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View Poll Results: What role do humans play in contributing to climate change?
Humans are the primary contributor to climate change 385 64.27%
Humans contribute to climate change, but not the main cause 154 25.71%
Not sure 32 5.34%
Climate change is a hoax 28 4.67%
Voters: 599. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-28-2019, 09:56 AM   #1261
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The dumb thing about the incoming global climate crisis is that despite what many are saying, massively cutting down on emissions would not even be hard. No new technology is needed.

There's really only seven major things that need to get done.

- Shut down all coal mines. Build nuclear energy and renewables to replace them. All the necessary technology exists for this. Sure it's expensive, but way cheaper than dealing with climate change. Easily doable within a decade.
Really? How do you know this? Based on what metrics? I'm not saying you are necessarily wrong but my first instinct is, no way that is viable.
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- End subsidies for meat and dairy production and fossil fuels. Transfer those same subsidies to low carbon footprint food production and renewable energy. Doable with a few years.
What is low carbon footprint food production? Got an example of this? What types of renewable energy specifically?
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- Build tons of public transport and make it cheap and high quality. It makes for good cities anyway, and basically pays itself back when you don't have to spend the same money on new roads for new cars.
100% agreed here in fact I'd take it a step further I think public transit should be free.
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- Make fossil fuel cars things you can only buy with a special permit, explaining why you need it. Doable within a decade.
This would be land mine type legislation can you imagine the outcry if person A got a permit and person B didn't, because reasons?
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- Put in place consumer protection laws that require all household appliances to last at least 10 years, all clothes at least 2 years and all electronics at least 4 years. These are all technically trivial requirements to meet. Costs no public money. Would make most people happier, because most people don't like shopping for new things anyway.
This would be government way overstepping their bounds, mandating to such a high degree how companies choose to make their products. Can't support this.
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- Make it illegal for companies to destroy unsold, unused products. No public costs. Some products would become more expensive, some would become way cheaper because there would be a lot of really cheap discounts as companies dump unsold products.
Why do companies destroy unsold products? I'm thinking mostly because they don't meet regulations?
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- Plant a lot of new trees. As far as fighting climate change goes, this is an extremely cheap method. If you JUST DO THIS, BUT A LOT, you could make a MASSIVE difference.
I think everyone can agree with this.
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Notice that none of these are consumer level decisions. None of these require any new technology. Some would actually be obviously beneficial to consumers, and on a personal few people would need to make massive adjustments. All of this is doable within a decade.
Quite a lot of it does require massive increase in regulation and government enforcement. Slippery slope for me.
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A lot of people would have to change their diet for budget reasons, but spoken as someone who has cut down his meat use to maybe 1-2 a week, it's trivial, and this is speaking as a single parent who also has to feed a teenage athlete who is a fairly picky eater. It was about a two year process of slowly cutting down on meat, getting used to new products and coming up with some new go-to recipes, but it was never really a major chore. There already exists a ton of good high-protein choices that are perfectly fine for everyday cooking. It's just a, question of availability and price, both of which would be fixed with a change in where agricultural subsidies are sent.
Industrial scale meat production is extremely resource intensive and is responsible for massive destruction of natural environments. That's all I how to say about that.
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Old 09-28-2019, 10:09 AM   #1262
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Russia has 2/3 the emissions per capita. I think their climate is pretty cold and their size of area has something to do with it. China is also pretty big and has less than 30% of the emissions per capita.

Letís stop with the excuses and just admit that our lifestyle is pretty carbon intensive compared to the rest of the world. Sure we account for a small overall percentage but trying to blame everyone else while doing little ourselves really makes us some pretty big hypocrites to the rest of the world.
No excuses, nobody wants to or should aspire to want to live like the average Russian or Chinese citizen!
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Old 09-28-2019, 10:22 AM   #1263
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No excuses, nobody wants to or should aspire to want to live like the average Russian or Chinese citizen!

How about the average Norwegian, Finnish, or Swedish citizen? Those countries produce 1/2, 1/2, and 1/3rd the emissions per capita that Canada does.

Yeah Canada is a bigger country, but even if Canada didn't emit a single gram of CO2 from transportation, we'd still be producing 50% more emissions than Norway and Finland and twice as much as Sweden per capita.

And that doesn't even get into the fact that we've outsourced a lot of our carbon intensive manufacturing to other countries. So when people look down their noses at countries like China and India maybe they should think where our products come from.
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Old 09-28-2019, 10:25 AM   #1264
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How about the average Norwegian, Finnish, or Swedish citizen? Those countries produce 1/2, 1/2, and 1/3rd the emissions per capita that Canada does.

Yeah Canada is a bigger country, but even if Canada didn't emit a single gram of CO2 from transportation, we'd still be producing 50% more emissions than Norway and Finland and twice as much as Sweden per capita.

And that doesn't even get into the fact that we've outsourced a lot of our carbon intensive manufacturing to other countries. So when people look down their noses at countries like China and India maybe they should think where our products come from.
Where does the difference come from? (Serious question, because I don't know)
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Old 09-28-2019, 10:37 AM   #1265
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Where does the difference come from? (Serious question, because I don't know)
I'm still trying to parse the numbers because they seem unbelievable but it looks like we build a lot more houses than they do.

https://tradingeconomics.com/norway/housing-starts
https://tradingeconomics.com/canada/housing-starts
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Old 09-28-2019, 11:19 AM   #1266
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Well, you can look at where most of Canada's CO2 is produced, and it is in provinces that extract oil. So I would assume our emissions are higher becuase they count against us, even though we export a lot of it. I'd suspect if you took the extraction part out, and applied it to where oil is consumed, Canada(and Alberta) wouldn't look as bad. The externalities, like some in China for their production of goods for us, get mis-attributed.
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Old 09-28-2019, 11:20 AM   #1267
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Where does the difference come from? (Serious question, because I don't know)
Mainly Oil & Gas and heavy industry. Construction is a big one too.

Regionally, about 50% of the country's emissions come from Alberta and Saskatchewan (compared to about 25% of GDP and 15% of the population). Outside of those two provinces Canada's emissions per capita are basically in line with Germany and Japan, and not far off Norway.

So it's not the size of the country, or the cold winters that are driving our out-sized emissions. It's our industry and our lifestyle mostly.
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Old 09-28-2019, 11:49 AM   #1268
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Mainly Oil & Gas and heavy industry. Construction is a big one too.

Regionally, about 50% of the country's emissions come from Alberta and Saskatchewan (compared to about 25% of GDP and 15% of the population). Outside of those two provinces Canada's emissions per capita are basically in line with Germany and Japan, and not far off Norway.

So it's not the size of the country, or the cold winters that are driving our out-sized emissions. It's our industry and our lifestyle mostly.
Frankly, if you look at the emissions per capita of the average Calgarian or Edmontonian or Red Deerian, it wouldn't be far off from the rest of Canada with the way we count emissions.

The fact of the matter is that all of the emissions associated with extracting the fuel that the other provinces use is attributed to Alberta, while the consumption is localized.

If Quebec had to count the emissions from the Algerian oil extraction (including all the flaring they do) and the emissions from the tanker before it gets to Quebec, their emissions would go up too.
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Old 09-28-2019, 12:49 PM   #1269
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Really?
Why do companies destroy unsold products? I'm thinking mostly because they don't meet regulations?
Nope, it's typically so they can sell their latest edition at full MSRP.

There is no easy way to regulate this, but there are a ton of products on a 1 year lifecycle treadmill for no reason except marketing (granted, a significant reason in capitalism). The difference between a '19 and '20 edition of most cars not getting a generation overhaul probably boils down to one new paint colour available, and changing the latch system on the glove box. But of course, nobody wants to pay as much for the '19 that's been sitting on the lot for 6 months...
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Old 09-28-2019, 12:57 PM   #1270
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As for appliances, it really is ridiculous. There are no major improvements between generations. They could standardize around one electric motor of a dishwasher, for example. They could use the same model motor for 20 years. Heating elements, dish racks etc all don't need to change every year. They have optimized this stuff. Stop change for the sake of change.

It's like my old Calculus textbook that they'd update to a new edition every 2 years. Oh, what's that, they've made enough discoveries in the field of Calculus in 2 years that we need a whole new edition? Sure, ya, not buying it.
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Old 09-28-2019, 01:13 PM   #1271
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lol, Iím all for what Gates is trying to do. But if you think sitting on your computer urging people to watch a tv show is a noble act while getting off your butt and urging leaders to listen to the science is some useless sheeple nonsense, youíre an idiot. That was my point. Absolutely nothing against Gates or nuclear.
I never urged anyone to watch a TV show. I said go look at what Gates is trying to accomplish with TerraPower.

The whole point of what I'm trying to say is Gates has been working for years to find a solution and nobody gives a damn. Public perception of 'nuclear' is that it is dangerous, expensive and not worth our time. Why? Because the public are ignorant sheep who like soundbites from 16 year old kids.

98% of the public doesn't understand how a nuclear reactor works, but they choose to be against it.

Really is strange until you start realizing how the perception around all of this works.

Its like reading the energy page on Reddit. According to almost every single post there, nuclear is not a viable option. But then you start listening to some ACTUAL nuclear scientists working for companies LIKE TerraPower saying that there is a possibility of making it work.

Yet, who is winning?

Pretty obvious at this point.
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Old 09-28-2019, 01:17 PM   #1272
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I think the issue here really is materialistic and ease of living (convenience).

Every invention or cause in our lifetime has improved our lives, made is faster and easier. Inventions from the radio to the tv to the computer to the internet. From the tv, to cable, to HD to 4K. From tailor clothes, to buying it at a store, to buying it online. etc.. etc..

You are paying for perks. A computer was $5000 in the 70s, now it's $300.

But on the issue of fighting climate change, you're not taking convenience away.

Buy a Tesla for $100,000 but we don't have convenient charging stations.
Or don't drive at all, walk, bike or take transit which takes a little longer.
It may even mean your kid has to walk to school.


People have to decide how important fighting climate change really is? Is is important enough to inconvenience ourselves?
That specific point is changing as the SuperCharger network is being upgraded in Canada.

My problem with the electric car approach is that we can easily fall into the trap of thinking just because we drive an electric car that our environmental footprint has actually gotten lower.

The only way electric cars make a difference is if the big emitters convert all their power plants over to low emission generators. That means you can't have a country with 100 million electric cars, and yet they have 50+% of their power being generated by coal, i.e China. It makes little sense, and per KM driven is probably worse than a fuel efficient gas powered car.
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Old 09-28-2019, 01:20 PM   #1273
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And that in itself was absolutely hilarious at the time, considering how much more money is spent in this city on a yearly basis - that doesn't get talked about - for interchanges, overpasses and road projects to support Calgary's absolutely environmentally friendly urban sprawl.
Public transit isn't cheap either; even the truncated Green Line will still cost nearly $5B in capital costs and $40M/year in net operating costs, just for 60-65K riders/day. The 2018 tax support for Calgary roads was only $129M (for 3.2M passenger-trips/day).
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Old 09-28-2019, 01:25 PM   #1274
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To make zamlerís comment seem downright, as he put it, ďstupid,Ē she caught a ride on a carbon-free sailing boat powered by wind and solar. Yeah, it had a backup generator. But it generated all of its own energy for the trip, and it took her two weeks to cross the ocean.

She didnít fly, which wouldíve taken hours. She didnít take an ocean liner, which wouldíve taken days. But according to zamler, two weeks on a zero emissions sailboat? Not sacrificing enough! So convenient!

Itís hard to take these types of meaningless criticisms, suggesting that crossing the Atlantic by sailboat is somehow not forgoing any convenience, from the types of people that probably complain when the Skip the Dishes driver is a little slow with their McDonalds.
I guess only a child would think all of that is feasible for anyone else in the world outside of the extremely privileged. Not to mention someone who doesn't even have a job or collect a paycheck.

Forget about the meeting you have next week in Toronto that you need to attend in order to close that deal, take your electric car and drive for 6 days instead of catching a flight. That will change everything!

The hypocrisy & stupidity is astounding, and is identical to when a bunch of billionaires fly to Davos in their private jets to have a world summit on climate change.
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Old 09-28-2019, 01:32 PM   #1275
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Can someone explain to me exactly how a teenage girl gets across an ocean does anything to change the validity of her message? Because I don't care if she went on a boat made out of white rhino skulls.

It's almost as if some of you don't have any cards left to play except calling out hypocrisy.
It frames the public perception around what the 'problem' is, and then what the 'solution' is for that supposed problem.

In this case, the problem being 'air travel', and the solution being traveling across the ocean in a rich person's yacht.

I would have more respect for her if she had traveled on an airplane to tell everyone, "this is the most economical and efficient mode of travel as of right now, so drop the private jets and fly economy like me."

Instead she did was basically amounts to a DiCaprio flying to Davos on his private jet to yell and scream about global warming.
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Old 09-28-2019, 01:38 PM   #1276
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That's a lot a sacrifice Itse which I agree would be good. No government would survive proposing that. People are not making adjustments.

Electronics at least 4 years? We live in an Instagram world. A running up personal debt world.

As I said earlier, the majority of people are not going to support a cause that involves sacrifice. I could give a bunch of Calgary examples.
I actually don't think that people would have to sacrifice that much.

The only sacrifice is in the diet part and if you like eating meat, just buy it from the farmers market, or from a 'grass-fed' source. That is something we should all be doing anyways, and there should be laws to mandate as much local grown food as possible.

Factory farmed meat is the problem.

I agree with Itse 100%. All those things are doable within 10 years.
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Old 09-28-2019, 01:41 PM   #1277
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Your ideas donít hit 2030 targets and the developing world was impoverished for longer.

You also caused a massive recession with the banning of internal combustion engine cars without a substitute. The workers in cities revolted and overthrew the governments who promised to bring back cars.

Geo-Engineering needs to start now. Also the tree idea. Canadaís 2% of global emmissions means we could plant 2% of the 1.5 trillion trees required which is only 30 billion trees. So with tree planting coating between .3 - $1 Canada can completely offset its emissions for 1-3 billion per year for 10 years. Itís by far the cheapest solution.
If you heavily subsidized electric or low emission vehicles people would buy them. I don't think you'd have to force anyone.
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Old 09-28-2019, 02:28 PM   #1278
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I mean, 2% is pretty bad when you consider we are only .5% of the global population.
Maybe you should take a look at all the countries that are ahead of us on an emissions per capita basis including Australia who got rid of the carbon tax.

When youíve done that and factor in Canada being a carbon sink with all the treeís we have and being in a cold weather climate, maybe we can talk.
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Old 09-28-2019, 02:31 PM   #1279
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Russia has 2/3 the emissions per capita. I think their climate is pretty cold and their size of area has something to do with it. China is also pretty big and has less than 30% of the emissions per capita.

Letís stop with the excuses and just admit that our lifestyle is pretty carbon intensive compared to the rest of the world. Sure we account for a small overall percentage but trying to blame everyone else while doing little ourselves really makes us some pretty big hypocrites to the rest of the world.
Ya sure. Letís just ignore the real problem and make ourselves feel good that we didnít use a plastic spoon today. Letís all just keep patting ourselves on the back.
Give me a break.
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Old 09-28-2019, 02:38 PM   #1280
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As Canadians we can make a real difference by not throwing out food and hanging our clothes on a clothes line instead of the dryer. Those use a tremendous amount of energy.

But Canadians won’t do this because it’s too hard. It’s easier to be part of the plastic straw fad and protest. It’s cooler and being cool is part of the trend.
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