• This topic has 226 replies, 72 voices, and was last updated 2 years ago by pondo.
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  • Everywhere is burning or drowning…
  • p7eaven
    Free Member

    We need to dramatically reduce the earth’s population.

    In recent years that fantasy seems to be indulged in the West by outsourcing/offshoring our consumerism and pollution so that we can do luxurious things such as enjoy the more violent and distant depopulating climate-change events on widescreen TV. Buy one for £50 from FB Marketplace. Buy two, they’ll provide background heat in the room. You may never require a jumper again.

    As some worried old Brit said to me recently: “If poor countries go underwater then they’ll be wanting to come here won’t they? That’s when the problems start…”

    olddog
    Full Member

    In terms of solution it can only be driven through government action, regulation, taxation, prohibition

    None of which is particularly popular with voters. So the other key part of the solution is coordinated education

    Green tech and carbon reduction will be part of the solution. But ultimately I think there will need to be levelling down for industrialised economies.

    I’m not sure there is the political will to follow this through. I hope I’m wrong

    Houns
    Full Member

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    vinnyeh
    Full Member

    There’s a reason the billionaires are buggering off to New Zealand.

    What’s that then Daz?

    A country off the east coast of Australia but that’s not important right now

    stcolin
    Free Member

    Always good to have plans to not be around when it really kicks off. I certainly wouldn’t want to having children now. We’ve been steering into this with our foot to the floor, eyes closed, since the industrial revolution. Nice one, humans.

    p7eaven
    Free Member

    And here’s me considering buying a marginally more efficient car for my meagre miles. Like it will make any difference when the next guy is driving a 4l monster truck to the shops.

    +1. I’ve been grocery shopping/commuting/local trips by bicycle since 1984. I know by counting the other bikes locked outside at the supermarkets (normally 0-1) that I am making statistically zero difference as there are 100s of cars, vans and pickups vs 1 or 2 bicycles.

    I still prefer to cycle for a number of reasons, but I don’t kid myself that I’m making a difference to the climate. Maybe for convenience of others ie ‘one less car on the road’. This makes the queue at the traffic lights slightly shorter for drivers on my route,

    bikesandboots
    Full Member

    I am doing my bit, as many are, but there are more people not….. so i cant see much changing. Its very frustrating and i worry for my kids and their kids.

    Just feels pointless doing the small things when other people/companies/countries aren’t tackling bigger contributions (or making things worse), and the population keeps increasing. Even more so for bigger inconveniences and things that reduce quality of life, like cycling in the rain or spending more by choosing green things.

    dazh
    Full Member

    And if we thought CO2 was a problem that’s hard to solve, it seems we’re doubling down. 🙄

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/06/reduce-methane-or-face-climate-catastrophe-scientists-warn

    I really can’t emphasise this enough, and it’s not meant to be a guilt trip, but if you’re at all interested or worried about climate change, you need to stop eating meat and dairy products. It’s pretty much the only individual act you can do which will have a real impact.

    n0b0dy0ftheg0at
    Free Member

    Has the massive overuse of personal motor vehicles not been mentioned yet?

    I’ve had a driving licence since ’91 and I’ve owned a car for ~9 years since of the following 30 years, not had one for the last ten years. Simply not needed for my typical day to day lifestyle, work is less than five miles away and food stores are less than 0.5 miles away.

    It feels positively cringeworthy thinking back to ridiculous journeys such as in ~’98 driving less than two miles each way to play snooker and ~5 miles each way to go to work ’04 to ’12.

    twrch
    Free Member

    Not buying a new TV every year will have a far bigger impact on CO2 emissions than not eating burgers, especially if you are careful about where you source the meat.

    If you’re at all interested in climate change (and the environmental destruction caused by mineral extraction and processing), one of the single best things you can do is stop buying imported electronic goods.

    stcolin
    Free Member

    one of the single best things you can do is stop buying imported electronic goods

    And buy them from the home based manufacturers instead?

    dazh
    Full Member

    Not buying a new TV every year

    My tv is 10 years old thanks. It’s not an either/or decision, you need to do it all. And stop/minimise flying while you’re at it :-)

    p7eaven
    Free Member

    things that reduce quality of life, like cycling in the rain or spending more by choosing green things.

    I like both of those things though. (Cycling in rain sometimes, spending more on better things and consuming less of wasteful/unethical things)

    I understand that not everyone does, but it’s not a foregone conclusion that ‘quality of life’ is measured by convenience and consumption (quantity over quality)

    twrch
    Free Member

    To blame population growth is another way that the west uses the divert the blame which squarely sits with industrialised nations

    Everywhere I’ve seen this idea, it’s been with the subext that we in the West need to have less children. As this is already true (we are not having enough kids to replace ourselves), and if it is a real concern, then surely we also need to stop immigration, so we will actually achieve population decline?

    Saying that, I think that global population growth is an issue, as it is quite clearly unsustainable. I’m also not absolving the lifestyles of Western countries, as that is clearly unsustainable too.

    vinnyeh
    Full Member

    What’s that then Daz?

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/feb/15/why-silicon-valley-billionaires-are-prepping-for-the-apocalypse-in-new-zealand

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/29/new-zealand-gave-peter-thiel-citizenship-after-spending-just-12-days-there

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/06/google-co-founder-larry-page-is-a-new-zealand-resident-government-says

    Yeah- nothing to do with climate change, but the (relative) isolation and emptiness, conservative outlook, and ease of obtaining citizenship. As far as climate change activism goes, the country is decades behind the Uk. Every time I go back, I’m shocked by the “we’re ok jack” attitude.

    twrch
    Free Member

    And buy them from the home based manufacturers instead?

    Well, our power grid is much more “decarburised” than any of the places that manufacture all of the crap we used, so if we hadn’t killed off our manufacuring industry, then that would be a great solution.

    As it is, as I see it, if you are concerned about an immediate reduction in CO2, you can’t have new TVs, computers, fancy mobile phones, etc. The energy required to manufacturethem, and largely powered by coal, is enormous. It takes the same energy to manufacture three laptops, as it did to manfacture an entire (admittedly tiny) car in the 1960’s.

    twrch
    Free Member

    And yes, I avoid buying electronics if at all possible, I cycle as much as possible, and my thermostat is set low. I also eat carefully-sourced meat (that doesn’t have to mean expensive – cheaper cuts of meat exist for a reason!), and own two petrol cars that I intend to hang on to for as long as possible.

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    There’s a reason the billionaires are buggering off to New Zealand.

    What’s that then Daz?

    Some place in the back of beyond where it’s always raining.

    Like Scotland, but without the volcanoes.

    olddog
    Full Member

    I will keep coming back to this thread periodically to say that Government action is required ( and without it we are doomed) – education, regulation, taxation and prohibition.

    Pushing the responsibilities onto individual people’s actions is a way of diverting blame and avoiding action by politicians who don’t want to do unpopular stuff

    The most environmentally positive thing an individual can do is agitate to government action and vote for parties which support a properly green agenda

    p7eaven
    Free Member

    Not buying a new TV every year will have a far bigger impact on CO2 emissions than not eating burgers, especially if you are careful about where you source the meat.

    That doesnt really make sense as I’m sure I could make the reverse argument and still sound convincing.

    ie

    Not buying a McDonalds every day will have a far bigger impact on CO2 emissions than not buying widescreen TVs, especially if you buy used.

    But let’s look at data:

    The carbon footprint of electronics, including smartphones, is about 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions, around 14 ounces of carbon dioxide per person each year. Link

    Total emissions from global livestock: 7.1 Gigatonnes of Co2-equiv per year, representing 14.5 percent of all anthropogenic GHG emissions. Link

    (Your argument may vary)

    twinw4ll
    Free Member

    If someone throws a can out of a car window they are scum, people who go on long haul holidays a few times a year are that lovely middle class family from next door.
    Consumption is the cause of the problem, without consumption we have war and famine, we are f*****.
    I don’t waste time fooling myself by buying an Electric car or some other Eco this that and the other total bollocks.
    The oil giants have to find new customers now petrol is under threat and plastic production is set to increase to plug that gap.

    twrch
    Free Member

    But then, if everyone did that, then there would be less new stuff being made, and no jobs.

    If some hypothetical economy based on producing high-quality, repairable goods can’t keep everyone in a job, then we are kinda doomed.

    vinnyeh
    Full Member

    Like Scotland, but without the volcanoes.

    The difficulty with being a smart arse is that you have to have a few smarts, and proof read what you’ve written otherwise you end up just looking an arse, and a fool to boot.

    v7fmp
    Free Member

    who buys a new TV every year?

    The biggest contributor to global warming/climate change is meat. the Billions of animals that are bread and slaughtered each year so people can have a sandwich/dinner/snacks.

    If you dont believe this, then unfortunately your head is in the sand. I find it hard that people sit there worrying about climate change whilst tucking into a burger…..

    p7eaven
    Free Member

    But then, if everyone did that, then there would be less new stuff being made, and no jobs.

    But people don’t. And neither do people source (sic) ‘lower-emissions’ livestock (or eat less meat) every day. My point is that the hard data and the trends are really the be all and end all of the argument?

    3.7% is still not greater than 14.5%, so…?

    dazh
    Full Member

    But then, if everyone did that, then there would be less new stuff being made, and no jobs.

    That’s why we need to move to an economy which provides the basic needs for everyone sustainably and remove the need for people to work to survive. The main mechanism for doing that is a UBI and to stop measuring the health of the economy with year on year growth.

    nickc
    Full Member

    And yes, I avoid buying electronics if at all possible, I cycle as much as possible, and my thermostat is set low.

    And for folk who can’t cycle, or will die if they don’t heat their homes? (the elderly) what happens to them? I seem to recall we had this same discussion a while back, and you didn’t answer that question then either. making piecemeal “individual” changes has bugger all effect in the grand scheme of things.

    Flying needs to stop, the way we produce food needs a radical re-think, we need to stop digging fossil fuel out the ground. these are the things that will change our world, and they need to be done at governmental level. We’re being gas-lit by the fossil fuel industry that our behavior is to blame.

    olly2097
    Free Member

    Selfishly I’ve got two young kids from my own ball bag.
    I worry about the future for them.
    I’ll certainly be telling them not to have kids on the basis that the world is becoming a terrifying place to live and if so then maybe adopt??? Always a spare kid needing a home.

    guest1
    Free Member

    singletrackmind
    Full Member

    Greed and consumerism. Adverts telling us what we need. Pcp car deals so a new one is shuffled in every 3 years, ooohh its electric sk very environmental friendly, except every single part is carbon negative, paint, pladtics, leather, steel, lithium. All produced, shipped tens of thousands of miles, re assembled, shipped ahain in container ship tjat does 1mtr to the gallon.

    New, new, new, buy buy bug. Spending a day shopping. We all do it and its killing the planet

    kingmod
    Free Member

    I’m starting to think climate change is less of an issue than the drop in biodiversity and mass extinction is more of a concern for the future. The size of the human population isn’t as big a part of the problem as consumerism. A few million people living the lifestyle of a Russian oligarch far outweigh a few billion living in a substance economy.

    The government has carbon targets, but no credible plan on how to achieve them. Swapping out gas boilers for heat pumps just isn’t practical for the vast proportion of the UK housing stock. Building energy efficient housing in the first place is a far better solution. The same goes for electric cars. Decent public transport, car sharing schemes and remote working all could reduce the number of cars on the road.

    dazh
    Full Member

    I’m starting to think climate change is less of an issue than the drop in biodiversity and mass extinction is more of a concern for the future.

    Which is why rewilding needs to be one the main components of the solution. If we got rid of livestock farming there’d be plenty of land to re-wild to support the regeneration of biodiversity. It also has the major benefit of absorbing a lot of carbon.

    https://www.rewildingbritain.org.uk/blog/new-report-how-restoring-nature-can-help-decarbonise-the-uk

    https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rstb.2017.0440

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Flying needs to stop, the way we produce food needs a radical re-think, we need to stop digging fossil fuel out the ground. these are the things that will change our world, and they need to be done at governmental level. We’re being gas-lit by the fossil fuel industry that our behavior is to blame.

    Given how much stuff is moved around the planet by shipping and aviation on a daily basis, that’s not going to happen anytime soon. We’ve created a catch-22 for ourselves. We can’t make X here, we import it from there. They can’t make Y over there so we export it from here.

    I mean, there are some massively ridiculous situations where food gets flown half way around the world for processing and then flown back again which might be easier to address in the short term but then you have to build and power a processing plant – which takes up more green space and puts out a shedload of pollutants in its construction.

    People get fixated on percentages here and tiny little details like TVs and burgers and it all turns into a slanging match – well you bought a 60″ TV so you can’t lecture me about driving to the gym – the reality is that the pollution situation (and that’s everything: emissions, plastics, water) needs a Covid-style lockdown to even come close to addressing it.

    But then the entire global economy stops. And we’ve built the entire global economy on fossil fuels. Circular argument where you end up asking people to turn the lights off or pop the heating down a notch. And we’ve seen what happens when you ask people to do things, they just turn on others and say “well, you first”.

    ehrob
    Free Member

    the problem with this thread, all other threads about this subject, and all discussions with armchair experts (i.e. pretty much everyone), is that it just turns into a willy waving, virtue signalling farce.

    put simply, we all need to do more, regardless of what we’re already doing. what others are doing is simply not relevant to that. what can be achieved is different for everyone, but again, that’s not important. focus on what you can do. otherwise, its a bit overwhelming and the conclusion becomes “what’s the point?”.

    please do all you can. drive less, fly less, eat less meat, waste less stuff. whatever. and don’t bother criticizing other individuals, its not productive – either educate, or ignore. criticize governments and businesses instead.

    guest1
    Free Member

    Graph

    If my link works, this is a graph of who creates the largest % of (lifestyle) carbon emmissions. The richest 10% of the worlds population produces 49% (that is people who earn over £65k per year).
    The richest 20% of the worlds population produces 68% of emmissions. That is people who earn over £26k per year, which I bet is the vast majority of people on Singletrack world…

    But, you know, it is ‘other people’s problem’.
    Business as usual on here though
    – what is the best carbon handlebar to replace my existing bar,
    – what is the best lease car? It has to be petrol or diesel because one day I might want to drive to Greece.
    – why should I spend money on solar panels when they take so long to repay the investment, and how much money will I make (not what benefit will they create to all)
    – I already have a road bike, enduro bike, trail bike, bmx and pub bike. What is the best gravel bike I can buy?

    Climate change is other people’s problem. Isn’t it?……..

    bikesandboots
    Full Member

    I like both of those things though. (Cycling in rain sometimes, spending more on better things and consuming less of wasteful/unethical things)

    Cycling in the rain is good when it’s moderate rain, I do it by choice, and I’m coming home for a shower and dry-off after. It’s a chore when it’s to work. I agree with spending more on better things, I like to “buy for life” for many non-consumable items (fortunate that I’m able to), and avoid waste/evil.

    I understand that not everyone does, but it’s not a foregone conclusion that ‘quality of life’ is measured by convenience and consumption (quantity over quality)

    True, I didn’t make my point very well or provide good examples. I mentioned inconveniences but it’s not really about that. There are eco-friendly choices I could make that would really reduce my enjoyment of life – go for a ride on the river path rather than driving 30 mins to the woods, ride in that woods rather than drive 1.5 hours to a bike park, go for a hike around local footpaths rather than head to the national park, go to the national park by bus/train rather than drive (thus dramatically worsening the travel:hiking time ratio), visit my parents and relatives less often, move out of the city (thus losing the job I need to have a chance at ever owning a house). I think that last example is significant – all the previous would be mostly solved by living near places I want to go, unfortunately there are too many of us so we can’t all live in the lake district or the highlands.

    andytherocketeer
    Full Member

    please do all you can. drive less, fly less, eat less meat, waste less stuff

    and eat less rice

    p7eaven
    Free Member

    I’m starting to think climate change is less of an issue than the drop in biodiversity and mass extinction is more of a concern for the future.

    Both are an issue. The biggest issues.

    Unfortunately the current trend is to either deny, downplay or quote-mine dead comedians about ‘the planet will be just fine’.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    Everywhere I’ve seen this idea, it’s been with the subext that we in the West need to have less children.

    Interesting. Whenever I’ve “seen this idea” it is very much aimed at countries later in their development cycle (and with lower carbon use per a head).

    twrch
    Free Member

    But let’s look at data:

    The carbon footprint of electronics, including smartphones, is about 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions, around 14 ounces of carbon dioxide per person each year. Link

    Total emissions from global livestock: 7.1 Gigatonnes of Co2-equiv per year, representing 14.5 percent of all anthropogenic GHG emissions. Link

    The measurements of animal-emitted CO2 is dominated by the US-style of cattle raising, with truly enormous amounts of cattle kept in barren fields and intensively fed imported foodstock (and water). That number itself is dominated by methane emissions, which are a little tricky to quantify (yes, I’m aware of experiments where cows are kept in sealed boxes and methane measured over some period of time), and a direct result of the cow’s diet.

    Grass-fed, local meat (which I appreciate is probably a practically un-attainable ideal at this point) has none of those issues, and does not necessarily need to be beef or pork.

    Intensive meat farming is unsustainable in many other ways – not least the water shortages in the parts of the US that happen to do this, and the terrible environmental destruction wrought in places that grow the feed (primarily, ex-rainforest). Not only that, the resulting food products are awful for people’s health. I suppose I can get on board with the mandated reduction in meat production, as long as it results in fast-food outlets offering processed plant slop insteat of processed meat slop, and I can keep doing what I’m doing.

    I also have difficulty believing that 3.7% of gobal GHG emission per year, in the quoted case of “electronics”, adds up to only 14oz per person. Maybe they are taking the sum total of CO2 emissions, and averging it out across every person on the planet?

    Especially when the linked article also says that datacentre emissions alone are the same as the entire aviation industry. I wonder how many stored photos equals one flight to Europe?

    A smarphone takes about 300kwh to manufacture, which is 100kg CO2e by itself (assuming a power grid with an energy mix similar to China). this is why I say – not buying a new smartphone, tablet, laptop, or whatever else, (or at least, delaying it as long as you can) is one of the single best things you can do to reduce CO2. Finding a way to stop contributing to the use of datacentres and other, external, power-hungry IT infrastructure (like the mobile network – a recent study in Finland showed that its mobile network used 1% of all power generated), is a little harder.

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