Author Topic: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "  (Read 24605 times)

PDXTabs

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #50 on: September 11, 2019, 12:37:51 PM »
Of course, those who had babies during the nuclear arms race, or WWII, or the world's various plagues and pandemics, all probably required similar optimism, which turned out to be warranted.

Except for the ones that were unwarranted. Plenty of kids died in plagues, pandemics, and WWII.

Kris

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #51 on: September 11, 2019, 01:10:02 PM »
I'm glad I don't have kids.  I still care about plenty of people and it's not as though I'm all, "fuck planet earth; I only need it for a handful more decades!".   But I suspect I'd care heartbreakingly more about my own flesh and blood.  I look at my friends with kids, and who are still producing friends (one is probably in labor as I type this!) and it seems like the biggest act of unfounded optimism one could ever commit.   Maybe their kids will be the ones who fix things, or drag us back from the brink of Really Bad Shit, or who build the silos and related support systems in which humans will live in the future. Or who will solve the science necessary to colonize Mars.  One can hope.  But I marvel at the unanchored courage it takes to create another human who will live through whatever is to come, or whose children will live through it (or worse yet, not live through it).  Maybe it will all be fine, and I suspect that is what is required for so many people to keep creating future humans.  The ostrich that buries his head in the sand sometimes does survive.  (Fun fact: ostriches don't actually bury their heads in the sand, but they do lay on the ground and let their heads and necks blend into the color of the dirt.)

Of course, those who had babies during the nuclear arms race, or WWII, or the world's various plagues and pandemics, all probably required similar optimism, which turned out to be warranted.

I completely agree. My younger stepdaughter has two toddlers, and I just look at them and think, God, things are going to get really bad during your lifetime. My older stepdaughter just got married, and I know they want kids, and I on purpose make sure to never say anything about climate change in their presence because they aren’t dumb, they know it’s gonna happen, and for some crazy reason they still plan to procreate. I don’t want to hurt my or her father’s relationship with them so I say nothing even though I cannot imaging how they can contemplate children when the next hundred years will likely see so much suffering and very possibly societal breakdown.

Villanelle

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #52 on: September 11, 2019, 01:27:16 PM »
Of course, those who had babies during the nuclear arms race, or WWII, or the world's various plagues and pandemics, all probably required similar optimism, which turned out to be warranted.

Except for the ones that were unwarranted. Plenty of kids died in plagues, pandemics, and WWII.
Sure.  But individual death is a risk that has always existed, and will always exist.  It's a bit different than societal death.  Or put another way, it (and all the examples I mentioned) are terrible things happening to lots of people, but things from which society and the planet and humankind recovered.  The flu pandemic may have wiped out a very significant portion of the world's population, and surely caused a great deal of sorrow for a great many people, but then it ended.  As did both world wars.  So it wasn't unwarranted (in hindsight) optimism at the future of the planet and humanity.  This time, it may be (or it may not be). 

GuitarStv

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #53 on: September 11, 2019, 01:31:05 PM »
Of course, those who had babies during the nuclear arms race, or WWII, or the world's various plagues and pandemics, all probably required similar optimism, which turned out to be warranted.

Except for the ones that were unwarranted. Plenty of kids died in plagues, pandemics, and WWII.
Sure.  But individual death is a risk that has always existed, and will always exist.  It's a bit different than societal death.  Or put another way, it (and all the examples I mentioned) are terrible things happening to lots of people, but things from which society and the planet and humankind recovered.  The flu pandemic may have wiped out a very significant portion of the world's population, and surely caused a great deal of sorrow for a great many people, but then it ended.  As did both world wars.  So it wasn't unwarranted (in hindsight) optimism at the future of the planet and humanity.  This time, it may be (or it may not be).

Individual death has always existed.  But the risk of individual death was radically different when the flu pandemic was wiping out most of europe than it was in the 1960s.  As an individual, that's of some concern to me . . . because while it's nice to think that the human race will survive, it's not significant comfort when you're writhing in agony.

BicycleB

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #54 on: September 11, 2019, 03:32:49 PM »
...I marvel at the unanchored courage it takes to create another human who will live through whatever is to come, or whose children will live through it (or worse yet, not live through it).  Maybe it will all be fine, and I suspect that is what is required for so many people to keep creating future humans.  The ostrich that buries his head in the sand sometimes does survive.  (Fun fact: ostriches don't actually bury their heads in the sand, but they do lay on the ground and let their heads and necks blend into the color of the dirt.)

Of course, those who had babies during the nuclear arms race, or WWII, or the world's various plagues and pandemics, all probably required similar optimism, which turned out to be warranted.

I like the balanced approach you take in considering the feeling of existential risk in the past, compared to humanity's survival in those situations. And I acknowledge that the climate crisis is a big one that requires stronger action than we've been doing. Yet I wonder about the unanchored part.

Apparently there are cognitive biases we have as humans, and the nature of news media has amplified those in ways that distort our view of the world. Sorry if you've seen me post this elsewhere, but here is a video by an author of apocalyptic books who studied this phenomenon and concluded things are much better than he'd thought. Now he claims we are on track to likely vast progress, not disaster. He admits the environment is an issue and he will be called an obstacle. Consider the data backing up his claims and compare it to the news. Is optimism truly unanchored?

https://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_is_the_world_getting_better_or_worse_a_look_at_the_numbers?language=en

My personal guess is that we-the-human-race are likely to improve average quality of life during most or all generations of this century, with climate change the biggest of the problems we will be grappling with and mitigating throughout this time. Probably ecosystem preservation and preservation of nature's species diversity is a close second in terms of ensuring our own survival, but that's not getting as much press lately as the climate. We do need success on both fronts to secure our future.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 03:34:35 PM by BicycleB »

PDXTabs

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #55 on: September 11, 2019, 03:44:58 PM »
Of course, those who had babies during the nuclear arms race, or WWII, or the world's various plagues and pandemics, all probably required similar optimism, which turned out to be warranted.

Except for the ones that were unwarranted. Plenty of kids died in plagues, pandemics, and WWII.
Sure.  But individual death is a risk that has always existed, and will always exist.  It's a bit different than societal death.  Or put another way, it (and all the examples I mentioned) are terrible things happening to lots of people, but things from which society and the planet and humankind recovered.  The flu pandemic may have wiped out a very significant portion of the world's population, and surely caused a great deal of sorrow for a great many people, but then it ended.  As did both world wars.  So it wasn't unwarranted (in hindsight) optimism at the future of the planet and humanity.  This time, it may be (or it may not be).

You are entitled to your own opinion on this matter. From my point of view, if you were a Native American after the discovery of the new world, or a Black Sea German or European Jew during the first half of the 20th century, a Scot during the Highland Clearances, an African during colonization, etc, your life would have been radically changed if you were lucky enough to keep it. If you were lucky enough to keep your life you might well think that your society was destroyed.

Will the human race survive? Sure. Will we all like it? Maybe. Will all societies survive? Almost certainly not.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 05:06:51 PM by PDXTabs »

Kyle Schuant

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #56 on: September 11, 2019, 07:29:40 PM »
I cannot imaging how they can contemplate children when the next hundred years will likely see so much suffering and very possibly societal breakdown.
By this reasoning, nobody in Syria should have had children in 1995. Nobody in Bosnia should have had children in 1975. Nobody in Vietnam should have had children in 1950. Nobody in Europe in 1920. Or 1900. Or in China in 1920, or 1900. Or Russia in 1895. And so on.

The world has always had disasters and conflicts and revolutions. We don't have children because the world is perfect, we have children so that they can grow up and perfect the world.

A sensible parent will try to equip their child the best they can for the difficulties they think they'll face in coming years. Traits like honesty, compassion, patience, frugality and so on are useful in good times and essential in bad times. The only difference with this particular issue is that in coming years we are not likely to need many MBAs, Diversity Managers, Set Intimacy Co-ordinators, social media influencers, stockbrokers and so on. But we will need craftspeople, medical professionals, farmers, and decent people. So we encourage them to more essential careers than bullshit jobs. Well, that's probably a good thing to do whatever the future holds.

madgeylou

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #57 on: September 11, 2019, 07:53:42 PM »
I cannot imaging how they can contemplate children when the next hundred years will likely see so much suffering and very possibly societal breakdown.
By this reasoning, nobody in Syria should have had children in 1995. Nobody in Bosnia should have had children in 1975. Nobody in Vietnam should have had children in 1950. Nobody in Europe in 1920. Or 1900. Or in China in 1920, or 1900. Or Russia in 1895. And so on.

The world has always had disasters and conflicts and revolutions. We don't have children because the world is perfect, we have children so that they can grow up and perfect the world.

Right, but there's also the fact that a growing population in places like the US means increasing carbon emissions. So having kids not just about having hope for the future -- it's also adding to the problem.   

Villanelle

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #58 on: September 11, 2019, 07:56:01 PM »
I cannot imaging how they can contemplate children when the next hundred years will likely see so much suffering and very possibly societal breakdown.
By this reasoning, nobody in Syria should have had children in 1995. Nobody in Bosnia should have had children in 1975. Nobody in Vietnam should have had children in 1950. Nobody in Europe in 1920. Or 1900. Or in China in 1920, or 1900. Or Russia in 1895. And so on.

The world has always had disasters and conflicts and revolutions. We don't have children because the world is perfect, we have children so that they can grow up and perfect the world.

A sensible parent will try to equip their child the best they can for the difficulties they think they'll face in coming years. Traits like honesty, compassion, patience, frugality and so on are useful in good times and essential in bad times. The only difference with this particular issue is that in coming years we are not likely to need many MBAs, Diversity Managers, Set Intimacy Co-ordinators, social media influencers, stockbrokers and so on. But we will need craftspeople, medical professionals, farmers, and decent people. So we encourage them to more essential careers than bullshit jobs. Well, that's probably a good thing to do whatever the future holds.

No.  I'm not saying, "bad things are happening so people shouldn't have kids".  (I'm making no call at all an who should or should not have kids, nor why they might or might not do so.)  Nor am I saying that I'm surprised people have kids in the middle of bad things.  That's precisely why I brought up WWII and the flu epidemic.  If you'd like to add Syria et al. to that list, great.  They fit quite well there.  Those are things that were catastrophic for those directly affected.  But there was little reason to believe the world was ending.  The Syrian conflict is absolutely devastating fot those affected, but there was no reason, as far as I can tell, to think that it might bring down all of humankind or make much of our planet uninhabitable and lead to the breakdown of society in every way that might make it even remotely recognizable.

Those crises were existential for specific families, or specific countries perhaps.  I'm not downplaying the terror and horror of that.  But I don't think there was general doubt that humankind would go on, or that all of society would breakdown.

There are certainly people who think that is what differentiates this crisis from the ones you mention.  That the change might be unrecoverable.  The humans are doomed, or that society as we know it will devolve into something else entirely.  It's certainly reasonable to believe that this ship will be righted with no more suffering and catastrophe than all those other catastrophes.  If you think that's the case, I can see why you'd equate them.  But my point is that I can see the argument that this may well not be like any of those things in that earth won't recover.  And in light of that, for those who believe it (and I'm not sure whether or not I'm one of them), having a child seems like a strange (and I don't mean that in a judgemental way) choice.  Like a beautiful Hail Mary of reckless hope. 

Kris

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #59 on: September 11, 2019, 08:15:28 PM »
I cannot imaging how they can contemplate children when the next hundred years will likely see so much suffering and very possibly societal breakdown.
By this reasoning, nobody in Syria should have had children in 1995. Nobody in Bosnia should have had children in 1975. Nobody in Vietnam should have had children in 1950. Nobody in Europe in 1920. Or 1900. Or in China in 1920, or 1900. Or Russia in 1895. And so on.

The world has always had disasters and conflicts and revolutions. We don't have children because the world is perfect, we have children so that they can grow up and perfect the world.

A sensible parent will try to equip their child the best they can for the difficulties they think they'll face in coming years. Traits like honesty, compassion, patience, frugality and so on are useful in good times and essential in bad times. The only difference with this particular issue is that in coming years we are not likely to need many MBAs, Diversity Managers, Set Intimacy Co-ordinators, social media influencers, stockbrokers and so on. But we will need craftspeople, medical professionals, farmers, and decent people. So we encourage them to more essential careers than bullshit jobs. Well, that's probably a good thing to do whatever the future holds.

No.  I'm not saying, "bad things are happening so people shouldn't have kids".  (I'm making no call at all an who should or should not have kids, nor why they might or might not do so.)  Nor am I saying that I'm surprised people have kids in the middle of bad things.  That's precisely why I brought up WWII and the flu epidemic.  If you'd like to add Syria et al. to that list, great.  They fit quite well there.  Those are things that were catastrophic for those directly affected.  But there was little reason to believe the world was ending.  The Syrian conflict is absolutely devastating fot those affected, but there was no reason, as far as I can tell, to think that it might bring down all of humankind or make much of our planet uninhabitable and lead to the breakdown of society in every way that might make it even remotely recognizable.

Those crises were existential for specific families, or specific countries perhaps.  I'm not downplaying the terror and horror of that.  But I don't think there was general doubt that humankind would go on, or that all of society would breakdown.

There are certainly people who think that is what differentiates this crisis from the ones you mention.  That the change might be unrecoverable.  The humans are doomed, or that society as we know it will devolve into something else entirely.  It's certainly reasonable to believe that this ship will be righted with no more suffering and catastrophe than all those other catastrophes.  If you think that's the case, I can see why you'd equate them.  But my point is that I can see the argument that this may well not be like any of those things in that earth won't recover.  And in light of that, for those who believe it (and I'm not sure whether or not I'm one of them), having a child seems like a strange (and I don't mean that in a judgemental way) choice.  Like a beautiful Hail Mary of reckless hope.

Exactly.

OzzieandHarriet

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #60 on: September 11, 2019, 08:49:18 PM »
I feel like some people here are not really comprehending that this is not going to be the same as a localized natural disaster or a war or an epidemic. It’s a change in the way the entire planet’s ecosystem works and will affect everyone. Even the people who think their money will save them are not going to have the comfy bunker existence (or whatever) they think they will have.

BicycleB

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #61 on: September 11, 2019, 09:01:52 PM »
What should we do about it?

scottish

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #62 on: September 11, 2019, 09:22:03 PM »
What should we do about it?

Use alternate energy sources.    This will encourage their development.

Boycott goods and services that are carbon intensive.  This will discourage their ongoing use.

Vote against politicians who encourage poor environmental practices.

Heck, plant a tree.



lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #63 on: September 11, 2019, 09:57:43 PM »
Of course, those who had babies during the nuclear arms race, or WWII, or the world's various plagues and pandemics, all probably required similar optimism, which turned out to be warranted.

Except for the ones that were unwarranted. Plenty of kids died in plagues, pandemics, and WWII.
Let's just look back to the start of the 20th century by decade for existential threats--what do we see?

1900s: :)
1910s: WW1, flu pandemic [might be stretching it a little to call these "existential"]
1920s: :)
1930s: Great Depression, Fascism
1940s: WW2
1950s: Cold War
1960s: Cold War
1970s: Cold War, stagflation [the latter being more of a cherry on top]
1980s: Cold War [but tapering off]
1990s: :) [yay, the end of history!]
2000s: Global Warming
2010s: Global Warming
2020s: Carly Rae Jepsen releases her next studio album Disco Sweat

Looks like we spend more time than not with a looming existential threat hanging over our heads. Yes, people died or suffered in various catastrophes but most people were just fine. What I don't understand is when pessimism reaches the level of "oh I would never have children in such a terrible world", how is that not far from "I should just kill myself"? If you can't imagine other lives worth living in the world, wouldn't it be somewhat contradictory to regard your own as worthwhile?

Papa bear

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #64 on: September 11, 2019, 10:00:52 PM »
What should we do about it?

Use alternate energy sources.    This will encourage their development.

Boycott goods and services that are carbon intensive.  This will discourage their ongoing use.

Vote against politicians who encourage poor environmental practices.

Heck, plant a tree.

Not sure this answers the question when looking from the context of the article.  It’s basically making the argument that we’re already fucked.  Maybe everyone goes renewable and plants a tree over the next 20 years.  Still fucked, just less fucked, or fucked a little further out.

Not sure anyone has come up with any risk mitigation here.  Especially not as it would relate to someone personally who plans on retiring early.  Maybe you use a more conservative withdrawal rate.  Buy some farmland in Minnesota.  Make your house incredibly energy efficient.  Have a big garden.  Plant trees around your home for shade.  Live near a large body of freshwater.

I know I haven’t planned on those things.  Maybe I should.  Maybe I’m already in a good position.

But I’ve been asking the same questions.  Based on the context of the article, what can or are you doing about it? Not asking rhetorically.  I’d like to hear some ideas.


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Kyle Schuant

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #65 on: September 12, 2019, 12:38:25 AM »

Right, but there's also the fact that a growing population in places like the US means increasing carbon emissions. So having kids not just about having hope for the future -- it's also adding to the problem.

Halve your personal emissions. Double your family size. No addition to the problem. Better still, drop consumption by 75%, double your family size, halve your impact.

It is unclear why people imagine their consumption is unchangeable. If you can contemplate something as great a change in lifestyle as having or not having children, I don't see why you can't contemplate changing your consumption patterns.

Quote from: Villanelle
There are certainly people who think that is what differentiates this crisis from the ones you mention.  That the change might be unrecoverable.

It is characteristic of every age that they imagine that soon everything will change catastrophically, and that this particular change is greater in magnitude than any other. This is a measure of how absurd people's current level of consumption is, that any change to it can only be imagined as apocalyptic.

Certainly, our current civilisation will collapse. All civilisations collapse as they outrun their resource base. But this is a process of centuries. Now, this process will certainly be uncomfortable, and just as certainly painful. There will be misery and death. But it will not be an order of magnitude greater than any other misery and death we've inflicted on ourselves. More likely is things simply gradually turning shitty. First World countries will, over decades, become like Second World countries - well-developed urban centres surrounded by slums with regular brownouts, a strict rule of law with many exceptions for the privileged and those with the money to bribe, generally poor infrastructure for the general public, that sort of thing. The drop in population won't, generally speaking, be from mass famine or disease, but from decaying health and sanitation infrastructure and increasing substance abuse. Fewer drug addicts will get revived, more people who can't afford chemotherapy won't get it, more people living in slums won't get a diptheria vaccination, that sort of thing. It doesn't take much to take us back to 1900 or so for most of the population.


For example, Australia's current birth rate is 13.8 per 1,000 people, and death rate 7.6, leaving us with a 6.2/1,000 growth rate absent migration effects. In 1950 the death rate was 15 per 1,000, in 1907 it was 25. We don't need to hit the Stone Age for a decline to set in, but it's a gradual decline. Going to a 1907 death rate and leaving the birth rate unchanged would take Australia from 25 to 8 million people in 100 years. That's a big change, but year-on-year it's not huge, and we're not seeing people drop dead in the streets.

This article is worth reading.
https://www.ecoshock.org/transcripts/greer_on_collapse.pdf


and this review of the longer book version of the article,
https://www.resilience.org/stories/2008-08-31/review-long-descent-john-michael-greer/

and of course the book itself
https://www.bookdepository.com/Long-Descent-John-Michael-Greer/9780865716094
« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 03:33:05 AM by Kyle Schuant »

Linea_Norway

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #66 on: September 12, 2019, 01:49:43 AM »
So, should I factor for a 4% withdrawal rate for my rice and bean stores or would a 3% rate be more prudent given current waistline inflation?

In all seriousness, does the information provided change anyone’s FIRE plans?  And if it does, what are you changing or planning for?


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Yes, my thoughts are: FIRE as soon as possible as long as society still is the way it is. If apocalypse starts in let's say 20 years from now, then I want to have had a couple of nice, non-working years before the shit hits the fan. I also don't feel like becoming one of the few heavily armed survivors.

So, “YOLO! I’m going to get hit by the climate bus anyway.” ?



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A little bit, but we don't know when it will happen. We might have 40 years of good life left. So we better have our FIRE number high enough. But there is no reason to OMY after you reach your number.

I also don't intend to travel the world and uses lots of airplanes while we still can. I will rather try to live low impact.

Ok - so maybe you adjusted your FIRE number up to be more conservative.  Risks of inflated food prices, etc.   

So for planning purposes to anyone else.  If you adjust your FIRE number, have you also adjusted your asset allocation? More hard assets, like real estate, land, etc and less paper assets?  And I guess I’m asking specifically if anyone changed because of this risk.  I own plenty of real estate in areas that may see financial benefit due to climate change, but that’s not why I own it. 

Basically, if what the article describes actually happens in your lifetime, what can you do personally to mitigate your risk?

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I would personally not invest in real estate in places that I expect to suffer from higher sea levels or mud slides in the near future. But no, I don't take any other steps. I think the world will be as it is for another decade or so, so the stock markets might just do fine for the mean time. At least, I'm taking that risk.

We do plan to get our next house in a place where we can catch some food, like fish in the sea and being able to grow stuff in the garden. I am also thinking about solar panels or some other form of clean energy. Also with access to fire wood and clean drinking water. But as said, I might not want to be one of the last survivors in a world that gets ugly. I would not like to have to defend my home grown potatoes with weaponry.

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #67 on: September 12, 2019, 05:12:19 AM »
I feel like some people here are not really comprehending that this is not going to be the same as a localized natural disaster or a war or an epidemic. It’s a change in the way the entire planet’s ecosystem works and will affect everyone. Even the people who think their money will save them are not going to have the comfy bunker existence (or whatever) they think they will have.
Quite.

"The Paris Agreement (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), 2015), which came into force on 4 November 2016, states the importance of keeping global temperature change below 2°C, ideally at 1.5°C. However, it is projected that the combined global temperature increase would rise up to 2.6–3.1°C, if only the given commitments outlined in States’ submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) are implemented. Such temperature increase would affect the health of millions of people and threaten the habitability and survivability in hot areas of the world.
• Habitability can be defined as the “capability for sustained occupation by people in the environment of the local area”, and survivability can be “the ability to remain alive or continue to exist in the environment of the local area”.
• The expansion of super-hot areas in parts of the world is one of the major public health threats that climate change brings, and it also leads to labour productivity loss. In these conditions, the continuation of daily life activities in hot tropical and subtropical parts of the world – where most of the global population lives – is threatened. "

"Even in the best-case scenario of the lowest possible temperature increase, millions of people will potentially be unable to maintain daily life activities during hot periods of each year in their areas of origin in low- and middle-income countries and also in developed countries."

"If nothing is done in terms of climate change mitigation, more than 1 billion people are projected to live in “very strong heat stress” by the end of this century."

http://publications.iom.int/system/files/pdf/mecc_infosheet_heat_and_migration.pdf

Linea_Norway

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #68 on: September 12, 2019, 05:41:46 AM »
I also heard a TED talk for about a year ago that based on population growth only, there will not be enough food (calories) in the world to feed the entire population. And the presenter was talking about 10 years from that moment. Then we will also have a major problem. This was however a workable problem, but it had to be worked on immediately.

So there are so many things that will contribute to an apocalypse situation. I just also think that money can't save you forever, maybe just a bit in the beginning.

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #69 on: September 12, 2019, 07:30:52 AM »

BicycleB

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #70 on: September 12, 2019, 10:47:31 AM »
What should we do about it?

Use alternate energy sources.    This will encourage their development.

Boycott goods and services that are carbon intensive.  This will discourage their ongoing use.

Vote against politicians who encourage poor environmental practices.

Heck, plant a tree.

Not sure this answers the question when looking from the context of the article.  It’s basically making the argument that we’re already fucked.  Maybe everyone goes renewable and plants a tree over the next 20 years.  Still fucked, just less fucked, or fucked a little further out.

Not sure anyone has come up with any risk mitigation here.  Especially not as it would relate to someone personally who plans on retiring early.  Maybe you use a more conservative withdrawal rate.  Buy some farmland in Minnesota.  Make your house incredibly energy efficient.  Have a big garden.  Plant trees around your home for shade.  Live near a large body of freshwater.

I know I haven’t planned on those things.  Maybe I should.  Maybe I’m already in a good position.

But I’ve been asking the same questions.  Based on the context of the article, what can or are you doing about it? Not asking rhetorically.  I’d like to hear some ideas.


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Ideas for personal risk mitigation, which is what it sounds like you want:
-All the ones you gave
-All the ones @scottish gave
-Build community connections (shared resources are more efficient now, reducing the problem; they are great for surviving emergencies. Not perfect, but great)
-Choose diversified portfolio options
-Develop skills (cooking, that garden, bicycling, repair skills. Health skills, like the last video suggested), especially ones that work if there's a grid breakdown
-Develop a low-driving lifestyle

(I have done most of the above except move and develop wide skills. Probably not going to move. Researched my city's water plans and concluded they'll work during my lifetime)

Ideas for addressing the problem on a wider scale (I think this is super important...the crisis can be Mostly Solved or Mostly Allowed To Happen, the difference between options is huge.)
-Yes, lobby Congress. See post upthread about the Carbond Dividend Act. (For convenience: https://citizensclimatelobby.org/energy-innovation-and-carbon-dividend-act/ and click the "Write A Letter" button)
-Work with others (local groups, political groups, community farming groups, Citizens Climate Lobby, Extinction Rebellion, Sierra Club, etc)
-Lobby state, local, regional officials. Find groups with climate plans for your area and support them
-Politics. Mobilization counts. Volunteer and donate to candidate campaigns or party development.
-Donate to groups that circulate real info about the problem and work on solutions (Union of Concerned Scientists, etc)
-Donate to groups that support govt whistleblowers (Government Accountability Project, Transparency International)

I have done most of the above, and am continuing with them while working towards the rest. It's OK to focus, I just will end up covering the whole public service list if my personal Angel of Death leaves me be for a while.


OzzieandHarriet

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #71 on: September 12, 2019, 11:36:14 AM »
Here’s a picture of what’s to come if nothing is done:

https://time.com/longform/jacobabad-extreme-heat/

slow hand slow plan

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #72 on: September 12, 2019, 12:56:13 PM »
Ye of little faith.... Be the change you want to see. Waste less, use less, and vote. There will be a time coming "soon" when green energy will be cheaper than carbon based emissions. As soon as we reach a tipping point like that everything will start to change. 

scottish

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #73 on: September 12, 2019, 08:30:55 PM »
If you're good with social media, then you can start a campaign to ostracize people who drive c!own cars, live in mcmansions and carry out other activities that exacerbate climate change.   (Especially coal rollers who really annoy me for some reason)


@OzzieandHarriet    who will do something if not the average person?

Linea_Norway

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #74 on: September 13, 2019, 12:14:22 AM »
I do use my voting right to vote "green" whenever I have the chance. I want to encourage you all to vote on the greenest party or candidate that you have available.

Appropos jobs that someone mentioned. No, we don't need more "bullshit" whitecollar jobs. But apart from the trades, we need lots of technical engineers en scientists. My DH thinks climate chance might be mitigated if all the smartest people in the world were put together to develop nuclear fusion in the near future.

And about getting children... When I was younger we had the thread of a nuclear war and I was glad that we didn't put children on the world. Now it is climate change and I am still glad I didn't put children on the world. I also don't understand why other people are still so optimistic, or more probably in total denial about climate change. I am by far the most pessimistic person in my circle of friends, familie and coworkers. Me and the climate experts, and the cook from the cafetaria at work. The rest is just continueing as if nothing is happening. Even though climate has been noticeable in Norway too. Farmers are in trouble because of unpredictable draughts and heavy rains, we have more mud slices than earlier, 200 year floods form rivers are now happing every other year or so. At least the land is still rising since the last ice age.

Thanks for this thread that shows I am not the only one with this depressing world view of the future.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #75 on: September 13, 2019, 12:55:47 AM »
I feel like some people here are not really comprehending that this is not going to be the same as a localized natural disaster or a war or an epidemic. It’s a change in the way the entire planet’s ecosystem works and will affect everyone. Even the people who think their money will save them are not going to have the comfy bunker existence (or whatever) they think they will have.

But will global warming affect me more than, say, that hurricane just affected the Bahamas? Probably not, right? I suspect the individual variation in luck/circumstance is still going to play a bigger role over the next X years than global warming.

Frankly, even if there are global shockwaves, would it reach those of us safe in first world nations? To an extent, maybe. To an existential extent, the same way that cancer or a speeding bullet might? Probably not.

former player

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #76 on: September 13, 2019, 02:04:10 AM »
I feel like some people here are not really comprehending that this is not going to be the same as a localized natural disaster or a war or an epidemic. It’s a change in the way the entire planet’s ecosystem works and will affect everyone. Even the people who think their money will save them are not going to have the comfy bunker existence (or whatever) they think they will have.

But will global warming affect me more than, say, that hurricane just affected the Bahamas? Probably not, right? I suspect the individual variation in luck/circumstance is still going to play a bigger role over the next X years than global warming.

Frankly, even if there are global shockwaves, would it reach those of us safe in first world nations? To an extent, maybe. To an existential extent, the same way that cancer or a speeding bullet might? Probably not.
Exactly where do you think the one billion people whose lands will be made unliveable by climate change are going to want to go?  And how many pieces of paper, or bombs and bullets, do you think will keep them from trying to survive by going to the places where it is still possible to live?  If the State you live in becomes unliveable because of extreme heat or complete lack of drinking water or seawater inundation, what would stop you from moving to somewhere you can still survive?

Enquiring minds want to know.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #77 on: September 13, 2019, 02:31:13 AM »
"Exactly where do you think the one billion people whose lands will be made unliveable by climate change are going to want to go?"

I don't know where they will want to go, but I am fairly certain that my first world country will not end up with 1 billion refugees. I otherwise wish them well.

former player

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #78 on: September 13, 2019, 05:45:03 AM »
"Exactly where do you think the one billion people whose lands will be made unliveable by climate change are going to want to go?"

I don't know where they will want to go, but I am fairly certain that my first world country will not end up with 1 billion refugees.
How many do you think it will end up with?  And how will that number be determined?


I otherwise wish them well.
Perhaps they'll just die where they are, comforted by that thought.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #79 on: September 13, 2019, 06:35:35 AM »
The number will be determined by our migration laws, which to date, work.

I'm not Gandhi. I'm not here to save the world. I'm here to be financially responsible. The only difference between me and the average person is that I'm financially responsible.

TrudgingAlong

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #80 on: September 13, 2019, 08:00:35 AM »
Interesting. Since you are in Australia, do you not have concern over the death of the Great Barrier Reef or lack of water in areas they grow food? Australia seems pretty vulnerable to climate change in those ways. It’s not all about invading immigrants.

GuitarStv

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #81 on: September 13, 2019, 08:08:57 AM »
Interesting. Since you are in Australia, do you not have concern over the death of the Great Barrier Reef or lack of water in areas they grow food? Australia seems pretty vulnerable to climate change in those ways. It’s not all about invading immigrants.

Bloop Bloop subscribes to the 'fuck everyone else, I've got mine' philosophy of life.  So if he's starving or burning to death due to the effects of climate change he'll just happily lose his life without trying to bother anyone else - safe in the knowledge that he's being logically consistent.

Aelias

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #82 on: September 13, 2019, 08:46:23 AM »
I’ll chime in as a person who thinks climate change is real, that life is definitely going to get harder in the next hundred years or so because of climate change, and who nevertheless has children – 2 young sons and another daughter on the way.

For me, part of it has been acknowledging that having children is selfish.  It doesn’t make sense to argue that I had my children for their sake – if they had never been born, they would be no worse off, they simply wouldn’t be.  But I would be immeasurably worse off.  I chose to have children because I wanted them, my husband and I have the means to care for them, and they are constantly challenging me to be a better person.   That is inherently selfish, and I own that.

The next part is acknowledging that having children is risky.  Suffering is a part of every life, and bringing life into the world means you will necessarily subject that person to suffering, and sooner or later it will be horrible suffering.  The older I get, the more I am reminded that children die painful, senseless, pointless deaths all the time—car accidents, cancer, drownings—and no amount of privilege or parental diligence can shield them from simple bad luck.  And the truth is that climate change is going to mean more suffering and deprivation for everyone, and that includes my own children.

Those two facts would seem to strongly support the argument against having children.  But I think the second one—the intractable and growing problem of suffering—actually cuts both ways.  Because the only thing that has ever alleviated suffering is the help of other humans.   And if we accept the premise that the human race is going to continue into the future, at least in the short term,  we’ll need humans who are willing to help each other.  But, if the only people willing to have children are either climate change deniers or “I got mine – fuck you” nihilists, then the future’s going to be very miserable indeed.

I’m not saying anyone is obligated to have kids or that the arguments against having kids are not valid.   But those who do want to have kids for their own selfish reasons should do so with the knowledge that those children are going to have a very different and probably more difficult life than they themselves have enjoyed thus far. So, those parents should try to prepare their kids for a difficult future as best they can by trying to instill those values that contribute to a more livable future—empathy, frugality, resilience, generosity, avoidance of waste, and a good work ethic. 

former player

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #83 on: September 13, 2019, 09:36:50 AM »
my husband and I have the means to care for them
Actually, no, you don't have the means to care for them.  You have the money to care for them, which is different from having the means.  There aren't enough Earths to support the people on this one: it's a less than zero sum game at the moment and your children are taking more than even their fair share of the insufficient resources available.

Yes, it's possible that technology will solve the resource problems.  But right now that's a gamble on sometime in the future.

Aelias

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #84 on: September 13, 2019, 10:01:58 AM »
It's a fair point, @former player.  We certainly have neither the means nor the money to insulate them from every impact of climate change; I would argue that literally no one does.  And you're right that by living in a first world country, our kids are using up more than their fair share of the world's resources, despite our efforts to minimize our impact which are considerable.

But, I am operating on the assumption that the human race will continue in at least the short term. I am doing my best to raise my kids to contribute to alleviating the suffering around them.  I think there's a valid argument for not having kids at all.  But I don't think that's the only ethical choice.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2019, 10:12:28 AM by Aelias »

BicycleB

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #85 on: September 13, 2019, 10:46:34 AM »
I feel like some people here are not really comprehending that this is not going to be the same as a localized natural disaster or a war or an epidemic. It’s a change in the way the entire planet’s ecosystem works and will affect everyone. Even the people who think their money will save them are not going to have the comfy bunker existence (or whatever) they think they will have.

But will global warming affect me more than, say, that hurricane just affected the Bahamas? Probably not, right?

@Bloop Bloop, global warming will almost certainly affect you in Australia (or wherever you live) more than a hurricane in the Bahamas. It will affect everyone, which the Bahamas will not, and the effects are diverse enough that all of us have some risk.


Frankly, even if there are global shockwaves, would it reach those of us safe in first world nations? To an extent, maybe. To an existential extent, the same way that cancer or a speeding bullet might? Probably not.

Maybe so, though.

Areas expected to suffer "reductions in projected food availability" according to IPCC (turgid report below) include "central Europe", which is a prosperous enough area that I think any person in a First World country should realize the we too are vulnerable. "Reductions in projected food availability" means "not enough food for dinner." That's existential...maybe not fast acting, like a bullet, but existential like cancer.

https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2019/08/2f.-Chapter-5_FINAL.pdf

Until further notice, there is no "safe in First World nations." At best, there is "at risk until stronger climate action is taken, though someone else will get hungry before I do".
« Last Edit: September 13, 2019, 11:37:09 AM by BicycleB »

Papa bear

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #86 on: September 13, 2019, 11:41:50 AM »
Here’s something that I can’t reconcile.  According to the UN, fully 1/3 of food for human consumption is wasted. 

So, at current levels, we are way outproducing current population levels. Even if we have food output drop by 33% due to climate change, we’d still have the same food standard of living as today, assuming no waste.  I can see if we have a 33% drop in food production, and a 33% population increase, we’d be in for a good hurting.

But to me, it still seems like there is a lot of wiggle room, considering that not even all land that could be productive for crops is being used for crops.  I mean, it’s estimated that 2% of US land is used for grass. That’s a lot of potential calories.


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Villanelle

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #87 on: September 13, 2019, 11:45:55 AM »
The number will be determined by our migration laws, which to date, work.

I'm not Gandhi. I'm not here to save the world. I'm here to be financially responsible. The only difference between me and the average person is that I'm financially responsible.

And when the government can't provide enough food and shelter for it's citizens are they still going to enforce those rules?  Are they not going to rise up in protest and hunger?  Joined by a horde of desperate immigrants?

When people in the middle of your island are literally roasting to death, their homes no longer inhabitable (and the power grid no longer reliable enough to stave off lethal temperature changes? 

Even if you subscribe to "fuck you I've got mine and my country needs only protect its own citizens",  there are places on the planet that currently have significant populations and are becoming uninhabitable***, and un-farmable. And Australia doesn't seem immune to that. That means displacement even among your own citizens.    (***e.g., https://time.com/longform/jacobabad-extreme-heat/)

When wlidfires fires turn your country into a burning hellscape, and there's not enough food because New Zealand and others have their own issues and can no longer be net exporters, and people in Adelaide are dying in 50*C plus heat and hours long black-outs, and coastal cities and their population and industry are underwater? 

Having a solid immigration policy seems very unlikely to prevent instability.  Or, in many cases, death. 

PDXTabs

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #88 on: September 13, 2019, 12:15:44 PM »
According to the UN, fully 1/3 of food for human consumption is wasted. 

But where is that food wastage? Feel free to point me at sources, but something tells me that substance farmers in Togo aren't letting a third of their crop rot.

slow hand slow plan

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #89 on: September 13, 2019, 12:51:32 PM »
my husband and I have the means to care for them
Actually, no, you don't have the means to care for them.  You have the money to care for them, which is different from having the means.  There aren't enough Earths to support the people on this one: it's a less than zero sum game at the moment and your children are taking more than even their fair share of the insufficient resources available.

Yes, it's possible that technology will solve the resource problems.  But right now that's a gamble on sometime in the future.

If you do not think there is enough resources than why dont you fall on the knife instead of ripping on anyone who has kids? The future has always been uncertain and there is always a risk of catastrophe . Do you tell your parents that they messed up by having kids too?

PDXTabs

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #90 on: September 13, 2019, 12:56:39 PM »
If you do not think there is enough resources than why dont you fall on the knife instead of ripping on anyone who has kids?

If this conversation is too upsetting for you perhaps a more constructive mechanism to deal with it would be to just not participate? former player and Aelias seem to be getting on just fine.

slow hand slow plan

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #91 on: September 13, 2019, 01:13:19 PM »
If you do not think there is enough resources than why dont you fall on the knife instead of ripping on anyone who has kids?

If this conversation is too upsetting for you perhaps a more constructive mechanism to deal with it would be to just not participate? former player and Aelias seem to be getting on just fine.

Thanks for the "warning/advise " I will make sure to stay out of every disagreement even if it is filled with hypocrisy

former player

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #92 on: September 13, 2019, 01:29:17 PM »
If you do not think there is enough resources than why dont you fall on the knife instead of ripping on anyone who has kids?

If this conversation is too upsetting for you perhaps a more constructive mechanism to deal with it would be to just not participate? former player and Aelias seem to be getting on just fine.

Thanks for the "warning/advise " I will make sure to stay out of every disagreement even if it is filled with hypocrisy
Where's the hypocrisy?  My parents had me (and my brother, for completeness neither of us has chosen to procreate) long before global warming and climate change had even been thought of - I remember a book in the 1970s worried about a new ice age.  I'm not expecting Aelias, or anyone else, to go all Medea on her kids either.

But the conversation is an important one: there are no free passes for any of us now and raising your kids to be nice is great but not a solution to the essential problem: too many humans, using too many resources and changing the planet in ways that will make human life more and more difficult, raising to impossible, in increasingly large areas of the world and which will leave none of us unaffected.

Actually, I'm probably old enough and rich enough and in a safe enough location not to have to face the worst of it.  But I tread as lightly as I can on the planet because it's the right thing to do.  And maybe help to clarify the issues along the way.

erutio

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #93 on: September 13, 2019, 01:39:28 PM »
I'm not ripping having kids, I have 2 young kids myself.

And obviously, once you have kids, you can't get rid of them.  But having one less future kid is the single most impactful act one could do to combat climate change.

If my wife and I have a third kid, we would be adopting.

Papa bear

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #94 on: September 13, 2019, 01:53:39 PM »
According to the UN, fully 1/3 of food for human consumption is wasted. 

But where is that food wastage? Feel free to point me at sources, but something tells me that substance farmers in Togo aren't letting a third of their crop rot.
I’m no expert.  I’m only quoting the inter webs. Thought this was interesting, though:

https://www.triplepundit.com/story/2011/13-food-produced-human-consumption-wasted/77396

“One-third of the food produced for human consumption winds up lost or wasted globally, about 1.3 billion tons a year, according to a study by the Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology (SIK). The UN supported the study titled “Global Food Loses and Food Waste.” Although the amount of food lost or wasted annually is almost equal in industrialized countries (222 million tons) and developing countries (230 million tons), over 40 percent of waste in industrialized countries occurs at retail and consumer levels. In developing countries, food loss occurs during post-harvest and processing stages of the food supply chain (FSC), but very little is wasted.”


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Aelias

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #95 on: September 13, 2019, 02:11:47 PM »
For whatever it's worth, I'm not at all offended by @former player 's responses or anyone else's.  It's an important issue.  It inspires passionate debate and disagreement.  Of course it does.

I'm also not asking for or expecting anyone to validate my choices.  I thought I'd put it out there as another perspective for consideration, and I tried to do so in the most constructive way possible. 

I also think that part of the reason the article that inspired this thread resonated with me is because it takes a broader view on what it means to be prepared for the inevitability of climate change. I also noted that many people described it as "optimistic", probably foolishly so, to have children know what we know.  I don't really consider myself to be an optimist, especially on this issue.  But I also tend to think social goods and social bonds are undervalued and technological solutions are overvalued.  I think it's possible to look at raising the next generation as an investment in social good and in the future livability of the planet.  Clearly a minority opinion, at least judging by the response thus far.  But one that I think is of a piece with the article cited by the OP.

GuitarStv

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #96 on: September 13, 2019, 02:26:41 PM »
I'm not ripping having kids, I have 2 young kids myself.

And obviously, once you have kids, you can't get rid of them.

Well you can, but it's often frowned upon.

erutio

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #97 on: September 13, 2019, 02:43:15 PM »
But I also tend to think social goods and social bonds are undervalued and technological solutions are overvalued.  I think it's possible to look at raising the next generation as an investment in social good and in the future livability of the planet.  Clearly a minority opinion, at least judging by the response thus far.  But one that I think is of a piece with the article cited by the OP.

I think this is a very valid point, thanks for sharing.

PDXTabs

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #98 on: September 13, 2019, 04:32:21 PM »
"Exactly where do you think the one billion people whose lands will be made unliveable by climate change are going to want to go?"

I don't know where they will want to go, but I am fairly certain that my first world country will not end up with 1 billion refugees. I otherwise wish them well.

I just wanted to take the time to point out that if you open the awesome link that former player posted that a lot of these refugees will be coming from Pakistan and India. Pakistan and India are nuclear armed states, and Australia is not. If the developed world fails to allow for an organized climate refugee plan you may well not like the disorganized approach.

EDITed to add: not that Australia will be prime real estate once we see 3ºC of temperature rise.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2019, 04:48:07 PM by PDXTabs »

BicycleB

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Re: "The climate apocalypse is coming ... "
« Reply #99 on: September 13, 2019, 04:43:01 PM »
I don't have kids, but if I were otherwise ready to have them, I wouldn't avoid it due to climate change.

I bet if a parent is really concerned, they plant enough trees to compensate for the carbon that their kids' lifestyle produces.

Much respect to all parents on this thread. Their children, along with everyone else's, will be implementing solutions long after we're gone. Even if just to be kind to the other animals and remedy some of our current destruction, responsibly reared children are needed.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2019, 04:45:42 PM by BicycleB »