Do you believe Climate Change is a real threat? Who do you vote for?

AyaanMyHero

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If we do nothing, we cannot ask anyone else to cut emissions.

It is a basic test of ethics ... you cannot ask other to behave ethically, if you do not follow your own rules.

Ask China to cut emissions, and they say "Well, how many gigatons in emissions did you cut last year?". What's your come-back?
Screw what we say to the Chinese. Sure China (and any other country) will just look at the example/learnings of the Germans. In fairness to the Germans, they put the house on wind and solar. The result: higher cost electricity, trouble in the grid and missed CO2 targets. The world owes the Germans a debt for these learnings but nobody will pay them for these lessons.

it is completely stupid for a small country to lead in this area. Mistakes are very expensive.
 


ruman

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Climate change will be a recession by itself, because so much of the national economy will be devoted to mitigating it e.g. to provide flood defences in major cities like Dublin and Cork.

Every party knows this.

It is not a Green Party issue.
Man will adapt, he always has and always will. Innovation is the key not mindless taxation.

Almost all measures adapted in Ireland wont amount to a hill of beans in the grand scheme of things and are more about boosting personal brand than anything else. Granted there are many "green solutions" such as investing in a decent infrastructure that reduces commuting that are welcome from a lifestyle point of view. Similarly nuclear power investment would make us more self sufficient and should be looked at.

Lose the OTT hysteria please. Stiff upper lip , spirit of the blitz.
 

owedtojoy

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How are we not following our own rules? There's an inherent prejudice here, common amongst self-described progressives that "lesser" countries can only be expected to behave if shown the correct example by Europeans and North Americans. This is the same arrogance and self-centredness that caused many to react to Iraqis tearing their country apart post-invasion with a kind of "Well, what did you expect them to do? Unify and rebuild their country?" My come back would be to show them these graphs.

1579030730116.pngchart.jpeg
My point is that we cannot talk to the Chinese or anyone about emissions regulations unless we apply the rules to ourselves. I see no ethical reason in your statement that we should give ourselves a pass.

There are half-a-million dogs in Ireland, so the contributions of out little mutt to public dog-fouling is minuscule, ~0.002%, approximately 0 in fact. Therefore, we have decided not to bother poop-scooping, and we are sure all other dog-owners will accept that, since this is so obvious to us.

But China would respond to you that it hypocritical for arrogant, head-up-their-ass conservatives who are responsible for most of the CO2 currently in the atmosphere to lecture China, still a poor country in per-capita income, which is trying to lift its people out of poverty.

China may lead in annual emissions today, but most of the CO2 in the atmosphere right now was put there by western countries, the US, the EU, plus old USSR. China only took over as top emitter in 2006 - see your graph, before that it was the USA. So China did not create the problem - it needs help with the solution. Ethical exhortations about the "good of the planet" from a country that refuses to do anything itself will obviously be of tremendous value, and inspire the Chinese to greater efforts.

There are other arguments about our obligations under EU treaties that we cannot give ourselves a pass, The EU is still among the world's Top 3 Emitters, and we cannot justify giving ourselves a pass to our EU partners either.
 

owedtojoy

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Man will adapt, he always has and always will. Innovation is the key not mindless taxation.

Almost all measures adapted in Ireland wont amount to a hill of beans in the grand scheme of things and are more about boosting personal brand than anything else. Granted there are many "green solutions" such as investing in a decent infrastructure that reduces commuting that are welcome from a lifestyle point of view. Similarly nuclear power investment would make us more self sufficient and should be looked at.

Lose the OTT hysteria please. Stiff upper lip , spirit of the blitz.
Of course we can adapt - by introducing regulations to mitigate the problem and funding research to counteract it. That means self-conscious planning, but you are against that.

Or are you expecting the people of Cork to adapt to living under water?

Brilliant example of crackpot magical thinking. "We can adapt" ... like we adapted to small pox and bubonic plague. Did we do that by waiting for immunity to evolve genetically, or by active medical science?

It was only 150 years ago that humans discovered that sh!t and water mixed causes all sorts of nasty diseases - typhus, typhoid, cholera. Did humans respond by saying "Shure, we will adapt", or by building massive, expensive sewage systems in our cities?
 

Golah veNekhar

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People should vote for the National Party given the all out assault on the family and patriotism without which a society cannot function at all in an in any way healthy manner and so will be incapable of solving any serious problem. To be honest though I am starting to think as a opposed to just feel that Western Civilization is doomed and we may as well just accept the fact that we can do nothing about it.

"...And young they all their fists, and the old pollute the land,
And they both swallow poisons with the other hand
And they all sings hymns to "progress", and the new day that will dawn
As they dance the deadly dervish of their mind's delirium

And I watch the West now dying
Her twilight time has come
As her melody plays sadly
Of that which has become..."
 

ruman

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Of course we can adapt - by introducing regulations to mitigate the problem and funding research to counteract it. That means self-conscious planning, but you are against that.

Or are you expecting the people of Cork to adapt to living under water?

Brilliant example of crackpot magical thinking. "We can adapt" ... like we adapted to small pox and bubonic plague. Did we do that by waiting for immunity to evolve genetically, or by active medical science?

It was only 150 years ago that humans discovered that sh!t and water mixed causes all sorts of nasty diseases - typhus, typhoid, cholera. Did humans respond by saying "Shure, we will adapt", or by building massive, expensive sewage systems in our cities?
More hysteria, calm down and take a deep breathe before responding again please.

We adapt by investing in innovation and solutions not by simply increasing taxation and regulations. Ultimately all govnerments are slow to respond and major innovation takes place in the private sector. The state needs to get out of the way and encourage innovation as much as possible.

Fundamentally we could become the most "green" country in the world and implement 100's of your "regulations" but it wont make any difference in the grand scheme of things as you well know.

Obviously adapting a "green" persona can be a financially lucrative position to take in the present climate. Sadly many of the suggested actions are of dubious merit as can be seen from the "Green" parties incentivising of diesel cars and ongoing anti nuclear stance. Simply shouting and posting on social media about how "green" you are might make you feel good but it is essentially useless.

The "Green" Party remain a very minor player and climate change will play a minor role in this election. No point pretending otherwise. I would welcome investment in public transport however. Thank you.
 

owedtojoy

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More hysteria, calm down and take a deep breathe before responding again please.

We adapt by investing in innovation and solutions not by simply increasing taxation and regulations. Ultimately all govnerments are slow to respond and major innovation takes place in the private sector. The state needs to get out of the way and encourage innovation as much as possible.

Fundamentally we could become the most "green" country in the world and implement 100's of your "regulations" but it wont make any difference in the grand scheme of things as you well know.

Obviously adapting a "green" persona can be a financially lucrative position to take in the present climate. Sadly many of the suggested actions are of dubious merit as can be seen from the "Green" parties incentivising of diesel cars and ongoing anti nuclear stance. Simply shouting and posting on social media about how "green" you are might make you feel good but it is essentially useless.

The "Green" Party remain a very minor player and climate change will play a minor role in this election. No point pretending otherwise. I would welcome investment in public transport however. Thank you.
Then we agree 100%, and we should be discussing policy and its implementation.

We ALL agree that the way forward is innovation and practical solutions. I am not a Green Party supporter, I never voted them a high preference (yet), but I think it is brain dead stupid to automatically reject anything and everything they propose. Good ideas can come from anywhere

Besides, the private sector never did anything without incentives, and rightly so. If you want to incentivise innovation, then taxation and regulation is a good way to do that. Phasing out CFCs by international treaty to save the Ozone Layer (and save us from cancer) incentivised the chemical industry to replace CFCs with alternatives

The example of sewage schemes in the 19th century is a good one - they were needed (and still are) for public health reasons, and were funded by taxation - taxation that the wealthy usually opposed, since it was mainly the poor who got sick. The analogy today is with flood walls since inner cities are usually where poorer people live.

AFAIK, phasing out of diesel cars is being done by the motor industry in anticipation of market collapse. Toyota no longer make diesel cars.

 

ruman

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Then we agree 100%, and we should be discussing policy and its implementation.

We ALL agree that the way forward is innovation and practical solutions. I am not a Green Party supporter, I never voted them a high preference (yet), but I think it is brain dead stupid to automatically reject anything and everything they propose. Good ideas can come from anywhere

Besides, the private sector never did anything without incentives, and rightly so. If you want to incentivise innovation, then taxation and regulation is a good way to do that. Phasing out CFCs by international treaty to save the Ozone Layer (and save us from cancer) incentivised the chemical industry to replace CFCs with alternatives

The example of sewage schemes in the 19th century is a good one - they were needed (and still are) for public health reasons, and were funded by taxation - taxation that the wealthy usually opposed, since it was mainly the poor who got sick. The analogy today is with flood walls since inner cities are usually where poorer people live.

AFAIK, phasing out of diesel cars is being done by the motor industry in anticipation of market collapse. Toyota no longer make diesel cars.

Point is the state has a poor history of incentivising the wrong thing and in fact making things worse. For example the Irish green party are responsible for the uptake of diesal cars. They also oppose nuclear power so i'm not exactly sure how they propose to plug the energy gap short of us all living in caves or holidaying in Mosney.
 

owedtojoy

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Point is the state has a poor history of incentivising the wrong thing and in fact making things worse. For example the Irish green party are responsible for the uptake of diesal cars. They also oppose nuclear power so i'm not exactly sure how they propose to plug the energy gap short of us all living in caves or holidaying in Mosney.
Dead wrong actually.

We would not have the Internet (not with the TCP/IP protocol, anyway) without the American state setting up ARPANET. What private company would have put a man on the moon for nothing?

And no private company would rock up to Ireland and offer to build a nuclear power plant without having the state (i.e. the taxpayer) underwrite a major proportion of the costs. If they did, you would be the first to offer your backyard, then?

Of course, the state makes mistakes - but the relative infallibility of private enterprise is just another myth - read the history of scams like We Work and Theranos. Private enterprise has not sorted out the housing problem. Those Irish motorways were not build solely by private enterprise - the state had to be involved. Public planning, public funding (at least partially) and private implementation (at least partially) is probably a good direction.

Yes, we need innovative research and development on a massive scale to address the climate problem. But it will have to be state-led and will have to be planned and prioritised by the state.
 

ruman

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Dead wrong actually.

We would not have the Internet (not with the TCP/IP protocol, anyway) without the American state setting up ARPANET. What private company would have put a man on the moon for nothing?

And no private company would rock up to Ireland and offer to build a nuclear power plant without having the state (i.e. the taxpayer) underwrite a major proportion of the costs. If they did, you would be the first to offer your backyard, then?

Of course, the state makes mistakes - but the relative infallibility of private enterprise is just another myth - read the history of scams like We Work and Theranos. Private enterprise has not sorted out the housing problem. Those Irish motorways were not build solely by private enterprise - the state had to be involved. Public planning, public funding (at least partially) and private implementation (at least partially) is probably a good direction.

Yes, we need innovative research and development on a massive scale to address the climate problem. But it will have to be state-led and will have to be planned and prioritised by the state.
Ah i see what you've done there you've applied the achievements of the US government to the Irish one. Nice try.

The high cost of housing in Ireland is due to taxation and overly restrictive planning laws by the state. Allied to that the state artificially propped up prices through NAMA. Trying to claim the "market" is the cause of high housing costs given the extent of state involvement is staggering really.

Anyone who has ever got the train North from Connolly can see there is plenty of land for building within the M50 and Ireland has a low population density in comparison with international norms. As for why we have a housing crisis ,well one needs to restrict supply in order to increase prices for favoured vested interest groups doesn't one.

If we are depending on the Irish state to achieve anything then we really are in trouble !
 

owedtojoy

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Ah i see what you've done there you've applied the achievements of the US government to the Irish one. Nice try.

The high cost of housing in Ireland is due to taxation and overly restrictive planning laws by the state. Allied to that the state artificially propped up prices through NAMA. Trying to claim the "market" is the cause of high housing costs given the extent of state involvement is staggering really.

Anyone who has ever got the train North from Connolly can see there is plenty of land for building within the M50 and Ireland has a low population density in comparison with international norms. As for why we have a housing crisis ,well one needs to restrict supply in order to increase prices for favoured vested interest groups doesn't one.

If we are depending on the Irish state to achieve anything then we really are in trouble !
Changing goalposts there ... you were not specifying the Irish Government, and of course they have failed all over the place, and not just in regards to climate change. Private enterprise will build residences to maximise profits - that means apartments for young professionals, and older retirees with disposable income, not cheaper affordable housing for young low-income married couples.

However, showing Governments have got things wrong does not prove your point. The M50 and the Luas would not have been built without the Government, and it is hard to see how private enterprise would have filled the need. In fact, the capital needs about 3 more Luas lines, and probably another outer M50, even before you get to the public transport needs of Cork, Limerick and Galway. Curbing car use is not just essential for reducing emissions, but for the viability of our cities as well.

In general, it is hard to see how climate change can be addressed without Government planning. Only so much can be done at the individual household level. What part of private enterprise is going to build flood walls in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway without State investment and planning? Is Chinese private enterprise going to build us a nuclear power station, if we wanted one, without the taxpayer underwriting it?
 

ruman

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Changing goalposts there ... you were not specifying the Irish Government, and of course they have failed all over the place, and not just in regards to climate change. Private enterprise will build residences to maximise profits - that means apartments for young professionals, and older retirees with disposable income, not cheaper affordable housing for young low-income married couples.

However, showing Governments have got things wrong does not prove your point. The M50 and the Luas would not have been built without the Government, and it is hard to see how private enterprise would have filled the need. In fact, the capital needs about 3 more Luas lines, and probably another outer M50, even before you get to the public transport needs of Cork, Limerick and Galway. Curbing car use is not just essential for reducing emissions, but for the viability of our cities as well.

In general, it is hard to see how climate change can be addressed without Government planning. Only so much can be done at the individual household level. What part of private enterprise is going to build flood walls in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway without State investment and planning? Is Chinese private enterprise going to build us a nuclear power station, if we wanted one, without the taxpayer underwriting it?
Again the greens incentivised diesel car use and refuse to look at nuclear power. Hard to see how one can take them seriously. Increased taxation for schemes of dubious merit might impress some people i suppose.
 

owedtojoy

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Again the greens incentivised diesel car use and refuse to look at nuclear power. Hard to see how one can take them seriously. Increased taxation for schemes of dubious merit might impress some people i suppose.
No one is looking at nuclear power. Not the Greens. Not Fianna Fail. Not Fine Gael. Nuclear power stations demand a long lead time (probably 10 years at least to build one), massive investment, probable massive cost overruns (look at the NCH), and (not least) a place to put one where locals will not object.

Name me one political party that is advocating nuclear power. Maybe Michael Healy-Rae? Or is afraid the fairies might object?

If the Irish Greens single-handedly destroyed the world market in diesel cars, then they deserve a lot of credit But I think you are being "hysterical" there (to use a favourite word of your own) - car manufacturers themselves are giving up on making diesel cars because they see the writing on the wall. No country wants the carbon emissions, or (not least) the dirty air pollution diesel engines spray into the air.
 

ruman

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No one is looking at nuclear power. Not the Greens. Not Fianna Fail. Not Fine Gael. Nuclear power stations demand a long lead time (probably 10 years at least to build one), massive investment, probable massive cost overruns (look at the NCH), and (not least) a place to put one where locals will not object.

Name me one political party that is advocating nuclear power. Maybe Michael Healy-Rae? Or is afraid the fairies might object?

If the Irish Greens single-handedly destroyed the world market in diesel cars, then they deserve a lot of credit But I think you are being "hysterical" there (to use a favourite word of your own) - car manufacturers themselves are giving up on making diesel cars because they see the writing on the wall. No country wants the carbon emissions, or (not least) the dirty air pollution diesel engines spray into the air.
Yes i know they're not. They have no solutions for solving the gap in energy usage. All options should be on the table and we should be adult enough to look at the nuclear one. Its childish to call for ending fossil fuel use without stating how you intend to plug the energy gap.

You are mistaken in regard to diesel use, the Greens tax policies were primarily responsible for the uptake in diesal cars. Granted they have subsequently changed their minds however given how wrong they were i would question whether they should be taken seriously. If you want to blindly follow a party that's your choice.


" Since 2008, up to 70% of cars sold in Ireland have been diesels as a result of tax advantages. The move was promoted by the Green Party because of concerns about CO2 emissions from petrol cars. Mr Ryan was Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. "
 

owedtojoy

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Yes i know they're not. They have no solutions for solving the gap in energy usage. All options should be on the table and we should be adult enough to look at the nuclear one. Its childish to call for ending fossil fuel use without stating how you intend to plug the energy gap.

You are mistaken in regard to diesel use, the Greens tax policies were primarily responsible for the uptake in diesal cars. Granted they have subsequently changed their minds however given how wrong they were i would question whether they should be taken seriously. If you want to blindly follow a party that's your choice.


" Since 2008, up to 70% of cars sold in Ireland have been diesels as a result of tax advantages. The move was promoted by the Green Party because of concerns about CO2 emissions from petrol cars. Mr Ryan was Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. "
It is silly to put an option on the table that is not viable. Nuclear power does have its supporters, but always in someone else's back garden. Nuclear power is self-eliminating for a small energy market like Ireland. If we want nuclear power, buy it from the French or the UK.

Nuclear power does not have a great track record for new completions in the vicinity.


Note this project was 8 times larger than the National Children's Hospital, Ireland's largest capital project ever.

Another Japanese giant, Toshiba, scrapped a nuclear plant in Cumbria just two months ago after failing to find a buyer for the ailing project.
As for diesel cars, they are a non-issue at this stage. Some ideas turn out to be a dead end.
 

ruman

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It is silly to put an option on the table that is not viable. Nuclear power does have its supporters, but always in someone else's back garden. Nuclear power is self-eliminating for a small energy market like Ireland. If we want nuclear power, buy it from the French or the UK.

Nuclear power does not have a great track record for new completions in the vicinity.


Note this project was 8 times larger than the National Children's Hospital, Ireland's largest capital project ever.



As for diesel cars, they are a non-issue at this stage. Some ideas turn out to be a dead end.
It wasnt a "dead end" it was a specific "Green" party policy that not only was not helpful for the environment but in fact was harmful. The so called Greens damaged the environment and also taxed people for the privilege.
Given how wrong they were it is entirely reasonable to question their taxation policies and question whether the solutions they suggest even have any environmental benefits.

You end fossil fuel use entirely there is a significant energy shortfall. Unless a party can tell me how they propose to fill that shortfall i cant take them seriously. The Greens to me are all about optics and being seen to do the right thing. That wouldnt bother me if they didnt keep proposing increased taxation without having properly investigated the consequences of their policies. Nuclear is a possible solutions and to refuse to even discuss it (as the Greens do) is childish.
 

Kevin Parlon

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My point is that we cannot talk to the Chinese or anyone about emissions regulations unless we apply the rules to ourselves. I see no ethical reason in your statement that we should give ourselves a pass.
We're reducing our emissions. Please explain how when we're reducing our emissions, and China are growing theirs amounts to giving ourselves a pass?

There are half-a-million dogs in Ireland, so the contributions of out little mutt to public dog-fouling is minuscule, ~0.002%, approximately 0 in fact. Therefore, we have decided not to bother poop-scooping, and we are sure all other dog-owners will accept that, since this is so obvious to us.
If dog poo sublimated into a smelly gas that entered the atmosphere and spread globally fouling each country equally you might have had a workable metaphor.

But China would respond to you that it hypocritical for arrogant, head-up-their-ass conservatives who are responsible for most of the CO2 currently in the atmosphere to lecture China, still a poor country in per-capita income, which is trying to lift its people out of poverty.
"head-up-their-ass conservatives who are responsible for most of the CO2 currently in the atmosphere" 🤪

China may lead in annual emissions today, but most of the CO2 in the atmosphere right now was put there by western countries, the US, the EU, plus old USSR. China only took over as top emitter in 2006 - see your graph, before that it was the USA. So China did not create the problem - it needs help with the solution. Ethical exhortations about the "good of the planet" from a country that refuses to do anything itself will obviously be of tremendous value, and inspire the Chinese to greater efforts.
You're wrong. Only someone whose ignorance of the atmospheric carbon cycle matches their ignorance of the Chinese psyche could utter such a baldly wrong statement. You'd think that for someone so passionate about this topic you'd have taken the time to furnish yourself with the relevant facts. By far the biggest single contributor of "CO2 in the atmosphere right now" is China. If Ireland were to cease to exist, the last tonne of atmospheric CO2 in the atmosphere emitted by Ireland would disappear out of the atmosphere by 2053, reabsorbed by the oceans and plant life. The data presented below is modeled on 60% remaining in the atmosphere. The following paragraph is from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

When carbon dioxide CO2 is released into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels, approximately 50% remains in the atmosphere, while 25% is absorbed by land plants and trees, and the other 25% is absorbed into certain areas of the ocean. In other areas of the ocean, where the concentration of CO2 is higher in the water than in atmosphere above, CO2 is released to the atmosphere.

In 2017, this is how many tonnes of CO2 were emitted by China, Ireland and the USA. Given current trends China's will have grown and Ireland's and the USA's will have grown smaller.

Entity Code YearAnnual Emissions
ChinaCHN20179,838,754,028
IrelandIRL201739,738,353
United StatesUSA20175,269,529,513

1579289455260.png

There are other arguments about our obligations under EU treaties that we cannot give ourselves a pass, The EU is still among the world's Top 3 Emitters, and we cannot justify giving ourselves a pass to our EU partners either.
Straw man. Who's suggesting the EU gives themselves a pass?
 

owedtojoy

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We're reducing our emissions. Please explain how when we're reducing our emissions, and China are growing theirs amounts to giving ourselves a pass?


If dog poo sublimated into a smelly gas that entered the atmosphere and spread globally fouling each country equally you might have had a workable metaphor.


"head-up-their-ass conservatives who are responsible for most of the CO2 currently in the atmosphere" 🤪


You're wrong. Only someone whose ignorance of the atmospheric carbon cycle matches their ignorance of the Chinese psyche could utter such a baldly wrong statement. You'd think that for someone so passionate about this topic you'd have taken the time to furnish yourself with the relevant facts. By far the biggest single contributor of "CO2 in the atmosphere right now" is China. If Ireland were to cease to exist, the last tonne of atmospheric CO2 in the atmosphere emitted by Ireland would disappear out of the atmosphere by 2053, reabsorbed by the oceans and plant life. The data presented below is modeled on 60% remaining in the atmosphere. The following paragraph is from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

When carbon dioxide CO2 is released into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels, approximately 50% remains in the atmosphere, while 25% is absorbed by land plants and trees, and the other 25% is absorbed into certain areas of the ocean. In other areas of the ocean, where the concentration of CO2 is higher in the water than in atmosphere above, CO2 is released to the atmosphere.

In 2017, this is how many tonnes of CO2 were emitted by China, Ireland and the USA. Given current trends China's will have grown and Ireland's and the USA's will have grown smaller.

EntityCodeYearAnnual Emissions
ChinaCHN20179,838,754,028
IrelandIRL201739,738,353
United StatesUSA20175,269,529,513

1579289455260.png


Straw man. Who's suggesting the EU gives themselves a pass?
My understanding of your original post is that we should be giving ourselves a pass on CO2 emissions because of out relatively small contribution. Correct me if I am wrong.

My point is that, if that is the case, we cannot request that anyone else reduce emissions because we would be demanding they follow rules that we refuse to apply to ourselves, like the dog poop example (an analogy, Kevin).

We need to hold China to their Paris Agreement commitment, which allows some developing economies increase emissions for a period to sustain their people's rise from poverty. Yes, the Paris Agreement is in trouble, but not just because of China. But, who said this was going to be easy?

From the Chinese perspective they can say that CO2 emissions and the planet's temperature rise were started by the West, Planetary temperatures have been rising for over 50 years (actually, 100 years) and the problem was first openly diagnosed over 30 years ago, after initial studies going back to the 1960s. 30 years ago, the US, the EU and Russia were emitting more annually than China. In total accumulated emissions since the diagnosis, China is only 3rd. To make matters worse, over 50% of the CO2 in the atmosphere has been emitted in the last 30 years.

Global_CO2_Emissions_1917_zps8gxltj7u.jpg

I am not an expert in the Chinese psyche, but if I was Chinese I would say "We did not cause this problem on our own You did, too. Now you have developed your economies, and you want us to stop industrial development so you can live fat and comfortable while we stay in poverty. We will do our fair share, but deciding what is a fair share is a complex problem."

China is not the only country affected - to reduce emissions we are asking developing countries to delay or divert industrial development. The quickest way to generate electricity at a large scale is still coal or natural gas. This is why the West has to help some of these smaller countries.

These were also the reasons why China and India refused to join the Kyoto Protocol way back (1997). But Bush and Cheney scuppered that chance, anyway, with withdrawing the US and forfeiting global leadership on climate. However, both countries joined the Paris Agreement.

 
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owedtojoy

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"head-up-their-ass conservatives who are responsible for most of the CO2 currently in the atmosphere" 🤪
Maybe overstated, but defensible.

How else would you describe former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott who once called climate science "a load of cr*p"? Here was a man supposed to lead his country, but who dedicated his Prime Ministership to the benefit of the mining and fossil fuel industry. He lost his seat at the last election, but that was 20 years too late.

Who now remembers that Bush and Cheney campaigned for Presidential office in 2000 offering mandatory caps in CO2 industrial emissions levels, mainly because they feared Al Gore's strong record on the environment? Quickly forgotten after the election, when a bunch of crooks from Enron were allowed set US energy policy, and Bush-Cheney pulled out of the Kyoto protocol. Bush cuts an ignominious figure today, but Cheney is still a power in the US Republican Party, despite Iraq, despite the Great Recession the two of them helped to trigger.

In 2008, the Republican Party candidate for the US Presidency could offer a Cap-and-Trade scheme in his Presidential platform. Yes, John McCain and Sarah Palin did just that. Having lost the election, the game changed to straight out-and-out climate change denial. There are people still there in the GOP who would cut their own throats rather than admit Al Gore was right - as he was on the vast bulk of what was in his books and films.

Today, the US Environmental Protection Agency is staffed with former coal and oil lobbyists who never accepted climate science because it "impacted the bottom line". The US is repeated its disappearing act from the Paris Agreement, as it had from the Kyoto Protocol, and (possibly) set the world's efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions back by years, possibly even a decade.

I should mention honourable exceptions, like Australia's Malcolm Fraser, California's Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Europe's Conservative politicians like Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkcozy, David Cameron and Emanuel Macron. Not an inspiring bunch, I admit, but we have to work with Team B if there is not even an A-Team.

This is a sad account of how the world came close to a proposed solution to climate change in the 1980s, the Reagan-Thatcher years, when the Ozone Layer was saved by collective action ... but there was a mass failure of nerve after that. Vested interests took over. In many ways, many conservative (and I do not exclude left-wing) politicians have never got their courage back.

 


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