Support the Arctic Sea Ice Forum and Blog

Author Topic: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it  (Read 42221 times)

viddaloo

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 1302
  • Hardanger Sometimes
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: BAU until they peal my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #50 on: March 09, 2015, 11:51:18 PM »
We have a choice of doing nothing and crashing or figuring out what needs to be done and do it to the best of our ability.

It's a tough choice. I'd say they both have merits:

A) doing nothing and crashing
B) figuring out what needs to be done and do it

Both A and B will of course exceed +2C dramatically and therefore crash. A) has the merit of crashing faster, ending millennia of ecocide. B) has the psychological merit of feeling good before truth catches up with us. Excrement hitting air circulation appliances in both options, I think I would opt for the shortest time and least amount of pain. The answer is A.
[]

werther

  • ASIF Middle Class
  • Posts: 715
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: BAU until they peal my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #51 on: March 10, 2015, 12:27:24 AM »
Bob challenges several of our blogfriends to come up with a number on decrease in greenhouse gas emissions and a date when that decrease should be accomplished. He continues with asking for a ‘source’ for such a number and date.
I know he’s getting rhetorical on this issue. For as he seems sure, there is no credible source in the sense of acceptation by the international science community. Not to mention the governmental scene.

For all the time I have been reading in on the subject (and I am aware of my own limitations), it is my impression that the scientific method isn’t going to produce such indisputable prognoses. I’m quite sure he knows this well, so his challenge is useless.

All we have is historical data. All we can do is extrapolate these into the future. Accepted modelling makes a case for real danger that the trend will resemble RCP 8.5, as described by IPCC. Several recent developments suggest that the biosphere is right on track with this simulated model.

There is constant scientific debate on Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity and Transient Climate Response. My own opinion on these is irrelevant. As long as AR5 by the IPCC remains the source on which the international community bases its response, I guess Bob is entitled to advertise the transition to sustainable energy as he does. But it should be clear that, considering the consequences, RCP 8.5 makes that transition extremely urgent. It would be very helpful to sacrifice a lot of material wealth. And it should be done in a way that is fair, within rich societies as well as to less fortunate regions of the planet.

I think a market led transition will both lack speed and fairness. In terms of World War II history, what’s needed is a Roosevelt-Churchill-Stalin team. But even then, they could only fulfill their policy when the masses were aware of the danger. In this crucial time, to effectively fight Global Warming it is necessary to show the masses what’s happening.
Anything less than alarm is BAU.

wili

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 2404
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 44
  • Likes Given: 230
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Bob Wallace

  • ASIF Governor
  • Posts: 3573
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 34
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: BAU until they peal my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #53 on: March 10, 2015, 01:15:52 AM »
Perhaps RCP2.6? A range of 0.3C to 1.7C by 2100.

RCP 2.6 assumes that global annual GHG emissions (measured in CO2-equivalents) peak between 2010-2020, with emissions declining substantially thereafter.

 The extended RCP2.6 pathway assumes sustained net negative anthropogenic GHG emissions after the year 2070.

(Wiki)

The US and Europe have already peaked.  China seems to have peaked.  Given that other countries are cutting and the ones who have peaked are dropping, is it impossible we hit peak CO2 five years from now?

"emissions declining substantially thereafter"

Which means some sort of rate of moving off fossil fuels.

" net negative anthropogenic GHG emissions after the year 2070"

Which means essentially we hit zero CO2 (and other GHGs) 55 years from now.

The world currently gets about 80% of all electricity from fossil fuels. Reaching zero in 55 years would mean a transition of 1.5% per year to renewables.  The US is hitting roughly 1% right now and just warming up.

The world runs cars and light trucks on petroleum.  I don't know what the world fleet turnover rate is but in the US it's about 15 years.  Assume as much as 25 years for the world.  That means that we have two "generations" to switch to EVs.

Given that EVs are likely to cheaper to purchase and significantly cheaper to operate that second generation should be pretty much all EVs.  Or something better.

How we extract carbon from the atmosphere is a problem we aren't required to answer at the moment.  Our immediate job is to quit pumping more in.  Over the next half century I'm sure some of our best and brightest will be working on the re-sequestering problem.

OldLeatherneck

  • ASIF Middle Class
  • Posts: 554
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: BAU until they peal my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #54 on: March 10, 2015, 01:34:18 AM »

<SNIP>

.............................I guess Bob is entitled to advertise the transition to sustainable energy as he does. But it should be clear that, considering the consequences, RCP 8.5 makes that transition extremely urgent. It would be very helpful to sacrifice a lot of material wealth.  (My Edit)

I think a market led transition will both lack speed and fairness. In terms of World War II history, what’s needed is a Roosevelt-Churchill-Stalin team. But even then, they could only fulfill their policy when the masses were aware of the danger. In this crucial time, to effectively fight Global Warming it is necessary to show the masses what’s happening.
Anything less than alarm is BAU.  (My Edit)

Werther,

I could not have put it more eloquently. 

Setting aside for a moment our concerns about AGW/CC,  The current state of the world is already being imperiled by incompetent governance, income inequality, over-population, resource depletion, regional strife, rife underemployment in lesser developed countries and increasingly vitriolic political discord in the more developed countries.

I'm beginning to wonder if the sociological change required to live in the post-carbon world are more challenging than the technical challenges of transitioning to renewable energy and the economic costs of relocating 100s of millions of people and building a new sustainable infrastructure.

I could go on.....and will have more depression inducing thought later.
"Share Your Knowledge.  It's a Way to Achieve Immortality."  ......the Dalai Lama

wili

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 2404
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 44
  • Likes Given: 230
Re: BAU until they peal my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #55 on: March 10, 2015, 02:55:42 AM »
2.6 at this point is total and utter fantasy.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Bob Wallace

  • ASIF Governor
  • Posts: 3573
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 34
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: BAU until they peal my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #56 on: March 10, 2015, 03:03:50 AM »
2.6 at this point is total and utter fantasy.

Hard to argue against that sort of logical analysis...

Lewis C

  • ASIF Lurker
  • Posts: 62
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: BAU until they peal my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #57 on: March 10, 2015, 03:05:38 AM »
Bob - from where I stand limits to growth does have a relevance, albeit a very unwelcome one.
It tells how we are 40 yrs late, and how, if it hadn't been for Reagan's treasonous deal with Iran to pervert the course of US democracy, things might have been very different.
Spilt milk.

Its relevance is that the core question is not what Near-zero GHG date would avoid 2.0C, but  how swift is our best achievable termination of fossil fuel dependence ?

And 'achievable' to my mind means maintaining sufficient economic activity to maintain the crucial sense of common purpose and avoid rebellion, conflict and failure. Indeed, the scale of economic activity just in replacing the global energy production capacity is actually very great. As it is in the planting of sufficient native coppice forestry to supply the requisite new worldwide industry in "Carbon Recovery for Food Security".

Anyone who actually thinks that an early crash of society - due almost certainly to the onset of serial global crop failures and consequent geopolitical destabilization, would impose less damage in the way of genocide and ecocide than would striving by whatever means are necessary and sufficient to avoid that crash - in my view simply hasn't been paying attention to the science, let alone doing their homework.

The eight Major interactive Feedbacks [MIFs] are up and running. Besides being driven by anthro-warming, they are also being driven by numerous direct coupling mechanisms (I found over eighty reported in the literature in a few days study) of which the classic example is of arctic sea-ice decline and Albedo Loss warming mobile air masses over the Arctic ocean whose signature can then be traced in raised Permafrost Melt up to 1500kms inland. A third indirect driver is each MIF's own warming input adding to SAT after the timelag of ocean thermal inertia and thus adding to all MIFs' further escalation.

The most advanced MIF that I've seen reported is Albedo Loss which (in case anyone reading this hasn't seen it) was reported in the Jan 2014 paper by Ramanathan et al : http://www.pnas.org/content/111/9/3322.abstract  It evaluated the Arctic sea ice decline in the satellite record since '79, and found that the warming from Albedo Loss on average equalled 25% of the warming from anthro-CO2 stocks for the period. This is roughly equal to a new China's worth of annual CO2 output, and given the progress of ASI decline it is plainly on a rising trend.

The fact that ASI decline is only a part of Cryosphere decline, and that Albedo Loss is only one of eight MIFs, should be borne in mind in collating their potential with our best efforts at Emissions Control.

IF a best efforts target were set for "Near-zero global GHG outputs by 2050", then beside the warming unveiled by the closure of the sulphate parasol we should also see anthro-warming timelagged potentially to the 2080s (there was a paper disputing the timelag, which Gavin S at RC shredded last year). This would allow around 70 years of continuous anthro-warming of the MIFs, as well as their own indirect warming, which indicates to me (and this is interpretation) that their CO2_e outputs on top of anthro-warming would more than fully offset our best efforts at Emissions Control. This prospect offers no chance of staying below 2.0C.

Nor does it do anything to reduce the prospect of major regional droughts coinciding during the 2020s to cause the onset of serial global crop failures. This possibility is drawn from a study by Prof Forster, an IPCC lead author, into the prognosis for extreme drought in Asia and shows that China, Pakistan and Turkey are the most seriously affected of the region’s major producers of wheat and maize.
.
From the press release: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/3291/food_security_effects_of_climate_change_will_be_felt_in_10_years

Oct 2012 “Food Security: Near future projections of the impact of drought in Asia”
 
"Research released today shows that within the next 10 years large parts of Asia can expect increased risk of more severe droughts, which will impact regional and possibly even global food security. On average, across Asia, droughts lasting longer than three months will be more than twice as severe in terms of their soil moisture deficit compared to the 1990-2005 period. This is cause for concern as China and India have the world’s largest populations and are Asia’s largest food producers.

Dr Lawrence Jackson, a co-author of the report, said: "Our work surprised us when we saw that the threat to food security was so imminent; the increased risk of severe droughts is only 10 years away for China and India. These are the world’s largest populations and food producers; and, as such, this poses a real threat to food security.""


So with 0.85C realized, and at least another 0.5C in the pipeline realized by 2050, and another ~0.6C of the fossil suphate parasol closure, and whatever the MIFs provide, and with Anthro GHG outputs crashing say in 2027 after a mere 12 years, by 2050 we are still at or above 2.0C even with the lower future anthro-CO2 inputs.

No less an authority than Michael Mann puts the passing of 2.0C under BAU at 2036 (on an ECS of 3.0) and at 2046 (on an ECS of 2.5). How much difference our best efforts before 2036 would make is unclear.

The question I've yet to see answered is just why fast crash proponents assume that with MIFs up and running at 0.85C, and SAT rising to at least 2.0C, they can then be expected to stop escalating, in direct contravention of their mutually self-reinforcing capacity ? What is to prevent their continued rise ? And what is the effect of that continued rise on human stragglers from a collapsed society and on the remaining vitality of the terrestrial and marine ecologies ?

The premis that a fast crash offers a better outcome in terms of genocide and ecocide than the all out attempt at mitigation is not borne out by the prognosis once the MIFs are included.

It may also be noted that the premis is the most wildly unsaleable proposal and so has zero prospect of preventing the coming global attempt at effective mitigation.  The most it could do is to damage that attempt by demoralizing individuals - But, under a war-footing to address an existential challenge, most nations have the tradition of treating the promotion of defeatism as a serious crime, so those who choose to abstain from helping would do best to withdraw.

Regards,
Lewis

 

« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 03:56:23 AM by Lewis C »

Bob Wallace

  • ASIF Governor
  • Posts: 3573
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 34
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: BAU until they peal my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #58 on: March 10, 2015, 04:47:12 AM »
Thanks, Lewis.

sidd

  • ASIF Governor
  • Posts: 4462
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 139
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: BAU until they peal my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #59 on: March 10, 2015, 04:52:24 AM »
i usually refrain from discussions like these ... but i am sitting here
with a few free minutes, so what the hell

there are those who see imminent doom and i sympathise. we live in a
world of wounds and the scars are hard to bear.

then there are those who see no problem at all in ever expanding
expanses of asphalt. i do not sympathise.

but most here acknowledge there is a problem. and most here work toward
solutions.

i have put a whole lotta fossil carbon in the air in my life, so now i
plant trees and make biodiesel and restore soils, while burning as little
fossil carbon as possible. we do what we can.

which puts me in mind of a song that begins
"You say you want a revolution ..."

Revolutions begin at home. Take that as you please, for me right now,
it means that i need to go plan this years tree plantings, and hopefully
involve more children in the process.

So that is what i will do. spring is here.

one last thought b4 i logout. sometimes, when i have a hard time sleeping,
from all the grievous ruination of our green world, i remember that a great
many of the trees i have planted will endure for many decades after i am
gone, buying children some precious time. And some of the children i have
taught will plant more. A small legacy, if you will, against my great carbon
debt.

I like trees. If this little missive moves some here to plant a tree
or two, with an eye for what is to come, and care for them for as long
as they can, it is enough

I do like trees.

sidd

PS: it's "peel" not "peal," can we change it ? or are thread headings engraved in adamant here ? allrite, now i really got to go lay out the holes and the diggery

wili

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 2404
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 44
  • Likes Given: 230
Re: BAU until they peal my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #60 on: March 10, 2015, 05:10:37 AM »
Lewis wrote: "...the most wildly unsaleable proposal..."

Thanks you for your frankness. So another Green BAU proponent admits that he is more interested in salesmanship than truth. Good to understand where everyone is coming from.

Thanks for the literature review and links, though. But I did find this part: "0.5C in the pipeline realized by 2050" a bit optimistic.

If Bob doesn't understand why 2.6 is a complete fantasy, he is far beyond reason anyway.

Sidd, I applaud your efforts. But if you are in zones that still get snow, albedo shifts mean that trees will mostly increase local warming rates. I prefer planting native grasses.

And I trust, unlike Bob, that you, like I, have given up on long distance travel for pleasure (unless it is by bicycle or sale boat). And that you, like I, have also given up on meat and dairy. And that you, like I, have agitated, at risk to and loss of profession, friends and family, for change at every level--personal, family, community, school, job, city, state...

Best wishes to all in this uncertain future...

ETA: Look, in 'brown' or green BAU lie horrors. In total civilizational collapse lay horrors. These days there don't seem to be anything much but horrors to be found. I prefer to at least try to imagine what might be a way forward that is ever so slightly less horrifying than the worst. That to me involves a planned rapid power down. Who would have the power or cojones to actually carry it out, I haven't the slightest. But it's the only path forward that I can see that is marginally less full of horrors than the other paths. In the mean time, I try to live in a way approaching what needs to be done and to communicate with others as clearly and as frequently as possible where we are and what needs to be done.

None of us know how things may turn out, and that itself is partly what terrifies us and has us at each others' throats--the pure horror of the uncertainty.

I'm all for effective communication, but not at the price of basic honesty. I don't see that soft-pedaling and essentially lies have gotten the mainstream green movement very far in nudging the global system in a less totally destructive direction. So why not try honesty?

(And for the record, I join with sidd in an appeal to correct the spelling in the title of the thread, particularly as one who has himself on occasion too hastily composed a title of a thread only to have to look at its awkward spelling or wording for weeks or months.)

(And in case anyone was wondering what the rest of Lewis's '8 major interactive feedbacks' are, here is the full list as he has posted them cleverly elsewhere:
Water Vapour Increase,
Albedo Loss,
Fertilized Peatbog Decay,
Ocean Warming & Acidification,
Permafrost Melt,
Forest Loss,
Soil Desiccation and
Methyl Clathrates Melt)
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 06:01:17 AM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Neven

  • Administrator
  • ASIF Royalty
  • *****
  • Posts: 6583
    • View Profile
    • Arctic Sea Ice Blog
  • Liked: 344
  • Likes Given: 241
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #61 on: March 10, 2015, 12:35:31 PM »
Peel it is.

In the end this is all about respecting limits, and Green BAU is just another way to work around that, like we've always done. Abandoning the gold standard, allowing untransparent complex derivatives, drilling/fracking ever deeper, genetically modifying crops, trailing the bottom of the ocean, etc.

The only way to respect limits is to impose limits, even though it doesn't sell well because of our conditioning. Green BAU is just a pacifier, and if it doesn't work, the crash will only be larger and worse. It could work if the system is changed, and limits are imposed.

And these limits have to be imposed on what we do and have. The most important thing would be to limit the amount of money and land an individual is allowed to possess. Greed is good, but it needs a limit.

A second limit would involve energy use, and thus inevitably a fee&dividend cap.

The money generated by these two caps could be used to guarantee everyone a minimum income, so that they are more independent and do not get bogged down in horribly dull and inhuman working arrangements, that keep them from reaching their full potential. This would be good for public health (less stress, more time for gardening), unemployment rates (working weeks getting shorter) and democracy (freedom to choose).

Of course, things that are good for public health, unemployment rates and democracy are bad for profits, and profits need to grow because otherwise GDP doesn't grow, whether BAU is black or green. And so first the definition of GDP needs to be adapted to make the required changes possible.

If you would combine all of these measures, culture would have a chance of changing from a set-up where consumption is central to everything we have and do. This in turn would save a lot of wasted energy, which makes it easier for renewables to start taking over.

But you need to change the system so that limits are respected. Green BAU doesn't respect limits, it's a trick.
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

AbruptSLR

  • ASIF Emperor
  • Posts: 17015
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 376
  • Likes Given: 183
Re: BAU until they peal my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #62 on: March 10, 2015, 04:10:48 PM »
Bob challenges several of our blogfriends to come up with a number on decrease in greenhouse gas emissions and a date when that decrease should be accomplished. He continues with asking for a ‘source’ for such a number and date.
 
Anything less than alarm is BAU.

Climate Analytics at the following links offers a large number of different "erring on the side of least drama", i.e. IPCC-like) GHG pathways (see sample image) to stay below either 1.5 or 2C temperature increase, offered by many of the original (conservative) RCP authors.  Deciding which pathway is acceptable is all about risk management of a highly uncertain situation where the fat-tailed consequences are extremely high and our current generation of climate model projections are extremely limited in terms of accuracy.

http://www.climateanalytics.org/publications/timetables-zero-emissions-and-2015-emissions-reductions-state-science-adp-agreement

http://www.climateanalytics.org/sites/default/files/attachments/publications/CA%20Briefing%20Timetables%20for%20Zero%20emissions%20and%202050%20emissions%20reductions.pdf

http://www.climateanalytics.org/sites/default/files/attachments/publications/Infosheet%20Timetables%20for%20Zero%20emissions%20and%202050%20emissions%20reductions.pdf
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • ASIF Emperor
  • Posts: 17015
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 376
  • Likes Given: 183
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #63 on: March 10, 2015, 04:18:12 PM »
For those who like to taut that the maturing economies of the EU, the US and China have committed to reducing carbon emissions after 2030 (for China), you should understand that all of these maturing economies are exporting fossil fuel technology to third world countries (see link where the EU is doing just this) where GDP growth rates are the highest in the world.  In other words it does not good to limit carbon emissions in maturing economies that then import goods with high fossil fuel content from rapidly growing third world economies like India, the African Union and Southeast Asia.

https://euobserver.com/energy/127928

Extract: "EU states like France and Germany might be talking up their climate-change-fighting credentials at home, but they are also helping companies export technology for power plants that run on coal, the most polluting of the fossil fuels."
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 04:24:35 PM by AbruptSLR »
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • ASIF Emperor
  • Posts: 17015
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 376
  • Likes Given: 183
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #64 on: March 10, 2015, 04:44:35 PM »
The linked reference offers a better method for GHG/carbon footprint accounting that could help identify where more change is needed to fight climate change (see attached image, abstract & links):

Astrid Kander, Magnus Jiborn, Daniel D. Moran & Thomas O. Wiedmann, (2015), "National greenhouse-gas accounting for effective climate policy on international trade", Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate2555



http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2555.html


Caption for image: "World map of average emissions per person using the technology-adjusted carbon footprint"

Abstract: "National greenhouse-gas accounting should reflect how countries’ policies and behaviours affect global emissions. Actions that contribute to reduced global emissions should be credited, and actions that increase them should be penalized. This is essential if accounting is to serve as accurate guidance for climate policy. Yet this principle is not satisfied by the two most common accounting methods. Production-based accounting used under the Kyoto Protocol does not account for carbon leakage—the phenomenon of countries reducing their domestic emissions by shifting carbon-intensive production abroad. Consumption-based accounting (also called carbon footprinting) does not credit countries for cleaning up their export industries, and it also punishes some types of trade that could contribute to more carbon efficient production worldwide. We propose an improvement to consumption-based carbon accounting that takes technology differences in export sectors into account and thereby tends to more correctly reflect how national policy changes affect total global emissions. We also present empirical results showing how this new measure redraws the global emissions map."

See also:
http://www.rtcc.org/2015/03/10/twist-on-carbon-footprinting-could-unblock-un-climate-talks/

Edit: I note that this research indicates that the world would be well served if the USA were to unilaterally adopt a Carbon Fee & Dividend & Tariff plan, that would fight their addiction to cheap import of goods with high carbon contents
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 05:20:02 PM by AbruptSLR »
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

viddaloo

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 1302
  • Hardanger Sometimes
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: BAU until they peal my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #65 on: March 10, 2015, 04:45:18 PM »
Bob - from where I stand limits to growth does have a relevance, albeit a very unwelcome one.
It tells how we are 40 yrs late, and how, if it hadn't been for Reagan's treasonous deal with Iran to pervert the course of US democracy, things might have been very different.
Spilt milk.

Lewis, that is certainly very interesting, and although I can remember (as a clueless child!) rooting for Carter in that election, I have never heard the hostage crisis being singled out as pivotal in this way before. Don't you think the cesspool of BAU politics would have come up with something similar if Reagan had been a good guy?

Anyone who actually thinks that an early crash of society - due almost certainly to the onset of serial global crop failures and consequent geopolitical destabilization, would impose less damage in the way of genocide and ecocide than would striving by whatever means are necessary and sufficient to avoid that crash - in my view simply hasn't been paying attention to the science, let alone doing their homework.

I don't think it's quite as bad as you make it: The premises of this 'choice' (Bob's proposed choice) for my own part is that Industrial Civ will fail either way, it's just a question of time. I think simple logic and mathematics (basic 4 operations) then suggest a prolonged failure of Civilisation will tear up more of the basic fabric of life on this planet than a snappy collapse.
[]

AbruptSLR

  • ASIF Emperor
  • Posts: 17015
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 376
  • Likes Given: 183
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #66 on: March 10, 2015, 04:49:16 PM »
The linked article indicates that while it is easy to make promises (such as the Kyoto Protocol), it is difficult to keep them, even for the EU (which explains why the COP21 goals will almost certainly not be mandatory):

http://www.rtcc.org/2015/03/09/doubts-raised-over-europes-ability-to-meet-2030-climate-target/

Extract: "The 28 countries of the European Union (EU) have set themselves a collective target of cutting emissions of climate-changing greenhouse gases (GHGs) by between 80% and 95% by 2050, but  a major report just released says there’s little hope of achieving that goal."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • ASIF Emperor
  • Posts: 17015
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 376
  • Likes Given: 183
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #67 on: March 10, 2015, 04:53:19 PM »
I agree with the African ministers cited in the linked article that we should all be talking about limiting global mean surface temperature increases above pre-industrial level to 1.5C (not 2C):


http://www.rtcc.org/2015/03/09/african-ministers-back-1-5c-warming-goal-for-paris-summit/


Extract: "African environment ministers have reaffirmed their commitment to limiting global warming to 1.5C above pre industrial levels, placing them on collision course with the US and EU."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

ritter

  • ASIF Middle Class
  • Posts: 538
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #68 on: March 10, 2015, 05:18:08 PM »
Interesting discussion, all.

The state of California is drawing its line in the sand at 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.
http://focus.senate.ca.gov/climate

It is obvious that it follows the GBU approach as no one wins reelection with collapse.  ;)

AbruptSLR

  • ASIF Emperor
  • Posts: 17015
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 376
  • Likes Given: 183
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #69 on: March 10, 2015, 09:36:39 PM »
The linked Guardian article does not sound too optimistic about the COP21 out-come given the relationship between most governments of the world and the fossil fuel industry.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/10/keep-fossil-fuels-in-the-ground-to-stop-climate-change
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

sidd

  • ASIF Governor
  • Posts: 4462
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 139
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #70 on: March 10, 2015, 10:28:19 PM »
"If Bob doesn't understand why 2.6 is a complete fantasy, he is far beyond reason anyway. "

Now, now. I happen to agree with Mr. Bob Wallace that RCP 2.6 is not yet impossible, but i might differ from him as to the difficulty of achieving it.

"Sidd, I applaud your efforts."

Why, thank you.

" But if you are in zones that still get snow, albedo shifts mean that trees will mostly increase local warming rates. I prefer planting native grasses."

Horses for courses. Actions must be in tune with local conditions. There is a line through the middle of Ohio, west of which was prairie and east of which lie the mixed woodland of Appalachia. I have participated in prairie restorations in appropriate landscape. It is not true that planting trees generally increase local warming rates in regions with snowfall, i think the science is still inconclusive. In tundra regions, probably, but not elsewhere.

"And I trust, unlike Bob, that you, like I, have given up on long distance travel for pleasure (unless it is by bicycle or sale boat)."

I burn a _lot_ of diesel, running all over the eastern seaboard. But I make about ten times more biodiesel. Would love to run on biodiesel all the time, but the color aint exactly the same, and when the local smalltown sheriff sticks the tank, and gives my drivers a hard time ... well you get the picture. So we burn fossil diesel.

"And that you, like I, have also given up on meat and dairy."

Not at all. I get those from the neighours. (I would love to run livestock myself, but there is generally no one at the farm most of the time so the racoons and coyotes had a good time with the chickens. And then one committed suicide by flipping over an oil barrel lid and trapping itself. Eeeeew.) Grass fed, free range, no drugs, they have a much happier life than in the feedlots. When they fall ill, they are culled and feed the buzzards, rather than being dosed with drugs. Manure from these operations stays in the valley. So does most of the meat, come to think of it.

"And that you, like I, have agitated, at risk to and loss of profession, friends and family, for change at every level--personal, family, community, school, job, city, state..."

I changed my professional focus from moving and massaging information to moving and massaging commodities (food and energy) well over a decade ago. My agitation (not precisely the word i would have chosen, but neverheless) is more subversive. I find it much easier to work with my neighbors on land and water restoration and reforestation than evangelize for climate action. _After_ you have sweated and got muddy all day with a buncha sixty plus year old farmers planting a few hundred trees,  then it's funny how much more attention they pay you over a quiet beer or two in the local pub. These guys ain't stupid. They know whats coming. But they are trapped too.

Some of the more underhanded things i do is encourage people to vote in strategic party primaries, regardless of their actual political affiliation, send money to appropriate candidates, get the fossil interests to fight each other, organize market actions to kill coal ... But i recall that Mr. Jim D. who originated this thread would rather not discuss the last two points, so i shall abstain. But i will say this. I am familiar with many small, dying coal towns, and no future that eliminates coal is ethically palatable to me unless some provision is made for all the people in those little towns. They have horrible lives already.

"None of us know how things may turn out, and that itself is partly what terrifies us and has us at each others' throats--the pure horror of the uncertainty."

In uncertainty there is also hope. Unlike some here, I do not believe that our doom is written already ...

sidd

JimD

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 2270
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: BAU until they peal my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #71 on: March 11, 2015, 12:40:03 AM »
....
Anyone who actually thinks that an early crash of society - due almost certainly to the onset of serial global crop failures and consequent geopolitical destabilization, would impose less damage in the way of genocide and ecocide than would striving by whatever means are necessary and sufficient to avoid that crash - in my view simply hasn't been paying attention to the science, let alone doing their homework.

Oh but I have done my homework and have focused strongly on the science.  In logic and rational terms the conclusion that a rapidly performed dramatic degrowth of our entire civlization across the board would result in less harm and far better prospects for the human race is irrefutable.  It is not even a hard problem to solve. 

The problem with the deniers and delayers (I do not use the term lightly and I certainly do mean it.  It is deserved and appropriate.) is that they do NOT look at all of the facts.  They always avoid the ones that eliminate their BAU approaches from being a rational or logical conclusion.

There is a very big difference between what is mathematically possible and what can be done in the real world.  Those who forget this real difference are always going to grab at solutions which kick the can down the road and then pray for a miracle.  This is the Green BAU that you and BW are proposing.  It is absolutely clear that in the real world your approaches will not lead to a solution. 

As wili said you must select your approach ONLY from what is actually viable in the real world.  No matter how attractive some proposed solution is it must pass that test.  This is our last chance to prove we are intelligent and adults.  We can't be cowards and make it through this.

We must simultaneously solve the issues of climate change and being far over the global carrying capacity.  Within this macro set of problems there are a host of very serious sub-issues which also have to be addressed adequately.  A solution which only solves one aspect of this complex issue essentially solves none of it.  It is not possible to run any conceivable complex civilization and have zero carbon emissions and that statement will not change for decades - maybe someday but not in any time frame that helps fix things.  The global carrying capacity - independently from climate change - is declining at a significant rate.  We keep leveraging fossil fuels to overcome this issue but factors like loss of top soil, pollution, dwindling amounts of fresh water, and supplies of key items like phosphorus will just keep declining.  Add in the deleterious effects of climate change on the oceans in terms of acidification, the temperatures in growing regions, increasing droughts and floods, rising sea levels, co2 concentrations, and so on and you have a disaster that will very likely hit civilization well before the global temperature is much above 2C and maybe before.

One must keep in mind how much future climate change effects is already baked in the cake.  If we stopped today - which we won't - things are going to get much worse.  But what are we doing today?  We are doing nothing to even try and deal with our global population levels and the total continues to rise rapidly.  As I have pointed out many times there is no problem we are discussing here that can be solved if our population is not dramatically reduced.  What have the CO2 emissions been over the last 3 years of Green and Black BAU approaches?  Each year a record.  What are we doing on a global basis and with full consensus?  Growing our economies and trying to raise affluence.  Does what we are doing perhaps just strike you as a little bit mad?  If not you need to check your assumptions and perhaps beat your head on a wall a few times.

If we pursue your Green BAU approach what will certainly happen is what has happened to every civilization throughout history which has faced a collapse dynamic.  You will pull out all stops to maintain what we have and then there will be catastrophic collapse.  Only this time you will have done it on a global level and you will have dramatically worsened all the climate change metrics and very likely have pushed us over the tipping point on several nasty negative feedbacks.  You will have run the population levels so high and destroyed so much more of the globes carrying capacity that what is left for the survivors to try and rebuild with will be minimal.

To even suggest that your deny and delay approach is a rational and logical approach boggles the mind.

By far the least adverse effects would be experienced by following a rapid degrowth regime (a managed collapse).  This is a no brainer.  And I have never read anything which has even come close as an alternate option.

The issue is not Green BAU or managed collapse (or rapid degrowth if the other word is too scary for you).  That question has an answer.  The issue is how on earth we execute the degrowth mechanism.  This is a very hard problem as it requires us humans to act not in our selfish interests but in the interests of the innocents - commonly known as our potential descendants.  It is not about what makes you uncomfortable or avoiding what you find icky.  It is about doing what is right and not being cowards.  Human nature tends to guide our hands in all things.  It has served us well over the last couple of million years but it is not serving us well today.  It does not see a short term threat so it says to wait wait wait.  This time we must not wait and we must act to deal with a long term threat which we were not designed by nature to do.  But we must.  We must change now.

 
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Bob Wallace

  • ASIF Governor
  • Posts: 3573
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 34
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #72 on: March 11, 2015, 03:48:12 AM »
Quote
In the end this is all about respecting limits, and Green BAU is just another way to work around that

Your idea of what "Green BAU" is certainly different than is mine.

As I pointed out earlier, Green BAU is all about getting something done rather than hoping that people either give up their present lifestyles or die off.

If you pay some attention to what is happening in the world, we are starting to rapidly ramp up the use of renewable energy, fossil fuel use is starting to stall out at least in some countries, and efficiency is beginning to rule.

People are not going to give up their present lifestyles voluntarily until it's too late.  And I'm not someone who cheers at the idea of billions of unnecessary deaths.

Our only humane and practical option is to do green our business enough to get by.  I certainly am not saying that we will, I can't make predictions that far in advance.  But I am saying that if we don't work at changing things we will fail.

OldLeatherneck

  • ASIF Middle Class
  • Posts: 554
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #73 on: March 11, 2015, 03:54:30 AM »
Hypothetical Population Growth vs Resource Decline



<SNIP>
...........In logic and rational terms the conclusion that a rapidly performed dramatic degrowth of our entire civlization across the board would result in less harm and far better prospects for the human race is irrefutable.  It is not even a hard problem to solve. 

<SNIP>
 ........This is our last chance to prove we are intelligent and adults.  We can't be cowards and make it through this.

<SNIP>

.......We must simultaneously solve the issues of climate change and being far over the global carrying capacity.

<SNIP>

.........The global carrying capacity - independently from climate change - is declining at a significant rate. ....................  Add in the deleterious effects of climate change on the oceans in terms of acidification, the temperatures in growing regions, increasing droughts and floods, rising sea levels, co2 concentrations, and so on and you have a disaster that will very likely hit civilization well before the global temperature is much above 2C and maybe before.

<SNIP>
...........Does what we are doing perhaps just strike you as a little bit mad?  If not you need to check your assumptions and perhaps beat your head on a wall a few times.

<SNIP>.

If we pursue your Green BAU approach what will certainly happen is what has happened to every civilization throughout history which has faced a collapse dynamic.  ...............You will have run the population levels so high and destroyed so much more of the globes carrying capacity that what is left for the survivors to try and rebuild with will be minimal.

<SNIP>
......This time we must not wait and we must act to deal with a long term threat which we were not designed by nature to do.  But we must.  We must change now.


I strongly support JimD's thoughts as he so well expressed.

After reading is repeatedly references to carrying capacity, it reminded me of a hypothetical chart I developed when I was taking an on-line Coursera Course on Sustainability offered by the U of Illinois, in 2012.  Rather than taking the  time to revise it to be more current, I am posting it as it was 3 years ago.

I've long believed that  there were enough resources to better feed, cloth and shelter the current world's population with improvements in infrastructure, refrigerated transport and storage of perishable foods and a significant reduction in corruption.

I've never believed that there were sufficient resources to raise the standards of living throughout the  world to an equivalent of the US, Western Europe and other developed countries.

The chart I developed used current projections of the  world's population growth.  Everything else is just my guesses, with  the  following rationale for using the initial values and exponential curves of gain/decline.

I started placing resource needs above current population levels to address the needs for  equitable improvements in the developing countries and infrastructure repair/replacement/expansion worldwide as the population grows.

Rather than use known or projected decline rates for dozens of natural resources, I again arbitrarily used three distinct rates of decline to show how fragile the  current carrying capacity of the earth is and how rapidly we are approaching a catastrophe of epochal proportions.

Keep in mind, if there is any credibility to my projections, this  chart does not include addressing the known or potential impacts of Climate Change.

Question:  Has anyone ever developed a humanitarian means of reducing the world's by the billions??



"Share Your Knowledge.  It's a Way to Achieve Immortality."  ......the Dalai Lama

Bob Wallace

  • ASIF Governor
  • Posts: 3573
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 34
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #74 on: March 11, 2015, 04:15:58 AM »
Quote
Extract: "The 28 countries of the European Union (EU) have set themselves a collective target of cutting emissions of climate-changing greenhouse gases (GHGs) by between 80% and 95% by 2050, but  a major report just released says there’s little hope of achieving that goal."

People, 2050 is 35 years away.  35 years. 

Jacobson and Delucchi laid out the blueprint for taking the world to 100% renewable power in 20 years.  Since they wrote their paper we have seen large increases in solar panel efficiency and wind farm capacity factors which lower the effort needed.

Now, I'm not suggesting that we wait until 2030 to start our 20 year campaign.  I'm suggesting that it has already begun.  Obviously the rate of change has to increase but we are looking at rapidly accelerating rates. 

Let's look at electricity generated by year in the US from solar and wind.





In 2014 wind and solar generated about 5% of all US electricity.  Solar output doubled from 2013.  What you are looking at is the start-up, amount generated per year will continue to increase.  The price of wind and solar will continue to decrease.  We are reaching the point where it makes no economic sense to install fossil fuel generation.

As we move forward building our renewable infrastructures over the next 5 to 10 years concern over climate change will almost certainly continue to grow and bring more pressure on our elected officials to take action.

And, very lucky for us, it will be cheaper to replace fossil fuel generation than to continue to use it.

I just ran some US numbers this morning.  To replace the 1,585,998 million kWh of electricity generated with coal (2013) with wind turbines and solar panels would cost less than $30 billion per year over a 30 year period.  To replace the 1,113,665 million kWh generated with natural gas would cost less than $19 billion per year.  Under $50 billion per year.

The US spends between $140 billion and $242 billion per year treating coal-caused health problems.  Once the first generation of wind and solar infrastructure is in place the cost of electricity drops very low.  But those health savings keep going into the future.

As concern over climate change rises and the knowledge that we can save money by moving off fossil fuels we will see more rapid transitions. 

Will Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America not follow a similar route?  Will they not be able to do 20 years worth of work in 35 years?



Lewis C

  • ASIF Lurker
  • Posts: 62
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #75 on: March 11, 2015, 05:14:31 AM »
Neven - surely it was neither 'peal' nor 'peel' but rather 'pry' ?

"In the end this is all about respecting limits, and Green BAU is just another way to work around that, like we've always done."

As a commoner, what you say here appeals to me very much, with the proviso that the prevailing ideology is only a recent construct in most places.

"The only way to respect limits is to impose limits, even though it doesn't sell well because of our conditioning. Green BAU is just a pacifier, and if it doesn't work, the crash will only be larger and worse. It could work if the system is changed, and limits are imposed."

Here we would differ primarily in the description: limits have to be recognized and agreed - the Commons essentially function on co-operation, with their defence being imposed only in response to abberant behaviour. On Open-access resources, such as the atmosphere at present, nations' rights and duties have yet to be agreed and allocated and all parties tend to indulge in maximizing output to try to avoid being overpowered by others doing the same.

The idea of Green BAU seems to me an oxymoron, in that a society where energy supply is not concentrated in fenceable reserves but is globally ubiquitous is a fundamentally different creature, and any attempt to run it under the old system of privatised (fenced) open access resources is patently untenable, and will fail in a meeting of non-fossil filler-cap and tail-pipe issues. Like on the oceans and the land, we need to agree a treaty of the Atmospheric Commons to establish the baselines of conduct within which rates of the resource's use are rapidly contracted and under which the new non-fossil technologies can function sustainably.

". . . . and profits need to grow because otherwise GDP doesn't grow, whether BAU is black or green. And so first the definition of GDP needs to be adapted to make the required changes possible."

The incompetence of supposedly professional economists since say "Silent Spring" came out in the '50s in failing to account the 'Net Domestic Product' seems a permanent disgrace. How the transition is to be made to include resource consumption and renewal is a huge issue, but we can maybe see the outlines in an agreed interim period of nations' cuts-in-impacts being positively accounted to a diminishing extent. (Others likely have far more insight than I on this).

"But you need to change the system so that limits are respected. Green BAU doesn't respect limits, it's a trick."

The distinction here is in my view between a US-led 'free-market' approach to the proximate concern of climate destabilization and those who seek to agree the limits allowing the 'fair market' to thrive by respecting the commons. This controversy is as old as the first attempts to sieze and enclose the commons, at least as far back as Mesopotamia.

I'd certainly agree that the supposed 'free-market' solutions to AGW - in the current guise of Green BAU - are a trick, but it is one whose objective in my view runs far deeper than merely trying to sustain fossil energy dominance. That's yet another large issue, so maybe a brief sketch will be of some interest here.

- In view of Washington's fifteen years of foot-dragging and outright obstruction of the agreement to mitigate AGW,
and in view of its paramount bipartisan policy priority since WW2 of maintaining America's global economic dominance,
- what strategy serving that policy priority has been in place since Cheney took power  - apart from a covert policy of awaiting the climatic destabilization of China's agriculture, leading to intensifying civil unrest and inexorably towards regime change, thereby ending China's bid to achieve global economic dominance at America's expense ?

Regards,
Lewis



« Last Edit: March 11, 2015, 03:40:31 PM by Lewis C »

oren

  • ASIF Governor
  • Posts: 3516
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 427
  • Likes Given: 928
Re: BAU until they peal my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #76 on: March 12, 2015, 12:51:57 AM »
....
Anyone who actually thinks that an early crash of society - due almost certainly to the onset of serial global crop failures and consequent geopolitical destabilization, would impose less damage in the way of genocide and ecocide than would striving by whatever means are necessary and sufficient to avoid that crash - in my view simply hasn't been paying attention to the science, let alone doing their homework.

Oh but I have done my homework and have focused strongly on the science.  In logic and rational terms the conclusion that a rapidly performed dramatic degrowth of our entire civlization across the board would result in less harm and far better prospects for the human race is irrefutable.  It is not even a hard problem to solve. 

The problem with the deniers and delayers (I do not use the term lightly and I certainly do mean it.  It is deserved and appropriate.) is that they do NOT look at all of the facts.  They always avoid the ones that eliminate their BAU approaches from being a rational or logical conclusion.

There is a very big difference between what is mathematically possible and what can be done in the real world.  Those who forget this real difference are always going to grab at solutions which kick the can down the road and then pray for a miracle.  This is the Green BAU that you and BW are proposing.  It is absolutely clear that in the real world your approaches will not lead to a solution. 

As wili said you must select your approach ONLY from what is actually viable in the real world.  No matter how attractive some proposed solution is it must pass that test.  This is our last chance to prove we are intelligent and adults.  We can't be cowards and make it through this.

We must simultaneously solve the issues of climate change and being far over the global carrying capacity.  Within this macro set of problems there are a host of very serious sub-issues which also have to be addressed adequately.  A solution which only solves one aspect of this complex issue essentially solves none of it.  It is not possible to run any conceivable complex civilization and have zero carbon emissions and that statement will not change for decades - maybe someday but not in any time frame that helps fix things.  The global carrying capacity - independently from climate change - is declining at a significant rate.  We keep leveraging fossil fuels to overcome this issue but factors like loss of top soil, pollution, dwindling amounts of fresh water, and supplies of key items like phosphorus will just keep declining.  Add in the deleterious effects of climate change on the oceans in terms of acidification, the temperatures in growing regions, increasing droughts and floods, rising sea levels, co2 concentrations, and so on and you have a disaster that will very likely hit civilization well before the global temperature is much above 2C and maybe before.

One must keep in mind how much future climate change effects is already baked in the cake.  If we stopped today - which we won't - things are going to get much worse.  But what are we doing today?  We are doing nothing to even try and deal with our global population levels and the total continues to rise rapidly.  As I have pointed out many times there is no problem we are discussing here that can be solved if our population is not dramatically reduced.  What have the CO2 emissions been over the last 3 years of Green and Black BAU approaches?  Each year a record.  What are we doing on a global basis and with full consensus?  Growing our economies and trying to raise affluence.  Does what we are doing perhaps just strike you as a little bit mad?  If not you need to check your assumptions and perhaps beat your head on a wall a few times.

If we pursue your Green BAU approach what will certainly happen is what has happened to every civilization throughout history which has faced a collapse dynamic.  You will pull out all stops to maintain what we have and then there will be catastrophic collapse.  Only this time you will have done it on a global level and you will have dramatically worsened all the climate change metrics and very likely have pushed us over the tipping point on several nasty negative feedbacks.  You will have run the population levels so high and destroyed so much more of the globes carrying capacity that what is left for the survivors to try and rebuild with will be minimal.

To even suggest that your deny and delay approach is a rational and logical approach boggles the mind.

By far the least adverse effects would be experienced by following a rapid degrowth regime (a managed collapse).  This is a no brainer.  And I have never read anything which has even come close as an alternate option.

The issue is not Green BAU or managed collapse (or rapid degrowth if the other word is too scary for you).  That question has an answer.  The issue is how on earth we execute the degrowth mechanism.  This is a very hard problem as it requires us humans to act not in our selfish interests but in the interests of the innocents - commonly known as our potential descendants.  It is not about what makes you uncomfortable or avoiding what you find icky.  It is about doing what is right and not being cowards.  Human nature tends to guide our hands in all things.  It has served us well over the last couple of million years but it is not serving us well today.  It does not see a short term threat so it says to wait wait wait.  This time we must not wait and we must act to deal with a long term threat which we were not designed by nature to do.  But we must.  We must change now.

Jim,
you are absolutely right in everything you say. I do wish WE would get together and do what absolutely needs to be done. BUT. And it's a very big but. This WE that you talk about, it's not a single entity, but 7+ billion humans divided into about 200 countries, quite a few religions, and who knows how many political parties. Most of these people are concerned with their day-to-day lives, lacking the time, education and economic means of understanding the logic of carrying capacity and all of the factors that you mentioned. What percent of these people will do something about this Commons problem at the cost of hurting their own daily lives and personal aspirations? Especially when many religions advocate exactly the opposite - make many children, narrow their education, the earth is ours, god will fix everything.
So in order for your proposed solution to take effect, WE must act together. But it must be a large fraction of global population, or it will not make a difference. What is the mechanism that will bring Us to do it? I believe you know the answer, based on logic and science of human nature and the tragedy of the commons.  No mechanism will bring enough people to give up their standards of living voluntarily for the common good, unless some immediate crisis is at hand - war, great famine, etc. 50 years ahead is not immediate. Even 20 years ahead is not immediate. Especially when complex issues are at hand that most people cannot understand when in a rush. And everyone is in a rush. So the logical scientific conclusion is that any solution must follow at least one of two constraints - either find some large enough national or international government to implement it, or find a way to easily convince very large masses of people. In a democracy, typically if people are not convinced, the government will fail to act as well. In a dictatorship, this might rarely work (for example, the miracle of China's single child policy).
So coming from this angle, if you avoid all solutions that cannot be "sold" to the masses or to very large governments, and choose only among the subset that can be "sold", is managed collapse / rapid degrowth something that the masses will accept? They (people, governments) can't even accept a regular temporary economic recession these days. So I believe managed collapse will simply not happen, as much as I think it should.
So if you accept that, after you become depressed, what have you got left? Either doing nothing on a global level, or Green BAU  + raising the cost of carbon and non-renewables - something that can be sold to the masses and to governments, and still moves us in the right direction and buys us a little time. Most probably too little and too late, but maybe we'll get lucky down the short road that remains. Maybe, just maybe, in the meantime some breakthrough technology will save us (cold fusion?), or something so bad will happen that transforms nations into a war footing in regards to climate change and carrying capacity, and bring about a semi-managed collapse.
I'm not saying it's a good solution, but still believe it is better than waiting for something that human nature prevents from happening.

viddaloo

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 1302
  • Hardanger Sometimes
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: BAU until they peal my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #77 on: March 12, 2015, 01:48:11 AM »
To even suggest that your deny and delay approach is a rational and logical approach boggles the mind.
Quite right, Jim.

But at the same time you and most other realists are overlooking the very nature of ruling power today, particularly when it comes to climate, population etc. You say every year a new record for emissions, yet at the same time there's no end to how ambitious and well–meaning Obama and other world leaders are when it comes to Paris 2015 and 'managing' climate change overall. Media paint this picture, and powerful leaders play up to it.

Take–away message here is deliberate deception. In a word, they are fooling us to go along. Corporate elites, with their politicians (that they own) and media (that they own, too). Human nature to a degree dictates that we will go along as long as these lies shelter us from the nasty reality of things. But at least the realists among us should begin to focus on the 'oil' that is keeping the status quo and keeping everybody in line, which is deliberate deception.

Whether you believe democracy is non–existent, undermined, working but slightly undermined by deceptive media and corporate propaganda, or mostly working, you ought to be able to see that most people do swallow these lies about benevolent governments that are ambitious about solving the climate 'problem'. And that something must be done about these. I'm not saying that's easy–piecy, but a concerted effort to undress these lies is where we need to start, IMO.

We have the numbers and the Internet, all they have is media power and censorship. And military force. And surveillance. But you get my point. It's basically the only way out.
[]

wili

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 2404
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 44
  • Likes Given: 230
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #78 on: March 12, 2015, 11:43:53 AM »
Quote
On the question of the ecological crises, just think about all the arguments—typically influenced by a superficial understanding of science that privileges physics and molecular biology over the far more important work of ecologists—that rely on technological fundamentalism, the idea that we can always invent our way out of our troubles simply because we want to.

That’s delusional,

which can be demonstrated by asking simple questions:

Given that many of our most intractable ecological crises are the result of the unintended consequences of high-energy/high-technology, why would we invest our hopes in more of the same?

Why would we look for solutions to our problems by embracing the naïve assumptions that have deepened the problems?

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2015-03-10/epic-fail-feminism-and-ecological-crises
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

JimD

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 2270
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #79 on: March 12, 2015, 07:04:17 PM »
Wow lots of good comments.  I will mostly respond to parts of oren's and viddaloo's posts as they hit the crux of the matter to me.

I will not go into great depth here as most of what I am going to say I have said repeatedly in dozens of other posts here on the forum about these issues.  I don't assume either of you have read them as you are pretty new here, but I don't have the energy right now to write 10 or 20 thousand words.

We face two fundamental approaches here.  The various versions of BAU (as far as I know I coined the phrase Green BAU so blame me) which we see argued strongly all the time.  To para phrase:  Green BAU is attempting to maintain our current civilizational structure and economic system by converting to renewable energies, increased efficiencies, and mostly depending on future technological developments (unknown at this time) which will save us from catastrophe.  Not all but many proponents of this approach take it not because they think it will work (they just hope for a miracle) but because they shy away from really thinking about what the facts say is going to happen.  And the alternative scares them.

That alternative approach - we can call it degrowth for the sake of this conversation even if I prefer to be more direct and use manged collapse) - is to preempt the catastrophic collapse which the BAU approaches guarantee and make much worse as I have described above.  We  have talked about what needs to be done in a deliberate degrowth program before and I will leave that out here to address your core point.  That point is of course where the rubber meets the road.  As I have repeatedly stated initiating and conducting a degrowth program is going to be wickedly hard.  But it is the rational choice to make because the end result is far less suffering in this world.  To me that makes it the ethical and moral choice.  And we are cowards if we do not take that path.

So what makes this approach so hard?  Personal sacrifice.  As you indicated it can only be taken if we have a global consensus (ok we don't actually need that as we can force a lot of people if we need to, but we certainly do need a consensus amongst certain sets of people).  On a large scale we know that this is hard to come by as history has shown us, but it is not without precedent.  The most recent and best example example would have to be the efforts of the Russian people fighting the Germans in WWII. ( For those not familiar with their history the Russians won WWII not the Americans and the British).  The Russian people facing apparently insurmountable odds sacrificed themselves in untold numbers to stop the Germans.  Some of their actions were forced but mostly it was done willingly.  So we are capable of extreme effort - if the message we buy into is motivating enough.

What makes or breaks us here is can we educate those needed, motivate the masses and, unfortunately, force the rest?  To do the right thing.  Well maybe and maybe not.  But we do not have a choice but to try as any rational person can see this is the least cost option and it occupies the moral high ground.  So we better try.

How do we convince the masses that they are in the situation that the Russians were in in 1942?  The masses don't think rationally (and we may be pretending ourselves a bit to be honest).  We know this is true via many ways.  Just plain common sense teaches it to us every day, but science has shown us that almost all our decisions are made subconsciously and then rationalized.  Even very smart people do this much of the time, as well as those who are aware of the problem and work to counter it.  This is a round about way of getting to the point of saying that for the vast majority of the people we will have to manipulate them by setting off the subconscious triggers that evolution built into them on when to react to threats.  We have talked about our evolutionary past and why we survived a couple of million years of time to reach today.  We have built into us a very fine tuned sense of being able to react well to immediate threats.  Most of this brain mechanism is not something we are aware of and it is very complex.  We see its effects in human behavior all the time in today's world.  Fear of the unknown, strangers, someone we don't look like, someone who is not part of our tribe, predators and so on. 

How do we reach this mechanism and activate it to purpose?  Well we already know how to do that and we do it all the time.  All of the narratives of political ideology, racism, advertising, security, warmongering and the like are using words and images to trigger those subconscious mechanisms to get a desired response.  It is actually pretty easy as we all succumb to it every day.  We have entire industries devoted to the practice of manipulating people.  We learned long ago that trying to reason with people just makes them suspicious.  Hitting the right trigger will get you anything you want.  Another way of saying this is that the masses will not react as needed until they reach the state of panic.  I see a form of this comment in many of your posts.  It is fundamentally true, but what the problem here is is that we have what to a human appears to be a long term problem to solve and we are constitutionally programmed to react superbly only to short term threats.  One sees this in the almost automatic tendency to follow BAU approaches in that if the threat is not immediate one takes the path of doing what one has been doing - and rationalizing away the long term need to change now.

Since the masses will not panic naturally until climate change and civilizational collapse are a short term immediate threat we will necessarily be forced to use those manipulative methods mentioned above to trigger the needed response now rather than later.  Not an easy task but certainly not impossible either.  And what option do we have?  So.  How do we do that???

For one our 'conservative' scientists need to man up and get out there in the face of the political leaders and industry and tell them in stark terms that this is an existential threat that must be dealt with now.  That drastic measures are called for now.  And everyone else that understands this situation needs to start pushing all those subconscious buttons as well.  We need to mobilize the media and the national security apparatus to move the message and to start taking actions in the right direction.  We need to aggressively target and confront the industry and profit oriented groups and paint them as the enemy.  The same goes for those following religious mythology about procreation or who are in love with the concept of the end of days.  These people are the enemies of us having a future and those which cannot be reprogrammed will have to be forced.

Well that ought to be enough to spark some discussion.

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

wili

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 2404
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 44
  • Likes Given: 230
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #80 on: March 12, 2015, 07:21:45 PM »
Well written, Jim, as usual.

As to: "everyone else that understands this situation needs to start pushing all those subconscious buttons as well.  We need to mobilize the media and the national security apparatus to move the message and to start taking actions in the right direction.  We need to aggressively target and confront the industry and profit oriented groups and paint them as the enemy."

This bit seems to address most of us here most directly. What are ways we can best push those buttons? Shouldn't we all also be trying to influence our own congressmen and women? Are there any groups that you think are already doing this kind of work particularly well, or at least better than others?
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

oren

  • ASIF Governor
  • Posts: 3516
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 427
  • Likes Given: 928
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #81 on: March 12, 2015, 09:48:07 PM »
Jim,
thanks for the very detailed explanation. Very well said. The hard part of panicking the masses is indeed the hard part. If some billionaire takes up the cause, a manipulative long-term media campaign might do the trick. I especially liked the bit about painting the fossil fuel industry as the enemy. Here's hoping for success.
My personal experiences with convincing and mobilizing people have been very disappointing, and this with intelligent open-minded people and before asking for or even hinting about any sacrifices. But I'm not giving up...

viddaloo

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 1302
  • Hardanger Sometimes
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #82 on: March 13, 2015, 02:38:50 AM »
For one our 'conservative' scientists need to man up and get out there in the face of the political leaders and industry and tell them in stark terms that this is an existential threat that must be dealt with now.

Problem: Even scientists believe in the mainstream media myth that 'our' 'chosen' 'leaders' (who are maybe just corporate power puppets?) are benevolent and honestly doing their best to reach agreements and solve the climate 'problem'.

To follow up on my previous comment: We sorely need a concerted effort to deface and undress these lies, as even scientists believe in them (and this isn't really that strange, as most experts are experts only in their own one or two fields, and, to say it directly, clueless morons in most other).

Bottom line: You have to study in depth the dynamics of politics in order to reach a deeper understanding (eg. about the prevalence of lies, even about our gravest threats). Scientists who focus on their own fields will likely be as clueless as regular people who never study politics in depth.
[]

crandles

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 2190
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 34
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: BAU until they peal my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #83 on: March 13, 2015, 02:50:30 PM »
Perhaps RCP2.6? A range of 0.3C to 1.7C by 2100.

RCP 2.6 assumes that global annual GHG emissions (measured in CO2-equivalents) peak between 2010-2020, with emissions declining substantially thereafter.

 The extended RCP2.6 pathway assumes sustained net negative anthropogenic GHG emissions after the year 2070.

Global CO2 emissions 'stalled' in 2014
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-31872460

Stalling is not the same as peaking but it isn't 2020 yet either. Could it be claimed that this means we are as much on course for 2.6 as we are on course for 8.5?

Certainly not cause for complacency.

But why so much pessimism? Pessimism isn't very motivating. Or do posters just want to be miserable or simply believe that what they study is existentially important ?

JimD

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 2270
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: BAU until they peal my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #84 on: March 13, 2015, 03:17:19 PM »
Perhaps RCP2.6? A range of 0.3C to 1.7C by 2100.

RCP 2.6 assumes that global annual GHG emissions (measured in CO2-equivalents) peak between 2010-2020, with emissions declining substantially thereafter.

 The extended RCP2.6 pathway assumes sustained net negative anthropogenic GHG emissions after the year 2070.


Global CO2 emissions 'stalled' in 2014
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-31872460

Stalling is not the same as peaking but it isn't 2020 yet either. Could it be claimed that this means we are as much on course for 2.6 as we are on course for 8.5?

Certainly not cause for complacency.

But why so much pessimism? Pessimism isn't very motivating. Or do posters just want to be miserable or simply believe that what they study is existentially important ?

Crandles

I think you missed something here.


That is a very strange article and its headline does not agree with any other reports.  Other reports say a growth of over 2% and a record amount over 40 Gtonnes.  So why the difference?

Upon reading the EIA article I come across this..

Quote
...global emissions of carbon dioxide from the energy sector stalled in 2014...

So it appears that the EIA press release is only talking about part of the emissions and not all of the other emissions related to industry, agriculture, nature (induced by climate change), and other human activity.

I do note that cynicism is often expressed about the objectivity of EIA reports as they have an obvious built in bias.

So no 2.6 is not going to happen and the time for complacency is long past.  And you are completely wrong about thinking what we are saying is just pessimism.  Look at the facts AFTER you set your emotions aside for a bit.  Set yourself outside the situation as if it does not effect you and look at reality.  If you do this it becomes apparent that all is not well as you seem to think.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Zythryn

  • ASIF Lurker
  • Posts: 62
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #85 on: March 13, 2015, 05:47:23 PM »
Jim, this is where we differ:

"To para phrase:  Green BAU is attempting to maintain our current civilizational structure and economic system by converting to renewable energies, increased efficiencies, and mostly depending on future technological developments (unknown at this time) which will save us from catastrophe.  Not all but many proponents of this approach take it not because they think it will work (they just hope for a miracle) but because they shy away from really thinking about what the facts say is going to happen.  And the alternative scares them."

I fit the very first part of your definition.
I do not "mostly depend upon future technologies" nor even partially. 
As others have stated, the sociological changes are more challenging than the technological ones.
I don't believe many on this path believe it requires it will require a miracle, nor that it will prevent changes that are already baked in.

For either method (continued improvements or end civilization quickly) to have any impact you have to convince the public.  Not as Vidaloo continues to state, the leaders.

There are many changes that are needed, and can be done without destroying our way of life.  Giving up long distance travel is fairly simple for 99% of people.  Eating chicken rather than beef is another fairly simple change.

If a person can convince a million people to cut their emmissions by 50%, and another person convinces 100 people to cut theirs by 99%, which has more affect on the big picture?

Now, if the ecosphere reaches a point where our civilization can no longer be supported and a crash comes, so be it, however, I will continue to work towards improvement whenever I can.

I believe the future will be better off the more GHG we stop spewing into the atmosphere.  If you believe that 50%, 75%, 25% cuts are no better than 99%, that is your right.

viddaloo

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 1302
  • Hardanger Sometimes
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #86 on: March 13, 2015, 06:00:27 PM »
For either method (continued improvements or end civilization quickly) to have any impact you have to convince the public.  Not as Vidaloo continues to state, the leaders.
OK? Is there a possibility that you may have misunderstood something you've read, Zythryn? Please show me where I begin to state we must convince the leaders, and also where I continue to state it. I don't believe I have stated any such thing even once.
[]

wili

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 2404
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 44
  • Likes Given: 230
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #87 on: March 13, 2015, 06:01:24 PM »
Quote
Anthropogenic climate change is real, so there’s no disputing that. However, solving climate change does indeed mean rolling back capitalism, stopping economic growth, etc. The fact that there is a snowball’s chance in hell that this will happen does not make it any less true. Therefore, from a human nature point of view, Lynas is asserting a tautology disguised as a reasonable plea for political moderation.

http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2015/03/human-nature-an-instructive-example.html

Much here relevant to the current discussion, imvho.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Tor Bejnar

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 2464
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 192
  • Likes Given: 68
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #88 on: March 13, 2015, 06:33:24 PM »
I appreciate what many write on this thread, and mostly I don't think I can enter the fray.  But...

When I think "BAU", I wonder whose 'BAU' is being referred to.  American wealthiest 75% BAU (green or any other color) is a disaster for this Earth we live on.  Green 'BAU' (European standard) might be a reasonable short-term goal for people in wealthy places (even if pie in the sky for Americans - us energy-gluttonous folk).  Of course, one person's "Green" is another person's "that's kicking the can down the street BAU"!  (My superficial generalization of "Green BAU" problems:  nuclear radioactivity; wind turbines vs. birds; solar/battery use of Rare Earths).
Zythryn wrote:
Quote
If a person can convince a million people to cut their emissions by 50%, and another person convinces 100 people to cut theirs by 99%, which has more affect on the big picture?
I'm sure it depends on who the 1 million are (Americans? Bangladeshi?) and who the 100 are (billionaire [or near-billionaire] industrialists? Amazonian native people?)! But global-society survival probably requires 200 million Americans and all the millionaire+ industrialists to reduce energy use by ?75-90?% and, of course, the resulting 'American society' won't be anything like it was before, therefore it won't have survived.

Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

AbruptSLR

  • ASIF Emperor
  • Posts: 17015
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 376
  • Likes Given: 183
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #89 on: March 13, 2015, 10:04:45 PM »
The linked reference indicates that to achieve a sustainable Earth systems state we need to make choices as we cannot: "Have our cake and eat it too." :o


Heitzig, J. and Kittel, T., (2015), "Topology of sustainable management in dynamical Earth system models with desirable states", Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., 6, 435-488, doi:10.5194/esdd-6-435-2015

http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/6/435/2015/esdd-6-435-2015.html

Abstract: "To keep the Earth system in a desirable region of its state space, such as the recently suggested "tolerable environment and development window", "planetary boundaries", or "safe (and just) operating space", one not only needs to understand the quantitative internal dynamics of the system and the available options for influencing it (management), but also the structure of the system's state space with regard to certain qualitative differences. Important questions are: which state space regions can be reached from which others with or without leaving the desirable region? Which regions are in a variety of senses "safe" to stay in when management options might break away, and which qualitative decision problems may occur as a consequence of this topological structure?

In this article, as a complement to the existing literature on optimal control which is more focussed on quantitative optimization and is much applied in both the engineering and the integrated assessment literature, we develop a mathematical theory of the qualitative topology of the state space of a dynamical system with management options and desirable states. We suggest a certain terminology for the various resulting regions of the state space and perform a detailed formal classification of the possible states with respect to the possibility of avoiding or leaving the undesired region. Our results indicate that before performing some form of quantitative optimization, the sustainable management of the Earth system may require decisions of a more discrete type that come in the form of several dilemmata, e.g., choosing between eventual safety and uninterrupted desirability, or between uninterrupted safety and increasing flexibility."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

SATire

  • ASIF Citizen
  • Posts: 463
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #90 on: March 13, 2015, 10:21:39 PM »
Our results indicate that before performing some form of quantitative optimization, the sustainable management of the Earth system may require decisions of a more discrete type that come in the form of several dilemmata, e.g., choosing between eventual safety and uninterrupted desirability, or between uninterrupted safety and increasing flexibility."
What? Scientific delirium madness (to say it with The Birds...)

AbruptSLR

  • ASIF Emperor
  • Posts: 17015
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 376
  • Likes Given: 183
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #91 on: March 13, 2015, 10:28:24 PM »
Our results indicate that before performing some form of quantitative optimization, the sustainable management of the Earth system may require decisions of a more discrete type that come in the form of several dilemmata, e.g., choosing between eventual safety and uninterrupted desirability, or between uninterrupted safety and increasing flexibility."
What? Scientific delirium madness (to say it with The Birds...)

I think that if you talk to scientists they will indicate that they are merely responding to the requests of policymakers who want to know just how far they can push the envelope and when they should pull the geo-engineering trigger.  I imagine that scientists working for the Defense Department has been making these types of "Dr. Strangelove" assessments for a long time.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2015, 12:28:41 PM by AbruptSLR »
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

SATire

  • ASIF Citizen
  • Posts: 463
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #92 on: March 13, 2015, 10:50:09 PM »
Right. Scientist are also only people (I know by hard). After decades of fighting to get green mainstream finally it is blamed "green BAU".  I seriously suffer ideological burn-out.

viddaloo

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 1302
  • Hardanger Sometimes
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #93 on: March 14, 2015, 07:11:47 AM »
Right. Scientist are also only people (I know by hard). After decades of fighting to get green mainstream finally it is blamed "green BAU".  I seriously suffer ideological burn-out.
I think we all suffer ideological fatigues of this form or another, SATire. In my case, it means I do not care if the people promoting a solution "worked hard and long" or "did their best" or "are very well–meaning". The green BAU people are not a kindergarten child that we have to comfort and encourage when it's made a new drawing. If they're promoting a prolonged industrial adventure that's essentially "kicking the can further down the road" — meaning "we deal with this later" — then it's a non–solution that they are suggesting. Or a slightly different path to (essential) extinction.

Green BAU took a lot of hard work getting where it is today. And it will be immensely hard in the coming decades. But should we all just settle for green BAU even though we know it won't solve our problems, only delay them somewhat?
[]

anotheramethyst

  • ASIF Citizen
  • Posts: 141
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #94 on: March 14, 2015, 08:02:09 AM »
why any economy based on perpetual growth, green or otherwise, is unsustainable:



so we need a steady state system.  unfortunately, i can't imagine any sequence of events that will cause our current economic and political systems to change to a steady state.  it may be a failure of my imagination, however.  i heard a quote somewhere that said revolutions are a surprise to everyone, including the revolutionaries.  so some bizarre circumstances might solve our problems for us....

but the question here is  what do we do?  everything we can, while making it look good.  so i garden and am hoping to become a hunter-gatherer.  my boyfriend and i watched a documentary on tiny houses and are absolutely in love with the idea but are still a long way from making that happen.  as an american, i will say this.

americans work long hours and have long commutes, adults have multiple jobs per household while paying other adults to care for their own children.  the higher up the social ladder you are, the less time you have.  also at the bottom, when you need to work 3 part time jobs to equal one full time job, and commute between the jobs, you have less time.  moreover, the more money you make, the more debt you have (that shocked me when i learned it... i always imagined these corporate lawyers buying everything outright.  nope they get multimillion dollar mortgages.  its insane.)

so what we need is an alternative.  any alternative.  and when we find alternatives (gardening instead of buying gmo corn) people will naturally embrace them.  the weakness of this american lifestyle is how it robs you of time.  so if you buy a tiny house, when u invite your friends over, mention u can clean the whole thing in 10 minutes.  and you can pay for it by working part time delivering pizzas.  and if you garden, just let people taste the food.  thats the only way we can change it, is to withdraw from the system in these small, manageable ways. 

and 1 last thing:  how to keep oil in the ground.  its not as simple as it sounds but we were all right the first time.  we just stop using it.  yeah, some shmuck will just buy our not bought oil for a cheaper price.  and the oil company will make a smaller profit.  and it will be harder to get financing for the next big project.  the fracking boom in the us reduced the expansion rate of the tarsands because the fracked oil was slightly cheaper, and now the us oil rig count is dropping because the saudis let the oil price drop quite a bit.  and since keystone xl didnt get built the low gas price is really hurting tarsands production.  so the trick is to keep the demand for ffs down while fighting things like keystone xl.  because the weakness of the ff industry is in financing new projects, because this hard to reach oil is expensive to get, and when oil prices are volatile, potential investors get nervous.  so there's still a lot we can do. 

viddaloo

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 1302
  • Hardanger Sometimes
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #95 on: March 14, 2015, 09:29:18 AM »
anotheramethyst, everything you say you do is fantastic and absolutely necessary. In fact, we should all follow your example!

Still, my main worry is that we settle for this and just *hope* the rest of the world will someday come to its senses. It won't. Nothing in the human experience tells us those rich or careless other folks will accept less or care more if we just withdraw from their thing.

And so it becomes a question of me/us having a clearer conscience, while the world keeps on collapsing. IMO, we need to solve the *bigger* problem as well, and not just the smaller ones that we can fix more easily.
[]

anotheramethyst

  • ASIF Citizen
  • Posts: 141
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #96 on: March 14, 2015, 09:38:44 AM »
thanks vid :) and i fully agree with u, at the current rate the highest polluters will destroy it all.  so we have to do everything we can and it still might not be enough.  but if nothing else, doing something feels really good.  gardening is fun.  biking is fun.  and getting oit there in the sunshine makes you happier.  so even if we're all totally screwed, i'd still rather do it.  and i think if anything will save us, it will be the fact that windmills are also really pretty (they paint them white, so they always look good against the sky) and ultimately that rat race life is a harried and joyless existence, so all we have to do is find something better than that.  the status quo looks powerful , but if people really knew the kind of life they COULD have theyd walk away in an instant.  there isnt a tv big enough to replace having a community.

Neven

  • Administrator
  • ASIF Royalty
  • *****
  • Posts: 6583
    • View Profile
    • Arctic Sea Ice Blog
  • Liked: 344
  • Likes Given: 241
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #97 on: March 14, 2015, 10:16:39 AM »
I agree with anotheramethyst that we need people to set an example, and with people I mean 'us'. She's absolutely right that it's possible - not easy, but possible - to leave the rat race and live a good, fulfilling, healthy life. It can be a nudge for people to move in that direction as well.

My wife and I sold our house in the Netherlands right before the housing bubble popped, because we couldn't see ourselves living like we did for another 30-40 years, paying off the mortgage with hardly any room for trying out other stuff, hanging by the thread of freelance work, no dime left to spare for disability insurance or retirement.

Our small house not too far from Amsterdam was completely renovated, but because we didn't know enough about it back then, we didn't have it renovated to any kind of energetic or ecological standard, with the house basically sucking up 15,000 kWh per year (2000 for electricity, 13,000 for natural gas). We were interested in gardening, but our garden was 100 square feet big (10 square metres) and almost all of it in permanent shade.

Because we didn't feel people around us, family, friends, colleagues, community, were in the least interested in changing their lifestyles (do not ever leave the bounds of your dominant culture), we decided to leave. While searching for a place to live, we did a lot of research into sustainable building and gardening and all that stuff. We also visited as much as we could people trying to do different stuff.

That's how we met our friends in Austria and got a real good nudge in the right direction. These people are hardcore anthroposophists, doing some real gardening (no hipster tomatoes), with chicken, cows, horses, sheep, you name it. Baking their own bread, making their own butter and cheese. In short, they do what they stand for. I didn't agree with everything they did, but I sure as hell could respect the fact that they did what they stood for 100%, with very little compromises.

That's when we knew what we wanted and didn't want. So we bought a plot of land in Austria, have just moved into our self-built eco-house that's twice as big, and uses only 3000-4000 kWh per year (most of it supplied by our own solar panel array), and will focus on gardening in years to come. Bringing down costs as much as we can, so we can afford to try other stuff, making money in different (more sustainable) ways.

And hopefully we can give other people that nudge to step out of the enslaving dominant culture and go for the good, fulfilling, healthy life. In their own way, because not everyone can do everything, but everyone has the moral obligation to do everything he/she can. Regardless of the outcome.
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

Neven

  • Administrator
  • ASIF Royalty
  • *****
  • Posts: 6583
    • View Profile
    • Arctic Sea Ice Blog
  • Liked: 344
  • Likes Given: 241
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #98 on: March 14, 2015, 10:37:01 AM »
The problem with Green BAU is not the Green, it's the BAU. I wouldn't discard all of it. On the contrary, I really like Green, I like eco-stuff and energy saving technology, and all the nerdy stuff that comes with it. But it has to be appropriate technology - like it was called in the 70's - that supports primary needs, so we don't have to return to back-breaking labour. Not technology that supports BAU, like these huge projects involving hundreds of windmills out at sea or a Sahara full of solar panels.

We need to change the BAU, so that the Green has a better chance of actually achieving something. And like I said, the BAU can only change if we impose limits on it. And because BAU is mainly as it is because it has all the wealth flowing to the mega-rich and their lackeys, this is where the first limits need to be imposed. Not just some tax, but really a discussion about how much wealth one person should be allowed to have.

I know this subject is anathema. There's even a bigger taboo resting on it than something like overpopulation, because 'the sky is the limit' is such a big part of our conditioning and we have this innate need to revere kings.

I'm not for communism. On the contrary, I believe there have to be differences between people. But there has to be a cap on this difference. And so we need to discuss how much one person is allowed to own. I don't care how much it is. In fact, I don't want it to be too low. It has to be much more than can be won in the lottery. But there has to be a limit.
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

anotheramethyst

  • ASIF Citizen
  • Posts: 141
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« Reply #99 on: March 14, 2015, 10:53:24 AM »
thats so awesome u n ur wife did that!!! and im willing to bet ur both far happier than u were in either place before.  i think thats the piece of the dialogue we forget to mention when we make these changes.  a simpler life is a better, happier, more connected life.  and that stuff about the green part vs BAU is spot on.