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Tourists are Killing the Planet

Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 01 Jul 2019, 23:08:23

It is very unlikely that everyone in the world will make one plane trip a year or even in each person's lifetime, ever. Unless you see some wave of egalitarianism sweeping the world. The poorest billion people or so will be lucky to get clean water and reliable food or basic medical help, much less be able to go jet setting with P and his happy researchers! :)

No, fewer and fewer people will make more and more trips, and a very few will fly constantly in their own private jets and their pets and servants will also be transported separately in their own private jets.

Just because we have trouble comprehending the enormous consumption levels of the super rich doesn't mean they don't in fact consume and make waste at those enormous levels...and you can be sure that few if any 'own' or take responsibility for their consumption.

P want's to distract us by whipping his favorite whipping boys (besides Obama)--Hollywood celebrities. But, outside of Oprah and maybe a couple others, few of these are actual billionaires. Those are the real super consumers.

But ultimately we also do have to look not just at individuals but at corporations, military, governments, and other groups and institutions (Catholic Church and others) that collectively leave an oversize footprint.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Ibon » Tue 02 Jul 2019, 07:07:05

dohboi wrote:
No, fewer and fewer people will make more and more trips, and a very few will fly constantly in their own private jets and their pets and servants will also be transported separately in their own private jets.



This would be ecologically very positive. Middle class consumers reduced to serfdom still allowing the few rich their opulent lifestyles would help immensely in reducing the humans collective carbon footprint on the planet. This is against mine and your self interest and against our sense of moral justice but it is none the less true.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Ibon » Tue 02 Jul 2019, 07:32:52

Plantagenet wrote: One approach we came up with is that each individual would be allocated a carbon budget, i.e. an amount of carbon they could release without doing excessive harm to the climate. People who fly in private jets explode their carbon budget because private jets release much more carbon per trip then commercial jets.


Isn't this the same as what a socialist does when promoting policies that tax the rich so that there is a more even distribution of wealth? That the total wealth available be distributed in a way that each citizen has a fair share of the economic pie.

Your saying here that a top down entity would have the authority to allocate each citizens consumption.

I understand the logic, I am just pointing out the incredible hurdle there would be to ever have this be embraced and supported by the mainstream. Also imagine for a minute actions by lobbyists for the airline industry in Washington if a serious proposal to allocate and restrict citizens freedom to fly was proposed.

How would you get someone like Cog to embrace government regulating his consumption. At this point in time this idea confronts the holy grail of personal liberty. And the idea that the market can fix everything if we just leave it unregulated.

We are a bit Shizophrenic in relationship to authority and power. We hate government out of the right side of our mouths while we call for government regulation to fix problems out of the left side of our mouths.

At some point consequences will display a glaring truth and that is that allowing consumption to remain unregulated will actually have a greater impact on individuals personal liberty because of the environmental impacts and how that will weaken society and economies.

Instead of submitting to restricted access to consumption the very wealthy would prefer to weaken economically the middle class down to serfdom in this way freeing up the remaining resource base for their unlimited use. This is much more likely the future than any top down government regulation.

In fact, it isn't the future. It is what is happening.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 02 Jul 2019, 08:05:58

"The Government" is not a person. "The Government" is an idea that would be a wonderful idea if it actually worked like the theory of government says it could and should and would work.

However the reality would be that the government is already failing to even acknowledge present goals, much less to accomplish same. We do not have three branches of government, each providing a check on the others. Instead the Judicial Branch legislates from the bench, the would-be executives in Congress spend their time fighting with the POTUS, and both the executive and legislative branches spend their time fighting over judicial appointments, all in the name of partisanship.

It was not always so. I remember when the theory and the reality of government were considerably closer than they are today. This was before the "Camelot" reforms of JFK/RFK resulted in the great ideological surting of Liberals as Democrats and Conservatives as Republicans. Before this occurred, both parties had the full breadth of ideology represented within each party. There were conservative (in an absolute sense) Democrats and Liberal Republicans, and both parties tried to win by presenting Moderate candidates.

This was of course because Civil Rights become a Liberal cause, elevated above all others. I'm not saying that was a wrong thing, only that when that was fixed, other things were broken in the fierce struggle for political ideology. The true nature of government was revealed, and the extent of the differences between the theory and the reality of government. We were of course, overdue for such changes, as the Solid Democratic South had repressed minorities since before the Civil War, and that party was in dire need of being broken.

The civility that most people prefer was never really in existence, but the reality and the theory of government were far closer than they are today.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Revi » Tue 02 Jul 2019, 12:12:41

I'm in tourist land, in a state that has "Vacationland" on the license plate. It seems a little subdued, but July 4th is coming up and some more people will show up soon. We live on this island thanks to the fact that a lot of people take a vacation here, so I guess I am not against them coming here. It's not a crazy place, like Acadia National Park which gets 3.5 million visitors every year! I figure that's about 1% of Americans who set foot on Mount Desert Island every year. Insane!
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Plantagenet » Tue 02 Jul 2019, 12:16:05

The simplest way to reduce carbon emissions is to institute a carbon tax.

The old saying, "if you want more of something, subsidize it. If you want less, tax it" also applies to fossil fuel use.

A tax on carbon will immediately result in higher prices at the pump and inexorably lead to less fossil fuel use and lower carbon emissions.

At a later time, this tax could be applied not on directly on fuel, but on products built using carbon. For instance, manufacturing new cars requires the release of immense amounts of carbon. A carbon tax could be added to the price of a new car to reflect the large carbon releases that occurred. Other products might also eventually be taxed in this way as well.

Putting a tax on carbon would inevitably start to force a reduction in carbon release throughout the economy.

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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Ibon » Tue 02 Jul 2019, 13:12:53

Plantagenet wrote:
Putting a tax on carbon would inevitably start to force a reduction in carbon release throughout the economy.

Cheers!


Again, I understand the logic. How do we overcome the hurdles?
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 02 Jul 2019, 14:58:46

How do we overcome the hurdles? Fantastic question.

As little as I like it, the same answer is, as you know, we don’t.

We will just keep doing what we are doing until there is some climax moment.

OTOH im not going to disparage those who keep trying, God bless them and all my best wishes for their success, I’m in their side. But I’ve personally done all I’m gonna do to persuade folks until I see some positive progress. My personal crusade is on hold.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Wed 03 Jul 2019, 13:31:58

Plantagenet wrote:The simplest way to reduce carbon emissions is to institute a carbon tax.

The old saying, "if you want more of something, subsidize it. If you want less, tax it" also applies to fossil fuel use.

A tax on carbon will immediately result in higher prices at the pump and inexorably lead to less fossil fuel use and lower carbon emissions.

At a later time, this tax could be applied not on directly on fuel, but on products built using carbon. For instance, manufacturing new cars requires the release of immense amounts of carbon. A carbon tax could be added to the price of a new car to reflect the large carbon releases that occurred. Other products might also eventually be taxed in this way as well.

Putting a tax on carbon would inevitably start to force a reduction in carbon release throughout the economy.

Tax on carbon applied dilligently (eg not only on fuel but on all items releasing CO2 in manufacturing process) would become a general tax on everything (on all consumption).
IMO the only effect of such a tax would be an inflationary pressure leading to adequate pay rises and cycles of currency depreciation.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 03 Jul 2019, 15:38:14

KJ,

I disagree, here is why.

At this time we spend everything we earn, and go into debt. A lot of the spending is on non-mandatory items, toys. It’s actually very much like a self imposed tax.

Where you do have an argument would be to say that the government would piss away any additional revenue. So my answer to that would be to say the proceeds from the carbon tax MUST go to paying down the debt. AND the government is required to maintain their current rate of paying off the debt, or increase it.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Plantagenet » Thu 04 Jul 2019, 20:15:48

Ibon wrote:
Plantagenet wrote:
Putting a tax on carbon would inevitably start to force a reduction in carbon release throughout the economy.

Cheers!


Again, I understand the logic. How do we overcome the hurdles?



The strategy to reduce global carbon emissions has already been in play for decades.

The UNFCCC was established way back in 1992. The goal of the UNFCCC is to "stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system".

The mechanism the UNFCCC is using to do this is international treaties limiting CO2 emission done under UN auspices. The Kyoto Accords, signed in 1997, was a non-binding treaty in which countries agreed to voluntary reduce their CO2 emissions.

The next step in the UNFCCC process was to create a binding treaty to reduce CO2 emissions.

This was the treaty that was going to be signed at an international conference in Copenhagen in 2009. Unfortunately, Obama sabotaged this meeting and the binding treaty that world leaders had assembled to sign was never signed. Then Obama and the US derailed the core UNFCCC process to the point that the Paris COP meeting in 2015 produced what was basically another Kyoto Accords, i.e. a non-binding climate treaty that required no CO2 reductions.

Clearly what has to be done is somehow undo the damage that Obama did and get the world back on the original UNFCCC path towards signing a global treaty requiring reductions in CO2 emissions.

I really don't see any other way to reduce global CO2 emission other than a UN treaty that requires reductions in CO2 emissions. Its certainly not going to happen under Trump ..... we can only hope the next President has the sense to renounce the Paris Accords and move towards a new binding climate treaty that will require CO2 emissions. And if the US president won't do it, then we have to hope some other country will take the lead on this. Once the US and other countries are legally committed to reductions in their CO2 emissions, then the doors will open to a carbon tax and other options to make this happen.

Its very frustrating because we could've got a binding CO2 reduction treaty done back in 2009. But the failure to get it done then does't change the need to get it done.

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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 04 Jul 2019, 20:26:54

Its certainly not going to happen under Trump


Well, thanks for that admission, at least.

Its very frustrating because we could've got a binding CO2 reduction treaty done back in 2009. But the failure to get it done then does't change the need to get it done.

Indeed. And thanks for efforts you have made to make these work in the past.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Ibon » Thu 04 Jul 2019, 22:06:51

Plantagenet wrote:I really don't see any other way to reduce global CO2 emission other than a UN treaty that requires reductions in CO2 emissions. Its certainly not going to happen under Trump ..... we can only hope the next President has the sense to renounce the Paris Accords and move towards a new binding climate treaty that will require CO2 emissions. And if the US president won't do it, then we have to hope some other country will take the lead on this. Once the US and other countries are legally committed to reductions in their CO2 emissions, then the doors will open to a carbon tax and other options to make this happen.

Its very frustrating because we could've got a binding CO2 reduction treaty done back in 2009. But the failure to get it done then does't change the need to get it done.

CHEERS!



Thanks for that detailed post. I don't think there is a leader today in the USA or in any other country that carries the backing of his or her nation, private industry, apposing parties, etc. that it would take

Obama's failure did not happen in a vacuum as you well know, I can agree he didn't have the heat or the huevos to push hard against the internal opposition in the US that would have been necessary to get approval for a binding agreement. Someone like Trump of course has the heat and huevos but it is directed in the opposite direction. So without diving into politics you would need a brash leader that is willing to break with protocol like Trump but directing this toward overpowering the opposition from within his own party and his apposing party, the private sector, the public etc. But no leader leads in a vacuum, there would have to be within the collective society already some willingness to sacrifice some consumption freedoms toward a binding climate change initiative. That willingness is simply not there which is why we are all culpable and you cannot simply pin all the blame on this or that leader.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Plantagenet » Thu 04 Jul 2019, 23:45:13

Ibon wrote:.... we are all culpable and you cannot simply pin all the blame on this or that leader.


Yes, but we are not all equally culpable.

In a democracy every citizen is part of the polity and bears his or her share of the responsibility for the actions of the polity.

But not all citizens bear equal responsibility. Obviously political leaders have more power and actually make the policy decisions and hence obviously bear more responsibility for their own, personal decisions and actions or lack of action.

This principle might be clearer if we see how it works on something other then climate change. Lets consider war----when Bush decided to invade Iraq, he is, of course, personally responsible for his own decision. Then he asked Congress to authorize the Iraq war and the Congress voted him war powers to invade Iraq. Those members of Congress who voted to go to war also bear a significant personal responsiblity for that war.

Most Americans were never asked and never even contemplated such a war. Many....such as myself and you, I believe, opposed the war.

In the hierarchy of responsibility, Bush and Congress are more responsible for the Iraq war then you or I. I trust you agree with that.

Its the same thing with climate change. The lying politicians who have dodged or downplayed this issue like Trump or even signed deceptive treaties like Obama did in Paris are more responsible for our current predicament then average Americans are.

Or at least thats how I see it.

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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 05 Jul 2019, 01:15:04

There is one other aspect of Climate Change that I must point out. Your own personal lifestyle selections make a big impact.

You COULD choose to own and use an EV in place of an ICE vehicle. Certainly there are at least a dozen that would meet the needs of average Americans, including acquisition costs. But if you fall within the EV usage parameters and do not buy an EV at new car time, you decided that your convenience was more important than climate.

You could own and occupy a tiny home. You can even buy tiny homes in kit form on Amazon today. It is an excellant way to minimize your footprint on the planet.

You could buy and consume only locally sourced foods, saving money and preserving the climate at the same time.

Individual choices matter. You cannot blame anyone else for the three items above, or like choices.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby dohboi » Fri 05 Jul 2019, 08:12:16

Image

Double click on image and pick 'view image' if the picture is too large.

This graph does arbitrarily chops off the top billion, then the next two billion, etc.

It shows that the top three billion are responsible for nearly all (86%) of the carbon emissions.

The top billion elite consumers pollute only slightly less than the next two billion.

But it is clear that if you smoothed the graph, the top billion and a half would be responsible for much more than the next billion and a half.

So I think Iban can make some hay out of this, but so can I! So, fortunately, or un-, the discussion/argument/contradiction continues! :)

https://ourworldindata.org/co2-by-income-region
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby dohboi » Fri 05 Jul 2019, 08:19:44

Speaking of elites:

Hampton billionaires against First Nation dispossessed over billboards

"outraged that the Shinnecock Nation has decided to erect two blazing 60-foot electronic billboards on their tiny patch of sovereign lands at the gateway to the Hamptons"

"advertising income from the billboards will generate income for the Nation that will help pay for health and dental clinics as well as a community daycare facility"

"rich Hamptons landowners are condemning the signs as an eyesore"

“The town is appalled by what is going on. I mean we are outraged”

"... 62,000-square foot home owned by junk bond king Ira Rennert. David Koch of Koch Industries lives along Southampton’s Meadow Lane, dubbed Billionaire Lane by Forbes. "

"700 Shinnecock tribal members residing on an 800-acre reservation in the Hamptons live below the federal poverty level ... "

https://truthout.org/articles/wealthy-h ... vereignty/
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby dohboi » Fri 05 Jul 2019, 08:40:39

Note also that the above graph is for total carbon emissions. If we can find a graph breaking carbon emissions due to air travel down by economic class, I'm sure it would be much more skewed toward the rich and away from the poor and global lower middle class.

ETA:

This shows that in 2012 85% of all air travel was either leisure/holidays or visiting family or friends. So yeah, cutting back on that would be pretty huge. Business was only 12%, but much of that could probably be cut back, too. This seems to be just commercial, so military and probably private jet flights are likely not included. And note that this is only for UK, but probably reflects most 'first world' patterns roughly well.

https://www.inequalityintransport.org.u ... ravels-air
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby dohboi » Fri 05 Jul 2019, 08:55:37

OK, at the bottom of the graph at this site, they break the world into six classes of equal populations (I assume), though for some reason they are using sextiles rather than the more usual quintiles.

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IS.AIR.PSGR

It is clear that the highest classes do the most flying with 2.3 million passengers, versus under two million each for the next three sextiles, less than half a million for the lower middle, and an insignificant 17 thousand for the poorest quintile.

But again, this probably does not include private flights, and does not seem to include miles flown, both of which would skew the number way toward the very highest income folks.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby dohboi » Fri 05 Jul 2019, 08:59:30

OK, last graph (for now :) ) :


Image

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environm ... ate-change

Kinda says it all! :)
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