Should we fly, swim or stay in the pub?

McTell

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No


Sweet Darling

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Has anyone done the sums on the envoramental/ecological impact that the Obeasts have on the planet. Things like the amount of fertilizers, herbicides pumped in to the soil to produce the extra food they swallow down them. The amount of medical care and pharmaceuticals produced to keep them alive.?
I suspect it would be higher then a small family car.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Right up to the second world war people generally didn't move very far away from where they grew up, or at least the socially mobile were quite a small section of the population.

Before that there was only the great shift in population of the Victorian era from the land to the cities.

After World War II, into the fifties and definitely in the 60's the aspirations of the middle class towards the freedom of the roads via the motor car and the sudden explosion in cheap package holidays abroad is likely to have produced a sudden leap in social exhaust fumes in the environment, logically.

The human relationship with the car is a weird thing. Everyone knows down to the small child that they don't produce oxygen out the back and the making and running of them is a costly business in fossil fuels, oil being some pockets of liquefied fossil, basically.

This blind spot people have for their cars is I think subconscious as their car is tied in very closely to their social status.

I recall reading about 12 years ago of a press conference at an alpine resort. The World Health Organisation in its battle against the demon tobacco had decided to announce that it would no longer employ smokers in its offices, given the environmental and health issues around smoking. Fair enough, their house, their rules.

Problem was that there was a shedload of car journeys up into the resort from Geneva, both by WHO staff and by journos attending the event and after the announcement and presser they all jumped in their cars and sped off into the slightly smudged looking mountain air.

I'm already seeing what looks like a strategy of discouraging air travel for the masses, in a reversal of the great take-off of the 1960s and 1970s. One good thing is that we should be able to knock on the head this long-running scam of councillors going en masse on a fact-finding mission to Florida or to Bermuda.

We do have Skype now, and councillors, TDs and Senators should be actively encouraged to adopt this technology and forget about the thinly disguised and fully expenses holidays.

It will be interesting to watch as the quiet policy of discouraging flying to generations used to hopping out to Thailand in the winter and policies aimed at the death of the car-commuter, one or two city breaks abroad a year, and who regard it as desirable to earn city wages while living in the country and 'having to' own a car because, well, its out in the country innit?

I have a feeling it will be aimed at these people though, and like most regulatory changes will rarely begin at the top. Celebs, politicians, the wealthy, all will be very reluctant to show leadership in this area.

The genie of a very luxurious and increasingly costly looking splurge in air travel by many sections of the global population in the last 50 years is never going to go easily back into the pre-war bottle.
 

fat finger

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We should stay in the pub.
But we must stop consuming fizzy drinks and keg beers such as Heineken or Carlsberg, all kept flowing under CO2 pressure. By some estimates, draft beer and fizzies contribute 73% of all human generated CO2 on the planet, especially in the USA where Coke, Pepsi, and Molson Coors CO2 accounts for up to 21.3% of all CO2 emissions.
It seems extraordinary how enviro agitators are always so quick to vent off about oil and gas and the energy companies but never vent off about big fizz corporations like Coca Cola or Anheuser-Busch InBev.
As example, when did you ever hear the Greens complaining about Taylor Keith (TK) red lemonade or Cidona ruining the planet?
 
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Lumpy Talbot

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I've often thought, while acknowledging that I do believe there is a crisis and existential risk to the race from man-made climate change, that I should only start taking such things seriously when the first profitable but highly toxic corporation is shut down by the US energy secretary or State Dept.

I suspect we're screwed in the medium to short term, what with us needing a very high burden of proof to raise our heads collectively and see an oncoming risk, a burden of proof that by definition will mean we will have left it too late to act by the time we are all convinced.

If those Co2 figures are anywhere near correct then the big breweries and soft drink manufacturers need to be closed down right now.
 

fat finger

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If those Co2 figures are anywhere near correct then the big breweries and soft drink manufacturers need to be closed down right now.
I'm not mind urging for any of the big fizzies to be shut down. Depriving Irish kids of the delicious taste of TK and Cidona would be harsh bordering on abuse imho
 

Kevin Parlon

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Cars rock. So do fossil fuels, human ingenuity and the opportunity to travel.

Lumpy in 20000 BC
The human relationship with getting around on their legs is a weird thing.
Lumpy in 10000 BC
The human relationship with boats is a weird thing.
Lumpy in 2500 BC
The human relationship with the wheel is a weird thing.
Lumpy in 500 BC
The human relationship with horses is a weird thing.
Lumpy in 1776
The human relationship with the hot air balloon is a weird thing.
Lumpy in 1804
The human relationship with the train is a weird thing.
Lumpy in 1817
The human relationship with the bicycles is a weird thing.
Lumpy in 1885
The human relationship with the car is a weird thing.
No it's not weird at all.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
I've no particular dog in the game, Kevin. I'll be gone by the time the debate is brought to a close by default.

My own carbon footprint even taking in to account some years of silly air travel is miniscule compared to the average level in the population I am pretty certain and I produce little waste. Haven't owned a car in 20 years.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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The human relationship with the car is odd and I see I need to clarify that. Firstly, psychologically our cars are an extension of our selves and the home. The windscreen and ever quieter engines lull us along with radio and other distractions into a state where a lot of people I suspect see the outside world passing by almost as if it is a television programme.

I'm equally certain that this is behind a lot of road traffic accidents in reality. All car marketing is aimed at the personality of the intended customer bracket.

No car ad is ever going to begin with the phrase 'so you've decided that you are responsible enough to drive an object weighing a few tons at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour across a human-filled landscape...'
 

Pyewacket

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The human relationship with the car is odd and I see I need to clarify that. Firstly, psychologically our cars are an extension of our selves and the home. The windscreen and ever quieter engines lull us along with radio and other distractions into a state where a lot of people I suspect see the outside world passing by almost as if it is a television programme.

I'm equally certain that this is behind a lot of road traffic accidents in reality. All car marketing is aimed at the personality of the intended customer bracket.

No car ad is ever going to begin with the phrase 'so you've decided that you are responsible enough to drive an object weighing a few tons at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour across a human-filled landscape...'
It's like any other/ They promise you freedom. You end up paying through the nose to sit in a crate along with all the other geese.
 

Kevin Parlon

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I've no particular dog in the game, Kevin. I'll be gone by the time the debate is brought to a close by default.

My own carbon footprint even taking in to account some years of silly air travel is miniscule compared to the average level in the population I am pretty certain and I produce little waste. Haven't owned a car in 20 years.
Well, don't lose any sleep over carbon footprints.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Very unlikely to do so. Being one of those rare people who can afford to leave a note for the succeeding generations along the lines of 'Treat it as an initiative test'.

Not a deliberate policy but I have a sense just how gilded the post-war generations have had it between the dark mills of Victoriana and some of the challenges I see in the future.

I think I've been quite fortunate in my (approximate) lifespan.
 

Kevin Parlon

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Very unlikely to do so. Being one of those rare people who can afford to leave a note for the succeeding generations along the lines of 'Treat it as an initiative test'.

Not a deliberate policy but I have a sense just how gilded the post-war generations have had it between the dark mills of Victoriana and some of the challenges I see in the future.

I think I've been quite fortunate in my (approximate) lifespan.
Legacies are an interesting notion. Walking in Seattle yesterday I noticed a graffito scrawled angrily on a power substation fence: "boomers ****ed our planet and got fat doing it"
 

Lumpy Talbot

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It is a pretty accurate statement, as graffiti goes. What with airhead celebs on the make and scouring the world for ointments which reverse ageing (give it up, love, there's no such thing) and other completely ephemeral nonsenses of a similar nature, I wouldn't hold out much hope for an outbreak of general intelligence.
 

Kevin Parlon

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It is a pretty accurate statement, as graffiti goes. What with airhead celebs on the make and scouring the world for ointments which reverse ageing (give it up, love, there's no such thing) and other completely ephemeral nonsenses of a similar nature, I wouldn't hold out much hope for an outbreak of general intelligence.
Life's getting better faster. We're the last crop of humans to (by which I mean people born in the 20th century) miss out on immortality. No one born after 2050 need die of preventable disease or aging.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Probably end up quite cosy, I should imagine. My suspicion is that largely unaware, the generations following WWII up to the dawning of awareness of the environmental issues approaching, have been particularly gilded generations.

Air travel to sunnier climes, the various splurges on excessive property prices, the ability to work in the city and get paid city wages while living in commuter land.

All these things may seem quite unattainable for the next generation or two, with various dynamics swirling around such as the race to the bottom of the gig economy, the withdrawal of companies from the provision of pensions...

Assuming things are just going to get better and better reminds me of Kinnock's ill-fated election campaign in the 1990s- which actually used the song 'Things can only get better' as a campaign theme.

Where is the ultimate end point of burgeoning global population, most of them poor, with ever increasing resource use associated with that dynamic alone?

It isn't an open-ended system we have here and there is a natural ceiling to any aspirations we may have for a planet of milk and honey for 10 billion people and upwards.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Just as consumer confidence is a measure of a robust economic situation when it is high, low consumer confidence in the future can be measured in other ways.

A dropping birth rate in the west is just one of those indicators of economic and social unease.
 

Pyewacket

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Probably end up quite cosy, I should imagine. My suspicion is that largely unaware, the generations following WWII up to the dawning of awareness of the environmental issues approaching, have been particularly gilded generations.

Air travel to sunnier climes, the various splurges on excessive property prices, the ability to work in the city and get paid city wages while living in commuter land.

All these things may seem quite unattainable for the next generation or two, with various dynamics swirling around such as the race to the bottom of the gig economy, the withdrawal of companies from the provision of pensions...

Assuming things are just going to get better and better reminds me of Kinnock's ill-fated election campaign in the 1990s- which actually used the song 'Things can only get better' as a campaign theme.

Where is the ultimate end point of burgeoning global population, most of them poor, with ever increasing resource use associated with that dynamic alone?

It isn't an open-ended system we have here and there is a natural ceiling to any aspirations we may have for a planet of milk and honey for 10 billion people and upwards.
Agree with all of that, except it was Blair not Kinnock who used D:Reams' "Things Can only Get Better" as Labour's campaign song. Fun fact - Professor Brian Cox of the expanding universe was the keyboard player in D:Ream.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Agree with all of that, except it was Blair not Kinnock who used D:Reams' "Things Can only Get Better" as Labour's campaign song. Fun fact - Professor Brian Cox of the expanding universe was the keyboard player in D:Ream.
Was it? I had thought it was Kinnock. I probably have them irreparably linked with the unforgottable scene of Kinnock and Glenys getting caught by a freak wave by the seaside and tumbling over on primetime news slots.

Kinnock was always hamstrung by being Labour leader. He was a much more relaxed and thoughtful character when he'd had that curse lifted.

He was guest of honour at a Royal Society of International Affairs thing some years later and I met him briefly there. Seemed a much more cheerful fellow in himself without that burden.
 

Pyewacket

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Was it? I had thought it was Kinnock. I probably have them irreparably linked with the unforgottable scene of Kinnock and Glenys getting caught by a freak wave iby the seaside and tumbling over on primetime news slots.
Nah, Kinnock appeared in Tracey Ullman's video for "My Guy", and the laughter was uproarious.

Funny how I remember this shit more than anything that happened in the last five years. I must have finally caught on.
 


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