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Charts show how little progress has been made in limiting greenhouse emissions (nature.com)
280 points by jsingleton 21 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 138 comments



Is so obvious where this is all going: The wealthy -the factories owners and their close allies- the very same ones ignoring the pledges to stop contributing to climate change will be the only ones protected enough from most damages of climate change, only the wealthy will afford to live in the cities with livable temperature, to buy potable water, only the most resilient of the poor and middle-class will survive, and their youngsters will be used as soldiers to fight for natural resources, some of their families will enjoy those resources but only enough to breed more soldiers to keep the wars going.


Frankly this kind of doomsaying view has no basis in reality. While it's true that unmitigated global warming will impose a very large economic cost, it's simply not the case that it's going to turn the world into some unlivable hell-scape. There's just no basis for that belief in the actual evidence.

The best estimates say that global warming will lower per capita GDP by somewhere between 5-20% by 2100. That's a tragedy, because in aggregate it represents a huge amount of unnecessarily lost wealth. But a 5-20% in GDP per capita does not mean that we'll be dying in the streets.

Let's be very conservative and assume global GDP per capita grows at 2% per year. In the baseline scenario, the median world citizen would still be 390% richer than the average person today. Applying the worst global warming impact (20% of GDP), the median person would still be 290% richer than the average person today.

Unmitigated global warming will make the people of the future substantially poorer. But not nearly by enough to cancel out the effect of continuous economic growth and technological development. It's almost certainly the case that the people of 2100 will enjoy higher living standards than the present.

[1] https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/20/climate-change-to-slow-globa... [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_impacts_of_climate_ch...


> it's simply not the case that it's going to turn the world into some unlivable hell-scape. There's just no basis for that belief in the actual evidence.

I think what GP presented is too mild. What I personally fear is this: increasing migration pressure from the most affected areas and contention for resources starts triggering wars, at which point the global economy collapses, at which point at least half of the world's population dies of starvation. Remember, cities everywhere are running on just-in-time supply chains; they have food and water for a couple of days. It's mostly harmless when one city in a country suffers a catastrophe, because emergency response can be put into place. But if the whole country goes into disarray, or the imports of food suddenly stop, things are going to get very ugly very fast.


> contention for resources starts triggering wars

There is no economic or historical basis for this. When resources become more scare people begin looking into alternatives or alternate extraction methods.

This is how the iron age came to be. Iron was common to many local areas, but the tin to make bronze had to be imported from far away. It took innovation to develop the necessary techniques for iron smelting which turned out to be a superior material for tools in addition to being extremely common and readily available.

They use to think this way about crude oil. That we would eventually run out or that everybody needs to go to war to protect their strategic assets in the middle east. This turned out to be complete non-sense. Techniques that revolutionized natural gas extraction were adapted to oil extraction following massive oil price fluctuations. Now Texas out produces Saudi Arabia. Europe now produces large amounts of petroleum from Norway.

They used to also think this way about lumber and rubber, both of which are renewable resources. Now the world produces plenty of both with minimal environmental disruption.

The US has plenty of coal and coal is relatively cheap to extract and ship, but there will always be a minimal fixed price to coal-based energy. Renewable energy scales more efficiently and now is cheaper than coal due to wholesale energy production, especially in Texas which now also dominates renewable energy production.

When there is sufficient demand people will find a way well before going to war. War is very expensive.


I'm not talking about running out of oil. I'm talking about running out of food, where mass migrations are knocking on the doors of more lucky nations, while new arable and resource-rich land becomes available, as the now frozen parts of the world thaw. Nations know it, these areas are already becoming strategic.

> That we would eventually run out or that everybody needs to go to war to protect their strategic assets in the middle east. This turned out to be complete non-sense.

The way I see it, few wars for control over oil markets have already happened in the last few decades.

> When there is sufficient demand people will find a way well before going to war. War is very expensive.

I don't think this was ever true in history. In particular, this was a common sentiment before World War I - that nations are too connected economically, that it's in no one's interest to go to war. Didn't stop two world wars from happening in less than 30 years.


There is this theory https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classic_Maya_collapse#Systemic... as well as this theory https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_Bronze_Age_collapse#Envir...

Societies have collapsed before, and it's likely to happen again. Climate change looks like an extremely good trigger for such an event. It's unclear whether we would be able to recover, or how long it would take.


I absolutely agree, but those two collapse examples are extremely complicated. Historians generally conclude the collapse is due to political instability, barbarian invasions, disruptions to international trade, in-fighting, collapse of agriculture (likely due to climate change) and various other factors.

All of these various competing problems can be summarized into three categories: economic, defense, and political. By far the least critical of those three is defense. I am saying this as a military office who has studied history. If you are wealthy you can fund a better military and better defensive protections. If you are poor but you are politically united and guided by strong leadership you will still probably figure it out. If your economy or food supply fall apart you likely won't have the political unity necessary to mount a strong defense. Likewise if the people are disenfranchised or selfishly entitled there will be less political will to prop up the economy.


"There is no economic or historical basis for this. When resources become more scare people begin looking into alternatives or alternate extraction methods."

It seems obvious they're talking about food.

I am not sure you're closely looked at hydraulic fracturing. One doesn't simply talk about petroleum production, they talk about the IRR of energy projects. That is a fair proxy for whether it takes more energy to get a hydrocarbon out of the ground than it contains. Yes, they are making more, but early entrants into fracking (Whiting, EQT, Pioneer, et al) have all done very poorly and destroyed a lot of equity value. I think a really good case can be made that fracking is intrinsically a financial phenomenon. Huge upfront capex with assumptions of years of production. The track record of that longer tail production is doing poorly (edit: even with different spacing and refracking) in most geologies. Plus, poor infra outside of the permian means more capex.

Lumber has issues too, which will very much be made worse by even a 2 deg C shift.

There is a reason that the US and most countries have huge farming subsidies. A country that cannot feed itself is collapses in very short order. You see this all over the middle east and northern Africa where almost every riot in the "Arab Spring" was about agricultural and food concerns. As you can see in adjacent countries, people migrate from conflict zones and put further stress on neighbors.

When your life and your childrens' live are on the line, you will respect no human or moral laws to get food. That is what terrifies everyone that sees the climate crisis accelerating and is familiar with the next steps of how it's likely to unfold.


Food is an economic data point, frequently a commodity. I know people want to think of as something more special or somehow different, but it isn't. When cheap industrial food goes away the population suffers and the remainder of people who shake out figure it out from other available options. I observed this in Afghanistan.


Just so I can reverse your convenient sterilization of terms, On a global scale you are talking about millions of people starving to death.


What do the numbers say? Crying about it won't prevent starvation or any other sort of resource depletion.


> or that everybody needs to go to war to protect their strategic assets in the middle east.

Do you follow news at all?

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-aramco-fire-trump/t...


The end of the Bronze Age in fact did coincide with a major civilizational collapse:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_Bronze_Age_collapse


The societal collapse at that point was a major motivation for the discovery of the iron age. Once the collapse started the supply of tin was instantly eliminated, and thus eliminated bronze. Had these people had iron tools a bit earlier they could have held out longer against some of the barbarian invasions.


Talking about things in terms of GDP glosses over the human suffering that it represents.

> a 10% increase in per capita real income is associated with a 1.5% decrease in the crude death rate

It seems reasonable to assume that the inverse is also true.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortality_rate#Economics

https://datacatalog.worldbank.org/dataset/world-development-...


IMHO the major threat does not originates from any natural effect of the climate change but rather, as parent has tried to illustrate, from the wars that are likely to erupt for resource/land/water/migrations control.

I mean, when you see how easily we set the world on fire because of some oil or water today, it is not unreasonable to assume that this is going to become even more violent when resources becomes more scarce.


There are potential tipping points that very much could result in much of the world becoming an unlivable hell-scape, at least for humans. We probably can't turn ourselves into Venus, thankfully, but we could end up raising global temperatures by 11-12 C, which would be enough to render most of the Earth unsuitable for human habitation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipping_points_in_the_climate_...


What a clueless comment.

It's a tragedy for reasons MUCH beyond 'unnecessarily lost wealth'. I know you are trying to argue in good faith, but you're flat out wrong in the sense that doomsday despair is EXACTLY what we should all be feeling.

A world depleted of its glaciers, lacking in drinkable water, lacking in animal diversity, lacking in arable land, lacking in coral reefs, coastal cities with all their rich history and culture buried underwater and on, and on, is EXACTLY a hellish nightmare.

Who'd want to live on such a planet? Who'd give a fuck about 290% richer?


> A world depleted of its glaciers, lacking in drinkable water, lacking in animal diversity, lacking in arable land, lacking in coral reefs, coastal cities with all their rich history and culture buried underwater and on, and on, is EXACTLY a hellish nightmare.

None of these will be true though?


i hope you're right, but available evidence points the other way: * glaciers are melting at unprecedented rate, even glaciers previously thought safe like the ones in Antarctica * as a result, drinking water is running low in many densely-populated places; even groundwater is being exhausted * we're in the middle of a mass extinction * coral reefs are under threat, and higher ocean acidity may destroy the ability of new corals to form in the future

not sure about arable land and coastal cities underwater (certainly some will be), but even without those it's looking dire.


We're getting close to the point of no return when it comes to losing all of the ice. That melting process may take 1000 years, but becomes inevitable once there is sufficient CO2 in the atmosphere.

https://www.businessinsider.com/greenland-approaching-thresh...

https://www.carbonbrief.org/scientists-identify-melting-thre...

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/26102017/antarctica-sea-l...

I couldn't find a source for "all the glaciers will melt" but it's a pretty safe bet that if Greenland ice is gone in 1000 years, then so are pretty much all worldwide (mountain) glaciers, and the ice caps.


Yes and not only that but the fact that the glaciers are going to melt over 1000 years is actually worse than if it happened in a single event- instead of a single trauma you have a 1 foot per decade rise, decade after decade, century after century.


Someone at Reason actually read the UN/IPCC report. There is no doomsday in it. From https://reason.com/2018/10/11/how-big-of-a-deal-is-half-of-a...

> So how much economic damage will pursuing the IPCC's fast transition to a no-carbon energy system spare us? The report asserts that if no policies aimed specifically at reducing carbon dioxide emissions are adopted, then average global temperature is projected to rise by 3.66°C by 2100, resulting in global GDP loss of 2.6 percent from what it would otherwise have been. Comparatively speaking, in the 2°C and 1.5°C scenarios, global GDP would only be reduced by 0.5 percent or 0.3 percent respectively.

> Concretely, the global GDP of $80 trillion, growing at 3 percent annually, would rise to $903 trillion by 2100. A 2.6 percent reduction means that it would only be $880 trillion by 2100. A 0.3 percent decrease implies a loss of $2.7 trillion resulting in a global GDP of $900 trillion. Note that the IPCC is recommending that the world spend between now and 2035 more than $45 trillion in order to endow $2.7 trillion more in annual income on people living three generations hence. Assuming the worst case loss of 2.6 percent of GDP in world with a population of 10 billion that would mean that they would have to scrape by on an average income of just $88,000 per year (the average global GDP per capita now is $10,500.)


Plenty of people who would have reason to know think the IPCC's reports are overly conservative because they are trying to spur action / avoid defeatism, and because they have to reflect a baseline consensus of many researchers.

https://skepticalscience.com/ipcc-scientific-consensus.htm

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/10/30/clima...

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/43e8yp/the-uns-devastatin...


Citing average GDP numbers is ridiculous, No billionaire is going to materially suffer from global warming, plenty of very poor people are. And you can bet the billionaires wont be lining up to help "even things out", so measuring as if they were is broken methodology.


In the US people are getting increasingly angry due to their economic circumstances, despite the fact we live in a growing economy, because the future looks less promising.

What kind of dangerous demagoguery will people turn to if the world economy gets sucker punched? Sure, people will lose, but what happens if a class of people lose far more than everyone else, and refuse to take it passively?

We don't even know what a world without constant growth looks like.

The biggest thing to fear in such a scenario is other people and their weapons.


> There's just no basis for that belief in the actual evidence.

You Sir have clearly not been paying attention. https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/586541/the-uninhabi...

> Let's be very conservative and assume global GDP per capita grows at 2% per year. In the baseline scenario, the median world citizen would still be 390% richer than the average person today. Applying the worst global warming impact (20% of GDP), the median person would still be 290% richer than the average person today.

This is an absolutely stunning claim to make. It assume growth can just continue in perpetuity forever as if no external factors (food shortages, refugee emergencies, climate wars and economic devastation, air pollution, global pandemics, extreme weather events, ocean rise etc) could possibly have any impact on that continued growth.

https://i.cbc.ca/1.5192931.1562703009!/fileImage/httpImage/i...


For some people "unnecessary lost wealth" is just that. For the poor, it can mean dying in the street.


> Frankly this kind of doomsaying view has no basis in reality. While it's true that unmitigated global warming will impose a very large economic cost, it's simply not the case that it's going to turn the world into some unlivable hell-scape. There's just no basis for that belief in the actual evidence.

There's plenty of evidence for an unlivable hellscape, some of it is in your post, you just fail to see it.

> The best estimates say that global warming will lower per capita GDP by somewhere between 5-20% by 2100. That's a tragedy, because in aggregate it represents a huge amount of unnecessarily lost wealth. But a 5-20% in GDP per capita does not mean that we'll be dying in the streets.

A 5-20% drop in global GDP is not going to be a temporary drop, like what we have in a recession. It is going to be a permanent drop in global GDP. Bear in mind that the Great Depression was about a 15% drop in GDP over a few years. Think about how much pain and misery is represented by a drop as big or bigger that is permanent.

Furthermore, it's not going to be 2% year-over-year then suddenly in 2100 it goes backwards. Growth is going to stagnate, and start reversing as the consequences of climate change grow worse.

> Unmitigated global warming will make the people of the future substantially poorer. But not nearly by enough to cancel out the effect of continuous economic growth and technological development. It's almost certainly the case that the people of 2100 will enjoy higher living standards than the present.

I don't think you're grasping the scale and impact of destruction that is possible and indeed, probable if we don't address the problem. Ocean acidification and warming oceans means that coral reefs not only will die, but they will dissolve. Entire ocean ecosystems will collapse because a wide swath of plankton that forms the base of the food chain, will not be able to form their calcium carbonate exoskeletions. Overfishing is already a problem, when fisheries start collapsing, overfishing will finish the job. Today, 2 billion people rely on the sea for their primary source of protein.

Some regions are going to see heat waves that are several degrees above the 2 degrees C average rise. Heatwaves and droughts will drastically reduce crop yields and outright kill crops. Heatwaves can and will kill livestock as well. Disruption of global food supplies and water supplies will create multiple humanitarian crises.

And that's not even getting into the fact that something like 600 million people live in coastal areas around the world. A much hotter climate will not only result in several feet of sea level rise, it will result in much stronger storms and flooding that will destroy trillions of dollars in real estate, not to mention that it will kill people.

Put all of those things together, then think about how hard it's going to be for governments to maintain order. Especially in parts of the world that are already unstable.


You don't have to wait for anybody.

Maybe the most important thing to know is that we can make carbon-neutral alcohol fuel, and, integrated into regenerative agriculture ("Permaculture" et. al.) the economics are totally different than large-scale industrial ethanol production.

Think Community-Supported-Agriculture that supplies your gas.

Dave "Farmer Dave" Bloom collected all the necessary info into a book (that was banned from public tv at the time!) http://alcoholcanbeagas.com/ Get the book, find or start your local fuel co-op!

- - - -

For practical advice on what to do I recommend Toby Hemenway's videos in re: Permaculture

http://tobyhemenway.com/videos/

Especially "How Permaculture Can Save Humanity and the Planet – But Not Civilization" and the sequel "Redesigning Civilization with Permaculture".

Permaculture is a school of applied ecology (the word itself is a portmanteau of PERMAnent agriCULTURE) that has adherents and practitioners world-wide. It's not the only form of regenerative agriculture either.

- - - -

See also https://www.greenwave.org/our-work Oceanic 3D farms! And now they are building reefs?

- - - -

For more inspiration and projects search "Geoff Lawton Greening the Desert"


Climate crisis is getting scarier and scarier by the day. Don't know about you guys but I am done with sitting behind my computer and whining about what "they" should or shouldn't do. I am joining Extinction Rebellion.


Do it.

https://codewithoutrules.com/2019/09/10/software-developers-...

> In the end power is social. Power comes from people showing up to meetings, people showing up for rallies, people going door-to-door convincing other people to vote for the right person or support the right initiative, people blocking roads and making a fuss.

> And that takes time and money.

If you work in tech you probably have a surplus of both.


Good, I did too


How is this not the #1 story? Why do we even bother with all the other trivia?


I think you have perfectly summed up the thoughts of all the school strikers.


Not only is it not the #1 story, it's not even visible now.


Because it's a coordination problem. So you can't actually add marginal value by adding marginal contribution.


In general or on HN? In general - damned if I know. On HN? We've been having a climate story on a front page pretty much every day for a while now.


>A set of troubling charts shows how little progress nations have made toward limiting greenhouse-gas emissions.

When countries have made real progress "toward limiting greenhouse-gas emission" one would not need charts to see it: it would be immediately evident in everyday lifestyles, consumer habits, and energy use...


This is the number that shows if we are making progress or not: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

Spoiler, we're not. It's getting worse and it's accelerating.

Interactive graph: https://www.co2levels.org/


During the day California runs on up to 40% solar energy on some days and I don't notice any difference. My stuff doesn't care where its electricity comes from. I drive an electric car too.

http://www.caiso.com/TodaysOutlook/Pages/supply.aspx

There is a lot of low-hanging fruit.

Coal is the #1 cause of climate change and phasing it out is the most important thing we can do. Just swapping coal for gas cuts CO2 emissions per kWh by 50%. The problem is that coal is cheap. In most places in the world it is still the cheapest way to generate electricity.

After that other big things are: live closer to work, use public transit, drive electric vehicles, eat less meat (especially beef), and improve home insulation if you use a lot of HVAC. Those are relatively minor lifestyle changes.

A lot of environmentalists really let the perfect (and very impractical) be the enemy of the good on this. We can make a substantial dent with very little change. After we do all the easy stuff like phase out coal, then we can look at what's left. This is how you solve problems in the real world.


Not necessarily. For example just switching over coal-fired plants to gas-fired plants reduces carbon emissions by 50%. (This is a big reason why the US's emissions have decelerated since 2000.) Yet that would be almost entirely invisible at the consumer level.


Moreover, I would actually argue that the only way we're going to affect climate change is if we find at least one big slice of emissions that can be reduced without having to change habits or going against engrained values too much.

In order of what will probably work best:

* Something barely noticeable (eg: any improvement in electricity production that does not make the customer's price skyrocket.)

* Something noticeable but not fundamentally annoying (Pay people to get electric vehicles, Norway-style. Make a large part of your transportation public and electric.)

* Something noticeable, but fun . I don't have a big idea on this one, and it kinda sucks.

* Something noticeable, and that "gets you laid" (tm). Something along the lines of "I have a Tesla. You should have sex with me.", but scalable. If someone finds this, we're saved.

The last one would be even more powerful as it could reshape at least some people's identity into "I'm the kind of person who care about climate change", so all the other changes that actually require discomfort could get rationalized away (apparently, we're pretty good at this as a species.)

So maybe someone needs to organize Vegan Supermodel Orgies as well as marching in NY. Just saying.


So who wants to volunteer to have their living conditions drastically reduced?

The west likes to blame China and India, places we've outsourced manufacturing and work to and yet somehow they still produce far less CO2 per capita. We shame people into reducing their individual emissions while ignoring the fact that industry produces most of the emissions.

The fact is, no country is going to take drastic measures. We don't know exactly what's going to happen when the world warms 3 degrees (we have ideas, but the world has been both warmer and colder in the past, and somehow life survived). We do however know what would happen if we suddenly stunted economic progress tomorrow (nothing good).


This argument is tired. We can maintain 1st world living conditions while drastically reducing emissions. Throw away consumerism is literally a toxic force on the planet, but the wealthy do not want to disrupt their income streams and "gamble" their fortunes on reinvestment or environmental rehabilitation. Your argument is akin to "why don't you donate all your money" when someone says the rich should be taxed more heavily.


I will. I think you are missing quite a bit of research on what a 3 deg C/6 deg F warmer world looks like. It will stunt economic growth a lot more than voluntary measures.

edit: "The west likes to blame China and India, places we've outsourced manufacturing and work to and yet somehow they still produce far less CO2 per capita. We shame people into reducing their individual emissions while ignoring the fact that industry produces most of the emissions." do you see how you are contradicting yourself here saying that placed we've outsource industry to have lower per capita CO2 emissions. Can you clarify that?


Sounds like you're always the first one to reply to anything climate related with some false dichotomy.

We can make changes without adjusting living conditions drastically - moving to EVs, removing fossil fuel subsidies, pushing solar over coal/gas.

In fact, we might improve our living conditions by reducing our addition to oil, as long as it's managed and not cold-turkey.


> Sounds like you're always the first one to reply to anything climate related with some false dichotomy.

Nah, somehow I just got unlucky enough to log on when alarmist articles are somehow in the feed. I'm simply not huge on alarmism.

> moving to EVs

Which run on electricity generated by coal.

> In fact, we might improve our living conditions by reducing our addition to oil, as long as it's managed and not cold-turkey.

And we will. Just not huge on articles where every comment essentially says the world is going to end 10 years from now. It won't.


I think the assertion isn't that the world is going to end 10 years from now. It's more that unless we pull off a miracle in the next 10 years, it's essentially going to end this century.


Still not going to happen.


Yes it is.

And I can continue that all day long.

When you are standing on the rails with a high-speed train rushing towards you and your buddy next to you is yelling "LET'S GET OF THE RAILS OR WE'RE GOING TO DIE!", that's not alarmist. But you try to make it look like that.

Seriously. Looking at your history of comments, climate change denials seems to be one of your things, so trying to reach you is probably a lost cause.

Yes, the world is burning. Yes, the ecosystem is failing. Yes, hordes of hungry refugees will roam the planet (probably even Alberta!). Yes, civilization is going to collapse.

(If we don't get our shit together REALLY quickly, which I doubt we will).

Sticking your fingers in your ears, sticking your head into the sand, singing "LALALA" very loudly and calling people 'alarmist' is not going to change that.

But hey! Après moi, le déluge!

At least we will have had the most awesome orgy of consumption and self-deception, like, ever.

Awesome!


That's a pretty pessimistic view, with no basis in reality.

Fact is, the world has more people than ever, yet is richer than ever, there's less poverty and hunger than ever, the world is more peaceful than ever, and there's certainly no signs of collapse and certainly not in 1 decade smh...

If you truly believe that we're a decade away from collapse, why aren't you stockpiling food and weapons in a bunker? Because there's no sign of political will from the major CO2 emitters to curb emissions so your worst case scenario is definitely happening, right? People say these things, yet I don't see any of the climate alarmists actually doing things to indicate that they're alarmed...


I don't know where you got the 10 years from.

Yes, we've got more people than ever. There is less poverty and hunger than ever. The world is more peaceful than ever. That's because we've been on a glut of predatory ecosystem exploitation for the last 150 years.

The signs that we are running headlong into a global ecosystem collapse are everywhere. So my view is pretty much based in reality, so here are my facts.

If you care to check them.

We've wiped out 60% percents of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since the 1970 (https://s3.amazonaws.com/wwfassets/downloads/lpr2018_summary...).

We've killed about 30% of the insect population: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decline_in_insect_populations

Phytoplankton has been reduced by 50% since the 1950s https://www.nature.com/articles/nature09268 . You know, that's the stuff that produces our oxygen (https://earthsky.org/earth/how-much-do-oceans-add-to-worlds-...). An increase in temperature of about 5°C and more will probably kill off most phytoplankton.

These are just some documented and recorded facts. Now we get to the fun part, where we think about their impact.

Let's take for a given that the antrophogenic climate change won't stop at the blue-sky +2°C that everyone is hoping so hard for (hoping, not acting). According to IPCC 2018, we're CURRENTLY between +0.75 and +1.25°C, with the very real possibility of reaching +2°C by the 2040.

We thought that we had about 30 years to mitigate some of the worst damage. But now - holy shit! - the arctic permafrost is melting, about 70 years earlier than expected. And it's starting to release methane, a way more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. Sure, it rapidly decays in the atmosphere, but not before kicking us to about +4°C. This is the temperature range where some Scientists fear that frozen methane from the ocean floor will start to be released.

(Do you remember that at about +5°Celsius the phytoplankton will start dying off? )

So, we have a massive temperature increase at an unprecedented speed that makes huge areas of earths most populous regions inhospitable or even inhabitable. Do you think the Syrian refugee crisis was bad? Think about ~1 BILLION PEOPLE on the search for greener (literally) pastures. Do you think they will be welcome with open arms? Yeah, you bet..

Agriculture will be severely impacted. Not only by the heat, but also by the massive die-off that ensues. Most of the animals on earth have a lifecycle that's very closely tuned to the hum of the seasons. At +4°C you can kiss all that goodbye. The only things that will survive are generalist species that have a lifecycle not tied to the seasons. (Cockroaches maybe. Certainly not butterflies. Enjoy them while they last!)

There will also be terrible conflicts and wars about the most precious resource of them all. No, not oil. We'll have oil in barrels, nobody will be lacking oil (at least at first). No, I mean water. We'll have water wars.

This will also be the time that the global economy will start to collapse. War is good for only one business, and that's weapons. Everything else will suffer. Don't expect any deliveries from your Chinese online shop of choice. Consumer markets will crash, everything will come to a standstill.

No, I don't stockpile. Because this is going to happen over the course the next 30 years and I'll be long dead when the really bad shit is starting to happen. I've trained my kids to be able to work with wood and scrap metals to improvise all kinds of tools and machines. All of them are also receiving training as horticulturalists, for what's that worth.

That's the least I can do for them.


James Hansen coauthored a paper in 2013 calculating that the warming you get from burning every bit of fossil fuels is not 3 degrees, but more like 12. At those temperatures any human that doesn’t move to the polar regions will die of heatstroke, not to mention any economic effects.


I've thought a lot about climate change and it's consequences. If we trigger runaway warming through feedback loops involved permafrost and ocean (hydrates) methane - things are going to get really, really bad. This happened when ~5C degree warming from millions of years of the Siberian traps eruptions caused methane hydrates to be released into the atmosphere, triggering another ~5C warming and the greatest mass extinction on Earth, the End-Permian Extinction, also known as "the Great Dying" where 96% of marine species went extinct, and 70% of terrestrial species. Clearly if that happens, we're really in trouble. I don't know how likely that is, or what the trigger point would be. The climate today is not the same as it was 250M years ago.

On the other side of the coin, the Earth is uncomfortably cool these last few million years. We have these repeated periods of glaciation. Having Europe, Russia, Canada, and the northern US ground to dust beneath kilometers of ice would be a bit of tragedy too on a similar scale. That it's further away in the future doesn't make it less of a problem - if we're too aggressive solving climate change we could imagine a future where we have to deliberately pump methane into the atmosphere to stave off an ice age. For better or worse we seem to be at no risk of this through our ineptitude in responding to climate change.

For people worried about coral reefs dying, it happened less than 10K year ago at the end of the last ice age. Sea level rose 400ft and drowned the world's coral reefs. They bounced back, as you can see today. They will also bounce back from climate change - it will just suck in the meanwhile. There are undoubtedly things we can and will do to make it suck less, like developing heat resistant corals, planting reefs further north/south, etc.

For people worried about coastal cities being submerged, relax, you'll be dead by then. Long term, we should be moving our investment to more sustainable areas. But infrastructure doesn't last forever anyway, so I think a lot of that may occur naturally as people just stop developing new infrastructure in low-lying areas. There's no question it will cost us though.

If you're really worried about climate change for your descendants, get Canadian citizenship. That's one of the few countries likely to benefit from climate change.

So to sum up, climate change is not all bad, just mostly bad, until or unless it runs away on us, and then the doomsayers may be right for a change.


> relax, you'll be dead by then

This is part of the reason so little is being done to combat climate change now. If we don't act now though, the future generations will definitely drown. It will be too late for them to do anything.

> That's one of the few countries likely to benefit from climate change.

This is one of the most dangerous delusions. In our globalised interconnected world nobody will benefit. Just think about the last financial crisis. Mortgage crisis in the US caused chaos in the whole world.


Nobody is going to drown. People will do some combination of building walls, raising land, and moving. It will play out over a period of a thousands years or more. There will be a non-zero cost associated with diverting resources for these things, but that's not the end of the world. I'm not saying it's an excuse for not acting though. We have a responsibility to take care of our own mess, rather than just dump it on our children.

I still think the comparative lack of low-lying coastal land, plus ample freshwater, increased growing season, and increased arable land will be net benefit for Canada and Russia. Plus if things are as bad as you say, they'll benefit from increased demand for immigration as well (even if you don't take on more people, you can select more desirable immigrants.)

This is not a crash situation like 2008, this is more like a glacier that's flowing towards you. You have plenty of time to plan your response, like moving out of the way, but you can't stop it. Trouble in other countries will have unpredictable, but not necessarily all bad effects.


Is it now? The predictions are, as far as I understand, that a lot of coastal areas will become submerged this century, meanwhile the rising temperatures will (and already are) mess up with the food supply. As that accelerates, the world will see a migration wave like never before in history, and frankly, it sounds like straight to World War 3 from here to me.

The planet, frankly, doesn't matter. It'll be fine. The thing that matters is our technological civilization. Whether it's a gun or a glacier, our civilization is fragile, and when it fails, it's essentially game over for humanity - mass deaths followed by the remaining survivors stuck in medieval conditions for many thousands, or tens of thousands of years.


Things won't move that quickly, and hopefully they won't get that dire. We can't rule it out either though. There's plenty of good reasons to worry and take action. It is still a tragedy unfolding. But it's not necessarily as doom and gloom as many people believe.


But things do move that quickly. Current projections [1] have global sea levels rising from anything between 0.3m and 2.4m by the end of the century.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_level_rise


That's pretty slow for a change smoothed out over eighty years.


Well, (a) it's a hell of a lot faster than it has been for most of my life, and (b) it means that in my lifetime, a lot of the places I know & love will be seriously affected by - if not completely lost to - sea level rise.

I get the sense you don't live anywhere near the coast.


> But it's not necessarily as doom and gloom as many people believe

It really is doom if whole cities are wiped off the map. Just because the process of that doom happens in relatively slow motion doesn't make it any less doom. Hundreds of coastal cities will be literally gone. But don't let the speed of the process trick your mind. It is actually urgent to act now. We need to decarbonize our economies within a decade or those cities are doomed. We need to motivate people, and we need less of this "meh, it'll take a while, we can sit on our hands for now, let's not get excited."


> Nobody is going to drown.

Well, they probably won't drown by the millions, but sea level rise contributes to coastal flooding in extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and typhoons, and most people who die in those events die due to flooding. So it is not a stretch to stay that thousands of people--perhaps tens or even hundreds of thousands--could actually be drowned by rising sea levels.


Yes, that's true. I'm not sure why you got downvoted for saying that.


> Nobody is going to drown. People will do some combination of building walls, raising land, and moving.

What are you talking about, people are drowning now. When a big storm tears through a low lying area or there is flooding, people drown.

> People will do some combination of building walls, raising land, and moving. It will play out over a period of a thousands years or more.

If we don't get climate change under control we're not going to have thousands of years, or even a few hundred years.

Yes countries will try to mitigate the effects by building sea walls but the truth is that you can't beat mother nature if you keep raising sea level and making storms stronger.

And this idea that people can just move is simply irrational. Who is going to buy property that is in imminent danger of being underwater? Who is gonna insure that property? The only lifeline to people in flood-affected areas is government buyouts, and many governments can't afford to do that even now, much less in the future when it gets much worse.

And then what, where will all of these displaced people go? Particularly people from island nations?

> There will be a non-zero cost associated with diverting resources for these things, but that's not the end of the world.

There will be an enormous and potentially impossible cost with trying to build and move fast enough to beat climate change in coastal areas.

> This is not a crash situation like 2008, this is more like a glacier that's flowing towards you. You have plenty of time to plan your response, like moving out of the way, but you can't stop it. Trouble in other countries will have unpredictable, but not necessarily all bad effects.

It's like an iceberg heading towards a massive boat that takes a long time to turn. If we make a hard turn now, we might only graze the iceberg, but if we wait to make our turn, it'll be too late to avoid impact.

> I still think the comparative lack of low-lying coastal land, plus ample freshwater, increased growing season, and increased arable land will be net benefit for Canada and Russia.

No it won't. First, even if new areas are warm enough to support crops, crop yields are heavily dependent on soil and rainfall. Those newly warm soils are simply not going to be as fertile as current growing regions. Secondly, if global economies are wrecked, being able to crow crops in Siberia is not going to be a net benefit. People think that climate change means that there'll be an orderly shift in temperatures, but it will be chaotic and unpredictable. And climates near the poles are warming that much, that is going to come with the positive feedback loop of methane released from permafrost which will accelerate warming.

Trying to passively adapt to climate change is outright foolish. There's no way human kind can build walls high enough, or somehow find a way to grow and cultivate crops, livestock, and fish at a scale that can avoid disaster and the breakdown of society. If we start shifting en masse to renewable energy and making consumption more efficient we might be able to get things to a manageable level. The earlier we make a massive shift, the better. Because later on we may be left with nothing but bad options.


The earlier we get climate change under control the less it will cost us. Either way we have to adapt. As I pointed out there are some long term positives from a little global warming that may eventually make the cost of adapting worthwhile. We still need to act decisively and quickly to prevent things from running away on us. Nothing I said is an exhortation to do anything less.


Sea level rise under the "business as usual" RCP 8.5 scenario is 0.5 to 1 meter by 2100. Combined with increased storm intensity and existing subsidence rates, and this a very large increase that will swamp many lower lying cities, including much of the area where I work today.

"You'll long be dead" applies to the elderly politicians currently driving policies and laughing/mocking young climate activists. But the young climate activists like Greta or younger probably WILL be alive by 2100. Most of my children will still be alive by then, and when (if) I have grandchildren, they definitely will.

I think it's absurd to not give a crap about the fate of my children.

"Relax, you'll be long dead" is a statement contingent on the generation. The Boomers and older, who hold the vast majority of the world's wealth, have the least at stake while the young people currently striking have the most at stake. Climate denialism is basically an economic war on the young.


You're the only one talking about not giving a crap. Don't strawman my argument.

50-100cm of sea-level rise over a period of 100 years is a non-issue really. Most places won't be affected and those that will be have time to employ one of the three strategies mentioned. Everyone alive will be dead before it starts to really bite - that does not equate to permission "not to give a crap" to be perfectly clear. It's also not climate denialism to talk about the facts, which I shouldn't need to say.


1 meter is on top of about that much subsidence and storm surge increase. Most of Langley Air Force Base and much of adjacent NASA Langley will be below high tide level, not counting storm surge. My neighbor's house (who are trying to sell) will be under nearly a meter of water. This is not "non-issue." We're talking only about 80 years from now. Within living memory. And we're already seeing impact.

https://coast.noaa.gov/slr/#/layer/slr/6/-8502032.768614948/...

EDIT: I understood your point was about how the REAL threat is the existential threat of nonlinear feedback loops, HOWEVER, I thought your post under-played the real consequences on people alive today of even the most likely outcome. We're going to have to rebuild much of cities that have been around for 100s of years. There's an enormous amount of capital involved here. Imagine Katrina-like scenarios but for dozens of cities in the US and at regular intervals. A vast system of dikes will be needed, probably at the cost of a trillion dollars, all along the US sea coasts. In addition to on the order of trillions in real estate that will have to be abandoned (in places like Miami, Norfolk, New York City, San Fran and surrounding cities, much of the Mississippi river delta in Louisiana including New Orleans, and even Washington DC) or maybe rebuilt on stilts or vastly upgraded dike systems. This is stuff in living memory of today, and it's the result of a stay-the-course growth in fossil fuel usage.


Yes, it will be extremely expensive and it's a crime that we don't tax fossil fuels to account for those negative externalities. I don't want to downplay it too much here. It's serious business, but is not the end of civilization - unless those feedback loops kick in in a big way. I think the change in sea level will be somewhat gradual, giving time to migrate or fortify infrastructure. Keep in mind few of the roads, bridges, and skyscrapers in our current cities will still be there when the water reaches them. If we write them off and build further inland instead of trying to maintain or rebuild them in place, it will naturally shift part of our infrastructure. It will still be costly though.


The real thing I fear involving climate change is civilization collapse, or at least famine and warfare. I fear a future where there are a lot of very, very angry, hungry people, lead by governments with nuclear weapons.

This is just based on my casual reading of events and history. If anyone knows of any good articles talking about this sort of thing, link me.


People should be very worried about this. Some parts of the world are already unstable, imagine what happens when food supplies dramatically contract or areas are hit with multiple weather disasters. There is a lot of strain and turmoil over migrations as is (see Syria), imagine what that looks like when hundreds of millions of people are displaced.

What happens when millions of hungry and displaced people try to move across borders to countries that are their outright enemies? Or if an already oppressed ethnic group is hit with a water crisis? One doesn't need to look far into history to see that it could lead to mass murder


> This happened when ~5C degree warming from millions of years of the Siberian traps eruptions caused methane hydrates to be released into the atmosphere, triggering another ~5C warming and the greatest mass extinction on Earth, the End-Permian Extinction, also known as "the Great Dying" where 96% of marine species went extinct, and 70% of terrestrial species.

That's a theory for what happened, but as I understand it the cause of this extinction has not been conclusively proved.


Yes, it's the leading theory. That doesn't mean is true, just the most likely explanation for the data we have now.

Hardly anything is "conclusively proved", although theories we can design experiments for are much more robust than theories about historical or geological events where we don't have that luxury.


Or “how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb.”


Actually a lot of progress has been made, except in China, which has increased emissions to the point of reversing all other progress globally.

By comparison, US carbon has been going down since 2007, despite a growing population and economy. Per capita it's been declining for over four decades.

China now emits more than the US and EU combined, despite having much, much less economic output.


Carbon emitted as a result of manufacturing should count toward the destination country, not the production country.

China supplies the world a lot of goods. It doesn't seem appropriate to put the onus on China when the end result of that production run brings all that stuff over to another country.


> Carbon emitted as a result of manufacturing should count toward the destination country, not the production country.

Has anybody studied this yet? This point comes up every time this issue is discussed, but I don't remember ever seeing any effort into quantifying what the situation looks like from this perspective.


Unavoidable. They're playing catch up.

It seems fairly obvious to me that we should say "Total emissions by some date (say 2080) should equal some value (say X) and we calculate from the Industrial Age to that date and apportion according to what percentage of the Earth you own". The West polluted from 1900 to 2020 and reaped the rewards. The cutbacks The West must make must be proportional.

Otherwise it's like inheriting all your wealth from a thief and then making thievery a blanket crime.


Reducing output isn't going to happen, well it won't happen until it's too late. It's like the smoker that gets diagnosed with cancer, and then decides to quite smoking.

It's also ludicrous that think that warming will stop and hold at 1.5 or 2.0c adding less won't stop the increase in climate warming, it will just cause the increase to be slower.

The other thing that's ludicrous is that we aren't monitoring the earth's output, the warming oceans, melting glaciers and thawing permafrost are now contributing greenhouse gases due to the warming climate, they are now locked into positive feedback loops. Which means every cycle the changes get a little bit bigger as the cycles feed themselves. Unless we can start to reduce the total amount of greenhouse gases in the upper atmosphere these feedback loops are just going to keep running.


So, is there any convincing reason to think that any emissions targets will be met? Does anyone buy the line in the article about India? Surely they will become an emitter at least as significant as China.

Isn't our money better spent preparing for the inevitable effects of climate change?


> Isn't our money better spent preparing for the inevitable effects of climate change?

No. The numbers have been crunched. Averting climate change is much cheaper than dealing with the effects.

Even if that wasn't the case, you don't just deal with the effects and then get on with civilisation. You still have the effects, and you're still faced with the same problems in the future.

In case that didn't persuade on an emotional level, here's an analogy for that last point: a doctor points out to you that you're putting on weight at a dangerous rate. Sure, you could manage it by buying bigger clothes and taking medication for blood pressure and cholesterol, but if you're still overeating (and accelerating the rate at which you're gaining weight) then you haven't solved the problem. You have all the inconvenience and expense of dealing with the effects, and the problem is getting worse.


There is no reason to think they will be met, on current trends -- global output is still increasing, and new "green" energy seems to just come on top of fossil fuel energy, not replacing it.

But it makes no sense to spend money on the effects while the rate at which they're getting worse is still increasing. Like starting to repaint the house while the fire is still blazing.

We just need to do a lot more, keeping fossil fuel in the ground forever will always be more effective than any measures to live with the consequences.


even if we miss a target, more emissions beyond that target still make things much worse. it's not like we can just declare bankruptcy or something.

ultimately we have to reduce emissions as much as possible while preparing for their impact -- and I am not an expert, but I suspect reducing emissions is cheaper in the long run than dealing with the effects.


> I suspect reducing emissions is cheaper in the long run than dealing with the effects.

I'm not entirely sure. People seem to be convinced that climate change will destroy all civilization, but in the distant past the earth has flourished with significantly higher temperatures than what we have today. Once our climate reaches a new equilibrium, humanity will adjust and everything will probably be OK.

And we can be certain that there will be a new equilibrium, otherwise life wouldn't have lasted for hundreds of millions of years.


It's not just higher temperatures. Ocean acidification is a major issue as well, and that threatens to completely upend the entire ocean ecosystem. Drinkable water will be reduced. Less farmland will be viable. Glaciers melting threaten to disrupt ocean currents which would completely change our weather patterns, and not likely to be for the better.

>And we can be certain that there will be a new equilibrium, otherwise life wouldn't have lasted for hundreds of millions of years.

Basically every time something this major changes, the dominant species does too. We're smarter than previous dominant species, but since 'not having to deal with all of this bullshit' is far smarter than 'scrambling to come up with solutions that may or may not work and are unlikely to be cost effective even if they do', maybe not as smart as we think.


The climate has never before changed as quickly as it is changing today. It seems likely to me that major ecosystems will collapse completely because they can't adapt quickly enough. It is doubtful whether our technological civilization will survive the intense struggle for food and water that is too come. Look what a measly million Syrian refugees did to the European political landscape. Climate change will likely lead to a hundred times more refugees.


> Once our climate reaches a new equilibrium, humanity will adjust and everything will probably be OK.

Whatever remains of humanity will adjust and live the medieval or pre-medieval lives for the next many thousands of years.

The most fragile component of the climate change issue is human technological civilization. Once it breaks, it's game over. Most of us and most of our families won't make it. Current level of technology is maintained through a complex global supply chain involving millions of people. When that breaks, humanity will regress. Devices will die, there won't be a way to repair them. Survivors will regress maybe to early industrial era for a while, but since all easily accessible dense energy sources have already been used up, this won't last and the remnants of humanity will regress further, and stay there for God knows how long.

It's not a fate I'd wish on worst enemies.

As for how this collapse would happen? All the climate change-related "small" issues increasingly clogging our economy. More expensive food, more expensive water, less arable land, less habitable land, unprecedented migration. Eventually, there will be war. Or the global economy halts, and then there will be war.


All but one major extinction event in the past was because of global warming. What you are missing is that during those times , the temperature change was over a much longer period of time than now. What we are doing is unprecedented and there is little reason to believe anything will flourish.


But not all instances of global warming caused mass extinction events. I think that there is a correlation here rather than a causation. In fact, looking at historical charts the earth's temperature undergoes a relatively significant change every few 100k years at least. So extinction events are only a tiny minority of those events, around 5/5000


> Once our climate reaches a new equilibrium, humanity will adjust and everything will probably be OK.

That really depends on what your definition of "OK" is, I suppose.


i think the idea of reducing emissions is to reach a new equilibrium as quickly as possible, and one as close as possible to our current climate which we know is pretty good.

climate change is likely not going to destroy all civilization (notwithstanding sensationalistic New York Magazine article) but adding decades or centuries of "adjustment" -- droughts, floods, crop failures, less predictable extreme weather, displacement of people in coastal regions -- is likely to be very expensive.

hard to imagine that all this cost over several generations is outweighed by oil and coal being somewhat cheaper than renewables/nuclear.


The issue is not that we all face a catastrophic cataclysm but that climate change makes the earth significantly less amenable to us. Cropland destruction, lack of drinking water and relocation of population centers due to changing coastlines are extremely expensive and preventing that would be advantageous. The earth will be just fine without us.


There is an interesting bit here about exporting the problem: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/extra/DmZ6C9zSsR/road_to_clean_en...

Regarding China: "It’s the world’s biggest burner of coal, but it’s also the biggest global investor in renewables."

Keep in mind that China is the world's factory and a lot of services (IT etc.) are performed in India, so they are not just national emissions but emissions that we have offshored.


https://cleantechnica.com/2019/09/16/china-is-doing-a-lot-be...

As long as GDP is related to emissions and globally advanced countries engage in zero sum competition, exploiting others by pressing their historical power advantage, there is a very strong incentive for China, India and the rest of the developing to catch up by any means necessary.


What's wrong with the line about India? It's absolutely correct - per capita emissions from India are very small.

> Surely they will become an emitter at least as significant as China.

Looking at a country's total emissions makes no sense because the population needs to be taken into account. India will eventually have the largest total emissions, which is fine because per capita is really low.


>India will eventually have the largest total emissions, which is fine because per capita is really low.

Earth doesn't care about "emission per capita" though, it just cares about the total sum of emissions...

So "India eventually [having] the largest total emissions" means a huge extra tonnage of emissions will be added to the already troubling amounts...

So, the per capita number is mainly relevant in regards to fairness...


What the Earth doesn't care about is the arbitrary lines in the sand we declare to be this nation or that.


What Earth does care about, is when you decide that's a good idea to have on average more than 4 children per couple over the last 2 generations in India [1] instead of only 2 or even less children per couple like in USA or the EU [2].

[1] https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/IND/india/fertility-ra...

[2] https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/USA/united-states/fert...

Every country has a set of natural resources at its disposal. It should manage and cherish those resources and not overtax them. If a country decides it's a good idea to perpetually grow their population when all they have are the same set of natural resources available, then well, the onus is on them to figure out how to do it without destroying everything.


You're making my point. The US went through the same process, with the same birth rate interrupted only by the great depression until two generations ago.

There aren't countries, there are humans responding to the same conditions similarly. Economic development will slow their reproductive rate, like clockwork.

If you point to a family in the 60s in the US and a family in India today and find only one of them irresponsible, your thinking is flawed.

I assume you're following through with your convictions and will remain child free?


> I assume you're following through with your convictions and will remain child free?

No, I will remain with my child at replacement rate (a little below actually), like my parents and my grandparents did (and all parents and grandparents on average here), and I expect them to be entitled to a lot more resources than someone who lives in a country where (on average) their parents, grandparents and themselves didn't follow the same principle.

As a fact, India's CO2 emissions per unit area are almost the same as EU. We are using the same share of ecological resources (assuming roughly they are equivalent on average per area), so there is nothing to give or to take from both sides.

P.S.: A family in USA in the 60's, 1st: didn't had any idea that there was such thing as a catastrophic global warming incoming, 2nd: had a 4x smaller population density than India has today. But sure, go ahead and keep pretending that Earth's resources magically increase anytime someone decides to have a new child, so that you can tell yourself we are all entitles to the same amount of resources, no matter the size of our immediate family.


I had a hunch.

wtdata 19 days ago [flagged]

I also had a hunch that you interest isn't really about saving the planet but in supporting the implementation of your ideological agenda.


I have no ideological agenda other than not engaging in casual racism to construct a boogeyman to point at to absolve myself of the substantial impact I've made to the climate.

wtdata 19 days ago [flagged]

What do you mean?

It's not your racism that has you stating that someone in a country with a very good track record when it comes to CO2 emissions (and a number of other environmental aspects) should stop having children, so that someone in a overly populated country, with an appalling record when it comes to all kinds of pollution can have even more children?

If it's not racism from your part that makes you ask for that, than you should clarify what it is. But one thing is for certain, it's not environmentalism for sure.


I'm not telling you not to have children, but it does make you a hypocrite.

I'm accusing you of casual racism for drawing a false distinction around the behavior of Indians. They are doing what everyone else has done in the same circumstance. Just because we have gotten our growth spurt and dirty economic development out the way doesn't entitle us to waggle our finger at those that took longer.

It's on the first world to fix things first. The wealthiest should have the lowest per capita emissions, not the highest. Shouting at the third world for their high population count isn't environmentalism, it won't work, and it doesn't give you the moral high ground.

wtdata 19 days ago [flagged]

> They are doing what everyone else has done in the same circumstance.

We already established those aren't the same circumstances at all:

- 1st: we didn't have even 1/4 of the Indian population density when we were having the same birthrates.

- 2nd: When global warming became clear and urgent action was needed, we started reducing our emissions while India during that time already increased them by 400%, and is going to increase them by another 100% in the next decade.

It's not by keep repeating the same lie that you are going to make it a reality.


We didn't establish anything. You grasped at the density straw in order to intellectually justify your prejudice.

The poor in India should increase their emissions, because otherwise they'll die. Life expectancy has risen from 40 to 68 years since the 60s. Would you halve your life expectancy to fix global warming? I don't think so.

In any case, the births have already happened, and India is now barely above replacement rates, which you've conveniently overlooked. You want them to die because of the choices their parents made.

If you excuse me, I'm going to go take a shower. I honestly can't believe I'm having this conversation on HN.


You crossed badly into flamewar in this thread, which breaks the site guidelines regardless of how right you are or feel. Please review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and don't do that on HN again; it's strictly destructive here, and someone else behaving badly is no justification.


That's fair enough. I knew it was totally against the site guidelines but I couldn't help myself.

Honestly, I think you and the other mods could be quicker with the ban hammer even if that means I'm on the chopping block for what I did here.

Eg the above account posted this nine days ago, and that was after a previous warning:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20995004


I agree. The trouble is that we don't see everything that gets posted here; there's too much. So sometimes when there's a repeated pattern of abuse, it takes longer than we would like to notice it. Users can help by flagging comments (see https://news.ycombinator.com/newsfaq.html for how) and by emailing hn@ycombinator.com about egregious cases.


Ah, I specifically picked a comment that had been killed by repeated flagging. I assumed that there'd be a human reviewing by that stage.

I've been under the impression for a while that it takes quite a bit more to be banned these days than five years ago, but that might just be nostalgia.

Anyway, I know you're volunteers and it's not really appropriate for me to be complaining about the dress code after fighting in your bar. I'm sorry for causing trouble.


Well, we're not volunteers except in the sense that we volunteer to be paid to do this :)

I appreciate the decency of your response.

wtdata 19 days ago [flagged]

> The poor in India should increase their emissions, because otherwise they'll die. Life expectancy has risen from 40 to 68 years since the 60s.

So, you are saying that CO2 emissions are actually good for the population and the way forward is to actually increase them even more. Interesting turn of events from an environmentalist.

> You want them to die because of the choices their parents made.

Funny thing to say, since you want the West to pay for the choices our grandfathers made and descend into deprivation, so that the rest of the world can go on polluting even more.

Here is the thing, people with your discourse aren't interested in saving the planet but into forcing your ideological agenda - which is got nothing to do with environmentalism but with your personal concepts of morality - upon the rest of us under the threat of environmental catastrophe. And the worst part of it? It does nothing to tackle climate change.

P.S.: > If you excuse me, I'm going to go take a shower. I honestly can't believe I'm having this conversation on HN.

Go easy on that shower, it's a big toll on the environment and, after all, you just spent the last 24h telling us all how those resources actually should belong to be used by people in India and not selfishly by me or by you.


We've banned this account for proliferating flamewar on this site. That is not allowed here.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


My ideological agenda is valuing the life of an Indian equally to my own.


Well, my agenda is about reducing global CO2 emissions so that we can save the planet.

But, there is nothing wrong with you having your agenda... just don't go around pretending you are pushing it due to environmental concerns.


Don't feed that troll, just downvote and move along.


Seems we both fell in to that trap.


> Earth doesn't care about "emission per capita" though, it just cares about the total sum of emissions...

True. How about reducing the extremely high per-capita emissions of developed countries? That will result in a huge drop in the total sum of emissions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_di...

People in such countries are taking up too many resources and that is not sustainable for the planet. There needs to be a carbon tax.


I was referring to the article's claim that because India is "emerging as a leader in renewable energy" we can expect it to contribute significantly less to climate change.


It looks like if you take China and India out of the equation, the numbers are trending down.


If you take China and India out of the equation you are removing a lot of goods which are used in the rest of the world, though.


This is a whole part of the problem. Globalisation and the offshoring of manufacturing to the east has meant a corresponding offset of emissions from the Europe and the US to China and other places. We in the West have to take some responsibility for this. You can argue that globalisation does have a noble goal - i.e. to reduce global inequality by raising the standard of living of all to that of the most well-off nations - but the now obvious trends of climate change, global heating and emissions, are showing this to be a dangerous and unobtainable goal. It seems to me that we have to start looking at reductions of living standards in the West (to maybe what we had 30-40 years ago) with corresponding reductions in global trade. I have little confidence that we can actually achieve this in an organized and equitable manner.


Including a big fraction (most, I think) of solar capacity installed around the world.


The UN Climate Action Summit 2019 is live online http://webtv.un.org/ or https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/


USA and Canada have more than the double of emissions per capita than China. While these countries doesn't take the responsibility for climate change, nothing will change.


There should also be a factor for land mass when considering "fairness", but reality is that the tar sands are the cause of our growing ghg emmissions. Even the industry's propaganda site claims it is single handedly responsible for 10% of Canada's emmisions: https://www.canadasoilsands.ca/en/explore-topics/ghg-emissio...

I can only imagine how much money they spend trying to rebrand tarsands as oilsands...


The US and Canada should definitely take more responsibility for climate change, but I trust emissions numbers coming out of China about as much as I trusted economic numbers coming out of the Soviet Union.


The data comes from https://climateactiontracker.org/, specifically https://climateactiontracker.org/global/cat-emissions-gaps/ (where you can download a spreadsheet).


This shouldn't be flagged. Is there any way to vouch that a story shouldn't be flagged?


Flagging climate stories? WTF?


Perhaps a vested interest controls lots of accounts on here and wants to bury stories of this nature (pun not intended)? The comments don't appear to have descended into a flame war so I suspect a bot net has manually flagged it to death.

I've seen it a lot on here and it makes me think it's not worth engaging with HN any more.


Nah, see? The mods got up Monday morning and put the kibosh on the hijiinks.


The fact that articles from Nature are getting flagged now is beyond dark. Vested interests, desperate denial or plain delusion?


It seems discussion on climate change is being discouraged on hn. An article from the BBC was also flagged. See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21042054


Seems like consistent suppression of climate related news on hackernews increasing noticeably over the past few months.




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