"If climate change were happening, we would feel morally compelled to control our CO2 emissions; we don't want to control our CO2 emissions, therefore, climate change must not be happening."
They aren't as bad as the Republicans, but let's not try and pretend that the Democrats are particularly great either. If the Green New Deal is what they'd actually attempt to do, we're fucked.
No, we'd be making progress toward eliminating the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere, but making it slower than if they'd also embrace nuclear power.
> making sure that Africa never industrializes
Is that even part of the public debate? I mean, outside of Ron Paul's newsletters or something equally crazy?
Ehhhh... We might be making progress on eliminating the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere from the US, but that's a rather different statement. Unless you can get everyone else to agree to emissions restrictions far more restrictive than the Paris Agreement, we'd be worse off than before. (yes, this is a tragedy of the commons problem)
This is part of why I mentioned geoengineering as an option, because unlike with emissions reductions geoengineering may actually be sufficient to prevent climate change without the cooperation of the rest of the world.
> > making sure that Africa never industrializes
> Is that even part of the public debate? I mean, outside of Ron Paul's newsletters or something equally crazy?
Perhaps not to ensure it never industrializes, but a refusal to limit the emissions growth of the third world soon is part of why the Paris Agreement was insufficient. (How to get the third world to agree to this is, of course, a wee bit of a problem)
That's not a different statement. Making progress in (subtask of A) means we are making progress in (A). Besides, it's not like everyone else isn't making lots of progress too.
Not always, but I will grant that it likely does in the case of emissions reduction. (consider a thought experiment - US reduces emissions from power generation by building a ton of coal plants over the border in Mexico)
The point was more that the Green New Deal can only address a small fraction of future world emissions, and that fraction is not large enough to prevent catastrophe. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't reduce emissions! Just that unilateral reductions might not be the way to go. (Imagine the US unilaterally giving up nukes in the 1960s and then trying to convince the Soviet Union to do the same - it would be far less likely than agreeing to both disarm at the same time. IMO negotiations on emissions reduction are like this)
You see what happens if you drive up prices for gasoline in France: People start rioting in the streets.
If you had gasoline prices like that in the US, whole states would stop functioning.
Also, most CO2 emissions are from countries where people are far poorer than in developed nations. Are you expecting them to become even poorer?
If you don't have a solution to these economic concerns, don't be surprised when world leaders adopt a "devil may care" attitude.
86% of CO2 emissions are created by people in upper-middle income and high income groups.
Citation needed. I don't know of many 90- to 100- year old people collecting pensions.
There are some professions, mainly police/military, that permit retirement after 20 years of service. Those pensions are managed to expect longer payout periods albeit using the actuarial stats of their members which are not the same as the general population.