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Old 09-23-2019, 04:55 PM
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'Global leaders are to blame'...a(nother) discussion about climate change


So, I'm sure everyone has heard or read about Greta Thunberg, blasting 'global leaders' and telling them that they are to blame for the lack of progress on climate change. Here is a CNN article on it, though if you don't like them here is the BBC one.

Some quotes from the CNN article:

Quote:
(CNN)Greta Thunberg doesn't mince words. Not even when addressing the world's most powerful people.

"We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth," the Swedish climate activist told the United Nations General Assembly on Monday. "How dare you?"

Speaking during the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, the 16-year was visibly frustrated with her audience and at times appeared to be holding back tears of anger.
From the BBC:

Quote:
"You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words," she told a UN climate summit in New York.
To me, this is the crux of what I want to discuss/debate (back to the CNN article):

Quote:
Thunberg's message to the leaders was clear. Like many times in the past, she accused them of not doing enough to mitigate climate change. "For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear, how dare do you continue to look away?"
So, for debate let's start off with...do you agree? HAVE the global leaders stolen her childhood and her dreams? Has the global leadership failed to do what they could to mitigate climate change? Is it their fault that we are where we are?

To head off the poster(s) who always seems to start off in these debates by coyly asking the OP what s/he thinks (and then never really answers the OP but uses that as a spring board to just attack said OP), I'll say...no, I don't think her childhood has been stolen. Not sure about her dreams, of course. Can't speak to that. But IMHO she hit the birth lottery. Born in a 1st world country, in the golden age of our species, she has benefited from fossil fuels in every aspect of her life. There is no aspect of her stolen life that hasn't benefited hugely from humanities use of fossil fuels for the last 150 years. Were she a very poor person living in a 3rd world country threatened by rising sea levels and the ramping up impact due to human caused climate change, THEN she'd have a case for the outrage and tears. Of course, then she wouldn't have access to all of the things that allowed her to step on the world stage in all her outrage. The very things that she decries are what let her do what she's done...hell, to even really be connected and know about them, let alone to have her voice heard.

So, has the global leadership failed her and everyone else in mitigating global climate change? I'd say...sort of, but not in the way she means. I think, especially in Europe, they HAVE tried, to the extent possible (and perhaps even more than they should have) to do so, despite the cost to their own economies and their own people. Prices for energy are high in much of Europe BECAUSE they have done so much to try and mitigate the issue. But the failing, IMHO, of the 'global leadership' has been in pushing for solar and wind, and either ignoring or actively pushing against nuclear energy. 30 years ago, this was the only REAL, viable option. Even today, I think it is, but 30 years ago? What else was there? Electric cars are only just recently becoming really viable...and they STILL aren't quite there yet, though they are certainly closing the gap. Give it another 10 or maybe 20 years and they will be there. But they certainly weren't 30 years ago. So, I'm unsure what she thinks the 'global leadership' COULD have actually done that they didn't do 30 years ago.

To me, this is a naked appeal to emotion with this girl. With a lot of underlying left wing talking points tossed in (not quite as much as the New Green Deal(tm)). IMHO of course. It's especially galling, to me, that a privileged white girl from Sweden is the poster child and given such a platform. It underscores, to me, the growing hysteria about global climate change being the apocalypse (now), the end of all civilization and perhaps the species. I've seen this build up on this board in these threads. Maybe it will be...but that isn't a sure thing by any stretch. It's also just wrong that 'global leadership' has done nothing to try and mitigate this for the last 30 years.

Even in the US this isn't the case. Hell, even in China it's not (I'd be willing to concede that in Russia...yeah, they really haven't done much and have even talked about the supposed benefits, to Russia, of climate change)...not completely, though I think their focus isn't on climate chance so much as other environmental issues. Simply put, however, we CAN'T...CAN NOT...just wave this issue away. There isn't some silver bullet fix for this in the real world. We can't stop using fossil fuels, or even seriously cut them back...not yet. We are moving towards stuff that COULD seriously take a bite out of it. Electric cars, solar and wind coupled with some sort of energy storage system, even just moving from coal to natural gas will help. Nuclear COULD have been something that 'global leaders' could have and should have pushed for 30 years ago, but, realistically, no...they couldn't. Because at the time, and certainly today, there is huge public push back on it.

Anyway, thoughts? Do you think that the global leadership has failed on mitigation strategies for the last 30 years? If so, what do you think they should have done? Do you think that Greta is a good poster child for this issue? Were you emotionally engaged by her tearful appeal and castigation of the world leadership?
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Last edited by XT; 09-23-2019 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:01 PM
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It's pretty obvious that most world leaders could have done more to mitigate climate change. There are even things they could have done that wouldn't have promptly resulted in them being deposed. And if they were willing to flirt with being deposed they could probably have done even more, possibly with dire effects on various industries.

It really comes down to how many eggs you want to break while making your omelette. Had I had strong emotions as a sixteen year old, I probably would have been willing to break a lot of eggs.
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
It's pretty obvious that most world leaders could have done more to mitigate climate change. There are even things they could have done that wouldn't have promptly resulted in them being deposed. And if they were willing to flirt with being deposed they could probably have done even more, possibly with dire effects on various industries.

It really comes down to how many eggs you want to break while making your omelette. Had I had strong emotions as a sixteen year old, I probably would have been willing to break a lot of eggs.
Can you name some? I mean, realistic things they could do without being in complete control of their countries from a President for Life Xi or President By Huge Margin Putin perspective? To me, the real issue is that they really can't just do anything they want...and, frankly, the public is the reason. All those rights and say and all. I mean, with what they have done there is some indication that the public is starting to balk in several countries. Even in Europe, let alone in the US where you have so many who out and out deny that there is even an issue or that human emissions are to blame.
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by XT View Post
Can you name some? I mean, realistic things they could do without being in complete control of their countries from a President for Life Xi or President By Huge Margin Putin perspective? To me, the real issue is that they really can't just do anything they want...and, frankly, the public is the reason. All those rights and say and all. I mean, with what they have done there is some indication that the public is starting to balk in several countries. Even in Europe, let alone in the US where you have so many who out and out deny that there is even an issue or that human emissions are to blame.
The one that lunges to mind is building nuclear reactors. Like, all over the place. In your backyard! Then decommission coal power plants, followed by natural gas.

Next, on the "get thrown out" side, take a long hard look at the beef industry, and see how well they could get along without things like "cows".

Tax the living hell out of gasoline, and put the money towards electric car research. It's not like the concept of an electric car is new - the first one was built in the early 1800s.

If you happen to be leading one of those countries where they're burning down the rainforest for farmland, send out the army.

Stuff like that.
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:31 PM
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In a certain sense, it's the voters and people to blame, not the leaders. The voters would vote against any sweeping climate-change legislation that would hurt their pocketbooks badly. And in a place like China, which emits vast quantities of carbon, the very legitimacy of the Communist Party depends on economic growth and the affluence of the people. Beijing couldn't sign off of anything that reduces carbon meaningfully but inflicts major harm on its economy. The people won't allow it.
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
The one that lunges to mind is building nuclear reactors. Like, all over the place. In your backyard! Then decommission coal power plants, followed by natural gas.

Next, on the "get thrown out" side, take a long hard look at the beef industry, and see how well they could get along without things like "cows".

Tax the living hell out of gasoline, and put the money towards electric car research. It's not like the concept of an electric car is new - the first one was built in the early 1800s.

If you happen to be leading one of those countries where they're burning down the rainforest for farmland, send out the army.

Stuff like that.
I totally agree with you. All of those would help (well, not sure about the electric car one wrt 30 years ago). But I don't think that 'global leaders' COULD have just done those by fiat, and they would have gotten a lot of push back over trying. Certainly, some countries can and have. France, for instance, basically just told it's public they WOULD have nuclear, so shut up and cope. And Europe, as a whole, HAS done really good with taxing the crap out of gasoline, FWIW. But globally and on a macro scale, you just couldn't do any of those. The US was not going to build a ton of nuclear plants, even though it would be a huge benefit, especially now, today, towards global CO2 emissions. We aren't doing it NOW, when a large percentage of the population knows more about climate change than they did 30 years ago and you have real inroads on public opinion. If we can't do it today, there is no way we could have done it in the past. Same goes for the rest. Meat, especially, is going to be tough, as is just convincing the nations in the Amazon that, perhaps it's not such a great idea to burn the place down.
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
So, for debate let's start off with...do you agree? HAVE the global leaders stolen her childhood and her dreams? Has the global leadership failed to do what they could to mitigate climate change? Is it their fault that we are where we are?
Thoughts you ask? OK. Under Trump, the US is quickly losing it's global leadership role. That's troubling. I think that comiting to a cause such as climate change, could do wonders for the world in many ways. Cooperation, common goals and a better life for all is quite a motivator IMHO.

It doesn't mean you (or I) can't have your pick up truck. It means making everything better. From better insulation to solar power. It's not going to happen overnight, but we need to move in the right direction.

Perhaps we need more people like Greta. Yes, a little over the top perhaps, we have all had those moments. Are we in dire trouble? Not sure. But things look bad. Working to make the world a better place be it pollution or race relations or whatever should be applauded.

We have been taking action since Nixon and the EPA. It is being turned back. Do you remember the 70's? A hell of a lot of progress has been made in only 50 years.

And now Trump wants to turn the clock back They only reason I can see is because it would roll back Obama administration policy. Yes, he is that small of a man.

The Trump admin claims this will make cars safer. This is what I would like explained.

They also say it will make them cheaper. More fuel burned brings up the price of gas on your car that gets less gas mileage. But such is Trumps understanding of economics.

Car companies aren't going to re-tool and turn back the clock to make less efficient cars. He wants to sue them and CA for that.

We now have the most reliable, safest, fuel efficient and yes more bang for the buck under the hood as well as better handling cars we have ever had.

Gretta's childhood has been stolen because a 9 year old should have to worry about this stuff.
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
In a certain sense, it's the voters and people to blame, not the leaders. The voters would vote against any sweeping climate-change legislation that would hurt their pocketbooks badly. And in a place like China, which emits vast quantities of carbon, the very legitimacy of the Communist Party depends on economic growth and the affluence of the people. Beijing couldn't sign off of anything that reduces carbon meaningfully but inflicts major harm on its economy. The people won't allow it.
I just disagree with the last part...sort of. Beijing (i.e. the CCP and, more specifically Xi and his faction) COULD do it. They won't, of course, because it would be cutting their economic throat, and certainly part of their concern would be with their own public. They can, of course, push their public around quite a bit...but there are limits, and I think that this would cross a huge line for them (as would telling their people they can't eat meat...man, I can just imagine the reaction to THAT being handed down by fiat from the CCP ). But overall...yeah. We, the public, are to blame. But, realistically, it's difficult to blame the public as I don't see a lot that could be viably done that wouldn't be a huge, even cataclysmic disruption. This isn't just about rich fat cats and corporations. It's about reality and the actual impact of fossil fuels on our civilization, and the continuation of said civilization. Viable options are just starting to become available (aside from the already mentioned nuclear...which isn't actually viable from a political perspective). They MIGHT be ready for prime time in the next 10 years, on the sorts of scales we are talking about. If our leadership TODAY pushes hard. Energy storage solutions have been tested, but they just aren't ready to scale up to the task to make wind and solar complete systems. Electric cars are just now starting to cross over to becoming viable mainstream products that every day folks could and would chose instead of ICE fossil fuel burners. In another 10 or 20 years we'll even have some depth wrt a secondary market for used ones, I think, especially since from what I've seen the battery life for the new cars stays viable for a lot longer, as well as coming down in price. But those are things that we have BECAUSE there has been a push, especially in at least some of the 'world leadership' for this stuff. Corporations are on board BECAUSE of things like government subsidies or tax breaks or other incentives to buy them. It's one of the major reasons why solar has become so cheap. The trouble is, we pushed for wind and solar without the other things we need to make them viable systems when the sun isn't shining or the wind isn't blowing. So, we are still on the hook for having to use fossil fuels until we fix that gap because nuclear really is a fading thing, we have mainly used up the hydro areas, and geothermal is also limited in where it can be used.
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
In a certain sense, it's the voters and people to blame, not the leaders. The voters would vote against any sweeping climate-change legislation that would hurt their pocketbooks badly. And in a place like China, which emits vast quantities of carbon, the very legitimacy of the Communist Party depends on economic growth and the affluence of the people. Beijing couldn't sign off of anything that reduces carbon meaningfully but inflicts major harm on its economy. The people won't allow it.
Yup. Its really our fault. THe biggest polluters (other than China) are all democracies.

I've seen polls how the majority of people support action on climate change, unless it costs them money. Then they don't.

It wouldn't even cost 'that' much money to address climate change. If the US government devoted 1/2 of 1% of GDP to public funds to combat it, that is $100 billion a year. That money in the form of subsidies, R&D, tax credits, etc. would probably lead to an additional $200+ billion in private spending a year.
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:33 PM
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I'm not too well informed about climate change or energy conservation, despite being a young-ish person. So I guess I'm part of the problem. It probably reflects poorly on me that I consider climate change and energy conservation to be in the same category. I don't even know if the major contributors (to either problem) are individual or industrial - although I suspect it is agricultural.

When I was her age (six years ago) there was talk that Florida will be underwater before my hair turned grey. I still don't know what to think about that, but we already turn off all the lights and machines lest mosquitoes descend upon our home. They don't bite, but if I leave one (1) light on they will pile up against the door and windows in such force as to suffocate themselves to death and coat the porch in about a centimeter of dead mosquito. And it's so hot here that I usually leave the water all the way cool - about 72 degrees from the mains. I reuse grocery bags if I buy enough groceries to need a bag. Driving individual cars isn't optional because I don't live in a big city and work is about fifteen miles away, and my car is older than I am because... money. We have a mix of LED and fluorescent lightbulbs and I think three incandescent lamps that are never used anyways.

But at the local level nobody cares about global warming or ecological issues except for the citizens who want their local lake purged of algae. We don't have heavy industry or agriculture in my area... except maybe sand and orange exports. Even the citrus groves are a rare sight compared to my childhood.

And so in school, the extent of my learning about the ecology was limited to testing water quality. I don't think Sweden has too much of a say in the global climate anyways. I think the politics are far too intertwined with the economics and public opinion for activists to effect change through scientific argument. Ironically, I think she would make a bigger impact by making guest appearances at schools - if waiting two generations results in irreparable harm, then in my opinion the harm is already unavoidable. The only significant changes I see happening in the near-future are inadequate reactions to direct and tragic events.

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Old 09-23-2019, 06:53 PM
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So, for debate let's start off with...do you agree? HAVE the global leaders stolen her childhood and her dreams? ...
No. She's a rich girl, and now famous too. She'll almost certainly live a fine life and have very little to complain about (which probably won't keep her from complaining about every imagined slight / offense).

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... To me, this is a naked appeal to emotion with this girl. With a lot of underlying left wing talking points tossed in (not quite as much as the New Green Deal(tm)). IMHO of course. ...
I agree. I'd call it 'climate theater'. It was a bit of performance art, and I didn't find it the least bit convincing.

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Originally Posted by XT View Post
... It's especially galling, to me, that a privileged white girl from Sweden is the poster child and given such a platform. ...
When I heard she would be speaking to the UN, I wondered how many 16-year-old girls have addressed the UN. Is this a common thing? Has it ever happened before?

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Originally Posted by XT View Post
... It underscores, to me, the growing hysteria about global climate change being the apocalypse (now), the end of all civilization and perhaps the species. I've seen this build up on this board in these threads. ...
"Hysteria" is a good word for it. Kind of reminds me of this story:

Quote:
Originally Posted by "Zach, hysterical DNC staffer
You and your friends will die of old age and Iím going to die from climate change. You and your friends let this happen, which is going to cut 40 years off my life expectancy.
Wrong.
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:20 PM
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When I heard she would be speaking to the UN, I wondered how many 16-year-old girls have addressed the UN. Is this a common thing? Has it ever happened before?
Malala Yousafzai appeared before the United Nations on her sixteenth birthday, July 12, 2013. She had long been a voice for girls in the Swat District of Pakistan through the BBC, and the Taliban shot her in the head in 2012. She would go on to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 at age 17.

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Old 09-23-2019, 07:23 PM
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Good responses so far...appreciate it. Thought I'd get a lot more heat, to be honest.

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Originally Posted by enipla
Thoughts you ask? OK. Under Trump, the US is quickly losing it's global leadership role. That's troubling. I think that comiting to a cause such as climate change, could do wonders for the world in many ways. Cooperation, common goals and a better life for all is quite a motivator IMHO.
I agree...Trump has done a lot of bad things wrt the environment. Hell, he's actually fighting AGAINST the market wrt coal. I'm not sure why America has to be the leader on all this stuff. Well...ok, I DO know why we need to, but I'm not sure it's our job too. We are actually doing quite a bit already wrt pushing and developing technology.

Here's the thing about Trump, though. He's only been in office for 3 years. I know it SEEMS like 3 decades, which is what the OP is talking about as that was the figure used, but it's really only 3 years. So, this issue, assuming it is one, has been on going for quite a while. In addition, despite what seems to be popular wisdom, Trump doesn't work in a vacuum. He actually did win the presidency by getting more folks in the right states with the right number of EC votes to vote for him. And he's got quite a following on climate issues. Unlike his Chinese or Russian counter parts, he IS actually answerable to the electorate, and he's not above the law, despite threads arguing he is.

Quote:
It doesn't mean you (or I) can't have your pick up truck. It means making everything better. From better insulation to solar power. It's not going to happen overnight, but we need to move in the right direction.
I agree. Hell, I'll go one better...I think we already are, despite Trump et al. The market is already shifting, and not just in the US (or mainly in the US). It's shifting world wide. It actually makes economic sense to go green, as in some cases it actually saves money in the medium term. I think electric cars are going to be an increasing thing...and this, AFTER the subsidies are gone. Just become of the huge investment by industry in the technology, as well as acceptance by the public. Solar and wind are already here. Solar, especially, is going like gang busters. The problem is that a lot of the early solar push was done by the government, and they didn't think through the implications...especially the implications of doing that at the same time you are trying to cut out fossil fuels like coal AND get rid of nuclear. That's the problem with government mandated solutions, they are top down and don't really take all the implications and ramifications into account. The people deciding or making the unilateral decision on what is 'the right direction' don't always have all the information or understanding/knowledge. They have feelings, emotions and energy. It's why command economies do so poorly.

Quote:
Perhaps we need more people like Greta. Yes, a little over the top perhaps, we have all had those moments. Are we in dire trouble? Not sure. But things look bad. Working to make the world a better place be it pollution or race relations or whatever should be applauded.
Totally disagree, though I don't disagree that she should speak her mind. Perhaps not to the UN and 'world leaders', however. But what we REALLY need (beside someone to make the public understand that after 30 years of propaganda, nuclear really isn't as dangerous as they have been lead to believe) is engineers and scientists to make some modest break throughs in energy storage, AI and lossless (or at least less loss) energy transport systems. And I think we have that. It's happening.

The real issue is, we are going to have to suck it up for a few decades or centuries because it will get a lot worse before it gets better. Maybe some Asimov tech will come along that allows us to seriously reverse green house gasses that are already in the atmosphere and roll that back, but that's a big maybe. But what we need is to face that, instead of telling folks it's the end of the world and everyone is going to die or civilization is going to end due to climate change. It WILL be bad. But it won't be as bad as, apparently, the kids today are being told it would. We aren't going to, tomorrow, stop using fossil fuels. We are already moving towards a greener energy system (well, most of us are), and greener transport system...but these things are going to, realistically, take time to propagate. I don't think that 'world leaders' CAN do much more. We can't force China (or the US or Russia) to drastically cut their CO2 emissions in the short term. We can't force Germany to stop decommissioning their nuclear plants and replacing them with coal because of the short term issues. It's not possible to do. It won't happen. No matter how much wishful thinking, or how many impassioned 16 year olds berate the UN, it's not possible without disruptions that WOULD really crush this young girls hopes and dreams, as well as her future. So, we need to suck it up.

Doesn't mean there isn't anything we can do. We can and should push. Push for energy storage solutions. Subsides that to a great extent and see the market solutions pour in, just like they did with wind and solar and all EVs. I doubt, at this late date, that nuclear is possible, unless there is some sort of major breakthrough, which is unfortunate. We COULD be in a really good place today, with wind and solar on stream and nuclear there for peak and baseline load. But we aren't, and we aren't going to be, so we need to work with what we have. Part of that is accepting that we ARE doing things about this, and we ARE making an effort, and we HAVE come a long way. And that we are still going to have some bad times ahead, that we need to prepare ourselves for, economically as well as politically and from an emergency response perspective. But telling the kids they have no future, and all is lost if we don't do all this drastic, unrealistic stuff? No, I don't think we need that. YMMV of course.

Quote:
Gretta's childhood has been stolen because a 9 year old should have to worry about this stuff.
You know, this is actually a bit offensive, coming from my perspective. Why shouldn't she have to worry about this stuff at 9, or 16? you realize that, at those ages, the majority of humans DO have to worry about stuff all the time, including both the weather and the climate...right? When I was a kid, I had to worry about a LOT of things that Gretta doesn't. And my folks were a LOT worse off. And we were the lucky ones, the ones who got to come to the US so that our kids wouldn't have to worry (as much) about stuff. But my childhood wasn't stolen because I had to worry about shit...and neither is hers. She will live a live that a lot of humans can't even dream about. And, frankly, that's BECAUSE of the two edged sword that is fossil fuels. The other side of the coin is, fossil fuels and their use has brought more folks out of poverty and helped our civilization more than anything else in our history. At the same time, it's ALSO become a serious issue that we now need to fix. And, I think we already are.

More can be done, no doubt. But we are and have been doing as much as, IMHO, could be done without a totalitarian government driving it. And even WITH a complete Chinese or North Korean totalitarian system I don't think we could do that much more, as people just aren't going to go along. It's not 'world leaders'...it's us. All of us. And changing the perceptions of not only Americans, not only Europeans, but all humans is just not something that you can do in a year...or even a decade. Or even 3. Not to an extent more than we already have. At least, again, not IMHO.
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:24 PM
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I donít think her childhood or dreams were stolen. I also donít see any human led solution to climate change. We are biological and have a preference to the survival and prosperity of our families and tribe/nation as opposed to self sacrifice for the globe. Even a critical mass of altruistic folks will in time be replaced.

There are policies that could make a difference but at the expense of deliberate, strategic self-handicapping what nation can afford to unilaterally make enact them?
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:26 PM
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In a democracy, we are the leaders. We're to blame.

HurricaneDitka, how many millions of lives lost does it take before it stops being "hysteria"? How many trillions of dollars of damage?
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:33 PM
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Malala Yousafzai appeared before the United Nations on her sixteenth birthday, July 12, 2013. She had long been a voice for girls in the Swat District of Pakistan through the BBC, and the Taliban shot her in the head in 2012. She would go on to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 at age 17.

~Max
Now THAT is a time when a 16 year old's voice needed and should be heard, and it was the right message. Sadly, I don't think it's really helped that much wrt the Taliban and their various depredations, but it is something that the UN needed to hear about.

I don't have an issue with a 16 year old person giving an impassioned speech to the UN assembly. I don't think this was the right message by the right person at this time, but I freely concede that MMV. Some may be totally inspired by the message and the messenger as well as the delivery. I wasn't, but I'm...odd. So, grain of salt.
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  #17  
Old 09-23-2019, 07:36 PM
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I don’t think her childhood or dreams were stolen. I also don’t see any human led solution to climate change. We are biological and have a preference to the survival and prosperity of our families and tribe/nation as opposed to self sacrifice for the globe. Even a critical mass of altruistic folks will in time be replaced.

There are policies that could make a difference but at the expense of deliberate, strategic self-handicapping what nation can afford to unilaterally make enact them?
One overall argument that I see that is flawed: assuming that other nations that do not answer to their people will not do much about this issue. It misses the point that they also love their children too; and if not that, the coming unrest as a result of not doing the proper thing by less democratic nations is bound to lead to the end of their governments.

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Old 09-23-2019, 07:39 PM
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One overall argument that I see that is flawed: assuming that other nations that do not answer to their people will not do much about this issue. It misses the point that they also love their children too; and if not that, the coming unrest as a result of not doing the proper thing by less democratic nations is bound to lead to the end of their governments.
This is a really good point. We can actually look at China and what they are actually doing (as opposed to what they SAY they are doing) wrt the environment as a good example of this. They are a totalitarian government. Yet, that same government does see the climate disaster they are in, and is actually taking steps to fix some of the systemic issues they are having with water and food quality, as well as of course air quality.
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:43 PM
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Gretta's childhood has been stolen because a 9 year old should have to worry about this stuff.
I don't mean to offend with my ignorance, but it was my understanding that Ms. Thunberg has Asperger's Syndrome, and that this - not the issue itself - contributes to her unusual and singular focus on climate change as compared with other children. I think it's a good thing for her to be an activist if it makes her and her family happy, but I don't know for sure if she can enjoy a "normal childhood" without pursuing such advocacy.

I am way out of my area of expertise to talk about autism so please do let me know if I have it all wrong.

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  #20  
Old 09-23-2019, 09:11 PM
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In a democracy, we are the leaders. We're to blame.
Aye.

Leaders by definition lead. Many people have led many people other people to believe that climate change is a hoax. Yes, those so-called leaders are, among others, to blame.

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  #21  
Old 09-23-2019, 09:12 PM
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XT, I hear where you're coming from--it's largely theater--but to me it's a ploy that has to be used. Facts and science aren't working on conservatives; liberals claim to be worried but they're too afraid of radiation to do what needs to be done. Thunberg's message is (I think) an attempt to reach people who have largely ignored rationality. If it lights a fire under a small but non-trivial number

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We have been taking action since Nixon and the EPA. It is being turned back. Do you remember the 70's? A hell of a lot of progress has been made in only 50 years.

And now Trump wants to turn the clock back
Meanwhile, Sanders and Warren both want to kill nuclear power. Egads.
  #22  
Old 09-23-2019, 09:23 PM
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No. She's a rich girl, and now famous too. She'll almost certainly live a fine life and have very little to complain about (which probably won't keep her from complaining about every imagined slight / offense).
Do you really not see a difference between complaining about pollution that'll cause hundreds of trillions of dollars in property damage and lost economic growth, as well as million of refugees and complaining about whats on TV or whats for dinner?


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I agree. I'd call it 'climate theater'. It was a bit of performance art, and I didn't find it the least bit convincing.
God forbid the party that screams about death panels, communism, the antichrist, etc. over everything they don't like consider something hyperbolic.


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Wrong.
It may not cut 40 years off his life expectancy. But it may become a serious problem that sets humanity back by decades.

These kids are brave. They are standing up to wealthy interests and ideological fanatics to secure a better future for themselves since their parents generation is too selfish and radicalized to do it for them.
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  #23  
Old 09-23-2019, 09:47 PM
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My favorite quote in this video that sums things up rather nicely is "Climate denialism isn't just a bunch of people who are wrong. It is a bunch of people being paid to be wrong on purpose to deliberately spread doubt about the truth." People like Crowder, Shapiro and Moore among many others. All paid to be wrong on purpose.

Climate change shouldn't be a political issue, but it has been made a political issue by people with a vested financial interest in ensuring that nothing gets done about it. It really ought to be something that is bipartisan for everybody who isn't vested in the fossil fuel industry. If you're vested heavily in the fossil fuel industry, then I understand why you don't want anything done about it (although even then). For everybody else, you've been conned by your political masters.

There's very few knowledgeable people speaking out on climate change who frame it as an species ending event. However, that won't keep people like Crowder, Shapiro, Moore, et al. from claiming that people speaking about climate change are just alarmists. Or finding that one person who claims it is the end of the world and using them as their example. Direct deaths from climate change are estimated to be about 250,000 per year. Indirect deaths on the other hand may be much higher but harder to quantify. For example, climate change is having considerable effect on food security (my area of research). A lack of food security leads to political instability, which leads to fighting and death. But it is difficult to say what percentage are due to climate change and what percentage is due to a growing population and continued unsustainable food production. I've seen estimates for death from issues surrounding food security to be from 500,000,000 to 1,500,000,000 from 2050 to 2075 (I might have the exact years wrong). Researchers who are looking into food security invariably are looking at climate change as a factor and how to account for it. One thing is certain, climate change is going to cause a lot of human misery. But don't worry it won't be most of us in the rich part of the world. So we can just ignore it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLqXkYrdmjY
  #24  
Old 09-23-2019, 10:15 PM
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No. She's a rich girl, and now famous too. She'll almost certainly live a fine life and have very little to complain about
This seems like a weirdly unimaginative dismissal. You appear to be taking it for granted that Thunberg can't have any "dreams" that aren't taken care of by her being a "rich girl" and "famous" and having a "fine life" in terms of material prosperity.

On the contrary, if one of the things she dreamed of was a world in which intelligent grownups would act promptly and wisely to mitigate a serious environmental crisis, then I think we have to admit that our incompetent response has "stolen her dreams".

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"Hysteria" is a good word for it.
The thing is, though, that climate-change deniers have been asserting all along that pretty much any expression of concern about climate change is "hysteria". And a lot of the people throwing around the word "hysteria" are specifically paid to do so, as BeepKillBeep notes (though I'd put Marc Morano at the head of their list).

So personally, I'm suffering from a bit of hysteria-accusation fatigue. It's certainly true that some voices in popular media, particularly non-scientists, use exaggeration and hyperbole in their interpretation of the dangers of climate change. But damn near everybody who fulminates about "hysteria" and "alarmism" and so forth in discussions of climate change is using exaggeration and hyperbole, when they're not outright lying. The deniers' pose of skeptical moderation has pretty much lost all credibility.
  #25  
Old 09-23-2019, 11:08 PM
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The one that lunges to mind is building nuclear reactors. Like, all over the place. In your backyard! Then decommission coal power plants, followed by natural gas.

Next, on the "get thrown out" side, take a long hard look at the beef industry, and see how well they could get along without things like "cows".

Tax the living hell out of gasoline, and put the money towards electric car research. It's not like the concept of an electric car is new - the first one was built in the early 1800s.

If you happen to be leading one of those countries where they're burning down the rainforest for farmland, send out the army.

Stuff like that.
My gasoline has a $0.50/ gallon tax, and I have a plug-in electric, but they aren't practical for everywhere yet. Batteries aren't new; I don't know how many more electrons they can stuff in there.
  #26  
Old 09-23-2019, 11:24 PM
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It's especially galling, to me, that a privileged white girl from Sweden is the poster child and given such a platform.
Because people would surely, definitely, listen to a black girl.

Because you definitely wouldn't be laying out this same argument "oh look, they're cynically using this young black girl as a mouthpiece".

Because there is definitely some other way to frame climate change in a way you'll listen, some perfect spokesperson, but doggone if the opposition always seems to pick one that isn't quite to your taste.
  #27  
Old 09-23-2019, 11:44 PM
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This seems like a weirdly unimaginative dismissal. You appear to be taking it for granted that Thunberg can't have any "dreams" that aren't taken care of by her being a "rich girl" and "famous" and having a "fine life" in terms of material prosperity. ...
She didn't say what her "stolen dreams" were, so I specifically avoided commenting about them. I can't answer the OP's question about whether her dreams were stolen or not if I don't know what they are. Without knowing what her "stolen dreams" are, however, I can still make some general observations about the likelihood that she goes on to live a privileged life (it's quite high).

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... It's certainly true that some voices in popular media, particularly non-scientists, use exaggeration and hyperbole in their interpretation of the dangers of climate change. ...
I'm glad we agree, notwithstanding your fatigue.
  #28  
Old 09-23-2019, 11:55 PM
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My favorite quote in this video that sums things up rather nicely is "Climate denialism isn't just a bunch of people who are wrong. It is a bunch of people being paid to be wrong on purpose to deliberately spread doubt about the truth." People like Crowder, Shapiro and Moore among many others. All paid to be wrong on purpose.
"Millionaires funded by billionaires" is the phrase that comes to mind.
  #29  
Old 09-23-2019, 11:56 PM
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She's a rich girl
Cite?
  #30  
Old 09-24-2019, 12:20 AM
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"Millionaires funded by billionaires" is the phrase that comes to mind.
Yeah, it kind of does doesn't it?

I wonder if he practices his confused look in the mirror or if it just comes naturally?
  #31  
Old 09-24-2019, 12:53 AM
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But IMHO she hit the birth lottery. Born in a 1st world country, in the golden age of our species, she has benefited from fossil fuels in every aspect of her life. There is no aspect of her stolen life that hasn't benefited hugely from humanities use of fossil fuels for the last 150 years. Were she a very poor person living in a 3rd world country threatened by rising sea levels and the ramping up impact due to human caused climate change, THEN she'd have a case for the outrage and tears. Of course, then she wouldn't have access to all of the things that allowed her to step on the world stage in all her outrage.
I don't much like this argument, it is kind of ad hominem even though it isn't especially insulting. And you Do discuss the content of her message, but hear me out. It may be she doesn't perceive her identity the way others do. Heck, if she takes a non-dualist 'perspective', she literally IS the very poor people in 3rd world countries. It is said she has Asperger's, so she very well may have a alternate sense of identity. Maybe everybody already does. I have someone I can ask about this later...

Even if we don't go into any odd philosophical territory, isn't much of the point of climate activism concern for the welfare of other people? Isn't that a veritable cornerstone of conventional morality itself, concern for others? Future generations 100-200+ years from now? For a person that truly believes men are created equal, it would be sickening and appalling to witness the wealthiest nations causing so much harm to the most vulnerable. 4% of South Asia will be uninhabitable by 2100 if serious action isn't taken. 4% of... 2 billion people? What are they supposed to do as their regions become literally uninhabitable?

I don't think it matters that she lives in a 1st world country and benefited from fossil fuels. It wasn't her choice. Is she supposed to be grateful and just zip it? She had a shot and she took it. I mean, she's just rando girl to me, probably not a superhero but who knows, but really try to imagine the literal real-world horror show she and any 16-ish year old person is likely to witness world-wide as they grow into adulthood and old age. Mass extinction? Droughts, wars, enormous suffering and millions of deaths? Because corrupt politicians got bought by oil companies &etc. to steer policy away from the public interest?

But yeah, we could also cause a nightmare if we pull the rug out from everyone's economic security if we sacrifice everything to this issue. I admit it is sticky. I think it is reasonable to cause wealthy-ish people to be a bit less wealthy for it though.
  #32  
Old 09-24-2019, 01:02 AM
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... 4% of South Asia will be uninhabitable by 2100 if serious action isn't taken. 4% of... 2 billion people? What are they supposed to do as their regions become literally uninhabitable? ...
Here's what the relevant sentence from your cite actually says:

Quote:
Researchers behind the study, published in the journal Science Advances, found that 4% percent of the South Asian population is expected to experience temperature and humidity conditions in which humans cannot survive without air conditioning by 2100.
Do you feel like you left out an important detail in your paraphrasing? I do.
  #33  
Old 09-24-2019, 01:15 AM
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XT, I hear where you're coming from--it's largely theater--but to me it's a ploy that has to be used. Facts and science aren't working on conservatives; liberals claim to be worried but they're too afraid of radiation to do what needs to be done. Thunberg's message is (I think) an attempt to reach people who have largely ignored rationality. If it lights a fire under a small but non-trivial number


Meanwhile, Sanders and Warren both want to kill nuclear power. Egads.
Scared, angry child is not an appeal to rationality, it's an emotional appeal.

The single most damaging blow against the environment has been the emotion, not science based, opposition to nuclear power, we've had the technology to move past the use of fossil fuels for more than half a century but that next, absolutely necessary, step was thwarted by another set of scared, angry people armed with emotional appeals.

I'd say is time to stop listening to angry, scared people, they'd screwed us all up enough already.
  #34  
Old 09-24-2019, 02:27 AM
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The single most damaging blow against the environment has been the emotion, not science based, opposition to nuclear power, we've had the technology to move past the use of fossil fuels for more than half a century but that next, absolutely necessary, step was thwarted by another set of scared, angry people armed with emotional appeals.
No we haven't and no it wasn't.
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I'd say is time to stop listening to angry, scared people, they'd screwed us all up enough already.
  #35  
Old 09-24-2019, 03:01 AM
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Here is a recent poll in which 51% of 18-34-year-olds respond "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to the question "Within the next 10-15 years, how likely is that the earth will become uninhabitable and humanity will be wiped out?"

~51% of Millenials are like Zach, the hysterical DNC staffer.
  #36  
Old 09-24-2019, 03:23 AM
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No. She's a rich girl, and now famous too. She'll almost certainly live a fine life ...
In a humorous (to me at least) incident, President Trump echoed some of my sentiments:

  #37  
Old 09-24-2019, 04:42 AM
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Always amusing to hear what admitted sexual abusers think about young women who are passionate about public policy, am I right?
  #38  
Old 09-24-2019, 05:40 AM
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Fighting climate change is difficult but not impossible. If success seems unlikely, does that mean we should give up?

America has done great things in the past: extended civil rights to blacks, saved Europe from Naziism, put a man on the moon. It seems too pessimistic to assert that America will never be able to do great things again.

I am tired of hearing that China is the problem, so the U.S. shouldn't bother with its own emissions. China now spends 0.9% of its GDP on renewable energy technologies. Compare that with U.S.A. which spends 0.1%. And despite that China's population is more than four times that of the U.S., the U.S. consumes far more petroleum than China. Even a paltry 50Ę/gallon tax on gasoline might effect some change in America's profligate habits, yet almost half a century after first proposed, such a tax remains anathema.

Politically, who's to blame? Elected officials kowtow to voters; voters are misinformed, often deliberately. Recently Europe has done a much better job than America at instituting pro-environment and pro-humanity policies. This is no accident: among the world's advanced "democracies" it is the U.S.A. specifically where power has been turned over to kleptocrats and liars.

But a big reduction in CO2 emissions would be difficult in any event. There is one solution the world desperately needs. From a recent article:
Quote:
In 2017, Seth Wynes of Lund University in Sweden and Kimberly Nicholas of the University of British Columbia estimated the carbon emissions that various individual lifestyle choices would have. The foremost way to reduce climate change, their report said, would be to have one fewer child (which would otherwise annually contribute an additional 58.6 tons of carbon dioxide, on average in developed countries, according to the researchersí estimates). The runner-ups were living car free (2.4 tons of carbon dioxide per year), and not taking one transatlantic flight (1.6 tons of carbon dioxide per year).

For that story, Quartz replicated a graph from the Wynes and Nicholas study, but failed to include the impact that not having another child would have. When I asked the reporter, Natasha Frost, why Quartz decided to omit part of the data, she said the graphing software couldnít fit the data properly on the graph.
I've emphasized an eye-catching quote from that article. The benefit of even modest population reduction would be so huge, that it was omitted from a graph comparing benefits. Ironic? The benefit of addressing population growth would be so huge that the graph would be "unbalanced" ó all the other remedies would appear as faint lines down near zero! Therefore, so that line placement would seem to yield a more informative graph, the best remedy was ... omitted altogether!
  #39  
Old 09-24-2019, 07:54 AM
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I am tired of hearing that China is the problem...
I'm sorry you're tired of it, but China is the problem.
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China now spends 0.9% of its GDP on renewable energy technologies. Compare that with U.S.A. which spends 0.1%. And despite that China's population is more than four times that of the U.S., the U.S. consumes far more petroleum than China.
And yet China emits more GHG than the US and the EU put together.

Which is much of the problem with this rich teenager's speech. She is saying that China (and India and the rest of the Third World) shouldn't get to have what she has already. They should forgo economic development, not fly over the ocean (to, for example, address the UN), not drive cars, not have another child. And climate change is the West's fault because we haven't made the Third World forgo those things.

I am afraid this teenager is going to be disappointed. Neither the West, nor China, is going to cut their own economic throats. And the Right isn't going to shut off economic growth, and the Left isn't going to accept nuclear energy. If her dream is a world where the peasants in China accept living a stunted lifestyle and the West outsources its manufacturing to China who emits GHG anyway, her dream is dead.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive
... 4% of South Asia will be uninhabitable by 2100 if serious action isn't taken. 4% of... 2 billion people? What are they supposed to do as their regions become literally uninhabitable? ...
"Literally uninhabitable" means they need air conditioning?
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Originally Posted by AOC
The world is going to end in 12 years if we donít address climate change...
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Originally Posted by Kimstu
So personally, I'm suffering from a bit of hysteria-accusation fatigue.
I'm not.

Regards,
Shodan
  #40  
Old 09-24-2019, 08:23 AM
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Do you feel like you left out an important detail in your paraphrasing? I do.
You don't need to travel to Southeast Asia to know that most people there are very poor and don't have air conditioning. But I have, and I can report that it's true.

When their homes become unsurvivable without air conditioning, what's going to happen to them?

Are they supposed to sell their property and move elsewhere? Who will be the buyer of uninhabitable property?

Are the richer countries that refused to spend money fighting climate change now going to come up with money to buy all these people air conditioners, putting even more demand on energy?

I expect your response is something along the lines of "I don't care". I won't bother persuading you, but if you accept that since we're not installing air conditioning in that 4% of Southeast Asia (or elsewhere), then nobody's going to live there when it gets too hot.

OTOH if you surprise me and say "we should take up a collection and air-condition the affected area, my response is "why funding for the symptom but not the disease?"
  #41  
Old 09-24-2019, 08:34 AM
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I'd say is time to stop listening to angry, scared people, they'd screwed us all up enough already.
Scientific fact isn't working to persuade people, though. It takes a mix of approaches.

I personally find her rhetoric to be a little rigid and rote... sort of along the child-preacher vein. Her opposition to nuclear power is also objectionable to me. I'm glad Thunberg is out there getting people talking, I'm glad she's pulling back the veil to show that we, the politically empowered adults, are for the most part waiting for a deus ex machina to put out a fire that is already started.

But there's no perfect avatar for any cause. No matter who you put out there, it will be a problem. If it's a rich person, "they have no worries, I don't relate to them." If it's a poor person, "they don't understand the implications of the subject matter". If it's a middle-class person, they are un-American communists who ought to be content with what they have.
  #42  
Old 09-24-2019, 09:20 AM
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Here's what the relevant sentence from your cite actually says:

Researchers behind the study, published in the journal Science Advances, found that 4% percent of the South Asian population is expected to experience temperature and humidity conditions in which humans cannot survive without air conditioning by 2100.

Do you feel like you left out an important detail in your paraphrasing? I do.
Recognizing a shade of difference between "not survivable" and "not survivable without air conditioning", I will accept a sliver of guilt for the omission, but no more. What kind of life is it when a person literally cannot survive outdoors for more than an hour or two? When we're talking about poor subsistence farmers, what are they supposed to do? How do they do their jobs? Will farming even be viable under those conditions? How much more water will crops require, and is that much water even available? What about the millions of other outdoor workers?

There are lots of reasons air conditioning just isn't good enough. Southeast Asia is crowded- if it becomes a desert, what then? If nearly every animal, bird and insect dies from the heat because they don't have air conditioning, what kind of world is that? Sure, some animals have a rete mirabile and maybe they will manage, but a lot of animals don't have that.

As was mentioned, a lot of these people are terribly poor. Their homes are shacks- how will they arrange air conditioning? And that article focuses on just one problem, extreme unsurvivable heat. What about a place like Bangladesh which is just barely above sea level? When literally millions of subsistence farmers are driven off their land by sea rise, are they just going to pack up and enjoy air conditioning somewhere else? I doubt it.

Your response reminds me of, "Let them eat cake."
  #43  
Old 09-24-2019, 09:25 AM
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I'm glad we agree
You're mistaken in imagining that we agree, because the position that "some voices sometimes use some exaggeration and hyperbole" is not accurately described as "hysteria". If you were willing to describe specific popular exaggerations of climate-change dangers in a more rational and accurate way instead of simply throwing around the "hysteria" label indiscriminately, then we'd be in agreement.

And I suspect you also don't agree with me that "damn near everybody who fulminates about "hysteria" and "alarmism" and so forth in discussions of climate change is using exaggeration and hyperbole, when they're not outright lying. The deniers' pose of skeptical moderation has pretty much lost all credibility."

Last edited by Kimstu; 09-24-2019 at 09:25 AM.
  #44  
Old 09-24-2019, 09:27 AM
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Conservatives love the word hysteria and all of the connotations that come with it.
  #45  
Old 09-24-2019, 09:29 AM
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Which is much of the problem with this rich teenager's speech. She is saying that China (and India and the rest of the Third World) shouldn't get to have what she has already. They should forgo economic development, not fly over the ocean (to, for example, address the UN), not drive cars, not have another child. And climate change is the West's fault because we haven't made the Third World forgo those things.
Nitpick: she didn't fly across the ocean, she personally sailed a boat to attend the UN.
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:37 AM
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The single most damaging blow against the environment has been the emotion, not science based, opposition to nuclear power, we've had the technology to move past the use of fossil fuels for more than half a century
Cite? I personally think the importance of dealing with climate change supersedes even rational concerns about the undeniable problems with nuclear power, but AFAICT it's self-deluding bullshit to claim that "the single most damaging blow against the environment" has been opposition to nuclear power.

There are lots of significant reasons, not just environmentalist opposition and/or irrational fears, why nuclear power hasn't (and isn't likely to) solve all our complex problems with fossil-fuel dependence. Airily claiming that "we've had the technology to move past the use of fossil fuels" while ignoring all those other reasons is not convincing.

More and more these days, I'm seeing (both current and unacknowledged former) climate-change deniers trot out this unsupported and vague nuclear-power counterfactual as a way of deflecting blame for global-warming issues onto environmentalists and/or liberals. Just whine, without any persuasive supporting evidence, "Well we woulda got rid of all these bad emissions a long time ago if you liberals hadn't been so stupid about your no-nukes dogma!" and hey presto, all of a sudden you can tell yourself that it's all somebody else's fault and has nothing to do with your stubborn refusal to recognize the problem in time.
  #47  
Old 09-24-2019, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
It's certainly true that some voices in popular media, particularly non-scientists, use exaggeration and hyperbole in their interpretation of the dangers of climate change.
How about NASA? They are talking about mitigating the effects, and adapting to the changes that are going to occur/have occurred. It is too late. That observation is not hysteria.
  #48  
Old 09-24-2019, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimstu
Cite? I personally think the importance of dealing with climate change supersedes even rational concerns about the undeniable problems with nuclear power, but AFAICT it's self-deluding bullshit to claim that "the single most damaging blow against the environment" has been opposition to nuclear power.
You want a cite for his opinion? I don't think it's 'self-deluding bullshit' though I don't know that it, alone is 'the single most damaging blow against the environment'. I think it would be hard to put a finger on any single cause of the mess we are in. But certainly the opposition to nuclear has pushed back any sort of ability to take a major bite out of CO2 emissions and other harmful pollutants from fossil fuel power generation today, at least beyond what we've already done. It's 'self-deluding bullshit', IMHO, to think otherwise, as we don't HAVE any scalable solutions that could take a major bite out of it today EXCEPT nuclear. Certainly not 30 years ago, or even 10.

The other side of that is, at this point it's moot. We didn't do it, and we won't now, so we are stuck and have to do what we can. Crying over what could have been is pointless now.

Quote:
There are lots of significant reasons, not just environmentalist opposition and/or irrational fears, why nuclear power hasn't (and isn't likely to) solve all our complex problems with fossil-fuel dependence. Airily claiming that "we've had the technology to move past the use of fossil fuels" while ignoring all those other reasons is not convincing.
If only there were a country that, Je ne sais pas, had a name associated with mustard and fried potatoes who HAD been able to utilize a large percentage of their over all power production using nuclear. Man, if only there were such a country, non? Et bien...

Quote:
More and more these days, I'm seeing (both current and unacknowledged former) climate-change deniers trot out this unsupported and vague nuclear-power counterfactual as a way of deflecting blame for global-warming issues onto environmentalists and/or liberals. Just whine, without any persuasive supporting evidence, "Well we woulda got rid of all these bad emissions a long time ago if you liberals hadn't been so stupid about your no-nukes dogma!" and hey presto, all of a sudden you can tell yourself that it's all somebody else's fault and has nothing to do with your stubborn refusal to recognize the problem in time.
Interesting. So, (to paraphrase you from above) you are annoyed by a group trying to deflect blame about global warming because of bad decisions they made in the past? 'Hey, Presto!...all of a sudden you can tell yourself that it's all somebody else's fault and has nothing to do with your (and your groups) stubborn refusal to recognize the problem in time' and take the steps needed to actually do something!

That's very insightful. And I mean that. You should, perhaps, consider and reflect on your words there. I think that both sides could do with a lot more thoughtful reflection on a mirror. But, regardless of the fuckups that have happened in the past (and are clearly still happening today), or what we could have or should have done, I think we need to work with what we have. But we need to do so from a realistic and real world perspective of what CAN actually be done in our actual political systems and international structure with respect to what our citizens are going to go for...and not go for. Until and unless someone becomes god emperor of the world, able to dictate to the masses by complete fiat, 'world leaders' can only do so much. It takes time to shift public opinion to the point where they are willing to make the sorts of sacrifices that would be necessary at this point and with what we have today to take a serious bite out of fossil fuels. Even if you WERE such a person and were actually willing to make the call, it's going to take a long time to actually put in place using the tech we have today.

How long to replace a percentage of ICE vehicles with AEV's or even hybrids such that a real CO2 bite can be taken out of the system, even after accounting for all the new manufacturing? How long to develop and deploy energy storage systems for solar and wind so that we can maintain the baseload, or have peaker fossil fuel plants at near-line levels such that they can be brought up whenever needed for days or weeks if necessary? A decade? Two? Three? Whatever it is, that's what we will have to do, and in the mean time, we will have to suck it up wrt increasing climate variation and severity. The oceans WILL rise because that's what water does when it gets hotter. Storms will get worse, more sever and more frequent. Droughts will be worse and floods worse as well. This is all going to happen. Telling the kids today that we are all collectively doomed, that they will all die or civilization will fall (unless we do this draconian left wing stuff of course) isn't the solution...it just ramps up the fear and anxiety. Instead, I think we need to work with what we have and find a way to do what we can.
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Last edited by XT; 09-24-2019 at 10:18 AM.
  #49  
Old 09-24-2019, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by XT View Post
I think it would be hard to put a finger on any single cause of the mess we are in. But certainly the opposition to nuclear has pushed back any sort of ability to take a major bite out of CO2 emissions and other harmful pollutants from fossil fuel power generation today
Nobody's denying that opposition to nuclear power has "pushed back" the ability to use nuclear power to reduce the impacts of fossil-fuel use. What's "self-deluding bullshit", as I said, is making unsupported claims that this reluctance to use nuclear has been "the single most damaging blow against the environment".

It's also not very persuasive to say that greater use of nuclear power would enable us to "take a major bite out of CO2 emissions" without examining just how "major" that "bite" would be. Take your example of France, which has always been much more active in promoting and using nuclear power and which has had substantially lower carbon impacts from energy generation as a result. Well, France is still above the global average in emissions levels, is still facing a reversal of their previous emissions-level decline, and is still producing large amounts of emissions in their non-nuclear-friendly transportation sector (which is an even bigger emissions contributor in the US than in the comparatively small and densely populated France).

Vague counterfactuals about how things would have been better now, if only one's political opponents hadn't been so uncooperative in the past, aren't convincing arguments unless you can make a clear and specific case of exactly how and how much the situation would have changed as a result. (And yes, you're right that that objection applies to counterfactuals from either side of the climate-action debate. But only one side is trying to use such counterfactuals as excuses for not taking effective action now.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by XT
The other side of that is, at this point it's moot. We didn't do it, and we won't now, so we are stuck and have to do what we can. Crying over what could have been is pointless now.
It's pointless in terms of actually taking action, sure. It's not at all pointless in terms of propaganda to persuade people to further delay taking action.

If you can get people to believe that there's no real use in pursuing major emissions reductions because "we had our chance with nuclear power a few decades ago and the dumb liberals sabotaged that, so it's all their fault we're stuck with this", then you can prolong the inertia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XT
[...] in the mean time, we will have to suck it up wrt increasing climate variation and severity. The oceans WILL rise because that's what water does when it gets hotter. Storms will get worse, more sever and more frequent. Droughts will be worse and floods worse as well. This is all going to happen.
Very true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XT
Telling the kids today that we are all collectively doomed, that they will all die or civilization will fall (unless we do this draconian left wing stuff of course) isn't the solution
Exactly who are you accusing of "telling the kids today" that? AFAICT Greta Thunberg isn't. She referred to people suffering and dying, and to a mass extinction event and "risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control", but none of that is exaggerated. She made the perfectly reasonable point that according to IPCC estimates, staying below a 1.5 degree global temperature rise requires more drastic changes than the business-as-usual adaptations currently underway.

Trying to equate acknowledgement of the fact that higher greenhouse-gas levels and consequently higher temperature rises will most likely produce worse climate impacts with extremist forebodings "that we are all collectively doomed, that they will all die or civilization will fall" is just more of the exaggerated hysteria-accusation rhetoric that I'm getting so tired of. So is trying to equate any kind of accelerated emissions-reduction approach with disparaged (but unspecified) "draconian left wing stuff".

Last edited by Kimstu; 09-24-2019 at 10:57 AM.
  #50  
Old 09-24-2019, 10:58 AM
John Bredin is offline
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Originally Posted by Deeg View Post
Meanwhile, Sanders and Warren both want to kill nuclear power. Egads.
They're not the only Dem presidential candidates. Biden, Booker, O'Rourke, Yang, and Klobuchar are pro-nuclear.
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