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Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:15 PM

 

Can we achieve growth & equality while kicking Climate Change?

Can we simultaneously promote equality for 8 billion people and raise average the standard of living (which requires production) while simultaneously reducing atmospheric emissions and environmental devastation (which is demonstrably coupled to production). If so, how can we in the real world?

I understand everyone wants more jobs and I understand no one wants to promote poverty, but I am having a difficult time prioritizing these struggles against the impending threat of climate change and the suffering it will bring. I think it is a foregone conclusion that Utopia is lost, and pragmatism is how we run the day, but how pragmatic can you be against acidic oceans, droughts, famine inducting crop failures, rising waters, and devastating storms? I really do not understand how anyone can promote any policy or idea that will accelerate our immediate consumption energy and resources (thus hurrying and exacerbating climate change), even with benevolent intentions.

If someone has a magic answer how we can "fix" the system we cling to like Stockholm Syndrome sufferers, while ensuring our planet's habitability will not be further endangered, then shoot.

59 replies, 3750 views

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Arrow 59 replies Author Time Post
Reply Can we achieve growth & equality while kicking Climate Change? (Original post)
NoOneMan Jan 2013 OP
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #1
leftstreet Jan 2013 #2
derby378 Jan 2013 #16
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #20
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2013 #25
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #27
Joe Shlabotnik Jan 2013 #32
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #33
Joe Shlabotnik Jan 2013 #34
Mojorabbit Jan 2013 #56
TxRider Jan 2013 #52
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #54
pscot Jan 2013 #17
immoderate Jan 2013 #5
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #9
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #13
Buzz Clik Jan 2013 #3
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #6
pscot Jan 2013 #18
leftstreet Jan 2013 #29
Buzz Clik Jan 2013 #41
leftstreet Jan 2013 #43
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #55
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #30
pampango Jan 2013 #59
RedCappedBandit Jan 2013 #4
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #7
rrneck Jan 2013 #8
Recursion Jan 2013 #10
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #12
datasuspect Jan 2013 #11
2naSalit Jan 2013 #14
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #15
2naSalit Jan 2013 #24
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #28
JVS Jan 2013 #19
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #22
cbrer Jan 2013 #21
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #23
cbrer Jan 2013 #36
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #37
cbrer Jan 2013 #38
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #39
cbrer Jan 2013 #40
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #42
cbrer Jan 2013 #44
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #47
samsingh Jan 2013 #26
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #31
samsingh Jan 2013 #35
YoungDemCA Jan 2013 #45
flvegan Jan 2013 #46
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #48
flvegan Jan 2013 #49
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #51
daleo Jan 2013 #50
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #53
daleo Jan 2013 #57
Comrade_McKenzie Jan 2013 #58

Response to NoOneMan (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:18 PM

1. No, we can't continue growing.

We are past the carrying capacity of this planet, even if we found ways to provide basic human needs and became carbon neutral, we are using water and other resources at too great a rate.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:25 PM

2. You waste enough H2O brushing your teeth to water a village

Comfortable middle class people probably shouldn't be having this conversation

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:14 PM

16. Beg pardon?

You turn on the faucet just long enough to wet the bristles (if you must), then you take a swig of water in your mouth, swirl, and spit. Easy.

If there's someone who leaves the faucet running for the 1-2 minutes they spend brushing their teeth, send them my way so we can talk.

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Response to derby378 (Reply #16)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:24 PM

20. To be fair...

 

If you have running water you use (for any amount of time) you need to understand there is a vast infrastructure supporting that (pumps, steel piping, reservoirs, filtration systems, electrical input, etc), which all causes (or has caused) vast environmental harm for your benefit.

Is it possible to extend this type of a service to 8 billion people in the name of equality without fudging things up too much more than now? Maybe. But you might have to give up your car

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:48 PM

25. Domestic water use is a fairly small part of the overall amount

In both high, and low-and-middle income countries - 11% and 8% respectively. In high income countries, industry uses another 59%, and agriculture 30%; in low-and middle, it's 10% and 82% (figures from 2001; the industrial use in places like China has probably gone up since then)

http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0012/001295/129556e.pdf

What that also points out is that Asia has 36% of the world's freshwater resources, but 60% of the population, many of whom are in poverty now; that's the continent most likely to have major water supply problems, with any development that gets people out of poverty.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #25)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:52 PM

27. I was referring more to what it takes to bring it to the tap

 

Thanks for the link!

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #25)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 07:36 PM

32. Another good argument against Tar Sand development

is the massive amounts of fresh water already being used in extraction, and will vastly increase if keystone XL is built.

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Response to Joe Shlabotnik (Reply #32)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 07:47 PM

33. Argue until you are blue in the face

 

The people of Alberta are using the proceeds to fund their MSP, schools and a plethora of social programs. It will send half a trillion to the federal government in the next 30 years, who will disperse it across all provinces in many ways that promote social equality. You are asking them to pass on those opportunities. Even if Mulclair steps on in during the next election, I would not be overly optimistic expansion will not continue (and if it does not, there may be measurable economic consequence).

Hell, this is the perfect example of the paradox we find ourselves in here. As long as we sit within industrial society as liberals, how can we not advocate the potential of growth and equality from this type of exploitation? Perhaps we need to step outside of this paradigm, which is also promoting inevitable destruction right along with equality.

Frankly, there is no pragmatic balance to be achieved any more (its either run toward death holding hands, run there every man for himself, or change/eliminate our industrial civilization). We should of stopped this yesterday. We need to decline our emissions by 6% each year going forward or we exceed the arbitrarily set "safe" limits. We can not continue to prop everyone up while exploiting the earth, and hope we can pass that better world to our grandchildren. Its fantasy.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #33)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 08:01 PM

34. yup

Actually a few days ago I posted in the multimedia forum a trailer for what looks to be an interesting movie, that speaks specifically to the spirit of your OP.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/101792916

Personally I think we're doomed, because we have a choice between the suicidal status quo, or a global shift towards extreme conservation and socialism, and right now no-one in power let alone the average person, can fathom anything other than capitalism, growth and accumulating more 'stuff'.

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Response to Joe Shlabotnik (Reply #34)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:25 AM

56. I agree. I really think it is too late.

No one is going to give up their standard of living in the first world. Not willingly. No huge corp is going to stop strip mining the planet of it's resources. The payoff for them is too lucrative and they don't seem to care about the consequences.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:43 PM

52. Speak for yourself

I use a water well so I have one pump and a bit of plastic pipe. I'm not running it on solar yet but when I do the single most environmentally damaging thing I will have in the system is the solar panels and the toxic waste and pollution generated in it's manufacture.

Even so I still never leave a faucet running when I brush my teeth.

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Response to TxRider (Reply #52)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:47 PM

54. Way to go!

 

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:17 PM

17. I live on a community well

and clean my teeth with a toothpick.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:31 PM

5. Succinctly done.

It appears we have to decrease our number, and their footprint.

--imm

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Response to immoderate (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:43 PM

9. "and their footprint"

 

Which probably requires an immediate recognition we are no longer going to be striving for tomorrow's 2-car garage, iPhone 8 toting tech-Utopia that requires perpetually more production. Otherwise, the day after tomorrow will look like a Doomsday Prepper's dream (and the day after that they die of famine after their food cache runs dry and they choke on their AR15's bullets)

And if that doesn't sound preferable (a future where we all have less wealth and gizmos in this economic engine), maybe we need to start looking at different paradigms that do not include industrial civilization as we know it.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:52 PM

13. When I had presentations....

In Hawaii last Spring...

It occurred to me that my childrens' generation will likely be the last to freely fly so inexpensively to places so far away.

It's just nutty.

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Response to NoOneMan (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:29 PM

3. The global average standard of living can increase, but...

... the US standard of living must necessarily flatten out or decrease.

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:33 PM

6. How?

 

How can it even increase when we are still packing the atmosphere with more CO2 each year? And I am of course assuming average standard of living can measurably equate to energy consumption and emission levels (fairly).

Sure, in the name of equality, the US standard of living would have to drastically be reduced, but our entire average might have to go to the wayside (which may be way better than it currently is in the 3rd world, but way "worse" than it is in developed nations) to get back into balance with the environment.

In any case, this causes a major dilemma for business-as-usual folk who want to simply cure our economy to work for everyone.

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:20 PM

18. You're half right

our standard of living seems to be starting to fall.

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 07:18 PM

29. Americans gave up healthcare so Canadians could have it?

wait...wut?

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #29)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:05 PM

41. Where did that come from?

Nothing I said.

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #41)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:11 PM

43. You suggested it

.. that an increase in the 'standard of living' of one group meant the decrease of that standard for another group

That makes no sense


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Response to leftstreet (Reply #43)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:07 AM

55. Aside from your strange Canada/America example, it very well mean this

 

Look at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_greenhouse_gas_emissions_per_capita

Now,

Premise 1) Standard of living correlates roughly to emission levels
Premise 2) The emission levels of 2000 create a "safe" scenario to avoid climate change's worst effects
Premise 3) This means that with the 2000 level finite cap on emissions, this translates into an average of 6.8 tonnes a person that we must all move towards

Conclusion: The US per capita emissions (and standard of living) would have to lower by ~75% to bring us to the agreed upon global average. About 80 countries would have to reduce their per capita emissions (standard of living), while allowing a permissible growth for 100 other countries to promote full equality.

So yes, the US would have to give up quite a bit so everyone can meet a "safe" per capita emission level that would not exacerbate climate change.

Or.....do we get to keep the Hummers and tell everyone in Uruguay to shove it? Or do we keep our Hummers, help them make theirs, and just say fuck it to the whole survival thing?

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 07:18 PM

30. Check this out regarding global emissions....

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_greenhouse_gas_emissions_per_capita

Lets assume that 2000 are "safe" emission levels that we want to get back to, and make sure everyone, everywhere emits those levels as a ceiling. Ok, so the per capita world average is 6.8 tonnes CO2 (US is 24). Now, countries living like Zimbabwe, Azerbaijan, Angola, Switzerland*, Bulgaria are where we have to be everywhere to obtain that level (though that level really isn't safe from what we understand today). Thats a massive drop in the US standard of living for sure. Would we be able to raise everyone up to Angola level standard of living and increase the global average standard of living? Maybe actually (but this implies production in the lower countries). Would we all want to?

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 06:33 AM

59. It's not the size of our economy, it's our income distribution that's the problem.

With US per capita income at $49,600 it would be easy to increase our standard of living without growing the economy or producing more CO2 if we distributed our income on a more equitable basis.

German per capita income is $43,700; France's $45,500; for the European Union as a whole it is $35,100. Most of us would figure that their standard of living is better than ours because of the safety net and public services that they have.

With respect to pollution, Europe has much more stringent pollution controls than the US so Germany produces much less CO2 with its $43,000 or France with its $45,000 than we do with our $49,000.

Our $49,600 could stay the same for decades and our 99% would still enjoy an increasing standard of living if we gradually improved our income distribution. Of course such stability in the overall economy (or an effective effort to reduce our CO2 emissions) would not benefit our 1% (who depend on an ever-growing economy) so it is not likely to happen.

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Response to NoOneMan (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:30 PM

4. I'm not sure why growth and equality are lumped together.

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Response to RedCappedBandit (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:35 PM

7. Can they not be?

 

Can we create equal standards of living without growth? Can we put in water lines in Africa and power without mining those resources and having production?

The only answer would be to give up water and power elsewhere. Right? If we are not growing to raise people up, we must be decomplexifying to meet in the middle.

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Response to NoOneMan (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:36 PM

8. Aye, there's the rub.

You will have to tell every American they will have to reduce their lifestyle about seventy percent. It won't be pretty. It will be even uglier if the rest of the world makes us do it.

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Response to NoOneMan (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:45 PM

10. Sure, once our CEOs and shareholders lose their entitlement mentality

It's all sustainable except our current level of profits.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:52 PM

12. This level of profit promotes disparity, and disparity throttles growth

 

Eliminating profits will drastically reduce the cost of products, thereby enabling more people to buy them (increasing demand, and subsequently production). How does that reduce emissions?

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Response to NoOneMan (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:45 PM

11. i'll be the buzzkill

 

we'll keep aggressively doing the same shit that got us into this. the developing world and china will do the same shit that go us in this EVEN MORE.

it will churn and burn until a great cataclysmic event occurs and a sobering human die off.

once the supply chain and civilization collapse, we'll wonder "why?"

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Response to NoOneMan (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:54 PM

14. First of all

this doesn't require "magic" and there are a fair number of us actually do have viable solutions, many are really well thought out and designs/prototypes already constructed. What the problem is has to do with too many people addicted to fads, the junk that is the reward of buying into the fad and market strategies. It's how we got here and it will need to change... first.

I personally have a large notebook full of solution sets for feeding communities, eliminating food deserts, and alternative power generation, and ecological housing structures that are storm-safe for most events. But you know what the brick wall is? Major power and fossil fuel generator corporations, banks who are in bed with them, Monsanto (and I have a solution for that too) and finding enough people, in this country in particular, who can get look away from their iphones long enough to realize they have to participate... and stupid people/zombies.

I used to share my ideas but I have also been burned by doing so as those with whom I shared took my ideas, made money off of them and threw acid in my face, figuratively speaking. yeah, if I had a few million bucks, I already know what I would do with it that would help a countless number of others... so if I had the money, I'd be putting it where my mouth and mind are.

It's doable, individual will power join in a collective effort ~ a shift in our social values ~ and a little cash is all that's needed. But too many Americans think they are living "the dream" and not realizing they have been seduced into perpetuating their own demise for the enrichment of a few.

So the answer is yes, and it's yes for both equality and stifling climate change but only if we do it really soon. The growth thing is a situation that will diminish with the social values shift, "growth" is marketing terminology designed to make us think that making money for your slave owner is the best thing in the world.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:07 PM

15. These ideas can't do anything for the global situation unless implemented en masse

 

And you basically indicted our entirely society as part of the "wall". And that's probably accurate, as people are products of the system and the system will not generate a populace that threatens it growth and survival. So what you have is a collection of politically unfeasible possibilities, rather than viable solutions (from how you describe them).

The current cultural narrative is that "progress" (economic growth) coupled with technology will always create the best of all possible world, and the only reason this is not yet accomplished is because of greed and profit (but social democracy to the rescue!). It is a narrative that entices people to embrace growth and continue consumption until their side wins the political battle and all the scientific numbers magically balance out into perpetually goodness (environmentally and otherwise). Correct me if I am wrong, but don't we have to destroy this cultural narrative before people will collectively explore other ways to organize and live? FYI, thats part of the reason I posted this topic (to challenge this narrative). Yes, I believe there are possible approaches if you can shift the paradigm, but that must be done first before they are possible. Otherwise, these solutions will only be implemented regionally to provide selected resilience in the face of imminent catastrophe.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #15)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:39 PM

24. I agree with about

40%..? of what you're saying. There are ways to change this narrative by using it to "flip" it so to speak. If a sizable group of people (and it would probably be best if it happened in this country early on) were to lead by example by way of showing that they are living a much more enjoyable lifestyle by eschewing the norm, others will want it too. Look at how PCs and iphones spread like wildfire. Showing that you have achieved the ideal by way of paradigm shift, you can win a large portion of the world population over in a hurry, similar to starting a religion that promises some coveted set of conditions. (I use the religion example based on a comment a friend once expressed and I can't find a good argument against: "If you want to gain control over a large population in a hurry, start a religion")

So onward, I believe that a "build it and they will come" philosophy could be put to good use here. Lots of people want to make this change, but the corporate world is not allowing it by way of funds/resource hoarding and sold out politicians. There has to be a way to circumvent this, with enough individuals this could happen. People are interesting animals, if you can show them a way to find fulfillment, they will make the leap of faith to get it, especially if the leap isn't too far, and it doesn't have to be. But this low road, gutter dwelling mindset, fear-based mentality and nay-saying has to be left behind.

Sure it will take some resources to get the ball rolling but far less than we would use in a month if enough of the population were involved. Those who refuse to participate can be left to fend for themselves when they find themselves outside the new norm. They can participate by being those who become the population reduction.

I think that the lead by example part is a major component. I believe that there are enough people who only need a road map. There are so many who already have nothing left to lose but the actual function of living... these can be the first helped and the first to show that there is another way to have a fulfilling life that isn't involved in pressing harder on the throttle to get to the edge of the cliff. Other nations will want to do the same or make similar changes in how they go about life in order to preserve life, especially if they see that by doing so they can have a better way of life. I think that we may not be able to stifle climate change but we can improve our chances for adjusting to it and not exacerbating it.

The greatest challenge is convincing enough people to participate.

Anything is possible, it only takes willpower.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #24)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:58 PM

28. "If a sizable group of people..."

 

Ok, but meanwhile this is happening:



And every reduction makes it cheaper for all these areas to burn energy.

So...where is the roadmap that illustrates that a voluntary transition plan will induce a panicked rush so quickly that we avert 4C+ climate change by the end of the century? It is...faith-based.


I think that we may not be able to stifle climate change but we can improve our chances for adjusting to it and not exacerbating it.

This is more likely looking at where we are headed. I think we are approaching a fork where governments can either choose to implement mass transitions or continue to complexify their economies, ensuring that a bottle-neck will cull all but the most lucky and/or most wealthy individuals.

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Response to NoOneMan (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:23 PM

19. I doubt we can do a thing about climate change at this point.

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Response to JVS (Reply #19)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:26 PM

22. So all this talk about equality and making a better world...

 

We're just giving each other reach around until they put us down in our caskets, right? Or polishing our egos on the way out.

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Response to NoOneMan (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:25 PM

21. New technologies and new expansion?

 

Hell yes

If we had leadership with any kind of vision America would be leading the way and profiting handsomely from it.

But noooo... Let's keep wealth concentrated in a few hands that maintain old technology and wasteful, dirty, lifestyles.

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Response to cbrer (Reply #21)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:31 PM

23. Ok, the magic of technology

 

Its a great thing to have faith in I guess. But a question:

After we finish burning coal and oil to produce windmills and solar panels, how do we know we wont export our unused coal/oil/natural gas to Africa to fuel their growth? IOW, do we have tangible proof that increasing net per capita energy (with renewables) will not accelerate global growth and consumption?

Also, we kind of needed to stop burning carbon yesterday...can we afford to ramp up production/emissions to fuel a green shift without tangible proof that it will translate to a reduction in emissions?

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #23)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 08:53 PM

36. Tangible Proof?

 

Nope, sorry. The battery in my crystal ball died.

The will to succeed and follow a mutually beneficial plan must exist for any widespread success to occur. It used to be something Americans were good at until the current malaise took over.

And technology isn't magic. It's the result of education and research. Also something Americans used to be good at...

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Response to cbrer (Reply #36)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:42 PM

37. Yes, like a non-faith-based reason to continue our pursuit of "progress"

 

Otherwise, its akin to religion to think that one day, quite magically, technology will help us reverse course and we will happen to finally consume less energy. If we are running full-on into ecosystem breakdown and the solution is "keep doing what we are doing", it would be nice to have solid proof that "keeping on" isn't going to kill us all before it produces techno-benevolence.


The will to succeed and follow a mutually beneficial plan must exist for any widespread success to occur.

Can this will exist? If it can, why can it not now? What will change that can be demonstrated? If its obtainable now, why must we kick up more carbon pursuing techno-Utopia when we could all currently figure out how to make a sustainable society with what we currently have? Maybe this just isn't possible within the current system.


And technology isn't magic

No, but its application to extend equality to all (via increased production) while simultaneously lowering emissions and protecting the environment is quite magic. All production requires energy and materials extracted from earth. Calling for more high-tech production will not diminish this very fact.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #37)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:07 PM

38. You think I meant religion?

 

Technology got us to this place. I have every reason to believe it can get us out. Will it? I doubt it. You must be familiar with the greed, short sightedness, and lack of will of the elecorate (unless it involves guns apparently) to change our path.

We have the technology now. Right now. To convert 33% of our power use to solar. We could also follow Brazils example of using 75%ethanol instead of gasoline. Modern (and not so) car engines require amazingly little tuning to run efficiently off of ethanol. EFI is a very good thing. Talks were happening before NASA got chopped, to research putting a solar belt around the earth. Terrawatts of power 24/7.

Don't get me wrong. It's a START. Not a complete solution. Our nation and it's adherent political realities, make it almost impossible to pursue these goals. You can vote Democrat, Republican, Independent, or Micky Mouse. The required elements for the drastic course correction that's required are absent.

The will to succeed does NOT exist. Our spoiled, short sighted culture believes too much of the crap spewed from FAUX News. And our crooked political system hasn't fixed ONE of our major problems in at least the last 30 years. And has created many.

IOW, we have the capability, without resorting to gods or prayers. But waiting for solid proof before we act is bullshit. And your views on production and application of technology are just plain wrong. It's not magic. Much has already been extracted from the earth. And a solar panels primary ingredient is sand.

You know what the funniest part of this is? The leap of faith that's required, was expressed centuries ago. And holds the key to a move in the right direction. Jesus said it (supposedly). "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you". Who knew? The big guy was right all along!

The will to succeed is what's missing from the equation. All other factors are present.

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Response to cbrer (Reply #38)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:34 PM

39. "Technology got us to this place."

 

Yes, this place. Approaching 400ppm atmospheric CO2, on our way to catastrophic climate change, and still starving 25,000 people a day at the apex of agrarian civilization.


I have every reason to believe it can get us out.

We have no reason to believe something that has historically aided the system in growth and energy consumption will begin to reduce energy consumption.


We have the technology now. Right now. To convert 33% of our power use to solar.

Which would allow us to export the rest of our fossil fuels, after using what we need to do the "green shift"


We could also follow Brazils example of using 75%ethanol instead of gasoline.

Do you realize the environmental impact of clearing out rainforests to plant switch grass? It can take centuries to pay back that carbon debt. We have decades


Talks were happening before NASA got chopped, to research putting a solar belt around the earth

How are we going to power the manufacturing of that (including the extraction of the required resource)? That'll pretty much kill the camel before she births out her green baby.


Our nation and it's adherent political realities, make it almost impossible to pursue these goals.

Its not just your nation. How about China & India, and everyone in Africa that wants a fridge and a two car garage?


The will to succeed does NOT exist.

Im not sure if it matters if it does. The will to preserve industrial society and protect the environment may be absolutely incompatible scientifically speaking.


But waiting for solid proof before we act is bullshit.

Production on faith, IMO, is bullshit. Did you know there are actually plans that do not require more production and growth? Thats where I'd put my chips.


It's not magic

Its a bit magical to think that technology will allow us to promote full equality while reducing all the developed nations per capita emissions to 7 tonnes a year (75% reduction), while still promoting economic growth, without further degrading the ecosystem from emissions and resource extraction. And to accomplish this (at least the reduction in emissions) all within the next 20-30 years before warming is out of are control. Thats magic.


The will to succeed is what's missing from the equation. All other factors are present.

See, this is where the techno-cult rhetoric picks up, while ignoring all the basic facts. We can't have a techno-shift without production that releases further emissions and creates immediate carbon debt. There are no scientifically viable plans to 1) promote global equality, 2) promote growing economies 3) reduce world energy consumption to "safe" levels, by the end of the century. You might as well pray.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #39)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:51 PM

40. You effectively shoot down every suggestion

 

Even though we conclude the same thing. We may as well pray.

We have no reason to believe something that has historically aided the system in growth and energy consumption will begin to reduce energy consumption.

The technological solutions I proposed are viable, and help lower emissions. Today.

Did you know there are actually plans that do not require more production and growth?

Pray tell what? Revert to low tech. agrarian lifestyles?

It sounds as if you're suggesting burying our heads until the inevitable collapse. Do you have any suggestions that fit your requirements? I'm certainly up for suggestions.

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Response to cbrer (Reply #40)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:11 PM

42. Sure did

 

The technological solutions I proposed are viable, and help lower emissions. Today.

No, they increase production to manufacturer the infrastructure, and will only lower emissions after paying back the "carbon debt" provided fossil fuels are not exported to fuel 3rd world development when no longer needed. We do not know this future point will come soon enough to mitigate the worse effects of climate change.


Pray tell what? Revert to low tech. agrarian lifestyles?

Organized decline and decomplexification of our current system would translate into immediate, demonstrable reductions in our emissions (not some far off faith-based point).


It sounds as if you're suggesting burying our heads until the inevitable collapse.

Where we are heading, either we are going to have the growth-obsessed industrial economy pried from our famine-starved grasp, or we are going to have to bury it and shift to something viable. As long as we approach the problems of equality and environmentalism within the context of preserving industrial society, our "solutions" are going to continue to fall short.

If no future is better than a future where we all have less and don't bury our nose in iPhone's, then these type of ideas are probably not very attractive. In any case, lets face facts and all know clearly where we are going. There will be no egalitarian techno-utopia that allows us to avert the next 100 years of consequences. If you are ok continuing down this road, lets not fool ourselves that we are doing it for a greater cause. If you are not ok with it, we need to bring civilization back to the drawing board immediately.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #42)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:15 PM

44. "bring civilization back to the drawing board immediately"

 

Is precisely what is not, and is not going to be happening.

Probably closer to the "famine starved grasp" scenario.

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Response to cbrer (Reply #44)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:20 PM

47. Yes, and then we get a reboot (whatever that means)

 

I guess what disturbs me in the mean time is people disguising massively increasing consumption on the pathway to the grave as "progress" or a benevolent movement towards equality. No, its just people wanting gadgets today, not caring about what's in the pipe.

Maybe if we honestly laid out our options in an intellectually honest way, something like organized withdraw might become more politically viable while it could still be effective. In any case, we all need to clue in to the reality of production-as-usual.

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Response to NoOneMan (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:48 PM

26. with technology and good governance we can

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Response to samsingh (Reply #26)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 07:35 PM

31. A good government will make climate change illegal?

 

And technology will make a replicator that runs on hope?

Production does not, and can not, happen within a bubble despite any and all technological and social innovations a society makes.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #31)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 08:22 PM

35. agreed

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Response to NoOneMan (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:16 PM

45. Human need vs human greed

That's the real debate.

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Response to NoOneMan (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:18 PM

46. Go vegan. n/t

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Response to flvegan (Reply #46)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:30 PM

48. Hunted meat probably has a lower footprint than farmed foods

 

This is due to amount of carbon released from deforestation/cultivation (not to mention the loss of biodiversity) and energy required to package and preserve the food from farm to your plate (unless grown organically at home).

But, yeah, a much better idea than buying meat in the store.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #48)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:33 PM

49. On an individual basis? Stipulated.

Otherwise, no chance. Shame that.

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Response to flvegan (Reply #49)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:41 PM

51. About 78 billion tons of carbon is lost from our soil from agriculture

 

This is another huge reason biofuels suck; their land use impact take decades to centuries to negate.

Im a happy fisherman BTW (only meat I have ever touched). The salmon I catch have a positive impact on carbon, as they offset grains I would otherwise need that have a footprint. Just an example (I'm not claiming any high ground). What I do or don't do won't make too much of a difference on our current course.

Oh yeah, and no-till organic agriculture helps this, as well as agro-forestry practices. But in any case, cultivating land to create food for the masses is not free of environmental impact, though we know how to do much, much better

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Response to NoOneMan (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:34 PM

50. Can billionaires prosper while kicking global warming?

That's where the resistance to change originates.

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Response to daleo (Reply #50)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:45 PM

53. Resistance to the change originates in a growth obsessed system...

 

People like their techno-gizmos as well and don't want to give them up. I know its easier to blame the bad guys.

Frankly, if enough people decided to not work in their factories and buy their iPhones and drive their cars, thatd be one hell of a start. But thats not the case now, is it?

The game of theirs sucks, but we all continue to play it while enjoying our circus

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #53)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:54 PM

57. Average people don't have a lot of say in these matters

Big money buys media and political influence. Take fossil fuel as an example. There are trillions of dollars locked up in the ownership if these resources. They will fight renewables every inch of the way to ensure that those trillions are not made irrelevant by progress.

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Response to NoOneMan (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 12:01 AM

58. Climate change should take priority over growth and equality. nt

 

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