WTF Climate Change News

Katheryne Helendale

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This is broad reaching action with actual material consequence. It matters. If only half of what he has already done and what he has put into play gains any permanency, it will make a big difference to the timeline.
Trump is a tool of the oil industry, but if Trump weren't around, they would be using another tool instead. Putin has been cultivating "useful idiots" for quite some time now; Trump is just the most recent investment to pay off. The oil industry's efforts to fight climate change policies started in the 1980s, when Trump was just a realtor, and has continued unabated ever since. Trump is a very new cog in a very big machine, and the machine grinds on with or without him. There's not that much difference between his damaging actions and the tepid positive actions that Clinton might have adopted in his stead.
You're both right. Trump may be just a tool in Putin's tool chest, but he's been a very effective one. Developing countries that may be grappling with the issue of advancing themselves versus preserving the climate may see Trump, the leader of the United States, as a role model, and decide to hell with the environment. Trump has set environmental advances back decades, if not centuries, not just for the US, but for large chunks of the world.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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Well even being a developing country does not mean that you cannot have ambitious goals. Did you ever hear about the Great Green Wall of China? That's just the biggest forestation effort in history, which started in 1978.

 

Ishina

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Putin and his oil oligarchs, along with the Saudis, along with our own oil cartels, are the truly bad actors in this drama. I'm not "absolving" Trump, I just think he's playing a minor walk-on role in comparison to that line-up of true evil. The Bushes have done far more damage, they just aren't as obvious about it as Donnie.
You're comparing a part to its sum. A single to its plural. Any individual within those oil cartels, those Saudi princedoms, those Russian mobs, is only a minor walk-on role in comparison to the total, past and present, if you want to frame it that way.
 

Beebo Brink

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You're comparing a part to its sum. A single to its plural. Any individual within those oil cartels, those Saudi princedoms, those Russian mobs, is only a minor walk-on role in comparison to the total, past and present, if you want to frame it that way.
Yes, of course I frame it that way. The role of systems and institutions in perpetuating our suicidal climate impulses can't be overstated. They arise organically from human impulses such as greed and chest-beating power grabs, but they take on a life of their own and drive individuals in turn. These institutions -- from political to financial to religious to cultural -- are why it's so difficult to steer a new course, especially a drastic one, at a global level. They structure all our perspectives and responses and they're resistant to change.

Institutions lose their hold when they shatter, and by that point external factors are very grim indeed.
 

Ishina

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Yes, of course I frame it that way. The role of systems and institutions in perpetuating our suicidal climate impulses can't be overstated. They arise organically from human impulses such as greed and chest-beating power grabs, but they take on a life of their own and drive individuals in turn. These institutions -- from political to financial to religious to cultural -- are why it's so difficult to steer a new course, especially a drastic one, at a global level. They structure all our perspectives and responses and they're resistant to change.

Institutions lose their hold when they shatter, and by that point external factors are very grim indeed.
Institution is just a simplifying vocabulary word for a bunch of guys, the choices they make, and the work their own hands do. The idea that the institution has a life of its own outside of anyone's hands is a self-comforting myth. An institution of child abusers is just the plural of child abuser.

Trump is not just a lowly bureaucrat plodding along in the flesh workings of an Orwellian machine. He's a power hungry architect of wealth control, abusing and re-writing his own privilages right in front of the world's eyes. His achievements prove that the illusion of an institution disappears if one dares to ignore it, and if there's nobody else to step up and resist.
 
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Beebo Brink

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Trump is not just a lowly bureaucrat plodding along in the flesh workings of an Orwellian machine. He's a power hungry architect of wealth control, abusing and re-writing his own privilages right in front of the world's eyes. His achievements prove that the illusion of an institution disappears if one dares to ignore it, and if there's nobody else to step up and resist.
Trump is a narcissistic flim-flam man who's been in office for all of three years. You give him far too much credit. It's the institutions around him that allow him to bluster, because he's working in favor of the corrupt interests that are already firmly in place.

Meanwhile, back on the climate change front, China is the white elephant standing in the middle of the living room.
From 1990 to 2015, China increased its coal consumption from 1.05 billion tons to 3.97 billion tons. In 2016, coal made up 62 percent of China's energy use. Since 2011, China has consumed more coal than the rest of the world combined.
How is China's energy footprint changing? | ChinaPower Project
 
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danielravennest

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I used to own almost 100 acres of timber land, so I have some knowledge on this subject. Yes, trees can sequester carbon, but not enough to solve climate change. Still, every bit helps, and it is something people can do at the individual level. Here where I live now, near Atlanta, you have to fight *not* to get trees popping up. So all you have to do is stop cutting them down. Other places you need to be more active and plant them. You also need to know what to do when the trees mature. If you just let them die, they stop sequestering carbon. If you harvest the lumber and make long-lasting wood products, then the next generation of trees will continue to sequester.

Biochar is another way to sequester carbon. It is a charcoal-like product of heating plant matter in a closed container (pyrolysis). It is stable as a soil additive on time-scales of a thousand years. It is porous, consisting of the hollow shells of plant cells, which makes it able to hold water, nutrients, and helpful microorganisms. So it can improve *some* soils. Soils vary a lot, and therefore vary as far as what additives are helpful.

Again, these are maybe 5 or 10% solutions. They are not enough by themselves. But in the context of doing other things in parallel, they can be *part* of the answer.
 

Beebo Brink

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Again, these are maybe 5 or 10% solutions. They are not enough by themselves. But in the context of doing other things in parallel, they can be *part* of the answer.
Of course there are solutions, dozens of them. Meanwhile, in China:
From 1990 to 2015, China increased its coal consumption from 1.05 billion tons to 3.97 billion tons. In 2016, coal made up 62 percent of China's energy use. Since 2011, China has consumed more coal than the rest of the world combined.
I'm not arguing that there aren't solutions, just that they're too little too slow too late in view of what's happening at a global level. We're screwed.
 

Isabeau

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You know how in many science-fiction stories some meteorite is about to strike or an alien invasion is upon us and the whole world shares their resources and we are all "one", fighting together against the enemy? I wish this threat was seen as frightening and immediate as that. We have the technology and knowledge, we just aren't taking the enemy seriously enough.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Of course there are solutions, dozens of them. Meanwhile, in China:


I'm not arguing that there aren't solutions, just that they're too little too slow too late in view of what's happening at a global level. We're screwed.
For a detailed analysis last year