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posted by janrinok on Thursday May 12, @11:15AM   Printer-friendly
from the don't-let-the-changes-get-you-down dept.

Why our continued use of fossil fuels is creating a financial time bomb:

We know roughly how much more carbon dioxide we can put into the atmosphere before we exceed our climate goals—limiting warming to 1.5° to 2° C above pre-industrial temperatures. From that, we can figure out how much more fossil fuel we can burn before we emit that much carbon dioxide. But when you compare those numbers with our known fossil fuel reserves, things get jaw-dropping.

To reach our climate goals, we'll need to leave a third of the oil, half of the natural gas, and nearly all the coal we're aware of sitting in the ground, unused.

Yet we have—and are still building—infrastructure that is predicated on burning far more than that: mines, oil and gas wells, refineries, and the distribution networks that get all those products to market; power plants, cars, trains, boats, and airplanes that use the fuels. If we're to reach our climate goals, some of those things will have to be intentionally shut down and left to sit idle before they can deliver a return on the money they cost to produce.

But it's not just physical capital that will cause problems if we decide to get serious about addressing climate change. We have workers who are trained to use all of the idled hardware, companies that treat the fuel reserves and hardware as an asset on their balance sheets, and various contracts that dictate that the reserves can be exploited.

Collectively, you can think of all of these things as assets—assets that, if we were to get serious about climate change, would see their value drop to zero. At that point, they'd be termed "stranded assets," and their stranding has the potential to unleash economic chaos on the world.

Do you agree with this arguably pessimistic assessment of the situation, and have we already run out of time to take the action necessary to avoid exceeding climate goals? Criticism is easy, but what solutions do you have to the problem?


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Thursday May 12, @01:28PM (13 children)

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday May 12, @01:28PM (#1244375) Journal

    700K Americans die from heart disease every year, yet you're doing nothing to save them. Why don't you care about their lives? McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and every processed food maker keeps pumping everyone full of trans-fats, sugar, and salt, and you whistle and pretend they're not doing anything wrong.

    Why do you hate other humans so, so much? Can't you let go of your normal-phobia and stop marginalizing them?

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
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  • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Thursday May 12, @01:57PM

    by Opportunist (5545) on Thursday May 12, @01:57PM (#1244388)

    Oh don't you worry, that number will come down. You know why heart diseases and cancer are the 2 only things that beat Covid in the death statistics? Because those, too, hit primarily old people. Yeah, we're getting too old. People don't die anymore from preventable diseases...

    Oh, wait, they do again now.

  • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Thursday May 12, @04:34PM (11 children)

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday May 12, @04:34PM (#1244449) Journal

    700K Americans die from heart disease every year, yet you're doing nothing to save them.

    We do a lot of things to try and mitigate that stuff. Those messages are so prevalent you clearly don't even notice them anymore.

    We can't just make everything that's unhealthy illegal though. All we can really do is inform people of the hazards and hope they listen. Not sure what you would have us do beyond that?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, @04:57PM (7 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, @04:57PM (#1244464)

      Phoenix has been mad at reality for a long time and apparently is very bitter at the DNC so he decided to flip ideologies. He is finding out Republicans are no better, in fact worse, and his worldvieww can't handle another crushing defeat so he does what all good Republicans do, falls back on blind faith.

      • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday May 12, @07:30PM

        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 12, @07:30PM (#1244512) Journal

        Bingo. He's SN's case study in "former liberal" (yeah, bull-SHIT, Phoenix...). Apparently the root of all his frustration is that all the minorities he was so good to didn't spend hours every day worshiping at his feet for being "one of the good ones," and since he's annoyed at how people assume he's a racist because of how so many other white people act, he's decided to...um...go all-in on the aggrieved white genocide train.

        Amazing.

        --
        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
      • (Score: 3, Touché) by Phoenix666 on Thursday May 12, @07:40PM (5 children)

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday May 12, @07:40PM (#1244521) Journal

        Phoenix has been mad at reality for a long time and apparently is very bitter at the DNC so he decided to flip ideologies.

        It's funny and sad how binary your mind is. Because of course across the whole spectrum of political philosophy, from both the Western and Eastern traditions, there are only two (according to you) possible sets of beliefs.

        But it's flattering how much you obsess about my worldview, I guess. Just tell me you haven't built a shrine in your basement with printouts of my Soylent comments, because that would be creepy.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, @11:54PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, @11:54PM (#1244614)

          Heh interesting way to make yourself feel better. Sadly was your own fault, repeating your anti-lib personal story so many times we remember it without wanting to. Similar for runaway calling people darkies and wanting to genocide 50 million progressives. Keep your regressive trap shut if you don't want people using your words against you.

          But since you're all whiny about being put in a political box but you voted for trump twice! A true independent would have said fuck no to the GOP, so clearly you're on the unhinged spectrum. You don't seem to be Full Qrazy, but you seem to be sliding into it quite steadily as you continue adopting Fox News talking points. Climate change no big deal, minorities are whiners that should just comply, and liberals are tEh ReeL devil. Mmhmm, but ya tone troll harder!

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday May 14, @12:45AM (3 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 14, @12:45AM (#1244851) Journal

          Just tell me you haven't built a shrine in your basement with printouts of my Soylent comments, because that would be creepy.

          That would be khayman80 [slashdot.org] level of insanity. One of the more bizarre kooks from Slashdot. It wasn't enough to stalk Slashdot users he disagreed with. He had to debate them, often post by post, on a website echo chamber [dumbscientist.com] that he didn't tell his targets about (I found out about this shrine years later when someone else mentioned it on Slashdot). He obsessed over climate change too as the link indicates.

          • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Saturday May 14, @02:16AM (2 children)

            by Phoenix666 (552) on Saturday May 14, @02:16AM (#1244872) Journal

            I have always known that Soylent was a motley crew; I contribute to that, but I was always a little proud of being a member of such a bunch of non-conformists.

            There are also some who are not playing with a full deck and who attach themselves to others; They exude the skeevy vibes that exemplify the personality traits the Three Letter Agencies hire for. Anti-christs and nazis I can ignore, but creepy DC troglodytes make my skin crawl.

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @04:20PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @04:20PM (#1244979)

              "Anti-christs and nazis I can ignore, but creepy DC troglodytes make my skin crawl."

              Thank you!! What a comment, not obly describing yourself, an anti-science ex-politico bitter at the corrupt world of politics. If only you weren't so welcoming to antichrists and nazis . . . . .

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday May 14, @11:29PM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 14, @11:29PM (#1245027) Journal
                Phoenix666 is not the person in this thread who can be defeated with "tu quoque". But sounds like you might have that problem.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, @05:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, @05:44PM (#1244472)

      Not sure what you would have us do beyond that?

      How about making sure the healthy stuff is cheaper than the unhealthy stuff?

    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday May 12, @07:36PM (1 child)

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday May 12, @07:36PM (#1244516) Journal

      We can't just make everything that's unhealthy illegal though. All we can really do is inform people of the hazards and hope they listen. Not sure what you would have us do beyond that?

      I agree, so why the hard line on wearing masks that do nothing to mitigate the spread of a virus? After all, have you ever seen a virologist go into the hot zone wearing nothing but an N95 mask? No, of course you haven't, because it's ineffectual. To that same point, why force people to get vaccines they don't want, constrain their freedom of movement and other rights, because public health officials want to give the appearance of doing something?

      As you said, the correct course of action is to inform people of the hazards and hope they listen. But that means we also must accept that many people won't listen, and that's their decision.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, @09:05PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, @09:05PM (#1244581)

        So why do some people get so upset when I try to carry cobalt-60 around with me when I go out? Just tell me what you think the hazards are and I'll decide for myself if I should do that.