Author Topic: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5  (Read 13266 times)

maizeman

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #300 on: October 21, 2018, 06:51:09 AM »
Exactly. We need a carbon tax.
That's useful only if the revenue goes to alternatives and solutions. If I live 30km from work with no train to take, whether petrol is $1.50/lt or $10/lt makes little difference; I simply must get to work, and there is no other way. But if there's a train then I'll take it.

I certainly agree that subsidizing alternatives is a good thing. However, I disagree with you that a carbon tax would have no value in the absence of those subsidies. In your particular example, if gasoline gets expensive enough in the absence of a train I predict that you would A) begin carpooling B) move much closer to work C) find another job, even one that pays much less, closer to your residence D) your employer would be willing to negotiate to let you work from home most of the time to avoid outcome C.

Now depending on your specific circumstances, some of those coping mechanisms might not be available (for example if you work at a job that requires your physical presence and activity, D wouldn't be feasible and you'd be forced to adopt one of the other three coping strategies, and if your job was located in an extremely expensive location, B might be unfeasible).

But if we made gas expensive enough and keep the price high enough for long enough, sooner or later you'd adopt one of the the four, or something else that hasn't occurred to me, and your gasoline consumption would decline dramatically. The outcomes would be less "fair" than with subsidies in that the poor would have their lives much more disrupted than the rich, but the changes in carbon emissions and lifestyle would still happen.

daverobev

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #301 on: October 21, 2018, 08:49:59 AM »
If I live 30km from work with no train to take, whether petrol is $1.50/lt or $10/lt makes little difference; I simply must get to work, and there is no other way.

Move closer!

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #302 on: October 21, 2018, 09:28:45 AM »
@JoshuaSpodek I think your approach makes this most sense and is also in line with most psych research on swaying opinion/teaching human beings. We're always more about stories than we are about facts. This is why marketing works when it's word of mouth.

I honestly don't get the ire here re: the celebrities that don't walk the talk. Sure, hypocrisy is annoying, but they're still not wrong. Climate change is a problem regardless of what DiCaprio chooses to do. That doesn't make me less likely to care about climate change, it makes me less likely to respect Al Gore or DiCaprio, which... who cares? I'll never meet them.

Influential people set cultural standards. While a minority of the public may permanently change their behavior, as long as DiCaprio, Gore, etc behave a certain way, the majority will see their behavior as normal, and will view flying less, eating less meat, etc as experiments, after which they'll return to the norm. Almost no public figures are meaningfully changing their behavior.

As long as Google's top 3 executives have 8 airplanes between them (that story is from 2011, so not sure how accurate today), people will aspire to follow that behavior and say things like, "I simply must get to work, and there is no other way," without considering alternatives. Would Mr. Money Mustache himself speak so complacently? This community has slightly different norms as a result of his can-do behavior.

Moreover, when influential people justify behavior contrary to their goals and principles, they promote the thinking, "In principle I shouldn't fly so much, but this time it's worth it." Since everyone believes what they do is worth it, they lead everyone to keep doing what they're doing. Most Americans think things like, "I support lowering greenhouse emissions, but the SUV is safer in an accident. I'm not going to risk my child's life for climate change," which is specious and self-serving and deprives them from living by their values, but if fits with the behavior of their role models.

(I talked about this in more depth in episode 95, How Would-be Leaders Are Moving Us Backward)

That's why I believe getting role models to live by their values is so important. Not for their emissions, but for creating community norms.

Americans used to associate cigarettes with Humphrey Bogart. Now we associate them with cancer and few actors will smoke in public.

Making excuses robs us from a life living by our values. Not smoking is better for most people than smoking. Same with not polluting. Kicking the habit is hard, but sustaining it is easy.

RetiredAt63

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #303 on: October 21, 2018, 09:58:42 AM »
Americans used to associate cigarettes with Humphrey Bogart. Now we associate them with cancer and few actors will smoke in public.
Norms can change and quite quickly.  Watch the original "The Parent Trap" and the remake (1961, 1998).

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #304 on: October 21, 2018, 12:36:33 PM »
Exactly. We need a carbon tax.
That's useful only if the revenue goes to alternatives and solutions. If I live 30km from work with no train to take, whether petrol is $1.50/lt or $10/lt makes little difference; I simply must get to work, and there is no other way. But if there's a train then I'll take it.

Likewise with many other things, like electricity and so on. Things like tobacco and alcohol are luxuries, not necessities, and so simply taxing the bad works well enough. But things like transport, shelter, food, heating and cooling are necessities (even though we often spend on them as luxuries, the point is some certain minimum spending on them is necessary). Since these things are necessities, we must not only tax the bad but subsidise the good.

If I'm not being too snarky, I recommend reading a blog on figuring out solutions to live how you want in the face of social pressure, of rising to the occasion instead of giving in. It's called Mr. Money Mustache.

I recommend calling it an externality or pollution tax. When people pollute a shared resource, they impose costs on others. Most people agree a role of government is to regulate when one person's behavior affects others.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #305 on: October 21, 2018, 06:07:27 PM »
I disagree with you that a carbon tax would have no value in the absence of those subsidies. In your particular example, if gasoline gets expensive enough in the absence of a train I predict that you would A) begin carpooling B) move much closer to work C) find another job, even one that pays much less, closer to your residence D) your employer would be willing to negotiate to let you work from home most of the time to avoid outcome C.
I'm speaking from the perspective of Australia, where most of our population growth has been in the capital cities, which has meant they've sprawled. New developments tend to be... just housing. Seriously. Maybe a token bit of parkland. There are no shops, no industrial areas, and usually there's a lot of dramas just to get a GP's office and a primary school. The housing is cheaper than most - and for those reasons. So people move there and drive to work somewhere else 30km or more away.


Housing closer to work and/or with existing public transport will be considerably more expensive. So people on higher incomes can do that, but people on lower incomes can't. This means that the single mother on a $15k pension can't get work at all but has to (indirectly) pay the carbon tax through the food etc she buys, and a cleaner on minimum wage of $37k is forced to drive and pay the carbon tax, but the accountant on $150k can live somewhere near a tram or train line and has a comfortable commute to work - and pays no carbon tax.


Put another way, one of the reasons we here are seeking wealth is that wealth gives you choices. Low-income people have fewer choices, and thus a carbon tax alone is a regressive tax. We'd need its revenue to go to subsidies to avoid this, to give lower-income people choices. For example, setting aside land in developments for public services, commercial and industrial and public transport use.


Thus, in the absence of subsidies, the carbon tax is simply another broad consumption tax, and is regressive, with the poor paying a larger proportion of their income than the wealthy.


In the 2015-16 financial year, total fuel consumption in Australia of all vehicles was 32.7 billion litres (.[/member]nsf/mf/9208.0/]source 1). Emissions are (including the whole process from exploration to coming out of your tailpipe) about 3kg CO2e per litre of fuel. Basically, 100 million tonnes of emissions. So each dollar tax per tonne of emissions (or, 1/3 of a cent per litre) would get us $100 million. A relatively modest fuel tax could fund quite a bit of public transport.


Obviously once you factor in taxing oil and natural gas too, we're talking some big dollars. This doesn't consider harder to calculate emissions like agriculture and land-clearing and so on. I'd rather see those dollars go to something other than income tax cuts to make the middle class vote for the government of the day.


Of course, it's not in prospect in Australia anyway so it's all theoretical.

marty998

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #306 on: October 21, 2018, 06:17:48 PM »
@Kyle Schuant I love your argument and it makes perfect sense to me. It's the poor battlers of the outer suburb currently paying road tolls and wearing the petrol pain, whilst your inner city dwellers get buses, trains and ferries.

One small matter though, $100m will not get you much public transport.

Case in point is the Sydney light rail. Never underestimate the capacity for governments to infinitely bugger things up.

We saw what happened in Edinburgh with the tram construction, and not only did we make the same mistakes, we ended up having it cost a billion more too.

I really want to believe the right thing will be done with money raised. But in the next 6 months we have a Victorian election, a NSW election and the Federal Election and the money taps will be turned on like never before....

middo

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #307 on: October 21, 2018, 06:32:37 PM »
@Kyle Schuant I love your argument and it makes perfect sense to me. It's the poor battlers of the outer suburb currently paying road tolls and wearing the petrol pain, whilst your inner city dwellers get buses, trains and ferries.

One small matter though, $100m will not get you much public transport.

Case in point is the Sydney light rail. Never underestimate the capacity for governments to infinitely bugger things up.

We saw what happened in Edinburgh with the tram construction, and not only did we make the same mistakes, we ended up having it cost a billion more too.

I really want to believe the right thing will be done with money raised. But in the next 6 months we have a Victorian election, a NSW election and the Federal Election and the money taps will be turned on like never before....


I think Kyle's mistake is to use a $1 per tonne of emissions.  Most of the modelling I have seen talks of an absolute minimum of $12 per tonne, and an expectation of $20 per tonne is common.  At that price, not $100 million but 2 billion would be raised every year, which again is not enough for all of the construction costs of light rail extensions etc, but would be a nice addition to current expenditures on public transport. 

bacchi

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #308 on: October 21, 2018, 06:49:54 PM »
I think Kyle's mistake is to use a $1 per tonne of emissions.  Most of the modelling I have seen talks of an absolute minimum of $12 per tonne, and an expectation of $20 per tonne is common.  At that price, not $100 million but 2 billion would be raised every year, which again is not enough for all of the construction costs of light rail extensions etc, but would be a nice addition to current expenditures on public transport.

$2B is plenty for some bus routes though, eh?

It's obvious that a carbon externality tax would be harder on the poor; most taxes are, including any current gas tax and general sales tax. It might bend consumer demand, however, as even some working poor drive trucks by themselves to their jobs.


The original Washington state carbon tax proposal was tax revenue neutral. That is, the poor would receive more back than they paid via tax credits unless they were voracious consumers of fuel.

The current proposal, from a brief reading, has 75% dedicated to power and mass transit, 20% to land conservation, and 5% to communities.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2018, 06:54:04 PM by bacchi »

maizeman

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #309 on: October 21, 2018, 07:50:29 PM »
I disagree with you that a carbon tax would have no value in the absence of those subsidies. In your particular example, if gasoline gets expensive enough in the absence of a train I predict that you would A) begin carpooling B) move much closer to work C) find another job, even one that pays much less, closer to your residence D) your employer would be willing to negotiate to let you work from home most of the time to avoid outcome C.
I'm speaking from the perspective of Australia, where most of our population growth has been in the capital cities, which has meant they've sprawled. New developments tend to be... just housing. Seriously. Maybe a token bit of parkland. There are no shops, no industrial areas, and usually there's a lot of dramas just to get a GP's office and a primary school. The housing is cheaper than most - and for those reasons. So people move there and drive to work somewhere else 30km or more away.


Housing closer to work and/or with existing public transport will be considerably more expensive. So people on higher incomes can do that, but people on lower incomes can't. This means that the single mother on a $15k pension can't get work at all but has to (indirectly) pay the carbon tax through the food etc she buys, and a cleaner on minimum wage of $37k is forced to drive and pay the carbon tax, but the accountant on $150k can live somewhere near a tram or train line and has a comfortable commute to work - and pays no carbon tax.


Put another way, one of the reasons we here are seeking wealth is that wealth gives you choices. Low-income people have fewer choices, and thus a carbon tax alone is a regressive tax. We'd need its revenue to go to subsidies to avoid this, to give lower-income people choices. For example, setting aside land in developments for public services, commercial and industrial and public transport use.


Thus, in the absence of subsidies, the carbon tax is simply another broad consumption tax, and is regressive, with the poor paying a larger proportion of their income than the wealthy.

A carbon tax really would be regressive (most non-income based taxes tend to work out that way), but I don't see anything in what you're posting that suggests Australians would be unable to start carpooling if the cost of fuel got high enough. At a high enough tax rate, you'd probably also see some net inward migration back into city centers through more households choosing to share expensive central apartments or houses rather than living in far flung cheaper/larger places. The latter is pretty much essential in both the USA and Australia, as the economics effective public transit system simply don't work when people are as spread out as they are now, but they start to become much more viable in places where people live at higher densities.

Now it would certainly impair people's standard's of living in a whole bunch of ways. But it is simply incorrect to suggest that a carbon tax wouldn't cause people to alter their behavior to consume less fuel.

If you want to avoid the regressive implications of a carbon tax, the simplest way to do this, and the one that produces the fewest economic inefficiencies, is to just refund all the money collected by the carbon tax evenly to each person living in the area in which the carbon tax is imposed, regardless of their fuel consumption. You still get all the changes in behavior I listed above, but the poor are not longer worse off, and in many cases may come out ahead if they can alter their lifestyle to require less driving while still collecting a refund check from the people who are unwilling to alter their lifestyles. As bacchi mentioned, I believe this is what was originally proposed in Washington state, although the newer ballot initiative uses the money that would be raised to simply subsidize a variety of state spending plans.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #310 on: October 21, 2018, 11:33:09 PM »
One small matter though, $100m will not get you much public transport.
I don't expect it to. It would have been clearer for me to say, "for each $1 a tonne of emissions, you get $100 million of revenue." It was also to illustrate that each 1/3 cent extra per litre on petrol/diesel could raise $100 million, so that a relatively small tax could raise a significant revenue. Here petrol prices vary quite a lot. Just in the last 45 days the average price around Melbourne has been as low as $1.47/lt and as high as $1.67/lt. So a carbon tax equivalent to even 5c/lt (~$17/t CO2e) would be lost in the noise of day-to-day variation of prices. And that's $1.5 billion.


Really capturing the economic value of the emissions, honestly I think a fair rate would be $1,000/t CO2e. Which would make petrol $3/lt more expensive, about $4.50/lt. That'd be $160 for a tank even for a small car like ours. Since it enables you to earn much more money than that it's actually reasonable. I mean, just for the petrol and diesel burned that'd be $100 billion, compared to our economy of $1,330 billion - is all our driving to and from work and trucking things around worth at 7.5% of the economy? Well, stop all cars and trucks overnight and see what happens to the economy, it'll decline by a lot more than 7.5%. So, $1,000 a tonne is actually reasonable. And $100 billion would build a lot of trains and solar panels and all that.


However, imposing this level of tax overnight would of course absolutely devastate the economy, like tripling minimum wage overnight.


A more sensible approach is just to start with a token tax, and have it enshrined in law how it'll rise each year. Just as we did for tobacco tax, we keep raising the rate until we get the outcome we want - a low-carbon economy. If you keep the tax the same then behaviour doesn't change much, there's a small change and then people and businesses adapt. You want to keep forcing the change, which means a rising tax.


However, currently governments of either of the main sides of politics are forever promising to cut taxes, so imposing a new tax and committing to raising it every year would go completely against that.


Likewise, simply imposing a carbon tax would just mean we import more carbon-intensive stuff. Let's say you tax coal when it comes out of the ground, guess what, we'll be buying foreign coal instead of exporting it. Which means even more money flowing overseas. Thus, in the absence of a world carbon price, we'd have to put a carbon tax on imported stuff. But that's tariffs, and that's prohibited by the WTO. And governments of either of the main sides of politics are pro-free trade these days, and carbon tariffs would go completely against that.


So I don't think it'll happen. Central governments are failing to take necessary action, they're too busy with trivialities. It has to be state/regional, local and individual. Like in Australia, while the federal government was arguing about whether to keep the renewables target for 2030, the state governments went ahead and will exceed it by 2020.


Forget about Canberra, Washington, London, Paris, Tokyo and Berlin. They're busy rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Get in the lifeboat and start rowing.

sol

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #311 on: October 21, 2018, 11:43:51 PM »
Really capturing the economic value of the emissions, honestly I think a fair rate would be $1,000/t CO2e.
...
A more sensible approach is just to start with a token tax, and have it enshrined in law how it'll rise each year.

Washington's carbon tax ballot measure, if it passes this time, would start at $15/ton and ramp up $2 per year plus inflation, until it hits $55/ton.  It's expected to raise over two billion dollars in the first five years.

And to address the concerns raised above about it being regressive, the revenue raised is specifically targeted at low-income communities and places most directly impacted by climate change.  It's not a perfect law, but it's better than the version that failed in 2016 and I expect that it will pass.

Ask me again in three weeks.

former player

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #312 on: October 22, 2018, 02:11:43 AM »
I don't see anything in what you're posting that suggests Australians would be unable to start carpooling if the cost of fuel got high enough.
The poorer someone is, the more likely they are to be working odd hours rather than the nine-to-five, which makes carpooling much less practical.

At a high enough tax rate, you'd probably also see some net inward migration back into city centers through more households choosing to share expensive central apartments or houses rather than living in far flung cheaper/larger places.
Fine if you are single, doesn't work so well if you have kids.


I agree with your general thesis, though.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #313 on: October 22, 2018, 03:08:00 AM »
Car-pooling is one thing, but most don't appreciate the other uses of fossil fuels.


For example, we see here [.[/member]nsf/mf/9208.0/]http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/9208.0/] that in Australia in FY2015-16, we had 3,550,097 freight vehicles which travelled 73,613 million km carrying an average of 2.8t cargo each. Being larger, they are of course less fuel efficient, for example the linked article notes that articulated trucks consumed an average of 56.3lt/100km vs 10.6lt/100km for passenger cars. So an extra $1/lt would mean an extra $56 for each 100km travelled - and those big trucks commonly travel a long way, for example it's 1,700km from Brisbane to Melbourne. Bananas just got more expensive.


And then there are coal-fired stations producing electricity, it's a no-brainer to shut these down, but we do like to have gas-fired stations still, it's the least carbon-intensive fossil fuel and can be quickly fired up for times of peak demand (unlike coal, nuclear etc, which take a day or more to ramp up - or down).


And natural gas is used to make fertiliser, and oil to make pesticides, and oil to transport goods in ships around the world, and bitumen on roads, and coking coal for steel, and so on and so forth.


So a simple tax on fossil fuels would have a flow-on cost to a lot of other things. And again, if the aim of a tax is to change behaviour, then alternatives must be available. That's why I say, starting low and building up would work best, to allow adaptations to happen. For example, with higher fuel prices, more local production of food and other goods would become favoured, but these all take time to fire up, you can't just build a widget factory or have a fully-grown fruit orchard in a month.


I don't think a carbon tax in one city is going to do much. It's like the firearms laws in one city. People will just cross the city lines to buy fuel, etc. Local subsidies can work, but local punitive taxes not so well.

maizeman

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #314 on: October 22, 2018, 05:41:50 AM »
I don't see anything in what you're posting that suggests Australians would be unable to start carpooling if the cost of fuel got high enough.
The poorer someone is, the more likely they are to be working odd hours rather than the nine-to-five, which makes carpooling much less practical.

Okay, this is a good point. Thanks Former Player.

GuitarStv

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #315 on: October 22, 2018, 07:56:20 AM »
If I live 30km from work with no train to take, whether petrol is $1.50/lt or $10/lt makes little difference; I simply must get to work, and there is no other way.

Move closer!

I live 24 km from work, and regularly bike commute to and from.  Adding an extra 6 km is still doable.  Net costs of bike commuting are lower than the net costs of driving to work (even if you occasionally buy fancy cycling clothing, and own a med-level not crap bike).  If you need to get to work, there are alternatives to driving.

Barbaebigode

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #316 on: October 22, 2018, 09:02:28 AM »
Isn't buying an hybrid or an electric vehicle the most likely solution to be adopted by people with similar commutes as Kyle's? No big lifestyle changes needed in that case.

And of course, a carbon tax is also about compensating the damage we cause to third parties.

maizeman

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #317 on: October 22, 2018, 09:10:56 AM »
And of course, a carbon tax is also about compensating the damage we cause to third parties.

Huh, thanks for pointing this out. I was focusing on a carbon tax solely as being about figuring out the most efficient way to change people's behavior. But yes, you could make the case solely from a "we need this money to start trying to mitigate the consequences of climate change on our population" standpoint as well.

sol

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #318 on: October 22, 2018, 09:14:51 AM »
I don't think a carbon tax in one city is going to do much. It's like the firearms laws in one city. People will just cross the city lines to buy fuel, etc. Local subsidies can work, but local punitive taxes not so well.

How about carbon taxes for a whole state?

It's much harder to cross state lines to buy electricity than guns.  And we already have wide disparities in gas prices across state lines without horribly disrupting the market, so I'm not sure that's a valid argument.  Our neighbors to the north already have a similar carbon fee, so on at least one border Washington would be reducing price discrepancies across the border, not making them worse.

There's been a lot of rhetoric around Washington State's carbon tax ballot measure that people are voting on right now, and I have been absolutely shocked at the levels of deceit and deception that oil companies have used to try to convince people to vote against it.  They openly lie about what's in this law in ways that anyone can fact check with 15 seconds of googling. 

If you prefer subsidies to punitive measures, where does the money come from?  Washington is planning to impose a per-ton fee on fossil fuels, then use that revenue to fund subsidies for individuals and industry that need the help.  The former version, which failed, just taxed carbon and then gave tax rebates to everyone so the "subsidies" were evenly distributed financial incentives.  The new version this year is much more targeted about who it gives money to.

Telecaster

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #319 on: October 22, 2018, 02:13:56 PM »
Really capturing the economic value of the emissions, honestly I think a fair rate would be $1,000/t CO2e.
...
A more sensible approach is just to start with a token tax, and have it enshrined in law how it'll rise each year.

Washington's carbon tax ballot measure, if it passes this time, would start at $15/ton and ramp up $2 per year plus inflation, until it hits $55/ton.  It's expected to raise over two billion dollars in the first five years.

And to address the concerns raised above about it being regressive, the revenue raised is specifically targeted at low-income communities and places most directly impacted by climate change.  It's not a perfect law, but it's better than the version that failed in 2016 and I expect that it will pass.

Ask me again in three weeks.

Hmm, I liked the failed version quite a bit better.  I-732 (the failed initiative) would been a simple revenue neutral carbon tax, with 100% of the tax rebated back to taxpayers on a progressive scale.  Two features I liked in particular is that it relied on simple market forces to find the more efficient ways to reduce carbon emission.   The tax would have topped out at $100/ton of CO2.   The other thing is that Washington State has a regressive tax structure, and rebating the tax back to low-income citizens would have blunted that.

The current initiative (I-1631) collects the tax money, and then spends it.  The tax tops out at $50/ton (IIRC).    But it isn't clear to me what most of the money gets spent on.   For example 35% of the money goes to  "communities within pollution and health action areas."  The definition of those areas will be determined later.   Many of the example projects on the I-1631 website are things like habitat restoration.  Surely good things to do, but have little to do with climate change.  10% of the money goes to the tribes, which can be spent on projects the tribes select.  Those projects may or may not be worthwhile and may or may not have anything to do with climate change.   There is a board that approves the projects, but 14 of the 15 members are political appointees.   Are they trustworthy stewards, or operatives will to cut deals to get their own pet projects funded?  No idea.  In reading through the initiative, there is a very large amount of things that are to be determined later, especially went to comes to what exactly the money gets spent on.   In Washington State by far the largest contributor to CO2 is transportation.  But that component seems to be downplayed in the initiative. 

It seems the main goal was to spread the money around much as possible in order to get buy-in from as many groups as possible.   Perhaps that's what you have to do to get it passed.  I'm concerned tjat by spending the money so broadly there won't be enough left to actually tackle CO2 emissions. 

sol

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #320 on: October 22, 2018, 02:18:11 PM »
Hmm, I liked the failed version quite a bit better.

Most educated people like that approach better, but we're not talking about educated people, we're talking about getting enough votes to pass.  I-732 didn't attract ANY republican support, even though it was essentially the republican version of a carbon tax.  It didn't attract enough left wing support either, because it was too white bread plain vanilla for the social justice crowd.  So the new approach is to try to draw in some of the lefties, since they couldn't possibly lose any more conservatives than the zero they got last time.

Yea politics!  The only human endeavor where the shittiest ideas inevitably rise to the top.


Kyle Schuant

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #321 on: October 22, 2018, 04:34:33 PM »
If you prefer subsidies to punitive measures, where does the money come from?
I prefer both, working together. And a $1,000/t tax today would be punitive, but a (say) $20/t which rises each year would simply be encouraging the market in one direction.


I think both together work best. But I also think that taxes work best when done on a large scale, while subsidies can work even on a small scale. If my local council area implements a carbon tax on its 160,000 people it's not going to have much effect on that area's emissions, but if buys a bunch of CNG, electric or ethanol-powered buses, or puts in a lot of cycle lanes, or whacks up wind turbines and solar panels everywhere, then that will have some effect on our emissions.


As you said, it has to be paid for somehow. And this really is one of the issues we're facing in the Western world, that the central governments have most of the revenue but are the most reluctant to take effective action, while the local and state/regional governments are willing to take action but don't have the revenue. It's one reason I'm in favour of devolution. But again, it's not something likely to happen in the near future, or rather it'll happen but it'll be unplanned and messy and piecemeal.

middo

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #322 on: October 22, 2018, 05:07:39 PM »
As an Australian, we have an island country, so borders are less of an issue.  My thoughts for a long long time are that we should:

  • Tax any fossil fuel where it leaves the ground or comes into the country, at a minimum of $20 a tonne of emissions, ramping up over time.
  • Place an import tax on goods coming into the country from jurisdictions that do not have at least a complementary carbon tax of similar proportions, at a level that adds in the cost of the untaxed carbon embedded in the item.
  • Provide a subsidy for export goods to countries that do not have a carbon tax or similar regime to Australia to compensate the extra cost for exporters.
  • Use the funds raised, which will be significant, to provide incentives for locally produced renewable technologies, and to fund research into alternative energy management and transport technologies

These would cause a one-off increase in costs, but would also provide a clear price signal for any product that uses fossil fuels in its manufacture, delivery and sale.


Come the revolution....

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #323 on: October 22, 2018, 06:23:29 PM »
As an Australian, we have an island country, so borders are less of an issue.  My thoughts for a long long time are that we should:

  • Tax any fossil fuel where it leaves the ground or comes into the country, at a minimum of $20 a tonne of emissions, ramping up over time.
  • Place an import tax on goods coming into the country from jurisdictions that do not have at least a complementary carbon tax of similar proportions, at a level that adds in the cost of the untaxed carbon embedded in the item.
  • Provide a subsidy for export goods to countries that do not have a carbon tax or similar regime to Australia to compensate the extra cost for exporters.
  • Use the funds raised, which will be significant, to provide incentives for locally produced renewable technologies, and to fund research into alternative energy management and transport technologies

These would cause a one-off increase in costs, but would also provide a clear price signal for any product that uses fossil fuels in its manufacture, delivery and sale.


Come the revolution....
This is a good list. The theme is clear: price in the externalities and use the money to incentivize changes in behavior and fund programs to reduce carbon. I like the way this deals with imports and exports, which addresses the borders issue (still an issue for carbon in a global marketplace).

RetiredAt63

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #324 on: October 22, 2018, 06:52:48 PM »
As an Australian, we have an island country, so borders are less of an issue.  My thoughts for a long long time are that we should:

  • Tax any fossil fuel where it leaves the ground or comes into the country, at a minimum of $20 a tonne of emissions, ramping up over time.
  • Place an import tax on goods coming into the country from jurisdictions that do not have at least a complementary carbon tax of similar proportions, at a level that adds in the cost of the untaxed carbon embedded in the item.
  • Provide a subsidy for export goods to countries that do not have a carbon tax or similar regime to Australia to compensate the extra cost for exporters.
  • Use the funds raised, which will be significant, to provide incentives for locally produced renewable technologies, and to fund research into alternative energy management and transport technologies

These would cause a one-off increase in costs, but would also provide a clear price signal for any product that uses fossil fuels in its manufacture, delivery and sale.


Come the revolution....
This is a good list. The theme is clear: price in the externalities and use the money to incentivize changes in behavior and fund programs to reduce carbon. I like the way this deals with imports and exports, which addresses the borders issue (still an issue for carbon in a global marketplace).

We see this in so many things, not just CO2.  Can't swim in the polluted lakes?  Put in swimming pools, up goes the GDP.  Roads not well maintained, body shops get more work, up goes the GDP.  Build energy-inefficient housing, so more need for more winter heating and summer cooling, up goes the GDP.

OurTown

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #325 on: October 25, 2018, 11:15:17 AM »
The advent of electric-robotic cars in the 2020s will have a substantial impact in the fullness of time.  Also, switching from fossil fuel electric power production to nuclear on a large scale would be pretty huge.  I don't know if that is going to happen, but it is a technology that already exists today.  You can argue about the downside of nuclear, but I think it passes a basic cost-benefit analysis.  Additionally, getting a handle on the population growth issue is a necessity.  Free birth control worldwide should be a priority goal for every thinking person.

All the personal guilt trip stuff (e.g. why aren't you a vegan already?) isn't really going to work, and it just further polarizes the identity politics of this issue.  My 2 cents.


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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #326 on: October 25, 2018, 03:26:54 PM »
All the personal guilt trip stuff (e.g. why aren't you a vegan already?) isn't really going to work, and it just further polarizes the identity politics of this issue.  My 2 cents.

Yeah, there's no need to frame it as, "Stop eating meat! Don't you care about the environment?!?" We can instead frame it as a pollution tax, giving the consumer a choice. Anyone can drive an F250 pickup to their office job but it'll cost way more than a Civic. Similarly, one can drive a Leaf and pay a lot more to fly to Chile and Europe twice a year.

It's great that most (all?) Canadian provinces have a carbon tax but it's unfortunate that Canada is still high in the CO2/capita rankings. Is it too low to affect consumer choices?

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #327 on: October 25, 2018, 03:39:07 PM »
Isn't buying an hybrid or an electric vehicle the most likely solution to be adopted by people with similar commutes as Kyle's? N
No, because both are more expensive here. As well for pure electric, you're also dealing with the cost of electricity, which has risen a lot in recent years.

Essentially what happens is that the money people save on mortgage by living in a place in Woop Woop they end up spending on transport - I mean, if you're talking about the 10-30 years of a mortgage. It's cheap for a reason. However, as has been discussed on this forum many times, lower income people often end up spending more on things than higher income people, in the long run, because they lack the money to do a big one-off spend that'll last them. For example, buying the $20/50 roll toilet paper rather than the $6/6 roll. For the person on a $250pw pension, that $14 is marked for somewhere else.

Likewise, a hybrid vehicle may save someone with a long commute money over several years, but it costs more today.

As a guideline, if you ever look at a problem and find yourself saying "It's simple, we just -" then you're probably wrong.

This article talks about the transport situation here in Melbourne.

middo

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #328 on: October 25, 2018, 04:03:43 PM »
Isn't buying an hybrid or an electric vehicle the most likely solution to be adopted by people with similar commutes as Kyle's? N
No, because both are more expensive here. As well for pure electric, you're also dealing with the cost of electricity, which has risen a lot in recent years.

Essentially what happens is that the money people save on mortgage by living in a place in Woop Woop they end up spending on transport - I mean, if you're talking about the 10-30 years of a mortgage. It's cheap for a reason. However, as has been discussed on this forum many times, lower income people often end up spending more on things than higher income people, in the long run, because they lack the money to do a big one-off spend that'll last them. For example, buying the $20/50 roll toilet paper rather than the $6/6 roll. For the person on a $250pw pension, that $14 is marked for somewhere else.

Likewise, a hybrid vehicle may save someone with a long commute money over several years, but it costs more today.

As a guideline, if you ever look at a problem and find yourself saying "It's simple, we just -" then you're probably wrong.

This article talks about the transport situation here in Melbourne.

I'm not sure I agree with all that you are saying about transport in Melbourne.  The average house price in Cranbourne East (in the article) is $580,000 for closer to a 4 bedroom house than a 3 bedroom house.  A house on a train line in a new similar suburb to the north in Mernda is $575,000 for a similar 4 bedroom house.  For $5000 less you can live on a train line, but people are currently choosing to not do so.

This is personal choice, and it isn't logical if transport is a consideration when buying a house.  So obviously people make choices about living in the outer fringe of Melbourne without giving serious consideration to their long term transport costs.  As a MMM reader, that shouldn't really surprise anyone here.  Transport is a hidden cost for most people. 

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #329 on: October 25, 2018, 05:12:54 PM »

It's great that most (all?) Canadian provinces have a carbon tax but it's unfortunate that Canada is still high in the CO2/capita rankings. Is it too low to affect consumer choices?
The carbon tax was announced this month, coming into effect for 2019. Canada has a carbon tax starting in 2019 at $20/tonne and rising to $50 in 2022. Some jurisdictions have their own equivalent programs but the federal tax is the backstop and covers the entire country. Carbon tax and marijuana were announced in the same month, its a wild country.

Canada is also phasing out Coal by 2030 (60 million tonnes of GHG/year are being decomissioned), likely using a combination of Natural gas and other sources as replacements (add in 20-30 million tonnes for replacement electricity sources). But thats a plan that started in 2008, its a long term plan that is on course, some plants have already ceased operations; anything that is getting old is not being refurbished. That's just one example of industrial cuts that are concurrently happening.

The point is that things take time. Is enough being done? Nope, but some things are still in their infancy. We have personal cuts and industrial cuts, work is being done at multiple levels.

Stay tuned for 3 years, the data hasn't arrived to yet on how much it changes consumer behaviour.

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #330 on: October 26, 2018, 06:51:43 AM »

It's great that most (all?) Canadian provinces have a carbon tax but it's unfortunate that Canada is still high in the CO2/capita rankings. Is it too low to affect consumer choices?
The carbon tax was announced this month, coming into effect for 2019. Canada has a carbon tax starting in 2019 at $20/tonne and rising to $50 in 2022. Some jurisdictions have their own equivalent programs but the federal tax is the backstop and covers the entire country. Carbon tax and marijuana were announced in the same month, its a wild country.

Canada is also phasing out Coal by 2030 (60 million tonnes of GHG/year are being decomissioned), likely using a combination of Natural gas and other sources as replacements (add in 20-30 million tonnes for replacement electricity sources). But thats a plan that started in 2008, its a long term plan that is on course, some plants have already ceased operations; anything that is getting old is not being refurbished. That's just one example of industrial cuts that are concurrently happening.

The point is that things take time. Is enough being done? Nope, but some things are still in their infancy. We have personal cuts and industrial cuts, work is being done at multiple levels.

Stay tuned for 3 years, the data hasn't arrived to yet on how much it changes consumer behaviour.

I'm on a 'low information diet' for a while (got overwhelmed with what's going on at the moment so I'm going cold turkey), but it seems like the carbon tax... is being treated as an election bribe - not a serious attempt. We're getting so much rebated in Ontario that the government will actually be giving us money. Huh? They should be using the revenue to... um... reduce carbon in the atmosphere, no?

They need to seriously raise the price of fuel if they want to see fewer pickups. I'm going back to the UK where fairly normal cars are getting as good, or better, fuel efficiency than a Prius does here - 4 l/100km. Not solely because fuel is $2/litre, but I'm sure it helps (and we seem to just adapt - we'll pay $50 a week on fuel, and buy a vehicle that burns that much, regardless of the cost of said fuel!).

Dunno. All these threads about climate stuff make me feel pretty bad. Especially since the next year is going to be horrible in terms of flying for me and my family... though it should be a one off bad year.

I will be donating to charity, to plant trees - not that offsetting is the answer, but it's better than doing nothing.

maizeman

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #331 on: October 26, 2018, 06:57:50 AM »
I'm on a 'low information diet' for a while (got overwhelmed with what's going on at the moment so I'm going cold turkey), but it seems like the carbon tax... is being treated as an election bribe - not a serious attempt. We're getting so much rebated in Ontario that the government will actually be giving us money. Huh? They should be using the revenue to... um... reduce carbon in the atmosphere, no?

They need to seriously raise the price of fuel if they want to see fewer pickups. I'm going back to the UK where fairly normal cars are getting as good, or better, fuel efficiency than a Prius does here - 4 l/100km. Not solely because fuel is $2/litre, but I'm sure it helps (and we seem to just adapt - we'll pay $50 a week on fuel, and buy a vehicle that burns that much, regardless of the cost of said fuel!).

Rebating the tax back to people makes it a lot more palatable to keep cranking up the level of taxation going forward. Without a rebate, you'll start to get stories about how the carbon tax is ruining the lives of the poor as the tax per ton increases. With the rebate, many of the poor will actually be better off than before the tax.

And you do need to crank the tax up high enough that people really notice the increase in prices if you want people to change their behavior quickly.

PoutineLover

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #332 on: October 26, 2018, 07:19:31 AM »
Last time I was in Ontario I was flabbergasted by how many people had huge pick up trucks. People who own them don't seem to need them for work 80% of the time, and they all complain about how expensive gas is. It's not going to be fun for them, and they won't be able to sell easily. I hope this is the shock they need to start being more concious of their footprint, but in the meantime before they get new cars they'll suffer. The rebate just eases that transition a little.

GuitarStv

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #333 on: October 26, 2018, 07:42:41 AM »
Last time I was in Ontario I was flabbergasted by how many people had huge pick up trucks. People who own them don't seem to need them for work 80% of the time, and they all complain about how expensive gas is. It's not going to be fun for them, and they won't be able to sell easily. I hope this is the shock they need to start being more concious of their footprint, but in the meantime before they get new cars they'll suffer. The rebate just eases that transition a little.

It's not so bad in the cities, but rural Ontario certainly has a pickup truck problem.  I went for a job interview at Bruce nuclear just outside of Kincardine and 9/10 vehicles in the parking lot were large pickup trucks.

PoutineLover

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #334 on: October 26, 2018, 10:47:49 AM »
Last time I was in Ontario I was flabbergasted by how many people had huge pick up trucks. People who own them don't seem to need them for work 80% of the time, and they all complain about how expensive gas is. It's not going to be fun for them, and they won't be able to sell easily. I hope this is the shock they need to start being more concious of their footprint, but in the meantime before they get new cars they'll suffer. The rebate just eases that transition a little.

It's not so bad in the cities, but rural Ontario certainly has a pickup truck problem.  I went for a job interview at Bruce nuclear just outside of Kincardine and 9/10 vehicles in the parking lot were large pickup trucks.
This was in Windsor, not rural but not a big city. As I was walking around it seemed like over half of the homes had a pick up in the driveway. Only a couple of them showed signs of being work trucks.
In Montreal I hardly ever see them, except for corporate vehicles. Parallel parking and idling in traffic would be horrendous. Although it would probably help over potholes.

daverobev

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #335 on: October 26, 2018, 01:22:59 PM »
Last time I was in Ontario I was flabbergasted by how many people had huge pick up trucks. People who own them don't seem to need them for work 80% of the time, and they all complain about how expensive gas is. It's not going to be fun for them, and they won't be able to sell easily. I hope this is the shock they need to start being more concious of their footprint, but in the meantime before they get new cars they'll suffer. The rebate just eases that transition a little.

It's not so bad in the cities, but rural Ontario certainly has a pickup truck problem.  I went for a job interview at Bruce nuclear just outside of Kincardine and 9/10 vehicles in the parking lot were large pickup trucks.
This was in Windsor, not rural but not a big city. As I was walking around it seemed like over half of the homes had a pick up in the driveway. Only a couple of them showed signs of being work trucks.
In Montreal I hardly ever see them, except for corporate vehicles. Parallel parking and idling in traffic would be horrendous. Although it would probably help over potholes.

Windsor = car plant workers = employee pricing. Also cheap petrol.

Rural Quebec is as bad as rural Ontario, I think. It's certainly a 'class' thing - if you're an office worker type, you drive a sedan. If you're anything in construction, or whatnot - and certainly young men - a truck is the thing.

Trucks are cool! Look how high off the ground you can get them with lift kits and huge tires! And the worst thing is, the middle aged men with families just buy the 4-door version...

Abe

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #336 on: October 26, 2018, 09:58:59 PM »
I'm always surprised to see actual large objects in private pickup trucks, regardless of where I've lived (rural NC, Chicago, and now LA). Wow! You're using the truck for its intended purpose? Crazy! Granted, you could probably fit a couple 2x4 in your car or small SUV (tall car) if you tried - but whatever. The most ridiculous situation were people who bought a new truck that cost almost 1 year's wages and then complained about the gas prices when they were $2.50 a gallon.

« Last Edit: October 26, 2018, 10:01:42 PM by Abe »

magnet18

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #337 on: October 29, 2018, 09:22:03 PM »
So I'll admit i didn't read this whole thread, but I'll chime in with my optimism.  This post assumes the crisis is invetiably coming/here, which is something I still hear debate over.


Yall are forgetting what the human race is capable of, and how unbelievably smart we are.  If you had told someone in 1937 that in under 10 years we would have the capability of building a single bomb that could destroy the entire planet, you'd be laughed at.  In 1938 nuclear fission was discovered, and the Manhattan project was an unbelievable project of unbelievable scale executed unbelievably quickly

A couple decades later, the space race is even more inspiring.  This is a humanity that had just stumbled into the AIRFOIL a couple DECADES ago, and in basically the blink of an eye we have human beings on camping trips on other celestial bodies

Someone on this thread said that humans are bad at anything but a short term crisis.  I think that's not quite right, we just need to feel the crisis at all.  The reason nothing is happening is because, well, when I look outside, nothing is happening.  It might take some actual issues arising before a crisis is felt, but once there is an actual crisis at hand, I think we'll see a human cooperation operation that puts those two to shame.  If I'm being exceptionally optimistic, this might be the kick in the pants humanity needs to cooperate globally. This might be the kick in the pants humanity needs to restructure it's cities to use muscle for 99% of tasks, and solar power for the rest.  It might be the kick we need to get to that star trek utopia.

In just the last couple years there have been some pretty amazing inventions that scrub CO2 from the atmosphere, and I'm sure there are more to come, not to mention the physics that hasn't even been discovered yet.  I was just doing research last year on new insanely efficient organic perovskite solar materials that weren't even remotely feasible 2 years before that, and that's small fry low budget University stuff.  Imagine what can happen with a Manhattan project or a space race only orders of magnitude larger.

I think it will create a new generation of heros, and I'll be in the middle of it helping if possible.

So no, I, for one, don't believe "we're all fucked", I have more faith in the collective cooperation of humanity than that.

I do, however, believe that something needs to change, and I'm optimistic that it will.



The first order of business is actually getting everybody to feel like there is, in fact, a threat.




-----background, guess I'll find out if anyone I know is on here, lol------
Bachelors of Engineering (electrical)
Halfway through masters of materials science
Was a system level expert and engineer helping build the radiation budget instrument, before it was cancelled.  I knew the system photons to bits.
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-cancels-earth-science-sensor-set-for-2021-launch

A lot of my coworkers just completed the GOSAT-2/TANSO-FTS-2 that launched into orbit yesterday
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/10/japanese-h-iia-gosat-2-earth-observation-satellite/

former player

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #338 on: October 30, 2018, 05:36:13 AM »
So I'll admit i didn't read this whole thread, but I'll chime in with my optimism.  This post assumes the crisis is invetiably coming/here, which is something I still hear debate over.


Yall are forgetting what the human race is capable of, and how unbelievably smart we are.  If you had told someone in 1937 that in under 10 years we would have the capability of building a single bomb that could destroy the entire planet, you'd be laughed at.  In 1938 nuclear fission was discovered, and the Manhattan project was an unbelievable project of unbelievable scale executed unbelievably quickly

A couple decades later, the space race is even more inspiring.  This is a humanity that had just stumbled into the AIRFOIL a couple DECADES ago, and in basically the blink of an eye we have human beings on camping trips on other celestial bodies

Someone on this thread said that humans are bad at anything but a short term crisis.  I think that's not quite right, we just need to feel the crisis at all.  The reason nothing is happening is because, well, when I look outside, nothing is happening.  It might take some actual issues arising before a crisis is felt, but once there is an actual crisis at hand, I think we'll see a human cooperation operation that puts those two to shame.  If I'm being exceptionally optimistic, this might be the kick in the pants humanity needs to cooperate globally. This might be the kick in the pants humanity needs to restructure it's cities to use muscle for 99% of tasks, and solar power for the rest.  It might be the kick we need to get to that star trek utopia.

In just the last couple years there have been some pretty amazing inventions that scrub CO2 from the atmosphere, and I'm sure there are more to come, not to mention the physics that hasn't even been discovered yet.  I was just doing research last year on new insanely efficient organic perovskite solar materials that weren't even remotely feasible 2 years before that, and that's small fry low budget University stuff.  Imagine what can happen with a Manhattan project or a space race only orders of magnitude larger.

I think it will create a new generation of heros, and I'll be in the middle of it helping if possible.

So no, I, for one, don't believe "we're all fucked", I have more faith in the collective cooperation of humanity than that.

I do, however, believe that something needs to change, and I'm optimistic that it will.



The first order of business is actually getting everybody to feel like there is, in fact, a threat.




-----background, guess I'll find out if anyone I know is on here, lol------
Bachelors of Engineering (electrical)
Halfway through masters of materials science
Was a system level expert and engineer helping build the radiation budget instrument, before it was cancelled.  I knew the system photons to bits.
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-cancels-earth-science-sensor-set-for-2021-launch

A lot of my coworkers just completed the GOSAT-2/TANSO-FTS-2 that launched into orbit yesterday
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/10/japanese-h-iia-gosat-2-earth-observation-satellite/

What your scenario says to me is: we are going to fuck up the planet so badly that we destroy the climate that we know, that significant parts of the natural environment, including many species and habitats, are entirely lost, and that many billions of people in the poorer parts of the world without access to advanced technology will live lives of desperation and die early, but that it will be all right because there are a few humans living in rich part of the world behind a strong military will be able to survive better than all the others.

Gee, thanks for giving me that hope.

magnet18

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #339 on: October 30, 2018, 05:48:44 AM »


What your scenario says to me is: we are going to fuck up the planet so badly that we destroy the climate that we know, that significant parts of the natural environment, including many species and habitats, are entirely lost, and that many billions of people in the poorer parts of the world without access to advanced technology will live lives of desperation and die early, but that it will be all right because there are a few humans living in rich part of the world behind a strong military will be able to survive better than all the others.

Gee, thanks for giving me that hope.

No, i said that once the pressure is felt the hardworking from all walks of life in all areas of the globe will work together to alter course with minimal loss

I wasn't talking about just america being ok, i was talking about rhe planet

I used american history projects because that's what I'm familiar with

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #340 on: October 30, 2018, 06:09:08 AM »
@magnet18, your background uses the word "system" a lot, so I take it you understand systems perspective. Have you read anything like Limits to Growth? If not, I recommend it, the 30 year update in particular. You don't have to agree with it to learn a lot from it.

Here's a post that a friend of mine who is both one of the most knowledgeable people I know regarding environmental issues and is a climate change skeptic that touches on the complexity in responding to the environment: https://www.financialsense.com/contributors/ugo-bardi/peak-civilization [edit, that link is giving an error, here's another: https://cucugliato.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/ugo-bardi_peak-civilization_the-fall-of-roman-empire.pdf]. It's long, but light. If you choose to read it, I'm curious your thoughts.

Your examples of human achievement didn't mention any of the great civilizations that collapsed. That article treats the Roman empire, but there are hundreds of others.

Your examples of possible solutions fit the pattern of past technologies that increased efficiency. They lowered consumption per use but increased the number of uses, increasing total energy consumption and therefore pollution in the long term. I wrote about it in Inc When Innovation and Technology Fail Us and spoke about it on my podcast.

If you make a polluting system more efficient, it pollutes more efficiently.

To reduce pollution, we have to change the system, not just make it more efficient. You've seen the problems. Have they motivated you to change? My read is that you haven't. If you don't mind my being blunt, I read what you wrote not as optimism but justifying not doing anything, hoping someone else will fix your problem. I would be glad to learn I misread you. Are you doing anything more than waiting and hoping others fix the problem?
« Last Edit: October 30, 2018, 09:38:35 AM by JoshuaSpodek »

maizeman

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #341 on: October 30, 2018, 06:42:40 AM »
Your examples of possible solutions fit the pattern of past technologies that increased efficiency. They lowered consumption per use but increased the number of uses, increasing total energy consumption and therefore pollution in the long term. I wrote about it in Inc When Innovation and Technology Fail Us and spoke about it on my podcast.

If you make a polluting system more efficient, it pollutes more efficiently.

Joshua, you continue to repeat this statement as if it was a universal law that increases in efficiency result in increases in resource consumption. There are certainly some situations where that is that case. However, as we discussed only two weeks ago on this same forum, there are also cases where increased efficiency decreases resource consumption. Specifically, we discussed how increases in fuel efficiency in the USA lead to decreased total national gasoline consumption, even when facing the headwinds of a growing population and gasoline prices which declined 31% in real terms, both of which would normally result in significant increases in total national gasoline consumption.

magnet18

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #342 on: October 30, 2018, 07:10:44 AM »
@magnet18, your background uses the word "system" a lot, so I take it you understand systems perspective. Have you read anything like Limits to Growth? If not, I recommend it, the 30 year update in particular. You don't have to agree with it to learn a lot from it.

Here's a post that a friend of mine who is both one of the most knowledgeable people I know regarding environmental issues and is a climate change skeptic that touches on the complexity in responding to the environment: https://www.financialsense.com/contributors/ugo-bardi/peak-civilization. It's long, but light. If you choose to read it, I'm curious your thoughts.

Your examples of human achievement didn't mention any of the great civilizations that collapsed. That article treats the Roman empire, but there are hundreds of others.

Your examples of possible solutions fit the pattern of past technologies that increased efficiency. They lowered consumption per use but increased the number of uses, increasing total energy consumption and therefore pollution in the long term. I wrote about it in Inc When Innovation and Technology Fail Us and spoke about it on my podcast.

If you make a polluting system more efficient, it pollutes more efficiently.

To reduce pollution, we have to change the system, not just make it more efficient. You've seen the problems. Have they motivated you to change? My read is that you haven't. If you don't mind my being blunt, I read what you wrote not as optimism but justifying not doing anything, hoping someone else will fix your problem. I would be glad to learn I misread you. Are you doing anything more than waiting and hoping others fix the problem?

Thanks for your reply

That peak civilization article is unfortunately giving me an error, not found, maybe the site is down?  I'll reply again once I can read it.

Regarding the fall of civilization, sure, one could easily say that the American empire will fall.  It's entirely probable that we live in a golden age, and that we'll never again see a civilization where the average middle class populus has a 2,000 square foot house and drives 2 SUVs. 

I don't want our polluting systems to be more efficient, I want to replace them with completely non-polluting systems

Far from thinking nothing will happen, I hope there are lots of changes.  A complete restructuring of our cities to support increased population density and 100% renewable energy used at much lower rates would be awesome.  Let's switch the planet over to a vegan diet.  Speaking of, is there anything I'm doing, that's something I've already done.

Since you think I'm not doing anything, I do ask, what do you propose I do? 

Last point for this post, the examples I chose were examples of acting on a large scale to invent new technology to respond to a threat, because when writing it my mind was places like this
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/new-devices-could-help-turn-atmospheric-co2-useful-supplies

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #343 on: October 30, 2018, 08:52:08 AM »
@magnet18
My personal anaolgies are the Acid rain Crisis of the 80's, solved through a massive cap and trade program.

Or the Ozone crisis, https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/WorldOfChange/Ozone
Sometime mid century we should see improvement in the ozone layer, pollutants are remarkably long lived.

We have had two doomsday scenarios to the atmosphere in the past century. Lets hope we can achieve success in this one too. I'm an optimist at heart, I get to work with projects that are currently reducing emissions by the millions of tonnes, its pretty inspiring.

Most people struggle to realize that there are several concurrent problems in our atmosphere, climate change is just one way humans have messed with it. We also have a mercury reduction target, remember the mercury in Tuna? The dioxin target, a terrible by product of incnieration that causes cancer at pg levels (look up what a picogram is). Localized heavy metals, people still get metal poisoning. Lastly, fine particulates, a class of particulate known to reduce respiratory function, it was all the rage at the Beijing summer olympics.

I can list examples of projects tackling every one of those issues.

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #344 on: October 30, 2018, 09:29:36 AM »
I find interesting is how the Republican party has positioned itself as being solidly anti-environment in everything it does.  This certainly wasn't the case in years past.  Richard Nixon (for his many faults) was a pretty pro-environment president, creating the NOAA, the EPA, passing the Marine Mammal Protection Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, etc.  Teddy Roosevelt, Bush Sr. . . .  environmental issues don't have to only be Democratic issues, and weren't in the past.

magnet18

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #345 on: October 30, 2018, 09:54:19 AM »

Generally preaching at people doesn't work, case and point telling everyone to be vegan. While it would be better for the environment the odds of getting everyone to do it in a lifetime time frame is nil and even over generational time frames the odds are also very low. Plus, at the end of the day humans are still omnivores so some animal products are still needed in our diet. This isn't even really considering the negative cultural impact that "complete vegan" would have. There are a lot of cultural practices around the world that are tied to the consumption of animal products and it takes a lot to get people to give those up. However, most people also eat a lot more meat than they really need to and it's a lot easier to nudge people to simply altering their diet to include less meat. Case and point, most people have a couple meals a week that are already ovo-lacto vegetarian so it's not that much of a stretch to get them to increase the count a bit more.

This is a topic for a different thread, but that statement is ridiculously false, two of the longest lived and healthiest populations in history (Okinawan and 7th day Adventist) were completely vegan

If anything, I've seen enough convincing evidence to be of the opinion that humans are biologically better suited to be herbivores, and only omnivores because of cultural norms (or necessity, if no other options are available)

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #346 on: October 30, 2018, 10:02:27 AM »

Generally preaching at people doesn't work, case and point telling everyone to be vegan. While it would be better for the environment the odds of getting everyone to do it in a lifetime time frame is nil and even over generational time frames the odds are also very low. Plus, at the end of the day humans are still omnivores so some animal products are still needed in our diet. This isn't even really considering the negative cultural impact that "complete vegan" would have. There are a lot of cultural practices around the world that are tied to the consumption of animal products and it takes a lot to get people to give those up. However, most people also eat a lot more meat than they really need to and it's a lot easier to nudge people to simply altering their diet to include less meat. Case and point, most people have a couple meals a week that are already ovo-lacto vegetarian so it's not that much of a stretch to get them to increase the count a bit more.

This is a topic for a different thread, but that statement is ridiculously false, two of the longest lived and healthiest populations in history (Okinawan and 7th day Adventist) were completely vegan

If anything, I've seen enough convincing evidence to be of the opinion that humans are biologically better suited to be herbivores, and only omnivores because of cultural norms (or necessity, if no other options are available)

I know we are getting OT here, but our dentition and digestive tracts are very similar to raccoons and pigs, which are both omnivores.  We can cope with a completely plant diet because we cook our food, which breaks down plant cell walls.  We don't have a rumen or a cecum (well, we do, it is our appendix) so we cannot digest cellulose. Of course an omnivorous diet doesn't have to include meat from large animals, but culturally we don't seem willing to eat the food best suited to our dentition (you know, worms, grubs, little easy to chew animals).

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #347 on: October 30, 2018, 10:04:54 AM »
Your examples of possible solutions fit the pattern of past technologies that increased efficiency. They lowered consumption per use but increased the number of uses, increasing total energy consumption and therefore pollution in the long term. I wrote about it in Inc When Innovation and Technology Fail Us and spoke about it on my podcast.

If you make a polluting system more efficient, it pollutes more efficiently.

Joshua, you continue to repeat this statement as if it was a universal law that increases in efficiency result in increases in resource consumption. There are certainly some situations where that is that case. However, as we discussed only two weeks ago on this same forum, there are also cases where increased efficiency decreases resource consumption. Specifically, we discussed how increases in fuel efficiency in the USA lead to decreased total national gasoline consumption, even when facing the headwinds of a growing population and gasoline prices which declined 31% in real terms, both of which would normally result in significant increases in total national gasoline consumption.

I wrote above that it has different effects in the long term and in the links that it depends on the demand curve -- that is, how many other uses there are at lower prices. For 300+ million people, 10 years doesn't feel like long-term, especially with significant social change in the meantime. Also, I'm not sure how much the demand for gas increases at lower prices or if we've saturated it.

The post you linked to showed fewer gallons per person and implied the cause was higher efficiency. While I'm sure the efficiency played a role, even greater for the price drop, I doubt it was the only cause. 2007 was at the height of a bubble just before a recession, for example. I downloaded the pdf you linked to to see if any other causes seemed likely, but it was long and dense and would conflict with my other work today.

Maybe the drop in prices made flying more affordable and many people who would have driven flew places and total greenhouse emissions increased.

I'm not saying it's the case since I don't have the data and in any case we don't have a control group to measure against. I can say that the trend over centuries is clear: machines are more efficient than ever, we use them for more purposes as they become more efficient, and we pollute more than ever.

When people choose to pollute less, it's easy and often improves their lives. They're glad they did and wish they had earlier. I'm trying to promote that effect.

It's also possible lower use is resulting from social change. Increasing portions of drivers recognize that they will feel the effects of global warming in their lifetimes while people who won't are dying off. They're seeing the pollution in their lives, corals dying, extinctions, etc.

To @magnet18 The link was broken for me too. I found a new link: https://cucugliato.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/ugo-bardi_peak-civilization_the-fall-of-roman-empire.pdf

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #348 on: October 30, 2018, 10:25:08 AM »

Since you think I'm not doing anything, I do ask, what do you propose I do? 


I wrote something different than "you think I'm not doing anything."

As for proposals, I see too many people blindly telling others what to do, which I consider counterproductive and I don't want to repeat what I consider their mistakes. I don't know your goals, interests, values, motivations, etc. I don't even know if you want a proposal or, if you do, what you want it for.

magnet18

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #349 on: October 30, 2018, 10:34:28 AM »

Generally preaching at people doesn't work, case and point telling everyone to be vegan. While it would be better for the environment the odds of getting everyone to do it in a lifetime time frame is nil and even over generational time frames the odds are also very low. Plus, at the end of the day humans are still omnivores so some animal products are still needed in our diet. This isn't even really considering the negative cultural impact that "complete vegan" would have. There are a lot of cultural practices around the world that are tied to the consumption of animal products and it takes a lot to get people to give those up. However, most people also eat a lot more meat than they really need to and it's a lot easier to nudge people to simply altering their diet to include less meat. Case and point, most people have a couple meals a week that are already ovo-lacto vegetarian so it's not that much of a stretch to get them to increase the count a bit more.

This is a topic for a different thread, but that statement is ridiculously false, two of the longest lived and healthiest populations in history (Okinawan and 7th day Adventist) were completely vegan

If anything, I've seen enough convincing evidence to be of the opinion that humans are biologically better suited to be herbivores, and only omnivores because of cultural norms (or necessity, if no other options are available)

I know we are getting OT here, but our dentition and digestive tracts are very similar to raccoons and pigs, which are both omnivores.  We can cope with a completely plant diet because we cook our food, which breaks down plant cell walls.  We don't have a rumen or a cecum (well, we do, it is our appendix) so we cannot digest cellulose. Of course an omnivorous diet doesn't have to include meat from large animals, but culturally we don't seem willing to eat the food best suited to our dentition (you know, worms, grubs, little easy to chew animals).

Humans have a digestive system more or less of their own, because we are insanely good at breaking down starch, which is something few other animals have the ability to do at all, let alone do well.  There are plenty of "raw" vegans who are perfectly healthy, though I find that a silly thing to be hung up on, given that the invention of cooking predates the development of homo-sapiens proper.

I'm not saying we're not also able to eat worms and bugs, I'm sure it's a good survival skill, but compared to tubers eating worms and bugs is a terribly inefficient way to get calories

There is also the cholesterol argument, which is one of the biggest for me.  Newborn babies have an ideal healthy cholesterol level.  Children raised vegan maintain that cholesterol level, while children raised omnivorous begin showing elevated cholesterol and arterial deposits as early as elementary school.  Adults that later go vegan will have their cholesterol levels slowly decrease back to the healthy baseline over a period of years.

Given that heart attack, stroke, dementia (not Alzheimer's), lower back failure, erectile dysfunction, and possibly osteoporosis, to name a few, are caused by clogged arteries, (sounds like your average American) this is exceedingly significant.