If you aren’t sure about this, try sucking on a tailpipe! Or think about rolling coal. Why do people even do this?
The answer to this question is yes, but that doesn’t mean this is an easy topic to talk discuss. Like anything in life, it is incredibly complicated, especially when it comes to solving problems that have so many consequences that affect so many people.
The first thing I want to get out of the way is to say the marketing of the issue is lacking. We have all seen the hockey stick graph, and we know the arguments for it and against it. Well, most people don’t take the arguments against too seriously, but that is another topic.
I say this because describing the problem of global warming, sorry, I mean climate change is complicated. It takes a leap of faith of sorts, to accept it. Yet, when you think of the stuff that comes out of a tailpipe, the problem is apparent.
Now that we have got that out of the way, there are a few things that I find problematic. A big one is that we often only look at data for the last hundred years or so. This isn’t to discredit that data. In the past, which is millions of years, there have been times when it was much hotter, and there was more carbon.
We Hardly Know The Past
This chart gets me caught up on the issue. You can see global temperatures have been much hotter in the past. But we often find it convenient to disregard this fact. Of course, it was a different time, and things were different. But if we are looking at the facts, this is important cause it suggests that global temperatures can have nothing to do with human activity. But I suppose we could be the second iteration of humanity, as the first one already destroyed itself with climate change in the past.
This, though, makes me skeptical of the historical data, real reliable records have been kept over the last hundred or so years. Anything beyond that is speculation, of course, the data is based on science, but it isn’t as reliable as we would like to think.
There is a lot about the past that we don’t know or understand, so when we look at temperature change, it is a very time local thing. Now I guess, you would say, its not about temperature, but carbon dioxide, and that is a good point, but that data could also be questioned.
Another thing is that when I look at my local climate data centres, they are both located in the city. 50 or 60 years ago, those places would have had much less development. They would not have been locked in a so-called concert jungle when the data started being collected. This isn’t to say that the data is terrible, but it does suggest that we are looking at something that is more about urbanization than the overall climate.
My next criticism is that we have to consider that science could be saying what we should do rather than what is right. This, of course, would be a complicated argument to make and support. But in the age of Post-Normal science, it isn’t something that can be entirely written off.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying this problem isn’t real. Only that the ‘popular’ science of it is complicated, disregards specific facts and opens up a whole lot of avenues for dispute. Realistically, this is a complex issue that most people don’t have the data or tools to understand.
For this reason, we need a better approach. But hey, I’m a guy on the internet who is going to be called a climate change denier. By the way, why did they call it global warming before? Why did they change the name?
Now that we know the issue and where I stand, it is an excellent time to look at some other factors involved. A big thing is the sources of all this carbon. The most significant contributor is China, followed by the USA and India.
Population sizes have a lot to do with this, and there is no doubt about that. But there is something essential to consider, and that is that as China and India get more ‘advanced,’ they might become even more substantial sources of carbon.
No doubt, there is better technology today than ever before, and that will help keep things clean. But we can’t be sure that limiting carbon is fair to all countries involved. Let’s say we in the west were permitted to make a mess of the planet to get to where we are today. Next, we will be telling other countries who are trying to get to the same place that they aren’t allowed. To some extent, this is a moral question, but it is also a question of fairness. So, what is fair in this case?
Another thing to consider is that much of America’s manufacturing and dirty work is sent overseas to places like China. So at least some of the waste coming from China is the USA’s contribution. But it’s not only America, but it is also advanced nations taking advantage of the ‘labour costs’ there.
That said, many western nations have the highest carbon outputs per person. So in a way, this problem is a result of western lifestyles. Also, although some countries are creating more waste, the lifestyles of the west are considerable contributors to the problem. Or so it seems. Even so, you could say we are cleaning up our act by using better technologies and creating less waste per person, though our totals are still high.
In this case, a solution could be sharing our technology with developing nations, thus giving them cleaner solutions developed in developed countries. The idea here is that clean solutions should be shared.
Globalization A Huge Problem
A massive contributor to carbon and greenhouses gases is cars and cows. But an even bigger problem is transporting stuff all around the world. Is globalization bad? Should we discourage travel? Should we eat less meat? We can only do so much, given the options available to us, but those are noble causes, right?
Recently there have been protests around the world where people have been blocking bridges and roads. Now, this is a compelling tactic, but it is counter-intuitive. Blocking cars during rush hour means idling cars, creating more greenhouse gasses than they would have otherwise.
But we can’t blame people for trying. But in all seriousness, this points to a curious problem with modern-day life.
Many people use their cars to go to work. That causes vast amounts of greenhouse gases to get produced. Yet at the same time, in my city, it is difficult to find an affordable place to live. So many people have no choice but to live far away and commute to work. I know many people use public transportation, but that isn’t always a good solution. For many people, it doesn’t work, especially when affordable housing tends to be far away from public transit. After all, that is part of the reason why it is affordable.
What is the solution? Should we stop going to work? That would help. After all, what proportion of people could work from home? Realistically, many of the problems with transportation and waste are created by schedules and the need to be in specific places to do work. Think about cities; they almost exclusively exist for work. So many restaurants and coffee shops wouldn’t need to exist if people didn’t need to work away from their homes.
But that goes against the interests of the industry. In any case, keeping a seat warm and showing your face is more important than what you contribute and do.
We Need Different Solution
Modern problems need modern solutions, so we should all stop going to work. Or at the very least, work should change. Think about how much of the ‘carbon’ problem would be solved if people didn’t go to work? I’ve read that commercial buildings use something like 30 to 40% of all electricity. Image how much we waste by transporting people to and from work and then having them hang out in crowded buildings that need to be heated and cooled year-round. On top of that, how efficient can a big glass building be?
If we stopped going to work, we wouldn’t need so many offices or cars, we’d need less public transportation, and we would need less stuff in general. But here comes the bad news, taking all this stuff from the city would permanently kill the economies of cities. Damn, a complicated solution.
Another thing we can do to help is to stop buying stuff. So much of the things we buy have little to no value or meaning.
On top of that, lots of it comes from China, which creates carbon due to being shipped across the ocean twice.
In truth, a considerable part of the problem is globalization, which also happens to be the reason why more people than ever before are living outside of poverty. Again, a complicated solution, but still stop buying imported stuff.
Another solution I’ve heard suggested is that we should stop having kids. But that is already happening naturally in western nations. For example, in Canada, if we didn’t have immigration, our population would be decreasing. Now, I’m not saying I’m against immigration. Only that if we are going to tell people to stop having kids, which makes no sense, then immigration also doesn’t make sense.
Some people suggest having no kids will helps the problem. But it is not developed western nations where populations are growing; they are shrinking if you don’t include immigration.
Another thing to consider on the population front is that there are these weird slabs in the state of Georgia in the USA. They suggest that the world population should remain under 500 million people. If the green movement is to have its population control, then they shouldn’t be looking to these slabs for numbers advice.
The most common suggested solution appears to be a carbon tax, which makes sense a little. If we have to pay a tax on the carbon we create, then we will be incentivized to produce less. But, like most of the things I suggested above, we don’t have much choice about work or the products available to us in stores. It would seem that we will be burdened with more taxes and little way to avoid them.
It is not like I can stop driving my car to the places that I need a car to get to. Or that I can get fresh fruits and vegetables in the middle of the winter that doesn’t come from 1000 miles away.
Taxes Fix Everything, Right?
A carbon tax sounds excellent on paper, but when it comes to paying more taxes, while wages stay the same, how can we expect to improve our lives? I want to protect the environment, and I do the best that I can, but I can’t afford to pay more taxes.
You could argue that the companies are going to innovate, but will they? If we have to pay it and everyone else is doing the same thing, they have little incentive to innovate. I mean, moving a factor from China to America then cleaning it up, is that good for the bottom line of a company when the alternative is you paying a carbon tax?
Recently climate change has been widespread in the news, and there have been protests and events around the world. What I wonder is, why is this happening now? Or why has it become a pressing issue recently?
Put on your conspiracy hat, cause I’ve got a theory. The powers that be see that the economies around the world are slowing down, and they need a solution. The best solution is to create new industries, sure they ‘care’ about the environment, but what they want is money. Now that we have a problem, they have a solution to create more things so that we can buy a clean economy, sorry, I mean environment.
The solution is green tech and green globalism. New globalism, but this time, it is green. This isn’t all bad, cleaning up the environment is a great side effect, even if it isn’t the intention. But will it help, or is this solution more consumerism with a different name.
This Is A Real Problem
If you’ve read between the lines, then you know we need to change the way we live our lives. Working in a city doesn’t make sense anymore, especially when the technology to avoid it already exists. We can also buy less, live more straightforward, and commute less.
The solutions being offered to us come down to more consumerism, so more buying, but green stuff instead. Is that heading in the right direction? I don’t think so.
I’m dreaming of a better world that makes more sense. But how can we do that? How can we take back our planet and make better choices? How do we fight back against the powers that be and those pushing us in the wrong direction?
Does history repeat? Are we modern-day dinosaurs? Are we the slow-moving iceberg? Or will we become something new, something better?
If we want to be the solution, it is going to take more than carbon taxes. It is going to take considerable changes in the way we think about things and live our lives. We are already living in the future, so why aren’t we doing something about it?
The system is broken, and politicians don’t have any real solutions. How far are you willing to go to solve this problem?
But what do I know? I’m just some guy from the internet.