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  #51  
Old 10-12-2018, 03:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Airman Doors, USAF View Post
Some of you might read this and say Im way off base, that Im exaggerating the extent of the disaster that awaits us. Time will tell. Id like to think that I am a rational, intelligent, thoughtful person. It would be easier if I were an idiot, because then I wouldnt care.
I don't think you're off base about the extent of the disaster, but I do think the truly bad stuff won't happen in your child's lifetime.
  #52  
Old 10-12-2018, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by excavating (for a mind) View Post
XT, that is such an optimistic view, but I doubt it is enough to even make a dent.
The problem is there are too many humans on this planet. Sure, that's been said before and we've always found a way out. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you. When the expanding human population is having a dramatic effect on the planet's climate, I think it's safe to say, yeah, there are too many people.

Sure, we've (mostly) solved the problem of not enough food. And, of pestilence and disease. But, the solutions just encourage more people, and it's getting to the point where things that were considered ubiquitous a few generations ago (water, room to expand, wildlife) are now considered luxuries. If we solve these problems, it will just allow more people to fill in the gaps and further reduce the diversity of life on the planet. Reducing the diversity of life on the planet is not the direction we need to go.

To me, it seems obvious that if we keep our current course we'll be doomed within 100 years, we are already doomed, since our current course is expanding exponentially. That is, if we stopped all further growth, we'd be doomed in 100 years. We obviously aren't going to stop further growth, so the obvious outcome is some cataclysmic result that is not going to be fun for anyone. We really are at the point where we should be figuring out how to deal with a declining population, not trying to figure out if a declining human population is what is best for the planet.

If you really believed in climate change and understood the root causes, IMHO, you would not have children. If your understanding of the situation was only realized after you had reproduced, the only reasonable action would be to convince your offspring not to reproduce. While your offspring's lack of children is not likely to have a strong effect on the future, you may rest easier knowing that you're lowering the amount of suffering your progeny will experience (if only by reducing the number of your progeny).
Dude, Malthus called and he wants royalties. Either that or you need to update your info from the 60's and stop reading the population bomb. I'm not being overly optimistic (certainly not in contrast to the gloom and doom you are putting out) about population growth. It's pretty easy to look up. Just about everyone agrees that population will peak, at the current trend, at something like 10-12 billion people, then start a sharp decline. As societies get wealthier they have less kids...that's not optimism, that's fact. And even poorer societies are starting to trend downwards. One of the big ironies of China and the CCPs stupid one child policy is that, even before they put it in place the trend was downward...all the CCP managed to do was fuck up their population mix (and cause a ton of misery and suffering, things it excels at).

At the same time this is happening our technology is getting greener. Not because the government is forcing us to green technology against our wills, but because green is starting to make more sense and be competitive (especially with government incentives). Within 10 years I think battery powered cars will be seen as superior to ICE cars in every respect, both from a cost perspective and a performance perspective. There are already experimental technologies to take C02 out of the air, and I think this is going to accelerate, especially is someone comes up with a way to make a profit at it. Coal is already on it's way out, and nothing Trump does is going to stop that trend (China is still the biggest user, but even they are starting to slowly move away from it to better technologies). Hell, just taking the ICE cars off the road is going to have a huge impact, let alone advances in power and battery technology and carbon capture. And I'm not even talking about things like advanced AI or advanced materials (or the 30 years out tech, fusion), this is just trends of stuff we have already, today. We could always fantasize...perhaps the public will have a change of heart and build a few fission nuclear power plants.

We aren't doomed, not unless tomorrow we find out that there is a 300km asteroid or comet that's going to hit the earth in that time frame, or if we get hit by a gamma ray burst or something along those lines. It's not all going to be skittles and beer, for sure, but it's not doom either.
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Last edited by XT; 10-12-2018 at 08:51 AM.
  #53  
Old 10-12-2018, 09:19 AM
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Drive an electric car
Help me understand this. Electric cars still rely on fossil fuels from the electricity generated at the power plant. In many cases, it's from burning coal, which emissions are much more harmful than burning gasoline. The one advantage I see from electric vehicles is that it shifts the pollution from the urban center where the cars are driven, to wherever the power plant is located.
  #54  
Old 10-12-2018, 09:22 AM
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A lot of current reporting and discussion on the latest predictions is deeply flawed, unfortunately. When the talking point becomes "The world is doomed in 12 years" the groundwork is laid for future "skeptics" and "critical thinkers" to, wrongly, reference the unfulfilled predictions of the IPCC report.

What the IPCC says is that without drastic measures in that short a time we will not be able to stop warming at 1.5C, and that long term consequences of that are more catastrophic than previously thought.

It's like we're on a truck loaded with eggs driving towards a patch of rough highway, with only a dodgy cruise control to adjust our speed. The scientists are saying:

1. We have barely been braking, although we told you we should start, in fact we're still accelerating.
2. We redid the predictions for stopping the accelerations at 55 instead of 60, and they show that:
A: We need to start breaking really hard if we're to stay at 55
B: And we're going to break a lot of eggs at 55, but it will be fewer than 60
3. Unless we start breaking in the next mile, it will get bumpier and bumpier after that.

Everyone is hearing "disaster in one mile!" though, so when things are just imperceptibly bumpier after a mile, they'll congratulate themselves on not letting off the gas when they didn't have to.

And this got pretty mixed up, but I'm posting it unadjusted, because I'm lazy.
  #55  
Old 10-12-2018, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
Help me understand this. Electric cars still rely on fossil fuels from the electricity generated at the power plant. In many cases, it's from burning coal, which emissions are much more harmful than burning gasoline. The one advantage I see from electric vehicles is that it shifts the pollution from the urban center where the cars are driven, to wherever the power plant is located.
But electric power generation is increasingly greener as well, shifting from coal and oil to natural gas. Plus wind and solar are increasingly in the mix. Then you have hydro, geothermal and nuclear, though that seems to be waning, sadly. If one assumes a greener grid, which is the trend, then as folks naturally switch to electric vehicles you are going to get less carbon emissions over the life of the vehicle than a new ICE car. You also won't need big trucks moving fuel from refineries or ports to distribution centers to gas stations, all of which takes a hell of a lot of CO2 to accomplish.

The real issue is electric car performance, price and materials, all of which seem to be diminishing as time goes by (though I think materials is still going to be an issue when we start talking about building millions of these things a year...but it's a solvable issue).
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  #56  
Old 10-12-2018, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by naita View Post
A lot of current reporting and discussion on the latest predictions is deeply flawed, unfortunately. When the talking point becomes "The world is doomed in 12 years" the groundwork is laid for future "skeptics" and "critical thinkers" to, wrongly, reference the unfulfilled predictions of the IPCC report.

What the IPCC says is that without drastic measures in that short a time we will not be able to stop warming at 1.5C, and that long term consequences of that are more catastrophic than previously thought.

It's like we're on a truck loaded with eggs driving towards a patch of rough highway, with only a dodgy cruise control to adjust our speed. The scientists are saying:

1. We have barely been braking, although we told you we should start, in fact we're still accelerating.
2. We redid the predictions for stopping the accelerations at 55 instead of 60, and they show that:
A: We need to start breaking really hard if we're to stay at 55
B: And we're going to break a lot of eggs at 55, but it will be fewer than 60
3. Unless we start breaking in the next mile, it will get bumpier and bumpier after that.

Everyone is hearing "disaster in one mile!" though, so when things are just imperceptibly bumpier after a mile, they'll congratulate themselves on not letting off the gas when they didn't have to.

And this got pretty mixed up, but I'm posting it unadjusted, because I'm lazy.
I think it's fine...it's a fairly good analogy. I'd say that the US is coasting, but coasting at 65 and our slowing is not very rapid. The EU is coasting at 60. China and India are hitting the gas, but they have a get out of jail free card so they won't get any tickets any time soon, and while they are hitting the gas they are also doing a lot of work looking into new braking systems (or, in China's case, stealing other countries braking systems, reverse engineering them and then making knock offs of the things on the cheap).

But you are right...a lot of folks in these type of threads lately are getting the wrong message and are all in full on gloom and doom mode. Which is pretty unhelpful. It's not a cliff edge we will plummet off in 1 mile, it's your rocky road. No matter what we do at this point, it's going to be bumpy. If we continue down the same old path the ruts are going to get a hell of a lot bigger and the ride is going to be a lot bumpier. If we turn to the side, the ride is going to be bumpy as well, but there is a nice gradual upward slope that will slow us down enough that it will just be bumpy, not teeth rattling.
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  #57  
Old 10-12-2018, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
Help me understand this. Electric cars still rely on fossil fuels from the electricity generated at the power plant. In many cases, it's from burning coal, which emissions are much more harmful than burning gasoline. The one advantage I see from electric vehicles is that it shifts the pollution from the urban center where the cars are driven, to wherever the power plant is located.
Car engines are very inefficient converters of energy, especially when you average all the time they spend idling or accelerating at not-ideal revs. Coal plants are not much better, but there is more potential for improvement and potential technological advances like carbon capture, than for gasoline engines.

Comparisons vary, since they have to make a lot of assumptions, and sometimes leave out important elements such as the emissions from production and transportation of gasoline, or the difference in emissions from recycling batteries and producing new ones, but at least some of them come out with no difference or the edge going to the electric car, even when using coal power.

Gasoline powered cars also stay polluting even if other energy production goes greener.
  #58  
Old 10-12-2018, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by XT View Post
I think it's fine...it's a fairly good analogy. I'd say that the US is coasting, but coasting at 65 and our slowing is not very rapid. The EU is coasting at 60. China and India are hitting the gas, but they have a get out of jail free card so they won't get any tickets any time soon, and while they are hitting the gas they are also doing a lot of work looking into new braking systems (or, in China's case, stealing other countries braking systems, reverse engineering them and then making knock offs of the things on the cheap).

But you are right...a lot of folks in these type of threads lately are getting the wrong message and are all in full on gloom and doom mode. Which is pretty unhelpful. It's not a cliff edge we will plummet off in 1 mile, it's your rocky road. No matter what we do at this point, it's going to be bumpy. If we continue down the same old path the ruts are going to get a hell of a lot bigger and the ride is going to be a lot bumpier. If we turn to the side, the ride is going to be bumpy as well, but there is a nice gradual upward slope that will slow us down enough that it will just be bumpy, not teeth rattling.
Well I should have used a train instead, one of those with multiple locomotives. The whole train is moving at the same speed, but some locos are using more of the coal than others. And the US has a lot more 1st class cars with cushy seats, while Bangladeshi are in a box car with open doors.
  #59  
Old 10-12-2018, 10:06 AM
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The people you're thinking of deny that climate change exists, period. We do not.
Maybe a while ago, but denying change at all is getting more and more untenable, so from what I've seen the party line for deniers is exactly yours - humans don't contribute that much, it's the sun, it happened in the past anyway, oh, 30 years ago they were predicting a new Ice Age.
I looked at a climate exhibit in a museum yesterday, and they specifically said humans were the major cause.
  #60  
Old 10-12-2018, 10:57 AM
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Here's the thing. Climate change is a ship that has sailed. Oh sure, we'll cut down on some emissions, but the writing is there. We haven't even stopped emissions growth let alone worked on actually getting them out of the environment. The global emissions leaders are quickly becoming third world countries and you're not going to convince them to let their people starve rather than take advantage of cheap energy, nor should we expect them to be convinced. Since 2000 when emissions really became a thing, the EU has cut emissions by a sizeable amount and the US has cut emissions by a less sizable amount. Everywhere else? Explosive growth. China is obviously the big dog with over three times the emissions it had in 2000, but India is catching up fast and the global south as a whole has increase emissions by around 50%. This game is over barring some sort of technological solution that we haven't yet envisioned. I don't want to be a jerk about it, but it's true. We're no longer in a place where we can talk about stopping climate change. Now it's just about mitigating its effects. So what exactly am I supposed to tell the kids? I can either tell them horror stories about what their world is going to be. I can turn them into little environmental stormtroopers in a fruitless quest to stop a hurricane with a ceiling fan or I can raise them to be nice people who conserve what they can and let them worry about the impact of the change when they are older.
  #61  
Old 10-12-2018, 12:31 PM
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