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Forced responses: Mar 2018

Filed under: — gavin @ 1 March 2018

This month’s open thread on responses to climate change (politics, adaptation, mitigation etc.). Please stay focused on the overall topic. Digressions into the nature and history of communism/feudal societies/anarchistic utopias are off topic and won’t be posted. Thanks. The open thread for climate science topics is here.

345 Responses to “Forced responses: Mar 2018”

  1. 151
    Killian says:

    Read this. Carefully. It states what I have told you all from an energy cycling perspective. Excellently done.

    https://thecookandthegardner.blogspot.kr/2018/03/life-on-this-planet.html?m=1

  2. 152

    Ray Ladbury I need some moderation here, don’t use the word troll, cause you are trolling on me. If you want something to believe to, believe in Jesus Christ. If you want to criticize my work first read it.

  3. 153

    Ray Ladbury the scientific community you refer to hasn’t, or is not willing to, get it yet.

  4. 154
    nigelj says:

    Killian @148

    OK heres how I think a 25% reduction in consumption would be achieved. It’s easy enough if phased in over 20 years, just by purchasing more electrically efficient appliances, reducing waste, buying fewer clothes and non essential appliances, insulating houses better, and building 25% smaller homes and so on. This is not hugely challenging for the majority of people in western countries. Please note its just a starting point, and could be increased in the future.

    You just arent making sense, because if you think 25% cuts can’t be suppported, how on earth do you support your own 80 – 90% cuts? Maybe I missunderstand you. This is the problem that internet chat, is hard for all of us on complex subjects, and I wish you would appreciate that, because its pretty obvious even with the best of people.

    I agree an economic contraction and crash is a risk. But a 25% contraction doesn’t have to mean a great depression, and neither does zero gdp growth provided its phased in slowly over 20 years or so. If it was sudden like the 1930s and unplanned for, it probably would. But theres no alternative approach, because any form of simplification will reduce demand, and risk destabilisation and capitalism will be around during the transition, because the system is very unlikely to change instantly.

    I’m not going to discuss alternatives to capitalism, because the website has asked us not to discuss utopian economic systems, however we don’t need to define a perfect alternative right now anyway. We only have to push for change and recognise the failings in the current system and demand change, and things will evolve incrementally. And alternative communities could definitely lead the way, but I see change happening simultaneously on several fronts. There’s no logical reason why it can’t.

    I do think your autonomous communities and bio regions have plenty of merit in principle. I have actually been involved in urban conceptual design as it happens. But you need to ask yourself how small communities will handle even a moderate level of backbone technology, without becoming somewhat more connected and less autonomous. This is the thing that bothers me.

    “I have posted multiple supports for this number both in terms of means of calculating it and others who have come to the same conclusion.”

    OK I wasnt aware of that information. I accept you have attempted to calculate a number, but you appear to be assuming 90% is the right answer in terms of sustainability. Your calculation appears to be more related to a global redistribution of wealth from rich to poor countries. Some sort of redistribution makes sense, but doesnt really prove the environmental validity of 90% reductions.

    I accept your other reference is to David Suzukies Green Guide does recommend a 90% reduction in energy and use of resources, and that several experts reccomend this. I think that could be harder than they claim. However, I would come back to my suggestion we start with promoting a 25% reduction phased in over 20 years as a starting goal. We can obviously increase it further towards 90% over time.

    Its impossible for me to see such things happening instantly with the vast majority of people and if they did it would cause considerable instability.

    Suzukies green guide makes plenty of sense overall, but I have only scanned it briefly because its an entire book.

    IMHO reducing emissions to meet the Paris goals requires a combination of 25% simplification, the best population reduction we can get ( it will be limited over a 50 year period, but we could get something to change) and renewable energy. The entire electricity system could be changed to renewables, and costs are not prohibitive if you look at the calculations. The UK has made some quite good progress already.

    If alternative communities want to go futher, with larger reductions in consumption and alternative economic and social approaches, I think that can only be a good thing. Im thinking a little more of what the public as a whole is likely to do with some education on environmental challenges and appropriate sustainable solutions.

  5. 155
    zebra says:

    Mr KIA #150,

    “the immigrant invasion”

    Except that having immigration and reducing population are not contradictory at all. That’s true for both the destination country and the source country.

    If you set a goal for the US to reduce population, you could institute policies to encourage lower rates of reproduction for all parties, and calibrate the immigration rate accordingly, so that total numbers drop but you still get the advantages. One of which, incidentally, is increasing genetic diversity.

  6. 156

    Killian, #140–

    Kevin: First, thanks for a substantive and insult-free response.

    Killian: Don’t patronize me, it’s hypocritical and passive-aggressive. I am aggressive only in defense, unlike your words above inciting conflict.

    And he was doing so well there, for a brief, shining moment…

  7. 157

    Killian, #142-3–

    I’ve read these responses with some care. Let me say again that I appreciate a substantive response, though sadly less insult-free than its predecessor.

    I’ll keep my responses brief and relatively general.

    On style:

    But that starts at places like this and getting people like you, who supposedly care about and advocate for change, to “get it,” but the resistance from virtually everyone posting on this site is palpable.

    Maybe if you insulted folks less you’d persuade more easily; the topics are already divisive by nature, given the stakes. Why make it harder for people to concede that you might have a point?

    You have to change your assumptions about what life should be. You have to start at tabla rasa and apply First Principles. Your conflicts arise from refusing to do this. You are ever conflicted because you start your analysis from where you are, from what is. I did, too. I no longer do. I needed to hear one thing: Let design emerge, don’t impose it. That changed my entire relationship to problem solving. Never start from your own assumptions.

    I think that one goes to a lot of the differences we are having.

    There is, I suppose, value in throwing out assumptions; hence modern cliches about ‘thinking outside the box.’ (And I hasten to add that I don’t say that dismissively; they are cliches precisely because there is a something to the notion.)

    However–at some point, assumptions, or choices, do have to be made. In a recent conversation, a friend described a design proposal in which wonderfully attractive features were included–vitiated, however, by the sad fact that if you looked at the details, the renovated building envisaged would no longer actually fit on the lot where it is located.

    Similarly, the questions as to how the transition to simplicity might scale, and how it might overcome problems such as healthcare and security, proceed not from my assumptions “about what life should be” but from my assessment of “what humans en masse are, and do.”

    We are assuming sanity reigns. Any military grab of resources dooms us all. If enough come to understand this, they will disband the militaries of the world. Understand this, the call for cooperation is fractal: It must exist at every level.

    That is a very tall order, IMO.

  8. 158

    Killian, #142, said:

    Kevin: And what about wild areas, whether terrestrial or marine, and their associated ecological services?

    Killian: What about them? There is no actual question here.

    Well, let me expand the question to a more explicit format, then. You had assured me that we can ‘restore denuded areas’ in 5-10 years, expanding that in your later responses to say that that encompasses any area, by any number of people, with or without tools.

    (I have to say I flatly don’t believe the latter three points, though that’s a reaction, not an argument. To clarify the reaction, I’d say that in no other facet of life is accomplishment of a task independent of the means available to accomplish it, relative to the size of the task itself.)

    So, the question is, does our ability to ‘restore’ include all components of functioning ecosystems–including the ones that, in the past, our ancestors relied on for survival as resources?

    I was asking if we could ‘make it’ given the biological depletion we agree has been occurring–and asking from a position of some doubt. If you say yes, we can restore the wild earth as well as our own gardens and farms, then that answers my question in the affirmative–but also vastly expands both the task and our ability to accomplish it. Reassuring if true, I suppose, but unsettling to one contemplating the ‘how’–again, tasks and resources.

    You say that I err by assumptions about what life should be. But my assumptions–and I’d prefer the term ‘assessments’, as I at least have tried to look at what the world is, and how it works–seem to me to be about what is, not what it should be, nor what I would like it to be.

    It seems to me that your assumptions, rather, tend to the ideal–sanity should prevail; fractal awareness should emerge to facilitate change in a ground-up manner; we should be able to learn enough in 5 years to become ‘competents’ in a completely unfamiliar way of living. Well, if I were ordering things, they probably would. But I’m very doubtful that that is the way the world is actually ordered.

  9. 159

    Killian, #142–

    #125 Kevin McKinney said Killian called it “magical thinking”, but I think it’s only that if no practical effort is made to achieve it.

    Yet your critiques of simplicity suffer the same problem: If simplicity is not tried, how can it be achieved? You need to do better about consistency in applying your analysis to your own arguments, not just others’.

    I’ve never said that we shouldn’t ‘try’ simplicity. What I have said, in a nutshell, is that I don’t think we can rely on it in the relatively near term as sole mitigation strategy. I think that some aspects of the approach will probably be–hell, *are*–necessary in order to kick the ‘growth habit.’

    Indeed, I’ve asked time after time for examples and information about folks developing cultures and communities based on ‘simplicity’. Sometimes I even get some, and I have quite the file now of stuff on ag/gardening, food farming, and carbon sequestration in soils. The more sustainable practices can be ‘tried’, developed, critiqued, documented, dispersed to wider communities, and ultimately integrated, the better as far as I am concerned.

    But I think that we will not see mass adoption of such practices in 5 years. Or 10. Or probably even 20.

  10. 160

    zebra, #138–

    I’ve asked others and never gotten an answer; perhaps you could try: Why is having more humans than my minimum a desirable goal?

    I don’t think it is, particularly, other than perhaps a desire for a prudent margin of error–“optimizing” as opposed to “minimizing.” But probably that’s trifling, in any remotely practical sense.

    As I’ve said, I focus more on addressing the immediate need for mitigation.

  11. 161
    Killian says:

    #156 Kevin McKinney said Killian, #140–

    Kevin: First, thanks for a substantive and insult-free response.

    Killian: Don’t patronize me, it’s hypocritical and passive-aggressive. I am aggressive only in defense, unlike your words above inciting conflict.

    And he was doing so well there, for a brief, shining moment…

    No, Kevin, *you* were. But here you double-down on your self-importance and lack of awareness. Why not just stop? Was your comment I responded to useful? How would anyone not a child take it as anything other than patronizing? I had said nothing to anyone worthy of rebuke, yet… Keep telling yourself I’m the problem and you will never solve you.

    Good luck.

  12. 162
    Killian says:

    #157 Kevin McKinney said Killian, #142-3–

    I’ve read these responses with some care. Let me say again that I appreciate a substantive response, though sadly less insult-free than its predecessor.

    And there’s your third. I am not the problem. You are a hypocrite, and seem to be completely self-deluded on this point.

    On style:

    But that starts at places like this and getting people like you, who supposedly care about and advocate for change, to “get it,” but the resistance from virtually everyone posting on this site is palpable.

    Maybe if you insulted folks less you’

    And there is your fourth. Again, I am not the problem. You PC hypocrites are delusional. Groupthink at its absolute worst. Ostracizing those who you don’t like bc they will not kiss your arse.

    persuade more easily

    If you need a particular style or mode to learn, you are your own problem.

    the topics are already divisive by nature, given the stakes. Why make it harder for people to concede that you might have a point?

    Yes, why are you? Why do so many here and elsewhere? You were told your words were patronizing. Rather than reflecting on that, and

    You have to change your assumptions about what life should be. You have to start at tabla rasa and apply First Principles…. Let design emerge, don’t impose it. That changed my entire relationship to problem solving. Never start from your own assumptions.

    I think that one goes to a lot of the differences we are having.

    There is, I suppose, value in throwing out assumptions… However–at some point, assumptions, or choices, do have to be made. In a recent conversation, a friend… the renovated building envisaged would no longer actually fit on the lot where it is located.

    This is all non sequitur. What is your point? Why say this to someone who has already come to conclusions and started sharing them with the world?

    Similarly, the questions as to how the transition to simplicity might scale, and how it might overcome problems such as healthcare and security, proceed not from my assumptions “about what life should be” but from my assessment of “what humans en masse are, and do.

    Again this is your problem. Ignore it, or purposely choose it. at your peril. People must alter their relationships with each other and the planet.

    Understand this, the call for cooperation is fractal: It must exist at every level.

    That is a very tall order, IMO.

    But that is irrelevant. It has to be.

  13. 163
    Killian says:

    #154 nigelj said Killian @148

    OK heres how I think a 25% reduction in consumption would be achieved… purchasing more electrically efficient appliances, reducing waste

    Contradiction.

    buying fewer clothes and non essential appliances, insulating houses better, and building 25% smaller homes and so on. This is not hugely challenging for the majority of people in western countries. Please note its just a starting point, and could be increased in the future.

    This is nothing, and will be overwhelmed by population growth.

    You just arent making sense, because if you think 25% cuts can’t be suppported, how on earth do you support your own 80 – 90% cuts?

    Goodness… not what I said.

    Maybe I missunderstand you.

    LOL… yeah.

    I was pointing out the problem with your logic, not mine.

    This is the problem that internet chat, is hard for all of us on complex subjects, and I wish you would appreciate that, because its pretty obvious even with the best of people.

    I do. But you are clearly dishonest at times. Far too many Straw Men to be accidental. I watch what people do, not what they claim they do.

    I agree an economic contraction and crash is a risk. But a 25% contraction doesn’t have to mean a great depression

    Yes, it does. Period.

    and neither does zero gdp growth provided its phased in slowly over 20 years or so

    Sorry, but this is just wrong.

    But theres no alternative approach, because any form of simplification will reduce demand, and risk destabilisation

    But my conceptual framework replaces, providing alternatives, not just reductions.

    and capitalism will be around during the transition, because the system is very unlikely to change instantly.

    But who cares? What matters is that the new system is being built, not how long the old one hangs on:

    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
    To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

    ― R. Buckminster Fuller

    This is what I have done, not in trying to, but in following a set of principles and a process, and adding a few twists of my own, such as backcasting instead of forecasting, focusing on risk, not absolute rates of change, etc.

    I’m not going to discuss alternatives to capitalism, because the website has asked us not to discuss utopian economic systems

    This is a grave error. One cannot have this discussion that way, and, the use of “utopian” is pejorative, and misguided.

    however we don’t need to define a perfect alternative right now anyway.

    Why?

    We only have to push for change and recognise the failings in the current system and demand change, and things will evolve incrementally.

    You have yet to show this is a sane risk assessment.

    And alternative communities could definitely lead the way, but I see change happening simultaneously on several fronts. There’s no logical reason why it can’t.

    Who has said otherwise? However, it could also be suicidal. Huge amounts of resources, of all kinds, would be wasted on dead ends – like EVs.

    But you need to ask yourself how small communities will handle even a moderate level of backbone technology, without becoming somewhat more connected and less autonomous.

    Where is the conflict?

    “I have posted multiple supports for this number both in terms of means of calculating it and others who have come to the same conclusion.”

    OK I wasnt aware of that information. I accept you have attempted to calculate a number, but you appear to be assuming 90% is the right answer

    How is a calculation, supported on multiple independent fronts, an assumption? An assumption is the opposite of a calculation.

    Your calculation appears to be more related to a global redistribution of wealth from rich to poor countries. Some sort of redistribution makes sense, but doesnt really prove the environmental validity of 90% reductions.

    You pulled this out of your butt. I said, quite clearly, bio-regions.

    I think that could be harder than they claim.

    You keep making judgments like this without any basis. Who said it would not be hard? How many times have I repeated here simple, not easy?

    However, I would come back to my suggestion we start with promoting a 25% reduction phased in over 20 years as a starting goal. We can obviously increase it further towards 90% over time.

    This is a weird comment because it is self-evident that a process of change doesn’t leap from ) to 90 in a day. But to intentionally seek incrementalism inherently shows you think there are some kind of set of abstract points one can reach then continue. That sort of thinking has nothing to do with good regenerative design. Your point, essentially, is moot.

    Its impossible for me to see such things happening instantly with the vast majority of people and if they did it would cause considerable instability.

    Again, Straw Man. Nobody is saying instantly, nor anything like it.

    and costs are not prohibitive if you look at the calculations.

    There are no costs in a Commons. Ergo…

  14. 164
    SystemicCausation says:

    How Systemic Causation Affects Sustainability
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzGgIDEAAG0

    Killian suggests:
    You have to change your assumptions about what life should be. You have to start at tabla rasa and apply First Principles. Your conflicts arise from refusing to do this. You are ever conflicted because you start your analysis from where you are, from what is.

    Another way of saying this is the temporary suspension of existing beliefs and only then observing and thinking about what one sees objectively versus subjectively. Subjectivity being the #1 barrier to high quality science outputs.

    And so when Kevin states “what humans en masse are, and do” is remaining attached to existing beliefs of “what is.”

    The truth is, it isn’t necessarily true, because the objective evidence suggests something entirely different. Unfortunately, until someone sees this objective evidence they will not see it.

    A Catch 22. Another cliche precisely because there is a something to it.

  15. 165
    nigelj says:

    Cooperation, demilitarisation and 90% resource use reductions.

    Killian says “We are assuming sanity reigns. Any military grab of resources dooms us all. If enough come to understand this, they will disband the militaries of the world. Understand this, the call for cooperation is fractal: It must exist at every level.”

    More cooperation seems a desirable goal at any level both individually, locally and globally.If we dont cooperate it will be forced on us suddenly and in painful ways by circumstances. Its made particularly pertinent and essential by the climate change threat. No country will move on the climate issue, if it isn’t confident others are prepared to move, making global cooperation an essential goal with things like the Paris accord. The same principle applies at community levels and so on.

    The nuclear issue remains a huge threat to humaniity, because of the possibility of a mistake escalating towards disaster. A more cooperative world can only reduce this risk. Demilitarisation is a lofty ideal, but its well worth working towards surely?

    The question is really are cooperation and competition mutually exclusive? Both appear part of the human condition and to have value, so for anyone to suggest competition is toxic is unconvincing. I would suggests competition in any form is best seen as a “subset” of cooperation. If you understand this, everything else will fall into place.

    Killian, David Suzuki and some others promote a 90% reduction is use of energy and resources to solve climate, pollution and resource issue problems. This is the number they believe solves the finite resources issue, and that it’s a number that is also practically viable. Suzukis book bases this on increasing population, so straight away falls into the trap of not considering that both resource use and population can change and will likely change, so his number is likely to be unrealistic.

    They do not say how long this number would prolong life on this planet at that level of resource use, however 1000 years is a number often used in research studies as a basis.

    I think ideas like this need scrutiny and quantities are important. I definitely think we need to simplify and reduce resource use, and the question is by how much and what really makes sense?. This then gives us an understanding of how urgently we need to reduce population numbers. We have to juggle both variables at the same time.

    Taking an average middle class person in a developed country, here are some thoughts:

    1) Reducing electricity use by 90% would be challenging, because it would require substantial cuts to home heating, water heating and cooking, or alternatively it would require considerable investment in expensive and resoure intensive forms of highly efficient heating and cooling. I really wonder if some of these experts pull these numbers out of thin air, or are assuming a near subsistence lifestyle. A more realistic number looks like 25% – 50% given current technologies. However if anyone can prove me wrong fine, provided its with sensible facts and not stupid insinuations and empty rhetoric.

    2)Reducing food intake by 90% would not be feasible given the minimum recommended intake is 1500 calories per day and the average actual intake is about 2000 calories per day. Clearly 25% is a more realistic number on average.

    3)Reducing clothing by 90% would leave you with about one pair of clothes.

    4)Reducing quantity of technology by 90% would mean owning just the essentials like a small oven and fridge, if even that much. So 25% – 50% looks more realistic to me just intuitively speaking.

    5)Reducing the size of a house by 90% . This would mean “tiny houses” of about 10 – 15M2, which is not practical for families. 25% – 50% looks more realistic to me.

    Reducing use of transport fuels by 90% is a huge thing to do in a way that is workable, but clearly large reductions are still certainly possible.

    These sorts of things are important. You cannot just throw large very generally defined numbers around ar random like 90% reductions in “resource use” and expect to convince people.

  16. 166
    Mr. Know It All says:

    154 – nigelj

    Back in 2008-9 we had an economic contraction. Any data on how much consumption decreased during that period?

  17. 167
    Mr. Know It All says:

    155 – Zebra

    Um, no. Adding people to a national population is a population increase for that nation. Sorry. And no, we do not need greater diversity in the USA – no other country on earth has a population anywhere near as diverse as the USA.

  18. 168
    SystemicCausation says:

    Time to wake up?

    (who am I?)

    has grown accustomed to the unsettling feeling of standing virtually alone while speaking about a topic that he believes is of the utmost importance.

    It’s a very hollow feeling. If you believe that this is a matter of such consequence and to put in this kind of an effort, then to have it be in an empty room, it’s a little disconcerting

    the culmination of years of research and determination on his part, focused on a combination of disturbing new scientific results

    In the real world, in actual reality, we are long past any question as to the reality of climate change

    bookish to the point of being a geek, is obsessed with environmental issues, and is not content to just scratch the surface of a problem — he delves deep, traveling the country in order to understand the science and politics of global warming. He’s also a bit quirky.

    might not be the person you’d want to sit next to on a long distance flight, but he is definitely someone you want fighting for you

    I think it has been an often lonely undertaking but it started at a particularly bleak period

    So, I figured, let’s start talking about this on a regular basis.”

    provides a good lesson in sticking to a routine,

    has the benefit of having a sharp legal mind, which will help amplify his voice as the wave of climate-related litigation builds during the next few years.

    This has turned his gaze squarely on the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which allowed for unlimited corporate money and so-called “dark money” to flow into politics.

    the combination of shareholder pressure and legal pressure is going to bring the fossil fuel industry to the table faster than many others think. He described oil companies as “spooked” by the reality of having to present evidence of what they knew, and when they knew it, in a courtroom, as they may have to do in several pending cases nationwide.

    “… Courts over and over again in our history have been places where big ideas have been thought through because the political system was incapable of dealing with them

    21 young Americans are suing the federal government for depriving them of the right to a stable climate.

    says his work has been successful in other ways. He compares his efforts to serving as the pilot light of an oven, keeping it ready to turn on as soon as the conditions align and “it comes time to start cooking.”

    “very intentionally wanted to be the witness on the ground” to tell future generations exactly why they have not acted.

    “There’s a story that needs to be told, because when some coastal farmer in Malaysia or Madagascar or Sri Lanka has lost their farm and their village has had to go and there’s fighting for resources, all that stuff happens to somebody, to some kid, to some tribe, to some village, that stuff happens, and they’re mad and they want answers,

  19. 169
    SystemicCausation says:

    I see others have addressed this recently here. A new paper is out.

    Amazon deforestation is close to tipping point

    Scientists considered climate change and indiscriminate use of fire to calculate that deforestation rates ranging from 20% to 25% could turn Amazon’s hydrological cycle unable to support its ecosystem.

    Date:
    March 19, 2018
    Source:
    Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180319124212.htm

  20. 170
    zebra says:

    Mr KIA #167,

    I think it is OK for you not to get the complex math and physics around climate change, but it is really depressing to think that there are people who can’t do addition and subtraction commenting here.

    If you have one immigrant come in, and two “native” babies aren’t born, then the population goes down. Do you really not get that? Seriously?

    Also, there is no such thing as “enough” genetic diversity. There’s some number right now of (significant) variations in the global population as a whole, but it is not uniformly distributed. For example, people in Africa have higher genetic diversity than in Europe or the US, so it would be beneficial to have more interbreeding. It’s not something that would have a planned goal, like “eugenics”; normal couplings would work fine to move things along.

  21. 171
    Killian says:

    #158 Kevin McKinney said Killian, #142, said:

    Kevin: And what about wild areas, whether terrestrial or marine, and their associated ecological services? …with or without tools.

    (I have to say I flatly don’t believe the latter three points, though that’s a reaction, not an argument. To clarify the reaction, I’d say that in no other facet of life is accomplishment of a task independent of the means available to accomplish it, relative to the size of the task itself.)

    The first two points only indicate flexibility. We can fix and size problem. The last means we do not highly specialized tools. People can make their own tools, even. So, no, no special circumstances required.

    So, the question is, does our ability to ‘restore’ include all components of functioning ecosystems–including the ones that, in the past, our ancestors relied on for survival as resources?

    Yes, if still know what those were. Often if will mean doing the best we can with what we know. But “restore” here does not mean put back as it was at year YYYY. The “pristine Nature” myth is… a myth. We need functioning ecosystems that function for us and Nature. Where we *do* know what that looked like at some year YYYY, we can restore that given the species still exist and the climate is still appropriate. Often, restoration restores the former climate/weather function by restoring the hydrology, etc. If not, we simply move it to a functioning state that will support diversity and that at least approaches the best function we know of for that space.

    I was asking if we could ‘make it’ given the biological depletion we agree has been occurring–and asking from a position of some doubt.

    Remake it, not really. Make it, I think so, but the more we learn of the declines already, the more doubtful that becomes. None of us really knows where tipping points exist, and this is my strongest argument for simplicity: It takes very little time to not build something, Setting up water catchment, building soils, building a windmill or some solar panels, these things are easily accomplished within 5 years anywhere on the planet. It is literally only the choice not to that keeps us from simplicity within 5 to 10 years globally. I repeat, most of the planet is already there, but at a poor level of subsistence. They need very little to raise them above that to a comfortable subsistence.

    Death scares people. Once they realize we are quite literally talking possible extinction, I suspect minds will shift rather rapidly… precisely because they will then also understand the tipping point could be happening as we are talking, and once it comes, or enough of them come, more accurately, then there will be no going back and collapse will come, then possibly extinction.

    If you say yes, we can restore the wild earth as well as our own gardens and farms, then that answers my question in the affirmative–but also vastly expands both the task and our ability to accomplish it.

    Not really. The “wild” part mostly involves leaving it alone.A recent study found the fastest route to forest restoration/aforestation adjacent to an existing forest was to leave it alone. It was faster than human intervention. (However, I suspect that was non-regenerative restoration.)

    Reassuring if true, I suppose, but unsettling to one contemplating the ‘how’–again, tasks and resources.

    I don’t understand why it would be unsettling.

    It seems to me that your assumptions, rather, tend to the ideal–sanity should prevail; fractal awareness should emerge to facilitate change in a ground-up manner; we should be able to learn enough in 5 years to become ‘competents’ in a completely unfamiliar way of living.

    No, you have always misunderstood this. I do not operate from any assumptions at all. I operate from an analysis of what a sustainable aka regenerative world is. Then I describe that. Then I say what must happen for it to be achieved. I have never said this is an ideal in the sense you mean it; these are design parameters. It is, as simply as I can put it, what we *will* do *if* we want to survive… or perhaps to survive well is more accurate. I never said it will be easy, only that it is simple. But I think we do it by doing it, which is part of why gov’t isn’t necessary. We don’t need gov’t to *help* us grow a garden, we need gov’t to *let* us grow a garden. Thus, really, we need people in their communities to simply do it, then defy gov’t attempts to undo it.

    This is when I have described steps they start with gardens, water catchment, home and community, and starting a neighborhood organization that will *someday* stand together when the gov’t comes to tear down your work. The mistake now is asking permission. No. Don’t. Do. Do on a large enough scale, gov’t will have to change the law to fit the people, both locally and on larger scales.

    The clarifications helped to answer. Appreciated.

  22. 172
    Killian says:

    #159 Kevin McKinney said <bKillian, #142–

    #125 Kevin McKinney said Killian called it “magical thinking”, but I think it’s only that if no practical effort is made to achieve it.

    Yet your critiques of simplicity suffer the same problem: If simplicity is not tried, how can it be achieved? You need to do better about consistency in applying your analysis to your own arguments, not just others’.

    I’ve never said that we shouldn’t ‘try’ simplicity. What I have said, in a nutshell, is that I don’t think we can rely on it in the relatively near term as sole mitigation strategy.

    Why rely on anything other than an actual solution?

    The more sustainable practices can be ‘tried’, developed, critiqued, documented, dispersed to wider communities, and ultimately integrated, the better

    We are already past the testing stage.

    But I think that we will not see mass adoption of such practices in 5 years. Or 10. Or probably even 20.

    Not if everyone keeps saying, “Can’t be done!” certainly. 20 years is the shortest possible time to sub-300 ppm. It is not the most realistic. However, if we do not shoot for ideal, I suspect we will never get to realistic, either. Planned incrementalism is pulling on the tiger’s tail of tipping points.

  23. 173
    nigelj says:

    Killian @163

    Reducing consumption by 25% is not “nothing”, especially when I said it was only a starting point, and your replies of ” no it wont” etc and nothing more, and making sniggering supercilious comments aren’t helpful.

    “But my conceptual framework replaces, providing alternatives, not just reductions.”

    Yes I appreciate its a new way of thinking etc, and it has plenty of merit, however you still dont seem get my point, despite that I have said this three times. Your alternative will take time, even you admit 20 years, however the rest of us think much longer. Regardless, in the meantime, we will be reliant on the current system for essential services, so need to be careful not to destabilise it, yet we cannot entirely escape that risk. This is one reason why change needs to be incremental, and why a 25% reduction slowly phased in makes sense. Its a sort of dilemma or paradox. I think KM would see it. Sorry I cant think how to put it more clearly.

    I’m one of the few people giving you at least some support, so quite why you bite the hand that feeds eludes me. I will put it down to suspicion due to life experiences or something. Im just interested in the issues, trying to make sense of them, and I have no hidden agenda.

    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

    Fair enough, but it doesnt change what I have just said.

    “Who has said otherwise? However, it could also be suicidal. Huge amounts of resources, of all kinds, would be wasted on dead ends – like EVs.”

    Your opinion. I have not got enough proof that your approach is best, at least within 20 – 50 year time frames, so I think we should experiment and keep options open including EV’s.

    I have more confidence in your approach being substantial and longer term, but slower to evolve than you think, given how humanity seems to respond to things. Perhaps if sea level rose 10 metres in ten years change would happen faster in terms of lifestyles, simplification etc. It would shock people into action. The trouble with climate change and resource depeletion is they are slow processes right now anyway, so people arent energised and awake, if you know what I mean. It’s about psychology. I almost wish there was a sudden, shocking alarming jump in sea level rise just to get the message through.

    Regarding backbone technology, I will ask you a few simple questions, how do small communities handle complex things like manufacturing computers and trains and medicines? I’m assuming you envisage we have at least some of these things. They lend themselves to huge factories, complex supply networks etc, and cant be easily made at local craft scale. I’m not rubbishing your idea, Im trying to see if it would actually work. Or maybe it will just evolve naturally and sort itself.

    I have commented on the difficulty of 90% cuts elsewhere. But anyway we have to start somewhere, and thats the main point.

  24. 174
    nigelj says:

    Mr. Know It All @167

    “Um, no. Adding people to a national population (by immigration) is a population increase for that nation.”

    Not if the natural rate of reproduction is falling by the same ammount, and this does happen. And not if people are also leaving the country.

    So you can have smaller population with more immigration.

    Immigration is good, because it adds skills, racial and cultural diversity, connections between countries, awareness and reduces suspicions between different groups over time. It attracts global skills to where they will do the most good.

    The thing is to have controls on total numbers of immigrants, so economic systems have time to adjust, but rates of immigration into America have not been high, and theres no evidence they are overwhelming infrastructure. Studies show immigrant communites tend to be productive and with low crime.

    Obviously you dont want immigrants that have criminal backgrounds or poor language skills, or no job skills. No country needs to feel obliged to take people like that (apart form political refugees and humanitarian cases). I dont know why people struggle with the immigration issue, its not complicated.

    “And no, we do not need greater diversity in the USA – no other country on earth has a population anywhere near as diverse as the USA.”

    Actually no. The USA is down around 85th most diverse here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_ranked_by_ethnic_and_cultural_diversity_level

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/07/18/the-most-and-least-culturally-diverse-countries-in-the-world/

  25. 175
    Killian says:

    First there was bugpocalypse. Unsurprisingly, now comes a report of birdpocalypse. Next comes…?

    This report *will* be repeated elsewhere.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/21/catastrophe-as-frances-bird-population-collapses-due-to-pesticides

  26. 176
    Killian says:

    #165 nigelj said Cooperation, demilitarisation and 90% resource use reductions.

    Sorry, nigelj, and I truly mean no offense, but this post is simply not worth responding to. It makes it very clear how much you do not understand, however, and that’s what you most need to understand: How significant your deficits are.

    90% food reduction?

    You have *got* to do better than this.

  27. 177
    nigelj says:

    Killian @176,

    So you wont address my comments by saying I lack understanding. That’s a non answer, and utterly unconvincing. You need to seriously lift your game.

    You have not proven me wrong.

    You talk about 90% reductions without being in any way specific. I listed the simple, obvious issues most people would be likely to raise, and your non answer would satisfy nobody.

    If 90% reductions do not apply to the list of most common resource use I listed, what would they apply to? The man in the moon?

    And in what way was my specific evaluation wrong, item by item, and without twisting what I said or leaving bits out.

  28. 178
    Killian says:

    Sadly, I just noticed this snippet:

    #173 nigelj said Killian @163

    …making sniggering supercilious comments aren’t helpful.

    I made no such comments to you. You are paranoid, insecure. And we are done.

  29. 179
  30. 180
    nigelj says:

    Killian @171

    “Setting up water catchment, building soils, building a windmill or some solar panels, these things are easily accomplished within 5 years anywhere on the planet. ”

    Yes for a few thousands of people who can find the land, and who continue to borrow off the established system for healthcare and so on.

    What about billions of people? Billions live in cities, and arent going to be easily able to change their immediate environment, or find garden allotments, or buy plots of rural land to build on.

    Even if billions decided to radically change their lifestyles, it could take much longer, decades and decades to actually happen. And if it happens any faster, it could well crash the very economy they are dependent on for essential services during the change period.

    And it’s implausible that billions are going to easily agree to radical lifestyle changes. You say they would, if faced with extinction.

    I would say only imminent and proven extinction. Climate change and resource depletion are incredibly unlikely to cause human extinction in the next 20 – 50 years so its really only plausible for future generations of people. So extinction is some future possibility to add to asteroid impacts and nuclear war. Dont underestimate how selfish, stupid and uncaring some people are about future generations.

    Maybe Im being pessimistic and cynical. I do firmly believe change and ‘simplification’ will happen, but more slowly than you think. I do encourage everyone to at least make a start.

    However because of all this, imho climate change has to be dealt with by all weapons available,some decreases in consumption, population slowing and a lot of renewable energy. So we need to encourage all three and in abundance.

    Renewable energy will use mineral resources, and we just have to live with this and do it in the most efficient way, and encourage smaller automobiles etc. Resources are finite, but not quite as limited as deliberately scary and deceptive media headlines suggest.

    I agree more about restoring the land to a more natural former state, as much as practically possible.

    What do you think KM, if you are reading this?

  31. 181
    Killian says:

    Cherry picking is lying.

    Urban Dictionary: also known as: suppressed evidence, fallacy of incomplete evidence, argument by selective observation, argument by half-truth, card stacking, fallacy of exclusion, ignoring the counter evidence, one-sided assessment, slanting, one-sidedness

    None of us really knows where tipping points exist, and this is my strongest argument for simplicity: It takes very little time to not build something.[edit for punctuation] Setting up water catchment, building soils, building a windmill or some solar panels, these things are easily accomplished within 5 years anywhere on the planet. It is literally only the choice not to that keeps us from simplicity within 5 to 10 years globally. I repeat, most of the planet is already there, but at a poor level of subsistence. They need very little to raise them above that to a comfortable subsistence.

    Death scares people. Once they realize we are quite literally talking possible extinction, I suspect minds will shift rather rapidly… precisely because they will then also understand the tipping point could be happening as we are talking

  32. 182
    Adam Lea says:

    174:
    “Obviously you dont want immigrants that have criminal backgrounds or poor language skills, or no job skills. No country needs to feel obliged to take people like that (apart form political refugees and humanitarian cases). I dont know why people struggle with the immigration issue, its not complicated.”

    Unfortunately in the UK the tabloid trash has succeeded in framing immigrants as being the primary source of the UK’s problems, which is why Brexit was voted for and is going through. I agree that some immigration is good, and that the issues are either massively overblown or plain false, but a lot of people lap up a scapegoat, instead of do their own research into facts and figures, because the latter requires mental effort whereas it is much more convenient to be told what to think. It is like a repetition of Hitler and the Jews in WWII. Even in the case of refugees, there is hostility, with people saying we should look after our own first, billions going into foreign aid when elderly people freeze to death every winter, the usual appeals to emotion. What you have to remember is that people who contribute on this blog are largely scientists who have been trained to think objectively, and not accept a claim without doing the research first. The general population are not trained to think scientifically so primitive cognitive biases rule.

  33. 183
    zebra says:

    @Kevin M #160

    “focus more on mitigation”

    Yes, as I observed in my comment. And of course it is a necessary (but not sufficient) part of the solution. Still, I am obliged to be the noodge here and remind you and everyone that short term thinking is what got us in this pickle, eh.

    Since the gentle persuasion of the moderators hasn’t done much to get people to read more (carefully) rather than indulge their compulsion to get the most comments and most words out as fast as possible, I will check in from time to time, but spam-city is just not worth the hassle at this point. (You know those to whom I refer.)

  34. 184
    Killian says:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/19/water-shortages-could-affect-5bn-people-by-2050-un-report-warns

    The comprehensive annual study warns of conflict and civilisational threats unless actions are taken to reduce the stress on rivers, lakes, aquifers, wetlands and reservoirs.

    The World Water Development Report – released in drought-hit Brasília – says positive change is possible, particularly in the key agricultural sector, but only if there is a move towards nature-based solutions that rely more on soil and trees than steel and concrete.

    “For too long, the world has turned first to human-built, or ‘grey’, infrastructure to improve water management. In doing so, it has often brushed aside traditional and indigenous knowledge that embraces greener approaches,” says Gilbert Houngbo, the chair of UN Water, in the preface of the 100-page assessment. “In the face of accelerated consumption, increasing environmental degradation and the multi-faceted impacts of climate change, we clearly need new ways of manage competing demands on our freshwater resources.”

  35. 185
    Hank Roberts says:

    …making sniggering supercilious comments aren’t helpful.

    I made no such comments to you. You are paranoid, insecure. And we are done.

    Denial, followed by clear example of the behavior being denied.

    Bad bug. Please fix.

  36. 186

    Killian, #171-2–

    Again, thanks for some helpful responses. I can’t say all my doubts are resolved, but you have certainly clarified ‘how you see it,’ which was what I wanted to find out.

    I can’t tell if I’ve been sufficiently clear in describing my concern regarding human survival in a possible future stage of widespread collapse of ecological services. If we allow things to get that far, then it seems to me that our position could be quite analogous to past exemplars a la Jared Diamond, but worse: the Norse could hypothetically have survived in Greenland had they been willing to learn from the Inuit, but there is nothing that I can see that ensures that a cultural solution always exists for an arbitrarily bad ecological/climatic catastrophe. It’s that reflection, in part, that leads me to feel unease about your overall level of assurance about outcomes.

    Take, for example, this bit:

    It takes very little time to not build something. Setting up water catchment, building soils, building a windmill or some solar panels, these things are easily accomplished within 5 years anywhere on the planet. It is literally only the choice not to that keeps us from simplicity within 5 to 10 years globally. I repeat, most of the planet is already there, but at a poor level of subsistence. They need very little to raise them above that to a comfortable subsistence.

    I love that first statement, because it so succinctly points out the fact–so often overlooked by ‘skeptics’ of various sorts–that we are ‘doing’ a lot routinely now that might better be termed ‘undoing’ in environmental terms. But questions immediately come in for me in the next sentence, like this:

    Setting up water catchment
    [easily done, OK, but what if your hydrology isn’t reliable, say, because the glaciers up stream are disappearing],

    building soils
    [yes, pretty bombproof provided you’ve got water],

    building a windmill or some solar panels
    [possible with varying combinations of talent and/or money now and in the near future, but dependent over the medium-to-long-term on a technological/economic ‘ecosystem’],

    these things are easily accomplished within 5 years anywhere on the planet.

    Let’s take my household as a ‘sanity check’ example. It’s our goal to be producing a much higher percentage of our own food and energy and generating much less waste within the next 5 years, and I’m pretty sure we can do that. But we’ll still be far from anything like self-sufficiency: we won’t be producing our own fiber, clothing, or tools and we’ll still be relying on various and sundry services (including financial, maintenance, and healthcare services) from the larger economy. And we’ve been working toward these goals for a while. It’s not that hard to take some steps; completing the journey is quite another story.)

    Another question comes in for me here:

    I repeat, most of the planet is already there, but at a poor level of subsistence.

    I think it’s not easy to be certain about this, but if I take as a rough proxy the proportion of the planet that’s urbanized now, that’s not how it looks to me. Take this link:

    http://blogs.worldbank.org/opendata/africa-s-urban-population-growth-trends-and-projections

    –79% of the South American and Caribean population is urban now.
    –Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa weigh in at 60% or so.
    –The majority of global population has been urban since 2008, and was estimated to be 3.8 billion in 2013.
    –And the relatively least urbanized region, sub-Saharan Africa, is the one that’s urbanizing fastest; Nigeria alone already has an urban population of 80 million.

    That’s why I tend to think that there are an awful lot of people now who are highly dependent on ‘the machine,’ and who might have significant challenges to adopting ‘simplicity’–even though I’d agree that many might well be able to take some steps to ‘simplify.’ Am I missing a big point here, or is there some reason to think that those urban populations have a large capacity to either move or to simplify in place?

    All of which, I hope, helps make clear why I am ‘unsettled’.

    This was clarifying:

    I do not operate from any assumptions at all. I operate from an analysis of what a sustainable aka regenerative world is. Then I describe that. Then I say what must happen for it to be achieved. I have never said this is an ideal in the sense you mean it; these are design parameters. It is, as simply as I can put it, what we *will* do *if* we want to survive… or perhaps to survive well is more accurate. I never said it will be easy, only that it is simple.

    So if I’ve got it right, this part is independent from the bit just discussed: the solution is the solution, regardless of how easy or difficult, or fast or slow, implementation might be. It just is what it is. Well, that’s fair enough; certainly there are lots of real world cases where something analogous happens: if your roof is leaking, the steps to repair it are not necessarily dependent upon either what you can do or what you can pay for; and consequently, there are lots of folks out there living with a leaky roof.

    Where this bothers me is the intersection with near-term planning: what if your probable adoption window turns out to be too optimistic by a factor of two, and it turns out that 40 years is the ‘shortest possible time’ to sub-300? Or 100? While, to the best of my recollection, you have some numerical research results supporting the projection, I don’t think one could yet call the estimates anything like definitive. And if there’s no ‘Plan B,’ as zebra put it, then I’d really like good data when selecting my ‘Plan A.’

    Or again: you seem to see fear as a primary motivator in comments such as this one:

    Death scares people. Once they realize we are quite literally talking possible extinction, I suspect minds will shift rather rapidly… precisely because they will then also understand the tipping point could be happening as we are talking, and once it comes, or enough of them come, more accurately, then there will be no going back and collapse will come, then possibly extinction.

    But how soon can we expect such a shift in attitudes? I quite agree that it’s apt to be highly nonlinear, but it makes a big difference in climatic terms whether the tipping point kicks in in 2020 or 2040. In general, it seems dangerous to me, in that we’d be depending upon circumstances we only influence via the damage we do to planetary systems to change the behaviors causing a big chunk of the damage–and we’d be doing so in the context of a system where we know consequences can lag drivers by decades. That would seem to me to bias things toward a scenario in which action comes too late to be as helpful as it could have been.

    So my conclusion would be that we need to be pursuing macro-solutions to mitigate the emissions of ‘the machine’ at the same time that we implement and develop the sorts of lifeways that you are talking about. (Which is more or less what I’m trying to do in my own life.)

  37. 187
    Frustrated One says:

    “In addition, neither candidate has fully embraced the Democratic Party’s push for climate regulation, a sticking point for miners.”

    “The Democratic National Committee is not endorsing candidates before the primary votes, but the organization likes what it sees in coal country.

    “’Focusing on middle class families, on American workers, in these Appalachian and more rural areas is something that is successful for Democratic candidates to run on,’ said Elizabeth Renda, a DNC spokeswoman.”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-coal-endorsements-exclus/exclusive-u-s-miners-union-to-endorse-two-more-democrats-in-coal-country-idUSKBN1GY1YM?feedType=RSS&feedName=newsOne&google_editors_picks=true

    I don’t know all the details, but I don’t like this waffeling, apparently anything for votes strategy. We ought not be compromising on environmental matters. I understand why they are doing it, but the DNC needs to make clear that they are foresquare against coal. My suggestion would be to clearly state that, while being 100% anti-coal, they are resolutely for the financial interests of the coal miner. Perhaps retraining into other, clean energy industries is the solution. Otherwise how are we ever going to win this war if our standards are so situational?

  38. 188

    Mitigating, mitigating:

    https://cleantechnica.com/2018/03/22/coal-plant-development-continues-drop-second-year-straight/

    Maybe most importantly, based on the two decades long trend of coal retirements, the authors of the report predict that the global fleet of coal-fired power plants will begin to decline in 2022.

    “From a climate and health perspective, the trend toward a declining coal power fleet is encouraging, but not happening fast enough,” said Ted Nace, director of CoalSwarm. “Fortunately, mass production is cutting solar and wind costs much faster than expected, and both financial markets and power planners worldwide are taking notice.”

  39. 189
    SystemicCausation says:

    Mother Superior’s PR Officer #185

    Cherry picking is lying.
    Urban Dictionary: also known as: suppressed evidence, fallacy of incomplete evidence, argument by selective observation, argument by half-truth, card stacking, fallacy of exclusion, ignoring the counter evidence, one-sided assessment, slanting, one-sidedness

    It is a very obvious Bad Bug. Please fix.

    #182 says: What you have to remember is that people who contribute on this blog are largely scientists (sic ????????) who have been trained (sic ????) to think objectively, and not accept a claim without doing the research (sic ?????) first. The general population are not trained to think scientifically so primitive cognitive biases rule.

    Scientists are in the general population and having a piece of paper on the wall asserting training in a single field is not evidence of being able to think scientifically or rationally or sanely their entire life.

    Scientific thinking is not necessarily the highest form of thought. Science is a process, a discipline. Doing a degree is no guarantee for practicing such a learn-able skill throughout life across all domains. Choosing a life partner and being a good parent and possessing high moral and ethical standards in life is not a guarantee of success for scientists any more than anyone else in the population. Don’t believe me? Go read the Research on these matters such as Psychopathy predominance across society and the suicide rate of Psychiatrists.

    Repeat: Cherry picking is lying.

    Urban Dictionary: also known as: suppressed evidence, fallacy of incomplete evidence, argument by selective observation, argument by half-truth, card stacking, fallacy of exclusion, ignoring the counter evidence, one-sided assessment, slanting, one-sidedness.

  40. 190
    SystemicCausation says:

    181 Killian

    It’s a strange world. In societies there are all kinds of ‘tribes’ and subgroups. They operate according to their own self-referential standards. Those standards are programmed into each member of the tribe as early in life as possible. To switch from one tribe to another requires a period of training and passing internalized graduations or steps to approval of acceptance in the new tribe. A little like initiation ceremonies, some overt others more subtle but nevertheless relentless. Some may compare this to a form of mental programming by the peer group. Or what has been called socialization processes. Recalcitrants and the rebellious are typically ejected from the tribe during this process.

    Problems arise when a member of another tribe whose socialization has been very different accidentally but with good faith stumbles upon the territory of such a tribe. Rule #1 is defend your territory your tribe. Rule #2 is see Rule #1 and so on.

    One can say “Let me say again that I appreciate a substantive response, though sadly less insult-free than its predecessor.”

    Hypothetically it is not ok to say “”Let me say again that I appreciate when you’re substantive, though sadly less so when you’re an insulting creep.”

    One cannot say:
    Killian: Don’t patronize me, it’s hypocritical and passive-aggressive. I am aggressive only in defense, unlike your words above inciting conflict.

    But one can say:
    Your comments are patronizing, hypocritical, insulting and offensive to me. I will defend myself against biased conflict inciting passive-aggressive comments and all unjustified unproven insubstantial opinions as yours are above.

    One cannot say: You’re the resident over-reactive passive aggressive literal fool here.

    But one can say: I get the feeling that you might be the resident over-reactive literally-minded agro-bot here?

    Or one could say instead in response to a passive aggressive insulting fool:
    Your comments, your assertions and your demands are stupid and offensive to me.

    That’s perfectly OK in a particular tribe within science and academia. Of course Killian, both styles are overtly offensive, abusive and insulting. Both ridicule the other. One is quite acceptable, the alternative is not.

    Which is why comments like this next one are deemed fine and not in anyway ad hominem , nor offensive or personally abusive.
    [Response: Judith’s ongoing confusion with the issue of attribution and her inability to provide any quantitative reasoning to support her claims is the subject of previous discussions. Note that (somewhat confusingly) she *assumes* the attribution is 100% in her papers on estimating climate sensitivity. – gavin]

    Even though they are.

    It’s a fine line Killian.

  41. 191
    SystemicCausation says:

    181 Killian, an artistic interpretation of my prior comments are beautifully explained here: The Architect’s Sketch:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RicaXxiU1WM

    Unfortunately some tribes and populations in some nations are not as good as some others at grasping the truths found in effective Satire. Sophistry tends to me far more compelling for them no matter how nonsensical and unscientific such beliefs may in fact be. Men with handkerchief hats is a metaphor for how the general public are generally viewed by those in ivory towers btw.

    Or to put it another Killian:
    All generalizations are false. Including this one.

  42. 192
    SystemicCausation says:

    It might help to have the ad hom fallacy defined, because it is a hole many fall into by misusing it as an inappropriate argument against others which does not in fact fit the definition.

    ad hominem
    You attacked your opponent’s character or personal traits in an attempt to undermine their argument.

    From yourlogicalfallacyis.com
    Ad hominem attacks can take the form of overtly attacking somebody, or more subtly casting doubt on their character or personal attributes as a way to discredit their argument. The result of an ad hom attack can be to undermine someone’s case without actually having to engage with it.

    Example: After Sally presents an eloquent and compelling case for a more equitable taxation system, Sam asks the audience whether we should believe anything from a woman who isn’t married, was once arrested, and smells a bit weird.

    Please note in the example the difference between “presents an eloquent and compelling case for” and a snide remark, blatant ridicule, an intentional insult, or a false opinionated belief about X or a person you are arguing with. A big difference.

    An ad hom response to the former is inappropriate, but an ad hom response to the latter is quite appropriate and exceedingly human, rational and logical.

    One might even expect that responding to disrespectful and abusive comments and the actions of others that negatively one’s sense of self, in a similar form to how they were delivered, has a sound logical basis and is in fact reflected in more than a century of accumulated science and academic rigor.

    Therefore saying things like “…making sniggering supercilious comments aren’t helpful” is not actually helpful and it surely is not part of “presenting an eloquent and compelling case for anything”.

    As such, comments like that deserve whatever type of insult or ridicule in response. For example: “I made no such comments to you. You are paranoid, insecure. And we are done.”

    Because that is not an ad hominem attack of an opponent’s character or personal traits in an attempt to undermine their argument – because what had been said before and before and even before that, did not fit the context of having a reasonable, respectful or logical argument about X in the first place.

    Such details matter. Being mindful of the ability of others to remember the recent and distant past matters even more.

    Having a good memory is not enhanced by the process training of students in science nor any other field. But it is an overt sign and a more useful yardstick for determining above normal intelligence.

  43. 193
    nigelj says:

    Kevin McKinney @186, you appear to be saying if we put all or most of our focus on simplification and it fails we have missed our window of opportunity for renewable energy? This I would totally agree with, which is why I said we have to target the climate issue with all weapons available especially renewable energy, and see how this progresses for perhaps the next decade.

    It’s about incrementalism and experiment (but of a rapid sort).

    Killian @181, you go on about cherry picking and equate it with lies. If anyone cherrypicks you do, because you repeatedly quote parts of my comments out of context, leaving out just one word sometimes, enough to completely distort the meaning. I quote people in good faith.

    You go on about people already living a simple subsistance existance which most people would take to mean rural farmers or urban slum dwellers, and ignore people living in cities, particularly apartment buildings. This is cherrypicking.

    The issue of concern is not rural people in poor or developing countries, or even in rural areas of western countries, so why even waste words on this? The problem is people in cities (particularly apartment buildings) and for them change will obviously be challenging. It will be challenging even for people in suburban environments because we are talking about far more than just a vegetable garden out the back. I have raised this several times, and can only conclude you are in denial. I’m perfectly happy to be shown to be wrong if there are plausible solutions over short time frames, however it looks more like a decades long project, so hence the need to put plenty of focus on renewable energy.

    Our cities are also designed around a complex network of transport systems and services jobs etc, and changing this quickly could be very challenging, to say the least.

    However I acknowledge poor countries can improve their lot with simple improvements in technology like a few solar panels. The problem is really that most of the economic growth in these countries gets captured by corrupt politicians and corrupt elites.

  44. 194
    Killian says:

    #190 SystemicCausation said 181 Killian

    One can say… One cannot say… But one can say… One cannot say…

    Yeah, I can. I did. Because it is accurate. To say what is accurate and true cannot be said is nonsense. When I get to the point i carefully craft my comments to pass some PC-approved rubric rather than be straightforward and honest, please shoot me. I leave such talk to peanuts.

    ++++++++

    #186 Kevin McKinney said Killian, #171-2–

    Again, thanks for some helpful responses. I can’t say all my doubts are resolved, but you have certainly clarified ‘how you see it,’ which was what I wanted to find out.

    The answers often depend on the questions, no? Explain how to save the world is a bit broad, and closer to how the question is usually framed here. It’s impossible to answer in this form.

    I can’t tell if I’ve been sufficiently clear in describing my concern regarding human survival in a possible future stage of widespread collapse of ecological services.

    You have, but your concern and your prescriptions have not been well-matched from my perspective.

    Take, for example, this bit:

    It takes very little time to not build something. Setting up water catchment, building soils, building a windmill or some solar panels, these things are easily accomplished within 5 years anywhere on the planet. It is literally only the choice not to that keeps us from simplicity within 5 to 10 years globally. I repeat, most of the planet is already there, but at a poor level of subsistence. They need very little to raise them above that to a comfortable subsistence.

    I love that first statement, because it so succinctly points out the fact–so often overlooked by ‘skeptics’ of various sorts–that we are ‘doing’ a lot routinely now that might better be termed ‘undoing’ in environmental terms.

    In terms of restoration, yes. In terms of building new systems, no. That literally everything we are building out (wind generators) to cease using other things (coal) are themselves unsustainable is a huge issue. As I tried to explain to a peanut recently, if you suck up resources building something that cannot continue to be used indefinitely, you aren’t gaining, you are losing, wasting, because there are less-consumptive options.

    But, to get directly to the comment you made, my actual meaning with that first sentence is the concern over time for implementation of simplicity is overblown by a huge margin on this forum. To stop doing things does not require building things, or building far simpler things. Mostly it means using existing things differently. There was a peanuttle comment about apartment dwellers dying. Why? They can’t build a rocket stove and set the flue out the window and seal it somehow? Of bundle up like an Inuit? Or… or… or…. if you get my drift. Etc. Most of what we need to do is really a matter of not doing and rearranging.

    But questions immediately come in for me in the next sentence, like this:

    Setting up water catchment
    [easily done, OK, but what if your hydrology isn’t reliable, say, because the glaciers up stream are disappearing],

    You can’t separate the two. And I can’t answer your question. Design is place-based. I do not know how much they can reduce use, capture from rainfall, etc. Some people will move. There already are and will be climate refugees. But, if everyone were to take a regenerative approach, I’d guess we could, in an ideal world, reduce those refugees by an order of magnitude because they could adapt in place.

    building soils
    [yes, pretty bombproof provided you’ve got water],

    Not really. Adding carbon multiplies available water exponentially. You create the water by building soil. You create rain by growing a forest. Etc. Of course, these things take time, but if you can subsist for 5 years while building soil carbon, you have the chance to get to abundance. Or you may have to move. I cannot say without being at the location in question, or having extensive information about it from people there.

    building a windmill or some solar panels
    [possible with varying combinations of talent and/or money now and in the near future, but dependent over the medium-to-long-term on a technological/economic ‘ecosystem’

    Sure. I have never said otherwise. But this is why part of the process must be creating and claiming and defending Commonses. A commons requires no financing. If one reduces energy consumption 90%, one needs very little generation. A single wind generator or 4 or 5 solar panels. This can be done DIY quickly, simply, and for under $1,000.

    these things are easily accomplished within 5 years anywhere on the planet.

    First, “these things” means alternative choices, not those specific things…. because design is place-based.

    Let’s take my household as a ‘sanity check’ example. It’s our goal to be producing a much higher percentage of our own food and energy and generating much less waste within the next 5 years, and I’m pretty sure we can do that. But we’ll still be far from anything like self-sufficiency:

    False premise: Self-reliance, not self-sufficiency. I have said repeatedly, community, networked communities, within bio-region. You have lots of help, potentially. There is no reason for all specialization to disappear.

    So, why are you doing this alone rather than as part of your community?

    we won’t be producing our own fiber, clothing, or tools and we’ll still be relying on various and sundry services (including financial, maintenance, and healthcare services) from the larger economy. And we’ve been working toward these goals for a while. It’s not that hard to take some steps; completing the journey is quite another story.)

    Because you are trying to remain part of the current economy. You aren’t even trying not to be, you’re just reducing your reliance on it. There is a huge gulf between what you are doing and what I have suggested. I have said before, more than once: Start a garden, start capturing water, start a community governance structure. These are three concurrent steps that can be taken by many. Two of them can be taken by every household, all without any national policy or gov’t participation. This is where you start, not where you end.

    I repeat, most of the planet is already there, but at a poor level of subsistence.

    I think it’s not easy to be certain about this, but if I take as a rough proxy the proportion of the planet that’s urbanized now, that’s not how it looks to me.

    Food can be grown in cities. Water can be captured. Commonses claimed. A city is a deathtrap if not considered within the bio-regional planning. Urbanization just makes it more so. Again: What are all those people going to do in those cities? Most of the jobs will no longer exist long-term, so claim what is universal: Land, water, right to food. Reverse the trend.

    And, even though urban, these people are often living in shanty towns or on a tiny income of $2/day or less. This is what I mean, not just that there are people living as subsistence farmers. But the reality is we need to move closer to the $2 people rather than they moving closer to us. It wouldn’t take much to raise them to a level of relative comfort with a little (community) energy, rediscovering their local TEK and planning and organizing together. Stable food, water and shelter is **everybody’s** first goal. They can get there far faster, cheaper and easier than we can.

    All of which, I hope, helps make clear why I am ‘unsettled’

    I remind you, simple, not easy.

    This was clarifying:

    I do not operate from any assumptions at all. I operate from an analysis of what a sustainable aka regenerative world is…

    So if I’ve got it right, this part is independent from the bit just discussed: the solution is the solution, regardless of how easy or difficult, or fast or slow, implementation might be. It just is what it is.

    Yes. It does not matter what we wish it were or could be, only what it is. Then you design to that.

    Where this bothers me is the intersection with near-term planning: what if your probable adoption window turns out to be too optimistic by a factor of two, and it turns out that 40 years is the ‘shortest possible time’ to sub-300? Or 100?

    It’s not wrong. We’re just very unlikely to move that fast. But that doesn’t change what you, yourself, just observed: It is what it is; we will succeed or fail. At this late date, it gets ever more binary.

    I don’t think one could yet call the estimates anything like definitive.

    Creating sustainable homesteads or communities is a 5 – 7 year project. Thus, in theory, the entire planet can hit that time frame. That, then, should be the goal. Of course we will fail to hit the goal… again and again and again. But if you shoot for 40, you’ll hit 200… and then die.

    Do a search on establishing a homestead, then extrapolate. There was a great piece on theoildrum on this. More than one, I think. The archives are still there, I believe, and are searchable.

    Drawdown cannot be separated from simplifying, so there is little point discussing it that way. Whatever the time line for simplicity is, it will be that + ppm/year of sequestration to get GHGs back to 260 or so. 20 years is possible, but highly unlikely. However, i keep pushing this to make the point: If we act, we can save ourselves. Shoot for the least bad, settle for whatever you end up actually achieving.

    And if there’s no ‘Plan B,’ as zebra put it, then I’d really like good data when selecting my ‘Plan A.

    Take global arable (farming) land + areas of reclamation + yards, parks, golf courses, etc. + areas to be greened not currently or in the past used for food production x % C/year added in soils and biota. Subtract that from 80 – 90% fewer emissions than today. Divide into 160 (ppm above pre-industrial) and that tells you your time line.

    Or again: you seem to see fear as a primary motivator

    But how soon can we expect such a shift in attitudes?

    1. The true risk. 2. True statements on what sustainable is. 3. Solution set. 4. Benefits of solution set. 5. There really is no option, so…

    I quite agree that it’s apt to be highly nonlinear, but it makes a big difference in climatic terms whether the tipping point kicks in in 2020 or 2040.

    But not in terms of risk because we do not know, and that is exactly the problem. Thus, it makes no difference except that if it comes later, we endure far fewer consequences.

    In general, it seems dangerous to me, in that we’d be depending upon circumstances we only influence via the damage we do to planetary systems to change the behaviors causing a big chunk of the damage–and we’d be doing so in the context of a system where we know consequences can lag drivers by decades. That would seem to me to bias things toward a scenario in which action comes too late to be as helpful as it could have been.

    This is a bit of a word salad for me, but I think the comment above answers it.

    So my conclusion would be that we need to be pursuing macro-solutions to mitigate the emissions of ‘the machine’ at the same time that we implement and develop the sorts of lifeways that you are talking about. (Which is more or less what I’m trying to do in my own life.)

    I don’t see the logic. We don’t know how fast change is coming, so we must act as if it is already here. How does slowing the shift to regenerative help?

    Good convo.

    Cheers

  45. 195
    nigelj says:

    Systemic Causation @192

    “Therefore saying things like “…making sniggering supercilious comments aren’t helpful” is not actually helpful and it surely is not part of “presenting an eloquent and compelling case for anything”.”

    I disagree. If someone is being personal like that it needs to be pointed out, otherwise how do you expect it would ever stop?

    I didn’t need to quote examples, because examples are obvious for everyone to see and I have quoted them before. You have possibly come in part way through an ongoing exchange and should perhaps read back quite a long way.

    Just a general comment not directed at you really. Killian is always whining about people he thinks are lying about him or putting words in his mouth, about a dozen people. It’s nonsense. I have to my knowledge never said “Killian says abc, when he has actually said xyz.” I quote part of his posts when replying, so as not to fill pages and pages with large blocks of text, and nothing more than that.

    People often put words in my mouth, and I dont accuse them of lying and I dont go ballistic. I just patiently say its not what I said, and I focus my time efforts on clarifing the issue. Killian never clarifies issues, and imho he uses accusations of lying to dodge issues. However think what you like.

    Thank’s for the Monty Python video link its hilarious.

  46. 196

    nigel, #193–

    Kevin McKinney @186, you appear to be saying if we put all or most of our focus on simplification and it fails we have missed our window of opportunity for renewable energy? This I would totally agree with, which is why I said we have to target the climate issue with all weapons available especially renewable energy, and see how this progresses for perhaps the next decade

    Almost–I’m saying that we risk missing the 2 C window. I think if we do what you suggest then our chances of making that window probably increase.

    Killian, #194–

    Take global arable (farming) land + areas of reclamation + yards, parks, golf courses, etc. + areas to be greened not currently or in the past used for food production x % C/year added in soils and biota. Subtract that from 80 – 90% fewer emissions than today. Divide into 160 (ppm above pre-industrial) and that tells you your time line.

    Mmm. But the 80-90% fewer emissions is pretty much assumed in a vacuum. You can make it a design assumption (indeed that may be what you’re doing here–I’m not entirely sure), but then the question will arise as to what that actually implies for people’s lives? (I know, if that’s what we have to do, then that’s what we have to do–but people will still ask, at least until we get to the ‘last minute’, and they must buy in.) In addition to which, the C sequestration number seems to be seriously underdetermined at this point, which would make the calculation pretty tough.

    Even more seriously, though, this calculation ignores everything leading up to having a preponderance of ‘competents’ in regenerative living. That, too, seems pretty seriously underdetermined at this point. And it’s that ‘not knowing’ that unsettles me WRT to the 2 C window. Is it really wise to pin everything on a strategy for which critical parameters are yet unknown?

    I’d argue that we can lengthen the runway for simplicity by mitigating with everything we’ve got now. Granted, it’s a frustrating process, and can’t be claimed to be a brilliant success so far. But there are tangible glimmers of progress, as I see it, and it’s a much easier ‘ask’ in terms of immediate behavioral change. Many times it’s wise to take the low-hanging fruit.

    Switching gears, I think I can clarify matters discussed in the last part of your comment–the bits starting here:

    Kevin: I quite agree that it’s apt to be highly nonlinear, but it makes a big difference in climatic terms whether the tipping point kicks in in 2020 or 2040.

    Killian: But not in terms of risk because we do not know, and that is exactly the problem. Thus, it makes no difference except that if it comes later, we endure far fewer consequences.

    Evidently, you took “the tipping point” to refer to climatic tipping points–very understandably, I hasten to add; my reference was not clear as stated. (Sorry about that; I can’t tell you how hard my dissertation advisor worked to get me to do better on making sure my internal referents were clear, nor how frequently in the decades since then I’ve come up short–or more gratifyingly, narrowly avoided coming up short–on that same measure.)

    Anyway, what I was actually referring to was the public perception ‘tipping point’ of widespread consensus that climate change poses an existential threat to civilization. Accordingly, my logic was that, should that tipping point arrive in 2040, we’d be deep in the (non-) mitigative soup.

    It’s sort of a ‘moral hazard’ argument about simplification, and in a way it’s the flip-side of your moral hazard argument about undercommitting to simplification.

  47. 197
    nigelj says:

    Killian @194 and also Keven McKinney

    “It takes very little time to not build something. Setting up water catchment, building soils, building a windmill or some solar panels, these things are easily accomplished within 5 years anywhere on the planet. It is literally only the choice not to that keeps us from simplicity within 5 to 10 years globally. I repeat, most of the planet is already there, but at a poor level of subsistence. They need very little to raise them above that to a comfortable subsistence.”

    Imho this is mainly true only for developing countries with mostly rural based populations and shanty towns and slums. They are already living a relatively simple life to use your terminology, so focusing on them is hardly the point. Other than to say we should help them improve their lot where we can.

    It is much harder for city dwellers anywhere in the world. Over 90 million people globally live in highrise apartments, and hundreds of millions in semi detached houses especially in western countries. They can’t easily attach on enough solar panels, build windmills, grow vegetables and bicycle to work or find rural allotments and so on. It is easier for people living in detached suburban homes, but the challenges remain pretty huge even for them.

    If people sell their homes, to move to rural areas that can only mean rural people are buying their homes cancelling out any environmental advantage. Do you expect them to just abandon their homes, and all the equity in them?

    It’s not so easy. You are looking at a decades long process or nearer 100 years. Imho it is feasible in principle, but it will take time so hence the need for an immediate push for mass renewable energy.

    “In terms of restoration, yes. In terms of building new systems, no. That literally everything we are building out (wind generators) to cease using other things (coal) are themselves unsustainable is a huge issue. As I tried to explain to a peanut recently, if you suck up resources building something that cannot continue to be used indefinitely, you aren’t gaining, you are losing, wasting, because there are less-consumptive options.”

    The solar panels and windmills you advocated in another comment are NOT SUSTAINABLE either! Talk about a contradiction.

    The rest of your comment implies to me that you want to not alter the planet at all, which is not a plausible approach for humanity, if it wants to exist at more than stone age level. I suggest we are stuck altering the planet quite radically, and the only practical approach is to limit things that obviously cause damage or blatantly waste resources and try and restore wetlands, and protect conservation areas and existing forests and green cities better.

    We are stuck using non renewable resources like minerals, unless you are suggesting we go back to wooden hand tools. All we can do is try to do it efficiently, and use them for things that really matter.

    “But, to get directly to the comment you made, my actual meaning with that first sentence is the concern over time for implementation of simplicity is overblown by a huge margin on this forum. To stop doing things does not require building things, or building far simpler things. Mostly it means using existing things differently. There was a peanuttle comment about apartment dwellers dying. Why? They can’t build a rocket stove and set the flue out the window and seal it somehow? Of bundle up like an Inuit? Or… or… or…. if you get my drift. Etc. Most of what we need to do is really a matter of not doing and rearranging.”

    So now you are shifting the goalposts. So have your claims about cutting consumption by 90% been abandoned?”

    Building wood stoves in highrise towers is a serious fire risk, is not practically plausible, and would cause serious smoke problems for dwellers in apartments above, and to be scaled up would require burning vast areas of existing forest. Its nonsensical. These devices also use sophisticated technology and metals so how do you reconcile this with your desire to reduce technology?

    Expecting people to survive by rugging up with practically no heating is nonsensical. If we have to live like that to conserve resources for future generations, they can take their chances as far as Im concerned. You have GOT to have a better solution than that.

    “But, if everyone were to take a regenerative approach, I’d guess we could, in an ideal world, reduce those refugees by an order of magnitude because they could adapt in place.”

    This assumes a regenerative approach allows a huge level of adaptation. I would like to see far more hard evidence, and a lot less assertions.

    “Not really. Adding carbon multiplies available water exponentially. You create the water by building soil. ”

    This doesn’t make sense. Are you talking about better conserving water?

    “You create rain by growing a forest. Etc. Of course, these things take time, but if you can subsist for 5 years while building soil carbon, you have the chance to get to abundance. Or you may have to move. I cannot say without being at the location in question, or having extensive information about it from people there.”

    This makes more sense. The trouble is scaling up forests massively has rather obvious limitations. And its all about the potential to scale up and this needs serious consideration.

    “A commons requires no financing. If one reduces energy consumption 90%, one needs very little generation. A single wind generator or 4 or 5 solar panels. This can be done DIY quickly, simply, and for under $1,000.”

    Right now alternative communities trying to create a commons have to buy land or scavenge waste land. Or are you expecting everyone to just give away their existing ownership rights to some communal organisation? Because its hard to see this happening at scale, and certainly not within 5 years or even 20 years. However the principle itself is not necessarily wrong.

    Obviously many thing are possible if you reduce energy consumption 90% and thus make huge sacrifices and have almost no heating and precious little cooking.

    I agree a few solar panels are relatively cheap. This increases the economic well being of people in poor countries a little, in that it gives them a few light bulbs for light at night, and possibly a small fridge, but not much more! The economist.com did a good study on all this and its certainly a good idea and good first step.

    But to supply their cooking, etc, requires much more technology and electricity, so you are back to technological solutions. Or do you believe they will continue to use wood pellets? Just remember, with an increasing population this means huge use of scarce forest resources.

    And millions of poor people in Africa are wanting more technology like televisions and cars. How do you convince them to simply stop? Can you imagine their reaction?

    “False premise: Self-reliance, not self-sufficiency. I have said repeatedly, community, networked communities, within bio-region. You have lots of help, potentially. There is no reason for all specialization to disappear.”

    Ok but self sufficiency does not by definition solve the climate problem and is more of a substitution of local production for corporate production. It will help the climate problem a little by reducing transport costs and reducing waste etc but that’s the sort of scope of it.

    “I do not operate from any assumptions at all. I operate from an analysis of what a sustainable aka regenerative world is…”

    Sure one approach is to say anythings possible,start with a clean slate and design from first principles. The trouble is radically new solutions do not have a good history and evolutionary changes appears to actually work better, if you are a student of history. Bukmaster Fuller wasn’t entirely correct, and his own geodesic domes were largely impractical buildings and aren’t built very much these days for that very reason.

    “So if I’ve got it right, this part is independent from the bit just discussed: the solution is the solution, regardless of how easy or difficult, or fast or slow, implementation might be. It just is what it is.Yes. It does not matter what we wish it were or could be, only what it is. Then you design to that.”

    Ok fair point, but it comes back to realistic time frames, a decent level of proof of an idea, and whether humanity as a whole can be convinced.

    “Where this bothers me is the intersection with near-term planning: what if your probable adoption window turns out to be too optimistic by a factor of two, and it turns out that 40 years is the ‘shortest possible time’ to sub-300? Or 100?”

    “It’s not wrong. We’re just very unlikely to move that fast. But that doesn’t change what you, yourself, just observed: It is what it is; we will succeed or fail. At this late date, it gets ever more binary.”

    What does this mean? The important point is the Paris accord goals of 2050. The point is you cannot guarantee success of mass global simplification and 90% energy reduction in 20 years or even close to this, and it looks very unlikely to me to be feasible for reasons already discussed, therefore if it fails we have missed the opportunity to really push for renewable energy.

    Killian with respect your ideas are risky and a DANGEROUS DISTRACTION to the climate problem because if they fail we are in huge trouble.

    In comparison, its entirely plausible to scale up renewable energy by 2050 or near to this. The costs are only a small proportion of global economic output, and industrial productivity increased by over 90% during world war two, to show what is feasible.

    Of course as I have said ideally we should combine a lot of renewable energy with some simplification as much as we can achieve. Renewable energy uses mineral resources and this isn’t ideal, but nothing is ideal.

    I’m not going to comment on the rest because its going to take too much space, and is mostly philosophical speculation with far too many “if, then, if then” statements , and too much circularity of argument to be useful. Im trying to bring you guys back to crucial and specific real world realities simplification comes up against. I think simplification is the right idea in principle, but its all about details of how its done, the plausible scope, and time frames.

  48. 198
    Greg Simpson says:

    Well nigelj and all you other doomsters, I’m disappointed in you. There is plenty of carbon free energy out there and all we have to do is use it. Whether it’s solar, nuclear, wind, geothermal or hydroelectric doesn’t really matter. While the USA might be using enough, the rest of the world isn’t. Certainly some things will need to change, like finding a carbon free substitute for concrete and making iron without coke. But I don’t think there are any insurmountable problems there.

    The idea that we will run out of minerals is mostly laughable, too. Oh, there are some elements we could run short on, like tellurium for CdTe solar cells, but for all the essentials like iron, aluminum, silicon, titanium, and so on it is pure fantasy. Sure, we might conceivably run out of, say, cheap bauxite, but throw enough energy into your average crustal rock and you can get aluminum.

    Mostly, we just need laws and procedures to encourage the transition. I don’t know how we get there, though. Everyone has their own agenda.

  49. 199
    Killian says:

    #196 Kevin McKinney said Killian, #194–
    But the 80-90% fewer emissions is pretty much assumed in a vacuum.

    No. Wrong. Think. Not only have I given you all the points you need to suss this out successfully, even without any input from me, you should *still* have this worked out.

    but then the question will arise as to what that actually implies for people’s lives?

    C’mon… you know the answer already: Irrelevant. One question is germane: What is a sustainable lifestyle given the resource base? It doesn’t matter what less carbon means because it is the same parameter, what *can* we use?

    In addition to which, the C sequestration number seems to be seriously underdetermined at this point, which would make the calculation pretty tough.

    I have no idea what this is supposed to mean.

    Even more seriously, though, this calculation ignores everything leading up to having a preponderance of ‘competents’ in regenerative living.

    Huh? I think you mean you don’t understand how we get those people taught? I, for one, have ignored nothing and have already talked about how to spread this knowledge.

    That, too, seems pretty seriously underdetermined at this point.

    Whatever this means…

    I’d argue that we can lengthen the runway for simplicity by mitigating with everything we’ve got now.

    And what does that ignore? First of all, how do you lengthen the runway for simplicity with something that would take longer than simplicity? This makes no sense.

    Secondly, what do *your* suggestions ignore? Continued over-consumption enabled by enoughism-inducing do-dads; opportunity costs of wasted resources; zero change to the system; no actual solutions; collapse unrelated to climate; whether we have already run out of time, etc.

    it’s a much easier ‘ask’ in terms of immediate behavioral change. Many times it’s wise to take the low-hanging fruit.

    Only if you know how much time you have and how severe the consequences will be. You know neither.

    …tipping point…

    How do we ever get to that tipping point with people like you telling everyone EVs, e.g., are a great idea rather than telling them they are mirage and chasing that proverbial mirage across the proverbial desert of consumption may lead to extinction?

  50. 200
    Killian says:

    #195

    “Therefore saying things like “…making sniggering supercilious comments aren’t helpful” is not actually helpful and it surely is not part of “presenting an eloquent and compelling case for anything”.”

    I disagree.

    Hypocrisy.

    If someone is being personal like that

    False premise. Previously pointed out.

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