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Indonesia reports reduced deforestation, triggering carbon payment from Norway (norway.no)
315 points by ammaristotle 62 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 227 comments

> In 2010, Norway pledged to support Indonesia with up to 1 billion USD depending on results.

It's easy to sit in a developed western country, buying products from other countries, and then complain about their emissions. I'm glad that we're trying to be responsible. It may not be enough or not the right way to do it (some thoughts on this?), but it's something.

People in developed western countries have been buying rainforests to protect the environment for decades: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2006/mar/24/cantwe...

I'm not sure how it's being protected though.

OTOH the earth has been getting greener recently:




I remember buying a childrens-print magazine, as a kid in the 80s, that had a bit more expensive special issue, but each sold copy was supposedly used to buy a couple of m² of the rainforest.

They marketed it in an "own a piece of the rainforest" way and kid me was super stoked about the idea of owning a piece of rainforest, imagining how I would be living there.

I think it might have been Yps [0], but I'm not 100% certain.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yps_(comics)

This is exactly what most Westerners do not get about China. If you want to reduce emissions stop buying their products.

People do get that, but waiting for people to spontaneously start doing the right thing is just not a very good strategy.

That's why we need a carbon tax. To force people to.

As an economist I fully agree. It's not the solution but the measure that helps consumers in ranking all possible solutions. Why is flying without kerosine tax? Why do we spend a few k€ on electric car subsidies per MT less emitted. A tax would make things like this transparant. All we need is some party with the clout of the EU or US to get this thing going. There is no opting out trading with us and no opting out for local citizens. With 1/4th (?) Of global GDP on board it would be the transformative step in starting towards drawdown. All other measures are doomed to fail without it. You can't invest in anything CO2 related when you can't capture the gains. Make no mistakes: CO2 accounting and taxing will be a massive invitation for corruption, gaming and bad actors. But we don't have another option except heavy handed top down regulation.

> CO2 accounting and taxing will be a massive invitation for corruption, gaming and bad actors

That's the problem already. We've had a CO2 price for a long time - but it's meaninglessly low. I can only presume because of lobbying from those with vested interests.

CO2 fraud has been uncovered in the EU VAT zone[0] 1.6 billion euros skimmed by a dozen people in France. Up to 10 billion for the EU as a whole.

Unfortunately I could only find sources in french or hebrew but the amounts amassed by this operation is staggering.


Can't we make fines high and give anyone that reports fraud a cut of penalty?

There's a similar concept to a Pigovian tax for fines, I think of it as a "Pigovian fine", which is the price at which the likelihood of getting caught times the fine exceeds the cost to pay the tax directly.

So if you have a 1% chance of getting caught, the fine needs to be 101x the tax.

This is why so many e.g. banking and consumer protection fines fail to achieve their goal - the cost of adhering is more than the probability of getting caught times the fine, so it's economically rational to not pay.

Not just simple fraud, but a major hurdle is how to regulate CO2 necessary for producing consumer energy without creating a regressive tax structure. Once CO2 is converted to electricity on the grid, it's fungible and impossible to sort out luxury vs necessity.

Imho, government trying to sin-tax away CO2 is result of our failure to invest in technology solutions.

Not so hard. It's fine if any individual tax is regressive, as long is counterbalanced by UBI or other forms of per-capita welfare support. You don't need to measure precisely, as long as you get rough estimates that people pay $Y in various sin-taxes but get $X>$Y in general welfare benefits.

I absolutely disagree. Inserting the government into the average citizen's balance sheet can and will be corrupted.

People are busy and stressed and don't have time to think about stuff like that. That is why the government, aka society, have to make those calls and enforce them. People need guidance to make the right decisions in an already complicated world. If we can't get people to eat right, value science, save an emergency fund, or so many things why do we keep acting surprised when they don't even know what global warming is.

And, people don't usually put themselves at an economic disadvantage.

If their neighbors are buying cheap goods, they probably will too.

I disagree, with advertising and brand loyalty, often people spend more than they need to on equivalent goods.

Sure, if it's a marginal cost increase or if you're wealthy.

But middle-income families typically aren't going to spend 25-50% more on a comparable product to save on CO2.

There was a big push decades ago to buy American, but it largely failed because for the majority of people living paycheck to paycheck, spending 25-50% more to have an American flag sticker on your purchase wasn't worth it.

Also because there is 0 accountability that the flag sticker is honest. Sometimes the only part that's "made in USA" is the effort of applying the sticker.

My partner and I are a middle income family (though comfortable because we live cheap) and we buy based on a bunch of factors including brand loyalty and environment policy (as much as you can find out without it turning into a full time job).

Regulations across borders are ineffective, usually useless... and good luck promoting conscientious consumerism.

We need tariffs on imports from polluting countries.

We don’t just need a carbon tax. We need the public to support it unlike the French public.

So we need to redistribute the carbon tax as UBI. So people say “more carbon tax please!” Climate Justice. Contact Andrew Yang who is running for President and tell him his UBI needs to be funded with a carbon tax!

I think if you had a properly planned tax so you could say this is fair and will fix or at least significantly reduce the risk from global warming then people would be ok with it. The present ineffectual stuff doesn't really achieve much.

You are too naive to think that, in my opinion. It is also unnecessary to rely on this dream about human nature when we can just do the UBI thing which is strictly MORE incentive. Not to mention that it lets us introduce UBI’

UBI just makes landlords richer. Why not have the country simply pick up the carbon tax for individuals?

What does that even mean? Go into depth on both of your points.

If 10 families are in price competition for 9 houses* the price will be $1 more than the poorest family can afford. Which will probably leave the second-poorest family struggling.

If (in your justified pity for the poorest and second-poorest) you give everyone a free $1000, the equilibrium price will simply rise by $1000 leaving the same families struggling and homeless.

This is the model armchair economists use to explain reports that Bay Area employees paid 4x the national median household income can struggle to find housing.

Of course, if you instead think of Detroit, where many properties are abandoned and some change hands for as little as $500, the model is far less applicable.

*Assuming a simple model of a closed system where all houses are identical, there are no houses outside the system, no possibility of building new houses, and families are as densely packed as possible.

Bat Area employees pay so much because of gentrification, inequality and concentration of wealth.

A UBI is simply a progressive tax to counteract the usual economic forces that let the richer get richer: they can afford bigger switching costs, they can afford to take more risks, they have amassed more patents and technology like AI, loyal engineers and so on.

UBI can be adjusted to simply redistribute the money in the system back so everyone has a floor, and can also afford to take risks without worrying about access to the expectations and necessities of modern life.

Sure inflation happens anyway. Everyone already eats. Giving everyone food stamps isn’t gonna change that.

This is an amazig article that discusses that.


I don't think China would consent to being taxed like that.

They don't have to consent. That's the whole point of tariffs. They can be imposed unilaterally (As we have recently seen with the US - China shoving contest. Which, of course, had nothing to do with the environment, or carbon emissions, and everything to do with political optics.)

The US can impose tariffs on trade with the US.

If they wanted to impose it on China's oil trade with Saudi or Russia, it would have to be done militarily.

And that still leaves the question how to impose a carbon tax on China's domestic coal and oil.

The purpose of carbon tarrifs is not to punish other countries.

The purpose of carbon tarrifs is to make foreign dirty-energy-intensive products less competitive, compared to less dirty-energy-intensive ones.

Because we already have a way of making domestic dirty-energy-intensive products less competitive. It works great. It's called a domestic carbon tax.

They remove the immediate complaint of "If we impose a local carbon tax on energy, foreign imports will outcompete us, because they don't have to pay it."

OP talked about a carbon tax, as am I.

You're talking about "carbon tarrifs", which I've never heard of, and don't know what they are.

A carbon tariff is a carbon tax, but on external goods, that come from countries which don't have carbon taxes of their own.

A tariff is generally across the board though, by product type. If one company starts being more "green" than the others in the country of origin, it doesn't generally get hit less by tariffs.

It can be implemented on a per-company basis, just as sanctions often are.

If the West stops trading with China then they will invade Taiwan and Okinawa and also supply modern weapon systems to North Korea.

This is Tom Clancy fairy-tale nonsense. China wants a nuclear-free Korea, for the same reason that the United States wants a nuclear-free Mexico and Canada. Nuclear super-powers aren't keen on letting their neighboring satellite states limit their foreign policy, by arming them.

A carbon tax is not 'stopping trade'. It's an increase to the price of goods that are energy-intensive to manufacture, or ship.

The Chinese aren't going to allow any sort of tariffs that would threaten their rapid industrialization without serious saber-rattling.

They'll do that regardless when the time is right.

This is pure speculation. Meanwhile, our government is actively invading and occupying how many countries?


A carbon tax will disproportionately hurt people who did not cause this problem. We should be nationalizing our energy industries.

Always another regressive tax needed as the only way to solve a problem. There are other options that don't so egregiously favor the ones with money.

Carbon taxes can be offset with a per-person tax credit. This makes it revenue neutral while ensuring that big consumers pay more taxes. They do it in British Columbia already [1]

1. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/climate-chang...

You make it revenue neutral ­­– look up fee and dividend, the method favoured by most economists. The bottom ~2/3rd of households would, on average, get more money back than the tax would cost them.

> The bottom ~2/3rd of households would, on average, get more money back than the tax would cost them.

Please correct me if I'm misunderstanding: 2/3rds of households would first have to pay up, and then they'll get more money back than they paid in? If that's true, it sounds like it would be instituting needless added complexity, with a layer added for politicians and bureaucrats to take a cut before giving it back.

The value add of the layer in complexity is that the costs of some goods but not others would go up. This would make buying and investing in renewables more favorable economically.

So the value add is to artificially add a cost to one form of energy production to make it cost more than another form? That does not sound like a "value add", but rather a simple "cost add," with government agents making the demands and meting out financial (and eventually, physical) punishment for non-compliance.

And we really want to add complexity and inconvenience to 2/3rds of households just so they can get their money back?

It's called a pigovian tax, and it's widely considered the most efficient way to deal with these kinds of negative externalities.

For most lower income households, they would actually be receiving a net increase in their income, since they emit less than the mean carbon output.

Burning fossil fuels has a real cost to everyone which is not priced appropriately by the free market (this is a well known economic effect known as a negative externality). This tax corrects for the artificially low costs.

This is exactly what most Westerners do not get about China. If you want to reduce emissions stop buying their products.

Help me find a consumer toaster made in the United States. I searched for six months and only found ones made in China.

If I want a giant hotel toaster, there is an American option. But nothing sized for a household kitchen.

There are lots of people who make efforts to buy domestically. But so much manufacturing has gone to China that for some items there is no alternative.

I'm not sure how to say this constructively, but your comment reads as if there are only 2 countries in the world! Why is 'Made in USA' your only alternative to 'Made in China'?

It isn't. But as I stated, there were exactly zero choices other than Made in China when I searched. And I did a very thorough search.

Dualit Classic. A very expensive toaster that's been made by hand, for ages, in the UK. Repairable too!


Ossim. When I live in the UK I'll pick one up. Until then, the point stands: Made in China is all that is available to me.

Amazon.com has them in stock

Supply and demand. There is no demand of US toasters at the moment. The US has moved almost every production facility to China to make stake holders happy. The question is was it worth it?

Sounds like we need regulations to prevent the outsourcing of manufacturing to China.

My pragmatic take is that if we keep buying their stuff - and we will - they will soon become rich enough to clean up their environment, just like all rich countries do.

If you're familiar with the history of industrialism, all currently clean and rich countries went through a phase of horrible dirtiness as they rose out of awful poverty.

Fortunately, China seems to go through the same steps as the west 3-5 times faster than we did.

Sometimes, the only way out is through!

You think the environment will continue to be relatively hospitable to humans while we go "through" China, then India, then Africa/South America?

China is already halfway through. India isn't too far behind. The rest of the world is comparatively small.

So, yeah, I think we have pretty big margins, TBH.

Just my personal hunch. I don't ask you to agree.

We're talking CO2 here. The US has not exactly stopped emitting as it got rich.

US emissions are radically down though thanks to efficiency and moving from coal to nat gas + renewables. We're down almost 20% from 2000.


let me fix that for you:

if you want to reduce emissions stop consuming

Institute a carbon tax that fully captures the externalities of releasing CO2 in the air and people will be forced to.

I also like the idea of paying out the proceeds of the tax as a dividend per capita. This would help prevent the tax from being regressive. Maybe also cap emissions instead of just taxing so that we can control the total amount of emissions.

Institute a carbon tax and it'll vanish into someone's pocket while the manufactured goods still have the same emissions.

You can have a revenue neutral carbon tax where the funds go back into people’s pockets, but the change in consumption pattern would happen because for example renewable energy would not increase in price.

Spend the tax money on building offset mechanisms to recapture Carbon. Though not as cost-efficient as reducing carbon creation, they have the advantage that we can visit these facilities and verify they exist and are working.

Your response to “the money won’t be spent properly”, is to just spend more money?

While we’re doing that, maybe there should be a high speed rail from LA to San Fran!

Why don't you just mine BTC and then sell it and spend the money to offset CO2? /s

I almost don't care where the tax money goes. If things cost more, consumers buy less of them. If carbon-intensive things are more expensive, there will be less carbon-intensive things. This is like market economics 101.

I imagine they wouldn’t because goods that use significantly less carbon will cost significantly less.

I don’t care what you do with the taxes, the point is making sure that goods are priced appropriately.

Use some of it to subsidise insulation and better standard buildings, cleaner air and power, better railways etc.

Fund a UBI.

I'm fascinated at downvotes for this suggestion. What's actually wrong with spending part on lower impact infrastructure and part on a replacement for a broken welfare system?

Your heart is in the right place, but what you advocate isn't currently palatable to anyone, left or right, on the political spectrum.

Instead, push for a fee-and-dividend model – not entirely UBI, but similar in spirit. It's what most economists support, and it has enough bipartisan support [0] that there is actually a bill before Congress now that has a chance of passing.

[0] https://citizensclimatelobby.org/climate-solutions-caucus/

My heart is also the other side of the Atlantic. :)

Being perfectly revenue neutral is NOT the aim. Dramatic and lasting behaviour change is, and enough redistribution that the solution doesn't create other huge problems.

If fee and dividend is what the US is most amenable to, so be it. The biggest advantage (for the US) of fee and dividend is that it seems the most US market friendly of the alternatives that have been widely discussed.

I have only ever heard it proposed in a US context. It's also the mechanism I know least about. Which is no reason at all not to try. Still, I'd be delighted to see the US, or anyone, successfully adopt it. It may even turn out to be the best of the proposed mechanisms.

The left wouldn't support UBI or government-led environmental projects?

What does UBI have to do with carbon emissions?

Nothing whatsoever. Why must it? Taxes are used to move money from where it is to where it needs to be.

The tax would price goods and services relative to their CO2. Hopefully some things like single use plastic, ICE cars, coal power would become impossible or very near so.

If you used some of the proceeds to start a UBI, it might pay to replace an ageing and creaking welfare and pension system. UBI might be suitable for a world with less job security for most, with many jobs potentially automated away and populations that are ageing rapidly.

It's the kind of thing governments do with their yearly budget to provide for citizens.

Spend it all on solar and wind power if you prefer, or the NHS; reopen some libraries. That the tax prices the impact correctly is the more important. Just so long as the govt doesn't decide to subsidise petrol with the proceeds. :p

Norway's oil fund pays pensions. Use this to fund something equivalently useful.

> Nothing whatsoever. Why must it?

If the assertion that a carbon (or whatever else) tax is to cover the "cost" of externalities, then the money needs to go to actually addressing those externalities. Otherwise, it's just a lie to make a general tax more palatable.

It also runs into the problem that "sin taxes" have, namely that once a government entity has a consistent stream of income from such taxes that it can spend on its general expenditures, said entity has a perverse incentive to not curtail the activity below a certain point to avoid endangering that income stream.

> Norway's oil fund pays pensions.

Norway's oil fund is built up on royalties from exploration and extraction activity in Norwegian territory. It's not a tax on externalities.

> If the assertion ... actually addressing those externalities

No. We can address those externalities by creating low carbon buildings, energy, and other infrastructure. Those are mostly finite projects. Until we know how high carbon taxes must be to induce the required change, we might have far too little to fund even that, or much in excess. Just like it took many years (this time we need to go quicker) to understand the scale of the North Sea oil dividend. After some years we'll have converted much of that infrastructure and need more long term targets for that money. Being perfectly revenue neutral is NOT the aim. Dramatic and lasting behaviour change is.

It needs to avoid promoting extra spending that cancels out reductions achieved by the tax, and enough redistribution to compensate for the regressive nature of a big carbon tax on goods and services. We don't want people starving as a result. UBI seems it could fit nicely. Doing both seems in the best interest of the planet and UK. There may be better ways of achieving those two aims.

> It also runs into the problem that "sin taxes" have

Yet the UK has had no problem whatsoever, on both sides of the political divide, campaigning against smoking whilst having public health policies to promote quitting and increasing "sin" taxes way in excess of inflation yearly. Smoking rates have dropped to around 10%. Why can't this be exactly comparable and as successful? Sin taxes have quite definitely not had this problem for smoking. Smokers are an endangered species in the UK. A carbon tax seems perfectly analogous here, and ideally suitable for the European context.

> Norway's oil fund is built up on royalties .. It's not a tax on externalities

I am very well aware of that. I did not claim it was such a tax, and it doesn't matter in the least anyway. It was an example of a more intelligent use of a government windfall income.

Creating a long term fund to benefit the UK beats most of the alternatives, and certainly beats the Thatcherite model of pissing it away on tax cuts and consumer booms. Those are the very last things we need for this issue.

If UBI is funded with carbon tax, it's revenue-neutral i.e. the government can't spend it on general expenditures. No perverse incentive. You can also replace "UBI" with "per person tax credit" that's equal to the carbon tax. The point is to make the carbon tax revenue neutral. Real world example: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/climate-chang...

It offers a way to offset the regressive nature of carbon taxes. Poor people don't have to pay much net carbon tax for heating and gasoline, but rich people with massive houses and heated pools will pay more.

How would you price those externalities, given that there’s currently no way to offset/capture that CO2?

There are plenty of existing methods that become economically viable if CO2 is priced properly.

I'm not interested in economic viability, but energy viability. Given that we get most of our energy by creating CO2, it doesn't make sense to use some of that energy to remove some of that CO2. The only option is rapid expansion of nuclear and/or solar, but at latter will take a while and the former isn't very popular.

> it doesn't make sense to use some of that energy to remove some of that CO2.

Of course it does, if the price of CO2 is high enough. If I can capture 1.1 unit of CO2 per unit of CO2 released and it still makes me money, I'll use any energy available. This could happen if e.g. the government subsidizes carbon capture credits or simply if an efficient enough process exists.

On top of that, if the price is high enough it would be viable to build renewable energy solely for powering carbon capture.

It doesn't matter how high the price on CO2 is if you can't capture 1 unit of CO2 without emitting >1 unit. There's no guarantee that such a technology exists.

>There's no guarantee that such a technology exists.

I've recently started hearing phrases like that despite technology X existing. What has changed recently that people have become so ignorant?

Have you ever thought of where all those fossil fuels came from? They had to be captured by plants without emitting more CO2 than they captured. The bigger problem with industrial CO2 capturing processes is that they merely capture it, they still have to store them for millions of years just like plants did when they were turned into coal or oil.

This doesn’t make sense. Plants captures CO2 by expending more (solar) energy than is released by burning coal/oil and releasing that CO2. So if we manage to produce enough clean energy to start turning CO2 into oil, we might as well stop burning oil altogether and just use that clean energy instead!

On paper, it does...

The energy requirements of sequestration processes may be significant. In one paper, sequestration consumed 25% of the plant's rated 600-megawatt output capacity. After adding CO2 capture and compression, the capacity of the coal-fired power plant is reduced to 457 MW.


You can even use it to pump more oil!

In carbon capture and sequestration enhanced oil recovery (CCS EOR), carbon dioxide is injected into an oil field to recover oil that is often never recovered using more traditional methods.


It would effectively be a tax on energy.

'fully captures' is hard to do.

International tax harmonisation is even harder.


I can consume energy coming from clean sources like nuclear (focusing on the CO2) and renewable and I can also consume energy coming from coal power plants. Same thing with many other resources. I can order from Amazon a pen-drive with frustration free packaging which is also less garbage production and I can order the regular one which has insane amount of garbage for no good reason. I can use LED lights or normal ones. People can be smart about consumption. That is the biggest impact on CO2 production, not something like a piece of paper signed by politicians. That is my point.

That’s why I oppose free trade. We need a legislative solution that would ban (or tax highly) products from countries/companies that skim environmental / employment standards...

Who should set the rules? If you should follow national rules in importing country, would not this mean that most European countries would have to ban products from USA?

Well, yeah, that's the idea. If Europeans want to maintain some standards, it doesn't make sense that companies can simply relocate abroad to escape enforcement.

On the other hand, if a company would want to sell to EU, it would simply certify/prove that its supply chain follows the standards!

Since hn don't show who upvote you, I'll add a small comment that I hope EU and others would dare to do more with this than they do now

I like that, call it a fix for the problem of the common good. About time we recognize the entire planet is our home and if someone trashes part x it eventually spreads to part y.

Totally ineffective and counterproductive.

Doing what you suggest would not necessarily have any impact on emissions (as they might just shift to another country) while ensuring that 1.3 billion people remain poor and that their country remains undeveloped.

Far better to impose strict requirements on production methods. But if that is more expensive there should also be financial help available to countries that may not afford it.

Unfortunately that's not really an option for most things. And even when you find something thats made "in America" it's usually just assembled here with parts from China.

Sure an economic collapse in China would benefit the environment, but so would the economic collapse of the West.

There are better solutions that don't involve trading human suffering for environmental protection.

And buy products from where instead?

Is everything made in China uniformally disastrous for the environment?

I was under the impression the easiest way for people, who live in developed nations, to reduce emissions is to eat less meat?

China is fastracking to being a developed nation faster than anyone before, and missing out many of the developed world's mistakes. They'll have poisonous air for a shorter time than the US or Europe did. They'll have the least obsolete infrastructure of anyone. Making stuff in China isn't necessarily disastrous.

Making huge amounts of overly cheap shite that doesn't last, or do the job properly is especially disastrous as it encourages waste.

Shipping huge amounts of stuff around the globe is disastrous.

Making stuff in places that don't yet have mature and tight environmental protections is disastrous. (Probably a significant reason it moved there in the first place)

I'd pay more for a MBP or another Thinkpad made in Greenock (where IBM used to make them), or anywhere in the EU. I'm in a minority so small it may as well not exist in wanting locally made stuff. For most stuff, I try not to buy at all, but I can rarely choose local any more.

Even if they assembled them elsewhere, most of the parts and raw materials would have to come from China these days.

In the early days of Chinese manufacturing they would have been importing most.

Suppliers tend to cluster where manufacturers are, and import specialist parts. Of course as you just posted in the other comment, CO2 taxes reflecting the full environmental costs would tend to encourage more clustering, more local production, and generally buying less wastefully.

As popular as plague no doubt, but stuff needs to get expensive again. Perhaps better to say "expensive enough".

Eating less meat is pretty high on the list [1]. But I think that for many people it is easier to buy less crap they don't really need, or to fix things instead of replacing them. Buying used instead of new is also an option.

[1] https://www.drawdown.org/solutions

The worst culprit for many people I know is flying. You can eat a lot of meat for the emissions of just one long-haul flight. (Which is sad because flying is great.)

>> The worst culprit for many people I know is flying. You can eat a lot of meat for the emissions of just one long-haul flight. (Which is sad because flying is great.)

And yet the total CO2 contribution of the world-wide aviation industry is 'only' 2%.

Based on that chart I would say having (more) children is by far the worst culprit. By now I'm really 100% convinced that the only way to save the earth is if everyone everywhere around the globe stops getting more than 2 children per couple, preferably not more than 1, so the world's population can shrink down back to somewhere around 1/10th of what it is now.

I'm 100% serious about this, and it makes me sad and angry nobody is actually really talking about this. Nothing we can do like eating less meat or skipping a holiday will help if the world's population doesn't shrink by a significant factor. It's a very unpopular opinion to have, because everyone likes children, they are the future, they are god's gift, it's a human right to make babies, bla bla, etc. But reduced to cold hard facts, there are simply way.too.many.people.

Yes I know this would absolutely kill our debt-based economies and probably significantly reduce the standard of living in many places, at least in the short-to-medium term, but that's a different topic. Completely destroying the earth will have much worse effect on the economy and standard of living anyway.

> I'm 100% serious about this, and it makes me sad and angry nobody is actually really talking about this.

Well in some parts of the world people are already having less children. Even in Africa and Asia the birth rates are going down as people (women in particular) receive higher levels of education. So much so that in a few European nations the governments are actively encouraging couples to have more children. The most recent one I heard of is Hungary. I think the same is happening in some of the Scandinavian countries. In the far east (Korea if I'm not mistaken) there are even university courses on dating. In some of these places (Hungary in particular) the preferred approach is increase the birth rate as opposed to encouraging immigration to the country.

I'm not disputing that the sheer massive number of people on the planet is a major factor in the climate change.

However, the contribution of children in the chart we are referring is dubious. The number is so high that I once googled and found what I think to be the original source. (A couple of swedish researches IIRC.)

They counted the children's and their descendants contributions and assigned them to parents for ongoing year.

There are many problems there. For example if the birth rate would be calculated as 2, the contribution would be infinite.

Also counting multiple generations is problematic, because if climate change is not mitigated within one generation we could be in for Mad Max * Water World.

Another frustratingly neglected topic is fusion. Fusion is really the least painless way to get out of this mess. It should be one of the major investments for every developed country right now. Even if it doesn't work out, the benefits of it does are so big that we absolutely need to throw out full weight behind the research. Yet funding keeps getting cut because it's "nuclear" and no politician currently in power will get to claim the enormous win for themselves.

Interesting fact, jet powered short haul flights are worse per distance due to the fact that most energy is used in takeoff and landing.


I also read somewhere that propeller based airplanes flying lower in the atmosphere would be better option for short haul flights.

I find this difficult to believe! One transatlantic round trip flight is about 60% as bad as living car free? Assuming you do not travel at all - right? But you will travel. You will cycle to work, and you will burn more calories, and you will therefore eat more food, ending up contributing just as much too increasing emissions!

"just as much"

This part of your statement desperately requires citation and supporting logic.

Among other things to consider - Compare moving a ~80kg person and a ~13kg bike at 18kph


moving an 80 kg person in one-300th (ish) of a ~300,000 kg plane (call it 1000 kg of plane per person) at 960 kph. 777 GTOW is ~335,000 kg

Now considering that drag is roughly proportional to the cube of velocity, and compare 18kph on a bike to 960 kph on a plane. We'll call it ~50 times faster to keep the math simple. Drag is now 50^3 greater for the plane, or 125,000 times greater.

So you're moving about ten times as much weight and need to overcome 125,000 times as much air resistance while doing it. I think it's fair to say that you can got a lot more miles per burrito on bike than plane.


This is a shame, because I love traveling to faraway places. But it comes at enormous cost. A low-frills slow cruise ship (think cargo ship with beds, not the Queen Mary 2) might manage all right, but even that's not fantastic. Better electrified rail to replace overland flights would be a good starting point

You get to discount the drag of the plane since at cruising altitude you only have 1/3rd of the pressure.

edit: But then again emissions at that altitude have a larger warming effect..

This got me thinking: do the environmental cost calculations for food waste include calories consumed in excess of daily requirements?

What about alcohol consumption?

Is confectionary, eg. chocolate, lollies, ice cream, considers food waste for environmental purpose, given they are highly processed and completely uncessary from a nutritional perspective?

It's true! Rule of thumb (which may surprise people) is that cars, boats and planes are all about the same for grams CO2 / passenger mile.

So if you commute 10 miles to work every day, they are similar.

I wonder what the difference between 'switch electric car to car free' and 'live carfree' is?

The effect over time or not using rentals/other people's cars maybe?

Manufacturing and maintaining a vehicle produced pollution itself, so not creating demand for one is less polluting than still creating a demand for a vehicle of any type.

> And buy products from where instead?

Buy less products overall.

> I was under the impression the easiest way for people, who live in developed nations, to reduce emissions is to eat less meat?

The most effective thing is probably less carbon intensive transport (that means first and foremost flying). But less meat (or better no meat) is still among the more impactful things.

Also don't buy 20 pairs of jeans etc per year.

The cheap "fast-fashion" these days has a hidden cost you don't pay directly. And its HUGE.

Airliners get better fuel efficiency per mile per passenger than most single-occupant cars.

The majority of people do not fly multiple times per week.

Having said that, I do agree with the main thrust of your comment: consume less.

They also don't drive several thousand or tens of thousand kilometers in one go once or more a year either in addition to the normal driving, so I'd say that argument is not helpful here.

That’s a good point.

I wonder how many people are willing to eat less beef vs how many are willing to give in their once a year or less long-haul-flight holiday.

That's not how it'll work though. Do vegans get more flight allowances? Do people with kids have to forgo meat as well as vacations?

Obviously no consumer choice driven solution is going to work. The costs have to be included in the goods and services if we want any actual reduction.

Calculating the detrimental costs of air travel is more complex then just fuel burn due to altitude and types of emissions produced: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_aviati...

> *Airliners get better fuel efficiency per mile per passenger than most single-

http://www.greenrationbook.org.uk/resources/footprints-air-t... seems to disagee. In fact, driving a typical car for one year produces less CO2 than one long-distance flight per passenger.

That paper says, multiple times, that flying is about the same, or better, or worse, CO2 emissions per mile than single occupant cars.

Per passenger. Therefore, a single passenger on a single 8000 mile flight produces as much CO2 as an average family car in a year (where I live - 13000 Km/year).

The calculator they base the plane numbers from seems off. Not counting passengers/plane or something.

FYI: "Feeding cows seaweed cuts 99% of greenhouse gas emissions from their burps, research finds" https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/cows-seaweed-metha...

I've read this cows/seaweed story now often enough that I looked into it. It seems it's all based on a study on 12 cows performed by UC Davis [1].

That is... not exactly confidence inspiring. It may very well be a statistical fluke and the reality is much less reassuring.

Not saying we shouldn't research in that direction, but this looks way too early to be confident in it.

[1] https://animalscience.ucdavis.edu/news/research-led-ermias-k...

I don't want to prevent you from testing on a larger sample:)

But it does hardly anything got the carbon costs of their feed.

"hardly anything" = 80% of feed crops, foregone absorption of greenhouse gases (i.e. 32% of all of their carbon costs, cf. https://static.scientificamerican.com/sciam/cache/file/54D29... )

Is the sourcing of seaweed in sufficient quantities free of cost?

The active anti-methane compound from seaweed is likely bromoform:


It would be a cheap food supplement since the methane inhibition required only about 2% seaweed in cattle food, which in turn implies a bromoform feed content of only about 35 parts per million. Though no doubt some farmers would prefer to be able to say that they add seaweed rather than a particular chemical to their cattle feed.

of course nothing is free but they think it may be feasible: https://www.symbrosiasolutions.com/team

It's less beef, specifically. On a practical level cutting out meat entirely can actually increase emissions because you can raise farm animals off of human inedible parts of plants like stems and other marginal food (i.e. parts we don't get any nutrition from).

Beef however is one of the worst conversion methods in this regard, but animals like chickens and goats are quite efficient.

Insects are most efficient btw, but there are cultural reservations about them in the west.

We have the same cultural reservations about shrimp. We do not normally eat the head, tail, exoskeleton, legs, gills, or poo-filled gut. It's pretty similar for chicken; nobody eats the feathers and beaks and poop.

Shrimp is nevertheless popular however. We simply remove the parts for which we have cultural reservations.

So, where can I get insects that have been properly prepared, just like shrimp?

Even in Western countries, this varies. For example, in many European countries, there are various dishes involving small fish that's cooked and eaten basically whole, with intestines and all. Examples include Baltic sprats (usually smoked and then canned in oil), or Bulgarian tsatsa (same fish coated in flour and deep fried). Both are delicious, by the way.

>nobody eats the feathers and beaks and poop.

Well..chicken feathers and poop are fed to cows which are fed to people.


I looked into raising crickets, but most of my research suggested that they aren't any more efficient than chickens. It seems that a lot of the studies we currently have are poorly done or not transferable to mass production.

In addition, the amount of extra work for processing crickets made the project less than optimal at least for a small operation.

If Silicon Valley can propel nutrient sludge like Soylent into notoriety, then I'm sure it can do the same for cricket nuggets. :P

Doesn't require Silicon Valley.

Pink slime can now be sold as beef mince in the US. How hard do you think it would be to get powdered cricket labelled as 'protein enhancer' or some such?

Plus people will happily eat things with cochineal [1] in it, so I can't see highly processed insect additives being a problem. Won't be called Cricket nuggets though.

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochineal

>...like Soylent into notoriety...

As long as it isn't green. =]

They could grow insects to process into unrecognisable "filler", right?

It's already done, and has been for ages - dried crickets can be ground into "cricket flour". This takes care of the things crunching while you eat them.


Composting the waste is more efficient so it would be hard to see a net increase from the elimination of animal production.

Why? China's per capita emissions are less than half of the US.

And the volume?

How about this? Tax goods from (or with large inputs from) China AND the US. Heavily. Harshly. Punitively.

Between them, those 2 are most culpable in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

If you are truly motivated by a genuine desire to address what IS the single most grevious threat, then you ought to agree.


If you're just going to harp on about China, and ignore the US as being equally the problem (and if we take history into account, the US is the BIGGEST problem), then there's another word for that motivation.

And that word is not "environmentalism"

By volume don't really make sense, the only way is to count per person. Counting by volume depend on how you decide to put groups together for counting. You would always be able to say that "the others" are larger than the one you are and say that what you do don't matter. But the easiest to change is what you do, not what everyone else do

China is the sole producer of certain electronic components, this is not viable at present.

Granted if you really really want to reduce your personal emissions, stop using technology from post-1950, maybe buy some land...

> China is the sole producer of certain electronic components

I don't believe this is correct in meaningful sense. Do you have any examples?

China assembles many components, but that's not something that can't be moved to elsewhere. Vietnam is already replacing China.

Best way to deal with exported CO2 emissions is to put carbon tax on imports and not to try to control where they are manufactured.

Nearly all passives, generic active components, and a bulk of the cheaper processes ICs are being produced in China for a while now. PCBA production is another issue, but much of it happens in China too.

Vietnam doesn't seem to be really that different from China in politics, environment or other respects. It is hard to see how moving things from China to Vietnam is an improvement.

China is not the sole producer in any of these categories and not even the biggest.

Japan is still the biggest exporter of passive components.

>It is hard to see how moving things from China to Vietnam is an improvement.

It's an improvement in the way that multiple competitors are almost always an improvement. Say the world wants to pressure China to reduce CO2 emissions or release the Uighurs from internment camps, having another producer of certain critical goods weakens their negotiating position.

Also Vietnam is a lot more likely to be open to democratic reforms than China is in the foreseeable future.

>Nearly all passives

Also this is not true.

>China is the sole producer of certain electronic components, this is not viable at present.

Maybe we should increase tariffs on Chinese components to promote production elsewhere.

In order to bring about... what? In order to punish them for their environmental destruction? If you want sustainably made phones, etc, you're going to need to pay more money, wherever it's made, I bet even China is capable of environmentally friendly manufacturing, it's just that no one will buy those products because the alternative (the products made using the current system) will be so much cheaper.

It's not just China, btw, there are pig farms in the USA with open sewage pools. But, cheaper meat!

or take the more direct route and promote production elsewhere.

If our neoliberal globalist government didn't effectively force us to outsource the production of the products we consume with unrestricted labor markets and generally stagnant wages in the face of explosive inflation, maybe we would have that luxury.

Poor people have been put in a position where they really don't have a lot of options. Blaming poor Westerners is like blaming a child for their parent's bad spending habits.

>Blaming Westerners is like blaming a child for their parent's bad spending habits...

I'd amend that a bit and say, "Blaming [poor] Westerners is like blaming a child for their parent's bad spending habits...".

Wealthy westerners and their policy decisions, as you rightly point out, are largely responsible for the current state of affairs vis-à-vis the economy.

I agree. Edited :)

Trying to be responsible is the minimum you can ask of any human.

How developed can the US be considering that we have destroyed our manufacturing base and cannot even provide clean water and healthcare for our own citizens?

When I first moved to Europe I was struck by just how domesticated the land is. I can sleep in the open without being afraid of snakes, scorpions, spiders, wolves or bears. Even when land is "wild", the larger mammals will be rabbits, deer, wild goats and such. Excepting natural parks, hunters are the only predators.

At least in Spain, a tremendous percentage of land is put at the service of mankind. The dehesas give cork, honey, acorns to feed the pigs, and grass for the cattle.

The situation where developing countries need to conserve their land in a natural state in the interest of biodiversity and climate reminds me a game of Civilization where you are no longer allowed to exploit them to your advantage (with good reason!). We need to keep this land intact, but the only way to do it is to make conservation more valuable than exploitation.

The Europeans killed off most large animals like Aurochs and Bison, and a few predators including Tigers, Lions. They also killed off most of the forests.

When I was in southern Germany I did notice how cultivated the land was. There were a few patches of trees but they didn’t look like old growth forests. Even the hills were cultivated into farmland.

Costa Rica is a good example of developing a country who wants to keep their natural resources in tact. 25% of their land are national parks.

Wild boars scare me much more than black bears.

> They also killed off most of the forests.

Yeah, keep this in mind; big parts of Europe are hundreds of years after a gradual deforestation. Europe, mostly Western, is highly cultivated. Mind you, thanks to that we're also very efficient in agriculture - NL, despite being one of the smallest countries in the world, is also the second biggest agricultural export country in the world.

>NL, despite being one of the smallest countries in the world, is also the second biggest agricultural export country in the world.

That stat while true is very misleading. First of all that's based on money not volume. On top of that the majority of NL's agricultural export is due to the fact that Amsterdam is home to the largest flower/live plant market/exchange in the world. Most of those billions of dollars of exports are in the form of highly expensive decorative plants and/or their seeds/bulbs, not staple crops.

I guess that's all to say if the Netherlands sunk below the sea tomorrow the world would not suddenly be starving. Rich people just wouldn't get their flowers.

That combination doesn't make a lot of sense. The CBS shows that ornamental horticulture has a plurality, but even if you strip away all the prepared products, and most of the fruits (first imported), and then cut that number in half, it's more than the flowers/nursery products, assuming they're all domestic.


I love farm tech but found the endless greenhouses I saw in NL and neighboring countries kind of depressing.



The fact that we're putting acres and acres of farmland indoors leaves no room for wildlife of any kind -- including animals like birds that can happily exist alongside outdoor farms -- or migratory animals like deer, wolves, etc.

Don't underestimate the wild pigs though!

Actually a great part of European biodiversity depends on the cultivation of the land. The natural state would be forests and swamps. Grazing leads to open lands with a multitude of grasses, other small plants, bushes, hedges and solitary huge trees, which support different insects and birds.

In Germany we have a biome type, Heide (seems to correspond to heath [0]), that was created by degrading the land by removing the good topsoil to fertilize fields (as opposed to field rotation which was used in the south), and which is now a valuable habitat for many species.

However, much of this also depends on a non-intensive cultivation, where less-than-ideal areas (rocky, too steep, too wet..) are left alone or only used occasionally (eg to cut the hedges). This kind of use is going down, which is ap problem.

Another thing that changed my mind in the last few years: Even the Amazon region, which in the West has this aura of untouched wilderness, was recently found to have been heavily populated and changed by humans in the past, eg to make the ground more fertile in some areas. The key is to work with the forest, not against it, and there is so much we can do.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heath

What I don't understand is why there doesn't seem to be any initiative in Western Europe to reintroduce large fauna like bears and wolves. It is very convenient indeed to hike through the Alps without any fear of bears, but in this context it's almost hypocritical of Europeans to talk about conservation in Africa when their own fauna has been wiped out, without any effort to repopulate it.

There are many such programs, although wolves are controversial.


Hypocritical seems a bit strong though. The extinctions in europe happened a long time ago, those people are dead. Conservation may stand in the way of a particular guy's dinner but it's not like shooting all the gorillas is the key to Uganda getting to first-world living standards -- the advice that they are worth more alive than dead is probably sound.

Alongside what sibling comments said, I'll add that this can't really work large scale because of the road infrastructure. Even in European countries that are relatively forested, the road networks have an immense ecological impact. They segment the land into a fine mesh, which is very difficult or sometimes impossible for animals to traverse, which means that they have to live for generations isolated on a small plot of land, which entails inbreeding and many other subtler effects. You can't have a small ecologically healthy biosystem. It has to be of a certain size to be able to attain a healthy balance and that's virtually impossible in Europe, with some minor exceptions.

> Europeans to talk about conservation in Africa when their own fauna has been wiped out

What has been wiped out? We do have wolves and bears.

Japan has 67% Forest cover. South Korea 63%. Indonesia...46%.

Clearing your land for agriculture only benefits a select few. It is not a good way to grow into a first world economy.

Bringing up what Europeans did 1000-500 years ago is not a good analogy.

I grew up in forested parts of Eastern Europe, and lived there for over 20 years. The first time I've seen a squirrel in my life, outside of a zoo, was in Canada - and I've camped in forests many times before.

But you shouldn't assume that there are no poisonous snakes. That's not true even in the most cultivated parts - many snakes do pretty well regardless.

> We need to keep this land intact, but the only way to do it is to make conservation more valuable than exploitation.

Here's how we're monetizing conservation locally:


I am yet to see an example of corruption-free model converting environment impact reduction (or increase) in to monetary credit or (debit).


To offset their own carbon emissions, European companies have been overpaying China to incinerate a powerful greenhouse gas known as hfc 23.

And in a bizarre twist, those payments have spurred the manufacture of a harmful refrigerant that is being smuggled into the U.S. and used illegally.



Still the perfect is the enemy of the good and all that. It's probably better to have a flawed but functional mechanism than nothing. I'll give you that hfc 23 story is bad.

It's a start, though obviously if we want to be serious about deforestation we need much more of this.

A somewhat similar initiative regarding the Yasuni rainforest in Equador unfortunately went nowhere a couple of years ago because rich countries weren't willing enough to pay.

Wouldn't that push countries to cut a lot of trees to then have the highest bidder willing to reduce carbon emissions pay a premium?

You raise a valid point, Brazil may be an interesting test-case for the point you have raised. The new government shows strong interest in cutting down the Amazon (at least partially) for the sake of Agribusiness, Cattle & Logging. Now will they use Amazon and the way the world perceives it as a way to exchange concessions? It remains to be seeing.

Good on Norway for living up to their promises. There are a lot of places I'd expect to welch on this kind of deal.

Indonesia has been doing better with the enviroment in recent years, probably thanks to international pressure and incentives such as this. Anything which maintains Indonesia's biodiversity is good to see.

How about Norway just stop pumping oil to reduce our carbon footprint?

That's an argument many make here in Norway.

It's usually countered by saying "that oil would get pumped anyway, better us doing it 'cause our oil sector has the smallest CO2 impact per barrel of oil pumped" or something along those lines.

A decent argument, but it hinges on a massive "what if".

Norwegian taxpayer funds sent direct to Indonesian politicians Swiss bank accounts. Marvellous !

yes, bribing corrupt 3rd world politicians to repress their populations and prevent them from engaging in economic development. the height of western virtue.

Looks like a great way to incitive developing countries to reduce their emissions. Although when the developing countries' tax payer start complaining, it's going to be hard to defend these expenditures.

As a Norwegian tax payer I do feel a bit like a schmuck for paying Indonesians not to destroy their own country. For one, what's to stop them from cutting these forests once the payouts stop coming? A better endeavor might be to invest in environmentally sustainable industries in Indonesia.

As a Western developed nation inhabitant, you and indeed most HN readers benefit enormously for your rich lifestyle on past carbon emissions by your predecessors, which those in that country have not benefitted from. This is a good way to incentivise those countries who - quite reasonably - feel it's unfair that they don't get to use up any of that carbon to develop their nation towards a rich modern lifestyles. So, here is one solution.

Norway did not contribute all that much to carbon emissions directly. The electric grid historically been and still is hydro, and the country was never really industrialized in the first place.

Norway's wealth comes from exporting oil and gas. That's not very indirect.

That's exactly what indirect means. Only a tiny portion of this oil and gas was ever used in Norway, the rest was exported. A lot of it was used up by developing nations.

Either way there were no hydrocarbon exports prior to early 1970s. Unless by "predecessors" you mean gen-x'ers.

Norway gained a lot of wealth from extracting and selling the oil.

All parties in the transaction (producer, middle men, end users) "should" be carbon taxed to some degree.

It's not obvious to me why you'd only want to carbon tax the consumer.

Similarly, in public debate there's a lot of finger pointing at oil companies. The public can be somewhat less vocal about wanting to carbon tax the demand side of the trade, of which they play a large role.

The consumer is the one actually putting that carbon into the atmosphere. Taxing the consumer therefore encourages better uses of oil (such as making polymers).

It did gain a lot of wealth of selling oil, however it has nothing to do with Norway CO2 emissions.

Carbon footprint describes where the source of CO2 pollution is. You can make plastics from all that oil you buy or burn it all, that's on you. If you do burn it, you become CO2 pollutant, really hard to see the controversial part here.

Nonsense. You can define "carbon footprint" that way if you like, but I view that as an accounting definition. You've just decided to define it that way.

CO2 pollution is stored in the atmosphere, which is a shared global resource.

I'd argue that carbon taxing should be designed to discourage economic activity that directly or indirectly leads to greenhouse gas emissions, you need to disincentivise production as well as consumption as well as associated enabling activities such as shipping the stuff. Encourage all of these actors to do something else that results in lower net carbon emissions at the global system level.

It's semantics, but isn't that the definition of indirect, but with a clear link?

Per capita?

98% of Norwegian energy sector is renewables, so any way you slice it.

That seems like a questionable statistic, considering that something like 20% of Norway's GDP comes from oil and natural gas. Or by "energy sector" do you only mean the energy that is consumed domestically?

Energy that is produced domestically. It is both consumed and exported to neighbours. That's a commonly accepted way to account for it in carbon footprint.

I generally agree, but we are at such a bad position now where any and all attempts need to be made to preserve our planet. It might not be fair for westerners to pay for such initiatives, but lets remember that most western countries have outsourced manufacturing to developing nations in Asia/Africa etc and have turned a blind eye to the shitty practices of these companies as long as it suited them (aka, as long as the products are cheap)

The Guardian had a really interesting blurb about palm oil[1]. One of the takeaways is that as bad as palm oil is, other plants consume far more resources to produce equivalent amounts of oil. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Soy has already wreaked havoc on the Amazon, and Bolsonaro in all his septic glory is a staunch advocate of destroying as much of the Amazon as he can in pursuit of short term profits.

The other blurb[2] I read recently was about Maya Bay. A situation like this is a bit more amenable to ecotourism and whatnot than palm plantation... but still it's a daunting task to try to preserve the environment in a country that's very dependent upon it for short-term sustenance.

1: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/feb/19/palm-oil-ingred...

2: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/the_beach_nobody...

> One of the takeaways is that as bad as palm oil is, other plants consume far more resources to produce equivalent amounts of oil.

Yes people keep saying that. However it is not an argument that should stop the debate. The difference is that palm oil production has a lot of issues due to the location: wildlife like orangutangs is killed, old rainforest is deforested, native people are displaced, and it occurs in very corrupted countries (Malaysia and Indonesia). While for example rapeseed oil production requires more land we don't for example here in Norway have those same issues with production as palm oil.

Natural rain forests are just not economically productive. No matter what industry you promote in Indonesia, they can always make extra money by cutting down the forest.

forcing us on halmahera to not allow clearing for farm land and need to import more food to our island. rely on boats that sometimes dont come.

Considering all the money norway got to pay indonesia came from selling oil, this is really nothing more than a billion dollar PR exercise. Not to mention that in a globalized world, the deforestation will ultimately get shifted somewhere else.

Just like europe loves to pretend it is lowering emissions when it's just shifting manufacturing to china, norway loves to pretend to be environmenally friendly with its oil money.

If europe or norway truly cared about emissions or the environment, they'd end global trade and drilling for oil, but they aren't going to give up their luxurious first world lifestyle are they?

Edit: To everyone downvoting, how about this scenario. We give norway $1 billion for them to shut down their oil rigs? Surely norway will sacrifice their economic wealth and prosperity to help the environment right? Or do we only expect that from poor countries?

You've missed the whole point of the carbon payment system.

The whole point is that it isn't realistic to assume that it's possible to quit oil overnight, buy it's very possible to mitigate its effect by converting some externalities to a concrete price tag and thus creating incentives to abandon the use of at least some fossil fuels and to compensate those who contribute to invert the tendency.

But the "externalities" got shifted from indonesia to somewhere else.

How about this, if indonesia told norway to go to hell, cut down their forests, got rich and then in 20 years paid Laos $1 billion to spare their forests. Would we celebrate indonesia as great environmentalists? Of course not. We'd call them hypocrites, especially when the deforestation just moved to cambodia instead.

At the end of the day, this exercise is just wealthy european neocolonialists trying to feel better about themselves as they keep a underdeveloped country poor. While norway gets to destroy their and other countries resources to enrich itself, they use that ill gotten wealth to dupe poor countries to stay poor.

How about this, lets shift wealth instead. Tax all of europe X amount of money and shift that wealth to indonesia and ASEAN to achieve an equal living standard? This way, indonesia and ASEAN won't touch their forests or resources and their living standard will be equal to that of europe? Now that would make a real difference.

Of course it would mean europeans living standard would have to decline, but europeans (especially norwegians) are such environment loving saints right? They are willing to sacrifice right? Or are they greedy like the rest of us and want others to sacrifice while they themselves enjoy the good life?

Or how about this, we give norway $1 billion to shut down their oil industry? Do you think the norwegians would agree to that? Of course not.

>Tax all of europe X amount of money and shift that wealth to indonesia and ASEAN to achieve an equal living standard?

You're literally the most evil person I have ever seen on the internet. High IQ Europeans, who have secular values, who have the greatest respect for human rights, who invest a lot in their children, and who already suffer under an excessive regulatory/tax burden, do not owe the rest of the world anything.

We've banned this account. Obviously, if you've read the guidelines, you can't comment on HN like this.

If you don't want to be banned, you're welcome to email hn@ycombinator.com and give us reason to believe that you'll follow the rules in the future.


I think you are misreading what I wrote. Obviously I'm not advocating for all of europe to be tax and the wealth shifted. It was an example to highlight my point of Europe minding its own business and Indonesia minding its own business. Norway shouldn't get to tell Indonesia what to do with its own resources and vice versa. Hope that clarified any misunderstanding.

The only take-away from this is that Norway should just sit back and relax, no matter what you do, it will be wrong.

Less than half of the exports from Norway are oil. It accounts to less than a quarter of revenue. See: https://www.norskpetroleum.no/en/economy/governments-revenue...

No. The take away is that norway isn't doing anything but buying publicity with their little neocolonial effort. They lost nothing by this. They only gained. If norway really cared, they should stop drilling oil immediately and turn over their entire $1 trillion wealth fund over to nuclear and clean energy companies. But they'll never do that because they use their money for their own political self-interests.

Nevermind that half of a nation's export or a quarter of a nation's revenue from a single source is a ridiculous amount, the money norway uses to play neocolonist comes from their sovereign wealth fund(s) which come entirely from oil.

Also, indonesia ( and ASEANs ) problem is poverty, education and economic development. That $1 billion is nothing in the greater scheme of things. Heck it probably made things worse because deforestation went elsewhere, indonesia's development was slightly stunted and indonesia will probably deforest at a greater rate in the future.

Maybe if norway truly cared, they will force netherlands to pay reparations for colonization to indonesia and hand over the assets of the largest oil company in the world ( royal dutch shell ) to indonesia so that indonesia could develop faster. The dutch got rich stealing oil from indonesia. Maybe return some of that back?

Or buying $1 billion in advertising for self-congratulatory purposes while making things worse is better.

What has fundamentally changed? Nothing. It's like a billionaire tossing a homeless man $1 and being celebrated for their charity. Especially so if the billionaire caused a financial crisis that cause the guy to lose his job, home and become homeless in the first place.

I'm sure the indonesians living in poverty are ecstatic that wealthy norwegians are using their oil money to toss them some crumbs.

You realise that Indonesia has 15x the population of the Netherlands, right? And that Norway is tiny, literally like 2% of the population of Indonesia? Maybe if Indonesia was more careful with birth control and didn't have babies that it can't afford, it wouldn't have such a problem with poverty. Having babies is not a debt on other people.

Indonesia might has 15X more people, but it's also geographically 50X bigger than the netherlands. The netherlands is far more overpopulated than indonesia. Also indonesia's poverty is a legacy of more than a century of dutch colonization and exploitation and its inability to develop due to other considerations.

I think we are mostly agreed but you seem to have been misreading my comments. My point is let indonesia do whatever it wants with its land to develop and get itself out of poverty. Norway should mind its own business. Considering your other comment, I think we can both agree on that.

You realise that Europeans invented economic development, right?

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