What is fair / right / just in paying for global CO2 reduction?

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Billy T, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    India and others did not make much of the CO2 now in the air. US made more than any other country did, but now China, with all its coal fired power plants makes the greatest annual increase.

    India and some others who did not make much of the problem think they should not pay as much to fix it and I tend to agree. They think those who made most of the problem and enjoyed great economic gains from use of fossil fuels should pay proportionally to the CO2 they released. They feel that they have the same right as US et. al. had to economially advance by using fossil fuels; but would not follow the same path the US did if they were given financial help to advance green energy systems so their economies could advance as if they were following the US's path to prosperity, via use of fossil fuels.

    Why not have COP21 agree on how much can annually be efficiciently spent to bring "green electic power" to third world, where many have no electric power? Then each year divide that sum up in fractions charged to the creators of the problem? I.e. first year of spending for more green power would have the US with the largest "tax" to pay towards the agreed 2016 spending requirements. US has made great reductions in its CO2 release rate, so perhaps in a few years, Chin would be subject to the greatest annual "green tax."

    Limiting global temperature rise is a confict between moral obligation and economic cost. History is not very encouraging on how this conflict is resolved - profits usually trump morals. Do you think history will repeat and Earth will become uninhabital for our grand childern or humans can win?
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Nope. No more so than the loss of the ozone layer turned us all into mutants, or the cooling we saw in the 1970's resulted in a new ice age.
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  5. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    no knowledgeable person expected or predicted increased UV would "turn us all into mutants" - only that there would be more cases of skin cancer. I don't think the idea of a new ice age in the 1970s had significant scientific modeling or other analysis, as Global Climate change does. It was just, at best, extrapolation of a cooling trend, as if it would continued - good for newspaper sales.

    Global climate change is very well understood and modeled mathematical. Are you suggesting it is no more serious than theses trend extrapolation and false newspaper stories?
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  7. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    It's no longer a question of morals. It's a contest between profit and survival. We just need to convince people that survival is more profitable than extinction.
    China and India shouldn't be bothered so much about who made more pollution first as how much their populations are suffering, right now, from their attempts to "catch up" with a disastrous industrial lifestyle. They should be concentrating on revitalizing the traditional skills and adaptations they haven't stamped out yet, on improving the health and welfare of the people (and incidentally - not by force! - limiting population increase) repairing the agriculture and producing local, clean energy. The 'developed' nations should be looking toward a post-industrial period. All of them should be consulting the many, many innovators and pioneers who have been waiting, on tenterhooks, to share their clever solutions.
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Agreed. Just as no knowledgeable person claims that the Earth will be "uninhabitable" within the lifetimes of our grandkids. More problems? Sure.

    Exactly. Some people eager for attention wrote up the stories about the ice age we were heading for - "resulting famines could be catastrophic", "drought and desolation," "the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded", "droughts, floods, extended dry spells, long freezes, delayed monsoons," "impossible for starving peoples to migrate" etc. And no doubt some scientists more interested in publicity and funding than science supported such statements, and they could (somewhat validly) defend that by saying "if current trends continue . . . ." Of course the more intelligent scientists of the time realized they would probably not.

    Not at all. I am suggesting that these fake exaggerated stories i.e. "the next ice age" "the earth will be uninhabitable" "we will all die of radiation poisoning" should be left in science fiction where they belong.
  9. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Well "uninhabital" is short hand for can not support life as the polar region will not get too hot for sustaining life - problem there will be what to eat - the acified oceans will not support much except, perhaps some acid tolerant algee and green house growing food is very energy intensive above the Arctic circle.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  10. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Problem with that hope / POV is well illustrated in this cartoon below. I.e. those enjoying the profits at the expense of later generations will die of old age with at most a small inconvenience of more erratic weather. I.e. for the big profit makers of today there is no risk of not surviving global warming. No contest for them between profits and survival - just profits they can take with others later suffering in an attempt to survive. That is why it is a moral question.

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  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Nor will North America, or Europe, or Argentina, or Russia, or China, or Norway, or . . . .
    Probably food grown in the above locations.
  12. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    Please provide the data demonstrating those claims and projections of what those contributions will look like in, say, 100 years. I suspect the very premise of your post is badly flawed.
  13. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I don't know what you are asking for. There are no "projections about what CO2 contributions will look like in 100 years."

    The IPCC has many projections of the temperature rise with different assumptions about what the CO2 release rate will be going foreward from now. No one has any idea what will be the energy source 100 years from now - some non-fossil source I hope, if society has not collapsed.

    Ask your question again - if I can understand what you are asking, I'll try to reply, but not to questions as to CO2 conditions on earth 100 years from now. I fear it will be returning to pre-industrial conditions, mainly as don't expect society to "muddle thru" this global warming challenge - too much short term profits to be made as post 7's cartoon suggests.

    Is this what you are asking about?

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    from: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/07/whos-most-to-blame-for-global-warming/

    where some supprizing facts are stated:
    (1) On a per capita basis, the biggest portion of cumulative CO2 heating the planet was emitted not by the United States, but by the United Kingdom. That's partly because the United Kingdom created the "industrial revolution" around the year 1800, first by burning enormous amounts of coal.*

    The UK led that revolution for so long that, on a per person basis, it is still the "most responsible" for the world's excess heat now and in the near future, with Americans a close second and Germans a close third.

    (2) China's economic boom only got started recently and they still have a couple of decades to go (if there are no drastic changes) before they catch up with the United States in the total cumulative amount of heat-trapping CO2 they will have been piling up in the air.

    * They burned so much that the evolution of some white moths was changed. Birds ate the whiter ones and in a few decades all that species of moth had dark to black wings to match the soot that was covering everthing!
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  14. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    It's not like India didn't benefit from western prosperity too.
  15. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Some yes, but mainly by selling cotton very cheap to English with power looms making it into textiles, and then shirts etc. that they sold to all their "empire," India included. This was very profitable for the English, but not so for the Indians. They were an exploited "economic colony" of the English for more than 100 years.

    Who can say what conditions in India might be today, if just left alone to self develop with out a colonia master exploiting them?
  16. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    The present relative position of nations is a result of all the previous history. There is no level playing field, no innocent bystanders - and no benefit in laying blame or demanding restitution.
    The draught doesn't stop at frontiers; the tree don't stop dying when they get to the border; the islands of garbage cross oceans from one continent to another; songbirds poisoned in one hemisphere drop dead in another; polar icecaps melting over here will drown cities over there. Everybody who can had better help everybody who can't.
    If we don't get our act together now, it's end-game.
    Billy T likes this.
  17. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    And they do all our customer service.
  18. Spellbound Banned Valued Senior Member

    Jeez spidergoat. No need to be facetious.
  19. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    This just means that US businesses increase their profit-margin by hiring people in other countries - not just India; Russia, Romania, the Philippines - wherever people are poor and work cheap. All of those jobs have been exported by Americans, not hijacked by Indians. The same goes for manufacturing. Don't blame the Chinese or Bangladeshi worker for taking your jobs - and the toxic water and air that go with it - blame the corporation that built factories where there were no labour unions or environmental protection laws. Then they turn around and tell the American people: "You're not competitive. Dismantle your protection laws and lower your standards." And then they spend as many $millions on denial propaganda and anti-environmental lobbies as they do on the electing compliant, short-sighted idiots.
    One hundred and seventy-four thousand (174,000) new fracking wells in one year! Every single one is making people ill and stealing their water. And they get tax breaks.

    Here's the problem with saying - "Yeah, maybe there will be some problems, but some places will still be habitable." This is more or less true. The northern tundra, for example, will be warm enough to grow tomatoes when everything south of a line that goes though PA, OH, IN, IL, IA, ND (actually, well up into SK and AB,) MT, ID, OR is desert. However, much of that tundra will be under salt water, there won't be any more hours of sunshine, and the soil won't improve, until centuries of winds have deposited layers of topsoil from other places. Plus, there isn't much building material for shelter from the Chinooks and Nor-westerns.
    A far bigger problem is that it will have to support all the people who have migrated northward from the Brazil, Bolivia, Peru line, through the mostly-flooded Caribbean, Mexico and all the southern states. True, many of them won't make it, and many will shoot one another on the way, but there will still be a lot more people than the land can sustain. (Of course, by that time, all the livestock and wildlife will have died.)
    The ones who try to make it over the mountains (the west coast being mostly drowned) will have a very high attrition rate from various causes (mudslide, rock-slide, avalanche; forest fire); the ones who trek over the central plains will mostly die of hunger, thirst, wind- and sand-storms, the east coast hurricane and blizzard victims will fare a little better on the Canadian Shield, where there will still be trees, rivers and a few caribou. (Of course I don't know what communicable diseases they'll be carrying, but I know they won't be carrying hospital equipment. )
    For Asia and Europe, things look worse: a lot more desperate people and even fewer resources.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  20. Scottish Scientist Registered Member

    Framework Convention on Climate Change

    Conference of the Parties Twenty-first session "COP21"
    Paris, 30 November to 11 December 2015


    "Recognizing that climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible
    threat to human societies and the planet and thus requires the widest possible cooperation
    by all countries, and their participation in an effective and appropriate international
    response, with a view to accelerating the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions,

    The links are to my blog where I have published about the technology item in the list.

    Scottish Scientist recommends -

    Hydro-electric / Geothermal / tidal where appropriate

    Land-based wind turbines

    Offshore wind turbines

    Solar power for local supply, recommended where there's winter sunshine

    Solar power for long-distance transmission supply (for example, Namib Desert -> Europe, Atacama Desert -> North America, Tibet & Australia -> Asia)
    - Comment

    Pumped-storage hydro for energy storage with on-land generation
    - World's biggest-ever pumped-storage hydro scheme for Scotland?
    - Wind turbine & Pumped-storage hydro computer modelling

    Undersea hydrogen storage for energy storage with offshore generation

    Carbon-neutral bio-fuels for transport such as dimethyl-ether (DME) from steam-reformed biomass

    Convert old vehicles, for transport by land, sea & air to run on bio-fuels

    New vehicles powered by hydrogen / electrical batteries / bio-fuels

    Nuclear-powered mega-ships – container & bulk transport, cruise liners etc

    Nuclear-powered tugs for high-power pulling of ships long distance (rather than low-power navigation)

    Scottish Scientist does not recommend -

    Forget new nuclear plant for the grid. Portable nuclear only.

    Forget carbon-capture and storage from fossil-fuel burning power stations
    Who pays?

    Pay for this by governments directing their central banks to create new money for such infrastructure investments - there's no need to burden tax-payers, electricity bill-payers, travellers, hauliers, shipping companies etc.

    More power?

    When the world is fossil-fuel free and if Europe & Africa still need much more power then make a mega tidal race by damming the Gibraltar Strait, installing water turbines and sea locks for shipping.

    Please note that I wrote the OP of 2 threads here in sciforums in this context
    World’s biggest-ever pumped-storage hydro-scheme, for Scotland?
    Modelling wind turbines and pumped-storage hydro for renewables-only 24/7 electrical power

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