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Old 06-21-2015, 04:49 PM   #1
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The Environment

It's not all debating whether Climate Change and Peak Oil are real or not.

What environmental atrocities are bothering you?

What atrocious environmentalists are bothering you?

I'm going to start with two things. First Carbon Credits and trading. I'm not incredibly well informed on this and have heard good things, like analysis that indicates reduction in carbon, and bad, like examples indicating that the reductions aren't real. This strategy is certainly something that big polluters are less resistant to than direct regulation, which makes me think it's a much easier system for them to game.

Things like Making and destroying refrigerants just for the credits, causing and increase in greenhouse gases in exchange for allowing carbon production:

Quote:
European companies have been overpaying Chinese companies more than 70 times the cost to eliminate a potent greenhouse gas — triflouromethane, or hfc 23, a byproduct of manufacturing a refrigerant that has been banned in developed countries and is being phased out in developing ones.

In order to offset their own greenhouse gases, companies and utilities in Europe that are subject to the emission limits of the Kyoto Protocol have been paying vastly inflated prices to Chinese companies to destroy hfc 23, and in the process have been providing the Chinese government with hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue to compete against Europe’s own “green” industries.
Quote:
And in an odd twist, the incentives offered through the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) also appear to be stimulating production of an ozone-depleting refrigerant gas that has been landing in the U.S. black market. Investigations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have led to the conviction of several smugglers who have illegally imported the ozone-depleting refrigerant, hcfc 22, into the U.S. for sale to trucking companies, supermarkets, automotive supply shops, and other large-scale users of refrigerant gases. The illegal refrigerant is significantly cheaper than non-ozone-depleting refrigerants permitted in the U.S., a price discrepancy triggered partially by the large overpayments to Chinese firms that have led to an ample supply of hcfc 22 on the international black market.
http://e360.yale.edu/feature/pervers...to_china/2350/

Or things like Timber companies buying land from peasants in Africa to plant and harvest trees, get lots of money in carbon credits, and evicting thousands of people from their homelands.

In Uganda:

Quote:
Over 22,000 peasants with land titles were violently evicted from the Mubende and Kiboga districts in Uganda to make way for the UK-based New Forests Company to plant trees, to earn carbon credits and, ultimately, to sell the timber.
Well, there's a lot more. You should just read the link. Includes carbon slavery. Basically, the developed world, which produces the pollution, giving giant companies incentive to colonize the poorest places in the world as part of a scam which often increases carbon production by forcing 4th worlders and subsistence farmers into slums and refugee camps.

http://www.no-redd-africa.org/index....on-colonialism

----

And on another subject

It's nice that we had a clean water act that did things like prevent rivers from continuing to catch fire in the US. Too bad Dick Cheney, former Halliburton executive, Halliburton - the company that invented fracking, inserted into the 2005 energy bill provisions which prevent the EPA from regulating fracking.

Those provisions, The Halliburton Loophole, recently supported again by the Senate.

http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060012514

----

Closing with a picture. Sorry it's so big, but it's the biggest industrial project on earth. This is almost twice as big as the city of San Francisco. The Alberta Tar Sands.

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Old 06-21-2015, 05:01 PM   #2
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Re: The Environment

Coral reef destruction sucks. General ocean ****-uppery bugs me too. And I'm not even a gay fish!
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Old 06-21-2015, 05:05 PM   #3
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Re: The Environment

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Coral reef destruction sucks. General ocean ****-uppery bugs me too. And I'm not even a gay fish!
A very good one. The acidification and dead zones are probably the biggest environmental issues, but the over fishing and collapse of pretty much every wild species that is commercially fished is terribad.

Everyone knows about tuna. Here's the Atlantic Cod catch:

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Old 06-21-2015, 06:05 PM   #4
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Re: The Environment

It seems to me like states are doing a very poor job of protecting public land, but that's nothing new.

I think for the most part that environmentalism is a noble movement that has been hijacked by a lot of really uninformed and naive people, so it is nice to see some posts from smart environmentalists for a change. My take is that almost no matter what the governments of the world do, things will probably get worse before they get better, and it will be technology and economic growth that ultimately bails us out of this mess.
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Old 06-21-2015, 07:44 PM   #5
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Re: The Environment

Hair of the dog, eh Renton?
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Old 06-21-2015, 08:53 PM   #6
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Re: The Environment

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My take is that almost no matter what the governments of the world do, things will probably get worse before they get better, and it will be technology and economic growth that ultimately bails us out of this mess.
This is a good post in that it reminds me how resilient ecosystems can be and how much good governments of the world have done after technology and economic growth have done incredible harm.

This could easily be a whole thread.

National Parks
84 million acres of really protected areas (not like national forests)

Air Quality
Clean air act of 1963, Motor vehical pollution control act of 1965, Creation of EPA 1970, 1970 begin phase out of lead from gas, 1987 begin phase out of CFCs

So, what was and would air quality be like without these government regulations?

Things like:

1954 Los Angeles


Of course that's nothing compared to the Great Smog in 1952 in London which may have killed as many as 12000 people.

Or increasing instead of decreasing lead in children's blood causing all kinds of problems up from lower IQs to death. This drop in lead in the blood of Americans didn't happen because of a cap and trade market for lead. Lead was banned.



Water Quality
Clean water acts of 1972 and 1977, water quality act of 1987

Where would our waterways be without government restrictions?

In 1969 the Cayuga River caught on fire and it wasn't the first time. The policy for people who worked at the river, even when it wasn't on fire, was that anyone who fell in had to go to the emergency room.

Here's what it looks like now:



Endangered Species
Endangered Species Act 1973

110 different species listed that are in recovery

The market protecting the environment is a funny idea



But, it's certainly not what has worked in the past.
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Old 06-21-2015, 08:56 PM   #7
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Re: The Environment

Ocean acidification is one that's severely under-reported. We are ****ing around with the chemistry of an enormous ecosystem and it's probably not going to end well.
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Old 06-21-2015, 09:01 PM   #8
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Re: The Environment

"We have too many people putting out too much pollution, we need more people! Problem solved!"

It really bugs me how few companies have the vision or the passion to see environmental issues as something that could be potential money makers. Such a failure of big capitalism.

I'm sure at some point there will be an engine designed that runs off, I dunno, maple syrup and puts gasoline engines out of business. And it won't be developed in the U.S. And all U.S. auto makers will be caught with their pants around their ankles at how some socialist or communist company could ever come up with such a thing.

Imagine if the Internet was developed in China instead of the U.S. How ****ty would it be to not be the country behind so many of the controls and products of the Internet? But for some reason we just don't put two and two together and realize we might want to put a little more force behind our environmental developments.
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Old 06-21-2015, 09:09 PM   #9
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Re: The Environment

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I'm sure at some point there will be an engine designed that runs off, I dunno, maple syrup and puts gasoline engines out of business. And it won't be developed in the U.S. And all U.S. auto makers will be caught with their pants around their ankles at how some socialist or communist company could ever come up with such a thing.
Steelhouse, probably one of your favorite posters, already answered this one.

http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/sh...postcount=2737

This is global electric car demand. It's not a huge percentage of cars at the moment, but these things take a little time.

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Old 06-21-2015, 09:17 PM   #10
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Re: The Environment

I nominate The Great Pacific garbage patch. You'd think that there should be some way to drag a net through it and clean it up at least to some degree but, no.
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Old 06-21-2015, 09:26 PM   #11
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Re: The Environment

Some twenty year old guy with a kick starter is on that, actually
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Old 06-21-2015, 09:48 PM   #12
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Re: The Environment

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Some twenty year old guy with a kick starter is on that, actually
That's nice but I think the problem is multi-government resource big.
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Old 06-21-2015, 10:27 PM   #13
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Re: The Environment

His crazy interconnected miles-wide water wings disagree!
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Old 06-21-2015, 11:13 PM   #14
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Re: The Environment

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Originally Posted by microbet View Post
A very good one. The acidification and dead zones are probably the biggest environmental issues, but the over fishing and collapse of pretty much every wild species that is commercially fished is terribad.

Everyone knows about tuna. Here's the Atlantic Cod catch:

+ 1 to dead zones. Knew about the Mississippi River dead zone, but didn't know about the 500+ other ones until last night. Everyone should check out Mission Blue on Netflix if you haven't already.

http://m.imdb.com/title/tt2004304/
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Old 06-21-2015, 11:57 PM   #15
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Re: The Environment

On my phone, so I'm not looking up too much atm, but both the dead zones and the coal reefs are terrible problems that can be devastating and lead to incredible loss of biodiversity, but they are both things that can recover.

I saw a documentary on reefs and how some that were devastated, I think in New Zealand, and then given protection, had recovered very well.

Of course extinctions are all too common (I heard a projection that something like 70% of mammal species are headed that way if there aren't changes) and from that, you can't recover.
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:56 AM   #16
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Re: The Environment

Does anyone remember this?

Just 10 days after the BP oil spill, the biggest marine oil spill in history, was stopped there was a pipeline spill in Michigan into the Kalamazoo River which was the largest onshore spill in US history.

This pipeline was carrying oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan.
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:34 AM   #17
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Re: The Environment

Pretty much +1 to everything itt, except Emission Trading where i'm a big fanboi. Seems like the problem is loopholes, not the system. (Oh, and i also don't have a problem with fracking per se)

Overfishing is an enormous problem that is gonna bite us all in the ass real soon. We need to start eating farm raised fish (trout) immediately.

As a Minnesota boy who loves fishing, lakes, and rivers, i gotta say that introduced species piss me off pretty hard. Silver and Big Head carp have completely taken over the Mississippi watershed from Central Iowa south. They're pretty much the only fish found in the Illinois river system now. Beautiful, diverse, ancient ecosystems have been completely and permanently destroyed. The Great Lakes are next. Americans refuse to eat these fish so there's basically no market for them and no incentive for fisherman to assault them, other than pure hatred for the ****ers.

Littering. WTF is with you people on the coasts? You walk around cities up here and you won't see any litter. If there is some, somebody will take the time to pick it up and deposit it where it goes. I was shocked when I went to LA. Y'all took a beautiful spot on earth and turned it into the filthiest, most disgusting place I've ever been. Even the air had this post-apocalyptic orange glow. Awful.
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:51 AM   #18
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Re: The Environment

Like I said, I'm not super well informed on emission trading, but aren't the big companies always going to be better at this game than governments? Isn't there necessarily going to be a lot of fake non-emission?

Maybe just a carbon (or methane or w/e) tax makes more sense?

Seems like there needs to be so much oversight to prevent cheating that it would just be more simple to regulate. How didn't lead, CFC, and other regulations work better?
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Old 06-22-2015, 02:07 AM   #19
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Re: The Environment

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Hair of the dog, eh Renton?
Are you actually comparing technological advance to an alcohol binge?

Quote:
This is a good post in that it reminds me how resilient ecosystems can be and how much good governments of the world have done after technology and economic growth have done incredible harm.
Governments of the world have been the most serially offensive destroyers of the environment. No doubt they've done some intermittent good on the environment front, but praising them is like when a battered wife defends her drunk abuser because he's a good man when he's sober.

To say that tech and growth have done harm is incomplete. It's more that they have created an environment where more humans may be supported, which has swelled population growth, and a byproduct has been environmental harm. If you took the circa 1900 world and multiplied it into a population of 7 billion, the environmental destruction would far more than it is today. Technology has continually made environmental improvements along the way that have simply been outpaced by population growth. The good news is that technological advance is exponential while population growth is logarithmic. We already see population growth curbing in all post-industrial countries.

There's every reason to believe that growing the economy will curb pollution and population growth. There's every reason to be optimistic that advances in agriculture and industry in the not so distant future will curb the carbon footprint of the human race.

Last edited by Renton555; 06-22-2015 at 02:19 AM.
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Old 06-22-2015, 02:09 AM   #20
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Re: The Environment

The fact that non-polluters get to sell their allowances provides a powerful market incentive for them to be as clean as possible. They have an incentive to find innovative means to reduce pollution, even if they're already below a pollution limit. People who find ways to be really clean can get rich for doing so.
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Old 06-22-2015, 02:16 AM   #21
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Re: The Environment

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The fact that non-polluters get to sell their allowances provides a powerful market incentive for them to be as clean as possible. They have an incentive to find innovative means to reduce pollution, even if they're already below a pollution limit. People who find ways to be really clean can get rich for doing so.
Yeah, but what about the people who really weren't going to pollute anyway? I guess that's part of the oversight, that they have to have a history of pollution to qualify for reduction, but people have gotten around that. And it's not just a rare thing. From the UN carbon credits program 46% of the credits went to 19 coolant factories doing what I mentioned in the OP.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/09/wo...ases.html?_r=0
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Old 06-22-2015, 02:21 AM   #22
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Re: The Environment

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Governments of the world have been the most serially offensive destroyers of the environment.
This is true, or was true, in the large state run economies of Russia and China, but if you mean somewhere else, I'm not really following unless you mean things like the government being responsible when it leases territory to oil companies for drilling or something like that.

Failure to protect things like Bison herds on public lands?

War?
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:50 AM   #23
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Re: The Environment

It seems impossible to compete with all the apathy, greed, corruption, and stupidity. Therefore WAAF
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:05 AM   #24
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Re: The Environment

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Yeah, but what about the people who really weren't going to pollute anyway? I guess that's part of the oversight, that they have to have a history of pollution to qualify for reduction, but people have gotten around that. And it's not just a rare thing. From the UN carbon credits program 46% of the credits went to 19 coolant factories doing what I mentioned in the OP.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/09/wo...ases.html?_r=0
Well, again, this isn't a problem with cap and trade per se, it's a problem with the government being stupid.
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:24 AM   #25
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Re: The Environment

Apparently, even using conservative estimates, biodiversity is taking a hit comparable to the dinosaurs' extinction:
http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/5/e1400253
Quote:
These estimates reveal an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity over the last few centuries, indicating that a sixth mass extinction is already under way. Averting a dramatic decay of biodiversity and the subsequent loss of ecosystem services is still possible through intensified conservation efforts, but that window of opportunity is rapidly closing.
A lot of species that no one cares about are certainly doomed (who is going to save useless amazonian frogs?).

But what's really scary imo is that we seem to be unable to even protect species that are immediatly useful to us. The populations of pollinating insects are dropping dramatically. Between the slight uncertainties regarding the exact causes and the private interests, we are not doing much about it. The doomsday talk about humanity going extinct if bees go extinct is quite ridiculous, but, still, food is not going to be cheap when we have to pollinate crops by hand.

btw, I saw that Monsanto was buying advertising space in newspapers to put fake articles about the wonderful things they were doing to protect bees. It really riles me up, considering all the lobbying these mother****ers do to keep their most violent insecticides legal.
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