Author Topic: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?  (Read 6907 times)

Malaysia41

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Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« on: February 20, 2018, 07:54:22 AM »
As Prof of Climate Science, Kevin Anderson puts it, we are choosing failure when it comes to climate change.

But - we needn't go down without a fight. 

My family has changed lots of habits to reduce our GHG emissions - but it's not enough. So, today, we calculated a pledged to pay a self-imposed tax - mainly to atone for our international flying.  The full story is here on my own website where I post random bullshit periodically (the latest being chit chat about the books I'm reading during all the free time I have now that I've given up reddit for lent):

http://www.lauramariereese.com/reddit-fast-day-6-self-imposed-carbon-taxes/

And here's the tl;dr:

What to Pay?
Looking at carbon tax rates around the world, governments impose any where from ~$3 to $100 per ton.  Various online carbon footprint / offset calculators propose between $15 and $30 per ton.  I'm going with $30 a ton.  Cuz - well, it feels about right.

Who to Pay?
I like NRDC. But who else? I don’t want to give money to some organization that writes some nice sounding words about the environment, only to line the pockets of the executive board. I want our money to actually go toward reducing emissions and/or pulling green house gasses out of the atmosphere.

‘Green Travel Resources‘ suggest companies such as The Conservation Fund and some small British outfit that plants trees in Kenya.  Ooh!  I’ve got an idea: Earthling Ed and Bite Sized Vegan on Patreon.

$5 a month is now going to Earthling Ed‘s Patreon account and $5 a month to Bite Size Vegan.  For every person they inspire – to transition from a standard western diet to a strictly vegan diet – humanity cuts a ton of CO2 per year. 

Now that I’m having an honest-to-goodness look-see – it’s estimated that average CO2 per person needs to be below 2.5 tons a year.  Our family – including air travel plus all other living activities – even taking into account our veganism and lack of a car – we’re responsible for an estimated 12.5 tons each.  That’s 10 tons over budget, or 30 tons total. 30x$30 = $900.  $75 a month.

Okay, that means that so far I’m giving $25 a month or $300 a year, but I need to pay $50 per month more. Who to give to?

$15 / mo ($180 /yr) – National Resources Defense Council
$ 5  / mo ($60 / yr)  – Earthling Ed
$ 5 / mo ($60 / yr)   – Bite Sized Vegan
$__/ mo ($___ / yr) – ________________
...

So I have two questions:

1. Who should I send the other $50 a month to?
2. Will you join me?  Calculate your CO2 equiv emissions in excess of 2.5 tons a year, and tax yourself. Choose a rate anywhere from $3/ton (you freakin' turd) to $100/ton (you freakin' martyr). 


palebluedot

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2018, 07:37:12 PM »
This is a lovely challenge and I too have been reducing my carbon footprint. Have you looked at the three charities that have been researched by GWWC? https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/research/other-causes/climate-change/

The research is still not conclusive on the effectiveness since it's so new but it may be a good starting point.

westtoeast

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2018, 09:25:10 AM »
Awesome! I've just started dipping my toes in this. I don't have a car, but I do take at least 3 round trip long haul flights each year. The next two years are pretty flight-heavy for me so I really should do something.

I'm at 30,000 lbs (literally half of that is flights). This number just includes riding the bus, home energy/gas and flights. I know it would be much higher if things like food choices and waste created were taken into account.

I did buy offsets for one of my upcoming trips, but I am thinking about purchasing the following once a year:
https://www.terrapass.com/product/ecotourist-bundle

The funded projects look specific and helpful, but I'm not really sure how to evaluate the effectiveness. I like the idea of a once-a-year purchase to repent for most of my travel. If I travel more than the 5 flights covered, then I can buy extra.

Another cool thing-- my city just started offering a 100% renewable energy option. We subscribed and just got an email detailing how much carbon we saved by joining. We pay a little extra each month for this. Unfortunately, only 1% of people in this very affluent city do this program. It is frustrating because it is such an easy change to make! All you have to do is check a box and send back an envelope!

Malaysia41

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2018, 11:51:35 AM »
This is a lovely challenge and I too have been reducing my carbon footprint. Have you looked at the three charities that have been researched by GWWC? https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/research/other-causes/climate-change/

The research is still not conclusive on the effectiveness since it's so new but it may be a good starting point.

Love your user name, Carl. :)

Thanks, I'll check it out.

libertarian4321

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2018, 03:30:46 PM »
As Prof of Climate Science, Kevin Anderson puts it, we are choosing failure when it comes to climate change.

But - we needn't go down without a fight. 

My family has changed lots of habits to reduce our GHG emissions - but it's not enough. So, today, we calculated a pledged to pay a self-imposed tax - mainly to atone for our international flying.  The full story is here on my own website where I post random bullshit periodically (the latest being chit chat about the books I'm reading during all the free time I have now that I've given up reddit for lent):

http://www.lauramariereese.com/reddit-fast-day-6-self-imposed-carbon-taxes/

And here's the tl;dr:

What to Pay?
Looking at carbon tax rates around the world, governments impose any where from ~$3 to $100 per ton.  Various online carbon footprint / offset calculators propose between $15 and $30 per ton.  I'm going with $30 a ton.  Cuz - well, it feels about right.

Who to Pay?
I like NRDC. But who else? I don’t want to give money to some organization that writes some nice sounding words about the environment, only to line the pockets of the executive board. I want our money to actually go toward reducing emissions and/or pulling green house gasses out of the atmosphere.

‘Green Travel Resources‘ suggest companies such as The Conservation Fund and some small British outfit that plants trees in Kenya.  Ooh!  I’ve got an idea: Earthling Ed and Bite Sized Vegan on Patreon.

$5 a month is now going to Earthling Ed‘s Patreon account and $5 a month to Bite Size Vegan.  For every person they inspire – to transition from a standard western diet to a strictly vegan diet – humanity cuts a ton of CO2 per year. 

Now that I’m having an honest-to-goodness look-see – it’s estimated that average CO2 per person needs to be below 2.5 tons a year.  Our family – including air travel plus all other living activities – even taking into account our veganism and lack of a car – we’re responsible for an estimated 12.5 tons each.  That’s 10 tons over budget, or 30 tons total. 30x$30 = $900.  $75 a month.

Okay, that means that so far I’m giving $25 a month or $300 a year, but I need to pay $50 per month more. Who to give to?

$15 / mo ($180 /yr) – National Resources Defense Council
$ 5  / mo ($60 / yr)  – Earthling Ed
$ 5 / mo ($60 / yr)   – Bite Sized Vegan
$__/ mo ($___ / yr) – ________________
...

So I have two questions:

1. Who should I send the other $50 a month to?
2. Will you join me?  Calculate your CO2 equiv emissions in excess of 2.5 tons a year, and tax yourself. Choose a rate anywhere from $3/ton (you freakin' turd) to $100/ton (you freakin' martyr).

Rather than twisting yourself into knots trying to absolve the guilt you feel for the crimes you have committed against nature, why not just cut back on the flights and whatever else causes you to do so much damage to the environment?

I recommend you send the extra $50/month to me as I have a ridiculously low carbon footprint (most frugal people do).

I haven't flown in 11 years, I work from home and rarely drive, and I don't buy much (most enviros don't realize how much the junk they buy contributes to the problem- not just the product costs itself, but packaging and everything else).

Send me the $50/month, and I'll keep my carbon footprint low.  Otherwise, I'm going to buy a huge new truck and start "rolling coal" every day.  :)

« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 03:35:47 PM by libertarian4321 »

Malaysia41

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2018, 03:58:46 PM »
Thanks for your offer libertarian, but I'll pass. We already limit our flying to the bare minimum for now For example, this summer - we'll take the train to Germany rather than fly. And when we went to Ischia last summer, we took the train rather than airplane. Because it's way better for the environment.

We already don't buy shit we don't need, hang dry our clothes, don't eat any animal products, and we bike everywhere. We don't own a car.  I work from home, so does DH. Well- if you count dickin' around living off of savings as 'working'.  No - I don't feel terribly guilty. But flights are way too cheap.  They should be far more expensive.  So I'm making them expensive.

My carbon footprint is just over half of the average American's, and TBH, I think it's less than that as we live in Europe.  Anyway, even by our US estimate, our carbon footprint isn't much higher than a homeless American who eats at soup kitchens. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080428120658.htm

So you'll be happy that since last posting, I've given another $5 a month to the veganuary organization! $45 more per month to go. I don't mind taking my time to donate where I think it'll help the most.

Enjoy modifying your F150 in spite of me! If the world needs anything, it's more dickwads rollin' coal! (/s- seriously can you *believe* people actually roll coal??? WTF?)... Actually the world needs more dickwads eating less meat. You're knocking it out of the park by most other measures.  Kudos.  Sincerely.  Where are you on the eating meat score?



... another way of looking at the unsustainable amount of livestock (and humans) in the world today:

« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 04:00:45 PM by Malaysia41 »

bigchrisb

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2018, 05:23:41 PM »
I took a slightly different slant on emissions and self-taxation. I worked out my estimated carbon emissions, including transport, then installed enough solar to offset this through electricity export. I have a pv system about three times what I need for my own energy use as a result. Not a great return on investment for the export, but it achieves a carbon offset that I have control and transparency of.

rpr

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2018, 05:43:53 PM »
I took a slightly different slant on emissions and self-taxation. I worked out my estimated carbon emissions, including transport, then installed enough solar to offset this through electricity export. I have a pv system about three times what I need for my own energy use as a result. Not a great return on investment for the export, but it achieves a carbon offset that I have control and transparency of.
Very nice. I know of another person that does this same thing. We do have a PV system but that is right sized for us.

Tass

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2018, 08:09:12 PM »
This is a lovely challenge and I too have been reducing my carbon footprint. Have you looked at the three charities that have been researched by GWWC? https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/research/other-causes/climate-change/

The research is still not conclusive on the effectiveness since it's so new but it may be a good starting point.

I give $60 a month to Cool Earth, which the link above describes as probably the most cost-effective climate change charity out there.

(I used to give to carbonfund.org but became suspicious of them - if anyone knows anything more about them I'm listening.)

Rudimentary carbon footprint calculator roughly estimated me at 12 metric tons of CO2 per year - even rounding up to 15, I'm definitely covering a $30/ton tax.

I definitely have done more than my fair share of flying - 6 cross-country flights last year. That will drop significantly once my relationship is no longer long-distance, but I'll probably be flying to my family regularly for the next several years. I'm not wholly comfortable with that, but I'm not willing to give it up either.

sol

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2018, 08:29:41 PM »
I took a slightly different slant on emissions and self-taxation. I worked out my estimated carbon emissions, including transport, then installed enough solar to offset this through electricity export. I have a pv system about three times what I need for my own energy use as a result. Not a great return on investment for the export, but it achieves a carbon offset that I have control and transparency of.
Very nice. I know of another person that does this same thing. We do have a PV system but that is right sized for us.

We tried this approach.  It's not cost effective, but IMO it's the only one that actually works.

I spent about $30k on solar panels, which produced roughly twice as much electricity as our household used.  The problem was that electricity in the PNW is mostly hydropower anyway, so there is almost no carbon footprint to power use.  My household's carbon footprint was mostly gasoline for the car, and natural gas for the furnace and water heater.

So first we bought an electric car.  This not only reduced our daily emissions considerably, it also saved us some serious money on operating costs because the electric car is much cheaper to drive than the gas car was.  That one felt like a clear win.

Then we replaced our our natural gas furnace with an electric heat pump.  This one is really more of a toss up on the money side, because natural gas is so cheap that the daily cost savings probably aren't enough to offset the cost of the heat pump.  I calculate it will have to last about fifteen years to break even, which seems unlikely.  Heat pumps often break down before that.  But it is definitely less carbon emissions than the old gas furnace.

Now that my household directly consumes almost no fossil fuels, my solar arrays is just barely big enough to cover our usage for five people.  We'll be pretty darn close to zero for the year.

The problem is that all of these steps cost money.  Many thousands of dollars of money, and there are easy ways to reduce or even consume carbon dioxide that are MUCH cheaper, on a per ton basis, than modifying your home's carbon emissions by converting everything to solar electric like we did.  You can plant a thousand trees is a single day's labor, for a few hundred dollars, and grow many thousands of tons of biomass.  You can pay a company to fertilize algal blooms, or protect rain forest, or capture methane.  All of these things are more cost effective than putting solar panels on your house, and yet without everyone going to solar eventually all of them are going to be useless.  They are temporary measures, with significant amounts of leakage, and some of them are outright scams.

If you really want to reduce your carbon footprint, you have to do it for real.  You can't buy offsets, you have to literally emit less.  Everything else is just paying to make your guilt go away.

Tass

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2018, 09:46:46 PM »
I agree that ultimately carbon offsetting is not a solution, but it does seem like a reasonable strategy to buy time while we collectively figure out how to stop emitting so much - and particularly for those of us without the funds or roofs with which to mount solar panels...

One of the things I liked about Cool Earth is that I think it produces value independent of carbon sequestering. The rainforest would be worth protecting even if it weren't literally helping us breathe. Indigenous cultures deserve to survive independent of whatever they might offer global conservation.

But yeah, "paying to absolve yourself of guilt" seems to be an increasingly common model.

Roots&Wings

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2018, 05:40:11 AM »
I'm in, using Bonneville Environmental Foundation RECs and offsets: http://store.b-e-f.org/make-a-purchase. Thought about doing this last year, but simply didn't.

What tool are you using for calculating emissions? EPA's Carbon Footprint tool says my annual CO2e is 11,446 lbs, but they use defaults for waste (and I hardly have any waste, put a small trash bag out about once a month).

westtoeast

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2018, 07:54:02 AM »
Totally agree that actual reduction is much better than offsets. I want to fly less, but right now my parents are on the other side of the country. Hopefully this won’t be forever.

I did find a nifty chart that shows when driving is more sustainable than flying. As a single flier, it’s more sustainable to take an economy seat on a plane. But a family of four in a car is more sustainable. It also depended on the length of the journey. Train was often the best choice. I want to try this out, but it takes many days to go cross country and sleeper cars are way more expensive than flying!


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sol

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2018, 10:20:35 AM »
Train was often the best choice.

Don't be fooled by the train idea.  Trains are more efficient per pound of CO2, but they're all diesel and diesel is super dirty with particulates and NOx emissions.  Diesel actually kills tens of thousands of people (mostly asthmatics) per year by just destroying the air quality in population centers. 

CO2 emissions are still a problem, but they're not literally immediate murder.  Diesel engines are evil, full stop. 

Malaysia41

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2018, 10:58:34 AM »
This economist, Max Aufhammer, in this talk in 2013, proposed the G20 nations impose a $20/ton tax on all CO2 emissions. 

How Hot Will It Get (UC Berkeley Panel Lecture) at 52min mark

His whole ~10 min talk is worthwhile, IMO. to further get your head around the numbers.

The second scientist to speak, Margaret Torn, presented what's going on with permafrost. She starts her presentation at the 15 min mark of the video, but at 27min in, she says some real sobering stuff.  I'd be running around like my hair was on fire, but she's maintains her calm as she notes that carbon stored in permafrost is approx the same amount as emissions from coal plants.  Then's she says something to the effect "at least we can turn off the coal plants*. It's a little harder to turn off the permafrost releases."       (*good luck with shutting down those coal plants).
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 03:00:21 AM by Malaysia41 »

sailinlight

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2018, 11:16:02 AM »
Train was often the best choice.

Don't be fooled by the train idea.  Trains are more efficient per pound of CO2, but they're all diesel and diesel is super dirty with particulates and NOx emissions.  Diesel actually kills tens of thousands of people (mostly asthmatics) per year by just destroying the air quality in population centers. 

CO2 emissions are still a problem, but they're not literally immediate murder.  Diesel engines are evil, full stop.
Trains in Europe are nearly all electric, especially the long distance high-speed ones.

sol

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2018, 11:25:39 AM »
but at 27min in, she says some real sobering stuff.  I'd be running around like my hair was on fire

The entire global carbon cycle field is depressing.  Most people tend to think about it like a business's balance sheets, with quarterly ins and outs that result in a net balance, but in reality it's more like a human being's body weight with daily ins and outs that result in fatness.

A business can go from profit to loss overnight, but you don't get fat in a single financial quarter.  You get fat slowly, over years, by making bad lifestyle choices.  You also don't get healthy by being vegan for a week, or by cutting out ice cream while eating pizza with your Netflix.  Getting healthy takes years of hard work in every aspect of your life, to undo all of that accumulated damage.

The global carbon cycle is a fat person that lives forever, and it just spent 200 years injecting lard with an IV.  It will literally take tens of thousands of years to naturally remove our emissions since the industrial revolution.  A 100% carbon-free economy would only turn off the IV.  We're still fucked.

Don't get me wrong, it's an absolutely vital first step.  I don't mean to discourage positive steps, but it's important to realistically identify just how bad we've already made things if we're going to propose a serious path for our descendants to follow.  With any luck humanity will still be here in ten thousand years, and I would like their planet to be a habitable one.

sol

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2018, 11:32:24 AM »
Trains in Europe are nearly all electric, especially the long distance high-speed ones.

I don't know much about trains in Europe, but in America ask of our "electric" trains are actually diesel-electric.  Diesel  engines generate the electricity, which then powers electric motors. 

The only other option is some sort of electrified track, tied into the power grid, and that has its own set of problems.  Emissions then depend on what the local grid uses for generation.

In the US trains are primarily used to move freight and not people.  Freight trains are not electric high speed marvels.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 11:37:05 AM by sol »

westtoeast

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2018, 11:40:47 AM »
Train was often the best choice.

Don't be fooled by the train idea.  Trains are more efficient per pound of CO2, but they're all diesel and diesel is super dirty with particulates and NOx emissions.  Diesel actually kills tens of thousands of people (mostly asthmatics) per year by just destroying the air quality in population centers. 

CO2 emissions are still a problem, but they're not literally immediate murder.  Diesel engines are evil, full stop.
Trains in Europe are nearly all electric, especially the long distance high-speed ones.

Eek! Did not know about the NOx thing with trains. There’s just no winning with the US transport system! Wish I lived in Europe with those electric trains.


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Malaysia41

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2018, 11:40:58 AM »
but at 27min in, she says some real sobering stuff.  I'd be running around like my hair was on fire

The entire global carbon cycle field is depressing.  Most people tend to think about it like a business's balance sheets, with quarterly ins and outs that result in a net balance, but in reality it's more like a human being's body weight with daily ins and outs that result in fatness.

A business can go from profit to loss overnight, but you don't get fat in a single financial quarter.  You get fat slowly, over years, by making bad lifestyle choices.  You also don't get healthy by being vegan for a week, or by cutting out ice cream while eating pizza with your Netflix.  Getting healthy takes years of hard work in every aspect of your life, to undo all of that accumulated damage.

The global carbon cycle is a fat person that lives forever, and it just spent 200 years injecting lard with an IV.  It will literally take tens of thousands of years to naturally remove our emissions since the industrial revolution.  A 100% carbon-free economy would only turn off the IV.  We're still fucked.

Don't get me wrong, it's an absolutely vital first step.  I don't mean to discourage positive steps, but it's important to realistically identify just how bad we've already made things if we're going to propose a serious path for our descendants to follow.  With any luck humanity will still be here in ten thousand years, and I would like their planet to be a habitable one.

I'm reading Overshoot by William J. Catton Jr. right now.  It's sobering.

About a month ago I read M. Greer's 'Collapse Now before the Rush'.  During Greer's book, I often found myself thinking, "Nah man, you're being WAY too optimistic."

Sigh.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 12:15:46 PM by Malaysia41 »

ketchup

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2018, 12:25:52 PM »
Train was often the best choice.

Don't be fooled by the train idea.  Trains are more efficient per pound of CO2, but they're all diesel and diesel is super dirty with particulates and NOx emissions.  Diesel actually kills tens of thousands of people (mostly asthmatics) per year by just destroying the air quality in population centers. 

CO2 emissions are still a problem, but they're not literally immediate murder.  Diesel engines are evil, full stop.
Trains in Europe are nearly all electric, especially the long distance high-speed ones.

Eek! Did not know about the NOx thing with trains. There’s just no winning with the US transport system! Wish I lived in Europe with those electric trains.


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In Europe you'd get the diesel fumes from all the "clean" VW TDIs.  I like some of Europe's differences transportation-wise too, but they're not perfect.

I've been thinking more about this stuff lately.  My next car will definitely be either full electric or Volt-style series hybrid.  Solar panels are a definite yes once I'm in a house I plan on owning for more than a few more years.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 12:28:22 PM by ketchup »

Malaysia41

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2018, 01:29:23 AM »
I've found three new charities to give my $30/ton self-imposed carbon tax to. They're bolded below:

$15 / mo ($180 /yr) – National Resources Defense Council
$ 5 / mo ($60 / yr)  – Earthling Ed
$ 5 / mo ($60 / yr)  – Bite Sized Vegan

$ 5 / mo ($60 / yr)  –  Veganuary
$ 5 / mo ($60 / yr) - Anonymous for the Voiceless
$15/ mo ($180 / yr) –  Earth Justice

------------------------------------------
$50/ mo ($600 / yr) - TOTAL SO FAR

I tried to donate to coolearth.org but the website puked during the transaction. I'll wait a day or two and try again.

I've got $25 more per month to allocate. 
« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 02:28:19 AM by Malaysia41 »

Malaysia41

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2018, 02:25:49 AM »
I'm in, using Bonneville Environmental Foundation RECs and offsets: http://store.b-e-f.org/make-a-purchase. Thought about doing this last year, but simply didn't.

What tool are you using for calculating emissions? EPA's Carbon Footprint tool says my annual CO2e is 11,446 lbs, but they use defaults for waste (and I hardly have any waste, put a small trash bag out about once a month).

I used a couple that I don't recall now (edit: this: https://www.nature.org/greenliving/carboncalculator/index.htm ). The latest was: https://www.carbonfootprint.com

Going through it again, our 3 person footprint is 30 26 tons,or ~9 tons each. A little under half of that is food. But they don't give me a way to indicate that we mostly buy food from within a 500 mile radius. Here's the 'secondary' categories. It's pretty extreme.  (yes our grocery bill isn't the paragon on mustachianism.  What can I say, we live in an area that makes amazing wine and I buy a bottle here and there..and oh, over there too).



Another calculator had spit out 36 tons or so for our family of 3, and I subtracted 2 tons each for the baseline budget we apparently should all be striving for. At this point, what we should be striving for is 0.  If we lived in a house that we owned, I would totally get busy installing all the renewable energy generating equipment that I could to eliminate as much CO2 emissions as possible, and more than offset the rest.  One day.

The offsets that carbonfootprint.com proposes are 1/3 to 1/2 of what I'm self-imposing. It's a learning experience for sure.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 04:45:26 AM by Malaysia41 »

rpr

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2018, 02:32:35 AM »
I’m enjoying your current series in your blog. Very thought provoking. Thanks for writing and sharing.

Malaysia41

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2018, 04:49:42 AM »
I’m enjoying your current series in your blog. Very thought provoking. Thanks for writing and sharing.

Thank you for telling me this rpr.  I let my thoughts unwind on that blog - freeing myself from over-thinking how they'll land on an audience - and in doing so, I remove an impediment. It's easier to think a little deeper, if sometimes off track, if that makes sense.

Once in a while I imagine someone in my family reading my posts over there, and most of them would probably be totally put off.  Then I think, whatever, it's my website. They can go back to posting screeds against Colin Kaepernick on facebook if they don't like it.

Thanks for your comment, rpr.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2018, 11:19:45 AM by Malaysia41 »

Bicycle_B

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2018, 04:36:35 PM »
Ok, @Malaysia41.  I’m in!

My first planet-saving act will be... riding the bus to this evening’s art event / social gathering.  As someone who drives periodically, this will save emissions.  No $ savings due to bus fare, therefore a purely ecological decision. This thread is already affecting my life.

Going forward, I will:
1. Look for more opportunities to save on CO2 emissions rather than $ in daily life.
2. Articulate things I already do.
3. Start biking more.
4. Explore possible solar install on house.
5. Work my way through the other home projects that are scheduled before solar.
6. Return to exploring purchase of carbon credits.
7. Explore some of the other options mentioned on this thread.
8. Attempt to reach zero net CO2 emissions going forward by year end.  This goal assumes that I will accept some type of offset at a portion of claimed CO2 offset value, and purchase enough offset to balance out my remaining CO2 emissions.

Malaysia41

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2018, 10:58:41 AM »
Ok, @Malaysia41.  I’m in!

My first planet-saving act will be... riding the bus to this evening’s art event / social gathering.  As someone who drives periodically, this will save emissions.  No $ savings due to bus fare, therefore a purely ecological decision. This thread is already affecting my life.

Going forward, I will:
1. Look for more opportunities to save on CO2 emissions rather than $ in daily life.
2. Articulate things I already do.
3. Start biking more.
4. Explore possible solar install on house.
5. Work my way through the other home projects that are scheduled before solar.
6. Return to exploring purchase of carbon credits.
7. Explore some of the other options mentioned on this thread.
8. Attempt to reach zero net CO2 emissions going forward by year end.  This goal assumes that I will accept some type of offset at a portion of claimed CO2 offset value, and purchase enough offset to balance out my remaining CO2 emissions.

That's a commendable goal!  And thanks for joining the challenge BB! We live in an apartment so we don't have a lot of control over the energy sources.  If we were still in CA I'd install solar.  I should have installed solar panels when we last installed a new roof.  My son was four. It was 10 in the morning when the roofer arrived. I invited him in, then my son asked, "would you like a beer?" Patrick, the roofer replied,"No thank you." Then my son asked if he wanted a gun. Patrick declined that as well, as he fought desperately to maintain a straight face.  What he thought of *me* in that moment, I've no idea, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't terribly charitable.

This has nothing to do with global warming aside from it being a moment in time that I could have installed freaking solar panels. It's simply a fond memory of my four year old lil sweet pea being his generous lil self with Patrick the roofer.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2018, 11:20:38 AM by Malaysia41 »

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2018, 11:14:37 AM »
Oh on my last post - I wanted to say that in lieu of installing solar panels, I'm making a point to raise my voice. Here's a recent example:

The other day I emailed the IPCC and ask about whether they have plans to serve low GHG meals at all of their IPCC meetings.


(click the image to see a bigger readable image, or read the full text)

If any of you want to, say, email the IPCC and ask about their plans for serving low GHG foods, you can peruse the Working Group 3 mitigation (Chapter 11) report for tips to include.

Here's the IPCC contact info: http://www.ipcc.ch/contact/contact.shtml

I'm wondering if I should stalk each and every one of the people on this blog (https://www.ipcc-wg3.ac.uk/Blog) and hit them up to pressure the people at the IPCC who book caterers to only serve low GHG foods, and outright ban the worst offenders like lamb, beef, and cheese.

In my email to the IPCC, I copied relevant researches cited in Chapter 11 of the WG3 mitigation report. Two of them got back to me.  One is the author of this book How Bad Are Bananas: The Carbon Footprint Of Everything.  His note was engaging and encouraging. I think I'll read his book next, after I've finished WJ Catton's Overshoot. @sol I imagine you're familiar with this book.What did you think?

« Last Edit: February 24, 2018, 11:17:05 AM by Malaysia41 »

Hirondelle

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2018, 10:38:32 AM »
I'm in! Calculating my Italy flights using $30 per ton CO2 I'd have to donate about $11. That's actually a lot less than I expected it to be!

For now I've set up a €5 monthly donation to Cool Earth. Obviously flying less would be the better solution, but paying a bit more for the flights I do take is a good intermediate solution. Can't talk myself into 0 flying (yet), but I do use busses/trains for shorter trips (<10h bus rides).

Rimu05

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2018, 02:49:12 PM »
Thanks for your offer libertarian, but I'll pass. We already limit our flying to the bare minimum for now For example, this summer - we'll take the train to Germany rather than fly. And when we went to Ischia last summer, we took the train rather than airplane. Because it's way better for the environment.

We already don't buy shit we don't need, hang dry our clothes, don't eat any animal products, and we bike everywhere. We don't own a car.  I work from home, so does DH. Well- if you count dickin' around living off of savings as 'working'.  No - I don't feel terribly guilty. But flights are way too cheap.  They should be far more expensive.  So I'm making them expensive.

My carbon footprint is just over half of the average American's, and TBH, I think it's less than that as we live in Europe.  Anyway, even by our US estimate, our carbon footprint isn't much higher than a homeless American who eats at soup kitchens. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080428120658.htm

So you'll be happy that since last posting, I've given another $5 a month to the veganuary organization! $45 more per month to go. I don't mind taking my time to donate where I think it'll help the most.

Enjoy modifying your F150 in spite of me! If the world needs anything, it's more dickwads rollin' coal! (/s- seriously can you *believe* people actually roll coal??? WTF?)... Actually the world needs more dickwads eating less meat. You're knocking it out of the park by most other measures.  Kudos.  Sincerely.  Where are you on the eating meat score?



... another way of looking at the unsustainable amount of livestock (and humans) in the world today:



when you have family in another country that you can't visit for years because of the expense. You will not wish flights to be expensive. It took 6 years from the time I came to the U.S to go back to my home country and see family and that was because my mom paid while I was in college. I returned again for a funeral and this is not unique. The many immigrants scattered across the globe trying to make ends meet face this problem. I had the advantage of coming here legally, those who don't will find that they may never see their families again.

Malaysia41

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2018, 03:10:46 PM »
Flights being cheap is not a good thing. 

Hopefully we're like algae, where at some point, after consuming too many non-renewable resources, we suffer and go from 7+ billion people to some lower number.

But I suspect we're more like fermentation yeast - where after consuming too many resources, our waste products rise to toxic levels for some life-critical biochemical processes, and it kills us all.

Flights being cheap is not a good thing. Cheap flights = more flights. That's not good if we want our planet to be habitable for our children. I mean I get what you're saying - it's awful to not see family.  But emitting unnecessary CO2 is robbing-from-the-future.

As I read this book Overshoot (written in the 80s!), I'm coming to see that my 'self imposed tax' of $30 a ton is bullshit. No matter what $ amount I choose is just patting myself on the back.

This is some depressing shit.  I keep waiting for the acceptance and the equanimity.  But mostly I'm just really sad.

We developed modern towns, lifestyles, and societies around $20-$60 a barrel oil. We should have developed around $200-$600 a barrel oil (or more? IDK an exact amt, I just sense the right number is at least an order of magnitude higher).  I wouldn't be booking Milan to SFO whenever I wanted if oil was priced to account for externalities. But it's cheap, and we'll let the next generation pick up the tab - possibly/probably with their lives.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2018, 03:14:16 PM by Malaysia41 »

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2018, 03:19:50 PM »
My heart goes out to people who have difficulty seeing their families.  Yet moving across the world consumes energy, which usually releases carbon, which overheats the planet, and is not included in the price of the plane ticket.  To fly sustainably (if such a thing is possible) at least requires some action that reduces carbon release, or takes carbon back out of the atmosphere.  Malaysia41 is not raising your cost of flying.  She is paying for actions that reduce the damage of her flying. 

@Rimu05, I hope that you get to see your family soon without another funeral.  I seek a world in which we can all see our families, in safety, without harming the environment of our grandchildren.  That does mean increasing the income of the average person so they can be in touch with their families.  To do this probably means that rich people need to pay for actions that cool the climate, while poorer people focus on building their family's income.  I join Malaysia41 in voluntarily spending my own money to cool the climate. 
« Last Edit: February 28, 2018, 03:26:47 PM by Bicycle_B »

Bicycle_B

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #32 on: February 28, 2018, 03:50:06 PM »
Hopefully we're like algae, where at some point, after consuming too many non-renewable resources, we suffer and go from 7+ billion people to some lower number.

But I suspect we're more like fermentation yeast - where after consuming too many resources, our waste products rise to toxic levels for some life-critical biochemical processes, and it kills us all.

Um... I signed up for doing something proactive, not joining a doomsayer circle.  I don't have to cheer for population collapse to be on this thread, do I???

I suspect we won't go to a lower human population due to climate change.  At least, if the human population drops, I think it will mostly be from other factors, as is already occurring in many countries. 

Re algae, I don't think we need a population drop to stop consuming too many non-renewable resources.  It is perfectly possible that we will instead learn to be more efficient.  We could recycle some (like metals) instead, for example.  Also we can develop alternate methods of achieving a given goal, and change our choices through gentler methods (cost pressures, free birth control) prior to experiencing a deprivation-based population decline. 

@Malaysia41, if this thread departs from discussion of individual actions into general enviro-discussion, you won't mind a positive-minded contribution, will you?

sol

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #33 on: February 28, 2018, 04:04:59 PM »
@Malaysia41, if this thread departs from discussion of individual actions into general enviro-discussion, you won't mind a positive-minded contribution, will you?

You do see the irony inherent in this contradiction, though, right?

Any individual actions that a wealthy American might take, like installing solar panels or buying carbon offsets, are clearly ridiculous attempts to amend for the extravagant lifestyles we lead.  While I invested $30k into solar panels for my US roof, that money could have been used to install 10 times as much capacity in rural Africa, where small amounts of renewable electricity can have enormous impacts on quality of life while simultaneously offsetting dirtier energy sources than my northwest grid hydropower.  My decision to go solar was purely a selfish one, to make ME feel better about my environmental impact, not to actually make the environment better.  There are always more efficient ways to make the environment better than to reduce your personal consumption.

Al Gore took a lot of flak for this approach, living in a big house and flying around the country to promote his global warming movie, but honestly that movie saved far more emissions by influencing the behavior of millions of people than he could ever produce in a lifetime of personal consumption.  He genuinely helped the environment, instead of making himself feel better by just reducing his personal consumption. 

Malaysia41

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #34 on: March 01, 2018, 12:00:51 AM »
@Malaysia41, if this thread departs from discussion of individual actions into general enviro-discussion, you won't mind a positive-minded contribution, will you?

You do see the irony inherent in this contradiction, though, right?

Any individual actions that a wealthy American might take, like installing solar panels or buying carbon offsets, are clearly ridiculous attempts to amend for the extravagant lifestyles we lead.  While I invested $30k into solar panels for my US roof, that money could have been used to install 10 times as much capacity in rural Africa, where small amounts of renewable electricity can have enormous impacts on quality of life while simultaneously offsetting dirtier energy sources than my northwest grid hydropower.  My decision to go solar was purely a selfish one, to make ME feel better about my environmental impact, not to actually make the environment better.  There are always more efficient ways to make the environment better than to reduce your personal consumption.

Al Gore took a lot of flak for this approach, living in a big house and flying around the country to promote his global warming movie, but honestly that movie saved far more emissions by influencing the behavior of millions of people than he could ever produce in a lifetime of personal consumption.  He genuinely helped the environment, instead of making himself feel better by just reducing his personal consumption.

This existential predicament is a mind-bender isn't it?

 
@Malaysia41, if this thread departs from discussion of individual actions into general enviro-discussion, you won't mind a positive-minded contribution, will you?

When I talk honestly about the situation we're all in, it's typical to jokingly be called a debbie downer or doomsdayer or IDK, 'prepper'?  So I act jovial or laugh to lighten the mood.  But I'm dead serious.

And then there are revelations that turn my thinking on its head - no - not about our fate in general - but about the causes and the methods by which we're driving there.

For example, I'll find myself noting grotesque behaviors that seem to be a result of capitalism. Then I read about the historic extraction and emissions by companies in Russia over time, and it's on par with the US. I realize this is a condition of the human species behaving like any other species filling in niches where resources are available.

It would have taken extremely enlightened leaders - listening to their top ecologists - and working with other enlightened leaders worldwide - to have come up with policies that kept us from fate, all while mastering the messaging needed to get the whole world complying. In other words, our predicament is independent of socio-political organizations. Sure some aspects of the way we organize ourselves make emissions worse, but on the whole, resource depletion and environmental pollution are not unique to particular political philosophies. They're succession-of-species problems.  It's just that I would have liked to think we were capable of transcending this predicament with our big brains. Unfortunately, we're probably not.

And my mind bends thinking of analogies.

We're like 7B siblings who inherited a massive fortune. A small % of us are behaving like wealthy Long-Island heirs in the Age of Exuberance, just before the 1929. We understand the maxim, "DON'T TOUCH THE PRINCIPAL!"  And we're trying to comply, and we're trying to get others to comply.  But the vast majority of our siblings around the world are behaving like the basic profligate high-income-no-savings-lifestyle-inflation people who we regularly apply face-punches to on this forum.  They're like, "The F you talking about? This is mine! I'm gonna do what I want! YOLO! I deserve it!" And we're going, "facepalm", as we book another international flight.

It's a real mind-fucker this predicament.

Quote
Re algae, I don't think we need a population drop to stop consuming too many non-renewable resources.  It is perfectly possible that we will instead learn to be more efficient.  We could recycle some (like metals) instead, for example.  Also we can develop alternate methods of achieving a given goal, and change our choices through gentler methods (cost pressures, free birth control) prior to experiencing a deprivation-based population decline. 

Oh yeah -there are A LOT of solutions we could pursue. ... But we're not. We're putting it on individuals to make individual choices. And even someone like me - someone who (I think) has a fairly good grasp of the enormity of our situation - even I'm not making the choices that need to be made.

Sol's comment on Al Gore arose a new mind-bender for me.  Until now, I've regarded Al Gore as doing more harm than good. Holy shit - you hear my parents talk about him and his hypocrisy and it's clear the'd get behind rolling coal just to russle his jimmies. But there's also the right wing media that has taken every hypocritical thing he's done and not only ran with it - they've distorted what he's said to mean the opposite of what he clearly intended. Here's something I wrote on a specific case a while ago - about the way Fox 'news' selectively edited his testimony on cap-n-trade.

But Sol sees the situation the opposite way.  His movie did more good than bad, as it opened up the eyes (and hopefully changed the behavior) of so many people. And then we're back to square one which is that his movie maybe moved the needle one way or the other, but the power of our species to consume at all costs negated much of the potential effect of his movie.

I'm discussing this stuff mainly because I'm working through the grief process myself. I can try to keep it easy breezy as usual. But like I mentioned in another thread regarding industrial factory farming - we're a tough bunch who looks reality squarely on, and we make choices based on that. So I'm also not interested in mis-representing our predicament as a below-the-fold human interest (heh) story. It should be the full page headline.  And we should be doing everything we can to work together to stop stealing from our kids and our grandkid. We need to stop touching the principal. I don't see that happening. I could write here what I think it would take, but instead I'll ask you - what specific actions would it take to avert the impending 'doom'?


sol

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #35 on: March 01, 2018, 12:46:47 AM »
what specific actions would it take to avert the impending 'doom'?

I think you're looking at "doom" the wrong way.

Yes, environmental catastrophe is one kind of doom.  But it's a slow-rolling boulder, that mostly squishes poor people.  Meanwhile, our cities are burning down around us with more immediate problems.  Opioid addiction, sex trafficking, Mexican cartels beheading people, unregistered pedophiles, soulja boy, homelessness, racists driving their cars into crowds of people... it's a depressingly long list.

If you think destroying the Earth is bad for the Earth, you can feel better knowing that Earth wouldn't blink if humanity were wiped out tomorrow.  It's been here 4.5 billion years and hominids have been here approximately one tenth of one percent of that time.  All of recorded history is approximately one thousandth of one thousandth of one percent of that time, and for the vast majority of that tiny sliver we hadn't discovered fossil fuels.  On the scale of the planet, all of humanity thus far is basically an instantaneous event.

If you think destroying the Earth is bad for the people who live on Earth, then your real concern is human suffering, not environmentalism, and by that metric the environment is waaaaaay down on the list of problems.  Somewhere on Earth today, a child under 6 was raped, a drunk driver killed a single mother, and a bag full of puppies was drowned in a river.  That happens every single day.  Torture still happens.  Thousands of people literally die every day from diarrhea.  Oh and we still have enough nukes to end all human life in under 30 minutes, ready set go!  Compared to these sorts of problems, rising sea level seems a little less like a crisis, right? 

Yes billions of coastal people will have to relocate to new cities, but hey at least they won't die of diarrhea this year, unlike several thousand real humans who are alive today and who won't be alive in 2019, having died horrible painful deaths that were totally preventable.  So are we really worried about the potential inconvenience to future humans?

And yes, the ice caps are totally going to melt and the polar bears are all going to die, but let's not forget that there are only a few thousand polar bears anyway and we literally slaughter 40 million cows every single year, just because they are pleasingly delicious.  So are we really worried about animal welfare?

I realize that I'm probably not helping, at this point.  Sorry.

Malaysia41

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #36 on: March 01, 2018, 02:20:59 AM »
what specific actions would it take to avert the impending 'doom'?

If you think destroying the Earth is bad for the Earth, you can feel better knowing that Earth wouldn't blink if humanity were wiped out tomorrow.  It's been here 4.5 billion years and hominids have been here approximately one tenth of one percent of that time.  All of recorded history is approximately one thousandth of one thousandth of one percent of that time, and for the vast majority of that tiny sliver we hadn't discovered fossil fuels.  On the scale of the planet, all of humanity thus far is basically an instantaneous event.


Sol - I adore you. If we were choosing teams I'd volunteer to be on yours. Gotta say, though, this quoted response is the one that annoys me unlike any other. It feels intentionally obtuse. I mean, I realize you're trying to take me to a higher altitude view, but trust me, I've visited that observation many times already. I understand the earth is ~4.5B years old in a universe that's approx ~13B years old, and that the earth will go on without humans. 

I'm talking about us going into overshoot and killing ourselves off by altering our environment to a point that makes life impossible.  This, despite recognizing our situation and having the capability to possibly avoid it.

I have kids, and nieces and nephews. But even if I didn't, well, call me sentimental, but I care about our species and our fellow earthlings. I don't want to wipe them all out because we're too stupid to 'not touch the principal'.

By focusing on this one huge existential problem, I'm not saying other problems don't exist or don't matter. Shit, I founded a 501c3 organization to pay teachers so that Rohingya refugees on the Island of Penang have a place to go and learn and have a chance to transcend their situations.  I recognize there's daily awfulness everywhere. (by the way, I'm raising $6k to pay a teacher this year you can donate at www.rohyingyafund.org (heh)).

When you write things like this I feel you're missing my point.

It's not rising sea levels that bothers me. That's a problem, but it's manageable. It's not the slow-descent collapse that bothers me. I mean it does bother me, but in a manageable way. I think many of us have a fighting chance of navigating that with our chosen teams. No - it's the dozens of possible one-way cascades of events we might trigger - from permafrost melting to killing off oceanic phytoplankton due to ocean acidification - to goodness knows what else - that could END us in short order. I don't want to END us, when we have the power and capability to survive.

A year ago I figured that we were facing a long slow boil collapse like you describe - maybe in ten years, maybe in 50, hell, maybe long after you and I are dead. (this is the 'us being algae' scenario).  But the more I've been reading about ecology, and the more I observe the fat headed conversations amongst our leaders, the more I'm coming to realize we're stepping on the accelerator. It may not be a slow boil decline afterall. It may be that we hit a wall all at once (this is the 'us being fermenting yeast' scenario). I can store as many months of beans and oats in my pantry as I want, and that's not going to help if all the plankton die off over the course of months and within a few years, no one outside of $3M hermetically sealed and well stocked bomb shelters can breathe . 

I'm just working through the acceptance of it all. It's spilling out onto the forums. 

But I'm not saying I don't want to hear your wisdom.  I've learned quite a lot from you on this and other topics. e.g. what you've written about your solar panels, even what you said about Al Gore. So I'm sorry if I'm coming off as if I'm asking you to sit down and shut up - I'm not.  It's just that I've been working through so many of these perspectives that some of them feel trite, obvious, and obtuse at this point.  But I'll acknowledge that most people we come across in the world aren't thinking about our predicament much at all, so shifting perspectives is a great tool to pull the rug out and jolt people into seeing the situation. But - the 'earth will go on without us' comment usually comes from people who advocate 'burn baby burn' policy and use that line of discussion to undermine the competence of anyone discussing doing better with the environment. So that makes it doubly annoying.

Maybe 'doom' was too a loaded word. I was simply borrowing Bicycle_B's terminology. I guess I'm asking, what can we do to alleviate our predicament and improve the chances of we earthlings surviving this mass extinction event? Because making individual choices doesn't accomplish much beyond making choosey individuals feel better. I'm not at a point where I'm comfortable saying 'whatevs'.  But that's the point I'm prolly gonna need to work my way toward.

Quote
And yes, the ice caps are totally going to melt and the polar bears are all going to die, but let's not forget that there are only a few thousand polar bears anyway and we literally slaughter 40 million cows every single year, just because they are pleasingly delicious.  So are we really worried about animal welfare?

Yes. I'm also worried about animal welfare. Industrialized animal ag factory farming needs to end. If we all transitioned to whole food veganism over the next 5 years, we'd definitely alleviate our predicament with fossil fuels, return to a much more sustainable terrestrial vertebrate biomass, and end enormous daily suffering of our fellow earthlings.   We should slaughter the cows we have, and stop breeding new ones. Yes -we should do that.

You seem to be arguing that we have to pick just one thing ("so are we really worried about animal welfare"?), but also arguing that by picking one thing we're being hypocrites because there are so many other things to care about ("a child of 6 was raped today"). ???? the fuck man???? I mean that in the most respectful, I-adore-you sort of way, of course.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 02:25:30 AM by Malaysia41 »

Malaysia41

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #37 on: March 03, 2018, 05:16:31 AM »
I felt more upbeat about our predicament as I finished reading the book Overshoot.



Here are some of my comments on my blog where approx .13 people show up every day to absorb my fascinating, scintillating prose.

The definition of homo colossus vs homo sapiens is one of many useful ecological concepts / definitions discussed in the book. Highly recommend.

edit: Here's a 45 minute interview with William J. Catton from 2008.  IMO it's worth a watch. He covers a lot of the concepts from the Overshoot book. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oF6F0bgvARc     

edit2: Ah, 2008 - the year that Newt and Nancy filmed this 30 second spot on climate change.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi6n_-wB154  ... soon after, the GOP took a hard turn away from ecological enlightenment. :(.  The few Republicans who advocated for carbon taxes and reducing GHG emissions - folks like Rep Bob Inglis from S.C. - got swept from office as tea partiers filled the ranks of the house.   But Mr. Catton advises we not look for villains.  It's hard not to see them everywhere these days though.  Shit - I'm brooding again. I was feeling positive. Dang.

I still have $25 a month to allocate to offset my carbon.  I want to give it to political campaigns - to elect people who take the science seriously, and have ideas and capability to get us to a point where we embrace policies that protect wild lands, and motivate 1st world humans to use less energy, all while encouraging development of sensible renewables.

Any recommendations?
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 06:26:39 AM by Malaysia41 »

Malaysia41

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2018, 04:53:02 AM »
Update: I have allocated my self-imposed monthly carbon taxes!

Goal was $75 a month or $900 a year to pay $30 per ton of CO2 emissions for our family of three homo colossi (estimated emissions of 30 tons total based on two online calculators).

$25 /mo  – National level political campaigns (March- Beto O'Rourke) (April IDK Who???) (May ???)
$15 / mo – National Resources Defense Council
$15 / mo – Earth Justice
$10 / mo – National Rifle Association
$10 / mo – Citizens Climate Lobby  (1x pymnt $120)
$ 5 / mo  – Earthling Ed
$ 5 / mo  – Bite Sized Vegan
$ 5 / mo  – Veganuary
$ 5 / mo  – Anonymous for the Voiceless (1x pymnt $60)
--------------------------------------------------------------

Okay - one of those is bogus.  Can you tell which?

And that's $85 a month. Close enough to my $75/mo goal. 

How are you all doing with your self-imposed carbon tax goals /activities?

(Thanks for indulging my hand wringing posts as I go through the throws of coming to terms with the fate of humanity!)


...
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 03:14:45 AM by Malaysia41 »

Hirondelle

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2018, 01:40:23 PM »
Wait, why's the NRA in there? What good do they do for the climate (or from European perspective, what good do they do at all)??

Tass

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #40 on: March 04, 2018, 02:56:08 PM »
Wait, why's the NRA in there? What good do they do for the climate (or from European perspective, what good do they do at all)??

Okay - one of those is bogus.  Can you tell which?

Bicycle_B

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #41 on: March 04, 2018, 06:15:41 PM »
Malaysia41, well done on finishing your self-imposed carbon taxes!


When I talk honestly about the situation we're all in, it's typical to jokingly be called a debbie downer or doomsdayer or IDK, 'prepper'?  So I act jovial or laugh to lighten the mood.  But I'm dead serious.


For clarity - not asking you to fake it if you think we're doomed.  Well aware that you're serious.  Just making sure that I'm not required to agree we're all doomed. 


Quote
Re algae, I don't think we need a population drop to stop consuming too many non-renewable resources.  It is perfectly possible that we will instead learn to be more efficient.  We could recycle some (like metals) instead, for example.  Also we can develop alternate methods of achieving a given goal, and change our choices through gentler methods (cost pressures, free birth control) prior to experiencing a deprivation-based population decline. 

Oh yeah -there are A LOT of solutions we could pursue. ... But we're not. We're putting it on individuals to make individual choices.

(snip)

So I'm also not interested in mis-representing our predicament as a below-the-fold human interest (heh) story. It should be the full page headline.  And we should be doing everything we can to work together to stop stealing from our kids and our grandkid. We need to stop touching the principal. I don't see that happening. I could write here what I think it would take, but instead I'll ask you - what specific actions would it take to avert the impending 'doom'?

I don't claim to have the Great Recipe For Preventing Climate Change.  I just think that in between "we are not doing enough this year to prevent future climate change" and "shit, 6 of the 7 billion humans just died because of climate change", there will be a period when economic scarcity signals drive up the price of non-renewable resources, such that human responses to the price will be fast and effective enough to keep most people from dying.  We are far from that day right now, in that the price signals are not yet sufficient to drive common behavior. 

I'm on this thread because I think it's a good thing to take the individual actions that we can.  As stated upthread, if self imposing a carbon tax can be reasonably thought to work and be quantifiable, I seek by year end to be positioned for a 2019 of zero net carbon emissions.  That's more than I would do without this thread, so again, glad you started it. 

Soon to come:  BicycleB's confession of difficulties with daily habit change, and first steps to move more in that area.  Aka, Bicycle starts to report on working through his carbon list.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 06:18:33 PM by Bicycle_B »

expatartist

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #42 on: March 04, 2018, 09:54:59 PM »
This is a tough one. Until recently, I'd convinced myself that living the life I do wasn't too bad - child- and car-free, tiny apt with very little heating/cooling needed, take electric subway just 2 stops to work, etc. But I eat a lot of imported food: today's lunch is palak paneer on nan from Pakistan, with a Californian mixed-green salad. I also take several flights per year for work, exhibitions, or family - all travel is international from Hong Kong.

And yesterday I had a long chat with a meteorologist-turned-sea kayak instructor who showed me some sobering videos, maps and other info from arctic research institutes. The catalyst was a recycled glass mosaic I'm doing for work in the shape of a recent typhoon, and an art project incorporating rising sea levels. But within minutes I understood my naivety - scientists have said there's no way to predict now we're on an exponential curve in terms of the oceans heating up (air/surface temperatures to follow after) and it was depressing as hell. Beyond depressing.

Anyway, I appreciate the discussion and links you've been putting here @Malaysia41. Hope to contribute whatever I can. Related: does anyone recommend ETFs with a renewable energy/environmental component, similar to Vanguard's Social Index fund but more environmentally focused? Thanks.


palebluedot

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #43 on: March 04, 2018, 09:58:29 PM »

edit2: Ah, 2008 - the year that Newt and Nancy filmed this 30 second spot on climate change.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi6n_-wB154  ... soon after, the GOP took a hard turn away from ecological enlightenment. :(.  The few Republicans who advocated for carbon taxes and reducing GHG emissions - folks like Rep Bob Inglis from S.C. - got swept from office as tea partiers filled the ranks of the house.   But Mr. Catton advises we not look for villains.  It's hard not to see them everywhere these days though.  Shit - I'm brooding again. I was feeling positive. Dang.

Senator Whitehouse talks a lot about how Citizens United resulted in the GOP not passing any legislation on climate change. Have you read deeper into this? Here's an interview with him: https://e360.yale.edu/features/how-big-money-in-politics-blocked-u-s-action-on-climate-change

Quote
I still have $25 a month to allocate to offset my carbon.  I want to give it to political campaigns - to elect people who take the science seriously, and have ideas and capability to get us to a point where we embrace policies that protect wild lands, and motivate 1st world humans to use less energy, all while encouraging development of sensible renewables.

Any recommendations?

Check out 314. I've been donating monthly over the past year. They are the main grassroots organization on training STEM candidates for political office.
http://www.314action.org/home

And yes Carl is awesome! He is missed :-(

Malaysia41

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #44 on: March 05, 2018, 12:57:41 AM »
Wait, why's the NRA in there? What good do they do for the climate (or from European perspective, what good do they do at all)??

Okay - one of those is bogus.  Can you tell which?

heh.

Hirondelle

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #45 on: March 05, 2018, 01:52:55 AM »
Wait, why's the NRA in there? What good do they do for the climate (or from European perspective, what good do they do at all)??

Okay - one of those is bogus.  Can you tell which?

heh.

Haha didn't notice that sentence! Pfew.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #46 on: March 05, 2018, 03:35:35 AM »
My family has changed lots of habits to reduce our GHG emissions - but it's not enough. So, today, we calculated a pledged to pay a self-imposed tax - mainly to atone for our international flying. 

Unfortunately, spending money will not prevent climate change. This reminds me of how in the middle ages certain nobles and merchants decided that they simply couldn't stop sinning, couldn't they just donate to a worthy charity to make up for their sins? The Catholic Church said, "yes, there is indeed a worthy charity: us." And so, indulgences were born. The nobles kept having fun sinning, and the church got richer, everyone was happy!

However, unlike "sin", our carbon emissions have a definite and measurable impact on the world.

Couldn't you just... not fly?

Malaysia41

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #47 on: March 05, 2018, 04:25:14 AM »
My family has changed lots of habits to reduce our GHG emissions - but it's not enough. So, today, we calculated a pledged to pay a self-imposed tax - mainly to atone for our international flying. 

Unfortunately, spending money will not prevent climate change. This reminds me of how in the middle ages certain nobles and merchants decided that they simply couldn't stop sinning, couldn't they just donate to a worthy charity to make up for their sins? The Catholic Church said, "yes, there is indeed a worthy charity: us." And so, indulgences were born. The nobles kept having fun sinning, and the church got richer, everyone was happy!

However, unlike "sin", our carbon emissions have a definite and measurable impact on the world.

Couldn't you just... not fly?

Yeah - we've discussed that a lot in this thread.

Malaysia41

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #48 on: March 05, 2018, 04:26:23 AM »

edit2: Ah, 2008 - the year that Newt and Nancy filmed this 30 second spot on climate change.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi6n_-wB154  ... soon after, the GOP took a hard turn away from ecological enlightenment. :(.  The few Republicans who advocated for carbon taxes and reducing GHG emissions - folks like Rep Bob Inglis from S.C. - got swept from office as tea partiers filled the ranks of the house.   But Mr. Catton advises we not look for villains.  It's hard not to see them everywhere these days though.  Shit - I'm brooding again. I was feeling positive. Dang.

Senator Whitehouse talks a lot about how Citizens United resulted in the GOP not passing any legislation on climate change. Have you read deeper into this? Here's an interview with him: https://e360.yale.edu/features/how-big-money-in-politics-blocked-u-s-action-on-climate-change

Quote
I still have $25 a month to allocate to offset my carbon.  I want to give it to political campaigns - to elect people who take the science seriously, and have ideas and capability to get us to a point where we embrace policies that protect wild lands, and motivate 1st world humans to use less energy, all while encouraging development of sensible renewables.

Any recommendations?

Check out 314. I've been donating monthly over the past year. They are the main grassroots organization on training STEM candidates for political office.
http://www.314action.org/home

And yes Carl is awesome! He is missed :-(

Thanks, 314 looks good. I think I'll send $100 to them, and $100 to Cool Earth.

Malaysia41

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Re: Self Imposing Carbon Taxes - Who's With Me?
« Reply #49 on: March 05, 2018, 04:40:25 AM »
Malaysia41, well done on finishing your self-imposed carbon taxes!


When I talk honestly about the situation we're all in, it's typical to jokingly be called a debbie downer or doomsdayer or IDK, 'prepper'?  So I act jovial or laugh to lighten the mood.  But I'm dead serious.


For clarity - not asking you to fake it if you think we're doomed.  Well aware that you're serious.  Just making sure that I'm not required to agree we're all doomed. 


Quote
Re algae, I don't think we need a population drop to stop consuming too many non-renewable resources.  It is perfectly possible that we will instead learn to be more efficient.  We could recycle some (like metals) instead, for example.  Also we can develop alternate methods of achieving a given goal, and change our choices through gentler methods (cost pressures, free birth control) prior to experiencing a deprivation-based population decline. 

Oh yeah -there are A LOT of solutions we could pursue. ... But we're not. We're putting it on individuals to make individual choices.

(snip)

So I'm also not interested in mis-representing our predicament as a below-the-fold human interest (heh) story. It should be the full page headline.  And we should be doing everything we can to work together to stop stealing from our kids and our grandkid. We need to stop touching the principal. I don't see that happening. I could write here what I think it would take, but instead I'll ask you - what specific actions would it take to avert the impending 'doom'?

I don't claim to have the Great Recipe For Preventing Climate Change.  I just think that in between "we are not doing enough this year to prevent future climate change" and "shit, 6 of the 7 billion humans just died because of climate change", there will be a period when economic scarcity signals drive up the price of non-renewable resources, such that human responses to the price will be fast and effective enough to keep most people from dying.  We are far from that day right now, in that the price signals are not yet sufficient to drive common behavior. 

I'm on this thread because I think it's a good thing to take the individual actions that we can.  As stated upthread, if self imposing a carbon tax can be reasonably thought to work and be quantifiable, I seek by year end to be positioned for a 2019 of zero net carbon emissions.  That's more than I would do without this thread, so again, glad you started it. 

Soon to come:  BicycleB's confession of difficulties with daily habit change, and first steps to move more in that area.  Aka, Bicycle starts to report on working through his carbon list.

You're not required to think anything in particular of course. Anyway, I appreciate your optimism ... and I really appreciate you taking so much personal action to reduce your carbon impact! Zero net carbon emissions in 2019 is a fantastic goal. Looking forward to the Bicycle_B confessional sessions.