Should solar geo-engineering research be discouraged, or banned?:

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Pattern-chaser
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Re: Should solar geo-engineering research be discouraged, or banned?:

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Pattern-chaser wrote: November 24th, 2021, 11:45 am If we accept, as I do, that Climate Change (and all the other environment-related issues) threatens the very existence of our species, other priorities fade in comparison.
GE Morton wrote: November 24th, 2021, 1:10 pm It is true that the magnitude of a risk determines what mitigation measures are justifiable, with higher risks justifying more drastic measures. But there is utterly no evidence that the current warming trend would threaten the very existence of our species.
No, I don't think Climate Change, alone, will result in our extinction. But CC is only part of the collapse of our ecosystem. [See below]


Pattern-chaser wrote:In that case, how can we survive our own inability to act? Compromise will deliver far too little, far too late. [Note that I don't argue with what you say, only with its consequences.]
Steve3007 wrote: November 24th, 2021, 12:40 pm Well, what I've said so far in the last couple of posts in our conversation is based on the premise that I agree with you as to the seriousness and urgency of the problem. In reality, I don't. For one thing, I think it's a mistake to conflate different problems. The steep reduction of the number of wild animals in natural habitats which we discussed a while ago, for example, is not the same as the climate change problem. And, as I said in the previous post to which I linked recently, I think it's a mistake to lump all environmental "pollutants" together as if they're the same problem, with the same solution.
Steve3007 wrote: November 24th, 2021, 12:44 pm In any case, unless climate change became so severe that a runaway greenhouse effect left the Earth with an environment like that of Venus, I don't think it's literally an existential threat to the entire human race.
I don't think we can separate the different aspects of eco-collapse. Deforestation contributes directly to Climate Change, just as atmospheric pollution does, while extreme weather events - drought, floods, wildfires... - contribute to the deaths of many living creatures, if not extinctions. The whole thing seems linked in ways that make separate consideration incomplete, IMO.

Also, depending on how bad global warming gets, it is possible that temperatures will reach or exceed 50°C on a regular basis. In those parts of the world where that was the case (if it happens), human life is not really possible...?
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Re: Should solar geo-engineering research be discouraged, or banned?:

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Pattern-chaser wrote:I don't think we can separate the different aspects of eco-collapse. Deforestation contributes directly to Climate Change, just as atmospheric pollution does, while extreme weather events - drought, floods, wildfires... - contribute to the deaths of many living creatures, if not extinctions. The whole thing seems linked in ways that make separate consideration incomplete, IMO.
Well, for the reasons given earlier I'm not personally in favour of establishing a dictatorship in which I declare that, effective immediately, all activities that cause any kind of adverse effect on the environment at all are completely banned. Therefore I think there is a need to prioritize - to figure out what to do first. In order to do that, we need to separate things out. Even if we take the holistic view that all things are linked, in any situation where we need to prioritize we also need to separate. I mentioned a couple of examples earlier - particulates versus CO2 from diesel engines and CO2 versus methane.
Also, depending on how bad global warming gets, it is possible that temperatures will reach or exceed 50°C on a regular basis. In those parts of the world where that was the case (if it happens), human life is not really possible...?
Not possible without protection, no. Likewise, human life in the Antarctic (as it is now) is not possible without protection. I don't see how it follows that all human life is going to be wiped out. It'll mean unprotected human habitation of parts of the globe won't be possible. It may mean all kinds of terrible things, but I don't see it meaning complete human extinction. If nothing else, we might reach the kind of state that Sy Borg has mentioned before.
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Re: Should solar geo-engineering research be discouraged, or banned?:

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Steve3007 wrote: November 25th, 2021, 6:47 am
Sy Borg wrote:
Steve3007 wrote:Well, the discussion seems to be about whether they are actually receiving subsidies or not....
No, the concessions for fossil fuel companies is special.
https://www.brookings.edu/research/refo ... operation/
That Brookings article is interesting enough but it still doesn't go into any detail as to what actually constitutes a subsidy, and that is what seems to have been one of the main bones of contention in your conversation with GE. It does discuss production and consumption subsidies. So, taking consumption subsidies first, my understanding is that a major factor in deciding the extent to which a consumption subsidy is present is the amount a given government taxes oil products used in things like transport and heating. As we know, that varies a lot around the world. In most European countries it's relatively high. Slightly lower in Australia. Very low in the US. Almost free (by European standards) in Saudi Arabia.
This is getting bogged down in the very technicalities that GE hoped would bog us down. It reminds me of the climate change debates, when it was extremely obvious that there was a real problem, the fossil fuel companies and their media advocate Murdoch kept quibbling about the detail.

The fact is that we use fuel that must be phased out ASAP. Rather than phasing out, it is ramping up, and the Australian government has gone on a spree of fossil fuel largesse. We are already heading past the 1.5C mark.

Not my problem so I don't know why I bother speaking about it. I'm old and I'll be out of here soon enough. So I may as well leave the problem to you and your kids. I hear that, as the northern ice sheets melt that the Gulf Stream will slow, which could bring a localised mini ice age to Europe.

Still, it's probably more important to determine if every single non-syndicated online document or article that points to heavy subsidisation of fossil fuels is misleading and wrong. After all, we wouldn't want to use false information to inflict injustice on fossil fuel companies, would we? It's not as though those fine corporate denizens would even dream of doing that to the people ...
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Re: Should solar geo-engineering research be discouraged, or banned?:

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Sy Borg wrote: November 25th, 2021, 4:13 pm
This is getting bogged down in the very technicalities that GE hoped would bog us down. It reminds me of the climate change debates, when it was extremely obvious that there was a real problem, the fossil fuel companies and their media advocate Murdoch kept quibbling about the detail.
What counts as a "subsidy" is not a technical question; it is a simple question of definition. Do you rely on the dictionary definition, or on a Newspeak definition concocted to rouse odium against and shift blame for CO2 emissions on fossil fuel producers, rather than on the users of the fuels, where it belongs?

As for the climate change debates, that IS a technical matter and the details are crucial for accurately assessing the causes of the problem, the magnitude of the risks it poses, and the viability of conceivable solutions. Because all of those solutions will require some government action, the technical problem becomes a political one automatically, and hence political ideologies become involved. That predictably results in nonsense spouted by doomsayers on one hand, and deniers on the other. Sorting through that verbal clutter to find the truth of the matter is challenging.
The fact is that we use fuel that must be phased out ASAP. Rather than phasing out, it is ramping up . . .
Ramping up in some places, phasing out in others. That is to be expected. The global demand for heat, electricity, mobility still has to be met, and in some places "green" technologies are either infeasible or unaffordable.
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Re: Should solar geo-engineering research be discouraged, or banned?:

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The "green" technologies would be a lot more affordable and available if they enjoyed even a small fraction of the government largesse and lobbyist power/media support over the last fifty years as provided to the fossil fuel industry.
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Re: Should solar geo-engineering research be discouraged, or banned?:

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Sy Borg wrote: November 25th, 2021, 11:39 pm The "green" technologies would be a lot more affordable and available if they enjoyed even a small fraction of the government largesse and lobbyist power/media support over the last fifty years as provided to the fossil fuel industry.
in the United States.
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Re: Should solar geo-engineering research be discouraged, or banned?:

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GE Morton wrote: November 25th, 2021, 8:30 pm The global demand for heat, electricity, mobility still has to be met...
...or moderated? Perhaps it might be helpful if we found ways of consuming less? That way, the "global demand" would be less, and easier to meet?

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