressed but relying on that in-principle agreement or personal choice will always be insufficient; people are people and still do things despite knowing better.

The issues of social and economic equity can't be set aside but it looks clear to me that failure on emissions will overwhelm any short terms "gains" for the poor by deferring or preventing that transition. Good governance is essential, including for poverty alleviation and should include measures to insulate the most vulnerable from short term economic harms from policies to shift to low emissions. In my experience it is primarily people who can afford such measures that are the ones making the strongest objections that they should not be done because it will hurt the poor, speaking of hypocrisy.

Edited by Ken Fabian
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On 4/16/2021 at 7:56 AM, greeneye12 said:

Sorry, yes I don't understand your point!

Don’t worry. That’s par for the course with dimreepr 

Edited by iNow
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20 hours ago, Area54 said:

Corrected. At least for the moment. Perhaps if you were less obtuse people would better understand your intent. (Or, perhaps, if you were more obtuse people wouldn't discern your intent. One wonders which is true.)

The truth is, I'm just plain stupid at explaining myself in one hit; my best hope is a conversation.

My intelligence, for what it's worth, reside elsewhere. 

12 hours ago, Ken Fabian said:

I am of the view that the problem must be addressed at the energy industry level, through government policy planning and regulation inducing a transition to very low to below zero emissions. To be effective clean energy abundance such that even people with extravagantly wasteful lifestyles who do not care will have low emissions is necessary.  Personal choices to avoid waste, choose lower emissions options and otherwise reduce personal emissions are helpful - and necessary for our sanity and self respect - but without that fundamental shift to clean energy they cannot solve the problem. Going stone age by choice is not a viable choice and failing to go stone age by choice is no more hypocritical than justifying no efforts to reduce emissions through economy wide policy on the basis of a choice to deny or ignore climate science or just not caring.

We can mostly agree that stealing is wrong but it takes laws and enforcement to discourage it - and still stealing is widespread; relying on that in-principle agreement that it is wrong is insufficient. I think the climate problem is like that - something widely agreed should be addressed but relying on that in-principle agreement or personal choice will always be insufficient; people are people and still do things despite knowing better.

The issues of social and economic equity can't be set aside but it looks clear to me that failure on emissions will overwhelm any short terms "gains" for the poor by deferring or preventing that transition. Good governance is essential, including for poverty alleviation and should include measures to insulate the most vulnerable from short term economic harms from policies to shift to low emissions. In my experience it is primarily people who can afford such measures that are the ones making the strongest objections that they should not be done because it will hurt the poor, speaking of hypocrisy.

What he said... +1

12 hours ago, swansont said:

EuZypKSUYAEDL55.jpeg.28ea5f2586ee50bc48a187033be7cd3c.jpeg

This is from the recent book by Bill Gates. It suggests where the tall tent-poles can be found.

Indeed, stop buying shit we don't need...

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Posted (edited)

Apologies, I was on a post limit as I was new to the forum (max of 5 posts for the first day)

On 4/18/2021 at 12:08 AM, Ken Fabian said:

I am of the view that the problem must be addressed at the energy industry level, through government policy planning and regulation inducing a transition to very low to below zero emissions. To be effective clean energy abundance such that even people with extravagantly wasteful lifestyles who do not care will have low emissions is necessary.  Personal choices to avoid waste, choose lower emissions options and otherwise reduce personal emissions are helpful - and necessary for our sanity and self respect - but without that fundamental shift to clean energy they cannot solve the problem. Going stone age by choice is not a viable choice and failing to go stone age by choice is no more hypocritical than justifying no efforts to reduce emissions through economy wide policy on the basis of a choice to deny or ignore climate science or just not caring.

We can mostly agree that stealing is wrong but it takes laws and enforcement to discourage it - and still stealing is widespread; relying on that in-principle agreement that it is wrong is insufficient. I think the climate problem is like that - something widely agreed should be addressed but relying on that in-principle agreement or personal choice will always be insufficient; people are people and still do things despite knowing better.

The issues of social and economic equity can't be set aside but it looks clear to me that failure on emissions will overwhelm any short terms "gains" for the poor by deferring or preventing that transition. Good governance is essential, including for poverty alleviation and should include measures to insulate the most vulnerable from short term economic harms from policies to shift to low emissions. In my experience it is primarily people who can afford such measures that are the ones making the strongest objections that they should not be done because it will hurt the poor, speaking of hypocrisy.

Really like your one @Ken Fabian, I like the analogy with stealing!

On 4/16/2021 at 3:31 PM, swansont said:

No, this doesn’t follow.

We did not get into this situation because fossil fuels and other polluting actions were more expensive, we got here because they were the cheapest and/or easiest option. If you lack the means, you are generally forced into course of action that pollutes. Money gives you other options.

Agreed, planes(Ryanair flights), car and fuel are way too cheap for the amount they pollute, same as cement.

But if you are at very low income, you will not have a car, and you won't take a plane. And hopefully if you live in a european country (and other countries of course) where the energy mix is not only fossil fuel, electricity will be ok, but if it's not the case, electricity is way underpriced for the amount it pollutes too!

Being ecological depends on where you live and how you decide to live (unless of course you use your own wind turbine, but I am not even sure the carbon footprint required to build it will be amortised over the lifetime of its production x)

Edited by greeneye12
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4 hours ago, greeneye12 said:

But if you are at very low income, you will not have a car, and you won't take a plane. And hopefully if you live in a european country (and other countries of course) where the energy mix is not only fossil fuel, electricity will be ok, but if it's not the case, electricity is way underpriced for the amount it pollutes too!

But if you do have a car, it's likely to be gasoline, rather than electric, because it has a lower up-front cost. Also likely to be older and pollute more, because you can't afford to buy a new one very often or maintain the one you have very well.  

As I and others have said, money gives you options.

It may be that green solutions will be cheaper and widely available some day, but we aren't there yet. Right now they are typically either more expensive, or (if cheaper) have limited availability.

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3 hours ago, greeneye12 said:

Apologies, I was on a post limit as I was new to the forum (max of 5 posts for the first day)

Really like your one @Ken Fabian, I like the analogy with stealing!

Agreed, planes(Ryanair flights), car and fuel are way too cheap for the amount they pollute, same as cement.

But if you are at very low income, you will not have a car, and you won't take a plane. And hopefully if you live in a european country (and other countries of course) where the energy mix is not only fossil fuel, electricity will be ok, but if it's not the case, electricity is way underpriced for the amount it pollutes too!

Being ecological depends on where you live and how you decide to live (unless of course you use your own wind turbine, but I am not even sure the carbon footprint required to build it will be amortised over the lifetime of its production x)

I think Ken recognises the futility of seeing the problem in terms of "a carbon footprint"; when the rich uses it as an excuse to do nothing but point the fingure at the poor.

Brazil for instance, where the poor burn the rainforest to have enough to eat; the West can afford to pay them to stop; but not through the filter of a corrupt government.

Which circles back to my first post...

On 4/16/2021 at 12:56 PM, dimreepr said:

We need a fundamental change in the economy, for technology to save us; but do what you can to help, for instance:

 Stop buying shit you don't need...

Stop buying more than you eat, only to throw away the excess...

Stop trying to gather more money than you can spend...

Though I fear Aurelien Barreau may have a point, history provides many examples of it happening on a local scale; but now we have a global economy. 

 

 

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Well, I would prefer not go into specific cases but I would say that vegetarian costs less than eating meat, take public transport (except london underground maybe) costs less than a car. And the point of the carbon tax is to collect money that will be used to transition to low carbon energy to subvention electric cars, clean electricity etc so there are as competitive as the current solutions that use fossil fuel.

I agree for Brazil, western countries should give to prevent the forest burning. It's all too easy to complain and say it's of global concern but don't compensate for the profits they don't make.

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7 minutes ago, greeneye12 said:

Well, I would prefer not go into specific cases but I would say that vegetarian costs less than eating meat

Not if you kill the meat...

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