A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

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Hristo Botev
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Hristo Botev »

Disney/Pixar's Wall-E always sticks out in my mind. Especially the image of the pathetic humans cruising around in their diabetic scooters as they are force fed entertainment and sodas.

I'd like to see more thought leaders (influencers?) start making minimalism "cool"; and perhaps it's not out of the realm of possibility that carbon-emitting activities and wastefulness could become socially stigmatized, long term--but that's about as optimistic as I can be.

ETA: I seem to remember there being a bit of a buzz when Elon Musk announced he was simplifying. Not sure what happened with that; but maybe that's something. That said, Warren Buffet's frugality is part of his legend; and I'm not sure whether that's had any sort of real impact on how anyone else chooses to live their own lives.
Last edited by Hristo Botev on Mon Nov 09, 2020 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Campitor
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Campitor »

I think the only means we can realistically incentivize people to have a smaller footprint is to charge them for it. Imagine if gas/oil prices scaled by the size of the vehicle or home? What if there was a carbon tax attached to every item you buy like a VAT. What if every time you flew on an airplane, you were charged a tax based on how much CO2 was released during the flight and that C02 cost was spread out by the number of passengers, i.e., 1 passenger on the plane means 1 person has to pay the complete cost of the CO2?

I know this is hyperbole and would never fly, but this is why the world keeps spinning on without changing. When the cost of our decisions is divorced from our experience, we don't get the required feedback to motivate better actions. If every time we engaged in a negative CO2 purchase/decision, and that CO2 burden was pumped directly into our lungs, we wouldn't be worrying about CO2 emissions.

Hristo Botev
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Hristo Botev »

Campitor: It was interesting to me that EVERYONE in my little workshop (reds and blues) agreed to a carbon tax system, along the lines of what you're talking about. But as I said upstream, I really doubt those folks will be on board with that policy when they actually understand how big those taxes/fees need to be to effectuate change; AND THAT the change we're talking about effectuating is for them to consume less--not just consume differently. That said, trying to keep my optimistic cap on, we're still talking about a handful of Baby Boomers who self-identify as "red" seeming to not even balk at the mention of the word "tax" (and I promise I wasn't being TOO vocal in trying to bring everyone on board)--so, that's something (until it falls apart, of course).

jacob
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by jacob »

To give out some actual numbers, in the "Doom" report from 2018 that considered the options for staying under 1.5C (this is no longer possible), the required tax to do so was estimated at $135--$5500/tCO2 by 2030 rising to $27,000/tCO2 by 2100.

Translating this into "everyday numbers" this means a gallon of gasoline would cost:
Weight of CO2 from 1 gal: 0.87*(2*16+12)/12*6.3*0.454 = 9.1kg/gal so +$1.2--$50/gal in taxes by 2030 and +$246/gal in taxes by 2100.

$1.2 is certainly doable (as demonstrated by Europe who currently pays substantially more already) but $50+ would completely rewire the economy and thus generate tremendous political resistance.

(It's not just driving. The cement, smelting, and fertilizer industries are also heavily dependent on energy pricing. Thus in order to afford e.g. food, people would have to cut down on "less important" things metal-stuff and driving to be able to afford higher food prices than simple independent calculations would suggest.)

Hristo Botev
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Hristo Botev »

Jacob: It came up a couple times during our little workshop what to do about "green" energy creation like solar and wind. I pushed back a bit (well, a lot) on the idea of incentivizing/subsidizing these technologies any more than a tax would, through tax credits or direct payments, etc. (i.e., picking winners and losers beyond just making carbon emitting activities WAY more expensive). My concern is that I'm not really on board with incentivizing clear cutting forests for wind "farms" or digging up mountain tops for the minerals needed for solar panels, etc.; and I also think that the wind farms and the solar people (and the biomass folks, etc.) need to also be taxed on the carbon they are emitting every step along the way. Same for things like electric cars running off coal/natural gas energy grids. Am I off base here; have I been too influenced by Kingsnorth and Michael Moore, etc.?

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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by jacob »

@HB - All that's needed to implement this is a tax at every well-head or terminal, no exception. If there are exceptions, people will simply start importing energy from elsewhere. This means collecting the tax at the resource end of the economy rather than at the point of consumption. Whataboutery (like what about the carbon released from clear cutting forests, what about the methane from farming, ...) is easy but it should only be brought up with the aim to tax those emissions as well.

Alphaville
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Alphaville »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 12:48 pm

I'd like to see more thought leaders (influencers?) start making minimalism "cool"
that was already well underway before covid grabbed everyone’s attention. i’d say beyond cool it was starting to break into the mainstream,

e.g. marie kondo went from book author to netflix reality show. not that she’s a minimalist proper, but she’ definitely anti-excess and very conscious of objects in her own shinto way.

these guys not sure how cool/uncool they are, but have been promoting minimalism for a while: https://www.theminimalists.com/
i remember browsing through one of their books just from curiosity (nothing new for me there to research) and there was a bit of religious discourse in it—there is some spiritual aspect to giving up the love of stuff of course.

and after decades and innumerable amateur documentaries about tiny houses, these structures are becoming more acceptable/mainstream, and written into city code, and the shows have higher production values. which means tiny houses are now “hot properties” in some real estate markets. (i’d link you the shows, but they’re on bezosvision)

we’re getting there— not fast enough for sure, but there is a fairly large current of anticonsumer sentiment in the world, combined with “consumerism of the small”. it’s just not the mainstream yet. but times are changing.

there are currents and countercurrents of course...
eg cars vs no cars: https://www.wired.com/story/death-cars- ... aggerated/

and already our current minimalism has already been criticized as a luxury only the rich can afford: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/31/maga ... alism.html

but here’s a bit of humor from past eras, which criticizes better: https://youtu.be/YhYi229qPXQ

Campitor
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Campitor »

so +$1.2--$50/gal in taxes by 2030 and +$246/gal in taxes by 2100.
A cheap price to pay to save humanity. Image if every car pumped the CO2 into a passenger compartment balloon that expanded until it filled the passenger compartment. Reduce CO2 immissions or risk death by CO2 balloon compaction. :lol:

Alphaville
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Alphaville »

at that taxation level we’d just switch to different power sources.

nuclear is great btw, the problem is what to do with the waste (shoot it into the sun i say, ha ha)

Campitor
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Campitor »

Alphaville wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 4:47 pm
at that taxation level we’d just switch to different power sources.
Wouldn't it be great if some of that power was human, i.e., cycling, walking, etc.?

Alphaville
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Alphaville »

Campitor wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:10 pm
Wouldn't it be great if some of that power was human, i.e., cycling, walking, etc.?
that’s what i keep asking for but nobody listens :D

car-free here btw.

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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by jacob »

Depends on whether it's voluntary ... this could easily revert to historic norms.

Also, https://www.stuartmcmillen.com/comic/energy-slaves/

On a lighter note: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSlnWk ... 2_qqLLTGKw

Campitor
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Campitor »

I have a car but I walk, cycle, or take public transportation most of the time. The car is for trips to the mountains or hauling heavy stuff when needed. I prefer walking or public transportation to driving because I arrive without stress to my destination.

Alphaville
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Alphaville »

i have a bicycle but *i don’t have enough bicycle-friendly roads*

i like to walk but *a lot of roads lack sidewalks*

things are built on purpose *to only be reachable by car*

there lies the gist of my complaint

Campitor
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Campitor »

jacob wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:17 pm
On a lighter note: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSlnWk ... 2_qqLLTGKw
Seeing that man huff and puff to power a toaster was hilarious. I'm sure if most people had to power a toaster via that method, they would learn to enjoy untoasted bread. :lol:

Hristo Botev
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Hristo Botev »

Alphaville wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:27 pm
i have a bicycle but *i don’t have enough bicycle-friendly roads*

i like to walk but *a lot of roads lack sidewalks*

things are built on purpose *to only be reachable by car*

there lies the gist of my complaint
I've got the scars, diminished memory, and deaf-in-one-ear side effects of head trauma to prove that even self-proclaimed "bike-friendly" communities aren't really. That said, some hope here from the Strong Towns kind of perspective is that, when people talk about how we can address CC on a local level, that's how! I'm tempted to run for city commission of my little town as a single platform* candidate: SHUT DOWN THE CITY CENTER TO CAR TRAFFIC (you can use some parking garages on the perimeter of the city center, but the city center itself will be car free, except for special needs mobility buses).

*Well, maybe 2 platforms, with the second being--LOWER MY DAMN TAXES YOU CROOKS!!! Leave it to a conservative to not see those 2 platforms as being contradictory, at all.

Alphaville
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Alphaville »

do it! even if you fail, do it magnificently, and for a great cause.

here some inspirations

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_car-free_places

eta:

to that central hub add some spokes (safe bike/pedestrian roads) so that people who live outside the center can go there. don’t make people go by car to the car-free zone.

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fiby41
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by fiby41 »

On a personal level, when I come to the point of thinking about having a child, I should keep in mind I'll be actually minting 700,800 human hours (at 80 years life expectancy.) K-selection for the win.

tonyedgecombe
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by tonyedgecombe »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:39 pm
SHUT DOWN THE CITY CENTER TO CAR TRAFFIC
If I look around the UK the towns that have managed to keep traffic out of the centre seem to be the most desirable and expensive. Everybody likes traffic free environments but nobody wants to give up their car.
Alphaville wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:43 pm
do it! even if you fail, do it magnificently, and for a great cause.

here some inspirations

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_car-free_places
Thin pickings and even then the UK ones are rather dubious. York has a relatively car free centre but it's surrounded by a dual lane inner ring rode that is almost always gridlocked.

7Wannabe5
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

“Campitor” wrote: I'm sure if most people had to power a toaster via that method, they would learn to enjoy untoasted bread. :lol:
1) Or they could plant/manage a small wood lot and toast their bread on a cast-iron skillet weighted down with a lid-which is what I currently do both while camping and in city apartment. Although, city apartment stove is obviously natural gas not wood.

2) Or they could even construct an intelligent solar toaster which would require no pedaling (except for the energy embedded in the necessary materials plus their maintenance/depreciation)

If you start with the premise that the average human is best off performing some sort of manual labor/exercise for a couple hours/day, then include 80% Low Tech (1) type solutions and 20% High Novel Tech type 2 solutions , I think reasonably decent quality of life can be preserved with plenty of room for freedom in personal decision making within this model.

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