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  •  We're producing carbon at 4 times the worldwide (6+ / 0-)

    average per capita.

    We're producing twice as much per capita as the EU taken as a whole.

    "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

    by JesseCW on Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 06:23:42 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Per Capita Means Nothing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYFM, IreGyre

      What does it mean that China and India have hundreds of millions of people who produce little carbon pollution? They have hundreds of millions more who produce more pollution than fewer people in the USA. The per capita pollution is a way for countries with really dirty industries to hide behind large populations who they exclude from economic or political opportunity, while joined with other industrialized countries to pollute.

      The US produces about a quarter of the world's stuff. That means the rest of the world outsources the production of what it consumes to the US. Where our production is slightly better than average pollution per value produced for everyone. Which is why it's imperative the US reduce its pollution, and drive the other polluters to reduce too. But not because of any specious per capita measurement.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 07:16:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. Our huge exports of manufactured goods. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        unfangus

        That must be it.

        Have you taken an actual look at our trade balances lately?

        Yes, if you hold human lives to be of equal value, per capita matters.

        "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

        by JesseCW on Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 07:43:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Equal Value (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IreGyre

          The human lives are of course of equal value. But the pollution system doesn't run on any kind of per capita quota.

          The US produces 25% of the world's stuff. Yes, we also import about 25% of the world's stuff. But the 25% we produce is produced more efficiently, with less pollution per value, than the rest of the world's stuff that we import. If their stuff we import were produced at the US level of pollution, we'd be a large part of the way to reducing the pollution imbalance that is warming the planet. But we're not.

          That extra pollution from the rest of the world's dirtier production isn't a consequence of per capita anything. Per capita is a spurious detail. What matters is the efficiency of production, and the US is better than the rest of the world. Especially it's far better than production in China and India, and practically everyplace where per capita pollution is lower. Because those people, while equally valuable and even more exposed to Greenhouse catastrophes, are not involved in the polluting system. While nearly every American is involved - which is keeping the pollution down.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 07:55:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Some people are just more equal than others in (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sillycarrot

            their basic right to produce massive amounts of carbon.

            Yes, we're using 5 times as much stuff as the average human being.  

            That's kind of the damned point.

            One person generates .2 tons of carbon, another generates 19 tons of carbon, and your argument is that because the person generating 19 tons produced and consumed far more shit....it's the person generating .2 tons who needs to make cuts.

            "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

            by JesseCW on Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 08:17:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Basic Right (0+ / 0-)

              We're not using 5x the average, except when you include what we use to produce what we export to the rest of the world.

              What do you propose we actually do to get people around the world to use only their equal quota of allowed carbon pollution? Start with the couple of billion people in South and East Asia who you are presenting with this per capita accounting who are outside the industrial system.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 08:29:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We just covered the whole import export issue. (0+ / 0-)

                We export movies and software, and import electronic toys and oil.  Of course we produce less carbon per dollar of "product".

                YOUR proposal is that people who produce 1/10th as much carbon as you do need to make cuts before you do.

                How do you think that works?

                "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

                by JesseCW on Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 08:46:31 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Your Proposal (0+ / 0-)

                  Look, the movies and software consume a lot of carbon, as does the heating for the densely populated places. And the US exports a lot more than movies and software: ours is still the largest manufacturing economy in the world. And yes, we import a lot of oil, because we make that oil (as energy and chemicals/materials) into stuff we export. But the point you're making is that US production is overall more energy efficient, because we make a lot of movies and software. So we're more efficient.

                  Also, I'm not proposing low-polluting foreigners make cuts before we do. In fact, my point is that the low-polluting foreigners are not relevant to this accounting, so they don't have to make any cuts, while we have to make a lot.

                  But all that's theoretical abstractions. What do you propose we actually do to make a per capita accounting of carbon actually work? What actual applied practice based on per capita carbon accounting?

                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                  by DocGonzo on Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 09:51:46 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  tarriffs (0+ / 0-)

                    They´ll come back. Nations will return to massive punitive carbon tarriffs against anyone not cutting down on carbon usage once climate change really gets going. This will not be left to the "individual consumer choices". This will devolve into economic warfare. The free trade bubble we live in at current, is not going to last.

                    •  Tariffs (0+ / 0-)

                      How does this tariff work? How does it charge countries per capita? The larger the exporter's population, the higher the tariff its imports to the US? That doesn't make sense.

                      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                      by DocGonzo on Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 03:17:08 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Yeah, free trade isn't such a compelling ideal (0+ / 0-)

                      when the survival of the species is at stake.

                      --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

                      by Fiona West on Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 04:20:56 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

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