A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Intended for constructive conversations. Exhibits of polarizing tribalism will be deleted.
Alphaville
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Alphaville »

jacob wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:13 pm
Otherwise, just presume I know what I'm talking about.
but jacob, i’m not a man of faith, i presume nothing, i’m only trying to understand what you wrote and i though i hit a questionable point. please don’t take my question personally—consider it reader feedback or whatever. i’m just not receiving a clear signal here.

i understood you as saying that demographers are not taking into account declining birth rates in rich societies. so maybe i misread or misunderstood, which is why i asked.

again, i refer to this:
jacob wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:12 am
Demographic models are generally ignorant (they ignore) external input. IOW, demographers think that things will just evolve as they have been. The keyword here is demographic transition. As people get richer/educated/industrialized they have fewer and later children because children become more of a liability than an asset. Basically quality over quantity. This is the general trend. Europe is ahead of the US in that regard and Japan is ahead of Europe. Basically, you'll get a society of old(er) people. E.g. median age in the US is 38 but IIRC it's 45+ in Italy and 48 in Japan. In contrast, many African nations have median ages under 20! They're basically full of children/teenagers.
you mean this is the assumption that demographers operate on, disregarding everything else (eg changes in resources)? or do you mean that demographers don’t take this transition into account? because i’m not clear which one you meant. originally i understood the latter.
Last edited by Alphaville on Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by daylen »

@7w5 Well, I apologize if caused offense. If you point me in the direction of sources you believe I should familiarize myself with, then I would be happy to oblige.

I would like to say that archaic is not necessarily a turn off to me (quite the contrary), and I do not really see clearly [yet] how it is insulting or why it cannot apply to humans. A species does not need to actually undergo evolutionary change for adaptations to resurface due to environmental change. As these same adaptations are likely shared with a significant portion of ancestor species and selected for at the macroevolutionary level(*). I do not see how humans could not be subject to the same adaptations that can be observed in insects or small mammals contained within a terrarium/cage. Not sure exactly what implications are drawn from this in the literature, but I presume evolutionary logic is misconstrued in all kinds of dehumanizing ways given its fuzzy/probabilistic nature.

(*) This alone gives gene-centered selectionists all the reason in they need to paint it in a bad light.
Last edited by daylen on Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by white belt »

I feel like we are starting to re-hash the conversation from this Global Population Issues thread (which is 5+ years old but still as relevant as ever): viewtopic.php?f=20&t=5416

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

Post by jacob »

@Alphaville - This was a misunderstanding then.

Demographers are certainly aware of the income effect aka "demographic transition model". See e.g. https://www.statista.com/statistics/241 ... in-the-us/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_transition . What I meant by "ignoring external input" or rather boundary conditions is that demographers generally do not take things like increasing disease burdens, continual famines, wars, loss of birth control or medical birth assistance, ... into account when calculation future numbers. This means that demographers calculate that US will go the way of Europe, Europe go the way of Japan, and Africa the way of the US ceteris paribus. What is not considered in the demographic model is that the world might not get rich enough to reduce the birth rate. Therefore such models generally have the world population rising up in the neighborhood of 9-11 billion people over the next half century. Whereas simple IAMs (like World3) has population collapsing while making repeated note that this model is fitted only to the data of the present world (see first link) and therefore the dynamical evolution past the inflection point should not be taken as a prediction after the inflection point. For example the post-inflection evolution says that as the resource/pollution drives the collapse in wealth and services (think hospitals), birth rates should shoot upwards as incomes drop. This is what the present data in the first link above says. However, humans might be intelligent or depressed enough by the now different context so that this [increase in birth rates] does not happen.

Sorry for triggering. I just don't want a repeat of the previous four CC threads which turned into a shitshow of incredulity-fallacies and whataboutism with very little desire to achieve even a rudimentary understanding of the field by picking up a book as opposed to "watching the debate". When someone says "I don't believe..." about something that's objectively known it's like a red cloth in a bullfight.

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

Post by Alphaville »

jacob wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:05 pm
What I meant by "ignoring external input" or rather boundary conditions is that demographers generally do not take things like increasing disease burdens, continual famines, wars, loss of birth control or medical birth assistance, ... into account when calculation future numbers. This means that demographers calculate that US will go the way of Europe, Europe go the way of Japan, and Africa the way of the US ceteris paribus. What is not considered in the demographic model is that the world might not get rich enough to reduce the birth rate. Therefore such models generally have the world population rising up in the neighborhood of 9-11 billion people over the next half century.
ah, this, yes,— thanks! it makes sense to me now. e.g, that video i posted the previous page makes the “always richer” assumption.

due to the adjacency of sentences i had read that demographic transition (general knowledge to me since high school) was unknown to demographers. which—well, thanks for clarifying what you actually meant.

and i can see what you mean by the “incredulous” types. but no i don’t swing that way haha. anyway, i understand the heuristic, and sympathize, thanks for explaining, all good.

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@daylen:

I apologize for over-emphasizing my point. I’m sure you are well aware that variety of theories such as r/K which were intended to be applied comparatively across species have been misconstrued for sociological use within the scope of the human species. A simpler example would be a book I read by a ruthless financier justifying his behavior as “survival of the fittest.” However, if the model is understood at level of game then it is possible that it could be applicable in various instances at levels of across species, within species, across cultures, etc.

For instance, within the human species, males are physiologically outfitted more towards something like cross-species r selection strategy and females are physiologically outfitted more towards something like K selection strategy. Ergo, when females are better educated this is a sign that they now have the power that will allow their preferred strategy to dominate. So, when a given human culture is still in the stage that most scientists are the same gender as Garrett Hardin full understanding will not be achieved, but when the culture advances to the level that Elinor Ostrom is able to add her perspective/contribution then additional levels of complexity are added to a more accurate model.

I could make additional arguments, but it seems pretty obvious, given the now known ratios of ancestral paternal vs maternal gene lines represented in the current human population, that r-like strategy versus K-like strategy variation at the gender/sex level would almost certainly swamp out any known historical cultural differences prior to modern birth control technology such as delayed marriage age.

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

Post by daylen »

@7w5 I think you broke my parsing machine. :? :lol:

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@daylen:

Well, I was being a little silly just to prove my point about how easy it is too over-apply a model like r/K. My point was something like sperms are more like rabbits than “the Irish” are like rabbits, and human sperms very often cross cultural barriers, so methinks that model application broken.

Seriously, I can’t rustle my aging brain for the source, and I may be mistaken, but it is my recollection that r/K goes all to hell if you do something as simple as throwing a predator into the mix. For instance, try to make a population/Streets of Boston niche model using Humans, Wild Turkeys, Rats, Alley Cats and COVID-19 as your species.

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

Post by daylen »

@7w5 I suppose I do not see why sub-population divisions need to be introduced into the model for it to be applied to a species as a whole. Using cross-species comparison in addition to ecological parameter variation (e.g. carrying capacity, population size/density, and/or resource scarcity) allows for application to how an entire species might respond to changes in such parameters. Given the globally coupled population of present-day humans, how might the prevalence of r/K selection strategies [on average] change based on how [the average individuals of] similar species respond to similar parameter changes on smaller [experimental] scales(*)? I do not see why this train of thought cannot be applied as a heuristic without dividing the absolute [and thus isolated] population (i.e. culturally, sexually, etc.). Although, it is plausible that I am over-extending the tool past its original, intended use.

(*) Or even to historical case studies involving near-isolated human populations (as in Collapse).
Last edited by daylen on Fri Oct 23, 2020 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by daylen »

The introduction of predation into the model would certainty result in a more erratic game (rapidly shifting strategies even within a single generation) but these scenarios can just be discounted in favor of more equilibrium case studies (common with some generational variation in uncontrolled environments). There are plenty of instances where territorial expansions coincide with non-equilibrium predation and this should be taken into account during cross-comparison. Predation on the current human population is clearly insignificant with respect to the average strategy.

That being said, your point on not taking this model too far is clearly warranted.

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

Post by Saltation »

I do not have a fully developed understanding of climate change but it is my understanding reading numerous threads on the forums that climate change is locked in and reducing CO2 is basically a farfetched idea as developed economies do not want to reduce their standard of living (they like being wasteful) and developing economies do not want to be directed to stay poor.

When we pose the idea of slowing down climate change what exactly does this mean? Does it mean to slowdown the rate of expended greenhouse gases? Does it mean to slow down the impact that climate change will have on coastal regions?

At this point in the game slowing down the rate of greenhouse gas emissions appears to be farfetched and widely unaccepted. However we could attempt to reduce the reproduction rate in developed countries. The United States provides numerous tax benefits for having children. These could be eliminated. This is a conservative position as the government is not involved with taxes and reproduction as it currently is. The government could implement cap and trade policies which set limits but allow for companies to make the changes they find most beneficial given their independent scenarios.

If it means to mitigate the disaster that WILL happen then there are numerous coastal strategies that can be implement on a state by state basis or on a country by country basis that will reduce the impacts of increased flooding, rising sea levels and increased tropical storm activity such as managed retreats in very high risk areas, building seawalls, creating natural barriers etc. Might as well use all the fossil fuels we have since we're not going to stop using them to build the necessary infrastructure to keep on keeping on this idiotic path we've collectively chosen.

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

Post by tonyedgecombe »

Saltation wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:17 pm
At this point in the game slowing down the rate of greenhouse gas emissions appears to be farfetched and widely unaccepted.
https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-uk ... ast-decade

Of course we have picked the low hanging fruit, it will get harder over time. Interestingly this is over a period with a Conservative government.

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@daylen:

Gotcha. I agree that it could make sense to model it at that level, but the question is does it make sense?

The current take seems to be that humans make decisions about having another child in the same manner that idealized rational agent makes decision about how much money to invest in retirement account this year. So, first observation would be that many/most humans with much more contextual agency than a very poor woman do not put enough money in their retirement accounts. My second observation would be that throughout the vast millennia of human, primate, mammal.. history, the decision was not whether or not to have a (another) baby, but whether or not to mate (mate again.) If you read even relatively quite affluent mid-20th century feminist/female memoirs, you often encounter female characters who are giving birth for the 5th time in 7 years, not holding up very well*, but still In the vernacular of her coffee group gossiping peers, “He won’t leave her alone, poor thing.” I personally know married women in my mother’s generation who, for instance, tried to arrange an abortion with family doctor to terminate pregnancy with 4th child, which was denied.

Now imagine how this applies to the life of the 21st century African girl living in the world’s largest urban slum whom the author of “Extreme Economies” described as being dressed in an oversized rag that obvIously was previously her mother’s dress, squatting on a pile of refuse, digging for discarded corn cobs she could gnaw for remaining kernels. What are her choices for reproductive/sexual agency?

One of the reasons I favor at least a partial green tech option is that it is the only future which preserves modern level of female agency for my theoretical great-grand-daughter. Low-tech won’t do that.

*Of course, there are other women who are quite jolly with free choice to have 5 kids in 7 years. Like some of the writers for the hippie breast-feeding family bed advocate magazines I used to read, but one factor that does influence litter spacing in humans is breastfeeding. So, less likely woman who breastfeeds exclusively until age 2 will have 5 kids in 7 years.

Also, most common strategy in more “primitive” human cultures dealing with either short term or long term resource depletion is not to limit sex and therefore births, but rather to either put infants out to die or children out to fend for themselves at increasingly younger ages. Jared Diamond describes a very poor tribe/culture that put children out to fend for themselves at age 3. Of course, children as young as age 6 worked in factories during the industrial era and infants were often dosed with narcotics so their mother’s could also work. So, maybe average age declared “self-fending” would be the most relevant variable related to birth rates, with age 3 being the bare minimum give or take for available grandmothers, wet-nurses/bottles, laudanum dosing.

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

Post by daylen »

@7w5 To me it seems like you are missing the forest by focusing on the trees (Ni vs Si). The same thing appears to have confused me above as I was attempting to find how such trees influenced the forest. Let's look at a simpler problem; instead of species, let's look at individual humans. If we observe the life of enough individual humans (corresponding to species before), then we may be able to infer how some random individual human might die some day(*)(as a general pattern.. i.e. by sickness). Yet looking at the strategies of individual cells or group of cells and using that as evidence for/against the whole human dying is usually(&) fallacious given 1. cell strategies are constrained at the organism level and 2. cells are expendable at the organism level.

(*) Or even how they might respond to [insert traumatic event here]. The variation in r/K strategies is thus equivalent to variation in general health for this example.

(&) Unless we happen to see a cancerous mass, in which case we are still missing the forest (i.e. sickness).
Last edited by daylen on Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Saltation:

Reducing use of fossil fuels and deforestation is what is generally meant.

It has already been fairly well proven that current government subsidies towards reproduction in affluent countries do not do much to budge the number. If you watch the video which Alphaville linked up thread, the lecturer does a very good job of describing why this wouldn’t make much of a difference anyways.

There are more and worse problems that will manifest as the CO2 concentration rises. Obviously, at some point we will also either run out of fossil fuels to burn or, much more likely, the means to access them. Best case, unlikely scenario is maintaining or achieving reasonable standard of living for 9-11 billion humans with different mix of goods/services produced with different mix of energy. For instance maybe average human would be just as happy with a wind-powered scooter, a solar powered smartphone, a handcrafted hammock, and a massage instead of a car.

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

Post by jacob »

@HB - I just got a note that Kingsnorth has published a new book which led me to this interview which I think you'll find quite interesting. https://www.theamericanconservative.com ... lexandria/

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@daylen:

Good point. I might still be muddling about here, but my first observation would be that human body has evolved brain striving towards homeostasis, but Earth and all it’s living species and the human species as a whole does not have anything that really comes close to a brain. So, life on Earth is more like the gut microbiome than organ cells.

Second observation would be if we accept the r/K model, territoriality is supposed to increase towards K. However, even in mammal species such as rabbits, which are judged to be much more towards r than humans and quite sociable, males will fight to the level of ripping out testicles in competition for mating and other resources.

So, first question might be whether, for instance,the average 21st century American male, given absence of current disincentives, would choose to rip out the testicles of 3 or 4 other random global males rather than reduce his lifetime standard of living/spending to 1/4 current level?

The second question depends on the sliding scale answer to the first question.

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

Post by daylen »

@7w5

I would argue that species do have something like a brain. The genome stores memories and innate reflexes (can persist through speciation), and proteins are like thoughts/feelings concerning such memories/reflexes. Recombination resulting from sexual reproduction insures that each generation in the aggregate is more or less the same. In the literature, stasis is the species equivalent of homeostasis. Sure enough, if you look at the extensive paleontological evidence, species are remarkably stable.

Life on Earth does have some regularity beyond the species level (especially in clades). Currently, I am working my way through "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory" which talks extensively about this stuff.

Historically, humans show signs of both r and K behavior. I am hesitant to make more particular claims based on a few data points, as I tend to see this topic as just a minor curiosity (of vague validity). Just as I see the concept of "sickness" as a minor curiosity but not as something to base my framework around.

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

Post by Saltation »

@7w5

I'm aware of the factors contributing to climate change. I'm simply trying to direct the solution focus to one that accepts and understands these facts:

-Humans are causing the issue and realistically and historically have done very little to actually reduce total GHG emissions.
-We have already passed thresholds that indicate we are on a trajectory to warm the globe quickly and very much to our detriment (not mine but my grandchildren).
-As a species planning is one of our greatest assets but it is rarely used. As a society we are reactive. If history is any guidance on this issue we will respond no differently.

Given that we will do little to reduce GHG emissions and the thresholds are exceeded I propose we pump as much money and resources as we can into protecting coastal regions and reworking existing land conditions that will be tolerant to the coming change to reduce the chances of mass migrations to inland areas that have an abundance of resources (we need to preserve these areas from further destruction which helps stop future deforestation and infrastructure rebuilding). Again, we are looking for a conservative policy solution (I don't really see one that meets the criteria asked for with the initial post). I'm focused on making the areas that will be impacted resilient. That being said I understand your point that without reducing GHG emissions the overall problem will get worse; I just happen to think we're beyond the point of no return.

Side note: Our family was reading a biography from WWII and the call for rationing of resources. During this period the populace was willing to and accepting of rationing resources but only because of immediate feedback mechanisms that provided them the incentive to do so (the threat of invasion and death). That feedback mechanism does not exist with global warming/climate change.

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@daylen:

Agreed, given that, for instance, the human variation in terms of something like personality type is much less than immune system cell vs. heart cell. An ENTP might be more like an immune system cell (highly adaptable, exploratory, novel problem solving) and maybe an ESFJ might be more like a heart cell (hard-working, robust, well-suited for critical maintenance tasks.) Stasis proportions within population would reflect efficient use of energy resources at the margin. For instance, a bigger, stronger heart could help you survive an infection, but having at least 2.5% ENTP cells would be more helpful.

This is actually why I noted elsewhere that it is actually kind of wasteful for ENTPs to engage in the sort of long-term planning INTJs do so well. It depletes our energy stores that would be better reserved for being super-inventive at the margin. Kind of like how forcing an EMTP to make an outline before writing a paper kills their creativity. Like all the thoughts you are ever going to have about something are thoughts you already had, and all that is left to do is design the tomb. As an ENTP, I am physiologically unable to not try to come up with new ideas no matter how hopeless a problem becomes, even if that may sometimes lead to secondary inflammation of other organs.

@Saltation:

I don’t entirely disagree, but I think interior drought will prove worse problem than coastal flooding, and growing variability of conditions will be challenging to agriculture in general. Also, immediacy of feedback loop will “improve.” As in difference between seeing numbers slowly creep up on scale vs. toe amputation.

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