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View Diary: Open Thread for Night Owls, Early Birds & Expats: Green Framing Edition (285 comments)

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  •  The deniers claim that the wealthier nations (1+ / 0-)
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    are healthier and cleaner which means our goal should be making all the rest of the world like the US. (shades of 1950s foreign aid)
    However the US has the average citizen consuming 10x his "share" roughly of resources or to make it simple it would take a world with 2000% of current resources. (if I did not mislay a decimal)

    The simple point is the current level of US consumption is not sustainable as we saw during the gas pinch where personal budgets could not deal with $5/gal gas  

    •  Nor European consumption, not Japanese, (1+ / 0-)
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      potty p

      nor Canadian, etc.

      People are now talking about a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emission for industrialized nations, taking per capita emissions to about that in India today.

      Assuming that we could reach that goal by 2050 -- and we almost certainly can't -- there is a reasonable question of exactly what it will buy us.

      Two different problems:

      1.  Even if we could cut global CO2 emissions to zero, it won't reverse global warming because it takes so long for CO2 to leave the atmosphere.  The NOAA just released a report saying that it would take about a thousand years to return to pre-industrial levels.  Of course, we're not about to hit zero any time soon.
      1. Most current greenhouse growth doesn't come from industrialized nations other than China.  It comes from emerging economies.

      Those countries lie beyond the reach of our government's power to regulate and won't be amenable to entreaties that will keep them in poverty.

      That's the problem with restrictive regulatory regimes -- you can't regulate countries that you don't have power over. It's why alternative energy needs to become more attractive than petroleum and coal economically as well as environmentall.

      Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

      by dinotrac on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 04:46:45 AM PST

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      •  and now we are back to tariffs (0+ / 0-)

        and barriers to trade. that's bad right, or is it? i mean we use them in cases like cuba, or s africa during apartheid because they took our sugar in the 50s and we wouldn't be able to consider using sanctions against countries that don't adopt cleaner tech; the shit we SHOULD be and should have been developing given our R&D advantages (many of which have been squandered over the past three+decades). we use barriers effectively all the time to great effect. why can't we do it on the environmental front? what could that do to job growth in the states? i know lots more to discuss on that to play it out. waiting until sea levels rise 5 or even 3 meters might be a bit too late.

        Ignorance is natural. Stupidity takes commitment. --Solomon Short

        by potty p on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 06:57:14 AM PST

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        •  To the extent that that will even work. (0+ / 0-)

          Those emerging economies are becoming powerhouses in their own right, with China as the leading example.  And -- they have 2/3 of the world's people.

          Picture this scenario:

          We impose tariffs and trade restrictions.  India, China and Indonesia trade with each other, more or less ignoring greenhouse gass emissions.

          American workers have jobs, but the cost of living is through the roof -- which may be an ok trade if wages are adequate to compensate fot the loss of cheap foreign goods and the costs of meeting those greenhouse targets.

          But -

          It's 2050, the nation has spent a fortune and atmospheric CO2 levels are 60 ppm higher than they are today.

          If you think it's too late now, imagine what it's going to be like then.

          That plays into current policiy.
          What can we do to encourage other nations to play nice?

          Can we undertake programs that will actually take CO2 back out of the air?

          Buying a Prius is nice (unless you consider the actual impact of that battery pack), but, for large scale plans, you really have to ask what you get for the investment.

          Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

          by dinotrac on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 09:23:46 AM PST

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          •  i think we start (1+ / 0-)
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            by leading by example. hard to get them commit when we became rich off the existing polluting tech. if we can show them that there is a cleaner way that is viable, there is incentive to follow.

            don't own a prius, see them as an intermittent step to fill a short term gap but nevertheless a commitment to a failed paradigm of individual conveyances. i have a fair idea what we get by doing nothing and continuing on as usual. change means not cleaning up the dust, or tweaking the existing; getting double the current mpg isn't enough. eliminate unnecessary car travel from your life is a true start: it is possible, but yes it will take thought and dare i say (dare dare) change.

            i do enjoy conversing with ya, dino. i know i don't develop my ideas so well here, but i do think about them beyond dk, so thanks for playing!

            Ignorance is natural. Stupidity takes commitment. --Solomon Short

            by potty p on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 01:35:12 PM PST

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            •  I enjoy it, too... (0+ / 0-)

              I don't think we have a choice about doing something.

              The choice is which something...and, frankly, I am ready to start ringing bells for a new wave of climate skeptics.

              Not so much about the science. I have no problem with keeping scientists honest, I just don't feel competent to do it.

              All of us, however, are competent to ask hard questions on the policy front because all of us have some knowledge or experience that fits into the picture.

              For example -- I drive a 16 year old Geo.  As a result, when I hear 90% reduction by 2050, I wonder when you actually have to have the solution ready to go -- because it takes a long time for cars to get out of the fleet. Increased CAFE standards and other requirements are certain to drive prices higher, which means people will hang on to cars longer.

              So...Does the government simply force the cars off the road?  Do we have to invest in massive transportation projects?  Do we have to herd people into crowded cities because public transit doesn't work that well in suburbs?

              Hmmm.  If we aren't going to be building and selling so many cars, should we care about propping up car companies?

              And so on.  Lots of things tie together and the questions are important.  

              Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

              by dinotrac on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 03:52:28 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

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