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Ask HN: What can we do about climate change?
8 points by erdaniels 64 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments
After reading up on the current state of climate change and what we are doing to mitigate or reverse the effects, it felt like there is a sense of lost hope for the world coming back from this. Beyond sitting back and letting the events unfold, does anyone think there's something that the people of HN can do with our varied skill sets? This may sound naive but I do wonder if there's more we could be doing that could have a multiplier effect on the effort to mitigate the factors that are causing climate change.



Someone asked a similar question recently and I suggested an indirect option: use fast, energy- efficient languages and software.

It sounds ludicrous and you can decide for yourself if it is, but consider that there are millions of servers (and desktop and laptop computers) in operation daily. Can you imagine the sheer volume of energy consumed globally? The tech community cares not one iota for such matters - in stark contrast to other industries that have strived for reduced energy-consumption. No, it won't stop climate change, but such wasteful energy use is an important issue that deserves more attention.

Anyway, rather than repeat myself, here's my original comment from the previous discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17762466


Well, the MBs of ad-related (and other) JS loading with many/most webpages seems the most obvious low-hanging fruit there.

And writing this, my screen is shining white. How much energy would a default black instead of white save if used everywhere?


That’s an I teresting idea I hadn’t thought of before. Thanks for bringing it up.


Going vegan or drastically reducing our animal product consumption might be the biggest impact we can make on a personal level. It slashes the energy impact we have on the environment by a factor of 10 - less polution, water usage goes down, forests are not destroyed (90% of the amazon deforestation is to raise livestock). As a bonus - it is good for our health


And most of the plastic in the oceans is nets and stuff dumped by fishing boats apparently. Not to mention severe 'over-fishing'.


1. Support political groups challenging capitalism, since unrestrained capitalism is what is causing this problem.

2. Plenty of work needed to build alternative infrastructure. So you can work for companies doing stuff ranging from public transit planning (https://www.remix.com/) to alternative energy deployments.

3. Work on the open source scientific infrastructure that researchers rely on.

4. Local political activity to get more public transit and bike infrastructure built, to get people off cars.


I'm not a fan of capitalism, but do you think capitalism and environmentalism are mutually exclusive?


Very hard to say. Certainly the current form seems pretty contradictory.


Multiplier effects are the one thing. Personal choices are the other.

Everyone can make concious decisions about:

- transportation, especially flying,

- food, especially eating meat; also exotic food from far away,

- consumption: do you really need that new thing you wanted to buy? Will it actually improve your live?

just to name some, imho most influential ones. Also, be informed, e.g. https://www.drawdown.org/solutions


You might like my talk from a few years ago [0].

0. https://www.tillett.info/2015/12/13/preventing-global-climat...


Such an important question. I wonder how I can use my skills for it. Not easy to answer. I'm trying to get into cleantech, looking for a job currently.




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