Gurdon

Moderator
Well my friend, I can't quite take credit for that paragraph -- since I did not write it, but I'm glad that part connected with you :)

That said, I do think human (over)consumption is a problem in many parts of the world, including United States.
Thanks for responding to my comment.

Of course, although it's surprising that so many people don't see the connection to consumerism and the current situation (global warming, huge gap between what the 1% gets and what the rest of us get, current world wide unrest). Given that it is a consensus viewpoint that the basis of the American economy is domestic spending on consumer stuff from fast food to tract houses and new cars, we're a long way from changing directions.

I don't think it's a matter of technological fixes. I worked on the Los Angeles regional air quality plan in the late 1970's. The net result was a 90% reduction in air pollution. Since then, the population has increased and pollution increased to over 50% of what it had been before the plan was implemented. And, this is with the creation of a regional transit system that keeps being expanded to meet demand.

I doubt that the world's movers and shakers are ready or willing to do what is necessary to forestall a very unpleasant next couple of hundred years.

Regards,
Gurdon
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
Thanks for responding to my comment.

Of course, although it's surprising that so many people don't see the connection to consumerism and the current situation (global warming, huge gap between what the 1% gets and what the rest of us get, current world wide unrest). Given that it is a consensus viewpoint that the basis of the American economy is domestic spending on consumer stuff from fast food to tract houses and new cars, we're a long way from changing directions.

I don't think it's a matter of technological fixes. I worked on the Los Angeles regional air quality plan in the late 1970's. The net result was a 90% reduction in air pollution. Since then, the population has increased and pollution increased to over 50% of what it had been before the plan was implemented. And, this is with the creation of a regional transit system that keeps being expanded to meet demand.

I doubt that the world's movers and shakers are ready or willing to do what is necessary to forestall a very unpleasant next couple of hundred years.

Regards,
Gurdon
I fear you are absolutely correct in terms of your long term prediction(s). But alas, most over consumers are all in for saving the planet, only as long as it is the other guy making the sacrifices. Considering my various/seemingly endless collections of "things" I am not proud of my own contribution(s) to the rescue effort! :(
 

MichaelS

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Not sure if anyone had the chance to catch Michael Shellenberger's article in Forbes on the subject of climate change. Like 'Planet of the Humans' before him, Shellenberger dared to attack sacred cows and like POTH it was taken down shortly afterwards. You can however, still read the article here.

Hopefully we're seeing the emergence of a practical, measured, common-sense approach to the issue rather than the relentless hysteria and alarmism the media has been pushing for the last few years.

On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years. Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem.

I may seem like a strange person to be saying all of this. I have been a climate activist for 20 years and an environmentalist for 30.

But as an energy expert asked by Congress to provide objective expert testimony, and invited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to serve as Expert Reviewer of its next Assessment Report, I feel an obligation to apologize for how badly we environmentalists have misled the public.

Here are some facts few people know:

  • Humans are not causing a “sixth mass extinction”
  • The Amazon is not “the lungs of the world”
  • Climate change is not making natural disasters worse
  • Fires have declined 25% around the world since 2003
  • The amount of land we use for meat — humankind’s biggest use of land — has declined by an area nearly as large as Alaska
  • The build-up of wood fuel and more houses near forests, not climate change, explain why there are more, and more dangerous, fires in Australia and California
  • Carbon emissions are declining in most rich nations and have been declining in Britain, Germany, and France since the mid-1970s
  • Netherlands became rich not poor while adapting to life below sea level
  • We produce 25% more food than we need and food surpluses will continue to rise as the world gets hotter
  • Habitat loss and the direct killing of wild animals are bigger threats to species than climate change
  • Wood fuel is far worse for people and wildlife than fossil fuels
  • Preventing future pandemics requires more not less “industrial” agriculture
I have graduate degrees in hydrogeology and climatology and over 40 years experience in my fields and whenever I see something like Mr. Shellenberger's book, I look up the authors background to make sure the author has a strong founding in science., As Mr. Shellenberger's degree is in Peace and Global Studies from Earlham College, and a Masters Degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, I didn't see anything indicating a strong education/background in science. I also looked over his publication list and found no record any peer reviewed articles presenting his hypotheses.

This alone should give anyone with any scientific knowledge of earth science and climatology serious pause when considering what he is postulating.

I have also looked over his list of publications. Nothing that is actual science as far as I can see, and most pursuing an agenda that is to me, clearly based on a political ideology, not science.

Much what he has said in the above list can be easily refuted by science. (I do agree that burning wood is not a sustainable technology as the release of carbon dioxide when burning wood is at a much greater rate than regrowth can sequestrate).

I won't get into an exhaustive critique of his statements, but I will state that he clearly has very little real understanding of climate. When he states that Climate change is not making natural disasters worse, that is one of the largest piles of ma----- I have seen. This is clearly not true. Anyone with even an intro to science of climatology or meteorology science class should be able to see this. The empirical, mathematical, and scientific data clearly prove he is wrong in this generalization.

As to his statement about habitat loss, he is forgetting or conveniently not mentioning that a huge amount of habitat loss is due to climate change. Not all, but a huge amount.

There are very serious issues regarding the credibility of his statements.
 
I consider myself an environmentalist cut from the TR cloth. The climate debate has become so politically poisoned, that I focus my attention promoting areas most can agree on like....

Clean air
Clean water
Reducing plastic waste
Recycling
Reducing habitat loss/promoting habitat restoration
Slowing population growth to 1/1
Promoting a culture of repair and reuse
Ending over harvesting of threatened species
Promoting safe cheap nuclear power and reduce global dependence on fossil fuels.

I hope that by supporting these ideas, more light than heat will be generated, and the earth can be slowly healed without the need for all the rancor.

Cheers,

BSR
 
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