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What should be done... about climate change

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Does climate change actually mean that the far right will thrive politically?  This column makes the case.  

 

 

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What is likely to happen in domestic political terms when and if worsening climate change leads to an exponential increase in the number of Central American migrants showing up at U.S. ports of entry? The question answers itself. If nativist xenophobia is a fire presently burning through one of America's two parties, a massive surge of additional migrants from the south would be fuel that ensures its rapid spread throughout the country and its political culture.

What about the left's call to combat climate change preemptively, before it reaches catastrophic levels of disruption and loss? Won't that fuel an equal and opposite progressive surge at the ballot box? Not necessarily. The more the left indicates that it finds borders morally suspect, as it is doing quite strongly at the moment, the less the electorate is likely to trust progressives with political power in a time of intense migratory pressures. Then there is the unpopularity of politicians promising to inflict pain on the electorate, which is what would be required to cut emissions meaningfully enough to slow down, let alone reverse, climate change

 

 

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Time mag had a short article this week talking about how "flight shame" is becoming a thing. Greta Thunberg's mother has coined the term flygskam (flight shame) which refers to the guilt people feel using a form of transportation (flying) that contributes 3% or more of atmospheric carbon. It's contributing to more people opting for train travel. There's even been a Swedish grass roots initiative persuading 14,500 Swedes to renounce air travel in 2019.

The article states that Sweden isn't the only place feeling the effects of flygskam as the Dutch, Germans and Finns all have their own words for it as well.

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4 hours ago, Jo498 said:

No, the history of humanity is mostly one of violent conflict. For some reason intellectually lazy people blame religion (or the nation state or what have you) for this and kid themselves into the illusion that it would end violent conflict if one were to abolish religion or the nation state or whatever. But there is no reason to assume that these institutions are particularly prone to violence whereas there are many reasons to assume that culture and civilization are impossible without at least one of them or a close substitution like empire, federation, ideology... that will have similar faults and similar benefits.

It's true that the history of humanity as a whole is mostly one of violent conflict, but some of these institutions are more likely to lead to it than others. Old-school religion and social movements that mimic it are particularly prone to violence because to their true believers, the religion or movement is the most important thing in the world and there's no room for compromise on anything related to it.

However, this is not even the biggest problem in the specific instance of a climate change mitigation movement. Whether it starts looking more like a religion or not, any climate change movement that has an impact of greenhouse gases beyond what technology and market forces do will need to either lower the standard of living for large numbers of people or redistribute wealth with a degree of finesse unprecedented in all of history. I'm rather pessimistic about the chances of either.

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I mentioned it because many of the posts in the thread have mentioned Tesla technology, Elon Musk, etc. 

Auto-pilot is a important part of that companies strategic business model, I'm not a fan of these things being on the road. If folks dont want to drive they can ride a bus or train or cab, other options, but I'm not convinced the autopilot cars being rushed to market are as safe as marketed. I fully expect to continue reading more reports of future crashes and injuries.

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7 minutes ago, DireWolfSpirit said:

I mentioned it because many of the posts in the thread have mentioned Tesla technology, Elon Musk, etc. 

Auto-pilot is a important part of that companies strategic business model, I'm not a fan of these things being on the road. If folks dont want to drive they can ride a bus or train or cab, other options, but I'm not convinced the autopilot cars being rushed to market are as safe as marketed. I fully expect to continue reading more reports of future crashes and injuries.

The horse-buggy riders of the early 1900’s probably said the same about the newfangled automobiles that appeared on their roads at the time.

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And the buggy riders were perfectly correct about crashes and often fatal injuries. It's just that we "decided" to pay that price for the benefits of automotive travel.

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7 hours ago, DireWolfSpirit said:

I mentioned it because many of the posts in the thread have mentioned Tesla technology, Elon Musk, etc. 

Auto-pilot is a important part of that companies strategic business model, I'm not a fan of these things being on the road. If folks dont want to drive they can ride a bus or train or cab, other options, but I'm not convinced the autopilot cars being rushed to market are as safe as marketed. I fully expect to continue reading more reports of future crashes and injuries.

Drivers kill and injure a lot of people though. Autopilots only need to be better than humans nothing more. 

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25 minutes ago, Wolfgang I said:

Drivers kill and injure a lot of people though. Autopilots only need to be better than humans nothing more. 

:rofl:  Not asking much of autopilots are we? 

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Just to kick off with few things about religion and religious approach to fighting climate change:

first off, thinking that it's more prone to cause violence is not, IMO, supported by human history. For the most part, wars and conflicts had other causes: Greeks and Romans, for example, never conquered other in name of religion. Mongol Empire, one of the most brutal conquering nations in history of humanity - was religiously pretty tolerant. And for many millennia eastern Asia was a site for interplay between many different religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Shintoism etc. The only two major exceptions to this: Christianity and Islam.

A digression: research was done about actual causes of human violence, and the answers were pretty diverse: from absence of central authority to having your status and wealth measured by goods which can't be easily stored and protected (such as livestock).

With that said, I don't think that religious approach to combating climate change would work. As we can all agree, climate change is a definite problem, and ideally you'd want a open-minded system which pools various ideas and solutions and filters out best ones to actually implement. Religion, with its tendencies towards dogmatism, isn't one such system. Secondly, who's to say that people in charge of climate change (i.e. religious leaders) would be the ones best fit for the job? Most likely they would end up a bunch of demagogues, populists and schemers - rather than actually competent ones. And lastly, this new religion would fall under the category of monotheistic (just replace "god" with "fight against climate change") and universal one - just the type that's historically most likely to e.g. be intolerant, punish "heretics", wage wars etc.


And now for the main topic: climate change.

The one thing that irks me quite badly are good portion of climate change activists: bunch of whiners who expect others to do all the work for them. "Hey, climate change is their responsibility. Them - governments and corporations. They should do something about it. Meanwhile, I'll just continue burning fossile fuels, traveling expensively and generously using vats amounts of energy. Don't expect me to change (that's on corporations) - that would be inconvenient for me. I'll limit my fight to writing angry Facebook posts". With that kind of attitude, you don't really need climate change deniers: eco-movement will simply sabotage itself from within.

Second would be the realization what humanity isn't just damaging environment for shits and giggles: the energy and resources produced this way is actively raising the living standard of billions of human beings. It lifted and continues to lift millions from poverty. It helps to end world hunger. Etc. Rich people and corporations may indeed be the ones who are profiting the most from environmental damage, but they're also the ones who will lose the least once the change becomes necessary. They're rich: they'll make do with alternative approaches, no matter how expensive or inefficient they currently are. But poor and developing countries, who are using fossile fuels to...well, stop being poor - they're the ones I'm worried about the most. They're the ones who will pay the highest price if some hypothetical international eco-laws were passed tomorrow.

Thirdly, as it was noted before - this fight needs to be done on international level. Even if e..g Canada or Germany were to radically change their laws, their contribution would practically be meaningless, for other countries would not follow suit. And some countries are just particularly ignorant of the necessities: I'm talking about Russia and USA, for example. And especially USA under Trump.

With all o this I'm not for a moment saying we should give up on our fight for better and cleaner planet. What I am saying is that change won't be easy. It won't be pleasant - in fact it will likely cause pain and suffering for people who are the least responsible about the whole situation we've found ourselves it. In fact - I'm considering this to be a first major test for humanity as a global whole. If everyone sets their personal interest aside to fight a common enemy - it may be possible to avert a disaster. If not - well, we will have only ourselves to blame.

 

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1 minute ago, maarsen said:

:rofl:  Not asking much of autopilots are we? 

Not using the smart phone while driving would count as a plus in my book. ;)

It is just statistics. Less people injured and killed is a plus in my book. 

No need to wait for perfection.

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18 minutes ago, Knight Of Winter said:

Just to kick off with few things about religion and religious approach to fighting climate change:

first off, thinking that it's more prone to cause violence is not, IMO, supported by human history. For the most part, wars and conflicts had other causes: Greeks and Romans, for example, never conquered other in name of religion. Mongol Empire, one of the most brutal conquering nations in history of humanity - was religiously pretty tolerant. And for many millennia eastern Asia was a site for interplay between many different religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Shintoism etc. The only two major exceptions to this: Christianity and Islam.

A digression: research was done about actual causes of human violence, and the answers were pretty diverse: from absence of central authority to having your status and wealth measured by goods which can't be easily stored and protected (such as livestock).

With that said, I don't think that religious approach to combating climate change would work. As we can all agree, climate change is a definite problem, and ideally you'd want a open-minded system which pools various ideas and solutions and filters out best ones to actually implement. Religion, with its tendencies towards dogmatism, isn't one such system. Secondly, who's to say that people in charge of climate change (i.e. religious leaders) would be the ones best fit for the job? Most likely they would end up a bunch of demagogues, populists and schemers - rather than actually competent ones. And lastly, this new religion would fall under the category of monotheistic (just replace "god" with "fight against climate change") and universal one - just the type that's historically most likely to e.g. be intolerant, punish "heretics", wage wars etc.


And now for the main topic: climate change.

The one thing that irks me quite badly are good portion of climate change activists: bunch of whiners who expect others to do all the work for them. "Hey, climate change is their responsibility. Them - governments and corporations. They should do something about it. Meanwhile, I'll just continue burning fossile fuels, traveling expensively and generously using vats amounts of energy. Don't expect me to change (that's on corporations) - that would be inconvenient for me. I'll limit my fight to writing angry Facebook posts". With that kind of attitude, you don't really need climate change deniers: eco-movement will simply sabotage itself from within.

Second would be the realization what humanity isn't just damaging environment for shits and giggles: the energy and resources produced this way is actively raising the living standard of billions of human beings. It lifted and continues to lift millions from poverty. It helps to end world hunger. Etc. Rich people and corporations may indeed be the ones who are profiting the most from environmental damage, but they're also the ones who will lose the least once the change becomes necessary. They're rich: they'll make do with alternative approaches, no matter how expensive or inefficient they currently are. But poor and developing countries, who are using fossile fuels to...well, stop being poor - they're the ones I'm worried about the most. They're the ones who will pay the highest price if some hypothetical international eco-laws were passed tomorrow.

Thirdly, as it was noted before - this fight needs to be done on international level. Even if e..g Canada or Germany were to radically change their laws, their contribution would practically be meaningless, for other countries would not follow suit. And some countries are just particularly ignorant of the necessities: I'm talking about Russia and USA, for example. And especially USA under Trump.

With all o this I'm not for a moment saying we should give up on our fight for better and cleaner planet. What I am saying is that change won't be easy. It won't be pleasant - in fact it will likely cause pain and suffering for people who are the least responsible about the whole situation we've found ourselves it. In fact - I'm considering this to be a first major test for humanity as a global whole. If everyone sets their personal interest aside to fight a common enemy - it may be possible to avert a disaster. If not - well, we will have only ourselves to blame.

 

I cant help but think that focusing on this persived faux "climate change activists" or "facebook activists, serves no pourpose, like how much power do they actually have, to enact "real" change, and how much do any individual person actually pollutes, compared to any company or "big" buisness. Or even billionaires. Like im not the one travelling on my private plane to a summit about what to do to stop gloval fucking warming. 

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Elon Musk puts a dollar value on setting up the first colony on Mars.

It is considerably more than just spending the money needed to implement all the steps needed to keep climate change at 1.5 or less.

I think Musk needs to get off this Mars thing. It's a bold and interesting idea, but it won't help the situation here at all, even if you can overcome the 10,000 problems he seems to constantly ignore whenever they come up.

One interesting idea I saw over the weekend was companies moving into having cars with solar panels on the roof (or as the roof), with the idea that cars can charge wirelessly whilst idle (or charge whilst on the move, although obviously not enough to keep going forever), addressing the problem of on-street parking and charging infrastructure. That sounds like the sort of thing Tesla should be investigating.

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Hyundai is one of the companies coming out with a car with a solar panel on the roof. It doesn’t do much, but every bit helps.

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3 hours ago, Knight Of Winter said:

The one thing that irks me quite badly are good portion of climate change activists: bunch of whiners who expect others to do all the work for them. "Hey, climate change is their responsibility. Them - governments and corporations. They should do something about it. Meanwhile, I'll just continue burning fossile fuels, traveling expensively and generously using vats amounts of energy. Don't expect me to change (that's on corporations) - that would be inconvenient for me. I'll limit my fight to writing angry Facebook posts".
...
Thirdly, as it was noted before - this fight needs to be done on international level. Even if e..g Canada or Germany were to radically change their laws, their contribution would practically be meaningless, for other countries would not follow suit.

So, individual people need to make a difference by changing their behaviour, but entire countries are too insignificant for it to matter what they do? That seems just a tad inconsistent...

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14 minutes ago, felice said:

So, individual people need to make a difference by changing their behaviour, but entire countries are too insignificant for it to matter what they do? That seems just a tad inconsistent...

Don't see any inconsistency. Individuals (and countries) need to make changes even though they are insignificant. For a multitude of reasons: being principled (i.e. consistant with your values), not being hypocritical (i.e. expecting others to shoulder a burden you yourself are unwilling to take), encouraging others to adopt similar behaviour etc. If fight against climate change is an individual's goal, he will (and should) pursue it regardless of what other people do. And who knows, if enough people (and countries, and organizations, and companies) adopt the similar principle - results will be far from insignificant.

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2 hours ago, Werthead said:

Elon Musk puts a dollar value on setting up the first colony on Mars.

It is considerably more than just spending the money needed to implement all the steps needed to keep climate change at 1.5 or less.

I think Musk needs to get off this Mars thing. It's a bold and interesting idea, but it won't help the situation here at all, even if you can overcome the 10,000 problems he seems to constantly ignore whenever they come up.

One interesting idea I saw over the weekend was companies moving into having cars with solar panels on the roof (or as the roof), with the idea that cars can charge wirelessly whilst idle (or charge whilst on the move, although obviously not enough to keep going forever), addressing the problem of on-street parking and charging infrastructure. That sounds like the sort of thing Tesla should be investigating.

The Mars goal is not a response to climate change. If anything, Tesla and fighting climate change is Musk’s second priority. Making humans a multi planetary civilization is his primary goal. He has said himself that the reason he is accumulating assets over his lifetime is to eventually plow it all into colonizing Mars. The fact that in the process he is ALSO making a leading contribution to fighting climate change is a bonus, I would say.

Climate change is not our primary existential threat as a species. In fact, I would challenge that it is even an existential threat at all. It will make life worse for many people, and should be avoided if at all possible, but it won’t end us in the way an asteroid strike would, for example.

Anyway, becoming a space faring civilization in the window of opportunity before some disaster or dwindling resources knocks us back to pre-space age capabilities will be the difference between us remaining a one planet species and eventually dying out, or escaping our gravity well and colonizing the galaxy.

As for cars with solar roofs - Elon has addressed it before. He said the power generated by the available surface area is so low that it is not worth it.

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Just now, Free Northman Reborn said:

The Mars goal is not a response to climate change. If anything, Tesla and fighting climate change is Musk’s second priority. Making humans a multi planetary civilization is his primary goal. He has said himself that the reason he is accumulating assets over his lifetime is to eventually plow it all into colonizing Mars. The fact that in the process he is ALSO making a leading contribution to fighting climate change is a bonus, I would say.

Climate change is not our primary existential threat as a species. In fact, I would challenge that it is even an existential threat at all. It will make life worse for many people, and should be avoided if at all possible, but it won’t end us in the way an asteroid strike would, for example.

Anyway, becoming a space faring civilization in the window of opportunity before some disaster or dwindling resources knocks us back to pre-space age capabilities will be the difference between us remaining a one planet species and eventually dying out, or escaping our gravity well and colonizing the galaxy.

As for cars with solar roofs - Elon has addressed it before. He said the power generated by the available surface area is so low that it is not worth it.

And our primary existential threat would be... Asteroids? 

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