We're doomed. What is the answer?

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intellectualpersuit
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by intellectualpersuit » Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:13 pm

I like your vision Daylen, it makes me laugh.

Yes that's a problem 7Wannabe5. In most scenarios one must play the system, essentially buying into it, just enough to be able to effectively pull out of it. If I am to acquire land this almost has to be the way it goes down, and its the path I have chosen to follow. I'll just have to convince myself that I am doing it to increase my two way relationship with nature, which is true. Its just unfortunate that it comes at a possible more detrimental cost than benefit. Hopefully I can keep a toe outside the water.

Jason
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by Jason » Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:19 pm

EdithKeeler wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:03 am

I went to church this morning, in fact, and while I was sitting there full of my usual doubts (just call me Thomas....) I was thinking that even if there is no god or Allah or whoever, we’d be so much better off if we just took that one idea—be kind to one another, look out for one another—to heart and applied it.
Pascal's wager.

daylen
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by daylen » Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:20 pm

As with all dichotomies, upon closer inspection it breaks down. There is and is not a difference between humanity and the environment. On one hand, maybe it would be better if humanity was compost; on the other hand, maybe it would be better if humanity controlled the environment. There is no good or bad solution.. just a dialectical solution for any agent that desires the replication of its parts.

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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by jacob » Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:20 pm

intellectualpersuit wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:42 pm
The only answer to fix the problem that I have seen is that it is on the individual to change themself by acting sustainably instead of insustainabily. This is a good basis to start from, but what is the best way to achieve this in a large enough number of individuals?

Does the change lay in governmental intervention? It has been established before that government is structured so that change happens slowly, probably too slowly in this case unless someone has an idea to evoke the proper amount. What is the proper rate of change in behavior across society that will lead to a diversion from collapse in the proper amount of time?
Serious people disagree(*) on whether the best approach is activism, education, raising awareness, or people individually changing themselves to become more sustainable. I think this disagreement is a waste of time because in reality, it will take all of them because they reinforce each other. It will take individuals changing in sufficiently large numbers provide initial support and to show that a solution is realistic and it will take activism et al. to lever the individual examples to get the attention of governments, corporations, and NGOs. Only the latter three are capable of enacting change on a massive scale. Note that in the US, the government is largely ineffective (because it has less support from the people) whereas corporations and NGOs (think tanks) are more effective. In other countries it's different/the other way around.

(*) Which I suspect is very much driven by personality/temperament on part of whoever is advocating for a given approach.

As an example, consider Keynes famous Letter to his grandchildren from 1928(?) about how in a hundred years from then people would become so productive as to only need to work 10 hours per week. Well, a hundred years from back then is approximately now, and humanity has done nothing of the kind. However, various approaches have been tried (beatniks, hippies, idlers, voluntary simplicity movement, FIRE movement, ...). In the past ten years, FIRE has gone from a few iconoclasts to a movement of sorts and now it's getting mainstream attention. In 2019, approximately 0.1% of the population is making some effort. This is from individuals changing and a few "activists" (here bloggers) writing ... and so we're talking a GDP impact on the order of ~<0.1%, that is, ~<200 billion USD that now goes towards increasing leisure time rather than increasing consumption of stuff. (This, incidentally is on par with the annual cost of destruction currently attributed to climate change.) This, of course, is not enough on its own, but we do have now the attention of corporations. Prudential is making ads directed at the FIRE movement while others are spreading FUD because FIRE impacts their bottom line. For example, some politicians have begun whining about the death of the economy if everybody does this, etc. It's still a far cry from getting the other 99.9% on board to achieve Keynes' vision. Paradigm shifts take a long time.

Similarly, the main conclusions wrt climate, resources, and population have been known since the 1970s and remained largely unchanged. (Today they are known with better precision, detail, and confidence.) Back then, material impacts were avoidable "if only we act now"... which we didn't. Same story today except some adversity is now locked in. As we were told last year in the "doom report", we can still prevent worse scenarios (exceeding 2C+) "if only we act now" and restructure the global economy on a level that is now comparable with WWII mobilization (redirecting the economy on the order of 10%---that would be the proper rate of change at this point) and keep it on a "wartime footing" for the next 30 years. Once again we punted and instead chose to carry on with business as usual. 1.5C is irreversibly locked-in. 2C will be soon enough. Then we're talking 3C, 4C, etc.

What does "possible" imply? Avoiding 2C is technically possible but as we've seen since 2017 politically impossible. Avoiding 1.5C is politically impossible and now (since a couple of years ago) also technically impossible. Think of it this way: There are more things that are technically possible than are politically possible. However, not all things are technically possible (even though a certain subset of humanity takes comfort in believing just that). Human ingenuity is not an infinite resource where the law of diminishing returns doesn't apply.

Beyond 2C, each degree reduces crop productivity by 5-15%. Humans are made out of food and the average human can not go without food for more than 3 weeks. Thus the total biomass of humans is strongly dependent on the flow of food production within the past month. Something to keep in mind. This is a lot of slack in this system in the form of livestock. With less food during a crisis, some animals can be killed freeing up nitrogen and calories for humans. This allows humanity to increase its numbers a bit until the next crisis which then requires more slack to be taken out of the system. At some point, we run out of slack. This is also called demand hardening. It's a bit of a trap.

Temperature scenarios can be predicted with confidence. In terms of the median of the distribution, 2C will be reached around 2035-2045. 3C will be reached around 2065-2080. 4C around 2100. Of course with business as usual, these temperatures will keep increasing into the 22nd century which is currently 81 years (or one standard human lifetime) away ... something to consider for those who are still planning to have children. People in western culture do not habitually think beyond a couple of decades. It is a very rare person who think about the world that their children will grow old in. Selfishly promoting larger families to ensure their own pension liabilities is about as forward as that kind of thinking goes. That their own children face an even bigger problem as a result of such a strategy goes unconsidered.

The width of the projected temperature distribution as a function of time is determined by the climate sensitivity. That distribution has a scary right-skewed fat tail. There's a material probability (30%) that these temperatures could be higher which means impacts will come faster and stronger. The probability that things will be twice as bad as the median is some 5-10% which is much higher than the probability that the sensitivity is only half as big (the lukewarm side). There's a tiny probability (1-2%) that temperatures will rise 3-4x faster and higher than the median. If so, that will be an epic shit storm that will kill billions of humans within this century. Lets hope we're not that unlucky.

In terms of collapse, impacts will not be geographically evenly distributed. But the world is more interconnected now. Some areas are currently collapsing with failing states that can no longer feed their populace or afford to provide stability. We see this in the refugee streams from those areas. On a global scale, there are about 50 million refugees currently (about the population of France). Although very hard to estimate, the best number for the size of that flow in 2080 is about 10x as many or about half a billion---5% of the world's population at that time. It will be interesting to see how politicians will handle that one. For example, will people from Washington and Oregon welcome migrants from Alabama and Texas with open arms at that point? Will Germany and Denmark take in people from Spain and Italy? Perhaps regions that are still productive will offer to send food in return for refugees staying away. Others will send in troops instead.

The point here is that while some areas are definitely better than others (go north my young friend!) it will be very difficult to wall yourself off both personally but also as a nation. Historically, such constraints have been resolved in a reactive way and by fighting over resources rather than in a proactive way and by distributing resources somewhat more equitably. The average human simply does not posses the acuity to go the latter way, so I don't see how it would be different this time. Material/mental wealth allows for complexity and large structures (e.g. big countries, international collaboration (political treaties and trade), human rights, ...). When wealth goes away complexity goes away too. This is what is meant by collapse. Thus expect the upcoming conflicts to be resolved on a more regional (which is more affordable) scale until the given area is sustainable. This will end civilization as we know it ... but it won't end humans (except in the equatorial areas that will largely be uninhabitable because the wet bulb temperatures exceed human tolerance).

As for rebooting civilization as we know it. Sorry, that won't happen(*). There's a cool book called The Knowledge which shows how to rebuild the world from scratch. Unfortunately, the resources currently existing are too dilute for pre-20th century technology to operate on. It's no longer possible to go out and find rich ores which now require a functional global high-tech economy to extract ... a global economy that will have collapsed... so the premise of that idea is null and void. But there could be another simpler civilization more on par with a few hundred million humans left that mainly inhabit the polar areas (which are now temperate rather than arctic in terms of climate but still have the polar sunlight or lack thereof and as such would require different crops ... which we don't really have/know?!) and maintain a largely local agrarian culture at roughly 16-18th tech level all depending on locality... some will be higher, some will be lower, just like today.

(*) It'll take about 100M years to reform the fossil fuel reserves that we've spent roughly half of during the past 100 years. 100M years is long enough to create a new dominant species on the planet. In terms of surviving the sixth mass extinction, put your money on birds and lizards. Mammals are pretty screwed. So far insects are too.

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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by jacob » Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:36 pm

My point is that we're currently at a time where some human individuals (the young and the unlucky) will live longer than human civilization. This makes this time very different as modern humans usually/generally expect civilization to outlive them and have little experience dealing with adverse instability. The corollary to that is that many humans alive today will experience and possibly die due to a breakdown of civilization(*) instead of dying from cancer, heart attacks, COPD, or stupidity (accidents). How to deal with THAT is certainly a pertinent question.

(*) To see how this works in practice, visit, for example, a refugee camp. Remember, in the words of (IIRC) William Gibson, the future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed.

daylen
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by daylen » Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:13 pm

I did not mean reboot to the current state, but rather reboot to something like that video I linked where the technology and resource dilution hinder the ability for states to control a large territory. I imagine that the collapse would look like a series of infarctions that spawn micro-states; as the climate changes these micro-states would migrate towards the poles where some may merge. The general pattern may be simulated using energy, water, and agriculture constraints, but many of the details would be too sensitive to initial conditions and miscellaneous factors.

Quadalupe
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by Quadalupe » Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:26 pm

I just finished Wallace's book, The Uninhabitable Earth, and I have to admit that the sense of Doom is real now. However, I also try to take to heart his message that the 'doom level' is not binary. It is not Heaven or Hell, more like separate levels of purgatory. Maybe we are locked in on level 2 (degrees), but that doesn't mean we should give up and accept a descent/free fall to level 3,4,5....

So for some actionable points, I will focus on the following:

- Standard non polluting stuff, for a low CO2 footprint
- Build skills that can help you and your friends/family navigate tougher times. How to garden, how to perform first aid, how to barter. A large part of the skills I want to learn are more social/organisational in nature. I've bought Lean Logic and Surviving the Future by David Fleming (latter posthumously extracted from the former by his collegeau Shaun Chamberlin), to learn more about community building.
- Don't have children. The meek will inherit the earth, but it will likely become a rough place in a short while

And most of all, keep trying to live a life worth living in the meantime. The goal is not to live as long as possible, but to live a good and fulfilling life.

EdithKeeler
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by EdithKeeler » Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:57 pm

I was thinking just yesterday how post-apocalyptic fiction and movies are so popular right now. I think they’ve always been popular, from the time HG Wells wrote “The Time Machine.” When we started exploring space, we worried about aliens. In the 60’s and 70’s it was mostly post-nuclear war/accident. “Planet of the Apes,” “On the Beach,” “A Canticle for Liebowitz.” Because that’s what we were worried about. Then as computers really caught on, a lot of our post-apocalyptic fiction has been man versus machine—“Terminator,” “The Matrix.” Then as we’ve gotten maybe a bit more comfortable with our computers, it seems like apocalyptic fiction falls into one or two categories—disease wipes out the earth and/or inequality relegates the majority to a shitty life. So we have zombies and other plagues, or “The Hunger Games” and “Snowpiercer.” (“Brave New World” was ahead of its time, I think!). New fiction is considering ecological issues—“Annihilation.”

People have been worrying about/writing about/thinking about the end of the world since it began. What we know as our civilization will probably change a lot—if we could come back in 1000 years, what will we see? Humans spread out thru the galaxy? Or cave men heaving stones at one another?

I love dystopian fiction. It’s fun and creepy and thought provoking.

Dream of Freedom
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by Dream of Freedom » Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:08 pm

I'm glad you are looking for answers to problems. Most people spend their time obsessing over what the problem is and telling others how awful it will be.

Possible things to help:

Generation 4 nuclear
Advancements in solar power
Electric vehicles

daylen
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by daylen » Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:39 pm

Dream of Freedom wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:08 pm
Most people spend their time obsessing over what the problem is and telling others how awful it will be.
Isn't this part of the answer? Before people are willing to change, they must first have a sense of urgency. Advancement in energy tech is not really a "solution", but more of a dampener that prolongs the inevitable. As Jacob said, there are many answers that all need to happen simultaneously to work well. Most people do not have control over energy technology, but they do have control over their own energy footprint. ERE or systems theoretic lifestyle design is a big individual step in the right direction. Unfortunately, many people are not even ready for that.

Bankai
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by Bankai » Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:58 pm

This problem sounds like a burning issue trap. OK, it's a problem of gargantuan magnitude, however: 1) can I solve it? no -> 2) does it affect me personally? unlikely in the medium to long term -> 3) therefore I refuse to worry about it.

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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by jacob » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:39 pm

So far energy efficiency improvements have always led to the kind of demand hardening I described above. That is humans have not used increases in GDP/CO2e emissions to reduce CO2e emissions but rather to increase GDP. (Similar to how since Keynes letter the developed world has used increases in worker productivity to produce more rather than work less.) So far the only thing that has reduced CO2e has been economic recessions($). All that alternative/nuclear energy coming online in recent decades has not replaced fossil emission sources. It has only added to the total power output while making energy slightly cheaper. The real world is not like a computer game where all those old power plants go *poof* and sprouts new ones whenever civilization advances on the tech-tree. These legacy investments essentially stay in business until replacement costs<NP discounted maintenance costs.

Recall that emissions suffer from the bathtub (reservoir) problem. What matters is how much CO2 is in the bathtub (that is, the atmosphere, currently at 412ppm). Economic activity adds to that bathtub. It, therefore, does not matter if we figure out a way to help adding to it at a slower rate. We're still adding. What new zero-emission tech does or has done so far is thus not to make the problem go away but rather ensure that the problem is not made worse at an exponentially increasing rate. So we can be happy about that! Although several proposals exist to increase drainage, none---repeating none---have ever been demonstrated on the required industrial scale. To do so would require the WWII-scale effort described above. An effort that is not being demonstrated anywhere on the planet thus continuing a 40 year long trend of large-scale inaction.

Point being, forty years ago, people put their faith in wind power and solar... and those do exist today and they're growing rapidly (thanks China, which incidentally has also grown to be the largest source of emissions in the world), but it's too little too late(*). Forty years from now, people might be building the first gen 4 nukes, but again, it will be too little too late. Doing the math reveals that the problem is simply ginormous, that is, world-war scale ... and while that is still technologically feasible, the political will is just not there. And we should not really blame the politicians for that. All they do is to represent the voters and the corporations (where the voters spend their monies) that pay their reelection campaigns.

(*) It did not prevent 1C, 1.5C, 2C, and probably not 2.5C either. The reasons for 2-2.5C are technical and has to do with non-existent BECSS in those scenarios. Until that is invented and demonstrated at scale, the 2C plan is technically theoretical/contingent on a presumed engineering breakthrough in the near future.

The real question is whether there is a point at which some effort will be made. Will the stand be made at 3C, 4C, 5C, ... if any? The problem of course being that the two currently(**) dominating adult generations (GenX and Boomers) will have to make the sacrifice so that the next generation (Gen X and Millennials and if not that pair, then Millennials and Gen Z and so on) will avoid being sacrificed. Basically, there's no economic incentive for current generations to "act now", only a moral one, and this is why it's not happening.

(**) It still blows my mind that half of all CO2 ever emitted by human civilization has been emitted within the past 30 years. Thus it's very easy to say exactly which few generations are responsible for this mess.

One can compare it to a human who is diagnosed with pre-diabetes at age 35. The price can paid now through radical lifestyle changes. If it is not paid, the cost will be born in 10 years when he is diagnosed with diabetes. Again, a price can be paid then by controlling it with injections or insulin. If not, the cost will be extracted 10 years later by all sorts of funny complications. Again... yadda ... yadda ... and maybe a few toes and eyesight will be lost. Now, my point here is that it's not unusual for humans to essentially take this all the way to the end, dying while having done nothing, because they figured it was better to enjoy the present than worry about the future. Dealing with socially large and complex problems is so much harder than personal health decisions, so I don't blame humans too much for not having done much about them. Being here in 2019, I am a bit disappointed though, but that's mainly because expectations were naively set too high.

I like optimism but if there's a choice between that and trend lines and history, I go with trend lines and history.

($) Ultimately, the cost of climate damage will grow so high that recessions will be a permanent aspect of life at which point it will be daily news and no longer dystopian fiction. At this point nature will make the decisions for us as all of our productivity (GDP growth) goes to repairing damage rather than replacing infrastructure. (This is presuming that economic activity is still the largest source of emissions and not e.g. methane emissions, albedo effects, or forests turning into sources instead of sinks.)

7Wannabe5
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:32 pm

@jacob:

Do you think that level of collapse large enough to lower emissions will preclude possibility of complete burn of fossil fuel reserve at current rate?

@daylen:

I agree with your take intellectually. I was just suggesting best way to feel about the situation.

Ego
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by Ego » Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:59 am

jacob wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:20 pm
will people from Washington and Oregon welcome migrants from Alabama and Texas with open arms at that point? Will Germany and Denmark take in people from Spain and Italy? Perhaps regions that are still productive will offer to send food in return for refugees staying away. Others will send in troops instead.

We can see how refugee crisiss have changed over the years to see where it will go. Technology has made it easier for governments to control borders, turn away refugees and keep them in camps.

Years ago I would have guessed that the increased interconnectedness provided by the internet would have made it hard for individuals and governments to ignore the plight of refugees. It seems the opposite has happened. Our distraction machines have allowed us to know less and consequently care less about topics that cause us even a hint of cognitive distress. I now expect the trend line to continue in that direction.

What can we do? Overall, I don't know. Individually, make sure you do not find yourself on the wrong side of the fence.

7Wannabe5
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:16 am

Ego wrote:Individually, make sure you do not find yourself on the wrong side of the fence.
Or, maybe, endeavor to make yourself welcome on either side. Or endeavor to always have a large pair of bolt cutters on hand.

I would note that within the scant 300 mile length of my roaming realm, I interact with both urban center refugee children and members of rural militia. These individuals, on some level, actually have more in common with each other than with affluent suburbanites*.

In "The Five Stages of Collapse: A Survivor's Toolkit", Dmitry Orlov notes that collapses usually occur in this order:

1) Financial
2) Commercial (flow of goods)
3) Political
4) Social
5) Cultural
6 )Kinship

This is congruent with Taleb's (another individual, like Orlov, who experienced collapse conditions personally) take that Kinship is Robust, Friendship is Fragile, and Attraction is Anti-Fragile.

*In terms of experience or preparation to deal with collapse of first 3 or 4 levels.
Our distraction machines have allowed us to know less and consequently care less about topics that cause us even a hint of cognitive distress.
It's more insidious than that. Technology actually allows us to mindlessly and literally avoid such problems, in the manner that a driving app will simply choose to divert you from the highway path where a sofa fell off a truck. Very easy in world of present/future to auto-pick Scenic Drive/Avoid Beggars option.

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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by Jean » Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:30 am

Am I the only one to feel more disgust about telling other people to refrain from having kids, than about killing people? It's like the difference between killing someone in a fair fight or poisoning his water source. I would like to understand from which values the opposing view stems.

daylen
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by daylen » Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:50 am

What about telling people to kill themselves?

From my perspective, telling someone anything is better than killing them. Assuming that the person telling is not a dictator with complete coercive power over the other person.

I do not think that conditioning people to feel harmed/shamed from communication is the best path to go down..
Last edited by daylen on Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by jacob » Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:51 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:32 pm
Do you think that level of collapse large enough to lower emissions will preclude possibility of complete burn of fossil fuel reserve at current rate?
One of the curious factors of having passed peak oil for conventional oil (happened in 2006) and now depending on lower EROEI sources is that energy companies are caught between a rock and a hard place. Demand in developed countries has so far proven softer than expected (there's a lot of waste in the system). OTOH, shale oil and gas is capital intensive and requires more technology/sophistication/money to extract than conventional crude where you can just turn the spigot on/off at the wellhead.

The oil price, therefore, can not be too high. If it is too high, consumers stop buying and the economy "crashes" or enters a recession. This is what happened in 2007/08. To prevent this the marginal producers which are now US shale producers (not OPEC) must therefore carefully time their drilling so there's enough supply to prevent this.

It can not be too low either. If it is too low, the capital investment in a shale gas well which is only productive for a few years is lost. Failing to figure this out during the initial shale enthusiasm (fueled by ZIRP policies) caused a crash in the oil price in 2015. In energy terms this means that the energy sector has to command an increasingly larger fraction of total economic productivity in order to stay in business.

As a side note: A way out of this supply/demand conundrum would be to export the intermittent surplus in the form of LNG. This is why the US is keen in sanctioning and shutting off competitors like Iran and Russia so the surplus can be shipped to Europe. Of course none of those are interested in replacing their pipe-lined gas with occasional LNG tankers subject to the vagaries of the US economy. So there's a bit of a conflict of interest there. Also see, international politics.

Climate damage at higher (2C+) temperatures have been estimated to be about 1% GDP/delta degree. IOW, a 3C world would suffer 3% GDP damage per year in "broken windows", that is, destroyed stuff. 3% also happens to be about the nominal growth rate of a modern economy, so at that point increase in living standards will stall. Of course this does not mean that economy activity will cease but rather that it will be redirected towards repairing and rebuilding. At 4C, it's 4% damage ... and so on.

In comparison, the losing sides of modern wars have suffered something on the order of 30%+ GDP damage.

Here, again, the question is can consumers afford that? Lets say your Florida beach house gets destroyed in a 500 year storm. If you rebuild this increases demand for energy (construction is very energy intensive). If you don't (and move into your in-laws garage) it does not. Ceteris paribus, climate damage will divert spending towards more energy intensive parts of the economy because some people will have and pay the money to rebuild instead of spending it on iPhones and apps. As such climate change will increase the demand for energy relative to other goods. This should allow energy companies to keep the price higher than otherwise and as such more will be developed (see above).

Will everything be developed? Kind of depends on what you mean by everything. We're already far past the point where you can dig a new oil well with a shovel... or develop a new coal seam with literal horsepower. This speaks to the reboot problem. It's a progress trap. Are there enough fossil reserves left to send global temperatures up by 4C+ and can that be developed, perhaps in service of producing enough nitrogen/calories to feed the polar masses [of humans]? It most certainly can.

The total number of fossil reserves is 1002-1940GtC (https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads ... apter7.pdf, tab7.2, pg 525) which translates into 3667-7100GtCO2. At the low end this exceeds RCP6 (3C+ by year 2100) and at the high end it exceeds RCP8.5 (4C+ by year 2100) (https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads ... apter6.pdf, tab 6.2, pg 430 and tab6.3, pg 431).

Jean
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by Jean » Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:55 am

I'm not trying to shame anyone. The feeling about those proposition is probably reversed for many people here. I would like to know if it's due to a social taboo, or if we actually have different values.

7Wannabe5
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Re: We're doomed. What is the answer?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:56 am

@Jean:

I am naturally a "breeder", so I can somewhat empathize with your take. It kind of depends on how reductionist or abstract your perspective on reproduction becomes. For instance, all the individual genes that I passed down to my son are assuredly well represented in the general population, yet he very often reminds me of my father, due the "clumpiness" of emergent traits. I have two children, and I am willing to bet that I will only have (give or take 1), 2 grandchildren, and one of those might be adopted. I think Chinese babies are super cute, so the only influence I am likely to wield , one way or another, will be towards adoption of child of that heritage.

I also semi-randomly pass down some memes to the children I teach. For instance, it was recently brought to my attention that I have taught more than 100 immigrant children how to sing and perform the classic of Anglo heritage entitled "I'm a Little Teapot" with great success.

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