Trillions Already Wasted in the Name of Fixing Climate Change But What Would Fix the Climate ?

The latest UN IPCC, climate change report is out. the IPCC report says that global surface temperature will continue to increase until at least the mid-century under all emissions scenarios considered.

If we are going to fix the world’s climate then it matters how much things cost, the scale of the problem and scale of solutions and it matters how long it really takes to do things. Costs of over $100 per ton of CO2 mitigation are stupid for a trillion-ton CO2 problem. The bio approaches for using trees, algae and crops tend to be at $1 per ton of CO2 or less. Getting lower-cost non-carbon energy can be an economic gain instead of a cost. Electric vehicles (EVs) are on track to be lower cost than gasoline vehicles. This means it will be cost beneficial to consumers and countries to switch to EVs.

Climate solutions that are work at $1 or less per ton of CO2 and can be fully implemented in less than 20 years and they can scale to 1 trillion tons total then the climate change problem can be fixed by 2042. Solutions that are more expensive and slower can be justified for other reasons but they would not be part of the fast and effective plan to fix the climate by 2042.

The IPCC and climate activists have ineffective plans. Annual CO2 emissions are still increasing. The overall excess levels of CO2 compared to 1850 is 2.3 trillion tons. Annual CO2 emissions are increasing to 33 billion tons in 2021.

The total mass of the Earth’s atmosphere is 5.5 quadrillion tons. One-millionth of that is 5.5 billion tons. The level of CO2 now is 417 PPM which is about 2.3 trillion tons. The level of CO2 in 1850 was 285 PPM. Going to net-zero annual CO2 emissions and removing 715 billion tons of CO2 would get the world atmosphere back to 1850 levels. It should also be noted that the average world temperature from 0 AD to 1600 was an average of about 0.2-0.3 degrees Celsius warmer than 1850.

The US has been officially spending about 20-26 billion a year on various aspects of climate change research and some levels of mitigation. The Biden administration increased this climate spending to about $31 billion. The total US federal spending on climate change research and mitigation projects has been over $350 billion. There is also spending at the state government level and from other countries. This does not include the renewable energy spending and most of the renewable energy subsidies.

Capital spending on renewable energy is expected to increase 8.5% year-on-year (y-o-y) to US$243 billion in 2021 from US$224 billion in 2020. The world’s total, direct energy sector subsidies, including fossil fuels, renewables and nuclear power, stood at least US$634 billion in 2017. Fossil fuel subsidies accounted for 70% of the figure while subsidies to renewable power generation technologies accounted for around 20% (US$128 billion), biofuels 6% (US$38 billion) and nuclear power around 3% (US$21 billion).

Germany alone has spent over a trillion euros on its energy transition. It is estimated that it will cost another 1.5 trillion euros to get Germany to 80% of its energy from renewables. This would take until 2050.

Getting Germany to about 40% energy from renewables has already been three times more expensive than France going to 80% energy from nuclear energy. The french decarbonization was done faster and cheaper. It is taking Germany four times longer and seven times more spending to get to the same level of decarbonization of energy as France.

Nearly half of the roughly 380 million metric tonnes of methane released by human activities annually could be cut this decade with available and relatively cost-effective methods. Reducing methane global warming is far cheaper than reducing CO2. Halving methane emissions would avoid 0.3C of warming by the 2040s. The easiest gains can be made by fixing leaky pipelines, stopping deliberate releases such as venting unwanted gas from drilling rigs, and other actions in the oil and gas industry. Capturing fumes from rotting materials in landfills and squelching the gassy belches of ruminant livestock will also help.

Satellites, planes and drones can now track the size and location of methane leaks.

Despite the claims of urgency, there is still not strong support for nuclear energy as being part of the solution mix.

China is Spending Tens of Billions by 2025 to Provide Food for 700 Million People from Greenhouses

China will build 2 Million hectares (20 billion square meters) of controlled environment greenhouses by 2025 and this will produce half of their vegetables and crop needs. Temperature, humidity, lighting would all be under controlled conditions. It would not matter if there were new extreme temperature swings outside or if there was drought. The needed food and water would be immune to any projected climate change over the next 500-1000 years.

Alibaba sells greenhouses for as little as 70 cents per square meter. The bulk, high volume cost to the manufacturer is about 50 cents per square meter. If installation labor costs are 50% of the 2 million hectare project then it would cost about $20 billion for the 2 million hectare project. $40 billion would be sufficient for China to make 40 billion square meters of climate-controlled greenhouses which could produce all vegetables and crops. It would cost $260 billion to make greenhouses for the food production of the entire world.

Indoor climate-controlled agriculture has almost no need for pesticides and uses 7% of the water. This would take up 3-5% of the total land area of open-air farming.

Meat production could also be brought under climate control. The feed for cows, pigs, chicken and fish could be either brought into greenhouses or converted to insects. Insect feed can be twenty to one hundred times more space and water-efficient.

Meat can be converted into cell-based production in large vats. This would be similar to the industrial production of beer.

Bringing agriculture under indoor control would have trivial costs compared to the multi-hundred trillion dollar climate change mitigation plans.

There would be zero risk of mass starvation caused by temperature or drought-induced crop failure.

It is likely only truly economical (even with China’s mass production) to bring vegetable and fruit farming indoors. If China has indoor vegetable and fruit production at $1 per pound then other countries could follow at different levels based upon how cost-competitive indoor farming is against open-air farming for a particular crop. There is also the question if people will pay more for greenhouse crops. Greenhouses allow for year-round crop production. This means consistent prices and availability for fruits and vegetable year round. It also means indoor farms can be inside of cities for fruit and vegetables that are fresh from the tree and vine. This will reduce the usage of gasoline to move fruits and vegetables.

Ocean Farming

Global seaweed production as over 34.7 million tons per year in 2019. This was up nearly eight times from 4.2 million tons per year in 1990. Annual global seaweed production is on a normal path to 500 million dry tons by 2050 with 14% per year increases.

Ocean forest plan would accelerate growth of seaweed farming to 25-50% per year growth and reach about 20-60 billion tons per year of production. Worldwide agricultural production is about 4 billion tons per year.

Ocean Afforestation research suggests 12 billion tons per year of biomethane could be produced while storing 19 billion tons of CO2 per year directly from biogas production and 34 billion tons per year from carbon capture. These rates are based on macro-algae forests covering 9% of the world’s ocean surface, which could produce sufficient biomethane to replace all of today’s needs in fossil fuel energy, while removing 53 billion tons of CO2 per year from the atmosphere. This amount of biomass could also increase sustainable fish production to potentially provide 200 kg/yr/person for 10 billion people.

SOURCES – IPCC, Compete Caribbean, China, Ocean Forest Plan, Alibaba, EdgeMarkets
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

134 thoughts on “Trillions Already Wasted in the Name of Fixing Climate Change But What Would Fix the Climate ?”

  1. Not so. People get used to others through exposure and by realizing that most people – though not all – basically want the same things. Covid lockdowns and the like have bred distrust, suspicion, even clinical paranoia. Isolated rural living can do the same.

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  2. It is not cities that are more trusting, it is the type of person who likes to live in big cities that is more trusting. And that is not a matter of being born there necessarily. There are many people who choose to escape the big city and many small town raised people who are attracted to the big city.
    You can't change people into trusting people by jamming them into cities. You would be much more likely to cause nervous breakdowns and murderous psychotic rampages.
    And maybe they are not more trusting. Maybe they are more likely to vaccinate because they know they will be exposed to a lot of people and it is unavoidable…and they are more likely to know someone who died or had to be hospitalized…if they are more social.

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  3. …and low-carbon fully-closed cycle high end products, became available at comparable quality –even at a 50% premium–, I would not blink an eye at making the switch. 25% increase in personal taxes to facilitate fusion and fission-based centralized power build-outs / geo-engineering? – great.
    I believe in climate change. I believe in the tragedy of commons. But I will not live nor support a green-poor life even at the loss of a human society not interested in techno-developing itself through its problems. Rich and Free — or Dead. I believe that there are geo-engineering, industrial, and commercial for-profit, free-market technologies that can solve All; we just have to divert energy from behavior-policies/activism -to- positive growth technological innovation.

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  4. …and low-carbon fully-closed cycle high end products, became available at comparable quality –even at a 50% premium–, I would not blink an eye at making the switch. 25% increase in personal taxes to facilitate fusion and fission-based centralized power build-outs / geo-engineering? – great.
    I believe in climate change. I believe in the tragedy of commons. But I will not live nor support a green-poor life even at the loss of a human society not interested in techno-developing itself through its problems. Rich and Free — or Dead. I believe that there are geo-engineering, industrial, and commercial for-profit, free-market technologies that can solve All; we just have to divert energy from behavior-policies/activism -to- positive growth technological innovation.

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  5. As for mansions on Mars, it sounds like a cool idea – and maybe even a good book title! – but there are lots of reasons why they would be impractical, not least the lack of gravity. I guess Elon Musk would definitely build himself one, if he could, but it wouldn't be comparable to a grand property on Earth…not until we've terraformed the whole planet and adapted to the lower gravity. Possible but, like I said, it's gonna be a while. O'Neill cylinders would probably be practical first. I don't wanna kill anyone's dreams, I think it would be great but let's be real – in the 1950s they thought we'd all be living on the Moon and Mars by now.

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  6. Agreed. It depends how you define "modest lifestyle/living accommodations". Let's be clear I never said anything about anyone living in self-imposed poverty. I agree with what you're describing but it is still modest in the sense that there are limits to what an individual can acquire in certain situations (e.g. if you are spending years living in one of these starships or on a fledgling moon colony), as opposed to the constant hustling here on Earth and the implicit dream that everyone own mansions or tracts of land, multiple rental properties, multiple cars, etc. What you're describing is not comparable to that. It's much more managed than that and the inhabitants will have to be in a much more stable equitable community. Also, zoos, horse riding, parks, sailing, singing, dancing, gardening, having pets, living in communities and generally enjoying life and being active have always existed and predate our modern consumerism lifestyle which I was critiquing because the whole point of this article was focussed on environmentalism and its consequences when manufacturing and energy usage is insufficiently managed. I'd argue that people in self-contained environments in space will have less stuff or that they will need to create/re-use their stuff in ways that aren't currently available to us, which – if available now – would probably endanger current commercial models.

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  7. The rationale for building wind is to cut fossil emissions, and the target for those is zero. Even if wind can get to 57%, that's mostly all on, or all off – the UK is much smaller than a weather system. So what makes the 43% of downtime ? Gas, mostly. Batteries haven't even made a dint in the graph. By the way, the UK's wind has now climbed to a less dismal 37%, but Germany's has dropped to 5% – do you think the Brits should export some ? France is exporting over a GW of clean power to England, same to Italy, and nearly 3GW to Germany and to Spain as well, with CO2 emissions a fraction of any of them. https://www.electricitymap.org/zone/FR?wind=false&solar=false

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  8. 'Peridotite starts out as a sub-crustal, upper mantle rock. If tectonic forces move it nearer to the surface, the reduction in T&P cause the minerals (usually olivine and pyroxene) to destabilize and change into the mineral serpentine.'

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  9. By 'irreversible' they mean the CO2 isn't all going to leak out again in a few hundred years, while our long-suffering descendants are trying to deal with whatever else we've left for them. Some carbonate rocks are from shells, but they don't have to be. There are thick strata of limestone or dolomite right above layers of glaciated rock, laid down billions of years ago when the Earth was rebounding in and out of 'Snowball Earth' situations. Once there was ice all the way to the tropics, the planet's albedo was so high that only a huge CO2 effect could melt it. The CO2 would accumulate over millennia from vulcanism. Once the ice melted, the CO2 would push the climate to a hot extreme instead, before erosion weathered enough basic rock to react with and bind the gas. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowball_Earth#Cap_carbonate_rocks

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  10. The articles states that $trillions have been spent on climate change. The article didn't seem to mention where. One would think people would have heard about all of this spending.

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  11. It just hit me. The rock I was thinking of was serpentine not the mineral olivine. Though, olivine is cool too…and if I remember correctly…it is common in meteorites…and deep in the Earth's crust. Just not slick to the touch like serpentine. I admit, I did not do spectacularly memorizing rocks and minerals. 🙁

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  12. Tide is as you say, highly predictable and they can produce power through virtually all of the tidal range if designed well. The major barriers are cost and disruption to tidal ecology.

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  13. Long run average UK wind farm capacity factor is 31%, but the rolling 12 month average is 47%, and the long run average is projected to reach 57% by 2030 as newer farms come on stream replacing older, smaller turbines and arrays.

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  14. Closed-loop systems and consumerism are not mutually exclusive. The loops would just be more active with more consumerism.
    "Modest lifestyle/living accommodations" is not at all what I see coming. I don't see crowded Spartan starships…I see very large starships with few people and lots of robots and other automation, plants, pets and many interesting things to do in a large number of ship areas.
    Robots will be making thousands of large spaceships at the same time and at very rapid speed on the Moon or in lunar orbit from mined materials from the Moon. Maybe a million ships a year averaging perhaps the size of a modern tanker ship…or even aircraft carriers. Some may be large enough for sailing or horseback rides. Dolphins and elephants are not out of the question.
    Other people will live in large cave communities in the Moon, underground on Earth, Mars, asteroids, other moons. These defiantly will have large areas with wild animal parks, stables, zoos, and more.
    And people will live in orbital communities as well. And few people will be aching to live in self-imposed poverty.
    And mansions on Mars well be a thing almost immediately after it is possible.

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  15. Hmm, olivine. One of my favorite minerals. It is very slick and shiny mineral. But they said "…lock it up in the shells and skeletons of mollusks and corals." The problem is, that these populations are being devestated by heat and mercury poisening. And CO2 in the ocean and other bodies of water is disolving shells.
    They also say their mineral method is irreversable. I don't think that is an asset. We need to be able to reverse any large project like this…because you never know.

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  16. "humanity is a malignant parasite" is actually very close to the truth: Humanity HAS a malignant parasite. Well, actually, humanity is co evolving with our *System* of ritual and self domesticating governing/power structure, for 7 million years. We have evolved genetic *love* for our offspring in particular and Nature, as a defense against this Beast. The Apocalypse has been the 7 million year struggle to survive this. Armageddon, the final battle between our System, which, once understood, must be destroyed, and this Love, started in earnest 50 years ago, with the understanding of the nature of the Beast. See Janov for details. NASA will want to see Janov for birth trauma stuff, very likely to be triggered in Space, esp the early "restrictions" stuff you have mentioned. We need to do O'Neill and Janov.

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  17. There have been discussions about overabundance in Space from the beginning. There are several asteroid mining books out that show the possibilities. Will healthy people act like the celebs of today? No! But that is a different but also needed change. I hate consumerism, btw, am the most frugal person. Hate the waste! But I have been *too* poor at times, and it is not at all efficient. Very many are too poor, they can't get to the point of organizing an efficient life and create more waste per unit of good produced. I'm into lights and small refrigerators for the poor. You get much more after you get that, but the cost is not to the Earth. After many start leaving, most will be in Space by 2100, the Earth will benefit greatly.

    Here is the current tech based upon O'Neill. Much could have been started in the 80s.

    https://www.bis-space.com/membership/jbis/2019/JBIS-v72-no09-September-October-2019%20-%20Subscription%20Copy.pdf

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  18. To be clear, the above statement does not represent my value system. It was just a speculative comment that, in the end, our current lifestyles of relative abundance (consumerism) might be anomalous. That, in order to survive environmental collapse, or due to restrictions imposed by living off world, we might have to adapt. I completely agree with your statement/hopes, and reject any notion that humanity is a malignant parasite. In fact, I hope we can do a 180 and actually benefit the planet, but that will involve a shift in behaviour. Admittedly my language was a little affirmative and fanciful…but "You can't fake it until you make it as an astronaut" sounded too good not to write lol

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  19. Ideally, this would be the case. If we go down the O'Neill cylinder route then the prospects for luxury living are much better, I admit. It might take a while to get to that stage, though. Rotation will work in an O'Neill cylinder. It won't be so easy on the surface of moons or planets like Mars. I know you don't support that kind of colonisation but there is obviously a push for it from Musk et al. Consumerism, I think, is clearly a very loaded term that can mean different things to different people – to me, it's simply not a very flattering term. We can never stop being consumers in the absolute sense, but we can have a more responsible approach to how we seek enjoyment. And consumption (as in the whole process) isn't well managed at the minute on Earth, although I believe we can make manufacturing and distribution systems much better and more closed loop – it's just a vastly more complex task than doing it in space, where it will be a necessity. No doubt VR will play a big part in removing any sense of isolation or lack of engagement/access to experiences. But, at the end of the day, you physically own less due to various restrictions on living space etc. That's until these cylinders number in their thousands or millions, I guess.

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  20. Free fusion avail. Comm sats ARE Space Solar. What powers the signal in almost all? Make bigger is so all the power can be collected.

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  21. '… you can't control what the sun does and like everything thats happened for ages, we have to adapt to survive.'
    I wonder if yeast cells say that to each other, as they enthusiastically transform a vat of hops into poisonous (to them) beer.

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  22. The only people living simple in Space will be the ones servicing and setting up robots in the early or furthest locations. Overall, everyone will quickly enjoy more energy. More consumerism, if you will, everywhere. "amazing artificial gravity" of course, not sure rotation is all that amazing. Any g you want, any time, can turn it off.

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  23. No, I haven't but I'll look it up. Not disagreeing with you but maybe I need to read it to get my head around how their economic system will work.

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  24. 'There is no natural process that would quickly absorb or bury all the carbon we have released. ' There is, but it's 'quickly' on Nature's timescale, not ours. In the 'Azolla Event', the floating plant Azolla grew like bugs in a petri dish in the Arctic Ocean (then a lake), and crashed the levels of CO2 by 1,500 ppm in only a few hundred thousand years. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azolla_event

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  25. "how much stuff we can ship there" Please note the plan, to ship stuff from there to here, starting with Space Solar. The stuff we ship there is minimal. The main idea is to minimize that, use lunar resources. Have you ever seen pictures of a slum? "is it sustainable here???" NO, it has already failed, 20,000 years ago. Only in Space will things be sustainable, expandable. Have you read "The High Frontier"?

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  26. Perhaps that will be possible in O'Neill cylinders but in the interim, and in other situations, the options will be more limited. My point in regards to consumerism is that now – more than ever – you can get anything you want at the push of a button but that is unlikely to be the case for anyone who isn't on Earth. Even in an O'Neill cylinder resources would be limited, and people will presumably adapt their attitudes to accommodate that. I guess it all depends how much stuff we can ship there, but there will always be some kind of bottleneck for them compared to here. If more people end up living "up there" than "down here" then consumerism in the sense of having access to whatever/whenever will be a blip in the grand scheme of things or, perhaps, it will be a unique quality of Earth, or a slowly growing circle of civilisation. However, in the context of the article, is it sustainable here??? That is the ultimate question. Hopefully we can find a way to make it work.

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  27. I love this Earth, and plan to stay on it as long as possible. I like space too, but more through a pair of binoculars or the camera of a robot explorer – no need to drag this bag of protein up there.

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  28. I think you've completely misunderstood my point. This is not my "value" system at all. My point is that for hundreds of thousands of years people lived primitive lifestyles as hunter gatherers in small communities with limited possessions and that the harsh realities of living in colonies on other planets or travelling through space in craft with closed loop life support systems might be comparable. I have nothing against the way we live as consumers, but I think it is a unique privilege to have access to so much stuff and comfort. Most people on the planet now don't have that and while I hope that everyone on Earth can enjoy that and believe that one day they will, if we start to spread beyond Earth then we will see a resumption of a new type of minimalist life, as it will be a long time before large, luxurious habitats are constructed and there will always be those pushing beyond that. This is assuming, of course, that we don't come up with some amazing artificial gravity or warp drive tech. That would indeed change the game dramatically and would allow a much more abundant lifestyle wherever we happen to plant our flags, which would be great. However, failing that, my observation was that perhaps our current "western" living situation is a unique moment in history.

    The fact that you think a random, speculative comment is somehow indicative of a deep life philosophy is interesting in itself. The world does seem to be consumed by wild ideologies at the minute.

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  29. This O'Neill is asking the question ' Is a vacuum the right place to nurture an air breathing mammal made mostly of water ?' Because if your answer is 'Yes', I'm wondering if you have any kids yourself ?

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  30. There was a proposal about ten years ago to build a power beaming satellite ( or however many they'd need) to transmit cheap hydro and geo power from Iceland to Britain. Instead, they're looking at building a billion Euro underwater cable. Since most people don't shell out a billion without looking at the alternatives, I'm thinking that maybe your solution isn't as technically mature as you make out. Don't say ' It's just radar.' HAARP in Alaska fired radio waves at the ionosphere – a whole 3.6 MW – but efficiency was only 45 %. You can guarrantee that losses at the bounce satellite and the receiving station would be worse.

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  31. The consumerism now is the cost of the trip, not the luxury seats in the capsule. Eventually, promising a real nice house or such is just a little more than being in Space at all. Infrastructure.

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  32. Janov describes people who have succeeded in therapy as being alarmed at the prospect of destroying, scraping, Nature for mere profit. They also have a live and let live attitude, btw. Leave the Earth to save it. To try to restore it, as possible.

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  33. Why not have them bet on free Space Settlements starting with Space Solar. Now, this is an important concept: All nuke stuff comes with its own police state. You cannot escape to a nuke plant. You already have, in a way, if you know about Space.

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  34. One more delicate balance for the goldilocks theory

    (No, not the idea that bears are victimized by blondes, the one that everything has to be just right for a solar system to develop a civilisation.)

    So: Earth is big enough for a sustained atmosphere. So is Venus. Mars isn't. It's small enough that the atmosphere was lost within the first billion years or so: No civilisation developing on a planet Mars size or smaller.

    But Earth is only JUST small enough to get off the planet by chemical rockets. We see how much easier launch is from Mars compared to Earth. Because of the rocket equation being exponential, a planet even slightly larger than Earth would need 7 stage rockets starting at 1 million tonnes just to put a satellite in orbit. So a civilisation on such a planet reaches 20th century level tech OK, but then gets stuck.

    The usual response is that "well, they'll just have to suck it up and go nuclear then."

    But if most of the galaxy doesn't have fissile material that's off the table too.

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  35. I'd have thought that tidal would be VERY predictable.
    You can buy tables listing tides decades in advance. That's more predictable that the supply of gas or coal.

    Of course, it's not constant. That's a different thing.

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  36. Earth based solutions are whack a mole, when they scale they suddenly become a new problem. Now, recycling the cells of solar is a prob because they are so quickly advancing that the *old* ones are being replaced far before estimated life. TANSTAAFL

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  37. What is the problem with Earth to Earth to power beaming? It is a fast solution to the very problems you mention, as an Austin resident I can empathize. Search Criswell LSP find searchanddiscovery link, see ppg 12-13 and add extra wind and solar from elsewhere to mix. Done.

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  38. The comparison is to C solutions shown in the article, which generally seem to cost something extra, or are total load. You also have to present some scale, as LSP does compared to even other Space Solar.

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  39. 'For the U.K. that’s rare.'
    It's not that rare – at the moment, the UK's 25 GW of wind capacity are only producing 3.5GW. If any worthwhile fraction of a country's economy has to rely on such a fallible power source – solar is worse, and so is tidal – there will always be a need for fossil fuels to fall back on. Gas burnt in a peaker plant is more carbon intensive than in a steady running combined cycle plant. The UK does much better, with wind and some nuclear, than Germany, which is building wind and solar and getting rid of nuclear, but France is far better yet.
    Grams CO2 per kwh, right now-
    Germany 410
    UK 249
    France 32
    https://www.electricitymap.org/zone/GB?wind=false&solar=false

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  40. Try reading 'Six Degrees', by Mark Lynas. He just mined the scientific literature to see what a world one, two, three… up to six degrees hotter would look like. Trust me, it's not where we want to go. At some stage, we won't have much choice, since the climate has a couple of stable regimes, and we're pushing it out of the Holocene one. Once ice loss and permafrost outgassing of methane have reached a certain point, we'll be committed. We'll probably know where that point is once we've passed it – maybe we already have. I'm all for doing research on geoengineering, but we don't know if that is possible now, let alone after a doubling of methane and CO2. At the moment, CO2 is 40% above pre-industrial levels, methane is already over twice as high.

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  41. you can throw as much money as you want to show you care about the environment but you can't control what the sun does and like everything thats happened for ages, we have to adapt to survive.

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  42. I don't think the natural systems would return to normal…even if humanity disappeared tomorrow. There is no natural process that would quickly absorb or bury all the carbon we have released. People just don't realize how much coal and oil we have dug up and burned.
    Nature will find a balance, but at a higher temperature than when we started this. The Earth has been a higher temperature in the past…albeit the distant past..when there was a lot more volcanism, due to higher radioactive decay inside the Earth, from matter being in an earlier state in the nuclear decay chains https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decay_chain
    I think we will not just have higher CO2, but higher O2, and higher humidity. Higher O2 because plants will flourish with more CO2…assuming we don't "harvest" all the trees and such or poison them. The increase in mercury concentration in the oceans is destructive and it has increased by 50% by human activity…mostly from burning coal. The lead in the oceans is roughly 300% of natural but was many times higher and does go down. Mercury on the other hand tends to stay dissolved in the ocean killing and sickening organisms.
    We can stop putting mercury in the ocean, mostly by no longer burning coal, but I don't know how we can get it out.
    All these factors make it difficult to estimate where it would balance if we disappeared. But almost certainly there will be more heat in the atmosphere and ocean.

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  43. Dear Sirs, To fight global warming, have the United nations create 'The Global 50/50 Lottery', to raise the massive funds needed to purchase clean electricity generating systems everywhere, to replace the electricity from our coal burning electric power plants, which are emitting the carbon dioxide that is causing global warming. Remember, human greed is like a force of nature that can move mountains. If we can exploit it to fight global warming, WE CAN BEAT IT!

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  44. Several reasons for that: Cuomo forced Covid patients into unprepared nursing homes; NYC is the main port for foreign travelers who brought Covid in; Doctors were frankly lousy at treating Covid then; Early spreads are faster in cities, but ultimately get everywhere, eventually. Also, it's disingenuous to ignore that cities are more likely to follow the latest science (e.g. vaccines) than distrustful rural areas, hence their better outcomes now when there are options.

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  45. The whole thing about climate change is that we can't even know what exactly will help: our climate models cannot predict correctly (we are outside of the error bars in the vast majority of them, and nearly out of them in the few that are left). Until we have a climate model which can correctly predict what has happened in the last fifty years we can try to use them to explore solutions. Until then, it's basically more of the same: trillions more wasted while we wait to see if the ice melts after all or not. We cannot tell beforehand whether anything we do will actually have the effect we hope.

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  46. The thing about wind is that it removes energy from weather systems. If you want to prevent climate change you will generally not want to disturb climate systems by removing a significant amount of energy from them.

    For now we're fine, since we're removing a couple hundred megawatts from any one place. But if we want wind to be more than a footnote in energy matrices, we're going to need to extract a decent percentage (maybe 10%?) of the power available in the systems, and that means clouds won't be carried as far inland as they are now. This means more rain near the seashore and drier biomes further downwind.

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  47. Maybe look at the beginning of the pandemic and explain to me why New Jersey and New York have the highest cumulative deaths per 100k.

    Looking at right now which is the end of the pandemic is utterly disingenuous. Current case counts are the byproduct of lack of vaccination, not geography.

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  48. Last time I checked fracking + methane make money too.

    Come to think of it most every form of electricity generation can be a net positive which is to say that just being net positive isn't the metric of merit.

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  49. Unfortunately I do not believe humanity is capable of slowing or stopping climate change as a behavioral change. It will be up to first and second class nations (ours) to begin a transforming to invent fusion power + plus sequester carbon from the air while reducing our output. The seas and ocean life which absorbs most of the carbon is severely challenged and in risk of additional collapse by 2050. We must stop using the oceans by over fishing and a trash dump. Over population is another reason why we see this today, human generate too much carbon in their life time and people need to be culled back the 3 billion mark. Perhaps natures way will take care of that while living in inhospitable parts of the planet without water or resources. The resource wars are coming, no joke the planet is beginning to show stress of over usage. Say no to nuclear power, waste and risk is not worth the effort. We need a Elon Musk to run a Fusion program well funded to move forward as a power class 1 type civilization.

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  50. All thermal electricity is dead in the sense that I am dead and have been replaced by my children.

    Also space solar is dead in that it is inferior to cheap aneutronic nuclear fusion.

    Oh wait, cheap aneutronic fusion doesn't exist yet? Well neither does space solar power.

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  51. One way to lessen transportation intensity is to return to the past. When I was a child, piedmont NC was dotted with Mill Villages. There would be a factory of some sort, likely making yarn, thread, or finished textile goods.

    In the case of Cannon Mills plant No. 1, bales of cotton, and coal to run the plant came in by rail, and finished goods left in the same box cars the cotton arrived in, as well as class 8 trucks. The plant had it's own town, named Kannapolis, a majority of it's workers lived in houses owned by Cannon, with the rent, power, and water bills deducted from their pay. The Plant provided water, and electricity for the town from it's cogenerating steam plant. Manufacturing cloth requires a lot of hot water, and process heat. Most of the plant's turbines were high pressure only, but a few had reheat cycles, and low pressure stages to power the town when the mill was shut down for maintenance, or other times that it did not run.

    The company also built a business district near the center or town, and rented space to local businesses so that it's employees had shopping, and professional services nearby. There was a bus that ran past the county hospital, and went to downtown concord, the County seat. It was possible to live perfectly well without an car in Kannapolis until the company was sold, and the town went to hell.

    There is a move towards bringing industry back to the US. Zoning laws need to be changed so mill villages can bloom once more.

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  52. A bit harsh but a constructive criticism of an 'outlier' value system.
    Been browsing the audio download of HF: USGK O'Neill – not finished – a very dogmatic and -can't say otherwise- but seriously cynical take on humanity's prospects. It is one thing to provide option for expansion into communities in space, but to say that we 'owe' the world its sacred existence and that we should respect it by leaving it – is twisted.
    I trust that by finding the 'inclusive middle ground' through technological means over the coming decades that we can make the reasonable case that humanity is not a malignant parasite and that ambition and happiness are fair and reasonable life accoutrements with existence.
    Hopefully, such technology can be used in a moderate scenario and not be the banishment and 'gilded cage' that O'Neill appeared to think we deserved.

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  53. OK, got it. Then the options are:

    1) Neverland
    2) Earthsea
    3) Middle Earth
    4) Narnia

    That is, mythical places that don't and can't exist.

    Because poverty is neither green nor just, and will never produce a better world. Just human suffering, death and even more ecological ravages.

    It was until we started developing ourselves enough to no longer need chopping wood for heating, nor hunting animals nor taking over more lands to feed ourselves, when the forested areas and natural reserves started to really flourish.

    A tendency that has continued and accelerated in developed countries. If they really wanted to benefit the environment, they'd be betting on nuclear an on development to make every nation greener.

    But for me it's pretty obvious that the environment is the least of their concerns. This brand of new "environmentalism" is just the latest Trojan horse of our old friends socialism & communism, those old rancid putrid nightmares so dear to many, which can't ever exist without eliminating people's freedom, now taking profit from people's real concerns about the environment and using them to justify the unjustifiable.

    https://www.humanprogress.org/reforestation-in-iceland-and-other-wealthy-countries/

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  54. Thanks so much for outlining your life philosophy.
    It's quite an amazing thing.
    I have seldom seen a comment, and thus been provided, perhaps, an insight into someone's values, that is So Precisely the Opposite of what I would consider a worthwhile Life, in a worthwhile Culture, in a worthwhile World, in a worthwhile Universe.
    It is the simplicity and ruggedness of modern Stoicism without the nobleness of resisting temporary hardship. It is the minimal thinking of zen without an approach to complex and meaningful insight. It is an enforced self-poverty without graciousness or humility. It is like a 25-year old going into a nursing home and saying I no longer want to contribute – hook me up. Just an absence and refrain from all ambition, passion, creation, and contribution to humanity's pursuit of growth. I feel bad as this is not an attack, but just an observation into the behaviour of a fascinating example of human consciousness – probably memoir worthy. Good Luck.

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  55. Take a look at the cases/hospitalizations/deaths per 100,000 people here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/covid-cases.html There's no correlation between large states and severity of Covid, or frequency either. Of course, more people in large cities will get sick, in absolute numbers, from a virus. But mass events like the current Sturgis motorcycle rally can obviate any advantage of being distant from other human beings. People in small towns and cities still need to congregate together to get things done. The difference is, if a lot of them get sick, they may not have the resources to combat a large outbreak. Cities are more flexible and responsive and have more resources, if they are managed properly. Rural hospitals in particular are going out of business everywhere. Rural communities are a disaster for the environment.

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  56. The logical consequence of increased urban density is an upswing in epidemic/pandemic sweeps through the population. More people sharing confined spaces = increased opportunity for viral transmission, this has been a lesson of Covid from the Diamond Princess to Provincetown. It would be better in terms of disease management, and in light of remote working and manufacturing automation gains, to move to dispersed living and working in smaller towns and cities.

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  57. in considering Climate (also covid) and thus the essence of Morals in society, i.e. when birds of a feather do not necessarily stick together: "… across studies,… participants judged agents acting in sacrificial moral dilemmas. Utilitarian agents, described as opting to sacrifice a single individual for the greater good, were perceived as less predictable and less moral than deontological agents whose inaction resulted in five people being harmed. These effects generalize … and persist when controlling for homophily and notions of behavioral typicality…"
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022103121000998in

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  58. How about the Greta T list:
    1) a poor and green and just world
    2) a poor and green and just world
    3) a poor and green and just world
    4) a rich and green and just world
    seems like not a lot of room for discussion or choice….

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  59. I'd argue we need the mindset of space travellers, i.e. technically-trained minimalists who understand the importance of closed-loop systems. Not consumers. Consumerism will be a blip in the history of the human race. (Ironic then that Bezos' efforts are funded by rampant consumerism). If we survive this century, then it is reasonable to assume that we will eventually colonise Mars, the Moon, live in space stations, endure long voyages on space ships etc, and most of that will involve a modest lifestyle/living accommodations, and a practical mindset. It'll be a longtime before we're hustling for mansions on Mars! You can't fake it until you make it as an astronaut. In fact, I imagine the modern lifestyle is not only niche now but will remain so when viewed on the grand scale of human history.

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  60. Splitting hairs.
    Climate change is an issue, some pun intended, of degrees – a spectrum.
    For example: If the likelihood of fire damage to a house in a certain region was once-in-5-years under current climate change and 1-in-10-years under a 'we solved carbon 20 years ago' scenario — with 1-in-7 in between them, who would still buy a house and find affordable insuranace coverage under ANY of those scenarios. Climate change, though real, is a 'straw man' argument/ fallacy used to provide activist cover against a whole range of industrial civilization's success-trade-offs. Point: climate change is not, nor will be soon, significant enough in any tragedy to justify total civilization re-direction — especially when technology and the underlying free-market, for-profit capitalism can give us Everything eventually – and it's worth the wait.

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  61. Exactly so. People tend to have short time horizons and fail to see the longer term picture. Over the next century, even if we have abundant cheap renewables and nuclear, we are going to have to capture and sequester gigatons of carbon to bring the carbon levels back to pre industrial levels. Natural processes would eventually do this, but we’re talking about centuries and millennia and in the meantime average temperatures will remain higher.

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  62. The reason why Germany’s carbon emissions went up despite heavy investment in wind and solar was politics. Lignite is mined in eastern Germany and the jobs needed to be protected as the ruling coalition depended on votes in those states. It’s only in the last year that they’ve agreed to phase out coal power over the next 15 years.
     
    So over the last 20 years, as wind and solar have been built out, what it’s done is drive gas out of the power mix, as it’s more expensive than coal, and net emissions rose. Worse Germany often had a surplus of electricity from wind and solar when demand was low, which was then forced to flow to neighbouring countries as it was effectively free, driving out gas in their power mix too and leading to the same negative impact on carbon emissions.

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  63. As with all things, it is how you rank goals and what One is willing to do to achieve those goals. Not all can afford their preferred goal. A possible ranking:
    1) a rich and green world
    2) a rich and dirty world
    3) a green and poor world
    4) a dirty and poor world.
    Obvious? perhaps, but others would flip 2) and 3) and consider 1) too much effort and sacrifice. To aspire to 1) but settle for 2) is a significant decision and it may be what certain groups would consider adequate or even worth causing a disruption or outright conflict over. Certain regions, peoples, causes, etc., may give up on 1) as unlikely, dragging all others to their preferred 2) likely different than listed. Point: find out what other's listings are and what effort they are willing to undertake.

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  64. We also need to urbanize and end the car-culture, even if EVs instead of ICE vehicles. It's too dangerous and costly to keep providing services, utilities and most of all, roads, to suburbs and rural areas. Suburbs rely on constant growth to pay for decaying infrastructure stretched out over 10s of miles, while very little walkable infrastructure exists:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IsMeKl-Sv0
    We need not only better urban planning, but a Land Value Tax, including pollution taxes, to replace deadweight taxes on wages, sales, physical capital (like buildings), which retard production, unlike the LVT, which encourages it while forcing better use of land (defined as ALL natural opportunities).

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  65. 'The only people that Seriously Care about Climate Change are tree-hugging Conservationists..' plus those, as someone above noted, who are watching their houses burn down – or flood. Or anyone capable of reading some science.

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  66. Liked, but recently they're speculating that uranium doesn't come from supernovae, but from neutron star collisions. Which could mean it's more patchily distributed round the galaxy, so we can add one more obstacle to aliens getting in touch with us…

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  67. New Zealand had a partial blackout last night. We're supposed to be about 80% renewable power, but it's been a dry year, the hydro lakes are low, weed clogged some turbines, the wind unexpectedly stopped blowing… Likewise in the much more serious recent Texas blackout, wind and solar were next to useless. If we really want to cut carbon emissions, we can dream about Dan Lantz's Pie in the Sky Bye and Bye, or build nuclear.

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  68. I don't think the anti-government ideologists have that much power. Some in government with the power use that ideology as an excuse but rarely really seem to try shrinking government when their constituents and donors aren't at risk.

    Fundamentally it's that oil and gas and (now to a much lesser extent) coal have been fundamental to our economy, so lots of pressure not to mess with them.

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  69. Fortunately, a Carbon fee is, as a user fee, easily implemented as a libertarian project, *if* the fee is used to deal with the Carbon.

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  70. I think those who will not consider solutions to the problems of Earth only because the solutions involve their losing power, usu because they want to impose another usu ineffective *solution*, are true eco-terrorists.

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  71. Have you read "The High Frontier"? The way you detect one of these really rare beasts who will not consider Earth to Earth power beaming as a way to save the CO2 situation, and much else that is troubling about humans on the planet, is to, as I said, talk O'Neill to anyone who professes concern for the Earth. The power addicts will freak.

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  72. Don't forget that one big reason the Germans have so much trouble is simple geography.

    Look here https://www.pnas.org/content/106/27/10933

    The UK is an island in the North Sea, it gets a lot more wind than Germany.

    I don't even need a map to illustrate the same issue with solar power.

    If the Germans want wind and solar power, they either put in giant long range superconducting international power cables, or Lantz style ground to ground power beaming.

    Or some SERIOUS excavation work to have Germany moved to a better location.

    OR… believe the science. Uranium is produced in stars, so technically, nuclear reactors ARE solar power.

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  73. Photosynthesis – Plants/Plankton turning Sunlight/CO2/H2O into Food/O2; neither animal nor blade of grass would exist, absent CO2. For ~75% of the last half-billion years, CO2 was 2-15 times higher than now. It helps plants resist drought/damage/disease, extends growing seasons, lets plants move higher in altitude & Latitudes, shrinks deserts & reduces the spread of fire, plants using & retaining H2O more efficiently. As CO2 levels rise, photosynthesis flourishes & plants take in more, sparking growth, more photosynthesis & CO2 uptake.
    Rising temperatures also extend growing seasons, help babies survive, increase net rainfall & save lives. The result is increased food production, soil moisture, crop growth & a greener planet, even as forest fires, droughts, heatwaves & temperature related deaths have been significantly reduced.

    This Cradle of Life is greener, more fertile & life sustaining than it was 50 years ago.

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  74. Are these the same people who want to defund the police and ban all private citizens from having firearms but have armed security guards themselves?

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  75. I think you have an unhealthy fixation on O'Neill. And I am not contacting environ-cult members. (Do you have their number?)

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  76. an interesting collaboration and compromise, if not consensus, coming at us 2030+. I think it will all depend on whether we can maintain minimum standards of economy, opportunity, and culture as we shift away from fossil fuels and cheap/ available land. No one wants to live in a green but poor world. I don't anticipate that many of the 'optimistic' regulations will stick (i.e. no new ICEs after 2035). Society will have to have some basic standards if it is to stay recognizable to today: reasonable transpo fuel costs, heating/energy costs, land costs, insurance in the light of weather extremes, potable water costs, etc. What will no longer be around?

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  77. Huge risk. Are we smart, diligent, and co-operative enough? Maybe a small population of the richest countries can roll out some technology; but as with covid vaccination, lack of timely tech distribution may doom us all.

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  78. Putting a price on carbon has been the obvious solution for decades. Anti-government ideologists the biggest hurdle. As in the past, ideology will be the death of us.

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  79. Empirically the warmer temperatures are the best thing that ever happened to humanity and without any serious side effects. I think we should target around 1k ppm. Going back to 1850 levels would spell disaster.

    Most every argument for catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is an outright lie. I highly recommend reading "Apocalypse Never" by Michael Shellenberger.

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  80. I strongly disagree. If we can't live where it is easy, and where we are designed to live, we will fail to thrive in space.
    Both puzzles have most of the same answers: Water recycling
    Nutrient recycling
    Automated high production relative to facility volume, food production
    Alternatives to wood
    Alternatives to natural fibers, that work as well or better in EVERY regard
    Expandable to need, enduring supply, power production
    Radiation of waste heat into space (yes, we need this here…which is partly why I think nuclear power plants should be in the hot deserts. At night, heat is radiated into space because there is very little moisture to trap it)
    Small footprint, low waste manufacturing of every kind.
    Same air in components as air out components.
    Safe chemicals or methods for cleaning, that don't make noxious vapors that interfere with any kind of recycling
    Medications and scanning technologies that don't result in human waste that is dangerous or difficult to recycle.
    Chemical production based on recycling rather than petroleum, latex, soybean, and lenseed oil (nearly every chemical, plastic/rubber or medication is derived from these currently…except maybe concrete, borax and kitty litter)
    Efficient transportation technology
    High production, entirely underground, automated, low ventilation mining
    Artificial dry cavern enclosed communities

    Better to master these things here, where minor fails don't kill everyone.

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  81. We should worry about exo-industrialization first. Once that's done, lowering the "solar constant" would be Child's play. The question is, what climate do we want?

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  82. sounds like it will depend on the quality of the people involved and investment available. Is the next generation up to it?

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  83. must be aligned with personal choice, an incentive-based culture, and free-market thinking… the cornerstones of entrepreneurialism-based technological development. The yin-yang of self-interest and communal development framed in transactions of mutual benefit. A fully principle-based path is fraught with bureacracy, NIMBYism, decisions-by-committee, and other such invention-energy-sucking-obstruction. Ownership, diminished oversight, and a certain privacy can enable amazing things.

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  84. no brainer – has to be a technological- and effort-based fix. With increasing populations and stagnating productivity – there must be breakthroughs and societal advancements.
    Doing less industry? Planting Trees? removing personal vehicles? stopping meat production? all short-sighted and limited-reach band-aids, easily swept under by the needs for an expanding economy and widespread opportunity.

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  85. Greenhouses are not invulnerable to heat. You can easily bake your plants. And venting to outdoor air to reduce temperature can bring in the pests you are avoiding. As we have seen, even Canada can reach 120 deg Fahrenheit. Sure, there are other ways to cool the crops but they will raise the price of crops substantially.
    One thing a lot of people seem to miss is that the only real way to remove carbon is to bury carbon…just like we dug it up in the first place. It has to leave the carbon cycle. While we may be able to reach a balance with more plant mater on the planet than there has been for many thousands of years, that still will not be enough. That balance will be hotter than it is today. There has just been too much carbon released. And obviously, it continues to be released. 
    People do this "pay to plant a tree" stuff. That is pointless. You are just paying a tree farmer to replant after he has cut down trees. They were going to do that anyway. Planting more trees in a natural forest? The forest already has the number of trees it can support. Remember, there are always millions of times more tree seeds than there are trees. If you plant extra trees, you just make the all the trees less healthy, and more likely to not get enough water and with their defenses down, they are ravaged by bugs, and killed, then termites consume them making lots of methane which is much worse than the CO2 the trees took out of the air.
    We must grow seaweed, char the seaweed, and bury.

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  86. O'Neill asked the question: "Is the surface of a planet, such as Earth, the right place for an expanding technological civilization?" If you are building on the wrong lot, THAT is your problem, not some detail.

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  87. See ppg 12-13 for Earth to Earth power beaming, and add in the excess wind and Earth solar ("wind and solar in the right places") for instant cure. Add Space Solar and LSP after this is started, as demand grows. Open Space to Earth salvation. Start NOW. 80s tech, easy sats.

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  88. Nice concept but realistically, even if it were as feasible and economic as described, by the time we had the infrastructure to build both the solar collectors, and the earth stations and network to receive and distribute it, it would be too late for the initial shift to carbon neutral powergen. Not saying it doesn’t have a future, but that might be the electrification of near earth space and perhaps low carbon power to parts of the world which don’t have local access to good quality renewables.
     
    The reality is that wind and solar in the right places are already cheaper than hydrocarbon sources without subsidies. That’s why powergen is an “easy win” for net zero. High heat manufacturing like steel and chemicals are harder, and typically require Hydrogen and/or CCS. At the moment, even in advantaged locations, this is around twice the cost of conventional carbon emitting processes. Likewise commercial aviation is hard since electric is not feasible for anything bigger than a regional prop. Hydrogen is one solution, as are drop in biofuels or efuels, but both are expensive.

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  89. of course, the enemy to progress is risk-aversion. To refuse to try because of undefined chance of failure. To not seek improvement because of regulatory encumbrance or cultural baggage. To blame society for not fixing those who seek self-esteem and status at the cost of other's dreams and ambitions. These are what hold us back from truly challenging essentially technological issues. It is hard to frame culture, and its eventual success, as a technological phenomena – but it truly is. Question and Answer.

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  90. I agree with your observation, but not the labels, exactly. Don't let the power addicts have the good words without a fight! O'Neill is more of an "evironmentalist" than anyone, as his solution expands the biosphere, not merely helps preserve it from the instant (geologic time) destruction that would happen without his plan.

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  91. Search Criswell LSP, find searchanddiscovery link, or see my comment below. Save money, save the Earth, leave the Earth. edit: and use the Carbon fee (not tax, please!) to invest in it. Then the owners of the atmos, us, will own our electricity production. Cool!

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  92. Agreed. You either believe in mankind's ability to overcome by effort, ingenuity, and somewhat-collective vision — in the form of technology (which also helps to make people a buck, live a better life, and achieve a certain accomplishment — an amazing incentive program) or you are an Environmentalist – a slippery slope to self-denial, spiralling shame, and self-perpetuating people-blame and techno-hate)

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  93. Have you read "The High Frontier"? If so, have you told enviro-cult members about leaving the planet to save it, O'Neill, and escape them? Have you seen their reaction when you do? What is yours now?

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  94. Alarmism in the face of O'Neill means one does not understand O'Neill. So does not mentioning O'Neill, or Space Solar, in this context.

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  95. The only people that Seriously Care about Climate Change are tree-hugging Conservationists. All others realize the benefits of improving society anyway by reducing reliance on fossil fuels, maintaining eco-biological complexity (as an improvement and refinement on vague biodiversity), and increasing access to cheap and reliable energy — and guess what – those values align anyway. Rising water levels, ocean acidification, desertification, loss of primitive culture, extreme weather events, etc., are just part of the series of same ol', same ol' technological and obsolete-culture-sentamentalism challenges that we have always been facing for millenia. Before it was disease, genocide, famine, etc., when it affected the top 25% — and they have been overcome by all societies that pursue modern cultural values. New challenges… new opportunities…
    Alarmism has its purposes, but not on multi-generational time scales…

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  96. "modern
    environmentalism (anti-nuclear, anti-geoengineering, anti-human or just
    nihilistic) is pathological and disgusting, and will completely
    obliterate our collective chances" Why mince words? They are neurotic power addicts who can be cured in Primal Therapy. Defend yourself from them until that time.

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  97. Many billions have been wasted to date in the drive to net zero. Not because that’s not a sensible or legitimate objective, but because politicians like to give out subsidies more than creating sensible new taxes. Germany and it’s immense spending on renewables while continuing to burn coal, being a prime example. By contrast, the US and U.K. both made more rapid cuts in emissions. The US because cheap gas displaced coal. The U.K. because it applied a carbon floor price which drove coal out of the power market, and a renewables obligation, which created demand for increasingly cheap offshore wind.
     
    A global carbon tax applied to all sources of emissions, with the proceeds recycled back into the economy (eg by reducing other taxes) would drive the market to switch to efficient solutions as quickly as the courage of politicians to raise the tax to levels necessary. The key is not to increase taxes in totality but to shift the tax base temporarily onto carbon emissions.

    There are easy (cheaper) steps and harder (expensive) steps to achieve carbon neutrality. Powergen from well chosen renewables is a good example of the former, high heat heavy industry like steel, and commercial aviation, being examples of the latter. Solutions exist for the latter, but they are a long, long way from $1/t!

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  98. You hit the nail on the ol' head! The most dangerous power addict is the power addict with a plausible justification for their evil, I mean, control. A good test of these worst of the *small world* crowd is to ask them to help save the planet, by leaving it. You are right, I am about to mention O'Neill!

    Downvotes????

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  99. Yeah, I concur we need a renewed emphasis on rationality, objectivity and on engineering our way out of these problems.

    Focus on things we can do and measure, without demanding others to impoverish themselves willingly or just die in mass.

    The attitude of the modern environmentalism (anti-nuclear, anti-geoengineering, anti-human or just nihilistic) is pathological and disgusting, and will completely obliterate our collective chances of doing something, by making any actual solution unthinkable due to being "just more technological hubris".

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  100. All thermal electricity is dead. Earth to Earth power beaming plus Space Solar and LSP to scale provide everything we need for power, forever, almost. Also opens Space to depopulate Earth, another benefit.

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  101. If the most drastic outcomes came to happen (e.g. a risk of several degrees average temperature increase in less than a decade), we can try to capture greenhouse gases ( with ocean fertilization and/or fostering plant biomass), or by changing Earth's solar irradiation and albedo.

    A bunch of sunshades made of light materials could significantly reduce solar energy input on Earth with relatively low material expenditure, a few percent reduction of global irradiation would do wonders for reducing average temperature. Same as covering areas with reflective surfaces, but that one would hurt the surface environment more.

    My hunch is serious ocean fertilization would be enough to capture enough CO2 to stall average temperature growth for a while, if we were less cowardly and risk averse about geoengineering, that is.

    The biggest problem is actually that we are so paralyzed by fear, or so deluded in our mystifying pre-conceptions about Earth and our place in it, that we ceased being rational and able to add 2+2 and get our act together.

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  102. People who scream about rising oceans have a thing for buying oceanfront property while shuttering carbon free nuclear.

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  103. All the enviro-craziness reeks of the most evil elitism to me, the one which wants to keep the peasants in their proper place, because if not, what makes the elites different from them?

    The people "in-the-know" of the enviro-cult want "drastic and immediate measures" to make everyone else not in their immediate clique to impoverish themselves, because apparently the modern world has been too successful in giving to most people what was the former exclusive property of the elites.

    And they will use any trick, even distorting reality and creating a hysteric apocalyptic cult to make it happen.

    And remember kids: you should feel good about screwing everyone else's life and future. It's for their own good.

    By the way: I still think rational and objective protection of the environment makes sense. But unfortunately most of the discourse has shifted from preservation and tangible actions, into politics, nihilism and hysteria nowadays.

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  104. We should not assume that growing plants under artificial light or even filtered sunlight yields healthy agricultural produce without researching it.

    What we need is to implement new methods to increase the amount of microbes in soil to increase agricultural yields, add more healthy microbes to food plants, use less chemicals and sequester more greenhouse gases.

    https://www.hunker.com/12000223/sunlight-vs-artificial-light-in-plant-growth

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-soil-microbes-slow-climate-change/

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  105. Until those saying there's a crisis start to live their own life as if there really was a crisis, don't expect me to live my life like there's a crisis.

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