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Author Topic: Bill McKibben: The Fossil Fuel Resistance  (Read 7017 times)

anonymous

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Bill McKibben: The Fossil Fuel Resistance
« on: April 11, 2013, 10:47:42 PM »
Was expecting an interesting read, but he lost me right after the first paragraph:
Quote
It got so hot in Australia in January that the weather service had to add two new colors to its charts. A few weeks later, at the other end of the planet, new data from the CryoSat-2 satellite showed 80 percent of Arctic sea ice has disappeared. We're not breaking records anymore; we're breaking the planet. In 50 years, no one will care about the fiscal cliff or the Euro crisis. They'll just ask, "So the Arctic melted, and then what did you do?"
What can we do to make sure everybody understands this question will come up not in fifty years but in fifty months?

Laurent

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Re: Bill McKibben: The Fossil Fuel Resistance
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2013, 11:04:20 PM »
Spread the word (calmly at least for a little while), try reducing your own CO2 emissions to 0, try to start collecting CO2 by planting trees and storing the CO2 in humus form, organise ourselves at a village level, a county level, a state level and worldwild. That would be a good start !!!

anonymous

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Re: Bill McKibben: The Fossil Fuel Resistance
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2013, 11:37:14 PM »
Laurent, no problem with CO2 down to zero. I think, I'm close. But can't imagine neither me nor McKibben surviving at a village level. Is there a metropolitan area option available?

CraigsIsland

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Re: Bill McKibben: The Fossil Fuel Resistance
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2013, 12:04:20 AM »
350 refers to the goal of the lowering CO2 emissions. Simple concept that really is emphasized by Dr. James Hansen. I think to get people's attention, they have to realize that co2 does increase temperatures. How it gets there and how it might manifest itself later (say 5 years more severe storms,etc) and then asking them who should pay for those storms. Nobody wants to get taxed. Especially those who know its not smart to build 5-10 feet off sea level.

I like what Jennifer Francis has been saying and hope that area of research gets more intricate.

For me personally, I moved a lot closer to my work site. I also have a municipal energy company that allows a higher bill rate to have "100%" renewable energy as my source.

Laurent

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Re: Bill McKibben: The Fossil Fuel Resistance
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2013, 10:16:02 AM »
Arcticio
I won't be so sure that you are near 0 CO2 emission. I am personally not near 0 even though I am doing my best for that ! I guess you live in a big town ! The problem is there, you think your not spending a lot of CO2 but you do and quite a lot. While using your toilets, your using a lot of energy (to pump the water, treat the water, build the pipes, create the network, maintain the network, build your water system, send your wastes to a plant and treat your waste, the result is you are still polluting the environment, either by releasing NO2 if the plant treat N03 or by sending N03 in the environment if it does not ) that just a litlle example. We in France are using in average 4.6 hectare (10.000 m2). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecological_footprint
That's the change we have to make as a whole, replacing the cities in the countryside, it won't work if all the people come back to the contry side dispersed and it won't work if the cities stay as they are !
I am not saying that big cities should not exist, I am saying the existence of cities should not be the sole decision of city makers but the whole nation because cities take resources far beyond their limits (for me a city should be max 10.000 inhabitant).
When I am writing organize, it is not creating an organization like we have it already, but making sure that your ecosystem does fit with the one of your neighbor, thus from bottom to the top.
This forum is fantastic (thanks to Neven and you all) but we are far from an agreement (desperately needed).

CraigsIsland
“In short, if you don’t have a target that aims to cool the planet sufficiently to get the sea-ice back, the climate system may spiral out of control, past many “tipping points” to the final “point of no return Š And that target is not 350ppm, it’s around 300 ppm. [NASA's] Hansen says Arctic sea-ice passed its tipping point decades ago, and in his presentations has also specifically identified 300-325ppm as the target range for sea-ice restoration Š Target 300 puts the science first. Interestingly in Australia, where I am based, 350 has not gained wide appeal, with most of the grass-roots climate action groups adopting a 300 ppm target, consistent with the propositions elaborated in “Climate Code Red”" (see “350 is the wrong target. Put the science first”:
from here :
http://wrongkindofgreen.org/tag/300-ppm/
That one is interesting also : http://target300.org/350_ppm.html
Everytime the earth tryed to exceed 300 ppm, things come back in order very quickly, the earth act like a washing machine above 300 ppm ! Don't mention what happened before 1million year, I know the CO2 levels were higher but do you know what was the solar input ? The earth thermal input ? We use to live in a thermodynamical balanced system...not anymore...we have to restore it !!!

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Re: Bill McKibben: The Fossil Fuel Resistance
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2013, 06:37:39 PM »
CraigsIsland
“In short, if you don’t have a target that aims to cool the planet sufficiently to get the sea-ice back, the climate system may spiral out of control, past many “tipping points” to the final “point of no return Š And that target is not 350ppm, it’s around 300 ppm. [NASA's] Hansen says Arctic sea-ice passed its tipping point decades ago, and in his presentations has also specifically identified 300-325ppm as the target range for sea-ice restoration Š Target 300 puts the science first. Interestingly in Australia, where I am based, 350 has not gained wide appeal, with most of the grass-roots climate action groups adopting a 300 ppm target, consistent with the propositions elaborated in “Climate Code Red”" (see “350 is the wrong target. Put the science first”:
from here :
http://wrongkindofgreen.org/tag/300-ppm/
That one is interesting also : http://target300.org/350_ppm.html
There's a good piece of journalism here about the effects of only 1C and the 2C limit. Illuminating that even a couple of decades ago it was understood we would likely see very serious effects by 1C - which - we are!
http://thebiggestlieevertold.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/part-1-expose-the-2%C2%BA-death-dance-%E2%80%93-the-1%C2%BA-cover-up/

When one starts to dig - one finds other old stuff that contained warnings and conclusions that the path would be dangerous by now. Distinctly unimpressed that we're still standing around arguing about it today, as opposed to actually doing anything.

Jim Hunt

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Re: Bill McKibben: The Fossil Fuel Resistance
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2013, 01:20:19 PM »
I attended a showing of Bill McKibben's "Do the Math" yesterday evening, courtesy of Greener Teign:



Is anyone here likely to be sending a letter to a University exhorting them to divest from "Big fossil fuel"?
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: Bill McKibben: The Fossil Fuel Resistance
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2013, 02:19:22 AM »
I divested my meagre retirement portfolio of fossil fuel assets, also attempting to enlighten my broker.
Still living in the bush in eastern Ontario. Gave up on growing annual veggies. Too much drought.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Bill McKibben: The Fossil Fuel Resistance
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2013, 03:40:47 PM »
California is usually further ahead of the environmental curve than most states in the US.  But this article disturbed me greatly:

www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/07/11/california-regulators-look-to-curb-beach-bonfires-citing-climate-change

If the majority is not yet at a place to make the “no-brainer” decisions to find alternatives to wood burning for entertainment, to use battery or electric weed-wackers instead of gas, and a broom or rake instead of a gas leaf blower -- let alone to switch to low- or no-maintenance landscaping -- how the heck can we make the “hard” decisions to change to electric vehicles, shut down fossil fuel power plants and invest heavily in solar and wind? 

I had really thought 2013 would be the year people came to understand and accept climate change (most forced to do so because of extreme weather events). But it seems the glaciers are moving faster than we are!

Regulations and education help, but they’re hobbled by the folks that love their fossil fuels.  Maybe there’s simply not enough alternatives out there to see?  Perhaps what we need is more money spent on “Visual Aids” -- commercials and billboards and internet ads extolling the products and benefits of a low-carbon lifestyle.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: Bill McKibben: The Fossil Fuel Resistance
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2013, 05:36:53 PM »
I agree with Hansen and some other climate scientists when they say it isn't about individuals going green, because the fuel they don't burn gets burned less expensively by someone else. That said, I still do what I can to keep it down, including not flying (the big one) and I have a son 3000 miles away.

Picky detail: I loved the rechargeable weed eater I got three years ago, but every year it holds less of a charge – it's down to 15 minutes now, with pretty weak whacking. The plastic and manufacturing energy of replacing a dead electric weed eater I believe amounts to more impact than the fueling of my extremely efficient Kawasaki gas whacker, which can be repaired and tuned and should last many years. We have a Brill push mower, a truly wonderful thing.

I think the important ways of getting to 350 ppm are renewable power generation and mass transit, which require sweeping legislative changes. Probably never happen, but campaigns like 'divesting' raise awareness and make it more possible that the political will might accumulate.
Still living in the bush in eastern Ontario. Gave up on growing annual veggies. Too much drought.

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Re: Bill McKibben: The Fossil Fuel Resistance
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2013, 05:53:51 PM »
I agree with Hansen and some other climate scientists when they say it isn't about individuals going green, because the fuel they don't burn gets burned less expensively by someone else. That said, I still do what I can to keep it down, including not flying (the big one) and I have a son 3000 miles away.

I don't entirely agree. While it's true that the fossil fuel not used may be burned more cheaply - more cheaply implies less profit for those who extracted, processed and distributed it.

Additionally as the cost of investment to eke out increasingly difficult sources of fossil fuel rises, anything that lowers the value at market (even subtly) has a disproportionate impact upon the profit margin of aforesaid operations (and therefore the viability of those commercial operations, presuming governments doesn't increase subsidy, where basically the choice of the person is removed from the equation economically, unless you're brave enough to stop paying tax).

Plus I think it's important for people to take principled stands just for the psychological and societal values embodied in doing so?

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: Bill McKibben: The Fossil Fuel Resistance
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2013, 06:09:48 PM »
Plus I think it's important for people to take principled stands just for the psychological and societal values embodied in doing so?

Economics, a hard field to argue. Yesterday Wili alerted us to the demise of The Oil Drum, the peak oil blog that peaked and dwindled. My feeling, having been a frequenter of that site, was once all these shale gas plays opened up, the mechanism of peak oil was going to slow down enough to make climate change the end game. This is complicated by the Wall Street shenanigans that securitize the loans for new drilling infrastructure, creating a bubble that could burst and make economic collapse the numero uno end game.
Still living in the bush in eastern Ontario. Gave up on growing annual veggies. Too much drought.

mabs

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Re: Bill McKibben: The Fossil Fuel Resistance
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2013, 06:22:41 PM »

Additionally as the cost of investment to eke out increasingly difficult sources of fossil fuel rises, anything that lowers the value at market (even subtly) has a disproportionate impact upon the profit margin of aforesaid operations (and therefore the viability of those commercial operations, presuming governments doesn't increase subsidy, where basically the choice of the person is removed from the equation economically, unless you're brave enough to stop paying tax).


I think that's an excellent point. Sometimes economic models have a tendency to set production costs at zero, and forget them there.

But there is an additional logical step to consider in this argument. When producers see their profits go down, they don't have a tendency to throw their hands in the air and look for more profitable markets. Some economic models assume this to be the case, because again, they forget there are costs associated with exiting a market. What producers are more likely to do is stay put and cut costs, which might mean cutting corners, compromising on safety, and lobbying policy makers for rule changes. That means, in this case, that more BP Horizon type of events will become more likely. But it doesn't stop here. Hopefully, the public backlash will reverse some of the rule changes and further cut into their profit margin.

It is uncertain how many times we would have to rinse and repeat the process to get the desired result, but what is clear is that we can't seem to find a way to extricate ourselves from a problem without shooting ourselves in the foot in the process.
No god and no religion can survive ridicule. No church, no nobility, no royalty or other fraud, can face ridicule in a fair field and live.
-Mark Twain, Notebook, 1888

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Re: Bill McKibben: The Fossil Fuel Resistance
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2013, 06:33:39 PM »
Plus I think it's important for people to take principled stands just for the psychological and societal values embodied in doing so?

Economics, a hard field to argue. Yesterday Wili alerted us to the demise of The Oil Drum, the peak oil blog that peaked and dwindled. My feeling, having been a frequenter of that site, was once all these shale gas plays opened up, the mechanism of peak oil was going to slow down enough to make climate change the end game. This is complicated by the Wall Street shenanigans that securitize the loans for new drilling infrastructure, creating a bubble that could burst and make economic collapse the numero uno end game.

Well, Ok - can I present the motion that people walking away from fossil fuels might also spend more on more sustainable and sensible options instead, improving their relative ability to compete within the market place and better realise the economies of scale needed to compete with fossil fuels better? Again - the impact of individual choices would be subtle but important (legislative changes would of course be far better, and an individual arguably ought to push far more aggressively for these than go past a certain point on their own footprint - you can't easily do anything else about manufacturing emissions for example).

Unfortunately, I don't think peak oil will be the end game either - it looks as though we're going to squeeze enough out to operate business as usual until climate change really starts to hammer us.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Bill McKibben: The Fossil Fuel Resistance
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2013, 07:33:36 PM »

Well, Ok - can I present the motion that people walking away from fossil fuels might also spend more on more sustainable and sensible options instead, improving their relative ability to compete within the market place and better realise the economies of scale needed to compete with fossil fuels better? Again - the impact of individual choices would be subtle but important (legislative changes would of course be far better, and an individual arguably ought to push far more aggressively for these than go past a certain point on their own footprint - you can't easily do anything else about manufacturing emissions for example).

Unfortunately, I don't think peak oil will be the end game either - it looks as though we're going to squeeze enough out to operate business as usual until climate change really starts to hammer us.


Exactly my thought. Products need to be carbon-labelled, so the consumer can make a better choice, and the companies that are doing the right thing can be rewarded. Although the learning curve will be steep, it’s better than running into a brick wall of no options because we’ve run out of time to act.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Bill McKibben: The Fossil Fuel Resistance
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2013, 12:15:51 AM »
Picky detail: I loved the rechargeable weed eater I got three years ago, but every year it holds less of a charge – it's down to 15 minutes now, with pretty weak whacking. The plastic and manufacturing energy of replacing a dead electric weed eater I believe amounts to more impact than the fueling of my extremely efficient Kawasaki gas whacker, which can be repaired and tuned and should last many years. We have a Brill push mower, a truly wonderful thing.

Lynn, if you read that an hour’s use of your gas weed-wacker was equivalent to 20 miles diesel truck travel, and an hour’s use of a new battery weed-wacker was equal to 1 mile diesel truck travel (totally made-up numbers for illustration purposes only) -- would that affect your use at all?  Or is there some other number that would sway you? (Again, hypothetically.)

Yes, you’d have to buy a new battery, or a new weed-wacker, for the lower carbon footprint, but would it be worth it to you? 


Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, strongly recommends labelling carbon intensity of products.

“We must insist on labelling. We must insist on the transparency of the carbon intensity of production. We as consumers, and you as a generation that has the purchasing power that you do, you are the ones that have to demand that low-carbonbecome the norm. You need to insist that every single thing you buy is labelled with respect to its carbon footprint so that you can make informed choices, and industry can cater to your choice of low-carbon. We can’t afford to buy indiscriminately anymore. Frankly we will all continue to consume in some measure, but we should consume consciously. You are the generation with the future purchasing power that can force production to be transparent about its carbon footprint, and to be low- carbon.”

Full statement here:  http://unfccc.int/files/press/news_room/statements/application/pdf/20132706_globalpowershift.pdf

Clearly you care about your carbon footprint, with your push mower and your old electric weed wacker.  But we need more people to make better choices -- even though they may be more expensive or less convenient for the near term. 

(Confession: I have an battery-powered lawn mower that only mows 1/2 the lawn on a single charge, so I have to mow two sessions a week. But the extra aggravation is worth it to me.  YMMV  :D )
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Bill McKibben: The Fossil Fuel Resistance
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2019, 08:29:02 PM »
Bill McKibben: This Climate Strike Is Part of the Disruption We Need
https://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/climate-strike-bill-mckibben-young-people-20190903
Quote
But it can’t be just young people. It needs to be all of us—especially, perhaps, those of us who have been placidly operating on a business-as-usual basis for most of our lives, who have rarely faced truly serious disruptions in our careers and our plans. Our job is precisely to disrupt business as usual. When the planet leaves its comfort zone, we need to do the same. See you on the streets on Sept. 20!
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS