chimericoncogene wrote: ↑
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.