[Discussion] Climate Change

This thread is just to post interesting news, thoughts, opinions about climate change.

Demyx wrote:
NathanialG wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

We should have been hedging against that all along. Population controls, etc.

That tends to get racist REAL fast.

Indeed. Unfortunately the most ethical way of keeping the population down -- making sure everyone has appropriate sexual education and access to birth control -- is opposed by some of the major world religions.

add allowing women to get an education to that list as well.

Hey! The guy who literally created the universe says that the best way to spread His religion is to outbreed the other ones. Who are we to question that? Do you really think he'd give us a planet we could do anything to break? Come on, brothers, use the brains that God gave you and remember, bottom dollar is best dollar!

(This is what you get when you try to build a modern world using Bronze Age mythology and understanding of the world. If the Bronze Age God is actually our God, then we're pretty screwed, because He really didn't pay attention when He wrote the Book that explains everything Mankind needs to know about the world. And he seems fantastically unconcerned with providing any new guidance (as opposed to the amazing number of miracles He allowed when the world was populated by demons and other Gods and Godesses) Functionally, it's as if He's not there at all. What a coincidence... Seems we will end up dealing with the world as if there is no God in either case...)

Dont worry, Preacher will find Him real quick.

DSGamer wrote:

This is what I meant.

As childfree as I am I know the best I can do is shake my head and give people the tools to have fewer kids if they choose.

As supportive as I am about your choices, I'm not that comfortable with childfree concepts, especially for gene lines that have no other representation. That's from the perspective of me thinking about climate change and the possible extinction of our species. If your siblings have lots of kids, or even just replacement amounts, I'm pretty fine with childfree as a biologist, but if you're both only children, I'd like replacements for you, just so we can keep your genes in the library. We don't know if you have unique genes that may turn out essential for our survival.

Not that I'm about to force you or pressure you. We could always just bank sperm samples, I suppose, with consent.

But fewer children per pair is something I'm solidly behind. No more 8+ person families, please.

I get that. On a purely scientific level. But without setting up a totalitarian state across the globe (which does get really racist and classist) you're stuck with people making individual choices.

In my case both of my brothers are also trending towards childfree. We all had messed up childhoods. So our family tree will die.

I dunno Larry - if I embraced your argument for maintaining genetic diversity to the full, I would be trying to have as many children with as many women as I could.

Seems like you're arguing both sides.

Jonman wrote:

I dunno Larry - if I embraced your argument for maintaining genetic diversity to the full, I would be trying to have as many children with as many women as I could.

re: Larry's replacement idea - there are too many people as is. If everybody just replaced themselves, we'd still have too many people.

We wouldn't need to replace non-unique lines that already have representation - or we could bank the genes against future need.

LarryC wrote:

We wouldn't need to replace non-unique lines that already have representation - or we could bank the genes against future need.

There's 7.5 billion of us. We're probably good on genetic diversity.

Not to mention that, as a species, we've experienced at least one incident where only a couple thousand of us survived and we recovered from that.

Besides the smart guy in that CBS asteroid TV show this week said we just needed 116 people to survive to keep the species alive.

Yeah, well, they'd all better be *really* good together...

Stele wrote:

Besides the smart guy in that CBS asteroid TV show this week said we just needed 116 people to survive to keep the species alive. ;)

Yes, but you need the right 116 people (if they're not all fertile and of the correct gender mix, we're sh*t outta luck) to survive in the right place. If they're scattered about the globe, there ain't gonna be any post-apocalyptic trips to Bonetown, and if they're not in a place where a small community can sustain themselves through subsistence agriculture, again, bye-bye humans.

They don't just have to be all fertile and of the correct gender mix, they also all have to like boning each other, none of them can die, they all have to bone and produce offspring, and the right sequence of population propagation has to happen before it gets stable.

I'm just not very comfortable risking our species dying out because of a bad storm, so a couple thousand won't cut it. In addition, these reproductive and preservation trends and efforts are also very much a sociocultural phenomenon. The Japanese people are already losing arts and parts of their culture simply because there's no one left to carry them on.

We're talking extinction event here. There are 7.8 billion of us now. The problem isn't now. The problem is how now transforms into the future. If our food sources and bodies cannot survive a certain level of biospheric degradation, we could be extinct in a few hundred years.

But have you considered IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/kRUfJfr.gif)?

Couldn't agree more - life does find a way. Unfortunately, for us, that is life not humans

Although when you look at the timeline of the earth humans are actually more of a blip rather than a major feature. Dinosaurs lasted much much longer and even their record is quite small.

Gif is missing an "uh" or two.

Edit. Never mind. See it popping up on the top right now. Fabulous.

I thought folks in this thread may enjoy one of the latest On The Media podcasts discussing climate change through discussions with popular scifi climate disaster authors. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Description from site:

Science fiction has always been an outlet for our greatest anxieties. This week, we delve into how the genre is exploring the reality of climate change. Plus: new words to describe the indescribable.

Link:
Apocalypse, Now

farley3k wrote:

Couldn't agree more - life does find a way. Unfortunately, for us, that is life not humans

Fortunate for the rest of the planet, though. We're a horribly invasive species.

Who let Mr. Smith out?

anyone seen an inconvenient sequel yet?

I'm hesitant to support it as I kind of think al gore should just stay out of it rather than taking carbon fueled jets around the world (ever heard of video chat?) to spread the good word.

Jets are how we get around in the world not sure if there are better ways to travel in today's world (long distance I mean)

krev82 wrote:

I'm hesitant to support it as I kind of think al gore should just stay out of it rather than taking carbon fueled jets around the world (ever heard of video chat?) to spread the good word.

By that same logic he shouldn't have made the either movie to begin with because, as with virtually every human activity, making movies generates carbon.

Gore purchases carbon offsets for his air travel (commercial, not private) and, at his level, video chat doesn't come remotely close to having the same level of impact as him talking to a business executive, world leader, or crowd in person.

I prefer my climate change evangelists to be effective, not monks living off the grid so as to remain morally pure.

As Vox's David Roberts pointed out with similar claims against Leonardo Dicaprio:

Vox wrote:

More recent data has shifted slightly, but we don't need to be all that precise. The world average is around 7 metric tons a year per person. In the US, it's around 20 metric tons.

Let's say that by flying and yachting all over the world, DiCaprio is responsible for 500 times the emissions of the average American — 10,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases a year.

How much is that? Here are some annual greenhouse gas emission figures, in metric tons (years range from 2010 to 2013):

-- Global: 46 billion
-- US: 6.673 billion
-- California: 459.3 million
-- Walmart: 21 million
-- Los Angeles: 18.595 million
-- California film industry: 8.4 million

Even if extravagant by mere mortal standards, DiCaprio's personal emissions are a fart in the wind when it comes to climate change. If he vanished tomorrow, and all his emissions with him, the effect on global temperature, even on US emissions, even on film-industry emissions, would be lost in the noise.

Climate change is extremely large. No single human can directly generate enough emissions to make a dent.

That much should be obvious to anyone dealing with many humans in a service industry. One human may or may not amount to much. What matters is whether they have significance on a population scale. One person with an immeasurably rare cancer is tragic, but not a public health hazard. Patient Zero with a highly communicable and lethal disease is a damn nightmare.

Conversely, any one person reducing their carbon footprint is good, but unlikely to change global trends. A person with a higher carbon footprint might do better if they influence entire populations to change their habits.

OG_slinger wrote:
Vox wrote:

Climate change is extremely large. No single human can directly generate enough emissions to make a dent.

Thank goodness. Finally I can quit trying to make a difference and just do whatever I want!

OG_Slinger wrote:

I prefer my climate change evangelists to be effective, not monks living off the grid so as to remain morally pure.

Al Gore wrote:

My fellow Americans, people all over the world, we need to solve the climate crisis, it's not a political issue, it's a moral issue. We have everything we need to get started, with the possible exception of the will to act, that's a renewable resource, let's renew it.

When you're literally advocating a specific moral stance, I suspect that most people think it's important to lead by moral example. Unfortunately, Gore's example is in the opposite direction - he doesn't just refuse to follow his own moral advice, he flaunts an absurdly energy and carbon-intensive lifestyle. He's probably done more to convince people to dismiss climate issues entirely than any other public figure.

LarryC wrote:

Conversely, any one person reducing their carbon footprint is good, but unlikely to change global trends.

This is both the opposite of what Gore advocates, and exactly the rationalization used by Gore (and everyone else) to avoid taking personal responsibility for their own carbon production.

Hey, if you can inspire everyone you meet to ride a bicycle, I'll happily thank you for jetsetting around the world for the rest of your life meeting everyone on the planet. That's a sound plan.

IMAGE(https://www.peaceproject.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/product/B204_ThinkGloballyActLocally.png)

LarryC wrote:

Hey, if you can inspire everyone you meet to ride a bicycle, I'll happily thank you for jetsetting around the world for the rest of your life meeting everyone on the planet. That's a sound plan.

Yeah, I'm with Larry on this one. If he convinces enough people to lower their footprint, his net effect is pretty good. And, again, commercial flights, not private ones. I'm sure he's doing other things to help offset his footprint like recycling and using degradable containers and what-have-you. And buying carbon credits.

Aetius wrote:

When you're literally advocating a specific moral stance, I suspect that most people think it's important to lead by moral example. Unfortunately, Gore's example is in the opposite direction - he doesn't just refuse to follow his own moral advice, he flaunts an absurdly energy and carbon-intensive lifestyle. He's probably done more to convince people to dismiss climate issues entirely than any other public figure.

He's retrofitted his 90 year-old house (which is also his office and events center) so it meets the toughest energy efficiency standards for new construction.

He specifically buys energy from renewable sources (and pays more for it).

He purchases carbon credits to offset the things he does that have a large carbon footprint, like air travel.

All of those things are walking the walk.

The people who dismiss Gore do so primarily because their political outlook requires them to reject climate change. If people hate government regulation, taxation, etc. they aren't going to embrace a man-made natural disaster that requires more government regulation, taxation, etc. to address it. They're going to deny it exists until the bitter end because it's far, far easier to do that than accept that their political outlook is fundamentally flawed.