Why renewables can't save the planet

Swimmy

Practice your craft.
WFF Supporter
Swimmy, you seem like a smart enough guy, but on the subject of climate you need to get yourself some religion!

If you care at all about the lives of future generations (maybe you don’t) or the lives of untold numbers of species (maybe you don’t), you need to get past the argument of economic cost today as a reason to oppose climate action. That’s the tune that those committed to short-term profit over long-term sustainability want “rubes” to be singing.

What climate action would you like to see?
 

Zak

WFF Supporter
What climate action would you like to see?
You may not have been asking me, but I'd like to see a national electrical grid infrastructure improvement program, based on the Civilian Conservation Corps.

It would provide work and training for the jobless and people who need new types of jobs because they work in the buggy whip/oil/coal industry. And it would shore up our grid to prevent the kinds of blackouts we saw in CA and TX and prepare for more EV cars.
 

O' Clarkii Stomias

Active Member
Yeah, take all the estimates of how much time and investment is needed to chip away X amount fossil fuel use and double it. The industry and the amount of energy it produces is simply huge. Living in the PNW I don't get the perspective of living in some of the places we used to live....Saudi Arabia for example. All those Columbia gorge windmills are a good start, but not yet that significant in a global sense. Check out the energy sources of the world's #1 and #2 consumers:
fuel-use-by-type-china.png
Kinda looks like a hockey stick.
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
China's power production curve matches our import curve. Sure were making progress cleaning our nest, that's where I want to focus. But people want their stuff, and it takes resources to make stuff, and we've just moved it out of sight to where it's cheap labor and lax environmental regulations.
1613928173672.png
 

girlfisher

Active Member
The debate over the hockey stick was a distraction and was proven wrong many times over. There is no doubt that the fossil-fuel industry has funded a widespread disinformation campaign with the objective of delaying action on climate change.
 
What climate action would you like to see?
Without getting into the weeds of specific details, I'll say that what I think is needed is more solid commitment to action at the national and international level. This is a global problem that is way worse than most people realize. Or to paraphrase JBS Haldane "it is not only worse than most people imagine, it is worse than most people can imagine."

This is not going to be solved by individual behavioral modifications, such as buying an EV and reducing one's carbon footprint (which is why criticizing people who are trying to mobilize global efforts, because they have large carbon footprints, is an indication to me that you don't understand the scope of the problem) or waiting for the market to respond. It is going to take strong regulatory response (stick), especially by high impact nations, combined with incentives (carrot).

And most of, all it's going to take a ton of $. These dollars, of course, are the ones that were pocketed by those who profited so immensely off the activities that led us to this place over the past many decades.

In my opinion, if we don't want to have a biodiversity baseline that has shifted to a state of large-scale extinction and species-poor natural communities, we also have to do more to reduce the human footprint on the earth. This means seriously reducing birthrates while figuring out how to survive the inverted demographics that will inevitably result until a sustainable population is achieved.

All of that being said, my faith that the richest country in the world - the one needed to both show leadership and rigorous action - will be able to do this, when half the population can be so easily led to believe that a presidential election, which wasn't particularly close, was fraudulent and a significant proportion believe the Q-anon conspiracy, not to mention the willingness of so many to deny climate science, is vanishingly small.
 
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Yard Sale

Huge Member
I don't think @Swimmy realizes the immediacy of climate change or what the real causes are. Or any long term solutions. If he flies around in a jet but has the power to change how industry works is that not a positive?

Before you bash Gates go through what his foundation does and ask yourself what each one of these things can do to improve how humans interact with their environment. Be honest with yourself:
 

Yard Sale

Huge Member
I don't think @Swimmy realizes the immediacy of climate change or what the real causes are. Or any long term solutions. If he flies around in a jet but has the power to change how industry works is that not a positive?

Before you bash Gates go through what his foundation does and ask yourself what each one of these things can do to improve how humans interact with their environment. Be honest with yourself:
 

Swimmy

Practice your craft.
WFF Supporter
Without getting into the weeds of specific details, I'll say that what I think is needed is more solid commitment to action at the national and international level. This is a global problem that is way worse than most people realize. Or to paraphrase JBS Haldane "it is not only worse than most people imagine, it is worse than most people can imagine."

This is not going to be solved by individual behavioral modifications, such as buying an EV and reducing one's carbon footprint (which is why criticizing people who are trying to mobilize global efforts, because they have large carbon footprints, is an indication to me that you don't understand the scope of the problem) or waiting for the market to respond. It is going to take strong regulatory response (stick), especially by high impact nations, combined with incentives (carrot).

And most of, all it's going to take a ton of $. These dollars, of course, are the ones that were pocketed by those who profited so immensely off the activities that led us to this place over the past many decades.

In my opinion, if we don't want to have a biodiversity baseline that has shifted to a state of large-scale extinction and species-poor natural communities, we also have to do more to reduce the human footprint on the earth. This means seriously reducing birthrates while figuring out how to survive the inverted demographics that will inevitably result until a sustainable population is achieved.

All of that being said, my faith that the richest country in the world - the one needed to both show leadership and rigorous action - will be able to do this, when half the population can be so easily led to believe that a presidential election, whichs wasn't particularly close, was fraudulent and a significant proportion believe the Q-anon conspiracy, not to mention the willingness of so many to deny climate science, is vanishingly small.

So you are suggesting more regulation, more incentives, and population control. Is that correct?

If so, I don't think we'll ever see population control. So what specific regulations would you like to see?

Is there a standard you'd like to see us meet?

I do like the idea of incentives. I think that is more effective than gov't trying to "fix" this problem through more regulation.


I don't think @Swimmy realizes the immediacy of climate change or what the real causes are. Or any long term solutions. If he flies around in a jet but has the power to change how industry works is that not a positive?

Before you bash Gates go through what his foundation does and ask yourself what each one of these things can do to improve how humans interact with their environment. Be honest with yourself:

Gates is the world's greatest philanthropist. I have a lot of respect for his foundation and what they do. But if you are going to live in a 60,000 sq' home and counsel me on consumption....I mean
FPypkjel_o.gif


I also have no problem with Kerry flying all over the world. Keep in mind though, he's not flying private only when he's trying to save the planet. So why not ditch the private jet and fly commercial like the rest of us poors.

Again, if these people are going to lecture me then they should lead by example.

As far as urgency, do you think we have 9 years until we do irreparable harm? If so, how's that different than similar claims we had in the 70's, 80's, 90's, 00's?
 
So you are suggesting more regulation, more incentives, and population control. Is that correct?

If so, I don't think we'll ever see population control. So what specific regulations would you like to see?

Is there a standard you'd like to see us meet?

I do like the idea of incentives. I think that is more effective than gov't trying to "fix" this problem through more regulation.
I'm a scientist, not a policy person, so I don't have good answers to your questions. I wish I did, but I have too many other things on my plate to get involved with that.

However, as I said before, the problem is immense. It is going to take a coordinated societal effort both within the US and internationally to address it. Regulation is going to have to be a part of it. Incentives are great, but sometimes negative incentives (i.e., avoiding penalties) is the only way to insure compliance. I'm not at all confident that a regulation averse public, such as we have in the US, will be capable of the sort of effort required.

Part of the problem, as I see it, is the perspective that "gov't" is somehow apart from "we the people." Our government is 'of the people' (despite what some conspiracy theorists say) and the fact that it has been so slow to respond to the threat of global warming lies in the fact that our government reflects an underlying resistance of an uneducated public to a looming threat that is growing in such small incremental steps that it is not evident in a time scale that most people understand in any intuitive way.

I agree that we are unlikely to see our society embrace population control, hence my cynicism that we will ever solve this problem (and still have a planet that retains biodiversity and natural world that I would care to live in). The only global effort to try population control was China's 'one child' policy, which proved to be an essential element in their economic expansion and stabilization, but which had many bad side effects and has resulted in an inverted demographic profile that stymies further growth and creates its own problems, and has now been modified to permit two children.
 

newfydog

Active Member
we also have to do more to reduce the human footprint on the earth. This means seriously reducing birthrates
The number one correlation to reduced birthrates is nationwide prosperity. But one of the strongest correlations to national prosperity is cheap energy. But cheap energy is currently inversely proportional to ratio of renewables used. I think my head is going to explode.
 

dustinchromers

Active Member
The number one correlation to reduced birthrates is nationwide prosperity. But one of the strongest correlations to national prosperity is cheap energy. But cheap energy is currently inversely proportional to ratio of renewables used. I think my head is going to explode.

Don't overthink it. Nobody gets out alive.
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
I was just typing this when @dustinchromers post popped up. Too pessimistic?
The planet will be just fine. Mammalian species last about 1 million years. Homo Sapiens have used up 200,000. It will all be reclaimed and recycled in due time. OR, when the Father is ready it will be over. Take your pick.
What we're really talking about is how to keep living a quality of life and we have different opinions on what encompasses a quality of life.
 

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