UKH

Climate Change

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 magma 09 Aug 2021

Too little too late or a turning point?

How can carbon neutral/zero even be possible? Is everyone deluded or am I mad?

In reply to magma:

Pragmatism is the way forward. I was the biggest opponent of Brexit going but the resultant reduction in international trade is already cutting carbon emissions, that and the extremely far-sighted move by Thatcher to close the mines! I despise the Conservatives but they keep accidentally saving the world. The pandemic has also taught us how much unnecessary travel is done too. Obviously we all need to do our bit but macro-policies will be needed too.

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 magma 09 Aug 2021
In reply to stealth_mode_rob:

but with pragmatism we will miss targets...

1
 Lankyman 09 Aug 2021
In reply to stealth_mode_rob:

You forgot making people too poor to travel - a massive boost for the planet by our greener than green government!

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In reply to Lankyman:

What happens when 1% of the population owns 99% of the wealth, then launch themselves into space?

Is that a good thing??

1
 Ciro 09 Aug 2021
In reply to magma:

> Too little too late or a turning point?

> How can carbon neutral/zero even be possible? Is everyone deluded or am I mad?

On the one hand it's probably not too late to make the drastic changes required.

On the other, governments have known about this problem since the 70s, and have refused to do anything about it - knowing that the drastic changes required mean making life less convenient for those of us in the rich countries.

We've pursued the exact opposite of what's required for so long, I'm not hopeful we'll do anything about it in time.

1
In reply to magma:

The problem with saying it's almost too late, the mass polluting mentality will say there's little point in trying to stop it. Or just keep on saying China without realising it's making all their $hit that in part causes China to be so mass polluting. 

Climate change isn't a lost cause, convincing more than 10% of the population to do something is. It's as pointless as arguing with antivaxers.

1
In reply to magma:

In my view it's already too late.

There are simply too many humans on the planet to sustain.

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In reply to balmybaldwin:

> In my view it's already too late.

We do still have a choice to make it less worse?

3
In reply to balmybaldwin:

It might be too late, who really knows? But, morally, I can’t see how there is any option but to try to change lifestyles to minimise and mitigate these changes.

Otherwise what’s the message to future generations and all those that’ll suffer in the current generation? “We thought it was too late so we couldn’t be bothered trying to do anything about it?”

Post edited at 17:42
1
 geckoboy 09 Aug 2021
In reply to magma:

It's too late, has been for a long time.

You can cut carbon emissions but you'll then just do environmental damage in some other way and the end result will be the same just by an alternative route.

I don't understand all the people who blame the government either. The government doesn't make people fly off round the world on holiday or buy polluting cars or eat meat or anything else that is perceived to be damaging to the environment and contribute to climate change. Those are personal choices made by individuals. If there were no demand for these things they wouldn't exist.

With the number of people there are there is no sustainable way forward.

26
In reply to geckoboy:

If the End of the World was, say due at half past two tomorrow but you could postpone it to a week next Tuesday. Would you? Or would you welcome Armageddon whilst reminding everyone how it's all their fault?

In reply to stealth_mode_rob:

Indeed we do and I guess it could buy us some time. However I think the reduction would have to be so sharp as to be almost instant if we are to avoid tipping points like the Atlantic conveyor stopping (it is already slowing).

Without people universally accepting a significant reduction in living standards including horrific things like the world enforcing a one child per woman policy I can't see how it will be achieved.

Getting our individual emissions down to 1950 levels simply isn't enough to stop climate change without significant population reduction.

Unfortunately I don't think even the strongest environmentalists activists dwell on this point enough. And I don't think politicians would touch it with a barge pole.

If we can all reduce our emissions by 10% overnight, which would be a significant achievement, that would be wiped out by population growth in less than 10 years

6
In reply to geckoboy:

One problem is everyone  and ever organisation waiting for others. Everyone knkews whats needed and most people genuinely want to do it but lose if they act unilaterally 

Individuals wait for government 

Government waits for voters.

Business waits for regulation 

Etc

In reply to MeMeMe:

I'm not saying don't try.

Personally I:

Recycle

Barely fly (last flight 4 years ago)

Do not overeat

Walk & Cycle more than I drive (even pre-covid, but more so now)

Have a 20yr old car that hasn't needed manufacturing since even if it is a little less efficient

Don't replace my stuff if it still works just because "shiny new"

Don't (&won't) have kids to go on and consume more resources

But I do:

Eat (decently raised) Meat

Have a dog

Heat a house for one

Enjoy a decent lifestyle with the consequent emissions attached.

1
 geckoboy 09 Aug 2021
In reply to stealth_mode_rob:

Well that was the original question wasn't it. Can you postpone it?

My opinion was that you can't. You can only change the route you take to the same inevitable outcome.

If you can then of course do so. But if you can't then all your efforts are waisted and futile.

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 geckoboy 09 Aug 2021
In reply to MG:

Of course no one wants to be the one missing out. We could all give up climbing and reduce our carbon footprint, how many of us want to do so though?

I'm not sure most people genuinely want to make the sacrifices already being asked of them in the name of the environment. They are simply being forced to do so through legislation.

 The Norris 09 Aug 2021
In reply to geckoboy:

I agree to some extent, but governments do have pretty powerful methods to influence individual behaviour. Taxation being a pretty big one. Im sure the big drop in tobacco smoking may have had at least something to do with the big increase in tax.

If the government(s) were serious about encouraging us to move towards greener behaviours I'm sure further increases in fuel duty on flights and vehicles, meat consumption etc could all be implemented. 

Obviously that'll all have knock on effects, but I think it illustrates that governments are not entirely blameless.

In reply to balmybaldwin:

I have seen that argument shot to pieces by Greens. You can have less people but still horrendous emissions.  You can also have more people who are green and sustainable. 

8
 pavelk 09 Aug 2021
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> In my view it's already too late.

> There are simply too many humans on the planet to sustain.

It is absolutely within the power of each individual to reduce the world's population by one

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 geckoboy 09 Aug 2021
In reply to The Norris:

> I agree to some extent, but governments do have pretty powerful methods to influence individual behaviour. Taxation being a pretty big one. Im sure the big drop in tobacco smoking may have had at least something to do with the big increase in tax.

Of course government can influence behaviour.  If you ban something or make it prohibitively expensive then people will stop (or reduce) doing it.  Taxation is a poor way of doing this though, taxation is a means of generating revenue. Taxation is set at point where it is still affordable, it has to be or everyone would simply stop using the taxed commodity and the revenue income would stop as well.

Less people smoking will be in part due to the taxation on tobacco, but there are many more factors as well. Such as the greater awareness of the damage it can do to health, the changing social appeal of smoking, the reduction in advertising and product placement etc. Those who want to smoke will still do so though. Smoking is (i beleive) more prevalent in less affluent areas so the suggestion of affordability being a factor (due to taxation) is definitely debatable.

> If the government(s) were serious about encouraging us to move towards greener behaviours I'm sure further increases in fuel duty on flights and vehicles, meat consumption etc could all be implemented. 

If people were genuily interested in moving towards greener behaviours then they would do so regardless of what the government did. If you want to get rid of your car and walk everywhere you don't have to wait for the government to ban cars or make them unaffordable to you.

> Obviously that'll all have knock on effects, but I think it illustrates that governments are not entirely blameless.

You could reduce your carbon footprint and your environmental impact on the world far more by your own decisions than by any means any government will ever impose on you.

3
In reply to neilh:

It all depends on what you think is achievable in terms of living sustainably.

When I was first taught about climate change in about 1990 world population was 5.3Bn, It's now around 7.7Bn (45% increase in 30 years)

So if we can reduce our emissions per captia now by 30% ish instantly. That gets us back to 1990 emissions levels while sustaining the current population .  The problem is emissions levels then were already too high, and the population is still growing. So we need to do more than that. In order to address climate change we need to both halt and reverse population growth as well as minimise emissions (and if possible invent carbon/methane capture tech to reverse emissions impacts)

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 Trevers 09 Aug 2021
In reply to stealth_mode_rob:

> What happens when 1% of the population owns 99% of the wealth, then launch themselves into space?

> Is that a good thing??

If they stay there, yes.

 Forest Dump 09 Aug 2021
In reply to balmybaldwin:

90% of the emissions and negative impacts arise from 10% of the population (or thereabouta)

Dont fall for that neo malthusian guff

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 Forest Dump 09 Aug 2021
In reply to magma:

Its not binary is it? Not like anything over 1.5c and the world turns to dust

Each small increment in warming avoided will result in a more liveable planet

1.5c is probably pie in the sky, 1.7/2 is still doable and a damn sight preferable to 2.5, 3, 4c

Remember, this is not our kids, and grandkids, this is here and now

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In reply to neilh:

> I have seen that argument shot to pieces by Greens. You can have less people but still horrendous emissions.  You can also have more people who are green and sustainable. 

You can go far but humans are at plague levels. Its not just CO2 where we are hitting limits - biodiversity, water, food etc etc. We need fewer people.

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 Forest Dump 09 Aug 2021
In reply to MG:

Correction, we need fewer North Americans and Europeans

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In reply to MG:

More pressing than that is the Polish coal industry which needs closing down. 

1
 gravy 09 Aug 2021
In reply to stealth_mode_rob:

Rats, hoping to leave a sinking ship: "We've f*cked the planet but don't worry we can still play at being space barons while the rest of you bake".

1
In reply to Forest Dump:

Fewer everywhere. If you wipe out Europe and N America,  youve still got major problems 

 Moacs 09 Aug 2021
In reply to stealth_mode_rob:

> What happens when 1% of the population owns 99% of the wealth, then launch themselves into space?

> Is that a good thing??


Only if they stay there

Edit: bugger - beaten to it

Post edited at 19:35
 flatlandrich 09 Aug 2021
In reply to geckoboy:

> Of course no one wants to be the one missing out. We could all give up climbing and reduce our carbon footprint, how many of us want to do so though?

> I'm not sure most people genuinely want to make the sacrifices already being asked of them in the name of the environment.

As far as I can tell that is the biggest problem. No one really wants to give up the luxuries that we've come to take for granted. It's human nature to want to raise your living standards, no matter what your aspirations, whether it's a new phone, a privet jet, more holidays or simply some clean drinking water. The whole world is playing a massive game of keeping up with the Joneses and while social status and success is measured by the accumulation of wealth and/or over indulgence in spending it I can't see things changing.

Because of that I feel like we already are passed the tipping point. No matter how quickly we roll out new technology and up grade infrastructure attitudes will take much longer (to long) to change for the majority. 

1

I think we are probably screwed because most developed countries are democracies where politicians can only look at a four or five year cycle until the next election and climate change requires consistent longer term policies. Also, measures are going to affect the poor most and politicians will be afraid of 'upsetting:' the broad base of the wealth pyramid. 

In reply to MG:

I think the population forecasts show a peak somewhere in the 10-12 billion range and then a gradual reduction.

As more of the population (especially women in under-developed countries) become better educated, the birth rate goes down.

About a year or so ago Elon Musk and a Chinese billionaire were discussing the future problems of a shrinking world population in the latter half of this century. I was quite stunned how they were thinking so far ahead but it will be a future problem.

Already some western countries have reducing populations that are ageing too. Our current society isn't geared up for that kind of thing, the economic structures always assumes future growth with increased consumption.

1
 Ridge 10 Aug 2021
In reply to Forest Dump:

> Correction, we need fewer North Americans and Europeans

Remove the North Americans and Europeans and they'll be replaced by others with similar levels of carbon production and resource consumption. We need fewer people, (regardless of location), each with an impact below that of North America, Europe and other industrialised nations.

 Phil1919 10 Aug 2021
In reply to earlsdonwhu:

Yes, but I suppose the electorate could vote for politicians who believe in the long view? I find myself not nowing who to blame......the politicians, or 'us' who voted for them.

In reply to Michael Hood:

Yes, reducing numbers is hard without upheaval.  However, it's also needed.  At 12 billion we would even more over the capacity of the world than we are now.  Do economic structures require absolute growth, or just growth per capita?

 GrahamD 10 Aug 2021
In reply to summo:

> Climate change isn't a lost cause, convincing more than 10% of the population to do something is. It's as pointless as arguing with antivaxers.

Or, indeed, Brexiteers

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 PaulJepson 10 Aug 2021
In reply to geckoboy:

The government DO put us in positions where we are importing our food from literally the opposite side or the world. The government DO subsidise animal agriculture to the point where it's cheaper to buy part of a dead animal than a cabbage. The government DO continue to allow the burning of fossil fuels on a massive scale. They DO go down the route of fracking natonal parks to extract more fossil fuels. They don't put enough regulations in place and ultimately drive consumption of anything and everything.  Don't underestimate the influence and power they have; they're too afraid of losing votes to do anything about it. All the parties need to come together and agree on change, regardless of the ruling parry. 

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 Forest Dump 10 Aug 2021
In reply to Ridge:

There's enough resources to go around, even with forecasted population growth. Plenty of studies have demonstrated so.

The equitable distribution of said resources and the economic and political means to do so is the problem..

I.e. the bullshit 'science' of perpetual economic growth and the inability / unwillingness of politicians to have hard conversations with the electorate 

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 Moondancer 10 Aug 2021
In reply to geckoboy:

> If people were genuily interested in moving towards greener behaviours then they would do so regardless of what the government did. If you want to get rid of your car and walk everywhere you don't have to wait for the government to ban cars or make them unaffordable to you.

> You could reduce your carbon footprint and your environmental impact on the world far more by your own decisions than by any means any government will ever impose on you.

Government action is not only about imposing restrictions it is also about incentivising alternatives. That's why the smoking/tabacco analogy doesn't really work for climate action, as it's all about giving something up, not about promoting alternatives (if you're telling people that climate action is all about giving something up, then that's never going to be a vote winner). 

Take travel. Currently, aviation fuel is untaxed in the UK & EU. You could implement fuel duty on aviation fuel and depending on the added cost, this might make some people fly less. Now if government would not just tax aviation fuel but also subsidise rail travel, then even those who could still afford to fly might decide that taking the train from Birmingham to Glasgow becomes a more attractive alternative. Same with reducing the number of cars on the road - it might involve some sticks (taxation, regulation), but will also require investment in public transport, cycling infrastructure, etc.

And there are examples of successful government action. Renewable energy capacity in Scotland will soon be 10x what it was 20 years ago. That's to a large extent the result of a combination of (EU, UK & Scottish) government legislation and subsidies. There is a lot to be depressed about in relation to climate change, but the incredibly quick expansion of renewable energy also shows that change is possible (but that it does take a certain amount of coordination/incentivisation rather than just leaving it up to individuals to do the right thing).

 geckoboy 10 Aug 2021
In reply to PaulJepson:

The government facilitate what the people want they have have to win votes as you say.  But this tells you what people want as well.  The government subsidise agriculture because people want cheap meat, if everyone went vegetarian the government wouldn't continue to subsidise meat production they would subsidise other food sources.  Same for importing food, doing so is cheaper (and gets round seasonality) and that's what people want.  You can buy seasonal and only buy uk produced if you wish, but it will cost you more. If more people did then maybe The price would come down and government would act accordingly. The government are as you say looking for votes so they are giving people what they want (as far as they can) to win those votes.  If you want to give up your car tomorrow you can, you don't need to wait for the government to ban them, if more people do and more people use public transport then government funding would shift accordingly.  To a large extent it has to come from the people though.  If the majority wanted more action on climate change then more would vote for the greens, they don't, and that has to tell you something.

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 jkarran 10 Aug 2021
In reply to magma:

> Too little too late or a turning point?

Unknowable. Worth a try though, right.

> How can carbon neutral/zero even be possible? Is everyone deluded or am I mad?

Simplistically we increase the rate at which it's securely sequestered above the rate at which it's released as CO2. Ideally without causing too much collateral damage to our ecosystem.

How do we do that? Like eating an elephant quickly: one bite at a time in a big team.

Can we work as a team?

jk

 yorkshireman 10 Aug 2021
In reply to earlsdonwhu:

> I think we are probably screwed because most developed countries are democracies where politicians can only look at a four or five year cycle until the next election and climate change requires consistent longer term policies. 

I get it - but in countries with 'dictators for life' we're not exactly seeing trailblazing advances in sustainability. There are nations where they still have shortish election cycles but they're bringing sustainability to the fore. I think it's where there is a great preponderance of winner-takes-all election cycles (where you have to be the binary opposite of your opponent) rather than more coalition-led governments where we're seeing missed opportunities.

 geckoboy 10 Aug 2021
In reply to Moondancer:

Of course the government has the power to make change. They could ban all cars tomorrow and reduce carbon emission quite considerably very quickly. They would have riots on their hands though as that is not what the vast majority will want.

Most climate action does seem to focus on giving things up though. Sure there are alternatives but they are not (in many people's view) the same. Give up meat for veg, give up petrol for electric, give up foreign holidays, give up cheap disposable consumer goods etc. If people really wanted these things they can do it without any government restrictions or incentives to do so.

Implementing fuel duty on aviation may put flight out some peoples budget or make some people fly less.  Duty on petrol doesn't seem to have reduced car use by very much though.

Change is of course possible, but people need to want it. And as the original question of this thread asked, will that change actually make any real difference to the eventual outcome? I'm still sceptical.  I still believe we are just moving the problem rather than solving it.

 jkarran 10 Aug 2021
In reply to geckoboy:

> You can cut carbon emissions but you'll then just do environmental damage in some other way and the end result will be the same just by an alternative route.

Different damage for sure but not all damage is equally bad.

> I don't understand all the people who blame the government either. The government doesn't make people fly off round the world on holiday or buy polluting cars or eat meat or anything else that is perceived to be damaging to the environment and contribute to climate change. Those are personal choices made by individuals. If there were no demand for these things they wouldn't exist.

Personal choices are informed by the education one receives, made within a society having malleable values and within a regulatory/tax system notionally under a government's control. Uninformed, misinformed people cannot make good choices, nor can those without good options.

> With the number of people there are there is no sustainable way forward.

That's debatable but either way, populations change, it doesn't have to be all one way or Malthusian catastrophe either. Simple things like better education, sanitation and social security systems can very quickly and pretty cheaply put a brake on population growth.

jk

 jkarran 10 Aug 2021
In reply to PaulJepson:

> The government...

> Don't underestimate the influence and power they have; they're too afraid of losing votes to do anything about it. All the parties need to come together and agree on change, regardless of the ruling parry. 

It's not so much the votes but corporate funding and the support of the handful of media barons who deliver those votes.

jk

1
 PaulJepson 10 Aug 2021
In reply to geckoboy:

They don't necessarily have to ban things, just steer things in the right direction. E.g. cease production of petrol and diesel vehicles, actually build some proper walking and cycling infrastructure, invest in public transport. We still have coal power stations. Come on!

2
In reply to geckoboy:

> Implementing fuel duty on aviation may put flight out some peoples budget or make some people fly less.  Duty on petrol doesn't seem to have reduced car use by very much though.

It does in countries that improve other more environmentally friendly transport. 

If you build proper cycle paths, widen foot paths, have a joined up network for buses, trains, etc.. plan cities so that employment is nearer residences, invest in 4g and fibre to improve WFH..... then when you put up fuel tax folk have a choice to make. 

In many parts of the uk, buses run once a day, 4g is patchy, there is no fibre, no train... fuel could be £5/litre and people would still have to drive. 

 geckoboy 10 Aug 2021
In reply to jkarran:

> Different damage for sure but not all damage is equally bad.

And you are 100% sure the alternative is better are you?  What information are you basing this on?

> Personal choices are informed by the education one receives, made within a society having malleable values and within a regulatory/tax system notionally under a government's control. Uninformed, misinformed people cannot make good choices, nor can those without good options.

You seem to have worked things out for yourself with the current government, education system etc. So why can't everyone else?  On the other hand, how can you be sure you are not one of the uninformed, misinformed people?

> That's debatable but either way, populations change, it doesn't have to be all one way or Malthusian catastrophe either. Simple things like better education, sanitation and social security systems can very quickly and pretty cheaply put a brake on population growth.

Hasn't worked so far, the only real reduction in global population we have seen is due to war or illness, and in both cases the reduction has been temporary.

Doesn't better sanitation, social security etc result in people living longer and so consuming resource for longer and having a greater impact on climate change?

1
 geckoboy 10 Aug 2021
In reply to PaulJepson:

Ceasing production is a ban, they are banning the production of new petrol and diesel cars.

From what I have seen round here additional cycling infrastructure at least is wasted. No one uses it. The cycle paths here (fully separate from the road so safe and perfectly useable, I use them) are mostly entirely empty.  Same for the bus lanes full of empty busses I see every morning while the traffic queries up in what is left of the road. No point investing in something that is not going to be used.

And why do you think we are still using coal power stations?

In reply to PaulJepson:

As this is a 'climbing' site I'll stick to the adjustments we could make with the right changes made by those who govern. If we had a proper reliable public transport system that was also affordable that could make a massive difference. In the 1930's you could get a bus from Liverpool on a Friday evening straight to Ogwen cottage ! Jim Perrin has written about the train service (rambler's express) from / to Manchester and the Welsh mountains and if WE create / lobby for a demand then perhaps those who govern us may make the changes needed ? The BMC needs to lobby for us and we have to be prepared to forgo the luxury of our cars at least some of the time. The government should aim for a four day working week thus allowing us all more time to do the things we want and working from home for those that can should continue.

Electric cars by themselves are not the answer. Only until there is a universal charging / battery change point throughout the UK (this means all car manufacturers agree to using the same battery and given the difficulties of different mobile charges this ain't gonna be easy) Electric cars will only really be good for shortish and well planned trips where guaranteed charging can be factored in.

and drink British beer only !

 fred99 10 Aug 2021
In reply to Forest Dump:

> Correction, we need fewer North Americans and Europeans

North Americans and Europeans ARE getting fewer - many nations have a negative population growth among their indigenous populations.

It's Africans, Asians and South Americans who are increasing dramatically.

Plus they need to keep moving to Europe and North America to make room for yet more. The populations of Europe and North America are becoming more African/Asian/South American year on year.

 PaulJepson 10 Aug 2021
In reply to geckoboy:

Cycling infrastructure is too disjointed. You should be able to make a journey almost entirely on segregated cycle tracks in major cities. Does that exist in any UK city? Bristol is supposed to be the 'cycling capital' and I can't think of many segregated cycleways (especially not ones that are useful for commuting; there are a few recreational paths on old railway lines). The cycle lanes on the roads are often full of parked cars and the roads are not wide enough to get 2 cars down, never mind bikes as well. To get people on bikes you need a massive shift in approach. You have to think that you're wanting to get people who have potentially not ridden a bike since they were a kid back in the saddle. At the minute, that's like expecting someone to jump in a mincer.

> And why do you think we are still using coal power stations?

Because we are. They're targeted decommissioned by 2025 I think but don't you think that's something that should have been done a while ago? Meanwhile new coal power stations are still being built in Africa and Asia. 

 Harry Jarvis 10 Aug 2021
In reply to fred99:

> North Americans and Europeans ARE getting fewer - many nations have a negative population growth among their indigenous populations.

> It's Africans, Asians and South Americans who are increasing dramatically.

> Plus they need to keep moving to Europe and North America to make room for yet more. The populations of Europe and North America are becoming more African/Asian/South American year on year.

Missing the point. North America and Europe are responsible for far greater emissions than Africans. If we want to reduce overall global emissions, it is North Americans and Europeans who have to reduce their emissions, not those in developing countries. 

2
 Harry Jarvis 10 Aug 2021
In reply to geckoboy:

> And why do you think we are still using coal power stations?

There are only four coal-fired power stations still operating, due to close by 2025. Coal accounts for a very small fraction of our total electricity generation - we import more electricity than we generate using coal, and the number of periods when we do without coal-fired generation is increasing significantly. As I type, wind is generating four times more electricity than coal. 

 Harry Jarvis 10 Aug 2021
In reply to geckoboy:

> Of course the government has the power to make change. They could ban all cars tomorrow and reduce carbon emission quite considerably very quickly. They would have riots on their hands though as that is not what the vast majority will want.

They can, however, make the transition to ECs more attractive. In Norway, EVs account for more than half the new cars sold. This has been done by the use of the tax system to incentivise the purchase of EVs, and disincentivise the purchase of ICEs. Our government could easily do a great deal more to encourage the purchase and use of EVs - all new building developments should have a requirement  to use solar panels and to provide charging stations, new houses should all have EV charging facilities. 

Just because your extreme position of 'banning all cars tomorrow' is not reasonable, there is no reason to discount sensible and reasonable solutions. 

In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> Missing the point. North America and Europe are responsible for far greater emissions than Africans. If we want to reduce overall global emissions, it is North Americans and Europeans who have to reduce their emissions, not those in developing countries. 

Yes, but isn't a bigger (and linked) problem persuading the much greater number of people in developing countries not to increase their emissions to our "standard".

 jkarran 10 Aug 2021
In reply to geckoboy:

> And you are 100% sure the alternative is better are you?  What information are you basing this on?

No, did I give that impression? That said, climate change and particularly runaway self reinforcing climate change probably is at the worse end of the risks we face, it's probably worth moving fast and if need be breaking some stuff in the process of halting it.

> You seem to have worked things out for yourself with the current government, education system etc. So why can't everyone else?  On the other hand, how can you be sure you are not one of the uninformed, misinformed people?

Firstly I'm relatively young, well educated and most importantly interested. Secondly, that's not enough, nowhere near, I'm still making terrible choices. It needs to be normal, it needs to be easy to do the right thing. Hair shirts don't fix this.

I'm not sure anyone has all this 'worked out'.

> Hasn't worked so far, the only real reduction in global population we have seen is due to war or illness, and in both cases the reduction has been temporary.

It hasn't been universally applied. Where it has been applied it has been staggeringly successful in reducing the reproductive rate.

> Doesn't better sanitation, social security etc result in people living longer and so consuming resource for longer and having a greater impact on climate change?

No, not long run. It results in less infant mortality, less randomness, less need for a big family to ensure some male workers and female carers survive. It results in people of reproductive age empowered to make choices about how many children they have and when (which is almost always fewer and later). Don't think about the individuals in the now, think about the societies they build in the longer run.

jk

 Myr 10 Aug 2021
In reply to flatlandrich:

> a privet jet

I must say, some proposed green improvements for the aviation industry are just unrealistic.

 Harry Jarvis 10 Aug 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Yes, but isn't a bigger (and linked) problem persuading the much greater number of people in developing countries not to increase their emissions to our "standard".

It is a linked problem. Whether it is a bigger problem depends on what we choose to do. If we demonstrate that a Western-style lifestyle is possible with a low-carbon economy, using appropriate technologies and suitable policy levers, we can hope to keep emissions growth in check. 

If, alternatively, we choose to do nothing, or not enough to make a difference, we have no authority to tell developing countries how they should grow their economies. It's the developed West which has got us into the mess. It's now up to us to show that there is a way out without being bailed out by the poorer parts of the world. 

 Forest Dump 10 Aug 2021
In reply to fred99:

Thanks for demonstrating my point

Climate change-poluation control-planet defence league, or PDL if you will

In reply to magma:

Short-termism, the clamour for votes, political factions and states unwilling to collaborate, will always mean it will be too little, too late. Also the tectonic speed of the market will not respond quickly enough to make urgent and meaningful mitigation measures for ordinary folk actually affordable (like electric cars and ASHP heating) without an enlightened form of state intervention.

No, you're not mad.

 geckoboy 10 Aug 2021
In reply to PaulJepson:

How many major city's have the space for fully segregated cycle infrastructure?  Not many.   There are some terrible cycle lanes about though I would agree. A line painted down the side of a narrow road that every car has to straddle due to lack of space to do otherwise is a waste of paint and no benefit to anyone. Allows councils to make the claim of having x miles of cycle path to prove they are "green".

I'm not in a major city but a relatively built up area and there are fully segregated cycle paths here, most cyclists don't use them.

I don't think you'll ever persuade huge numbers to commute by bicycle here by choice. Getting to work soaked from the rain, soaked in sweat or frozen is not appealing. For many it's simply not convenient, people travel too far for work to cycle, they like to go elsewhere after work or do the weekly shop on the way home etc.

> Because we are. They're targeted decommissioned by 2025 I think but don't you think that's something that should have been done a while ago? Meanwhile new coal power stations are still being built in Africa and Asia. 

I meant why do you think we still have them and haven't yet phased them out. But the point about the rest of the world still building them is a good one, reason being i beleive is they are the quickest, cheapest power stations to build and commission. And for a developing country trying to build itself up this is very appealing.

 geckoboy 10 Aug 2021
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> They can, however, make the transition to ECs more attractive. In Norway, EVs account for more than half the new cars sold. This has been done by the use of the tax system to incentivise the purchase of EVs, and disincentivise the purchase of ICEs. Our government could easily do a great deal more to encourage the purchase and use of EVs - all new building developments should have a requirement  to use solar panels and to provide charging stations, new houses should all have EV charging facilities. 

They can make transition more financially attractive by putting tax on ICE and offering subsidy to buy EV. Right now though it is still considerably cheaper for me to keep my ice than buy an EV by a very long way even just by the price of the cheapest EV which offers very little in the way of practicality. I also have my doubts switching all ICE to EV will actually solve the problem rather than just move it elsewhere.

> Just because your extreme position of 'banning all cars tomorrow' is not reasonable, there is no reason to discount sensible and reasonable solutions. 

It all depends on your view of what is sensible and reasonable. Trading in my ICE for the cheapest EV would cost me thousands and I would end up with a very small impractical car with a insufficient range.  That doesn't sound like a sensible or reasonable solution for me. All depends on what your view of sensible and reasonable is though really, they are very subjective terms.

 geckoboy 10 Aug 2021
In reply to jkarran:

> No, did I give that impression? That said, climate change and particularly runaway self reinforcing climate change probably is at the worse end of the risks we face, it's probably worth moving fast and if need be breaking some stuff in the process of halting it.

The comment

 > Different damage for sure but not all damage is equally bad.

Implied to me that you believed the environmental damage caused by changing will be less than what we have.

Apologies if I misinterpreted that.  The risk is "moving fast and breaking stuff" you don't necessarily know what you are breaking or what the long term effects of that are so can't know that you are actually going to be better off.

> Firstly I'm relatively young, well educated and most importantly interested. Secondly, that's not enough, nowhere near, I'm still making terrible choices. It needs to be normal, it needs to be easy to do the right thing. Hair shirts don't fix this.

> I'm not sure anyone has all this 'worked out'.

I would agree no one has this worked out.the problem is there are quite a few who think they have and are making decisions based on that belief.

 George Ormerod 10 Aug 2021
In reply to magma:

> Too little too late or a turning point?

> How can carbon neutral/zero even be possible? Is everyone deluded or am I mad?

It's entirely possible, but will require massive government investment in the energy infrastructure and behavioral change.  All this will require strong and honest political leadership to tell people and companies some unpalatable truths - so we are totally fcuked.  

What is necessary will please no one, from free market arch capitalists to yogurt weaving environmentalists:

  • Carbon tax, set sufficiently high to change what people do (maybe 10 x what is around at the moment)
  • Government subsidy of improved building insulation, heat pumps, grid tied solar - to the extent that its provided virtually free to low income families
  • Subsidy of electric vehicles so they are substantially cheaper than ICE cars.  Provide charging infrastructure that makes them usable
  • Heavy vehicles run on H2, with suitable infrastructure
  • Massive investment in renewables and energy storage technology
  • Immediate closure of all coal power stations and replacement with Gas Turbine heat / power run on NG/LNG in the short term. 
  • Fuel shipping to LNG as it mostly burns bunker fuel, which is pretty horrible stuff
  • Carbon capture and storage where nothing else is feasible
  • Nuclear new build, including small modular reactors
  • Behavior change:  eating less meat, long haul travel not being considered a basic human right, etc.

Basically throwing everything at it, like it's a war, or say, a pandemic.

In reply to George Ormerod:

> Basically throwing everything at it, like it's a war, or say, a pandemic.

Yes, and we fight wars of national survival and against pandemics when the deaths of millions is imminent. We have not got to that point yet in the rich west with climate change; we can probably go on living our lives much as we do now (while fighting the odd wildfire and so on) for another 30 or 40 years (so half of us will not really have problems in our lifetimes) and just doing whatever is politically expedient on climate change. Of course the shit will eventually rapidly approach the fan and then we shall, of course, throw everything at it. By then it will probably mean spending trillions on extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and other stuff for which the the technology does not yet exist. 

Post edited at 11:47
 Harry Jarvis 11 Aug 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Of course the shit will eventually rapidly approach the fan and then we shall, of course, throw everything at it. By then it will probably mean spending trillions on extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and other stuff for which the the technology does not yet exist. 

The shit has been approaching the fan for the past few decades, and we have been told this over and over again. The first IPCC Assessment Report was published in 1990. The first climate change agreement was signed in 1997 in Kyoto.

I'm not quite sure why otherwise seemingly intelligent people have not grasped this. 

 PaulJepson 11 Aug 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

Unfortunately, we will cross several tipping points before things start to have a major impact on the west. The damage at those points will be irreversible and the curve will be steep. 

In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> The shit has been approaching the fan for the past few decades, and we have been told this over and over again.

> I'm not quite sure why otherwise seemingly intelligent people have not grasped this. 

We have grasped it, but my point is that the worst effects are not yet imminent enough (and will be after enough peoples' own lifetimes) to trigger the action we should be taking.

In reply to PaulJepson:

> Unfortunately, we will cross several tipping points before things start to have a major impact on the west. The damage at those points will be irreversible and the curve will be steep. 

Absolutely.

 jkarran 11 Aug 2021
In reply to geckoboy:

>  > Different damage for sure but not all damage is equally bad.

> Implied to me that you believed the environmental damage caused by changing will be less than what we have.

It wasn't meant to, it was supposed to leave open the possibility we accidentally unleash cthulhu while burying carbon while indicating it's a risk I consider worth taking.

And by unleashing cthulhu obviously what I actually mean is shifting deserts, destabilising ocean currents and nutrient cycles, the sort of thing climate change will do anyway but somehow worse.

> Apologies if I misinterpreted that.  The risk is "moving fast and breaking stuff" you don't necessarily know what you are breaking or what the long term effects of that are so can't know that you are actually going to be better off.

We know what we're fixing is unsurvivable long run. That's all that really matters, we muddle through because the risk of mistakes, which will be made is less than the risk of not trying in order to not make those mistakes.

> I would agree no one has this worked out.the problem is there are quite a few who think they have and are making decisions based on that belief.

So: do nothing?

jk

Post edited at 12:31
 Harry Jarvis 11 Aug 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> We have grasped it, but my point is that the worst effects are not yet imminent enough (and will be after enough peoples' own lifetimes) to trigger the action we should be taking.

I would contend that the fact that so few meaningful actions have been put in place suggests that we have not grasped the gravity of the situation. This thread exemplifies this - messing about with cycles lanes and recycling is utterly irrelevant in the overall context of the changes needed, and yet people seem to use the difficulties in dealing with these trivia as reasons why we cannot do anything useful.  

In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> I would contend that the fact that so few meaningful actions have been put in place suggests that we have not grasped the gravity of the situation.

I think that we have grasped it but would rather just put our head in the sand for the time being because it is not going to kill most of us alive today and maybe because the scale of the problem is just too overwhelming.

> Messing about with cycles lanes and recycling is utterly irrelevant in the overall context of the changes needed.

Yes, but this UKC so it's all about cycling!


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