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@Nico [ iOS ] %ItMlDicDOT0zroe0RpvZxX0LGNcGVj5moKsltspMZ6I=.sha256

We live in dire times. If we don’t do enough, everything could be lost 😞

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@andrestaltz %1WOUsIf4GLijXyepO/IUhM0iiWU0ifHMq9Axxf7XSaQ=.sha256

To answer @Powersource (phone), I buy renewable energy (and spend about 180kWh per month), use only emissions-free transportation, rarely eat meat (I'd say twice a year), and I'm avoiding flying (I used to fly a lot for conferences, but I'm quitting conferences for various reasons). But I'm still concerned that the climate crisis is tied to geopolitics: either we find a way for China and USA to reduce their emissions dramatically, or it won't matter much. And these countries know that reducing immediately emissions is going to severely impact their "geopolitical dominance" or whatever, so they don't give it up. A difference between 3.0C and 2.8C (in the year 2100) isn't going to save millions from displacement and famine, we really need to find a way to limit it to 1.5C or 2.0C.

@andrestaltz %OSQUJY9iQslbBCeWHYi+k7yaFfBgJFYz7947tcrTcLY=.sha256

To put some data into context, here are two important charts from Ourworldindata.org:

Treemap

Who emits the most CO2? A Treemap chart from Our World in Data showing countries and their emissions

Relative growth of emissions from 2015 to 2020

Change in annual CO2 emissions. An XY chart showing how much emissions have changed over the years

If you combine these two above, you get this (which I quickly made in Krita, don't judge it accurately):

A combination of the two previous charts, where we see in the treemap rectangles how much each country is growing or reducing emissions

The elephant in the room planet is really China, not only is it the highest polluter, it is on a growth trajectory. EU is doing the best of all, but I honestly believe it could do much more. But this is beside the point. Even if the EU does phenomenally, the elephant in the planet is still there. Something has to be done about China, and it's not that their emissions come only from exporting products to the rest of the world, China also has a lot of consumption-side CO2 emissions, see https://ourworldindata.org/consumption-based-co2#how-do-consumption-based-emissions-compare-to-production-based-emissions and this paragraph:

Whilst China is a large CO2 emissions exporter, it is no longer a large emitter because it produces goods for the rest of the world. This was the case in the past, but today, even adjusted for trade, China now has a per capita footprint higher than the global average (which is 4.8 tonnes per capita in 2017).

I am not using this as an excuse to not do more, I would love to know what I can do about China. I am clueless what can an European citizen do, apart from reducing consumption of Chinese exports (which we know won't be a game changing action), to truly make China take a U-turn? What can even Chinese citizens do, given that freedom of protest is virtually none? (Bear in mind that Chinese citizens are currently starving because of a week-long Covid-19 complete lockdown where people can't even go to the groceries to buy food) What can be done?

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@andrestaltz %SjZsgUP/eqSGU2E+3gMeA1lTDzQqFXwCoQTiaHoAydM=.sha256

but what are we supposed to do, lie down and give up?

I've been thinking about this thread on and off recently (well, not just this thread, but in general the climate crisis) and this question "what are we supposed to do?" given that China is so and so. I'm coming back to this thread with some kind of answer to that question.

A few disclaimers first. Scientists confirm that at this point it's all about mitigating the damage done, but it's not possible to fix all the damage entirely. A lot that has happened is already irreversible change. Another disclaimer is that climate change is systemic and plural, so any answer is also systemic and plural. So I think "the solution" is going to be many solutions: recycling, giving up gasoline cars and flights, all that basic stuff, but also the more radical ones, like going-to-jail-activism, geoengineering, sanctions, global carbon tax, etc. Whatever it takes to avoid Earth becoming Venus. Nothing lives on Venus, not even electronics.

What I'm here to say, after thinking through this in my morning showers, is that demonetization can also play an important role. Demonetization is what Manyverse is attempting to do for social networks, such that at some point people will weigh the options, and on one hand there is an option (Facebook, Twitter) that costs you attention (ads) and privacy and on the other hand there is another option that costs you virtually nothing. And people will prefer the option that costs less to them. Demonetization means introducing something to a market at zero cost with the goal of removing the business opportunity in that market.

When you think about what causes climate change, there's a strong correlation with industrial/market growth. The only times when we managed to significantly reduce emissions were during major financial crisis. When the market suffers, the atmosphere gets a break. When the market thrives, the atmosphere dies a little bit more. So demonetization is like a market killer. It may sound evil, it can even remove jobs. Too often we equate "jobs" with quality of life, but wouldn't it be best to have quality of life without having to have a job?

What I think demonetization does is provides a similar service or product at zero price, which is the lowest price you can get, and there's always a high demand for cheaper prices. Demonetization uses free market dynamics to dry out a market. This way you can preserve the comfort and quality of life given by the service or product, without enriching the creators with material wealth which is inevitably spent on climate-harmful things. Other examples of demonetization would be free and open source alternatives to existing products/services and DIY and the fab/maker community. If you can create your own objects at near-zero cost, this has the potential to vastly decrease the amount of money going towards industrial products, and at the same time it reduces the burden the climate takes with international shipping and logistics.

I think it's important that instead of using shaming or compelling people to do the Right Thing, demonetization uses, in fact, free market dynamics because it bridges the system that we have at the moment (capitalist free market) with the system that we ought to have (locally produced and managed services and items with minimal environment impact). Any drastic and sudden change in our current system, like violent revolutions and things like that, can end up having very negative effects such as war, the rise of corrupt or authoritarian regimes, or even nuclear war (which can be as bad as mass extinctions). I'm a fan of gradual, yet profound, transformations.

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