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comment by kleinbl00

One of humanity's dirty little secrets is that we judge our status and prosperity on a relative level rather than an absolute one. This is how entire nations cab ration supplies for years at a time- if everyone is doing it, your status is secure.

The fundamental cause of climate change is energy usage above and beyond the planet's ability to recover. The solution is drastically reduced energy usage. This is tough when the Kardashians live on Learjets for your entertainment but easy when you ride alone you ride with Hitler.

The basic problem is that a middle class American lifestyle is a climate-murdering lifestyle but an aspirational American lifestyle is a climate-exterminating lifestyle. We didn’t start recycling until everyone started recycling and we won't stop driving to work in air-conditioned solitude until everyone stops. There are massive mechanical changes necessary to reverse course but once the mechanics are in place, the social sphere will follow immediately.

WWII was a period where every industry switched from making what they knew to making what would kill Nazis. If Lockheed, Boeing and Northrop were bidding against each other for a $100b worth of carbon sequestration equipment instead of $100b worth of stealth bombers you'd see some real innovation.

user-inactivated  ·  757 days ago  ·  link  ·  

One hundo P,

I can't imagine an easy solution for any of this. I've never wanted to live the Kardashian lifestyle, but I have travelled to more impoverished countries and the small children there peruse Taylor Swift lyrics and certainly aspire to a lot of the higher trappings of North American culture.

"Mass mobilization" for war is much different because we like war (sorry, that's an edgy George Carlin routine but you see the point). There's a lot of money to be made and social glory to obtain.

And as much as I try, I can't make people not want those things. I can't make people stop selling them and I can't make people stop wanting them. I suppose I'm praying for a technological miracle.

kleinbl00  ·  756 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's not that we like war, per se, it's that appeal to patriotism is more straightforward when you can point to the Hun and his gun. The nice thing about rallying around ecology is it's a positive sum competition. I mean, banning straws is a lot more aspirational than effective but holy fuck a whole bunch of municipalities jumped right up and banned straws.

I honestly believe incremental change will get us there if support can be maintained.