Reality is a bitch

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MikeK
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Reality is a bitch

Postby MikeK » Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:41 am

I don't know how many of you know about US EPA 2025 fuel economy standards? It's a thing. You can read about it here:

https://www3.epa.gov/otaq/climate/regs-light-duty.htm

It's a drop in the bucket. Not enough. Also, oddly enough, the market of gasoline internal combustion engines is not predicted to decline, it is actually predicted to grow - by about 10% I believe. That might be kind of conservative when you think about places like China, and these recent predictions were on a global scale.

With the recent VW scandal, Diesel for passenger vehicles is predicted to stay steady, or decline. In reality that doesn't really matter - it's still fossil fuel and still a contributor to GHG.

Hybrids are predicted to grow slightly and electric vehicles to stay fairly constant, but in reality, those don't necessarily solve the problem. If the energy they use comes from fossil fuels, they still contribute a significant amount of GHG. Apparently there are proposals to sequester GHG from power plants, but I've yet to really hear about anything that will put into legislation or into full swing. Electric power generation is still our #1 contributor. Electric cars don't solve the problem if we don't stop using FF for electric generation.

So, in short, the limp-wristed attempts of our government(s) to reduce GHG emissions continue, but not anywhere on the scale we need. In fact, I would bet based on industrialization that we'll wind up on a net increase in GHG emissions despite our efforts to minimize them i.e. be more efficient - but a larger energy demand, even at higher efficiency does not solve the issues.

And automotive suppliers will work very hard for the next 9 years to meet these goals, knowing very well its just a giant waste in terms of the actual goals that need to be met to reduce the earth's warming. And so will the power plants. But we'll burn it all. Every last drop.

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MikeK
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Re: Reality is a bitch

Postby MikeK » Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:02 pm

Sounds like the Germans don't like having their government called "limp-wristed".

http://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/fu ... ate=101016

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MikeK
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Re: Reality is a bitch

Postby MikeK » Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:00 am

Oy. The reality we have to live with today is worse than global warming. It's being led by someone who denies it. Someone who does not respect women or minorities. A giant bully. I feel like Freeheelwilly has been elected to office. How did we go so wrong?

It's what everyone thinks, but they are too afraid to say. That's sad.

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mugglesport
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Re: Reality is a bitch

Postby mugglesport » Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:03 pm

The situation we find ourselves in is beyond discouraging. Professionally, I work in what you could call "planning for sustainable, modern transportation systems." Most of our focus is on transit, biking, and walking. The current paradigm is so ingrained and seen as unchangeable by everyone from the public to top policy-makers. The reality is that many of the changes we need to make are philosophical and related to development patterns. Technological changes (e.g., fuel economy standards, alternative fuels, electric vehicles, etc.) help a bit in terms of emissions, but really just shift the environmental burden elsewhere in the supply chain. We don't just need lower emissions per mile driven, we need less miles driven.

Have you seen this? It gives me some hope:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/ene ... ate-change

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MikeK
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Re: Reality is a bitch

Postby MikeK » Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:22 pm

I'd really like to be more optimistic, but from where I sit the majority of my days, it doesn't look good.

I'm almost of the mind now it would/will take a catastrophic event i.e. war, plague, famine, large scale natural disaster to change our current course. Consumers expect a certain product, the entire world wants to have the things we do, and there simply isn't enough resource or know-how to make that happen on a sustainable basis.

The two, grim, real-world solutions that I suspect that will need to happen to make a major change are:

reduction in population on a large scale
reduction in per capita energy usage of a reduced population

And that then ties back in with catastrophic events. To reduce either of those things is seen by the majority as a step backward.

I'm a gross offender of those two things which I think every person needs to seriously consider. I now have 3 children and I use far too much energy on a number of relatively meaningless things. The biggest offender is probably me working - driving to and from and the industry I work in.

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mugglesport
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Re: Reality is a bitch

Postby mugglesport » Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:58 pm

Not quite sure whether you're talking about triggering events or solutions, but if you're talking about population decrease as the only solution, then I disagree. I believe that our planet can handle a growing population...IF there are changes to both energy consumption and energy sources. The challenge to that is that western culture is always looking for technological solutions (hybrid cars! self driving cars!) rather than rethinking how we distribute our population. The problem goes well beyond fossil fuels and into water consumption and the loss of agricultural land. If we want to keep living in suburbs and driving 10+ miles to work every day, then you're probably right...a reduced population is the only way to achieve that without killing the planet.

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MikeK
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Re: Reality is a bitch

Postby MikeK » Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:58 pm

I'm thinking from a biological standpoint. Everywhere you look in nature, populations are self-regulating. When the population of something gets to high, some other metric keeps it in check, like decreasing food supply, a disease or even another organism which regulates. Being where we are, we "think" we are above that, but really there is a limit. We are quickly reaching that. No matter how many diseases we ward off, or conflicts we avoid, there is a finite limit as to the number of humans this planet can support AND still maintain our environment as it is.

In the past our populations had always been regulated by the kind of things I mentioned above. Technology and medicine allowed our population to reach the levels it has today and increase the life expectancy. Areas that are grossly overpopulated and life expectancy are low and famine is high are not, to me, any way to live. But surely not everyone can live at the rate first world countries consume and maintain those levels of population.

I see it as all a great balancing act. Our drive is to live as long as possible and preserve our species; it's ingrained in our biology, in every living thing's biology, but that many be our biggest downfall because we've progressed to a point where major things need to happen, by our own hand or fate's, to control our population. In my mind there is no escaping that.

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connyro
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Re: Reality is a bitch

Postby connyro » Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:39 am

What about the fact that many first world countries (scandinavia, japan, etc) have achieved negative birth rates? (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_decline)

Population decline is seen as a major bummer for modern economies. We need to figure out how to gear our economies towards something other than constant growth if we want to achieve neutral/negative population growth. Any ideas?

"If we all ski with our hands up and out makes you wonder if you don't your going to plaster some trees.....Those poles have to be in a ready position or....."
-Teleman

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MikeK
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Re: Reality is a bitch

Postby MikeK » Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:57 am

Get rid of debt.

I know I'm basing some of my insight off the movie Zeitgeist, but they do make one fact abundantly clear. There is never enough money in circulation to pay off the debt, because the money that was borrowed from banks, as is all money in circulation, is only the principle. Therefore more consumers, with more debt are needed to pay off the old debt.

Our current consumer cycle is a vicious one that really cannot be broken without bankruptcy.

It is a brilliant plan to enslave people and other countries, because as I said earlier, one can never pay off their debt without more debt.

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Woodserson
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Re: Reality is a bitch

Postby Woodserson » Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:21 pm

connyro wrote:Population decline is seen as a major bummer for modern economies. We need to figure out how to gear our economies towards something other than constant growth if we want to achieve neutral/negative population growth. Any ideas?


This was an interesting read when it was not a book, about 10 years ago. It's been a while, I don't remember all the details. http://www.sd-commission.org.uk/publications.php?id=914 There may be some answers for you there if you really want to go deeper.

The growth-based economic system (take raw materials out of the ground for free, refine/make into plastic toys, sell, discard, repeat previous cycle and then some) we have seems unstoppable with little palatable options for the powers that be or the rest of humanity.


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