I forgot to call my dad for his birthday yesterday because I have my last assignment due today and I was stressed about getting it done. I didn't forget to watch the football game last night tho, so there's that.
The best thing about Trump disregarding the Paris agreement is that America was the biggest emitter of carbon emissions until China outpolluted them from 2013. So, thanks america it was a really Great Barrier Reef we had once.
It was the first agreement made by all the major players, and would lead to more significant progress. By reneging we are now back to the point where we need to get everyone to agree in the first place all over again.
That would be paradoxical because that's the kind of thing which needs lots of money to fix. Personally I don't view spending money on the plan to be a "waste", especially since it's goal is to keep the planet livable. What will money be worth if everyone in the future's dead due to all the issues caused by pollution?
@Doigt I get where you're coming from, but what I meant was that there should be a legitimately good deal made before we start spending money on climate change. Something like that requires active effort from all countries involved, and from what I've heard, the other major polluters, China and India (China creating more than double the amount of pollution the US creates) don't need to do much for a while. I'm not going to say I know everything about the plan and it's effects, but if it does indeed exclude China and India for a while, it definitely should be improved before money starts being spent, especially when it could harm economies.
Actually, China is currently spearheading the efforts against pollution and is taking the USA's place as a world leader in this issue. Don't know about India though, they've been hit the hardest by climate change, (opinion section starts here) so you'd think that they would do something.
@Doigt If that's true, then that's good news. Assuming China is legitimately trying to help it's environment with the agreement, then pollution levels could go down quite a bit. Maybe in an optimal (keyword: optimal) scenario, the U.S can try to find some way to get a better deal in the agreement so that it helps a lot more.
BTW, sources please? I'm too lazy to take the time to do research myself. :P
For what I said about china: Le Journal de Montréal, Metro (montreal), 24. I don't remember exactly which days, but it was during this week and the one before. Completely in French though. India, the same newspapers again, the whole year, got a lot of articles about India and the issues there. For the other stuff I've said, it's more based on their economic situations and their pollution levels than an actual article, a visit by https://www.numbeo.com/pollution/rankings_by_country.jsp, https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/22025/9781464805608.pdf, and wikipedia (which I've not verified it's source, I admit), should clear your curiosity.
@Jarr2003 the reality is you don't have to spend money to reduce GHG emissions beyond informing people on effective strategies. The problem is that the effective strategy means is we all stop buying shit we don't need, and our economies are based on everybody buying shit they don't need. The global economy is hence unsustainable, so they are trying to find a solution which reduces GHGs but people continue to consume maniacally which will still fuck the planet even if there are no more GHGs involved.
@Adam I'm not going to try to state I know much about the best strategies to slowing GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, but it seems to me that you have very little understanding of what your talking about. Greenhouse gases are gases that, when they enter the atmosphere, prevent heat from leaving the Earth. As a result, when things like coal are burned, they increase the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, slightly increasing the amount of heat the atmosphere traps (which becomes noticeable after decades of such practices). That has little to do with the purchase of unnecessary goods. The most you could argue is that people are more likely to use cars and other vehicles that rely on fossil fuels because of the want for unnecessary goods, but that is a flimsy argument, as buying goods was always a thing, just automobiles made it way easier.
Furthermore, your last sentence doesn't make much sense, at least not to me. You're saying that the purchase of goods directly increases GHG emissions, which is incorrect in itself, but then you state that people consuming goods still ruins the planet regardless. That simply doesn't make much sense. I assume that you're talking about littering and how garbage has been affecting the planet (because that's something that is clearly affected by "buying shit they don't need," but that isn't necessarily destroying the planet. The reason why people try to keep the environment clean isn't because they fear that garbage will destroy humanity, it's primarily because they want to restore the environments in the ecosystems that garbage has directly harmed. Humanity isn't going to die off because of garbage pollution.
The legitimate best ways to reduce GHG emissions is to focus on finding efficient, reliable, and flexible green energy sources. To argue otherwise is, at least in my opinion, denying basic logic.
We are past the point of no return on Climate change, the damage we have done already is irreversible, however, the point at which Climate change is unstoppable is likely going to happen in 20 years or so, when we go above the 2° C mark. Which means we can stop climate change from making humanity extinct within 50 years (Our lifetime btw.) Also, that's kind of the point of the Paris Agreement is to encourage countries to find clean alternatives to energy. Also you cant say the economy matters more than the environment because it really doesn't. Money is useless when you are dead, and I'd rather live in a country stripped of social order due to economic collapse than be starving to death in a living hell.
@Jarr, forgive me, I expected you to know something about environmental issues given that you are engaging in a discussion about environmental impacts. The production of goods creates GHG emissions. The production of goods uses resources (eg minerals), which are obtained from our environments. Then more GHG emissions occur when the goods are transported. The amount of consumption occurring is far beyond what the earth can sustain given these resources are finite. There are plenty of scientific reports on this topic, start with the Millennium ecosystem Assessment Report of 2004, the UN FAO Livestock's Long Shadow 2006, UN Environment Program Priority Products and Materials 2010. There are probably more recent reports than these but I finished my environmental science degree in 2011 and haven't been keeping up with the latest science on this subject.
Just to expand on the resource use part, the biggest threat to plants and animals is land use change. Obtaining resources through forestry, mining, and converting wild spaces for farmland is what causes land use change. By buying a new phone every year, new clothes all the time etc, people create demand for these resources and this is what I mean by fucking the planet. So even if we fix the GHG issue and can transport these goods using carbon neutral methods, the direct impact on environments through land use change will continue. What makes it worse is the population is continuing to increase, so just producing food is going to cause many more extinctions unless people start consuming more ethically. But as I said, no government in the world wants everybody to do that so it's not anything you hear beyond the scientists at the UN and other independent scientific organistions.
@Knifer Again, I'm not at all saying that the economy takes priority over climate change. What I'm saying is that we shouldn't waste money on ineffective strategies. We should focus on making strict regulations that actually work, and if those require spending, then so be it. If you're spending money to slow climate change without impacting it whatsoever, then you might as well have not spent any money. As I've said before, the other main GHG emitters, China and India, were not required to do much for a while (China seems to be becoming more active in the Paris accord now that the US has left, which might be good. That might possibly help the planet much more than if the US had stayed, at least in theory).
Could you give me some sources on your statements that humanity will "go extinct" in 50 years? Because I legitimately find that pretty hard to believe.