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Old 05-01-2016, 11:06   #1231
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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Mike,

So.... as an investor in a personal solar array 10 years ago ($38,000 of my money).... I'm the one who's "still stuck" in the past? 'Curious way to look at the situation.
No. I've moved onto a modest old boat which is fully equipped with solar and wind ... oh, right, you've already structured the question so I can't win. Rather typical.

OK, my turn: How big is your house(s)? How many do you own? How many cars have you owned? How much electricity do you use? How how often, and how far do you fly? Where do you get your food?

See, we can have lots of fun playing who's (got) the smaller dyck. It's all obfuscation.

Your financial question remains stuck in the paradigm that has helped create the problems. Until we recognize this, no amount of solar panels or "green" investments are going to alter our trajectory.
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:16   #1232
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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Canada has the expertise - CANDU reactors provide 15% of our energy.
CANDU Reactors Worldwide | Teach Nuclear
I too, once (1960's - 70's) took great pride in, and had great hopes for "our" CANdu reactor.

However I don't think (IIRC) we've sold one since 1996, when AECL signed a $4 billion contract for the sale of two CANDU 6 reactors to China.

My brother was an AECL researcher, at Chalk River, in the mid-sixties.
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:23   #1233
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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No. I've moved onto a modest old boat which is fully equipped with solar and wind ... oh, right, you've already structured the question so I can't win. Rather typical.

OK, my turn: How big is your house(s)? How many do you own? How many cars have you owned? How much electricity do you use? How how often, and how far do you fly? Where do you get your food?

See, we can have lots of fun playing who's (got) the smaller dyck. It's all obfuscation.

Your financial question remains stuck in the paradigm that has helped create the problems. Until we recognize this, no amount of solar panels or "green" investments are going to alter our trajectory.
So... Let me get this straight, even though I live in a small two bedroom apartment attached to my 70% solar powered office building, drive a 14 year old Dodge Neon 10 miles back and forth to work, and live 6 months of the year on a sailboat.... I'm the problem?
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:24   #1234
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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There is another option. Those of us who live in abject luxury compared to the vast majority of the world, must learn to live with less. But this is one idea that we can never even consider.

Even those who see the growing problem of climate change will almost never dare to suggest this. Instead we get platitudes about recycling, using compact fluorescent light bulbs, wind, solar, and buying an electric car. All these things are essential and great, but they will not fundamentally address the problem, which is overuse of resources. We use too much.

If the rich developed world's citizens accepted what we would euphemistically call a lower standard of living (and what the 4/5ths of the world still calls lavish) there could easily be enough resources to raise most of the developing world.

I know ... this is pie in the sky. It would require not just national, but global structural changes in resource distribution. It's not that this is impossible; economic globalization has brought about similar changes already. So it could be done (just like we could eradicate starvation or other forms of poverty), but it would require those of us with a lot, to accept somewhat less. But as I say, this can't even be discussed.

The idea of "less" is not even on the table ... it's not even in the room. Sadly, but realistically, this is why I see most of this discussion as simply shifting deck chairs on the Titanic.
I've heard this type of argument a lot, seen attempts to apply it in various ways, and have never understood let alone bought into it. Maybe if you could cite more specific examples?

For starters, it assumes that economics is a linear, zero-sum principle, when in reality it is more of a consistently dynamic merry-go-round with capital constantly being created, invested, reinvested, lost, and newly created again. The result is higher standards of living which in turn allow for higher education, which leads to advancing technology, the result being more opportunity for more secure & comfortable living that allows the cycle to repeat itself over & again. It's been this way from the beginning of human life on the planet, and its often the ability of certain peoples to organize themselves with free & productive forms of govt. that creates the disparities in wealth, standards of living, and technological achievement. Although there have certainly been, and always will be, more specific instances of this, I do not believe in general that it is one part of the world's population consuming most of the resources at the expense of others that creates lower standards of living.

How many thousands of employees has the Microsoft Corp. enriched, and how many millions have benefitted economically by its technological breakthroughs? All this while its founders reaped billions? But where are much of those billions that went to Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and so many others winding up? In nonprofit endeavors that hope to benefit mankind in ways that are usually unreachable by govt. And of course in additional revenues to the public coffers through taxation. I could go on & on with examples, but I'm not seeing the connection between say, the developed world's use of greater resources and the developing world's deprivations. In fact and imho, adopting the sort of remedy you're proposing Mike would only leave the entire world poorer, and thus less able to develop the sort of technological alternatives to burning fossil fuels that most of us would like to see come about.

But maybe I'm missing your overall point?
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:29   #1235
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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Where is the morality in denying those struggling economically in the developing world the lifestyle and economic freedom we have so benefitted from by the last 150 years or so of fossil fuel technology?
Having benefitted as we have from having the pick of the world's resources with zero restrictions on use/abuse on our path to wealth, we should continue to lead, by good example, and by undertaking to develop the more efficient technologies that will help developing economies achieve their potential without making as big a mess as we did.

This is a debt we owe, morally-speaking.... as well as a business opportunity to dominate in this technology.
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:39   #1236
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

"For starters, it assumes that economics is a linear, zero-sum principle, when in reality it is more of a consistently dynamic merry-go-round with capital constantly being created, invested, reinvested, lost, and newly created again."


Exile,

Give it up.... you're never going to convince any socialist or most Canadians and Americans that the world isn't a zero sum game. I studied economics (believe-it-or-not via Harvard), so I fully understand the expanding economy and the creation of wealth. Most.... never will. It's like talking to a tree when I attempt to explain the principle to anyone... conservative or liberal, doesn't matter the political side they're on.

I don't mean this in a derogatory way to anyone on this thread... it truly is a difficult concept to grasp. People tend to believe the economy and the worlds environment are like a personal piggy bank with limited funds and you cant change the way they look at it.
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:47   #1237
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

Back to the OP - sort of

The 7 Most Interesting Climate Findings of the Year | Climate Central
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:54   #1238
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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There is another option. Those of us who live in abject luxury compared to the vast majority of the world, must learn to live with less. But this is one idea that we can never even consider.

Even those who see the growing problem of climate change will almost never dare to suggest this. Instead we get platitudes about recycling, using compact fluorescent light bulbs, wind, solar, and buying an electric car. All these things are essential and great, but they will not fundamentally address the problem, which is overuse of resources. We use too much.

If the rich developed world's citizens accepted what we would euphemistically call a lower standard of living (and what the 4/5ths of the world still calls lavish) there could easily be enough resources to raise most of the developing world.

I know ... this is pie in the sky. It would require not just national, but global structural changes in resource distribution. It's not that this is impossible; economic globalization has brought about similar changes already. So it could be done (just like we could eradicate starvation or other forms of poverty), but it would require those of us with a lot, to accept somewhat less. But as I say, this can't even be discussed.

The idea of "less" is not even on the table ... it's not even in the room. Sadly, but realistically, this is why I see most of this discussion as simply shifting deck chairs on the Titanic.
Mike, as you downsized your dirt dweller footprint to become a subsistence sailor, selling off your accumulated wealth, did you pass the proceeds on to help "raise the developing world?" If you did, good on you for living your philosophy; if not, why not?
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:59   #1239
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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For starters, it assumes that economics is a linear, zero-sum principle, when in reality it is more of a consistently dynamic merry-go-round with capital constantly being created, invested, reinvested, lost, and newly created again.
This is the core belief that I am pointing to Exile. The dominate economic system is based on the "self-evident truth" that says growth can go on forever. Perhaps it is the scientist in me, but this is fundamentally non-sensical when dealing with a finite system (and yes, I've even studied economics).

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The result is higher standards of living which in turn allow for higher education, which leads to advancing technology, the result being more opportunity for more secure & comfortable living that allows the cycle to repeat itself over & again.
All true, but also leads to more resources being used. This is the problem identified by jtsailjt in his/her comment. The growth in our per-capita energy and resource use has only been interrupted periodically during serious economic downturns. Yours and my personal resource use is higher today than in our parents time, which was higher than their parents. We arguably live better, but it comes at a cost. As I think you would agree, nothing comes for free, yet this is the irrational belief that drives the idea of infinite growth.

Our species (indeed, all species) treat the environment as infinite. We eat, drink, and poop until we hit ecological barriers. Human ingenuity has allowed to carry this on well beyond all other species (so far), but until we can colonize other planets, we are still faced with limits. And as Muckle and others have pointed out, most of them are likely more imminent than climate change.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:07   #1240
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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"For starters, it assumes that economics is a linear, zero-sum principle, when in reality it is more of a consistently dynamic merry-go-round with capital constantly being created, invested, reinvested, lost, and newly created again."


Exile,

Give it up.... you're never going to convince any socialist or most Canadians and Americans that the world isn't a zero sum game. I studied economics (believe-it-or-not via Harvard), so I fully understand the expanding economy and the creation of wealth. Most.... never will. It's like talking to a tree when I attempt to explain the principle to anyone... conservative or liberal, doesn't matter the political side they're on.

I don't mean this in a derogatory way to anyone on this thread... it truly is a difficult concept to grasp. People tend to believe the economy and the worlds environment are like a personal piggy bank with limited funds and you cant change the way they look at it.
I often think that a bit more education & insight into basic economic principles would help bridge much of the divide and move us towards the consensus that guys like L-E can't understand why we don't achieve. I suppose the various permutations of the carbon tax is an attempt at it, but its proponents don't seem honest about its true costs.

I'm actually somewhat sympathetic to Mike's notion that it shouldn't just be about the economics, but also about an investment in the ecology. But that's more affluent, privileged, 1st world thinking. Most people on the planet are more concerned about keeping their heads above water financially, and in some cases their day-to-day survival. I can't possibly see selling such ideas on a scale large enough that's needed to effect the changes being advocated.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:21   #1241
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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Having benefitted as we have from having the pick of the world's resources with zero restrictions on use/abuse on our path to wealth, we should continue to lead, by good example, and by undertaking to develop the more efficient technologies that will help developing economies achieve their potential without making as big a mess as we did.

This is a debt we owe, morally-speaking.... as well as a business opportunity to dominate in this technology.
You're probably going to think I'm still hung over from all the holiday egg nog, L-E, but I can't disagree with a single word of this post. Now you just have to tell us where all those more efficient technologies are that will save the developing world from making as big a mess as we did.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:26   #1242
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

Two simple charts illustrate the resource-use point.

The first gives a graphical representation of the total resource use by country:



and this one gives a historic perspective on energy use (which I am using as a proxy for total resource use):



China and related countries are currently increasing their per-capita resource use faster than the developed world. They are following the same trajectory the western world took. From a human development perspective this is good. But from a finite global ecological perspective, it challenges all of us.

I'm definitely with LE (and Exile ). Unfortunately, as the Pew survey I pointed to early shows, those of us that use the most per-capita tend to be the ones who say they are willing to do the least.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:31   #1243
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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Well, at least they put it down at #5:

The finding: A climate change-induced drought helped spur the Syrian conflict.

Why it made the list: The climate-conflict got a topical jolt earlier this year when a study tied climate change to the Syrian drought that, in part, precipitated Syriaís civil war and the rise of ISIS. The connection between climate-driven conflict is the source of, well, conflict, in the research world. This study makes the case that climate change-caused drought acted as a threat multiplier, though itís clearly but one of many threats that brought about the current quagmire in the Middle East.


Funny no mention of Bashir Assad, the worsening Sunni-Shia rift, the ongoing rise of the Islamic Jihadist movement, the power vacuum left in Iraq, the ascendancy of Iran, etc., etc., etc. But nevertheless, I'm sure CC played a significant role.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:41   #1244
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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So... Let me get this straight, even though I live in a small two bedroom apartment attached to my 70% solar powered office building, drive a 14 year old Dodge Neon 10 miles back and forth to work, and live 6 months of the year on a sailboat.... I'm the problem?
No Ken ... part of the solution I would say. The point is to get everyone to follow your example. Which is your point about economic incentives. I'm not opposed to market solutions at all. Jack already pointed out some highly effective ones around carbon pricing operating in BC, although as I recall someone quickly scoffed at it.

I'm a realist. I embrace things that work. I think we need to do what is possible, but until we recognize that the dominate economic systems are part of the problem, we also have to understand that we're only delay the inevitable declines.

But sometime delay is vital, which is why I also think we need to get serious about various terraforming proposals that can buy us more time.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:53   #1245
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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Two simple charts illustrate the resource-use point.

The first gives a graphical representation of the total resource use by country:



and this one gives a historic perspective on energy use (which I am using as a proxy for total resource use):



China and related countries are currently increasing their per-capita resource use faster than the developed world. They are following the same trajectory the western world took. From a human development perspective this is good. But from a finite global ecological perspective, it challenges all of us.

I'm definitely with LE (and Exile ). Unfortunately, as the Pew survey I pointed to early shows, those of us that use the most per-capita tend to be the ones who say they are willing to do the least.
I can't figure out why it's a surprise that the two countries that produce the most also use the most resources?? Isn't it more about how efficiently and cleanly they use them? Not sure what anyone can do about China, but giving them a pass at Paris, along with believing their propaganda about offsetting their 1x/week coal plant production with solar panels, don't seem like wise choices.

I thought the Pew survey asked about belief in AGW, not what people in the US were willing to do? Recent history shows that they have actually done a lot when it comes to cleaning up pollution, reducing fossil fuel emissions, and developing new technologies. Until we can build more nuclear plants or make renewables more viable, the US has led the world in developing fracking technology that has opened up vast supplies of cleaner burning & less expensive natural gas.
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