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Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:07 PM

The thing keeping us from fighting global warming is that TPTB won't listen to us.

In progressive circles that statement is so obvious it barely needs saying. But is it true?

The one and only definitive answer to AGW (and even this isn't certain, given that we may have passed methane tipping points already) is an immediate, complete end to all fossil fuel use. Not another tonne, not another barrel, not another cubic meter, not another gram. Unless we do this we are condemning our civilization to eventual collapse and many species to not-so-eventual extinction from thermal overload.

Now get the 1% and the 99% all together in a really big room, and try to sell that idea. Not another drop. You'd find there wouldn't be an iota of difference in their horrified reactions. On this issue the virtuous peasants aren't any more far-sighted than the evil dukes, princes and kings.

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Arrow 37 replies Author Time Post
Reply The thing keeping us from fighting global warming is that TPTB won't listen to us. (Original post)
GliderGuider Dec 2012 OP
AldoLeopold Dec 2012 #1
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #2
OKIsItJustMe Dec 2012 #3
AldoLeopold Dec 2012 #5
OKIsItJustMe Dec 2012 #20
The2ndWheel Dec 2012 #23
OKIsItJustMe Dec 2012 #25
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #6
pscot Dec 2012 #9
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #10
pscot Dec 2012 #14
Iterate Dec 2012 #13
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #15
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #16
Iterate Dec 2012 #18
Blackhawk44 Dec 2012 #36
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #37
OKIsItJustMe Dec 2012 #21
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #22
OKIsItJustMe Dec 2012 #32
OKIsItJustMe Dec 2012 #33
joshcryer Dec 2012 #4
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #7
AldoLeopold Dec 2012 #8
Iterate Dec 2012 #11
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #12
hunter Dec 2012 #24
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2012 #17
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #19
Deep13 Dec 2012 #26
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #29
Deep13 Dec 2012 #31
MrDiaz Dec 2012 #27
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #30
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #28
Nihil Dec 2012 #35
CRH Dec 2012 #34

Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:21 PM

1. Permian-Triassic Extinction Event Part II: Permian Harder

Starring Bruce Willis as dead human in Starbucks line.

Speaking of methane tipping points:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permian%E2%80%93Triassic_extinction_event

This would solve our population problems. Our life problems, too. It's still debated, but my money is on the sublimation of the methane hydrates due to climate change.

Extinction.
Exciting and new.
Come aboard,
we're expecting you!
Extinction!
Soon will be having another run.
Extinction - promises something for everyone.

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:26 PM

2. The problem is that "we" aren't listening to the system

 

We--collectively speaking--aren't listening to our instincts. The lure and promise of technology and civilization has neutered our ability to see our impact and how far out of harmony we reside from nature. That is why the blatherings of "we" and the wishes of "we" are ineffective at promoting the necessary change; frankly, "we" don't want it if we could see it.

We will be culled, along with so much other life. Its ironic that any event that significantly decreases energy consumption immediately (think disaster movies about wars, viruses, social collapse) is likely our last "hope" at averting the worse consequences of climate change; the warming is like an ultimate reset when all other systematic balancing functions fail. We are so far out of alignment, a catastrophe can provide more hope than the collective actions of civilization (in my opinion).

But this, in time, will pass too.

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:05 PM

3. I think resignation is a larger problem

Some are genuinely ignorant. That’s a problem, with a solution.

Some are “skeptics” who choose not to “believe.”

However (in my observation) far too many grasp the problem, but are resigned to what they see as “fate.” (Among these are the crowd who repeat as a mantra, “The Earth will be just fine…”)

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Response to OKIsItJustMe (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:23 PM

5. That third group you mentioned

Would that be like my cousin who is an MD and an engineer and thinks its all a natural process?

Or me, who makes satirical Love Boat themes dedicated to human extinction?

What I mean is, my astronomy prof waaay back made it fairly clear, and he was right, that we can't destroy the earth, we will simply die and the earth will go back to the way it was.

Are you saying that fatalism is the problem?

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Response to AldoLeopold (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:09 PM

20. Everything we do is a natural process

We (after all) are a part of nature.

Screwing up the ecosystem, therefore, is a natural process. Similarly, attempting to restore the ecosystem is also an equally natural process.


If we kill ourselves, the Earth will not go back to the way it was. (We and all of the other species are part of the way the Earth is.) If we kill ourselves, we will likely kill many (if not all) of the other species currently occupying this planet.

Following this natural catastrophe, life of some sort will almost certainly come back eventually, however it will probably not be the life that we knew (that’s how we got here.) Will it be better? Will it be worse? Who can say? It will almost certainly be different.

Fatalism is a problem, although not the problem. (i.e. there are other problems.)

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Response to OKIsItJustMe (Reply #20)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:10 PM

23. Attempting to restore the ecosystem is screwing with it

Plus, restore it to what? It can't be what it was at some point in the past since the variables and conditions within it are different today than they were before.

So we end up just screwing with the ecosystem all the time, and each time actively and directly trying to make it fit only us and only our interests more then was previously the case(control of instead of adapt to). We're not taking every other species or differing variable into account, and we couldn't if we tried. Nothing would ever get done.

If we don't kill ourselves, the Earth will not go back to the way it was. (We and all of the other species are part of the way the Earth is.) If we don't kill ourselves, we will likely kill many (if not all) of the other species currently occupying this planet.

There is no solution to the problem.

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Response to The2ndWheel (Reply #23)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 05:21 PM

25. “If we don't kill ourselves, we will likely kill many (if not all) of the other species currently…”

Last edited Tue Dec 4, 2012, 06:07 PM - Edit history (1)

I don’t see where that follows.

The truth of the matter is we used to be much more insensitive to our place in nature. We used to believe that we could not affect the greater ecosystem. We could kill as many animals (trees, whatever) as we wanted; we could dump as many toxic chemicals as we wanted; we could do anything we damn well pleased, and everything would be fine.

About 150 years ago, we figured out that treating rivers as open sewers was a bad idea. (See “The Great Stink.”)

About 40 years ago, we figured out that simply dumping industrial waste into rivers was a bad idea. (See “Cuyahoga River Fire.”)

We’re becoming more and more aware of our ability to negatively affect our home. We’ve also become more aware of how to positively affect it. (See “River Restoration.”)

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Response to OKIsItJustMe (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:25 PM

6. What would you see as a solution if the skeptics capitulated?

Bearing in mind that we must reduce our FF consumption to zero very soon - say by 2030? The optimists haven't given us a single morsel that is commensurate with the true scale of the issue.

The bald facts appear to be: we are already in overshoot for CO2 (it's building up, after all); we are already into a regime of runaway climate change according to Wasdell; an anomaly of +2C is looking like it's too high; we already have over 100,000 years' worth of excess CO2 in the atmosphere; we're adding another 2000 to 2500 years' worth every single year.

Forcing some skeptics to don rose-coloured glasses is not going to make this any more soluble. Let's try telling people the fucking truth for a change.

Fortunately, some of the scientists presenting papers using Doha as their stage are getting very close to this.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:43 PM

9. The solution is to shut down the global economy

because the weather is changing. it's a solution that would throw hundreds of millions out of work and probably lead to riots, revolutions, wars and famine. You and I may think that seems like a good idea, but I can certainly see why it might not be widely embraced by the political classes or the public at large.

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Response to pscot (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:01 PM

10. Oh, no question. Even I wouldn't like it much.

I'm just pointing out that it's in fact the only true solution. Everything else is just pretendsies, designed to distract us so we don't have to face the truth.

If we do not embrace this solution, it will embrace us. Or something to that effect.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:37 PM

14. I'd like to understand, but I don't

I keep thinking about Kafka; one story in particular, called In the Penal Colony. We will all understand at last, and it still won't make any sense at all.

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Response to pscot (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:33 PM

13. I don't see that it has to be true.

Part of the process of "killing the consumer" in all of us is restoration of the political imagination. There's a lag though between the time people realize the old game is over until they can possibly imagine something new.

Trust is a problem, because there isn't any.

But we have enough stuff. We have enough food (even if it costs carbon, no one would advocate the end of farming). That brings up a point, the need to think in terms of the cost of carbon rather than money. We have enough housing, even if it's poorly insulated, made of wood, and in the wrong place. Real estate speculators and car dealers can lay rail.

Everybody works. There's too much work to be done, elders to care for, housing to be modified. Repair, re-purpose, and reuse. The greatest low-carbon resource is what we know, and what we can teach. Even if it's a subsistence/minimum stipend per person, nobody starves or suffers lack of care. But not a carbon nickel gets spent that isn't in transition to a new, no-growth economy.

And maybe that would help rebuild trust. If it doesn't work and we all eventually stew, we're still better off until then.

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Response to Iterate (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:24 PM

15. I advocate the end of farming

 

What a dreadfully laborious and time-wasting practice of avoiding hunger; the farmer so does hate it than he ensures we do not eat unless we at least match his pain.

We could probably start turning over half of our blessed farms into forest gardens overnight, and not a soul would starve from a temporary lack of food production. While agro-forestry does take some time to be established, it provides a great source of carbon sequesteration and biodiversity, as well as requires far less water and inputs.

But this isn't going to happen now, is it?

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:59 AM

16. I tend to side with Daniel Quinn and Jared Diamond when it comes to farming.

"Totalitarian agriculture" as Quinn frames it was the beginning of our separation from both the earth and our own souls. It was also unbelievably bad for our health. It enabled the planetary pillage that we are just completing. The unholy alliance of fossil fuel and agriculture is the single most toxic, malign force this planet has ever known.

IMHO...

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:43 AM

18. No, I didn't forget your posts.

But at the moment I wrote I was thinking of farming as agriculture and animal husbandry in the original sense, as the 10,000-year experiment of cultivation. Your plan still fits within that epoch. I'll try to use different terms for the current industrial ag version. It's a variant that is doomed to fail, I hope without killing us all first.

I've been lucky enough to be in, near, or witness to several of the agricultural transformations. From my grandparents lightly mechanized and diverse family farm (I remember their horses and the outhouse) to larger highly carbon dependent family farms and finally the corporate/industrial version.

Now I've had a peek at the European model, both large scale and the more interesting small, family-owned farms, many of which show the faint traces of medieval land use. Those have passed the test of time. They're productive, with low carbon use, good quality food, and most importantly, the families seem happy with it.

One of the factors in their well-being is the hub and spoke pattern of land use, something I thought might interest you. Farmers live in the villages and trek out to the fields as necessary. They use small, slow tractors, but that's a world apart from the big ag version and they avoid the unhealthy isolation inherent with the US landgrant development.

Will it happen? Well, there are the resources to either drive, fight, or eat. Pick one. I'd rather eat, but it seems to be a minority view.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #15)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 06:48 AM

36. we could start with food rationing.

 

millions of people in the US
would benefit

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Response to Blackhawk44 (Reply #36)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:03 AM

37. You could stop half the farms and still have enough food

 

Only about 20% of grown corn even makes it to people. 40% goes towards ethanol and another 40% toward feed for livestock (and that needs to be completely restructured).

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:16 PM

21. Well, first off, I don’t see a way to avoid carbon capture and sequestration at this point

(Yes, yes, I can hear the villagers with their torches and pitchforks.)

However, as I have pointed out in the past, if we stopped all fossil fuel use today, that simply is not soon enough. We need to be actively removing GHG’s from the atmosphere.

350 ppm is a long way back, and if James Hansen is right, we probably need to go well below 350 ppm.

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Response to OKIsItJustMe (Reply #21)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:07 PM

22. Yes, getting back to 350 or below is the issue isn't it?

To be sure of having a future, we might need to go all the way back to 280 or 300 - basically to clean up our entire atmospheric mess from the last 200 years.

I don't know of any realistic way of doing that, at least not without burning fossil fuel

How long would it take us to sequester 300 GtC using terra preta?

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #22)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 06:30 PM

32. You know… Freeman Dyson actually made a decent point about the Keeling Curve

Dyson is a darling of the “skeptical” crowd, but generally speaking I would say that his views have been misrepresented by them.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2008/jun/12/the-question-of-global-warming
The Question of Global Warming
Freeman Dyson | June 12, 2008


Keeling was a meticulous observer. The accuracy of his measurements has never been challenged, and many other observers have confirmed his results. In the 1970s he extended his observations from Mauna Loa, at latitude 20 north, to eight other stations at various latitudes, from the South Pole at latitude 90 south to Point Barrow on the Arctic coast of Alaska at latitude 71 north. At every latitude there is the same steady growth of carbon dioxide levels, but the size of the annual wiggle varies strongly with latitude. The wiggle is largest at Point Barrow where the difference between maximum and minimum is about fifteen parts per million. At Kerguelen, a Pacific island at latitude 29 south, the wiggle vanishes. At the South Pole the difference between maximum and minimum is about two parts per million, with the maximum in Southern Hemisphere spring.

The only plausible explanation of the annual wiggle and its variation with latitude is that it is due to the seasonal growth and decay of annual vegetation, especially deciduous forests, in temperate latitudes north and south. The asymmetry of the wiggle between north and south is caused by the fact that the Northern Hemisphere has most of the land area and most of the deciduous forests. The wiggle is giving us a direct measurement of the quantity of carbon that is absorbed from the atmosphere each summer north and south by growing vegetation, and returned each winter to the atmosphere by dying and decaying vegetation.

The quantity is large, as we see directly from the Point Barrow measurements. The wiggle at Point Barrow shows that the net growth of vegetation in the Northern Hemisphere summer absorbs about 4 percent of the total carbon dioxide in the high-latitude atmosphere each year. The total absorption must be larger than the net growth, because the vegetation continues to respire during the summer, and the net growth is equal to total absorption minus respiration. The tropical forests at low latitudes are also absorbing and respiring a large quantity of carbon dioxide, which does not vary much with the season and does not contribute much to the annual wiggle.

When we put together the evidence from the wiggles and the distribution of vegetation over the earth, it turns out that about 8 percent of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is absorbed by vegetation and returned to the atmosphere every year. This means that the average lifetime of a molecule of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, before it is captured by vegetation and afterward released, is about twelve years. This fact, that the exchange of carbon between atmosphere and vegetation is rapid, is of fundamental importance to the long-range future of global warming, as will become clear in what follows. Neither of the books under review mentions it.



(He later returns to a famous proposal regarding “genetically engineered carbon-eating trees” which he believes we could likely have “within twenty years, and almost certainly within fifty years.”)

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #22)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 06:43 PM

33. “Pulling CO2 back out of the air might be easier than building jets and cars that don’t emit it.”

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/big-idea/13/carbon-capture

http://www.earth.columbia.edu/articles/view/2523
Klaus S. Lackner
Director of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy

To address the exponential rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations since the Industrial Revolution, Professor Klaus S. Lackner, director of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy at the Earth Institute, is working on ambitious carbon capture and sequestration strategies. “Our goal is to take a process that takes 100,000 years and compress it into 30 minutes,” says Lackner.

Lackner and his team are developing a device they have dubbed an air extractor, modeled after one of the most abundant but most complicated devices in nature: the leaf of a tree. Leaves are significant absorbers of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but planting enough of trees to absorb the current overabundance of carbon dioxide in the world would leave no fertile land left for other uses.

Surprisingly, the basic idea for Lackner’s carbon dioxide air extraction device was the consequence of an eighth grade science fair project. His daughter, Claire, was able to successfully demonstrate that carbon dioxide (an acid) can be captured from the air in an acid/base reaction using a fish pump and sodium hydroxide (a very strong base). The father-daughter pair discovered that the rudimentary device captured half of the carbon dioxide that ran through the test tube. This simple demonstration won Claire first prize in the science fair and pushed her father onto a research path that could revolutionize the way we approach combating climate change and global warming.

“I was surprised that pulled this off as well as she did, which made me feel that it could be easier than I thought,” said Lackner during a PBS NOVA ScienceNow interview in 2007. Though Claire had demonstrated that carbon dioxide capture was possible, there were energy balance issues that needed to be considered. Since the system consumes electricity, the issue of net carbon emissions must, of course, be addressed. “We needed to come up with a shape where you don't have to have an aquarium fish pump driving all the air through the system,” said Lackner, “but to have the wind just deliver the air and pass it through the collector.”



http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/capturing-carbon.html


http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2011/06/28/response-to-aps-study-on-air-capture/
Yes, We Can Afford to Remove Carbon from Air
by Klaus Lackner | 6.28.2011 at 3:15pm

Recently, the American Physical Society (APS) released a report on the direct capture of carbon dioxide from air. The report concludes that air capture could be a powerful tool for mopping up carbon dioxide emissions that otherwise would escape to the air, for providing carbon dioxide for synthetic liquid fuels in the transportation sector, and for gradually reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide­ in the atmosphere. The report rightly notes that air capture cannot reduce atmospheric concentrations rapidly, and thus provides no excuse for delaying action against climate change. However, the report recognizes that air capture is one among few options that can reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Even with an all-out effort to stop emissions, we will likely overshoot any safe stabilization target, and returning to the target is best accomplished with air capture. Air capture does not replace capture at power plants, renewable energy, and energy efficiency; it is simply a complementary technology. Yet to the committee the glass is half empty, because it deems air capture too expensive.

Pessimism colors the report and frames its conclusions. For example, it states that a well-designed device capable of capturing the emissions of an average American would fit into a box with a square meter front and less than a meter depth. Most people own bigger refrigerators and drive much larger cars, suggesting that approaching air capture one-person-at-a-time is not overly daunting. Nonetheless, the committee wrings its hands over the size of a unit capturing the emissions of a big coal plant. Numbers like this can be made to look scary even for well-established technologies. For example, the line of cars and trucks produced in a year would be so long that the last car could not drive to the front of the line before the engine breaks down. Such an analysis helps to visualize the world’s car production, but it has no bearing on its feasibility.

The single and seemingly lethal criticism of the report is that the cost of air capture is and will always be too high. From this perspective, air capture may be a desirable tool, but is unavailable. The conclusion of the report rests on this single cost assessment rather than on first-principle objections. How reliable are such cost estimates, and does it make sense to base R&D policy on them?

Cost estimates of novel technologies have often been wrong. New technologies present moving targets. Costs can drop by orders of magnitude as technology develops. Examples are plentiful, with computer hardware leading the field. The cost of solar panels has dropped almost hundredfold since the 1950s. Efficiency improvements in gas turbines have moved them from a scientific curiosity in the 1930s to a mainstay in power generation and aviation today. Once sulfur emission trading was enacted, sulfur reductions at power plants proved within four years to be ten times cheaper than experts predicted.




http://www.freepatentsonline.com/8246731.html
Systems and methods for extraction of carbon dioxide from air

United States Patent 8246731

Abstract:
The present invention describes methods and systems for extracting, capturing, reducing, storing, sequestering, or disposing of carbon dioxide (CO2), particularly from the air. The CO2 extraction methods and systems involve the use of chemical processes. Methods are also described for extracting and/or capturing CO2 via exposing air containing carbon dioxide to a solution comprising a base—resulting in a basic solution which absorbs carbon dioxide and produces a carbonate solution. The solution is causticized and the temperature is increased to release carbon dioxide, followed by hydration of solid components to regenerate the base.

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:21 PM

4. There's too much profit to be had, why would they listen?

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:25 PM

7. There's too much comfort to be had, why would WE listen? nt

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:34 PM

8. Two words: Twelve Monkeys

Enough people twelve monkeyed so that petroleum fueled exponential pop growth won't matter for a very, very long time.

Or something else that secures a very, very low carrying cap and permanent logarithmic pop growth for humans in perpetuity...permanently. Kaiser Permanente.

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:06 PM

11. Absolutely right. One small example...

we could probably agree that the single quickest way to reduce the most carbon worldwide would be to simply have a universal 50 or 55 mph speed limit.

Maybe there would be some disagreement with that at the edges, but it's a 10-15%ish reduction for transport carbon during a quick transition to zero...emergency legislative sessions...and it's done by the end of the week. The signs go up Saturday. And it gets enforced. Third offense and the highway patrol throws a flare in your front seat.

But if Obama had even whispered that during the second debate, how many people think he would have been re-elected? Even DU would have gone apeshit.

Oh, and where did BP and the Koch Bros. get so much cash?

OK, I'll settle down and put my long-now hat back on. The core, a core, problem is that we've evolved to exquisitely exploit every social, economic, and energy niche since we first started to cook meat. And now we all have to turn on a dime and do just the opposite; consumers have to quit thinking like consumers, bankers have to universally forgive debt, the fleet must return to port, preachers concede that faith isn't enough...the game is over, it's over.

Curiously though, the low carbon/no carbon passions are among those we'll then need the most; teachers can teach, singers can still sing, and philosophers are good as gold.

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Response to Iterate (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:17 PM

12. Low carbon folks are a copascetic crowd.

Out of the box thinkers with a distaste for self-deception are among my favourite sorts of people.

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Response to Iterate (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:18 PM

24. I figure 35mph.

I'd outlaw coal mining first, and eventually all fossil fuels.

I'd reduce the work week to twenty hours, the retirement age to 55, and mandate three month vacations.

Plenty of time to travel the world, even at 35mph. Plenty of time for music, plenty of time for gardening, plenty of time to plant forests and restore wetlands. A life of art, education and leisure for all.

I'd make a great Emperor of Earth.

Vote for Hunter!

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:47 AM

17. Yes, most people would say we can't have an immediate end to all fossil fuel use

It would bring down most governments, make the remaining renewable or nuclear sources worth fighting over, and cause massive famine as world transport ground to a halt. And, of course, in the ensuing chaos, people would start using fossil fuels again.

If you want to be a bit more realistic about a solution, then a world government that enforced carbon limits and enacted a crash programme of developing alternative sources would be much more acceptable to most people. It wouldn't be accepted, of course, but I think most would prefer it to the immediate end of the systems that keep the 7 billion population alive.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #17)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:50 AM

19. I would call such a crash program more of a response than a solution.

It would kick the can down the road, past the terms of office of the politicians , and pass our legacy of extinction on to our grandchildren. What I claim is that it wouldn't "solve" anything.

I'm specifically not promoting voluntary fossil fuel cessation as a reasonable solution - clearly it's not. What I'm trying to point out is that the sort of gradualist approach that would be acceptable to everyone is in fact no solution at all - certainly not with 7 billion humans on the planet burning any significant amount of carbon.

Perhaps we might ask "How little carbon?", "How soon?", and "What would be the probable short, medium and long-term consequences of these choices?"

I now think that burning even 150 GtC (560 GtCO2) over the next 20 years before a complete cessation may be setting ourselves up for a CO2 level of 440 ppm and a +4C global disaster in the medium term. That's 20 years at an average of only three quarters of the rate we're burning today, with no guarantee that the outcome will be survivable for civilization. Anything beyond that courts +6C and eventual extinction due to runaway methane feedbacks.

We are so out of time it hurts.

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 05:28 PM

26. Who? nt

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Response to Deep13 (Reply #26)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 05:42 PM

29. Who what? nt

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #29)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 06:07 PM

31. TPTB. nt

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 05:36 PM

27. the problem is

 

nobody can do that, i must drive 90 miles EVERYDAY to work and back, there is no other option possible for me to get there. Same with everyone else. We all talk shit and say this is what we should do...but nobody actually does anything about it. We don't need laws allowing people to buy there way to polluting...we need to look at this on the human level, which will never happen. I know i can't quit my job and still live so therefore i must use fossil fuels to get to work and back!

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Response to MrDiaz (Reply #27)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 05:43 PM

30. Yes, that's the dilemma isn't it?

We don't do anything because the way we have arranged our affairs leaves us (collectively) no way to get off the carousel.

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 05:40 PM

28. Here are the walls of the carbon box we're in, as I see them

The politicians won't move for fear of losing power; the corporations won't move for fear of losing profits; the people won't move for fear of losing their creature comforts; the cliff of civilization is too high - everyone fears falling off and nobody wants to jump; and there is too much fuel available for the climate (and by extension, us) to tolerate.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #28)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:16 AM

35. That's a succinct (if gloomy) summary

> The politicians won't move for fear of losing power; the corporations won't move for fear
> of losing profits; the people won't move for fear of losing their creature comforts; the cliff
> of civilization is too high - everyone fears falling off and nobody wants to jump; and there
> is too much fuel available for the climate (and by extension, us) to tolerate.




Reminds me of one of those mechanical coin pusher games that you see in seaside arcades ...
They have a barrier that continuously moved backwards & forwards by 6-9" and pushes the coins
towards the edge of the table where, if it is the correct edge, you get the "winnings" - whatever
coins have been displaced by the most recent addition to the layer.

Of course, this leads to addictive behaviour where the player keeps putting in more & more
money in the attempt to land their coins in *just* the right place so as to transfer the force
of the pusher into a jackpot, despite the fact that the physics & mechanics of the system
is set up to retain more of the money than is given "back".

It strikes me that there are a couple of "players" who are trying to accurately target their
aim but the majority are just throwing in their money as randomly as they've always done
in the fond belief that "it will be OK in the end".

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:09 PM

34. Hell the powers that be, blame us, ...

Here is Christine Figueres of the UN, tossing the ball back unto the people. Her statement almost made me puke.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h8SyVBAZNPMB-irNfDPjyO9loavg

Approaching the half-way point of two-week climate talks in Doha, Christiana Figueres, the head of the U.N.'s climate change secretariat, said Friday that she didn't see "much public interest, support, for governments to take on more ambitious and more courageous decisions."

"Each one of us needs to assume responsibility. It's not just about domestic governments," she said.

end

So what the hell is that supposed to mean? That governments aren't feeling motivated to action because 'not much public interest', aka 'support' for government action?

Since when have fascist corporate governments needed public support to do anything?

Here was my reply to that.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1127&pid=29910

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