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Old 05-01-2016, 13:06   #1246
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
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).



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.
These sorts of dire scenarios have been raised throughout human history. What makes you think that this time is somehow different? I think you may be discounting the role of technology at almost every stage of human development.

But if you're right, then humans will go the way of all species that have failed to adapt to their changing environment, namely extinct. But thanks to the recent "agreement" with Iran (an agreement they still haven't signed), we will soon have a new nuclear arms race in the most backwards, savage, tribal, and volatile region in the world, and will probably all be facing nuclear obliteration long before Miami or NYC start to float away. Hey, warned ya I was a cynic.
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Old 05-01-2016, 13:13   #1247
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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?
Yes, because you also have a Bobcat, which you can relieve your AGW-inspired guilt about by immediately shipping to me.
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Old 05-01-2016, 13:23   #1248
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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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?
Efficiency is vital, and we've done a lot to improve it. But the environment doesn't care how efficient we are, it only matter how much we use. Our usage keeps going up. That's the simple fact I'm pointing out. We get more efficient with our cars, but have more of them, so the total impact goes up. Our homes become more efficient, but they get bigger. Airline travel is more efficient, but today more people fly a lot more than ever before. It all adds up to an increasing strain on our finite systems.

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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.
Agreed. No one can get a pass, including us in the developed world. We've given ourselves a pass for too long.

My approach is that I can only change me and my behaviour. We can't change China, but we change what we do.

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I thought the Pew survey asked about belief in AGW, not what people in the US were willing to do?
There's a specific question about what people's in the surveyed 40 nations are willing to do about climate change. It found that nations with high levels of carbon emissions per capita are less likely to express strong worries about climate change. These include the U.S., Australia, Canada and Russia. But I'll try and find the specific reference.

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These sorts of dire scenarios have been raised throughout human history. What makes you think that this time is somehow different? I think you may be discounting the role of technology at almost every stage of human development.
Yes, I think about my susceptibility to confirmation bias. The history of "End of Times" predictions are all-too-present. Of course, human history is also ripe with actual collapses, so the lessons are found on both sides. My views are currently shaped using the best information I have at my disposal, which comes from the scientific consensus on a lot of these issues. If evidence mounts to change that consensus (as it might) then I will change my view.
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Old 05-01-2016, 13:40   #1249
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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 agree with all the points you make here. People on both sides of the AGW issue avoid committing themselves to that hard choice of doing with less that would solve the problem. But for those of us who don't think CO2 is necessarily a problem that needs to be solved, I think we are a lot more consistent than those who claim it's a big problem but continue to live their lives in a way that allows them to consume every bit of "stuff" that they can possibly afford or their credit card limits will allow.

For whatever it's worth I've never understood that or practiced it and I'm not claiming to be particularly virtuous here because avoiding CO2 production has never been a motivation for me, and I didn't do it for anyone but myself, though I have tried to avoid polluting any more than is necessary simply because I enjoy the outdoors and I hated to see others polluting unnecessarily and I feel it's the right thing to do. All my adult life I have always lived well below what most people with my paycheck would have and that continues today (my wife is right with me on this but my step-kids don't necessarily approve and would even less if they had any idea about the money I have saved....). I think it's the "Yankee thriftiness" that I was taught as a kid. I like to have a financial cushion and have always been willing to work and conserve and deny myself "wants" to achieve that cushion and as a result have consumed much less than I might have, but I realize it's not real common among most people my age and younger. For me personally, it's not so much a moral issue but instead is just what I was taught and what I'm comfortable with that just happens to align with what you suggest. But even so, I realize that my lifestyle is still HUGE compared with what most people in the world make do with.

As you say, limiting consumption via widespread self denial of "wants" isn't going to happen anytime soon here in the first world, so what right do we have to deny those less fortunate to take advantage of the same cheap energy that has allowed us to consume so much and have such comfortable lifestyles?
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Old 05-01-2016, 16:12   #1250
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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I agree with all the points you make here. People on both sides of the AGW issue avoid committing themselves to that hard choice of doing with less that would solve the problem. But for those of us who don't think CO2 is necessarily a problem that needs to be solved, I think we are a lot more consistent than those who claim it's a big problem but continue to live their lives in a way that allows them to consume every bit of "stuff" that they can possibly afford or their credit card limits will allow.

For whatever it's worth I've never understood that or practiced it and I'm not claiming to be particularly virtuous here because avoiding CO2 production has never been a motivation for me, and I didn't do it for anyone but myself, though I have tried to avoid polluting any more than is necessary simply because I enjoy the outdoors and I hated to see others polluting unnecessarily and I feel it's the right thing to do. All my adult life I have always lived well below what most people with my paycheck would have and that continues today (my wife is right with me on this but my step-kids don't necessarily approve and would even less if they had any idea about the money I have saved....). I think it's the "Yankee thriftiness" that I was taught as a kid. I like to have a financial cushion and have always been willing to work and conserve and deny myself "wants" to achieve that cushion and as a result have consumed much less than I might have, but I realize it's not real common among most people my age and younger. For me personally, it's not so much a moral issue but instead is just what I was taught and what I'm comfortable with that just happens to align with what you suggest. But even so, I realize that my lifestyle is still HUGE compared with what most people in the world make do with.

As you say, limiting consumption via widespread self denial of "wants" isn't going to happen anytime soon here in the first world, so what right do we have to deny those less fortunate to take advantage of the same cheap energy that has allowed us to consume so much and have such comfortable lifestyles?
If the entire Western world's population commenced to live frugally, the global economy would collapse in my short order.

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Old 05-01-2016, 16:14   #1251
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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Old 05-01-2016, 16:23   #1252
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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Let me ask the question again.... Have you, Jack (and now I'll add Lake-effect), personally invested your hard earned money into solar or wind to power your home? Or, is it just all talk and no action?
Eat my shorts?

I'm quite proud of the decisions we've made about where we live, how we get around, what choices we've made. Thanks for asking.

You aren't happy with your solar panels. Ok, we could probably find someone who is. Now what?

If you're unhappy, sell them and buy an Escalade. Nobody wants you to suffer.
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Old 05-01-2016, 16:30   #1253
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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Exile,

Give it up.... you're never going to convince any socialist
SOSHULIST!

Hooray! Everybody drink!

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...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.
Well, try, in one paragraph or less. You never know...
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Old 05-01-2016, 17:04   #1254
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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If the entire Western world's population commenced to live frugally, the global economy would collapse in my short order.

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More commonly known as an economic recession or depression. Hurts poor people in the developing world the most.
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Old 05-01-2016, 17:10   #1255
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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Well, try, in one paragraph or less. You never know...
Ken's probably back at the nuthouse trying to earn enough to pay off his new Escalade. I'm sure he'll be back.

I took a swing at it in post #1-2-3-4. I planned the post # that way so it would be easy for you to find. Otherwise try Google on Macroeconomics 101.
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Old 05-01-2016, 17:52   #1256
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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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.
Well, first let's consider the message of the OP: relax, this will all be solved (in 20 years no less). As much as I disliked the article, I won't immediately disagree with the general idea.

Thing is... most of us will get to relax. But a few have to get busy. This stuff won't invent itself. We have an overskilled, under-employed workforce in North America, there's alot of capital just parked on the sidelines... I think we should be encouraging these two to get together, and create some wealth, huh?

China - we point to them alot. You all do realize that they're burning all that coal (that Australia sells them) to make our stuff, right? So it's not just 'their' mess. Anyway, they are quite aware of their own problems, and having new technical capabilities AND central control, they will move fast on development of cleaner alternatives once they decide they need to. India is also poised to be a technological breakout, with growth issues to solve. So there is a limited window of opportunity here, if we want to dominate in the field.

Otherwise, yes, just relax, everything will be solved... and 20 years from now the taxes from our service McJobs will buy the finest Chinese and Indian energy and pollution technology our money can buy. And CF will be in Mandarin .
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Old 05-01-2016, 17:58   #1257
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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Well, first let's consider the message of the OP: relax, this will all be solved (in 20 years no less). As much as I disliked the article, I won't immediately disagree with the general idea.

Thing is... most of us will get to relax. But a few have to get busy. This stuff won't invent itself. We have an overskilled, under-employed workforce in North America, there's alot of capital just parked on the sidelines... I think we should be encouraging these two to get together, and create some wealth, huh?

China - we point to them alot. You all do realize that they're burning all that coal (that Australia sells them) to make our stuff, right? So it's not just 'their' mess. Anyway, they are quite aware of their own problems, and having new technical capabilities AND central control, they will move fast on development of cleaner alternatives once they decide they need to. India is also poised to be a technological breakout, with growth issues to solve. So there is a limited window of opportunity here, if we want to dominate in the field.

Otherwise, yes, just relax, everything will be solved... and 20 years from now the taxes from our service McJobs will buy the finest Chinese and Indian energy and pollution technology our money can buy. And CF will be in Mandarin .
Actually, much of our exported coal is metallurgical coal.
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Old 05-01-2016, 18:56   #1258
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Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

Wow that is quite a bit of time I'll never get back.

Thought experiments
Does increasing a population in a closed system increase or decrease the consumption of resources?

Does increasing the population in a closed system increase or decrease the production of waste and by products?

Is the ability of a system to adapt to change over the course of millions of years an accurate prediction of a systems ability to support similar changes that occur in a thousand years or less?

If fracking is safe and nuclear power generates waste we are afraid of then why can't we include spent fuel or toxic waste as a component in fracking fluid?

If a corporation generates toxins but releases them into the public domain then why should anyone but the producer have to bear the cost?

And yes I conserve in many places and while I don't own any non boat solar panels I do live in a house with 12 inch thick walls and heat/cool with geothermal. And yes it is cheaper than fossil fuel burned in a furnace and yes it's carbon foot print is less than a fossil fuel furnace. Even counting the electricity used.

I'm still unclear why people want to argue with data, interpretation yes I can see that but with data? When I look at all of the information and the various analysis papers I see it seems apparent that something is happening. The large scale systems that make up a planet do not seem to be readily understood and so I realize that analysis is or can be subject to change. But the data is still the data.

It seems to me to be pretty silly to discount the potential impacts of a growing population and ignoring variances that may be a result of a thousand fold increase in numbers. E.g. Around 4 billion people now vs how many 200 years ago? And to suggest that has no impact?

Does heat and increased co2 lead to an increase in plant growth? Sure, PLANT growth not just food plants, all plants. Are GMOs the answer? If so then what about the changes to wild weed seed where the weeds have picked up a resistance. And I also wonder about the increase in fuel based inputs to create the required increase in food production. So many farm fields are toxic wastelands to organisms that should be living there.

So many questions that go unanswered and the poor masses with little to no scientific backgrounds are being pulled by special interests (whatever that means). Just so they can do what they desire In a future that no one may recognize. And may not be happy about.

And I can't believe I just added all of this to an already overly long thread where no one is actually changing anyone's mind.

Btw, the Vikings suck.
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Old 05-01-2016, 19:11   #1259
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

I'm wholly unqualified for some of the science stuff, but I'll give the rest a try.

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Efficiency is vital, and we've done a lot to improve it. But the environment doesn't care how efficient we are, it only matter how much we use. Our usage keeps going up. That's the simple fact I'm pointing out. We get more efficient with our cars, but have more of them, so the total impact goes up. Our homes become more efficient, but they get bigger. Airline travel is more efficient, but today more people fly a lot more than ever before. It all adds up to an increasing strain on our finite systems.

Nothing is infinite Mike, and neither is anything fixed. The only thing that remains a constant is that our world is constantly changing. We may have more cars, but recycling technology has allowed more of them to be recycled into new cars using 80% of the old, according to some estimates I've read (unfortunately it's the plastics that are the hardest to recycle). More airline travel has made for a smaller world, with hopefully more of the education & tolerance that typically develops from the mingling of different peoples & cultures. Bigger homes? You got me there -- I think the McMansions sprouting up all over the place kinda suck.

I'm not sure what you mean by finite systems. For those that believe in AGW and some of its more alarmist but highly theoretical impacts, then our atmosphere is one such finite system. Over fishing the oceans is a big problem, but also one that is fixable if people & govts. were perhaps less fixated on CC. With new extraction technologies, we are certainly in no danger of running out of fossil fuels anytime soon, so long as we need them to transition to something better that is. And I haven't read much fear of running out of basic minerals, metals, and chemicals. In the meantime, worldwide population is expected to level off in another 40-50 years or so, and the decline in overall poverty & increase in prosperity is likely to slow the birth rate further.

I'm sure people living in the middle ages watching half or more of their children die from dysentery believed their system was finite and never would have envisioned the development of modern sewer systems. Neither could the serfs living in feudal times imagine what freedoms the invention of the printing press would bring. This is the point of the OP's article. We don't now know, and more importantly have little way of knowing, what is truly finite or not.


Agreed. No one can get a pass, including us in the developed world. We've given ourselves a pass for too long.

My approach is that I can only change me and my behaviour. We can't change China, but we change what we do.

You can also potentially change other peoples' behavior, maybe by example or by reason. But the easiest way is an appeal to their basic instincts which, for most people (like it or not), is self-interest.

There's a specific question about what people's in the surveyed 40 nations are willing to do about climate change. It found that nations with high levels of carbon emissions per capita are less likely to express strong worries about climate change. These include the U.S., Australia, Canada and Russia. But I'll try and find the specific reference.

No need to look it up -- more than happy to take your word for it. Besides, it only follows that people who don't believe or are not worried about CC would be unwilling to do anything about it. But that doesn't necessarily mean they aren't motivated to reduce fossil fuel emissions for other very good reasons. And doesn't one of the "remedies" coming out of Paris & elsewhere involve huge transfers of wealth to the developing world? Here comes the cynic again, but maybe this is why Latin America & specifically Brazil, along with other poorer nations in the developing world, top the Pew poll charts for being most accepting of the CC agenda??

Yes, I think about my susceptibility to confirmation bias. The history of "End of Times" predictions are all-too-present. Of course, human history is also ripe with actual collapses, so the lessons are found on both sides. My views are currently shaped using the best information I have at my disposal, which comes from the scientific consensus on a lot of these issues. If evidence mounts to change that consensus (as it might) then I will change my view.
Well, I'll defer to your having more of a scientific background, and having read more on the subject than I have. But I would surmise that studies you have read are likely based on evaluations & estimates of the world's current resources, along with perhaps reasonably foreseeable estimates of resources & technology in the near future. But we have little way of knowing now what future developments may look like, and history has shown that it may be presumptuous to think that we even can.
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Old 05-01-2016, 20:07   #1260
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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Over fishing the oceans is a big problem, but also one that is fixable if people & govts. were perhaps less fixated on CC.


Really?

I doubt if many people have thought of those two topics in the same hour. Before now, anyway.

Quote:
I'm sure people living in the middle ages watching half or more of their children die from dysentery believed their system was finite and never would have envisioned the development of modern sewer systems.


No, I suspect they were just sad that some of their children were dying, and that they still had to work tomorrow to try to feed the rest. Most never traveled more than 20 miles from the place they were born.

With few exceptions, it's only in the last century that there has been much public awareness that maybe the earth is finite.

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