Emissions are no longer following the worst case scenario
You are correct. RCP8.5 is such a nightmare scenario, it was always quite unlikely to happen even if we were tracking it for a while. So its not a real surprise nor consolation we are not tracking that path anymore. The best possible take on this article is that change is in fact possible, that it always matters, and we need more of it.
Because, like you said, we do need to step up our game. The middle of the road is not good enough. We must resist both the naivety of the techno-optimists as well as the doomist fatalism. Any perspective that leads to inaction is wrong.
One of the top things that could be done to help the climate is to remove the stigma around veganism and its promotion. It would have a tremendous impact if a significant proportion of the population stopped using animal products.
Veganism is not the same as low emission. There are plenty of vegan food that has unsustainable levels of emissions if all of earth was to eat it.
The top thing is for people to consider emissions and allow emissions to become part of the decision process. In terms of diet that could be to introduce and consider food outside of the cultural limits, like shell fish and sea weed. A related issue are that a large number (majority?) of Europe and northern American lakes has major issues with eutrophication with mostly fish that people refuse to eat because of culture. Eating those kind of fish would solve two problems at the same time, feeding people and removing uncontrolled overgrowth caused by artificial fertilizers.
Right now it is also cheaper to operate heavy machinery that run on fossil fuels to control plant growth in nature reservation and around power lines, rather than raising animals that would do the same job and create food. Same thing with Lawn mowers. One of the most ecological method to keep grass cut is (real) free range hobby scale chickens. Produce food, cuts grass and keeps pests away.
As with everything else, everything change if people allow emissions to be part of the decision process.
> allow emissions to become part of the decision process.
A carbon tax would do so. Unfortunately it's hard to get anything done nationally, much less globally
A very large portion of the world is already vegetarian. Making clear what you choices are communicates to your neighbors and eventually elected reps what your inclinations are. The big picture is fundamentally a communication and multi party negotiation issue.
Solving that faster, is what is needed. Maybe instead of having everything be handled at the top level inter community personal outreach is needed.
A large portion doesn't use toilets and these groups intersect. What you eat is personal not a multiparty negotiation.
It most certainly is a multiparty negotiation. You eat things that can be reasonably obtained from vendors in your area, who in turn stock things they think they can sell. You order from the items available at the establishments you visit with your friends and family, who have input into where you go. You recommend foods to others, and eat foods that others recommend to you. In short, eating is a cultural activity you participate in.
As far as veganism is concerned, it is notable that it is much easier to be vegan now than 20 or even 10 years ago, as vegan ingredients are more widespread and higher quality, and "vegan options" are essentially standard in restaurants. This didn't happen through legislation, but by the application of social pressure by vegans - if vegans can't eat at your restaurant, they won't just go somewhere else, they'll take their friends with them. It is the output of a massive multiparty negotiation.
I believe that is what I am saying ?
What you eat is personal - having an impact on emissions/environment is not solved at a personal level, it requires nation level negotiations.
What you eat is at best a signal to higher level political groups of your inclinations.
Habits are not always preferences.
Political groups are lazy and/or inept and will assume such.
I tend to agree, in that it would be wonderful if, say, food packaging had resource usage and emissions printed on the label.
In lieu of that, despite variance in environmental impact across foods, on the whole, the average vegan diet is almost certainly going to be far better for the environment than a non-vegan diet.
And this is not even getting into other positive elements such as health and animal welfare, but those are unrelated topics likely to spark additional argument, so I won't go further.
The average right now is terrible for pretty much everything in the world. Fishermen in Greenland can send their fish to china to have it gutted, then sent to Norway to have it packaged, and then sent to USA to be sold. An avocado can have a piece of rain forest burned up, grown using fertilizers produced in Germany, which in turn is using natural gas mined in Russia. The avocado then get shipped to be packaged in the Netherlands, and then shipped again to be consumed in Norway.
Emissions are not a significant consideration in this global economy. The key factor that everyone cares about is cost.
I understand your point, but animal agriculture alone accounts for more emissions than all transport combined.
Different time scale, and different form of emissions. Most of animal agriculture consider methane that are produced by cows eating grass that has grown by taking out co2 from the air. They are just as green as biofuel is green.
Climate change is primary caused by humans burning fossil fuels, and humans extracting fossil fuels to be used in chemical processes like artificial fertilizers. In the short term it might be beneficial to reduce the number of animals that eat plants that has sequestrate carbon from the air, but in every case it would be worse if we humans use fossil fuel to burn the same plants.
Some people has argued that in the very short term, reducing methane while increasing emissions of fossil fuel emissions could beneficial be a better strategy if we can know for sure that carbon capture will save us in the future. I am doubtful to that strategy.
It should be noted that methane leaks from fossil fuel industry is larger than that from cows. A primary source of those methane leaks are the production of artificial fertilizers, but of course all steps between extracting natural gas to producing the fertilizers has large amount of emissions and leaks.
Vegetarianism, yes. Veganism, no.
The CO2 emissions from a world full of vegetarians vs a world full of vegans are pretty close to indistinguishable.
Do you have data on this? My understanding is that dairy cows are pretty resource intensive, taking a lot more water and crops than equivalent plant based alternatives.
Does veganism have a stigma? It certainly doesn't in my circles, it's super common and every restaurant in most major cities has vegan options now. I was vegan for a year and had no problems with it.
If you're talking about "convincing people to go vegan", most people don't like being preached to regardless of the topic, that's not a stigma.
For example, drinking alcohol has its' negatives, but if I'm in the pub with friends and some teetotaler decides to go off on a mission to convert me, my response is going to vary from smiling and nodding to telling them to piss off depending on the mood I'm in that day.
They have the stigma of bringing up veganism out of the blue and proselytizing people about it when it isn’t the subject being discussed.
Like, uh, the comment you replied to.
See, there is irony in your comment, because I didn't bring it up out of the blue. It's very related to the subject being discussed.
Yes, to a vegan, veganism is relevant to every discussion. That’s what I said.
Thanks for providing more evidence for my original point. Animal agriculture are one of the top emitters of greenhouse gases, even more than all transportation combined, so to imply that it's irrelevant is ignorant at best.
Well that’s not even close to true.
5.8% vs 16.2%
Read your own link again. That's just one aspect of it. Several percentages are listed for agriculture besides livestock, which are relevant, because 70% of crops are used to feed livestock. Furthermore, the page you link yourself directly encourages eating less animal products.
Here are the rolled up stats, which indeed show animal agriculture using more than transportation:
Maybe there's a way to fix this with language? If someone says that they use the metro or cycle to work, I'm like, cool man, trains are sick, let's chat.
If someone says they "support a car-free lifestyle", I'm probably already starting to think about something else and glazing over.
what do vegans feel stigmatized in doing these days?
gotta say i see the challenges between animal-free and car-free life as much the same: most people around me generally agree we’d be better off with both these lifestyles, but the issue is practicality. best way to promote veganism around me in the past couple years has literally been to cook vegan meals with friends. if the stigma you’re talking about is “vegan food stinks” or “vegan food’s hard to prepare”, then that’s an easy way to address those two.
My experience is that people virulently and irrationally fight against the idea, to the point of misrepresenting facts. It's difficult to bring up, at least online, without raising a lot of hackles. Over 95% of the population uses animal products, and are accustomed to them, so it's considered an afront to say that their behavior is suboptimal in one way or another.
I can't speak for others, but at least for me, an omnivorous diet is not suboptimal.
It may have higher emissions, but that's not the sole metric I use when deciding what to do. I think that would result in clinical depression, because I could always ratchet down my emissions by, for example, buying fewer board games, until I just don't really do anything.
Can't even go camping with a gas stove!
In everyday life I don't generally discuss my diet beyond small talk.
So you'd probably lump me in with that 95% of irrationals, because in person, I'd just try to change the subject.
You are correct, you are entrenched in your beliefs about animal products, and you even admit to being unwilling to discuss them, wanting to change the subject, and (likely unintentionally) misrepresenting facts by comparing animal agriculture to camping and board games.
The fact is though that board games and gas stoves are nothing in comparison to animal husbandry.
"Animal agriculture produces 65% of the world's nitrous oxide emissions which has a global warming impact 296 times greater than carbon dioxide.
Raising livestock for human consumption generates nearly 15% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, which is greater than all the transportation emissions combined. It also uses nearly 70% of agricultural land which leads to being the major contributor to deforestation, biodiversity loss, and water pollution.
Ending our meat and dairy production could pause the growth of greenhouse gas emissions for 30 years, new study suggests."
I agree with your quoted section.
I'm happy to discuss it, but almost always, including now, it seems to be a waste of time, because I agree with you! I think you're correct in identifying that a vegan diet has lower emissions and externalities than an omnivorous diet.
Wouldn't an increase in co2 in the atmosphere spur a massive plant growth, both on land and in the oceans? I have no qualifications nor merit in this field as well, so anyone please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.
Yes it already has. Earth has greened considerably, agriculture, forests have all been boosted the last forty years.
Here chat 4:
Piao, S., Liu, Z., Wang, Y. et al. (2020). Plant phenology and global climate change: Current progresses and challenges. Global Change Biology, 26, 1928–1940. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15004 This review paper discusses the impact of global climate change on plant phenology, which includes effects of elevated CO2 levels.
Zhu, Z., Piao, S., Myneni, R. B., Huang, M., Zeng, Z., Canadell, J. G., ... & Zeng, N. (2016). Greening of the Earth and its drivers. Nature Climate Change, 6(8), 791-795. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate3004 This article provides evidence for the 'greening' of the Earth over a period of 33 years, attributing roughly 70% of this greening to increased atmospheric CO2.
Smith, P., House, J. I., Bustamante, M., Sobocká, J., Harper, R., Pan, G., ... & Popp, A. (2016). Global change pressures on soils from land use and management. Global Change Biology, 22(3), 1008-1028. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13068 This article discusses the effects of global change pressures on soils, including the impacts of increasing CO2.
Just to makes sure no one things that this means that extra CO2 is good because of this: Elevated CO2 levels drastically change the climate and will make Earth inhabitable for humans at some point if not reduced. It's good for some plants in some places but their growth does not fix the underlying and future issues with CO2 in our atmosphere.
Please stop "making sure" when it comes to MY thinking. Also on behalf of everyone who doesn't like being told what or how to think, please stop "making sure".
If you really need to "make" something "sure" please pick something real and not a political football.
In the early 70's alarmists were "making sure" everyone was panicking about an ice age.
Wait a while....I predict the alarmists will change to something else when people no longer buy the current looming disaster.
Please stop participating in the most recent fashionable doomsday fantasy.
In the 70s the gradually forming consensus was still that global warming was real. The popular press just ran with cooling more, so the lay person believed it. The modern "the 70s predicted cooling so can we believe anything these 'scientists' say?" talking point is based upon a false premise.
NY Times, 1976:
But there is considerable evidence that this warm period is passing and that temperatures on the whole will get colder. For example, in the last 100 years mid‐latitude air temperatures peaked at an all‐time warm point in the 1940's and‐have been cooling ever since.
[Climatologists] are predicting greater fluctuations, and a cooling trend for the northern hemisphere.
The most imminent and far reaching [danger] is the possibility of a food‐climate crisis that would burden the well to do countries with unprecedented hikes in food prices, but could mean famine and political instability for many parts of the non-industrialized world.”
So writes Stephen Schneider, a young climatologist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., reflecting the consensus of the climatological community in his new book, “The Genesis Strategy.”
If you're using that as evidence that media over-represented bad science, then I think that's a great example. Even before 1976 Schneider had already apologized and said that his assumptions regarding global cooling were overestimated and heating underestimate. Wikipedia also mentions that the book considers both global warming and cooling, it seems like the review was aiming at a particular popular angle. I don't know if I'd use a book review as an indicator of the actual scientific consensus of the time, but rather the media's understanding of the scientific consensus.
Every time I post that story here someone quickly reads Wikipedia, doesn't think about what they just read and then immediately attempts an AI-quality refutation.
Yes Wikipedia claims that "Having found that recalculation showed that global warming was the more likely outcome, he published a retraction of his earlier findings in 1974". Yet there he is in 1976 - two years after this supposed retraction - telling the NY Times that there's an absolute scientific consensus on global cooling.
Wikipedia isn't reliable for anything climate related or on many other topics. Their citation for this claim of a retraction doesn't go to any retraction, but rather a book written by a Guardian journalist.
It's really depressing how systematic this problem is. I'd try to fix Wikipedia with a link to the 1976 interview but there's no point, it'd get reverted quickly for sure.
For the wider point here see my other comment. According to present day understanding not only the media but also scientists were massively misleading the public about the climate and what other scientists believed. So how do you know it's not still happening?
> AI-quality refutation
Cool, we're going to be like that. What's depressing is that I made the effort when you tried to pull things off into a rabbit trail of to a single book review.
To be clear you didn't refute my initial argument here which looked at the state of the scientific community, you threw out a (from the sounds of things favorite cherry picked) book review from the New York Times.
> So how do you know it's not still happening?
Because it's much easier for scientists to have their own independent voices and easier to hear from the scientific community directly. Our ability to communicate these points, much like the science itself, is greatly improved from the 70s.
There are two book reviews on the page I linked, both about global cooling. This is what I mean. You're trying to argue using sources but not reading those sources.
This point is relevant because you can't directly measure what the scientific community believes. It's not even a well defined group to begin with. So in practice everyone relies on summaries, articles, assertions by scientists about what other scientists believe and so on. If you read HN discussions on climate you'll see all kinds of things stated with 100% certainty that everyone believes those things, but it's easy to find research papers refuting them or providing contradictory evidence. Whilst communication abilities are indeed better than the 1970s this does not lead to more rational discussion because attempts to bring up the complexities and contradictions of the actual evidence base are invariably suppressed, along with people pointing out the unreliability of the climatological community. Many scientists today in climate will tell you point blank that their views are never brought to public attention and even actively suppressed.
I see you still didn't read MY SOURCE, which highlights it wasn't 100% consensus by looking at papers throughout the decade. As you're not trying to engage with my information in good faith, I'm going to have to say good day to you.
I did read it, but I mentioned it in a reply in a different sub-thread:
See the sentence starting "Even the attempted refutation"
It's not a "talking point." It's my point of view because the preponderance of evidence seems to indicate that the media, as a group, cannot be trusted.
It's not a debate. Wake up. Much (most?) of the info going into your brain is not just false, it's deliberately manipulative.
> the media, as a group Is a ridiculously false assumption. You are also consuming some media, who are you to decide which publications fall into the bad group and which into the good group? Feelings of trust? Feelings of familiarity? Feelings of reassurance of existing viewpoints?
> It's not a debate. I am glad you do realise that human-induced climate change is real and a threat.
> Much (most?) of the info going into your brain is not just false, it's deliberately manipulative. You might want to find better sources of information then.
I imagine one must spend most time running in particular self-confirming circles to expect to be taken seriously when retorting with "in the 70's 'they' said there would be a new ice age, yuk, yuk, yuk", especially around HN. It's been refuted repeatedly, and I see someone already got to it while I was typing this.
I mean, in the 70's people had leaded gasoline in cars, lead paint in the walls, washed their hands with DDT, blew a hole in the ozone layer and doused countries in unknown chemical blends, so relying on the things that were common ideas at that time as signs of good ideas may not be the right call.
I wonder what the future will say about the 2020's.
Future Person 1: "They did the best they could with PCBs in their bloodstreams, a credit card sized hunk of plastic in their brains, breathing 60% more carbon dioxide with every breath than their great grandparents, having their food so processed and imbalanced that it lead to a multitude of diseases while wildy disrupting their gut biomes, and random chemicals in every drop of water on the planet disrupting their hormones and causing all manner of endocrine disorders."
Future Person 2: "Wow! I'm glad they got all of that fixed! That must have sucked living through!"
Future Person 3: "I'm so glad they finally threw off the mental chains and ran the shills out of town on a rail so we could finally see what was really happening."
Future Person 2: "Yeah, some people were seriously deluded by conspiracy theories back then. I am glad we reached a scientific consensus where misguided hate and fascism are not a thing anymore."
> There were international conferences on the possibility, presented to the US President
Out of curiosity, do you remember the date and place of such a conference ? And the name of the US President ?
> Note that these days climatologists have erased the cooling trend from the old temperature records that these scientists were talking about.
Not sure what you mean there. Has the data been dubbed irrelevant and replaced with, supposedly, more accurate data, or was it maliciously "erased" from records ?
It probably would, but if you're implying this would absorb a lot of CO2, I don't think so, plants die and when they do they decompose and release the CO2 back into the atmosphere. The conditions are not really met for a new carboniferous era right now and it took millions of years.
No because plant levels settle at a higher equilibrium. Plants may decompose but there are more plants growing at the same time, so it still ends up being more.
Higher CO2 levels are said to have led to a "global greening", in which crop yields have gone up a lot. This is especially true in Africa, so that reduces global hunger and increases wealth. The idea that more CO2 = less life is not as simple as it's made out to be. Climate doomers ignores this type of thing because they are convinced society can't handle complexity, so have to insist that CO2 is always bad even when it's not.
No one actually argues that CO2 is “always bad.”
The argument is that the total effect of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is net negative for most people.
Oh my.. few serious educated persons would refute the increased greening, yes, but there it stops already.
Crop yields have gone up a lot? Unfortunatly our farming has even more problems, but let's leave it at the increased greening: How much have crop yields increased by that please, any numbers? Or at least how much the increase of greening is?
Do you know our crops vs the plants that mostly benefit from this and will also thrive in the future weather conditions, that is more than the CO2 level?
Hunger in Africa has already reduced? Please wtf, any numbers?
And that this will outweigh the other bad consequences.. no comment.
Even your reference doesn't get to anything more concrete than wishful but hilarious extrapolation based on ... just opinion (vs facts of.. but I think it is not worth continiueing, right? :/ )
The link I already provided has the numbers you're asking for.
Some people can handle complexity, but I think they're in the minority. I'm not sure that tacking on "oh, but also climate change will be good in a few ways" is helpful in getting people to take action. So there are sure to be some misinformed climate activists out there who don't know about greening, but that may be a preferable situation to everyone being very informed about the nuance and therefore feeling like this is a smaller problem than it really is.
... ideally, during a carboniferous epoch, you have lots of bogs and places where plants can decompose into oil for future civilizations to enjoy... And re-release I to the atmosphere.
From what I've read that can't really happen again. In the prehistoric past, plants could die and would build up into massive layers. Over time those wound up in various geologic processes that caused them to become oil. Nowadays the Earth has plenty of microbes that will quickly decompose the plants into something that is not oil and that's the end of the process.
Until fungi discovered ligninase enzymes, when a tree fell in the forest, it just… sat there. For eons. Got covered up. Got smushed. Became coal.
Now we got these fungi chewing things all up. Thanks a lot, fungi.
Yes, we expect increased some degree of photosynthesis. However, we hardly expect to see an proportionate increase of photosynthesis (or plant mass?) - if nothing else, we'd expect there to still be a bottleneck from nitrogen.
Some, but most plant growth is nitrogen limited, not CO2 limited.
Depends whether that's a bottleneck; hard to imagine much improvement in a plant that's short of nitrogen.
Logically, yes. The energy will be transformed by nature if humans don't do it. However, this might not happen in a timely fashion for us to survive as a specie. Remember, earth timelines are wildly different than human ones.
> for us to survive as a species
An incredibly strong feedback mechanism exists (see article above).
Societal problems, yes. Extinction to the human species? I think that’s extreme hyperbole. What would the mechanism even be, to eradicate all humans, across the globe?
Climate change is real, things will be bad, etc, but the possible end of the species is an incredible claim, that doesn’t follow logic.
Okay so it won't make us go extinct. What if it makes life full of significant suffering. I find this kind of argument quite annoying. It's the same thing was happened with COVID19. Sure, I'm not going to die from it. That doesn't mean I want to live a life without my taste or smell. I enjoy those things. Likewise I want to live on a good Earth and leave that to the people after me.
> I find this kind of argument quite annoying.
What is "this kind of argument"? Something ridiculous was stated, and I pointed out an apparently annoying reality. The argument that you seem to want to have is unrelated to what was said and my response to it. I don't think hyperbole has a place on meaningful discussions. Relevant points should be made without theatrics.
No one justified lockdowns based on people losing taste or smell though. If the justification turned out to be incorrect, it is reasonable to be mad about that. While you personally may be fine with lockdowns based on whatever percent of people lose taste or smell permanently, if that was the justification provided for lockdowns instead of risk of death I think a majority would have been opposed, don’t you?
wouldn't the models already take that into account? I thought we were having problems with deforestation also.
Yes, but in the worst way. Giving large amounts of CO2 to plants is kind of like giving huge doses of steroids to athletes. They grow abnormally and become unhealthy and short lived.
My cannabis plants flower with 15 to 20% yield improvement and no abnormalities at 1500ppm CO2. Edit One of the side effects of CO2 infusion ironically, is tolerance of higher temperatures.
This is not about your cannabis yields. In high concentrations CO2 is a pollutant: https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2020/12/more-co2-in-the-a...
Let's assume that the world is incapable of solving this problem.
What can an individual do to not suffer?
Invest in oxygen masks and a mountain cabin?
Please consider this is not a problem that we either solve or not solve. We are at 423.70 ppm CO2 today*, which is 2.43 ppm more than last year. It is not that every increment above 0 ppm means we failed to solve the problem.
Let's say we reduce that 2.43 ppm increment to 1 ppm at some point. Or even to 2.41 ppm. Does that mean we failed? In a way, yes. But was the effort meaningless? No, the 1.43 ppm we didn't put out in the atmosphere really had an impact, and in a similar way, the 0.02 ppm we reduced also had a real impact on actual people. Both would translate to less sealevel rise, less floods, droughts, storms, heatwaves, biodiversity loss, etc. Which means a reduction of death, migration, hunger, suffering, extinction, chaos, economic loss, etc.
I know your question is about adaptation and not mitigation, but we need to get out of the either/or mindset. Every single action we take to reduce our emissions matters. I mean that in a very matter of fact way, not as a call to action. It is just technically incorrect to think it does not matter (though by no means I am implying you specifically think so).
Individuals should join or form diverse groups to build a resilient empathetic community.
There’s nothing you can do strictly by yourself in my estimation that will help over the long term.
The only way out is through as a team
This is why you fail. If you are relying on the team for success then you will not be motivated to personal success. You must decide what you do counts and you must do it. If you don't your team will fail. Because in the end success requires each team member to own the problem or failure is always the result.
Why? 1+1=2 2+2=4 3+3=6 And 0.5+0.25=0.75
When two people don't give it 100% you can't get the results you are looking for. Just ask anyone who has been divorced...
You’re talking about effort, the parent comment is talking about alignment.
Good luck living any semblance of a good life without a team.
> What can an individual do to not suffer?
You should be asking what an individual can do to not starve to death or die of over heating.
Most answers are: move to a rich, powerful country not in the danger zone
> Most answers are: move to a rich, powerful country not in the danger zone
There might not be any. Migration pressure from uninhabitable areas will keep mounting, and some of the countries in the "danger zone" have nukes.
If you are invoking rather insane scenarios - why rule out the use of bioweapons? Why rule out geoengineering?
>Why rule out geoengineering?
If there was a viable geoengineering technology available, we'd be using it right now. Assuming that something will pop up is wishful thinking.
There are a bunch of carbon sequestration technologies that work right now. The question is who is going to pay for them to be deployed at scale?
What's insane about those scenarios?
Because if large-scale nuclear or biological war is reasonable likely then climate change really doesn't matter anyway. End of the world scenarios are always an easy "sell" but they are usually not helpful for constructive progress.
Before nuclear war, lots of constructive things like geoengineering could happen.
You're looking at it from the wrong end. Nuclear war seems unlikely now, but it might become reasonable once half of the world's population is banging on the borders of the other half.
Do you think if e.g. India or Pakistan start experiencing lethal wet-bulb temperatures and people there decide to mass-migrate to survivable lands, only to be stopped at the border and denied entry, will those people and these countries just throw their hands up in the air, seeing there's nothing they could do, and accept imminent death? Or maybe they'll try to threaten or force to be let in, using any means available, up to and including nuclear weapons?
(This applies to all nuclear-armed countries - I mentioned these two, because AFAIK they'll be the first nuclear powers likely to experience lethal wet-bulb temperatures - but that's not the only way climate change could make a country mass-evacuate, and such other factors could hit other nuclear powers first.)
So they commit suicide to escape deadly temperatures? If they nuke the countries they want to move to - how does that play out? The choices of providing local cooling, putting more sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere, shades in space etc. will all look more attractive than extended suicide. That also includes negotiating solutions.
See my comment on brinkmanship elsewhere in the thread.
Nuking your desired safe haven is obviously a stupid idea. But threatening them with nukes so they accept you in, that's a reasonable negotiation tactic when you're otherwise up against the wall. If they refuse, making a stronger threat is an obvious next move. There is, however, no obvious stopping point before tensions are so strong that a small mistake - or someone at high enough level getting irrational - will cause the nukes to be launched.
As I pointed out, it's not a reasonable negotiation tactic as following through on the threat would accomplish nothing - and both sides know that. Even if you succeed with your threat and some of your people are allowed in and then the border is closed again - what then? Nuke your own people?
All cooperative moves are much better than extended suicide - for both sides.
> it's not a reasonable negotiation tactic as following through on the threat would accomplish nothing - and both sides know that.
It's effective, because the other side is forced to bet their own lives on you eventually accepting defeat and agreeing to die, so that they may live. It's not an easy bet to make and stick to.
All cooperative moves are indeed better than suicide, but when we're at the point everyone wants to get to NZ, we're way past the time of cooperative solutions.
There is no indication that it will be even an effective tactic in the situation described. Even in simple cases, the other side could assume it might intercept some of nukes, some might not work, it might get some with conventional weapons on the ground - it will never be so clearcut (even ignoring any preemptive moves).
Also, assuming that there are only zero or negative sum moves left is a really big assumption.
Single countries will have a hard time doing geoengineering at scale. It will be much easier to start a war over local resources, like water.
New Zealand is always the obvious "lifeboat". It's a long way from populated area so difficult to get there, and it's fairly easy to sink any ships that try. It's in the southern hemisphere so will be protected from the majority of nuclear war which would be in the northern hemisphere.
Unless someone with nukes decides to threaten NZ to open up the borders for their people, or else.
With global changes this big, we can't expect the usual MAD Mexican Standoff a couple big powers to keep everyone safe. It may be that all nuclear powers (or all that remained after a brief nuclear war) will decide together to politely ask NZ to open up or else.
Or else what ? They half nuke the place they intend to escape to ?
Have you ever seen a child smash a toy they tried to steal rather than give it back?
Can't say that I have.
I say the people threatening with nukes here would turn to more subtle methods of invasion, that's their objectives. They won't destroy it because they can't have it. That'd be a waste of nukes.
Now is there someone threatening another country with nukes at the moment but not using them because he knows that'd be useless anyway and would it prove my point ?
> Can't say that I have.
Then I recommend you spend more time around people. Grown men have been convicted of throwing acid in an ex-girlfriend's face because "if I can't have you, no-one can."
> Now is there someone threatening another country with nukes at the moment but not using them because he knows that'd be useless anyway and would it prove my point ?
It doesn't prove your point because no country today is facing imminent extinction. Rationality changes when desperation comes into play.
> > Can't say that I have.
> Then I recommend you spend more time around people. Grown men have been convicted of throwing acid in an ex-girlfriend's face because "if I can't have you, no-one can."
You come up with a stupid analogy based on children behavior and now you invoke people throwing acid ?
This is nickelodeon level debate here.
> It doesn't prove your point because no country today is facing imminent extinction. Rationality changes when desperation comes into play.
You are making the extraordinary (and quite childish considering you started with an analogy based on children behavior) claim that a country would nuke another one to go and settle there, it's up to you to prove it. So far, in the real world, no one has used nukes like that.
I'd follow the argument but if a guy would throw acid and was in position to throw a nuke over a country they were denied access to it's most likely plausible they have the means and resources to get into this country in a more discrete and safe way (safe as in: he's in a country that wasn't nuked).
> You come up with a stupid analogy based on children behavior and now you invoke people throwing acid ?
It’s called an analogy. Given we’re talking about nuclear war, it’s not an insane analogy.
> claim that a country would nuke another one to go and settle there, it's up to you to prove it.
I never said they’d try to settle the wasteland. I think you’re struggling to understand the analogy.
> > You come up with a stupid analogy based on children behavior and now you invoke people throwing acid ?
> It’s called an analogy. Given we’re talking about nuclear war, it’s not an insane analogy.
It looks more like a slippery slope bias to me. You can "prove" any dangers with that analogy but it's running against what history and reality have shown us so far.
> > claim that a country would nuke another one to go and settle there, it's up to you to prove it.
> I never said they’d try to settle the wasteland. I think you’re struggling to understand the analogy.
True, true, somehow the "threaten to" stayed in the keyboard. I still stand by the fact that this analogy doesn't scale to the real world.
> It looks more like a slippery slope bias to me.
I have no idea what you’re talking about.
I’m simply making a point that humans don’t always behave reasonably in a way that would achieve their stated goals. I tried to use an analogy to make this easier but you seem confused. I could have replaced “acid” with “murder.” Would that have helped?
> > It looks more like a slippery slope bias to me.
> I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Sorry, I reread the definition from the bias list and it's not the good one. Read the whole line, it's too small an illustration to fit a bigger picture:
> It looks more like a slippery slope bias to me. You can "prove" any dangers with that analogy but it's running against what history and reality have shown us so far.
> I’m simply making a point that humans don’t always behave reasonably in a way that would achieve their stated goals.
This, I agree with. But:
> I tried to use an analogy to make this easier but you seem confused. I could have replaced “acid” with “murder.” Would that have helped?
No. I understand your analogy but it happens that I disagree with how it is an argument in favor of your opinion (which I also disagree with but that's for another paragraph).
If anything, I think it undermines your position because it reduces the many more complex steps leading to nuking another country to a petty and cruel behavior from one individual. The analogy doesn't explain the reality behind a potential revengeful nuclear strike (geopolitical moves leading to that decision, climate disasters, consequences stemming from the reaction of other nations, etc.). All it is saying is "there are humans who would do crazy things so it follows that we are always at risks from one human doing the most crazy thing like nuking another country" but nuking another country, for the sake of the argument, requires more than one human (no matter how petty he is) and so far it hasn't been done yet (unlike people throwing acid at exes, which breaks the analogy). This is skewing proportions ("this analogy doesn't scale").
I'd rather we discuss the likelihood of such an event happening based on real world data and information, not using illustrations.
To follow on the analogy: unlike the guy with the acid bottle, the guy with the nuke has certainly the means to hop on a plane and buy his way into NZ rather than nuking it.
Of course we can always make the argument "but what if someone crazy comes and do the crazy thing" but how likely is it ? Adding "but what if he's under a lot of pressure ?!", that's still a what if scenario that would be better validated through real world examples/data than an analogy boiling down to "there are crazy people" or the single argument "people don't always act rationally so anything is possible. Well, duh.
On analogies, I like this blog post: http://itdept4life.blogspot.com/2012/04/why-analogies-suck.h...
> To follow on the analogy: unlike the guy with the acid bottle, the guy with the nuke has certainly the means to hop on a plane and buy his way into NZ rather than nuking it.
That assumes money matters any more. It’s not unreasonable that we go past that point, leading to the irrational scenarios.
It’s hard to apply regular probabilities to this, since we’re discussing a situation where the best option for all humans is to get to New Zealand! We have no frame of reference for this scenario.
claim that a country would nuke another one to go and settle there
You have misunderstood the entire argument. Perhaps instead of calling other people stupid you should review your own reading comprehension.
I never called anybody stupid, I called the analogies and the arguments stupid.
They won't destroy it because they can't have it. That'd be a waste of nukes.
If your civilization is on the verge of extinction then you are not concerned about wasting nukes. You are way overestimating human rationality under extreme pressure.
I think I'll be keeping my nukes to defend myself from the next bigger bully (which would allow me to keep my country) rather than waste it on the smaller one (which would give me no advantage and less nukes).
> You are way overestimating human rationality under extreme pressure.
Ironically, pretty sure the people with the power to launch nukes won't feel the same pressure as people suffering from climate change consequences. So.. keep the restless and angry gods content and they won't wage war and spread destruction.
Have you heard of brinkmanship?
A hypothetical country threatening NZ with nukes in this example would be presenting an argument: either let us in, or else we will nuke you - in hopes that NZ prefers being overcrowded but surviving, over being glassed. NZ will not take the deal - at first. The other country can insist more and more, until the situation is so tense that any random event could trigger launching the missiles.
And then, if NZ acquiesces and lets people from one country evacuate to their land, another nuclear country would ask for the same deal. Or they may even point half the nukes at the first country early on, to make sure that either they get the deal or no one else.
Thing with brinkmanship is that at no point anyone wants to actually use the nukes - but at every point it's locally optimal to up the threat, and there is no obvious stopping condition until someone trips over a cable, hits a launch console, and the nukes starts flying.
Or spit in its food so no one else grabs it.
child? that tactic still works as an adult. even with strangers in a restaurant, besides who wants to eat "inside" that stupid restaurant anyway.
somewhat ironically, widespread nuclear war might actual pare back human population to a point where emissions dramatically declined.
Its the first place I'm sending my shelter vent seeking drones so don't bother.
much or all of it is under water...
What counts as a rich powerful country in this instance?
China? Norway? UAE? I feel like they will all fare very differently
> Let's assume that the world is incapable of solving this problem.
Incapable not, but unwilling most certainly - just look at the state of politics across all Western countries and that doesn't even include China and India who're hell-bent on growth.
> What can an individual do to not suffer?
Move to somewhere high up north, these places are going to be those where climate change will at least not cause them to get uninhabitable.
> Incapable not, but unwilling most certainly - just look at the state of politics across all Western countries and that doesn't even include China and India who're hell-bent on growth.
Unwilling and incapable are sort of two sides of the same coin. Our political and economical systems are set up as a greedy (in the CS sense) optimization process.
This makes solving long term global scale problems all but impossible in any case that would entail any sort of short-term inconvenience, and anyone seeking to solve such problems by such means are (by definition) politically and economically irrelevant.
I think in general there's a somewhat unfounded notion that someone is actually in control that's getting harder to defend in the light of what's been several decades of fairly public failures to address obvious problems in society. You to look very hard to find examples of public policy successfully addressing any sort of problem, and even in that case it's questionable whether the problem was actually solved or whether it's just a case of regression to the mean.
> I think in general there's a somewhat unfounded notion that someone is actually in control that's getting harder to defend in the light of what's been several decades of fairly public failures to address obvious problems in society. You to look very hard to find examples of public policy successfully addressing any sort of problem, and even in that case it's questionable whether the problem was actually solved or whether it's just a case of regression to the mean.
I think it's obvious by now when all that began: with the collapse of the USSR and Yugoslavia in the early 90s. With the corrective against capitalism lost, everything defaulted to greed in the following decades.
Before that, humanity showed many times over that it could cooperate on critical crises and to ban dangerous stuff: sulphur in fuel was banned after "acid rain", lead and asbestos were banned, CFCs were banned after the ozone hole, nuclear weapon tests were all but abolished, biological and chemical weapon developments as well. Even the right to wage wars of aggression was under pretty solid control.
Do we have the technical capabilities? Probably yes Do we have the organizational/coordinating capabilities? Maybe
You will be ok based on the fact that you are asking about it on HN. Tech workers in the US move their entire lives just to do something like snowboard more.
I watched a documentary about bread bakers in Afghanistan and there was a whole ecosystem of wheat growers, millers and bakers who were all centered around a river and had been doing the same work for many generations. They are screwed.
> What can an individual do to not suffer?
Does "suffer" take into account "transitive suffering" from children? (from future generations, our offspring)
i.e. if I'm physically fine but my child is suffering, I suffer too.
Now, for what one can do, there are always two ways: one is, as suggested, to find a better spot for oneself and let the others go to hell for all I care. But what about the children?
other is to become millitant, and force action. Worse outcome for oneself, but potentially a better outcome for the children.
As they say “Collapse now, avoid the rush.”
Be independent in all your supplies as much as possible (food, water, basic necessities). Cyclical gardens, Biosphere-2 like systems, etc. Then scale up and do the same with a small community. The bigger the community, more chances to repel an attack of cannibals.
That's somewhat like asking how to win a fight if you get knocked out.
There is only one way to be free. Believe in the truth. Acts 16:16-40
Beyond that you are supposing based upon bad data and conjecture which results in a scenario where worry will kill you.
But let's say the worst happens and you can't live in a city anymore. Can you grow your own food? Can you grow all of it? How many resources does that take near where you live? How about in the mountains near where you live? Now go learn how to do it.
I call these sort of arguments Climate Optimism and I consider it a form of climate denial.
The central thesis is that the climate crisis has already been solved with technology and capitalism. The worst offenders (like Max Roser of Our World in Data https://twitter.com/MaxCRoser) overemphasize success in western countries and hint the problem lies in China and India not doing enough.
A more run of the mill climate optimist claims that the efforts we’ve done so far are enough to avert disaster, and we just need to do more of the same. The YouTube channel Kurzgesagt (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxgMdjyw8uw) is guilty if this form of denialism.
> This is due to the rapidly accelerating energy transition..
Err, just NO. This is largely due to global trade being flat for the past 10 years , this is a good proxy to measure real economic growth. Don't believe GDP as an indicator of real growth, they keep on adding fictitious sources to these numbers. Did you know that rent is part of GDP? And even rent that homeowners would have paid to a landlord had they owned their home? 
So basically this is just about the world becoming poorer since the 2008 financial crisis (and covid of course).
Also, "not following the worst case scenario" is not really a reason to rejoice, 4.5 degrees is still absolutely terrible.
Also, funny enough the page they link to as a source for "Global CO2 emissions (both fossil and land use) have been relatively flat" has for title "Analysis: Global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels hit record high in 2022" . So, lols.
I could also add that less emissions growth doesn't mean less carbon accumulates in the atmosphere 
> This is largely due to global trade being flat for the past 10 years
People are consuming more international goods and more domestic goods, so trade as a percentage of trade relative to GDP has stagnated, but not volume of trade. Since 2008, maritime trade has increased by 3 billion tons or 37% .
> Did you know that rent is part of GDP?
It's also a component of the inflation, so it cancels out. Housing is getting more expensive, but part of it is that we are consuming more of it than we used to. Home sizes have been growing, but household sizes have been falling .
The first source isn't really accessible unless you have an account. Total exports in terms of adjusted cost _has_ stagnated: https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/world-trade-exports-const....
I suspect sheer maritime freight tonnage may be a less reliable proxy due to factors like cost of shipping changes, role of air freight, tariff changes, etc. Maybe share all the trade and globalization graphs instead? https://ourworldindata.org/trade-and-globalization
Your second source, hilariously, predates the entire pandemic (which is when home prices really took off). It also says very little to support your point that we're "consuming more" housing because home sizes are growing. The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index seems to suggest that home prices were rising only modestly until the pandemic. https://www.spglobal.com/spdji/en/indices/indicators/sp-core...
> Total exports in terms of adjusted cost _has_ stagnated
This doesn't seem to match what you'd get by multiplying their figures of inflation-adjusted GDP  with their figures of exports as a percentage of GDP .
> Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA
Home prices aren't factored into in either GDP or inflation because they're considered an asset. You're right that the economy has stagnated since the pandemic, especially in America. My point is that it's absurd to suggest that the global economy hasn't grown in the past decade.
 https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/world-gdp-over-the-last-t...  https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/merchandise-exports-gdp-c...
Your link says that in 2005 international trade as a percent of GDP was 23% and in 2014 it's 24%, so about the same.
Gross World Product was about $43t in 2005 and $78t in 2014, so that would suggest international trade has increased from $10t to $18t in 10 years, nearly doubling, inflation adjusted.
You can say that the non-international part of GDP is overestimated, lets say by 40% more in 2014 than in 2005. That would mean that real GWP in 2014 was just 56t, and therefore the 18t international trade would actually be 32% -- a 33% increase in 10 years.
> Don't believe GDP as an indicator of real growth, they keep on adding fictitious sources to these numbers. Did you know that rent is part of GDP? And even rent that homeowners would have paid to a landlord had they owned their home?
Of course renting is an economic activity that should be reflected in the GDP, and it is as "real" as anything else. To focus solely on international trade feels shortsighted as well. When a doctor sees you and charges you $200, that's going into the GDP but not into any trade balance.
The world is richer since 2008 by almost any metric you can think of, including inflation-adjusted per capita income which is independent of GDP.
So often I read so many utterly ridiculous economic opinions expressed here by people who should know better and be better educated.
How can a smart, presumably educated person not know that rent counts as economic activity?
To say the world is poorer than in 2008 is just utterly preposterous.
Per capita GPD in China went from 3500 to 12500. India 1000 to 2200.
There is half the world. US, Canada and Europe is only 15% of the population but I don't know how the case can be made we are poorer than in 2008 either.
> How can a smart, presumably educated person not know that rent counts as economic activity?
Of course it's "economic activity". But if I sublet to someone that sublets to someone that sublets to someone that lives in an apartment, that's a 4x increase in money flow but there's no production of goods or services at all.
It makes sense to have the cost of building and maintaining homes represented somewhere, but rent is a poor proxy for that.
GDP doesn't count all "economic activity." Otherwise, HFTs would cause GDP to explode. It doesn't account for the cost of construction either because that's an intermediate cost. Even home sales aren't counted because they're considered an investment. GDP only considers the value of the final consumed goods and services, and rent is a consumed service. If you're a homeowner, they estimate your rent and use that instead.
> GDP doesn't count all "economic activity."
Right, which is why the insult in the post I quoted is getting things very wrong.
> GDP only considers the value of the final consumed goods and services, and rent is a consumed service. If you're a homeowner, they estimate your rent and use that instead.
I understand that but it's a notably flawed way of going about it. Prices in general can have a loose coupling to value but with rent it's extra bad. A small change in housing stock can trigger a massive swing in rent and GDP even though the service being delivered doesn't change.
For the 1000th time, regular rent (e.g. you pay $1000/mo for an apartment) is not the same as rent-seeking.
It's just correlated with ALL sorts of rent seeking:
So the country is better off if prices of non-tradable services are increased by their suppliers? That sounds like the broken window fallacy.
If I own a house (outright) and live in it, I pay nothing, and no impact on GDP
If my neighbour owns a house (outright) and lives in it, I pay nothing, and no impact on GDP
If I rent from my neighbour for $10k a year, and he rents from me for $10k a year, GDP increases by $20k a year, but nothing has really changed, expect the amount of money paid in taxes.
So that's why you have imputed rent as part of GDP. Fine, I get that.
How about this scenario
I have a kid and look after it, I pay nothing, and no impact on GDP
My neighbour has a kid and looks after it, he pays nothing, and no impact on GDP
I look after my neighbours kid 3 days a week and he looks after mine, in an exchange, no impact on GDP
I look after my neighbours kid 3 days a week and he pays me $300, and he looks after mine 3 days a week and I pay him $300. GDP increases $600 a week, and more money is taken in taxes.
Do we include all unpaid work?
If I (a painter) pay my neighbor (a gardener) to garden my front yard and he pays me to paint his garage, then GDP increases.
If I do the gardening myself, and he does the painting himself, GDP doesn't increase.
How about me looking after my old parent vs me working overtime and paying a care home to do it?
Two economists were walking down the street. One saw a dog s*t on the ground, and told the other: “If you eat that, I’ll give you thousand dollars.” Other guy looked at it, thought “It’s bad, but I’ll get $1000”, and ate it. His friend paid him, although he still regretted it because it was really bad. After some time, they encountered another dog s*t. This time the guy who ate it before offered $1000 for eating it to his friend. He accepted, thinking “I’ll gain the $1000 I lost”. He ate it and got paid. After some time, they stopped for a while, and one said to other, “I feel like we just ate dog s*t for nothing”, the other replied “Oh, come on! We just contributed to the GDP by $2000, it was not for nothing!”
Makes sense. GDP captures money spent on services, not philosophical judgment on if that money was wisely spent or produced net happiness.
In a more realistic examples, alcoholics purchasing booze, obese people overeating, and people wasting their lives watching TV all contribute to GDP.
The GDP is a measure of economic activity, meaning the exchange of money for products or services. Of course there are activities, such as the ones you describe, that will not be accounted because they are done for free or in exchange for something else.
> How about me looking after my old parent vs me working overtime and paying a care home to do it?
Yes of course the latter will have an impact on the GDP, and the former not. You are producing more work for money and you are buying more work for money.
The point is that the country is no wealthier in either scenario, yet people use GDP as a proxy for the productive output and wealth of a country.
But the country is wealthier in the scenario where you produced and sourced more labor for money. Arguably more productive too, because you expanded the pool of labor when you worked more hours, which your employer (presumably) transformed into more money.
Can you explain how?
If someone is paid to dig holes and fill them up right after, the country is not any wealthier even though GDP is increased, in fact slightly less wealthy because of wear and tear on the shovel/excavator.
GPD is an estimate that relies on most people being rational.
A company that pays contractors to do nothing but dig up holes and fill them back up again will quickly go bankrupt, so most people aren't going to engage in such enterprise.
Just because you found a way to hack the GDP in an online argument doesn't immediately throw its usefulness in the real-world.
Repeatedly digging up the same place is a relatively common real world scenario, such as when multiple utilities need to be installed or repaired on the same stretch of ground.
e.g. repairing a water main, then laying some underground electrical cables, then laying some fiber optic wire.
Due to inefficient coordination, country A may have the same patch of ground dug up and filled three times.
Whereas country B, more efficient, only has to dig once, do all the work, then fill it up once.
So country B records lower GDP but in fact ends up slightly wealthier.
I certainly agree that different countries will not only have different levels of efficiency, but also different accuracies in their GDP measurement.
Shadow economies also exist and comprise different % in different countries.
The example that started this is someone taking care of an elderly person themselves vs working overtime and paying someone to do so. Simply by working overtime for a company, this person created economic value, likely higher than of their own wage. Second, other economic agents received payment in exchange for services, so this also increased our productive output. In both sides of this operation, taxes were paid, and the country is therefore wealthier in both a fiscal and economic sense.
I think the confusion here is because it seems odd that taking care of your parents by yourself is not considered productive unless you exchange money for it. GDP is an imperfect measure, and by definition does not take into account such voluntary/unpaid activities.
I don't see how formalizing and adding money to an informal relationship increases wealth.
The caregiver is doing the same work either way. Where is the wealth increase coming from?
Before we continue our discussion, can you tell me what is your definition of wealth?
I go by the OED standard definition.
Assuming you mean OECD, and that for these purposes we consider money reserves as an asset, then the person doing overtime has no increase in wealth (assuming they paid the same to the caregiver), the caregiver has an increase, every company involved have an increase, and the government also has an increase in wealth. If the person doing overtime is more qualified than the caregiver, then productivity increased as well.
I meant OED as in the Oxford English Dictionary.
The OECD definition seems suspect, an increase in money reserves does not guarantee an increase in wealth when there's been inflation. Do you have a source for it?
> Yes of course the latter will have an impact on the GDP, and the former not. You are producing more work for money and you are buying more work for money.
I neglected to mention I work in an old peoples home. The overtime is the exact amount of care my parent needs.
> If I own a house (outright) and live in it, I pay nothing, and no impact on GDP
This is not true, at least in the US. If you're a homeowner, they estimate how much it would cost to rent your own home and include that in the GDP.
You snipped the following line
> So that's why you have imputed rent as part of GDP. Fine, I get that.
I then came up with other parts where economic activity is not imputed
> If I do the gardening myself, and he does the painting himself, GDP doesn't increase.
But capital increase. Next time this capital will hit market - when you decide to sell fruits or home with beautiful garden it will be taxed and will increase GDP.
GDP is statistics anyway, so any work that doesn't rot and hit the market will eventually show up in GDP.
> If I rent from my neighbour for $10k a year, and he rents from me for $10k a year, GDP increases by $20k a year, but nothing has really changed, expect the amount of money paid in taxes.
Not really because even if you are living in your own paid-off house, the rent will be added to the GDP.
> If I do the gardening myself, and he does the painting himself, GDP doesn't increase.
There is a law being worked out somewhere (probably Europe) that will tax any activity you are doing. If you paint your garage, this activity will be evaluated financially and you'll have to pay taxes on it. Not doing so is tax evasion.
* last one was /s but maybe not really?
> There is a law being worked out somewhere (probably Europe) that will tax any activity you are doing. If you paint your garage, this activity will be evaluated financially and you'll have to pay taxes on it. Not doing so is tax evasion.
Along with the surveillance to make it practicable.
The sentence "the country is better off" is subjective. The country's GDP will go up if all prices go up, yes. But this will also mean that inflation will go up, and in adjusted terms no one will be richer. The price deflator mentioned by the sibling is one of the ways to make that adjustment.
Equating a high GDP with "better off" is problematic.
It could be backed by products that nobody wants (wars and such) or it could be at the expense of other quality of life metrics such that the juice is not worth the squeeze.
It's like lifting weights to get huge instead of to get strong or healthy, you can end up some undesirable results.
The GDP, by virtue of having the basket of things under comparison already picked out, has this very convenient thing called the implicit price deflator.
Watch this. Counting rent is about as sensible as counting financial services.
No thanks - if you are interested in an argument, please present yours in written format.
your global trade link stops in 2014, but the world bank shows the trade decline trend continuing to the present 
you raise concerns about the interpretation of GDP and use trade as a more believable replacement - but how about using manufacturing as a more direct replacement? it seems to have continued it's rising trend through the present.  rising by 50% in the last 10 years.
this seems to show that growth has not been flat, but has been rising in line with long-term trends.
The data on the global Electricity Mix provides evidence there is an energy transition - https://ourworldindata.org/electricity-mix
Expanding the view to the whole energy mix, the evidence is minuscule: https://ourworldindata.org/energy-mix
Looks right. The trend break in the OP's chart of emissions happens around 2009, right when the GFC started to have major effects.
Another fun effect of less overall emissions growth from burning fossil fuel, whether due to decline in global economic activity or emissions target regulations, is a specific reduction in sulfur dioxide emissions. (Atmospheric SO2 has a cooling effect and, sort of, mitigates CO2 driven warming. One terraforming idea is to just increase atmospheric SO2, which obviously has problems of its own; see Venus...)
Yeah, see aerosol cooling effect.
Also, GDP is inaccurate because the CPI is innacurate. compare the CPI with any realistic way of measuring inflation such as case shiller, the big mac index or the price of oil in barrels and you'll quickly see that the CPI is undercounting by a several percentage points per year. she shadowstat: http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/inflation-charts
Also, related, check out Nate Hagens work on the Great simplification (he's got a podcast and on youtube). I won't spoil it here but he and his team of scientists have made some very interesting discoveries on future GDP growth.
Really, ok what is the good part of plus 4.5 degrees? Is it all bad or has no one actually considered both sides.
Looking for good parts of 4.5 degrees of warming is like looking for a bright side in a horrible apartment fire. Sure, it might open up some more green space for a future park, but given all the terrible death and suffering that kind of misses the point.
Would it open a north sea passage, would it make most of Russia inhabitable...
I feel like that exactly matches the comparison I was making.
I fail to see any upside that would justify the displacement and suffering of hundreds of millions of people across the planet. Are you serious?
Still not telling the good side then?
We're talking global control here so displacement is not that far fetched.
Still not caring about the suffering of millions? Okay, I'm done here.
I may be out of depth here, but does anyone else also thinks that measuring "emissions" is a kind of bullshit? First it is not very precise in the first place, but let's assume it is. Second - the effects of the GH gasses in atmosphere is not linear, scientists hypothesize about different thresholds which can be reached at certain global temperature points. Like for example west Antarctic shield detaching, Gulfstream interruption, sedimentary ocean methane release, permafrost methane release etc. All these can rapidly change our climate while "emissions" would be steady or even receding. Third - even "level" emissions would still continue heating up the planet, and heating rate would increase even with the "level" state of emissions, simply because "old" already emitted gasses are still in the atmosphere.
I think it is more fair to measure temperatures directly, as we already do, and make estimates from there. It's not the CO2 which would harm us (at least not that much), it's the temperature, so we need to base our analysis on the thing that interests us directly. And not on the derivative of the derivative of it (emission rates).
I suspect it doesn't matter how good are our models or how good are humanity's efforts in green tech. Until we are actually removing gasses from the atmosphere permanently, the planet is fucked. Just faster or slower, doesn't really matter.
> “Until we are actually removing gasses from the atmosphere permanently, the planet is fucked. Just faster or slower, doesn't really matter.”
If I have a cancer, and a lifestyle change would make the difference between whether the cancer kills me in four years or forty… I definitely wouldn’t say “I’m fucked anyway, no point in doing anything unless the cancer can be permanently removed.”
This is a very good metaphor. That's exactly what we are doing - we have a cancer and we are making a lifestyle changes, hoping that cancer will reconsider :) . The gas already in the atmosphere, just like cancer cells, doesn't care about good intentions, positive thinking and a number of "net zero" logos slapped on the heavily polluting hardware. It's doing it's work all the time, regardless of the emission rates were have on the ground, be they real or faked.
Sure, it's great that we are changing our society globally, it is beneficial for us. If we will ever decide to cool the planet then green energy is must have tech for that, because we can't sequester gas while emitting more of it, it's dumb. But we are talking about a long term estimate now, and that one unfortunately in my uneducated opinion didn't change much. The heating rate didn't change much because of a few Leafs and Teslas on the road, and some northern EU countries actually reducing emissions.
1: Discover some previously unknown method to directly recreate cheap and easy unlimited photosynthesis either electrically or mechanically or
2: Somehow create a fan system that can atomically slice the carbon atoms off of gaseous co2 particles
And the one that we create is ALSO cheap enough to deploy world wide en masse capable of equal or greater CO2 concentration reduction than the number of CO2 producing ICE engines in use and industries put out, it's not going to ever be a miracle fix.
3: Hijack a currently existing biological system to do the heavy lifting for us:
I imagine that with government incentive something like a self-regulating robotic rooftop duckweed farms being required for every vehicle owning household, but something like that would first need to be perfected and made available at an affordable price, like $400 or less with minimal maintenance expense which is a HUGE ask considering that duckweed propagation is not a solved part of agricultural science.
I chose Duckweed because it is the fastest growing plant in the world, which can double in mass almost daily under ideal conditions, uses photosynthesis to convert water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and its dietary requirements are met easily, only needing a small amount of additives to common water and a ready source of carbon dioxide as could be handled by bubbling atmospheric air into the water.
Additionally, duckweed is edible by humans and animals, and if there were unconsumable excess as would be likely given 3 billion home duckweed farms, we could theoretically dry and burn it for carbon negative fuel (as the leftover carbon ash from the burn would count as sequestered carbon).
Alternatively, some genetically modified cyanobacteria could probably do the trick, but with risk of harm should it escape from its confines into the ecosphere.
Living for forty additional years from 1983 (40 years ago) would have made a world of difference to your chances of survival for any type of cancer.
Plenty people take exactly that view, when it comes to cancer.
The problem is, this is not cancer, and all the people who take the "fucked anyway" view are damning the rest of us
Emissions are something we have (relatively) direct control over. Realize that these models do take into account cascading effects like triggering ocean methane releases. They do take into account nonlinear effects of different GHGs. They pick possible emissions scenarios, simulate as many of these effects as they can, and look at the spectrum of possible future results. Then we look at our emissions to try to guess which simulation results our future is most likely to resemble. It's not quite as tunnel-visioned as you make it out to be.
> Until we are actually removing gasses from the atmosphere permanently, the planet is fucked.
I happen to agree with this, but realize that's exactly the same metric: it's just negative GHG emissions. We would do the same thing: simulate potential future outcomes given an emission / capture balance that is overall negative, estimate what might happen, and then measure what we're actually doing to see whether we might actually be on that path or not. Once we start removing gasses, it's still useful to track overall emission balance.
>sedimentary ocean methane release
>While it may be important on the millennial timescales, it is no longer considered relevant for the near future climate change: the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report states "It is very unlikely that gas clathrates (mostly methane) in deeper terrestrial permafrost and subsea clathrates will lead to a detectable departure from the emissions trajectory during this century".
Oh, and while we are it, I have problem with correlating author's graphs of emissions with this graph of actual gas in the atmosphere:
You don't even need to be a big wig scientist to test this assumption. Open the graph on the big monitor and put a ruler or anything straight like a piece of paper to the median points corresponding to years 2000-2010. If emissions were "level" in the last decade then we should have 2010-2022 datapoints at most at the same line or even below the line. But in reality we see that the curve is raising up faster, meaning that the rate of emissions increased between years 10-22 compared to years 00-10, which contradicts author's graphs.
It looks to me like the graphs agree - emissions were growing 2000-2010, so the average emissions during that period (which roughly correspond to the gradient you're measuring with a straight edge) are lower than those from 2010 onwards, even if yearly emissions stayed constant after 2010.
Yes, to put it simply, the rate of emissions stopped increasing but we are still emitting what we were in 2010 (plus a bit) so the keeling curve goes straight instead of continuing to subtly bend upwards.
If you take the emissions from 2000 to 2010, the total is less than from 2010 to 2020.  Hence the keeling curve of concentration should be steeper in 2010 to 2020.  That indeed is the case.
Maybe I'm making some math mistake here, please correct me then. But I though that if a rate of addition is constant (horizontal graph), then the graph representing the sum total should be rising but linear. If the rate is negative, then the total graph would curve down. If the rate of addition is positive, then the total graph would curve up. And it's the last scenario which we see on the Keeling curve. Graph is curving up in the past decade, therefore rate of addition is increasing. No?
You're correct in general but you need to be more specific with the years if you think there's a discrepancy. One would assume that there's some time delay from mixing and some other sources of change. But I think there shouldn't be any if smoothed?
Easiest visually would be to integrate the emissions and compare it to the keeling curve, or differentiate the keeling curve and compare it to the emissions.
You're right except for the timescale of the claim that the graph is curving up in the past decade. Your observations show the graph curving upwards over the past 2 decades, during which we all agree that CO2 emissions were rising.
It's very hard to argue without numerical data, but the graph on the Wikipedia version of the graph seems to increase linearly to my eyes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keeling_Curve (Edit: No, I can see what you mean; the graph is steeper from 2010–2020 than from 2000–2010.)
(To anyone a bit confused, the Keeling graph is the cumulative amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, so emissions are the first derivative of this graph.)
> ... so emissions are the first derivative of this graph
Not exactly. There is a net sink of emissions every year into the land & ocean, so d(CO2)/dt = emissions minus the net sinks, roughly. See the graph on CO2 partitioning . A lot of research goes into whether these sinks continue at their current rate of removal.
From just tracking temperature it may not be clear we are seeing climate change or weather variations. There are also cycles in the climate, like El Niño, which cause temporary increases in temperature. So I do think tracking emissions, or rather actual level of CO2-equivalents, is a much more reliable indicator of 'how we are doing' on the longer term. The CO2e levels are (a) cause of temperature, so it is the latter which is derivative of the former. But mostly, emissions are what we are directly responsible for and can influence, temperature increase is just the result of that and we have no direct control over.
Obviously we measure and study both and they both matter so the point is somewhat moot.
Except we can't directly/ immediately alter the global temperature, whereas we can alter emissions rates. If we bring them down to net zero quickly the planet will be warmer than it was 100 years ago but still at a temperature that's safe enough for humans to thrive in (though maybe not many other species, particularly corals etc.). And yes, we'll probably need to resort to some form of geo-engineering to further reduce CO2 levels and/or temperatures, but for now measuring emissions is the best way we have of monitoring to what degree we're doing enough to stave off a catastrophic future.
> the planet is fucked
The planet will be fine. It will be different, but that's a normal thing in its 4 billion year history.
Whether it will be habitable for humans is a different question. I suspect we'll adapt (like we did for the last ice age), but I'm no expert.
On the bright side, more heat and CO2 means more arable land and better growing environment. Veggies and grazing animals are all I need to get by, food wise.
People are misunderstanding George Carlin standup sooo much. Yes, "The Planet" will be fine. The ball of molten iron will be fine. It's just that current ecosystem will die out, but apparently it's "fine". We will adapt probably, but billions will die. A simple hypothesis - let's say due to the global warming rice crops will fail globally. Just imagine how many people would be affected and how many nuclear wars started for the remaining resources :) .
What climate change-induced mechanism could cause a global rice crop failure? Would it also cause global failure of grain, corn, beans, potatoes, etc? The hypothesis seems so far fetched to me as to be dismissible out of hand.
I can understand how, over a period of years, farms near the equator may become less tenable and land farther from the equator more arable, but, at the scales I've seen (single digit average degrees up over the next 100 years), we should be able to account for that.
Edit: I don't know the Carlin bit you refer to. Link?
As for the rice crop - afaik it requires a lot of water and right temperatures. If the temperatures will rise a lot, then crops will weaken and increased droughts will cut water supply for the fields. Famines are very possible I suspect in far future. Importing food from the north is possible but not very probable. First because north would also suffer, just differently, second because the population in question is insanely huge (whole Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, East Asia etc.) I don't think enough grain for example can be imported to supplant a loss of a staple crop like rice. And just where this additional grain can be raised in the north? Suitable farmlands are already in use for agriculture. And new lands are either in bad terrain or in bad climate zones.
The standup I've referenced: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHgJKrmbYfg I've seen way way too many folks on the right who take it at face value, literally. Even his not so subtle references that humanity will die out don't phase people with an agenda.
"As for the rice crop - afaik it requires a lot of water and right temperatures."
You don't know enough. Stop watching Carlin and go learn something about growing things in your environment.
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere step away from the keyboard, get outside, breath some fresh air and soak in the sunlight while you dig in the dirt and plant some food for yourself. Then perhaps you can think clearly enough to make steps that make sense.
Worst case scenario they'll be farming on Greenland. Again.
I wonder how many people will understand what you're referring to.
The norm for planet Earth is for the environment to change drastically over millions of billions of years, though sometimes in mere moments (eg: asteroid smack). Life as we know it since its inception has also survived all of those changes.
So Earth will be fine and life will go on, the only thing that will destroy everything is when the Sun goes om nom nom many billions of years from now as it feasts upon its inner children to become a red giant.
> The norm for planet Earth is for the environment to change drastically over millions of billions of years, though sometimes in mere moments (eg: asteroid smack). Life as we know it since its inception has also survived all of those changes.
Life itself survives, but most living things die. It would be pretty disingenuous to say "hey, an amoeba survived, who cares all other life is dead" - because somehow every second commenter seems to have the incredible insight "but the planet earth will not literally be destroyed, so why should we care".
About one billion years, actually.
More heat and CO2 means a higher sea level, which will lead to the loss of arable land, not gain
I've been unable to find a source either way. Can you help?
Just looking casually at topo maps and assuming the worst case I've seen (all land and sea ice melts, resulting in sea water rising 250'), the land we'll lose in coastal regions and major river basins is smaller than what we'll gain near the poles. Farming just Antarctica would probably produce enough food to feed the world several times over.
Edit: This isn't to say that worst case scenario wouldn't displace high percentages of the population or that that isn't a major issue; however, it's not an insurmountable obstacle given the gradual nature of the change.
Farming just Antarctica would probably produce enough food to feed the world several times over.
I'd bet a paycheck that there's no top soil worthy of the name under all that ice. Same with when people yuk it up with, "we'll just farm Canada!" Have you seen the dirt in British Columbia? I don't think that soil could grow anything other than more dirt. (Though Manitoba and Saskatchewan would probably do better, dunno.)
You don't know what you are talking about. Some of the richest soil exists in the Canadian North. I have lived on a farm and planted and raised vegetables on a Canadian farm for multiple years.
Antarica is problematic since it is completely dark 4 months out of the year... and completely sunny the opposite 4 months.. and even then isn't it just rocks underneath that ice.. you would need to bring in soil etc.. but if all the ice melts will that even be above water at that point?
This is some really bizarre logic: "It's not the guy with then gun, it's the bullets, let's avoid them!"
I think the secondary things you describe are almost large scale weather events, not quite climate.
But most fundamentally, the 'primary driver' of temperature change is CO2 and that's that so of course we have to measure it.
And yes, it's far more fuzzy than they let on, which is not good they should be more open about that, or find a way to communicate it more effectively.
No, the planet is not all 'fucked' and CO2 levels will go down as we put less in the air, and of course, if we want to start to decarbonize the atmosphere we can do that as well.
I wish they would use the term 'climate risk' - because risk all about less likely probabilities, than 'specific paths to the future'.
> CO2 levels will go down as we put less in the air
What? You are saying that if your are cooking meat on a skillet and turn the fire down from 3 to 1, or even to 0, then your meat temperature would start actively decreasing below the ambient temperature and freeze on it's own? Because that's what you are saying, literally.
I'm not against measuring emission rates, that's an important metric. I'm against making any far reaching assumptions based ONLY on the emission rates estimates. Because that's like cooking meat inside an opaque black box by measuring torque forces applied to the regulator over time. It loosely corresponds to the result, but the meat would be charred most likely, due to big amount of conversions and estimations. On the other hand measuring meat temperature with a thermometer inserted directly into it would give us a precision result.
I believe they are claiming that various processes break down or passively absorb CO2 in the air, so if emissions stopped by some magic, CO2 levels would not be steady but decreasing, even without other interventions.
I have no proper knowledge about natural carbon sinks, their capacity and remaining capabilities. But from the amateur point of view I think there are 3 main possibilities - vegetation, ocean and permafrost.
Permafrost won't help because first the planet need to cool down a lot and start general cooling trend. And we will be heating up the atmosphere due to existing gasses. So it's a dead end.
Vegetation is a linear carbon sink. Because microbes decompose dead vegetation and release gasses back in the atmosphere, the most of the captured carbon in vegetation must be in the actual alive plants. And number of alive plants scales linearly with the area we humans leave for them. Since humanity is increasing in numbers and each human demands more and more land to be used, I highly doubt that we can spare a lot of arable land for a NEW vegetation. So that's also dead end.
And at last oceans. I have no idea what is the capture mechanism of an ocean and how much carbon on it's own it can capture permanently. Maybe yes, maybe no. But considering that a) we are acidifying oceans, b) overfishing them, c) raise sea levels, d) heat up oceans - all this together would probably hamper natural carbon capture capabilities of an ocean.
So maybe this is possible. But I haven't heard a lot about such possibility from scientists, and I doubt it's a solution for our problem. Until some research will be done at least.
Here are some numbers from the Guardian, mostly citing IPCC reports as far as I can tell:
Overall the OP's assertion seems to be only technically ture - it seems that CO2 is indeed absorbed, but only on a scale of decades to centuries essentially.
> What? You are saying that if your are cooking meat on a skillet and turn the fire down from 3 to 1, or even to 0, then your meat temperature would start actively decreasing below the ambient temperature and freeze on it's own? Because that's what you are saying, literally.
Considering that nature provides carbon traps and that the Earth is ultimately in the void of the space, you cooking meat is a kitchen with opened windows and freezing weather outside, and you turn down the climate that was set to full throttle.
"Because that's what you are saying, literally."
You're having trouble with the meaning of word 'literally', but also analogies, and climate.
The earth has various mechanisms for absorbing CO2 over time.
“I’m literally never going to stop misusing this word”
Lest the lede be buried:
> What does this flattening of emissions and divergence from the high-end scenario mean for the climate going forward? First, its important to emphasize that a flatting of emissions does not mean that global warming will stop or the problem will be solved. The amount of warming the world experiences is a function of our cumulative emissions, and the world will not stop warming until we get emissions all the way to net-zero. Even after we reach net-zero emissions, the world will not cool back down for many millennia to come in the absence of removing more CO2 from the atmosphere than we emit.
> This is the brutal math of climate change, and the reason why its so important to start reducing our emissions quickly. We are already well off track for what would be needed to limit warming to 1.5C without large overshoot (and the need for lots of negative emissions to bring temperatures back down). If we do not start reducing global emissions over the coming decade, plausible scenarios to limit warming to below 2C will move out of reach as well.
In other words, this is heartening progress, but not an excuse for apathy.
We need to be both celebrating wins and working harder to improve further. There’s lots to do but this is encouraging to me that it’s possible to reach better outcomes.
Let’s keep bending the curve!
Never ending doomerism will breed more apathy at this point.
What's very important to note is that a big bulk of the recent reductions have come from picking low-hanging fruits, i.e. by replacing coal with natural gas.
This does not mean that going to zero will be possible with just more of the same.
In the U.S. a pretty simple next step would be to stop exporting coal. I mean, why are we doing that in the first place? We get all the same negative consequences of CO2 emissions as if we burned it ourselves, but someone else gets to use the energy.
But yeah, we need a lot more investment in non-fossil-fuel energy production, and we need to be able to move and store electric energy on a much bigger scale than we can now. Fossil fuels for ground transportation needs to stop being a thing. We can do it with existing technology, we've just chosen not to.
> a big bulk of the recent reductions have come from picking low-hanging fruits, i.e. by replacing coal with natural gas
US and Europe, maybe. What about China and India?
"China permitted more coal power plants last year  than any time in the last seven years, according to a new report released this week. It's the equivalent of about two new coal power plants per week. The report by energy data organizations Global Energy Monitor and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air finds the country quadrupled the amount of new coal power approvals in 2022 compared to 2021"
The thing is, India is emitting less than either the USA or the EU even in absolute terms. In per capita terms, it's negligible. And in total emissions to date, it's not even a blip. Even China is far better in these metrics than the US and EU.
So, at least morally, they seem to have every right to increase their emissions, and it is up to us, the largest historical polluters, to contract our economies if we are serious about both climate change and moral rights. Why should we expect to live in luxury in the EU while peasants in India live without electricity just because they can't afford a non-coal power plant?
Of course, an even better approach would be for the large historical polluters to contribute funds, manpower and know-how, freely, to build clean power and clean industry in China and other places.
And finally, I am also well aware that this is higy idealistic and none of this has any chance in hell of happening. We'll just keep pointing fingers at China and India (and the USA, speaking as an EU citizen) and avoid too much actual change.
> India is emitting less than either the USA or the EU even in absolute terms
This will change with more wealth though. We must ensure that future energy hunger in India (and Africa) ist not satiated by fossil fuels.
The CO2 levels are all about absolute emissions. Per capita is irrelevant when we’re talking about total damage being done. 2 new coal plants a week is terrible.
>>Per capita is irrelevant when we’re talking about total damage being done
Per capita is relevant when we are talking about countries or regions, if not the easy way is to cut the region in 2 and say you have cut emissions by 50%.
The per capita is irrelevant is often used by small countries as an excuse for not doing anything because "they" are so many more than "we", so what "we" do don't change anything
They are relevant to equity. We can't just stay in our air-conditioned running water homes playing on the internet and going to work in our cars while complaining that poor people in India and China and elsewhere should just spend more on solar since cheap coal is too dirty. They clearly have a much dire need for energy than we do, so it is up to us to either help them reach that energy need without coal and gas, or to reduce our energy consumption (and lifestyle) commensurately with how much they are producing.
If they build 2 coal plants, we can tear down 4 natural gas plants and still reduce overall emissions. Sure, we may need some rolling blackouts, but such is the price - we'll still live much better than the vast majority of the world.
China's CO2/kWh is falling. Of course they could do much better, but they're not only building coal plants, they're also building massive amounts of renewables.
Short version seems to be "it's not the worst case any more, but it's still fairly bad" in that we need to reduce emissions, not just have them plateau otherwise we will still have a fairly bad outcome.
I'm also a little wary that the apparent plateau in the data might not pan out in the longer term. Particularly because of carbon cycle feedback loops that we may not be seeing the worst of yet.
The last paragraph is probably one of the best ways you can phrase a “Keep up the good work” message about emissions.
> Ultimately, the progress we have made should encourage us that progress is possible, but the large and growing gap between where we are headed today and what is needed to limit warming to well-below 2C means that we need to double down and light a (carbon-free) fire under policymakers to ratchet up emissions reductions over the next decade. Flattening the curve of global emissions is only the first step in a long road to get it all the way down to zero.
How the fact that we're seeing a 80% reduction in insect population fits in all of this? Honestly asking, I think it's really worrysome and not getting the attention it deserves.
I agree: fixing the global biocide of Bayer & monsanto is probably even more disastrous and should have even higher priority than climate change.
There MUST be more sustainable ways of farming than killing the biosphere.
Also arable land loss through erosion, desertification, poisoning and salinization, loss of coral reefs, overfishing ocean fish populations to extinction, and creation of anoxic dead zones in the ocean.
And more! Destruction of coastal mangroves. Groundwater over-extraction. Pollution of freshwater reservoirs and rivers. Destruction of tropical rainforests and their collections of many possibly useful organisms.
A while ago (2010?) the US Defence National Intelligence Council's report on threats labeled climate change a "force multiplier".
That's all it is, really: the least of the things we're doing wrong, that we will have to fix this century. It makes the real problems a bit worse.
People are going to be really disappointed when we change the car fleet to 100% EV, but somehow things still keep getting worse.
Of Interest: https://biodiversityireland.ie/the-silent-extinction-of-inse...
The tone of which suggests the studies are not wide-ranging enough:
each study has its flaws and limitations, as do all scientific studies, and in combination with the North American/European bias where most of studies were conducted, this means that it would be a stretch too far to say the science currently supports global insect declines: the jury is still out on insectageddon.
It doesn't. It's a different problem.
This is good news, but I hope this was a real change and not “solved” by “creative accounting” (e.g. stopping counting some emissions as emissions). I will have to look at the reference data for this.
From skimming the article, it seems to be due to decreased coal burning and increased renewables. So good news indeed! However, the trajectory of progress at the moment is just stagnating emissions, not decreasing so a lot of work remains to be done.
Hard to argue with robust monitoring of CO2 concentrations which are now increasing linearly rather than exponentially (i.e emissions are constant instead of increasing).
They have never been increasing exponentially:
I am not sure... with caveats about timeseries ofc, plotting the yearly mean with a linear fit shows a curve where values in 1960 and 2010s are above the line and the between years are below. This would fit with a non constant slope that is slowly increasing in steepness.
The size of the increase each year is much higher now than in 1980s even accounting for the increased CO2 value. So the rate of change has increased.
There are multiple effects going on and some are hopeful, but it is worrisome that key factors seem to be the cooling impact of negative events: mismanaged financial systems, pandemics and geopolitical strife.
The bigger and counterintuitive picture is that vast numbers of people do not enjoy the quality of life that is nominally achievable with todays technologies and a more peaceful and better managed world would actually enormously increase emissions unless we find sustainable substitutes for whatever really contributes to quality of life.
We need to snap out of such absurd incentives and false dilemmas. The task is global sustainable prosperity and we are lucky to have a worthy purpose.
Those of you that claim plant growth is nitrogen limited have not spent enough years working in an orchard. An observant orchardist will tell you the trees on the outside of the orchard always grow the most given like conditions (soil, water, etc...). How would a lowly orchardist know this when an environmentalist doesn't? The orchardist prunes the trees and knows there is significantly more pruning required on the outside edge of an orchard. Could that related to substances other than CO2? Yes. But the fact remains there is a higher concentration of CO2 on the outside edge of an orchard than the inside.
I wonder if COVID and/or inflation somehow started a trend of economic slowdown that allowed emissions to slow down.
It means that somehow, if we care about the environment, we may have to be against economic growth and/or good economic health.
I think we should live humble, but I can see that companies producing things just put on green robes and say "throw out your old car and buy this one because it's much more eco". All that forcing by law to throw out old things to get something more eco-friendly is so immoral (and insincere/hypocritical - I was missing a word)
> All that forcing by law to throw out old things to get something more eco-friendly is so immoral
It's not. Local emissions are a thing, too - a new car will have way cleaner exhaust than a 20 year old beater, and an electric vehicle even less. Nitrous oxide is the big issue in urban areas, the less of it is in the air the better for those having to live near high traffic streets.
have you calculated amount of CO2 required to produce a new car? Why no one is fighting to convert those existing vehicles to electric? Why nobody produces filters for used cars?
Maybe because companies do not have interest in it? And this way there is nothing change: just produce the same, but with new type of engine. Even better, because more money is earned. Meanwhile ecology is about putting down the production, but the production blossoms for some reason...
> Why no one is fighting to convert those existing vehicles to electric?
Electric conversion kits exist, but these are relatively niche as you have to replace the entire guts of the car and have to find room for the batteries. It's way more cost-effective to buy a new, from-scratch electric vehicle.
> Why nobody produces filters for used cars?
Essentially every modern ICE car carries a whole portable miniaturized chemical factory with it - catalytic converters, particulate filters, systems to inject more fuel to burn off the particulate filter, adblue injection, constant real-time analysis of a whole host of different parameters... a retrofit to bring an older engine to modern emission standards is incredibly complex. You'd need to replace the entire ECU, place sensors everywhere, redesign the entire aerodynamics of the exhaust stacks so that the system doesn't collapse from accidental standing waves or pressure shockwaves, and have all of that certified to be road legal.
Oh, and on top of that you need to fight for every cubic inch of space as most vehicles of the last 20 years have been designed to be as compact as possible for aerodynamic reasons.
Again, not worth the effort.
> have all of that certified to be road legal.
Individual approval is a thing.
Somewhere half of the total emissions produced by a car are produced manufacturing it. This is how you can buy a gas powered car and have lower emissions than an electric F-150, Rivian, Hummer, etc. because those require so much more steel and thus manufacturing emissions.
Improving local emissions is good but it doesn’t help with global emissions if you’re still buying a couple tons of metal which will sit idle 95% of the time and will on average haul 1.1 people when in use. There’s also a concern that EVs not only don’t help but actually worsen the health impacts of tire particulates.
They might take away my US passport for saying it but if we want to reduce emissions the solution isn’t spending more. The best options are things like walking, biking, taking transit, and eating less beef.
> This is how you can buy a gas powered car and have lower emissions than an electric F-150, Rivian, Hummer, etc. because those require so much more steel and thus manufacturing emissions.
That's a different problem - US consumers are (lured to) buying SUVs because of an old loophole  and because SUVs make really good margins so manufacturers prioritize these in advertising. Nothing, absolutely nothing makes an electric vehicle be heavier than an ICE vehicle.
Comparing apples to apples, a Tesla Model S clocks in at 2255kg max dry weight, a 7-series BMW at 2525kg.
The dry weight is a misnomer which avoids the inconvenient facts. The Tesla requires large amounts of hard to obtain Lithium, Nickel and Cobalt. The BMW uses Aluminum and Iron which are easy to obtain by comparison. This means the Tesla requires much more emissions to produce a car of the same mass.
> This means the Tesla requires much more emissions to produce a car of the same mass.
Indeed, but during the course of its operation, the BMW will consume a ton of fossil fuels (which may be produced at harm to the environment such as with fracking) while the Tesla can be driven completely emissions-free using renewable electricity. It's a trade between upfront and recurring emissions, and given just how long cars can last (many a first-generation Tesla from over a decade ago is still on its first battery pack), I seriously prefer the former as the total lifetime emissions are what matters.
Indeed, it did  but only temporary. It seems to confirm the correlation of economic growth with GHG emissions.
Tertullian circa 100-200AD
"The strongest witness is the vast population of the earth to which we are a burden and she scarcely can provide for our needs; as our demands grow greater, our complaints against Nature's inadequacy are heard by all. The scourges of pestilence, famine, wars and earthquakes have come to be regarded as a blessing to overcrowded nations since they serve to prune away the luxuriant growth of the human race."
We have been beating this same drum for nearly 2000 years, at least. Nothing is new, we're tripping ourselves ad infinitum.
Yeah, on a species level fine. On an individual level, I’m sure they had famines back then you wouldn’t want to have been apart of.
Al-Khaliq will bring all to the creation including trials. Our time set and fleeting.
This is good news, somehow.
Here is how the earth 'greenhouse effect' really works: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oqu5DjzOBF8&pp=ygUlZ3JlZW5ob3V...
This is why Co2 do not have any effect until it reaches the high troposphere. That takes 20 years. The average climate we have right now is caused by emissions from 2003.
I'll repeat that in the comments of every climate article I read by the way, sorry for the repetition. M
RCP 4.5 is still quite horrible in terms of consequences anyway
Which suggests to me that CO2 extraction from the air should be the next big target for innovation?
CO2-extraction takes energy though, quite a lot of it. Using energy from fossil fuel for CO2-extraction is worse than doing nothing, since you're never going to extract as much CO2 as is emitted by the power plant. That leaves using clean energy, but clean energy is a limited resource. Using clean energy to replace current uses of CO2-emitting energy is likely going to be more effective than using it to extract the emitted CO2 back out of the atmosphere.
Who's going to pay for it? At 400ppm, you need a million cubic feet of air to go through your system to get 400 cubic feet of CO2 out. That has an inherent cost.
Whether the CO2 is pulled from the air or from more concentrated industrial sources, the carbon sequestration industry would need to grow to the size of the fossil fuel industry (in terms of mass moved). But instead of extracting resources and selling them for financial gain, it will be a pure financial loss for an ecological gain. Under capitalism it's as impossible as water flowing uphill.
It’s not impossible if you can earn credits that can be sold. This is why the majority of the world needs to agree on a carbon tax system, yesterday.
> not impossible
> the majority of the world needs to agree
Mmmhhh, not sure if betting on a world economic agreement to protect our climate and biodiversity is a good idea.
Are you expecting the world to overthrow capitalism instead?
I dream about that but don’t expect it in any foreseeable future. Neither do I believe in a worldwide coordinated economic action when the goal is not money itself but common good.
That would be more reasonable. Carbon offsets turned out to be not reliable because companies are gaming the system and an international way of making sure this does not happen seems unrealistic.
But I personally expect things to just get worse and worse in the next few decades. Capitalism will not slow down and climate change effects will increase, driving migration into rich countries, causing societal uproar and reduced quality of life for everybody.
No need to overthrow it if capitalism collapses on itself. Green growth is a mirage if not a lie (see https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2021-what-is-esg-investin... for a primer)
What happens when people feel it's too expensive or disruptive and vote in somebody who undoes it?
Other countries are implementing carbon taxes on their imports from countries that don’t tax carbon so companies will end up paying it indirectly on import taxes if their own government doesn’t levy it.
Oh the anti tax country won't pull out of the treaty, they'll just undermine it with dubious accounting, waivers, etc.
why bother trying to achieve anything if someone might try to cheat.
We actually already have water flowing uphill, in the pumped-storage hydroelectricity facilities. So who knows.
Next you'll be telling me that clouds are made of seawater!
> it will be a pure financial loss for an ecological gain
Not true, under the current EU emissions trading scheme you can actually earn money by selling the certificates for the CO2 you remove. If you check the price of it you can see that well defined markets can actually get the power of capitalism to work in your favour, with the price jumping from $30 to $90 within last year.
I'd like to see some proof that these trading scheme work. I know how it is gamed, and how much speculators like them though.
> I'll repeat that in the comments of every climate article I read by the way
Please don't do that. Thank you.
If it’s true then why not?
Because I will have already read it and we don't want to have the same discussions in every thread. To quote dang, it makes comments uninteresting and raises the signal to noise ratio.
Can you link something that is not a youtube video but a text?
I have slides? It's quite interesting because the first hypothesis "isothermal atmosphere at the same temperature as the ground" show exactly hw climate change doesn't work.
From pages 32 onwards: https://www.lmd.ens.fr/legras/Cours/L3-meteo/radiatifNN.pdf
I read somewhere that sulfur emissions from global shipping have been making the part of the world where such shipping is most active (i.e. around Europe, North America and China) cooler than it otherwise would be. But now we're using low-sulfur fuels, so things might rapidly get worse in these latitudes.
Just living a modern urbanised life seems to be enough to drive humanity towards apocalypse within a few decades. Is that the case? If so, then I expect humanity to behave as it always does - with both good and bad elements of behaviour on display, perhaps accentuated as pressures to survive mount. Cohesive action will be fragmented and many will suffer and some will prosper. Sounds pretty much like the way things work today. I would be interested to know of any models which avert disaster that do not rely on billions of people all acting to live quite differently to how they do today.
I think some new scenarios between RCP 8.5 and RCP 6 would be useful. There's the old IS92B which would be closest. I found an old presentation from 1992  where it was 2.7 C by 2100. A large effect.
If we don't have more specific information people can get the incorrect idea that "crisis is averted".
Just like 20 years ago though, life as we know it is going to end in 10 years!
Well, that's nice. Not gunna stop sea level rise from flooding every coastal city within 30 years. But hey, a slightly better apocalypse just gives me a warm glow all over. Totes.
You people are self-serious while naive, and it is going to be hilarious watching you watch how this ends. I hope that we get to see it together.
That’s a relief.
We can all get back to normal life then.
did we ever leave normal life?
Am I right that the source does not count pollutions created from warheads explosions? Those are also exploating fossil fuels and exposing the greenhouse gases and amount of warheads spent is not being declared anywhere.
I believe total emissions are being measured by satellite spectrometry and not by reported figures. So if these are the numbers from the satelites they include all emissions including warheads, oceanic die-offs, permafrost melting ect. Or are those numbers different?
IIRC, carbon isn't a significant component of high explosives. Carbon burns when supplied with oxygen, but you really don't want an explosive to burn. You want it to detonate, which tends to favor the form of nitrogen in various arrangements.
Which specific source you checked?
I'll put it to you this way: all the militaries of all the countries in everything they do, are responsible for 6% of the CO2 emissions. I'll let you figure out why explosions alone were not mentioned at all.
> all the militaries of all the countries in everything they do, are responsible for 6% of the CO2 emissions
I have quickly googled that statement and all I see is pre-02/24/22 data. I am sure the percent has changed significantly from the good old times.
I think pollution from warhead explosions is still negligible compared with pollution from fires or created from the emissions in reconstruction destroyed buildings or perhaps even the supply chain of delivering the warhead. The US and China military transport emissions probably dwarf everything.
https://www.economist.com/international/2021/04/27/the-wests... archived: https://archive.ph/nFd2h
The assumption that military activity, which is a subset of any nations economy and mostly stationary in any case but a world war, would not be dwarfed by the majority of civilian activity like industrial activity and trade routes, is simply absurd.
There is nothing about “military engines” or “military supply routes” or “military explosions” that leads anyone to believe their impact would be any worse than their civilian equivalents, and even if they were, you still have to prove that they are so much worse that even their limited activity compared to the normal economy must be given priority attention.
The burden of proof is on the one making the claim, not everyone else.
Ah, how times have changed since checks notes last year.
It's a fair argument, an active war is more intensive on emissions (tanks, trucks, planes, trains if not electrified need fuel, and especially older Soviet-era models aren't known for the fuel or emission efficiency).
What's wrong with pre-22? Did you expect something important to have changed after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan?
Expand your search, and be amazed by how many wars are and have been fought, always, continuously, and forever.
When you're done with that search, look up volcano explosions on land and under the sea, and compare them to the explosive power of a missle.
When you have a bleeding cow, you can solve the bleeding issue and keep the cow alive, while completely ignoring the mosquitoes "relentlessly draining" its blood.
RCP8.5, the scenario defined in the article as "worst case", is that the global air would have >1000ppm, looking at the referenced graph i'd guess it could go up to 3000ppm or more. A co2 detector warns if you have 1500+ ppm, where some people start to get headache and you should start ventilating your room. Imagine that 24h a day, on every place on the earth. Not to mention the effects of heating of 3.0°C to 5+°C .
RCP 4.5 is really bad as well. In our last project it was kind of the worst case scenario we considered. It means that rich countries will have problems adapting to the changing environment. The changes will happen so fast (20 Years), no new infrastructure can be built to prevent natural disasters (for example dam's). Poor countries have even less possibilities to adapt. For example countries like Kazachstan completely rely for it's water resources in summer on glaciers. In Switzerland we already know that all glaciers will disappear or melt by 80% to 90% in all likely scenarios.
edit: please correct me if i'm wrong, i am a designer that worked in climate visualsation research projects. However my short searches for the outcomes of rcp 8.5 are disastrous and no relief at all that it's now unlikely to come.