Combating climate change is a lost cause. Perhaps focus should shift to adaptation. - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Pollution, global warming, urbanisation etc.
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#15019368
I am pointing out some of my individual thoughts here, so feel free to disagree.

I certainly believe that the climate is changing, and that humans are responsible for it. I think the science on this is also sufficiently thorough.

There is a lot of talk about the need to reverse this trend. Efforts to do so are worthwhile, but I have no optimism that such attempts will be successful.

The reality is things are going to continue as they are. Talk is cheap. We are going to continue to burn fossil fuels, at an increasing rate. The feedback loops like melting ice begetting more ice melting, and of California fires being more intense because of heat and drought, leading to the burning of more and more trees, and hence the release of more and more carbon (hence perpetuating the cycle), is going to continue.

We humans are not going to change.

Again, I don't want to say it isn't worth trying; I don't want to say that changing our ways is not something worth fighting for.

Pragmatically, I don't see us changing our ways. I see us humans continuing to shit in our nest, despite the foreseeable (and already somewhat present) catastrophic results.

So, the scientific predictions of what is coming can (and typically are) used as warnings of how things will be if we don't change.

Perhaps they had ought to be looked at as projections of what is indeed to come, and focus put more heavily on how to adapt to the changes.

It's possible that such a focus could even have mitigating effects. I don't think we can prevent the changing of the climate. We can proactively look for ways that we may successfully adapt. In the process, we may even come up with novel ways of preventing our living spaces from being true toxic waste dumps, which also seems to be the way things are heading.
#15019485
Crantag wrote:
I certainly believe that the climate is changing, and that humans are responsible for it. I think the science on this is also sufficiently thorough.


IF it were "sufficiently thorough," there could not possibly be thousands of scholarly papers, hundreds of books and videos and lectures disputing what you call "sufficiently thorough."

There is a lot of talk about the need to reverse this trend. Efforts to do so are worthwhile, but I have no optimism that such attempts will be successful.


"Efforts are worthwhile" but they will not "be successful." By the way, those "efforts" have already cost trillions of dollars which might have been spent for more worthwhile causes.

Talk is cheap.

Indeed.

I see us humans continuing to shit in our nest, despite the foreseeable (and already somewhat present) catastrophic results.


As in 22,000 Eco-Hypocrites flying to the latest European Climate Change conference....burning hundreds of thousands of that nasty, toxic fossil fuel in the process.....

So, the scientific predictions of what is coming can (and typically are) used as warnings of how things will be if we don't change.


Change is impossible, you say, but let's change anyway. "Talk is cheap."

In the process, we may even come up with novel ways of preventing our living spaces from being true toxic waste dumps, which also seems to be the way things are heading.


Carbon dioxide does not create a "true toxic dump." Not by any stretch of the Eco-Panic.

We can proactively look for ways that we may successfully adapt.


There are permanent stations at the Antarctic. We have ALREADY "successfully adapted." Africans have lived for centuries in the hottest environment on earth. THEY have ALREADY "successfully adapted" with zero technology. Your Darwinian pretensions are fatuous, otherworldly.
#15019625
AFAIK wrote:What are your thoughts on geo-engineering?

Good catch, I thought of it while typing the OP but didn't include it because it wasn't really the particular thing I was talking about.

It may have potential but also may be playing with fire, given humans' technical limitations (side effects and accidents are potentialities). It could well be worth the risk. I also don't really know enough about it.

Palmyrene's comment is also appreciated.
#15019631
I share some of your pessimism. The energy demands of the developing world, where most of the world population lives, are growing rapidly, so it will be a challenge to keep emissions constant in the next few decades. Still, I think we'll manage to avoid a disastrous increase of 5° or more.

Image

As for "geo-engineering", there are technical solutions for CO2 capturing, but to my knowledge they're all more expensive than simply producing less.
#15019637
Rugoz wrote:As for "geo-engineering", there are technical solutions for CO2 capturing, but to my knowledge they're all more expensive than simply producing less.

I guess you mean to be informative here (and hate waste like a good Protestant), but producing more CO2 and then capturing it would fit capitalism perfectly. They could even be done by the same companies.
#15028969
@Crantag It's possible that such a focus could even have mitigating effects. I don't think we can prevent the changing of the climate. We can proactively look for ways that we may successfully adapt. In the process, we may even come up with novel ways of preventing our living spaces from being true toxic waste dumps, which also seems to be the way things are heading.


I pretty much agree with you. I don't think we will take the steps that are necessary to prevent or even seriously reduce the global temperature rise. And I would go on to say that we have yet even begun to understand what we have already done to our oceans.

So mitigation seems to be the reasonable course of action. In some very small way I have just taken steps to do that at home. We harvest rainwater, practice zero water use landscaping (save for a few potted plants) have high R-value walls, solar supplemented power and have just installed a new, oversized efficient HVAC system. We have the space to farm enough to dramatically reduce our need for produce.

Of course I am saving the world one Prius at a time but these kinds of efforts are doable. In Arizona, for example, we are mandating energy efficiencies that are greater than those required by law in less hostile environments.

One encouraging thing that got little play in the news is that California defied the federal government and established its own emission standards. Several automakers have already agreed to them. Of course the Trump administration (in a completely predictable idiotic move) wants to roll back emission standards for cars and light trucks in a move that the automakers do not even want. I am sure his gaggle of profoundly uneducated followers will applaud this but, make no mistake, the automotive industry does not want this.

So the good news is that the largest automotive market in the United States has simply said to automakers, "roll the dice". If we prevail in court against the administration we will ban your cars that do not meet our standards. Go sell them in Pakistan." So the automakers have rapidly agreed. Just last month China implemented "China VI" emission standards for cars and trucks. They are as tough or tougher than the current US standards I am told.

The US has much to apologize to the world for WRT emissions. We ought to be a world leader. We simply decided that it was more important for a few stockholders to make a few more dollars than it is for our children to be able to breathe and maybe even survive. But republicans have proved time and again that they are terrible parents.
#15028972
@Rugoz There might be a way to make iron fertiliser in oceans pay. Let’s say Australia got a pair of old iron ore freighters converted for the purpose, plus a few research vessels to monitor the effects, the resulting carbon credit off sets could be sold to companies on the European market. The profits could go into reforestation in PNG, which sorely needs it after the Malaysians cut down all their trees. Those forests could be sustainably harvested too.

Now it might seem weird for Europe to pay Australia so that Australia can pay PNG, but the overall benefit is avoiding serious disruption of global food supplies due to climate instability. Those costs would far outweigh the costs of EU companies buying carbon offsets from AU.
#15028974
foxdemon wrote:http://www.homepages.ed.ac.uk/shs/Climatechange/Carbon%20sequestration/Martin%20iron.htm
Iron fertilisation of ocean algae would do the trick. No idea how much it would cost.

That is a dangerous plan, as it would increase the oceans' albedo, leading to lower surface temperature, lower evaporation and potential global drought.
#15028976
Drlee wrote:One encouraging thing that got little play in the news is that California defied the federal government and established its own emission standards. Several automakers have already agreed to them. Of course the Trump administration (in a completely predictable idiotic move) wants to roll back emission standards for cars and light trucks in a move that the automakers do not even want. I am sure his gaggle of profoundly uneducated followers will applaud this but, make no mistake, the automotive industry does not want this.


Then it doesn't matter. Rolling back emissions standards in no way forces auto makers to follow that rollback and change from their current standards. I'm not saying this was a smart move by Trump, but the sky's not falling here.

You say the auto makers don't want it, so it would appear as though they're willing to self-regulate to stricter standards...
#15028977
Truth To Power wrote:That is a dangerous plan, as it would increase the oceans' albedo, leading to lower surface temperature, lower evaporation and potential global drought.



It depends on the scale. If everyone did it, we would end up with an ice age.

The solution is to only allow Australia to do it, so it can be controlled. A modest amount of iron fertilisation would gradually sink atmospheric carbon.
#15028981
You say the auto makers don't want it, so it would appear as though they're willing to self-regulate to stricter standards...


In a way, yes. But remember they had to be threatened by California before they did it.

Industry spokesmen said that what they want most is stability. They can build to any standard but it is hard for, say, Ford to build to strict standards while trying to compete with GM.

GM sells far more cars overseas than it sells in the US. China is its biggest market. It is probably in their interest to build cars to strict standards for three reasons:

First, OK, its the right thing to do.

Second, they will comply with strict European, et al, standards so their market expands.

Third, it allows them to push for higher standards which puts pressure on other manufacturers to expensively retool.
#15029074
Rugoz wrote: The energy demands of the developing world, where most of the world population lives, are growing rapidly, so it will be a challenge to keep emissions constant in the next few decades.

I've never been a believer in the establishment's AGW hypothesis. If they really believed that, they never would have made efforts to develop nations like China. Clearly, that made no sense at all.

foxdemon wrote:Iron fertilisation of ocean algae would do the trick. No idea how much it would cost.

Most of the oceans are deserts, and this would probably do a lot to improve fisheries as well.

Drlee wrote:And I would go on to say that we have yet even begun to understand what we have already done to our oceans.

The bigger problem is allowing access to the US market to nations that do not have plastics recycling mandated. Most of the plastics in the ocean come from Asia, and the biggest polluter there is China.

Drlee wrote:One encouraging thing that got little play in the news is that California defied the federal government and established its own emission standards. Several automakers have already agreed to them. Of course the Trump administration (in a completely predictable idiotic move) wants to roll back emission standards for cars and light trucks in a move that the automakers do not even want. I am sure his gaggle of profoundly uneducated followers will applaud this but, make no mistake, the automotive industry does not want this.

Hence, no need for intrusive government regulations. However, during the Clinton administration, CAFE standards were lifted and manufacturers gave us SUV culture. Efficiency is always a good thing, so naturally manufacturers aren't going to deliberately manufacture inefficient cars. One of the nice things about advanced CAD systems is that super-cars--which are inefficient--tend to have in excess of 500bhp these days, and that horsepower increase has made it to smaller more efficient engines.

Drlee wrote:The US has much to apologize to the world for WRT emissions. We ought to be a world leader. We simply decided that it was more important for a few stockholders to make a few more dollars than it is for our children to be able to breathe and maybe even survive. But republicans have proved time and again that they are terrible parents.

The US CO2 output has been falling for decades. CO2 output peaked under George W. Bush in 2007, and has been on a downward slide since. We're at like 1991 levels, and with increased uptake of solar, that trend will continue.

foxdemon wrote:There might be a way to make iron fertiliser in oceans pay. Let’s say Australia got a pair of old iron ore freighters converted for the purpose, plus a few research vessels to monitor the effects, the resulting carbon credit off sets could be sold to companies on the European market.

I would say that they should do a two-fer--basically fertilize the dead zones in the ocean; then, proceed to the garbage patches and give them carbon offsets for every metric ton of plastic they harvest from the ocean.

foxdemon wrote:Now it might seem weird for Europe to pay Australia so that Australia can pay PNG, but the overall benefit is avoiding serious disruption of global food supplies due to climate instability.

Maybe get the Japanese to do it. They empty the seas with their fishing, and what limits the schools--and what fertilization would help--is that fish live off the phytoplankton of which there is very little in the ocean's desert regions.
#15029146
The bigger problem is allowing access to the US market to nations that do not have plastics recycling mandated. Most of the plastics in the ocean come from Asia, and the biggest polluter there is China.


I agree. These should have been part of the Kyoto accords too because the alternative requires a substantial increase in sustainable forestry. And yes. China is by far and away the biggest polluter in the world. It is a major cause of ozone and other pollutants in the US.

The US CO2 output has been falling for decades. CO2 output peaked under George W. Bush in 2007, and has been on a downward slide since. We're at like 1991 levels, and with increased uptake of solar, that trend will continue.


And this is boom times. So Trump decides to take steps to slow our progress rather than increase it and damage the Kyoto accords by taking the second largest polluter in the world out of them. Hardly the conservative position.

Hence, no need for intrusive government regulations. However, during the Clinton administration, CAFE standards were lifted and manufacturers gave us SUV culture.


Yes. But then Clinton was a very conservative president. He was a believer in realpolitik and attempted to interdict the move of conservative democrats (mostly his own Dixiecrats) to Reagan's brand of conservative.

Of course Reagan was not a NEOCON by a long shot. In many ways he was left (by today's standards of liberal/conservative) of Clinton. Tease out the move to universal health care (also supported by Nixon) and you have a hawkish conservative, free market Capitalist in Clinton. Much like his wife.

Efficiency is always a good thing, so naturally manufacturers aren't going to deliberately manufacture inefficient cars. One of the nice things about advanced CAD systems is that super-cars--which are inefficient--tend to have in excess of 500bhp these days, and that horsepower increase has made it to smaller more efficient engines.


Well they do manufacture inefficient cars. Or more correctly, they market inefficient classes of cars. My own small SUV develops over 400 horses and will whisk me to Home Depot faster than just about anything else. And while it is typically Porshe clean it is still more polluting than my other car, a Prius. (No what you have read is not true. Even factoring in the manufacturing process the Prius is far less polluting than non hybrids.)

But it is the popularity of larger and generally more inefficient cars is caused as much by marketing (which is creating consumer demand or maintaining it) the manufacturers are culpable in slowing our progress not responsible for it. Indeed if they were interested in reducing pollution they would be building smaller, more efficient/less polluting cars and spending their marketing dollars promoting them.

But I like my fast SUV and am prepared to pay extra for it if we should decide to go to a pollution tax. (An idea I would support wholeheartedly.

Hence, no need for intrusive government regulations.


I tend to agree with this with one caveat. I might agree that the feds ought to get out of this business and leave it to states. But then this is the paradox that haunts conservatives to this day. Conservatives believe in smaller government (I do too. For example if I were president I would abolish the Department of Education outright.) But they also believe in states rights. So absent national CAFE standards, California, Oregon, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, et all would be free to set the standards wherever they like. As they are generally thought of as more environmentally savvy than, say, Texas and Florida, they could drive the manufacturers to produce cleaner cars or lose the $120 billion in car sales in California alone. (Just as an example.)

And this is why shallow doesn't work BJ. As you well know the manufacturers want CAFE standards and pretty much do not care what they are. All they want is a level playing field. As long as they are reasonably attainable and do not make new cars over-the-top expensive they are fine with them. The real power behind this is the Automobile dealers who fear standards that could significantly contract after market sales. All Trump is doing is a tactic similar to his Wealth Relief Act. This reduction in standards is just his "Trucks for Crackers" play.

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