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  •  It's a dilemma, isn't it . . . (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmoke, NancyWH, blueoasis, DawnN

    what people are willing to do is nowhere near enough, and what needs to be done is daunting, overwhelming and (apparently) unlikely.  So should we just lie, and encourage people to do something all the while knowing that it won't be enough?

    A "5% solution" may make people feel good (for a while) but it doesn't really solve anything.  Of course "feeling good" is always worth some effort just for its own sake, but we're talking about a survival-level problem here . . . one that isn't going to yield to just a little dose of "positive thinking".  If we don't get to the "panic" stage soon there won't be anything that can be done . . .

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 11:26:47 AM PST

    •  Yes and No (4+ / 0-)

      Doing something is better than doing nothing.  Scaring people without providing them with clear and effective actions just paralyzes them.  

      I believe that concentrating on energy efficiency, short term climate forcers, transitioning to renewables or zero emissions energy sources can slow climate change if enough people do them, individually and collectively.  I also believe that there are ecological design solutions that can take carbon, methane, and other greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere, such as Holistic Management or John Todd's plan for remediating coal-ravaged lands.

      We've spent twenty years or more concentrating on the problem and giving very short shrift to the solutions.

      Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

      by gmoke on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:19:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't believe (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, gmoke

        that the problem is anywhere near that tractable.  In fact I think that all of those "actions" together fall short of what needs to be done, not even "5%" . . . it's too little, too late, but hey, thanks for all the fish.  We need to do so much more . . .

        It's just way, way worse than most people care (are willing) to believe.

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 01:42:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Defeatism (1+ / 0-)
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          Defeatism isn't much of a motivator either.  

          I also think it's worse than people think.  Every time I hear a speaker say, "It will get bad for my children or grandchildren," I shake my head and say under my breath, "It's gonna get bad for us too, sooner than you think."  We've already started on the slide.

          However, after working around this issue for about 30 years, I've come out the other side of despair and defeat.  We may be doomed but it's a beautiful day today and I want to make the most of it.

          What's your idea of "so much more..."?  I'm curious to know.

          Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

          by gmoke on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:04:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Denialism (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            is not much of an alternative, but that's what ignoring the magnitude of the problem ultimately is . . . and promotion of feel-good solutions that are just not going to accomplish enough to matter is just that.  Everything you propose is "good" to some degree or other, and adopting any of it can be a place to start, but we also need clarity on the necessary endpoint.  And that the endpoint has to come soon, not 20 or 30 years from now.

            And what it will take to get there is draconian.

            NO Carbon mining.  We can continue to use liquid fuels (have to, for many practical reasons), but they must be produced using atmospheric CO2 (either biologically captured or direct captured as part of the production process).  And we can continue to use existing electric utility infrastructure, but the coal, oil and even natural gas fired boilers must be replaced ASAP, with nuclear being the only currently workable option.

            The intermittent "renewables" should be used wherever possible (I'd say including providing power for their own manufacture . . . a good test of "renewability" . . . but that won't work,  Doesn't mean not to use them wherever we can).  Some important uses (like Nitrogen capture for fertilizer and Carbon capture for synfuels and sequestration) could be linked to plants designed to work with the intermittency (either by grid-linking or "slowdown").

            Farming must be expanded into new areas, probably by no less than 50% more tilled area than at present, to allow for the massive crop failures likely to come with shifting weather patterns. And we're just going to have to expect that in some places we will till, plant, and harvest nothing.

            Large scale sequestration will be necessary to get atmospheric CO2 back down into the 300-350 ppm range . . . SOON.

            All of this, and all the other shifts in energy sourcing and distribution (this cannot come at the expense of advancing standard of living in the 2nd and 3rd world) must be well on the way within a decade at most . . . not in 2050 or 2030 but even sooner.  If we're still burning any appreciable amount of mined Carbon even in 2020 the planet is probably burnt toast.

            Of course we can hope for a big volcano to cloud the sky and slow things down for a couple years, although the related crop failures would be ugly.

            The things I look for to gauge the seriousness of any plan or policy are a gas tax (non-synfuel gas) of at least $1.00 immediate and rapidly escallating (10-25 cents/year) and rapid teardown of coal boilers (with nuclear replacement).  Of course solar anywhere it can effectively substitute for grid sourcing, and wind to run those capture and sequestration plants.

            The real "defeatism" is to say we can't do that . . . because if we don't we are certainly defeated . . .

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:30:04 AM PST

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            •  Hole in the Collective Unconscious (0+ / 0-)

              We don't even have a story of how we might be able to come out of this in any kind of shape.  All the climate change fiction I've read is woefully lacking on practical solutions, of almost any scale.

              And most of them don't understand the technologies available or possible.

              However, back in reality, China seems to be seriously discussing a carbon tax.

              Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

              by gmoke on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 09:45:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

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