CHOICE membership

Effects of climate change on the consumer


#222

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the young realise that they’ll have to live with the world that we’re leaving them.


#225

An article regarding Amazon attempting to have their Australian greenhouse gas emissions kept secret.

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#229

It was a fair way back up the page, so I’m going to copy a repeat of our instructions for behaviour in the topic.

In starting this thread, we were obviously aware that at some point someone would come along wanting to ‘debate’ the existence of climate change, and while we do love busting myths and debunking false info, this discussion is intended to focus on the potential effects that climate change will have on the consumer (being that we are a consumer group).

If you’re interested on a debate on climate change itself, you’re welcome to do so in other parts of the internet . Otherwise, comments of this nature will be removed (and replies, to preserve the integrity of the discussion).


#230

An interesting article regarding the rise and fall of civilisations with climate change having been instrumental to the collapses.


#231

An article regarding research into creating an artificial black gold tree to convert CO2 into methane at atmospheric temperature and pressure using solar power and other uses.


#232

Interesting from the point of view of gathering knowledge. As for doing anything about climate change I don’t see it.

  • Use gold as a catalyst, yes right. Platinum and other platinum group metals are also very useful as catalysts (for a variety of purposes) but the use at industrial scale is really limited for the obvious reason.
  • Convert CO2 to CH4. But what do you do with the methane? Releasing it makes things worse and if you burn it again that sends you back where you were with CO2, plus the pollution it generates. We don’t need an endless cycle that generates air pollution every turn.
  • Build artificial trees. What is wrong with natural ones?

So many of these high tech schemes look like somebody found a really interesting idea and thought to get attention by linking it to climate change.


#233

Personally the effects have being; regarding my own changing habits in response to the epic problem of I think the wonton degradation of this planet we all call " home " by the manifest disregard for anything that doesn’t involve the personal gratification of one owns life; to sell my sports car for a more fuel sensitive vehicle. I’ve nicknamed this new mode of transport, the Toyota Yaris ( manual gearing ) as the " Hamster " :smile: looks like one I reckon. I can’t fault the average fuel consumption of 5.2L/100km, not to mention the lack of servicing waste: compared to the old vehicle; Nissan 200sx coupe, the comparison is " chalk & cheese ". I have over time upgraded the " white " goods in the residence I inhabit to at least four star or above. I have found one of the hardest, and most expensive areas to minimise the impact on the planet is trying to make the residence energy efficient. Due to the poor standards in place for basic abode construction, the task to make a average dwelling energy efficient is a enormous task. So much could be done with prudent standards subscribed in the building of places of habitation. In all I write that for change on the consumer in relation to the effects of our " as a collective " impact on the planet to try to minimise our own unique footprint, is a economically expensive path: Albeit one that has to be walked by all, if we are to give the planet any chance of recovering from our excesses. May your roads be tranquil, cheers Peter.


#234

Yes, there are choices that can be made that have the effect of reducing our personal footprint. Being able to make informed choices when replacing household goods or products is one area in which Choice can be a useful resource.

When we first subscribed to Choice our priority was simply to buy performance and reliability. As we lived far from everyday retail these mattered most, and we often paid a premium. We were guided by Choice to fair pricing as the cost of service or warranty returns was likely greater than any travel or freight. Those were the days before the internet was routine and long distance calls in today’s money were more than one dollar per minute!

The change as consumers, now we are looking towards products that are more than effective and reliable. The goods also need to be energy and resource efficient. Factors which are conveniently compared in the many Choice reviews.

Hopefully we will one day also see reliable carbon footprint (manufacture and supply etc) tags on products as another step forward.

In our instance it is also difficult.
In one example in Queensland the State Govt put in place a sustainable housing scoring system. It has been wound back. Owners and builders of new houses were scored depending on design choices.

The scores favoured outcomes that were low energy with high levels of insulation. This tended to produce houses with low levels of natural ventilation and a reliance on air conditioning. The alternative of passive house designs were reserved for one off obsessions. Certainly perceived by many as ineffective as well as type casting the owners?

As consumers the popular option appears to be to maintain our current lifestyle choices by modifying the immediate stuff of life around us. To try and keep things as much the same as they have always been. That adds one or more levels to our costs of living. The way forward we will still live on urban blocks, drive the kids to school and commute to work daily in a car of our own.

The alternative of adaption, where consumers change behaviour significantly to get more from less, and to choose differently is also an option. One that might cost more in lifestyle choices, but less as consumers in direct costs. It’s likely a difficult choice to downsize vehicles or commute on public transport despite the inconvenience and extra effort, or live closer to employment, or change employment. It’s great to known some consumers choose fuel efficiency and accept less. The

In either example what ever the direct costs, the community also has a large percentage who cannot bare any extra costs to effect change, even if that is their desire. That would appear to leave a portion of any costs of major changes on the public purse, whether it be in changes to energy resources, or how we use transport, or?


#235

Now Bordeaux wine producers have had to change their grape varieties due to climate change which will also no doubt happen in Australia and elsewhere.


#236

A very concerning article regarding climate change.


#237

Export income and cheaper power for local consumers. An indirect effect of climate change: one of many proposals to export Australian renewable energy.


#238

Very true, but you omit that the IPCC reports passed to policy makers are ‘moderated’ in the process of reducing them to summaries for policymakers (SPMs). While this site is fairly objective it is something of a rah rah and in most ways, properly so. But an important takeaway from this link on The Conversation is

United Nations rules require a unanimous consensus to be sought. Negotiations occur over wording to ensure accuracy, balance, clarity of message, and relevance to understanding and policy. The strength is that it is a consensus report but the process also makes it a conservative report. The rationale is that the scientists determine what can be said, but the governments determine how it can best be said.

We are all aware of how political spin works, regardless of the topic or its importance.


#239

If you want/need to close down coal production and similar energy fuels you need to deal with the people currently employed in those industries so they are not left to dangle without proper support. Until we deal with these effects of change, the mining and burning of fossil fuels to produce energy will continue pretty much unabated. I for one would hate to become unemployed with no hope of reemployment or some really satisfactory redundancy benefit depending on my age. If we want to help people to change their work habits we need to provide excellent support to do so. I don’t think we currently have that desire or structure to provide that change mechanism and until we get that we will continue on a sad path.

Germany has closed it’s last Black Coal mine according to a SMH article and are moving to close the Brown Coal mines by 2038. One reason cited is the cheapness of purchase of the product from other countries but also the reduction of their reliance on burning fossil fuels so as to meet their Paris agreements. Interestingly they have seemed to successfully dealt with those who were employed in the industry by a variety of choices eg generous redundancy payments if over 50, retraining and so on.

The article also points out the cost of rehabilitation and part of this is keeping the poisonous groundwater in the mines “According to one RAG executive, the company expects that more energy will be expended on the pumps than was extracted from the mines in the first place”.

Also tellingly in the article is this about Australia and it’s relationship with coal:

"One of the men who has led this transition is Michael Mersmann, director of global affairs with German mining union IG BCE. Mersmann is well travelled, charismatic and blunt.

Asked if he thinks that Australia could manage such a transition when and if the time comes he says “No”.

“One of the biggest problems Australia has is there is no existing relationship between employers, trade unions and states,” he said.

“In your country you are rather heading towards a conflict, not a consensus. What we are trying to do here is have softer negotiations and find a solution at an earlier point.”

But when you explore the notion in Australia, you discover there is another stumbling block. There is simply no acceptance in Australia that coal has a limited future."

Anyway worth a read I think:


#240

An article regarding how pollution in China from various sources is impacting the output of their massive solar generation capacity.

Talk about adding insult to injury.


#241

Coal is still used in many homes in China for heating (warmth and cooking). The coal used if often in the form of briquettes and results in significant air pollution (a little like the wood used in Indian households). The briquette industry is unregulated and generally poor quality coal which is unsuitable for other application is used.

There has been a move in China to wean locals off the use of coal for such purposes and some local governments are taking action to try and curb its use.

When living in China, it was quite unpleasant at times to be in the streets late afternoon in winter with the smell of freshly lit coal briquettes lingering in the air.

China also suffers significant dust pollution from the west and north.Some of this dust results from the overgrazing of rangelands by goats…there are reports that this is an outcome of an aid project delivered by Australian scientists to exploit the vast dryland grasslands.

It is also common practice to burn all agricultural wastes (stubble, husks etc) and other general wastes which can contribute significantly to local air pollution.

There is opportunity for local air quality to improve when there is sufficient renewable/low pollution energy capacity to replace traditional fossil fuel sources. In China, this is unlikely to occur until 2030+ when the Chinese government has a ‘target’ to reduce the development of the fossil fuel energy industry in China. Until then, China will continue to rely on coal and other fossil fuels for heating, cooking, electricity and transport.

It is also worth noting that China has historically been a market that repairs in preference to replacing. As a result, many technologies which have disappeared in the west are still used in China. Such technologies may not have the best air pollution outcomes.


#242

Another aspect of this poor quality or any quality coal burning in households is the increased exposure to fluorine.

Just a few of the links to research about this issue:


#243

An article regarding how climate change is affecting Australian farmers and fishers and ultimately the consumers.


split this topic #244

A post was merged into an existing topic: IPCC reports, CO2 based energy production, the consequences of action or no action


#245

This is interesting:

" You may have noticed another characteristic of contrarian climate research – there is no cohesive, consistent alternative theory to human-caused global warming. Some blame global warming on the sun, others on orbital cycles of other planets, others on ocean cycles, and so on. There is a 97% expert consensus on a cohesive theory that’s overwhelmingly supported by the scientific evidence, but the 2–3% of papers that reject that consensus are all over the map, even contradicting each other."

This kind of finding is common for contrarian viewpoints not just climate change. The contrarians have in common that they want to disprove, in some cases destroy, the mainstream view but they are very often at odds with each other about what the correct view may be.

In some cases they altogether lack an explanation for the observed data - all they can say for sure is that the accepted one is wrong.


#246

From this Quora piece:

I rather like this, from Skeptical Science:

Those who deny, will never give up arguing, or so it seems.