• Olivier5
    5.4k
    This was brought up originally to show that the science of global warming is not simplistic.Tate

    Yes, it was a lame attempt of yours to get back at me, when I stated the well-established fact that Americans have been effectively kept uninformed and misinformed about climate change for decades by fossil fuel interests.

    You took offense and pulled the glaciations out of your rear end to try and prove me simplistic. Remember that the truth may sometimes be quite simple. In this case: the truth is that the US were conned by big oil into disbelieving CC, and what the con men stole was our future.

    This simple, easily verifiable truth bothered you for some reason, perhaps because you are American and nationalistic, or perhaps because you personally were a victim of this misinformation campaign so my point felt like a personal accusation to you. Whatever the reason, you tried to muddle the issue by talking about glaciations and posturing as the sophisticated guy in the known... How did that work out for you? :kiss:
  • 180 Proof
    9.3k
    Nature favors those organisms which leave the environment in better shape for their progeny to survive. (2000)

    I don’t think we’re yet evolved to the point where we’re clever enough to handle as complex a situation as climate change. (2010)
    — James Lovelock 1919-2022
  • ssu
    6k
    At least Germany is working hard to increase climate change in a big way. Increase the use of coal with coal plants that are idle or to be closed transitioned to be back running again. Great Job! :roll:

    Germany’s biggest utilities are working to revive their coal operations as Europe’s biggest economy turns to the dirtier fuel in a bid to reduce the use of natural gas for electricity generation.
    (see German Utilities Prepare to Turn on Coal Plants Amid Gas Crisis)

    Under the provision, a total 8.5 gigawatts (GW) of brown, hard coal-fired and a small amount of oil-fired generation capacity, all already, or due to be idled in 2022 and 2023, would be enabled by their operators to provide electricity on demand.
    (See Germany plans to put idled coal plants on standby in case of gas supply disruption)

    But of course nuclear energy won't do, it's evil...

    With Europe scrambling for alternatives to Russian fossil fuels, Germany’s insistence on sticking with a plan to shut down its three remaining nuclear power plants by the end of this year baffles many outside the country.

    Berlin has warned of severe economic damage in the event of a sudden stop to Russian natural gas deliveries, which, two months into the war in Ukraine, still account for 40 percent of Germany’s imports. This dependence on Russia has revived discussion about Germany’s attitude to nuclear power. Some politicians, particularly on the center right, have suggested the phaseout should be delayed. In Belgium, the government did just that last month, extending the lifetime of two reactors beyond the planned 2025 exit. The war also prompted the government to run an assessment in March on whether Germany should and could delay the phaseout. But Berlin concluded it’s not worth it — pointing to a veritable smorgasbord of technical, legal, political and cultural hurdles.

    Three nuclear power plants remain active — down from 17 in 2011 — and they’re scheduled for decommissioning at the end of this year.

    Three other plants closed at the end of 2021 and are in the early stages of shutdown. All other plants are being dismantled, and can’t just be switched back on: The containment building of the Isar 1 site in Bavaria, for example, is already being taken apart. Any realistic discussion about delaying the phaseout centers around the final six.

    The six nuclear power plants generated 12 percent of German electricity last year; the final three produce about 5 percent.
    (See Why Germany won’t give up on giving up nuclear)

    In fact, even other neighbouring countries have asked about this stupidity...

    The Netherlands has asked Germany to consider keeping its nuclear power plants open, but admitted the chances of that happening are slim.

    Rob Jetten, the Dutch Minister for Climate and Energy Policy, made the inquiry to German Economy Minister Robert Habeck as Europe faces its worst energy crisis in decades.

    Well, at least the incoming recession will have positive effects (even if just for a short while and creating other problems). Just like the pandemic had on consumption, for a while.
  • Xtrix
    3.7k
    At least Germany is working hard to increase climate change in a big way.ssu

    This legitimately had me laughing. Well done. :lol:

    But of course nuclear energy won't do, it's evil...ssu

    It really is ridiculous, isn't it? We need nuclear now more than ever. I understand the concerns, but they've vastly overblown. What a pity.
  • ssu
    6k
    It really is ridiculous, isn't it?Xtrix

    The fear and hostility towards nuclear energy shows the unfortunate truth that perceptions overrule fact based thinking. And politicians will choose those wrongful perceptions if that means getting the votes of the voters. Moreover, when it has come to nuclear energy, the anti-nuclear lobby has had it's own separate facts and truths about the dangers of the industry.

    And if we now know that the use of fossil fuels has effects on the climate, the more outrageous thing is that the actual lethality of burning coal and oil is either not known or just taken as granted as we have burned coal for so long:

    Countries with the most prodigious consumption of fossil fuels to power factories, homes and vehicles are suffering the highest death tolls, with the study finding more than one in 10 deaths in both the US and Europe were caused by the resulting pollution, along with nearly a third of deaths in eastern Asia, which includes China. Death rates in South America and Africa were significantly lower.

    2120007d1612862699-curse-white-oil-lithium-electric-vehicles-dirty-secret-screenshot_20210209_145133.jpg

    And btw, the decision for Germany to shut down all it's nuclear energy was made because of a nuclear accident that happened because of a Tsunami that killed 15 000. And the death toll from the Fukushima accident? In 2018, one cancer death of a man who worked at the plant at the time of the accident was attributed to radiation exposure by a Japanese government panel.

    When coal plants kill from hundreds of thousands to millions in the World annually and cause climate change, these kind of policy choices are really bizarre.
  • ChatteringMonkey
    1.1k
    It's funny and ironic too in so many ways, because no other country probably has done so many investments into renewables and such to actually try and do something about climate change. That is unlike say France for example, but they just lucked out because of their historical investments in Nuclear (before carbon was an issue) which now makes them one of the least Carbon-emitting countries relatively.

    It's fear of the bomb... combined with an aversion of technology, human hubris, of which the splitting of atoms is a prime example.

    That's how it goes I suppose, ideologies are historically contingent. There is some weird 'logic' to them in the way they evolve over time. When confronted with environmental problems, the green movement latched onto some pre-existing religious myths that seems vaguely applicable. Looking for something familiar is probably not a bad idea if you are looking for a way into the hearts and minds of people.

    And then, when an ideology is established, when confronted with some new eventuality, it initially doesn't really matter what the facts are because of the inertia of people believing in a story that has been told in a certain way over the years.

    Anyway, what this whole affair illustrates to me is 1) that we don't really have that much collective agency as we would like to think, and 2) that ultimately when a country has to make a choice between the two, energy-security will take precedence over measures to combat climate change.
  • Olivier5
    5.4k
    France did invest in renewable, though less so than Germany. I think some 20% of our electricity is from renewables now, vs. 40% for Germany.

    Indeed, Germany should have kept its nuclear plants. That was a knee jerk reaction.
  • ChatteringMonkey
    1.1k
    Yes maybe that comment wasn't entirely fair towards France... I just wanted to show Germany screwed up because of their ideological inflexibility and despite their best efforts to do 'good'. France is generally a bit less 'fanatic', or maybe more 'lax' than Germany, depending on how you want to frame it... and yet it is still better of energy-wise.

    I know France has a decent amount of renewables, I've just been there a few days ago, and the landscape is absolutely filled with windmills along the big highways.
  • Olivier5
    5.4k
    France is generally a bit less 'fanatic',ChatteringMonkey

    I think France is just fanatic about other things than Germany... :-)

    The politics are very different. Clearly the Germans have a much stronger green movement than we do. Sometime it has led them to some pretty absurd decisions like foregoing nuclear energy.

    The French greens are quite pathetic, I must say. Historically their only strong and politically smart leader has been Dany Cohn-Bendit, who is... Franco-German!

    I do think we (French) should do better there, but ecology can also turn into a political ideology, as fractious and divisive as any which is very much the problem with the French green party.
  • ChatteringMonkey
    1.1k
    I think France is just fanatic about other things than Germany... :-)Olivier5

    No doubt :-)

    On the green movement, I'm critical of it because I think it could be the one political movement with actual solutions to our current predicament. We definitely need an ecological perspective of some kind going forward. But as it stands, the movement usually doesn't deliver, because I think at base it's a bit confused and can't seem to decide between being a real political player that wants to shape current society, and being this impractical back-to-nature fantasy that can't be realised. It probably should let go of the latter, but then that is what seems to appeal to a lot of people. That's why nuclear power plants are such a hard issue for them, and not only in Germany.
  • ssu
    6k
    When confronted with environmental problems, the green movement latched onto some pre-existing religious myths that seems vaguely applicable.ChatteringMonkey
    With the debate about nuclear, this is true.

    But I have to say that many greens have been respectable enough to change their minds about nuclear energy and have not latched on the popular myths.

    I think it's a problem for all political parties: when your base intensely believes in some myth which isn't true, they won't start to correct their supporters, even if they know it's not true.

    We are seeing now quite clearly that the mantra "we just have to turn to renewable energy sources" isn't the short term answer that we can pick.
  • ChatteringMonkey
    1.1k
    I think it's a problem for all political parties: when your base intensely believes in some myth which isn't true, they won't start to correct their supporters, even if they know it's not true.ssu

    Yes one of the functions of a political ideology is also that it appeals to, recruits and ties people to a political party. And since people tend to like simple narratives more than say the intricate minutia of public policy, I don't think there's a way around this really.

    We are seeing now quite clearly that the mantra "we just have to turn to renewable energy sources" isn't the short term answer that we can pick.ssu

    No that's right, yet it'll take a while still until parties will change that mantra... unless of course an energy crisis will take political parties in speed.

    I wonder how long it will take political parties to come clean on the myth of progress and perpetual economic growth ;-)
  • Olivier5
    5.4k
    But as it stands, the movement usually doesn't deliver, because I think at base it's a bit confused and can't seem to decide between being a real political player that wants to shape current society, and being this impractical back-to-nature fantasy that can't be realised. It probably should let go of the latter, but then that is what seems to appeal to a lot of people.ChatteringMonkey

    I couldn't agree more. It's a newish political ideology and as such, very fractious still, a bit like communism was in its infancy. It hasn't gelled around some practical consensus yet.
  • Xtrix
    3.7k
    Bill McQuire’s take— worth reading:

    https://apple.news/AdAE4xfbNQyiITnXxH1d0cw
  • Benkei
    5.7k
    So I see now everybody is wasting their time in the glaciation thread when the actual subject is the man made climate crisis we have on our hands now. All you apparently have to do to distract would-be philosophers is start a thread demonstrating you don't know what you're talking about and then they will fall over each other to set the record straight. While interesting, it is a complete waste of time.
  • unenlightened
    6.8k
    I am wasting my time there because it will only become possible for humanity to restrain themselves from disrupting their own environment to the point of self-extinction by reaching a much wider consensus than we currently have. To the already converted, there is not much to say except 'farewell'. Do you have anything more to say than criticising your allies?
  • boethius
    1.5k
    So I see now everybody is wasting their time in the glaciation thread when the actual subject is the man made climate crisis we have on our hands now. All you apparently have to do to distract would-be philosophers is start a thread demonstrating you don't know what you're talking about and then they will fall over each other to set the record straight. While interesting, it is a complete waste of time.Benkei

    Although, I didn't participate in the new thread, I don't think it's fair to say those that went and demonstrated the absurdity of the ice age in a few hundred years hypothesis and the science isn't settled! So many unknowns! Are wasting their time.

    I think it's important to pick apart bad faith denialist propaganda and show how it works.

    In this case, the basic idea behind the propaganda is to impress on the gullible that we can continue business as usual, roll the dice and maybe get lucky with a new ice age in a few centuries (which certainly doesn't sound like a 6 degree warming, mass extinction, very possibly humans extinct, dystopian world with extreme hardships for everyone starting in our life time ... but more, hmm, maybe it gets colder again due to the glaciation pattern continuing! Use that climate data against them!).

    A basic schematic of "ok, scientists may have 'a point', but they don't know everything! And the future is uncertain! Sure it would be 'prudent' to stop CO2 emissions, but it's not totally irrational to continue the 'American way of life' since maybe we'll get lucky."

    Propaganda that allows the gullible to simply imagine a pleasant future, at least for rich countries, and once fixed in the mind, is a gentle constant lullaby for the soul.

    Of course, I completely agree that this should not take up all our time, and I also agree that some people get too focused on criticising the enemy and lose sight completely of needing to coordinate with allies to get anything actually done.
  • boethius
    1.5k
    For those interested in actual science:

    This recent article summarises the "bleak" position and reason it's important to accept:

    Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, when humanity began pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, global temperatures have risen by just over 1C. At the Cop26 climate meeting in Glasgow last year, it was agreed that every effort should be made to try to limit that rise to 1.5C, although to achieve such a goal, it was calculated that global carbon emissions will have to be reduced by 45% by 2030.

    “In the real world, that is not going to happen,” says McGuire. “Instead, we are on course for close to a 14% rise in emissions by that date – which will almost certainly see us shatter the 1.5C guardrail in less than a decade.”

    And we should be in no doubt about the consequences. Anything above 1.5C will see a world plagued by intense summer heat, extreme drought, devastating floods, reduced crop yields, rapidly melting ice sheets and surging sea levels. A rise of 2C and above will seriously threaten the stability of global society, McGuire argues. It should also be noted that according to the most hopeful estimates of emission cut pledges made at Cop26, the world is on course to heat up by between 2.4C and 3C.

    From this perspective it is clear we can do little to avoid the coming climate breakdown. Instead we need to adapt to the hothouse world that lies ahead and to start taking action to try to stop a bleak situation deteriorating even further, McGuire says.
    ‘Soon it will be unrecognisable’: total climate meltdown cannot be stopped, says expert

    This is the best most recent summary of the current situation I can find:



    Notice both interlocutors are actual scientists that have worked on the issue, have cohesive arguments and shit, don't just hand waive platitudes like the earth is self-balancing (without justification), or ice age will start any century now (without justification).

    Notice also the focus on risks.

    The most successful propaganda of the oil lobby was convincing (aka. bribing) the media and political classes into accepting the idea that predictions must be "certain" to justify action.

    Yet, in their own board rooms they make decisions based on impact x probability = risk.

    Indeed, their whole interest in financing climate denial is because non-corrupt politicians making rational decisions based on intolerable risk to experiment with the earth's climate, starting with simply ceasing to subsidise fossil fuels which isn't justified even within their own neo-liberal delusions sans-climate-disaster (we never hear about "the market" needing to function when it comes to these subsidies), maybe low-probability but is nevertheless extremely high impact to their bottom lines, resulting in medium financial risk levels: therefore, justifying investments in mitigatory action on a net-present-value basis for an optimum allocation of resources to protect sunk costs in technology and infrastructure to extract shale, bitumen and deep water (rather than accept fossil extraction scaling down while renewables scale up), as part of their fiduciary duty to shareholders.

    Yet, when people who care about the earth and all who dwell upon the earth and don't even own any shares in oil companies, use the same impact x probability = risk framework to analyse the situation:

    Alarmism!
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    The world is on fire!
  • boethius
    1.5k


    Pretty accurate description of the massive forest fires (in particular in rain forests that are evolved without fire as it's usually too wet: see key word "rain"), as well as the civil unrest that goes along with empirical verification of what "unsustainability" entails.
  • boethius
    1.5k
    London is literally dealing with wild fires (a traditionally humid place, but of course only some traditions are cared about by traditionalists):

    Crews who fought wildfires across London that destroyed more than 40 properties as heatwave temperatures soared have described the conditions as "absolute hell".London wildfires: Crews say they experienced absolute hell
  • jorndoe
    2k
    , we have to consider the consequences either way, as well — the risks.
    What might happen if we do nothing, and we were wrong?
    What might happen if we do something, and we were wrong?
    Arguing alone has the same consequences, the same risks, as doing nothing, and that's the way of the deniers.
  • boethius
    1.5k
    Arguing alone has the same consequences, the same risks, as doing nothing, and that's the way of the deniers.jorndoe

    This is called false equivalence and is just more propaganda.

    Modifying the composition of the earth's atmosphere is high risk.

    Not-modifying it is low risk.

    To create a dilemma , one requires some problem in the current status quo of the system and so a inherent risk to inaction.

    For example, there is risk to heart surgery, I think we would agree on this basic fact.

    However, one cannot automatically postulate that there is equal risk to not-heart surgery.

    One would need evidence of an actual heart disease of which the heart surgery might mend or mitigate, to start balancing risks (if the heart disease is mild, the surgery maybe higher risk than doing nothing).

    Then there is also the costs to consider of the intervention (as resources are scarce). Doctors have a framework for evaluating risk and resource allocation to intervention called "Number Needed to Treat".

    Not only is evidence of a problem required (diagnosis) but then there's a bunch of other steps to justify intervention.

    At no point is a person with zero-diagnosis or symptoms or other evidence of a medical problem, somehow at sufficient risk of any given disease justifying any given medical intervention.

    If there is no evidence of heart disease then performing heart surgery on the basis of simply balancing the risk of no-intervention with intervention and flipping a coin would be criminal.

    In the case of the climate, there is zero evidence the climate had some problem our intervention of billions of tons of carbon a year might fix.

    Modifying the system in an uncontrolled experiment on the entire earth-life system is completely insane to say that not-doing-that would be of equal risk to consider.
  • jorndoe
    2k
    , we have been, and are, modifying the atmosphere and the surface of the planet.
    Laissez-faire, doing nothing, carries a risk.
    Doing something (about CO2, deforestation, pollution, nature/wildlife displacement, population growth, renewability, whatever) may or may not carry a different risk.
    What's the worst that can happen? Say, if we start actually addressing climate change? Would that (oddly) be worse than doing nothing? Say, is a cleaner environment bad somehow? :brow:
    That's an assessment we can't just ignore, regardless of what the deniers say, and they'd have us do nothing, thus ignoring a considerable risk.
  • boethius
    1.5k
    doing nothingjorndoe

    Doing nothing would be not-modifying the earth's atmosphere.

    Modifying the earth's atmosphere is called radical intervention in the earth-life system.

    That Western economics call this radical intervention "laissez-faire" is because they are mostly propagandists due to cold war political intervention in academia (no "laissez-faire" approach to that hot button issue -- and they're damn proud of it!).

    And, it's not even a laissez-faire situation even according to their own propaganda, as subsidies to the fossil industry is not laissez-faire but market intervention.

    The process of dumping billions of tons of carbon and other pollutants along with more direct destruction of the ecosystems is not some baseline "no intervention" in the earth system.

    It is continuous and radical intervention that is inherently high risk compared to actual ecological "laissez faire" policy which would be preserving the pre-industrial economy, or even pre-agriculture economy, or even pre-fire economy, depending on how you want to define interventions in the global earth-life system.
  • jorndoe
    2k
    , OK, so you're using the verbiage differently. :)

    (my bad, thought it was clear enough, but should have been more explicit)
  • boethius
    1.5k
    (my bad, thought it was clear enough, but should have been more explicit)jorndoe

    I really don't think we are.

    You're saying modifying business as usual is some comparable inherent risk to modifying the earth's atmosphere, that is prima facie balanced somehow and we need equal consideration of both risks.

    You simply use a euphemism of "doing nothing" to represent business as usual, in a pretty obvious attempt to trick others into your false-balance-framework or then trick even yourself.

    I'm pretty sure we understand each other very well, and are using and understanding the "verbiage" as each means it to.
  • Tate
    865
    You simply use a euphemism of "doing nothing" to represent business as usual, in a pretty obvious attempt to trick others into your false-balance-framework or then trick even yourself.boethius

    Having recently experienced a philosophy forum pile on which included you, I'm going to speak up and declare your approach wrong, unfair, and quasi-spanish-inquisition-McCarthyish, and I'm strongly opposed. Let's not do that.

    If someone is clearly denying climate change, fine, let's pile on. If someone is just advocating widening our understanding, we should not feel threatened by that. There's nothing wrong with that.
  • Benkei
    5.7k
    Ice ages are irrelevant for the timescale of global warming that we need to deal with now, so it's not a "widening if understanding" but a waste of time. Moreover, your initial comment wasn't about increasing understanding but just a single sentence suggesting people discussing climate change didn't know what they were talking about because they should "get up to speed".
  • Tate
    865
    Ice ages are irrelevant for the timescale of global warmingBenkei

    There's no harm in discussing it. We are discussing it in my thread. Josh already put up a quote from an MIT reviewed article from a scientist who disagrees with you.
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