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climate

Shashin

Well-known member
You could have simply clicked on the link and read the story yourself.

Actually, I read and understand climate science reports and studies. They are not hypothetical either. But this thread is about the science and people interested in it. If you would like to make an anti-climate science thread, I encourage you to do so. I think you would enjoy that more.
 

jdphoto

Well-known member
Why? I guess I get suspicious of that line of questioning. The big greenwashing scheme is to let individual action be the solution. The problem is consumer behavior is simply not enough. Or are you going to judge someone if they don't meet an arbitrary standard to discredit the information?

As far as solar cycles and output, climate models factor that in. That is how we know it is man's contribution that is the issue, not a natural cycle. Given the timeframe in climate mitigation, the historical cycles are not really relevant. They do however, give an insight into the world we are creating--at least to a certain extent: those past climates had a far better functioning ecosystem. The irony today is we are taking one of the most stable periods in climate history and driving it off a cliff. Our civilizations were built on a stable climate.
Like the arbitrary standard that applies to anyone who has a differing opinion?
Consumer behavior (Think globally, act locally) is exactly where to start if enough consumers decide they don't want cheap, throwaway (obsolete) cameras, mobile phones and laptops made with lead, mercury arsenic, bromine and chlorine produced in countries that use slave labor with abhorrent human rights abuses. Or could skeptics be wary of the politicians and activists who fly private jets to award ceremonies proclaiming their climate heroism after emitting more metric tons of Co2 than most small countries? Perhaps a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something might be more invested in climate science if there wasn't so much blatant hypocrisy.
 
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Duff photographer

Active member
Or could skeptics be wary of the politicians and activists who fly private jets to award ceremonies proclaiming their climate heroism after emitting more metric tons of Co2 in a day than most small countries?
I would let Shashin answer this as it was directed at him, but I'm afraid I couldn't resist correcting the above statement. a private jet does not emit more metric tons of CO2 in day than most small countries. This is somewhat of an over-exaggeration, would you not agree?!

The so-called 'carbon footprint' is all about context, and I'll provide a very stark example.

The average human being excretes CO2 all the time. Exhaling CO2 accounts for between 750 and 1000g (1.6 to 2.2lbs) per day (275-365kgs [605-839lbs] per year). Total excretory CO2 is around 370-480kg (815-1055lbs) per year. If we take into account the means necessary to process our food and excretory products then it's around 2.1 tons of CO2 a year as Muñoz, et al (2010) found for the average Spaniard. Individuals and populations vary, so other research whose results appear in peer-reviewed journals have found between nearly half-a-ton to 3.8 tons of CO2 produced per person per year, e.g., Carlsson-Kanyama (1998).

My 4x4 pick-up excretes 167g (5.89 ounces) of CO2 per km. For my pick-up to produce the same amount of CO2 my body produces in a year (at the upper end at least, as I'm quite active), it will have to have travelled 2,875km (c.1,875 miles), and if we take into account the CO2 produced to process the food and excretion (a figure given by Muñoz, et al, 2010) then it's nearly 12,575km (7,810 miles). So the annual CO2 emissions from vehicles (my 4x4 is one of the worse examples) are not much worse than produced by individual human beings just existing, and in many cases will be better. This is an example of CO2 emissions being placed into context.

Finally, the end may justify the means. If a politician has to use a private jet to get to a meeting to agree a treaty and a framework for the reduction of global CO2 emission then it is justified. Just as much as I am when I use my 4x4 across country to travel a mile to get to a field where I am currently planting 300 Oak trees to extend part of a woodland that was felled 50 years ago. Not hypocritical, but a necessary very minor evil to achieve a much greater good.

Those who use the accusation of hypocrisy to taint those who are doing good are blowing it out of proportion and not seeing beyond the shallow-minded clickbait espoused by tabloid newspapers and the unaccountable internet. Such an attitude is never constructive.


References:
Ivan Muñoz, Llorenç Milà i Canals, Amadeo R. Fernández-Alba. 2010. Life cycle assessment of the average Spanish diet including human excretion. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 15: 794–805.
Carlsson-Kanyama A. 1998. Climate change and dietary choices - how can emissions of greenhouse gases from food consumption be reduced? Food Policy 23: 277–293.


Cheers,
Duff.

P.S. The figures I give may be out by a digit or two, but I wanted to avoid unnecessary decimal points. :)
 
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jdphoto

Well-known member
Duff says..."Finally, the end may justify the means. If a politician has to use a private jet to get to a meeting to agree a treaty and a framework for the reduction of global CO2 emission then it is justified."


How convenient. It's not just one politician, it's all politicians and celebrities. Nope, it's still hypocrisy imo. Think globally, act locally.
116 metric tons of Co2 spewed into the air using a private jet by a wealthy "climate envoy" who could easily fly commercial airlines, also includes local flights to attend parties is not who I want representing a country that's second on the list of the largest Co2 emitters.
 
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jdphoto

Well-known member
Politicians at their finest...

"Sources confirmed to the outlet that more than 400 private aircraft would likely carry over 1,000 world leaders, business execs and their staff to the talks.
The Sunday Mail also estimated that these jets will blast 13,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere".
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
The man to the right in this photo is Olav V, King of Norway on his way to go skiing. The photo was taken on 16th December 1973, during the 1973 oil crisis. Although, being the king, he would obviously not have had any problems getting fuel for his car (and he was actually a great car enthusiast), he insisted on taking the tram, in solidarity with ordinary people who had no other choice during the crisis. If only there were more leaders like him...

 

Shashin

Well-known member
Like the arbitrary standard that applies to anyone who has a differing opinion?
Consumer behavior (Think globally, act locally) is exactly where to start if enough consumers decide they don't want cheap, throwaway (obsolete) cameras, mobile phones and laptops made with lead, mercury arsenic, bromine and chlorine produced in countries that use slave labor with abhorrent human rights abuses. Or could skeptics be wary of the politicians and activists who fly private jets to award ceremonies proclaiming their climate heroism after emitting more metric tons of Co2 than most small countries? Perhaps a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something might be more invested in climate science if there wasn't so much blatant hypocrisy.
Because a politician taking one flight is not significant. Yes, our blood boils when we see hypocrisy in others. But it is also meaningless--there are seven billion people in the world.

However, the way we transport goods is significant. Also the way we produce food and energy is a significant problem. Now, the fossil fuel industry would prefer to make it an individual issues, then they don't have to act. As far as solving this by changing individual behavior like purchasing, that is simply unrealistic. We need effective policy to make significant changes. That has always been the case. Without government regulation that hold people accountable, there really cannot be a solution. That is true for climate change, acid rain, species and land preservation, clear air or water, and a host of other environmental issues. Yes, it is important to address public behavior, but that cannot be the primary driver.

As far as opinions, yes, anyone can have an opinion. The logical fallacy would be to say all opinions are equally valid or important. This is why evidence-based policy is so much better than opinion polling. Unfortunately, it is so much easier to create inertia than to effect change. The tobacco industry is a classic example, which is why the fossil fuel industry uses their playbook.

Personally, I am very optimistic that we will cause great harm to this planet. The current mass extinction event will get worse. Huge numbers of people will suffer. We are slowly going to boil like frogs in a pan.
 

4season

Member
Just what sort of planet-saving measures can governments take which don't require some sort of lifestyle changes at the individual level? Many Americans like solutions which involve having shiny new toys, but as soon as you start talking about buying less, and repairing older things, the room gets quiet. And yet, "less" is probably what it needs to be about: Not just electric cars, but fewer cars. Not just renewable sources of energy, but less energy consumption per capita.

If we legislate large sectors of the economy out of existence, what do we do with all of the newly obsolete people whose skills can't be readily utilized for anything else? Any government which creates conditions in which it's citizens cannot prosper, is at risk of becoming an ex-government.

I think one powerful agent of change is not to be underestimated: Cultural change. To some extent, we already see it in younger people who don't prize car-culture like their parents did, and whose hobbies are seemingly picked from the detritus of older generations: Typewriters, blade shaving, phonograph records, cassette tapes, and yes, film cameras. Perhaps someday people will be puzzled that anyone ever wanted to own automobiles, just as I imagine that few readers here have ever dreamed of owning a horse-drawn carriage.
 

Shashin

Well-known member
Just what sort of planet-saving measures can governments take which don't require some sort of lifestyle changes at the individual level?
Well, we could stop methane flaring and leaks at sources of production. We could stop using coal. We could use high-speed rail--look at Japan for a great transportation system where flying is not really the primary form. McDonalds could serve impossible burgers. Since we have basically done nothing, there are a lot of things we can do.

You have made very good points.

Yes, we do need cultural changes. But those have happened. I remember when people were skeptical of on-line shopping because they could not see the item before buying. I remember when people though the idea of personal computing was strange. We switched from horses to cars. These changes in life style happen all the time. People used to litter far more than they do today--government intervention was the cause.

As far as taking care of people, that will need to be done. But government is not regulating the coal industry and they are losing workers. Do you think that market forces the cause unemployment are less common or less problematic than governments planning for these changes? People will need to be retrained and there will need to be replacement jobs--the wind industry employs more people than the coal industry.

And the employee displacement is not a very good argument because it tends to be one sided--we are losing X industry. It never considers the new industries created. When we address acid rain through a cap and trade scheme, not only did it result in lower cost for industry, it created jobs used for the mitigation techniques.

Yes, there are going to be many issues in this problem--I think just ignoring the problem is going to create more problems. This will not be easy--humans have mostly a bad track record of reacting to environmental problems. But we have also made the cultural and social changes needed before. The climate problem can be solved (and we don't have to return to the Stone Age).
 

4season

Member
Well, we could stop methane flaring and leaks at sources of production. We could stop using coal. We could use high-speed rail--look at Japan for a great transportation system where flying is not really the primary form. McDonalds could serve impossible burgers. Since we have basically done nothing, there are a lot of things we can do.
IMO, altruistic actions on the part of one political party can only accomplish so much before it's simply voted out of office, but personal ambition (okay, greed) can be a powerful and enduring force, which appeals to people of all political colors. The trick then becomes, how to make "doing the right thing" good business! Because among the many challenges in getting people to take action without such motivation is that it's very easy for for them simply to accept more extreme weather, fires, water shortages and crop failures as the new normal when these events unfold over a period of many years, and it's not possible to personally experience the world as was more than a lifetime ago.

As for Japan, Japan's craze for bluefin tuna may wind up driving the species to extinction:
https://www.mercurynews.com/2016/04...ation-has-dropped-97-percent-new-report-says/
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
IMO, altruistic actions on the part of one political party can only accomplish so much before it's simply voted out of office, but personal ambition (okay, greed) can be a powerful and enduring force, which appeals to people of all political colors. The trick then becomes, how to make "doing the right thing" good business! Because among the many challenges in getting people to take action without such motivation is that it's very easy for for them simply to accept more extreme weather, fires, water shortages and crop failures as the new normal when these events unfold over a period of many years, and it's not possible to personally experience the world as was more than a lifetime ago.

As for Japan, Japan's craze for bluefin tuna may wind up driving the species to extinction:
https://www.mercurynews.com/2016/04...ation-has-dropped-97-percent-new-report-says/
The situation for Bluefin Tuna is a typical example of where authorities and businesses have to take responsibility. People will buy tuna as long as it's available to buy. The goverment(s) have to get regulations in place that limit the fisheries, and the fishing companies have to follow them. Unfortunately, the Japanese in particular refuse to introduce simple regulations such as no fishing during spawning season and no fishing of juveniles. The situation isn't much better for yellowfin, where other nations are just as much to blame.

One can always dream about "responsible consumers", but as long as billions are spent on marketing of unsustainable products, that doesn't help much. Marketing does work. That's why so much resources are spent on it.
 
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Shashin

Well-known member
IMO, altruistic actions on the part of one political party can only accomplish so much before it's simply voted out of office, but personal ambition (okay, greed) can be a powerful and enduring force, which appeals to people of all political colors. The trick then becomes, how to make "doing the right thing" good business! Because among the many challenges in getting people to take action without such motivation is that it's very easy for for them simply to accept more extreme weather, fires, water shortages and crop failures as the new normal when these events unfold over a period of many years, and it's not possible to personally experience the world as was more than a lifetime ago.

As for Japan, Japan's craze for bluefin tuna may wind up driving the species to extinction:
https://www.mercurynews.com/2016/04...ation-has-dropped-97-percent-new-report-says/
I totally agree with what you are saying. I guess I am an optimist, because there is no point in being anything else--to quote Churchill.
 

jdphoto

Well-known member
Shashin says... "Because a politician taking one flight is not significant".
It's curious that one politician doing it is somehow not significant, but the indulgence shown by all the politicians doesn't matter?
The irony is that the politicians deemed insignificant who are chosen to represent the planets climate change initiatives, chose the mode of transportation and flew over 400 private jets to the climate summit that added thousands of tonnes of Co2 to the atmosphere in favor of convenience over substance. Perhaps the 85 auto motorcade of the US President at the climate summit and its associated carbon footprint should convince others to do their part. One politician is significant and if your waiting for sanctions and meaningful change on climate from your insignificant politicians, I think there's a better chance for another inevitable cyclical ice age to cool the planet.
 
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