Author Topic: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact  (Read 7282 times)

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2020, 08:02:42 pm »
Seriously? I'm based in the Netherlands, where I see lonely pensioners (not dying of hunger!). Things in the UK may be worse, but surely their biggest worry is the cost of heating (less of an issue due to global warming!). Our problems are trivial compared to 99% of people living in sub-Saharan Africa, no matter how bad your situation is.

Dutch state pension is higher than UK state pension. UK welfare payments are designed to keep you at the poverty line.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2020, 08:17:00 pm »
I acknowledge that life at the bottom of the income distribution in the UK (which seems to be horribly inequal) is bad. But it's a fact that "illegal" (terrible word, nothing wrong with seeking a better life) immigrants from Africa and Arabia are willing to risk life and limb to cross the channel. I don't see a move in the other direction.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2020, 08:18:51 pm »
Buying our solar panel in 2005 was a Serious Mistake. We got a £400 grant from the government but shelled out a total of almost £3000 for it. This was money my mother left me in her will so not money I had earned, and therefore ripe to be gambled away. A year or so later our next door neighbours invested in a much superior evacuated tube system for which they got a pretty significant grant from the local authority, since Gordon Brown was chancellor and he had ended boom-and-bust for ever and there was lots of cash flowing about. Their deal was much better than ours.

I think the biggest boost our solar panel got was as a result of the 2007-08 financial crash, when instant access interest rates dropped from about 6% to about 1%. If you are trying to invest in something to save cash in the long term, it makes far more financial sense if there's no point in investing in anything financial.
Eating's a serious business. Don't bollocks around wagging your tail.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2020, 08:19:45 pm »
I acknowledge that life at the bottom of the income distribution in the UK (which seems to be horribly inequal) is bad. But it's a fact that "illegal" (terrible word, nothing wrong with seeking a better life) immigrants from Africa and Arabia are willing to risk life and limb to cross the channel.

I don't think anyone disputed that?  I merely expressed scepticism about the viability of the state pension.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2020, 08:27:27 pm »
I acknowledge that life at the bottom of the income distribution in the UK (which seems to be horribly inequal) is bad. But it's a fact that "illegal" (terrible word, nothing wrong with seeking a better life) immigrants from Africa and Arabia are willing to risk life and limb to cross the channel.

I don't think anyone disputed that?  I merely expressed scepticism about the viability of the state pension.

My apologies, I hope that at some point state pensions in the UK will be viable and afford all pensioners a decent income to live on.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2020, 08:53:30 pm »
My apologies, I hope that at some point state pensions in the UK will be viable and afford all pensioners a decent income to live on.

The state pension is basically a pyramid scheme, which causes a couple of problems.

- On the one hand the work force to retired ratio has skewed out, so where as it used to be something like 12:1, it's approaching 4:1.
- People are retiring and then living longer
- The UK government feels that if you are poor you deserve to be poor and as such it is not the place of the state to keep you from poverty.

The later is used to justify keeping the state pension stupidly low. The UK state pension is £129.20 per week. By comparison the Dutch pension is set at 70% of the minimum wage, or about €1000 per month.

If you wanted to have a comfortable retirement, you should have been born into money, and if you weren't, that's your own stupid fault!

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Mrs Pingu

  • Who ate all the pies? Me
    • Twitter
Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #31 on: January 02, 2020, 09:13:49 pm »
No breeding (not really a change there, and minus points for having 2 cats)
Not using the car much - we do less than 7k a year and quite a bit of that is to the S. Of France & back. Generally cycling, walking, bussing in town.
Trying to buy less 'stuff' and buy responsibly (yes work, this is why I don't join in your Xmas jumper and helloween dress up bollocks).
This year we've gone veggie mid week. (I was unsuccessful in persuading Pingu to go full time veggie).

Minus lots of points for flying, but I reckon we get a lot back on your 'average Joe Public' by not driving absolutely everywhere all the time.
Oh yes, and we still live in a small 1 bed flat. It may be old and energy inefficient, but it's still small.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #32 on: January 02, 2020, 09:16:09 pm »
Have inched towards using less energy by the usual means as quoted above. Each time we have had work done on the house, tried to improve insulation and efficiency at the same time.

Apparently the next big thing is to stop using gas for heating, but there doesn't seem to be a viable alternative at present. The recommended use of a heat pump, ideally a ground rather than air one, currently costs the best part of £10,000 to install.

We can't use solar as our southern aspect is blocked by other buildings for half the year.

Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #33 on: January 02, 2020, 09:41:53 pm »

Otherwise, precisely fuck all.  And the climate was coincidental in most of the above.  I'm as guilty as anyone.

I'd have to add similar to any list I make.

We walk or cycle for shopping; refillable glass for milk, refuse plastic bags, buy as much local produce as possible.
Haven't flown for a few years.  Reduced car mileage to a fraction of what it was (by virtue of being retired).
Zoned the heating so we're not heating the whole house (but it's still too big).
Tidy the garden less (leave winter die-back in place, create a few 'wild' areas).
I'd say 'every little helps', but that might just sound facetious.

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #34 on: January 02, 2020, 09:42:29 pm »
Minus lots of points for flying, but I reckon we get a lot back on your 'average Joe Public' by not driving absolutely everywhere all the time.

Average Joe Public in the uk, perhaps. Worldwide, over 80% have never taken even one flight. Boeing have talked about the growth potential this represents...  :facepalm:



Mrs Pingu

  • Who ate all the pies? Me
    • Twitter
Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #35 on: January 02, 2020, 09:47:38 pm »
Minus lots of points for flying, but I reckon we get a lot back on your 'average Joe Public' by not driving absolutely everywhere all the time.

Average Joe Public in the uk, perhaps. Worldwide, over 80% have never taken even one flight. Boeing have talked about the growth potential this represents...  :facepalm:

Yes, agreed.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #36 on: January 02, 2020, 11:04:52 pm »
Work from home. Not just on Fridays, or 3 days a week - all the time.
Arguably the best thing you can do. Not just for the climate long term but day to day pleasantness in the here and now. Which is arguably more important.

On The Impact Of Doing Without Children:

I feel confuddled about this. On the one hand, it's certainly true that it's the biggest impact we can have.

But: It fails the MattC Patented "What if Everyone Did It?" test. Should we collectively be aiming to wipe ourselves out?
Put it another way: are any other species on the planet considering the impact of their children?!? Eh! What about those bloody rabbits, breeding like ... well, you know!

Perhaps we should focus more on raising kids that live in harmony with the other species. Somehow...

It's not that if no one had kids the climate would be ok.
If no one had kids, it wouldn't matter about the climate... or how much of the world's going to be inhabitable in x00 years, etc.

Not to sound harsh, but it's only those that feel it necessary to perpetuate the human race whose problem it is.
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #37 on: January 02, 2020, 11:17:02 pm »
I've managed to think of one change I've made that might have a (positive*) climate impact: about a year ago I started using "planet friendly" washing up liquid and laundry liquid. It's made out of algae (or plants?) rather than petroleum. More of a benefit for the rivers (and my nose – it smells much better than normal stuff) but must a have a small climate impact too.

*Changes you've made that have a harmful climate impact would be a much longer thread.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #38 on: January 02, 2020, 11:46:09 pm »
Work from home. Not just on Fridays, or 3 days a week - all the time.
Arguably the best thing you can do. Not just for the climate long term but day to day pleasantness in the here and now. Which is arguably more important.

On The Impact Of Doing Without Children:

I feel confuddled about this. On the one hand, it's certainly true that it's the biggest impact we can have.

But: It fails the MattC Patented "What if Everyone Did It?" test. Should we collectively be aiming to wipe ourselves out?
Put it another way: are any other species on the planet considering the impact of their children?!? Eh! What about those bloody rabbits, breeding like ... well, you know!

Perhaps we should focus more on raising kids that live in harmony with the other species. Somehow...

It's not that if no one had kids the climate would be ok.
If no one had kids, it wouldn't matter about the climate... or how much of the world's going to be inhabitable in x00 years, etc.

Not to sound harsh, but it's only those that feel it necessary to perpetuate the human race whose problem it is.
It is rather a big problem to all the other species that we share the planet with.  They have as much right to it as we do.

Clare

  • Is home
Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #39 on: January 02, 2020, 11:51:34 pm »
who gives a crap

We haven't changed loads, we try to minimise our impact but when you put satellites up for a living your carbon offset is a bit "hello bankruptcy".

The best thing we have done is to not have kids.



Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #40 on: January 03, 2020, 09:21:58 am »
It is rather a big problem to all the other species that we share the planet with.  They have as much right to it as we do.

Again, only the ones that feel the need to reproduce. It probably won't be an issue for, say, pandas.
You could also argue that we're actually doing far more good to other species by wiping ourselves out than we ever would by preventing warming in the first place.
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #41 on: January 03, 2020, 09:52:25 am »
The "no children" thing is difficult. If you would ask me whether the planet can sustain 9+ billion humans, then I would say no. But I do understand why you would want a large family when you're in Chad , Yemen etc. Those kids may provide for you when you're old. A state pension in these parts of the wordl here may be insufficient for a comfortable life, but at least you won't die of hunger.

I never actually said 'no children', I was making the point that children are a choice like anything else from taking a holiday in Costa Rica to buying the latest marque of main suburban battle tank and they all have an impact (having a child, of course, knocks all the others into a hat, since it's an entire another breathing, consuming human). Of course, we could abandon our privileged first-world lifestyles and really reduce our mighty environmental thump but I'm as likely to volunteer to do that as anyone else, so I fritter around the edges. As the song says, I care a lot. I suspect some of that acknowledgement (if not all) is just liberally spreading the honey of my own virtue.

That said though, and people are generally uncomfortable with Malthusian conversations, but ultimately there's too many of us humans populating the planet (and the more of us, the worse it is). Birth rates drop with economic advancement and, who knew, letting women manage their own fertility (something so elemental yet even the developed world still seems to be struggling with it). Of course, in less developed parts of the world, large numbers of children are a necessity, they're only the social support mechanism and mortality still cuts its teeth on a large number. And having major religions still pushing policies still fundamentally opposed to birth control (well, I think they're fundamentally opposed to women, but that's another argument) isn't exactly nudging up the dimmer switch of enlightenment. I don't accept the argument we must keep having children to pay our pensions and feed our voracious economies, that's just perpetuating the current unsustainable economic paradigm and nudging its collapse over to the next generation.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #42 on: January 03, 2020, 02:43:05 pm »
Wow! I'm rather impressed by the discussion and contributions so far.

I'm going to add:

Using bike/train as much as possible for my weekly 200-mile round trip commute (Slough-Bristol-Slough)
Re-using plastic bags as much as possible (have even salvaged a clean-looking one from the pavement and put it to use!)
Cutting down on red meat (and, when consuming, obtaining grass-fed organic beef with no food miles (from farm up the lane))
Using hemp (with lime as hemplime) for renovation work in old cottage)
Now using linseed oil paint instead of plastic paint

Controversial

Sticking with my temperamental 30-year-old Golf, using the argument that I'm offsetting the raw material use and energy expended in its manufacture by extending its use, rather than scrapping it after max 10 years (probably get shot down for that one!)

[Edit for typos]

Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #43 on: January 03, 2020, 05:18:12 pm »

Controversial

Sticking with my temperamental 30-year-old Golf, using the argument that I'm offsetting the raw material use and energy expended in its manufacture by extending its use, rather than scrapping it after max 10 years (probably get shot down for that one!)

[Edit for typos]

No, I think that using an old petrol car is probably the least bad option, provided you don't go far and plan to desist altogether in the next few years.

Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #44 on: January 03, 2020, 05:35:57 pm »
The problem of having no future generations is that there will be nobody to earn the money to pay the taxes to provide the meagre state pensions, hospitals, GP's, dentists, care homes and even care workers visiting you to wipe your bottoms and put you to bed.

We can of course wipe ourselves out before we make the planet uninhabitable for humans - it's a bit of a race to see which happens first!

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #45 on: January 03, 2020, 06:01:34 pm »
It is rather a big problem to all the other species that we share the planet with.  They have as much right to it as we do.

Again, only the ones that feel the need to reproduce. It probably won't be an issue for, say, pandas.
You could also argue that we're actually doing far more good to other species by wiping ourselves out than we ever would by preventing warming in the first place.

I've seen it suggested that the effect may be self-limiting in as much that humans become measurably more stupid as CO2 levels pass the 1000ppm range, and at some point we may lose the ability to use fossil fuel technology.

I'm not convinced.  Small numbers of sufficiently well-off humans would surely be able to scrub CO2 from their own personal air supply, and that of whatever supply chain was required to keep them in appropriate luxury, until everything was properly fucked.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #46 on: January 03, 2020, 06:05:20 pm »

Controversial

Sticking with my temperamental 30-year-old Golf, using the argument that I'm offsetting the raw material use and energy expended in its manufacture by extending its use, rather than scrapping it after max 10 years (probably get shot down for that one!)

[Edit for typos]

No, I think that using an old petrol car is probably the least bad option, provided you don't go far and plan to desist altogether in the next few years.

I rather admire your dedication to keeping the thing running, tbh.

There's probably a point where the best solution to the perennial carburettor problems is to retrofit an electric drivetrain, thobut.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #47 on: January 03, 2020, 06:22:18 pm »
This is interesting. We've done what feels like the obvious stuff.

At home we've done the obvious lightbulbs type stuff. Over the years, in our three houses (one after the other, not owning 3 at once!), each has had extra insulation and a modern boiler installed. We get our energy from Bulb, who are fairly green. I use 30 degree or A rated washing cycles and air dry most of it.

We have a petrol car. It's modest, second hand and mostly not used where walking and public transport can be, eg I commute by bike and train, walk to the shop for bits and bobs. No car is a fairly short term aim. I've flown a bit, but not regularly and taken train over plane with some success.

Food is complex. But i eat quite a lot of veg. Most of the meat is UK and organic / similar. Wine is no longer from outside Europe.

We've had kids, but just the two.

I use quite a lot of cloud computing, but try to make electronics last longer than average.

It all feels a bit compromised.




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Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #48 on: January 03, 2020, 06:33:35 pm »
It all feels a bit compromised.
It will always be compromised. However lightly we wish to tread upon the earth, we will have an impact. Even creating and managing a nature reserve, for instance, has a footprint. We can just do the little stuff which is within our power.
If everyone moved a bit in the right direction, that would make a huge difference.
"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the couch."

Mrs Pingu

  • Who ate all the pies? Me
    • Twitter
Re: Changes You've Made that (Might) Have a Climate Impact
« Reply #49 on: January 03, 2020, 08:13:27 pm »
Over the years, in our three houses (one after the other, not owning 3 at once!), each has had extra insulation and a modern boiler installed. We get our energy from Bulb, who are fairly green. I use 30 degree or A rated washing cycles and air dry most of it.

On this front, and similar to the 30 yr old car comment, I'm deliberately not replacing our boiler until it decides it's going on the fritz on a regular basis, as I believe that the environmental cost of creating these items is not always considered.
Given we live in a 'heritage' building which would not appreciate being fully insulated or sealed up to the eyeballs we'd always have a poorly energy efficient home anyway.
We don't own a tumble dryer (I think those things are planet raping) but use a dehumidifier in the winter instead (which I think we would need even if we didn't dry clothes indoors).
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.