Decarbonising transport

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K. A. Pital
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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by K. A. Pital » 2020-05-01 04:32am

chimericoncogene wrote:
2020-04-30 10:03pm
Guys, transport - especially air transport - should be the last thing we decarbonize.

Until batteries get more energy density than hydrocarbon, or we transition to nuclear-generated ammonia or something (which has its own problems), or we somehow finally build aircraft nuclear reactors (yeah, right)...

I see mankind hydrogenating coal to provide jets with kerosene well after the rest of the economy has gone 100% green and cargo ships are all powered by nuclear reactors, wind, or batteries. Or pump the oil that nobody wants anymore. Heck, if people are so worried about the planet, they can do the obvious thing and use biofuel, or directly extract CO2 from the air or generated by concrete production to make kerosene via whatever industrial process is cheapest.

It's just not going to happen. Hydrocarbons have too many energy density and handling advantages to be surrendered.
Au contraire, air transport is one of the biggest contributors to rapid excessive emissions and thus is a number one target. Several transoceanic flights are enough to cancel out a lifetime of other emissions savings, and we all know it.

Also, what is so urgent that demands your flying all the time? Do explain.
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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by chimericoncogene » 2020-05-01 08:41am

K. A. Pital wrote:
2020-05-01 04:32am

Also, what is so urgent that demands your flying all the time? Do explain.
Fast and priority cargo. Human happiness and freedom of movement worldwide. Global GDP per capita and HDI figures. Global business transactions. The continued smooth operation of the globalized economy on which the growth of both the developed and developing world rests. The growth and health of the aerospace industry, and their contributions to the greater economy.

I don't fly much myself, but I can see why other people need to.

War.

Progress.

Seriously, paying for geoengineering, genetically modified crops, and seawalls would be far more cost-effective than these insane proposals to decarbonize air travel. The fundamental point of going green is to decarbonize at minimal economic cost and maximum human happiness. Get rid of the low-hanging fruit first!

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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by K. A. Pital » 2020-05-01 12:10pm

chimericoncogene wrote:
2020-05-01 08:41am
Fast and priority cargo.
Freight-moving flights are a small percentage of passenger flights. Priority cargo (transplants, blood, emergency supplies, firefighting planes) is an even smaller percentage of flights. Bulk is entertainment passenger flights.
Human happiness and freedom of movement worldwide.
Human happiness of First World tourists is enough grounds to burn the planet up and totally wreck it for the future generations? Freedom of movement has been severely, utterly curtailed in the modern world (compare to the early XX century when anyone could arrive in any nation with a valid passport and live there, and work there, without having to follow a strict visa refime). But even the vestiges of free movement do not actually require air travel. You could arrive over land and sea to the same destinations. It would take more time, but would be much less destructive.
Global GDP per capita and HDI figures
GDP per capita is a meaningless figure. It is just a monetary expression of transactional activities. If a man marries his maid, GDP goes down. If he stops paying prostitutes for sex because he finds a girlfriend, GDP goes down. HDI is a better metric. What would be the impact of shifting to low-carbon travel forms on HDI? Any figures you want to share? Abstract “HDI figures” would not cut it. Please quantify impact.
Global business transactions.
They are executed without any air travel as we speak. COVID has proven without a shred of doubt that remote agreement-making, remote communication and low-travel business are possible even in a global capitalist framework.
The continued smooth operation of the globalized economy on which the growth of both the developed and developing world rests. The growth and health of the aerospace industry, and their contributions to the greater economy.
So you double down on a harmful industry and say its “health” is a value in itself. That is not proof, sorry. I could say we must continue producing drugs for the health of the drug industry and its contribution to global economy, and human happiness. I could say we must continue producing asbestos for the sake of the asbestos industry, its profits and its contributions to the greater economy. It is laughable and not a proper justification.
I don't fly much myself, but I can see why other people need to.
I don’t kill much myself, but can see why other people need to.
War.

Progress.

Seriously, paying for geoengineering, genetically modified crops, and seawalls would be far more cost-effective than these insane proposals to decarbonize air travel. The fundamental point of going green is to decarbonize at minimal economic cost and maximum human happiness. Get rid of the low-hanging fruit first!
War is a positive? Lol hope you fucking die.
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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by chimericoncogene » 2020-05-01 12:36pm

K. A. Pital wrote:
2020-05-01 12:10pm

Human happiness of First World tourists is enough grounds to burn the planet up and totally wreck it for the future generations?
Time is money. A five-day holiday is affordable for many. A seven-day holiday with three days spent in transit by super-maglev at 700 km/h is fifty percent more expensive - even for wealthy professionals.

And the second and third worlds are going to be joining the first world soon in terms of tourists. Haven't you noticed the growing hordes of Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Indian tourists? What about Africa's billions? Why can't they enjoy short hops to Europe and North America one day? Why can't they have electrically powered SUVs, green lawns, and suburban housing?

The First World got to have fun. The rest of the world deserves to have fun too, if they can build the economic base for it. They'll have to pay more for it because of environmental degradation, and hopefully technology will make it all less taxing so that we don't all die, but fun will be had - it's just sheer racist elitism to suggest otherwise (circumstances may hamper fun, but in principle it should be imperative). I seriously doubt that climate change will kill us all - unless we get a clathrate gun or something - which I hear is unlikely. Not even the third world, as long as the economy holds, will die en masse. Sure, we'll have to build a few new cities and big seawalls, and the worst cases are scary bad, but the world is rich enough and governments are powerful enough that we can reconfigure, probably without mass death (since it's like a super-slow-moving nuclear war - you have time to adjust). Stalinist Russia survived World War II, with casualties. We will survive the Clathrate Gun, with casualties <100 million. We lose a hundred million people to cancer every decade, and we have 200 million cases of malaria, a climate-change-sensitive disease, a year. These are trendlines, pockmarked with smaller collapses and wars. Bad trendlines, but changeable ones.

Also, think of the GDP buff from all that rebuilding. That'll keep the world economy running as long as we all keep our heads and not go into anti-technology hysteria mode (which could happen). But honestly, I'm more worried about a Sino-American war/Cold War tanking the global economy, plunging Africa into recession, and the resulting instability and famine killing millions.

Sure, I'm all for building that 800 km/h super-maglev in a big vacuum tube and giant bridges across the Bering Strait and looping across the Torres Strait to Australia, but all that sounds less flexible but just as environmentally friendly as, say...

Building a nuclear reactor to convert atmospheric CO2 or CO2 from cement production into kerosene and using the resultant $200/barrel kerosene to fly super-efficient aircraft (that would quadruple airfare, with the exact same effects you noted - less air travel, fewer tourists; maglev becomes competitive with air - but much more reasonably achieved). Or using bio-kerosene. Zero emissions, no fuss, no muss.

There are plenty of ways to decarbonize air travel without taking away kerosene.

GDP is a measure of economic output. It is a good way to measure progress. Randomly eliminating sources of carbon is bad for the economy just as arbitrary Soviet economic planning was bad for the economy (modern computers might do better, but I like simple, elegant, self-regulating systems like free markets). Decarbonization is necessary and desirable, but not like this.
Global business transactions.
They are executed without any air travel as we speak. COVID has proven without a shred of doubt that remote agreement-making, remote communication and low-travel business are possible even in a global capitalist framework.
So you double down on a harmful industry and say its “health” is a value in itself. That is not proof, sorry. I could say we must continue producing drugs for the health of the drug industry and its contribution to global economy, and human happiness. I could say we must continue producing asbestos for the sake of the asbestos industry, its profits and its contributions to the greater economy. It is laughable and not a proper justification.
These actually are justifications. Nations use them all the time. The USA subsidizes shipbuilding even when Korean ships are cheaper, and built submarines to maintain the industrial base. Nations still exist. Boeing's health is vital to the US defense industry, and COMAC's health will be vital to the Chinese military.
War is a positive? Lol hope you fucking die.
That was made in partial jest. War is not desirable. War is very, very horrible. But war, or at least the defense industry and a capability for war... is necessary. Because humans suck, and nations exist, and nations are necessary because humans suck.

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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by K. A. Pital » 2020-05-01 12:42pm

Regarding sea walls: some areas are fundamentally unable to be shielded from rising sea levels, because water will come from below. The ground under Florida is largely porous limestone, which means water will rise through it, making your multibillion sea wall useless. Many of the poorer nations do not have the funds to engage in Netherlands-style, centuries-long, exhausting battle with the ocean and will just drown, turning populations into refugees. So you might want to think again, but I severely doubt a person who put war and happiness in the same post as valid reasons for pushing on with high emissions is able to.

But I already see that you are a crude utilitarian who thinks in terms of “elegancy” of the market just as said market left 30 million people jobless; all social democratic nations went through the lockdown with much less disruption to people’s lives, we don’t need to be talking World War II here.

You are all edgelord over how easy it is to get over 20+ million deaths, well guess the world will be better served by your puffing out of existence, compared to millions who died in Middle Eastern wars - partially fueled by climate change, btw.

And of course my comment about drugs still stands, just as about asbestos and thalidomide.
There are plenty of ways to decarbonize air travel without taking away kerosene.
Come to me when capitalism solves this. Oh wait, that will never happen, don’t come.
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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by K. A. Pital » 2020-05-01 02:31pm

chimericoncogene wrote:
2020-05-01 12:36pm
Time is money. A five-day holiday is affordable for many. A seven-day holiday with three days spent in transit by super-maglev at 700 km/h is fifty percent more expensive - even for wealthy professionals.
Why do you need a maglev speeding at 700 kph? No way to make a holiday close to home? Most social-democratic nations have 28-30 working (sic) days of paid vacation. These days can be used in conjunction with public holidays and weekends. In Germany it would be feasible to have 45-55 total days of rest, not taken together but I have real examples of people going on 4-week vacations and 14 days is the state-enforced minimum.
And the second and third worlds are going to be joining the first world soon in terms of tourists. Haven't you noticed the growing hordes of Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Indian tourists? What about Africa's billions? Why can't they enjoy short hops to Europe and North America one day? Why can't they have electrically powered SUVs, green lawns, and suburban housing?
Just what about you makes you think your vacation (1) is more valuable than the long-term health of our planetary biosphere & habitat for all (2) must take place thousands of kilometers away from where you are? Why do they need SUVs, if they never venture outside the city? Why do they need suburbia if they have a high quality of life in green cities full of parks, walkways, and natural reserves on the outskirts? Your strategy is bound to destroy a lot of their natural treasures in pursuit of growth that will benefit the exploiters, the bourgeois and the rich people.
The First World got to have fun.
Who said that? What is the justification? Someone who murdered and plundered others for centuries of colonialism and slavery “got to have fun”? What has having fun have to do with mass environmental destruction, btw? Are you suggesting the 6,5 billion people who are not as rich, do not have fun? Lead dreary lives? Just because they can’t fly 1000 km for a 5-day vacation?
The rest of the world deserves to have fun too, if they can build the economic base for it.
The rest of the world does not have another 10 planets to exploit for cheap resources and 10 continents to use as slave and colonial labour.
I seriously doubt that climate change will kill us all - unless we get a clathrate gun or something - which I hear is unlikely.
No, it would not kill us all, obviously, but it would make the Third World largely uninhabitable. What started with the Middle East will continue. Desertification, mass-death heat waves that were exceptions will become the routine, and there will be more and more refugees from the unbearable conditions. But if that is “fun”, then you can go on.
Not even the third world, as long as the economy holds, will die en masse. Sure, we'll have to build a few new cities and big seawalls, and the worst cases are scary bad, but the world is rich enough and governments are powerful enough that we can reconfigure, probably without mass death (since it's like a super-slow-moving nuclear war - you have time to adjust).
You are an callous and stupid person if you think that you can easily predict cascade effects in a closed environment with multiple feedback loops. You throw the biosphere out of balance and expect things to turn out fine, and you ignore that the poor world will carry this burden while the rich world will mostly sit it out (sure, the US and some coastal regions are fucked, but others will remain firmly in control).
Also, think of the GDP buff from all that rebuilding. That'll keep the world economy running as long as we all keep our heads and not go into anti-technology hysteria mode (which could happen). But honestly, I'm more worried about a Sino-American war/Cold War tanking the global economy, plunging Africa into recession, and the resulting instability and famine killing millions.
Millions already are dying in civil wars in the Middle East, partially due to climate change. You want to double down on this.
Sure, I'm all for building that 800 km/h super-maglev in a big vacuum tube and giant bridges across the Bering Strait and looping across the Torres Strait to Australia, but all that sounds less flexible but just as environmentally friendly as, say...
Nobody needs that. Go for a vacation in your backyard, for a change.
Building a nuclear reactor to convert atmospheric CO2 or CO2 from cement production into kerosene and using the resultant $200/barrel kerosene to fly super-efficient aircraft (that would quadruple airfare, with the exact same effects you noted - less air travel, fewer tourists; maglev becomes competitive with air - but much more reasonably achieved). Or using bio-kerosene. Zero emissions, no fuss, no muss.
Bio-kerosene to starve the people who rely on food crops for survival in the poor world? No way, siree. No way. Your other strategy might be OK, but where are these nuclear reactors to convert atmospheric CO2?
GDP is a measure of economic output. It is a good way to measure progress. Randomly eliminating sources of carbon is bad for the economy just as arbitrary Soviet economic planning was bad for the economy (modern computers might do better, but I like simple, elegant, self-regulating systems like free markets). Decarbonization is necessary and desirable, but not like this.
GDP is only a measure of transactional activity. You have offered no actual explanation why it is a good way to measure progress. Qatar has exorbitant GDP per capita, but a horrendous human rights, labour rights, women rights record. A high GDP and utter dystopia are perfectly combineable.

Once again: if you go for a vacation to the nearest village, GDP will drop. Does this mean the village is worthless, and so are its people? Does this mean you should always fly over 1000 km when you get a chance?
These actually are justifications. Nations use them all the time. The USA subsidizes shipbuilding even when Korean ships are cheaper, and built submarines to maintain the industrial base. Nations still exist. Boeing's health is vital to the US defense industry, and COMAC's health will be vital to the Chinese military.
Nations are abstract constructs, no different from a tribe, world government, humanity, city or commune. You are saying something is justified because it exists. That does not follow. Asbestos and thalidomide exist. Is their use justified?
That was made in partial jest. War is not desirable. War is very, very horrible. But war, or at least the defense industry and a capability for war... is necessary. Because humans suck, and nations exist, and nations are necessary because humans suck.
One again statements, made as axioms: nations exist, humans suck. Both are not proof, no justification. Borders exist because nations exist. Does this mean their existence is justified? Not to me.
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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by ray245 » 2020-05-05 04:36am

While the long-term effect of declining eco-tourism might help the planet, it is not going to help the planet in the short-term. The short-term damage is also going to have a harm on the planet in the long term as well.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... ldlife-aoe
From the vast plains of the Masai Mara in Kenya to the delicate corals of the Aldabra atoll in the Seychelles, conservation work to protect some of the world’s most important ecosystems is facing crisis following a collapse in ecotourism during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organisations that depend on visitors to fund projects for critically endangered species and rare habitats could be forced to close, according to wildlife NGOs, after border closures and worldwide travel restrictions abruptly halted millions of pounds of income from tourism.

Throughout the pandemic, scientists have repeatedly urged humanity to reset its relationship with nature or suffer worse outbreaks. But the economic consequences of the Covid-19 lockdown have raised fears of a surge in poaching, illegal fishing and deforestation in life-sustaining ecosystems, with tens of thousands of jobs in the ecotourism sector at risk around the world.

“It’s right that the global focus now is on protecting human lives in this devastating pandemic. However, in the places we work, we are already witnessing its economic impact, particularly in areas where communities rely heavily on ecotourism for their livelihoods,” said Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF UK.

In Cambodia, three critically endangered giant ibis were killed for meat in early April following the collapse of the local tourism industry, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society. In central Africa, measures to shield mountain gorillas from the virus have resulted in a slump in vital visitor revenue. Twelve rangers who guarded Virunga national park, where the gorillas live, were killed in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo last month.

“It could be years before these places can fully recover, increasing the risk that people come to rely on other activities to make a living, putting unsustainable pressure on natural resources,” Bartlett said. “Additionally it is currently much harder to monitor land grabbing and illegal poaching.”

While the poaching of rhinos, big cats and critically endangered species has continued during lockdown, a recent Wildlife Justice Commission report found the illegal wildlife trade had been severely disrupted by movement and travel restrictions.

But conservationists fear an explosion of illegal hunting if organisations are forced to lay off wildlife rangers and suspend surveillance programmes. Black rhinos in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, have been evacuated after at least six were killed by poachers in March.

Dickson Kaelo, chief executive officer at Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association, said all bookings for this year’s key activities such as the wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara had been cancelled, prompting difficult choices about staff in Kenya’s conservancies.

“While elephant poaching may not escalate owing to the current suppression of international travel and negative sentiments against animal products in south-east Asia, demand for bushmeat will go up if there is nobody to monitor activities within the conservancies,” he said.

“Poaching for bushmeat already existed on a small scale even before the coronavirus outbreak. With more Kenyans out of work, bushmeat will be more appealing than meat sold by the licensed butcher. If the rangers have no salaries, how will they effectively monitor human activities in and out of the conservancies?”

Wildlife conservation in Kenya had already suffered a series of setbacks following a devastating locust invasion and a viral outbreak among livestock in the the Greater Mara conservation area. Kaelo said coronavirus will compound the effects on community-led wildlife conservation.

“Members of these communities may lose faith in wildlife conservation if there is no money forthcoming. In addition, people who live around these wildlife havens and looked forward to selling artefacts to tourists may resort to other income-generating activities such as farming, fuelling the never-ending human-wildlife conflicts as animals invade and destroy their new farms,” he said.

In Colombia, the big cat conservation organisation Panthera has recorded a spike in big cat poaching, with two jaguars, an ocelot and a puma killed in recent weeks. The organisation is struggling to fund basic running costs as donations dry up or are delayed.

While rangers are forced to stay at home, Dr Esteban Payán, director of the jaguar programme in the region, said he was concerned about illegal land grabbing and intentional wildfires.

“My worst fear post-pandemic is that once we go out, we’re going to find hectares and hectares of fenced-out new farmland where you don’t know who they are or what is happening. There’s rampant deforestation in Colombia right now in the Amazon.

“That worries me more than increased poaching. Why? Because of the scale, size and speed of deforestation and fires. That just destroys the habitat. And with the habitat, there go the jaguars. You might not see a bloody animal on the ground with a bullet in it but it’s worse because they’re either homeless and burned, burned alive or they don’t have any prey.”

Global Fishing Watch has recorded a substantial drop in fishing around the world, with fishing hours down by more than 37% from 11 March to the end of April compared with the past two years. But the drop in ecotourism has affected conservation of the world’s most precious marine ecosystems.

Dr Fanny Douvere, Unesco’s marine programme coordinator for 50 world heritage sites, including the Great Barrier Reef, the Galápagos Islands and the West Norwegian Fjords, warned of the consequences of the downturn.

“We need to be particularly worried about those sites that are heavily dependent on tourism revenues to finance some of their operations. In the Seychelles, for example, Aldabra atoll is not sure how it’s going to continue with its monitoring because it’s entirely financed by revenues from tourism,” she said.

“As soon as tourism revenues fall apart, a lot of sites cannot continue their conservation, or at least part of it.”
This is why trying to find ways and solutions to ease the transition is absolutely crucial. Endangered animals are not likely to survive the "painful but necessary" transition. In the long run it might help end poaching and destruction of natural habitats, but endangered species do not have the luxury of waiting for long-term benefits.
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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by Sky Captain » 2020-05-07 04:31pm

Tourist masses flying to distant vacation destinations just mean lots of people have relatively large amount of disposable income. If airlines go bust and tourism industry collapses and struggle to recover long term that money likely will be spent on something else like for example a family relocate from apartment building to suburban house and now commute to work every day in a car adding to suburban sprawl and increased fuel and electricity use for heating, air conditioning, commuting to work, maybe engage in some other gas guzzling leisure activities.
Obviously everyone living in energy efficient multistory apartment buildings would be best from environment perspective, but that's nor what most people want. Most families living in cramped apartment buildings would love to have their own house with backyard, garden, a car or two.

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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by Jub » 2020-05-07 04:48pm

Sky Captain wrote:
2020-05-07 04:31pm
Tourist masses flying to distant vacation destinations just mean lots of people have relatively large amount of disposable income. If airlines go bust and tourism industry collapses and struggle to recover long term that money likely will be spent on something else like for example a family relocate from apartment building to suburban house and now commute to work every day in a car adding to suburban sprawl and increased fuel and electricity use for heating, air conditioning, commuting to work, maybe engage in some other gas guzzling leisure activities.
Obviously everyone living in energy efficient multistory apartment buildings would be best from environment perspective, but that's nor what most people want. Most families living in cramped apartment buildings would love to have their own house with backyard, garden, a car or two.
A) Depending on property values in your area a lifetime of vacations wouldn't buy you an upgrade from an appartment to a detached house with a decent sized yard. Unless you were willing to literally move to a new city with significantly cheaper property values.

B) Why should we give a fuck if people still want to live an unsustainable dream? We can't all have sprawling houses on our own acreage because, even if cost weren't an issue, we'd run out of suitable land and increase commutes by so much that people couldn't reasonably drive to work. We need to sell a new dream, not pander to the delusions of the masses.

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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by madd0ct0r » 2020-05-07 05:28pm

Sky Captain wrote:
2020-05-07 04:31pm
Tourist masses flying to distant vacation destinations just mean lots of people have relatively large amount of disposable income. If airlines go bust and tourism industry collapses and struggle to recover long term that money likely will be spent on something else like for example a family relocate from apartment building to suburban house and now commute to work every day in a car adding to suburban sprawl and increased fuel and electricity use for heating, air conditioning, commuting to work, maybe engage in some other gas guzzling leisure activities.
Obviously everyone living in energy efficient multistory apartment buildings would be best from environment perspective, but that's nor what most people want. Most families living in cramped apartment buildings would love to have their own house with backyard, garden, a car or two.
Why would you assume we change one thing and not others? Working from home, not commuting. Cycling not driving. Green grid and effective housing and maybe not living in Florida between the heat and the water.
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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by K. A. Pital » 2020-05-08 04:53am

madd0ct0r wrote:
2020-05-07 05:28pm
Sky Captain wrote:
2020-05-07 04:31pm
Tourist masses flying to distant vacation destinations just mean lots of people have relatively large amount of disposable income. If airlines go bust and tourism industry collapses and struggle to recover long term that money likely will be spent on something else like for example a family relocate from apartment building to suburban house and now commute to work every day in a car adding to suburban sprawl and increased fuel and electricity use for heating, air conditioning, commuting to work, maybe engage in some other gas guzzling leisure activities.
Obviously everyone living in energy efficient multistory apartment buildings would be best from environment perspective, but that's nor what most people want. Most families living in cramped apartment buildings would love to have their own house with backyard, garden, a car or two.
Why would you assume we change one thing and not others? Working from home, not commuting. Cycling not driving. Green grid and effective housing and maybe not living in Florida between the heat and the water.
Yes. Also I question the idea you could buy houses with money spent on tourist trips.

Green grid, green commuting options (metro/subway, efficient & on time), and cheap mass-produced housing (that would lower the value of “investment” for speculators on people’s housing, yes).
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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by loomer » 2020-05-08 05:08am

I challenge the idea that anyone has a right to air conditioning, a car, or high-carbon leisure activities in the first place.
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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by K. A. Pital » 2020-05-08 05:52am

loomer wrote:
2020-05-08 05:08am
I challenge the idea that anyone has a right to air conditioning, a car, or high-carbon leisure activities in the first place.
There is no such thing as a “right” to these activities, obviously (I pointed out many times), and as someone who comes from a non-rights framework to me the whole framing in terms of rights is not a good one. Crux of the matter is not whether there is a right to them, but if it is possible to get rid of them while still benefitting the working class (safe workplace, efficient & safe transportation to this workplace).

Air conditioning in the developing world is a matter of survival as the actions of the developed world turn it uninhabitable, and into one permanent colossal death heat wave. So there is no “right” to it, but it is the only mitigation strategy outside mass resettlement & turning a huge share of the global South into an uninhabited desert. What is true is that the developed world has no “right” to it, nor is it necessary. Advanced passive cooling in buildings is almost as efficient as air conditioning for most moderate climate zones. Even with zones shifting, it is imperative to convert all new and existing construction as much as possible to advanced passive cooling. Cars are unnecessary if work is liable to provide living spaces & the speculation in living space & other capitalist arrangements cease to be or are even sufficiently weakened by a large non-market housing sector that keeps expanding, destroying investments but providing necessities and changing the paradigm. Cars are likewise unnecessary if efficient commutes are organized without cars. High-carbon leisure activities are obviously pure luxuries that also require significant conscious bad-acting (long-range flights) and consumerist attitude to nations & peoples (“I wanna fly to consume exotic cultures of those formerly colonized peoples, waaah waaah don’t take away my RIGHTS” is what’s gonna happen because individualistic, atomized asshole behaviours have been normalized in the First World to such a degree even suggesting this would be anathema; First World is largely irredeemable in that regard).

I know the question was not for me, likely, but answered nonethtless.

The biggest problem right now is globalism as an instrument of neo-colonialism, that makes all nations look alike because it forces others to replicate malicious structures originating in First World capitalism (or else be forced to be ostracised by the loving “world community”, codeword for a club of rich asshole governments). Any suggestions that solutions don’t involve markets, housing speculation, huge car arteries, mass air transit are thus laughed out by the supporters of the global capitalists.
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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by Sky Captain » 2020-05-09 04:00am

Jub wrote:
2020-05-07 04:48pm
Sky Captain wrote:
2020-05-07 04:31pm
Tourist masses flying to distant vacation destinations just mean lots of people have relatively large amount of disposable income. If airlines go bust and tourism industry collapses and struggle to recover long term that money likely will be spent on something else like for example a family relocate from apartment building to suburban house and now commute to work every day in a car adding to suburban sprawl and increased fuel and electricity use for heating, air conditioning, commuting to work, maybe engage in some other gas guzzling leisure activities.
Obviously everyone living in energy efficient multistory apartment buildings would be best from environment perspective, but that's nor what most people want. Most families living in cramped apartment buildings would love to have their own house with backyard, garden, a car or two.
A) Depending on property values in your area a lifetime of vacations wouldn't buy you an upgrade from an appartment to a detached house with a decent sized yard. Unless you were willing to literally move to a new city with significantly cheaper property values.
You couldn't right away, but availability of extra money could influence a decision to take a housing loan.
Jub wrote:
2020-05-07 04:48pm

B) Why should we give a fuck if people still want to live an unsustainable dream? We can't all have sprawling houses on our own acreage because, even if cost weren't an issue, we'd run out of suitable land and increase commutes by so much that people couldn't reasonably drive to work. We need to sell a new dream, not pander to the delusions of the masses.
If enough people want to live unsustainable dream they can influence that by voting to politicians who promise that unsustainable dream and oppose any changes to more sustainable model. You would have to change whole economic system before any serious long term sustainability planning and implementation can take place in most of the Western world. I don't see how that realistically could happen as long as majority want that unsustainable American dream.

madd0ct0r wrote:
2020-05-07 05:28pm
Why would you assume we change one thing and not others? Working from home, not commuting. Cycling not driving. Green grid and effective housing and maybe not living in Florida between the heat and the water.
That would be ideal, but for that to happen we would have to change whole paradigm of how humans behave.
K. A. Pital wrote:
2020-05-08 05:52am
Cars are unnecessary if work is liable to provide living spaces & the speculation in living space & other capitalist arrangements cease to be or are even sufficiently weakened by a large non-market housing sector that keeps expanding, destroying investments but providing necessities and changing the paradigm. Cars are likewise unnecessary if efficient commutes are organized without cars.
I don't see how you could get rid of cars, mass public transport is great to go to work and back if you live in suitable place with train or buss stop nearby and you can get to your work in one go. As soon as you for example have to take a train into a city and then wait for city bus to take you last 5 km to your workplace public transport becomes such a PITA most people don't bother if they can afford a car at all.

Cars are so damn useful they are unlikely to go away. What if I have to buy some stuff while going back home, what if I have to go from one village to another and there is no useful bus service. What if I want to go fishing, or do small road trip with family, visit my grandparents who live in a country house on a weekend or tons of other use cases where car is only solution. At best you could make enough percentage of people take public transport or bicycle on a trips where car is not strictly necessary to reduce rush hour traffic jams so everyone can get to their destination faster. Like not go every day to work by car but maybe every second or third day to also buy some stuff while going back home.

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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by loomer » 2020-05-09 04:28am

They may be convenient, but why should you be permitted to own a private car, Captain?
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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by Sky Captain » 2020-05-09 01:04pm

loomer wrote:
2020-05-09 04:28am
They may be convenient, but why should you be permitted to own a private car, Captain?
Why should I be permitted to own a tv, a computer, washing machine or any other convenient household device, a house or apartment? maybe a hut made from tree branches should be enough. The fruits of modern civilization are just too damn useful to ignore.

In a dense city with good public transport system and all services nearby a car may be luxury, if you occasionally need one it is more convenient to borrow or rent one, but in a small towns and villages where there is maybe one buss per day if at all a car is more of a necessity. Don't have access to a car and have some health issue not serious enough to call ambulance, well sucks to be you, something in your house breaks and needs to be brought to service center sucks to be you, have any other issue that can be quickly solved with a car and you don't have one sucks to be you.

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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by K. A. Pital » 2020-05-09 02:11pm

Who designed and built settlements and infrastructure that way? Are you sure you want to argue from path dependency? Do you even understand what “path dependency” is?
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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by Starglider » 2020-05-09 03:33pm

The average cyberpunk dystopia would be preferable to the total oppression complex this brand of hare-braned ecocommunototalitarians would (fail to) engineer. As ever it gives me a small, but noticeable, sense of satisfaction that they will never, ever have any power to implement the least bit of it.

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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by K. A. Pital » 2020-05-09 04:06pm

Starglider wrote:
2020-05-09 03:33pm
The average cyberpunk dystopia would be preferable to the total oppression complex this brand of hare-braned ecocommunototalitarians would (fail to) engineer. As ever it gives me a small, but noticeable, sense of satisfaction that they will never, ever have any power to implement the least bit of it.
You do realize the activities of a small (500-600 million) fraction of the world’s population will make a huge part of the world uninhabitable for like 1-2 billion people within several decades?

If you do, and you still make comments like this, you are not one inch better than the “ecocommunototalitarians” you denounce.

You are even worse. Some are at least concerned with reducing suffering for all, however misguided their ideas. To you, lives are non-equivalent, you have the concept of “worthy” and “unworthy” lives, much like many of your Pinochetian kind, and obviously the rich are worthy, as are any luxuries and excesses they indulge in, and all the rest are unworthy. First World luxuries = absolute necessity, Third World suffering = acceptable price to pay for it. After all, not Britain is going to become uninhabitable desert, so all is good.

Explain how your brand of thought is different from what I said, if you have any decency left.
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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by madd0ct0r » 2020-05-09 04:34pm

Well this all seems to have got a little personal.

If a problem is intractable break it down.
Let's look at urban populations. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urbanization_by_country

Australia 86.2%
United Kingdom 83.9%
United States 82.7%

So while Sky Captain is happy that it is an easy problem for the urban population, I'm happy that that solves 85% of the entire problem. And that's assuming electric/fuel cell vehicles don't swallow the supply of new vehicles in the decade to come. I wrote a short study on electrified farm vehicles and machinery some years back that thought they'd never reach power density to be viable.
I appear to be have overtaken by events. But either way it's be

Passenger cars represent 60% of UK transport emissions, and a bunch of that is urbanites commuting very slowly in traffic, and a bit more is long distance travel - driving to holiday homes, across country for funerals and family. But traffic speed in Cardiff is the same as cycling, (fuming) and the 15% of the population in the countryside are not spending several times longer commuting.
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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by Sky Captain » 2020-05-09 05:46pm

K. A. Pital wrote:
2020-05-09 02:11pm
Who designed and built settlements and infrastructure that way? Are you sure you want to argue from path dependency? Do you even understand what “path dependency” is?
That infrastructure was built during last 100 years or so. It is here, we have to live with it like it or not, it will not disappear overnight and magically change to carbon neutral infrastructure. Maintaining existing infrastructure is hard enough. Any changes into better railways, better planned energy efficient cities, fossil fuel free power grids and transportation, more sustainable agricultural practices are going to be gradual taking decades because it is just such a monumental task to change our world that is built around cheap fossil fuels into something better.
madd0ct0r wrote:
2020-05-09 04:34pm
So while Sky Captain is happy that it is an easy problem for the urban population, I'm happy that that solves 85% of the entire problem. And that's assuming electric/fuel cell vehicles don't swallow the supply of new vehicles in the decade to come.
Exactly, Any realistic solution should be reasonable to be accepted by majority. Instead of cars bad ,ban cars! we should look into what can we do to reduce car use near term at first in cities where that would give greatest benefit. A good public transport system for commuters, bicycle and e-scooter friendly infrastructure, encouragement of remote work would be a good start. If we reduce amount of cars entering and exiting cities every day by 1/3 to 1/2 it would do wonders to eliminate jams and speed up the traffic flow for everyone and reduce emissions. Next step incentivize adoption of efficient electric cars so people who consider buying a new car are attracted to buying electric one so people who for various reasons have to use car for their commute can travel emission free. Encourage development of affordable housing near major work centers with parks and green spaces around to make it attractive to live near workplace and not waste time on a long commutes.
This is something that realistically could be developed and majority of people would accept. Various European countries are actually doing something in that direction.

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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by loomer » 2020-05-09 11:27pm

Sky Captain wrote:
2020-05-09 01:04pm
loomer wrote:
2020-05-09 04:28am
They may be convenient, but why should you be permitted to own a private car, Captain?
Why should I be permitted to own a tv, a computer, washing machine or any other convenient household device, a house or apartment?
Good question. Why should you be permitted to own these things at the expense of the systems you're embedded within?
maybe a hut made from tree branches should be enough.
Do you genuinely believe that suggesting private car ownership isn't an ideal state of affairs, environmentally, is the same as suggesting unabashed primitivism?
The fruits of modern civilization are just too damn useful to ignore.
Yes, they are, but this is a strawman. I asked you why you should be permitted to own a private car, not why cars should exist. Do you believe that the usefulness of a car is a function of whether it is publicly or privately owned, or if its use is regulated and restricted to appropriate uses? Further, am I to understand that you'll be advancing the position that 'a thing is useful' is sufficient in and of itself to justify its use and possession?
In a dense city with good public transport system and all services nearby a car may be luxury, if you occasionally need one it is more convenient to borrow or rent one, but in a small towns and villages where there is maybe one buss per day if at all a car is more of a necessity. Don't have access to a car and have some health issue not serious enough to call ambulance, well sucks to be you, something in your house breaks and needs to be brought to service center sucks to be you, have any other issue that can be quickly solved with a car and you don't have one sucks to be you.
Fun fact, I live in a notoriously underserviced regional town with very poor public transportation infrastructure. You won't convince me by making allusions to my situation.

That aside - yes, and? Are you genuinely advancing the position that because of poor infrastructure development and access stoked on by the availability of private cars, private car ownership must be permitted rather than the situation corrected?
K. A. Pital wrote:
2020-05-09 04:06pm
Starglider wrote:
2020-05-09 03:33pm
The average cyberpunk dystopia would be preferable to the total oppression complex this brand of hare-braned ecocommunototalitarians would (fail to) engineer. As ever it gives me a small, but noticeable, sense of satisfaction that they will never, ever have any power to implement the least bit of it.
You do realize the activities of a small (500-600 million) fraction of the world’s population will make a huge part of the world uninhabitable for like 1-2 billion people within several decades?

If you do, and you still make comments like this, you are not one inch better than the “ecocommunototalitarians” you denounce.

You are even worse. Some are at least concerned with reducing suffering for all, however misguided their ideas. To you, lives are non-equivalent, you have the concept of “worthy” and “unworthy” lives, much like many of your Pinochetian kind, and obviously the rich are worthy, as are any luxuries and excesses they indulge in, and all the rest are unworthy. First World luxuries = absolute necessity, Third World suffering = acceptable price to pay for it. After all, not Britain is going to become uninhabitable desert, so all is good.

Explain how your brand of thought is different from what I said, if you have any decency left.
Honestly, it's not worth replying to Starglider. He's a zero-content drive-by shitposter too afraid to challenge his epistemic biases to actually engage with anything.
Sky Captain wrote:
2020-05-09 05:46pm
K. A. Pital wrote:
2020-05-09 02:11pm
Who designed and built settlements and infrastructure that way? Are you sure you want to argue from path dependency? Do you even understand what “path dependency” is?
That infrastructure was built during last 100 years or so. It is here, we have to live with it like it or not, it will not disappear overnight and magically change to carbon neutral infrastructure. Maintaining existing infrastructure is hard enough. Any changes into better railways, better planned energy efficient cities, fossil fuel free power grids and transportation, more sustainable agricultural practices are going to be gradual taking decades because it is just such a monumental task to change our world that is built around cheap fossil fuels into something better.
The problem is that the time for a gradual transition was sixty years ago. The consensus appears to be that no longer have the luxury of one. Can you prove that we do have decades to phase out carbon-heavy infrastructure? Can you prove that this is a better option than a hard, fast transition involving the curtailment of unnecessary individual carbon expenditure?
madd0ct0r wrote:
2020-05-09 04:34pm
So while Sky Captain is happy that it is an easy problem for the urban population, I'm happy that that solves 85% of the entire problem. And that's assuming electric/fuel cell vehicles don't swallow the supply of new vehicles in the decade to come.
Exactly, Any realistic solution should be reasonable to be accepted by majority. Instead of cars bad ,ban cars! we should look into what can we do to reduce car use near term at first in cities where that would give greatest benefit. A good public transport system for commuters, bicycle and e-scooter friendly infrastructure, encouragement of remote work would be a good start. If we reduce amount of cars entering and exiting cities every day by 1/3 to 1/2 it would do wonders to eliminate jams and speed up the traffic flow for everyone and reduce emissions. Next step incentivize adoption of efficient electric cars so people who consider buying a new car are attracted to buying electric one so people who for various reasons have to use car for their commute can travel emission free. Encourage development of affordable housing near major work centers with parks and green spaces around to make it attractive to live near workplace and not waste time on a long commutes.
This is something that realistically could be developed and majority of people would accept. Various European countries are actually doing something in that direction.
Now, the funny thing is... You've taken our positions to be a simple 'cars bad, ban cars' and not exactly what you're advocating for here - the transformation of infrastructure, the development of low-carbon public transportation infrastructure on a mass scale, redesigning urban areas to try and end the commute model, and the incentivization of transitioning to low-carbon options.

This is actually exactly what K.A.Pital, Jub, and I are arguing for, though with a harder departure from the existing model than you favour. Let's take that last one for a second: incentivizing people to buy electric cars (I'm not a fan of that, either, because electricity still has to be generated, but that's a seperate issue.)

Well, to do that, we have a few tools at our disposal. We can give favourable loans or subsidies to people who buy them. We can just improve their infrastructure to try and bring operating costs below those of petrol-fuelled cars. Or, we can simply ban the purchase of privately-owned petrol-fuelled cars for those who can't demonstrate a genuine need for them and mandate a switch-over for existing operators over several years. We could also establish fleets of publicly owned cars for those who can demonstrate genuine need as part of any of the above methods.

Which of these do you think is going to be the most effective? Do you understand now why I asked you why you should be permitted to purchase a private car in the first place?
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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by Sky Captain » 2020-05-10 05:30am

loomer wrote:
2020-05-09 11:27pm
Good question. Why should you be permitted to own these things at the expense of the systems you're embedded within?
loomer wrote:
2020-05-09 11:27pm
Do you genuinely believe that suggesting private car ownership isn't an ideal state of affairs, environmentally, is the same as suggesting unabashed primitivism?
No, I was just making an extreme example to imply that there should be a line somewhere between environmental needs and human needs for comfort and convenience.
loomer wrote:
2020-05-09 11:27pm
Yes, they are, but this is a strawman. I asked you why you should be permitted to own a private car, not why cars should exist. Do you believe that the usefulness of a car is a function of whether it is publicly or privately owned, or if its use is regulated and restricted to appropriate uses? Further, am I to understand that you'll be advancing the position that 'a thing is useful' is sufficient in and of itself to justify its use and possession?
I'm just accepting the fact that our current infrastructure is car centric and it will not change in a year or two so there is no good alternative to private cars that majority will accept right now. That may change in a decade or two as public transport and bicycle infrastructure gets upgraded and improved.
loomer wrote:
2020-05-09 11:27pm
Fun fact, I live in a notoriously underserviced regional town with very poor public transportation infrastructure. You won't convince me by making allusions to my situation.

That aside - yes, and? Are you genuinely advancing the position that because of poor infrastructure development and access stoked on by the availability of private cars, private car ownership must be permitted rather than the situation corrected?
Right now we don't have an alternative that will be accepted by majority of voting population because necessary infrastructure do not exist in many places. it may change if enough effort is made to improve the existing situation, but that will not happen in a year or two. It is a project of a scale of decades.
loomer wrote:
2020-05-09 11:27pm
The problem is that the time for a gradual transition was sixty years ago. The consensus appears to be that no longer have the luxury of one. Can you prove that we do have decades to phase out carbon-heavy infrastructure? Can you prove that this is a better option than a hard, fast transition involving the curtailment of unnecessary individual carbon expenditure?
That is most likely correct, but I just fail to see a realistic way how to convince majority of a voting public that we should start a global effort RIGHT NOW that would make Manhattan Project look like building a sandcastle. Any political party suggesting something like that would be voted out of office in no time in a democratic society. A gradual change is likely to be a accepted and actually implemented. A mediocre solution that can be gradually improved to become a good solution is better than radical perfect solution that never gets implemented.
loomer wrote:
2020-05-09 11:27pm
Now, the funny thing is... You've taken our positions to be a simple 'cars bad, ban cars' and not exactly what you're advocating for here - the transformation of infrastructure, the development of low-carbon public transportation infrastructure on a mass scale, redesigning urban areas to try and end the commute model, and the incentivization of transitioning to low-carbon options.

This is actually exactly what K.A.Pital, Jub, and I are arguing for, though with a harder departure from the existing model than you favour. Let's take that last one for a second: incentivizing people to buy electric cars (I'm not a fan of that, either, because electricity still has to be generated, but that's a seperate issue.)
I'm just trying to be realistic and think that rapid radical change is unlikely to be accepted and actually implemented although that would be perfect solution. An imperfect longer term solution lasting 2 - 3 - 4 decades to achieve low carbon lifestyle is more likely to be accepted and implemented. This is what many European nations are doing through various incentives, subsidies, tax reductions and people are accepting that because no one is taking their current cars or suburban houses away at gunpoint.
I just fail to see how radical shift that would be ideal from climate perspective could realistically happen in a real world given our current economic and political landscape short of some alien battleship showing up and holding world at gunpoint or similar implausible event.
loomer wrote:
2020-05-09 11:27pm
Which of these do you think is going to be the most effective? Do you understand now why I asked you why you should be permitted to purchase a private car in the first place?
Sure, right now people should be allowed to own private cars because in most places there is no good alternative that could be implemented tomorrow and people would accept, we have to live with that fact. As public transport and housing infrastructure gets improved and private cars become unnecessary we could pile up taxes on them to make car ownership financially unattractive and at the same time providing good mass transit infrastructure and plenty of rental cars for those situations a public transport can't serve. This is something that most people could accept.

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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by loomer » 2020-05-10 07:33am

Would it be fair to characterize your position as being that, while urgent action is necessary, it isn't practical, so we should focus only on the (grossly) inadequate action that can be accomplished under present conditions over the next one to two years and not look towards what could be implemented over the next decade that would be adequate? Because that's the vibe you're putting down, and it shows its own problem up fairly clearly.
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Re: Decarbonising transport

Post by ray245 » 2020-05-10 07:56am

loomer wrote:
2020-05-10 07:33am
Would it be fair to characterize your position as being that, while urgent action is necessary, it isn't practical, so we should focus only on the (grossly) inadequate action that can be accomplished under present conditions over the next one to two years and not look towards what could be implemented over the next decade that would be adequate? Because that's the vibe you're putting down, and it shows its own problem up fairly clearly.
Look at this pandemic as a case study of how societies behave. Most countries outright opted for the mitigation measures instead of making any attempt at suppressing and eliminating the virus. Despite the fact that it pays off to impose an earlier lockdown, and you save more of your economy if you take earlier measures, most countries waited for the problem to balloon out of control before taking an even more painful and economically costly measure.

Only a few countries managed to avoid making this mistake, but that is mostly because they have a painful cultural memory of the previous outbreak, or they were lucky enough to see how bad things have gotten in other countries before the pandemic hits them. A lot of human response tends to wait till things got out of control before taking actions. We as a species are horrible at taking preventive measures.
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