Climate Nearing “Point of No Return”

Jun 11, 2023
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The arrogance of humanity, thinking we’re the center of the world. The cycle of warming and cooling may have been sped up by human ambition, carelessness and greed, but it’s still a cycle.

It reminds me of a quote made by Kevin Costner’s character on the show Yellowstone,

“Sooner or later this planet’s going to shed us like dead skin, and it’ll be our fault.”
 
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Hades

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I bet the corrupt CEO's are itching for us to near this point. After all then they can give up all pretense and go ''there's nothing that can be done anymore so why spend money on trying?''

Which was likely their scheme all along. Delay and obstruct measures to tackle climate change long enough for it to become impossible.
 

XsjadoBlayde

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Yes. This has tried to be communicated as many different ways by everyone and anyone as loudly as possible that could've cared for far too long now. Even trying self immolation just gets mainly shuffled along by the media.





The capitalist system refuses to budge on this, only the money matters, and only the ppl who care about the money are in the positions of power required to enact the change to make this less awful for coming generations. Too many ppl just tune it out cause the seriousness of the situation is existential, and their access to affect any meaningful change is minimal and demeaned in popular RW media every day.
 
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Absent

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Again, the problem isn't corrupt CEOs (corrupt compared to what? screwing the world to increase their profit is their job), and hardly evil politicians (how do evil politicians come to power ? by lying ? if only that was required).

The problem is voters. Cituzens, people - the population. Anti-ecologist assholes supporting and raising these politicians to power for their anti-ecologic stances.
 

The Rogue Wolf

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The problem is voters. Cituzens, people - the population. Anti-ecologist assholes supporting and raising these politicians to power for their anti-ecologic stances.
Y'ever notice how the "we have to cut taxes so our children don't drown in debt" crowd seems to be perfectly okay with their children literally drowning in rising seas? It's because they don't actually care about the future; they just want the world to stay comfortable for them until they're safely dead and in the ground, and then the world can go to Hell.

The answer is to make life Hell for them right now.
 
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meiam

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To stop it, people would need to accept drastically lower life standard, they will never ever do that. Covid/lockdown asked something that was maybe 1/20 as hard as seriously tackling climate change and a good chunk of the population lost their mind about that.

I think a lot of people also don't realize that it would affect all aspect of societies and would require really harsh choice. Like healthcare would need to be severely curtailed, a lot of people living in rural area would have their service cut off, personal car wouldn't really be available anymore, meat would become a luxury item and so on. People are not willing to accept any of that.
 

BrawlMan

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The arrogance of humanity, thinking we’re the center of the world. The cycle of warming and cooling may have been sped up by human ambition, carelessness and greed, but it’s still a cycle.

It reminds me of a quote made by Kevin Costner’s character on the show Yellowstone,

“Sooner or later this planet’s going to shed us like dead skin, and it’ll be our fault.”
 
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Silvanus

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To stop it, people would need to accept drastically lower life standard, they will never ever do that. Covid/lockdown asked something that was maybe 1/20 as hard as seriously tackling climate change and a good chunk of the population lost their mind about that.

I think a lot of people also don't realize that it would affect all aspect of societies and would require really harsh choice. Like healthcare would need to be severely curtailed, a lot of people living in rural area would have their service cut off, personal car wouldn't really be available anymore, meat would become a luxury item and so on. People are not willing to accept any of that.
Bollocks. Climatologists and researchers are quite clear about where the biggest changes can be made, and a lot of them don't require drastic lowering of living standards. Transitioning onto renewables and nuclear is more than possible without widespread pain. So is preventing the methane leakages through better maintenance.

Shifting away from overconsumption of meat might be frustrating for some, but there's absolutely no reason it would need to become a "luxury". We currently hugely overfarm and overconsume it for no better reason than people like the taste and want battery-farmed slurry available for fast food.

As for transport-- a huge proportion of plane journeys are simply completely unnecessary. Constant chartered flights and luxury, short-term flights to facilitate business, or tourism for the wealthy who fly more than once every year for pleasure. Completely unnecessary, no great sacrifice for the average person.

The idea that tackling climate change necessitates drastic suffering for ordinary people is a myth peddled by those who have a vested (financial) interest in people giving up. Y'know what actually results in widespread suffering? The higher frequency of natural disasters as a direct result of climate change. Extinction rates and habitat loss as a direct result of climate change. Loss of habitable land for people who live in vulnerable island nations, as a direct result of climate change.
 

Hawki

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I'd be very wary about "points of no return." There's a lot of debates on whether tipping points are a thing. For instance, if they're correct, and we pass certain thresholds, we're screwed. The other view is that it's always preferable to fight as hard as you can. Go past 1.5? Fight to stay under 2. Go over 2? Fight to stay under 2.1.

Not that it makes things any less depressing.

Piece of advice, don't take Goldman's, um, advice. Overconsumption is much more of an issue than overpopulation.

Bollocks. Climatologists and researchers are quite clear about where the biggest changes can be made, and a lot of them don't require drastic lowering of living standards. Transitioning onto renewables and nuclear is more than possible without widespread pain. So is preventing the methane leakages through better maintenance.

Shifting away from overconsumption of meat might be frustrating for some, but there's absolutely no reason it would need to become a "luxury". We currently hugely overfarm and overconsume it for no better reason than people like the taste and want battery-farmed slurry available for fast food.

As for transport-- a huge proportion of plane journeys are simply completely unnecessary. Constant chartered flights and luxury, short-term flights to facilitate business, or tourism for the wealthy who fly more than once every year for pleasure. Completely unnecessary, no great sacrifice for the average person.

The idea that tackling climate change necessitates drastic suffering for ordinary people is a myth peddled by those who have a vested (financial) interest in people giving up. Y'know what actually results in widespread suffering? The higher frequency of natural disasters as a direct result of climate change. Extinction rates and habitat loss as a direct result of climate change. Loss of habitable land for people who live in vulnerable island nations, as a direct result of climate change.
That's...highly debatable.

You're definitely right in some areas - methane leakages are reasonably cheap and easy to deal with (see the issue of abandoned oil wells for instance), and yes, giving up flying wouldn't be the worst sacrifice in the world comparatively. Similarly, a lot of farmland could be spared if less meat was consumed, but given how meat consumption is going up across the world, that doesn't look likely. I'd point to artificial meat, but recently there's been claims that artificial meat is worse for the environment because of its power requirements, so yay...

But as to the idea of the shift being completely painless? Debatable. Very debatable. Some claim that's true, some claim it isn't, and it certainly isn't just "propaganda" for saying it isn't. For starters, there isn't enough time to shift to nuclear in any meaningful way - definitely keep nuclear plants where they're still operating (looking at you, Germany!), but replacing fossil fuels with fission isn't going to happen in a practical time scale, and it's even debatable as to whether there's enough uranium to do so (a stat I recall reading is that if the world was powered exclusively by nuclear, we'd run out in 3 years, though I'm skeptical that's the case for a variety of reasons).

As for transitioning into renewables, again, debatable. I'll give you the credit of assuming you're already aware of the issues of intermitancy, battery storage, etc., so while it's certainly concievable that renewables could power things, but even then, the renewables debate tends to focus on electricity. Factor in stuff like industry and transport, and things get less rosy.

But even that doesn't go into issues of consumption. We can debate degrowth if we want (read plenty of for and against articles), but I'll put it this way - if we assume that the only way to deal with climate change is lowering consumption, then that means lowering consumption of everything. Smaller houses, smaller (if any) cars, smaller earnings, etc. Basically, less of everything, or at least, less of what could be called luxuries - Meiam is likely wrong about healthcare (as that's compartively less resource intensive), but certainly right about stuff like cars and meat. Which runs into a problem, because getting people to accept less isn't a winning strategy. Every time standards of living have dropped, it hasn't gone well for the society in question.

Basically, there's no simple answers, and I'm skeptical of anyone saying there are. :(
 

Thaluikhain

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I'd be very wary about "points of no return." There's a lot of debates on whether tipping points are a thing. For instance, if they're correct, and we pass certain thresholds, we're screwed. The other view is that it's always preferable to fight as hard as you can. Go past 1.5? Fight to stay under 2. Go over 2? Fight to stay under 2.1.

Not that it makes things any less depressing.
Yeah, second that. We hit "points of no return" all the time, doesn't mean it's not a good idea to try to avoid hitting more in the future. Though, given the delay between actions and results, don't see that happening any time soon (no pun intended).

But even that doesn't go into issues of consumption. We can debate degrowth if we want (read plenty of for and against articles), but I'll put it this way - if we assume that the only way to deal with climate change is lowering consumption, then that means lowering consumption of everything. Smaller houses, smaller (if any) cars, smaller earnings, etc. Basically, less of everything, or at least, less of what could be called luxuries - Meiam is likely wrong about healthcare (as that's compartively less resource intensive), but certainly right about stuff like cars and meat. Which runs into a problem, because getting people to accept less isn't a winning strategy. Every time standards of living have dropped, it hasn't gone well for the society in question.
I disagree with that, people accepted making do with less during the 40s, when there was a severe need to.

OTOH, society was rather different then, and the "we're all in this together" rhetoric seemed to mean something. The culture of conspicious consumption would have to go, and we'd have to tax the rich, but then that would solve a great many problems.

EDIT: Hell, if people just stopped bitcoin mining that'd be a big step.
 

Trunkage

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I bet the corrupt CEO's are itching for us to near this point. After all then they can give up all pretense and go ''there's nothing that can be done anymore so why spend money on trying?''

Which was likely their scheme all along. Delay and obstruct measures to tackle climate change long enough for it to become impossible.
You know, people call Trump a delayer and a denier about a great many things, from his wall to ecnomic plan to dealing with Covid to court cases. He will lie to your face even if you have video evidence

Trump is not an analomy. They're all like that. And they do this on every issue.
 

Hawki

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I disagree with that, people accepted making do with less during the 40s, when there was a severe need to.
People made do during the 40s because there was a clear, immediate threat, with the promise that rationing and whatnot was temporary until that threat was defeated. The analogy to climate change is to have austerity for the rest of your life, and your children's lives, and pretty much for all time until something drastic changes.

EDIT: Hell, if people just stopped bitcoin mining that'd be a big step.
It might help, but it's hardly a "big step." I have no interest or defence of bitcoin, but in the greater scheme of things, it's a drop in the bucket.
 

Thaluikhain

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People made do during the 40s because there was a clear, immediate threat, with the promise that rationing and whatnot was temporary until that threat was defeated. The analogy to climate change is to have austerity for the rest of your life, and your children's lives, and pretty much for all time until something drastic changes.



It might help, but it's hardly a "big step." I have no interest or defence of bitcoin, but in the greater scheme of things, it's a drop in the bucket.
True, I might be being overly optimistic there.
 

Absent

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We've crossed the point of no return, culturally.

We have too many conservatives. They see the ecosystem's destruction as a short term profit with an "own the libs lol" bonus. They weight too much in society for any meaningful course change at any level. Imbecillity and evil have won, our collective intelligence hasn't managed to develop fast enough to catch up with the development of out technologies.

We're ending like sentient spieces end everywhere, probably. In a narrow-minded short-sighted self-serving stupidity which is culturally encouraged and valued, instead of us being encouraged to overcome it.
 
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Thaluikhain

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Disagree there. Sure, it'll be the worst catastrophe in history, but humanity destroying itself (this way) will lead to a reduced ability of humanity to destroy itself. Civilisation and the odd billion people might fall, but there will be survivors and enough habitable land to give them another go.

For any future peoples reading this, sorry, I've got no words of wisdom on how to avoid making the same mistakes. Don't be really, really stupid, I guess, which seems obvious but keeps being a problem over and over.
 

Silvanus

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That's...highly debatable.

You're definitely right in some areas - methane leakages are reasonably cheap and easy to deal with (see the issue of abandoned oil wells for instance), and yes, giving up flying wouldn't be the worst sacrifice in the world comparatively. Similarly, a lot of farmland could be spared if less meat was consumed, but given how meat consumption is going up across the world, that doesn't look likely. I'd point to artificial meat, but recently there's been claims that artificial meat is worse for the environment because of its power requirements, so yay...

But as to the idea of the shift being completely painless? Debatable. Very debatable. Some claim that's true, some claim it isn't, and it certainly isn't just "propaganda" for saying it isn't. For starters, there isn't enough time to shift to nuclear in any meaningful way - definitely keep nuclear plants where they're still operating (looking at you, Germany!), but replacing fossil fuels with fission isn't going to happen in a practical time scale, and it's even debatable as to whether there's enough uranium to do so (a stat I recall reading is that if the world was powered exclusively by nuclear, we'd run out in 3 years, though I'm skeptical that's the case for a variety of reasons).

As for transitioning into renewables, again, debatable. I'll give you the credit of assuming you're already aware of the issues of intermitancy, battery storage, etc., so while it's certainly concievable that renewables could power things, but even then, the renewables debate tends to focus on electricity. Factor in stuff like industry and transport, and things get less rosy.

But even that doesn't go into issues of consumption. We can debate degrowth if we want (read plenty of for and against articles), but I'll put it this way - if we assume that the only way to deal with climate change is lowering consumption, then that means lowering consumption of everything. Smaller houses, smaller (if any) cars, smaller earnings, etc. Basically, less of everything, or at least, less of what could be called luxuries - Meiam is likely wrong about healthcare (as that's compartively less resource intensive), but certainly right about stuff like cars and meat. Which runs into a problem, because getting people to accept less isn't a winning strategy. Every time standards of living have dropped, it hasn't gone well for the society in question.

Basically, there's no simple answers, and I'm skeptical of anyone saying there are. :(
The transition in sources of power is perfectly possible through a combination of renewables as the primary focus, with nuclear providing that which renewables cannot in the short term. We know this is realistically practical because some countries are already well on the way, and have shifted huge proportions of their national energy production over just a small number of years.

It would be ideal to shift our attitudes to consumption in all areas-- housing, travel, food etc. But there's no reason at all this would need to be both simultaneous, and also at great speed in all areas. But as I outlined above, we currently drastically overconsume in travel and farming, and big drivers here are 1) low quality intensive farming; and 2) luxury, frequent tourism, chartered flights and international business 'facilitation'.

The former requires an attitude shift regardless of climate change, because It's a money-making model that preys upon the obesity epidemic and those with low disposable income. The latter is a lifestyle choice by the very wealthy, so fuck 'em.

I'm definitely not saying these solutions are easy. But they're definitely available-- climatologists agree and point to them all the time-- and the primary barrier is political will and industry intransigence rather than practicality.
 
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Alienware

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Climate change? Nah taking over Ukraine is more important #humans :oops: