/ Climate Breakdown: Support Extinction Rebellion?

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Jimbo W on 15:41 Mon

Having read as much of the science as I can, this seems to me an entirely rational, insufficiently proportionate and tardy response to climate breakdown albeit in the right direction.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-47935416

What will it take for people and governments to wake up to the existential crisis we face? Do you support these protestors and this non violent civil disobedience?

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Oceanrower - on 15:45 Mon
Siward on 15:52 Mon
In reply to Oceanrower:

A deliberate ploy, apparently, to cause more than £5,000 worth of damage to ensure that they can elect Crown Court trial (damage under £5K being triable summarily only)

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Jimbo W on 15:57 Mon
In reply to Oceanrower:

As I understand it, the action is supposed to be non violent - which I do support. Though it evokes strong emotions when you realise that these corporations did their own research, realised the potential implications of fossil fuel emissions for the environment and billions of human lives, and then ignored it in the pursuit of profit.

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summo on 16:04 Mon
In reply to Jimbo W:

Just leave them there, give them free food and water,  then hope those that chained themselves together wore nappies. Nature will take it's course. 

It's seems a waste of their precious annual holidays away from work, but their choice. 

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Ramblin dave - on 16:24 Mon
In reply to Jimbo W:

Support. If your house is on fire, you don't whinge that the fire brigade are getting water on the carpet.

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Timmd on 17:25 Mon
In reply to summo:

> Just leave them there, give them free food and water,  then hope those that chained themselves together wore nappies. Nature will take it's course. 

> It's seems a waste of their precious annual holidays away from work, but their choice. 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/15/rebellion-prevent-ecological-apocalypse-civil-disobedience?fbclid=IwAR2fNZPYxW0z0DUaY5DBdqIj0JnlO9Frlhb_WAB9k4sP2K7PN0QpXnMqnWQ

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Timmd on 18:06 Mon
In reply to Jimbo W:

I wholly support them, just because currently we're going to 'inaction ourselves'* into catastrophe if we don't act, I think anything none violent to make us sit up and think more deeply is good.

*Apologies to Gordon for my mangling of English.

Post edited at 18:09
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Postmanpat on 18:07 Mon
In reply to Jimbo W:

Amongst their "demands"

Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

  If these are achieved what do you think the outcome will be for UK citizens?

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summo on 18:39 Mon
In reply to Timmd:

It's all very sweet and well meaning but it will just cost the tax payers money.

If they want to change the world, they should study hard and bring change through science and innovation.

The current political stock won't change, politicians rarely change stance on fairly entrenched views. 

There will be no shortage of elections in the UK in the next 5 years, they shod be the new political generation. Change through leadership, not tantrums on the street. 

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summo on 18:42 Mon
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Amongst their "demands"

> Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

It probably sounded great in the university debating society before they broke up for easter, when you don't have to plan how to make it happen. I'm wondering where they all parked their bikes, I'd hate to think there was any hypocrisy going on. 

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Timmd on 19:01 Mon
In reply to summo:

> It's all very sweet and well meaning but it will just cost the tax payers money.

Which is something many tax payers see as a part of democracy, the right to protest and any related costs. Any of the ones I personally know do, at least.

> If they want to change the world, they should study hard and bring change through science and innovation.

That's rather the problem, the science and innovation is (fairly arguably) already available, but it's not being implemented.

> The current political stock won't change, politicians rarely change stance on fairly entrenched views. 

> There will be no shortage of elections in the UK in the next 5 years, they shod be the new political generation. Change through leadership, not tantrums on the street. 

I see it all as being a part of the mix of democracy and a free society, 'public tantrums' as well as who we vote into power. The right to protest is enshrined in the UN Declaration Of Human Rights as it happens.

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summo on 19:24 Mon
In reply to Timmd:

> Which is something many tax payers see as a part of democracy, the right to protest and any related costs. Any of the ones I personally know do, at least.

Including damage of private property?

> That's rather the problem, the science and innovation is (fairly arguably) already available, but it's not being implemented.

Won't be cheap, will cost everyone more in tax. Have the protesters costed this?  

> I see it all as being a part of the mix of democracy and a free society, 'public tantrums' as well as who we vote into power. The right to protest is enshrined in the UN Declaration Of Human Rights as it happens.

Protest without  violence or damage. Yes. 

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Eric9Points - on 19:59 Mon
In reply to Jimbo W:

I understand and sympathise with them but...

In fact the UK is far ahead of many, possibly most, countries in the world in tackling climate change. I'd be more heartened by roadblocks around the centres of Beijing, Delhi, Moscow and Washington.

The demands PP has posted above are clearly ludicrous and without merit but we, the entire world should moving faster than it is and I share their concerns but not to the point of sitting in the road to bugger up the commute home for many Londoners many of whom would probably sympathise with them.

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L Pefa on 20:19 Mon
In reply to Jimbo W:

> What will it take for people and governments to wake up to the existential crisis we face? Do you support these protestors and this non violent civil disobedience?

New generations have to live with the horrific consequences of our destruction of the environment and wildlife so why should they not be out making some noise  I'm proud of them. 

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Timmd on 20:51 Mon
In reply to summo:

''That's rather the problem, the science and innovation is (fairly arguably) already available, but it's not being implemented.''

> Won't be cheap, will cost everyone more in tax. Have the protesters costed this?  

Government 'think tanks' from the US in the Obama era costed inaction on climate change as being more expensive than steps needed to combat it, with inaction being a greater risk to national security than terrorism, I'd be fairly surprised if the same didn't apply to the UK - I'm sure the same has been said for Europe too, but the exact details escape me. AFAIK climate change is already being used a reason for people to 'feel pissed off at the West' in Africa, towards radicalising people into being terrorists. Unfortunately we can't escape from how everything is interconnected.

> Protest without  violence or damage. Yes. 

Coolio, we're agreed on that.

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Dax H - on 21:45 Mon
In reply to Timmd:

> Government 'think tanks' from the US in the Obama era costed inaction on climate change as being more expensive than steps needed to combat it, with inaction being a greater risk to national security than terrorism, I'd be fairly surprised if the same didn't apply to the UK - I'm sure the same has been said for Europe too, but the exact details escape me. 

I'm sure that is correct  in the long run it will be far cheaper to deal with the problem now rather than deal with the consequences later but the key word there is later. 

Dealing with it today will hammer my budget so let's make some noise but ultimately leave it for the next guy to pay for. On top of that telling people today that they need to give up their cars and break the dependance on fossil fuel.

At some point there will be an election but who is going to vote for the party that put fuel prices through the roof, stopped me driving anywhere without a clean air tax, priced me out of holidays abroad, lead to the factories near me closing down because they didn't have the money to invest in green energy. 

Climate change is a massive problem but until the South East starts to flood it will always be tomorrow's problem

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artif on 21:47 Mon
In reply to Jimbo W:

A few protesters causing a bit of a traffic jam and a couple of broken windows seems pretty minor when compared to this 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-asia-47914210/what-does-the-world-s-largest-single-building-airport-terminal-look-like

I wish the protesters well though

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Jimbo W on 21:48 Mon
In reply to Eric9Points:

> I understand and sympathise with them but...

> In fact the UK is far ahead of many, possibly most, countries in the world in tackling climate change. I'd be more heartened by roadblocks around the centres of Beijing, Delhi, Moscow and Washington.

China is the biggest total emitter, less so per capita, but subtract western productive outsourcing and indeed productivity directed to western consumption, we let ourselves off the hook far too easily. Meanwhile chinese solar panel production has rendered them globally accessible even without incentives - why not price that carbon balance in in China's favour? And with India, Chinese reforestation efforts are responsible for the residual global balance that remains in favour of greening despite rainforest deforestation.

The UK, meanwhile is doing relatively ok on CO2, but with the big recent global uptick in methane emissions at least not in insignificant part due to uncoventional fossil fuel extraction (fracking), I'm not so impressed, I think we pat ourselves on the back far too easily. Furthermore, the UK was recently reported to be the worst in Europe on financial support for fossil fuels, and yet challenging the corporate stranglehold on global politics is where leadership from a country like the UK is so despararely needed. Instead, the UK, like the SNP are happy to count only what we burn, and not what we extract and sell others to burn, and carry on with polcies supportive of extraction. That's not leadership.

I think the UK has a long way to go. I get why people think relativism is where its at, but its just another version of "they aren't doing anything so why should we", which operates on the individual and country levels. Yet $3trillion of fossil fuel divestment started with a few motivated individuals. Individual action is provocative and can lead to systemic effects. Yet many, such is our media, have barely a scoobie how precarious the situation is, if it isn't too late. Furthermore, change has to start with market distorting state action disincentivising climate destructive fossil fuels (in a way which cannot just be absorbed as the price of doing business), heavily incentivising the best evidenced alternatives we have and supporting the spinout of new technology in these areas, which speaking as a doctor, I believe on health grounds are a priority. This has to mean robust systemic carbon pricing with redistribution of the dividends to the people and the alternatives.

> The demands PP has posted above are clearly ludicrous

The ambition only looks ludicrous because, while it is infact pretty consistent with a 1.5°c target, we haven't factored in the societal breakdown we have created with the loan that paid for yesterday and today. Once that environmental debt is called in (which at current CO2 levels involved deciduous trees in Antarctica, a much hotter temperate north, and a commensurately uninhabitable tropics), it won't look nearly so ludicrous. And yet we aren't stopping here!

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Andy Hardy on 21:53 Mon
In reply to Dax H:

Pretty much nails it. There's 1 other thing: the nation that goes carbon 0 first will put themselves at a temporary but considerable disadvantage*, which is why no one wants to be first, they're all hanging on hoping someone else blinks first.

*although it might well be better in the long term.

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Jimbo W on 22:20 Mon
In reply to Andy Hardy:

In terms of technological delivery a country that does goes to a zero carbon balance first could be in prime position to sell to everyone else.

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stevieb - on 22:49 Mon
In reply to summo:

> It's all very sweet and well meaning but it will just cost the tax payers money.

> If they want to change the world, they should study hard and bring change through science and innovation.

You live in a country with better public transport than the UK, better cycling infrastructure than the UK, better insulated more efficient building than the UK, greener electricity, more ambitious targets for future power generation, scooter hire schemes, and such a positive recycling culture that you have to import foreign combustible waste to keep your power plants going. 

New science isn’t the key here, it’s political will and integrated planning. You live in a country that proves it. 

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SenzuBean - on 06:23 Tue
In reply to summo:

> It's all very sweet and well meaning but it will just cost the tax payers money.

> If they want to change the world, they should study hard and bring change through science and innovation.

The same bollocks was said 50 years ago, and it was still rubbish then. We cannot science our way out of this mess - we need to fundamentally (and now rapidly) change the way that society works from being focused on endless growth to being sustainable. There are already hundreds of thousands of scientists around the globe, saying we need to change our consumption habits - and nothing has happened - emissions have only got worse.

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summo on 06:27 Tue
In reply to stevieb:

> You live in a country with better public transport than the UK, better cycling infrastructure than the UK, better insulated more efficient building than the UK, greener electricity, more ambitious targets for future power generation, scooter hire schemes, and such a positive recycling culture that you have to import foreign combustible waste to keep your power plants going. 

Yes and it didn't come about through people blocking transport and damaging corporations buildings. But because it's what a majority of people desire. They are willing to sacrifice the time to cycle, walk, recycle etc.. they elect politicians who follow their views and generally don't promise the world off ever decreasing tax take etc. Culturally and mentally sweden and UK are vastly different in this respect.

Science does have the answer, but half the UK probably doesn't even believe the science that climate change is real. 

Have their protest by all means, but the big companies like shell etc will probably just give their staff an extended Easter holiday. The problem I have is these people aren't environmentalists they are anti capitalists and it's just another excuse to damage property.  

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summo on 06:42 Tue
In reply to SenzuBean:

> The same bollocks was said 50 years ago, and it was still rubbish then. We cannot science our way out of this mess - we need to fundamentally (and now rapidly) change the way that society works from being focused on endless growth to being sustainable. There are already hundreds of thousands of scientists around the globe, saying we need to change our consumption habits - and nothing has happened - emissions have only got worse.

By science I was thinking more of fusion, molecular construction, or more advanced re cycling as a lot of waste is still burnt, we just use better filter systems to capture the crap in chimneys. 

But I will agree in part. So maybe the targets should be the companies that offer to sell you everything instantly and the population in general that buys it. 

What happens in the UK and London won't change anything, it's global. There are several billion in Asia who desperately want to get their living standards up to what the UK already enjoys. How many politicians even give a passing thought to Gretas speech. 

China, India, USA etc are not going to change individually, trump will get another term. Nothing will change until water levels are lapping at their ankles, by then Bangladesh will be under water. 

Even locally, German, Italy etc  brink of recession, they can only save their economy and precious euro by more spending. Their governments don't care how, be it debt driven or materialistic crap. They just got to get those figures up. Time to trade in that perfectly functional 5yr old Audi and spend another £40k on a new one etc.. 

It's pessimism, but all the more sensible countries can do is ready themselves to feed, water and house an awful lot more people in the next century. That and war. 

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summo on 06:54 Tue
In reply to stevieb:

> New science isn’t the key here, it’s political will and integrated planning. You live in a country that proves it. 

It's not driven by politicians, but their population. 

The people who are causing the problems in the UK are the 70million. If they shopped, travelled, voted consciously then change would be quick. New policies etc. Would reflect their views. 

Shouting at shell that they are evil won't help, if 5 million people pull into their petrol stations and tank up a car whose engine is arguably twice as large as it needs to be, but they deliberately bought it anyway, so they can drive their 2 miles to work in style. 

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Irk the Purist - on 07:01 Tue
In reply to summo:

Science and innovation is what got us here in the first place. 

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summo on 07:15 Tue
In reply to Irk the Purist:

> Science and innovation is what got us here in the first place. 

But also what took us away from steam and diesel trains, coal house fires, lead in paint and petrol, landfill etc.. 

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TobyA on 07:35 Tue
In reply to Oceanrower:

I walked through the demonstrations outside Parliament and at Piccadilly Circus yesterday, and what I saw was completely peaceful direct action. On foot it was still easy to get where you needed to go, and indeed much nicer than normal due to the closing of the roads to motor vehicles. I was with my kids, including my baby who was asleep in the papoose for a chunk of the day - so the lack of traffic was a pleasant surprise.

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Irk the Purist - on 07:49 Tue
In reply to summo:

I guess the idea that the answer to the problems of technology is more technology is a compelling one.

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MeMeMe - on 08:19 Tue
In reply to Jimbo W:

I think the protestors are just desperate to get across the message that we’ve got only got 12, no 11 now, years to enact the changes necessary to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. 

The consequences of inaction on this issue, or really the consequences of a lack of dramatic change, are likely to be so catastrophic that shutting down the centre of London for a few days is, to say the least, something of a minor inconvenience in comparison.

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toad - on 08:25 Tue
In reply to Jimbo W:

Ironically,the nottingham protest blocked the main bus routes into and out of thecity,so i  was stuck on a (biogas) bus for a while. All very good natured andthey were letting the traffic move. Probably a necessary event, but as to if they changed any minds.....

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summo on 08:27 Tue
In reply to MeMeMe:

> I think the protestors are just desperate to get across the message that we’ve got only got 12, no 11 now, years to enact the changes necessary to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. 

It's realistically too late already and they are lobbying the wrong people in the wrong country. There should have been a coordinated global effort and lobby all politicians and those promoting consumerism in every country, on the same day. Steal the headlines globally. The Uk's little protest will be lost on page 5 in every other country in the world. 

> The consequences of inaction on this issue, or really the consequences of a lack of dramatic change, are likely to be so catastrophic that shutting down the centre of London for a few days is, to say the least, something of a minor inconvenience in comparison.

I agree. But shutting down London for a month won't change the habits of 70m people in the UK or 3-4billion in Asia. 

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summo on 08:29 Tue
In reply to Irk the Purist:

> I guess the idea that the answer to the problems of technology is more technology is a compelling one.

We can't go back 5000 years (bare a massive meteorite) , so we are where we are. The only way is forwards. 

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Irk the Purist - on 08:33 Tue
In reply to summo:

It is global action.

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summo on 08:35 Tue
In reply to Irk the Purist:

> It is global action.

I've seen nothing of the protests in China or India? 

That's 4 times the population of Europe in just two countries. 

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MeMeMe - on 08:37 Tue
In reply to summo:

> It's realistically too late already and they are lobbying the wrong people in the wrong country. There should have been a coordinated global effort and lobby all politicians and those promoting consumerism in every country, on the same day. Steal the headlines globally. The Uk's little protest will be lost on page 5 in every other country in the world. 

> I agree. But shutting down London for a month won't change the habits of 70m people in the UK or 3-4billion in Asia. 

You can only change what you have the power to change. The people protesting are doing the best they can with what they have, what's the alternative? To do nothing?

Like Ghandi said (or maybe not, who knows with these quotes) "Be the change you wish to see in the world". If we can't make the necessary changes then how can we expect anyone else to.

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Irk the Purist - on 08:40 Tue
In reply to summo:

Great. Well no point doing it anywhere if they can't everyone doing it?

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summo on 08:40 Tue
In reply to MeMeMe:

> You can only change what you have the power to change. The people protesting are doing the best they can with what they have, what's the alternative? To do nothing?

I agree, protesting at Shell Hq won't change the shopping and driving habits of anyone in the UK. 

Biggest recent change in UK? Planet Earth, reaching the whole population. Showing cause and effect of our actions. Educating and then highlighting a solution people can follow. 

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Irk the Purist - on 08:43 Tue
In reply to summo:

> We can't go back 5000 years (bare a massive meteorite) , so we are where we are. The only way is forwards. 

What does forwards mean? 

Technology doesn't exist as an impartial saviour of the world. It can help us, but only if we have the social, political and cultural will.

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stevieb - on 08:45 Tue
In reply to summo:

> It's not driven by politicians, but their population. 

> The people who are causing the problems in the UK are the 70million. If they shopped, travelled, voted consciously then change would be quick. New policies etc. Would reflect their views. 

Yes, the UK has a problem with fatalism, too many people feel they haven't got the power to change things or that it's not their job to change things. Sweden may be in a better place due to less class division, more local democracy, more representative democracy, more equal society, a smaller population, national service, protestant work ethic or whatever.

But it seems strange to then criticise people who do appear to be trying to make a difference. Annoying people on their way to work is probably not the best way to do this, but surely we should be encouraging people who want to make a difference.

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MeMeMe - on 08:57 Tue
In reply to summo:

> I agree, protesting at Shell Hq won't change the shopping and driving habits of anyone in the UK. 

I'm not sure that I agree with you. I'm sure lots of people said smashing windows or throwing yourself in front of the King's horse won't get you the vote. I don't really understand the ways of influencing power but I don't see that you do either despite you being very certain of yourself.

> Biggest recent change in UK? Planet Earth, reaching the whole population. Showing cause and effect of our actions. Educating and then highlighting a solution people can follow. 

Planet Earth was great but I think we might have to throw everything we've got at this to get change and not everyone has the BBC natural history department and a incredibly highly regarded nonagenarian TV presenter to bring to the party.

As I say people are desperate and doing what they can with the resources they have. What would you have them do? Sit on their hands and wait for somebody else to fix everything?

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jkarran - on 09:03 Tue
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

Laudable but impossible. Still, all our great achievements were impossible once upon a time.

> Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

>   If these are achieved what do you think the outcome will be for UK citizens?

Surely that's the point of asking a citizens' assembly to decide. We might decide to live out another few generations before we need to thin population and turn the island into a fortress to keep out climate refugees. We might decide to reshape our economy, re-prioritise sustainability and ecosystem repair over GDP, thrive rather than survive a while longer. Either way, they know change is hard so we have to choose it.

jk

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jkarran - on 09:06 Tue
In reply to summo:

> It probably sounded great in the university debating society before they broke up for easter, when you don't have to plan how to make it happen. I'm wondering where they all parked their bikes, I'd hate to think there was any hypocrisy going on. 

Do you realise quite how much of a bellend you sound today?

jk

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stevieb - on 09:07 Tue
In reply to summo:

> I've seen nothing of the protests in China or India? 

> That's 4 times the population of Europe in just two countries. 

India is projected to meet their green electricity target 8 years before the 2030 deadline, they are meeting their Copenhagen commitments and they are closer to their commitments from the Paris Accord than the US, EU or many other countries.

India's CO2 emissions per capita are 1/4 of the UK and 1/10 of the USA. Seems a bit harsh to single out India for blame.

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Postmanpat on 09:22 Tue
In reply to jkarran:

> Laudable but impossible. Still, all our great achievements were impossible once upon a time.

>

I repeat.What do you think the outcome would be for UK residents if this were achieved?

> Surely that's the point of asking a citizens' assembly to decide. Either way, they know change is hard so we have to choose it.

>

   Why do you think a citizens' assembly (which would appointed by ballot, as I understand it) would be qualified to make the best choice?

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ripper - on 09:32 Tue
In reply to stevieb:

> India is projected to meet their green electricity target 8 years before the 2030 deadline, they are meeting their Copenhagen commitments and they are closer to their commitments from the Paris Accord than the US, EU or many other countries.

> India's CO2 emissions per capita are 1/4 of the UK and 1/10 of the USA. Seems a bit harsh to single out India for blame.


Also, to be fair, if there were any protests in India it's unlikely our UK/Europe/US-centric media would consider them worthy of showing

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Jimbo W on 09:41 Tue
In reply to SenzuBean:

> The same bollocks was said 50 years ago, and it was still rubbish then. We cannot science our way out of this mess - we need to fundamentally (and now rapidly) change the way that society works from being focused on endless growth to being sustainable. There are already hundreds of thousands of scientists around the globe, saying we need to change our consumption habits - and nothing has happened - emissions have only got worse.

Science definitely has a role.

Carbon Engineering announced a prototype brute force technology that can extract 365 tonnes of CO2 a year. They say that a plant scale development will be able to extract 60,000 tonnes a year. At that level, you would need 100,000 such plants to equalise current global CO2 emissions. By comparison, there are approx 60,000 power plants globally. That is a not an impossible task, but shows such tech could definitely have an impact, but what's missing are the economics. They recently announced a $68million investment, but that's from fossil fuel corporations interested in their fuel production technology, and without state support, the concern is that these avenues will be shut down. What's missing is globally relevant robust carbon pricing (with redistribution of the dividends) that will drive the expansion of the sector.

Reading the literature, there is a huge amount happening on Carbon fixation technology, from algae to nanotechnology. Some of this already looks viable, and while the amount of research is dwarfed by cancer research (absurd), what's actually missing is the economic underpinning: both the investment in R&D, but particularly the carbon pricing that incentivises the spin-outs we so badly need. Similar scientific advances are evident in battery technology, particularly metal-air (zinc air) based batteries, but again, much greater incentives are still needed even though battery technology is doing reasonably well.

Biochar is another technology that needs incentivised. This is making charcoal from fast growing biomass. The charcoal, production in a largely self sustaining reaction, can then be used as a stable soil amendment in farming that fixes that carbon, but can also help to mitigate soil erosion, encourage nutrient retention, reducing the amount of fertilisers required, and reduce run-off and eutrophication. The science shows that this must be tailored to the right soils and crop preferences, but farmers are already using satellite tech to dictate the specifics of chemical applications and crop selection. Some of this is already happening, but not at scale, and for that, incentives are required. Carbon pricing would help, but also manipulation of e.g. the CAP in Europe.

Even in areas that are no brainers, science is still required. Reforestation may seem like good sense, and it is, but we again need the economic incentives we don't have. But reforestation needs science. For example, the English oak is not likely to grow in the conditions the UK is developing. That's a problem, because in the UK, the oak is the pinnacle of biodiversity supporting more insect species than any other under its canopy. So we have to use other trees that are less supportive of biodiversity. Which one's will survive AND support the biodiversity we need? The science is there to guide us, but be under no illusions we can't just put nature back, this will involve engineering. Research also shows that switching from conventional farming to agroforestry, can help improve yields (especially in a warming climate), stabilise soils and help fix carbon.

My point is that we have no choice to science our way out of this, and a big part of that equation is the currently insufficient economic incentives to make that happen. None of which takes away from your point that global consumption must by radically curbed, which is also absolutely necessary.

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jkarran - on 09:54 Tue
In reply to Postmanpat:

> I repeat.What do you think the outcome would be for UK residents if this were achieved?

It would depend entirely how it were achieved. I can't think of a way that isn't extremely disruptive, frankly most just involve genocide but this is the scale of the problem we face. We need greater minds than mine to deliver acceptable solutions (which to be clear genocide isn't) and faster than we typically decide to build a new roundabout. Or we need to find a way to expand that time frame without failing in the ultimate objective, realistically this is where today's most urgent work lies.

>    Why do you think a citizens' assembly (which would appointed by ballot, as I understand it) would be qualified to make the best choice?

You provide the technical education and support required for them to make informed choices coloured by their personal experiences and circumstances. They don't necessarily make the best choice, best is subjective anyway, we broadly already know what is technically necessary but the idea is they make a good, informed choice the population can and will live with. As I said, we may decide to forego the disruption and leave our grandchildren to figure out how to simultaneously deal with societal collapse and migratory flows in the billions. I always thought it'd be a MAD miscalculation that ended mankind's run of civilisation, I think that now has stiff competition.

jk

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Postmanpat on 10:12 Tue
In reply to jkarran:

> It would depend entirely how it were achieved. I can't think of a way that isn't extremely disruptive, frankly most just involve genocide but this is the scale of the problem we face.

>

  But you think we should be demonstrating in the streets to promote this genocide?

> You provide the technical education and support required for them to make informed choices coloured by their personal experiences and circumstances. They don't necessarily make the best choice, best is subjective anyway, we broadly already know what is technically necessary but the idea is they make a good, informed choice the population can and will live with.

>

   So, you trust ordinary randomly chosen people to listen to the right advice and vote accordingly?

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fifthsunset - on 10:39 Tue
In reply to Jimbo W:

> Having read as much of the science as I can, this seems to me an entirely rational, insufficiently proportionate and tardy response to climate breakdown albeit in the right direction.

> What will it take for people and governments to wake up to the existential crisis we face? Do you support these protestors and this non violent civil disobedience?

Climate change is a problem that human psychology is set up to ignore. It's happening gradually, its invisible and it's so vast in scale and severity that its tempting to downplay, deny, shift blame. Imagine that in the 1970s we'd worked out that an extinction-sized meteor would hit Earth around the year 2050. Humanity would have united and by now we'd have invented warp speed AI robots to go and blow it up. We'd be patting ourselves on the back for a job well done. Climate change is no less grave a threat but some people are still pretending it doesn't exist, or blaming others.

Human civilisation is based on agriculture and by the end of the century, crops will be 50% less productive. There will be global food shortages. We are undoing civilisation itself. 

2°C warmer used to be the unthinkable upper limit, now it's our target. The last time it was 4°C warmer there were palm trees in the arctic. 8°C warmer is a hellscape, clouds will not be able to form. We are currently on track for 4.1°C to 4.8°C warmer.

Earth has lost half its wildlife in the last 40 years.

7 million people die from air pollution every year. That's a WW2 sized holocaust happened every single year but because its caused by negligence rather than on purpose we shrug our shoulders.

This is the only project for life we know of in the universe and this is what we are doing to it. 

So if you dont agree with people protesting in a desperate, overdue attempt to stop this from happening, please have a think about what we're up against. 

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jkarran - on 10:42 Tue
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   But you think we should be demonstrating in the streets to promote this genocide?

Oh FFS! I explicitly stated that I am not proposing genocide, not because in any sane or reasonable discussion it should be necessary but because I expected exactly this stupid shit from you! Give over.

Yes I think people are right to protest.

>    So, you trust ordinary randomly chosen people to listen to the right advice and vote accordingly?

I don't have a problem with the concept of broadly educating and supporting a capable cross section of our community to make complex decisions in the interest of the wider community. Frankly this is what our parliament should be doing but can't for a number of reasons (adversarial design, selection for ambition/loyalty/political acumen over technical expertise, vested interests, and non representative make up).

jk

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Postmanpat on 11:00 Tue
In reply to jkarran:

> Oh FFS! I explicitly stated that I am not proposing genocide, >

You said "I can't think of a way that isn't extremely disruptive, frankly most just involve genocide but this is the scale of the problem we face."

  So the rational inference is that people are protesting in favour of a policy that will at best be "extremely disruptive" eg.create mass poverty, and at worst be genocidal.

"Yes I think people are right to protest."

So you are supporting protests that you believe, if successful, may produce mass poverty and at worst genocide?

  That is not to suggest, and I didn't,  that you are proposing genocide, but it would appear that you are supporting protests that you acknowledge may result in genocide.

  I thought no one ever voted to be poorer?

> I don't have a problem with the concept of broadly educating and supporting a capable cross section of our community to make complex decisions in the interest of the wider community. Frankly this is what our parliament should be doing but can't for a number of reasons (adversarial design, selection for ambition/loyalty/political acumen over technical expertise, vested interests, and non representative make up).

>

  So, I'm not clear. Do you or do you not think that a randomly chosen "peoples' assembly" should  be trusted to make sensible choices? Incidentally, if they are randomly chosen, how do you know that they will be "capable"?

Post edited at 11:01
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summo on 11:03 Tue
In reply to Jimbo W:

I'll exit this debate and just leave ukc to congratulate each other on how green we all think we are, whilst driving around the country just to do sports, with a car full of clothing and equipment manufactured primarily from oil. 

I don't expect anyone to change, I think the only hope is for the West to use technology so that the rest of world can reach our standard of living without destroying things more than they have to in the process. That requires cooperation, sacrifices and willingness on all sides. 

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jkarran - on 11:17 Tue
In reply to Postmanpat:

> You said "I can't think of a way that isn't extremely disruptive, frankly most just involve genocide but this is the scale of the problem we face."

I also said: We need greater minds than mine to deliver acceptable solutions (which to be clear genocide isn't)

It's hard to imagine how I could have been any clearer.

>   So the rational inference is that people are protesting in favour of a policy that will at best be "extremely disruptive" eg.create mass poverty, and at worst be genocidal.

Arguably genocide isn't the 'at worst' outcome, doing nothing may be worse. Still, it isn't an acceptable solution so we need to find one that is.

> "Yes I think people are right to protest."

> So you are supporting protests that you believe, if successful, may produce mass poverty and at worst genocide?

Yes I think people are right to raise awareness of the defining and most urgent issue of our age. The issue which will unchecked very likely lead to poverty, famine and genocide. Yes I think solutions that cause massive disruption will be necessary but once again for the hard of thinking (which you're not, you're just being a prick for the sake of it) I am not advocating genocide to this end, nor is anyone else.

>   I thought no one ever voted to be poorer?

Halting climate change doesn't need us to be poorer, it does need us to redefine wealth. I think we have plenty of evidence of people choosing a future for their family over material wealth in the here and now. I presume this is another petty brexit reference?

>   So, I'm not clear. Do you or do you not think that a randomly chosen "peoples' assembly" should  be trusted to make sensible choices? Incidentally, if they are randomly chosen, how do you know that they will be "capable"?

They don't have to be completely randomly chosen to be effective and representative. Juries aren't, people unable to act in that capacity for one reason or another are excused, it's entirely reasonable that a degree of selection also be applied to ensure the representatives are willing and able to access the education and expertise they need to make an informed choice.

jk

Post edited at 11:24
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jethro kiernan - on 11:28 Tue
In reply to jkarran:

I agree with the idea of a citizen assembly, as has been pointed out the harsh choices that will have to be made won’t be made by politicians under our present system. Such as car usage being dramatically cut down, suburban growth stopped, dramatic change in consumption and change to our neoliberal market led philosophy with its growth driven, GDP fixated closed system. At least one political party is opposed to this in its very DNA.

its a system that takes the advice off experts and condenses them into a series of actions with clear consequences spelt out for not following the recommendations.

As we have seen this can be tricky, how this then squares with parliamentary sovereignty then becomes difficult but desperate times call for desperate measures.

the Paris accord is historically going to be viewed as similar to Chamberlains peace in our time.

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Postmanpat on 11:29 Tue
In reply to jkarran:

> I also said: We need greater minds than mine to deliver acceptable solutions (which to be clear genocide isn't)

> It's hard to imagine how I could have been any clearer.

> jk

  I have now twice explained that I am not suggesting that you are consciously proposing genocide


  You are simply not owning the logic of your support for them. The obvious outcome of such radical and immediate reductions in CO2 would be economic collapse and mass poverty. Neither they nor you can suggest any way of avoiding this (nor, it would appear can those with more technological, scientific and and economic knowledge) so you are, by implication accepting that we should take very great risk of accepting those outcomes as preferable to a slower and better formulated and managed transition.

  I suspect that your real position is a belief that urgent actions needs to be taken and that any non-violent way of raising awareness is therefore good.

  Do you think that that the average person in the street fighting their way home after 9 hours at work to look after their children will be very sympathetic to (many well healed) protestors whose aims will likely cause them to live in material poverty but who tell them that they will be spiritually better off?

  The spokesperson for the protestors on R4 said the assembly should be by "ballot". Which criteria should be used to restrict this to "capable" people?

Post edited at 11:31
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jkarran - on 12:01 Tue
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   You are simply not owning the logic of your support for them. The obvious outcome of such radical and immediate reductions in CO2 would be economic collapse and mass poverty.

No, that is one possible outcome. It is the most likely of course but then nobody believes we can decarbonise in 6 years without total nuclear war (which again to be abundantly clear I don't consider an acceptable solution) but we face a radical existential threat, we need radical solutions. First and foremost we obviously need to find a way to stretch that timeline and we need to make a serious start now.

Alas the last three years and the next ten look set to be tied up with your brexit bullshit which makes us poorer without giving our grandchildren a better chance of passing a civilisation on tor theirs. Still, we all choose what's important to us I guess.

> Neither they nor you can suggest any way of avoiding this (nor, it would appear can those with more technological, scientific and and economic knowledge) so you are, by implication accepting that we should take very great risk of accepting those outcomes as preferable to a slower and better formulated and managed transition.

Well I could make suggestions, it is an area of interest is not expertise and my suggestions won't get us where we need to go. But what's the point, you don't want answers, answers require change.

>   I suspect that your real position is a belief that urgent actions needs to be taken and that any non-violent way of raising awareness is therefore good.

You suspect? 10/10 for literacy.

>   Do you think that that the average person in the street fighting their way home after 9 hours at work to look after their children will be very sympathetic to (many well healed) protestors whose aims will likely cause them to live in material poverty but who tell them that they will be spiritually better off?

Why are they working 9H days? The choice isn't between wealth and 'spiritual well being', we could prioritise different things to achieve decent lives, rampant, fu*k it all from space for another penny on the share price, capitalism isn't the only way to live. It isn't any way to live if we're honest with ourselves. We're dinosaurs you and I, different types but dinosaurs none the less. Like them we'll be extinct soon and that's probably for the best.

>   The spokesperson for the protestors on R4 said the assembly should be by "ballot". Which criteria should be used to restrict this to "capable" people?

Again I'm no expert but I'd suggest, like jury selection you call up more than you need then you exclude those who don't meet the requirements.

Out of curiosity, what is your objection to making decisions in this manner? Let's skip the potential (but solvable) incompatibility between direct and parliamentary democracy exposed by the brexit catastroshambles for now.

jk

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fifthsunset - on 12:03 Tue
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Do you think that that the average person in the street fighting their way home after 9 hours at work to look after their children will be very sympathetic to (many well healed) protestors whose aims will likely cause them to live in material poverty but who tell them that they will be spiritually better off?

If you think this is a "spiritual" problem, you're not paying attention. 

I assume you dont dispute the IPCC finding? We have to act right f*cking now. I dont understand how the wealth or class of the people raising the issue is relevant. 

And it should go without saying that the longer we wait before acting, the more it will cost and the more ordinary people will suffer.

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Postmanpat on 12:17 Tue
In reply to jkarran:

> No, that is one possible outcome. It is the most likely of course but then nobody believes we can decarbonise in 6 years without total nuclear war (which again to be abundantly clear I don't consider an acceptable solution)

>

  So would it be true to say that you don't support the explicit aims of the protests (which include decarbonisation within six years) but nevertheless support their protests?

> Alas the last three years and the next ten look set to be tied up with your brexit bullshit which makes us poorer without giving our grandchildren a better chance of passing a civilisation on tor theirs. Still, we all choose what's important to us I guess.

> Well I could make suggestions, it is an area of interest is not expertise and my suggestions won't get us where we need to go. But what's the point, you don't want answers, answers require change.

>

  I want to understand how the aims of the protestors are compatible with no collapse into material poverty and no civil mass disorder. Given that that yu supports their protests is that such an unreasonable thing to ask?

> You suspect? 10/10 for literacy.

> It isn't any way to live if we're honest with ourselves. We're dinosaurs you and I, different types but dinosaurs none the less. Like them we'll be extinct soon and that's probably for the best.

  The problem with utopian aspirations and solutions is that they pretty much invariably end in disaster. If the 'isms of the 20th century taught us anything it should have taught us that. And that's before we get on to religion......

> Again I'm no expert but I'd suggest, like jury selection you call up more than you need then you exclude those who don't meet the requirements.

> Out of curiosity, what is your objection to making decisions in this manner? Let's skip the potential (but solvable) incompatibility between direct and parliamentary democracy exposed by the brexit catastroshambles for now.

>

  Have you ever sat on a jury. I haven't but the overwhelming feedback from people who have seems to be that many of the members couldn't be trusted to read a train timetable. How might we exclude these?

   For all sorts of reasons very many people are not qualified or interested to make complicated decisions and certainly not ongoing decisions about massively complex subjects. Such a small group of unqualified people can be incredibly easily manipulated. But maybe that is the point......?

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Postmanpat on 12:18 Tue
In reply to fifthsunset:

> If you think this is a "spiritual" problem, you're not paying attention. 

>

  Jesus wept. And your not paying attention the thread.....

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summo on 12:24 Tue
In reply to fifthsunset:

> And it should go without saying that the longer we wait before acting, the more it will cost and the more ordinary people will suffer.

2 different goals, human suffering or saving species diversity? 

The best way to maintain or at least give rediversificaton of species a chance over the next few hundred thousand years would be a catastrophic reduction or annihilation of the human population. 

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jkarran - on 12:38 Tue
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   So would it be true to say that you don't support the explicit aims of the protests (which include decarbonisation within six years) but nevertheless support their protests?

I would support a viable plan to decarbonise sustainably in 6 years. My understanding is we don't have one so next best I propose we develop one or one that gets us as close as possible.

My position isn't complicated, we need to effect massive change, the goals of those most motivated are going to seem unrealistic to those of us like you and I with different perspectives, who are less motivated. My belief that their goals are unobtainable doesn't mean I believe we shouldn't strive to miss by as little as possible.

Yes I support the protests. Yes I would like to see this issue top priority in government, the one around which all other policy is shaped. No I don't accept that means making us poor though I accept we have different definitions of poor.

>   I want to understand how the aims of the protestors are compatible with no collapse into material poverty and no civil mass disorder. Given that that yu supports their protests is that such an unreasonable thing to ask?

I don't suppose most of them can answer the question any better than I. The question does have answers though, we just need to find out if when the facts are considered we're willing to pick one of them, to radically change how we do things so as to leave a viable civilisation to the next generation.

>   The problem with utopian aspirations and solutions is that they pretty much invariably end in disaster. If the 'isms of the 20th century taught us anything it should have taught us that. And that's before we get on to religion......

I'm sure we'll make some horrible mistakes along the way. Just as I'm sure that doing nothing isn't acceptable or sustainable so I'm willing to take the risk.

>   Have you ever sat on a jury. I haven't but the overwhelming feedback from people who have seems to be that many of the members couldn't be trusted to read a train timetable. How might we exclude these?

Well we could start by asking them if they are willing to participate rather than compelling them and we could ensure they have sufficient base level education to build on as adults, or not, include the undereducated and provide the support they need. Seriously, this isn't my field but it isn't beyond the wit of man to get a group of 50-100 willing, capable and varied people together.

>    For all sorts of reasons very many people are not qualified or interested to make complicated decisions and certainly not ongoing decisions about massively complex subjects. Such a small group of unqualified people can be incredibly easily manipulated. But maybe that is the point......?

Propose a better solution.

jk

Post edited at 12:43
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profitofdoom on 13:31 Tue
In reply to Jimbo W:

> ...........these corporations did their own research, realised the potential implications of fossil fuel emissions for the environment and billions of human lives, and then ignored it in the pursuit of profit.

Yes, that's right I'm sure. Two questions, 1. Do you use fossil fuels yourself? 2. What's your proposal?

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bouldery bits - on 14:00 Tue

In reply to floratysa:

> If they want to change the world, they should study hard and bring change through science and innovation.

Bahahahahahahahahaaaaaa

Top banter. 

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Timmd on 14:54 Tue
In reply to profitofdoom:

They did do you know.

In an agreeable way, asking people if they use fossil fuels themselves, in a society that runs on them where avoiding using them is difficult (or in a flat - impractical verging on impossible) and (and for many prohibitively) expensive not to, isn't a 'fair' question, I would suggest.

Post edited at 15:03
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Jimbo W on 14:58 Tue

In reply to floratysa:

> If they want to change the world, they should study hard and bring change through science and innovation.

Why would you study in this area when governments ignore too much the science (whether climate science, biodiversity, through to tech innovation, such as the chemistry and nanotechnology in battery innovation or carbon fixation)?

Why would you study in this area when governments relatively do not support the R&D in these areas?

Why would you study in this area when governments do not provide the economic infrastructure that values spin-out and business development of this technology?

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subtle on 15:20 Tue
In reply to Jimbo W:

Never mind the rights and wrongs of all this - what happened to the water cannons in London? They would be ideal for dealing with this sort of protest - disperse the crowd and clean up the litter/debris they leave behind as well.

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myrddinmuse - on 15:42 Tue
In reply to Jimbo W:

Support. Those who decry the mention of biodiversity over human suffering don't realise that the issues are profoundly intertwined.

I wasn't able to attend, but these people are driven by the rising awareness that it's not some vague future generations who are going to have to live with the effects of climate change. It will be us. Public support has been leaning towards clean solutions for years and it's not reflected in policy. Organisers have done their research on what strategy works and they are following through.

Many young people are already working on "innovative solutions" but as someone has already said, what can we do when our research is ignored? And what do people under 18 do as they read the data that shows their future slipping away on someone else's warch? They're mobilising, and thank f*ck for that.

Post edited at 15:45
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myrddinmuse - on 15:44 Tue
In reply to Jimbo W:

And ANY disruption they could conceivably cause will pale in comparison with the disruption if we do not act now. The arithmetic is not hard to do.

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summo on 15:46 Tue
In reply to myrddinmuse:

> And ANY disruption they could conceivably cause will pale in comparison with the disruption if we do not act now. The arithmetic is not hard to do.

I'll play devils advocate, can you justify your travel for climbing? 

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Moley on 16:05 Tue
In reply to subtle:

> Never mind the rights and wrongs of all this - what happened to the water cannons in London? They would be ideal for dealing with this sort of protest - disperse the crowd and clean up the litter/debris they leave behind as well.

And no need to arrest them.

 Before the protest an organiser was being interviewed and saying they planned to have as many people as possible arrested. They are not doing badly there.

But I hoped they pointed out to the younger more impressionable protesters that being arrested and charged with an offence (probably receive a caution?) is not great for some job prospects in life. By all means come along and protest, but having a criminal record ain't so clever for some.

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summo on 16:10 Tue
In reply to Moley:

I expect the organisers don't care. It's not them in the cells and not their potential career being killed off by having a criminal record. 

Post edited at 16:11
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subtle on 16:16 Tue
In reply to summo:

> I expect the organisers don't care. It's not them in the cells and not their potential career being killed off by having a criminal record. 

Exactly - don't arrest them, let them protest, if they need moved though then open the water cannons, they will soon move and thus being wet and uncomfortable will soon move off completely but having got their protest noted and without suffering implications of arrest

Simple solution for complex problems - simples as our PM would say

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Eric9Points - on 16:22 Tue
In reply to Jimbo W:

> China is the biggest total emitter, less so per capita, but subtract western productive outsourcing and indeed productivity directed to western consumption, we let ourselves off the hook far too easily. Meanwhile chinese solar panel production has rendered them globally accessible even without incentives - why not price that carbon balance in in China's favour? And with India, Chinese reforestation efforts are responsible for the residual global balance that remains in favour of greening despite rainforest deforestation.

I think you're nitpicking in your criticism of the UK to a certain extent but I don't have the inclination to dig out and post loads of links.

I called out a few other countries because in past climate change summits it has not been the Europeans who have been obstructive but other countries, India being a notable example. I'm sure you'll see my statement as a call to defend them and in the end blame us again but it did strike me that a number of countries see these summits as opportunities for a bit of bartering rather than serious attempts at averting a catastrophe.

> The ambition only looks ludicrous because, while it is infact pretty consistent with a 1.5°c target, we haven't factored in the societal breakdown we have created with the loan that paid for yesterday and today. Once that environmental debt is called in (which at current CO2 levels involved deciduous trees in Antarctica, a much hotter temperate north, and a commensurately uninhabitable tropics), it won't look nearly so ludicrous. And yet we aren't stopping here!

What is ludicrous is not the ambition but the detail of how they want to make change happen. A citizens council dictating to a government what it should do? Where does Parliament fit in, how does anyone know what this council will actually decide and who do they answer to? Sounds like the sort of thing a seven year would come up with.

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summo on 16:23 Tue
In reply to subtle:

Water canons? We're trying to save the planet here, that's such a waste. 

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subtle on 16:31 Tue
In reply to summo:

> Water canons? We're trying to save the planet here, that's such a waste. 

Why would it be?

The water cannons exist.

The water is pumped from the Thames, into the electric vehicles, blasted at the protesters, clears the streets of the protesters but also cleans the debris left behind by then, the water flows back into water courses/drains and ends up back in the Thames. Ok, there's the electricity for the pump but this is balanced by the cleaning effect of the water meaning no electric road sweepers required in this area.

Actually, this could be a winner for a lot of protests, could be on to something here - oh, wait, what happened to the water cannons again?   https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-46258584

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krikoman - on 16:36 Tue
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   If these are achieved what do you think the outcome will be for UK citizens?

We'll live in a better environment?

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L Mrs. T. May on 16:37 Tue


All a load of wankers

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Ramblin dave - on 16:44 Tue
In reply to summo:

> I'll play devils advocate, can you justify your travel for climbing? 

This is irrelevant.

I think that as a society we need to shift rapidly into the mindset that we're going to have to take drastic action to prevent climate change from causing death, destruction and social collapse on a global scale within our lifetimes. If part of that shift is that I have to cut back my climbing trips further than I already have done then I can deal with that. But we need to do that collectively. Until then, me deciding to go for a bike ride at the weekend rather than driving to North Wales isn't going to make a jot of difference.

BTW, are you familiar with the term "argumentum ad hominem"?

Post edited at 16:49
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summo on 16:49 Tue
In reply to Ramblin dave:

True. And even if the UK was carbon neutral. Do you really think the USA would follow suit? 

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summo on 16:52 Tue
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> BTW, are you familiar with the term "argumentum ad hominem"?

Yes. 

I'm just asking? People are often quick to say we must do this and that otherwise we are doomed. But slow to make the same lifestyle changes themselves. 

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Ramblin dave - on 16:52 Tue
In reply to summo:

> True. And even if the UK was carbon neutral. Do you really think the USA would follow suit? 

Maybe. Maybe not. One thing that's certain is that if we all sit around waiting for someone else to make the first move then nothing's going to change.

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subtle on 16:55 Tue
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> This is irrelevant.

> If part of that shift is that I have to cut back my climbing trips further than I already have done then I can deal with that. But we need to do that collectively. Until then, me deciding to go for a bike ride at the weekend rather than driving to North Wales isn't going to make a jot of difference.

It depends if you are sticking the bike on the car and driving to bwlch-nant-yr-arian for a MTB session, otherwise each small step helps so stopping driving and bike riding is a start

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MeMeMe - on 16:58 Tue
In reply to Eric9Points:

> What is ludicrous is not the ambition but the detail of how they want to make change happen. A citizens council dictating to a government what it should do? Where does Parliament fit in, how does anyone know what this council will actually decide and who do they answer to? Sounds like the sort of thing a seven year would come up with.

I'd not really read anything about these citizens' assemblies until 10 minutes ago but I'm guessing you've at least looked on their website to see what they are suggesting?

If you haven't then they have some scant details details on their website but it doesn't sound like rocket science nor some kind of crazy off the wall idea, it turns out Ireland already does this thing with various issues - https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/citizens-assembly-is-an-example-to-the-world-says-chairwoman-1.3539370

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galpinos on 17:05 Tue
In reply to summo:

> Yes. 

> I'm just asking? People are often quick to say we must do this and that otherwise we are doomed. But slow to make the same lifestyle changes themselves. 

People are slow to make lifestyle changes, especially in a culture that makes them value consumerism, exotic travel etc. That's why we need government and legislation to lead the change. People are individually often selfish but en masse, can make the massive changes required.

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FactorXXX - on 17:26 Tue
In reply to galpinos:

> People are slow to make lifestyle changes, especially in a culture that makes them value consumerism, exotic travel etc. That's why we need government and legislation to lead the change. People are individually often selfish but en masse, can make the massive changes required.

That's perfectly understandable.
However, whenever this crops up on UKC, it's pretty much guaranteed that the people saying that something should be done are travelling here, there and everywhere on climbing trips.
 

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myrddinmuse - on 17:28 Tue
In reply to summo:

That's a tough issue, and I am the first to acknowledge that I could do more in my life to have a smaller impact. For myself, living in Wales and having most of my family living in the USA has always been a hard choice to me regardless of climbing. Can I justify traveling the atlantic once a year without being an utter hypocrite? Is it worth losing family connection to save the planet? I've chosen family, and I've chosen climbing, more often than not.

For me I've tried to make amends for it by pursuing a career choice in renewable energy research, partaking in activism when I can, and making other lifestyle changes. I'm not perfect, and everybody's a hypocrite. How about you?

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Timmd on 17:38 Tue
In reply to subtle:

> Never mind the rights and wrongs of all this - what happened to the water cannons in London? They would be ideal for dealing with this sort of protest - disperse the crowd and clean up the litter/debris they leave behind as well.

Do you know people can lose eyes to water cannons?

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Ramblin dave - on 17:39 Tue
In reply to FactorXXX:

> However, whenever this crops up on UKC, it's pretty much guaranteed that the people saying that something should be done are travelling here, there and everywhere on climbing trips.

Do you think that nothing should be done? Carry on as we are and apologise to the next generation later?

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FactorXXX - on 17:52 Tue
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> Do you think that nothing should be done? Carry on as we are and apologise to the next generation later?

Of course something should be done.
Just it seems that some people on UKC want the Government to do *something* about it whilst still going on foreign climbing trips, etc.
If those individuals were that concerned about it to the degree of voicing it on UKC, then surely they should stop flying as a matter of course?
It's a bit like continuing to smoke because the Government hasn't banned it.

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summo on 17:56 Tue
In reply to myrddinmuse:

Like every ukcer I'm a hypocrite. But I'm not waiting for legislation, I do what I can already. I don't do any pointless shopping, grow a lot of our own food, one short haul flight a year or less. I'm happy to buy seconded hand, expect a cheap smart phone to last 6 or 7 years, have a 10 year old small engined petrol car. I do many sports from the door, I often cycle to another place if i choose to train, climb, swim etc.. indoors. We live too remote for any refuse collection, but can usually get our non recyclable waste down to less than one carrier bag a week. I probably use outdoor gear that's older than you. 

But, even then I'm sure we are still living beyond our means in a sustainable sense. 

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GridNorth - on 18:06 Tue
In reply to Jimbo W:

Words are easy, it's what people actually do that is important. Down the pub the other night one of our group was extremely vocal with regard to us all doing our bit and as often happens in situations like this he and his wife came across as what can only be described as a morally, superior attitude, lecturing each and every one us to try harder. It felt like instant karma when we did a bit of a rough and ready scoring, over the previous 5 years, of each of our individual carbon footprints.  Out of a group of 8 they both came out with a far higher score than anyone else in the group.  They had a car each and had 3 holidays a year abroad with at least one being a long haul.

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Ramblin dave - on 18:38 Tue
In reply to FactorXXX:

> It's a bit like continuing to smoke because the Government hasn't banned it.

It's more like continuing to smoke while saying that the government should stop the local chemical plant venting toxic fumes across the town center. Those of us who are ecologically concerned can do as little or as much as we want (for my part, I feel like I do a fair bit but I honestly don't know where it sits in the grand scheme of things) but we're still screwed unless we either have radical action at a government level or a global shift of values so huge that it'd make radical action at a government level look trivial. And as such, I'd rather cheer on and support the people who are actually trying to achieve that than undermine them by carping about how little or how much they might hypothetically be doing on a personal level.

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MeMeMe - on 20:34 Tue
In reply to FactorXXX:

Some people have made lots of changes, some people have made some changes and some people have done nothing, personally I think that’s a good reason to affect change at governmental level rather than solely relying on individual action.

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wintertree - on 20:49 Tue
In reply to summo:

> True. And even if the UK was carbon neutral. Do you really think the USA would follow suit? 

Yes.

In the long term even ignoring climate change there is no choice but to go carbon neutral.  Supply will eventually be exhausted.

Whoever invests heavily in R&D and infrastructure to go carbon neural first will reap a fortune as other places follow, driven...

  • By necessity - supply exhaustion
  • By internal/external legislative pressure (itself driven partly by protest and in la la land by the legislators paying any attention to research what so ever)
  • By carbon neutral solutions becoming cheaper than fossil carbon solutions.   

Much of the developed world is listless and aimless - no gobal war to win, no Apollo program to spent the nation’s wealth on.  I think de carbonisation should be the UKs over arching goal, taken as seriously as a world war and the first moon shot.  But no, we squander our incredible wealth on pointless shite whilst the world goes to hell.

Change starts at home and our overarching household goal is a reduction in carbon footprint including by adapting lifestyles and finding ways to be at least as happy without travel etc.  Would that more people would do this - instead they’re going to make these protests look like summer camp when an increasingly desperate world forces them to change lifestyles in ways they’re not prepared for.  

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FactorXXX - on 21:04 Tue
In reply to MeMeMe:

> Some people have made lots of changes, some people have made some changes and some people have done nothing, personally I think that’s a good reason to affect change at governmental level rather than solely relying on individual action.

You're missing the point.
It's the people on here that say that the Government should do something, but a quick look at their Log Book/Posting History reveals that they personally are not doing anything with regards to not flying, etc.  
If someone has genuinely changed their lifestyle to do their bit about slowing down Global Warming, etc. then fair enough, criticise away and lets be honest, the best thing we can do as climbers is not to use excessive Fossil Fuels by flying i.e. if you continue flying, then you are effectively on the "some people have done nothing" on your scale of what people have done.

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Jimbo W on 21:25 Tue
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Just it seems that some people on UKC want the Government to do *something* about it whilst still going on foreign climbing trips, etc.

> If those individuals were that concerned about it to the degree of voicing it on UKC, then surely they should stop flying as a matter of course?

They want government to do something, because government are in a very visible position of leadership as well as a position with real power. Just by stating open and honestly how bleak the future looks if we continue on the current trajectory would be a damn good bit of leadership to start with, because it is an honest preparation of the people for what is coming. Contextualising the 60% drop in Italian live oil yield last year, the 20% drop in UK veg production, the fact that European grain yields have been flat lined for >10yrs, and how climate is a major threat to that food would be a damn good start. Talking open and honestly about how water will be so short that desalination will likely be necessary even in the UK within two decades. Talking about the fact that the carbon budget available for our children will mean they have very little of the things we consume and take for granted. That communication is key. Such a dedicated address to the people would be largely believed coming from our prime minister, and that would bring climate reality to a whole new audience, vastly improve the press coverage, and start the conversstion for the difficult policies that we must start to pursue.

Government can also improve the choices available for those who want to improve their environmental impact through the provision of infrastructure and incentives. However, much of the radical economic shift required needs to be done with carbon pricing with redistribution to the people and the alternatives. Disincentivising fracking leaks, disincentivising landfill leaks, disincentivising CO2 emissions from power stations through to agricultural tillage and manure, disincentivising flights and heavy car use. Incentivising renewables, incentivising electrification of transport and energy within the home, incentivising insulation, double glazing and retrofitting of our old housing stock, incentivising, biochar, agroforestry and reforestation. We need the government to take the lead here, because the economic manipulation they can impose can make these things far more accessible as well as opening up new markets.

We're all hypocrites, and any individual commitments  people realise to reduce our impact is a help and is to celebrated, but are you so sure people haven't stopped flying? It can be done! I am a hypocrite in many areas, but as a family, we're trying to get there one step at a time.

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summo on 21:53 Tue
In reply to wintertree:

> Whoever invests heavily in R&D and infrastructure    

> Much of the developed world is listless and aimless - no gobal war to win, no Apollo program to spent the nation’s wealth on.  

Whoever holds the ground breaking patents will hold all the cards. I just don't see it being the UK. Despite all their issues, I think China will win far more innovation races than people are comfortable with in the next 50 years  

> Change starts at home and our overarching household goal is a reduction in carbon footprint including by adapting lifestyles and finding ways to be at least as happy without travel 

Would agree... many people seem happy to spend silly money on a new kitchen or bathroom every ten years, but won't spend anything related to energy improvements that would last a lifetime. 

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MeMeMe - on 22:07 Tue
In reply to FactorXXX:

> You're missing the point.

Is your point ‘some people are hypocrites’? If so then I get it, I just don’t think it’s an interesting or useful point given the upcoming climate catastrophe.

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FactorXXX - on 22:17 Tue
In reply to MeMeMe:

> Is your point ‘some people are hypocrites’? If so then I get it, I just don’t think it’s an interesting or useful point given the upcoming climate catastrophe.

Essentially yes.
It's important because *we* as individuals can do something about it *now* and don't have to wait for Governments to do something.
If people are really concerned about Global Warming, etc. then one contribution (sacrifice) is to stop flying.
 

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MeMeMe - on 22:46 Tue
In reply to FactorXXX:

> If people are really concerned about Global Warming, etc. then one contribution (sacrifice) is to stop flying.

It would be great if the climbing community would do that. 

Oh and turn vegan, i’ve been told it’s one of the simplest and easiest ways to make a significant reduction how much green house gas you are responsible for.

But much as these personal choices make a difference i’d still like the government to act.

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Timmd on 22:58 Tue
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Essentially yes.

> It's important because *we* as individuals can do something about it *now* and don't have to wait for Governments to do something.

> If people are really concerned about Global Warming, etc. then one contribution (sacrifice) is to stop flying.

So long as you don't think in a yearning way about where you could fly to, if you did fly, I've found it's pretty easy to do.

Post edited at 22:59
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Jimbo W on 23:02 Tue
In reply to summo:

> Whoever holds the ground breaking patents will hold all the cards. I just don't see it being the UK. Despite all their issues, I think China will win far more innovation races than people are comfortable with in the next 50 years

I agree. Reading the scientific literature in many areas of relevant innovation, but especially carbon fixation, battery technology, but also genetic selection and modification of crops, there is a significant bias towards Chinese groups, which suggests a significant underlying financial support system exactly where priorities should be. In one example of a significant advance, they have produced a perennial grain crop, a perennial Rice (PR23) with productivity matching typical annual rice, which will help facilitate mixed agriculture, mitigate soil erosion, and could well help facilitate the de-desertification that the Chinese have set out to achieve. But its not just that, its the water infrastructure, reforestation, through to solar on sea that they are doing at scale. Its easy to castigate the Chinese for their emissions, but their mitigation looks more serious than elsewhere around the world, and they are providing us with the technology we need as a side benefit, and that dependence looks likely to grow and grow as the situation gets more serious. Perhaps its not just climate rationalism, but a conscious economics? I think their behaviour is, in the round, more rational than we in the West would like to admit.

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aln - on 23:12 Tue
In reply to Timmd:

> but the exact details escape me.

They usually do. 

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Jimbo W on 23:31 Tue
In reply to FactorXXX:

> It's important because *we* as individuals can do something about it *now* and don't have to wait for Governments to do something.

> If people are really concerned about Global Warming, etc. then one contribution (sacrifice) is to stop flying.

Perhaps UKC could host a climate flight pledge page. A page of people publicly committed to climbing and walking locally, voluntarily giving up flying?

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myrddinmuse - on 00:33 Wed
In reply to summo:

In which case I commend you. But it takes more than individual action to tackle the incoming crisis, as you say. Just because you're not waiting for legislation (commendably), doesn't mean it's not absolutely necessary.

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profitofdoom on 02:00 Wed
In reply to Jimbo W:

> .....there is a significant bias towards Chinese groups, which suggests a significant underlying financial support system exactly where priorities should be. In one example of a significant advance, they have produced a perennial grain crop, a perennial Rice (PR23) with productivity matching typical annual rice, which will help facilitate mixed agriculture, mitigate soil erosion, and could well help facilitate the de-desertification that the Chinese have set out to achieve. But its not just that, its the water infrastructure, reforestation, through to solar on sea that they are doing at scale. Its easy to castigate the Chinese for their emissions, but their mitigation looks more serious than elsewhere around the world...

Really? -- "their mitigation looks more serious"? Did you know that China is now greatly INCREASING the production of power through coal? You can try this article, "China coal power building boom sparks climate warning":

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-45640706

China is now also building plenty of coal-powered stations outside China, you can look at this article, "China-backed coal projects prompt climate change fears". The article also talks about the already well-known effect of such stations on global warming:

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46310807

So "where priorities should be" and "their mitigation"? They can start with coal

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SenzuBean - on 03:28 Wed
In reply to Jimbo W:

> Science definitely has a role.

> Carbon Engineering announced a prototype brute force technology that can extract 365 tonnes of CO2 a year. They say that a plant scale development will be able to extract 60,000 tonnes a year. At that level, you would need 100,000 such plants to equalise current global CO2 emissions. By comparison, there are approx 60,000 power plants globally. That is a not an impossible task, but shows such tech could definitely have an impact, but what's missing are the economics.

Of course it's not impossible. But where is the political will to fund something that is not only a carbon sink, but a money sink too? That political will does not exist - it is not a science problem. We've had technology for 50 years to reduce emissions - we never used it. Again - because it's not a problem for science to solve. By the time science finally catches up with a miracle tech that can solve the problem, costs nothing, and the only waste produce is free lattes - there'll be nothing left to save.

> Biochar is another technology that needs incentivised. This is making charcoal from fast growing biomass....

We've had the technology to lock carbon into soils for thousands of years. It's just not used. It's not a science problem - it's a problem that we want to have our cake and eat it too. We must accept sacrifices, individually and societally - to reach sustainability. We cannot wait until science makes it frictionless.

> Even in areas that are no brainers, science is still required. Reforestation may seem like good sense, and it is, but we again need the economic incentives we don't have.

Why is that a science problem? It's not. It's a f(&king greed problem. We cannot pillage every single aspect of the planet and expect not to face consequences.

> But reforestation needs science. For example, the English oak is not likely to grow in the conditions the UK is developing. That's a problem, because in the UK, the oak is the pinnacle of biodiversity supporting more insect species than any other under its canopy.

It does not need science. Nature is taking care of the matter and providing a replacement oak (Q. ilex) that can survive in the new conditions. It will probably hybridize with Q. robur at the margin and then we'll be very happy. We don't have the means to beat that right now. In fact we're fighting the free replacement to try and keep hold of some mythical status quo, but that's another story.

> Research also shows that switching from conventional farming to agroforestry, can help improve yields (especially in a warming climate), stabilise soils and help fix carbon.

I am not too far away (less than one year) from beginning my own agroforestry project, and I can agree here. But again, we don't really need science - we need the ability to stomach sustainability in its true guise.

> My point is that we have no choice to science our way out of this, and a big part of that equation is the currently insufficient economic incentives to make that happen.

Insufficient economic incentives is not a science problem. It is a symptom of our society being too reliant on unsustainable means.
Secondly, we cannot science back extinct ecosystems. We simply don't have the technology to record them with any level of fidelity. DNA is not sufficient to cover epigenetics or cultural knowledge. DNA is required from a population and not just a few individuals to prevent bottlenecks. Animals have cultural knowledge - bears know dozens, perhaps hundreds of plants and how to use them, so do Jaguars. So did aurochs - but if you let a cow loose in the woods it will quite probably get the staggers and likely die. We can only culture something like 10% of micro-organisms in the laboratory, and we have only done that with 1% or less of them. We're still finding whole new classes of organisms (mimiviruses, lokiarcheota).

Post edited at 03:33
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profitofdoom on 06:28 Wed
In reply to Jimbo W:

> What will it take for people and governments to wake up to the existential crisis we face? Do you support these protestors and this non violent civil disobedience?

Why are Extinction Rebellion losing the plot and majority support in the UK? -- Look at what they say on their website, quote, "The Government must move beyond party politics on the climate and ecological emergency. We invite people and politicians to experience real democracy, to take part in people’s assemblies to model the direct, deliberative democracies we need."

The following phrases are an absolute red flag for most people in the UK: "move beyond party politics" ... "experience real democracy" ... "people’s assemblies" and "the direct, deliberative democracies we need"

Right. Because "people’s assemblies" have been such an enormous success throughout history, up to the present, haven't they?

You did, of course, ask a good and important question - "What will it take for people and governments to wake up to the existential crisis we face?"

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MG - on 07:29 Wed
In reply to FactorXXX:

The thing is everyone has a reason not to act in their own sphere but a strong reason to act overall.  Companies: shareholders won't support it; government, voters won't support it; individuals. I want an international holiday.  It actually makes sense to try and force other people/bodies to act.  If everyone does, everyone benefits.  A but like tax.

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jethro kiernan - on 08:20 Wed
In reply to Jimbo W:

Whilst the call for individual action is fine the problem needs collective action.

To reclaim the Dunkirk spirit that has been hijacked of late.

Did we tell people to make a choice about food consumption or did we collectively have food rationing?

did we tell people to tackle the Hun as individuals or did we mobilise collectively?

Did we let the market decide what were the best planes and equipment for the job or did we do it centrally? 

Did we do it alone or did other countries join in?

ask yourself if the individual approach being put forward by some is really going to work in dealing with this impeding crisis. It just seems another way of causing disharmony and deviding us.

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summo on 08:35 Wed
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> ask yourself if the individual approach being put forward by some is really going to work in dealing with this impeding crisis. It just seems another way of causing disharmony and deviding us.

But it won't happen. The biggest driver is consumerism, materialism..  whatever you want to call it. How many countries will support reducing how much stuff they produce that the West just doesn't need? 

Ps. Many countries didn't unite in ww2. They saw it as an opportunity to grab land, power and resources whilst fighting a common foe. Russia is already eyeing up the artic waters as sea ice reduces. 

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neilh - on 08:39 Wed
In reply to Jimbo W:

One of the more interesting articles I have read on climate change is how the US Navy is tackling it. 

This included future proofing Naval dockyards and bases from rising sea levels. 

The big shipping companies are starting to address  it as well.

You also have insurance organisations like FM insisting that global supply chains are protected . So that for example buildings are hurricane proof in areas prone to this risk.

caterpillar one of the true global companies is pushing ahead wilth a lot of action in this area.

It demonstrates what can be done and also that a lot more people/ organisations take it more seriously than a lot of what you might call treehuggers think.

it will of course be  both communities combined that address the issue.

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jethro kiernan - on 09:02 Wed
In reply to summo:

You have a very negative attitude about this, you a great defender of capitalism, whilst just admitting it going to cause untold misery for the next generations. At the same time you believe no change is possible because our generation can't be arsed because we are to wrapped up in neo capitalist individualism.

I'm not sure if your secretly advocating bringing in some type of Logans run type scenario.    

Maybe start off by withdrawing the voting rights of the over 35's before going full Logans run.

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Harry Jarvis - on 09:08 Wed
In reply to neilh:

But what is striking about the examples that you cite is that the actions being taken are mitigation actions, rather than harm-reduction or harm-prevention actions. Of course, mitigation actions are now sensible, given that we are now well past the point at which long-term harms are inevitable. 

However, what is still missing is a concerted global plan to reduce emissions, adopted by all major emitters, and there are still governments - the USA and Australia in particular - which seek to downplay or deny the issue. The Paris agreement, while well-meaning, is toothless. Without genuine enforceable plans to decarbonise the global energy systems, we remain on the same path. 

And if I may, your description of climate change activists as treehuggers is patronising nonsense. Awareness of climate change has been promoted by scientists for decades. It is thoroughly grounded in strong scientific analysis and evidence. It is insulting to present the case for climate action as the preserve of treehuggers. 

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graeme jackson - on 09:13 Wed
In reply to profitofdoom:

> Why are Extinction Rebellion losing the plot and majority support in the UK?

because they are f*ckwits. heard on the radio this morning they are planning to disrupt the Tube.  I can't see how stopping people using public transport will help climate change - quite the opposite in fact.  

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summo on 09:18 Wed
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> You have a very negative attitude about this, you a great defender of capitalism, whilst just admitting it going to cause untold misery for the next generations. At the same time you believe no change is possible because our generation can't be arsed because we are to wrapped up in neo capitalist individualism.

How do we make a massive reduction in global consumption in less than a decade and not cause many economies to collapse, large scale unemployment and a global depression? 

Post edited at 09:18
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Richard J - on 09:41 Wed
In reply to profitofdoom:

My reading of what's happening in China is that it's a matter of priorities.  The first priority of the Chinese state is to maintain fast economic growth, because they think that guarantees stability of the regime.  That needs more energy, now, and since they don't have much gas that implies burning more coal.

The second priority is to dominate world markets in what they see as industries of the future.  These include renewable energy.  That's why China has spent $100's of billions subsidising solar cell factories, with the result that the cost of modules crashed & they ended up with 5 of the top 6 solar cell manufacturers.  They're now doing the same with batteries for electric vehicles.  They have more nuclear reactors under construction than any other country.

The third priority is to sort out their own environmental problems.  The country is run by engineers so they know what the problems are, both locally in terms of serious air and water pollution, and globally in terms of their vulnerability to climate change.

Even if China's motives are entirely selfish, the rest of the world does benefit from this - it's China that's driven the cost of solar energy down to be competitive with fossil fuels in sunny parts of the world, and it will be China, if anyone, that makes electric vehicles affordable.  This is just as well, as if not China, I'm not sure who else can drive this transition.  It doesn't seem that it's going to be the USA, which is now a petrostate.

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Harry Jarvis - on 09:55 Wed
In reply to Richard J:

> This is just as well, as if not China, I'm not sure who else can drive this transition.  It doesn't seem that it's going to be the USA, which is now a petrostate.

Not quite so desperate, if this report from Bloomberg is anything to go by:

https://thinkprogress.org/electric-vehicles-cheaper-gasoline-cars-e4c86bd2aebe/

It is also the case that in the USA, despite the idiot Trump's much-tweeted support for the coal industry, increasing numbers of electricity generators are closing their coal-fired power stations in favour of renewables. Notably, in the USA, the government is lagging a long way behind industry and behind individual cities and states. 

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neilh - on 10:09 Wed
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

scientists are not treehuggers , nor did I suggest they were. That is your interpretation , not mine  

The likes of caterpillar, fm , etc etc have plenty of.scientists telling them what to do.

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Richard J - on 10:10 Wed
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

Maybe I'm too down on the USA, but I think the point remains that it will be expansion of the battery industry in China that drives worldwide prices down and speeds up the adoption of electric vehicles.  According to this article China is expected to produce 70% of ev batteries by 2021.  The competition is with Japan and Korea rather than the USA, which has no battery manufacturers of its own (Tesla's factory being a joint venture with Panasonic).

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Cover-Story/Battery-wars-Japan-and-South-Korea-battle-China-for-future-of-EVs

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Harry Jarvis - on 10:19 Wed
In reply to neilh:

> scientists are not treehuggers , nor did I suggest they were. That is your interpretation , not mine  

Treehuggers, in this context, is clearly perjorative. You chose to use the word, not me.

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Postmanpat on 10:24 Wed
In reply to jkarran:

> I would support a viable plan to decarbonise sustainably in 6 years.

>

> My position isn't complicated, we need to effect massive change, the goals of those most motivated are going to seem unrealistic to those of us like you and I with different perspectives, who are less motivated. My belief that their goals are unobtainable doesn't mean I believe we shouldn't strive to miss by as little as possible.

> Yes I support the protests.

> I don't suppose most of them can answer the question any better than I.

> I'm sure we'll make some horrible mistakes along the way. Just as I'm sure that doing nothing isn't acceptable or sustainable so I'm willing to take the risk.

> Well we could start by asking them if they are willing to participate rather than compelling them and we could ensure they have sufficient base level education to build on as adults,

> Propose a better solution.

> jk

  So you are supporting people whose explicit demands would highly likely result in mass poverty and civil disorder and accept that neither you nor they a considered way of ameliorating these outcomes (and of course have only months to do so if their demands are to be carried out)

Got to break a few eggs I guess...

 Are you confident that these people "raising awareness" will raise positive awareness as opposed to alienating the large numbers of people  who see their daily lives being hugely disrupted by the protests and the even larger number who can foresee the disasterous outcome of their demands?

 Third question: if the UK accepts these demands and suffers the mass unemployment and collapse of the welfare state that will likely result how do you think these rest of the world will perceive this precedent? Is it likely to have a positive effect on the implementation of climate change policies?

  I don't have a utopian solution. I wonder if there is any solution but the best would be protests that don't alienate ordinary people and set high but almost achievable targets that people and governments can buy into instead of crass demands that will likely prove disasterous and therefore create a backlash against more reasonable policies.

Post edited at 10:27
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jethro kiernan - on 10:25 Wed
In reply to summo:

By not delaying , because environmental and climate collapse will result in social and economic collapse. The longer we delay the harsher the crash landing.

maybe we need the shock to effect change, I’m not sure any of us would like The societies that would emerge. The irony is that those most responsible for bringing the disaster about will be best placed to “capitalise” on the resulting mess and will remain on top.

unless we end up back in the dark ages, fuedalism and such droit de seigniorage anyone?

a green revolution will provide the economic boost, even with our best efforts a lot of work will be needed to adapt, we can do this collectively and try and make a positive change with better urban environments and acriculture, transport etc. or we can react and have hastily cobbled together ruffugee camps and poverty

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summo on 10:32 Wed
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> a green revolution will provide the economic boost, 

Nope. The revolution needed is less consumption, there can't be any economic boost from that. We just have to learn to live with less and do less. There is no cake and eat it scenario.  

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toad - on 10:33 Wed
In reply to Jimbo W:

Has anyone mentioned its the easter academic break? Interested to see protests in late may exam season

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summo on 10:39 Wed
In reply to toad:

> Has anyone mentioned its the easter academic break? Interested to see protests in late may exam season

Or mid term. 

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Harry Jarvis - on 10:48 Wed
In reply to Richard J:

> Maybe I'm too down on the USA,

The USA is, as is often the case, a fascinating mix. Many cities, states and corporations have ambitious carbon-reduction targets to be applauded. However, at a federal level, the country is hamstrung by an idiot for a president, hell-bent on keeping the fossil-fuel industries at the top table to the exclusion of other energy providers. 

You points about batteries are very pertinent. It has long been a mystery to me as to why the fossil fuel giants have not repositioned themselves as energy providers, encompassing renewables and energy storage.

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jkarran - on 10:52 Wed
In reply to Postmanpat:

My partner's family have a treasured letter passed from generation to generation penned a hundred years ago on the eve of the battle of Arras. The last thoughts of a thoughtful decent man age very gracefully.

Do you think a hundred years from now when all doubt has been erased as to the scale and seriousness of the challenge we've declined to face your family will be so proud of your timorous council of conservative neglect?

We don't have time to tinker, we need radical reform. We can either lead it, make it work for all of us or we can suffer it. Either way change is coming.

jk

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Postmanpat on 11:17 Wed
In reply to jkarran:

> Do you think a hundred years from now when all doubt has been erased as to the scale and seriousness of the challenge we've declined to face your family will be so proud of your timorous council of conservative neglect?

> We don't have time to tinker, we need radical reform. We can either lead it, make it work for all of us or we can suffer it. Either way change is coming.

>

  Do you think in six years time when the UK is suffering from mass unemployment and civil disorder and other countries have shied away from climate change action as a result that you will be proud of your demands for radical action?

  Or alternatively when the public's anger and frustration with the nonsensical demands and disruptive action of the protestors hinders the implementation of achievable policies will you be proud?

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jkarran - on 11:57 Wed
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Do you think in six years time when the UK is suffering from mass unemployment and civil disorder and other countries have shied away from climate change action as a result that you will be proud of your demands for radical action?

I give up, you're being utterly disingenuous or simply not reading what I say. Either way you're no longer worth the effort.

>   Or alternatively when the public's anger and frustration with the nonsensical demands and disruptive action of the protestors hinders the implementation of achievable policies will you be proud?

All demands for radical change are nonsensical until we decide to pursue it earnestly. "We choose to go to the Moon...We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard" was a bold statement of intent, a call to radical action that pulled a country together in 1961. In 1951 it would have been 'nonsensical'.

Will I look back on my life and actions proud? No. I hope with work and care I end it having done some good and accepted my flaws, not too ashamed.

jk

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profitofdoom on 11:58 Wed
In reply to Jimbo W:

> Having read as much of the science as I can, this seems to me an entirely rational, insufficiently proportionate and tardy response to climate breakdown albeit in the right direction.

According to the BBC article to which you supplied a link, "Extinction Rebellion ... have shut bridges, poured buckets of fake blood outside Downing Street, blockaded the BBC and stripped semi-naked in Parliament", OK, that's great, London is being disrupted, now can you please tell us what they are doing to bring the main polluters of this world, i.e. China, India and others, into line? Any plans for Beijing, just wondering, thank you

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Postmanpat on 12:11 Wed
In reply to jkarran:

> I give up, you're being utterly disingenuous or simply not reading what I say. Either way you're no longer worth the effort.

>

  You are simply not owning the rational of your support. What you are saying that you don't actually support their demands but have a vague idea that demonstrating about climate change is a good thing so you support them. I am calling you out on that and you regard that as "not listening".

  It's both an intellectually lazy position because if you support them you have to think through and own the likely outcomes of their demonstrations, and potentially a self defeating position because their protests will very likely have the opposite effect to that which you desire.

   Going to the moon is an incredibly bad analogy; the downside was a waste of public money and a few deaths. The downside of the demonstrations is at worst mass poverty but more likely alienating people whose support they need.

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jkarran - on 12:35 Wed
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   You are simply not owning the rational of your support. What you are saying that you don't actually support their demands but have a vague idea that demonstrating about climate change is a good thing so you support them. I am calling you out on that and you regard that as "not listening".

It's quite possible to broadly support an idea or organisation without agreeing every single detail. Do you support the Conservatives' 'hostile environment'? Do you support the Conservatives?

I support their protest. I support their objectives while I don't believe they're all realistic I think we should strive for something as close as possible and sustainable. I admire them for aiming high, for daring to dream rather than being ground down, paralysed by conservatism (that is nothing of the sort when it involves idly watching what you love lost) and a lack of ambition and imagination like you and I.

I don't believe we need to destroy our economy to address climate change, I believe we need to radically re purpose it, to reassess who and what it serves.

>   It's both an intellectually lazy position because if you support them you have to think through and own the likely outcomes of their demonstrations, and potentially a self defeating position because their protests will very likely have the opposite effect to that which you desire.

No, it's an attempt on your part to atomise support by forcing individuals into ever smaller silos, pretending detail differences hold them apart rather than common aims and concerns bonding them together. Divide and conquer except in this case it's divide and sit back on your pension watching someone else's world burn.

>    Going to the moon is an incredibly bad analogy; the downside was a waste of public money and a few deaths. The downside of the demonstrations is at worst mass poverty but more likely alienating people whose support they need.

And the upside (apart from going to the moon) was huge technological development and a shining example of what is possible when we set our minds and resources to something, what we are willing to support and forego to achieve something greater. Also it was 1962, my mistake.

jk

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MeMeMe - on 13:00 Wed
In reply to jkarran:

> And the upside (apart from going to the moon) was huge technological development and a shining example of what is possible when we set our minds and resources to something, what we are willing to support and forego to achieve something greater. Also it was 1962, my mistake.

I've heard the economist Ann Pettifor (who predicted the global financial crisis) describe the effort and upheaval required as equivalent to that of the second world war.

The economy radically changed over a short period in order to prepare for and sustain the war effort. While every individual's life was changed the change was directed by and driven from above, it's inconceivable that the changes necessary, in the time frame necessary, could have happened through the action of individuals. 

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Postmanpat on 13:23 Wed
In reply to jkarran:

> I support their protest. I support their objectives while I don't believe they're all realistic I think we should strive for something as close as possible and sustainable.

> I don't believe we need to destroy our economy to address climate change, I believe we need to radically re purpose it, to reassess who and what it serves.

> No, it's an attempt on your part to atomise support by forcing individuals into ever smaller silos,

>

   No, it's an attempt on my part to work out whether they are going to help or hinder the larger aim of addressing climate change and I think they are more likely than not to hinder it and possibly to do great damage to the cause in the process.

  And as for your political analogy, you are of the left but do you think all people of the left should support SWP rallies?

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MeMeMe - on 13:37 Wed
In reply to Postmanpat:

>    No, it's an attempt on my part to work out whether they are going to help or hinder the larger aim of addressing climate change and I think they are more likely than not to hinder it and possibly to do great damage to the cause in the process.

In your opinion. Clearly they think differently and actually have the not inconsequential courage to act on their convictions. If you agree there is a problem (and I'm not clear if you do or not) what are you doing to address the issue other than pontificating on here?

I truly mean that as an open question, you don't give much away as to what you are personally doing as apposed to what other people are doing that you disagree with.

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Postmanpat on 13:55 Wed
In reply to MeMeMe:

> I truly mean that as an open question, you don't give much away as to what you are personally doing as apposed to what other people are doing that you disagree with.

>

  Like most people on here I just go along with the initiatives that we're told to : recycling, hybrid car, favour HEP in Glen Etive, turn off the lights etc.

   I don't feel that I have the knowledge to justify buggering up other peoples' lives in favour of my particular view (not that I have one), and frankly neither do most of the demonstrators.

  There may be a moral imperative for us all to do our little bit but in reality of course it makes b*gger all difference in the global scheme of things.

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Richard J - on 14:00 Wed
In reply to Postmanpat:

My initial reaction to the protests was to think that since the goal - net zero carbon by 2025 - is so obviously unattainable, they would surely be counterproductive.  But on reflection I've changed my mind.  Firstly, I think that "net zero carbon" is a very powerful lens for framing the issue - it's very clear, it avoids the uncertainties of climate modelling that are implicit in calls to limit warming to 1.5 or 2 degrees, and there can be no question that at some point we're going to have to get to net zero, because that's what it needs to stop the problem getting worse.

The question is, then, when will we get to net zero?  Since we're currently running on 80% fossil fuel energy, it's not going to happen by 2025 without collapsing the economy.  So 2025 is an unreasonable demand.  

But the status quo is unreasonable too - on our current trajectory the economy's carbon intensity is going down, but much too slowly, probably pushing net zero out beyond 2100.  That bakes in warming of maybe 3 or 4 degrees as a central case, with some really catastrophic outcomes as tail risks that anyone prudent would want to rule out.

So the realistic, "reasonable" demand would be to get to net zero by mid-century, which might limit warming to 2 degrees and diminish some of the tail risk.  The political problem is that 2050 seems comfortably far away, so politicians don't feel pressure to act now.  But the timescales of energy transitions are so long that to get to net zero by 2050 demands, not that we crash the economy now, but that we put serious resources into making the transition, for research, for deployment subsidies, to changes to infrastructure.  That's really not happening at the moment, because the issue doesn't have any political salience.  If "unreasonable" demands are what's needed to give it salience, I'm in favour of them.

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Richard J - on 14:08 Wed
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> It has long been a mystery to me as to why the fossil fuel giants have not repositioned themselves as energy providers, encompassing renewables and energy storage.

I don't think it's a mystery.  Chevron and Exxon have very successful and profitable businesses selling hydrocarbons, and they've convinced themselves people will still be buying them in 30 years time.  I wish I could be confident that they're wrong, but I'm not.

Renewables and energy storage, on the other hand, are risky bets that need big capital outlays on R&D, and political support (e.g. carbon taxes, deployment subsidies) to make the economics work.  There's a cautionary tale in the USA, in that many venture capital firms invested heavily in so-called "cleantech" around 2008, and lost loads of money, with some very high-profile bankruptcies.  I suspect that only state capitalist systems, like China, or at least very corporatist states like Korea and Japan, are in a position to make the very long term investments that this energy transition will need.

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Harry Jarvis - on 14:15 Wed
In reply to Richard J:

> I don't think it's a mystery.  Chevron and Exxon have very successful and profitable businesses selling hydrocarbons, and they've convinced themselves people will still be buying them in 30 years time.  I wish I could be confident that they're wrong, but I'm not.

True, but they have known of the consequences of climate change for decades. Given their immense wealth and market position, they have been in the perfect position to shift their business model to a broader energy supply model, incorporating their existing fossil fuel interests alongside new energy sources. Essentially, they're in the best position to bet both ways.

> Renewables and energy storage, on the other hand, are risky bets that need big capital outlays on R&D, and political support (e.g. carbon taxes, deployment subsidies) to make the economics work.

It's interesting that you suggest that renewables are risky bets. It's been clear to anyone with half a brain that low-carbon energy is the growth market for the future. 

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Postmanpat on 14:17 Wed
In reply to MeMeMe:

> The economy radically changed over a short period in order to prepare for and sustain the war effort. While every individual's life was changed the change was directed by and driven from above, it's inconceivable that the changes necessary, in the time frame necessary, could have happened through the action of individuals. 

>

   She's probably right, but let's not fantasize about some ludicrous "peoples assembly". What it would require is an unelected authoritarian government buttressed by internal security forces to implement their policies.

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Richard J - on 14:22 Wed
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> It's interesting that you suggest that renewables are risky bets. It's been clear to anyone with half a brain that low-carbon energy is the growth market for the future. 

There's a difference between knowing that low-carbon energy is a growth market for the future, and being able to keep a loss-making company alive for long enough to reach that future.  

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neilh - on 14:31 Wed
In reply to Postmanpat:

Which in effect is more or less what happened in WW11 , dressed up in another way with everything controlled by the governement.

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myrddinmuse - on 14:41 Wed
In reply to jkarran:

> No, it's an attempt on your part to atomise support by forcing individuals into ever smaller silos, pretending detail differences hold them apart rather than common aims and concerns bonding them together. Divide and conquer except in this case it's divide and sit back on your pension watching someone else's world burn.

Bloody well said, mate. 

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Postmanpat on 14:43 Wed
In reply to neilh:

> Which in effect is more or less what happened in WW11 , dressed up in another way with everything controlled by the governement.

  Yes, but this was acceptable to the people because the threat, by 1940, was clear and present. It couldn't happen in in the 1930s because the danger wasn't clear and, arguably, France fell because there wasn't the will to resist even in the face of clear and present danger. No amount of warning actually did the trick.

  Sadly humans have not evolved to prepare or anticipate unprecedented or long term danger. We were pretty good at watching out for lions in the high grass, or avoiding the places that we had experienced lions before. Not so good at anticipating something new.

  Incidentally, it's worth reading chapter 10 of Hans Rosling's book "Factfulness". It's entitled "The urgency instinct".

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neilh - on 14:43 Wed
In reply to Richard J:

There is certainly no status quo at the moment. This is my issue with the likes of Extinction Rebellion.

You only have to look at the collapse in the market for diesel cars (brought about by the govt) and the impact on JLR to understand some of the transition which is going on.

And from 2025 no new houses will have gas boilers ( which will start happenign sooner because of that target).

You only have to look at the shift to LED lighting over the past few years to figure out the changes ( street lighting being replaced etc etc).

Change is being driven by the consumer, govt and the private sector.Maybe not fast enough, but it is going on. Single use plastics will have vanished in a few years time and we will wonder what all the fuss was.

Single use plastic carrier bags - nearly/ not quite  confined to history.

Wind power - it is stunning how much energy is now generated by wind.

And so on.

And then you travel to other countries and you realise it might all be in vain anyway.

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Jimbo W on 14:44 Wed
In reply to SenzuBean:

My point was science has a role, not that it is the only solution, which is your persistent strawman, to which I object.

> Of course it's not impossible. But where is the political will to fund something that is not only a carbon sink, but a money sink too? That political will does not exist - it is not a science problem. We've had technology for 50 years to reduce emissions - we never used it. Again - because it's not a problem for science to solve. By the time science finally catches up with a miracle tech that can solve the problem, costs nothing, and the only waste produce is free lattes - there'll be nothing left to save.

Well, as I said, it has got $68million from fossil fuel companies because of the fuel generation side, which is why it would be better to have new companies with state support that don't have a vested interest in suppressing this technology in favour of conventional extraction. This is science based tech development that is operational now, worth investing in (or for commercial reasons suppressing).

> We've had the technology to lock carbon into soils for thousands of years. It's just not used. It's not a science problem - it's a problem that we want to have our cake and eat it too. We must accept sacrifices, individually and societally - to reach sustainability. We cannot wait until science makes it frictionless.

> Why is that a science problem? It's not. It's a f(&king greed problem. We cannot pillage every single aspect of the planet and expect not to face consequences.

Its a science problem, because if you use biochar on the wrong soils with the wrong crops you enhance carbon release, and suppress crop productivity. The existing science gives us a good indicator of where and with what biochar is a benefit for individual farms, and by proxy for the planet - helping tackle not just climate change, but also soil erosion. Again, I didn't say science is THE solution, just that it has a role, and what's more I wasn't advocating frictionless scientific solutions, which is another strawman. Indeed, advocacy of the economic incentives is simply a recognition of the realpolitik and the fact that the use of the existing science is clearly not frictionless. And simply that it is also a science problem does not mean that it isn't also a problem of consumption and what is now wilful intergenerational neglect as well as the neglect of nature, which I entirely agree with, and which equally needs addressed.

> It does not need science. Nature is taking care of the matter and providing a replacement oak (Q. ilex) that can survive in the new conditions. It will probably hybridize with Q. robur at the margin and then we'll be very happy. We don't have the means to beat that right now. In fact we're fighting the free replacement to try and keep hold of some mythical status quo, but that's another story.

"Probably." That's a big word. Science gives us great knowledge of trophic chains associated with individual tree areas in individual parts of the world, including the UK. I'd like to see reforestation and regeneration, and do so in a way which supports natural biodiversity as much as possible, while recognising that with arctic amplification, the level of temperature increase in the UK will be much larger than the global average, and therefore there is no point in planting a whole load of species that won't survive, or are unlikely to even come to fertility to hybridise in the time available.

> I am not too far away (less than one year) from beginning my own agroforestry project, and I can agree here. But again, we don't really need science - we need the ability to stomach sustainability in its true guise.

All the best with the agroforestry. We need people like you taking these projects forward. We also need permaculture based farms like Richard Perkins that are seriously efficient and productive, and build soil. That we are moving in these directions is to me scientific, albeit a science that recognised that the natural relationship of plants of different sizes, of mutual benefit to each other and the soil, are ones that nature's lessons have always indicated. But afterall, much of ecological science is in fact simply an accurate and detailed description of natural phenomena and relationships between species.

> Insufficient economic incentives is not a science problem. It is a symptom of our society being too reliant on unsustainable means.

I wasn't saying economic incentives is a science problem, though clearly more science will happen in areas in which there is financial support for R&D, and I agree that we are too reliant on unsustainable means. I also agree we need to address that culturally. My own view is that economic incentives have to be one of the mechanisms utilised to shift cultural norms, as well as leadership from the top, and indeed a growth in individual action.

> Secondly, we cannot science back extinct ecosystems. We simply don't have the technology to record them with any level of fidelity. DNA is not sufficient to cover epigenetics or cultural knowledge. DNA is required from a population and not just a few individuals to prevent bottlenecks. Animals have cultural knowledge - bears know dozens, perhaps hundreds of plants and how to use them, so do Jaguars. So did aurochs - but if you let a cow loose in the woods it will quite probably get the staggers and likely die. We can only culture something like 10% of micro-organisms in the laboratory, and we have only done that with 1% or less of them. We're still finding whole new classes of organisms (mimiviruses, lokiarcheota).​

Indeed. I don't think we can science back extinct ecosystems. However, given that there are many, albeit insufficient reforestation programs ongoing, I'd rather we used our ecological scientific knowledge to plant trees we know will grow, rather than one's we know won't!

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MeMeMe - on 14:49 Wed
In reply to Postmanpat:

>    I don't feel that I have the knowledge to justify buggering up other peoples' lives in favour of my particular view (not that I have one), and frankly neither do most of the demonstrators.

Extinction rebellion might be full of students and hippies but it's also full of scientists and campaigners who have expertise with regard to climate change and with regard to lobbying government. I don't think they claim to have all the answers they just want to provoke the government to find some of the answers and act on those findings as a matter of urgency.

I'm surprised you can get so stuck into an issue that you claim to have no particular view of!

>   There may be a moral imperative for us all to do our little bit but in reality of course it makes b*gger all difference in the global scheme of things.

I think that's where, to some extent, you and Extinction Rebellion agree, it takes more than individuals doing their own little bit it also needs changes driven through at government level and currently that's not happening.

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Richard J - on 14:55 Wed
In reply to neilh:

> There is certainly no status quo at the moment. This is my issue with the likes of Extinction Rebellion...

> Wind power - it is stunning how much energy is now generated by wind.

It's all good, but its not enough.  We used 2200 TWh in 2017, 61.5 TWh of that was wind and solar.  We could plausibly triple that by 2030, but it's not enough (especially since we'll lose about 60 TWh/year worth of nuclear capacity by then).  We used 0.2 TWh charging electric cars, but burnt 830 TWh worth of petrol and diesel in cars and trucks.  Overall, 80% of our energy comes from burning fossil fuels, and that is just not going to change fast enough without more action.

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MeMeMe - on 15:01 Wed
In reply to neilh:

> And then you travel to other countries and you realise it might all be in vain anyway.

There's a couple of things you might want to reflect on.

Firstly,  some of these 'other countries' may be using plastic bags and may not have LED street lights and roadside recycling and huge arrays of wind turbines but because they consume much less stuff than us they may have per capita CO2 emissions which are dramatically less than ours.

Secondly, a certain proportion of our CO2 emissions are essentially exported to countries that make all our stuff (I'm, looking at you China) so it's us that's helping push them up while pretending we're blameless.

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jkarran - on 15:11 Wed
In reply to Postmanpat:

>    She's probably right, but let's not fantasize about some ludicrous "peoples assembly". What it would require is an unelected authoritarian government buttressed by internal security forces to implement their policies.

That depends what your peoples' assembly decides. If a group of ordinary people provided the education and expertise they need to make a rational decision is able to decide to restructure our economy to decarbonise then in principal the population they represent can be persuaded too. Of course if they decide not to then we as a species are f*cked one way or the other.

A peoples' assembly doesn't exist to deliver solutions with the force of law, that's what our parliament is for but it isn't always capable. A single issue assembly exists to find where an informed populace with all its baggage can find common ground on a contentious issue. It exists to show a responsible government or series of governments a way forward through difficult decisions, to provide a degree of cover on a particular topic by binding the opposition and future government to a common long term plan.

jk

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neilh - on 15:30 Wed
In reply to MeMeMe:

I am only too aware of that. It’s not difficult to figure out.

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neilh - on 15:33 Wed
In reply to Richard J:

So nuclear has to be part of the mix, then govt needs to get on with it. 

Ban flying overseas for holidays.

That will help. 

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neilh - on 15:35 Wed
In reply to MeMeMe:

And there are plenty of other scientists in other organisations etc doing climate change work who are not involved in the protests. 

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MeMeMe - on 15:47 Wed
In reply to neilh:

> And there are plenty of other scientists in other organisations etc doing climate change work who are not involved in the protests. 

True, I didn't suggest there wasn't. 

I was specifically addressing the comment (not yours) "I don't feel that I have the knowledge to justify buggering up other peoples' lives in favour of my particular view (not that I have one), and frankly neither do most of the demonstrators." which suggested (at least to me) that there was no expertise on the issues within Extinction Rebellion. 

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JoshOvki on 15:53 Wed
In reply to neilh:

> Ban flying overseas for holidays.

Better off banning flying overseas for business. Most of my flights and particularly long haul flights have been for business rather than pleasure, most of which could have been sorted out with a video conference.

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MeMeMe - on 15:55 Wed
In reply to neilh:

> I am only too aware of that. It’s not difficult to figure out.

Fair enough, it's just it's easy to forget that other people's situation is not ours and sound a bit sanctimonious about what we've done while criticising others failings. I'm acutely aware of falling into that trap myself!

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Richard J - on 15:58 Wed
In reply to neilh:

> So nuclear has to be part of the mix, then govt needs to get on with it. 

That's rather the point.  There's lots of stuff that the government needs to get on with that it is not doing at the moment.  The nuclear new build programme is stalled, only Hinkley C definitely going ahead and the investors pulled out of 3 of the other projects.  The government cancelled support for carbon capture and storage in 2015 (a horrible technology but one that's relied on in all the scenarios for keeping warming less than 2 degrees).  The government's own statutory Climate Change Committee says the UK's going to miss its carbon targets from 2023 onwards.  There just needs to be a bit more urgency about it all.

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neilh - on 16:08 Wed
In reply to JoshOvki:

Well if you go on medium/long haul commerical flights you might be surprised as to how few people use it for business even in so called  business and first class.

On short haul possibly a different picture.

Then off course thereis air cargo, but its insignificant with ocean cargo in terms of volume.

Off course in this day and age most so called flights where video conferencing can be used have been ditched as video conferencing is far far cheaper.That view on business flights is a bit old hat.And I speak as an exporter who travels around far less than I use to.

 There again in some countries people use flights as commuting, but that is not business as you describe..Just means they have to move house.

Post edited at 16:10
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stevieb - on 16:12 Wed
In reply to Richard J:

Yes, a lot of people seem to think that nuclear power is declining in the U.K. because of greens and lefties, but the main cause is the devotion to private sector energy production. Private companies are scared off by the risks and the long term costs. The state could have started building the planned nuclear plants years ago. And there is a huge amount of pension money sloshing around looking for safe government bonds to invest in. 

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JHiley on 16:59 Wed
In reply to Jimbo W:

> Do you support these protestors

Err yes and no.

...No because...

I'm probably one of the unpopular pro-science/ engineering/ investment crowd in that I think we should look to technological solutions and investment in order to be able to maintain or improve our quality of life while transitioning to a low carbon economy.

I don't much support trying to encourage people to use public transport by making it harder to drive a car. Even if it's the right thing morally, it often isn't practical. For example there are efforts to discourage car use near my work by limiting parking spaces. However if even 2% of the people whose cars now fill the car parks and clog up the nearby residential estate switched to the bus they simply wouldn't get to work because aren't enough busses/ seats. Worse, by frustrating people you risk turning them against progressive policies and into the arms of the deniers. It would be far better to use the 'carrot' and invest in public transport, even if that means taxing the 'comfortably off' (like me) as well as the 'rich' to do it.

There's a tendency among the greener left to oppose anything 'industrial' sounding even if it could take a massive chunk out of our carbon emissions through improved efficiency. This was the case for natural gas with combined heat and power a few years ago. It might still be, I'm not sure. Renewables are only now more attractive because of investment and innovation.

With this outlook I find it puzzling to see people trying to win others over by deliberately causing disruption to their lives and even directly attacking public transport.

...And yes because...

In the UK the investment I mentioned above isn't happening and the urgency is real. If the only way to make yourself heard is to cause disruption then I have a lot of sympathy for that approach.

I also don't have much time for the idea that the West/ UK are somehow doing better than China/ India. Surely a person is worth a person and we are way worse in CO2 per capita.

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summo on 17:07 Wed
In reply to JHiley:

> I also don't have much time for the idea that the West/ UK are somehow doing better than China/ India. Surely a person is worth a person and we are way worse in CO2 per capita.

The person who makes the iPhone, climbing harness or belay jacket likely has a much lower carbon footprint than the end user. 

And, yes tech is the answer. 

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Postmanpat on 17:13 Wed
In reply to MeMeMe:

> True, I didn't suggest there wasn't. 

 "and frankly neither do most of the demonstrators." which suggested (at least to me) that there was no expertise on the issues within Extinction Rebellion."

 There was a point to the "most". It explicitly doesn't mean "no expertise". I have been struck, however, that neither the official spokespeople for the protestors nor the random participants interviewed on the radio seem to have much a grip on the science, politics or economics of the issue. You'd have thought they would have got a few experts to front up for them.

  And, as neil suggests (I think), there are plenty of experts who probably don't agree with the position of the protesters and their experts.

Post edited at 17:13
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Postmanpat on 17:17 Wed
In reply to Richard J:

> My initial reaction to the protests was to think that since the goal - net zero carbon by 2025 - is so obviously unattainable, they would surely be counterproductive.....  If "unreasonable" demands are what's needed to give it salience, I'm in favour of them.

>

  Good post, but I suspect that the approach, especially when it deliberately disrupts peoples' lives and threatens their material standard of living is just counterproductive.

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Jimbo W on 18:40 Wed
In reply to Richard J:

> That's rather the point.  There's lots of stuff that the government needs to get on with that it is not doing at the moment.

...and increasing trade at a distance isn't one of them, and should be anathema to a responsible government that actually understands the climate emergency we face.

> The nuclear new build programme is stalled, only Hinkley C definitely going ahead and the investors pulled out of 3 of the other projects.

I wish we were pushing nuclear as well as renewables. The government cite the collapsing price of renewables as the reason not to have fought for the Hitachi and Toshiba nuclear deals, which suggests that they think renewables will do the job with sufficient storage coming online to buffer supply and demand, which seems pretty unrealistic to me. It does seem however that nuclear needs pursued at a state level, and while I understand the issues of national security, pursuit of a pan European and perhaps wider international approach using the same small and medium sized modular nuclear technology would be the way to do this, cutting costs through cooperation, scale, and creating a workforce with the skills to work wherever this technology is used. It seems that the UK government is pursuing an idea along these lines, but this is a long timeline:

 https://www.energylivenews.com/2018/11/06/uk-pledges-32m-to-test-small-modular-nuclear-reactors/

> The government cancelled support for carbon capture and storage in 2015 (a horrible technology but one that's relied on in all the scenarios for keeping warming less than 2 degrees).  The government's own statutory Climate Change Committee says the UK's going to miss its carbon targets from 2023 onwards. There just needs to be a bit more urgency about it all.

It is an inelegant idea to bury the CO2 or a substance containing scrubbed CO2, but it is feasible, and dumping the idea seems the wrong direction of travel, especially when there does seems to be quite a scientific literature on developing improvements in scrubbing technology.

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Jimbo W on 18:47 Wed
In reply to stevieb:

> Yes, a lot of people seem to think that nuclear power is declining in the U.K. because of greens and lefties, but the main cause is the devotion to private sector energy production. Private companies are scared off by the risks and the long term costs. The state could have started building the planned nuclear plants years ago. And there is a huge amount of pension money sloshing around looking for safe government bonds to invest in. 

Totally agree. Though, they haven't abandoned nuclear entirely, they need to abandon the idea that this can be the preserve of the private sector:

https://www.energylivenews.com/2018/11/06/uk-pledges-32m-to-test-small-modular-nuclear-reactors/

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Jimbo W on 18:57 Wed
In reply to Richard J:

> It's all good, but its not enough.  We used 2200 TWh in 2017, 61.5 TWh of that was wind and solar.  We could plausibly triple that by 2030, but it's not enough (especially since we'll lose about 60 TWh/year worth of nuclear capacity by then).  We used 0.2 TWh charging electric cars, but burnt 830 TWh worth of petrol and diesel in cars and trucks.  Overall, 80% of our energy comes from burning fossil fuels, and that is just not going to change fast enough without more action.

Rationing power may help. It works for the people who live on Eigg where they have no choice, but it means we need to work out how to do it and in particular how to do it in a way the protects people at potential risk and insures a basis for equality. A carbon price with the dividends going to the people and being repurposed to incentivise such tech may be a part of that approach, but is necessary anyway.

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Eric9Points - on 19:05 Wed
In reply to profitofdoom:

> Why are Extinction Rebellion losing the plot and majority support in the UK? -- Look at what they say on their website, quote, "The Government must move beyond party politics on the climate and ecological emergency. We invite people and politicians to experience real democracy, to take part in people’s assemblies to model the direct, deliberative democracies we need."

> The following phrases are an absolute red flag for most people in the UK: "move beyond party politics" ... "experience real democracy" ... "people’s assemblies" and "the direct, deliberative democracies we need"

> Right. Because "people’s assemblies" have been such an enormous success throughout history, up to the present, haven't they?

Isn't Parliament a People's Assembly"? Maybe just not one that this organisation agrees with?

We already have a Green Party and if they were in government I'm sure they would implement many of the measures that this organisation advocate. Of course very few vote for them because they have no clear idea of how they would actually achieve what they want to achieve.

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Timmd on 19:51 Wed
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Good post, but I suspect that the approach, especially when it deliberately disrupts peoples' lives and threatens their material standard of living is just counterproductive.

Something in New Scientist I read last night talked about the steps people take of their own volition only being able half of what is needed, with there needing to be top down 'nudges' as well. With rather profound questions about individual freedom and autonomy being raised in the process. In the final analysis, I guess comes down to the individual freedom to consume (meat, dairy, fuel, and goods) versus the collective freedom from catastrophic climate change. It might be seen as the biggest step forwards in human cooperation, or foresight, if we can manage to change of we live. 

Post edited at 20:16
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Timmd on 19:53 Wed
In reply to aln:

> They usually do. 

Have a saucer of milk.

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stevieb - on 20:02 Wed
In reply to Eric9Points:

> We already have a Green Party and if they were in government I'm sure they would implement many of the measures that this organisation advocate. Of course very few vote for them because they have no clear idea of how they would actually achieve what they want to achieve.

It’s absurd to suggest that there aren’t significant changes that the Green Party  could make in Britain or that they don’t know how to achieve them. 

The average profit on a new build house is £57000. Solar panels could be installed on a new build estate for less than £2000 per house. Insulation above the legal minimum could cost much less than that. 

The current government basically killed expansion of one of the cheapest forms of electricity (onshore wind). Nuclear power stations are not being built because the private sector can’t make the numbers add up. We spend £3bn a year on winter fuel payments, we could give bonuses for spending this on energy efficiency. We spend £30bn on housing benefit, this could be linked to better minimum standards. A number of European cities have free public transport and the overall costs aren’t that high. There are 101 ideas that we could do, we just need the will to ignore the very highly paid lobbyists from housing companies, oil companies, car manufacturers etc. who are offering really well paid directorships. 

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Eric9Points - on 20:30 Wed
In reply to stevieb:

Oh I agree that the Greens have some good ideas and I wish the mainstream parties would steal some of them. It's just that when asked about joined together plans for running a country and changing society in the way they'd like to I'm afraid it all comes apart a bit.

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Timmd on 20:35 Wed
In reply to Eric9Points: Meanwhile, food bank use is up, knife crime is up, women selling themselves for sex to survive in response to benefit changes has become an issue, and the government is massaging the employment figures so that we've 'the highest employment on record'. 

Edit: Access to mental health services is down due to funding having been cut, legal aid for those who couldn't afford it other wise has been cut (raising concerns in the justice system), funding for women's refuges has been cut, access to mental health services for young people has been reduced, the number of homeless has increased.

I'm not sure if any government has a wholly joined up plan that's successfully implemented...

Post edited at 20:50
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neilh - on 20:52 Wed
In reply to stevieb:

And the government just banned gas boilers in new houses from a few years off. .........  so to say they are not doing anything is just ridiculous. And they pulled the plug on diesel cars. And if you run a foundry you are get it with climate change charged . And so on.and so on. 

And look at what legal and general are doing with pension funds. And what carney is saying to the banks. 

To say nothing is happening is ridiculous. 

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Eric9Points - on 21:16 Wed
In reply to Timmd:

I don't disagree with any of what you say but I'd honestly be surprised if the Greens had much of a policy on mental health for example. 

Just because the current government sucks doesn't mean there aren't worse alternatives and putting a well meaning but ultimately clueless party into power would definitely be one of them. The Greens are a pressure group and anything you hear and read from them should be viewed as coming from a group who are supremely confident that they will never be held responsible for any of the policies they advocate.

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Postmanpat on 21:42 Wed
In reply to Timmd:

> and the government is massaging the employment figures so that we've 'the highest employment on record'. 

>

How so?

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stevieb - on 22:49 Wed
In reply to neilh:

> And the government just banned gas boilers in new houses from a few years off. .........  so to say they are not doing anything is just ridiculous.

Pretty sure I haven’t said they aren’t doing anything, at any point. Just that they could do a lot more. 

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Timmd on 23:58 Wed
In reply to Postmanpat:

> How so?

Somebody only needs to be working more than one hour a week to be counted at being in employment. 

Post edited at 00:09
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Timmd on 00:13 Thu
In reply to Eric9Points:

It was just a general bemoaning of the state of things, a little bit, and a reminder of how things currently are.

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profitofdoom on 00:52 Thu
In reply to Eric9Points:

> Isn't Parliament a People's Assembly"? Maybe just not one that this organisation agrees with?

No, Parliament is not one according to their definition. This is what Extinction Rebellion mean by "People's Assembly" - this is quoted/ copied from their website (https://rebellion.earth/act-now/resources/assemblies/):

"People’s Assemblies (PAs) are a group of self selecting people who come together in an assembly, often in occupied spaces as part of a movement towards revolutionary change (Tahir Square, Occupy, Gilets Jaunes, etc.).

The aim of the PAs can be to make decisions, discuss issues or rapidly organise.

Assemblies usually last from an hour to four hours and often happen in occupied spaces, roads or open town or city squares.

The people’s assembly will use participatory democracy, that is, everyone’s voice is heard equally and no voices lead. The aim is for the collective voice of the entire assembly to become involved in arriving at a decision. Trained facilitators are used to support the process. People will find that even though they have come to the issue with their own strongly held ideas and thinking, they will have their mind completely changed through the deeper knowledge and wider perspective gained through the process."

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summo on 07:53 Thu
In reply to Timmd:

> Somebody only needs to be working more than one hour a week to be counted at being in employment. 

I think the play on words is more people in employment than ever before. Provided the population grows faster than the rate of unemployment increases, there will always be more people in work. 

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Jimbo W on 07:56 Thu
In reply to Timmd:

> Meanwhile, food bank use is up, knife crime is up, women selling themselves for sex to survive in response to benefit changes has become an issue, and the government is massaging the employment figures so that we've 'the highest employment on record'. 

To be fair to the government, the recent  increase in employment seems to be due mostly to previously economically inactive women entering employment. While making no judgement on who might work or stay at home in a family unit because I think that is a decision for each individual, I'm not convinced that people who were economically inactive entering the workplace is necessarily a good news story, including from the climate change point of view. That said, in the NHS, we could desperately do with some more people providing a service, as things seem to be collapsing with no good news on the horizon in uni education, training and workforce streams.

Post edited at 08:19
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Postmanpat on 08:15 Thu
In reply to Timmd:

> Somebody only needs to be working more than one hour a week to be counted at being in employment. 


  That is the internationally accepted and utilised ILO definition of employment. How can describe using that as "government massaging"?

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Postmanpat on 08:27 Thu
In reply to summo:

> I think the play on words is more people in employment than ever before. Provided the population grows faster than the rate of unemployment increases, there will always be more people in work. 


The labour participation rate  (the proportion of people either employed or looking for employment) is at it's highest level since at least 1971. Given that unemployment (the proportion of the former that is not in work (ie.is looking but not employed) is at "record lows" the overall picture of very low levels of unemployment is valid.

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Eric9Points - on 08:49 Thu
In reply to profitofdoom:

> No, Parliament is not one according to their definition. This is what Extinction Rebellion mean by "People's Assembly" - this is quoted/ copied from their website (https://rebellion.earth/act-now/resources/assemblies/):

> "People’s Assemblies (PAs) are a group of self selecting people who come together in an assembly, often in occupied spaces as part of a movement towards revolutionary change (Tahir Square, Occupy, Gilets Jaunes, etc.).

> The aim of the PAs can be to make decisions, discuss issues or rapidly organise.

> Assemblies usually last from an hour to four hours and often happen in occupied spaces, roads or open town or city squares.

> The people’s assembly will use participatory democracy, that is, everyone’s voice is heard equally and no voices lead. The aim is for the collective voice of the entire assembly to become involved in arriving at a decision. Trained facilitators are used to support the process. People will find that even though they have come to the issue with their own strongly held ideas and thinking, they will have their mind completely changed through the deeper knowledge and wider perspective gained through the process."


Thanks, that's bound to work really well.

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neilh - on 08:54 Thu
In reply to stevieb:

Like alot of these things it will change because of (1) ground up protests highlighting the issue ( 2) businesses changing because they have to too survive and ( 3) government moving becuase of (1) and ( 2).

On a morbid note I enjoy reading Obituary's as I find some people's lifes fascinating. There was a recent one in the Economist ( easliy the best on this subject) to a guy at McDonalds( of all companies) who was responsible for their global views on climate change.The list of achivements that he had instigated at McDonalds in this area was very impressive( against alot of pressure from their franchises), they have been plugging away at it for some 20 years from what I recall driven by this guy.Cannot remember his name.

Postscript

Bob Langert, started in 1988.

But do consumers perceive McDonald’s as a socially or environmentally responsible company? If they do not, it is in spite of the best efforts of Bob Langert. In 1988, he took a temporary assignment managing a furore over polystyrene “clamshells” in which the company’s burgers were served, and which were being damned for their contribution to America’s litter problem. That turned into a 25-year career (he has since left the firm) dealing with the chain’s various negative external effects

Post edited at 09:06
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summo on 08:55 Thu
In reply to Postmanpat:

> The labour participation rate  (the proportion of people either employed or looking for employment) is at it's highest level since at least 1971. Given that unemployment (the proportion of the former that is not in work (ie.is looking but not employed) is at "record lows" the overall picture of very low levels of unemployment is valid.

I wasn't doubting it. But they are very careful with their wording, more people in employment than ever before etc. 

No one ever claims more people working full time hours than ever before etc. Or the classic seasonal adjustment etc. 

I'd treat it as guide, rather than a precise view. Perhaps looking at average income tax payments per capita as a guide to just how well everyone is really doing. Or if tax credit payments are lower than ever, that could imply greater prosperity. 

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neilh - on 09:01 Thu
In reply to profitofdoom:

You mean just another House of Parliament or a local council or parish council dressed up in anotherway. The trained facilitors being local government officers.

I see little difference with what we have at the moment.

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Postmanpat on 09:09 Thu
In reply to summo:

> I wasn't doubting it. But they are very careful with their wording, more people in employment than ever before etc. 

>

  It's a simple soundbite that people can understand. My version or your version don't have quite the same ring!

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thomasadixon - on 09:52 Thu
In reply to summo:

They do you know - last year I recall full time employment figures being said to be the highest ever.

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/full-time-employment

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aln - on 12:29 Thu
In reply to Timmd:

Good comeback. 

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jkarran - on 13:18 Thu
In reply to Eric9Points:

> Isn't Parliament a People's Assembly"? Maybe just not one that this organisation agrees with?

It is. It isn't one representative of the population. It isn't one where individuals are genuinely free to exercise their judgement. It isn't one able to devote itself fully to a single complex issue for a year or more.

> We already have a Green Party and if they were in government I'm sure they would implement many of the measures that this organisation advocate. Of course very few vote for them because they have no clear idea of how they would actually achieve what they want to achieve.

2015, the last normal election we had: 1.1M voted for them, that is despite us knowing FPTP guarantees that vote is wasted. Who knows what support they could command if we didn't have to vote tactically.

jk

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