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Environment

Can We Defeat Climate Change?

Our parents and grandparents say,

“Why blame us for global warming?”

They point out they never had all our cars, air conditioning, computers and devices.

That is true.

Ron Mueck
Ron Mueck Sculptures

However, it is not the damage of past generations so much as the story of the last thirty years and the speed of increase is concerning, as David Wallace-Wells points out:

Half of the all the emissions that have ever been produced from the burning of fossil fuels, in the entire history of humanity, have been produced in just the last thirty years.

More than in all the centuries and millennia before.

D.Wallace Wells

Wallace-Wells believes we are on the brink of catastrophe. He states this is not the work of our ancestors, it is more so the work of a single generation – his. [Despite this we are all responsible for the future.]

He also points out that it is a reflection of how much power we wield over this planet, so we can do something to help.

The obstacles may be enormous, but the main driver of global warming is human action and how much carbon we put into the atmosphere. And we can do something about that!

Because –

We will be writing the climate change story whether we like it or not.

Inaction is not a choice. I prefer alternatives and solutions.

Environmental Emissions Problems and Solutions

Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash

Problem: 2/3 of the carbon emissions can be attributed to the burning of fossil fuels!

Solution: Employ solar arrays or increase uptake of renewable energy sources. A sliver of Sahara Desert can absorb enough solar energy to power the world’s energy needs.

Problem: 2/3 of power generation is lost to waste heat so a new electric grid is needed.

Solution: Renewables is the cheaper default for energy needs and are now cheaper than fossil fuels

350.org/why-a-managed-shift-away-from-fossil-fuels-is-essential-and-urgent-including-for-petrostates/

Problem: The fuel companies have political and lobbying power ans influence over policy and stocks and shares are invested heavily in coal and fossil fuel companies.

Solution: – Divest from fossil fuels eg. Was Macht Mein.De

Problem: Methane and Carbon emissions from agriculture.

Solution:Turn cattle producing farms into carbon sinks and feed cattle seaweed which will gives a 90% reduction of methane

Problem: Rising sea levels from Global warming melting polar ice caps

Solution: Build seawalls and levies to protect coastal areas

Problem: An alternative type of air travel that doesn’t produce carbon is needed.

Solution: ? Unknown

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

We hold the future of planet in our hands.

We won’t beat climate change – but we can modulate and live with it. The only obstacles to that are human ones.

Do YOU believe you can make a difference?

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122 thoughts on “Can We Defeat Climate Change?”

  1. We waste so much resources and money to organise annual meetings and conferences in seven star hotels to discuss climate change. The people who claim to fight for climate change are the owners of the industries accelerating global warming. They just disguise. Well, the solution is, involve grassroot people when it comes to climate change. Lets say why not discuss with woodcutters, the farmers, the cattle keepers and the forest dwellers. You cannot solve climate change while seated in an air conditioned hotel suite somewhere in a city

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    1. I totally agree that you cannot solve the crisis from a 7 star hotel conference room. These folks are not committed believers who live by their words. However, I seriously doubt your claims unless you can orovide specific examples, as there are many farmers and grass roots activists who are not hypocritical. Greta Thunberg for instance does not fly in a plane. She sailed to America and caught trains. We have solar energy and there are many vegetarians who do their bit by not eating meat.

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        1. The first step is for everyone to imbibe the culture of putting things in order even when no one is watching. I think the world is in the beginning of moving towards that direction.

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  2. It’s going to take government to get involved – INCLUDING OURS, DAMMIT !!!!!
    But when that happens then yes, we can adapt to it and ensure iit doesn’t kill us all right here right now, as they say.

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  3. What is funny, in a not funny sort of way, is that in the 1970s we were told that we were not far off peak oil and, by the time I was an adult, we would run out of oil. So I lived my teenage years in dread of a world that suddenly had no energy. Instead we used oil at unprecedented rates and kept on finding more to create a different sort of crisis.

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    1. You are right. Funny but not funny, Jane. I remember the oil crisis of that era. Imagine where we would be if renewables were adopted back then? But it is the crisis that led to advancements in technology. It won’t always have the solution and that is why we need more action by Goverments, globally.

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  4. He is a compelling speaker, Amanda, and I have no reason to doubt what he says. Part of the problem, though, are unbelievers? There’s such immediacy in the need for action, but how do you convince governments, and the rich and powerful who pull the strings, that change is needed… now!

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    1. One thing you can do to pressure these powerful companies is to write to your. Pension/superannuation funds and businesses to divest stocks from Fossil fuel shares to renewables. Swapping 5-10 % of stocks is all that is needed.

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  5. Each of us must do what we can. As a parent and grandparent who never had all those listed amenities yet can enjoy them now, I would readily give them up. But what if I were young today – would I say so without powerful persuasion such as this?

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    1. I think the youth would find it hard to give up technology voluntarily, yet they are the ones, like Greta, leading the charge. We don’t have to give everything up, but as you said, we all need to do our bit, even if that is only pressuring our leaders to do more. Together we will make a difference.

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        1. I know, right? And reinforced several times over the centuries, but the last 30 years have been the tipping point. Prior to that there was a carbon feedback effect (in the times of coal fired steam trains) which maintained global temperatures. The population explosion pretty much squashed that effect. Propaganda and marketing from fossil fuel companies appears more believable to many than an intangible claim the the planet is dying. People are not generally inclined to longer term thinking.
          They need to ‘see’ evidence. Many don’t know how to help. We can tell them and show them.

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            1. That will be his defining moment in a bad way. I hear there are rumblings of discontent in the party though it may not change too much in the short term. Two PM’s have already been brought down by good initiatives in that direction.

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    1. Thanks for your question DR B.
      It is a complex question as you cannot just look at output. The following links looks at per capita output as China has a huge population and a country like Australia a small population. Yet Australia produces a lot of coal and has a high transport use, so we contribute too, despite a smaller population. Smaller countries such as the middle east Qatar has high emissions due to production of oil. So you have to take that into account. The rise in emissions over the past decades is also interesting to analyse.
      China is the biggest polluter but also now produces half the worldæs solar panels and is well placed to enter the renewables energy world as a superpower.
      https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/10296/economics/top-co2-polluters-highest-per-capita/

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      1. Thank you, I’m not convinced by the per capita output though, the planet doesn’t care about “capitas”. Equally the use of fossil fuels or high levels of electricity to produce essentials or renewable related goods is a conundrum. The row in Cumbria over opening a coal mine to produce the coal to make steel is a case in point. The planet needs steel so how do we make it without coal, and this is where a lot of china’s pollution arises. Western countries have minimised steel production to reduce pollution but this has now been taken up by China who sell it to us!

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        1. China is well placed to reduce emissions and yes steel production is an issue. I understand your concerns and I do not think opening a new coal mine is necessary. I will have to research the Cumbrian mine to know how to comment, however there have been similar proposals here. The coal mine here is totally unnecessary as there are adequate supplies already, and the environmental damage and use of water in an area where water is scarce means that agricultural production will be eliminated if the mine is created. So far there has already been several contaminations of the surrounding land. What good is steel if you do not have food to eat and the soil is contaminated so that you cannot live there. I hope that we are able to develop alternate steel production methods that are less environmentallly damaging.
          As regards the graph, I am happy to show you ones that disregard per capita use, but they are actually worse, as Australia’s output is ranked much lower. I think you do have to factor in population as it distorts the figures otherwise and makes China look much better.

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          1. Well, I think we know that China and India are the biggest polluters in terms of overall output. This is the real issue because a large proportion of Chinese people are “non polluters”, it’s the big dirty factories we need to be concerned about. Putting the production of a single essential commodity into the hands of a single country is not viable.

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            1. It would be a concern to put the production of something essential in the hands of a single very large entity of any type. Be that a country or a corporation – and that pertains to media as well as product.

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        2. A quick google search found this:
          Image result for environmental alternative to using coal in steel production
          Blast furnaces need coal, but there is an alternative technology called an Electric Arc Furnace (EAF). This is responsible for approximately 30% of the world’s steel production and does not require coal

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          1. Electric Arcs don’t produce steel from raw materials, they remelt scrap. Steel comes from iron ore which needs carbon and limestone for the chemical reaction to create the iron in a blast furnace which then goes to a different process to make steel. Open hearth, electric hearth, or Bessemer types come next. I worked in the steel industry for 20 years 😂😂

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              1. Yes 👍 And I know that electric arc furnaces don’t “produce” steel, they recycle it essentially which is a good thing. But the power they need to operate is truly horrendous, another part of the conundrum 🤔

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              2. You can power it with any source you like, but an EAF has to hit around 4000 degrees Centigrade, that’s a heck of a lot of solar panels, or in the UKs case more windmills than you can fit in the North Sea! But the real issue is that it DOESN’T make steel, it’s a means to melt scrap steel which already exists into a specified type of steel which then depends on the scrap you put into it. So, you want some high tensile steel for cables? Then go and find some high tensile cables scrap to recycle! That’s an oversimplification because you can blend other scrap, but the more technical issue is dealing with the “impurities “ such as carbon already existing in the scrap that would be blown out by oxygen in an open hearth furnace ….. but that needs a different power supply, not electricity. We need fresh iron really from iron ore coal and limestone, there’s no getting away from it!

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              3. And Australia has sll those ingredients. Which begs the question as to why we don’t make it. I think the power issue could be easily solved given our extreme sunshine and space.

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              4. 😂😂 Provided you’re willing to take flickering and maybe power outages each time in towns each time an EAF switches on. But they cannot cope by merely recycling old scrapped steel.

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              5. There are no towns in the iron ore country but loads of sunshine, so if they produced steel there it would work out fine. Most country areas in Australia are remote enough to be not be connected to the grid anyway.

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              6. I think it takes around 400kwh to feed a EAF, so do the maths regarding solar panels needed. We couldn’t do it in the U.K., but it is STILL not the answer.

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  6. Excellent! “We need new politics.” We sure do. A sobering but necessary Tedtalk. Clif and I work hard to live green lives. We don’t eat meat, we don’t fly, and we limit our driving, only going out for errands or work (selling our books.) Perhaps what two people do doesn’t really matter, but at the end of our lives, we want to be able to look back and reflect that we made a great effort to live sustainably.

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    1. You are already doing a lot of good things, Laurie. And I think collectively it does matter. I agree that if you can have a clear conscience at the end of your life, that will provide a lot of comfort to you. It certainly would for me, and that is my aim too. I may not be famous, but I can try to leave my footprint as small as possible and in doing so, take a step in the right direction as far as planetary health goes. I do think it is a mindset that cares for the future, whereas there are still many that take the attitude of – I won’t be alive, so what do I care. It is an attitude I can’t entertain at all. Even if I hear what they are saying, it is just not me. I find it lacks compassion for those who come along after us.

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            1. That is quite sad. I just heard about the importance of a sense of interconnectedness in the future of humanity. It mentions this as a solution to demonising others who are different to oneself.

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  7. Yes, we can make a difference. It started when we decided to reduce the greenhouse effect. However, it has come to stay since I also think that a normal change in weather patterns co-incided with the global warming. We must adapt or …..

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  8. I have many fears about this. At times I have wanted to see data that no one collects: in visits to China and Africa over the past decade, I have had the feeling that pulling people out of extreme poverty equals major increases in emissions and plastics in crazy places (not the same thing and yet if you talk about “habitat change” instead of climate change it matters, and for some species it is even more critical).
    It has been a concern that the big businesses are not innovating. I have been feeling like capitalism is failing the planet in a big way. The theory, back in the day, was that as companies acquired capital they would innovate to stay competitive into the future as things changed. What has actually happened is that they have invested in lobbyists and bankrolling politicians to get them to subsidize losing and dying technologies, like coal. This has the effect of poor people paying up for a lack of innovation and a decreasing standard of living. A welfare system for the uber rich, that denies the people actually paying taxes access to clean air, water and healthcare. The exact details vary from nation to nation, but the trend is world wide.

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    1. Capitalism is failing the planet in a big way, Xingfu Mama and I both like and dislike the fact that you confirm this. I like that you confirm what I suspect is happening, but dislike the companies for putting profits before compassion, habitat and air quality, and – common sense. Business models a nd greed has ruined many an environment and led to species extinction and continues to do so. And the public believe these lobbyists propaganda perpetuated by media monopolies. If China is turning to solar and renewables, why would you be promoting ‘Clean Coal.” Our current Prime Minister is a fool and actually took a piece of coal into parliament, telling the public not to be afraid of it. This is 19th century thinking. The successful nations will be the ones who can adapt quickly, be visionary in their inventiveness and innovation and look forward not backward. I heard today that in a world where solar energy is king, countries like the Congo will be the stronger nation as they hold 70% of the world’s reserves of cobalt, necessary for the batteries for solar power storage. An interesting turn of events and I hope they might learn from the mistakes of our current state of affairs. But will greed win them over as well?

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  9. I think people collectively can make a difference, by voicing their views on why they feel tackling climate change is important. But I don’t think anyone should blame “normal people” for the effects of climate change, because we are basically living through it, and for many it is impossible to live without cars, central heating etc.

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    1. You made a good point that the normal person is hamstrung by the need to use cars and central heating ( if you live in colder climate regions). WE don’t need central heating but it is very uncomfortable, but not impossible to live with out air conditioning. Many still do. In Europe, where cities are smaller and more condensed, the need for cars is removed, whereas a city like Australia, it is much harder as we travel further to work.
      I don’t think blaming anyone helps. Blame doesnt’ move us forward. Voicing views is important as long as it is followed up by governement policy. Do you feel there is enough movement in that arena, Victoriarose?

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      1. I agree that really blaming others doesn’t get us anywhere, and if anything it slows down progress. In cities it is certainly easier to travel around using public transport, and where I live, there is reasonable amounts of it. But then it is rather slow, and people are more reluctant to use it now because of covid. I agree with your point about voicing views, but personally I don’t think that the authorities have paid too much attention to protests which have occurred locally.

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  10. I don’t know what I can do to change the world, as a Christian & growing up in that & understanding & learning that we are stewards of what we have. You don’t need to be a Christian to understand that everything we have is gift & I know in my own back yard, We try to be the best stewards we can, our own backyard in the last 15yrs has slowly brought back all sorts of wildlife that we never had before, we are fortunate to have like minded neighbours at the back of our property also seeing changes in their land quality & as a result better quality of all life. The hope is that one day someone will notice & stop & ask the question what did you do. From there it may grow. Here’s hoping anyway. Plus it’s all fun in the process.

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    1. I like that you see that you are a steward of the land, and care for it in that way, Linda. Many Christians don’t, as they believe that the land is there for them to use, as the divine one supplied it there solely for their use. I don’t subscribe to that interpretation of the holy scriptures. As everything it is my gut feeling that we need to care and be compassionate for the world around us, and for vulnerable creatures. To maintain any other thinking would be brutal.

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  11. Amanda, the cost of not addressing this issue is far far greater than the cost of so doing. The two greatest risks facing our planet flip flop in importance and are interrelated – the risk of insufficient fresh water and the risk of climate change. Climate change makes the first problem even worse. I read some of Duke Energy’s own reports and they have to factor in the evaporation of more water due to climate change (they said 11% more) from the water they use to turn the turbines when using nuclear, natural gas or coal to create the steam.

    I also read a report (from 2010) put together by the OECD (Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development and the largest pension scheme trustees in the world, including Australia’s. The study was facilitated by Mercer Investment Consulting, a global investment advisor. The study concluded that wildfires, droughts, floods, weather patterns are wreaking so much havoc, that fixing the problems would entail multiple tens of trillions of dollars. The problem has gotten worse.

    And, the sad truth about the naysaying and hoaxers is there are far more websites funded by fossil fuel industry to downplay climate change than peer reviewed science websites on the impact of climate change. Even today, the fossil fuel industry is feeding BS to conservative outlets about the cause of Texas’ electricity crisis.

    I encourage people to watch the documentary “Ice on Fire” about ways to deal with climate change that are happening now. Keith

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    1. Thanks for mentioning the documentary, Keith and I do hope it clarifies the facts for some of those naysayers and politicians in denial who are feathering their own pockets with donations from the fossil fuels industry. I am disgusted that there are,”far more websites funded by fossil fuel industry to downplay climate change than peer reviewed science websites on the impact of climate change.” This is free speech but free false speech. We face an uphill battle but battle on we will, and slowly but surely, we will win over the deniers, hopefuly before it is too late to reverse the worst projections. I heard today that oil production peaked in 2019 and will never again reach those figures as the renewables sector accelerated during the pandemic. Yay – some good news at last.

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      1. Amanda, thanks. I think we are passed the tipping point on the move to renewable energy, as it has gotten more comparable and even better cost-wise. The renewable energy push has many fronts that take advantage of various resources. Scotland, for example, is leading the way on tidal energy investment with their boisterous sea. Elegant wind turbines pepper the UK and Scandinavian shores and seas, as well as the plains states in the US. And, solar energy is the key to many places in the sun. But, a key to a lot of this push is improved battery storage of saved energy. I take pride in places like Burlington, VT, Georgetown, TX, Greenburg, KS, etc. that are 100% powered by renewable energy. Good things are happening, we just need to accelerate them. As for the “Ice on Fire” documentary, it speaks to not putting as much carbon in the air, but also taking it out of the air. Keith

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          1. Thanks Amanda. I noticed the obligatory name calling which called you and me “lunatics” for daring to believe climate change is a problem. As with absolutely every argument, name calling is not a substitute for discourse on issues. It reveals holes in the argument of the name caller. The Precautionary Principle needs to be required on any development that impacts the environment. In essence, the developer who will benefit from the change must prove it won’t hurt people.

            The writings of Dr. Sandra Steingraber, an ecologist and biologist, are impactful. Two of her books “Living Downstream” and “Raising Elijah” are must reads for all, but especially mothers. She has spoken in front of the EU Parliament and US Congress. In short, most environmental tests, when done, look at the impact on a 50 year adult man. She argues we must focus on children as their brains and lungs are not fully developed, they are closer to the ground, they mouth breath more times per minute and touch things more, putting their hands in their mouths.

            We are harming our kids without knowing how much, all for profit for a developer who does not want to be troubled with testing the toxicity of what they do. Keith

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            1. Indeed, Keith and thank you for broadening the issue.
              Children are the ones who will inherit the earth that we leave them. What good is it if they are left a sick planet with compromised lung and immune systems? Years ago, I read Silent Spring, and How the Other Half Dies, and for a decade or two, I couldn’t face reading any more dire environmental literature as I was frustrated with the lack of acknowledgement of the immensity of the task awaiting our attention by our elected representatives or community at large. Now some parts of the community are on board, I am ready to read more again and see where we are at, and of course, as we both know, the situation is ever more urgent. Many thanks for giving me some new literature to follow up.
              It is so difficult to counter the arguments of the fossil fuel industry and its advocates here in Australia, when they are located in their remote country realms. Balanced news does not get through and so fearful people cannot and do not think very far ahead if there is little food on the nightly table and little water to drink. The grab for money in the short term may be an easier decision but the true cost will be seen in the health of society and the environment. I will follow up on the books you mentioned.

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              1. Amanda, please do. Steingraber is a mother as well, so the focus on the children is a unifying one from all sides. She used an example of how chemicals get airborne and collect in trees. Then, the winds blow them again and they land on playgrounds by schools. So kids touch things and put their hands in their mouths, as well as breathing in the toxins out of the air. The movie “Dark Waters” that came out in 2019 is a true story about Dupont and its teflon product and is also important viewing. Keith

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    1. That is it in a nutshell, Donna. We can all do our part. Now that renewables are cheaper than fossil fuel energy, I ‘d be thinking, if I was a middle eastern country, that I would be investing in huge banks of solar arrays in the desert areas.

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  12. I think we can but I often also feel powerless. I’ve attended protests, trying to cut plastic use, turn off the lights etc but these have never really amounted to a huge change. It’s like all the actions are falling on deaf ears of those who have the power to make changes from the top. Regardless, I’m going to still continue buying my bamboo toothbrushes to look after my own conscious that I’m trying.

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    1. You must not give up simply because governments refuse to change their policy. Everything helps and a clean conscience is nice to have. I was listening to a report on RN today which was so promising re energy use in the future. China committing to zero emissions, solar being now the cheapest form of energy worldwide, oil consumption peaked in 2019 and will NEVER top that level ever again. This is wonderful news, so keep buying your bamboo toothbrushes, and recycling all we can. Look at what has happened with single use plastic bags. How we have changed so quickly!

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  13. Defeat or better manage? I’ve no answer to the question, but without admitting there’s a problem we’re going to get nowhere. And the amount of denial about this problem is dumbfounding.

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    1. The denial is dumbfounding as you mention, Ally. I find that terribly upsetting, and yet there is much less denial than when I was a student of the environment in the 80’s. I see this as progress, albeit extremely slow progress. The children of primary school today are however, very well versed in what may lay ahead. Thus, I see a rapid decline in the deniers. Do you find that is similar in the US? Or is that restricted to my country?

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      1. Around here the deniers are the majority, BUT those who care are getting louder about what will happen so the pendulum is beginning to swing in the other direction.

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          1. I cannot say for sure if it was in the local news, but I remember talking about climate change with friends and acquaintances. It was featured in national news, but remember many people in this country only watch Fox News that doesn’t share facts, just opinions spun to sound like news. They skew everything so what a watcher calls news is in fact gibberish.

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            1. Hmmm. Such a shame that news services have became not only concentrated in terms of the number of sources, but also so diluted in their news content. I rarely watch television news now, myself, as the radio seems more informative. And now we have government interference in both public broadcasting services and social media. Just another obstacle in getting diverse messages across. Free Social media and blogs becomes more significant for independent news.
              I agree that a balanced presentation of facts seems now to be oftentimes supplanted with panels of opinionated ‘experts.’ And the consumer is left with only crumbs.
              A sad state of affairs. When does the revolution start? Lol.

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  14. Such a great topic, Amanda. Climate change is happening faster than we can keep up. The world has developed a lot over the last thirty years. So many of us have also traveled and explored the world – and that in itself has also affected the sustainability of some places, especially the popular tourist sites around the world.

    I think we all have a part to play in making the world a more sustainable place. It doesn’t have to be something big like changing our lifestyle to make the world a better place. For instance, daily habits such as recycling, turning off the lights when they are not in use and throw away our rubbish responsibly. With the current state of the world and with many working from home over the last years, in some places pollution has gone down. So maybe, in the long run really a different lifestyle for all might be the way to go. I guess time will only tell.

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    1. A great point about travel and sustainability, Mabel. Air travel is a carbon producer and we in Australia love travel. In almost every college course, including TAFE – there is subjects on sustainability. Our future workforce will have a better understanding of this concept. With the brakes on our polluting due to the pandemic, (less air travel and car use), we may get an insight into how quickly or slowly earth’s recovery happens. (notwithstanding the increased disposable plastic use from the pandemic). This pause may give technology time to invent better techniques and solutions to some of these pending problems. As we cannot guarantee technology will solve all our problems, the alternative lifestyle choices will be vitally relevant in the short term.
      So lovely to hear from you again. Your comments are always insightful and interesting.

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      1. That is true many in Australia love to travel. Often when we travel a lot of us don’t think about sustainability and focus more on seeing, being safe and comfortable. Nothing wrong with that but the way we move around our communities and the world does have an impact on the world.

        There have been reports about how birds are getting tangled up in masks that we dispose of. As you mentioned, alternative lifestyle choices is definitely something to think about in the short term – what we do in the short term can have an impact on the long term.

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        1. I wondered when we would see reports of problens like this, Mabel. With so many masks being used and many of them disposable, it was expected.
          It is great that there are reuseable alternatives available now.

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          1. It’s also interesting to hear supermarkets are phasing out selling single-use plastic cutlery and cups – instead offering paper-based options. A sign of the times and hopefully, a step in the right direction.

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            1. It is indeed a step forward to assist customers to make better choices when it comes to plastic cutlery. It really isn’t so hard to wash up steel cutlery unless you are catering for a huge crowd. And we can’t really do that these days. I also like that single use coffee cups are disappearing and people are electing to get coffee refills in their own cups.

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  15. Whether it’s Europe’s hottest year on record, unprecedented wildfires in California/Cascadia, off-the-chart poor-air advisories, unprecedented stalling hurricanes, the mass deforestation and incineration of the Amazonian rainforest (home to a third of all known terrestrial plant, animal and insect species), record-breaking flooding in Europe, single-use plastics clogging life-bearing waters, a B.C. (2019) midsummer’s snowfall, the gradually dying endangered whale species or geologically invasive/destructive fracking or a myriad of other categories of large-scale toxic pollutant emissions and dumps—there’s discouragingly insufficient political courage/will to sufficiently address the cause-and-effect of manmade global warming and climate change.

    To me, our existence has for too long been analogous to a cafeteria lineup consisting of diversely societally represented people, all adamantly arguing over which identifiable traditionally marginalized person should be at the front and, conversely, at the back of the line. Many of them further fight over to whom amongst them should go the last piece of quality pie and how much should they have to pay for it—all the while the interstellar spaceship on which they’re all permanently confined, owned and operated by (besides the most wealthy) the fossil fuel industry, is on fire and toxifying at locations not normally investigated.

    The latter is allowed to occur, because blue-shirted liberals and red-hatted conservatives are preoccupied loudly blasting each other for their politics and beliefs thus distracting attention from big business’s moral and ethical corruption, where it should be focused.
    Meanwhile, mindless arguments are made, and stupid-sounding catchphrases are uttered, like “It’s the economy, stupid!”

    Although I very much want to be proven wrong, we, in short, are distracting ourselves from our own burning and heavily polluting of our sole spaceship (i.e. Earth).

    What is sufficiently universal, however, is that the laborers are simply too exhausted and preoccupied with just barely feeding and housing their families on a substandard, if not below the poverty line, income to criticize the former for the great damage it’s doing to our planet’s natural environment and therefore our health, particularly when that damage may not be immediately observable.

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  16. What a great conversation and I think having conversations about this topic is one of the most important things we can do. We can encourage others to think about behaviour and care about the consequences. If everyone one of us makes small changes and supports the positive small changes others make, there is still some hope, although I do often despair about the future of this planet. I gave up international travel a few years ago for this reason and that overseas travel was something I loved but regular flights from Australia cannot be justified anymore, at least not for me.
    Capitalism and greed has a lot to answer for and disciplining my spending on things is another change we have made and making sure those things we do purchase are ethically sourced and sustainable. In the choices we make we are all responsible. I try at least and that is all any of us can do really.

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    1. You are a wonderful example of the power of one, Sharon. Can you imagine the difference if we multiplied this a billion times! It is not hard to change our behaviour, re-think consumerism and well Covid has forced us to give up air travel for the foreseeable future. Making ethical and sustainable choices is something I see is on the increase all around me. Still, we have much more work to do, in this regard. We dare not rest on our laurels but can all aim to continue to be an example to those around us, thereby increasing the awareness of these issues to all whom we encounter. For as you so well articulated: In the choices we make we are all responsible.

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  17. I believe that all current climate issues can be easily traced back to overpopulation.In biology,we learn that nature only has a limited carrying capacity(K),beyond which individuals of a species simply cannot survive due to lack of resources.So I think that if all this measures mentioned by you are taken along with,dare I say, strict population control policies;humanity could be on track to save itself and the planet quite quickly

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  18. I believe that all of the current climate change problems can be traced back to overpopulation.For some reason,it’s not talked about nearly as much as it should be.In biology,we learn a term called carrying capacity(K) which is the maximum amount of people of a species nature can sustain.Crossing this threshold would mean more and more poverty and lack of resources for people.So I think that along with all measures to stop climate change,strict population control policies should also be made

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    1. Absolutely. Population control is definitely part of the puzzle in planning for a sustainable earth. Even in Australia, a country with wide open spaces and very few people, water is a resource that limits the population. Without water, we cannot survive. Is there population control strategies in your country, Aspiring writer?

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      1. Forestwood,Well on a national scale there is an intiative encouraging people to have only two kids.But there aren’t any incentives in that so it’s basically optional;all that scheme has done is raise awareness which I believe was the goal
        On a regional level,some cities or states have made it illegal for people to contest elections if they have more than two children.however,these are still baby steps and a big long-term plan is needed.I’m from India btw 🙂

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        1. Interesting that India has tried to encourage people in a gentle way, to have less children. I suppose with climate change looming over our heads like an axe, it is harder to dismiss the population explosion as something that eradicating poverty will fix. Even in our country, with a low birth rate that has to be supplemented with (skilled) migration poverty is not eradicated. If you are poor, is the incentive to not contest an election incentive enough to reduce the number of children one has. Are birth control methods accessible?

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          1. Yes they are but India has a lot of taboo around sex which makes it uncomfortable for people(especially a female) to ask for condoms at a pharmacy.
            The step about elections in our country isn’t really verifiable.The state which has implemented it has very little political representation in the country.
            Also id love it if you saw my blog,I just started it🙂🙂
            allissuesnow.wordpress.com

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            1. Congratulations on starting a blog. You may find it as addictive as I do.
              As far as India goes, it did like a long time before those barriers surrounding sex will be broken down?
              Is it changing slowly with the younger generation?

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  19. Wow, such a lot of comments. Clearly a post that inspires a reaction. I’d be interested to know if this post has prompted more comments than usual Amanda. Do you know?
    I used to be a sceptic as to the urgency needed to reverse climate change. I used to think that maybe my great grandchildren, or even great, great grandchildren were going to be tasked with finding the solution. What an idiot was I! It’s become clear that if changes aren’t made NOW, and drastic changes at that, I’m going to be leaving a planet that resembles something science fiction depicts, a planet that resembles a Mad Max film set, a planet, dry and dusty, a planet that doesn’t produce enough food even in countries like ours were the population is used to having plenty. We can’t start yesterday, but how I wish we could. We can’t wait for farmers to start feeding their cattle seaweed. We can’t wait for sustainable, renewable energy to be produced by our governments. We have to contribute significantly less to the current global warming practices entrenched in our society ourselves, and we have to start doing that today. The only way I can see that we can do that is to reduce our own dependence on these things. Use solar energy, get on our bikes or shanks pony for small errands, turn off the air conditioning, reduce our consumption of animal products….. tell the farmers with our wallets, they’ll then look at seaweed. However, I wonder if that wouldn’t cause a whole new problem in our oceans. Eat no more than 3 eggs a week – did you know that soy for chicken food is the second biggest cause of destruction to the natural habitat in Brazil. And know I’ll get off my soapbox!

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    1. Hey Chris,
      Yes this post has a higher comment stat than usual, although not the highest ever, sadly. I plan a few more posts about this as I have been reading more about the topic and it is clear that you have an open mind and are keen to learn more yourself. That is really wonderful. What prompted your change of heart, may I ask? Did you read something or hear something in particular that moved you, or was it a slow realization?
      I didn’t know about the soy for chicken food. Now we really need to come up with an alternative there. Chickens are fond of kitchen scraps aren’t they? A waste bin collection system that could dehydrate scraps for mass collection and distribution – but again we need to make something like this economical with green energy, not diesel trucks trawling the streets. Innovation is the key word. You don’t have to get off your soapbox, as your input and opinion is valued here. I always learn so much from the blogging community who comments here and elsewhere.

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  20. It’s was a slow realisation, but then a sort of light bulb moment once realisation hit. I knew it would one day be a reality, just didn’t know it was on track to be catastrophic in my life time, and in my neck of the woods as well as everywhere else. Late last year I stumbled upon the EAT planetary diet report commissioned by Lancet, and that was the real light bulb moment. That had me wondering why only three eggs a week were recommended.David Attenborough’s book, A Life on our Planet, answered that question for me. Have you read that book. I picked it up at Darwin airport on our way home recently. It’s very good, and very frightening. I guess a couple of back yard chooks in everyone’s garden would be the answer to the egg conundrum.

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    1. I would love to have backyard chooks, but one of my dogs would like them too, a little too much I think…. But one day, maybe? I have worms to digest and improve the soil and grow some veges. I will look for the book you mentioned. Do you have a link for the Lancet article?

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  21. It took several decades for fossil fuels to become the standard in our society (back in the 1800’s I think?). Considering all of humanity’s achievements, I think we’ll be capable of switching to renewables in that amount of time. Every person’s actions count.

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    1. I like your confidence, Jake. I can see this happening around me as solar panels become mainstream. But will the technology be there to go completely renewable and the fossil fuel industry give up the fight for power?

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      1. I think if we fully embrace the technology we already have available, that will take us quite far. I agree that we’re going to need new technologies to do the rest, but I’m optimistic that if we have the will, we will find a way.

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        1. I too am optimistic, but we must caution that with practicality and the seriousness of the situation that we are in. We don’t have very much time to dilly dally and wait for technology to come up with an answer. That has been the problem since the 80’s. Forty years have passed and the temperatures have been escalating, forests have been disappearing so we need to keep pushing for better management urgently lest we incur more disasters and loss of life.

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  22. The most important question even today is that how many people believe that climate change is real?
    Coming from a country that contributes to 17% of the world population, the current generation lives in oblivion and doesn’t care much about green house gasses, global warming, melting ice sheets let alone do something about it.
    There is only a very small fraction of this population that is active in the fight against climate change and the damages done by the crony capitalists and unwarranted govt policies supporting them at every step.
    So, the first step should be about raising awareness, making people believe that climate change is real, that this is going to cost us dearly.

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    1. Your final comment is wholly pertinent Abhishek, and I do appreciate your comment. Education about the damage of short term planning and actions is sorely needed, but that is monumentally difficult if you are concentrated on just putting food on the table. However, with education things can change very quickly and this is where we as individuals can help and do so much more. Keep writing about this, keep making positive suggestions and solutions and keep raising awareness. The Power of One is not to be forgotten.

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    1. The price is a factor for some people holding back on solar. However, it is becoming more and more affordable each year and in Australia we still have some Government rebates as an incentive. I see that the solar movement is unstoppable, at least if solar uptake in my area is any indication. Where are you based?

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  23. Without fossil fuels, which will run out in a few decades, there is mo known way to produce plastic, steel and other high grade metals and products needed. The solar panels and windmills will quit working, break down and will not be repaired. Electric cars cannot be produced without fossil fuels to make the plastic, steel and other required materials. Looks like a short future for civilization as we know it.

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    1. I tend to think that we shall preserve the fossil fuels for these purposes or the desperate need for them may initiate research into alternatives. I still retain hope for that, but I am unsure if you have lost hope?

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  24. Last year should have taught us that we needn’t get on a plane to communicate. Still there’s a lot of chatter about travel right now. I’m hoping it’s not those people whole tire us about there not being a planet B
    I look at solar panels and wonder how they were produced and how we’re planning to dump them when they reach their shelf life. I note that different countries choose different ways to get around the coal issue and think it ridiculous not to have an international consensus on how climate change should be managed. Doing the right thing by the planet should not mean wrecking our way of life. Those windmills and solar panels don’t do the trick. The system isn’t perfected yet. We still rely on dispatchables to get us by. And what about India. Poor people there need coal to subsist. What are they to do? Why do we allow China to build power stations?

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    1. This argument about China building power stations has been around for a while. I am sure they are doing just that, but they are long term planners and are heavily into solar now. That is their aim. Self-sufficiency is China’s aim, and as such they are now the largest producers of solar panels. Coal wil only be used until solar can convert their needs. They are already reducing Australia’s exports. We are building eco villages completely solar powered as we speak. No electricity from the grid!
      I hear a lot about coal needing to be a transition fuel and that argument has merit but I do believe that serves us no purpose to expect that solar power should be perfect when other power sources are not. These things will take time to perfect and given the amount of investment it is bound to happen.
      Regarding an international consensus. You are right we should have one, but it is so difficult to get traction on that when there are so many differnt perspectives, and needs amongst the world’s population. If we could all agree, the United Nations would have solved all our problems. We have a find a way to work together despite our differences, to problem solve the disagreements, respect each other and their POV and find the common denominator on which we might all agree.
      My solar system was installed on my new house last week and I can’t believe how much coal it is theoretically saved already in that short time. 100’s of kilograms! On one house! And how much carbon has been saved from being emitted to the atmosphere. We had our first solar installed about ten years ago on our former house, ( and it is still going strong), yet the technology has moved ahead incredibly in that decade. We now have twice the size of the former system despite a similar number of panels as our old house – they have doubled their efficiency and I can only imagine the moves forward that will come in the next decade. Solar is very popular here – and so it should be as we have so much sun. Where are you located, Mary?

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