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Why is Climate Change so controversial?

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  • #31
    We as a society can't even agree on wearing face masks during a pandemic, how the hell we gonna get together to fix climate change?


    You've been playing around the magic that is black
    But all the powerful magical mysteries never gave a single thing back

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    • #32
      Well, that is a big reason behind the posters talking about reforming our political system.

      The vast majority of Americans agree on wearing face masks. The last major polling on it from last week had 89% of people reporting they wear face masks in public.

      Just like lots and lots and lots of issues that have extremely broad support though, that isn't translating into political will to govern the country in line with broad public agreement.

      The question isn't really, "if Americans can't agree on X, how are we going to get together to fix climate change."

      The question is, "if 65% or more of Americans say they agree on reform X, why isn't the government responding to broad public support?"

      Broadly speaking, it isn't a need to get the public to agree at this point. It's a need to get the government to respond to the majority opinion instead of fighting over who best exemplies the tribalistic identity of a political party.

      Climate change is in a weird position. The pandemic is horrible, but it will pass one way or the other, and the rest of the world can isolate the US if we continue to botch our response to COVID-19. In 2022, COVID-19 isn't going to be a pandemic. It's most likely not going to be a major concern any more. It's just how much damage it does before it burns out, and how well we take the lessons forward for the next major disease outbreak. Gun rights legislation is, ultimately, not a existential threat to the country as a whole. We need to do something about gun violence while respecting the 2nd Amendment, but the country's not going to end if it takes 25 years to finally get it right.

      Climate change is going to keep getting worse. It's not going to spike and then die down, and it's not something we can keep punting at the cost of lives but lives politicians can cravenly call the price of freedom. But it's not immediate either. If we blow past the 2030 benchmark the world isn't doomed. It doesn't even mean we're doomed to fail the 2050 benchmark. It just means hitting the 2050 benchmark and the 2100 benchmark is going to go up in cost across the board. It is both an immediate threat to the world, and something that's easy to dismiss as an immediate threat because it's not going to obviously kill you or someone you know tomorrow. The way to fix it is long term. We can't just pass a bill and climate change will get fixed. It takes continued and sustained effort. It takes constant evaluation and tweaking to policies.

      The public opinion is, basically, not the problem. The public will to hold politicians to the fire isn't. The political will to do it without having their feet held to the fire isn't. Addressing that is... yes, something without a simple answer, but an answer we as a society need to figure out really damn fast.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

        Climate change is going to keep getting worse. It's not going to spike and then die down, and it's not something we can keep punting at the cost of lives but lives politicians can cravenly call the price of freedom. But it's not immediate either. If we blow past the 2030 benchmark the world isn't doomed. It doesn't even mean we're doomed to fail the 2050 benchmark. It just means hitting the 2050 benchmark and the 2100 benchmark is going to go up in cost across the board. It is both an immediate threat to the world, and something that's easy to dismiss as an immediate threat because it's not going to obviously kill you or someone you know tomorrow. The way to fix it is long term. We can't just pass a bill and climate change will get fixed. It takes continued and sustained effort. It takes constant evaluation and tweaking to policies.
        That sounds right to me. I've seen enough people sound dismissive because they point back to deadlines scientists have referred to in the past and how moving past them didn't entail an apocalyptic disaster.

        And I think some of climate denial appeals to people for similar reasons that some conspiracy theories do; I find that there are people who really like to affect a form of cynicism that says they have a deeper insight into some thing that most people blindly go along with (when what they're actually betraying is their distinct lack of deep observation into a subject).

        Still. The year did start with those fires in Australia, didn't it? And California has had much the same. How many more of those are we going to need?


        I have approximate knowledge of many things.
        Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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        • #34
          I'd say it's in part that the solutions proposed are extremely expensive, and current politicians are quite corrupt.

          In Ontario Canada, all the solar power was built in part because of massive subsidization by the provincial government. So much so that rates were hiked by ~35% and expected to last more than two decades, if I recall the ballpark figures correctly. Somehow, many of the companies building these solar power plants were major donors and personally connected to the government of the time.

          Major manufacturers found such rates prohibitive and uncompetitive. This means less investment and less jobs for people in that province.

          Crony capitalist environmentalism is a thing, and what many (like myself) are skeptical of. Until we fix how we govern ourselves, solving environmental problems effectively isn't going to happen.
          Last edited by Tytalus; 07-14-2020, 06:03 PM.

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          • #35
            Cronyism and corruption exist in all forms of governing, and in all forms of economic theories.

            The issue with, "we need to fix this other stuff first!" remains the same: how do we fix that and start fixing climate change because we need to have seriously started fixing climate change decades ago.

            Which is worse? Spending $2 billion on what should cost $1 billion but corruption and so on but we get effective fixes in the next 5 years in place, or waiting 10 years to radically reform governance so that the base cost of fixing climate change balloons to $6 billion and that doesn't account for the billions lost to increased severe weather events, continued raising health care costs from the change environment, and all the other associated costs that aren't just in mitigation and reversal of the problem itself?

            When do we way, "screw it, some rich assholes are going to get rich by greedily taking advantage of an existential threat to modern civilization, but we'll save civilization," so we don't let perfect be the enemy of good?

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            • #36
              You explain my point exactly, good.

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              • #37
                Why is Climate Change so controversial?

                Controversial answer, because a lot of dumb people don't take it seriously. It's been a fact for most of my life, but i still know people that doubt it's real or go "hotter summers? Suits me..."

                They don't care about anything beyond their own life and circumstances.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                  Cronyism and corruption exist in all forms of governing, and in all forms of economic theories.

                  The issue with, "we need to fix this other stuff first!" remains the same: how do we fix that and start fixing climate change because we need to have seriously started fixing climate change decades ago.

                  Which is worse? Spending $2 billion on what should cost $1 billion but corruption and so on but we get effective fixes in the next 5 years in place, or waiting 10 years to radically reform governance so that the base cost of fixing climate change balloons to $6 billion and that doesn't account for the billions lost to increased severe weather events, continued raising health care costs from the change environment, and all the other associated costs that aren't just in mitigation and reversal of the problem itself?

                  When do we way, "screw it, some rich assholes are going to get rich by greedily taking advantage of an existential threat to modern civilization, but we'll save civilization," so we don't let perfect be the enemy of good?
                  This attitude is still part of the problem. "It's ok when the corruption supports a cause I like."

                  https://financialpost.com/opinion/th...ur-rural-areas

                  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toron...ills-1.3860314

                  https://globalnews.ca/news/4243590/b...-green-energy/

                  https://ottawacitizen.com/feature/ho...of-blind-river

                  https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news...ticle33453270/

                  https://torontosun.com/opinion/colum...in-geen-column

                  https://financialpost.com/opinion/bo...tricity-system

                  This could have been a slamdunk for environmentalism, but then political corruption and cronyism ruined it. I'm not okay with that, period.
                  Last edited by Tytalus; 09-02-2020, 12:46 AM.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Tytalus View Post
                    This attitude is still part of the problem. "It's ok when the corruption supports a cause I like."
                    I never said it corruption is OK when it supports a cause I like. My "attitude" isn't, "hey lets all fuck up like Ontario did."

                    I said corruption is inevitably part of any human run system, and there has to be a point where the practical losses to corruption aren't significant enough to make rooting out as much corruption as possible more important than bigger threats such as delaying climate change.

                    Also, for all the articles you linked to, that's not really highlighting any significant issues of corruption and cronyism. Mostly it's just highlighted that poorly designed infrastructure projects are generally far more costly than they would have been with better written laws/ordinances/regulations/etc.

                    It's not even an issue of green energy vs. other sources. If the same regulatory mistakes were made to encourage everyone to build coal powered generators it would have had the exact same problems; swapping fossil fuel based electricity for green energy was the political promise though and it's actually not a bad idea even if the Ontario government fucked it up royally.

                    I'm not okay with that, period.
                    But, again, moving past the specifics of this one example: you're not going to get everything you want out of this. It's not possible. So when does your hard-line "not okay with that," stance start to do more harm to the cause of fixing the climate?

                    While not a strictly zero-sum game, we can't keep putting other reforms ahead of climate change without significant costs to actually solving climate change increasing. Every delay just increases the cost across the board. How much more expensive are you willing to let climate change get before you're "okay" with the way governments are going to implement things? Because if we're going to wait for them to be perfect, human civilization is done for.

                    I get the Ontario issue is clearly one personally important to you, but fixating on it like it's the sum total of the climate discussion doesn't help. If some other government is proposing the same ideas, yes, wave Ontario in their faces to show how bad of an idea it would be to copy. But we have to accept that there are still going to be screw ups. Transitioning global industrial infrastructure to a green system isn't something anyone's ever done before. There are going to be fail plans. There are going to be bad laws. And yes, there's going to be corruption. We're simply incapable, as a species, of doing anything this big without a lot of mistakes a long the way. And we need to fix this... there isn't really a choice... so people advocating for climate change policies need to be realistic about these matters and keep pushing things towards a better outcome than our current trajectory instead of getting bogged down on every mistake that gets made along the way.
                    Last edited by Heavy Arms; 09-02-2020, 04:06 PM.

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                    • #40
                      I have trouble believing in any form of apocalypse - viral, environmental, or nuclear war. Until there is a greater degree of unity and better functioning governments, tackling environmental problems is going to be using 3rd or 4th rate solutions at best.
                      Last edited by Tytalus; 09-03-2020, 11:36 PM. Reason: wording

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                      • #41
                        Nobody's asking you to believe in any form of apocalypse.

                        We're not going to wake up one day with the world literally on fire. An equivalent of a category 10 hurricane isn't going to destroy the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and huge portions of the Mississippi river and Great Lakes. That's all hyperbolic nonsense (not necessarily impossible, but if we poisoned the world that badly we're already dead well before it would get there)

                        What you're being asked to listen to, are the experts basically saying that climate change is like debt: the sooner we can pay it down the better, because if you keep letting interest build and build and build, you have to pay more and more and more than what you originally "borrowed." The benchmarks set for 2030 and 2050 aren't even about paying down the debt... they're just about making sure we're paying off enough interest that the debt stops growing so we can stabilize the situation and then pay it down by 2100.

                        While we do need to avoid objectively bad climate policies, we are past the point where stalling for "1st rate" solutions is viable; we've spent 40 years squandering that option. We need to start doing something meaningful or we're going to default before those great solutions can do any good.

                        It would be great if we could just get a better job that pays all our bills, with an awesome and supportive company. But it's entirely unreasonable to expect you're going to land that job. In the meantime, you've got to do something that's not as good, or risk financial ruin. Working two jobs for people that treat you like a disposable tool and pay you the least they can sucks, but if you need both jobs to make ends meet... you're going to work both jobs rather than wait for a miracle job to open up. That's just what you have to deal with

                        The climate is in basically the same situation: waiting for the perfect job (aka optimal governance) isn't going to get climate change under control. We need to stop climate change from getting worse by doing less appealing options (like working two jobs) so that we can actually implement the better solutions once we have them (not being so far in debt that by the time we get that perfect job it still doesn't pay enough to dig us out of the hole).

                        A "3rd rate" solution is actively better than no solution.

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                        • #42
                          Climate change is a serious thing. Even if you compare winter time temperature in your own countries now and 20 years ago for sure it's is different. For example I have flat in Munich here for 15 years and winters for sure are warmer in the past 5 years minimum. This is bothering.
                          Last edited by Gurdone; 09-12-2020, 11:52 AM.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Konradleijon View Post
                            Climate Change denial should be illegal everywhere,
                            Wow. This is chilling on many levels. I hope you are just trolling.

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                            • #44
                              Not every opinion Is entitled to exist. Some ideas are inherently dangerous and will produce damages to the society as a whole. For the same reason many countries out-lawed Nazi Revisionism or holocaust denial, and there are many proposed bill aimed to clash fake news on social networks. Given the world-scale damages that climate change denial does to the world I can see why people would restrict It.
                              No vaxism, climate change denial, hate speech and so on are not legitimate opinions.
                              Last edited by Undead rabbit; 09-12-2020, 03:47 AM.

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                              • #45
                                Well, we can't actually outlaw opinion or ideas, and even objectively horrible ones.

                                It is, however, a different matter when it comes to how opinions/ideas/etc. are expressed. It is a long standing legal principle that the freedom of speech is not incompatible with consequences for abusing speech (esp. since there's frequently an equivocation between what 'speech' means in each context). If someone speaks in a manner that causes harm, society has a right to enforce consequences for that harm.

                                There's nothing chilling about the idea that defamation carries legal consequences; even if specific laws around defamation are quite bad.

                                I personally don't think trying to legislate climate denial into the same area as similarly unprotected speech is worth the time and effort to do so, but I don't think it's hard to establish that climate change denial is also a uniquely harmful abuse of speech wherein a legal framework to attach legal consequences to espousing it is some sort of slippery slope.

                                As a policy position, I think it's counterproductive and ill-considered.

                                For someone just venting their exacerbation with the climate change discussion, I think it's an understandably hyperbolic statement of frustration.
                                Last edited by Heavy Arms; 09-12-2020, 01:05 PM.

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