What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Should you squeeze the toothpaste tube in the middle or from the end?
jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 10344
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by jacob » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:11 am

BRUTE wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:27 am
so by having zero children and not driving a car, brute is already 95.7% of the way there.
Ehh, no :roll: You didn't read the paper, right?

User avatar
BRUTE
Posts: 3541
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by BRUTE » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:32 am

of course not

User avatar
bryan
Posts: 1025
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:01 am
Location: mostly Bay Area

Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by bryan » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:07 pm

It has a nice section in it that enumerates how the spread of deadly diseases helps the environment (negative CO2 equivalent) that you might enjoy. (jk)

User avatar
BRUTE
Posts: 3541
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by BRUTE » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:22 pm

jacob wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:11 am
BRUTE wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:27 am
so by having zero children and not driving a car, brute is already 95.7% of the way there.
Ehh, no :roll: You didn't read the paper, right?
brute just skimmed the paper and didn't see anything that would invalidate what he said. does jacob care to point out how brute isn't morally superior to a child-rearing, car-driving, recycling vegan with bad lighting?

slowtraveler
Posts: 664
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:06 pm

Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by slowtraveler » Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:57 am

If Brute lived in the Indian or African countryside with such habits, surely he would be ahead.

I used to obsess over this as well. Now, I live my life and do my best to treat people with respect and discernment.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 10344
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by jacob » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:11 am

BRUTE wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:22 pm
brute just skimmed the paper and didn't see anything that would invalidate what he said. does jacob care to point out [...]
No, not as long as there's a gap between what I've underlined.
blackbird wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:23 pm
[...] at no point did they reference any of this. They approached it from a personal preference standpoint (which I think they did so as not to offend me) but I almost want to say "Why didn't you mention this?", because when I discussed this with them recently they were well aware of the research.
The way I think about it---and this is something I learned the hard way---is that it's very difficult for people to simultaneously process new information that both disagrees with their identity (e.g. how they eat, how they live, how they vote, what they believe, what they hope,... ) and is existentially threatening to them in some way. I think this is because there's no way to "cognitively negotiate" a compromise. You're figuratively frog-marching them through most of the Kuebler-Ross steps by telling them insofar you're framing the behavior in terms of how it's eventually going to kill/hurt them. Therefore you frame the behavior as your personal choice instead: "Never mind me, I'm just being weird. See, harmless, not a threat to your identity."

phil
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:05 am

Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by phil » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:11 am

According to the paper, the average American produces 16.5 tons of CO2 per year. If that is the case, how can having one child less cause a reduction of CO2 emissions by 58 tons per year? That makes no sense at all.

phil
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:05 am

Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by phil » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:22 am

@BRUTE, from the article:
To illustrate the implications of our findings, consider that per capita emissions must reach 2.1 tCO2e by 2050, if warming of the planet is to be kept below 2 °C. We estimate that an individual who eats meat and takes one roundtrip, transatlantic flight per year emits 2.4 tCO2e through these actions, exhausting their personal carbon budget, without accounting for any other emissions

User avatar
Fish
Posts: 383
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:09 am

Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by Fish » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:47 am

phil wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:11 am
According to the paper, the average American produces 16.5 tons of CO2 per year. If that is the case, how can having one child less cause a reduction of CO2 emissions by 58 tons per year? That makes no sense at all.
Explained here: viewtopic.php?p=153165#p153165

User avatar
BRUTE
Posts: 3541
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by BRUTE » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:12 pm

brute thanks phil for being helpful. so brute is a 0.3 over. that's pretty damn close, isn't it?

brute's moral superiority compared to offspring-producing car driving vegans remains unchallenged.

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2095
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: Western U.S.
Contact:

Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by C40 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:58 pm

I think it's only moral superiority (in this case) if your primary reason for not having children is environmental. Otherwise, it's just environmental superiority.

I declare you environmentally superior to offspring-producing car-driving vegans.

Edit - well, maybe you are morally superior.... I was only thinking about it from your side. Comparing just the two, with some environmental consideration, not having kids mainly because you don't want to is morally superior to someone having kids because they do want to (especially if they understand the environmental outlook)

User avatar
Fish
Posts: 383
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:09 am

Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by Fish » Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:02 pm

@brute - You are actually (16.4 - 2.4) - 2.1 = 11.9 over, not 0.3.

User avatar
ebast
Posts: 106
Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:42 pm

Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by ebast » Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:15 pm

On phil's point, I was a little disappointed Jacob posted that number as it falls more as a 'damned lie' than a statistic, especially if used without explanation, which is well, come to think of it, not so unlike those textbooks they criticize.

first off, Jacob kindly used the developed nation-averaged figure of 58 tons/year for our international audience here. The american number is mas o menos 116 tons / year. :shock:

In no way are you actually generating 116 tons a year at any point. Instead this is aggregating all the emissions of all your descendents up to an arbitrary cutoff as explained by Fish which for an american was calculated using a simulation as to be 9441 tons total. Yes, this is including emissions literally generations in the future, but Jacob's mitigation reference decided to annualize this per year (american lifespan they use around 81.5) and assign to the parent, I assume because dividing is easy. So, 116 tons/year. This has weird consequences:
  • No discounting is applied and no recognition that CO2 is partially reabsorbed (however slowly) on generation scales, so yes it is not correct to use this number as if all this carbon is produced at once. It is as if all the carbon of your and yours' descendents were produced in your lifetime alone. You might think otherwise that a ton produced from meat-eating this year is more concerning than the one your great-great-great-grandchild produces but I don't know.
  • Because we have assigned all of your child's (and their children's) emissions to you and your partner, from a bookkeeping perspective, they and all their descendents are carbon-free! Talk about taking one for the team. Under this reasoning, unscrupulous brutes could assign all their carbon contribution to their parents and do wtf they want because they're booking this one to mom and dad.
  • Even the "116 tons" number is totally hokey as in I could sway it for your political purpose. For countries with reproduction rates above replacement and no discounting, this is a divergent series. Even for the convergent nations as well they keep their numbers finite via an arbitrary cutoff ("pre-specified time limit") after an unspecified number of generations. Why they even bother with all this simulation instead of just using the analytic solution I only partly guess at.
This does give a chance to add another direction that people talk about even less than foregoing air travel and which despite its obviousness was not brought up in the mitigation paper...

In the Murtagh paper, if you still want to use this methodology, each American child chalks up 9441 tons. Each Mexican child: 1241. (Disregarding all that modeling stuff, though, annual numbers validate this with America 20.18 vs Mexican 3.67 T/year). Maybe some of this is playing games with bookkeeping but looking at what baseline of energy, infrastructure and complexity American life unavoidably requires, some of it should be real. Emigrate for the planet.

So, you could have seven Mexican children for the price of one American.

tl;dr: Shameful deeds, do them in Mexico.

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2095
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: Western U.S.
Contact:

Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by C40 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:30 pm

ebast wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:15 pm
tl;dr: Shameful deeds, do them in Mexico.
Sweet. I'm going there for the winter. Awwwww yeah.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 10344
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by jacob » Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:39 pm

@ebast - I think this [paper] is playing games with bookkeeping or maybe more accurately playing "bookkeeping with a [very serious/deadly] game". Now, the bookkeeping (or keeping books) is meant to quantity impacts to choices. This makes it a moral issue which is why I posted the link to the paper. But using accounting measures to determine moral choices certainly requires a comprehensive understanding of the underlying framework, because it's essentially trying to summarize that in a single number that can be compared to other similarly summarized numbers. Otherwise, uninformed people will draw stupid conclusions from it (see below, the end).

I do not think simplifying a complex problem into a simple number is a good idea, but trying to is more damned than lie. I don't know a better solution. Maybe trying something is better than doing nothing. Most want to ignore any insight that takes more than a few minutes. I don't know.

The 58-number is discounted by subsequent generations. You're responsible for 50% of the lifetime emissions of your child. This is because YOU were the one to bring that child into existence. The other parent is responsible for the other 50%. Thus the pair of parents are responsible for 100% of the lifetime emissions of their children. This seems fair since it was after all the parents' choice to have that child and not someone else. This is obvious because you have the option whether that child will be born. If you're not exercising it, it will never happen.

Similarly, you're responsible for 25% of your grandchild. There are 4 grandparents for every grandchild. Their combined responsibility again adds up to 100%. If you do not exercise your option to have a child with another human, it's guaranteed they you will never have a grandchild. That's pretty clear. Immaculate conception has only ever happened once ;-P so the "responsibility is conserved"---it's all on the person who decides to become a parent at this point in time. They hold all the keys to the future.

If you add up all future generations(*) that you were responsible for igniting, you get 1/2+1/4+1/8+... = 1 (geometric series). This then gets distributed over your lifetime---a better way would be to assign it to you upfront as part of the remaining carbon budget; it's finite---to compute the imputed debt. That previous sentence is the most depressing one of this post for those who really grok the situation.

I think it's done in this way because by having a child you're implicitly expressing the preference/presumption that your child/children have the same choice for having children of their own and the same opportunity for living the way you do and the same lifestyle and the same choice to have a child of their own. This is where the moral dimension enters.

(*) So, yes, there's some reabsorbance of atmospheric CO2, but it happens so slowly (many hundreds of years), that the actual sum while less than 1 is nevertheless very very close 1 (so >~0.99+). By the time anything gets effectively reabsorbed, it'll already be a dozen generations in the future. They'll be to you what you are to your 12th century ancestors.

For me, it seems rather assholish to choose to have a child while also stipulating that they're not allowed to have children of their own or sending them off to live out their natural lives in someplace/somefuture like Rwanda or Sierra Leone (where annual emissions are 0.1 tCO2e/yr). I suspect that the authors of the calculation are similarly oriented presuming that parents are not intending to sell their own children down the river to Sierra Leone. Then again, most people are probably more practical, ignorant, or spontaneous, so there's that... Doesn't really matter what I think. There's little I can do about it anyway. If you're okay with telling your child that "I got mine already" and "You figure out yours, not my problem", papers and moral arguments like this are null and void. After all, what can they [and their ancestors] do?

This way of assigning moral culpability comes about because the budget due to the fact that we're stuck in a vise (ratcheting towards a hard limit) because anything we send up there stays up there for too long on a multi-generational scale and eventually affects food-production which affects how many humans remains alive on a three week scale giving no reserves. (Humans have largely abandoned the idea of food reserves.)

brutes might do some simple math and conclude that the best way to get from 5.0/year/capita to 2.1/year/capita is to double+ the capita :-P That's the problem with tl;dr simple math tables. Actually, I'm positively sure brute is not that stupid and just trolling. I do know that brute's personal lifestyle is actually close to compatible with a sustainable solution.... OTOH, I would not be at all surprised if some economist made that very conclusion and suggested it to some politician with a law-degree and a fifth-grader's science-degree . More people means more chances of technological miracles, right?

However, the way to use those numbers (of the paper) is more to think of the situation as a lifeboat (ultimately finite resources). The food productive capacity is limited. If we go through 2C which will happen around year 2060 (insofar we don't go to 2.1 ASAP), the future food-stream will be at risk (that's where the self-correction enters). IOW, someone deciding to have a business as usual child effectively negates the efforts of 580 light-bulb changing consumers or 58/0.8~70 vegans.

What makes this a "hard problem you don't want to talk about" is that the emission numbers just keep adding and adding. That's really tough for the human mind to process. It's like being stuck in a submarine with finite oxygen reserves, but with more math, in a submarine where people hate reading and math. And then someone gets pregnant too...

But anyone choosing to have +1 child is not going to actually use up another 58 via their eventual ancestors---there's just not enough time/space for that to become possible before the line gets curbed---rather it's a way to quantitatively attribute the consequences of personal decisions. I dunno if this way is a good way to communicate the predicament. People are trying different ways to summarize a very complex problem for decision-makers who can't be assed to read more than a 30 page executive summary. The currently most popular method is carbon budgets presented at a 5th grade reading level. This also has its own unique room for misinterpretation. But, yeah ...

PS: There are a lot of dog whistles in this post.

User avatar
BRUTE
Posts: 3541
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by BRUTE » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:21 pm

why are humans not honest? the boat has sailed and most humans are unwilling to reduce current pleasure & consumption in order to change course.

brute is merely more honest about his unwillingness to save the planet for future humans than others.

User avatar
ebast
Posts: 106
Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:42 pm

Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by ebast » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:41 pm

Just to clarify my yammering on the math side, that earlier paper was concerned with the total carbon legacy and not on the mitigation side the marginal effect of deciding to have one fewer child. Reasonably so, they assumed that the child you had would carry on at the reproduction rate of the country in which she was born. That is different from quantifying the marginal decision all the way down and is what yields the 116 tons that gets assigned to "one less kid". So for example, they have the US fertility at 2.05 (technically below the generally accepted replacement rate of 2.1 but fine, let's use it for example) which means I am responsible for my child and the 2.05 grandchildren she has, and the 4.2 great grandchildren they have... giving 1/2 * 1 child + 1/4 * 2.05 grandchildren + 1/8 * 2.05 * 2.05 great-grandchildren +...= infinity which simplifies to 5.7 following the authors.
jacob wrote: What makes this a "hard problem you don't want to talk about" is that the emission numbers just keep adding and adding. That's really tough for the human mind to process. It's like being stuck in a submarine with finite oxygen reserves, but with more math, in a submarine where people hate reading and math. And then someone gets pregnant too...
This is so sharply accurate and crystallizes my experience discussing the predicament among generally-informed professional folks. The reservoir nature of the problem is not widely appreciated, perhaps because so many other pollution problems we vaguely remember in order to draw on for context have more rapid clearing rates (low-atmosphere smog, nitrogen run-offs, acid rain) leading to the argument I've been given that like in other situations, yes, we're overproducing now but in twenty years the technology will improve, yada yada... at which point we will mend our shameful ways and the climate will return to "normal".. you know the rest. The last two times, following their tribe, they go on to kvetch about the red team and how it would all be better if Trump would only stop denying climate change. Great minds discussing people.

Meanwhile there is no recognition that the flight they just took to Italy to come back and tell me the coffee's not as good as in San Francisco spent 2 tons equivalent, what should be the per capita budget for an entire year. Maybe that's what I like about these lists that jacob quoted and the shame Ego throws because at least it's bringing balance to the force. I have caught substantial guff for throwing the wrong trash in the wrong-colored bins. I have never once caught a hint of disapproval for flying across the country to see something I could have watched on the internet while drinking better coffee.

Both the Nytimes and the WSJ have regular business sections for enduring the carnivals of abuse that are cheap air travel and then separate travel sections hawking all the places you'll go.. never so much as a cigarette-pack disclaimer or calorie count of how much carbon you're burning to do it.

So to be respectful and return to the thread, let's throw in: cheap & easy jet-fueled travel. You mean they used to fly across the country just to see a concert? And left evidence about it on instagram?

Seppia
Posts: 615
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by Seppia » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:13 am

ebast wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:41 pm
the flight they just took to Italy to come back and tell me the coffee's not as good as in San Francisco
That's a lot of flying just to be spectacularly wrong :lol:

Jokes aside, up until a year ago I wasn't aware of how horrendously polluting is international flight.
DW and I have significantly reduced our leisure related air travel, but we are still at obscene levels (currently at 4 flights this year, but none intercontinental).
Our problem is
A) we absolutely love traveling
B) I air travel a TON for work (and it's really unavoidable) so the habits are bad

jennypenny
Posts: 5912
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by jennypenny » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:35 am

I hope we're ashamed of the fact that we considered regulating/limiting natural human desires like procreating and eating (ethically-sourced) meat so that we could maintain a lifestyle that included iCrap, imported luxuries, elective/cosmetic medical procedures, dry cleaning, non-essential air travel, cosmetics, home 'decor', professional sports leagues, recorded entertainment, processed food, jewelry, McMansions, overnight shipping, air craft carriers, personal automobiles, etc etc etc.

User avatar
Bankai
Posts: 252
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:28 am

Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by Bankai » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:21 am

@jennypenny

Civilisation is built on regulating/suppressing natural human desires.

Post Reply