Monday, 23 September 2019

"I believe the Children are our Future"

That is of course, a truism.

And it is cute to see children stand up for their future.

And drive the "Youth Revolution" that includes saving the Earth from Climate Change.

Ever heard of the Children's Crusade?

And then there are the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting who became activists and lobbied for changes to gun control laws in the US.

Not to belittle their efforts - they made progress which had been impossible with the NRA and fanatical gun right lobbyists resisting change.

But... there are still mass shootings. Even as recent as August 2019.

But... gun control in the US is a huge political mess. It would be unrealistic to expect some amateurs to be able to change the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights when it has been historically been defended by very large, very wealthy, and very entrenched ideologues.

Then there is the straw ban. Started by a nine-year-old. Based on suspect statistics. And the viral video of a turtle with a straw being removed from its nostril.

Then a woman in England died from a re-usable straw.

Turtle 1. Humans 1.

The problem of plastic straws is over stated. Unless you happened to be one unlucky turtle.
Plastic straws account only for a tiny portion (0.022%) of plastic waste emitted in the oceans each year. Despite that, numerous campaigns in the 2010s have led to companies considering a switch to paper straws and countries imposing bans on plastic straws.
So because of one nine-year-old boy's observation and suspect statistics and one turtle video, there's a momentum for doing away with straws.

A minor inconvenience? Sure. For most of us. A straw is a minor convenience at best.

But for some with disabilities, it is more than just a convenience.

And the fact that businesses are quick to jump on this "ban-the-straw" movement says something about how they are able to quickly realise that it would be to their advantage (economically) to be with the ban, save money, and not be seen as cheap, penny-pinching, money-grabbing capitalists.

They are doing it for the Environment? Like good corporate citizens should? Sure.

The problem is Climate Change is a complicated issue with too many confounding arguments and "solutions" mucking up the real solution.

And the usual solutions are "feel good" projects with little impact.

Like banning plastic straws.

And then maybe banning plastic bags.

And then going with renewable energy, and reusable bags, and "bags for life".

Those are not solutions.

Renewable or alternative energy is a scam.

Reusable bags need to be reused over 100 times before their higher costs and carbon footprint is offset. If you use a reusable bag less than 100 times, you would have done the earth a favour if you had just used plastic bags for those times you used the bad instead.

The problem of climate change and environmental pollution and the way we are over-consuming the earth is a huge and complex problem.

And the little children will lead the way...

Nice fantasy.

Not to say that we should stop the children from trying to make this world a better place!

But understand that solving the problem of OUR making is OUR responsibility. To OUR CHILDREN.

We don't get to abdicate our responsibility and think let our cute little children try to solve our problems in their cute little ways.

First we need to understand the problem. And Bill Gates presents the problem very well:

On the right side you have the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) we put in the atmosphere. This is what we need to get to zero. It’s based on the four factors on the left side of the equation: the world’s population (P) multiplied by the services (S) used by each person; the energy (E) needed to provide each of those services; and finally, the carbon dioxide (C) produced by that energy.

The world’s population (P) is currently 7 billion and expected to increase to 9 billion by 2050.
No chance it’ll be zero.
Next, services. This is everything: food, clothing, heat, houses, cars, TV, toothbrushes, Elmo dolls, Taylor Swift albums, etc. This is the number that I was saying earlier needs to go up in poor countries, so people can have lights, refrigerators, and so on. So (S) can’t be zero, either.
Let’s take a look at (E). That’s the energy needed per service. There’s some good news here. Fuel-efficient cars, LED light bulbs, and other inventions are making it possible to use energy more efficiently.
Many people, and you may be one of them, are also changing their lifestyles to conserve energy. 
Unfortunately, they don’t get us to zero. In fact, most scientists agree that by 2050 we’ll be using 50 percent more energy than we do today.
So none of the first three—population, services, and energy—are getting close to zero. That leaves the final factor (C), the amount of carbon emitted per each unit of energy.
The majority of the world’s energy, other than hydro and nuclear, is produced by fossil fuels like coal that emit an overwhelming amount of CO2. But there’s some good news here, too. New green technologies are allowing the world to produce more carbon-free energy from solar and wind power.  
But to stop climate change and make energy affordable for everyone, we’re also going to need some new inventions.
Why? Solar and wind power are reliable energy sources so long as the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. But people still need dependable energy on cloudy days, at nighttime, and when the air is still. That means
power companies often back up these renewable sources with fossil fuels like coal or natural gas, which emit greenhouse gases.
Bill Gates is in China pushing for nuclear power. He realises that as China gets rich, the people will want more services and they will need more energy and China needs to move away from fossil fuel energy system to a clean (zero carbon) energy system. And of course Trump has to muck up the plans with his "very large-a brain".

Anyway, while we wait for a new miracle invention and a new power source, we have nuclear.

Want to stop Climate Change? Want to reduce our carbon emissions to 0? Want to do our part?

The solution (for now) is clear: go nuclear.

And that solution is NOT something you can expect Children to champion.

Even adults fear nuclear power. Understandable, because of the fear-propaganda against nuclear (see video below).

I believe the Children are our future.
I believe we have a responsibility to them.
I believe we should leave them a better world than the one we inherited. That way lies progress and a better life.
I believe we face tough choices, and we need to think through these choices, and act logically, rationally, fearlessly for our children.
I think that means nuclear power. You may disagree. That is fine. But look up 4th and 5th generation nuclear power plants, look up Thorium reactors, and find out more about nuclear power. And if you are hyped about Solar (and who isn't), understand that it cannot save the world - see video on "Renewable Energy is a Scam."

You may not agree, but find out for yourself.

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