Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit | karles's comments login

Well, human processes can be visulised and their completion time can be estimated, as can possible breakdowns.

Eliminating breakdowns thus eliminate "waste" in required effort, coordination etc.

So I don't see how human processes differs from technical ones that much...

Welcome to Scandinavia!

We hope you enjoy your stay.

They're enjoying the stay, they just won in court.

The court just ordered the agency to hand over the license plates to Tesla within a week.


Judge ordered temporary relief, it's not a final decision. Workers at the factory are also part of a union, so they may refuse to hand any plates out.

EDIT: And only Teslas side has been heard in court.

License plates? Fuck that.

This is about all the mechanics at their facilities. I think Tesla underestimates just how big a role Unions play in Nordic countries.

Give them their license plates - who cares. The Union(s) of the mechanics will strike for 500 years if they have to.


Who on earth has a "Cooler screen preference" (refering to the statement on their website)?

Truly a first world problem, and another things we don't really need...

The only redeeming quality is that they apparently "Drive TikTok'ers nuts" according to Businessinsider...

Another aspect is "is the output good enough for what it's meant to do?"

We don't need "originality" or "human creativity" - if a certain AI-generated piece of content does its job, it's "good enough".

Well, the idea of microservices would be to build some degree of flexibility into the setup, so that you can handle problems you don't have now, but you might have later.

I understand that the Monolith - if done right - is a viable option as well.

As a consultant, our customers rarely know what they want, and they can't really describe their vision, no matter how many workshops we throw at them. Microservices give us the opportunity to say "We might not know this now, but with this architecture, we won't be locked into a certain pattern or meet certain technical limitations by a monolithic approach".

It seems that what you are really paying for with microservices is flexibility and maneuverability "down the line".

Solving only the problems you have "here and now" with the simplest solution will also lead to technical debt.

I don't think I agree with your thoughts. Microservice setups are generally less flexible than monolithic setups. Particularly if you get the boundaries wrong it's notoriously difficult to refactor multiple microservices, particularly if you need full uptime.

For monoliths you can refactor the whole thing with editor support, and then deploy a new version.

So microservices will cost more, give you less flexibility and maneuverability, at more upfront cost. It seems like the worst of both worlds.

Because no customer wants to write a blank check.

If you don't know if its 500 or 5000 hours - you're simply not buying the product.

I think the fundamental misunderstanding is that we aren’t building a product. We are doing research and development. We are figuring out how to build something novel, otherwise the customer could just go out and buy it already. Once we’re done with discovery, the computer builds it. So, the customer is like any other who is paying for research and development. It’s not a blank check, but they should go into it without the expectation that something new will be discovered on some accurate schedule.

> We are figuring out how to build something novel

Is it possible to estimate the duration of a process that has never before occurred (e.g. the construction of something novel) with any expectation of accuracy?

This is hubris of the field of software engineering. The no-code market and the existence of tools as old as MS Access prove that there are software projects for which a better analogy is not R&D, but construction.

I do note that construction projects are also not good at estimating, but it's folly to suggest that at some level we are not _manufacturing_ rather than _developing_ a widget.

Construction is a bespoke non-factory manufacturing process. If you extend the metaphor:

Estimating large projects is a big construction projects. Those tend to be large buildings and relatively on schedule. Estimating small projects with small teams is bespoke. And more likely to go off schedule when the plumbers can't time well with the electrical services, i.e, you have a dependency on another teams API or something, similarly to how software struggles in small team open ended scope projects with unknowns. But a tightly scoped single-trade software project won't struggle just like construction.

In end, I agree with you that construction is a decent metaphor. But construction is very far from manufacturing a widget, as it's a bespoke manufacturing process with ample site specific constraints

If we're going to talk about construction as the metaphor, then it's done by the computer (e.g. compilation), and it's so cheap or trivial on many projects that developers will ask the computer to build the software hundreds or thousands a times a day (e.g. via test-driven development). In this metaphor, I think the developer would be more akin to a designer or architect, but where the building in question is at least partially novel. If it's not novel in product, people, process, etc., then the client could just go out and buy or use one that has already been produced. The developer wouldn't be necessary.

All the successful projects I've participated in could have been managed with this simple sentence:

"After some indulging in alcoholic beverages, we have signed a contract for <vaguely specified features> to be shipped on <date out of someone's hat>: please, do your best!"

And the outcome would have been even better if we hadn't waisted so much time in preparing detailed estimations and later inventing a justification about why those estimations were not precisely met.

This has also happened in Denmark.

It's hard not to feel a little apathetic about news like this.

I love my children, but I'm not sure how I will be able to explain the world/my involvement in the world to them once they grow old (both are below 2 years as of today).

As an individual, I feel like I have no way of leaving the "rat race" while still being able to sustain our lives financially...


Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth


Rapid global phaseout of animal agriculture has the potential to stabilize greenhouse gas levels for 30 years and offset 68 percent of CO2 emissions this century


The animal agriculture industry is the leading cause of most environmental degradation that is currently occurring.


Plant-Based Lifestyles Now ‘Imperative’ For Survival, IPCC Climate Expert Says


Agriculture production as a major driver of the Earth system exceeding planetary boundaries


"We are in the middle of the sixth extinction with as many as 274 species going extinct every day—we have lost an average of 68% of all bird, fish, mammal, amphibian, and reptile species in the past 50 years—and the decline is continuing at more than one percentage point per year. Agriculture is the largest cause of these declines—86% of those species threatened—with animal agriculture (60%) the salient perpetrator."

> as many as 274 species going extinct every day

This number is not based on evidence. I clicked through the links on this number, and it traces back basically to guesses that say if there are 100 million species on earth and if 0.1% of them go extinct every year then, well, that divides into that number. If you try to look up specifics - birds, for instance - you'll find that far fewer bird species have gone extinct in this century so far than the pace of the last century[0]. Which is actually encouraging! We are up against big odds but the immense efforts put into conservation are not hopeless - it's working!

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


Global study of 71,000 animal species finds 48% are declining


More losers than winners: investigating Anthropocene defaunation through the diversity of population trends


Almost half of all UK bird species in decline


The Current Mass Extinction Is Already Far More Dire Than We Realized


A 27-year study found the amount of insects flying in the air has declined 75% — but no one knows why


‘A wake-up call’: total weight of wild mammals less than 10% of humanity’s


Alarming report warns 1 in 8 bird species now facing extinction


As many as one in six U.S. tree species is threatened with extinction


Animal populations experience average decline of almost 70% since 1970, report reveals

How about not driving a car absolutely everywhere? Even electric cars use many times more energy than an entire household. I already eat less meat than I used to but I cannot look past the obscenely high energy use of a car

Uh what?

Quick google shows that a Hyundai Ioniq gets around 4 miles per kWh. An average US household uses 886 kWh per month. You’d have to drive 3,500 miles a month to have the electric car use more energy than the entire household.

Yes, there is an energy cost in building the car, but there’s also an energy cost in building the refrigerator and dryer and washing machine etc in the house.

I’m sure some electric cars are worse than the Ioniq, but they’d have to be considerably worse to equal the energy used by a household.

>An average US household uses 886 kWh per month

Oh wow. The average German household of three uses 2500kwh in a multi-tenant and 3500kwh in a single family home PER YEAR.

You need to compare it with similarly cold state + adjust for house size. I bet difference would be like 20%.

Yeah, sounds reasonable. I can't find any average heating kwh stats, but 4x is just improbable.

Does it include gas heating usage?

Heating and warm water is excluded.

I can't find any "average kwh for heating" numbers though. If the US number of roughly 10.000 kwh per year included heating, that could be roughly comparable to what the German average could be. Numbers that I find range from 14.000kwh for old homes with Gas usage to 3000kwh for modern homes with heat pumps.

Would make more sense than the US average being 4x while roughly using the same electronics.

Wow, that's terrible. Do Germans not have as good of climate control or something? I wonder what it would take to get German energy consumption up to a better level. It looks like wholesale electricity costs in Germany are around 4x higher than in the US.

>what it would take to get German energy consumption up to a better level

That's a good question. Prices are a good start. Consumer prices seem to be twice in G as in the US. Don't know where you get the "wholesale price is 4x in G". Most of what I can find is that wholesale is usually pretty close.

My guess of what G could do to increase consumption and thus moneys:

- Lower prices (duh). End user power is taxed heavily to subsidize industry power

- Remove mandatory energy labels on all electronics. Who really needs to know how much a TV or fridge is going to consume in power?

- Mandate "power-included" in rents. If you pay a fixed sum, you might as well leave the fridge open to cool the kitchen

- Mandate central heating and cooling. If you only pay a share of what you consume, might as well go full blast on everything

- stop subsidizing energy efficiency for new single and multi-tenant homes.

- stop building solid houses. Plywood walls are fine

Nice comparison on power prices: https://www.iea.org/reports/electricity-market-report-decemb...

I think you missed the

part. 3500 kwh per year is only 292 kwh per month, which is about three times lower than the US number quoted.

I didn't miss that. I'm saying it's concerning that Germany's energy availability is so impoverished. To quote myself:

> I wonder what it would take to get German energy consumption up to a better level.

What is bad about using less energy? What is good about using more?

Energy usage is synonymous with level of civilization. I like civilization.

And yet, america uses much more. Shouldn't that give you a pause? :)

Jokes aside, you're describing a correlation. America does not seem "more civilized" to me, you guys are just wasteful. Wasted energy does not lead to more civilization.

> Shouldn't that give you a pause?

No; It's completely consistent with my model. America is more advanced by a huge margin. It's also evidently a more desirable place to live; the Germany-to-USA migration rate is something like 3x the other direction.

> Yes, there is an energy cost in building the car, but there’s also an energy cost in building the refrigerator and dryer and washing machine etc in the house.

I don't think you can really hand wave away that cost. My instinct is that battery, aluminum, and steel production should be very energy intensive.

The 3500+ pounds of "stuff" in your car is over an order of magnitude more "stuff" than a household appliance just by weight alone.

(Maybe we should forego the other luxuries as well, of course).

All that said I imagine the biggest direct end user energy usage would be the cost of HVAC systems running nearly continuously in inhospitable climates.

It’s not that bad. Fossil fuel burn is actually much worse. I used to think this as I thought buying used cars would be a great help but the break even point for the extra cost of building an entire vehicle is something like 2 years of driving. So building all new cars with half the fuel use could reduce overall emissions after about 4 years. Electric vehicles are worth it after 2-3 years. As long as your electric vehicles run for about 5 years, even if you make a whole new car, emissions would reduce considerably

When you look at it further, you find even an electric car uses 20-30kWh/100km at highway speeds. That basically a constant 20kW. Driving a car is just stupidly energy intensive and very little can be done about that. Trains and public transport have a huge benefit in energy use per person

Yes ... fossil fuels absolutely too ... that's another reason why WFH is so important.

Where I live currently, that’s simply infeasible. It’s a city, just very poor public transit and the city was designed without pedestrians or bikers in mind.

I hope to move soon, and being able to walk/bike/take public transit is a priority for where I choose, but it makes me think there are so many places in the US where going anywhere without a car is not a realistic option. Car dependency is a big issue in the US.

> Where I live currently, that’s simply infeasible.

Technology let use thrive in places we shouldn't even have lived in the first place, a lot of people just "can't" do anything, that's why we're fucked

The area was established prior to cars and was livable, but as it grew everything was designed with cars in mind and made it unlivable without them. So it’s not that cars made an unlivable place otherwise livable, it’s that cars made a livable place unlivable without them.

It’s certainly possible for another form of transit to exist in this town, but everything was designed with cars in mind and there is little interest in fixing it, because almost everyone has a car (excluding those that can't afford them, but we don't talk about that or the weak economic mobility that lack of proper public transit absolutely contributes to).

> It’s a city, just very poor public transit

There's your answer, yet you hand wave it away. Mass transit for not just intracity but also putting housing close to where people want to go (parks/stores).

My non-US wife often jokes about "US city planning" being an oxymoron, and I just can't defend it.

I think you got the wrong impression from my comment. I’m not hand waving it at all, I’m highlighting how much of an issue it is in the US and how unlikely it is to change.

This is an issue I’m pretty passionate about and while I’ve put a lot of effort in locally to change this, I’ve come to realize it’s not something that’s gonna be fixed in my life time. This is why I intend to move to a place that already has good public transit and good walkability.

I would hope that the demise of gas powered cars would lead to a surge of focus on non-car transportation and improved city/suburban design, but I fear that car dependency will continue on as it seems most people in the US greatly prefer the idea of electric cars to anything else. It’s a shame, as I believe cars themselves to be problematic for a whole host of reasons and I feel our society is missing out on a good opportunity to transition away from them. I’ll keep fighting the fight, but there is only so much one can do.

It might be more impactful to move as many things back to trains instead of trucking everything across the country

> Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth

No it isn’t. The single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth is so unpalatable as to be literally unthinkable: don’t eat meat and dairy, avoid having children that have children that have children that all want to eat meat and dairy.

Avoid having children that take airplanes and eat almonds.

Avoid having children and your impact on the Earth rapidly zooms out to nothing.

That’s not the only reason or the main reason to avoid having children. But it’s as good a reason as any.

Nobody will mention it at the top of articles though. Children are a joy and a treasure and not having them would be a slight against human nature.

By this same logic it would be even better for you to commit suicide. People don't mention not having children because it is a fundamental biological drive and for most people, the problem isn't how do we eliminate carbon emissions _full stop_, but how do we eliminate carbon emissions while still allowing some form of palatable human existence?

I'm for all sorts of radical action to stop climate degradation. But "just don't have kids" really is tantamount to saying "just don't exist or be human." It isn't just a tough sell, it isn't even what is being discussed.

But "live in a big city and use public transit" is tantamount to saying "just don't exist or be human"

Or put "eat meat" in there.

"Biological imperative" at the peril of the planet. Idk. It's probably ironic for me to have any opinions of the biological imperative of heterosexual sex but it just strikes me as odd.

I'll go do my own research but now I'm quite curious about this. I guess for some reason I expect people to be better than their urges, but maybe that's foolish of me.

The planet has never been, is not and probably won't be in any near future in peril. Humanity is. Humans disappearing is the concern of ecology. The planet will adapt just fine with or without us, and species disappearing will be replaced in time by new ones.

Not having children is not effective at perpetuating the human race, and thus not usually considered as an ecological solution.

That being said, you don't have to have children to be an ecologist either, but you certainly should realise that your efforts are directed towards future humans, not towards the planet which does just fine anyway.

The point here is that it isn't black and white and furthermore, whether you like it or not, taking care of earth is a political problem in the most basic literal sense that you have to get people to do it.

Unless you are cooking up ideas on how to wipe the human race out like some kind of mad scientist, and presumably kill yourself afterward, the fact is, people need to be convinced to modify their lifestyle/culture somehow. Telling them to simply die without children ain't gonna do it.

> "Biological imperative" at the peril of the planet.

I essentially don't care about the state of the planet if there are no humans around to enjoy it.

The larger long-term risk to sentient life is that anti-energy people get their way, humanity never reaches the productive output required to become spacefaring, and we get wiped out by an engineered virus or something.

I find this attitude to be pretty weird. Like merely from an aesthetic point of view, I'd prefer a world with a healthy earth than one without, regardless of the question of human beings. If rational/advanced consciousness is the issue, a healthy earth is more likely to spin up a new intelligent species if we go extinct than a dead one.

You can start by letting the dust accumulate in your own house, and later allow vegetation to grow freely.

I exist and am human and don’t have any need to commit suicide.

It’s incredibly simple for me to use birth control methods, barely an inconvenience.

I have lots of reasons to avoid having kids, but it doesn’t hurt that a side effect is I automatically become a top-1% environmentalist in any crowd I’m standing in, without even really trying.

> I exist and am human and don’t have any need to commit suicide.

But it would reduce your carbon output, even though as with all things someone else would just consume more to make up for it.

I don’t have the goal of reducing my carbon output. As I have already explained I don’t need to.

My carbon footprint, or footprint of other kinds, doesn’t constitute a blip on the radar, because mine ends between now and a few decades from now, and doesn’t grow at all into the future, much less geometrically.

Might as well lock and close the thread, with that reductive made-up assertion. It's not like there's a fixed budget of carbon credits distributed amongst the world's population.

And no, "don't have kids" and "kill yourself" are really not actually the same.

Well put.

“I’m gay”

Hn: so what, everybody’s something

“I’m an atheist”

Hn: yes and?

“I embed sensors under my skin”

Hn: cool!

“I’m childfree”

Hn: why don’t you just kill yourself then?

Tongue in cheek: obviously not all of HN. But this is one of the few alt views / lifestyles that HN doesn’t easily rally behind.

I'd like to make it perfectly clear that I'm 100% fine with people not wanting to have kids. I also think people who aren't fine with it suck. Let people do whatever if it doesn't hurt anyone, obviously.

What I object to is the suggestion "just don't have kids" is a viable political path forward on the question of the environment. It isn't a viable path of any kind, political or otherwise.

For what it's worth, I don't feel it's appropriate to dictate or even advise others on child-rearing decisions, but I don't understand how humanity has a chance if we all throw our hands up in the air and say: there's no way we'll get Americans to give up their cars, meat, or 2.5 babies.

I'm not really advocating anything here, just lamenting the seeming (and somewhat assumed) immutability of it all.

(random but I really appreciated these subthreads, definitely some good stuff for me to chew on)

> I don't feel it's appropriate to dictate or even advise others on child-rearing decisions

Why not? It's appropriate to dictate and even advise on lots of things that are personal/private.

We have laws and social norms to keep people from being horrible to their own children, even behind closed doors, but only after those children are born.

My suggestion is for those bits of advice, backed by the government's monopoly on force, to kick in just a year earlier than that.

I'm a big fan of reproductive freedom and I'm not sure how to reconcile that with my thoughts about natalism, so I try to at least stay out of direct advice/condemnation for individuals.

I also wouldn't tell individuals how to live. I'd support society-level mores and laws though.

Well, I'm not saying that modification of behavior is impossible, just that "don't have kids" is practically a non-starter. Stiff tax penalties for more than 3 kids is probably something which might become possible if things get pretty bad, for example (I'm sure conservatives would object strongly, however).

Carbon taxes/credits are probably possible. Huge public works (build enough solar panels and energy storage station to meet most of our power needs). Big taxes on carmakers for making high emission vehicles, etc. There are lots of policies which can work, and I think the market will, eventually, also probably get there eventually. But just telling people not to have kids is silly.

"Don't have kids, especially if you're poor or emotionally unstable" is a non-starter, contrary to our basic human nature.

"Stop being an omnivore" is sound advice for the modern furless ape.

They aren't the same but they are both extreme solutions to the problem of climate change that are unlikely to win a significant number of adherents.

The reasoning applies to both, hence the point.

>Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth

I grow my own food and meat. I think growing your own food is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth. All that industrial farming and transportation required to feed people. So many people living in single family homes could turn their lawns into gardens and produce _surplus_ vegetables. Several times what their family can eat.

And even people in dense urban areas could have community gardens ie rooftop gardens.

It seems popular to want solutions that doesn't involve any sweat equity. Which I find unfortunate, at best.

> I grow my own food and meat.

When do I Start planting chicken eggs? Ive not had any sprout so far and my garden smells awful.

I recommend leaving them in the chicken house under the chicken, they sprout in about 3 weeks and ripen fully after about 12 more weeks.

Most people don't have time to study stuff like this. Even if they do, it's hard to tell whom to believe. Cost of pollution must be factored into products. That will change behavior.

> Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth

Also the 'single biggest way' to become unhealthy, weak, and scrawny. There is no conceivable way that the (putative, but questionable) negative externalities of healthy food consumption outweigh that.

Also, given that anti-meat activism tends to be either quasi- or literally religious (in the case of groups like Seventh-day adventists), of course my prior is that any anti-meat activist can dump a huge pile of link spam saying "hey, check it out, every problem is actually caused by that thing I don't like". This has little bearing on my posterior distribution, because every time I've looked into specific claims about emission equivalence or deforestation, they are methodologically very dishonest (typically by tricks like falsely equating protein quality or assigning revenue in bizarre ways).

One of my favorite NFL players was Vegan. He would uhh... run people over and generally out class people constantly. A quick google search of "NFL players who are vegan" reveals several well known players. These are among the strongest, most athletic people to have ever existed. So whatever the challenges of being vegan, I suspect "being weak" is certainly not one of them.

Have they always been vegan though? A glance at [0] shows they all decided to go vegan at some point in their adult life. Growing big and strong on a regular diet and then turning vegan does not exactly support the vegan lifestyle. Even this vegan powerlifter [1] turned vegan only at 32 (vegetarian at 26).

[0] https://www.livekindly.com/vegan-nfl-players/

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

> Have they always been vegan though?

That's a fair point. Another athlete I do follow who is ripped[1], has been reportedly Vegan since he was 2. Generally speaking when I think of building muscle in the gym, I think of protein powder and supplements as opposed to eating ever larger quantities of meat; I don't think that's controversial? AFAIK the only thing you need if you are vegan is a Vitamin supplement.

I'm not a Vegan promoter or anything -- I'm not even sure what a Vegan eats for most of their meals (but would love to learn). But having some background in nutrition I'm skeptical there's any shortcoming to being Vegetarian, Vegan, etc, that a very simple supplement (i.e. like one regular vitamin) wouldn't overcome.

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daLfGBK67xY

> I think of protein powder and supplements

Most protein powder is whey-based (not vegan). Whey protein is generally inferior to muscle, connective tissue, etc. but it's typically a lot cheaper. It's better than plant-based alternatives though. Plant protein efficiency is terrible compared to animal protein efficiency, so any moderately muscular vegan is likely eating prodigious quantities of mediocre protein sources like peanut butter.

> AFAIK the only thing you need if you are vegan is a Vitamin supplement.

This is what some vegans will tell you, but you only need to look at the ones saying this to know it's not true. I know some vegans who could be mistaken for non-vegans from a fitness standpoint, and they put quite a lot of work into maintaining their diet. More than just taking a few vitamin pills.

OTOH, you can achieve better results by just eating a lot of steak...

Yes, the top 0.001% of genetic freak athletes with the world's best nutritionists and fitness consultants can get away with a highly constrained diet (for a while, at least).

BTW, famous vegan athletes almost never start vegan, and tend to quickly retire due to increased injury rates and slowed recovery.

Some epistemically sound research to back up your claims?

Otherwise it's just a load of bull ;)

Not really interested in arguing with you (you seem to be very set in your ways), so just some link spam for you ;)

> 'single biggest way' to become unhealthy, weak, and scrawny


It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.

- American Dietetic Association

A vegetarian or vegan diet can be suitable for everyone, regardless of their age.


A plant-based diet is based on foods derived from plants, […] with few or no animal products. […] Well-planned plant-based diets can support healthy living at every age and life-stage.

- British Dietetic Association

> they are methodologically very dishonest (tricks like falsely equating protein quality)

For adults, protein from two or more plant groups daily is like to be adequate.


> anti-meat activism tends to be either quasi- or literally religious

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vWbV9FPo_Q - Melanie Joy, The psychology of eating meat

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7JE8j5Ncmw - James Wildman, Think

> every problem is actually caused by that thing I don't like

Plethora of studies has confirmed that (animal) agriculture is one of the biggest destroyers of our environment. It's mostly animal products consumers who reject latest science and choose to be ignorant of those problems.

> Not really interested in arguing with you (you seem to be very set in your ways)

I've had my mind changed (sometimes in significant ways) many times on HN. I would love it if vegans were correct on this topic, but unfortunately their epistemic rigor tends to be extremely bad and as far as I can tell they are pretty uniformly incorrect when they make claims like this.

I think if you understood my objection, you wouldn't have bothered trying to convince me with links from organizations that exist solely to transmit low-quality information to midwits, like the WHO or random advocacy/lobbying group websites.

The types of information that would convince me are e.g. epistemically sound research papers, and I can almost guarantee that I've read more of those than you have if you think random quote clippings from the WHO should have any impact whatsoever on anyone's priors.

Sadly, your response is unfortunately quite typical of veganism enthusiasts on this website. Very condescending, but completely devoid of any kind of useful information.

I must express my utmost admiration for your exceptional intellect, which effortlessly dismisses the perspectives of vegans as lacking epistemic rigor.

Your towering intellect, armed with an exclusive collection of "epistemically sound research papers," surely eclipses the feeble influence of organizations like the WHO.

How foolish of us to think their information could impact anyone's priors.

Your insightful critique of veganism enthusiasts, while devoid of substance, certainly showcases your unmatched condescension. Thank you for gracing us with your profound wisdom and invaluable lack of useful information.

Don't have kids; eat whatever you like. Your own impact pales next to N^N impact of your descendents.

What's the point of saving the Earth if no one is alive to experience it?

I feel like you zoomed right past the point of having an equilibrium between population and what the planet can support

Replacement fertility is around 2.10 kids per woman. Most rich countries are way below that line.

Although that leads to the mother of all natural selection - after a few generations, you'll have selected almost exclusively for families that have lots of kids. My bet is that fertility will flatten out and recover a good bit over the next few decades.

Global replacement rate is about 2.3 so ...

I wonder when many in those 'rich' countries will learn that they need to embrace that instead of 'build the wall'.

Anyway, I don't think replacement fertility is the right measure here. Replacement fertility could be crashing, but if the ratio of 'modern'* humanity is increasing as it is, then the problem remains ... there's probably a term for this if anyone knows.

* (by 'modern' [super air-quoted] I mean, those who have the wants and desires and ability to get the goods and services of the 'rich' countries).

The planet by itself can only support a few million humans. It’s human technology and intelligence that support the rest.

That is an interesting distinction, the order we bring to things--nature refined and directed. Makes me recall this analogy I remember reading years ago about a Japanese Zen garden not being something you'd experience in nature but rather only from a human tended and curated garden. That image changed the way I think about nature and humans in nature.

gotta keep it pristine for those lower organisms who will have a better shot at utopia than we ever could.

But seriously, I always see the planet as on a finite timescale anyways with the lifetime of our sun being the limiting factor (which is interesting because it's the sun that gives us all our energy for the most part ignoring nuclear). Once the sun goes kaput that's it, we better be intergalactic by then. So I wonder can we think of perhaps maximizing the number of civilizational hours spent under the sun on Earth. Is that a good framework to go by. Put another way say the sun goes out in the year 10,000, and we are to judge two scenarios

A) humans go extinct in the year 7,500 B) humans go extinct in the year 9,000

All else being equal what scenario would people prefer and why.

Our civilization doesn't have thousands of years ahead of it, unless something changes radically.

7500 - 9000 is just a wishful thinking ... we won't make it there without functioning ecosystems

Far all we know we're the only place in the universe where complex life exists, if we die other species may still stay around to experience it.

Until they get smoked by an asteroid again. Even if nonhuman life somehow doesn’t get wiped out by other factors it’ll all die with the sun. If we are the only place where life exists then that means humanity is the only chance life has of continuing after this planet is gone.

Pretty sure humans would wipe themselves before wiping rest of the biosphere

This type of human-centric view is exactly why we're in this mess to begin with.

There are other species on this planet too, you know. What about them?

Most of the carbon footprint on the planet comes from the relatively low number of people in the US and Europe.

Not having kids and consuming like crazy won't save anything.


Who has contributed most to global CO2 emissions?

(Don't forget we've outsourced our manufacturing to China)


Countries contributing the least to the climate crisis are feeling the worst of its effects

> Most of the carbon footprint on the planet comes from the relatively low number of people in... Europe

That's not so true now, China emits as much CO2 per capita as Europe does, and quite a bit more than the greener European countries (e.g. France, Sweden, the UK). This remains even after adjusting for consumption rather than production.

> That's not so true now

Maybe not now, I was talking about cummulative footprint. Even now China is a third of EU + UK + US together.


https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/cumulative-co-emissions (see 1950-1980)

It seems obvious that it's US & EU who made the China the polluting giant it is now.

> Most of the carbon footprint on the planet comes from the relatively low number of people in the US and Europe.

> Not having kids and consuming like crazy won't save anything.

Most of the people on this site are American or European. You are the problem you name.

I'm aware.

Yeah but my kids' kids are going to figure out how to make cows that can photosynthesize.

A modest proposal -- your kids could just figure out how to photosynthesize directly.

If you think that population trends are still exponential then you’ve been living under a rock

Yup, if all countries got to the "1st world countries" birth rates the population would slowly start to drop, maybe even equalize at some point.

Population collapse is like a banking collapse, it happens slowly at first and then all at once.

Well if you don't fix the problem of "it's too dystopian to even think about having children", sure

That’s not the main reason why so many more people are childless now. We have a long road ahead to fix this.

At a global scale yes. Now look at specific countries/continents, some are absolutely exploding: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Nigeria#/media...


They currently use a tiny fraction of the energy the west does (and pollute a tiny fraction), they'll eventually catch up in "quality of life", with all the comes with it (exploding energy consumption)

And they’ll follow the same curve that India did and China before them and so on but I’ll bet the time scale will be greatly compressed because they benefit from all of our experience and technology and having so many more countries ahead of them on the curve who will invest in them.

Demographic collapse is also a very bad thing.

And it's even more of a tragedy of the commons than simply not eating meat/dairy.

is this a longtermism?

Worth at least trying to push back on things. Imagine you were diagnosed with a terminal disease, that also is passed on to your offspring.

Everyone tells you you're screwed, but some controversial group of doctors think there's a tiny chance they can cure you with a painful procedure. What do you do?

Everyone is diagnosed with a terminal disease called life.

Hasn’t stopped us yet

On the contrary, it's stopped everyone so far.

I was referring to the original comment about continuing to try even in the face of a terminal diagnosis. So no, it hasn’t stopped us.

At the moment life is somewhat enjoyable. Unless you're living downwind from an enormous wildfire (or next to one).

no one gets out of here alive!

Buy an air conditioning.

If you’re really concerned then change careers to a field that is working on tech to improve the human condition. Short list:

1. Nuclear physics

2. Robotics and automation

3. Space engineering and rocketry

4. Materials science

5. Biotech

Even if you can’t reskill to work directly on the tech you can still contribute using your existing skills. If you want your kids to have a future then you need to build it for them.

Climate Engineering

Pumping heat out of the ocean and capturing it as energy

It's just peanuts that could be captured this way, isn't it?

It seems to me that better way would be stopping adding to the greenhouse effect and store some of those gases in the ground (by large scale (a|re)forestation).

Taking heat out of the ocean at a scale to replace all other power plants. It would be as much about what pollution it offsets.

Store the excess. Get it out of the ocean.

Er, you mean materials science, biotech, and politics.

We need all tech on the table including tried and tested nuclear as well as untested space based solar and geoengineering.

So use more.. to one day maybe save the lucky ones.

No, make everything especially energy as cheap and efficient as possible so that everyone gets richer and healthier and can contribute to solving humanity’s problems.

this is an interesting thought to rise the tide to lift more boats, ie for more people to ascend the hierarchy of needs and contemplate what sort of creative output we could secure from that ascent all else being equal. I'll have to think about that, that's an interesting idea.

At the forefront of any niche field in science is a very small group of specialists working the problem (historically too: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_discovery) - the way we get ahead as a species is more specialised groups working more problems, which requires a larger educated base to draw from. i.e. we all go to the stars together or not at all, a dystopian future where most humans are impoverished/uneducated can't support the scientific progress needed to advance past our current technology

> make everything especially energy as cheap and efficient as possible so that everyone gets richer and healthier

That's like.... the root cause of our issues

You think we might be better off burning wood and dung instead of solar and nuclear? Carbon free energy requires high technology global civilization. If you make everyone poorer then say goodbye to science and technology, no one cares about those when they’re worrying about how to heat their home and put food on the table.

Can't win a race with a moving finish line. It's never enough, we always want more

We could live completely on renewable energy if we lived like our grandparents, we don't do it, because we want more, more food, more gadgets, more services more entertainment, more tech, more money, more health, &c. it never ends, because we don't have a goal. "get healthier and richer", the vaguest goal you can come up with

Honestly, as a midclass/poor class individual (+90% of the people), what could one do anyway?

Food itself is a luxury for many people/countries.

Imagine asking for poor people to go vegan or to buy electric cars.

The most important and impactful decisions are confined to the hands of a few billionaire families around the world.

> Food itself is a luxury for many people/countries.

That's why you'll find most vegans/vegetarians in low-income countries.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veganism_by_country#Demographi... (the list seems incomplete, e.g. missing Ethiopia)

> Imagine asking for poor people to go vegan

Global study shows vegan and vegetarian diets cheapest option in high-income countries


Study: Grocery Costs on a Vegan Diet Are 40 Percent Lower Than Diets with Meat


Vegans found to have highest amount of disease-fighting biomarkers


> The most important and impactful decisions are confined to the hands of a few billionaire families around the world

It's true that inequality (of power distribution) is a big part of the problem.

But meat & dairy production is fueled by demand. So it's something we can collectively influence by individual actions.

Veganism is on the rise, the animal industry is already scared of its dwindling profits.

>> Veganism is on the rise

The question is whether it is by society's will or because of the general price of meat. there are communities, tribes and even people in civilization that celebrate when they finally have meat. presidents can win election promising the population will be able to buy meat again [1].

I don't believe in these circumstances that it's a voluntary demand, but an imposition of their surroundings, lack of money, etc.

[1] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-03-02/faltering...

In my experience it's ethics, environment and health reasons, people don't turn vegan for lack of money.


Yes, probably we live in different bubbles.

Still, given from your reference, less than 1% of population in the USA are vegan.

That number is not that big.

Plant-based food is actually cheaper, at least the ordinary stuff like bread, pasta, legumes, oat flakes, and even the hated sugar.

And so is public transportation where available.

> Honestly, as a midclass/poor class individual (+90% of the people), what could one do anyway?

Are you asking us, or are you asking yourself?

I'm accessing a forum with a number of people greater than 1. So the idea is that the question is for other people besides myself.

Well, we don't know the circumstances of your life, where you live, what resources you have. That all determines what possibilities exist for you to engage yourself.

Turn your career towards addressing the problem. climatebase.org is one good place to start. https://workonclimate.org/ is good too. Also consider running for office.

You’re not responsible for the state of the world, at least not meaningfully more than your parents and your children are.

If we’re doing it wrong, we’re all doing it wrong together. Might as well make the best of it.

Your kids are going to be alive in the year 2100. That seems like an awful thing to force onto someone.

I'm happy to explain why I bike to work. I'm happy to explain why our lawn is not irrigated or manicured like our neighbors, and why we planted those native wildflowers in our flowerbeds. I'm happy to explain why we eat less meat than his grandparents or friends, why we buy organic produce at the farmer's market. I'm happy to explain why we spent that time working on insulating the attic, or why we planted those trees.

I'm less happy to explain why we own two ICE vehicles (even if the one doesn't see many miles), or why we take a plane on 1,000 vacations, or why we run the air conditioner in summer. Why we choose to live on a multi-acre lot on a cul-de-sac far from public transport, why we buy produce in single-use plastics when the farmer's market is closed. Why, in spite of all these choices, our lifestyle costs more than $50,000 per year with commensurate energy usage, when the global average necessary to avoid global warming is far less than that.

I'm happy to explain how the project I recently did at work is saving a local foundry upwards of 50 kWh, every hour, for some 16 hours per day 6 days per week; that industrial-scale energy savings eclipses all the efforts I've put into our home. I'm less happy to explain how I kind of defaulted into this job that only incidentally occasionally helps out with reasonably important problems, rather than explicitly aiming to be involved in solutions to what a reasonable, rational person would conclude are the most important problems facing our world today. (There's an LG Chem EV battery plant going in 45 minutes away, should I spend an additional 1.5 hour commute per day away from my son and sacrifice my comfy family-oriented job, to contribute to an important industry?)

Said 6yo just spent the weekend 'helping' me install some off-grid solar at the homestead my wife's cousin and her husband just bought in northern Michigan. She just retired from the military at just over 30 years old after saving money fanatically, and is farming a few acres. They have a carbon impact that's a fraction of my own, which is a fraction of my parents'. She's a great example. But that may still not be enough, and it's not particularly realistic to take 9 million plus down-state residents and have them all move north to a couple dozen wooded acres; her plan only works because there's a city of 40,000 people with a Menards, Meijer, and Farm and Fleet half an hour away.

I think that all the small choices I make, even if they come from good motives, are disingenuous greenwashing if you reasonably forecast required emissions and hypothetical global development/equality. Our current capitalist, globalist system only works if there are growing populations of billions in poverty, working for the American dream, and industrial externalities being ignored. GDP and carbon emissions are tightly correlated, and achieving carbon neutrality or going carbon negative requires rejecting our financial targets. I fear that rejecting that option will paint us in a similar light as we view non-participants or opponents of the civil rights movement that our parents and grandparents represent - choices that were a product of our times, but which were wrong then and are wrong now.

Same aesthetics as A-ha's "Take on me". Even with the flaws, I can see how this can simply be used with that exact aesthetic in mind, without the need for any improvement.

Something like this (music video, NSFW ): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edKo3y2cFUg

I had the exact same reaction!

Is this data not polluted by the skyline? Or does it somewhat take buildings/the skyline into account, and correct for the shades of these objects?

Based on the color selected out of the night shots, I'm assuming the average is of just the plain sky, with the water and buildings cropped out.

From some fiddling in an image editor, it looks like it's a fairly small rectangle (I'd guess top left corner?)

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact