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I'm serious as foot cancer. You all expect me to say something like I'm serious as dick cancer but I'm trying to clean up my act.

Okay, I'm serious as dick cancer.

When I say we all have to give up something we love, I actually mean we have to give up a lot of things we love. We DO NOT have to give up the things we love most. In fact, in terms of doing something real about climate change, giving up things we THINK we love will protect the things we REALLY love for us and future generations.

My main argument with the way Bill McKibben is approaching activism (not that Bill knows who I am or cares) is that he is working only on the supply side of the carbon-energy equation. Please believe me, this is a very minor disagreement. No two people agree completely and I will take Bill as he is, the most important, the most effective climate activist alive today. The only agreement that matters is that we are on the very precipice of a planet-encompassing disaster. No one person has shouted that louder, and made people believe it than Bill McKibben.

So instead of bitching that Bill doesn't talk carbon consumption - conservation issues enough, I'm going to start talking about them myself. I'm not going to quit being an asshole. I'm going to try to be a more useful asshole.

Along those lines, how about supporting this Daily Kos outfit.

Subscribe or Donate. I gave the home team $200 a few days back. Cuss jar.

Why the consumption side?

Here's why. In a Market-Based World Economy, reducing consumption reduces demand. It lowers fuel prices. Lowering fuel prices helps the World Economy and is just as effective at keeping oil and coal in the ground as treaties or laws limiting production or transport of carbon fuels. No, more effective -- certainly more realistic and more immediately implementable.

In a Market-Based World Economy, limiting the supply-side, limiting production and transport of carbon-based fuels increases fuel prices and harms the World Economy. For those of you who want to attack climate change by first creating World Socialism, go ahead and stop reading now. I won't say good luck with that because luck won't do it. That takes war. I'm a Socialist at heart. Hopefully someday in the future of this planet Socialism (or something more socialistic) will be widespread and successful -- but that won't happen in time to save the planet from the very-immediate catastrophic effects of climate change. Just won't happen.

Which of these will work? Not work better in a Market-Based Economy -- work at all.

Shift climate treaties to get the carbon-based-fuel-producing countries to limit production and transportation of carbon fuels. Tell the Saudis and and the Emirates and Russia and Nigeria and Venezuela (and all the net carbon-fuel producing countries) to start shutting in the wells and closing the mines. Tell them to lose economic productivity. Tell them to quit making so fucking much money. I should include the USA here because if we start exporting a buttload of coal, convert our transportation fuels more toward natural gas and start exporting a buttload of oil, we too will become net carbon-fuel producing. I think Great Britain is in there too, but not for long, which is a good point that McKibben makes.
Shift climate treaties to get the carbon-based-fuel-consuming countries to limit consumption of carbon fuels. Tell the larger quantity of countries, with more of the World population, a greater share of World industrial and economic productivity, that they must limit carbon fuel consumption. Tell them to gain economic productivity via lower fuel prices. Tell them they have to start making more fucking money.
Actually it will take a mix of both of these, but the second one has to come first if we're to avoid disaster, genocide and all that horrid horse shit.

BIG problem: both of these involve the jackbooted, iron-knuckled hand of the rule of law. Tough fucking shit. We in the Developed World need to change our lifestyles drastically, and nowhere is this more true than right here in the United States of America. We have to be FORCED to change our lifestyles. That means YOU, Liberal American. It also means the wingnut crazy fucks and Teabaggers if that makes you feel any better - it does me - a lot. I've heard arguments against this in the past couple of years coming from my fellow progressives and liberals. I'll use the rest of the diary in answering these arguments.

Developments in green energy technology will come along just in time to prevent a climate disaster while allowing us to maintain something close to our current lifestyles.

No. They won't. No one with anything resembling a complete understanding of the potential of these technologies, even if everything goes perfectly in their development and even with a huge increase in government funding BELIEVES THIS. The most optimistic forecasts are that green technologies will cover 30% of our total projected energy needs by 2050 (pay close attention to that word "total"). We. Don't. HAVE. Until. 2050! So we have to cut our total projected energy needs. Don't tell me about studies that show Australia can power itself 100% with wind and solar in the next 30 years or whatever. It's bullshit. Studies like that are bad science and you won't find a serious scientist or economist who puts any stock in them. Bad science doesn't help.

I support climate change activism. I deserve to put my dogs in the mini-van and take them out into the country-side once a week. They love it so, and it lets me decompress after a week of pressure in my job mostly because of that bitch Melody.

No. You don't deserve that. What did you do? Star some of McKibben's tweets? No. Get off your fat ass and WALK your dogs someplace closer to your house. They'll love it just as much. Because they're dogs. I agree with you about Melody though. What a bitch.

Look. I want to avoid climate change and all but I don't see why they should have to raise taxes to do it.

Fuck you. We're raising your taxes.

I'm an environmentalist myself. I gave money to that Ted Danson guy who is against them drilling off our beautiful California coast. That would destroy the wonderful view from my house, right between the utility pole and the convenience store you can see a patch of ocean. No shit. But here's the thing. I own a totally restored '59 Vette. I like driving fast man. I get out on the PCH going North and let me tell you, it's what I love. You can't tell me I don't deserve that.

You don't deserve that. Stop it. Stop talking.

I don't want the government telling me how warm I can keep my house or business during the Winter, nor how cool during the Summer. I don't want the government telling me I can't travel as far and as often as I like either by train or car or plane. And I have a better idea than those laws anyway. All you have to do is increase the carbon ratio assessment differential exception tada tada tada...

Sorry to stop you. Ideas are fine. But if you think they'll delay or lessen the changes we have to make in our individual lifestyles, then you're not being intellectually honest. We have to start with changes that affect US personally, most of all. We have to give up things we love, things we think we deserve, even things we don't see how we can do without. We have to do that first before we expect anyone else on the planet to change what they're doing. We have to accept drastic change. We have to support laws that make everyone use less fuel, whether they like it or not. We have to give up some things we love. Or I assure you, we are going to Hell.

-------------------

UPDATE: A Siegel has a DIARY up wherein he claims I created at least somewhat of a strawman argument with regard to Bill McKibben. I for one think A Siegel is right about that. I didn't mean to, of course, but I did that. Read that diary. It's good. Very good. I agree with it very near completely. And rec that diary up. If excellent diaries like that don't make the rec list and my goofy shit does, we have a problem. Fix the problem.

Originally posted to Fishgrease on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 03:11 AM PST.

Also republished by Climate Hawks, DK GreenRoots, and Climate Change SOS.

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  •  I'm obviously (382+ / 0-)
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    not dead serious about most of this. Well, not enough to where I'm going to get in any goddam pie fights about it. And I respect everything Bill McKibben does and says. The things I agree with him on make me seriously consider not even mentioning where I disagree.

    But.

    Some sick people around here find me entertaining. If I do that, just that, and maybe make you think a little, I'm happy.

    And I apologize in advance to anyone named Melody.

    You're probably not a bitch.

    It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

    by Fishgrease on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 01:25:59 AM PST

    •  You always entertain... (28+ / 0-)

      ...me, Fishgrease.  Even when you're sharing painful truths.  Which is a judgment on me, no doubt.   ;)

    •  Dead serious and dead wrong (13+ / 0-)

      Please.  Say fucking less and show your work.  I find you as entertaining as an oil industry shill.  

      Conservation is important but it sure cant get it done alone.
      the willfully blind "ah! It can't be done" line really serves to support only one line here.

      A few facts:  non carbon sources can't meet more than 30%?  Why is California at 40% of electricity right now?   That's with practically no renewables.  

      The fact is that "we all have to live in caves" naysaying is scientifically wrong and demonstrably so.

      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

      by Mindful Nature on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:18:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That said, your main points are right (17+ / 0-)

        1) Taxes will have to be raised
        2) activities will have to have some enforcement

        I am just reacting to what sounds like the sack cloth and ashes line from "close to the same standard of living".  In fact, energy doesn't determine most people's standard of living, the distribution of income does.   But that's another story.  

        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

        by Mindful Nature on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:26:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I just read another diary (6+ / 0-)

          that is almost as forceful as this one, telling me that there will be basically no new jobs in the future, a lot fewer existing jobs, and not enough income for 99% of the people for them to have food, clothing and shelter. Much less transportation, heat, medical care, etc.

          So if taxes are to be raised to pay for anything, they'll have to be raised on corporations and the 1% because they're the only ones with excess wealth. We all know corporations and the 1% aren't going to pay any more taxes than they do now, which is little to none. And nobody's going to make them.

          So it sort of looks like the solution to the problems of today will come about quite naturally as things continue to get worse. Hundreds of millions will starve or die of thirst, billions will never be born, the 1% will move north or south with the temperate zones, and learn to take care of themselves because there won't be anybody for them to enslave. Unless they want to enslave each other, and they probably will try, and that will no doubt end with all of them dying too. Voila! No issue that anyone will complain about because humanity will be extinct and they're the only ones who complain.

          Such lovely prognostications indicate that we might just wanna have some fun before it's all over. You know, that whole "eat, drink and be merry" thing, because tomorrow we'll be dead.

          Meh.

        •  Energy does determine standard of living (19+ / 0-)

          At least a large part of it.  Income determines how much energy you get to use.  I can't just drive off to visit the places I'd like, assuming I had a car to drive there in, because I can't afford the cost.  

          There are intangible benefits to changing your lifestyle as well, but having access to meat, which most people consider to be a better standard of living, means using more energy. Being able to go where you want when you want takes a shit load of energy.  buying products from half-way around the world takes energy.  Keeping your house 72 degrees takes energy.

          We can't continue to live the way we are. And I'd note more than anything else that at the very beginning Fishgrease noted that we have to give up the things we think we love.  Giving up my car was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I'm a much happier person since doing it ad would never go back to having one.

          •  Two different scales (6+ / 0-)

            individual standard of living isn't determined by the national total energy production.  What I meant by saying that the distribution is a bigger factor can be seen though a rough back-of-the-envelope exercise.

            Let's say economic production is roughly proportional to energy use.  So, using GDP as a proxy, we find tht the per household GDP is something like $130,000, but the actual median income is only around $50,000.  What this means is that if we reduced the total economic activity by, say 30%, but distributed it more equally, most people's standard of living would go up, while the total overall drops.

            Here, we're talking about whether we can meet our energy needs with renewables or conservation or efficiency.  Now, I'm arguing that for the vast mass of Americans we can pretty much meet our standard of living now while dramatically reducing emissions if we use what we have more efficiently.    Some of what you are talking about isn't about "must give up something you love" (which is conservation) but about efficiency.  You still eat, live in a good house, get around, but you use a lot less to do it.  For example, I get to work every day.  However, instead of driving, I take public transit.  This means my carbon foot print goes down, while I still carry out the same livestyle.  What it doesn't mean is that I quit my job because it's about 20 miles from my house.  It'd drop futher if the transit district switched to all electric buses.  (they're fuel efficient hybrids now, which is better than the old diesel ones).

            Thus, there are three key pieces here:  1) generate more carbon free electricity (the 30% cap he cites is total bunkum)  2) use taht electricity more efficiently (that is, Mississippi should adopt California energy standards, etc.) and then cut back on essentials.  What fishgrease is suggesting is taht #1 and #2 won't do anything and #3 is the only way.  Well, it's part of it, but actually #1 and #2 can go a long, long way and the amount of #3 in my experience is pretty limited.  

            I'd see the lifestyle changes you've adopted as not being much of a change in your standard of living (indeed, you see it as an improvement).  That suggests that you are a great counter example to Fishgreases "you MUST give up wht you love!" line.  INdeed, he could arguably be termed an energy austerian who says "you MUST SUFFER" to solve our problems.  

            I hope that clarifies my point some

            Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

            by Mindful Nature on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 09:34:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  The oil company shill thing? (7+ / 0-)

          Not going to touch that. It's an insult, please understand you just insulted me. But I'm going to leave it alone.

          Maybe you meant to insult me.

          It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

          by Fishgrease on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 10:14:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Have you ever looked at "What every President (8+ / 0-)

        should know about energy efficiency"  at the UCTV website under the Arthur Rosenfeld Symposium on Energy Efficiency, (UC Davis)?
        It's a couple of years old, and I haven't checked in on updates on energy efficiency, but they had a lot of hopeful information and data and ideas regarding how we could really make a difference in the carbon trajectory for the developing world including China and India through new technologies. ( and stimulate our economy at the same time).

        It doesn't rebut either your or Fishgrease's basic stance, but it seemed so germane in the previous peak of concern about climate at the beginning of the Obama 1st term, and it seemed relatively few had looked at it.

        I think what we are going to need is a new "climate summit" with all activists and groups to assess the new awareness and political dynamic post-Sandy and look at cohesive strategy going forward on this.

        It seems like the soup's really boiling but there isn't a central flavor character to the broth yet. Can't really tell what kind of soup it is.

        The midwest is going thru a slow-motion "Sandy" in terms of the drought, and I think there is a chance for an awakening among red staters that we have to join in the effort to change things. It has to be approached in the right way.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 07:13:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I find the demand side of our economy (9+ / 0-)

        the consumers, have largely bought into the conservative frame that they are powerless and inconsequential. Lead, organized and sustained by supply manipulation.

        How depressing, how distressing.

        •  Of which this diary (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TiaRachel

          Is a pretty good example

          Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

          by Mindful Nature on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:18:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hardly (8+ / 0-)

            I fail to see how effecting change through demand choices marginalizes consumer value. It's pretty much the opposite.

            •  It is the "we have to live in caves!" (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TiaRachel, Calamity Jean

              Message and the false assertion that renewables can't get it done that sends a message that its all hopeless

              Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

              by Mindful Nature on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 09:06:35 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I did not see that message in the diary (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                CoyoteMarti, Fishgrease, zett, snowwoman

                I think your inference is not implied.

                So is your idea that we just go on heedless of our overconsumption of energy?

                That kind of black and white thinking is not what the diary or your comments approached. It's just a baseless accusation.

                •  The title is a start (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fisheye, salamanderempress, TiaRachel

                  the "Give up something you love" and the langauge about having to give up a lot of what we love is exactly this kind of message.

                  There are three components here.  One, produce more non-carbon energy.  Two, use a lot less energy to do the same functions you are doing now (efficiency) and three, give up or stop the funcitons you are doing now (conservation).  Fishgrease blows off #1 and #2 on the list to presume that the only option is #3.  This just isn't supported by the facts.

                  Take for example the comparison of California to Mississippi.  Here in California, we have a pretty comparable standard of living to Lousiana.  We don't live in caves.  however, we do it with one fifth (yes, you read that right one fifth.  10 tons CO2eq v roughly 50) the carbon emissions, or half the national average.  These are NOT small savings.
                  California has done this through more non-carbon generation and greater efficiency.  We are continuing very aggressively on this path.

                  So, while cutting back on some things is worthwhile, the estimates of the amount of "things we love" we have to give up is wildly overblown because of clearly unrealistic assumptions about how the world actually works.

                  I think the "you have to surrender stuff you love" is actually going to hurt the effort to bring abotu change.  Maybe his point is to alienate people?

                  Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

                  by Mindful Nature on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 10:11:28 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Yes. But we need a cultural shift so that it's no (15+ / 0-)

              longer cool or attractive to overconsume.  A few individuals cutting back, while good, won't change much.

              As John Mohawk once said, "among my people it was considered a great source of shame to possess significantly more than others."

              Luckily it's become clear that happiness doesn't come from consumption but from participating and giving & compassion, like so many (Einstein, Schweitzer, etc) have been saying for many years.

      •  I've seen two sets of numbers (5+ / 0-)

        The optimistic ones--like you are citing--refer to replacing the carbon based energy needed to generate electricity at current rates of usage.  These usually look pretty good.

        The pessimistic ones--I assume Fishgrease is looking at these--refer to replacing all carbon based energy.  That includes electricity but also the energy needed for cars, farm vehicles, planes, etc.  Fixing that won't be simple without sacrifices to our way of life.

        •  Actually it will (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pengiep

          The pessimistic ones are typically based in ridiculous assumptions.  Things like assuming the only available technology is 1970s PV, that cities can't support solar, that storage can only be done with dams, etc.  I get a laugh from the analyses showing that the UK can't meet it's needs with solar based on "absolute limits" ok energy density that are already being broken by plants under construction right now let alone using technologies under development. Then there are the energy arguments advanced by certain physicists that conveniently ignore that we already have an energy infrastructure.  Or that assume that storage can't be done.  It goes on and on, but long story short, most of these "analyses" don't hold any water.  They're often done by economists or physicists who don't know beans with the bag open about the topic and it shows.  

          I wouldn't assume fish grease is looking at ANY studies, seeing as he doesn't cite any, but instead spews talking points.  

          Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

          by Mindful Nature on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:17:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Just as dead either way (13+ / 0-)

        We get upset when we see a score of children, dozens of adults senselessly mowed down, massacred with automatic weapons, but what do we think climate change is if not an automatic weapon pointed right at them and us?

        Even if we were willing to write off our children and grandchildren as having no chance like the people whose islands are already sinking beneath the waves, or if we are simply too unimaginative to conceive of the consequences for them, we are now at the point where the consequences are going to affect us in our lifetimes

        Watching climate change take place is sort of like watching a Rube Goldberg device with an egg dropping from a hen rolling down a slope triggering a series of strange events. Its possible to stop it until you get to the dominoes and the chain reactions.

        We are about at the point in the sequence where the dominoes start to fall. The Arctic sea ice will be gone by 2016. The methane hydrates are already outgasing, the sea levels rising, the storms getting worse, the species which we depend on to live including those which put oxygen in the atmosphere, dying off and going extinct.

        I'm an architect. I have been trying to figure out how cities will deal with having to move all their infrastructure out of the way of rising sea levels for thirty years. Sea walls and levees are not going to cut it. A carbon tax is not going to cut it. LEED is not going to cut it.

        About 90% of the people living on this planet are living in  urban areas located near river mouths. Starting right at sea level their nuclear and fossil fuel power plants, water treatment facilities, sewer treatment facilities and underground utilities are vulnerable to the consequences of those things to include soil liquefaction, salt pollution in water tables and the electrolysis of pipelines.

        We have used up our fossil water to the point where despite billions spent on dams, pipelines and water control within the decade rice bowls are going to turn into deserts.

        We have been trying to hold the amount of carbon we put in the atmosphere below the point where warming causes sea levels to rise unsuccessfully since the fifties because big energy has successfully lobbied against it.
        We are on track to exceed that by a factor of 50 to 75 times depending on when we run out of fossil fuels in somewhere between ten and sixty years.

        The good news is that we probably will run out of fossil fuels sooner rather than later, but even then we will have to deal with the warming caused by the methane clathrate releases which is about 25 times as bad a greenhouse gas as the CO2.

        Even if we can accept it that our children and grandchildren will grow up with their forests and oceans and everything that lives in them dead or dying, an unbreathable atmosphere, major cities permanently under water, how are we going to cope with those things when they happen to us?

        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

        by rktect on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:44:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  About your timeline. (6+ / 0-)

          It's a good bet the Arctic will be ice-free by end of melt season 2016. That's what Wadhams is saying and he knows more than any here. It's not at all certain. On the other side it's very possible 2013 will be the year. Read the PIOMAS charts, there have been previous year-over- year reductions in ice volume that would take away all the ice that was left last September. And the refreeze this winter is not going at all well.

          The clathrate thing is even more uncertain. We know that big releases of methane have begun and the game is afoot but no one knows if or when the big one is coming. Doesn't much matter. Simply having no ice in the Arctic will throw planetary weather systems so far out of whack Sandy will immediately look like the good old days. Tipping points are just that. Once over the edge you do not procede by manageable increments. You do not levitate back to the top of the cliff.

          So it's at the point where we have maybe eight months and possibly as much as five years to get busy and do something that makes all the difference.  Hmmm.

        •  We won't run out of fossil fuels sooner rather... (6+ / 0-)

          ...than later in terms of global warming. Even if we quintupled the amount of coal we're burning globally, there would be enough for another century or two. Climate change is going to devastating drastic before that happens.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:24:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes but (0+ / 0-)

            Yes those are the numbers the energy industry provides...

            but, population increases and demographics as regards the intensity of energy usage could easily throw a monkey wrench in those calculations.

            For example more electric cars means burning more coal, as well as fossil fuels, nuclear and hydro so if the rate of increase in population increases at an increasing rate, and the intensity of energy usage per unit of population increases at an increasing rate, and the percentage of coal used to produce electricity increases at an increasing rate because we are running out of other fossil fuels to the point where we are talking about a pipeline to bring some of the dirtiest shale oil in the world across our countries largest aquifer, and nuclear plants located at sea level are kind of scary ever since Fukashima then 1 or 2 centuries could become 1 or 2 decades.

            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

            by rktect on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:02:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Conservation is all there IS, blind man (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        EthrDemon, badger, dbradhud

        Are the natural processes of earth and man creating immediate vast new sources of carbon-based fuels out of raw plant material? Are radioactive materials in the earth regenerating themselves and not decaying? Are more trees sprouting than are being killed?
        Conserve means use less than is totally available. I see absolutely no indication that the human race is doing that. There is no proof anywhere that the resources of this planet are infinite. To dismiss conservation as not the "real" answer is pure stupidity.

        Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizzam!

        by fourthcornerman on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:00:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  These are distinct things (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          4Freedom

          And yes to answer your first question.  It's called photosynthesis

          However, in all cases by generation we really are talking about harvesting.   So we can be wiser about harvesting by using non fossil fuel sources (what I have called generation),  and we can make better use with our energy that we harvest to do the same things using less energy (efficiency)  or we can forego activities that involve energy at all (conservation).   So yes, in our current state, both harvesting energy without fossil fuels  and efficiency will reduce our carbon output.  It seems pretty straightforward to me

          Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

          by Mindful Nature on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:26:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Fishgrease! So spot on (9+ / 0-)

      as usual. It's nice to see you. It's been a long time since Gulf Watchers.

      You make such a good point, one that I have been thinking about. A short anecdote:

      I like to fly the red eye when coming from CA to the midwest where I now live. The flight used to be totally dark across the 2/3 of the continent that I flew with the exception of a few urban centers.

      My last several flights, however, show lights on all across the country. That caused me to look at home at all the devices that are running and drawing power, no matter how little. There are tons of them.

      My bedroom is doesn't need a night light because the lights on the clock, the cable box, the phone light, the various clocks on other electronics keep it brighter than I like. The list of "chronically on" items would be too lengthy to list. Of course, it makes no sense to shut down everything and reset it every day.

      I don't know how to address that issue. We automagically, not in our own control, use more power than we intend. Some say the draw is small. Just like pennies add up, however, so do small amounts of energy.

      You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else. -- Sir Winston Churchill

      by bleeding heart on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:22:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've read the 5% of total electricity goes to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fishgrease

        those stupid "standby" circuits that keep appliances ready to turn on quickly.

        •  All saved.... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hooper, badger, 4Freedom

          With a simple power strip.

          Those who support banning cocaine are no better than those who support banning cheeseburgers

          by EthrDemon on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:08:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  10% electricity goes to grow lights for MJ (0+ / 0-)

          up in Humboldt county....now that is some heinous sh*t.

          and remember the 59 Corvette probably breaks every 15 gallons or so, and back to garage for further restoring, while the 37mpg car with the 350.org bumpersticker next door goes on a round the country tour.

          things that seem complicated some times are...

          This machine kills Fascists.

          by KenBee on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 03:42:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Your cable box needs to be reset after you turn it (0+ / 0-)

        off? I turn mine off every night. It doesn't have a clock on it or anything.

        •  My reference is to the (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          out of left field, blueoasis, DawnN

          total amount of devices that pull power when not in use. The landline phone base runs on power all the time. Our coffeepot has a clock, so does the microwave. The TVs all pull power so they warm up quickly even with the power set at the lowest level. Many other examples. If it were just one or two boxes, it would be rather silly of me to comment.

          My point started with stating that much of the country is lit up at night when it used to be dark across much of it. That energy comes from somewhere.

          You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else. -- Sir Winston Churchill

          by bleeding heart on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 01:17:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I know; what I do is plug everything that doesn't (0+ / 0-)

            have a clock or need to be running and is close together in one power strip, then either turn off or unplug the power strip at night. Although you might not want to do that with a phone, emergency calls in the middle of the night are a thing. I've only got a cell, though.

        •  Some satellite TV boxes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mamamedusa

          download program listings and software updates even when they're off. My Dish Network box did that. I found out that whether it was on or off, it drew 40 watts at all times.

          But I solved that problem - I canceled the service and unplugged it.

          (Actually power consumption was less of a reason than we never found enough worth watching to justify the monthly bill - and I had it on a outlet strip anyway that was off unless we were watching).

          Modern revolutions have succeeded because of solidarity, not force.

          by badger on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 03:39:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Re: cable box resetting (0+ / 0-)

          It depends on your cable provider.  In the case of Time- Warner, if you try turning off their cable box by means of a power strip when it is not in use, you soon find that it does not work.  It seems T-W regularly "pings" their boxes, and those that do not respond often enough get disconnected.  The consumer then must call up T-W (going through the wonderful, chronically understaffed, customer service department) to get the cable box re-connected to their system.  

          To add insult to injury, there is absolutely no difference in power consumption of the cable boxes T-W supplies when they are "on" or "off"--it is always 15 watts.  So keeping the box plugged in, regardless of whether you have turned it "on" or "off" is like leaving a 15 watt light on all the time.  

          You would think T-W could supply a box that went to sleep when it was "off" (like any laptop computer) to use only a couple of watts in the sleep mode.  I asked the friendly customer rep about that.  They seemed surprised that I would even want such a thing.

          This kind of obliviousness underlies a lot of our excess energy consumption.  It leaves the average person with the choices of participating in modern life (keep cable for internet and TV) or searching for alternative services that may not be satisfactory (over the air DTV, with all of a half dozen channels and spotty reception) or even available--and possibly as bad or worse from an environmental point of view.  (So I get satellite TV.  Of course, the receiving equipment will use power.  How much? Etc.)  Or, you can give up TV and the internet.  Yeah, it might actually make life a lot better, but for most people, it's not going to happen.

    •  Oh, Mr. Grease! (5+ / 0-)

      I think it was Raquel Welch who said that the mind is the most erogenous zone of all.  Could that be right?  Anyway, I find this post oddly provocative...in the, you know, physical sense.  Yoohoo, Mr. Grease--look at me!  I drive a 2006 Prius with only 44,000 miles on it, and I never take my dogs to the country!  Ahhhhh...just another groupie.

    •  A single 100Sq Mile Solar Farm in Arizona (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      miss SPED, ybruti

      Nevada, New Mexico, or Texas could generate enough electricity to power the entire United States. We have the technology to do this right now. The problem is that for it to be a complete solution we would also need a Lithium Battery farm in excess of the entire world's known lithium reserves.

      ALL we need is an improvement in battery technology. There are many being worked on and I do believe sooner or later one or more will emerge to solve this problem.

      Yes I know there is an environmental impact to a huge solar farm in the desert habitat. But it's tiny compared with the global impact if we don't do something like this. As you said, we have to give up something. 100 square miles out of millions seems a reasonable tradeoff to me.

      "crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

      by Phil In Denver on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 09:28:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  most of all, we would need (7+ / 0-)

        power lines to connect that new energy production source to the nearest Power Grid.

        We can create all of the new, green energy production sites but without massive investment in Power Grid upgrades all that energy is going no where.


        "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization" -- me

        by Angie in WA State on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 10:03:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exact point Kerry made (7+ / 0-)

          in his Senate apearance yesterday. I also think there could be much progress from getting as much personal, corporate and community power generation from rooftop solar and wind which avoids some of the grid issues. I live in a moderately conservative Chicagoland burb of 150,000 and there is much community interest and zoning/building code support. I think it also helps that we started our own electric distribution company in the late 1880s and have consistently invested in technology as well as simple things like burying as many wires as possible, with the result of significantly fewer and shorter outages than the rest of the region. We also have the choice of buying from green energy sources for just a few more bucks a month.

          "I'm all dry, fluffed off and happy to be a hominid" - Bill Foster, scientist and new IL-11 Representative, when asked if he was fully evolved in support of gay marriage.

          by CoyoteMarti on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 10:30:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Putting solar panels down the center strips (0+ / 0-)

          of the big highways would deliver power to all but the very far flung cities and towns.

          We do need new thinking on grid infrastructure but there is so much we overlook right now that would be an easy install.

      •  You may find this interesting. 99.9% (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, ybruti, blueoasis

        renewable electricity with very little storage:  http://www.smartplanet.com/... .  Wind power is so cheap that it's more economical to build a lot of it rather than try to store it.  

        This doesn't solve the problem of oil used for transportation, but cutting coal out of electrical supply would help a lot.  

        Renewable energy brings national global security.     

        by Calamity Jean on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 02:53:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm serious as a black coffee w/out a biscuit! n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fishgrease

      "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of East Somalia!"

      by unclebucky on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 10:33:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The story; big gas, oil, coal, etc. doesn't want (0+ / 0-)

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

      by rebel ga on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:18:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Foot cancer is serious. (10+ / 0-)

    Just ask Bob Marley.

    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

    by raboof on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 03:46:56 AM PST

  •  Eating less meat is most effective, fastest (112+ / 0-)

    way to reduce your personal carbon footprint

    http://www.forbes.com/...

    it's easy and improves health and budget.  Can start with your next meal.

    Macca's Meatless Monday

    by VL Baker on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 03:50:24 AM PST

  •  Bang on .. but (28+ / 0-)

    Totally agree with the demand side. And on top of that we can add a few more ideas - max 2 kids (future demand), reduce air travel (you really deserve to to go where?), smaller more dense housing (no more McMansions) ...

    BUT ... there really is only one way to cut demand ... higher prices through taxes (or just plain less of the stuff). We have seen time and again when prices go up consumption goes down. Just look at Europe - higher prices, less consumption. Use the tax dollars to fund alternatives (wind, solar, fusion,..) or green tech for the third world (pay them to use less polluting stuff).

    Yup .... the real inconvenient truth is that we will not cut demand (which as you note is absolutely essential) until prices go up ... a lot.

    There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

    by taonow on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 03:51:34 AM PST

    •  There's plenty of consumption here in (7+ / 0-)

      Italy, believe me.  Maybe in northern Europe it's less, but I wouldn't include Italy and Spain in that generalization.

    •  Yes Yes Yes (35+ / 0-)

      That's the difference between the supply side and the demand side. If you cut production by law, gasoline price goes up to say $6.50 per gallon. Oil companies make just as much money and there's an argument they make more.

      But cut consumption by law and we can afford to add taxes to what would be the resulting $3.00 gasoline (whatever, lower than $6.50). Say $5 gas and half that is taxes.

      Tax the shit out of carbon fuels.

      Agree completely. That's hitting the consumption side, and very effectively.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:20:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What do you think of the Green Energy Dividend (5+ / 0-)

        approach? Tax all carbon energy sources, and return the money to people as a per capita dividend (half for children). It raises the cost of carbon energy, which will reduce use of it, and rewards anyone who is taking real steps not to use as much energy. On top of that since it is per capita, it is progressive. The weathy (usually) consume more but they get the same dividend as a poor person. Similarly by putting money in people's pockets it has a stimulating effect on the economy (we do need to find a way to support people somewhere along the way).

        Imported goods would probably need an imputed carbon use tariff so offshoring wouldn't be an escape hatch.



        Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

        by Wee Mama on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 05:47:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I love this idea, and have been pushing it for (4+ / 0-)

          years.  Thanks for bringing it up!

          Too many names for the same thing though...Cap & Dividend, Fee & Dividend, Tax & Rebate, Green Energy Dividend, etc.

          The idea does seem to be getting some traction in the press.  Bill McK. and Jim Hansen promote it.  I haven't seen a rational argument against it, though the FF companies don't like it.

          There was even a bill in Congress a few years ago, though it used some of the proceeds for energy infrastructure.

          How could we promote this further, now, as the Administration tries to figure what they can do for Climate?

        •  Yes Yes Yes (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama, bigjacbigjacbigjac

          Taxes on carbon fuels should be:

          1. Large.

          2. Earmarked for green energy R&D.

          Now there's some highway taxes already in place. Those are fine where they are.

          It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

          by Fishgrease on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:07:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh and yes. (3+ / 0-)

          The DIVIDEND!

          Yes. We need to make it a no-brainer to use green energy.

          Because we seem to be breeding people with no brains.

          GOP, as an example.

          It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

          by Fishgrease on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:09:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  We need both (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        EthrDemon

        Clearly if the increase in price is due to restricted supply and taxes, oil companies can't and won't increase production.    The supply side approach automatically takes care of the demand side.  People won't use fossil fuels that aren't available.   That gets mediated by increased prices to allocate the remaining permitted supply.   The idea that we need to drive prices down will not work to reduce demand. People never consume less of something convenient when it gets cheaper

        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

        by Mindful Nature on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:36:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  One problem you haven't addressed. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fuzzyguy

          Besides calling me a shill.

          How can you affect production in other countries?

          I mean without bombs.

          It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

          by Fishgrease on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:11:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm sorry (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Fishgrease, bigjacbigjacbigjac

            that wasn't called for.  (apparently my earlier response vanished).

            In any event, there has to be a mix of international agreements and outright funding of renewable energy abroad (way better for US jobs than the usual funding arms sales we do).  It won't be a complete regime internationally, however, every piece of displaced fossil fuel generation is a benefit.  I'm sure also international sanctions regimes can be of use.  Also, the US has considerable other economic clout (see, IMF, World Bank).  The notion that it's politically hard is very different from saying it cannot be done.

            I mean, the idea of getting people world wide to reduce consuption or to change lifestyle or forgo improvements in living standards isn't an easy sell either.

            Ultimately, I think it is an open question whether after a) building a ton of renewable power generation and storage and b) incorporating energy efficiency jst what kind of lifestyle we'd be able to pull off.  

            Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

            by Mindful Nature on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 02:28:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Okay. Now i'll go back and read everything (4+ / 0-)

              you wrote. Been wanting to. I'm certain there's stuff I agree with. Probably most of it.

              As for this one, you're right. Selling a less comfortable lifestyle is tough. It's just something we can do here that will affect production worldwide.

              I will stand up for the feasibility of both approaches to the problem. Both will become easier as the consequences of climate change worsen. Shame it has to come to that, but we're on the fast track to disaster now and I that's a very effective educational process.

              Once it becomes like a comet intersecting our orbit, legislation will follow.

              It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

              by Fishgrease on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:14:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Cutting back can be done (31+ / 0-)

      without suffering out and out deprivation. Comparison of US and UK carbon emissions per capita is instructive. Our carbon footprint is something like 8.5 metric tons of CO2 per capita , while the US's is something around 18.
      Here's what the English do right: itty bitty roads that scare the crap out of any sensible driver, especially when it's raining, which is always. Itty bitty cars cars that will fit on those roads, and have 40+ mpg ratings (aside from the occasional Land Rover). Insanely high petrol prices to encourage Land Rover avoidance. Heating fuel prices that double every six or so years.  Attractive wooly sweaters to keep you warm in your stonking cold house, and hot water bottles that come with their own attractive wooly sweaters to keep your feet toasty under a double thick duvet. Local stores that are likewise underheated and generally sell rubbish so it's much more sensible to order off the internet and let the postal service do the work. Even the groceries are beginning to offer reliable delivery service on their obnoxious four packs of lemons. You can then spend your spare time out in the garden trying to make the tomatoes grow instead of driving 30 miles to get your favourite brand of canned tomatoes.
      It's definitely not a first world life like Americans have. My spouse and I like to think of it as the 1.5 world, but it works fairly well in the end.

      "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

      by northsylvania on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:41:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obviously you don't live in the South, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mmacdDE, fuzzyguy, miss SPED

        where it is really really warm in the spring and fall, and awfully awfully hot in the summer. Especially the last couple years.

      •  You can't really make a valid comparison (5+ / 0-)

        The UK could fit in many of our states. You can get from one end to the other in a couple of days, with time left over. Everything is connected by at least a functional bus system, and usually a functional train system.

        We are a HUGE country. Many people drive to work because they don't have much of a choice - it's too far to walk, too far to bike, and there's not much public transportation compared to Europe.

        You can't walk to the store in many places. Your kids don't walk to school, because it's likely too far. In many places, AC isn't a luxury, it's a NECESSITY. Some places don't just get cold, they get many feet of snow and temps well below zero - regularly.

        I've lived in England. There's a reason their carbon footprint is smaller, and it doesn't have much to do with anything other than the extremes of climate we have and the logistics of transportation here.

        •  I grew up in Texas (10+ / 0-)

          without air conditioning for my first 20 years, and then lived in PA for ten more using nothing but a fireplace for heat. I then moved back to Texas for the another ten before moving here and had all the mod cons (much more pleasant certainly). I'm well aware of different climates and different expectations of comfort. I think what I'm trying to say is that, if you love the rest of the world, you might have to get a little hot or cold occasionally, but when you are living in a society where that is the norm, it is much easier.

          "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

          by northsylvania on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 07:07:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Fine, compare to California (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          northsylvania, Calamity Jean

          We aren't that far off from the UKs efficiency.

          Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

          by Mindful Nature on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:45:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  americans don't commute for hours because of (12+ / 0-)

          the size of the country, we do so because of decades of land use policy that encouraged sprawl. pre-car americans lived much different lives WRT carbon and commutes, in the same geography.

          •  Not only that (8+ / 0-)

            but most of our society is designed and set up for commuting and big box malls. Foot traffic in the burbs is a joke. LA used to have a great street car system in my grandmothers day. That went as LA became freeway suburban sprawl land. By design our communities are mostly constructed around freeways and roads. Giant corporate centralized food production and delivery are the basis for our economy.

            Main streets are now just mythical memories. Changing the set up developing real local communities, sustainable local agriculture and public transportation. Infrastructures that were designed and built to curb sprawl, and allow local economies to develop would be sane at this point . Unfortunately our country and those who own it, do not have any interest in change that would both reduce carbon and cut into the profits they make off disasters.

            Portland OR where I live is pretty good at developing livable urban infrastructures and controlling sprawl and development. Suburbs are a different story. They are not designed for low impact human communities but for the car and the Big Box centralized 'life-style'. Wal Marts, Home Despot, all the giant retailers and car manufacturers, housing developers, Big ag  have no interest in changing the set up.

            Easy for me to preach or change as I live where it's possible to keep my carbon burning low. Too bad that our government is only interested in keeping the status quo all built around grease and centralized food growing, profitable and in place. It's 'inevitable' they say. I say we better get busy and build some communities as this just cannot hold.        

        •  Nonsense on the aircon front (0+ / 0-)

          I grew up in sweltering NC with aircon and have spent the last 14 years in equally hot South Africa without. Indoor climate control feels wonderful but, as billions of people around the world prove daily, it isn't a "necessity".

      •  By most measure (7+ / 0-)

        Much of Northern Europe enjoys a higher quality of life than a great swathe of Americans

        You don't have to go to Europe to see what cutting the per capita GHG emissions in half would look like.  Come to California.   Through decades of effort and policy our per capita emissions are about a fifth of what the most wasteful states are.  If the rest of the country matched our efficiency, global emissions would drop by 8%.  

        So, for most of the US you can make a ton of progress by matching California or Connecticut.  Oh, and we don't live on caves

        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

        by Mindful Nature on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:44:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Excuse me ... (14+ / 0-)

      but price points simply are not enough unless you will take them to incredibly high points.  Europe is roughly 50% of US CO2 emissions, and that is with much more compact geography.  

      Just like tackling energy sources isn't the 'only it' (need to tackle what we want it, how we get it, and what the energy sources are for it), neither are prices enough (alone) to do what is necessary.

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:56:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, Europe is apples and oranges (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mmacdDE, A Siegel, fisheye, Joieau, Wood Dragon

        Denver is something like 300 miles from the nearest large city, Albuquerque, and 300 miles is enough to cross almost any European nation along the major axis (OK, Italy).

        Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

        by blue aardvark on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:36:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So what? (6+ / 0-)

          It is not just about the distance between places ... it is the massive waste in the US (from big cars, to big houses, to driving everywhere - because it is too cheap). The US uses about 25% of the world's oil with only 5% of the population. What makes you think that is sustainable, let alone fair.

          There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

          by taonow on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 07:39:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            terrypinder

            I suppose we could just abandon everything from the Sierra Nevada to the Missouri / Mississippi river line.

            Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

            by blue aardvark on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 07:52:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'll give you the waste (10+ / 0-)

            Our cars, for instance, are horrendously overpowered. Unless you have to haul tons of stuff every day, you don't need a big ass pickup truck. Unless you have a big family to haul around, you don't need a huge gas guzzling 8 passenger vehicle. And even if you DO have a big family, there are more fuel efficient vehicles you can get.

            And unless you drive in high speed races, you don't need a big v-8 engine with 350 hp that can drive 180 mph.

            Those vehicles should still be available, of course, but they should cost way more, as they do in Europe, and the registration fee for them should be more as well, so they don't just cost more up front, they cost more as long as you own the vehicle.

            If they did, fewer people would buy them.

            Allow those who do need a pickup (construction guys and the like) some way to get a tax credit for some (but not all) of the increased fees.

            But the vast majority of people driving around in those big things don't need them.

            And for even more impact, we need a new 'cash for clunkers' program. That was HUGELY effective, in many ways.

            •  I live in the land of the unnecessary 4WD (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              hooper, bluesheep

              People have these enormous pickups and SUV's for the 10 or so days a year with significant snowfall, so I go to King Sooper's and park my Elantra in between the Expedition and the F-150.

              Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

              by blue aardvark on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 09:40:35 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  So simply reducing our resource usage in the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis

            current system can only get us down so far, and it's probably not far enough. We need to change the systems themselves. We're saying raising prices isn't enough because the 25% for 5% number is too big to tackle in just one manner, not that it's too small to matter.

          •  Neither (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blue aardvark

            blue aardvark nor I are advocating that US system isn't wasteful or that the waste is 'fair' --

            My point is that price is an influencer but, clearly, European fuel prices don't solve the CO2 problem.

            Also, we need to look at European energy use/pollution loads w/in context as, again, compact societies are inherently more efficient than spread out ones (urban vs suburban, suburban vs exurban ...).

            Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

            by A Siegel on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:21:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Fine (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blue aardvark, wu ming, Calamity Jean

          Use california as your comparison.   We beat that pants off most of the rest of the US.  Match us and the US would be way ahead in the game

          Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

          by Mindful Nature on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:46:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  but most americans don;t spend their energy (7+ / 0-)

          traveling between urban centers, they spend it closer to home. intercity travel between those wide open spaces aren't our problem, our problem is sprawl surrounding our urban cores.

    •  Reduce air travel requires (13+ / 0-)

      we have better options.

      We don't. At all.

      If I want to visit my daughter in CA, I have 2 practical choices - drive or fly. Drive takes days, each way, uses my vehicle, which while new and pretty efficient, still pollutes, and means hotels, dinners out, and more expense than flying.

      And it likely pollutes more too.

      If there was a train that would be comfortable, give me a bed and a shower, and take a few days for a REASONABLE cost, I'd take it.

      There's not.

    •  Understanding the elasticity (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pdknz

      Does anyone know of any economic analysis of how much "tax the shit out of carbon" would actually cost?  I am a full believer that carbon needs to be taxed -- probably coming out of the ground.  I am also a pessimist on the pain point that will be required to "get there".  Of course, most of the pain would be inflicted on those who can least deal with it... the poor.  Some feedback loop would need to be instituted to lessen the impact through "social engineering".  Boo!

      I wonder where the tipping point is?  How high does the tax need to be to permanently sideline the Hummers?  You, me, and most others on this site will have long departed the fossil fuel landscape by then.  When do we break the back of the fossil fuel energy industry?

      Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

      by Jim Tietz on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:46:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No, you're absolutely right. No apologies (30+ / 0-)

    necessary.  I'm trying to figure out how to deal with food packaging.  One of my resolutions this year was to buy food in sustainable, limited form of packaging.  It's really, really hard to do when you've got kids.  I mean, does cereal need a box and a bag?  Does the bag absolutely have to be of plastic?  

    We do have to eat and we need to keep bugging food manufacturers and grocery stores that it's not just about the plastic bags we (used to) carry food home in.  

  •  Packaging is a pet peeve. (24+ / 0-)

    Bugs me too.  Can't buy anything without plastic.  When possible I buy things in glass but that option is diminishing.

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:21:09 AM PST

  •  Do it now while it's voluntary. By the time it (20+ / 0-)

    starts digging deeply into your pocket, or in another world, mandatory,  you'll see it as a huge crimp to your "lifestyle".

    Having just finished "Oryx and Crake" by Atwood (great read if you have the stomach), one message that came through - the well off will have all the sustainable/alt energy bells and whistles while the rest of us struggle to stay alive without much of any support. In our world, I'd like to see a much more "equitable distribution of pain", a concept which is in vogue these days, at least when it comes to the deficit.

    Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

    by the fan man on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:26:52 AM PST

    •  the well off will be hit harder (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fuzzyguy, flowerfarmer

      all their bells and whistles are only that.

      Big houses are still energy pigs.

      Flying around the world pollutes.

      Veggies from South America grown organically still pollute.

      Carbon footprint grows with one's pocketbook.

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:00:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oryx and Crake (0+ / 0-)

      and Year of the Flood by Atwood are two books that i re-read every couple of years.

      Her projections into the future ring true to me- her background includes a family heavily immersed in the sciences.

      I will be one of the rooftop gardeners/herbalists, should i live long enough to experience that much of the disintegration of our society.

  •  Have a day-job project I have to finish. (19+ / 0-)

    I'll return later today to chill and talk. If you disagree with anything I've written above, expect me to agree with you.

    If you think I'm wrong, you're probably right.

    It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

    by Fishgrease on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:27:15 AM PST

  •  Find a job closer to home (17+ / 0-)

    Or seek ways to telecommute.

    It's been very difficult to find good IT folks in the last few years but lately our best "finds" have been people who want a five minute commute...they'll even take a pay cut.

    Not everyone has this luxury but for those who do it will save the environment AND YOUR SANITY. (I did this 5 years ago.)

  •  Love somebody (16+ / 0-)

    Instead of something.
    About the only thing I could not get by without is my acoustic guitar. That and my eye glasses.

    And wouldn't it be daring
    If folks started sharing
    Instead of comparing
    What each other Was wearing?
    And wouldn't it be swell
    If people didn't sell
    Their mother Earth.

    Basic human needs
    Wavy Gravy

    Hobbs: "How come we play war and not peace?" Calvin: "Too few role models."

    by BOHICA on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:38:56 AM PST

  •  But, but, but... (15+ / 0-)

    I like driving 85-90mph on the highway.  Gets me there faster.

    Oh, alright.

    I'll respect the speed limits.

    And you're the only person who could make me do it.

    "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox." -- Willie Stargell

    by Yasuragi on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:41:03 AM PST

  •  Damn, guess Jimmy Carter was right, after all. (21+ / 0-)

    Wish we had listened!!

    Fucking good diary, Fish....right on!!!!

  •  Fishgrease maybe the greatest poster of all time.. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, liz dexic, Debs2, dejavu

    just saying.....

  •  Yo Fishgrease! (18+ / 0-)

    I'm on board.

    I'd like to add:

    If you get out and ride your bike more often, others will too. And maybe that will make more bike infrastructure magically happen.

    Not "if you build it they will come"... it's the other way around. Ride your bike and the bike lanes will follow. Of course you also need to wear a helmet, ride safely and be the squeakiest damn wheel your local "deciders about infrastructure" have ever heard. But getting involved in that kind of stuff is magic.

    Also, yes you can ride your bike in the snow, and it is a shit-ton easier (for me at least) to carry my dry bike from inside my garage across the driveway than shoveling to get the damned car out. Google "DIY bike snow tires" and get psyched.

    I am personally very psyched to get a hip "granny trike" to do hard-core grocery shopping when I move to Portland, ME this spring.  With my snow tires.  Jack Frost: Bring. It. On.

    And I find that hanging my clothes to dry in the warm living room really helps increase the humidity and make it more comfortable.

    Conservation is cool. And IMPERATIVE.

    Keep on cussing, FG.

    Maybe just maybe our foremothers and our forefathers came to this land in different ships. But we're all in the same boat now. - John Lewis

    by bluesheep on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:47:51 AM PST

  •  Not sure that (18+ / 0-)

    McKibben is in disagreement with you about the need for changed lifestyle as part of a 'total package'.

    Take a look at the range of his articles / books.

    Deep Economydescription includes:

    McKibben's animating idea is that we need to move beyond "growth" as the paramount economic ideal and pursue prosperity in a more local direction, with cities, suburbs, and regions producing more of their own food, generating more of their own energy, and even creating more of their own culture and entertainment. He shows this concept blossoming around the world with striking results, from the burgeoning economies of India and China to the more mature societies of Europe and New England. For those who worry about environmental threats, he offers a route out of the worst of those problems; for those who wonder if there isn't something more to life than buying, he provides the insight to think about one's life as an individual and as a member of a larger community.
    Hope, Human, and Wild
    journey to provide examples and hope for a sustainable future, one in which our society's wealth is measured less by its material productivity and more by its spiritual richness; less by its consumption of resources and more by the extent to which we live in harmony with the natural world.
    Bill has transformed from 'journalist'/'writer' to 'activist' -- and he is struggling (working toward ...) to figure out how to influence the situation to stave off disaster.

    Take a look at what 350.org has done -- included in this has been activist days on energy efficiency.

    To a certain extent, therefore, I'd suggest that the explained disagreement is a strawman rather than fully truthful.

    Even with that in mind, a useful discussion to engage/put on the table.

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:50:12 AM PST

  •  I disagree about giving up what you love (13+ / 0-)

    I think it's about identifying what you love about that thing and finding lower impact ways to get the same enjoyment.

    Love to hot rod it on the PCH? Sell the 'Vette and get a motorcycle instead. You can do higher speeds for lower carbon impact. And when you manage to kill yourself, you effectively zero out your carbon footprint! Win-win!

    Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit.

    by cultjake on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:51:07 AM PST

  •  My late mother, (22+ / 0-)

    may she live on in eternal peace, used  to scold us about turning out the lights when we left the room, not leaving water running, etc. etc.  "What's the big deal?" I thought.  "What will you do," she'd ask "when there isn't any more."

    Mother knows best.

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:58:20 AM PST

  •  I have a third way, if you'll forgive the term... (10+ / 0-)

    which is were just gonna fucking suffer, man. We're gonna fucking suffer. And you know what? We fucking deserve it.

    Carry on.

  •  Tackling Demand (13+ / 0-)

    is as important as supply for the long term, but there is a major short term in our face problem that needs our attention too. This:

    Billionaires secretly fund attacks on climate science

    The Donors Trust, along with its sister group Donors Capital Fund, based in Alexandria, Virginia, is funnelling millions of dollars into the effort to cast doubt on climate change without revealing the identities of its wealthy backers or that they have links to the fossil fuel industry.
    Some people need to give up what they love more than others of us, you see. Some people, like these billionaires in the oil industry, need to give up a whole lot more of what they love than you and me.

    Thanks Fishgrease. Good to read your fucking stuff here again, man.

    “Corruption isn’t just people profiting from betraying the public interest. It’s also people being punished for upholding the public interest.”  ― MS

    by cosmic debris on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 05:10:57 AM PST

  •  Popular pressure will be (6+ / 0-)

    necessary to motivate these changes, and they won't happen without legislation. We here can do everything we can bear voluntarily, but the only effect that will have is on our personal consciences. The hard part will be getting the energy-industry-dependent government off its fat ass and forcing it to act.

    IOW, we DO need to come after Michelle Bachmann's lightbulbs. The only question is, how?

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 05:10:59 AM PST

  •  Forecasting is hellish business (10+ / 0-)
    The most optimistic forecasts are that green technologies will cover 30% of our total projected energy needs by 2050 (pay close attention to that word "total")
    There are many, imo, 'caveats' here:

    "will cover" -- there are serious forecasts / analysis that show paths to much higher % than this.  

    Also, what is "green"?

    2008 figures in TWh for total energy consumption:  Fossils 117k, Nuke 8k, 'Renewables' 26k. So, in 2008, for total global power use, low carbon was already in the range of 25%.  No?  And, in 37 years, "most optimistic" would only foster a minor shift?  

    A question to consider seriously in this forecasting via various social / business / etc models.  The '30%' figure is not one that I agree with ... also based on extensive reading/work in the literature.

    Even so, I do not disagree with the 'need to give up ...' which I can count things I have done and that I do that are 'give up' even as there are more personal choices/actions that can be taken.

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 05:11:43 AM PST

  •  Not Everyone Is Capable (15+ / 0-)

    Of voluntarily giving something not -- neither to gain something better in the long term, or to make the world a better place for everyone.

    Some folks just can't do it.

    That is why we have government to restrain individual excess in order to gain benefit for the whole.

    I'm not sure there is much left for me to give up.

    I lost my job in 2009 and was unemployed for 18 months. This destroyed me financially. I lost everything. Now, I don't have a car, live in a small apartment, cook most meals at home, don't travel and don't buy stuff.

    How much more would you like me to voluntarily surrender? At some point, those of us who are willing to give things up for the greater good get tapped out.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 05:12:30 AM PST

    •  I'm with you (12+ / 0-)

      on that one, but I don't think you were the target audience here. I think you have probably already gone through the process he is talking about. I hope that you have found those core things you truly love despite the hard times. Best of luck going forward.

      "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

      by northsylvania on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 05:20:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're right. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      miss SPED, MRA NY, Wood Dragon

      Intentionally or not, some people have already cut their carbon footprints 50-80% (or more, if they've actually become homeless.)

      Sorry about your situation, btw. :o(

      Hopefully there are better things in store for you just around the corner.

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

      by Words In Action on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 05:53:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Feel Fine (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raboof, wu ming, fuzzyguy, orlbucfan, zett

        Exhortations to voluntary sacrifice, though, always seem a bit weird to me. They are so often made to those who can least afford to do it. The answer in my view is stronger government action.

        "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

        by bink on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:01:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, there are plenty of us here who can (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MRA NY

          do much more. I myself am putting together a plan that will cut my carbon footprint about 75% in the next couple of years. And, even with some of the things we already do, we are energy hogs. So it will be a significant three-person difference.

          If you've looked at any of the income surveys, there are plenty of people here who can afford big carbon footprints. Having been raised as mega-consumers, most of the people who can afford it are doing it, both at home and at work...

          The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

          by Words In Action on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:44:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Dude (0+ / 0-)

          He did say "by law."  It wouldn't be voluntary.  It would look like World War II rationing.

        •  Yes, gov action and also culture change. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          Over consumption is not out nature, though here in America is sure looks like it is.

          There are other cultures that value cooperation, hard work, musical ability, wisdom, helpfulness, more than piles of stuff.  We used to be one of them.

          It has to be embarrassing again to be a pig.  Over the last few decades it's been out and out celebrated.

  •  People can start by giving up what they don't love (12+ / 0-)

    Most people really don't give a shit about the light that they left on in the bathroom all day, or the TV that they having running in the background for noise.  It's not that big a deal to choose a different outfit rather than run a half-full load of wash so you can wear that pair of pants.  My former coworker always talked about her concern for climate change, and she was working to get certified on LEED standards and all... but she still always wanted the office temperature up around 72 degrees.  If you care so much, WEAR A FUCKING SWEATER!

    I've been really conscientious about the small things to avoid wasting power (water, too - that's going to be another problem), but I know even I can do better.  I've been looking for a job for a few months now, and one thing I'm really trying for is something that I can commute to by bike.  And I keep looking for ways to reduce waste, but I know there are going to be bigger sacrifices to come.

    •  Also too: excess use of energy is a tax you place (7+ / 0-)

      on yourself, and the money doesn't even go toward doing good things, it just goes toward making a bunch oil executives and Halliburton shareholders richer, and makes more GOP campaign contributions.

      (As I was typing that, I realized that the water for my coffee was ready.  I was going to keep typing and finish the comment, but stopped because that was wasting a few minutes more of gas use.)

    •  Other than not owning a !@#$% TV (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lineatus

      we do absolutely nothing we are aware of to conserve electricity and the two of us use 20-25% of the juice we ought to for our location and demographic. We even use incandescent bulbs for the quality of the light. Those around us who use 4-5 times more juice are locked in a rat's nest of stupid habits. My low electric bill does not make me virtuous and their high bills do not make their lives good. It's just stupid habits of consumption

      If you still own a TV get rid of it today. You'll be glad you did.

      •  Haven't had a TV in ten years. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldhippie

        Even before that, the only thing we used it for was The Simpsons.  We still have the set (not plugged in), just in case we want to watch a movie sometime, I guess.  I'd be happy to get rid of it to get the shelf space, but hubby still wants to hold on to it.

  •  One other reason to aim at consumption is that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cordgrass, saluda, liz dexic

    no matter if we shut off one source here or there, energy will get through. We have no laws that say we can't import oil. The price of oil is determined by international demand. When we stick the nozzle in our gas tank we don't get to choose which source, nor does anyone care.

    I understand that after the oil arrives, tar sands and Venezuelan crude are roughly similar. Ideally we'd want neither.

    Glad I made it past the expletives this time. Cuss jar might get rich.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 05:22:57 AM PST

  •  Prime example of a SERIOUS diary, not a "serious" (8+ / 0-)

    diary, on the subject. Unfortunately, the tens if not hundreds of thousands of kossack who don't even read Climate Reality diaries demonstrates that most people are either "serious" -- as in, Climate Change is either no biggie or something others will fix for us -- or environmentally lobotomized.

    I've been thinking about this VERY topic. People don't realize the magnitude what of what we each MUST do.

    This is completely on target.

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 05:24:07 AM PST

  •  China and fossil fuels industry's political power (5+ / 0-)

    Nothing else matters.  This is politics, electing more and better Democrats, and breaking the backs of the fossil fuels industry.  Doesn't do a damn bit of good to bicycle to work if China keeps building coal plants at its current rate.  Let's have our priorities straight.

    I say this as a zero-waste zealot who takes the train to work, owns a Prius, line-dries my laundry, lives in a tiny apartment and avoids factory-farmed meat.  Do both things, but if you can only do one, get politically active.  Much more important to divest than to recycle, let me put it that way.  And I'm so glad McKibben has awakened to that.

    •  We're never going to elect people who vote the (3+ / 0-)

      way we want them to if we and they don't start practicing what we preach. And how do we tell China what to do when we produce so much more CO2 per capita and we are the ones buying all their crap?

      Put another way... So we stop one coal mine and China has 50 alternative mines to buy from, the cost of an Iphone goes up a tiny amount, not much CO2 stopped there.

      Interesting about the factory farmed meat. Our family of four eats almost no bought meat, yet meat is our largest source of protein by far. The Sierra Club would like to end my source of protein. They make the dirty dozen list of anti hunting orgs every year.

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 05:34:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  this is bullshit, IMO (5+ / 0-)

      every bit of carbon emitted makes the whole world worse, so if we don't reduce ours while china burns coal, then we make the problem twice as big. how does that help?

      we still emit a fucking megaton of carbon, nationally. europe didn;t whinge about "there's no point 'cause look at america" when we were the biggest emitter in the world, they rolled their sleeves up and got to work. it's time for us to stop using china as an excuse, and clean up our own backyards. china doesn't have a sustainable supply of oil or coal, their resources are tapping out and they'll depend on imports from us to make up the slack.

      if we clean our own economy up and then refuse to sell to china, they'll change, because it will cost them money not to, if the pubic outrage over environmental degradation doesn't force their hand sooner.

      •  Everyone forgets (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cordgrass

        that India is the elephant in the room.

        That countries population growth and increased "modern" consumption is going to make the future, interesting.

        •  I have high hopes for India (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          They haven't lost sight of their traditional values, unlike China.  Indian culture resonates with living in harmony with Nature, and as solar prices continue to drop, it will be a natural marriage.

          But that also depends on India ridding itself of corrupt politicians, same as the US.  China is the more intractable problem.

          •  Having seen the film (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cordgrass

            Flow I think there is hope for India, but I'm not going to hold my breath. There is a lot of corruption and pollution going on with an ever expanding and massive population thanks in part to the "green revolution".

            China's change in culture was due to a national campaign of mass murder, genocide, and horror for decades under Mao's Cultural Revolution. I'd give the citizens in China a little more slack in regard to the loss of their thousand plus year old national cultures, plural, under those conditions. What India endured under the Brits was horrible and changed their cultures, but it wasn't a complete destruction and rewrite of Indian history, cultures, religions, and heritage like the Chinese people have suffered.

            •  China has written histories that go back at least (0+ / 0-)

              2500 years, and those histories describe (admittedly mythical) beginning thousands of years before that. Thousand plus a lot of pluses, is what I'm saying.

              •  I understand. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cordgrass

                I was trying to make the point though that a nation is made up of its citizens. I don't hold the citizens responsible for the disregard of traditional Chinese culture that the government has held since Mao. I hold the government responsible for the suppression of the people's thousand plus year old culture. The people of China are the victims of the theft of their culture, history, and heritage from their government.

                We are way off topic now though. ;) I suspect we are on the same page, but the format for discussion is forming a barrier between our understanding.

          •  living in harmony with nature? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fuzzyguy

            have you actually been to india?

        •  india's carbon emissions are barely moving (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          they've been at just under 2 billion tons of greenhouse gases for the past several years, well behind the big 1-2-3 of china, the US and the EU, more in the neighborhood of russia, indonesia and brazil. quite frankly, as with china, i expect the effects of climate change to do significant damage to their economy in the near future, and also like china, they do not possess an unlimited amount of coal or oil.

      •  yep, Europe got to work (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wu ming, Calamity Jean

        And global CO2 levels are still skyrocketing.  We need CHANGE.  What we need nationally is something like what the US did during WWII, a top-down federal change.  Just like during WWII we need our factories transformed.  We need federally-funded weatherization, solar and wind utilities, upgrades to power lines, etc. etc.  We need federally supported electric car programs and tax credits for rooftop solar.

        We need federally regulated rationing, just like was done during WWII with food and important raw materials for the war effort.

        Most importantly, we need heavily punitive tariffs on Chinese-made goods, as long as China is going down its current carbon-heavy path.

        All of the things I've listed above are done by government.  And as long as the fossil fuels industry owns our politicians, none of this necessary work will be done.  Lesser efforts will not slow climate change (see Europe).  So the first step is breaking the political power of the fossil fuels industry, and divestment is a key step for that to happen.

        •  agreed (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean, cordgrass

          although if europe hadn't gotten to work, we'd be even more screwed than we are now. in an alternative world where the US had taken kyoto '92 seriously, we'd be in a much better shape globally, and it would probably have influenced the global regulatory regime that china and india would have developed within.

          but yeah, this isn't going to be dole solely through personal responsibility and lifestyle changes. it's going to take law with teeth, and some serious government action.

      •  Plus, China's pollution is our pollution. iPads, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wu ming, cordgrass

        iPhones, clothing, computers, even wind turbines.  We buy them from China, so we're just outsourcing our pollution to them.  It's us, not them.

        No excuses.  We've gotta cut way back on consumption. If we buy it, we're responsible for its impact.

        No more ego-upgrades whenever a new model comes out.  No more pig cars.  No ac unless we really need it. No 80 degree homes in thr winter in the North.

        Again, great diary, Fish.  And the most thoughtful comments in a DK diary (imo) in a long time.  This is the topic of the century!

  •  We have to suffer because we did nothing (4+ / 0-)

    A sustainable life style is a better lifestyle that what we have today, by a lot. The problem is that our short term thinking has slowed down our investing in technology and deployment to build a sustainable world.

    The result is that we consume a massive amount of energy heating our very poorly insulated homes. In theory it requires near zero energy to heat a home. The fossil fuel that you are burning goes through your walls and goes to  heating the great outdoors by .001 degree. Since you didn't re-insulate your home you are going to have to turn the thermostat down to 55 degrees .... during the day and lower at night. Would that motivate you to insist on Federal and State re-insulation programs? How about a carbon tax on top of that?

    How about that SUV of your, a 4500 lb monster carrying one person to work. If we had insisted on fixing our transportation technology you would be driving an electric car that got the equivalent of 150 mpg, with the electricity provided mostly by wind and solar. But no, you preferred your comfort and false safety and would rather spend 3 trillion dollars on wars in the ME, the amount it would take to build a sustainable electric infrastructure.  Well, how about paying $10/gallon and driving 1/4 as much. What, you can't get to work. Well, buy a new electric car, and skip that vacation in Vail. In theory it takes zero energy to move from any single place on earth back to that same place. We just don't want to invest in the technology for efficient personal transportation.

    We must balance the budget, we must balance the budget, we must not tax the rich, we must not tax the rich. We must be allowed the choice to ruin the planet.

  •  Preach it fishgrease! (4+ / 0-)

    Solutions are multifaceted and complex, and I just put air in the tires, ya know?

    Now to work on giving up something I love but can live without. Do martinis count?

  •  No idea what else I can "give up" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liz dexic, raboof, fuzzyguy

    I don't drive. (I sit on a bus for over an hour in each direction).

    I don't go on vacations.

    I don't have kids.

    I don't leave lights on unnecessarily.

    My house is frigid.

    Anyway, we're "doomed" anyway. You guys can keep telling yourselves we aren't though.

    just a little bit bored.

    by terrypinder on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 05:36:17 AM PST

    •  Try sitting in a chair and not moving (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MRA NY, fuzzyguy, orlbucfan

      I am certain that our body movements are damaging the Ozone.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:44:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Meat, TV, cigarettes, alcohol, consumer electronic (4+ / 0-)

      consumer electronics (incredibly high embodied energy, and to treat them as if they are as disposable as toilet paper), paper products, plastic...

      From your description, you obviously have an exceptionally low carbon footprint and, whether intentional or not, that's laudable. In most cases, however, there is something more that can be done, no matter how incremental.

      While true, your final comment suggests a defeatism I can't allow myself to embrace. Even if it turns out to be for naught, I want to know that I did everything I could.

      As I said, though, you are already doing far more than most, certainly including me. What I am doing is working on an aggressive three year plan to reduce my huge footprint about 75%, while also creating blazing some trails for others.

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

      by Words In Action on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 07:10:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  7 billion and counting (3+ / 0-)

        is why we're "doomed".

        Even if we stopped excess carbon this very second, the Earth will warm through the next two centuries.

        there is very little interest in adaptation of any sort  in all parts of the political spectrum. The Right thinks it's against "tradition" and the Left has an antipathy against things "unnatural." mitigation has a bit more pull, but not by much. Do you see powerlines being buried? I don't unless it's a new development, especially since utilities have decided it's just cheaper to build them the way they were when they blow down (really, they have.)

        Germany's Energiewende is a good start but at present, it isn't exactly offsetting much.

        It's not defeatism. I certainly support all sustainability efforts. I just don't see evidence yet they won't be for naught. That's just reality.

        (I didn't say extinction, though. The post-collaspe civilization will have lots of resources from recycling the ruins.)

        just a little bit bored.

        by terrypinder on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:05:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't disagree with you. (2+ / 0-)

          In fact I agree. Especially on the population side. I guess I expect there will be a die-back to take care of that for us, once arable land, fresh water and the fisheries are taken care of. And then of course there are all the natural disasters.

          I just want to make a fight of it, and I really want ALL, not just some, progressives to get on board and help. It's going to be hard enough...

          The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

          by Words In Action on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:32:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Cigarettes and alcohol? I think we'd be better off (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        if we kept smoking and quit eating non-local food. They just don't seem like major climate players to me. Unless you're thinking of the eventual medical resources that lung cancer and cirrhosis treatments will use?

        •  I think it would be better if we did both. (0+ / 0-)

          And, I mean, I wouldn't say it if I didn't know what I was talking about. I quit smoking back in '97 and drinking in '05. The latter was mainly about calories and the fact that, as you age, you have to drink more to have the same experience. Plus, I don't think drinking really ages well.

          The fact is there are tons of these behaviors that can and should be adjusted, reduced or eliminated to reduce energy consumption.

          The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

          by Words In Action on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:29:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Work for better bike infrastructure (5+ / 0-)

    Hopefully this embed will work, if not, apologies...

    Plowing on the Met Branch Trail from Greenbelt Bike Videos on Vimeo.

  •  Erick Erickson Supergenius says (8+ / 0-)

    .. people have to get used to it. Because we can't stop it.

    Catastrophic Climate Change "seems like a problem we probably have to get used to" rather than one "we can cure"

    Glad that's out of the way. Saving human civilization and a stable ecosystem sounded like it was going to be hard, and require work and sacrifice and stuff.

     

    Why is it that most of the people who are against abortion are people you wouldn't want to #&@$ in the first place? - George Carlin

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 05:52:54 AM PST

  •  For years I rode mass transit (13+ / 0-)

    it cost only about 10 percent more than driving, but I wanted to reduce my carbon footprint and I really liked not driving in rush hour traffic.
    But it's dangerous waiting outside in the dark, in the cold, waiting on buses that never come.  Then the transit peeps raised the cost of a bus pass more than 25%, and I still rode the same crummy malfunctioning buses that were 50% wonderfully on time and 50% not.

    It bothers me that the government is subsidizing disincentives for people to ride mass transit. Bad expensive service keeps citizens in their SUVs. (And citizens being murdered at bus and train stations doesn't help either.)

  •  People on DKos need to accept a higher gas tax. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theotherside, wu ming, DRo, Calamity Jean

    Everyone here is an environmentalist until it comes to a gas tax.  Then we hear how a gas tax would be the End Times for the poor.  I'm sure it would have a negative effect, but so will your soaring food prices when climate changes destroys our agricultural sector.  

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:06:08 AM PST

  •  Hate to disagree (0+ / 0-)

    Those of in the renewable sector get kind of tired of the "it can't be done line when the studies you claim to show it can't be done have been debunked over and over and over again

    Renewable can get you a lot more than is shown in studies that just happen to make ridiculous assumptions or ignore actual technologies or reality.  But you don't actually cite them do you

    But then, you work for the oil industry, right?

    Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

    by Mindful Nature on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:13:13 AM PST

  •  Oh, why not both? (5+ / 0-)

    Here's the deal. The guys at Exxon know basic economics. So do the Koch brothers. They couldn't rape and pillage as efficiently if they didn't, so they learn this stuff.

    And they will fight just as hard against any laws that discourage carbon consumption as they will against any taxes on their production of carbon.

    But the laws against carbon consumption are going to be VERY unpopular because we all deserve to live like our parents did, except even more so, because Mom was named Melody.

    So, we're more likely to pass taxes on production than we are to pass laws discouraging consumption by Joe Sixpack.

    Actually, we aren't very likely to pass either - and that means we also need to work on mitigating the coming catastrophe, because Hell travels with us. In fact, figuring out how to deal with a world gone to Hell is probably job #1.

    Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

    by blue aardvark on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:16:27 AM PST

    •  Actually it has to both. (4+ / 0-)

      We have to convert a lot of our energy sourcing to renewables AND we have to reduce, not just slow, consumption, even in the face of population growth. And, frankly, we must reduce the population, though I suspect we will wait to let nature do that.

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

      by Words In Action on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 07:12:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did you watch the show (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark, tacet

      'The Men Who Built America'? Very interesting.

      Part of the reason we have electricity is because some rich guy wanted it, because he wanted to put a rival out of business, and giving people clean, safe, lighting was a way to do that.

      And part of the reason we have cars that run on gasoline is because the guy he was trying to put out of business decided that he would sink a bunch of money into some other guy who had a product that used what was, at that time, a waste product produced when he made kerosene that was used in all those kerosene lamps.

      I think what's going to happen is that the oil companies, who are really the only people who actually have a handle on how much oil is left, will sink a bunch of money into alternative fuels and energy, because to not do so will put them out of business.

      If they don't do it, they KNOW somebody else will. Or will fund the somebody elses who will. Because it doesn't take a genius to see that if something that's a critical resource gets really expensive, the person or company who comes up with a cheaper and better replacement will get very rich, very fast.

      •  But their current oil in the ground is worth (0+ / 0-)

        approximately $20T.

        What will compete with that?

        Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

        by blue aardvark on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 09:43:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But how much does it cost them (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blue aardvark, Calamity Jean

          to get it OUT of the ground? That's the big problem.

          And again, it's not going to last forever. They know that. And as the price goes up, people find other things. Or better things. They always have, they always will.

          People moved to electric lights because they were cleaner, less likely to burn your place down or kill you (as gas lights could), and while they might have been a bit more expensive, they were much better AND a status symbol as well. (Like a Prius)

          People moved to cars because they were much cleaner, didn't need food, went faster, didn't get tired, etc.

          People went to kerosene and gas for lighting from oil of one kind or another because it burned brighter and cleaner, and oil became scarcer and more expensive (there's a reason whales are scarce).

          They went to coal for heating because wood got scarce and coal burned hotter, so you could heat your entire house AND your water without having to lug all that wood. They went to oil because it was cleaner and it was easier to store and didn't need to be lugged or cleaned up after, and to electricity and gas because they required even LESS tending.

          And in doing so, soot and pollution was lessened.

          Give people a better option they can afford, and they'll move to it. If it's expensive, the rich will move to it and the others will follow.

          SOMETHING is going to replace oil. I'm sure the oil companies would want to be the ones selling it.

  •  I think you and Bill McKibben (5+ / 0-)

    are taking part in the same big picture approach to climate change, in many ways. What I think is so clever about what Bill is doing right now is that he's essentially fomenting the tobacco-ization of the fossil fuel industry. Given the size of the crowds his tour drew, I'd say it's having a wide impact, and will help feed the kind of activism needed to accomplish what we're discussing here.

    I don't think the forced societal changes we're talking about will ever be palatable to the average consumer, but on the whole, they'll be a lot more palatable if we reach a point where Big Fossil Fuel is public enemy number one.

    It's like Lester Freaman says in that key episode of The Wire: all the pieces matter. Good diary and discussion here - thanks for sharing. It's still good to have you back.

    "Nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel." -Sepp Herberger

    by surfbird007 on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:19:25 AM PST

    •  Yes. It's the Anti-Apartheid/S. Africa divestment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      surfbird007, Calamity Jean

      model all over again and, as with tobacco, it fuels and leverages the demonization of...the demons.

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

      by Words In Action on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:53:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Socialism needn't be government-driven (0+ / 0-)

    Community actions (like local gardens to minimize transportation costs of food) can take place within the current system of laws and regulations.  While these types of cooperative actions are often attractive by themselves, they'll be even more attractive when they become competitive with the high-energy-content offerings.

    It is possible through collective action (i.e. a local form of socialist behavior) to out-compete the purely capitalist market solution.  Things get interesting when you can start displacing things like transportation and high-ticket-item capital purchases (e.g. cars and motorcycles) with better systems that offer better economics and performance because of the collaborative aspects.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by Jim Tietz on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:23:41 AM PST

  •  And she said: Sounds like a personal problem to me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:31:37 AM PST

  •  "if you think (ideas) will delay or lessen the (0+ / 0-)

    changes we have to make in our individual lifestyles, then you're not being intellectually honest."

    I guarantee you, most kossacks, a fair number of whom are both progressives and activists, though the latter mostly involves electoral politics, are not being intellectually honest. They do not think we can, should or need to do much.

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:33:00 AM PST

  •  Telling people how to live their lives (6+ / 0-)

    I can start to see between this and the gun 'debate' how conservatrds get this idea the 'liberals' want a 'nanny state'.

    Oh... you;re right. I get it. I have even heard of Bill McKibben and read his book years ago, before he was popular. I know this stuff.

    Just pitching in....

    Please stay home and don't go places. You don't really need to go. You'll just pollute the earth and accomplish nothing important.

    Shut off your lights, shut off your heat, cook food over..what? thermal vents? Or maybe an organic candle.

    Pee in your yard. Stop wasting Earth's last few gallons of water on your toilet.

    walk. Everywhere. I will have to sleep at work during the week - walking 19 miles one way takes awhile so I'll walk in on Monday and hike back on Fridays. I'll finally get that paperwork done.

    If you MUST drive, roll up your windows, keep the AC off and remind yourself that sweat is freedom. if it gets too hot, try to not hyperventilate as this will impair your driving.

    Please set in an old wooden chair and fold your hands neatly in your lap and wait for death. .

    And yeah - a tax increase: the problem is as good as solved..... I am firing up the wood smoker and cooking some fish.

    The most important thing is we have a framework by which some can righteously tell others how to live their lives.

    See ya in Hell.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:40:34 AM PST

  •  Thanks Fishgrease, I too aspire to sphinctrutility (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease

    I want a cleaner pinch. BUT I can't commit to full metal nugent.

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:43:36 AM PST

  •  What a lot of people are giving up (6+ / 0-)

    is the planet.

    Yes, I have a car, an 2000 Subaru. But a tank of gas lasts me a month or more. And I bundle up in winter. Was raised by the Mississippi Delta, and am used to heat and humidity, so only use the air conditioner on exceptionally hot days. Don't eat much meat at all (cattle contribute a lot to global warming), and am in the process of being total vegan. I buy from local farmers and producers when possible (belong to a food co-op).

    Still, in this society, it's so hard to not interact in the planet polluting web. Just going to the bathroom consumes paper and water. All the crappy wrappings of products.

    I also know when there's less in my garbage, I've polluted less. But somehow the bags get full quickly.

  •  We use 300 energy slaves each. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beach babe in fl, Fishgrease

    On average. That means that in order to live our lives the way we do today requires the energy equivalent of 300 people working for us. Consider that each ounce of laptop on your person requires the equivalent of 27 barrels of oil to put there.

    Now, we can say, yeah but, an energy slave is a false equivalent. Not when you consider the fact that people are getting sick and dying and being displaced by the increasing impact of Climate events. Not when you consider the impact on air, water and soil, as that affects all life, including humans. Not when you consider the intelligence and military activity it requires. Not when you consider the economic impact of disrupted markets. Really, energy consumption, especially wasteful, unnecessary energy consumption, truly involves a deep moral transgression. And all but very few of us are culpable: those who can't afford to consume, those who have made the sacrifice to drastically reduce or eliminate their carbon footprint.

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 07:03:20 AM PST

  •  I thought this was gonna be about Lent (4+ / 0-)

    based on the title.

    seriously, the US HAS done with less at times to reach a broader national goal. Think of World War II, rationing, no new cars, etc.

    It could happen. It takes leadership and messaging.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 07:12:21 AM PST

  •  Now we just have to find somebody (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigjacbigjacbigjac

    to force themselves to force us to do all of that.

    I can hear the whining now: "first they came for our assault rifles, and now they're coming for our fill in the blank".

    At least you didn't say we should have been forced to live with the only energy source we had that would have given us a chance to avoid the carbon catastrophe while there was still time (30 or 40 years ago).

    By the way, I once ran some numbers on the annual growth rate it would take for solar and wind to handle the full energy load in 30 years. I forget the exact numbers now but I think I remember it entailing a 70 percent increase in production of wind turbines and solar installations each year for a couple of decades or something. It got an enthusiastic reception rather than a realization of how hard it would be.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 07:15:33 AM PST

  •  Reducing Energy Consumption is not politically (4+ / 0-)

    viable, and no amount of screaming and gnashing of teeth will make it so.

    I wish that weren't the case.

    So that means phasing out fossil fuel transport for electric transport, and that means no-emissions electricity.

    We can replace all fossil fuel electric generation with zero emissions electric, but that requires nuclear.

    There's no way we're going to keep basic services necessary for life up and running with only 30% of our current power consumption. Something has to make up the gap.

    Nuclear is the only stopgap we have.

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 07:18:01 AM PST

    •  You're assuming that nuclear (4+ / 0-)

      would be quicker, cheaper, and easier to install.  It's none of the above.  You couldn't even get to 30%.

      •  Not according to the department of energy. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fuzzyguy

        They're already funding the next steps. Now if you're talking about those giant and dangerous plants we built in the 70's, yeah, building a ton of those would be unfeasible.

        There's other technology to look into. LFTR reactors and such.

        Add this to the elimination of any electric bulbs other than CFLs and LEDs and you've got a situation where we cut our electric requirements significantly.

        The only way to reduce energy consumption is to mandate more efficient consumer products.

        We have efficiency standards for cars, we need them for other products as well. That's how you handle the consumer side of things.

        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

        by OllieGarkey on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 07:29:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Future designs are irrelevant. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OllieGarkey, fuzzyguy, Calamity Jean

          If you don't have an operating design right now it might as well be vaporware as far as climate change is concerned.

          Agree about the bulbs, though.

          •  If that's the case, then why bother? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            orlbucfan

            The people holding our government hostage, the ones who are stopping our federal government from doing anything? They don't believe in climate change.

            We're going to have ten years of gerrymandered republican presence in the federal government.

            We can't pass a fucking farm bill, TJ. How are we supposed to get this stuff through even if we can find an elected democrat with the cojones to try? Fuck, if I were in office, I'd do it, but I'm never going to be in office. That's a rich man's game and it always has been.

            So lets bring it back to where we are. The development of new technologies is the only thing there is right now. Sure, we're going to fight, and educate, and do the activism we've been doing for longer than I've been alive to keep this planet from roasting us all to death. I'm all in for the next steps.

            But lets not kid ourselves here about what people around the world believe. Sure, us western nations all have populations that want something done, but we also have populations that don't. Everywhere else is too busy trying not to starve.

            They're too busy trying to figure out their next meal to worry about what happens in 2100.

            But lets say you're right, new technology is a waste of time and energy, if that's the case, then why waste our time doing anything at all?

            The politics are as impossible as they are enervating. A member of my generation Anjali Appadurai gave her get it done speech, and the world completely ignored her. Since giving this speech, nothing has been done.

            Not a damned thing.

            So yeah, I wish to god that we could have some kind of political solution. I want one. But we've got four years until the window to avoid permanent and irreversible climate change closes, and except for a handful of people, the generations that are supposed to be running the world are doing a terrible job, and sentencing my generation to ruination.

            So politics won't save us, because the older generation is incompetent. If technology wont save us either, then what the hell are we doing here?

            I have to believe that technology is a way out of this thing. Because thanks to our honored elders, there is nothing else for me and mine to fall back on.

            We don't have money, because we were told to enslave ourselves to obscene levels of student debt. We aren't buying homes and starting families because we can't afford it. That lack of money means that we don't have political influence. All my generation can do is wait for the "what's in it for me" generation to die, and hope that the self absorbed gen-xers do better than their parents, while we millennials wait in the wings.

            By the time we actually get our hands on the levers of power, that decades old window will have long since closed.

            So if there's no hope in technology, then there's no hope at all.

            An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

            by OllieGarkey on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:12:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm sorry if this is harsh. I know I'm preaching (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fuzzyguy, orlbucfan, Calamity Jean

              to the choir here when it comes to what we're fighting for, but I'm really angry about climate change.

              An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

              by OllieGarkey on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:34:54 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  S'allright (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                OllieGarkey, orlbucfan, Calamity Jean

                I think technology can save as,  but not future tech.  Whatever it is it has to be fast and a lot of it.

                And as a 62 year-old, I fully support your right to go all Logan's Run on our asses.  Surprised it hasn't happened already.   Though I'd suggest for maximum efficiency you start with the 1%.

                •  Conspicuous consumption and all, means you're (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  orlbucfan, Calamity Jean

                  definitely right.

                  Affordable LED lightbulbs would go a long way. We need to take all of the profits from oil, globally, and put all of it into green energy.

                  We need to nationalize the world's oil supply across the board. We're talking about trillions of dollars over the coming decades.

                  An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

                  by OllieGarkey on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 09:20:29 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  IFR was operating. Could be again, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OllieGarkey

            Chinese are planning some around 2030 as an orderly progression from their current setup. As we once were planning, around the time the precursors to the IFR got going in the late 40s to late 50s. But other organizations' "breeders" got off to bad starts by ignoring Argonne's experiences with their approach to that technology.

            See Plentiful Energy, now available for free in this handy pdf.

            Plentiful Energy was written by the two top managers of the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) program. I worked on that program for 20 years myself, and never knew half of the details about why that system worked so well and how it came to be.

            Moderation in most things.

            by billmosby on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 09:04:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm an engineer (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              OllieGarkey, Calamity Jean

              and I know that for a new design it can take 15-20 years before you have a full-size production unit on the ground.  So that's future tech, and doesn't really address the question of how we ever get to 2050 without toasting ourselves.

              •  Me too. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                OllieGarkey

                and you're right about the time it takes. But that program was stopped in 1994. Had it continued, well, we're about 20 years on, now.

                Actually, one key part of it wasn't stopped, the fuel cycle facility. It continues now, putting the EBR-II fuel into storable condition instead of recycling it into new fuel, but it's using he same process and equipment designed for a full-scale IFR and continuing to prove and gather data on the process even now.

                The reactor design was well-proved by the time the IFR program got going, all that was left to demonstrate was the fuel cycle, and that has almost 20 further years of experience now.

                There has been one pretty complete reactor design done based on experience with EBR-II and the IFR program (GE's S-PRISM, I think was the name). I think one could say actually that all that remains is to build a full scale system such as that, and that there is a lot of confidence that it would work as well as the prototypes.

                Certainly more than with any of the other advanced reactor types except possibly some of the water cooled ones that are small incremental improvements over today's PWR and BWR types.

                Moderation in most things.

                by billmosby on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 09:35:04 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Efficiency standards don't matter (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OllieGarkey

          when planned obsolescence ensures that production, which is the point where the greatest pollution and resource consumption occurs, continues as planned and consumerism remains the law of the land.

    •  Nuclear was the savior, but 30 years ago. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OllieGarkey, Calamity Jean

      Too late for that, or anything, now. But we should keep on trying to change just in case "worse" can be wrested from "much, much worse".

      Moderation in most things.

      by billmosby on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:52:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's not a '59 vette, it's a '73 MGB. (3+ / 0-)

    And you'll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.  :D

    Seriously, I can't necessarily disagree with this but I do wonder just how much difference individual lifestyle choices can make.  We're talking a seriously concerted, large-scale effort here.

  •  It's so late in the game (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, OldSoldier99

    that rationing is probably the only thing that is quick enough to have a chance (if we're talking about avoiding 2 deg C).   No American is going to like that, especially the well-off ones.  Maybe they'll come to like their children dying in the future even less.  

  •  Do I have to stop commuting 15 minutes (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, Siri, mmacdDE, DRo, orlbucfan, Fishgrease

    in my 28mpg car in exchange for the 75 minute bus ride, or is it enough to advocate for more comprehensive public transit coverage?

    We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
    Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

    by pixxer on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 07:45:37 AM PST

    •  Do you carpool? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, pixxer, Calamity Jean, Arctic Belle

      If the time differential is as wide as you state, there must be a lot of people in your area that feel the same way. Put the word out among your friends and neighbors & make it your mission to never drive just by yourself.

      I used to have a significant commute on public transportation. I used the time to read, listen to music or just decompress & daydream sometimes even taking a nap. It was enforced me time. The very few times I had to drive in, I missed that. Especially after having to fight rush hour traffic. It's only a waste of time if you waste the time.

      "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

      by Siri on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 09:11:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Probably, but I can guarantee you (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Siri, pixxer

        that they don't work where pixxer does. Or even anywhere close to it.

        Not everybody even HAS a public transportation option. Or rush hour traffic worth the name.

        •  Mine is a counter-commute so the traffic (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Siri, Calamity Jean

          is pretty minimal. It's freeway almost 100% of the distance (I live and work by two freeway entrances), which is why the car has such a huge time advantage over the bus, which is of course confined to the surface.

          We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
          Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

          by pixxer on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:49:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  No one in my area works near where I do, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Siri, Calamity Jean

        to the best of my knowledge. Since I'm a professor, I work wildly irregular hours (I go home when I'm done, or when I can gather up enough stuff to work on at home - usually about 7pm or 7:30). The bus was not bad, just took aeons. That's basically 10 more uncompensated hours per week on the bus, which is not my favorite idea.

        We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
        Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

        by pixxer on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:40:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  they tried to get train service (4+ / 0-)

      in my area but that failed. it'd make my hour commute much much less (by car I think it's about a half hour).

      The long bus ride really cuts into my quality of life, of which I have little, because of the commute.

      (I actually don't want to drive, though. I want there to be decent commuter rail. But it'll never happen. Sigh.)

      just a little bit bored.

      by terrypinder on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 09:13:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know. (4+ / 0-)

      You asked the question.

      It became a question for you.

      We're getting somewhere.

      And rare days I commute 760 miles, so I'm asking the same damn question.

      God bless us both. Let's keep asking.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:04:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Was way already a question for me :) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fishgrease

        Mr pixxer is of the "we do $(*&% everything else right, we get this one thing, ok?" persuasion. Rewashing plastic veggie bags to reuse at the store is one thing, for example. Don't eat much meat (but do eat cheese, which is not much better in terms of CO2 release). He can bike to work - used to walk when it was closer - but my 15 minute car ride is almost 100% on a freeway, and I'm not a good enough bicyclist to do the long trip on the surface roads, unfortunately. That's what's wrong with the bus, in fact - has to take the surface, in addition to (b/c of having to) stop a lot. At least for me it's a counter-commute - nobody going my direction either morning or night.

        We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
        Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

        by pixxer on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:46:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's really not an unreasonable (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pixxer

          commute. I'm certain you would rather win the lotto and not have to commute, even to the kitchen. I sure would.

          We're thinking about what we do instead of what governments and other people do. That's good.

          That's gotta be good.

          It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

          by Fishgrease on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:23:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hey - the commute to the kitchen I can walk! (0+ / 0-)

            It's a frequent and much desired destination :) We do the fresh, local, seasonal thing, and find cooking together to be a wonderful recreation.

            We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
            Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

            by pixxer on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 09:54:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Short answer, no. Long answer, YES. ;o) n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pixxer

      "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of East Somalia!"

      by unclebucky on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:18:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW
      Do I have to stop commuting 15 minutes  in my 28mpg car in exchange for the 75 minute bus ride....
      That would be stupid.  Find some other energy-using thing to cut down on.  

      Renewable energy brings national global security.     

      by Calamity Jean on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:09:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fat asses and walking. (7+ / 0-)

    I walk every where mostly, because I have to.  But I don't want a car.  I really don't.  Riding the bus gets me almost there.  I want it easier to walk.  I walk places where it is very scary.  I stand on a tiny cement island in the middle of a 5 lane highway full of people who would rather be on the freeway.  Cars are scary for a pedestrian.  What with that whole texting thing, you really have to look in the windshield to determine if you are going to have a close encounter.

    Fat asses and biking.

    Bikes and cars don't mix.  It is even more scary for a bike to try to go anywhere with cars whizzing by texting while late for dinner.

    Invent a easy way to carry a bike up stairs.  There are two handles on the market.  But neither involves a free hand for the people who don't feel stable enough to climb stairs without a free hand.  I found one method that involves lifting the bike up and resting the seat on my shoulder.  I can do that, but haven't tried it going up and down stairs.  I'll let you know.

    Or better yet, how about a bike storage system that keeps your bike from being damaged or stolen.  Parking space for bikes is considered frivolous and ugly. Parking space for cars is considered necessary and beautiful.

    I live where bikes could be ridden year round.  Bike riding to an actual destination is actively discouraged.

    My gun control petition was shot down.

    by 88kathy on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:00:53 AM PST

    •  And there's more than you write... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean, 88kathy

      Where I am, a younger person could bike 365, while a person a little more susceptible to the cold might not. Then there's the ice, snow, slush in winter, and wind all year (yes, it's the Windy City! or other cities like it).

      Decent bike racks are provided in many areas now, where the rack tubes are as resistant to theft as a car door. However, how one locks the bike to the rack is still primitive: The racks allow one or two bikes. Other bikes are impossible or get previous parkers angry. Further, bike locks have to account for different bike and rack configurations. These racks are outside, and a bike is not really as bad weather resistant as a car. And further, such racks are not observable, and a guy with a big lock cutter has your bike in a trice.

      Stores do not have bike racks in their car parks or inside, and they could. They COULD.

      Bikes do not have license plates and VIN numbers. They SHOULD.

      Bike theft prevention is an afterthought. It SHOULDN'T.

      There are some cities (in Europe) where bikes are public and they are publically maintained. The reason it works is that most if not all parties have access to them and there is less inclination of anarchistic destruction of presumed government stuff (really citizens' stuff).

      OK.

      --UB.

      "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of East Somalia!"

      by unclebucky on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:47:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What percent do we have to cut consumption by? (0+ / 0-)
  •  Unfortunately, we must make energy cost more. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri, wu ming, DRo, orlbucfan, Calamity Jean

    As the aphorism goes: "Don't tax goods; tax bads."

    This means we must tax consumption if we want to reduce it.

    The con nonargument against this aphorism is, "Well, if you tax wealth, soon there won't be any left!"  Of course, the idea is to tax away extreme, concentrated wealth, not all wealth anyone has.  Same goes for energy: taxing energy use won't eliminate energy, but rather, the taxes must subsidize the clean, sustainable energies, & punish the use of dirty, unsustainable ones, while also rewarding low consumption.  

    In a Market Economy, consumer demand does indeed drive the machines.  Consumers must join together & agree to change the course of what we use as energy.  Consumers must also socialize energy sources that are natural monopolies--aka, all limited mineral fuel reserves--to discourage their future use.  for example, there is currently no strong disincentive toward using up trace metals in our goddamn throwaway cellphones, so that future generations who might need those metals for really important technical applications will need to stripmine our landfills in a desperate search.

    We're not conditioned/taught to value the future or its generations, other than our own kids & grandkids.  We're not thinking about the state of the world in 10,000 years or how they will be adversely affected by our actions.  

    And we damn well should.  We have a moral obligation to them.  But Money says, "Fuck them, buy an SUV & every modern convenience, because that is love, you stupid monkey."

    What we must really give up is not what we really Love, but the Convenience we've been told we love.

    Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

    by Leftcandid on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:12:41 AM PST

  •  Goddamn, I love you. (5+ / 0-)

    I'm in a study group that is intensively researching and implementing radical simplicity, based on Gandhi's model of Constructive Programme. It's harsh, it is. You're right. We have to get harsh.

    I'm the D-student, and our (leased for free, payments resemble regular utility bill) solar panels cover all of our household electricity. But there's still the frakking gas stove and furnace.

    We eat local almost completely. For me the giving up of the bananas and coffee and chocolate is the bitch. We try to eat what was grown here (we raise pastured chickens and eat their eggs). We walk the dogs nearby.

    We train when we travel. Working hard to drive little as possible. We don't fly. We'd sure love more people to work toward this as we are so we're not alone.

    If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

    by rhetoricus on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:13:50 AM PST

    •  Now, hang on... :) (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean, rhetoricus, Leftcandid

      I applaud you for eating locally. It's great. Also for your transport choices.

      But, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy or Jacquie a dull girl.

      You can allow yourselves chocolate, coffee and bananas. Just don't waste them, and be sure to purchase from fair market providers. Likewise, try to keep it to one enjoyable cup of coffee whenever you want it, rather than 10 or more crappy tasting cups. Likewise with chocolate and fruits.

      Maybe you can give up something else when you reasonable have a cuppa, a chockie or a nanner.

      Well, I respect Pareto's 80/20 principle, OK?

      Best,

      --UB.

      "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of East Somalia!"

      by unclebucky on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:26:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you're reducing demand for goods (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence

    ...and services, you better consider how people can occupy their time.  Because that will up unemployment in the absence of some pretty revolutionary changes in the way our economy works.

    And the easiest way to reduce demand for energy is to reduce demand for the goods and services that require energy to produce.

    We've experimented with that for the past five years; it hasn't worked out so well.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:19:20 AM PST

  •  From a diary I posted 2 years ago ... (5+ / 0-)

    entitled It's the "booming," stupid!:

    "[S]omething that's always been the greatest strength of America is a thriving, booming middle class, where everybody has got a shot at the American Dream. And that should be our goal. That should be what we're focused on. How are we creating opportunity for everybody [pause] so that we celebrate wealth; we celebrate somebody like a Steve Jobs, who has created two or three different revolutionary products? We expect that person to be rich, and that's a good thing.  We want that incentive. That's part of the free market." —President Obama, Dec. 22, 2010 Press Conference
    My heart sank a little bit more when I first read this about a week ago. Is there any justification for hope if the only thing government can dream of is getting back to "booming?" Is there anyone left abstaining from the free market kool aid long enough to wonder how "Grow, baby! Grow!" could ever be anything but a recipe for disaster?

    I don't want to make the mistake of turning this into a "shoot the messenger" discussion. True, it makes me sad to think how disillusioning the past 2 years with Obama as president have been on occasion, but I can't imagine anyone else having done better and I can imagine way worse.

    To be quite honest, the real disillusion I feel is with the whole fucking thing, from hard right to hard left. Nobody's got what it takes. No one is able to untangle the mess.

    Obama says he's dedicated to getting us back to the good ol' boom times? Whatever. it's all just more water poured into the bubble machine with high hopes there will be a few more shiny things pumped out, maybe a bubble or two that won't pop before the masses are mesmerized by the Great American Dream again ...

    All I see happening is a continuation of everything we've been doing wrong since we fell under the spell of free market capitalism. We've become incapable of thinking outside the box of mass consumption. (Don't kid yourself here, wanting to get the middle class "booming" again is just another way of saying "let's get all the middle class livestock back into the mass-consumption pen.")

    My immediate problem with this is that global climate change is not something you want to fuck around with, and nothing feeds it more than mass consumerism; nothing pushes it further or faster in the wrong direction. It could already be way too late to avoid mass casualties but it's not too late to proceed with the assumption that the less we feed global warming the better off we'll all be.

    I have a less urgent though no less serious problem with it all, though; namely that the American Dream wasn't originally about being rich. It wasn't about consuming. It wasn't about favoring the pursuit of wealth over good morals and ethics. It wasn't about confusing the pursuit of happiness with the possession of desired things.

    I'd like the real American Dream back in its rightful place.

  •  And here I thought it was a diary about Lent. (9+ / 0-)

    ;)

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:28:44 AM PST

  •  I'm not for hairshirts for hairshirts sake. (0+ / 0-)

    I think the start is, instead of talking about giving things up, talk about things that are easy and not really all that great.  

    For example, I've always thought that people underestimated the amount of time they spend driving.  Just being more conscious of it, and realizing how sucky driving really is, would lead to both less driving and no less enjoyment.

    Things become internalized.  Everyone sorts their garbage in my city's voluntary program.  Even my complete asshole prior neighbor tried, although the empty beer cans at the curb showed why he wasn't good at it.  These things can become the new normal.

    That's not even "gun control". It's more like "massacre control".

    by Inland on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:36:10 AM PST

    •  hairshirts are a loser argument period; try utopia (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Inland, Calamity Jean

      So long as environmentalism is seen as a hairshirt movement, it's doomed.

      People want tomorrow to be better than today.  I believe that environmentalism can offer them that; I believe it's the only thing that can offer them that.  Why not sell it that way?

      Something's wrong when the bad guys are the utopian ones.

      by Visceral on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:02:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Investment in efficiency could help (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    quite a bit. This requires a strong commitment by Congress to fund basic science and technology development. Which doesn't seem likely, unfortunately.

    For example, a physicist tells me they know how to make computer disk drives that require only 10% of the energy they currently do. Multiply that times all the computers in the world? That's quite a savings. Consider that there are many such technologies sitting around with their inventors unable to get funding. Many, many such things. It is frustrating.

    Oh, and I also agree with all the other comments in this diary!

    I love it that Obama's channeling Harry Truman: "I don't give 'em hell; I just tell the truth and they think it's hell!"

    by sillia on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:42:13 AM PST

    •  I've seen contradictory opinions on that. (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, it makes doing any one thing require less energy. But ironically it has been shown to increase energy consumption in the long run because it makes energy cheaper somehow. I don't understand it anymore but it made sense when I read it. Wish I still had the link.

      Moderation in most things.

      by billmosby on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:49:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In a rational world (0+ / 0-)

        there would be stiff taxes on energy use, to encourage efficiency. Then, more efficient technology allows you to keep running your server or whatever, without incurring the expense. And allowing you to keep parts of lifestyle/civilization that you treasure.

        Prices (that is, taxes) should reflect the actual cost of the energy to society. This was articulated well up above.

        I love it that Obama's channeling Harry Truman: "I don't give 'em hell; I just tell the truth and they think it's hell!"

        by sillia on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 09:06:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's called Jeven's paradox. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        billmosby, orlbucfan

        Though it isn't really.  It just states that if you conserve energy somebody else somewhere will go ahead and use it.  

    •  It only helps so much (0+ / 0-)

      The laws of thermodynamics usually take this opportunity to come in and kick you out of your favorite chair, spill a big glass of cherry Kool-Aide on your nice new white carpet, and cackle while you clean it up.

      Efficiency is great, but we aren't going to efficient our way out of this mess. The thing there is that efficiency usually takes more engineering. That engineering recommends things like better materials, lower friction thises or thats, better lubricants, and the like but each of those materials has its own cost in carbon.

      Rare earths make better magnets, but mining and processing them is incredibly energy consuming.

      Higher speed ball barrings can make a spinning part take less energy to spin but themselves require much more energy to make, or if you switch to more exotic friction abatement like electromagnetic fields then you're spending the same or more energy in a different system and realizing a net loss in efficiency.

      All of that being said, it isn't a bad idea to get more efficient. Homes and buildings being more efficient would be a wonderful start with the natural follow-ups being to transportation, food production and consumption (as Americans, we waste 40% of our food supply. Waste, as in, throw away. A disgusting waste indeed) , and energy generation.

      However, these things all call for exactly the sorts of changes that Fishgrease explained above.

      •  I certainly did not mean to imply (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        salamanderempress, Calamity Jean

        that efficiency is THE answer, or even one of the main answers, it is however a useful part of the answer if you want to continue doing the kinds of things we do in our civilization with fewer resources. Otherwise it really WILL be hell, and sooner rather than later.

        There is so much waste, as you say. It is not only in the obvious things like gas guzzling cars, uninsulated attics, and thrown-away food, but in the smaller things that add up to tons of carbon. Like light bulbs, and disk drives (how many disk drives are on at this moment?).

        It makes sense to keep researching better solutions. There are possibilities beyond what we see now.

        I love it that Obama's channeling Harry Truman: "I don't give 'em hell; I just tell the truth and they think it's hell!"

        by sillia on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 01:25:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  We had this argument back in the Seventies (5+ / 0-)

    Concepts like "Zero Population Growth" were discussed in the news media.

    The Arab oil embargoes got people car-pooling and shopping for fuel-efficient vehicles. The national speed limit was set to 55 mph. Inventive builders started constructing "passive solar" and earth-sheltered homes. Neighborhood "kooks" started separating their glass and aluminum from their trash and hauling it to a recycling center.

    President Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the White House and turned down the thermostat... and got thrown out of office.

    I know that the Iran Hostage Crisis is what really defeated him. But there was a strong conservative backlash to conservation efforts.

    "Liberals want us all to freeze in the dark", they scoffed. "You can't make people want to be poor", they cried.

    The national conversation on "conservation" evaporated  with alarming dispatch after Reagan came into office. But progress continued.

    Americans continued to buy smaller cars, even if they were mostly imports. Curbside recycling became the norm. Building codes added include requirements for better insulation and windows. "Carpool lanes" popped up on freeways. The national 55 mph speed limit, (though not fully enforced everywhere), remained unmodified from 1973 to 1988, and wasn't repealed until 1995.

    "Conservation", like "thrift", should be a conservative value. But it infringes on the contemporary right-wing obsession with "Freedomz".

    Ask a redneck to choose between his pickup truck and his gun, and he'd stop and really think about it. Personal mobility is a very tangible freedom that lets us choose where to live, where to work, where to shop, where to send our kids to school, etc.

    I the same way, wasteful use of energy and material (like packaging) saves us time... another immediate & tangible kind of freedom.

    Opposition to conservation is, of course, a collusion between business interests and their political servants. But they succeed by appealing to fundamental human behavior.

    We absolutely must reduce our personal consumption, and we must reduce the number of children we launch into the next generation... but it's an uphill battle against powerful opponents.

    History suggests that "go slow" approaches work, and that "go fast" approaches result in disastrous political backlash. Yet, we truly are running out of time.

    Let McKibben be McKibben. The rest of us need to work on ways to convince people that conservation is a virtue to be proud of, not an infringement on our "liberty".

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:57:27 AM PST

    •  just thinking yesterday about the buzz (0+ / 0-)

      about the carbon footprint quizzes and how that has disappeared of late...

      And the population growth issue always strikes me as if there is some understanding way up there where policy is actually made that there will be sufficient 'acceptable losses' due to runaway climate change to handle that problem.  (sorry for the conspiratorial tone here) ...

      because it always is the one non addressed topic in all these official talks ...

  •  I'm mostly cynical and fatalistic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigjacbigjacbigjac

    I agree with you completely, Fishgrease. But we're all hypocrites.

    I don't ride a bike or horse, I drive.

    I pay token lip service to conservation in dozens of little ways that make me feel better but have no significant impact on hydrocarbon consumption or production.

    Pissin' upwind.

    Sometimes I hang my hat on the innovative spirit we all praise so highly but I've come to believe there are no magic formulas or gadgets.

    We will suffer. We will also endure.

  •  Excellent points, fishgrease (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease, LinSea, jayden

    While it is a difficult truth to admit, the conservatives are right in one respect.  Most liberals that actually believe in AGW are hypocrites.  That goes for me and that goes for most people on this site.

    That doesn't mean that many of us haven't taken steps in the right direction.  And I'm frankly not interested in hearing the personal stories of people who are walking the walk and therefore prove that my point is wrong.  The basic fact is that if you look at where we need to be in regards to carbon consumption and you look at what the majority of the people on this site consume, it doesn't take a rocket science to make a very educated guess that we are well over that level.

    So what to do with this fact?  Could we establish a DK group that focuses on taking steps to remove our collective hypocrisy?  Sorta like a GUS group but with monthly action items?

    I live in an energy efficient condo, drive a Volt and telework once a week but I hereby admit I'm a hypocrite.  I could do more as I know I consume more carbon than is healthy for the world.  

    Any interest at this site to form such a group to help remove our collective hypocrisy?

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

    by theotherside on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 09:17:01 AM PST

    •  I'll cop to that as well. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LinSea, jayden

      I'm a hypocrite. Thing is, we just need to start becoming a little less so.

      One way or the other, we're going to use less carbon energy. We can start to accept those changes now or have our entire ecosystem fall out from under us. War, famine, genocide, all of it.

      Thanks for copping to the hypocrite thing.

      I should have in the diary.

      Will in the next one.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:00:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you form it (such a group) I will follow. nt (0+ / 0-)

      Dance lightly upon the Earth, Sing her songs with wild abandon, Smile upon all forms of Life ...and be well.

      by LinSea on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:57:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  With the number of people on DKOS (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LinSea

        and the percentage of people that want to do something about AGW I would think that we would have a viable group that should be able to create some meaningful reductions of carbon consumption in our personal lives.

        Lord knows there is a long enough list of action items to do in our personal lives in order to live in accordance with our professed values.  But I'll have to give some thought as to the pro's and con's of this platform to help us make those changes.

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 01:32:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  GREAT diary, Fishgrease (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    orlbucfan, Fishgrease, LinSea

    Damn, I missed you....

    I totally agree.  Living more sustainably doesn't have to suck.  At all.  I know that living in SoCal makes things easier, but people need to show a demand for things if they want them.

    More locally grown food available?  Buy it.  Can it.  Get groups together and show that there is a market for it.  Same with organics.

    I've been an architect for twenty years, and in the last 12 years I've built a small reputation for myself in sustainable design.  Here, SDG&E spends a lot of money on a program, Savings By Design, that educates, assists, and gives financial incentives to owners and designers to reduce energy consumption on their building projects.  I believe they spend more than any other utility in the country.  It's pretty cool.  I bring this up because the reason they do this is not for warm and fuzzies - it is because of exactly what Fishgrease is talking about.  It is cheaper for a utility to reduce consumption than it is to build more generation infrastructure.  SDG&E figured that out and they are providing a very valuable service.

    Here are some links to their programs - free, and you can sometimes even be eligible for incentives.

    Savings By Design

    Zero Net Energy Resources

    Energy Innovation Center  -- a beautiful, award-winning building that serves as a showcase for the latest sustainable design strategies.  There is also a huge, energy and water efficient commercial kitchen that you can tour and even cook in to try out the latest equipment.  The Center also offers a lot of free seminars that are super informative.

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 09:53:03 AM PST

  •  giving up things we love ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    orlbucfan, citisven, LinSea

    a small one, this, but decorating presents for christmas or birthdays. Hell, buying presents for christmas and birthdays. I can remember the joy it gave me and others, the investment of time and love.

    now i use scraps of cloth or cloth napkins (for a while I would pick up these things at second hand stores but that involved driving which is off the list).

    i can recall laughing in the 70s about the clothes dryer of the future being a laundry line and clothes pins. but now that I have a private back yard I often just hang things to dry draped over furniture or along the fence (not much wind there) And how beautiful is it, in my memories, travelling through Europe and seeing all the laundry lines as your train pulled into a city ...

    So synchronistic to see a diary by you here, Fishgrease. I was just thinking of you the other day ... and wondering if you would ever return, if you had and I had just missed it.

    Either way, you did return with a huge SPLACH.

    Fabulous diary.  Feels like our DK environmentalist are truly fired up and ready for trench warfare. (speaking symbolically)

  •  The not so crazy Ross Perot once said (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    Now you see its like this. We are on a plane that is going to crash into the ground and you people are arguing over what kind of sandwiches are being served.

    Reality is the real bitch

  •  No understanding of the issues at all (0+ / 0-)

    Zero.

    The problems are much more complex, but have a lot to do with Governments and corporations acting badly, than with some individuals owning a corvette.

    Take a long hard look at the US Military's use of fuel for no benefit to anyone.

    Take a long look at outsourcing, and the carbon use associated..

    Air vs rail vs barge etc...

    These are governmental decisions.

    And on and on.

    Very disappointing to see anyone rec this nonsense.  

  •  The Question of WHO (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citisven, Fishgrease, LinSea

    is one that always gets me.

    Who are the ones who have the right now to hide behind the motto "I love my meat" or "I love my car" or "I've always purchased a new car every two years."

    and the the question of rights to carbon space for sustainable development ... the develping countries who claim they have the right to as much carbon space as the developed have used.  

    And they want to use this space for what? Hopefully, it is to create healthy and abundant lives which are quite dramatically different from those they see in the West.  And is this knowledge something we can pass on it to them, the knowledge that consumerism doesn't work? That accumulating huge sums of money doesn't work?

    That a good education does, but where will they get that education and who will be the providers?

    We talk about clean development transfer to developing nations to help them address climate change and adapt ..

    Perhaps we will be learning from them? But by the time this comes around, with the slow process, with the economic problems and with insufficient technological breakthroughs to deal with demand ....

    I don't know.

    I look at projects like Laurence O'Donnel's KIND, a desk for every child where the desks are built in the country and I wonder but what about the wood? Are they reforesting?

    There are so many contingencies now.  Simpler just isn't simple anymore.

  •  I'm dirt poor and live paycheck-to-paycheck. (9+ / 0-)

    Make-or-break for a week for me often boils down to $20.

    I take mass-transit.

    I think I can say I'm not the problem here.

  •  I gave up descendants... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease, LinSea, Calamity Jean

    for one or more reasons.

    But the plain truth is that 7 billion is too many and 9 or 12 billion is like trying to breathe with hornets in your mouth (Fishgrease always inspires me!)

    When my great-great grandparents (I know who they were and where the lived) were kids (1825), there were only about 1 billion people.

    When my folks were kids (1924), there were only 2 billion. We just had a war (WW1).

    When I was a kid (1960), there were only 3 billion. We had just had a war (WW2), there was a nukular (ha) cold war, and we were embarking on Vietnam, and nuking all the commies. Well.

    Now there are 7 billion, and we are no further from war. How does anyone think that birthing EVEN MORE PEOPLE is going to take us any further from war? There're already water, resource, and land wars going on in heavily populated areas in both the developed and developing worlds.

    We have to give up a lot we love or we will have to give up EVERYTHING in the near future.

    I don't want to be ingredients for Soylent Green.

    Meh. Capitalists.

    Ugh. --UB.

    BTW, in contrast to some other diarists I LIKE THE USE OF EXPLETIVES at least in your diary. Sometimes we have to swear and curse just to wake up the sheeple. I can't use them as well as you, fishgrease, but I know them all. You can use them in my place. ;o)

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of East Somalia!"

    by unclebucky on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 10:44:30 AM PST

  •  environmentalism needn't be the end of progress (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zmom, Lawrence, tardis10

    Regardless of the desperate need for conservation and frugality, I think the real fear has less to do with giving up steaks and Hummers and more to do with the fear that we'd be putting an end to the human adventure and condemning ourselves to an endless stagnation where physical survival is as good as it gets.  

    I've heard plenty of conservative arguments about how environmentalism is the liberals' ultimate weapon against human potential and happiness.  Now few of them go full Ann Coulter and explicitly defend pollution and overconsumption.  Instead, what they do is reappropriate a lot of their general pro-capitalist and [implicitly racist] anti-welfare rhetoric: liberals hate capitalism so they attack its sweet fruits as decadent and wasteful, liberals hate striving and achievement so they attack those things as selfish and predatory, and finally liberals want everyone sitting naked in the bushes because it's "peaceful" and "in harmony with nature".

    I hate to say it, but it's a good argument, because what do we really have in the way of arguing for environmentalism as "good" versus merely "necessary" or "correct"?  We knock the idea of "better living through environmentalism" and "technology will save us" as denial or making the problem worse, but doing so is itself denial of what really motivates the hesitation and outright opposition.

    People want to be safe, comfortable, and happy, and you're telling them they can't be.  You're threatening people's lifestyles and livelihoods (and in the Third World as well as the First), but what are you offering in exchange?  Righteous poverty?  We should be saying: "Look at this beautiful, healthy, and happy new world we can create!  Don't you want it?  Come and build this beautiful, healthy, and happy new world with us!"

    "Repent sinners!" isn't going to fire anyone's imagination; it's not a hopeful message of a better tomorrow.  This dark green vision of sackcloth and ashes is going to get people thinking: "Gee, I'd better vote Republican so those hippies can't destroy everything I know and love."

    Something's wrong when the bad guys are the utopian ones.

    by Visceral on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 10:49:18 AM PST

  •  I was speaking at a university recently, and the (4+ / 0-)

    director of the sustainability program invited me for dinner. He lived in a 4,000+ sq ft house about 30 miles from campus. So he had a healthy commute everyday. No need to worry, he drove a Cadillac Escalade. And then he'd go to work and teach about sustainability.

    T&R.

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 10:56:34 AM PST

  •  interesting diary and good discussion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, blueoasis

    here's what I posted in A Siegel's diary The power of "and" ... in response to this one, with a couple of edits for clarity...

    There are some really good chunks here and some stuff that's a little off. It reminds me a bit of the "guns don't kill people" argument that puts the onus on people's personal responsibility to fix every problem. I am of course a big believer in personal responsibility and voluntary changes in lifestyle, but looking around I don't see how that alone is going to deal with the magnitude of the problem. There are just too many systemic problems and inefficiencies that are driving the train off the cliff to fix things with isolated personal sacrifices. And while I think that the personal actions are very important not only in making small individual reductions in carbon emissions but in inspiring others to learn more about it and become part of a larger movement, it's just silly to discount any kind of larger systemic attempts at change because you think it's too difficult to attain.

    Things like raising mileage standards or mandating better insulated buildings does much more than not driving your dog for a walk ever could. It's not as sexy and ostentatious, but that's the whole point: most people are not going to be hardcore eco hippie warriors, no matter how bad things get, but they won't have a problem driving a 80 mpg car or stepping into a net-zero energy building if it's warm and comfortable.

    I don't quite get why you're so aggravated about Bill's divestment campaign. It's not like Bill is discouraging anyone from making personal changes or that he's saying that divestment alone is going to fix all the systemic problems. All he's saying is let's do CPR on the dying patient. That doesn't mean we can't or shouldn't think about how to get the patient back to health if he survives, but you've got to do triage at this point.

    Sometimes it feels almost as if people think Bill McKibben is the only person in the world worried about climate change or eco issues, and whatever Bill doesn't say or do can't possibly happen or already exist. There are so many people working on so many fronts, including the things you point out in his diary, like educating people about how to live more sustainably, that I think this projection on Bill to be all things to all people all the time is perhaps the real problem.

    In some ways you could even say that if we really want to move towards whole systems thinking we have to let go of our tendencies for hero/villain worship and recognize the importance of all the different players, even the quieter ones, in the ecosystem of solutions.

    You don’t want to be victimized by your lesser talents. - Gary Snyder

    by citisven on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:09:24 AM PST

  •  I reduced my consumption dramatically 3 yrs ago (8+ / 0-)

    when I chose to take a big cut in income by stopping a 70 minute commute (each way) and took an early retirement. Less income meant less frivolous consumption as well.

    Voluntary simplicity.

    I jumped off the carbon intensive hamster wheel today

    I retired to my solar heated home in a choice island location, where I spend more time in my garden, biirdwatching and bicycling. My car stays parked most days.

    "Senators are a never-ending source of amusement, amazement, and discouragement" ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:27:18 AM PST

  •  We're not going to hell. It's coming here. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, Calamity Jean

    http://www.politicalcompass.org/printablegraph?ec=-7.50&soc=-7.13

    by jm1963 on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:53:14 AM PST

  •  Very topical! (0+ / 0-)

    I am reading a book right now called

    "Creating World Socialism For Dummies"

    It takes awhile, but apparently collasping economies helps stimulate support for socialistic causes.

    Republicans are penny wise and pound foolish.

    by Krush on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:02:49 PM PST

  •  Hell... ? (0+ / 0-)

    ... and all he had to do, all those years before her return, was to open her goddamn letters he collected and carried; the letters that would have kept him from the burn and the lash of hellish self loathing of a world poisoned by fortune and greed.

    A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

    by justiceputnam on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:21:47 PM PST

  •  Good luck in winning over a sizeable (0+ / 0-)

    amount of the world population with a "suffer, people, suffer!" line of argument....

    As for the following:

    No. They won't. No one with anything resembling a complete understanding of the potential of these technologies, even if everything goes perfectly in their development and even with a huge increase in government funding BELIEVES THIS. The most optimistic forecasts are that green technologies will cover 30% of our total projected energy needs by 2050 (pay close attention to that word "total"). We. Don't. HAVE. Until. 2050! So we have to cut our total projected energy needs. Don't tell me about studies that show Australia can power itself 100% with wind and solar in the next 30 years or whatever. It's bullshit. Studies like that are bad science and you won't find a serious scientist or economist who puts any stock in them. Bad science doesn't help.
    You're dead wrong on this.  It is exactly because many people, including you, have this false belief, that we aren't getting things implemented fast enough.  If Germany, which is a pauper in terms of renewables resources in comparison to countries like Australia and the U.S., can get 25% of their electricity from renewables in 2012, then countries like Australia and the U.S. should have no problem exceeding that amount by far in even a mere decade, if the proper policies are implemented and the Big Energy shackles are broken.

    Increasing efficiency, of course, will have to be a large part of the solution, but please do stop repeating the Big Oil myth that renewables can't hack it.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:21:54 PM PST

    •  The word "total" (0+ / 0-)

      Which you in fact quoted, yet you say I'm wrong.

      Transportation. Big trucks going down the highway moving goods. Diesel-electric locomotives. Aircraft.

      You can't say 100% unless it includes 100% of energy.

      Ignore transport and sure anything is possible. But we can't ignore it.

      I'm not dead wrong. Nowhere close.

      Unless you think anywhere on this planet is going to have solar and wind transport by then. Yes I',m aware of electric vehicles, including aircraft. Not going to cut it. Nowhere in the next 50 years, much less 30.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:56:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even aircraft can be solved. (0+ / 0-)

        It's the one area where biofuels make sense.

        Trucking can also be solved with a biogas-hybrid solution until electric becomes fully viable for long-haul trucking.

        But, tbh, if we can get everything to 100% renewables except for efficient aircraft and trucking, then we're probably out of the woods anyway.

        Add some carbon negative mitigation efforts to the mix, like terra preta(biochar) farming and hempcrete buildings, and we wouldn't be contributing anymore co2 to the atmosphere.

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 01:34:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  And here's why I'm against people throwing (0+ / 0-)

      around meaningless numbers like that.

      Governments cannot act upon rumor. They have to act upon fact. So we go 30 years and Australia is supplying close to 100% , say 92% of their domestic and municipal electrical power with wind and solar. Close enough. Good job.

      The USA could too by that time, I don't dispute that. In fact I think we should demand that.

      But you claimed a "Big Oil myth". Big Oil does not supply fuel for domestic and municipal electrical power. Big Oil supplies fuel for industry and transport.

      So in 30 years people are blaming Obama, his successors and all world governments because we're still burning oil in internal combustion engines. They get blamed because people listened to some worthless study by two guys, a study that no responsible person in the field puts any stock in.

      Also, it takes energy to manufacture solar panels, wind turbines and electric transmission lines (transformers, batteries, all that). Right now most (by FAR most) of that energy comes from carbon-based fuels. That will also be slow to change. Very slow.

      My criticism of that study is valid. It is not dead wrong. It is dead on.

      And throwing around terms like "Big Oil myth", especially where pure logic says it doesn't belong, borders on irresponsible conspiracy theory.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 10:03:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those numbers aren't meaningless at all, (0+ / 0-)

        because many, many people still don't realize how viable renewables have become.  We can't have enough studies showing just how much renewables can do for us.

        Ok, I'll rephrase the "Big Oil Myth" part.... it's a myth largely driven by Big Oil and Big Energy.  Oil is used extensively for heating, btw.

        I doubt that people will be blaming Obama for internal combustion engines in 30 years, btw.  His Admin. is, after all, the first Administration to strongly push for vehicle electrification and attempt to shatter the unholy alliance between Big Oil and the Big Three Automakers.  Not to mention the doubling of CAFE efficiency standards.

        I've never understood people making the argument that wind turbines and solar panels also require carbon-based fuel to make.  With each wind turbine and solar panel that starts producing energy, the level of carbon-based energy required to make more goes down, after all.  Furthermore, the ROEI time period is short with solar and extremely short with wind.

        Anyway, my point stands that you are not going to make much progress by saying "suffer, people, suffer!" and then moving on to question the viability of renewables to get the job done.

        In fact, it's likely counterproductive.

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 02:20:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Apt right now at 48;clothesline in the living room (0+ / 0-)

    to dry clothes: bike 20-30 minutes to nearby commercial clusters for banking, food, postage, supplies (raingear for stormy weather); got rid of cable TV; using a small heating pad to keep myself warm in bed without heating the entire room, make my own presents for friends, do banking and bill-paying online, eat 2 or 3 simple meals (as little processed food as possible) a day ..... I don't feel like I'm living in a 3rd world country or I'm horribly deprived. I feel CLEANER. I feel less ensnared in the tentacles of an over-commercialized, material-goods-infatuated world. I'm out of the status race.
    My civilized perks are electricity and water, neither of which I use excessively (how many of you leave your printer computer wireless phone cable modem cellphone charger DVD player VCR TiVo TV coffeemaker kitchen counter radio stereo systems et al's power plugs in the socket 24/7, even when you're out of the house, or all night when they're not used?). I keep a car in good shape and use it for long-distance drives or hauling big loads of groceries, driving friends around as favors, etc -- fill my gas tank once every 2 months or so. So yes I use gasoline, too. Drive a small Honda, tho.
    The most damning thing about America regarding climate change and sustainability is our economy is based on CONSTANT COMSUMPTION. Seventy percent of our economy is based on people buying and buying and buying.
    If you really want to help the future, cut way down that number; make a new economy. Otherwise all the recycling efforts or 100mpg cars in the world won't save us.

    Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizzam!

    by fourthcornerman on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:26:49 PM PST

  •  Fishgrease. Dick cancer. And more (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Truedelphi, Fishgrease, 4Freedom

    Dear Fishgrease: I wish I could read your whole diary but I don't have the eyesight for this much reading. Is there a brief abstract?

    Dear Fishgrease:  Don't worry about dick cancer. The trick about cancer is to catch it in time. A friend had his treated and he is fine.

    As for saving energy AND living the good life....I thought we were living really well in the 1950s when there wasn't much to use energy FOR (pre-air conditioning, etc.) and when I lived in Europe (very economy-minded about energy in those days!). The good life was all about people, special events, treats, improving ones mind, and making the world a better place.

  •  Look - over 60% of all oil & gas available to the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom

    Nation as a whole goes to fighting our damn wars, and modernizing the damn military. So when some "experts" start talking on how people should be cutting back, that should be mentioned right off the top.

    Yes, before anyone tells any common citizen that we have to pinch back our supposed scatalogically obscene rides in the country with our dogs, let's STOP THE DAMN WARS. And let's quit building weapon systems that we then blithely turn around and offer up to the UAE, and to Israel.

    A lot of energy is consumed when you build weaponry - and between August of 2010 and end of Sept 2011, we GAVE some 50 billions of dollars of war stuff and toys to the UAE states and Israel. And spent another 200 billions of dollars "modernizing," the military during the same time period. If we spent that money instead on helping people install solar and/or wind panels to run their hot water heaters, we would see some progress on the issue of  Climate Change.

    BTW, my household uses a solar device that allows us to put the household dryer in mothballs during the  summer time. It's cost - three dollars. This device replaces the most energy intensive motor and heating system in the household, for almost five months. You can benefit from my household's wisdom: clothes liens are available in most grocery stores, and every hard ware store.

    Offer your heart some Joy every day of your life, and spread it along to others.

    by Truedelphi on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 02:10:42 PM PST

  •  The idea (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jm1963

    that painful personal sacrifice is the key to salvation in a desperate conflict against vast, hostile forces represents an emotional trope cropping out among Stone Age practitioners of human sacrifice, Catholics, anti-pleasure Puritan Christians and many other religious traditions.

    "Give Up Something You Love or Go to Hell" expresses perfectly its secular facet.

    I'm not advising people to go out and consume thoughtlessly, but in a market economy there is another aspect to this.  

    E.g., the less gas some of us buy, the more the cost goes down for other people who are whooping around in Hummers. The less coal we burn here in the U.S., the more we end up shipping to China, where there are even less envoronmental protections. Et cetera. Our personal sacrifice may be of no benefit to the system or the next generation, but may benefit others who are not so scrupulous and perpretrate the very system that needs to change.

    That's why regulation is essential. If regulation applies to everybody, I don't have a beef with it. But under the present scheme of things, as far as my personal decisions how to live life, kindly F. off.

    BTW, I didn't have kids, which is probably the biggest thing anybody can do to reduce their  personal footprint on the environment.

    I also walked to work and/or took public transport or telecommuted for 30 years, much good THAT did.

    So if at my age someone has an isue that if I want to drive the 2 miles to the farmer's market or keep my house warm in the winter or even take a transcontinental plane flight once every couple of years: F. that person and Girolamo Savonarola and Cotton Mather and the horse they rode in on.

  •  Corps with the biggest Carbon footprint (0+ / 0-)

    should lead the way in the "You dont deserve to do that" movement. Sure I'll get off my fat ass and walk, I'll turn down the thermo in the winter & up in the summer. I'll learn to love my chills and sweat. But you know what? it don't amount to bupkis if Walmart stays its polluting course.

    So lets campaign to get the big boys turned around and on the right course and then settle in for our own pain. And in fact we'll have to boycott some of the things we love to get them to change anyway.

    Dick cancer? Who knew.

  •  I give up my rights (0+ / 0-)

    to utilize energy from coal burning power plants.  and please don't raise my taxes, I can barely pay them now.

    Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

    by 6412093 on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:07:48 PM PST

  •  You had me at (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease, bigjacbigjacbigjac
    Look. I want to avoid climate change and all but I don't see why they should have to raise taxes to do it.

    Fuck you. We're raising your taxes.

    Well, actually, you had me from the beginning, but that shit was THE BOMB.

    You're right.  Adam Siegel is right. Bill McKibben is right.

    February 17th in DC, all.  Rally against Keystone. BE THERE.

    And oh yeah... stop it with all the carbon consumption, like Fishgrease says.

    “Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” -- FDR, 1936

    by SolarMom on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 09:00:46 PM PST

  •  My carbon footprint is much smaller than anyone (0+ / 0-)

    who has any children.

    I have no children.

    That is the most I can do,
    other than suicide,
    and my wife would object to that.

    The number one thing everyone must do,
    is to get themselves surgically sterilized,
    and try to persuade others to do the same.

    This will not make humans extinct,
    since there will always be accidents,
    and those who won't agree.

    The reason everyone in the rich countries,
    such as the USA,
    must get sterilized,
    is because every rich country's child
    is a monster,
    accidentally harming and even killing poor folks.

    We must stop making more monsters.

    And the children of poor countries
    are the victims.

    They need to stop making more victims.

    The harming and killing may be from heat waves,
    storm surges,
    and famine from droughts.

    Once again,
    the children of the wealthy countries,
    especially the USA,
    are accidentally monsters,
    and the children of the poor countries
    are the victims.

    Next time you see a nice family of four
    here in the USA,
    you are looking at monsters.

    When you hear of high birth rates in poor countries,
    you are hearing about future victims.

    Anything else we do,
    is truly pissing in the wind.

    By the way,
    I think what will happen is this:

    The world population will go higher than nine billion,
    maybe higher than ten billion,
    and then,
    folks will find out the hard way
    that the big problem is famine.

    Global climate change will make the famine worse,
    capitalism will make the famine worse,
    but the enemy is famine,
    the enemy is too many mouths to feed.

    Humankind will see that,
    too late.

    Then,
    maybe,
    folks will be eager to get surgically sterilized.

    It will be hard to get someone
    to volunteer
    to make any babies.

    As long as that attitude holds,
    that will be better times.

    I feel,
    based on limited research and guesswork,
    that if we have no more than 100 million humans
    on the whole planet,
    that should be sustainable.

    That should be peaceful.

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