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Changing the narrative on the climate crisis November 12, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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I’ve mixed but broadly positive views with regard to Greta Thunberg, not least positive because of the effect she seems to have on some. A further education lecturer I know tells me that in various groups they teach this year a number of middle aged men appear deeply triggered by Thunberg. I find that dynamic bizarre.

There’s – naturally – contradictions about Thunberg, but it’s important not to over-exaggerate or diminish the utility of what she (and it’s not her alone) has done or the message that she has broadcast. And the reality is that climate change is a very real and present danger and my view is that publicising that fact is no harm at all.
Sure, Thunberg, like XR, tends to over-egg the pudding, but from a purely tactical view of these matters it seems sensible to open the space for potential solutions as wide as possible so that when political activity catches up it goes further than might be expected.

This isn’t to deny the contradictions can be tooth-grinding. For example the idea that it is feasible to shut down international air transport is implausible and the timelines XR et al have are frankly absurd. But… I think it not unimportant someone is articulating these scenarios in order that others realise the importance of actually doing something (in advance of the inevitable victory of socialism. 😉 ).

And here’s the thing. It does appear to be having some effect and – importantly – not just on the level of the personal, which is of little to limited utility, but instead:

Agencies who work with large corporations have also seen a spike in investment in carbon offsetting over the last 18 months. ClimateCare, a company that provides programmes to help organisations offset residual carbon emissions, has seen the amount of carbon offset increase from about 2m tonnes to 20m tonnes in that time, according to its chief executive, Edward Hanrahan.

It’s not enough, not nearly enough. But bringing those ‘large corporations’ to account is not a half bad step and would appear to be driven in part by Thunberg, XR and other protests (school strikes are mentioned). Absent those latter entities would the same have happened in a time of Trump? Doubtful.

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1. Jim Monaghan - November 12, 2019

A sponsored climate denial site keep popping up on my f/b page. The Camelkot plot. It focuses on the BnM closures in the midlands.

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tafkaGW - November 12, 2019

Such propaganda campaigns have make Yuck Yuck Zuck super rich. Be happy for him!

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2. NFB - November 12, 2019

Middle-aged men generally don’t like being told what to do, and definitely don’t like being told what to do by a teenager, and definitely don’t like being told what to do by a woman.

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WorldbyStorm - November 12, 2019

It’s depressing how accurate that is.

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3. CL - November 12, 2019

Greta Thunberg said:

“We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
https://www.democracynow.org/2019/9/24/un_climate_action_summit_greta_thunberg

AMY GOODMAN: Senator Warren, you’ve said a crucial distinction between you and Bernie Sanders is that you’re capitalist and he’s a socialist. Many activists, though, say that an economic system based on perpetual growth is fundamentally at odds with a stable, clean and sustainable environment. How do you reconcile this?

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: So, you know, the way I see this, I believe in markets. I think markets bring us a lot of innovation, a lot of creation, a lot of change, that’s good. I want to see, for example, markets for clean — not just clean energy, but how we’re going to clean the carbon out of the air, how we’re going to clean the filth out of the water.”
https://www.democracynow.org/2019/11/11/elizabeth_warren_environmental_justice_amy_goodman

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4. lcox - November 12, 2019

One thing I’d like to see a lot more discussion about here is how to tackle air transport emissions from Ireland. We’re an island off an island with a very large emigrant diaspora – I imagine it’s no coincidence that we provided the customer base for the first cheap airline in Europe.

And it’s striking talking to people in bigger countries (even the next island over) to see just how many of us – relatively – travel frequently because of these reasons, have worked abroad, etc. Norway has a similar travel issue around distance and flying, though its diaspora is far enough back in the past not to be significant in these terms.

But many if not most readers of this site will remember a pre-Ryanair time when we managed perfectly well (if a bit slowly) getting not just to the UK but to the continent by boat and train. Sailrail is still very flexible and cheap but so much else seems to have gone backwards.

Surely a serious climate strategy for the Irish govt needs to involve not opening new runways (as recently at Knock) and celebrating the numbers using Dublin Airport but instead seeing how many flights could be replaced by boat and train.

Reopening Dun Laoghaire as a ferry port, running more fast (catamaran) ferries, a rail connection to Dublin Port, better train connections in the UK (the State could probably justify subsidising the N Wales line on the grounds of vital national interest…) and timings geared to enabling better through trains for people travelling to the continent – what else? From memory the margin between profitable / nonprofitable are small enough that it was possible to reopen the Cork to France route on the basis of a popular campaign and a few smallish investors.

No expert on public transport but if we’re serious about Ireland reducing carbon emissions that surely means thinking harder about how we travel outside the country.

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WorldbyStorm - November 13, 2019

Was saying only recently here there’s got to be two aspects to this – alternatives (agree re HS rail link in UK to Holyhead) and to continent ie north France and Spain but also longer holidays so people can work in the extra travel time (plus subsidising same so people don’t take a hit on the travel costs ).

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WorldbyStorm - November 13, 2019

And some context

Seville Córdoba Malaga is approx 300km and 1.50 hrs – Holyhead to London is approx 290km and the shortest journey is 3hrs 43m.

With high speed rail including fast ferry you could make it to London in an afternoon in 5hrs max

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5. alanmyler - November 13, 2019

Anyone watch the Philip Boucher Hayes documentary on climate change last night on RTE1? It was good, putting numbers on the amount of CO2 generated in the RoI and pointing out that large portions of it are coming from sectors such as agriculture, air transport, data centres etc. Moreover pointing out that it is government policy to grow these areas. Also pointing out that it is business and not individuals who are responsible for this. Very useful contribution to the debate I thought. It’s on the RTE player here:
https://www.rte.ie/player/movie/hot-air-ireland-s-climate-crisis/117589032204

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irishelectionliterature - November 13, 2019

Thought it was excellent, I liked the fact that whilst it illustrated the problems , it also had solutions.

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6. FergusD - November 13, 2019

Also BBC panorama (which I usually avoid) on aviation and climate change recently. O’ Leary’s pathetic claims that Ryanair is greener than other airlines by planting a few trees in Ireland and Portugal that offset some minuscule percentage of Ryanair’s carbon emissions. Sadly, I’m afraid I have flown a lot this year, am going to have to look at train/sail/tunnel. Has to be said it is usually quite a lot more expensive and takes more time. And if son number 1 goes back to Oz, what do we do??

Why don’t ‘they’ just make urban public transport free? Or some simple, cheap season ticket, 50 euros pa for unlimited travel (less for concessions). And serious subsidies for rail travel over longer distances. Strikes me that is the easiest and cheapest way to reduce emissions from motor travel. And improve such transport of course.

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7. FergusD - November 13, 2019

Anybody read the article in Bioscience about the ‘Climate Emergency’ supported by 11000 scientists? I would add the link but I can’t open it at the moment, struggling under the demand I would think. I read it, scary isn’t the word for it. Meanwhile in the U.K. we have wasted 3 years on Brexit and will probably waste at least 3 more, at least.

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CL - November 13, 2019

“greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are still rapidly rising, with increasingly damaging effects on the Earth’s climate. An immense increase of scale in endeavors to conserve our biosphere is needed to avoid untold suffering due to the climate crisis (IPCC 2018)….
The climate crisis is closely linked to excessive consumption of the wealthy lifestyle. The most affluent countries are mainly responsible for the historical GHG emissions and generally have the greatest per capita emissions….
Consumption of solar and wind energy has increased 373% per decade, but in 2018, it was still 28 times smaller than fossil fuel consumption…
Globally, ice has been rapidly disappearing,…
Despite 40 years of global climate negotiations, with few exceptions, we have generally conducted business as usual and have largely failed to address this predicament…
Our goals need to shift from GDP growth and the pursuit of affluence toward sustaining ecosystems and improving human well-being by prioritizing basic needs and reducing inequality”
https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/biz088/5610806

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