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Climate Change

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by ItsMyFault, Nov 9, 2016.

  1. txtony

    txtony Member

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    Nuclear might be an answer (am for it), but as this is mostly a political issue, you aren't likely to be successful at forcing a solution. Put a price on carbon and let the creative solving abilities go at it.

    We shouldn't think about maintaining our way of life. We never do anyway as it's ever-changing. We just don't want to drastically disrupt it for the worse (and of course, doing little to nothing is slowly but surely drastically disruptive of the current way of life)
     
  2. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    I'm anti-nuke and argued that point before, so I wouldn't bore you on that again. Reader's digest version: (1) The grid should be distributed, and nukes aren't nimble enough, (2) nukes can't compete on cost, and most importantly (3) still no plan for the disposal of nuclear waste.

    I do like having a carbon price as a much simpler way to effectively do what we're already trying to do with a patchwork of subsidies. Too political to ever happen, which is a shame.

    I don't know if people saw or understood what FERC recently did. In PJM (the wholesale electric market that covers all or part of PA, NJ, MD, DE, VA, WV, KY, OH, MI, and IL), they ordered that the capacity auction (where generators get paid to be available to make electricity for the grid) set a price floor for nuclear and renewable generators that are subsidized by the states. Recently, some states have passed laws to shovel cartloads of cash to Exelon to make their nuclear power plants profitable (they were threatening to shutter) and have made mechanisms to give renewable developers extra incentives to more quickly expand that industry. The problem is that when a generator is paid by a state to generate, they can bid into auctions at $0 and displace other, more economically efficient power plants in other states. Environmentalists loved it because it'd push coal and gas out and give other states a perverse incentive to create their own subsidies (though they could choose to subsidize coal, and it had been proposed), but it threatened to crater the wholesale market if they didn't do anything about it.

    So, FERC set this minimum price for those subsidized generators which means they might not qualify to be dispatched if they aren't economically efficient. That makes the investment case for renewables a little weaker and they'll grow slower than otherwise as a result. IMO, something like this had to be done though to preserve the wholesale market. But opponents rightly point out that it punishes recent subsidies for nuke and renewable and does not account for more established subsidies enjoyed by fossil fuels. They could have and should have gone further and corrected for all subsidies. On a truly level playing field, solar can win. They'll still win, just more slowly.

    There's a tension between the liberal states and PJM that has persisted for several years now. PJM is built to deliver the most efficient price and it does a great job of it, but it isn't built to deliver clean energy. The liberal states want both an efficient price and clean energy. How could PJM, which speaks in dollars, deliver clean energy at an efficient price? Yup, carbon price.
     
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  3. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    As other posters have noted there isn't one single technology that can get us to carbon neutral but a mix. For anyone who has followed this knows there is no shortage of ways of generating power. There is also no shortage of new technology increasing energy efficiency. This is a matter of political will and overcoming the built in inertia of existing infrastructure and entrenched interests in fossil fuels.

    Regarding China and India. I can't speak for India but I know that the PRC is making huge strides in regards to renewable energy production and efficiency. They are of course a long way off, and hypocrites, but they aren't denying that Climate Change is happening and recognize that it represents a threat to the country. Anyway the argument that if the PRC and India aren't doing more we in America shouldn't is ridiculous on it's face. It would be like saying that my neighbors are dumping their garbage on the front line so I should do that also.
     
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  4. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
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    Ted Nordhaus essay in today's WSJ:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/ignore-the-fake-climate-debate-11579795816?mod=hp_listc_pos4

    Ignore the Fake Climate Debate
    The deniers and alarmists may make headlines, but behind the scenes, an expert consensus is taking shape on how to respond to global warming.
    By
    Ted Nordhaus
    Jan. 23, 2020 11:10 am ET

    Beyond the headlines and social media, where Greta Thunberg, Donald Trump and the online armies of climate “alarmists” and “deniers” do battle, there is a real climate debate bubbling along in scientific journals, conferences and, occasionally, even in the halls of Congress. It gets a lot less attention than the boisterous and fake debate that dominates our public discourse, but it is much more relevant to how the world might actually address the problem.

    In the real climate debate, no one denies the relationship between human emissions of greenhouse gases and a warming climate. Instead, the disagreement comes down to different views of climate risk in the face of multiple, cascading uncertainties.

    On one side of the debate are optimists, who believe that, with improving technology and greater affluence, our societies will prove quite adaptable to a changing climate. On the other side are pessimists, who are more concerned about the risks associated with rapid, large-scale and poorly understood transformations of the climate system.

    But most pessimists do not believe that runaway climate change or a hothouse earth are plausible scenarios, much less that human extinction is imminent. And most optimists recognize a need for policies to address climate change, even if they don’t support the radical measures that Ms. Thunberg and others have demanded.

    In the fake climate debate, both sides agree that economic growth and reduced emissions vary inversely; it’s a zero-sum game. In the real debate, the relationship is much more complicated. Long-term economic growth is associated with both rising per capita energy consumption and slower population growth. For this reason, as the world continues to get richer, higher per capita energy consumption is likely to be offset by a lower population.

    A richer world will also likely be more technologically advanced, which means that energy consumption should be less carbon-intensive than it would be in a poorer, less technologically advanced future. In fact, a number of the high-emissions scenarios produced by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change involve futures in which the world is relatively poor and populous and less technologically advanced.

    Affluent, developed societies are also much better equipped to respond to climate extremes and natural disasters. That’s why natural disasters kill and displace many more people in poor societies than in rich ones. It’s not just seawalls and flood channels that make us resilient; it’s air conditioning and refrigeration, modern transportation and communications networks, early warning systems, first responders and public health bureaucracies.

    New research published in the journal Global Environmental Change finds that global economic growth over the last decade has reduced climate mortality by a factor of five, with the greatest benefits documented in the poorest nations. In low-lying Bangladesh, 300,000 people died in Cyclone Bhola in 1970, when 80% of the population lived in extreme poverty. In 2019, with less than 20% of the population living in extreme poverty, Cyclone Fani killed just five people.

    So while it is true that poor nations are most vulnerable to a changing climate, it is also true that the fastest way to reduce that vulnerability is through economic development, which requires infrastructure and industrialization. Those activities, in turn, require cement, steel, process heat and chemical inputs, all of which are impossible to produce today without fossil fuels.

    For this and other reasons, the world is unlikely to cut emissions fast enough to stabilize global temperatures at less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the long-standing international target, much less 1.5 degrees, as many activists now demand. But recent forecasts also suggest that many of the worst-case climate scenarios produced in the last decade, which assumed unbounded economic growth and fossil-fuel development, are also very unlikely.

    There is still substantial uncertainty about how sensitive global temperatures will be to higher emissions over the long-term. But the best estimates now suggest that the world is on track for 3 degrees of warming by the end of this century, not 4 or 5 degrees as was once feared. That is due in part to slower economic growth in the wake of the global financial crisis, but also to decades of technology policy and energy-modernization efforts.

    The energy intensity of the global economy continues to fall. Lower-carbon natural gas has displaced coal as the primary source of new fossil energy. The falling cost of wind and solar energy has begun to have an effect on the growth of fossil fuels. Even nuclear energy has made a modest comeback in Asia.

    All of this suggests that continuing political, economic and technological modernization, not a radical remaking of society, is the key to both slowing climate change and adapting to it. And while the progress we’ve made has mostly not been due to climate policies that would cap, regulate or tax emissions, it has required government action.

    We have better and cleaner technologies available today because policy-makers in the U.S. and elsewhere set out to develop those technologies, from hydraulic fracturing to solar panels to electric vehicles. Adaptive capacities around the world have also improved dramatically because policy-makers have invested in infrastructure, technology and economic development. And a decades-long commitment to expanded global trade and international development institutions has brought greater economic opportunities to many regions of the world that historically have been left behind.

    Acknowledging that we have made progress should not deter continued investment in clean technology and climate adaptation. Rather, it should encourage us to redouble those efforts, especially because uncertainty still looms large in any assessment of climate risk. At the high end of current estimates of climate sensitivity, the world could still experience 4 or 5 degrees of warming in this century, even with significantly lower emissions.

    Moreover, even if climate change does not threaten social or economic collapse, anyone who has lived through the California wildfires of recent years, or the bushfires that are currently encircling Sydney, Australia, can tell you that this is not a future most people would desire. And even if human societies end up adapting well to climate change, the planet’s biodiversity almost certainly will not.

    Such conclusions are unlikely to satisfy the noisy participants in the fake climate debate. But the utopian dreams of those who wish to radically reorganize the world to stop climate change are not a plausible global future. Nor will denying the relationship between carbon emissions and global warming make the real risks of climate change go away. The world will tackle this problem the way that it tackles most other problems, partially and incrementally, by taking up the challenges that are right in front of us—adaptation, economic development, energy modernization, public health—and finding practical ways to address them.


    —Mr. Nordhaus is the founder and executive director of the Breakthrough Institute and a co-author of “An Ecomodernist Manifesto.”


     
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  5. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah Contributing Member

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  6. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member
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    A good read, though I think putting climate “alarmists” and “denialists” on equal footing is a mistake. There is good reason to be alarmed given that half the politicians in the most powerful and influential country on earth are in the “denialist” camp.
     
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  7. Redfish81

    Redfish81 Member

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  8. txtony

    txtony Member

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    Yeap.

    China's way of life is miserable in some of its biggest cities with the daily fog and "snow" in 70-degree temperature. Their future is renewable and they are investing heavily in renewable. Not fast enough, like everyone else, but it's a myth that they aren't doing anything.
     
  9. Redfish81

    Redfish81 Member

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    US oil demand increased again last year. We aren't even close to turning that tide. China's oil and coal demands both increased last year. China's "promise" from the Paris accord is to bring their emissions to a peak in 2030. So for another decade expect the increases in oil and coal usage to continue.

    All this talk of doom in 10 years...well the Paris Agreement seemed to think increasing emissions until 2030 is all good....


    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...argets-demand-overshadows-study-idUSKCN1SZ17M
     
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  10. txtony

    txtony Member

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    That's correct, they promise to peak in 2030. Since each country under the agreement is required to report their emission, we will know if they are trending toward that.

    The Paris accord goal is to keep the global temp below 2C. That was ratified just a few years ago, at the end of 2015. Many climate activists weren't happy with it namely because it's a goal with no enforcement mechanism or timeline. It depends on each country to do their part, keep their promise, and not withdraw from it.
     
  11. txtony

    txtony Member

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    https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2020/01/16/microsoft-will-be-carbon-negative-by-2030/

    Microsoft will be carbon negative by 2030

    By 2030 Microsoft will be carbon negative, and by 2050 Microsoft will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975.

    ...

    When it comes to carbon reduction, real progress requires real transparency. As we’re doing today, Microsoft will continue to disclose the carbon footprint of our services and solutions. We will support strong industry-wide standards for transparency and reporting on carbon emissions and removal, and we will apply these ourselves.

    Today we are also signing the United Nations’ 1.5-degree Business Ambition Pledge, and we hope many other companies will also join. We will publicly track our progress in our annual Environmental Sustainability Report.
     
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  12. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    You can get the cost of removing a ton of CO2 to about $100. It takes 100 gallons of gasoline to produce a ton of co2. So basically, the cost of remove the co2 for each gallon of gasoline is $1.

    Yes, its a lot to pay for gas, but why shouldn't people pay for the cost of waste removal they are producing? If we just made people pay for the removal of the co2 they produce, we could actually solve this whole climate change issue.
     
  13. NewRoxFan

    NewRoxFan Contributing Member

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    Lol, steven munchkins wife...

     
  14. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
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    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/cut-back-email-want-fight-090036673.html

    Cut Back on Email If You Want to Fight Global Warming
    Emily Chasan
    Bloomberg
    January 25, 2020

    (Bloomberg) -- Everyone has seen the warning. At the bottom of the email, it says: “Please consider the environment before printing.” But for those who care about global warming, you might want to consider not writing so many emails in the first place.

    More and more, people rely on their electronic mailboxes as a life organizer. Old emails, photos, and files from years past sit undisturbed, awaiting your search for a name, lost address, or maybe a photo of an old boyfriend. The problem is that all those messages require energy to preserve them. And despite the tech industry’s focus on renewables, the advent of streaming and artificial intelligence is only accelerating the amount of fossil fuels burned to keep data servers up, running, and cool.

    Right now, data centers consume about 2% of the world’s electricity, but that’s expected to reach 8% by 2030. Moreover, only about 6% of all data ever created is in use today, according to research from Hewlett Packard Enterprise. That means that 94% is sitting in a vast “cyber landfill,” albeit one with a massive carbon footprint.

    “It’s costing us the equivalent of maintaining the airline industry for data we don’t even use,” says Andrew Choi, a senior research analyst at Parnassus Investments, a $27 billion environmental, social, and governance firm in San Francisco.

    Kirk Bresniker, chief architect of Hewlett Packard Labs, said these server farms use energy both to retain your data, and when you use it in some way.

    “If I want to actually do something with my data, I have to warm it up and move it through the data center,” he says. And for those who think you’re erasing email when you empty the trash, you probably aren’t. Multiple copies of even decade-old emails are stored on servers around the world. And energy is being used to keep them alive.

    The sum of all the world’s data in 2018 was 33 zettabytes (a zettabyte is 1 trillion gigabytes), but by 2025 it could increase fivefold, to 175 zettabytes, according to International Data Corp. Every day, the world produces about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data.

    This is a sector “where emissions are increasingly getting out of control,” says Philippe Zaouati, chief executive officer of Paris-based Mirova, a $15 billion sustainable asset manager. “We need to decrease carbon emissions, and what we see in the IT sector is increasing emissions.”

    Indeed, socially conscious investors have historically been attracted to tech stocks, based on the assumptions that it’s a low-emissions industry. Some are starting to rethink that.

    Choi says the problem is getting too big too fast: How many photos are sitting untouched in the cloud? Is there a net benefit from an internet-connected toothbrush? Is an AI model that enables slightly faster food delivery really worth the energy cost? (Training an AI model emits about as much carbon as the lifetime emissions associated with running five cars.)

    Parnassus has been focusing on Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia, companies that are researching more efficient storage technology. But Choi says real solutions may require more radical thoughts.

    “Data is possibly overstated as an advantage for business, and no one’s really asking the question,” he says. “If a small group of people are the only ones really benefiting from this data revolution, then what are we actually doing, using all of this power?”

    So far, the tech industry’s main response has been to buy more renewable energy—contracting for almost 6,000 megawatts of non-fossil fuel power last year, triple what it bought in 2017, according to BloombergNEF.

    “Data-center need is moving so quickly that most companies can’t keep up,” says Kevin Hagen, vice president of ESG strategy at Iron Mountain, a data-center real estate company. Iron Mountain bought up so much renewable power last year that it started using it as a selling point, telling potential customers how much they could reduce their carbon footprint by using its servers.

    But eventually there may not be enough renewable energy to satisfy the industry’s demand. Iron Mountain’s overall electricity use has been doubling from year to year, Hagen says.

    Being aware of the problem may help focus more companies on the climate cost of electronic storage. Microsoft Corp. this month unveiled a first-of-its-kind sustainability calculator for its cloud customers so they can see the emissions generated by their data use.

    “It’s a question customers were increasingly asking,” says Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith. “I don’t think there’s much doubt in our minds about this as a decade-long, global phenomenon where we are going to see an inexorable rise in demand for technology.” BloombergNEF warns that energy efficiency upgrades or other technological improvements are unlikely to offset data’s greenhouse gas emissions, even if they are deployed quickly. Energy computing workloads are likely to more than double as more AI comes online, more devices are connected, and people do more work in the cloud.But no one seems to know how much fossil fuel energy is being used versus how much is being offset. Bresniker says the tech industry is “flying blind” when it comes to the true cost of storing data. The picture is clouded by a constant stream of efficiency and memory upgrades, increased renewable power, and AI aimed at data-center efficiency.

    “We don’t really understand what the footprint is,” he says.

    --With assistance from Dina Bass.
    To contact the author of this story: Emily Chasan in New York at echasan1@bloomberg.net




     
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  15. txtony

    txtony Member

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    clickbait title

    no, you don't need to cut back email

    good news is the tech industry take power demands for their services seriously
     
  16. Commodore

    Commodore Contributing Member

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    easiest way to tell it's a scam is the people telling you it's a crisis aren't acting like it

     
  17. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
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    "Bay Area Couple To Be Jailed For Massive Ponzi Scheme Worth $1 Billion":

    https://sfist.com/2020/01/24/bay-area-couple-to-be-jailed-for-massive-ponzi-scheme-worth-1-billion/

    Bay Area Couple To Be Jailed For Massive Ponzi Scheme Worth $1 Billion
    24 January 2020 / Business & Tech / Jay Barmann

    A Martinez couple who was operating a seemingly legitimate business selling solar generators pleaded guilty Friday to various charges stemming from a Ponzi scheme that netted them $1 billion in fraudulent income — affording them an extremely lavish lifestyle.

    Jeff and Paulette Carpoff launched DC Solar in Benecia to provide trailer-mounted, mobile solar generators for off-grid uses — like for large outdoor events, emergency situations, and more. But, as the Associated Press reports, "the company morphed into a Ponzi scheme by telling investors they can take advantage of federal tax credits by leasing the generators back to DC Solar, which would then provide them to other companies for their use." The couple was caught taking money from new investors to pay off original investors, taking in $2.5 billion in investment transactions over a seven-year period, beginning in 2011.

    Investors included Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which reportedly lost $340 million in the scheme.

    The house of cards had to come crashing down, and now the Carpoffs face decades in federal prison, as well the forfeiture of all their assets, worth around $120 million — the largest criminal forfeiture in the history of of this federal district, according to U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott, whose office prosecuted the case. In addition to houses in Tahoe, Las Vegas, and the Caribbean, all purchased with cash, the Carpoffs owned a fleet of 150 collector cars, and more.

    The couple also bought an independent baseball team, the Martinez Clippers, and the city of Martinez says it is still owed $35,000 for a waterfront baseball stadium it constructed for the team two years ago.

    "This billion-dollar Ponzi scheme hurt investors and took money from the United States Treasury," Scott said in a statement, noting that the $120 million would be returned to defrauded investors, and $500 million has also been returned to the U.S. Treasury. "Today’s guilty pleas send a strong message that fraudsters will get caught and will pay for their crimes. You can run, but you cannot hide," he said.

    As the Mercury News notes, among their other lavish-spending shenanigans, the Carpoffs paid for a private 2018 holiday concert by Pitbull, whose hit song "Timber" includes the lyric "The bigger they are, the harder they fall."

    There are five other named co-conspirators also bein prosecuted, including DC Solar's general contractor and account. They are Robert Karmann, of Clayton; Ryan Guidry, of Pleasant Hill; Alan Hansen, of Vacaville; Ronald Roach, of Walnut Creek; and Joseph Bayless, of Martinez.

    Jeff Carpoff now faces up to 30 years in prison, and Paulette faces up to 15 years.
     
  18. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Insider Newsletter™ 2X Diamond Member

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    Not sure what the underlying message to the last articles are...

    For as long as energy is cheap or does not reflect the actual costs upon society, we'll see downstream affects by consumers that any party can deign wasteful. Go anywhere else in the world and see if people would complain or cry over tree fiddy a gallon at the pump...

    This American Life is dirty and focused purely on excess and unceasing overconsumption. Just read an article that people overseas don't want our hand me down clothes anymore. This was once a feel good win win multibillion dollar second hand industry that is gonna vanish now that clothes overseas can produce their own cheap and trendy crap.

    It's going to be a double whammy when mass extinction of all non human related life and climate change continue to be pushed towards points of no return.

    But this is Trumpworld. Get yours. Get it quick. Get the word out to gloat at the suckers and losers who give a ****.
     
  19. Senator

    Senator Member

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    The answer is simple. Stop worrying about using more resources to invest more stuff to suck carbon out of the atmosphere while causing a host of new problems. Climate change and carbon are one thing, but ecological sustainability is . afar bigger animal when it comes to maintaining human life. Change the global working week to 4 days. Just... produce less stuff. The actual solution.
     
  20. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
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    "Why Tourism Should Die—and Why It Won’t":

    https://newrepublic.com/article/156307/tourism-dieand-wont

    excerpts:

    Why Tourism Should Die—and Why It Won’t
    "Sustainable" travel is an oxymoron.
    By Chuck Thompson
    January 24, 2020

    These aren’t easy days for travel touts. The class of journalists who enjoy comped experiences at Hawaiian resorts and Michelin-starred restaurants don’t normally generate a lot of public compassion. But I couldn’t help feeling a few pangs of sympathy for the writers and editors who put together The New York Times’ recent Travel package “52 Places to Go in 2020.”

    This is the annual feature meant to draw visitors to heretofore-neglected world gems. Far more apparent in this year’s roundup, however, was the running theme of “responsible tourism.” Words like “sustainability,” “green,” and “conservation” were shoved into every other euphoric blurb like the last pair of shoes jammed into a suitcase already bursting at its zippers. In Sicily, grassroots groups have pledged to use less plastic. In Uganda, proceeds from gorilla trekking permits go toward conservation efforts. Read the piece front to back and you might conclude the entire planet has morphed into one giant, eco-friendly playground, with new nonstop service to Ulaanbaatar and Lima making access easier than ever.

    It’s all bullshit, of course. A 2018 study published in the journal Nature Climate Change announced tourism alone—that’s nonessential pleasure travel—is responsible for 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The traveling public is freaking out. It knows about flight shaming; it loves Greta Thunberg; and it’s ready to bid au revoir to Volvic, Dasani, and plastic straws. But it still wants to sit on a beach in Aruba.

    This puts travel media in a tricky spot. In a somewhat tortured explanation accompanying “52 Places to Go in 2020,” Times Travel editor Amy Virshup noted that climate concerns prompted the jump onto the “eco” bandwagon. This acknowledgment was preceded by pages selling Times-branded “Journeys” to Ethiopia, the Galapagos, and other faraway markets.

    Last week The Washington Post fretted over the same issues in a story headlined, “You want to be a responsible tourist. But what does that even mean?” Advice came from newfound groups like the Center for Responsible Travel and Travel Care Code.

    It’s easy to make fun of people putting Band-Aids on bullet wounds. And the Times’ spin on sea-level rise at Grand Isle, Louisiana—“Does a place appear more hauntingly beautiful when you know it’s disappearing?”—was tastelessly macabre. (The answer is no. It’s just haunting.)

    But these aren’t bad people promoting travel. It’s just that they’re engaged in the impossible task of reconciling international tourism with a genuine desire to neutralize tourism’s impact on climate change. The trouble is these concepts are incompatible. Telling people to “be thoughtful about lodging” and “mind what you eat”—two Earth-saving tips from that Washington Post story—is like trying to sober up by switching from gin to beer.

    ***​

    conclusion:

    The only actual way to mitigate tourism’s impact on climate change is for humanity to stop traveling. This, too, is impossible to imagine.

    I’ve called travel an addiction, and I believe it’s a particularly powerful one. After reading that Times “52 Places” package, I decided to test this pessimistic view with Dr. Ken Allen, a professor of psychology at Oberlin College. Allen taught a course last year called “The Science of Self-Destructive Behaviors.” Though it was designed around maladies like alcoholism and eating disorders, the course description precisely described the travel community’s vicious relationship with its own compulsion: “Self-defeating behaviors are a universal part of the human experience. We occasionally delay unpleasant situations at the expense of increased anxiety, pursue exciting activities with potentially harmful consequences and favor short-term pleasures over long-term positive outcomes.”

    “It’s a spot-on comparison,” Allen told me, offering a tidy explanation for why human beings appear genetically predisposed to fly Economy Plus from Los Angeles to Ireland, even if doing so expends six months’ worth of their typical carbon dioxide emissions at home. “In general we’re ‘hardwired’ to seek things that bring us immediate reward or reinforcement even if those things might have long-term harmful consequences to our health or the health of the planet.”

    This carefree, avoidant disposition is compounded by something called “diffusion of responsibility.” This is the sociopsychological phenomenon in which, faced with a public crisis, people figure somebody else will take care of things.

    “We’re kind of assuming scientists or someone else is going to fix the problem (of climate change) because we all have this information,” Allen says. “I don’t have much faith that people are going to change with the current ways that we’re delivering this information to them. The expectation is, we tell people how bad this is for them, they’ll respond by modifying their behavior. We know that’s not true.”

    Short of regulations and fuel taxes on a scale that would restructure the entire global market, people probably aren’t going to stop traveling. More likely, as the world becomes ever more distressed by over-tourism—the 145 million annual overseas trips currently taken by Chinese tourists alone is expected to surpass 400 million by 2030—the travel journalists we rely on for hot tips and insider advice will simply conjure new ways of assuaging our guilt. That may serve the interests of their airline underwriters, but it won’t be doing the planet any favors.

    I take no joy in saying so. I like travel as much as you do, and I’m not stopping either. Where’s the line between hypocrite and addict? I suspect we’re all going to find out sooner than we’d like.
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