16 votes

World scientists’ warning of a climate emergency 2022

14 comments

  1. Immortal
    Link
    The same researchers/scientists made a related documentary, you can watch it here

    The same researchers/scientists made a related documentary, you can watch it here

    5 votes
  2. [8]
    Douglas
    Link
    I don't understand how anyone who knows the climate crisis's current state can actively decide to have kids. I know the scientist in the video says "we don't know enough to say it's too late,"...

    I don't understand how anyone who knows the climate crisis's current state can actively decide to have kids.

    I know the scientist in the video says "we don't know enough to say it's too late," but... c'mon, look at what's going on out there. My wife and I are going to adopt or foster if we can ever afford to, but having kids? Bringing another life into this burning trash pile? Feels unethical.

    5 votes
    1. [5]
      Autoxidation
      Link Parent
      Because someone is going to have to try to fix this, and I'll be damned if I leave the world to the children of the deniers.

      Because someone is going to have to try to fix this, and I'll be damned if I leave the world to the children of the deniers.

      6 votes
      1. [4]
        EgoEimi
        Link Parent
        Reminds me of the Shakers who were radically communal, egalitarian, pacifist, and protofeminist. Lovely doctrine, but their celibacy and anti-procreationism led to their rapid extinction.

        Reminds me of the Shakers who were radically communal, egalitarian, pacifist, and protofeminist. Lovely doctrine, but their celibacy and anti-procreationism led to their rapid extinction.

        5 votes
        1. [3]
          TemulentTeatotaler
          Link Parent
          The Catholic clergy or influential eunuch institutions throughout history might be a counterexample of groups who have been fine recruiting from a general population. I audited a (bad) course with...

          The Catholic clergy or influential eunuch institutions throughout history might be a counterexample of groups who have been fine recruiting from a general population.

          I audited a (bad) course with a teacher arguing in favor of (their religious) objective morality, and while I'm not in that camp, one thought I had was that in order for something to be considered good or bad it has to have the quality that it can perpetuate itself.

          Shakers weren't memeable, in the Dawkins sense. It would be great if insularism or pacifism was a viable strategy, but sometimes you're forced to choose the best thing available. The Selfish Gene points out the second you have an aggressive mutation in a pacifist ecosystem it will spread like wildfire until it hits an equilibrium in the mutual destruction of aggressive-aggressive interactions.

          There are more ways to influence people than just being their parent, and fostering is an alternative to fill that role without creating new life. Some of those ways may be more cost effective than raising a kid, especially when there's a reasonable debate on the extent to which parents actually influence outcomes in their kids. The spread of LGBT+ acceptance, fraught as it is, is an example of beliefs being changed probably outside of parents.

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            EgoEimi
            Link Parent
            I agree about memeability. But it's worth noting that the Catholic clergy draws from the larger Catholic population that historically had very high fertility rates. The Church itself has a rather...

            I agree about memeability.

            But it's worth noting that the Catholic clergy draws from the larger Catholic population that historically had very high fertility rates. The Church itself has a rather extremist pro-procreation stance in opposing contraceptives and abortion.

            And historic eunuch institutions drew from their respective societies using powerful economic and political incentives: they have historically been vehicles for great social mobility, allowing commoners to access elite circles — for the ultimate price of castration.

            An interesting but foreboding contemporary example of fertility-driven politics is the steadily marching shift toward the hard right in Israel. The fertility rate among the Ultra-Orthodox is 2x the national average, and 3x that of secular Jews. The Ultra-Orthodox lean heavily right-wing and its rapidly growing population has provided an increasingly reliable electoral base for its right-wing coalition. Which is how Netanyahu is bouncing back for a fifth term despite being actively investigated for corruption.

            2 votes
            1. TemulentTeatotaler
              Link Parent
              Also an unpleasant reminder that sometimes political violence like the assassination of Rabin gets rewarded with decades of control. It's hard to know what to think, and the topic gets me pretty...

              foreboding contemporary example of fertility-driven politics is the steadily marching shift toward the hard right in Israel

              Also an unpleasant reminder that sometimes political violence like the assassination of Rabin gets rewarded with decades of control.

              It's hard to know what to think, and the topic gets me pretty uncomfortable. A while back I deleted a response to some previous substack post that, besides other arguments I thought were weak, was advocating having kids to outvote the climate deniers or other political adversaries. The logic of "demographics = destiny" was... not exactly novel or appealing. It's a slogan of the people marching with tiki torches shouting, "The Jews will not replace us."

              It isn't like there isn't plenty of historical precedence, though. Babies show in-group bias, even if they mistrust Francophones more than people with different skin color. The sort of egalitarian, compassionate, multicultural world I'd prefer to live in is still trying to find it's legs, while "babies for Bibi" is a pretty easy narrative to push.

              If a community isn't closed off you can be a good role model to try to change them. Instead of having kids and hoping the next TikTok/peers don't influence their politics more than you, you might be better off spending time or money on being a tutor or mentor.

              Some communities are closed off and borderline abusive to their children. I met someone who stopped being a Jehovah's Witness and had their first birthday. All their community stopped talking to them and I think all but a sibling did as well. A number of ultra-orthodox Jewish women in the U.S. are unable to read or do basic math. Those kids are born with an emotional/economic bomb planted in them that goes off when they disobey, and I think that's something society has to figure out how not to reward, while not causing harm.

              2 votes
    2. papasquat
      Link Parent
      Was having kids ever ethical? That's not really why people have them.

      Was having kids ever ethical? That's not really why people have them.

      4 votes
    3. MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      Also, if you have a kid now, that impact will (assuming an average lifespan) continue on the planet for most of a century. Even if you didn't worry right now, will the 2050s or 2060s really need...

      Also, if you have a kid now, that impact will (assuming an average lifespan) continue on the planet for most of a century. Even if you didn't worry right now, will the 2050s or 2060s really need more people? Really?

      2 votes
  3. [5]
    Rez
    Link
    There was recent news as it concerns Canada's plans to bolster their immigration policy: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/01/world/canada/canada-immigrants.html What are people's thoughts on...

    There was recent news as it concerns Canada's plans to bolster their immigration policy: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/01/world/canada/canada-immigrants.html

    What are people's thoughts on climate change as it relates to immigration? I ask because it's not so much the total number of people that are the problem as it concerns climate change, but the lifestyle of those people - 1 American pollutes on average as much as dozens of Ethiopians do. And Canada actually ranks fairly high amongst most developed countries on their per capita CO2 emissions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_per_capita

    I feel that climate change is becoming such an increasingly existential issue that I have to compromise my views on the good of immigration - that it's no longer intellectually honest for me to support mass immigration if I also view climate change to be as serious as it is. If Canada takes in millions of people from Africa, India, etc. (places that rank very low on per capita emissions), that means the immigrants and any children they have will then adopt that high carbon Canadian lifestyle, which will then exacerbate climate change even more.

    Is anyone able to make an argument to me of how this immigration won't negatively impact the world as it concerns climate change and our carbon footprints? How can one support people not having kids for the sake of the environment, while supporting immigrants coming here who will adopt lifestyles that skyrocket their lifetime carbon footprint? If we really want to do what we can to stop climate change, isn't letting substantially fewer people into high carbon footprint countries from low carbon footprint countries one of the easiest and simplest actions we can take politically?

    1 vote
    1. [3]
      skyfaller
      Link Parent
      First, we need to talk about climate justice. Because Canada has the most historical emissions per capita (or 2nd behind NZ depending on how you count), Canadians are in a way more responsible for...

      First, we need to talk about climate justice. Because Canada has the most historical emissions per capita (or 2nd behind NZ depending on how you count), Canadians are in a way more responsible for the climate crisis than anyone else on earth. If other countries are submerged by rising seas or flooding from extreme weather, or suffering from drought and fires, it is a moral necessity to take refugees from the crisis Canada created.

      Second, note that these are historical emissions. A big chunk of Canada's emissions are in the past, building the infrastructure that Canadians enjoy today. Transitioning to renewable energy could be done using existing Canadian infrastructure that developing nations would have to build from scratch (which would release massive carbon emissions using today's tech). Assuming we don't want people to suffer and die, it could be easier to provide them with a reasonable standard of living at an acceptable carbon price in Canada than elsewhere.

      Third, why would you treat the high emissions lifestyle of Canadians as fixed but not immigration policy? This seems like choosing ecofascism over trying to make Canada sustainable. If you don't make Canadians' lifestyle less carbon-intensive, the planet will probably burn with or without a few more Canadians.

      Ultimately worrying about overpopulation is a bad plan, that way lies eugenics and genocide. Instead, recognize that inequality is the real enemy, we need to end billionaires and their private jets and yachts with helipads, and share our resources with others instead of living in decadent extravagance that will doom us all.

      12 votes
      1. [2]
        Rez
        Link Parent
        But doesn't this still just make the problem worse? Is justice more important than mitigating climate change? My basic point here is that I don't think we can have our cake and eat it too anymore,...

        it is a moral necessity to take refugees from the crisis Canada created.

        But doesn't this still just make the problem worse? Is justice more important than mitigating climate change? My basic point here is that I don't think we can have our cake and eat it too anymore, we are far past that point and we only have bad options now. Short of a fascist effort to force these immigrants and their children to live super low carbon lifestyles in Canada in perpetuity, then their immigration will objectively contribute to the problem by a significant amount and cause Canada's emissions to skyrocket over the next century based on the information we have now. What you view as morally necessary still ends up making the problem worse. At this point with how bad the situation is for climate change, injustice is inevitable. We really are too late. By taking in people, you'll be doing even more injustice to the people you leave behind, because of how those immigrants will have their lifetime carbon footprint skyrocket (unless Canada et. al. wants to take in every single person from those affected countries) which will then still impact the people who didn't immigrate.

        Second, note that these are historical emissions. A big chunk of Canada's emissions are in the past, building the infrastructure that Canadians enjoy today. Transitioning to renewable energy could be done using existing Canadian infrastructure that developing nations would have to build from scratch (which would release massive carbon emissions using today's tech). Assuming we don't want people to suffer and die, it could be easier to provide them with a reasonable standard of living at an acceptable carbon price in Canada than elsewhere.

        I'm not talking about historical emissions. I'm talking about emissions today. Canada still ranks surprisingly awful on that metric.

        Third, why would you treat the high emissions lifestyle of Canadians as fixed but not immigration policy? This seems like choosing ecofascism over trying to make Canada sustainable. If you don't make Canadians' lifestyle less carbon-intensive, the planet will probably burn with or without a few more Canadians.

        Because immigration policy is significantly more flexible than changing how every single Canadian lives. Climate change is that existential that we need to consider every tool and option we have available. The way I read your post is saying "We'll figure it out later." And that's part of how climate change has kept rolling on and becoming more and more of a problem. Look at how much our lifestyles have changed over the past decades and compare how difficult it has been to move the needle on any of that, compared to a very simple policy of just not letting more people in.

        Ultimately worrying about overpopulation is a bad plan, that way lies eugenics and genocide. Instead, recognize that inequality is the real enemy, we need to end billionaires and their private jets and yachts with helipads, and share our resources with others instead of living in decadent extravagance that will doom us all.

        Billionaires and their private jets and yachts are a significant contributor to the problem, but dealing with them alone does not solve the problem. As far as I understand, they aren't singlehandedly driving our average emissions way up in a mean/median dynamic type statistical issue. The average American/Canadian lifestyle is still part of the problem. We have cars. We have phones and gadgets. We have heating, cooling and electricity. We have meat. We travel. We have fast fashion. We have industry. We have roads everywhere. Inequality is the real enemy, but frankly speaking, nearly everyone on this website (including myself of course) easily falls on the wrong side of that equation. Climate change would still be the threat that it is if billionaires and private jets didn't exist.

        2 votes
        1. skyfaller
          Link Parent
          If this is your real position, then you're my enemy and I am going to look for a way to screw you over before you can screw other people. Let you receive injustice first. Pulling together as a...

          At this point with how bad the situation is for climate change, injustice is inevitable.

          If this is your real position, then you're my enemy and I am going to look for a way to screw you over before you can screw other people. Let you receive injustice first.

          Pulling together as a world civilization is the only way to prevent the climate crisis from getting worse, we must all cooperate, nowhere is safe if fossil fuel industries can just move to a friendlier jurisdiction and continue with business as usual. Abandoning efforts to achieve justice means anyone suffering under the current system has no reason to cooperate, they will instead build infrastructure to become more comfortable so they can emit like we do. Climate justice is literally the only path towards meaningful climate change mitigation.

          4 votes
    2. psi
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      The people who will be most impacted by climate change are those who contributed the least to it. We have a moral duty to protect these people. While Canada, the US, and other developed countries...

      The people who will be most impacted by climate change are those who contributed the least to it. We have a moral duty to protect these people. While Canada, the US, and other developed countries will become unseasonably hot and cold, we have infrastructure to blunt the worst of it (for some time, at least). Developing countries do not; some of these places will become literally uninhabitable [1].

      I also disagree with your assessment that addressing immigration is the politically safer path.

      1. Stopping immigration won't prevent climate change any more than a bandaid will prevent someone from bleeding out. Actual, targeted policy is necessary. That should remain the focus of any climate agenda.

      2. The immigrants (more accurately, climate refugees) are coming here regardless. Indeed, one could argue that they're already here: some researchers speculate that the Syrian civil war was exacerbated by a climate change-induced drought [2]. As I previously mentioned, some developing countries will become literally uninhabitable, and those people aren't just going to sit idly by and die. They will immigrate, legally or not, to greener pastures.

      3. As climate change worsens, conflicts will too. The people living in regions affected worst by climate change will fight over ever-scarcer resources, with increasing desperation increasing the risk of nuclear confrontation (e.g., an India-Pakistan nuclear war). Immigration would alleviate some of that pressure.

      Depressing suppositions below Personally, I'm of the opinion that this is all nearly inevitable anyway. I suspect that as climate change worsens, refugees will flock to safer countries, which will result in the election of right-wing populists who scaremonger about immigrants. Those same right-wing politicians will refuse to do enough/anything about climate change, which will further accelerate the crisis.

      Finally, it's worth remembering that climate refugees will contribute less to climate change than the typical Canadian; in the aggregate, they aren't the folks who own two SUVs and a McMansion. It is relatively easier to offset their emissions. My proposal: ban meat, or at least factory farming. I believe it would be simpler, as well as more effective, than banning immigration.


      [1] "Heatwaves will make regions uninhabitable within decades: UN, Red Cross." October 10 2022, Phys.org.

      [2] "Researchers Link Syrian Conflict to a Drought Made Worse by Climate Change." March 2 2015, The New York Times.

      6 votes