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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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Comments 1 to 8:

  1. Great presentation of the right understanding of development for the benefit of the less fortunate.

    There are additional related points, but more comprehensive raising of awareness and better understanding always suffers when the requirement is brevity and simplicity of message delivery. And today, 9 minutes is a longer message than many people would care to receive.
    However, the following are important related points/questions.

    What is the sustainable portion of the GDP? Only the sustainable portion can be counted on to maintain value into the future. Any speculation that unsustainable GDP activity will continue or increase is unjustified. If unsustainable activity continues to increase in value into the future, that only means a more massive future correction/bubble burst. This is particularly true of fossil fuel burning and climate change. The resistance to correct the unsustainable over-development creates an even bigger and more rapid required correction in the future, combined with creating even more damaging future climate change consequences.

    What is the proof that burning fossil fuels is the reason for helpful human developments? It can be argued that the most helpful human developments would have developed even if we were not burning so much fossil fuels. It could also be argued that if restrictions or, or costs for, burning fossil fuels had been in place earlier even more sustainable development would have already occurred. What can be seen to be going on regarding the corrections of understanding and activity that climate science has developed is efforts to delay the corrective helpful developments (actions to unjustifiably protect developed perceptions of superiority and opportunity based on getting away with understandable unsustainable and harmful activity - including claiming that good things were developed because of the burning of fossil fuels). As an example: What benefit for future humanity is obtained by people being able to race around on water, land, or in the wilderness by burning fossil fuels? Sure. Its Faster and fun and profitable. But speed, fun and profitability that harms others should not be considered to be acceptable, not even if a tax is collected from those doing it, especially if the activity is fundamentally unsustainable.

    What should 'all of the already most fortunate' be doing (not just the ones who care)? Leading the required correction by:

    • minimizing their energy consumption and meaningfully neutralizing any CO2 emissions 9or other harms) their activities create - Leading by example to a zero-carbon (zero-harm) future.
    • helping the less fortunate to most rapidly sustainable improve their life circumstances. That may mean allowing less fortunate people to benefit from fossil fuel burning in a transition of development to zero-carbon living. It would mean not allowing any already more fortunate people to gain further benefit from the burning of fossil fuels.
    • effectively raising awareness and understanding of the emergent truth of climate science. What was understood in the 1980s was already a robust emergent truth (a sustainable understanding). Research and increased understanding since then has strengthened that emergent truth, improved its sustainability without significant modification of the fundamental truth of the matter.

    All of that is encapsulated by the Sustainable Development Goals, which are also a robust collection of emergent truths (a sustainable understanding of Good Objectives). Achieving all of the SDGs is the Right thing for everybody to want to help become the future reality for humanity. Anyone with other Interests harmful to achieving the SDGs needs to be better educated and corrected, unless they can provide actual evidence that significantly contradicts the robust developed basis for the emergent truths.

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  2. Excellent presentation. It should also be said that solar and wind power are now the same cost as coal in many places or close to it, and electric cars are becoming very cost competitive with petrol cars. 

    Centralised fossil fuel grids make almost no sense in places like Africa, which has very widely dispersed rural communities. Local solar power is ideal, and Africa also has good coastal wind power potential. The did an excellent in depth article on this.

    Fossil fuels use together with high levels of population growth and resource use are not sustainable on a finite planet. Humanity would be wise to obviate this by changing its values from quantity of life to quality of life and slower rates of growth. We either do this consciously, or it will be forced on humanity painfully by resource limits and other problems.

    The answers are slower and more sustainable forms of economic growth and where everyone benefits from growth, smaller populations ultimately, new forms of energy, leisure time that is less wasteful of resources, smaller houses (within reason) sustainable communities, and businesses with business goals operating alonside envionmental goals, and not in antagonistic conflict. 

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  3. Painfully naive. What made the developed world what it is was enormous, cheap almost free net energy profit (over 100 to 1) and abundant, easy to find, cheap almost free natural resources lying about ready to be gathered and exploited. That and large armies going around the world taking other peoples stuff (and the people too)and keeping them from using it for themselves.

    Now energy is 10 to 1 or less, natural resources are very difficult to find and produce, and its not quite as PC to use slave labor. The only reason the developed world has not collapsed due to this development is the fact that we have all of the massive infrastructure already in place although it is crumbling and not easily maintained and cost too much for anyone to propose doing so.

    Telling the developing world that they can live like we do on so called “renewable” energy is ignorant of the realities of human history. The one and only way it is possible is if the developed world pays for all of the infrastructure and development for them with our money and using our net energy to accomplish it. In truth we owe this to them for all we have done to them over the centuries but this will never happen.

    The world can not afford to operate on low net energy and is collapsing due to the additional expense of depletion of natural resources and biosphere degradation. Those in charge understand that the future was going to be more expensive so they cut loose all constraints of finance in the hopes that everyone would get rich enough to afford it but debt is not energy or anything real for that matter.

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  4. agree jef... i get so tired of supposed intelligent human yeast (in nonsense articles like this), worshiping the god to technology as if it can mitigate finite planet realities, while we breed like mad and continue our massive consumption, non-negotiable lifestyles.

    "renewable" energy isn’t... unless we are referring to waterwheels, windmills and photosynthesis, which cannot support 7.6 billion rapacious animals.

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  5. jef @3

    You make a fair point that poor countries are unlikely to have the same lifestyles as middle class western countries given resource constraints, but surely they should at least try, and can reasonably improve their condition? Especially with basic things like healthcare.

    The real issue is choices that poor countries make for what energy development they do want and can afford. They have a choice of fossil fuels and renewable energy. It's that simple.

    Fossil fuels are damaging the atmosphere and are a finite resource that will run out in 50 - 100 years. Renewable energy is low emissions, and is now cost competitive with fossil fuels, and it uses metals that can at least be recycled, and metals can be recycled indefinitely without degradation. There will be waste in the process, but we can minimse this, and ultimately all humanity can do is prolong its technological future as long as it can.

    So the right choice should be obvious, and its not fossil fuels. 

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  6. I try to be more aware and better understand things. So I would like one (or both) of the people who up-voted jef's comment @3 to explain why the comment was a well-presented helpful supplementary, clarifying or correcting comment.

    My understanding is that the good objective of any presentation and discussion is to increase the correct awareness and understanding of what is going on, including developing recommendations for how to best apply the improved awareness and understanding to develop things that will be helpful to others.

    And the up and down votes are to indicate whether a comment helps in that regard (they are not to be understood to be 'like or dislike' votes).

    With that in mind, I have reread jef's post and rewatched the video (several times).

    The point of the video is to provide good reasons why the burning of fossil fuels should not be considered to be a way to help the less fortunate develop to better ways of living. The 5 reasons provided seem to be very well presented, not naive in any way that I can figure out.

    I struggle to see how jef's comment helpfully clarifies or corrects or adds to the content of the video in that regard. I get that developing nations probably cannot develop to live the way the developed nations do. My comment @1 makes the same point. But that is more about the developed nations having to correct the way they are living to be sustainable, likely reducing perceptions of prosperity as they make the correction to having all their energy be from sustainable sources.

    As the wealthiest and most powerful in the world 'all' correct their ways of living to be truly sustainable, leading the correction of ways of living for all of humanity, the ways of living in the more developed world will change to be ways of living that the less developed nations can develop up to, with help form all of the wealthiest and most powerful.

    Which leads to a request for the down-voters of my comment and nigelj's, with the above in mind please provide an explanation of how those comments could be improved or corrected.

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  7. I have to say this is a nice video for convincing someone to trust that they can get over fossil fuel and use renewable energy instead. The video itself has a good point but the truth about corruption in developing world is undeniable.corruption perceptions index 2016 by Transparency International

    just by look at the picture you can see that most of developing country have a very high percentage of corruption and it most likely that all the income and profit will not come to people. So in short, it doesn't matter if they (or us as from my perspective) use fossil fuel to boost GDP or not we will never get a good living standard as a developed country do unless we somehow change the country to a better situation.

    ps: sorry for bad English I'm not a native speaker. Proper English education here is very hard to find, but I will try as best as I can.  


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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Image width resized to 450

  8. Hi RG @7. Keep in mind that fossil fuel infrastructures are centralized, which goes hand-in-hand with corruption much better than decentralized structures created from renewables use. There is a good reason why e.g. Venezuela and Lybia are high on that index. Building community around decentralized energy structures may a long way to fight corruption.

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