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  •  the exceptions make the case too. (0+ / 0-)

    Everyone has something they want to keep as an exception.

    That's OK.  The exceptions aren't what's killing the planet.

    For example:  

    Automobile racing isn't a problem.  Commuting by car is.   So you have a small group of automotive enthusiasts who race, and another small group who are into classic cars (which are less fuel efficient and produce more emissions than current models), and so on.   But these are small groups, and their total contribution to the problem is negligible.  

    Where the problem comes from is people who commute by car because they simply haven't bothered to look at the options that might be available to them.  Or they commute because there is no public transit where they are, but then they make separate trips for groceries and every other little thing.  They aren't "into cars," their automotive contribution to the problem is the result of not-thinking or not-trying or not-caring.  

    So my program is to take out all the "non-thinking" and "not-trying" and "not-caring."  Automotive enthusiasts get to keep their classic cars and race on the weekends, but automobile commuting is replaced with public transport and with telecommuting, and in any case trips are linked (e.g. get groceries on the way home from work) for efficiency.

    Same case for entertainment.

    BTW, I worked in the music production industry for a couple of years, studio & live recording & production.  Including with artists who you have heard on the radio and elsewhere.  

    Cinephiles and videophiles get to keep their personal "exceptions," home theatre systems included, even with wall-sized screens.  Those are small groups of people whose impacts are not the problem.  People who "don't think about it" and people who "don't care," which are the vast majority, can switch to whatever-else lower tech means of keeping themselves happily amused.  

    Today's technology can support a highly creative motion picture industry at a level that would have seemed miraculous when the all-time greats were making the classic films in black & white.  Even with a smaller overall audience.

    Same case for a lot of other things.

    For example meat.  The blunt fact is that the protein conversion ratio is 28:1, meaning 28 pounds of vegetable protein to produce 1 pound of meat protein, and that's not sustainable on the present scale.  But here as with elsewhere, people who are really into their meat can keep it, and the rest of us can reduce our meat consumption to a sustainable level (after all, who complains about a nice hot plate of spaghetti with a small meatball and some chopped veggies in the sauce? Yum!).

    But there's a warning in the background:

    The longer we wait to enact comprehensive solutions, the worse the situation becomes, and the fewer the options remain, and the remaining options become uglier over time.  

    So we all have to be willing to do our share right now, make adjustments where we can, and encourage everyone around us to do likewise.  If we wait, we're not going to have the options we have today.  By analogy, getting the flu vaccine is just a quick little pin-prick, but getting the flu is a bigtime pain in the butt that lasts a couple of weeks.  Right now we can make the choice.  

    "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 05:15:36 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  It's pretty obvious we should (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      A Siegel

      Reduce consumption of a lot of things and we'd be much better off doing it sooner than later, but I think the trick is to make it easy, not hard, for people to start making the changes. There's a tendency for people to have an all-or-nothing mind set and if you present them with a dizzying and very radical set of changes they need to make yesterday, they'll just turn off mentally -- much as I did from your earlier post. Now, if you can present them with a palpable threat, such as World War II, you can maybe persuade them to make somewhat bigger changes but right now the climate crisis doesn't really that real to most people, even if intellectually they know there's a problem. I really think the sacrifices that people made back in WWII would be a pretty good model. They reduced consumption of a lot of things, but it wasn't like the economy shut down or the entertainment business wasn't thriving.

      Personally, I think changes on this are, neverthelss, more likely to happen on a macro level than the micro. We should have had a "Manhattan project" on alternative energy freaking decades ago, for starters.

      Forward to Yesterday -- Reactionary aesthetics and liberal politics (in that order)

      by LABobsterofAnaheim on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 01:57:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  that Manhattan Project was... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        A Siegel

        ... already tried.  President Carter's "Moral Equivalent Of War," to build domestic energy sources.  Aside from the problematic acronym, Carter was ultimately defeated by Edwin Meese's team going to Iran and offering the Khomeini Regime an arms deal in exchange for the hostages if Reagan got elected.

        That kept the hostage crisis going longer than it might otherwise have, and resulted in Carter's loss to Reagan.

        It was also technically treason: "treating with a foreign foe," for which Meese and the gang should properly have been tried, convicted, and put before a firing squad.  

        But anyway...

        As for all those changes: pick any place to get started.  But the longer we wait, the more radical the changes will have to become.  And as for the climate crisis not seeming "really real," that is the test of whether our species thrives or goes extinct: whether we have the foresight to deal with it before it hits the tipping points of no return that put us on the inescapable road to extinction.  

        By the time it becomes an obvious and visceral threat, it will be too late.  So we have to deal with it when it's an "intellectual" issue, or we will go extinct.  That's reality, and it's the consensus of science.

        It's like drinking and driving.  If someone expects to drive in an hour, they'd darn well better not have another drink, or they might very well end up wrapped around a tree, dead, or in jail.  Anyone with an IQ above room temperature knows this, and anyone with an ounce of common sense practices it.  They don't wait until they're about to get in the car.  They make the last drink non-alcohol and wait until they're in fit shape before they get in the car.  

        That's called foresight.  It's like getting your flu shots, sending your kid to school, saving money for next week's groceries, checking the oil in the car's engine, washing your hands after you poop, and not jumping off of high places.

        This is not opinion, these are the blunt facts of science.  The law of gravity doesn't care whether you're a poet or a pickpocket: if you jump off a high place, you'll fall at 9.8 meters per second squared until you hit the ground and go splat.  Being a poet doesn't make you fall more slowly or hit the ground more gently than being a pickpocket.  

        The only question is whether we have the foresight to start making the necessary changes right now.  

        And Ma Nature could care less about whether we're comfortable about it.  

        The sooner we start, the more choices we have.  There is no escaping this.  

        And it may be hard to grasp or hard to deal with, it may be a turn-off or a pain in the ass: but it's what you have to do if you want to live.  

        "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 02:25:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Two things. (0+ / 0-)

          Yes, hard data is hard data and can't be argued with...except that even among reputable scientists can and do often argue about what the hard data is and what it means. The trick is not using that as an excuse to engage in denialism. We know there's a huge problem but how huge and all the details of it are not exactly crystal clear to a casual observer.

          Ma Nature might not care what we think but it's pretty obvious that scientists haven't come to a clear consensus on the exact nature of her demands, either and acting like it's obvious when it's not quite that clear only gives the denialists an opening to shoot rhetorical (though very unscientific) holes in your argument.

          And, the fact of the matter is, whatever  might be demanded of us, people are people and they're not going to stop being people, so a realist has to work with humanity as it is, not the way they might wish it to be.

          Forward to Yesterday -- Reactionary aesthetics and liberal politics (in that order)

          by LABobsterofAnaheim on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 02:39:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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