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Senate Global Climate Change

Discussion in 'Community' started by Jabbadabbado, May 7, 2014.

  1. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    May 4, 2003
    I'm not very sympathetic to this particular argument. There are much more hypocritical international norms. For instance, even putting aside the collapse of the Doha round, it is wholly unclear to me why the last protectionist trade barriers to be banned have to be the ones in industries where the developing world has a comparative advantage (eg agriculture) whereas all the industries that the West excelled at most had to be ones that were liberalized first. Here, though, putting aside the larger issue of global warming, the push for safer environmental practices is a pretty universal thing. Local waterways and habitats are actually polluted, and the citizenry complains. I don't see a difference in type between the protests in Kunming at building a new petrochemical plant and concerns in the US about the Keystone XL pipeline, nor between complaints about the smog in Los Angeles during the 1950s and smog in Beijing today.

    The problems are the same. The causes are the same. People's complaints are the same. Using the same solution isn't really trying to force Western ideals on anyone.
     
  2. Lord Vivec

    Lord Vivec Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2006
    In order to not burn fossil fuels we're going to need technology.
     
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  3. Darth Guy

    Darth Guy Chosen One star 10

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    Aug 16, 2002
    We're not adopting or developing anywhere near fast enough, and that's what I meant.
     
  4. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    May 4, 2003
    NIAWYC

    Don't be transhumanists, people.
     
  5. Darth Guy

    Darth Guy Chosen One star 10

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    Aug 16, 2002
    Wocky, "transhumanism" doesn't cover the whole of faith in technology.
     
  6. Lord Vivec

    Lord Vivec Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2006
    hydrogen fuel cells?

    lhitlerally transhumanism
     
  7. duende

    duende Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 28, 2006
    apparently mers and polio are on the rise again. will that kill enough people? also the inevitable global economic downturn that will dominate the next 30 - 50 years will probably do much to suppress population growth. i don't know about in india, though.

    in terms of the u.s., everyone could join me in my favorite pastime - killing baby boomers. i don't know if that will help much with this problem, but it will be fun.
     
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  8. SithSense

    SithSense Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2002

    [​IMG]
    so...instead just being run-of-the-mill anti-vax kookies, they were actually trying to stop climate change. //spin
     
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  9. epic

    epic Ex Mod star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 4, 1999
    i saw a rather compelling documentary by hans rosling called the truth about population on the BBC last year, where he suggested that population growth isn't really the issue (the issue remains energy, and with that, climate change). he predicts that the world's population will plateau by the end of the century at 11 billion. he also pointed out that the world's average fertility rate has actually halved in the last 50 years (from 5 to 2.5) and continues to trend downwards, something unprecedented in human history, and thanks largely to female education, access to contraceptives and abortion, and increased child survival. as an example, since independence in '72, Bangladeshi fertility has reduced from 7 to 2.2.

    he also points out that in the last decade the global total number of children aged 0-14 has levelled off at around two billion, and UN population experts predict that it will stay that way throughout the century (i.e. we are at peak child). this means that the population will now only grow as these peak children grow up and have kids, but no more.
     
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  10. Jabbadabbado

    Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 1999
    A 60% population increase would be an even bigger catastrophe, and not just because of per capita energy demands, but also because of the added burden on water supplies, increased pollution, pressure on ocean biomass etc.
     
  11. epic

    epic Ex Mod star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 4, 1999
    it should be noted that, by 2100, all of the increased population is predicted to occur in africa (+3b) and asia (+1b). i agree there are obviously huge challenges to make this feasible, but there concensus suggests the western world has pretty much maxed out in terms of population.
     
  12. Jabbadabbado

    Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 1999
    European growth has slowed, but the U.S. population is well on its way from 300 to 400 million, a 1/3 increase by 2050. There's also the issue of high growth rate countries like India and the Philippines using emigration as a population safety valve. Africa and Asian growth rates are not going to be just African and Asian problems. The effects of greenhouse gas emissions can't be localized.

    The Club of Rome's systems dynamics simulation done at MIT in the early 70s suggested that if exponential growth rates continued, industrial output, agricultural production, resource consumption and the pollution produced by all of it would lead to severe constraints on all global resources by 2050-2070.

    It also suggested that change and a permanently sustainable future was possible if efforts to slow and then stop and reverse the size of the population began immediately, and that the longer the world waited to begin these efforts, the harder it would be to mitigate the consequences. And, absent change, there will be a sudden and uncontrollable decline in the human population and industrial capacity in that 2050-2070 time frame. Nothing has ever happened to suggest that the Club of Rome was significantly wrong about any of its major conclusions, and the national climate change assessment is an indicator that events are unfolding more or less exactly as Limits to Growth predicted.

    The only nation on earth that reacted to Limits to Growth's call to action was China. It instituted its one child policy and prevented hundreds of millions of children from being born. Given the state of China's environmental challenges now, it's easy to imagine how much worse they would otherwise have been. The one child policy was one of the greatest human achievements of the 20th century, even though in the end, absent participation from the rest of the world, it may have only bought us a few years.

    Population growth rates worldwide have slowed somewhat since the 70s, but that change in the rate of growth will have bought us a decade or two at most. Even at its current growth rate of 1.3%, down from a high of 2.3%, India's population would double again in just over 50 years.

    Unfortunately, as the report notes, climate change is just one of the human-caused factors that will put increasing pressure on humans in coming decades. But the effects of the pollution produced by humans and the level of resource consumption reach everywhere through habitat loss, biodiversity loss, oxygen-starved regions of the ocean, fishing down to the bottom of the ocean food chain, non renewable freshwater depletion, soil depletion, loss of wild landscapes to agriculture, loss of agricultural lands to urbanization, outright poisoning of our own food and water through toxic wastes, and so on.

    The bottom line is that we are 40 years too late to do anything about the coming population collapse except maybe isolate a few industrialized nations to ride out the storm. I nominate Norway. Knowing humans, we'll likely decide to isolate Africa and let it starve itself out. At some point, trying to prevent widespread famine and endless conflict from destroying that continent will become an exercise in futility that the developed world will stop investing in.
     
  13. epic

    epic Ex Mod star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 4, 1999
    between 1970-75, India's fertility rate was 5.4; between 1990-95 it had dropped to 3.8 and between 2000-05 it had dropped further to 3.1. i don't think you can extrapolate the current growth rate 50 years into the future, because as the average number of children becomes closer to 2, which has has been (globally, not just India), then we would expect to see a "levelling off" going forward. as i say, the predictions suggest Asia (including India, China, Indonesia, etc) to only increase by another 1b by 2050.

    this levelling off would also counteract the exponential growth that MIT's calculations which you mentioned were based on.
     
  14. Jabbadabbado

    Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 1999

    Growth rates have slowed, but population momentum assures us that we'll have the population levels by 2050 that the MIT simulations predicted would be enough to cause collapse. The Limits to Growth predicted in 1972 that the population in 2000 would be 6.067 billion. We hit 6.4 billion in 2000, so not bad! Their calculations, in fact, take into account declining growth rates over time. They assumed a >2% growth rate in 1965 declining to 1.23% by 2000. Exponential growth drives powerful increases, even if it declines from 2.5% to 1.15% over a few decades.

    If the Limits to Growth made one major mistake, it was a failure to take into account the industrial growth in China and India that occurred along with its population growth. In short, the problem is already significantly worse than they calculated. A ten-fold increase in China's energy consumption has had a profound effect on the climate change picture.
     
  15. epic

    epic Ex Mod star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 4, 1999
    was the Limits of Growth's preduction for 2050 also 9b?
     
  16. Souderwan

    Souderwan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2005
    China's 1 child policy is one of the greatest human achievements? Hahaha. WTF? If this were a JCC thread, I'd be positive this was a parody thread. But with the Senate tag, I can't make sense of it.
     
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  17. Jabbadabbado

    Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 1999
    Their baseline Scenario 0 estimate was 8.8 billion by 2065.

    In their 30 year update, they added a scenario that assumed mitigation and population control and resource consumption limits begun in 2002, with the simulation attaining a relatively stable population of 8 billion.

    The also ran a scenario that assumed no mitigation and adaptation efforts put in place before 2022. By then, it is too late to avoid uncontrolled population decline later in the century under any reasonable measures to mitigate and adapt and regulate.

     
  18. Vaderize03

    Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 25, 1999
    Two words: birth control.

    Realistically, humanity can only upset the apple cart for so long. Ebola is already trying to break out in a big way; with a 70-90% mortality rate for the Zaire strain, it's one mutation (and a plane ride) away from taking us all down.

    Personally, I think nuclear war would be more humane, but I'd say pandemic is how it's going to go.

    Peace,

    V-03
     
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  19. Darth Guy

    Darth Guy Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Ebola is already highly contagious, but it kills too quickly to be a pandemic (which probably wouldn't take only "one mutation" to change and keep its mortality rate). It's more-or-less what would happen with a real-world Romero zombie virus.

    And you guys are salivating at viruses when a "post-antibiotic" era is all but inevitable due to our habits and lack of research into new alternatives (because antibiotics always have a finite lifespan while heart medication and Viagra do not). Who needs ebola when you can die from cutting yourself shaving?
     
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  20. Jabbadabbado

    Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 1999
    It's interesting that the current ebola outbreak has been a bit less lethal than some outbreaks:

     
  21. Point Given

    Point Given Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Dec 12, 2006

    Thanks for that

    /never shaves again
     
  22. Darth Guy

    Darth Guy Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Man, there are a whole bunch of scary things about our near future. At least disinfectants will still work. :p
     
  23. Rogue_Ten

    Rogue_Ten Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 18, 2002
    haha ebola's comin for yall
     
  24. duende

    duende Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 28, 2006
    also apparently china is relaxing its birth controls and are encouraging more births due to fears of long-term economic stagnation but i guess the people are just like "yeah, **** that."
     
  25. mikeximus

    mikeximus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 6, 2012
    There's a lot of Tornado's this year... Must be Climate Change!
    There's not as many Tornado's this year.... Must be Climate Change!
    We had the worst Drought in 75 years... You mean we had a really bad drought 75 years ago? Yeah, but this one's due to climate change!
    We had bad flooding this year... Must be climate Change!
    We didn't have as bad flooding this year... Must be climate change!
    We haven't had this bad of flooding in 100 years... You mean we had this type of flooding 100 years ago? Yeah but this flooding is due to climate change!
    We had a lot of Snow this year... Must be Climate change!
    We didn't have a lot of snow this year... Must be climate change!
    A meteor is hurtling towards Earth... Must be Climate Change!
     
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