Jump to content

climate change


lightforyoou

Recommended Posts

7 hours ago, npts2020 said:

And I think it is a great mistake to not consider population to be a large part of the problem. Firstly, zero emissions is not necessarily the goal, we will almost certainly have some amount of them no matter what we do. The real goal IMO should be to keep emissions of all kinds of pollutants (not just greenhouse gases) below the level at which the ecosphere can effectively filter out or neutralize them. With the current rate and style of resource use/waste, overpopulation is certainly a problem and has been for longer than the time anyone commenting here has been around, especially if we are all to aspire to a first world lifestyle.

As mentioned before, this line of thought is a bit too one-dimensional. For a given lifestyle, there is a range of e.g. associated CO2 emissions. High-income countries like Sweden and Switzerland, for example emitted about 4.5-4.7 tons of CO2 per capita, compared to 17-18 for Canada and Australia in 2016.

For a very silly back of the envelope calculation we see that the average per capitaCO2 emission worldwide was 4.79. So theoretically, if the whole world consumed like Sweden/Switzerland, the total emissions would actually go down. Now, there are of course numerous practical issues with that, but it shows that how and which resources we use has a huge impact. Of course population has an impact, but reducing emissions has arguably more practical ways to be addressed in the short and mid-term. 

That does not meant that education and empowerment for women is not important, it certainly is and has strong impact. It is just that it is a long-term process (https://www.gapminder.org/topics/population/fill-up/)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, CharonY said:

That does not meant that education and empowerment for women is not important, it certainly is and has strong impact. It is just that it is a long-term process (https://www.gapminder.org/topics/population/fill-up/)

I don't know if this was a reference to my comments but I note that Switzerland was nearly the last country in Europe to give the vote to women (1971).

But for @Peterkin's benfit my comments were really limited to this forum.

How many women have posted an opinion in this thread ?

 

On the choice of emission figures for Sweden and Switzerland v Canada and Australia, I view the counting methods with grave suspicion.

How many 2000 mile train or road train journeys can you make in the former pair ?

Both Canada and Australia are large producers and exporters of raw materials and foodstuffs.

Who attracts the emissions of the tansport to other continents ?

Both Sweden and Switzerland (couldn't you have chosen countries with short names :) ?) have extensive local hydro schemes, but little or no oil or coal reserves of their own. The movement of

How would you power mass movement of goods to the rest of the world on the Australian or Canadian scale ?

Norway would make a better example but it is above the World average at 6.7.

However the story of Norwegian use of their massive oil reserves starkly contrasts with the UK at 14.7.
They have made a so much better fist of it.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

Firstly, zero emissions is not necessarily the goal, we will almost certainly have some amount of them no matter what we do.

By necessity, as low as we can get them must be our goal. Our solutions to the climate problem have to be for the population we have and can realistically expect to have. Yes there are some kinds of emissions that are hard to reduce with clean energy alone - land use and agriculture mostly - but we also see potential solutions to large parts of those. Even aiming high and falling short is going to get us further than a working assumption that it isn't possible.

We have had some successes at reducing ongoing population growth and there are good reasons to support policies that make healthcare and contraception widely available but we have no way barring crimes against humanity to significantly reduce global population and reduce emissions that way - which can't get us to zero.  Reducing per capita emissions by building non-fossil fuels energy capacity is currently our most effective option. Most cost effective as well; renewable energy is being built at prodigious amounts, more often for cost reasons than out of deep concern for the climate.

 

Edited by Ken Fabian
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Ken Fabian said:

By necessity, as low as we can get them must be our goal. Our solutions to the climate problem have to be for the population we have and can realistically expect to have. Yes there are some kinds of emissions that are hard to reduce with clean energy alone - land use and agriculture mostly - but we also see potential solutions to large parts of those. Even aiming high and falling short is going to get us further than a working assumption that it isn't possible.

We have had some successes at reducing ongoing population growth and there are good reasons to support policies that make healthcare and contraception widely available but we have no way barring crimes against humanity to significantly reduce global population and reduce emissions that way - which can't get us to zero.  Reducing per capita emissions by building non-fossil fuels energy capacity is currently our most effective option. Most cost effective as well; renewable energy is being built at prodigious amounts, more often for cost reasons than out of deep concern for the climate.

 

Sounds a well rounded package until you unpick it and realise that some aspects are given far more weight than others.

Why no separation into short, medium and long term strategies ?

Why should be bust our guts trying to completely stop co2 emissions, yet say that removing the need for at least some of those emissions in the first place is to difficult or too unacceptable ?

In past times humanity lived with all manner of filth and sources of pestilence, resulting in a high death rate.
I have just watched a David Atenborough vid showing how the naturally very high death rate of rabbits is necessary to prevent overpoulation followed by  sudden starvation and dramatic poulation reduction.

Steadily improving technology has helped reduce the need for large human families (against the wishes of the catholic church and some men who still wish to enslave women).

We don't reject the modern sanitary and medical technology that enables this and other improvements in our living standards, so why reject sensible attemps at population control over the long term ?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, studiot said:

I don't know if this was a reference to my comments but I note that Switzerland was nearly the last country in Europe to give the vote to women (1971).

No, it was mostly just trying to make clear that my point was not an either/or situation when it comes to population size vs emission. I integrated the earlier mentioned point within this thread that female empowerment is one of the most important factors related to reduction of fertility. I also mentioned that the examples are certainly not perfect, but the point is that there is marked inequity in terms of emissions. North America has a poor track record in terms of energy efficiency, for example. Considering the temperatures in Canada, you would think that homes are extremely well insulated, yet often they are not and energy consumption is high. 

In Europe, there are many initiatives promoting energy efficiency, fuel efficient cars etc. In Canada, many people use trucks as their daily drivers and certain high-efficiency appliances are really hard to get. While it would take considerable effort to figure out all the details, various industrialized countries have cut down CO2 emission from their peak levels by up 60% over several decades with increasing or maintaining population size. With modern technology, that likely can be accelerated. The same cut cannot be achieved by population control over the same time (without culling, that is).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, iNow said:

 

Which specific groups do you recommend we murder first, and have you thought through the logistics of forced sterilization? 

Haven't read replies below your post yet, but want to quickly toss in a vote that whenever someone makes an honest and serious attempt to consider overpopulation and how population could be reduced, that we allow reasonable discussion of sane and humane scenarios before using the Nazi bogeyman as a rhetorical device.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, studiot said:

We don't reject the modern sanitary and medical technology that enables this and other improvements in our living standards, so why reject sensible attemps at population control over the long term ?

I am not sure why you think folks are rejecting it. As mentioned, once living standards and education (especially among women) improves, fertility drops. Even one-child policies seemed to have little immediate impact (according to studies), but seems to accelerate the decline once fertility drops below a certain threshold (as we can see in China). Most industrialized nations have low fertility, which results in other economic issues related to an aging population. 

So the current assumption is that we will hit somewhere between 11-12 as a max and afterward the population will mostly naturally decline.  What would be an alternative in terms of sensible pop control?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This reminds me of the case of Brazil. ( I don't know the current situation, but I read this a few years ago ).

I expected the birth rate in Brazil to be sky high, what with a lot of rural people, and the strong influence of the Catholic Church. But I read that it had dropped dramatically. Not because they were killing babies, or forced sterilisation. It was surprisingly down to a few very popular soap operas on tv, which embraced the subject of family size in the drama plots. 

The effect on the birth rate was enormous. It dropped dramatically. I haven't checked the current situation, maybe it has all reversed again, but that was the story a few years ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, mistermack said:

The effect on the birth rate was enormous. It dropped dramatically. I haven't checked the current situation, maybe it has all reversed again, but that was the story a few years ago.

I saw that research about ten years ago.  One of the papers:

https://www.hks.harvard.edu/publications/soap-operas-and-fertility-evidence-brazil

Everything I've seen that relates to human population biology points towards culture (and women moving into the workforce* and gaining social equality, as part of cultural change) as a huge force in determining family size.  I had friends who lived in a very Mormon community in Utah, and one reason they left was the unrelenting social pressure to have big families (they were a professional couple, who had decided not to have children and focus on their respective careers).  The woman was constantly hounded about when she was going to start cranking out babies.  Utterly nuts. 

*non-domestic labor

Edited by TheVat
penvofhd
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, studiot said:

Why no separation into short, medium and long term strategies ?

That’s exactly how it was presented in the 1980s, then in the 1990s, again in the 2000s, the 2010s same, and here we are now nearly half way through the 2020s. 

Recommendations were unpacked, split into short, medium, and long term.

We as humanity then waited decade after decade after decade trying to clear the liars from the conversation instead of taking meaningful action.

Now we’re left primarily with much more urgent much more costly short term immediate options as all that’s left available.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, studiot said:

How many women have posted an opinion in this thread ?

I'm not seeing how that relates to one sex or another benefits from lack of action. If not enough input from women, ask the fathers here present:

How many believe they would better off if they had more children than they have?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, studiot said:

Why should be bust our guts trying to completely stop co2 emissions, yet say that removing the need for at least some of those emissions in the first place is to difficult or too unacceptable ?

False dichotomy - and I have repeatedly expressed support for the measures that help (voluntary) reductions in future family size. But, as I have said shifting the per capita emissions down to near zero is absolutely necessary no matter the rate of population growth, otherwise population has to be zero for achieving zero emissions.  

Busting our guts to stop emissions doesn't look optional to me. Preventing population growth can only slightly reduce growth of emissions over the time scales we are dealing with and doesn't reduce global emissions; it will always and forever be insufficient as a climate solution. It does not offer a viable alternative to a goal of zero emissions per capita. There are good reasons to support reducing population growth but it isn't a climate solution.

Edited by Ken Fabian
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Ken Fabian said:

Busting our guts to stop emissions doesn't look optional to me. Preventing population growth can only slightly reduce growth of emissions over the time scales we are dealing with and doesn't reduce global emissions; it will always and forever be insufficient as a climate solution. It does not offer a viable alternative to a goal of zero emissions per capita. There are good reasons to support reducing population growth but it isn't a climate solution.

The reason that I prefer population measures first, is because the climate problem is an hypothesis, whereas the population problem is very much a fact. We are causing extinctions because of land and sea use at a criminal rate right now, whereas climate may or may not become a problem a long time in the future, nobody knows. People think they know, but they don't. They are only convinced. Nobody knows the future, but you can know the present, and extinctions are happening today, were happening yesterday, and because of that, we can be very sure that they will be happening tomorrow. 

As well as extinctions, it's the destruction of habitats that I would like to see stop. Clearing more forests (with all the CO2 that that entails) and marginal land is causing damage and extinctions that will probably never be noticed, but will never be reversed. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, mistermack said:

The reason that I prefer population measures first, is because the climate problem is an hypothesis well-established fact that is happening right now for millions of people around the world.

FIFY

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, mistermack said:

As well as extinctions, it's the destruction of habitats that I would like to see stop. Clearing more forests (with all the CO2 that that entails) and marginal land is causing damage and extinctions that will probably never be noticed, but will never be reversed. 

Oh, they're noticed all right!

Quote

Globally, pollinators are in decline
World-wide, pollinator populations are shrinking. Several overlapping factors contribute to this disturbing global trend, including habitat fragmentation, pesticide use, climate change, and the spread of emergent pathogens, parasites and predators.

We don't need to clear forests anymore - though of course we still do it - they're also burning down by themselves. This is largely due to changed and changing climate. We're not talking about something that may or may not happen in the future: It already has. 

I do appreciate your concern about extinctions - it is an alarming situation. But it's not simply or solely caused by the number of people. It is caused far more by industrial farming and resource extraction, and by the pollution, energy-gluttony and waste of the global economy. Ultimately, the only thing poor people can do to alter their circumstances - in living conditions, decision making, economic arrangements or reproductive freedom -  is rise up against their masters. And that means an awful of poor people get killed. It's not an action to be undertaken lightly.  

 

Edited by Peterkin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, mistermack said:

The reason that I prefer population measures first, is because the climate problem is an hypothesis, whereas the population problem is very much a fact.

But it's NOT a fact. The population problem is more likely a distribution/disparity problem. We have the resources for 8B people if we were smarter about their use. The US could support another 25% larger population, based on our food exports alone. If the US were as heavily populated as Europe, we'd have a billion people. 

We've allowed our greedy capitalism and our oil dependence (among other dirty habits) to determine how our populations design their infrastructure, and we've been observing the decay of that system for quite a while. Climate change is far from an hypothesis these days with all the data we've accumulated. The modeling uses sound methodology, like NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland survey, to show the effects we're feeling.

And population just isn't as much of a factor in climate change. It's not the number of humans on the planet, it's what those humans are doing that's more important. Lower fertility actually increases consumption as parents invest more for each child. I think you assume the future is all about more people doing exactly what they're doing now, and it seems obvious to me that some major changes are on the horizon for us no matter how many humans we have. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, TheVat said:

FIFY

Not really. Unless you can fix things without a scrap of evidence. 

Climate has always been a problem. And a benefit. And climate change has always happened, always been a problem, and a benefit. 

To fix anything, you would need to prove that current climate change, unlike past climate change, is all man made, and that the drawbacks outweigh the benefits.

Shouting hysterically about every fire or tornado doesn't prove anything. Fires and tornados and hurricanes always happened, so did droughts and floods. It's laughable to be offered this sort of stuff as evidence of anything. The only evidence of future problematic climate change, over and above natural climate change, remains a bunch of models by some very committed activists.

And the evidence that a bit of warming will be harmful is even weaker. Nobody EVER mentions the benefits, so how can you judge whether they would be less or more than the drawbacks?

5 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

But it's NOT a fact. The population problem is more likely a distribution/disparity problem. We have the resources for 8B people if we were smarter about their use. The US could support another 25% larger population, based on our food exports alone. If the US were as heavily populated as Europe, we'd have a billion people. 

Dear me, you've missed the point by a mile. My posting isn't about the well-being of humans, it's about the existence or otherwise of other species, and their habitats. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, mistermack said:

To fix anything, you would need to prove that current climate change, unlike past climate change, is all man made, and that the drawbacks outweigh the benefits.

Whenever someone starts talking in absolutes about climate change, I become suspicious they've worked their whole lives in the oil industry, or some other area that pollutes heavily. Otherwise I'm at a loss to explain why we can't "fix anything" unless we prove it was "all man made", and that the destruction of many habitats is offset by supposed "benefits" of destroying other habitats. Warming a previously frozen environment is still going to fundamentally change what can survive there, and you're assuming it's always going to be better. That's not good science.

11 minutes ago, mistermack said:

Dear me, you've missed the point by a mile. My posting isn't about the well-being of humans, it's about the existence or otherwise of other species, and their habitats. 

Then tell me how the number of humans compromises that more than the way we treat our environments? Again, it's not the populations, it's our cavalier attitudes towards other species. Change that and perhaps more humans can work greater good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Phi for All said:

Whenever someone starts talking in absolutes about climate change, I become suspicious they've worked their whole lives in the oil industry, or some other area that pollutes heavily. Otherwise I'm at a loss to explain why we can't "fix anything" unless we prove it was "all man made", and that the destruction of many habitats is offset by supposed "benefits" of destroying other habitats. Warming a previously frozen environment is still going to fundamentally change what can survive there, and you're assuming it's always going to be better.

There is, and there is going to be  more water in the sea... I don't know how that cannot be seen as a physical fact. Saying that we might not be to blame and therefore shouldn't feel obliged to do anything about it  is pure asininity. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, mistermack said:

I'm not, I'm questioning the word's assumption that it will always be worse. And that IS good science.

If such an assumption exists, it's probably focused on sudden change, which is almost never good for any species, but especially humans who usually invest quite a bit on their environments. 

2 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

There is, and there is going to be  more water in the sea... I don't know how that cannot be seen as a physical fact. Saying that we might not be to blame and therefore shouldn't feel obliged to do anything about it  is pure asininity. 

I'm wondering why blame is so important in climate change. It's not like laying the blame at the right feet compels anyone to do anything. Big polluters don't want to be sued, of course, but paying to clean up spills hasn't bankrupted the oil industry. So the obvious reason is that reducing our petrol consumption is Job #1 for climate changers, and hurts one of the most profitable industries in the world, one that has artificially propped themselves up as our premier source of fuel for over a hundred years. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Phi for All said:

So the obvious reason is that reducing our petrol consumption is Job #1 for climate changers, and hurts one of the most profitable industries in the world, one that has artificially propped themselves up as our premier source of fuel for over a hundred years. 

And we're paying to prop them up

Quote

Conservative estimates put U.S. direct subsidies to the fossil fuel industry at roughly $20 billion per year; with 20 percent currently allocated to coal and 80 percent to natural gas and crude oil. European Union subsidies are estimated to total 55 billion euros annually.

And they don't usually clean up after themselves.

Quote

The oil and gas drilling companies analyzed have purchased only $281 million in bonds to cover environmental losses—less than 20% of the companies’ own estimates of $1.6 billion in environmental liabilities.https://www.citizen.org/news/public-citizen-report-troubled-oil-and-gas-companies-pay-execs-200m-leave-taxpayers-on-the-hook-for-cleanup-costs/

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.