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Forced responses: Jun 2020

Filed under: — group @ 11 June 2020

Open thread on climate solutions. Please try and stay within a mile or two of the overall topic.

378 Responses to “Forced responses: Jun 2020”

  1. 301
    nigelj says:

    Killian @297

    “Adam Lea said 273: Yes I can see that. I did an experiment one winter by setting the thermostat to 10C and compensated by wearing a hoodie over my normal clothes. It is doable, but very tough, because it is a constant battle against being cold (you don’t tend to do vigorous activity indoors). Obviously people who live in cooler climates aren’t going to live like that en-mass.”

    “People did and do. A large majority of humans live far more simply than you or I do.”

    Oh for goodness sake. Just because other people live like that doesn’t make it a good thing or necessary thing. Its uncomfortable living that simply and it can get unhealthy being cold for long periods. I used to go tramping in the bush and living rough, but not as a permanent thing.

    There is no compelling reason for us to deliberately choose to live as simply as that. (If that’s what you are proposing, god only knows). If we run out of energy or materials we will be forced to live somewhat more simply, which you are telling us some people already do and you appear quite comfortable with that, so WHY are you so worried we will run out of non renewables? This is what I just dont get. Your argument just doesn’t make sense.

    What makes sense is for us to choose to live a LITTLE bit more simply, not to waste things and to recycle and get the size of population down, because things like that help fix numerous different problems, and don’t cause us disproportionate problems.

  2. 302
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @ 299

    “Why else would you throw a decade-long hissy fit about the definition of a word that doesn’t match what you actually advocate?”

    Good point. Killian creates confusion, and also a dense impenetrable fog of obscure terms like regenerative society, technology bridges (which can mean almost anything he wants) and appropriate technology, (which means precisely nothing). People like Adam Lea and you and me talk in plain language and specifics.

  3. 303

    Killian creates confusion, and also a dense impenetrable fog of obscure terms

    In my years I’ve encountered quite a few such people.  I’ve not yet found one who is capable of thinking in more specific, concrete, quantitative terms; in most cases they appear to be both scientifically illiterate and innumerate.

    They use the impenetrable fog to try to hide their own vacuity.  Ultimately, it all comes out despite their best efforts.

  4. 304
    nigelj says:

    Killian @294

    I missed this before:

    “provided we recycle the components”

    “Provided pigs learn to fly. When they CAN fly, THEN you can make that claim.”

    “avoid extravagant use”

    “More pigs.”

    “And get the size of human population down”

    “And still more flying pigs.”

    “Try to get this: You DO NOT design based on magic. Those conditions do not exist now and MAY NEVER. It is rock-headed and likely suicidal to plan the future of humanity based on maybe, might, could be.”

    These statements are just so bizarre. I’m not suggesting we go on using resources at a rapid rate on the basis that one day we can suddenly decide to waste less, be less extravagant, and recycle more, and stop population growth. I’m obviously saying we need start doing all those things NOW as best that can be done.

    And surely designing a more sustainable society includes recycling? I mean you are making no sense at all.

    And we ALREADY KNOW how to recycle things, and nobody needs to be extravagant, eg owning huge homes and multiple cars, we we know how to get population growth to stop and fall because the policies are relatively easy. The only things stopping any of this is human motivation, but there is at least hope we can change this and there are signs people will recycle more happening everywhere.

    And your “design” proposals which include a few things like “walkable communities” and stopping using automobiles and using a lot less electricity by “rugging up” in winter and using woood stove are NOT happening much right now in developed countries, and may not in the future either. The things stopping them appear to be a lack of human motivation, which is the same thing stopping more recycling. So you cant criticise me for such things and not yourself.

    The other problem you have is SOME of your design proposals like the ones I have just mentioned are likely to be strongly resisted because they are very disruptive and demand a lot of people or are unpleasant, while things like recycling and smaller global population are likely to be less resisted and are not painfull. And the real world evidence supports this.

    And the other problem is things like walkable communities, which is a reasonable idea up to a point, will obviously take a very long time to develop at scale and are therefore of very limited use in the climate problem.

    We cant assume your design proposals will happen in the future so we need to ALSO be pushing renewables hard.

    The next problem is you attribute near magical properties to many of your own ideas, eg what regenerative agriculture can achieve, (someone pointed this out to me) how fast we can develop things like walkable communities, what wearing another jumper would do in terms of insulation and energy use. The list is near endless. This is partly why I think we just have to accept we need to build a lot of renewables and at least that is starting to happen.

    I have no problem with some of the ideas you have listed eg passive solar homes. I’m just highlighting the considerable implementation challenge and their unintended consequences in many cases.

    Wasting less and recycling more is fundamental, which is why I’ve mentioned it several times. It covers a wide range of things, waste can be widely interpreted to include extravagance and greed, and recycling is relatively pain free and popular.

  5. 305
    nigelj says:

    Killian @254

    “And again you revert to the caveman lie. First FU for putting your ego ahead of humanity and the planet, denialist.OVER AND OVER AND OVER I have said: Recycling, reuse, repurposing, embedded energy, Appropriate Tech, Bridge Tech and MAINTAINING R&D are ALL part of the process.I make the point about sustainability/regenerativenewss to get you fear-driven solutions denialists to learn to frame your thinking. ”

    No I’m not reverting to some cave man lie. You do not read carefully enough. I’m pointing out to you that you talk about renewables and modern tech. not being sustainable or regenerative (and quite correctly in a sense) while also telling people they can be part of a sustainable or regnerative society, which creates huge confusion. Its WTF? material.

    Al Bundy is basically telling you the same thing and he’s clearly not a moron. If he was confused how do you think other people will react? You are better to say tech wont last forever, so we have to be careful what we use it for, then there is no confusion.

    However you over react to the shortages problem and carry on like a headless chicken.The most practical solutions are simple things like wasiing less and smaller population. Trying to substitute regenerating materials like timber for non renewables will run into problems.

  6. 306
    Al Bundy says:

    Adam Lea: even if all new builds were built with energy efficiency prioritised, there are still millions of older inefficient buildings, what do you do about those?

    AB: cohort replacement or retrofitting. Retrofitting is expensive and gives inferior results, which is why Job 1 is to jack up building codes so heating can only be provided via renewables or with waste heat, such as a cogeneration system that feeds the grid and heats your house with the exhaust.

    Or whatever. Point is that new construction needs to avoid your valid concern.

    And the other side of the coin is true:
    It is stupid to replace single-glazed windows or double the insulation in one house while another house is built with single-glazed windows and half the insulation.
    It is stupid to put solar panels on an aging roof when new roofs are being installed without solar.

    Insert caveats here.

  7. 307
    Al Bundy says:

    By the way, in both summer and winter a highly efficient house will be optimally comfortable at an interior temperature far closer to ambient than a traditional house. To simulate, hang out in an interior room.

    In other words, if your house is wearing ten sweaters you can prance around…

  8. 308
    Al Bundy says:

    Nigel: Killian creates confusion, and also a dense impenetrable fog of obscure…

    AB: Yeah, the ‘reptilian’ brain generally has that conscious-and-logical “me” brain wrapped around its axons.

    The snake is getting fed.

  9. 309
    Al Bundy says:

    Here’s a nice shallow dive into running out of minerals (“criticality”):
    https://youtu.be/WuLHfiyIS0Q

  10. 310
    nigelj says:

    Killian talks a lot about “regenerative design” and a “regenerative society” and keeps telling us we are ignorant about it, and that we rubbish it and reject it.

    Hes 100% wrong and he knows it. For example, I looked at the wikipedia entry for “regenerative design” and found it talked primarily about 1)regenerative agriculture (which is roughly similar to organic farming) and 2) sustainable housing which uses natural materials where possible, and low energy passive solar design and 3) eco friendly cities, walkable communities and so on. Of course its a “design process” and philosophy, but these are the main specific examples. LOOK IT UP YOURSELVES. But I’m not wrong in broad terms.

    Several people on this website have promoted those things, and posted information, myself included. Nobody to my knowledge has rubbished them completely or in principle. So he has no cause to suggest we reject those ideas.

    The issue is Killian has claimed we could do that work in a matter of one or two decades and thus we would not need to build much new energy infrastructure. He even mentioned 5 years at one point. I have simply pointed out that this is implausible. These sorts of things would clearly take a long time to fully scale up probably nearer 50 years or more. Buildings are designed with typically a 50 year minimum life, with 50 year durability requirements in building codes, and they typically last 100 years. People aren’t going to abandon them before their “use by” date. Truly walkable communities and cities will clearly need massive rebuilding work.

    So fully or largely transforming cities to be truly eco friendly or “sustainable” is a worthy long term project, but spanning 50 years or more. Thinking it can happen in one or two decades or five years like Killian has claimed is magical thinking.

    So we will still need a substantial new energy grid as well even if its resource intensive, and at least for the next few decades, until cities become a lot more energy efficient and then we might find we need to build less and less new energy infrastructure. or we can scale back some projects, Its magical thinking to believe otherwise.

    And I do think that it becomes problematic if we use a lot of timber in building, because forest land is not infinite. Look whats happening to the Amazon rain forest. So it needs a careful discussion.

    More sustainable forms of agriculture are required obviously, but thinking millions of farmers will rapidly transition to a new system with its potential trade offs with its lower productivity is magical thinking. It will take a while, and will require innovative ways of dealing with productivity issues, and will require a lot of education.

  11. 311
  12. 312

    #302, nigel–

    “Killian creates confusion.”

    Indeed he does. My decision to put him permanently on the ‘scroll past’ list was prompted by what seemed to me to be a simple request for clarification, which somehow Kilian labeled a “lie.” Life just isn’t long enough to put up with nonsense like that–and I’d been putting up with it for many years now, going back to those ccpo days of yore.

    It’s a shame, though, because we desperately need a serious, thoughtful consideration of what a sustainable society would really look like. And the idea of deliberately chosen simplicity seems highly germane to me, precisely because the central tenet of conventional economics is the counterfactual assumption of infinite substitutability, and the central tenet of consumerism is infinite demand (and preferably infinitely malleable demand that can be stimulated at will by the ‘right’ ad campaign). So “simplification” is striking at the root of the problem (that is to say, it is in the strict sense “radical”.)

    Moreover, when I was a young man I had an example: a man by the name of David Newman who really lived the concept of “enough.” It wasn’t that he stinted himself or his family, particularly. But there really was no yearning for “more”. If there was a reasonable need for something, fine–but if not, then absolutely not. Just not interested. He lived with appreciation and honesty, every day–including the many days he and the family spent at their hilltop cabin in the Canadian woods, without electricity or most ‘modern conveniences.’

    Of course, they didn’t have to depend on scratching a living from the soil there–proven to be quite a difficult proposition by several generations of determined effort on the part of the locals. For that, they had his professional income, earned in the city. So you couldn’t call it a ‘sustainable lifestyle’ all the way ’round. But at least it illustrates the values piece of the puzzle: the best, most enjoyable part of his life in his own eyes, was precisely the lowest consumption, lowest carbon-footprint piece. He loved simple things, elemental things–and he loved people.

  13. 313
    Adam Lea says:

    297: “People did and do. A large majority of humans live far more simply than you or I do.”

    By compulsion, not by choice, there is a difference. People won’t make choices that are more uncomfortable unless they are forced too. Many of those who do live more simply than us are aspiring to upgrade to our lifestyles. I’m not aware of many high consumption people in American and Europe aspiring to live like poor people in the developing world.

    Just consider transport. In countries where private motor vehicles are affordable to the masses, very little of total mileage is done by bicycle (with the possible exception of Holland and some very localised areas like central London). Why do you think this is?

  14. 314
    nigelj says:

    Kevin McKinney @312

    “It’s a shame, though, because we desperately need a serious, thoughtful consideration of what a sustainable society would really look like. ”

    I agree. Look up “sustainable development goals” on wikipedia. This is the United Nations work on the issue if you haven’t come across them alread. It’s as good as any and saves re-inventing the wheel. Although its a set of goals it does help create a picture of what a sustainable society looks like.

    A sustainable society environmentally should basically be conserving the planets resources for our generation and for future generations. If that isn’t the central concern, what is? Imho the simplest ways to do this is to have a few key objectives: Zero population growth, wasting less and recycling, and conserving the biosphere. We waste many things: dumping old appliances in landfill rather than storing or recycling, toxic waste, wasted spending on the military, large SUV vehicles to do the shopping, wasted energy in buildings, built in obsolescence, throwing away perfectly usable things, the list goes on. (I do note that killian and others have mentioned some of these). The solution set flows naturally from a careful consideration of these things and the term ‘waste’.

    No need to invoke things like permaculture design or regenerative design as primary tools. They flow from ideas about waste and recycling. I’m sure you mentioned the circular economy thing yourself. I think you have the main answer there in the palm of your hand.

    “And the idea of deliberately chosen simplicity seems highly germane to me, precisely because the central tenet of conventional economics is the counterfactual assumption of infinite substitutability….So “simplification” is striking at the root of the problem (that is to say, it is in the strict sense “radical”.)”

    I don’t really like the term ‘simplification’, especially given that the advocates want to keep a modern technology ‘bridge’, which is inherently complex . I just have a sense that the idea of simplification is somewhat emotive, expressing a frustration with the stresses of modern life and the number of tasks we do and new technologies we have to learn, the degree of specialisation, the baffling complexity of technology, but throwing all that away could be a big mistake, and with 7.6 billion people it will not necessarily fix all the environmental problems. Simple indigenous culture is not problem free either. The grass always looks greener on the other side…..

    Of course some specific things in modern society are just crazy and should be stopped.But its not time to panic and make reckless decisions.

    But yes the assumptions of macroeconomic thinking of infinite growth and materialism don’t stand the slightest scrutiny and are not viable at least as far as technology goes. The real question is how much should we try to make growth slow down? If we do nothing and we have business as usual we will hit the wall and things will slow down of their own accord, in fact gdp growth has already been slowing and eventually we could hit negative growth and end up with a simpler existance. If we intervene in this process we just delay the point where we reach negative growth. So how much do you think it is prudent to intervene to stop growth deliberately? Bearing in mind lower growth will have at least some negative effects. Perhaps its impossible to say. Perhaps its more important to focus on tangible things we can do like recycling, and not worry about growth as such.

    “Moreover, when I was a young man I had an example: a man by the name of David Newman who really lived the concept of “enough…..lived with appreciation and honesty, every day–including the many days he and the family spent at their hilltop cabin in the Canadian woods, without electricity or most ‘modern conveniences….Of course, they didn’t have to depend on scratching a living from the soil there–proven to be quite a difficult proposition by several generations of determined effort on the part of the locals. For that, they had his professional income, earned in the city. …He loved simple things, elemental things–and he loved people.”

    Nothing wrong with that. He has freedom of choice to live like that, something we should cherish. I have been mighty tempted to follow suit at times. But hes really just seeking solace and peace, he has not severed the cord with industrial society and not everyone has the funds to live like him.

    But we are talking about a model for managing the earths resources responsibly. Call it simplification if you must. I lean towards having a few key objectives as I’ve stated above, rather than a vision, or a total overall design like a utopia, or putting faith in something like permaculture design.

  15. 315
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @309

    “Here’s a nice shallow dive into running out of minerals (“criticality”):”

    Good video. That guy never seemed to pause for breath. It’s worth mentioning that vast reserves of most metals, including the rare earths are dissolved in sea water as below (the list is not exhaustive). The quantities translate to about 5 billion tons of uranium to pick one example to give context. Some have already been extracted.

    https://web.stanford.edu/group/Urchin/mineral.html

    But clearly on current trajectories and even with recycling there will be shortages and higher prices eventually. The days of $20 cell phones probably won’t last forever.

  16. 316
    Ray Ladbury says:

    I would point out that The Club of Rome has been considering the question of stability and sustainability since 1968. And while some of the assumptions in some of their models have been criticized, I think that much of the criticism misses the point–that long term, the current system of economics cannot be sustained in a finite environment. Even if we expand the resource base indefinitely, we still have a finite environment to swallow the entropy we generate. That is the issue: Exponential growth of population AND consumption vs. a finite environment.

    It is a problem that some civilizations have been dealing with more than most of us (e.g. Aleut peoples and South Sea Islanders), but that is the problem of sustainability, and no amount of economic trickery can make it go away.

  17. 317
    Al Bundy says:

    Adam Lea: Just consider transport. In countries where private motor vehicles are affordable to the masses, very little of total mileage is done by bicycle (with the possible exception of Holland and some very localised areas like central London). Why do you think this is?

    AB: because capitalism slants the motivations and drives that people acquire as they grow up and mature towards “ME!” and “RIGHT NOW”.

    Democratic socialism is about “us” and “forever on human timescales”.

    Are masks (and low-carbon) a social responsibility or an individual choice? Imagine if GOPpers were the ones being kidnapped by secret might-be-police-might-be-murderers. The streets would be running with blood while Confederate battle flags wave.

  18. 318
    nigelj says:

    Adam Lea @313

    “297: “People did and do. A large majority of humans live far more simply than you or I do…..”

    “By compulsion, not by choice, there is a difference. …People won’t make choices that are more uncomfortable unless they are forced too….Just consider transport. In countries where private motor vehicles are affordable to the masses, very little of total mileage is done by bicycle (with the possible exception of Holland and some very localised areas like central London). Why do you think this is?”

    Yes right, and I would add that expecting people to be uncomfortable to help mitigate the climate problem, and some indeterminate future resource scarcity issue looks unlikely to happen, especially given that our brains are known to prioritise short term threats, and react sluggishly to even severe long term threats, according to psychologists.

    That said, I think people will accept a LITTLE bit of discomfort for the greater good, and perhaps their own perceived good. For example we are seeing an increase in cycling in New Zealand, although at a slow pace and only because there are dedicated cycle lanes being built, and electric bikes to deal with hills and our climate is not too freezing cold. So you can bend the trend a bit, provided a)the discomfort is minor, and b)there are other gains to be made (cheaper running costs of a bike).

    But I think THAT is about what we have to work with, short of forcing people at the point of a gun. It will all help, but for me it suggests there is more hope in reducing waste and recycling, because they don’t cause physical discomfort and the costs are diffused and don’t hit individuals in a direct way.

    The other possibility to mitigate resource problems is to substitute renewable materials for non renewables, like your timber bicycle. This probably helps in some cases, but it does run into problems at scale given forests are finite and we want more of them as long term carbon sinks, and its not as if iron is a rare material.

    The greatest challenge is the scarce metals used in electronics like Indium and the rare earths (they are not rare but they are difficult to mine). You cant exactly substitute paper or timber for those, or even other metals. So the main hope is to discourage excessive use of wasteful forms of technology that we dont really need. Again I think we can bend the trend down, but probably only to a limited degree. It’s that “comfort” thing again. Half the planet is addicted to smartphones. How likely is it they would give those up?

  19. 319
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @306

    “It is stupid to put solar panels on an aging roof when new roofs are being installed without solar….Insert caveats here.”

    Ok I will take the bait. It is indeed stupid, but its still better that some people are installing panels on old homes than waiting for all new homes to have panels.The issue is also philosophical about how far the code should go to promote energy efficiency. Building codes traditionally basically target safety, and weather tightness.They don’t try to shape the full range of possible building features, because that is seen as the state being too intrusive and also pushing up house prises too much. Building codes do usually have insulation requirements, but that is basically to prevent damp and mould.

    Now the climate problem has created a good enough reason to improve building codes. There is a case for building codes to require extra insulation to reduce energy consumption, because costs are insignificant.But I’m not sure that solar panels should be mandatory. Its not even clear that this is a better solution than centralised solar farms and its quite a big cost being forced on people.

    However the state could have incentives to install solar panels, because this is not compelling anyone to install them, and forcing costs on low income people.

  20. 320
    zebra says:

    #316 Ray Ladbury,

    “current system of economics”

    Which is what, exactly? Let’s talk scientifically and objectively, not rhetorically indulge in fashionable righteousness.

    Here’s a thought experiment: Assume a global population relatively stable around 300 million humans.

    Now, what aspects of what you call our “current system of economics” would be able to force the “exponential growth of consumption”?

    I can imagine a few different scenarios for how that population might be distributed geographically, but if people act with rational self-interest*, none of them yield the negative consequences you describe.

    (*rational self-interest is the underlying principle of a true market economy, which of course is not an accurate description of “our current system.”)

    And, yes, I know that we can’t achieve that in 30 years blah blah blah. But that response is just an evasion like what the Denialists do. You can’t model the system by ignoring the underlying fundamentals, and answering the question allows us to understand them.

  21. 321
    Adam Lea says:

    Al Bundy@317

    I would argue the reason is that driving is easier, more comfortable, and feels safer than cycling. Outside of congested city centres it is also faster. The people that tend to cycle regularly in the UK are those who enjoy cycling, live/work in a place where driving is horrible (e.g central London), or want to keep fit and local cycle journeys of up to a few miles around town suits that. There are also some that have an eco-conscience that use bicycles for local journeys, but I think these are the minority of cyclists, in the UK at least.

  22. 322
    nigelj says:

    Ray Ladbury @316, I wish you would comment more on this stuff, given your physics degree and interesting humanitarian background. And yes modern economics cannot equal the level of sustainability of the Aleut people, no matter what gymnastics it performs.

    Choosing to live like the Aleut is obviously effectively impossible with 7.6 million people, and would it actually make sense for us to do that and give up modernism, or large parts of modernism? I cant see it.

    Instead we could try to be more sustainable than we are with obvious, realistic things like 1)wasting less and recycling more and 2)getting rates of population growth and economic growth to slow. What say you?

  23. 323
    Al Bundy says:

    Kevin: For that, they had his professional income, earned in the city. So you

    AB: just described “gentleman farmer”. Stuff is way more fun and is done better and more creatively when done outside of Perfect Capitalism.

    Hold on. That’s impossible. Every GOPper knows that threatening workers with homelessness, starvation, and/or dying from a curable or preventable disease is the most effective way to get them to give you their all.
    _______
    Nigel,
    You’re looking at the other side of the situation. Since sales of PV panels are driven by subsidies, the form of the subsidies will drive the market’s form. So give subsidies to new roof and solar combo installations that see over 75% of maximum insolation.

    Solar cells are the bottleneck, not roofs, so be picky about which roofs you spend your valuable solar panels on.

    This is similar to the hybrid vs EV thing, where batteries are the limiting factor so it’s important to put batteries where they save the most carbon per kWh of capacity (hybrids by a mile).

  24. 324
    sidd says:

    Decoupling economic growth from resource use looks unlikely

    doi: 10.1080/09644016.2020.1783951

    doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2020.06.016

    So sad.

    sidd

  25. 325
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @323

    “Since sales of PV panels are driven by subsidies, the form of the subsidies will drive the market’s form. So give subsidies to new roof and solar combo installations that see over 75% of maximum insolation.”

    You are right that is more efficent in the sense of the overall system, but most of the subsidies would go to rich people with the big roofs and probably the best sunlight exposure, to power their large homes. Is that what you intended?

    ———————-

    Myself @322, meant to type 7.6 billion people.Sigh.

  26. 326

    nigelj wrote @319:

    the climate problem has created a good enough reason to improve building codes. There is a case for building codes to require extra insulation to reduce energy consumption, because costs are insignificant.

    I was saying this during the recent McMansion craze in the USA.  Spending a little extra on fiberglass batts and windows would have saved a LOT of fuel, and a considerable amount of money as well.  If energy costs were figured into mortgage eligibility these changes might have paid for themselves.

    But I’m not sure that solar panels should be mandatory. Its not even clear that this is a better solution than centralised solar farms and its quite a big cost being forced on people.

    The whole case for solar panels is based on false notions of fungibility of electric power and energy in general.  Even when not subsidized, they externalize large costs.

  27. 327

    Al Bundy writes @323:

    This is similar to the hybrid vs EV thing, where batteries are the limiting factor so it’s important to put batteries where they save the most carbon per kWh of capacity (hybrids by a mile).

    Been saying this for at least 10 years now.  We’re making more than enough batteries to give every vehicle idle-stop and launch-assist capability and electrify all the accessories*.  We’re borderline on making every vehicle a PHEV, but close enough to hit that target by 2022.  We could slash gasoline consumption by 50% in the next 10 years without breathing hard.

    * Electrifying the A/C allows the elimination of flexible hoses to the compressor as well as shaft seals, eliminating most points of refrigerant leakage and consequent GHG emissions.  You’d think that would be a priority of environmental regulation… but it’s being conspicuously ignored.

  28. 328
  29. 329
    Killian says:

    274 nigelj: Killian @255

    “I have never lied, and I’ve done my best to avoid name calling. Nobody else is accusing me of name calling, personal insults, or telling lies. The consensus seems to be that YOU are the problem around here as far as style and tone goes and some of your ideas as well.”

    “The consensus of the peanut Gallery? Really? That’s what you hang your hat on?”

    Peanut gallery, another one of your insulting terms.

    Insulting? Descriptive. Perfectly descriptive, gaslighter. Just one more thing you do not know.

    A peanut gallery was, in the days of vaudeville, a nickname for the cheapest and ostensibly rowdiest seats in the theater, the occupants of which were often known to heckle the performers.

    And the peanut gallery includes a lot of people better qualified and smarter than you.

    False. There are none here among the Peanut Gallery even a little qualified in the issues I address. Not even slightly. But on the science there are, yet, my analysis blows them all away. Hmmmm… Why is it that people with stronger science and maths chops cannot do analysis? Because DOING science does not qualify you as an analyst. They are different skills. If you can find even one that can match the list of predictions/scenarios I have been right on over my time here, please post.

    I won’t be holding my breath.

    You yet fail to understand the value of systems thinking, particularly by systems designers, and assume that doing experiments with climate means tyou understand Nature.

    You know nothing but what others teach you. And even then it has taken you years to move from flaming conservative to grudgingly acknoledging how bad things are and some of what we must do.

    Just… stop poosting. Complete waste of space.

  30. 330
    Killian says:

    290 nigelj: Killian @284 (continued)

    “ALL: Our society is unsustainable > ME: the world is finite > THEM: Uh-uh! Recycling! Unknown future tech! > ME: Magical thinking.”

    And yet Killian himself strongly promotes recycling, and has suggested tech needs to develop further, even if we use less quantitatively. Its like so contradictory

    That you think any of that is contradictory is exactly why you never add an original thought here. But, please, do explain; I could use the laugh.

  31. 331
    Killian says:

    290 nigelj: We are having the conversation. Indisputably. You are just annoyed that people don’t see it all your way.

    No, I am disgusted that you intentionally attack those who know better; that you intentionally derail conversations that *must* be had; that you lie, outright, at virtually every point, and on and on. This is serious business and you and virtually all here are suicidal goddamned fools stroking your egos as the world burns.

    “They are frightened children.”

    Look in the mirror. You talk about the end of the world all the time, like a frightened child.

    Talking about the scientifically determined existential threat to humanity is childlike?

    Tell them, asshat: https://voiceofaction.org/collapse-of-civilisation-is-the-most-likely-outcome-top-climate-scientists/

  32. 332
    Killian says:

    300 nigelj: Killian @294

    So basically you appear to be saying a “regenerative society” (and living regeneratively) can still use non renewable resources (up to a point)? If that’s what you are saying, I’m fine with that.

    I have never said otherwise. You have never been honest about this. I have talked of Bridge and Appropriate Technologies and Embedded Energy many times to you. You lie about me doing so. Look in the mirror and figure out why.

  33. 333
    Killian says:

    303 Engineer-Poet: Killian creates confusion, and also a dense impenetrable fog of obscure terms

    In my years I’ve encountered quite a few such people. I’ve not yet found one who is capable of thinking in more specific, concrete, quantitative terms; in most cases they appear to be both scientifically illiterate and innumerate.

    They use the impenetrable fog to try to hide their own vacuity. Ultimately, it all comes out despite their best efforts.

    Technology seems like magic to stone age person. So does regenerative design appear to you.

  34. 334
    Killian says:

    No I’m not reverting to some cave man lie. You do not read carefully enough. I’m pointing out to you that you talk about renewables and modern tech. not being sustainable or regenerative (and quite correctly in a sense) while also telling people they can be part of a sustainable or regnerative society, which creates huge confusion. Its WTF? material.

    You have studiously refused to seriously consider any of this, engaging in knee-jerk, uninformed, defensive, fear-driven responses. Doesn’t matter: You are incapable of understanding, as are the rest here

  35. 335
    Killian says:

    313 Adam Lea:297: “People did and do. A large majority of humans live far more simply than you or I do.”

    By compulsion, not by choice, there is a difference.

    Really? Then, had their ways of life not been ripped from them, they would not still seek to live simply?

  36. 336
    Killian says:

    316 Ray Ladbury:
    I would point out that The Club of Rome has been considering the question of stability and sustainability since 1968. And while some of the assumptions in some of their models have been criticized, I think that much of the criticism misses the point–that long term, the current system of economics cannot be sustained in a finite environment. Even if we expand the resource base indefinitely, we still have a finite environment to swallow the entropy we generate. That is the issue: Exponential growth of population AND consumption vs. a finite environment.

    It is a problem that some civilizations have been dealing with more than most of us (e.g. Aleut peoples and South Sea Islanders), but that is the problem of sustainability, and no amount of economic trickery can make it go away.

    And this is the great horror of the Peanut Gallery. Ray and I have long seen many things virtualyl the same, but as a member of the groupthink-ridden Peanut Gallery, he does his best to pretend I speak nonsense.

    If I do, then he does,

  37. 337
    Killian says:

    318 nigelj:Yes right, and I would add that expecting people to be uncomfortable to help mitigate the climate problem

    Congenital liar. It has been pointed out to you ad nauseum there are no reasons for a regenerative community to be uncomfortable. You are engaging in propaganda.

    Stop lying.

  38. 338
    Killian says:

    322 nigelj: Choosing to live like the Aleut is obviously effectively impossible with 7.6 million people,

    CAVEMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Nobody would ever suggest this. The Arctic is only so large.

    2. The **simplicity** of the Aleut, the patterns, the principles…. you have been told this hundreds of times.

  39. 339
    nigelj says:

    Killian @329

    “Peanut gallery, another one of your insulting terms….Insulting? Descriptive. Perfectly descriptive, gaslighter. Just one more thing you do not know….A peanut gallery was, in the days of vaudeville, a nickname for the cheapest and ostensibly rowdiest seats in the theater, the occupants of which were often known to heckle the performers.”

    In other words, its an insulting term by referring to people as rowdy and occupying the cheapest seats. But you cannot grasp this, while the rest of us can. WE are saying you are offensive. That’s what matters. Shape up, or go away.

    “And the peanut gallery includes a lot of people better qualified and smarter than you….False. There are none here among the Peanut Gallery even a little qualified in the issues I address. Not even slightly. But on the science there are, yet, my analysis blows them all away…..Because DOING science does not qualify you as an analyst. They are different skills. If you can find even one that can match the list of predictions/scenarios I have been right on over my time here, please post.”

    Get the arrogance of this guy, its breathtaking. But show him where his analysis has gone wrong and he squeals with rage and spews abuse. And his predictions look like easy guesses to me. But I’ve avoided commenting on his predictions in the past he can post what he likes.

    “You yet fail to understand the value of systems thinking, particularly by systems designers, and assume that doing experiments with climate means tyou understand Nature.”

    What amazingly false claims made with no evidence. For example I SUPPORTED regenerative design @ 310 and I’ve done so elsewhere for example my comments on passive solar design @293. I’ve merely suggested you seem to think it has magical powers at times, and you are unrealistically optimistic about time frames, and I will keep on saying so until you recognise that.

    “And even then it has taken you years to move from flaming conservative to grudgingly acknoledging how bad things are and some of what we must do.”

    Another pack of complete falsehoods made with no evidence. I’ve NEVER been conservative either politically or in terms of climate trends. I’ve criticised numerous people on this website who downplay the climate threat, like KIA and Victor right from day one. You know that so where do you get off calling me a conservative? Your’e delusional in your conclusions.

    What I’ve done is question one or two of the most extreme claims such as climate change will cause the human race to go extinct within the next 25 years, by some biologist called Guy McPherson. I’ve told you this twice before. Criticising these people does not make me conservative. And the fact that you swallow such extreme and obviously nonsensical claims whole and uncritically amazes me.

    You are evil the way you ignore peoples repeated comments and explanations made in good faith.

    —————————–

    Killian @330

    “That you think any of that is contradictory is exactly why you never add an original thought here. But, please, do explain; I could use the laugh.”

    You criticise me for promoting recycling, for example that renewables are capable of being recycled (and they are people have posted links on this) while you yourself promote recycling. You cannot get more contradictory than that.

  40. 340
    nigelj says:

    Killian @331
    “No, I am disgusted that you intentionally attack those who know better; ”

    I have never attacked those who claim to know better, not personally, or at least only rarely when they have started calling me names first. Ive sometimes attacked the CONTENT they post because its nonsense. That is a big difference, and you need to learn that.

    And I’m not convinced you know better than me about environmentalism as a whole. You presumably know better about some aspects, I respect the fact you have an anthropology degree, but I know more than you about some aspects. A lot better.

    You yourself have attacked those who know better numerous times, both personally and what they write. You wont see the regulars here disputing me on this.

    “that you intentionally derail conversations that *must* be had; that you lie, outright, at virtually every point, and on and on. ”

    Another false evidence free claim.

    ——————————

    Killian @332

    “So basically you appear to be saying a “regenerative society” (and living regeneratively) can still use non renewable resources (up to a point)? If that’s what you are saying, I’m fine with that……I have never said otherwise. You have never been honest about this. I have talked of Bridge and Appropriate Technologies and Embedded Energy many times to you. You lie about me doing so. Look in the mirror and figure out why.”

    I have explained this at least three times already, for example @305. I did accuse you of promoting primitivism at one stage, because you talk about technology bridges in one breath, while talking about how useless modern technology is in the next breath. I thought you had abandoned your technology bridge. You spread confusion. I have explained this to you several times, so you are being pretty EVIL to go on ignoring my perfectly obvious reasonable explanation.

    ———————

    Killian @337

    “318 nigelj:Yes right, and I would add that expecting people to be uncomfortable to help mitigate the climate problem…….Congenital liar. It has been pointed out to you ad nauseum there are no reasons for a regenerative community to be uncomfortable. You are engaging in propaganda.”

    Empty rhetoric. Some of the things you have posted, like expectations we can somehow reduce our energy use by 90% would lead to me being cold and uncomfortable. Instead of your empty rhetoric you need to have another think about some of the stuff you post.

    And remember YOU wrote the comment on some indigenous people being cold as if to say “if they do this, its ok for us to do this.” Thats the impression you created with us all. Why else would you point it out? Like I said, you constantly spread confusion.

  41. 341
    nigelj says:

    Killian @337

    “Yes right, and I would add that expecting people to be uncomfortable to help mitigate the climate problem…..Congenital liar. It has been pointed out to you ad nauseum there are no reasons for a regenerative community to be uncomfortable. You are engaging in propaganda.”

    Ridiculous false claims. Plenty of commentators have certainly advocated things that would make us uncomfortable, if taken at face value, like Michael Moores insanely silly and dishonest Planet of the humans movie. (Sad because his earlier movies made some sense). And plenty of things you have posted WOULD make us uncomfortable as I’ve previously explained. I made no references to regenerative design.

    If anyone’s a congenital liar you are. Record setting material.

    ——————–

    Killian says @338

    “322 nigelj: Choosing to live like the Aleut is obviously effectively impossible with 7.6 million people….. CAVEMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”…..1. Nobody would ever suggest this. The Arctic is only so large……2.”

    I made no reference that anyone was suggesting we live that way, simply that its not really an option, which narrows the options. You take offense at every little thing and come up with these outrageous false allegations.

    “The **simplicity** of the Aleut, the patterns, the principles…. you have been told this hundreds of times.”

    I knew about this decades ago, before you came along, and in simple terms it comes down to they conserve nature, and are not extravagant in their consumption patterns, and they seem not to want modern technology, and instead they make do and improvise. I have consistently supported conservation of nature and not being extravagant on this website, so stop your repeated lies suggesting I haven’t. Such principles have obvious universal merit.

    Where I differ from The Aleut is I want a world with modern technology, and not added on reluctantly as some temporary bridge, (which is how you come across) but for as long as possible. Sure tech. wont last forever, that’s obvious. That’s the hand humanity has been dealt. You point out these things as if its never occurred to a website full of scientists and academics. Makes me laugh.

    We have to come up with solutions to mitigate the fact tech, wont last forever and the impact of industrialisation on the environment. Ive never knocked all you ideas and solutions, just questioned some things you have posted. I’ve already said numerous times what I think the best options are. You harp on about spurious stuff about fantasies that people are lying.

  42. 342

    K 331: you and virtually all here are suicidal goddamned fools stroking your egos as the world burns.

    BPL: Only Killian can save us! Repent of your sins and believe on the Lord Killian!

  43. 343

    K 334: You are incapable of understanding, as are the rest here

    BPL: So if the readers consistently can’t figure out what Killian is saying, it’s not Killian’s fault–it’s the fault of the readers, for not grasping his intrinsic brilliance. Writers everywhere, take note!

  44. 344
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Killian,
    I have rarely taken issue with the content of your posts. My criticism has rather been that your posts are often repetitive, verbose, abusive and have a tendency to oversimplify an extremely complicated situation. My intent here is certainly NOT to insult you. You have posted some very good content over the years. However, I wish your posts were a bit more disciplined, and certainly they would be more effective if you did not respond in kind to every insult and tried to express yourself more concisely.

    Speaking as another person who on occasion is prone to be sharp of tongue, I realize that I could also benefit from some of my own advice. However, I hope you will accept this criticism in the spirit I intend–a wish that someone who has clearly given much thought to these issues, becomes a more effective communicator of that thought. And I recognize my own failing in that those wishes would be communicated more effectively if I, myself, didn’t have a taste for vitriol.

  45. 345

    Ye gods, he goes on for 10 comments in a row.  And those are just the ones the moderator approved!  Thank goodness for the page-down key.

  46. 346
    Oscar Wehmanen says:

    As I see it – The bottom line is sustainability. That leads to population. Maybe 4 billion max. So the question becomes – How do we get from 7+ billion to 4- billion without destroying civilization?
    Gaia’s answer seems to include war and disease and famine.
    Our problem is to find a solution that actually preserves human values.

  47. 347
    BrettnCalgary says:

    Killian;
    No matter the level of your knowledge and the excellence of your ideas, they will affect no one if you can’t present them in a manner people will read. I’ve been reading here since the mid-aughts and you are hands down the worst poster. Worse even than the pure trolls.
    It’s your tone and presentation.

  48. 348
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Nigel, OK, you asked for it. Growth of population and consumption are probably the two most obvious contributors to the multiple crises that now threaten our global civilization. But I think it is important to look at things as they are and ask why growth plays such a critical role in every economic system humans have developed.

    It is obvious to anyone who understands the nature of the exponential function that no system that requires growth can be sustainable. Not only does such growth result in resource depletion and pollution, eventually an exponentially growing system becomes impossible to manage and collapses, usually long before it has exhausted its resources. So why do all economic systems require such growth? The reason is that growth solves two pernicious problems–it provides a means for caring for the young and the elderly during years when they are not productive contributors to wealth and it provides hope to those at the bottom of the system that they can change their situation for the better.

    Inequality in systems with no or little growth tends to become cemented in place. The rich stay rich or get even richer at the expense of the poor. It really is a zero-sum game where your benefit is my loss. Politics in such a system becomes very difficult.

    If you introduce growth, the game is no longer zero-sum. Now the pie can grow, and I can hope to get a bigger piece without taking your piece for myself. My hope may be illusory. Indeed, even when you have growth, the share of the rich is likely to grow at the expense of the poor, and this introduces its own problems as the economy responds to follow the wealth. However, people are creatures of hope, and if they see even a slim possibility that they can win, they will play the game.

    So, the questions that keep me awake are things like:
    1) Does sustainability necessarily imply zero growth of population AND standard of living (as opposed to consumption)?
    2) If so, then how do we support an aging population–particularly if life expectancies continue to increase? How do we support children before they become productive?
    3) How do we address inequalities in the current system and keep them from becoming permanent or worsening in an economy that cannot grow?
    4) Presumably, technological advancement can improve quality of life and standards of living. Is there a way of reflecting that in economic statistics? Is there a way of fostering and accelerating technological growth in at least some sectors of the economy–e.g. Moore’s law in electronics or Rosenfeld’s law for energy efficiency.

  49. 349
    nigelj says:

    Ray Ladbury @348, those are good points and questions. I knew a bit of flattery would hook you in (sincerely meant by the way). I hope you post more often if you have the time.

    I’ve stated the same many times that economic growth cannot continue indefinitely because we live on a finite planet, and neither can population growth for the same reason. Kind of obvious. In fact a careful look at economic growth trends in western countries already shows a relentless slowing since the 1970’s despite a mountain of stimulus and quantitative easing programmes. So at some point we cannot escape trying to find answers to your questions below:

    “1) Does sustainability necessarily imply zero growth of population AND standard of living (as opposed to consumption)?”

    You could still improve the material standard of living in a zero economic growth economy, by improving the quality of products , by using design and brainpower. As things wear out they can be replaced by better things but output and level of consumption remains static. But this would only improve things to an extent. And it cant go on forever because resources aren’t infinite, but we can makes it last as long as we can.

    And it depends of course how you define standard of living. Its not all about materialism obviously. We need many other obvious things to have a good standard of living. Beyond a certain point mateerial wealth does not increase happiness significantly but many countries are well under that threshold. What worries me is a world that hits zero growth and countries that still have a lot of poverty so they are locked into that.

    2) If so, then how do we support an aging population–particularly if life expectancies continue to increase? How do we support children before they become productive?

    Tax payer funded pension schemes and child support would help short to medium term, but they obviously hit a limiting factor once economic growth stops. Then people will clearly have to work into older age and the retirement ages for pension schemes will have to be raised as some countries are already doing.

    People also talk about robots helping the elderly, but I think that will hit resource scarcity issues sooner or later before it becomes widespread.

    3) How do we address inequalities in the current system and keep them from becoming permanent or worsening in an economy that cannot grow?”

    Only one or two possibilities: Income redistribution, or a UBI (universal basic income).

    4) Presumably, technological advancement can improve quality of life and standards of living. Is there a way of reflecting that in economic statistics? Is there a way of fostering and accelerating technological growth in at least some sectors of the economy–e.g. Moore’s law in electronics or Rosenfeld’s law for energy efficiency.

    Isn’t that happening anyway? Growth in electronics and health sector tech. is fantastic, due to market forces plus a bit of state subsidies.

    But you didn’t address my points: I think it would be helpful to actively try to get population growth to slow faster than it is. Smaller population helps solves a vast range of problems. And possibly actively try to force rates of gdp growth to slow, at least in wealthy countries although I’m undecided on this one. This does all ensure we conserve resources a bit for future generations, without compromising our own standard of living significantly.

  50. 350
    nigelj says:

    Ray Ladbury @344, Im surprised you agree with what Killian posts in terms of content. While I accept some of his points, there are some obvious problems with others, and Im not alone thinking that. Not sure why you can’t see them.