[COFFEE] Bar brawl about the climate change

My thesis is a bit longer than 10-15 years but quite simple.

  • I do not believe that climate change can be stopped or that humanity is willing to stop it. The major players or the main consumers are not doing and not willing to do something at all

  • Switzerland with its 0.2% emission stake in the world is basically just a drop in the ocean. Probably even cows in a big Chinese city produce more CO2 than the whole of Switzerland. So basically what we do or Europe is doing is basically pointless if the major players are not willing to do something. So basically all what we’re doing is just lowering our competitiveness in the global market.

  • The over-population and growth rate in the last 100-200 years was extremely unhealthy and still is extremely unhealthy. The growth rate is still positive even though it is a bit lower than earlier but it doesn’t help if it doesn’t drop significantly into the negative and this pretty fast.

  • Some climate researchers claim that the vast parts of the planet will be inhabitable because it is too hot, many parts will be flooded because the raise of sea levels etc.

So there points are the foundation of the thesis. If it is true what those researchers are telling, together with the over-population and still positive growth rate and a vast part of the planet becoming inhabitable, you can more or less guess what’s going to happen. All the masses of people who live in a place which becomes inhabitable want to find a new place to live. But everywhere, there are already people and they don’t want even more people in their already limited space.

So, what’s going to happen then? Well, some countries will be strong enough to fight and take their space, other’s will not be willing to accept that, some of them even have nuclear weapons. Maybe some governments will want to prevent that from happening in order to avoid a massive scale world war for space, and in doing so become totalitarian regimes and dictate what people are allowed to do, how often you can shower, how much electricity you are allowed to consume etc. It may be even possible that they will confiscate all money so that you can’t even consume something on your own and everything will be rationed. Who knows. Or maybe there will really be a global war for space.

What does that mean investment wise:

  • I’ll definitely not buy a house or flat. Even in higher altitude we have no idea if we will still live here in 1-2, or 3 decades. Our area is probably not affected by becoming inhabitable but it is possible that the space is just taken from us from countries that are more powerful. Who knows.

  • I will not live too frugal and enjoy my life now. There is no point to have millions on the account if we are not sure if we can keep them later on.

  • From a short-/mid-term perspective I will continue as usual and invest like before. I don’t think it makes sense to invest into specific climate related stuff. For long-term I don’t know yet. We will see how everything develops, what advances we will make in the crypto space, how our governments will react to everything and then decide what is to do. There is still time to decide on long-term strategies.

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I couldn’t agree more. Humankind in general is short-sighted, greedy and egotistical, and will therefore extinguish itself.

Even parents with kids (!) don’t care enough about climate change to actually do something small about it like flying less, eating more plant-based food etc. To hell with our grandkids and their offspring…

On a more positive note: Once we got rid of ourselves, I believe our planet could recover and create new life worthier of living on it than we are.

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But that’s exactly the point. I will not fly less at all and eat as much meat as I want because it doesn’t change something at all. As I said Switzerland is only responsible for 0.2% of the emissions in the world so why should I restrict myself and make my life less convenient and enjoy less if the big industry nations that are responsible for the vast majority of the emissions, are doing nothing. Pretty much pointless.

And even in Switzerland, as long as we don’t want to do something against the over-population and the still high population growth rate, I don’t see why I should reduce my consumerism if at the same time we bring more and more consumers to the world that basically eradicate all the savings I made. Also pretty much pointless.

People like you are the worst kind of leech, parasitic being.
If climate change gets “solved”, you profit without lifting a finger. If it does not, you will be the among the last to suffer because you have means, are fairly rich and of course psychopaths (as per definition:lack of empathy, manipulative and self centered behavior) which always helps in an end of days scenario

So many wrong points in your assumptions as well… just to confute one: looking at total CO2 per country is meaningless.
If every country emits the same, since there are ~200 countries in the world, it would only makes 0.5% of global emission per country. And nobody would do anything because “0.5% so little”
You need to look at emissions per Capita. And on top of that, you should look at past emissions and the overall sum since 1750 to really assess responsibility.

You are scared little children than instead of facing what’s coming with a bit of dignity and honor, go cry in a corner with their closed eyes hoping the monster goes away.

That’s ok, you just need to realize that what you do now and how do you react, defines which kind of men (or woman) you are.

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Actually it is 0.4% including grey emissions (emissions of goods consumed in Switzerland, but produced elsewhere).
Swiss emissions

Worldwide emissions
CO2-Ausstoß weltweit | Statista.

And Swiss people are at the 16th place at the per head emissions, whereas there is a big shift according to how much income you have (first source). Said differently, Switzerland is responsible of 0.4% of the emissions, but represents only 0.1% of the world population

Furthermore, Switzerland has been touched more than the average by climate change, the rise of temperature is already at +2C, compared to 1864.

And as someone else said already (in a different thread), we could halve our population, but would still not achieve the goals because of overconsumption of the rich countries.

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Well whatever, but that still doesn’t make it a relevant number compared to the top emitters who prefer to do nothing. We could basically turn off the whole of Switzerland, like consume absolutely nothing anymore, use 0 electricity anymore, don’t eat anymore, whatever, and the impact it would have would be still near 0. Relative number crunching doesn’t matter in such a case when the top emitters have a different point of view.

Yes that may be but let’s say if vast parts of the earth becomes inhabitable because of heat and flooded areas etc. all those people in those areas will want to go somewhere else. It may not help to stop climate change to reduce people but it certainly may help to reduce the conflict potential.

For example, if the place where 4 billion people live becomes inhabitable those 4 billions will try to go where the other 4 billion people live and they will do it by force if needed, so it depends which military power will be stronger. So the more people we have on the planet the bigger the clash will be in the end.

If we could go back to 4 billion people on the planet overall like in 1975 (not 8 billion like now), then there would be maybe not even a large conflict or war for habitable place.

Yeah whatever, you just got it wrong by 100%, but whatever. And you would be surprised how much is done in China, and that most of the emissions in this table is actually exported to the Western world, and not consumed inside of their country. China has understood that it cannot go on like that and is investing massively into renewables etc.
China should comfortably meet its 2030 Renewables target. But its emissions? - Energy Post.
As an example, they more than Germanys total power output in renewables in less than a year.

Lets start by you ? Apparently you are a high emittent, so it would be one of the most efficient ways for the rest of us… (To be clear, this is explicitely sarcasm, and Patron is proposing the solution to cut the population in half)

Thruth is, we have about 10-20y, it is doable, even with todays amount of population and with a minimal lifestyle decrease, if not increase (less meat = less health issues for instance, less personal cars = less noise and better designed cities etc.). Finally, we won’t be able to cut the population in half in that short amount of time. At least in a half way ethical way, and we would need to kill all the US and EFTA first. Personnally, I would like to live on :slight_smile:

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I didn’t say kill anyone. I said stop putting more and more consumers on the planet, means having less children. We won’t stop climate change with that but maybe we can stop a global scale brutal war for places to live.

Your opinion. There is a huge number of people who see it differently and don’t want a ‘minimal lifestyle decrease’ and for them it’s not ‘minimal’. If it would be so easy as you said people would already be doing it. But fact it, most people don’t want. You can do whatever you want and throw your drop into the ocean, believing it would change something. I won’t.

No it won’t. The only way to avoid that is to stop climate change.

Non an opinion, scientifcally proven.

Actually they do

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No, it‘s not. Swiss emissions don’t matter for global climate change and they never have. Switzerland in its entire history has emitted far less emissions than China in a year. Nothing we do here will change anything, unless we help develop globally scaleable solutions.

Behavior change is not globally scaleable (circumstances and wealth levels are too different). Only technology and institutions are. Two things Switzerland could pioneer and that could make a difference, but that are pushed to the sidelines: a global CO2 tax, which is completely reimbursed on a per capita basis (to counter hitting the poor harder) and CO2 extractions from the atmosphere.

Otherwise, sure you can believe that your behavior changes the world and feel great about yourself. But it will be an illusion. I prefer not to idiolise myself and instead champion solutions that could actually change the problem.

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Nonsense. All these are just models and models are not scientific proof, they are what they are, just models and a model is no evidence, it’s a model. We can see everyday how scientific models can be wrong, see the weather forecasts or see how all the scientific models and predictions were wrong during Covid. You’re trying to sell facts here with a scientific label on it. Btw. even that consuming less meat would be more healthy is also something where there are very different opinions about it.

A survey created right after all the Greta fuss etc. 1000 participants, not that many. How were those participants selected? Anyway, people are good in doing lip services but when it actually costs them something they are not interested anymore suddenly. Nobody will enjoy less vacations abroad, nobody will eat less meat, nobody will consume less, etc. Well yeah, if there will be more environment friendly cars available for the same price and you can even save on fuel, why not, then I’ll also buy one.

But most people won’t do actually something against climate change if it costs them something or if they have to do something they enjoy, a bit less, such as travelling. If it would be like that then we would not even have this discussion I guess and the problem would solve itself out of intrinsic motivation from the people. They will just pick the low hanging fruits that are there anyway without a cost and no effort. Or why do you think we mostly talk about it while most people don’t seem to be interested in doing something?

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I can recommend reading “Unsettled” by Steven Koonin. The models have indeed enormous uncertainties!

The sad thing is that humans seem to need “scientific certainty” to stop wasting their finite resources? We can do better things with mineral oil other than burning it to get around…

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Do they? Didn’t we just learned the last couple of years that “scientific certainty” is certain only if you decide it is, depending of the Twitter feed you follow, or the random YouTube video you saw this morning?

That’s why I put the expression in quotes.

Looks interesting (just read the abstract so far). Guess I will add it to my reading list.

I don’t think they need scientific certainty but a certain probability that what is predicted is true. And as the book abstract states and we have also observed during Covid, the governments try to alarm and compelled people, but leave out things that gives another perspective to the case. And even quite often, things that are believed to be scientific fact turn out to be wrong. And even more often, things that are presented as models, turn out to be completely wrong.

I don’t think people doubt there is climate change, but I it is not clear to what extent, what the outcome will be or if it is again just fear mongering to push a political agenda and things will turn out to be much easier than predicted. We don’t know that how it will actually be and when. Will the planet be inhabitable soon or will it just get a bit warmer and things settle without huge drama. Who knows?

And the second even same important question is, if we want to fight climate change, how long do we have still time and what we need to do and what will be the impact. Does it have to be so radical as demanded, will it even work or maybe it won’t work anyway no matter what we do? Who knows? We can’t know all these things.

I think the main problem why people don’t care is a mix of the following:

  • The predicted events are very distant in the future and we don’t know the outcome. But even if the planet becomes inhabitable, it will most likely be when we are all not living anymore. So why would one bother?

  • But trust into society to find a solution for the problem. Maybe we can replace all energy sources and we will find a way how to deal with the problem even if it gets warmer. Why worry about things that happen many many years in the future and science, the industry, society etc. have dedaces to find a solution to the problem. How to live in the environment etc. I mean people think about terraforming Mars etc. so it should be possible to make Earth inhabitable even in the face of climate change in the given timeframe.

  • People know that Switzerland makes up only 0.2% or whatever, even if it’s 0.4% etc. in the world. The big countries don’t seem to be troubled too much about climate change and continue to do business as usual. Of course, they do something, but we also do something. Given the fact that our impact is almost equal to 0, it doesn’t make sense to make more than others. It will just lead to competitive disadvantages in the global markets.

  • People know that the population has grown, even doubled in only around 50 years, and the growth rate is still positive. So why should a person stop consuming or limit consumption if at the same that everything your consume less, will be consumed by additional consumers? If we have more and more consumers every day, saving a little has no impact and is irrational.

  • Last but not least, there is no guarantee that even if we do now lots of things, save on resources, travel less, introduce a CO2 tax, become vegetarians or vegans, and sell our cars, etc. that all this even has an impact or if it’s all too late or if it will be just equalised by additional consumers. Why would I limit myself so that others will take the place and consume the stuff I saved?

So given all these points and considerations, fighting climate change where every individual bears a cost such as stop doing things, do things less, or consume less, doesn’t make sense and is irrational. That doesn’t mean we should do nothing. We should work with technological advances, replaces energy sources and so on, make things more efficient etc. but there is no point in ascetism to save the planet. People see that and that’s why almost nobody is doing something and most people don’t care. If 75% of the people would care as the article suggests above, then why there aren’t 75% vegetarians/vegans, or why we still have so many cars on the street? Why all airports currently are overloaded because everybody is travelling? Think about it. There is no way 75% care about climate change.

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So it say earth relief is formed by the ice age, which is gone…
In Saudi Arabia desert you can find sea shells, apparently it used to be submerged under the sea, which is also gone…
I can continue with examples and etc, but the point is these tremendous changes happened when there were no big factories, over population or gas emitting cows…
I find it skeptical that now few degrees temp change is attributed to humanity. Especially, when attributing this to humanity you can make it nice business segment.
Not saying that we should drop CO2 neutral goal, recycling and etc, but find it skeptical of this humanity caused climate change agenda…

You’re just slicing things in a convenient way, so that you don’t have to do anything. Replace Switzerland by Myfirstme and we have the same reasoning, but everyone knows it’s absurd.

Of course if nobody cares nothing changes. The western world world is still responsible for the majority of the emissions while being a much smaller population, they are the one with the most impact and should lead by example, esp. given how much they benefited from past emissions. They can demonstrate that you can still be prosperous while going towards net zero or better.

The good news is that we already started decorrelating GDP growth and emission, we just need to increase the velocity of our changes.

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I hope you’re trolling at this point. You’re aware that the previous changes were over thousands of years: xkcd: Earth Temperature Timeline

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The planet, as a whole, will probably do fine. The question is what life do we want to live?

Do we want to live in a world where Venice, and other major coastal cities, are underwater?
Do we want to live in a world with major forest fires every summer, and floodings?

The world has survived 5 major extinction events during life’s history on earth. Taking, for example, the most publicized of them, the Cretaceous-Paleogenous extinction (during which the dinosaurs disappeared), one of its characteristics are major and repeated climate/temperatures changes that have stressed species until many of them got extinct. It isn’t always one big event (it seldom is), it is often a cumulation of smaller changes that weaken living species, then push many of them over the edge.

It also doesn’t happen linearly: there is a lot of built-in resiliency in the system, which tends to mitigate global effects until it reaches saturation, at which point the speed of changes can increase abruptly. Taking forests as an example: carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gaz: it traps some of the heat the Earth receives and kees its surface warm. Some greenhouse effect is necessary for life, but too much does participate to a global rise in temperatures. Trees capture carbon dioxide so, when everything goes well, the system is balanced and no big change happens (barring astronomical cycles and major events, which do happen too but let’s keep this simple). Now, if the summers become very hot and dry, forests start to burn at a higher rate than usual, meaning there are less trees capturing carbon dioxide, meaning more of it stays in the atmosphere, meaning warmer and potentially dryer summers, meaning more forest fires, meaning…

At some point, the rate at which forests burn outpaces the rate at which they can regenerate, and things start going faster and faster. There are a lot of similar processes at play, from the melting of ice in deep waters to the change of sea currents that can have major impact on local climate in many areas (including Europe and Switzerland).

Sure, we can put more and more money and resources every year in air cooling for our houses, businesses and transportation means, and more and more resources in natural hazards monitoring and mitigating but we could also not have to (and people are already complaining that health insurance premiums are too high to allow lower income families to meet their living expenses, wait until we have to significantly raise taxes to pay for all of that). Also, as Patron likes to point out, other areas would be less suited than we will and we would be in for major migration issues. There’s only so much of that that can happen peacefully: people will take no for an answer as long as they have an alternative but facing extinction threat in their home country, waging wars and social unrests in the countries that fail to welcome them and give them a decent living standard becomes more attractive than the alternative (which is dying at home).

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Quite an aggressive post. Please don’t escalate beyond this level.

So what can an individual do to fight climate change and protect the environment? Use paper straws? I swear this gets on my nerves so much, I get served these soggy straws everywhere, the drink tastes terrible, but it’s done because plastic is bad. Carbon offsetting is also a scam, meant to make you feel better. What else? Stop flying, sell your car?

What I do is 1. I live frugally, below my means and 2. invest the rest into energy transformation (TSLA) but not in the ESG scam. But I’m not going to go to the extreme and live like a monk just to save the planet. This has to be solved through policies, which make it expensive to pollute the atmosphere, on a global level.

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