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Climate Change

Climate Change
(09-12-2021, 06:33 AM)KevinM1 Wrote:
(09-11-2021, 09:30 PM)mordant Wrote: The best you can do is minimize your debts, minimize your participation in unsustainable practices, and build as much community where you are as possible, so that you have a prayer of having a few allies in a bad situation.

This, right here.

I have a college buddy who's a veteran.  Was literally one of the guys going door-to-door in Iraq.  I'm not sure if he was actually special forces, or did some training and didn't make the cut.  He's mentioned training for it in vague terms, but I'm not about to pry.

He's a good guy.  Smart, has been an atheist for as long as I've known him (20+ years), definitely not one of the "America, fuck yeah!" types.  We've talked about the modern prepper movement in the US, as part of our larger conversations, and we've come to the same conclusions:

It's a power fantasy.  We saw a flavor of it on display on January 6th.  Mediocre 30-60 year old white dudes decked out in tacticool gear playing at being bad asses.  Doesn't mean they're not dangerous.  A mob of idiots with firearms is incredibly dangerous.  But, these people have no idea how to do anything but dream of playing wannabe army man.  There's no answer to "okay, then what?"

The entire thing is a sad, cynical LARP (live action roleplay for the non-nerds out there) by people who feel like they lack power, respect, and/or control over their own lives.  That's why, invariably, they dream about being king of shit hill.  Petty tyrants ruling over a fiefdom of nothing.  Bunkers filled with TP, ammo, and mustard can't be about anything else.

Real prepping involves practical skills.  Can you grow food?  Can you do basic repairs to a vehicle?  Do you know first aid?  Are you CPR certified?  Can you source the medications you may need?  Refrigerate them?  Can you source water and boil it?  Can you find/build shelter?  Blankets?  Can you repair torn/worn clothing?  And, yes, self-defense is necessary in that kind of situation, too.  But it's not more important than the rest.  Your AR-15 is going to do fuck all if you're a diabetic without insulin, or your fingers have frostbite, or you're literally dying from a lack of water, or....

And that's why real prepping requires a community approach.  No one person, or even a family, can do all of that.  Not for long, anyway.  Real prepping is skill-based, not just hoarding resources.

Heh, sorry for the rant.  I get incredibly frustrated by the "fuck you, got mine" mindset.  It's a thought plague, just as real and dangerous as COVID IMO.

Dystopia is horrible. Few people (and many who think they are) are really ready. Have you ever read 'Lucifer's Hammer'? It MAY actually be the most rational sci-fi about almost end-of-world. Well, at least it seems to discuss reality...

I'm not a exactly a "prepper". But I have enough experience in hunting (crossbow) and camping to get by a few weeks. After that, I would seek some organizing communities. I have enough practical skills to be welcome, I suppose (organic gardening, cooking, construction). And from there, we start to rebuild. No one would survive alone. It would take normal human cooperation to get by.
I am tying notes to balloons and tumble-weeds and sending them out to the world. Where they are found, I do not know...
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Climate Change
(09-13-2021, 02:11 AM)mordant Wrote: As I mentioned in a different topic recently, even in an area that's not dominated by maskholes and Trumptards, people can't stand being inconvenienced or constrained or be arsed to maintain discipline during a deadly pandemic; why should we expect them to give up conspicuous consumption in the interest of the survival of humanity more generally, when they won't do it for their own personal safety?

The above is a good point, which I have considered myself.

However, my point was that economics will push us to renewables and sustainability, regardless of climate change, as prices for everything using fossil fuels will rise over decades.  (I could add security concerns to economics as another factor that will push us in that direction.)  And the rising prices and difficulties living the same lifestyles which were afforded by fossil fuels will also push us toward conservation.  We Americans actually waste a lot, so we could enjoy basically the same lifestyles with much less consumption. And of course economics will also pressure people to have less children. So a sudden economic collapse doesn't seem likely to me, at least in the U.S. More likely is a long, slow decline.

Concerning climate change itself, the greedy are the ones who will have the greatest problems adapting (as you said).  But the majority of voters are already adjusting to the facts.  In a way, our unequal society will enable the transition, since more people will be used to doing more with less. My concern is how long it will take for us to transition, since whatever degree of climate change is now inevitable. 

You seem to think the wealthy control our democracy, and many (but not all) are certainly trying to.  But we can see that the political pendulum is already swinging back.  The facts are getting harder and harder to deny.
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Climate Change
The planet is on a 'catastrophic' global warming path, UN report shows

Quote: (CNN)The planet is careening toward warming of 2.7 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels -- far above what scientists say the world should be targeting -- according to a report on global emissions targets by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Scientists have said that the planet needs to slash 45% of its emissions by 2030 to reach carbon neutrality by mid-century. But under current emissions commitments from countries there will be a 16% increase in emissions in 2030 compared to 2010 levels, according to the report.

That would lead the planet to warm to 2.7 degrees above pre-industrial levels, the report says.

Scientists have said global temperatures should remain below 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels to stave off the worse consequences of the climate crisis. A UN report in August showed global temperature is already around 1.2 degrees of warming.

In a statement about today's report, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called the planet's current path "catastrophic."

"This is breaking the promise made six years ago to pursue the 1.5-degree Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement," Guterres said. "Failure to meet this goal will be measured in the massive loss of lives and livelihoods."

The report comes after a summer filled with climate change-fueled extreme weather around the world: While the Western US has been battered by wildfires, worsened by unrelenting drought, flooding events and hurricanes, China and Germany experienced deadly flooding events in July as Southern Europe battled wildfires of its own.

Addressing leaders at the Major Economies Forum on Friday morning, Guterres said that the UN climate conference in November, during which world leaders will meet to discuss emissions targets, has a "high risk of failure."

"It is clear that everyone must assume their responsibilities," Guterres said.
Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.  Deadpan Coffee Drinker
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Climate Change
Not "everybody."

[Image: 1*GWFsvzN8K96fnpWAylvSTA.jpeg]
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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Climate Change
(09-13-2021, 10:20 AM)Alan V Wrote: You seem to think the wealthy control our democracy, and many (but not all) are certainly trying to.  But we can see that the political pendulum is already swinging back.  The facts are getting harder and harder to deny.
Climate change is getting harder and harder to deny, but that does not mean that denial is the sole problem here. When denial stops working, there are other strategies at your disposal, if you do not want to bite the bullet on the environment.

I subscribe to (and occasionally even read!) a newsletter from Forbes and they have been making the point in recent weeks that corporate boardrooms everywhere are abuzz on the topic of climate change and the fact that it must now 'be addressed". The question is what "addressing climate change" means to the majority of them.

It does not just mean putting some solar panels atop the factory. It also means drastic reduction in consumerism / consumption and this is Bad For Business. It might well mean CLOSING some factories. I do not believe that business will abide such notions. Corporatism and consumerism require continuous growth, or, in the absence of that, it will feed upon society to keep itself alive. Stagnation or (gasp!) retrenchment are not concepts it's able and willing to work with.

You need look no further than how business has behaved during a deadly worldwide pandemic that has already cost hundreds of thousands of lives in this country alone. They have pushed to reopen and normalize the economy far too soon. Apart from that, the Biden administration has for example said that the recent dire climate report "does not provide sufficient justification" to deny oil drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico initially approved by the previous administration. I expect these kinds of disconnects will continue to the level that whatever feeble concessions the corporate world makes to the climate crisis will be too little, too late. And even they admit that business alone can't do it all, they need government action. And the government is increasing, rather than decreasing the extraction of fossil fuels and the risk of further environmental damage through accidents -- so ... not a lot of hope there, either.

It may be that piecemeal and insufficient government and private actions on climate will combine with some technological advances (fusion power, solid state batteries and other applications for graphene as it seems to be coming into a commercially feasible form, thus improving adoption of electric vehicles, etc etc) to buy us time and keep us from complete collapse. But on the other hand our supply chain is wobbling in an alarming fashion as we speak and we could experience a domino effect of shortages and business or even crop failures over this very winter. It's a complex system with lots of moving parts and lots of simultaneous change going on, with increasingly extreme weather in the mix and so forth.

Time alone will tell I guess.
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Climate Change
(09-19-2021, 06:12 PM)mordant Wrote: It also means drastic reduction in consumerism / consumption and this is Bad For Business. It might well mean CLOSING some factories. I do not believe that business will abide such notions. Corporatism and consumerism require continuous growth, or, in the absence of that, it will feed upon society to keep itself alive. Stagnation or (gasp!) retrenchment are not concepts it's able and willing to work with.

We don't build many railroads these days.  That used to be big business.  Coal plants are closing or converting because coal isn't so economical anymore.  Wind and solar power are more and more economically competitive.  And so on. Most big businesses are so diversified that they don't necessarily have the kind of vested interests you assume. Remember how the U.S. quickly transitioned to a wartime economy in the 1940s? The same industrial capacities can be applied in different ways.

My point is that while business interests continue to try to expand over time, they often expand into new areas while abandoning old ones.  Those businesses which don't may get left behind as consumer demands change.  People's minds are changing as they become better informed, and they will insist on greener technologies as time passes.

In other words, we have plenty of time for another round of consumerism and growth aimed toward creating a more sustainable economy.  In many ways it's unavoidable as we transition. We need to build up a lot of new infrastructure, people need to buy electric cars, electric appliances, solar panels, and so on.  So don't discount the abilities of capitalism to counter the problems it has created.  Not yet anyway.

But yes, our values will have to change as well, and soon.
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Climate Change
Actually, it is probably too late to reverse the impact of climate change.  

Enjoy the ride because you can't get off the boat... and we aren't going to fucking Mars, either.

I'm glad I don't have grandchildren.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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Climate Change
(09-19-2021, 07:16 PM)Minimalist Wrote: Actually, it is probably too late to reverse the impact of climate change.  

Enjoy the ride because you can't get off the boat... and we aren't going to fucking Mars, either.

I'm glad I don't have grandchildren.

I'm glad we don't have children or grandchildren, so we didn't contribute to over-population which is a part of the problem.

More accurately, it's too late to stop some of the impacts of climate change, but not others.

However, there are still a lot of uncertainties involved.  We could still create widescale carbon capture and sequestration industries for instance, to help bring the problem back under control.

Most likely, we will be living with some of the impacts of climate change for centuries, though we still have a chance to prevent the very worst of them.
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Climate Change
I figure I've got 15 years to go if I'm lucky.

"Après moi, le déluge"
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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Climate Change
We were warned 50 years ago

There is no going back
 All I know is that I know nothing
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Climate Change
We have often been warned of impending doom, but we usually manage to get out of it. Remember the Ozone Hole?

It will be harsh when we finally (collectively and politically) acknowledge Climate Change. There will have to be massive alternate energy projects that would have been cheaper and more effective done years ago. We will have years of restricted energy usage, probably.

But there is also invention. Think of what LEDs have done. Solar panels get cheaper and more efficient. And battery technology is advancing. We may JUST get past this problem. When push comes to shove, we have a habit of solving problems.

But yeah, I'm glad I not one of my neices who will be there for the solutions... It could get ugly for a generation or 2.
I am tying notes to balloons and tumble-weeds and sending them out to the world. Where they are found, I do not know...
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Climate Change
The one solution that may work is a drastic reduction in human beings . maybe a 90% would work . And it won't be voluntary. A heavy duty pandemic with a constantly mutating virus .
 All I know is that I know nothing
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Climate Change
(09-20-2021, 03:57 AM)Cavebear Wrote: We have often been warned of impending doom, but we usually manage to get out of it.  Remember the Ozone Hole?  

It will be harsh when we finally (collectively and politically) acknowledge Climate Change.  There will have to be massive alternate energy projects that would have been cheaper and more effective done years ago.  We will have years of restricted energy usage, probably.

But there is also invention.  Think of what LEDs have done.  Solar panels get cheaper and more efficient.  And battery technology is advancing.  We may JUST get past this problem.  When push comes to shove, we have a habit of solving problems.  

But yeah, I'm glad I not one of my neices who will be there for the solutions...  It could get ugly for a generation or 2.

I used to be hopeful like you are, but the pandemic has made me pretty cynical. We have an actively spreading, incredibly deadly illness circulating and people won't wear masks, let alone get vaccinated. These same people are going to be the ones holding us back from doing anything real about climate change until it's too late. I mean... they're already the reason why it's gotten this bad. It's going to take something incredibly drastic to make any of them change their minds.

I feel bad for my niece and nephew. They're 8 and 9 respectively. It's likely that this, today is the best version of the world they're going to live in.
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Climate Change
(09-20-2021, 06:25 PM)KevinM1 Wrote:
(09-20-2021, 03:57 AM)Cavebear Wrote: We have often been warned of impending doom, but we usually manage to get out of it.  Remember the Ozone Hole?  

It will be harsh when we finally (collectively and politically) acknowledge Climate Change.  There will have to be massive alternate energy projects that would have been cheaper and more effective done years ago.  We will have years of restricted energy usage, probably.

But there is also invention.  Think of what LEDs have done.  Solar panels get cheaper and more efficient.  And battery technology is advancing.  We may JUST get past this problem.  When push comes to shove, we have a habit of solving problems.  

But yeah, I'm glad I not one of my neices who will be there for the solutions...  It could get ugly for a generation or 2.

I used to be hopeful like you are, but the pandemic has made me pretty cynical.  We have an actively spreading, incredibly deadly illness circulating and people won't wear masks, let alone get vaccinated.  These same people are going to be the ones holding us back from doing anything real about climate change until it's too late.  I mean... they're already the reason why it's gotten this bad.  It's going to take something incredibly drastic to make any of them change their minds.

I feel bad for my niece and nephew.  They're 8 and 9 respectively.  It's likely that this, today is the best version of the world they're going to live in.

To be perfectly honest, the world I grew up in -- and was 8 or 9 in -- was my best world, too, and I'm in my mid sixties now. It has been a pretty steady downward slope since then. It is just that much of it was semi-ignorable and I didn't recognize the scope of how bad it really was until maybe the past decade. For today's 8 year olds, though, it will be unmistakable. I already regard much of the country as a dystopian hellscape that would be dangerous to traverse. My daughter and her family are seriously thinking of moving up my way, not so much because of me as because I live in one of the most environmentally safe places in the country: geologically stable, pretty good fresh water supply, no wildfires, few droughts, out of Tornado Alley and far enough inland that even major hurricanes have (until now at least) been little more than ordinary rainstorms.

In the meantime I have to drive 600 miles though redneck country to get to her and the grandkids in the middle of a pandemic, so ... no, thanks. 

My wife's extended family lives in the greater San Francisco / Sacramento areas and she wants to visit dear old Dad one last time, before he either dies or his house finally burns down. Alas, by the time either of us feels safe flying, or wants to make the six-plus day round trip by car, one of those things probably WILL happen.
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