CHOICE membership

Effects of climate change on the consumer


#162

Today’s episode of Landline was the best I have ever watched.

The segment on carbon neutral livestock production was great, the segment on producing the world’s best lamb by feeding food waste was even better, and the segment on the potato farming industry was absolutely outstanding.

For anyone interested in these topics, it would be well worth your while to watch it on ABC iview.

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#163

The 9 June 2019 episode mentioned in @Fred123’s post well as recent ones can be found here:

They do drop off the list after a month.


#164

I particularly liked the notion you don’t have to be eating veggies to be eating veggies?:roll_eyes:
Heavily marbled lamb looks and sounds wonderful, and there is the goodness from all those carrots! :wink:

P.S. (edit added)
I also wonder if the changed diet had a positive effect also reducing methane production by the sheep?


#165

Heh with the changes on what can be called “Lamb” it may be harder to actually tell what is Lamb and what is currently classified as Hogget (in fact it will be harder). The changes are such that “The new definition will be an ovine animal that is under 12 months of age, or [My highlight] does not have any permanent incisor teeth in wear”. This means as long as the permanent incisors (one or more) have not reached the level of where they are actively being used the animal will be classified as Lamb and not as currently classified as Hogget.

The change will bring us into line with our competitor New Zealand who use the new definition already. Will it mean a change to the quality of the meat? The meat industry council AMIC don’t think it will. Consumers may find different as the change seems to be more about the price and the ability to sell older animals (AMIC say the quality may improve).


#166

A couple of articles regarding changes to Ozone on the planet.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01752-z

I was certainly surprised as I was under the impression that Ozone merely protected the planet from excessive UV and I had never heard of Ozone being a greenhouse gas, let alone causing many deaths.


#167

Ozone is definitely a dangerous/toxic gas for us to inhale. An article by the American Lung Association has some good references to studies about Ozone toxicity:


#168

The UK has committed to zero net emissions by 2050.

Life in Oz, requires similar commitments

From The Conversation, the four pillars (Australia) suggested as the path to net zero emissions differ little from the direction suggested for the UK. Although the UK has made real gains in reducing annual GHG emissions when compared to Australia.

For Australia,
This pathway relies on four “pillars” of action:

* Ambitious energy efficiency in buildings, industry and transport
* Low carbon electricity, either through 100% renewables or a mix of renewables and other technologies
* Electrification where possible of transport and energy-using equipment in buildings and industry where possible, and elsewhere switching to low carbon fuels
* Reducing non-energy emissions through improvements in industrial processes and agricultural practices, and offsetting residual emissions through carbon forestry.

It looks like everything as we know it today may not be the same in 30years time. That’s about the same time it took to go from the first V rockets of WW2 to man on the moon!

And it consumed bucket loads of investment, for how many to walk on moon dust?

The magnitude of change suggested in responding to GHG emissions is even greater than the technical challenges of getting to the moon. These relied on brute force in getting into orbit and to the moon and back. No one noticed how much energy was consumed directly and indirectly in achieving the outcome. We can’t apply the same inefficient approaches to GHG emissions.

It would seem possible that instead of renovating homes to the latest styles and fashion colours, home equity will be absorbed in loans to pay for reducing our carbon footprint. Investor owners might also face the same obligation! Brute force of another kind?


#169

The subjective effects are like chlorine (which has been used as a war gas) very irritating and acrid, causes coughing, stings eyes, generates mucus, smells and tastes really bad. When diluted so that you cannot smell it anymore it can still cause coughing. Those with damaged lungs or asthma can be particularly sensitive to it.


#170

Bjorn Lomborg (BL) had an interesting, potentially controversial, article in the Weekend Australian and mentioned this research. It is worth a read, but unfortunately it is behind a paywall. It was titled ‘The Great Climate Myth’ and discusses the direction being taken in relation to climate change resolution.

Irrespective if one values BL opinion, it does raise some important issues which tend to be swept under the carpet.

In relation to costs for a zero emission 2050, he used the NZ example where he indicated that a report by the NZ government after making this commitment found ‘it would cost more than last year’s entire national budget on social security, welfare, health, education, police, courts, defence, environment and every other part of government combined. Each year and every year [to 2050].’

It is also worth noting that NZ is a country which has traditionally has had a proportion of its energy generated through good reliable geothermal generation.

If the NZ government’s modelling is correct, in effect taxes would need to be doubled to achieve the zero 2050. This would be an enormous cost to the consumer and why politically the costs are buried.


#171

It is an interesting discussion. I for one don’t value BL’s opinion. Nothing has changed here.

If the article is that revealing and important why hide behind a paywall. In particular given the Wikipedia profile on the author, would there be a que of wealthy climate skeptics publishing it for free?

In 2009, Business Insider cited Lomborg as one of “The 10 Most-Respected Global Warming Skeptics”.[2] While Lomborg campaigned against the Kyoto Protocol and other measures to cut carbon emissions in the short-term, he argued for adaptation to short-term temperature rises,

Adaption still requires investment. It is not free. How much to run the planet 3C hotter, and not as we know it?

edit added
P.S.
Our current governments have limited success at providing reliable budget forecasts for just one year ahead. A 30 year guess which has no knowledge of technology impacts or GDP change targeting the cost of achieving zero carbon is likely beyond any of them?


#172

They included Ian Plimer! At least they left out Christopher Monckton and Matt Canavan.


#173

Having read his articles in the Australian for some time now, he isn’t a global warming skeptic. He has been called this regularly by climate change activists who disagree with the approach he is taking.

He beleives in climate change/global warming but questions the approaches taken to date in order to address the future warming of the planet. His view is that the proposed measures won’t have any significant impact on long term emissions.

He is a little different to most scientists as he is an advocate of adaptation to climate change and investing heavily in climate change research (not whether or not it is happening, but innovations which will produce long term outcomes). He also believes in the ability of humans to solve problems…in Saturday’s article he compared the research monies poured into agriculture post war ro increase food production and questions why hasn’t similar monies been poured into energy innovation and technologies to reduce fossil fuel use). He also thinks that current solar and wind generation won’t solve climate change or reduce emmissions globally.

He also challenges and questions the current direction taken by many governments and the outcomes of international agreements.

It is refreshing to have someone look at policy development and international agreements with a questioning mind. In the past such minds created discussion which lead to solutions.

Unfortunately if one does not support everything that government and international orgsnisations are doing in relation to dealing and addressing climate change (even tbough the same pwrson agrees cimate change is happening), one is automatically called a ‘climate skeptic’. This is where he sits.


#174

It’s good to see a defense of the alternate view point.

There is much more to reducing GHGs than solar power and wind power.
But is this simply a reminder for greater action in other ways?

One view might be that the global community can act and limit global warming. To not act will have unacceptable consequences. How we get there as a global community is certainly open to discussion and critique. Whether enough is being done, or the current solutions or approach is the best, it is worth the cost of having a go.

Alternatives include:
denying the climate is changing - nothing to see here,
or
accepting climate it is changing but the effect is going to be inconsequential - life will go on much as always,
or
accepting climate is changing and there is nothing we can do to stop it - be prepared and adapt. It might also cost less.

Who’s the climate change skeptic?

In the instance of the Australian government it must be an interesting comparison?

Advocacy based on failure could be a warning or just one more way to entrench the outcome that many seek to avoid.

Putting an economic value on action and judging it to be too high a price given there is a risk of failure is a poor argument. If the UK and indeed other nations had put an economic value on WW1 or WW2 we may have surended twice to Germany and once to Japan.

It is a rubbish argument.

It may be more appropriate to label BL as far more challenging an advocate than a skeptic. Shades of the story line from SS-GB (The World Hitler Never Made) by Len Deighton.

P.S.
Forecasting or budgeting for any major challenge, we always under estimate the cost and time. Is that so wrong, when the goal is so necessary?

As a contrasting economic reality achieved through a commitment dating from 1989, the SMH (not behind a paywall) offers the following article on the success of UK in reducing annual total GHG emissions by 43% since 1990.

https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/a-disorienting-sight-to-an-australian-how-the-uk-got-on-with-the-climate-change-challenge-20190614-p51xqf.html

The UK might be struggling over Brexit but it is not an economic basket case either.

Australia has a much softer 26-28% target relative to a higher 2005 baseline and until 2030 to get there. And even softer 2020 target of a reduction of 5% below 2000 baseline.

For 2018 Uk total GHG equivalent emissions total 449 million tonnes compared with Australia’s 543 million tonnes.

From a consumer perspective it would be interesting to compare for the UK changes in key consumer indices over the period 1990 to 2019. Also to consider economic outcomes for any evidence of consumer impacts related to climate change policy.


#175

An article regarding a report on the effects of climate change and electricity prices in Australia prepared by the CSIRO.


#176

Very interesting, thanks for sharing it @Fred123. The CSIRO’s full 2060 report is available here for anyone keen to take a look.


#177

There are members here who care about the this world, this country and its people and who think that looking to the future is important. If that is you I strongly recommend reading the exec summary at least, even the full report isn’t heavy or particularly long.

The panel (who are well qualified) look at the triple bottom line; economy, environment and society to evaluate two scenarios, business as usual (slow decline) and making some changes (outlook vision). The areas of change are grouped into; industry, urban, energy, land and culture.

Not surprisingly their modelling says the outlook vision pathway will be better in every way. It isn’t a choice between environment and productivity, nor between climate action and jobs, or any of the other false choices vested interests throw up frequently.

All it will take is some long term planning and commitment to getting results. Oh and governments that put policy in front of politics and who can maintain balance between the electorate and big business. Well, it might also require bipartisan support as there could well be a change of government during the course of the project. And I suppose it might require new governments that didn’t have a burning desire to tear down everything the other guys did just to show how virile they are. There are obstacles but it isn’t impossible.

There is the risk that the report will just go into that big pile of papers in the sky, filled with good stuff but unread by power. Let’s hope not.


#178

Would that be the report by New Zealand’s Productivity Commission? I haven’t dug into the detail, but presumably the author of this article on The Conversation has. He states that:

A recent report issued by the New Zealand Productivity Commission has found that this is an achievable goal, even under modest forecasts of technological progress and increases in carbon price.

He is not a scientist, and his work has been widely challenged for misrepresenting the actual science.

The UK has adopted a similar goal to New Zealand’s, and the EU is also intending to adopt that goal.

Returning to the idea of ‘adapting to a warmer planet’, what will the cost be of losing large chunks of cities like Sydney, Melbourne, New York, Venice, Amsterdam and so forth (i.e. many of the world’s most populous cities) to sea level rise? Then of course there are the changes in weather, that may drown large proportions of some countries’ populations while leaving others without anything to drink - and unable to grow food! Lomborg seems not to understand what the actual costs of inaction could be - and is happy to bet humanity’s future on the idea that he’s right while the scientists warning of danger are wrong.

He was the guy who persuaded me that global warming was a problem. I read his book, and realised that he had no idea what he was talking about.


#179

He is a scientist of sorts…a political scientist. His bio indicates that he has been involved in the environmental sector on and off since 2002. While he is not a climate scientist, he is no different to many activists or other individuals which also communicate their own opinions about climate change.

As outlined in an earlier post, some of his research/opinions are controversial because he challenges the accepted norm.

While I don’t necessarily agree some of what he says, it is still worth reading what he says as it stimulates debate and also ones own thought on the issues to hand.

While he believes in climate change, he is less alarmist than some hard core activists and believe the impacts have been over stated (potentially exaggerated?). He has also questioned the international agreements which in effect won’t reduce emission as reductions from developed nations will in the foreseeable future, be covered (plus more) by increased emissions in the developing nations. He also questions the ‘fairness’ of these international agreements which are broadly driven by developing nations which have developed a high standard of living because of cheap, high carbon energy sources.

He also questions burning of biomass to reduce carbon emission in Europe when a significant amount of the biomass used is sourced from clear felling of forests and would take decades, if not centuries, for the carbon to be sequestrated. This CO2 is seen as carbon neutral and assumes what has been cleaned will be fully replaced. He does have a point here and something which is often a discussion over dinner with friends in CC and agricultural research.

Some of his ideas relating to what should be done moving forward potentially have merit and shouldn’t be dismissed because some activist groups disagree with him and therefore label him a climate skeptic.

Historically, those who challenge consensus, while often may not be fully correct in everything they say, has lead to others challenging their own thoughts. These challenges have lead to innovations and solutions from left field.

If we are comfortable we know all the right solutions for managing climate change moving forward (which to date has been from the marketing teams of business providing products for the sector), then one could very well dismiss those who table different ideas. Unfortunately I believe that this is yet to be the case and those like BL should be listened to, considered and challenged where appropriate. Things which have merit should be explored further.


#180

A scientist is a person who understands and effectively adopts the scientific method. A political scientist is a specialist commentator, a kind of social historian. The label ‘scientist’ is by custom as it is for other social sciences. Political science is near the far end of the methodology spectrum and rarely has much to do with scientific method.

Lumping somebody in with the many unqualified commentators who pronounce (often loudly) on the science of climate change regardless of their comprehension or accuracy is hardly complimentary. While we must accept that people have the right to state an opinion there is no reason to accept what they say unless they provide evidence for their position and show they know their stuff.

If you said my knowledge of climate science was in the same league as Lord Monckton ( the classically trained journalist) I would be mightily offended. His training doesn’t stop him doing world speaking tours on a subject he demonstrably knows nothing about. The same applies to many other professions who seem to think that the political controversy over climate change entitles them to explain things they don’t understand.


#181

Not quite…Political science is:

‘the branch of knowledge that deals with the state and systems of government; the scientific analysis of political activity and behaviour.’

In relation to the study of political science, then this possibly sums it up well…

https://my.uq.edu.au/programs-courses/plan.html?acad_plan=polisx2000

While I personally would find studing political science as interesting as watching grass grow, it does cover the problem solving and analytical assessing used in the physical and chemical sciences…just the core focus is different.

If you hear what he says, noting that his views on Climate Change are very different to BL. The links will give one an idea of how both individuals are on different ends of the climate change belief spectrum.

Growing up I assumed that a Lord was a wise person…how childhood fantasies can be destroyed.