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2 Kommentare zu ““Copenhagen and the Climate?” or “What Should Be Done!””

  1. hans-peter kühn (Monday December 14th, 2009)

    Finde es Klasse, dass Du dem jugendlichen Idealisten, der wohl in Deiner erwachsenen Unternehmerschale wohnt mal erlaubt hast so richtig “die Sau rauszulassen.”

    Also meinen Beifall hast Du!!!

  2. Chris Wood (Wednesday December 16th, 2009)

    I was supposed to translate into English for this blog. Being a perfectionist, I found this hard work, and soon gave up. Luckily, Roland found Evelyn, who does the job much faster. Recently I became “Chief Commentator”. To celebrate this honour, I wanted to comment on an important posting. Here is one, but unfortunately my only serious comment is that I agree. As that is too boring, here are some unserious comments.
    Roland: “KISS” still stands for “Keep it simple, stupid”.
    Fast foods are still “convenience foods”.
    I recently read the New York Times pages that come with the SZ on Mondays. It is interesting to see the different tilt. For instance that a piece about the suicide rate among soldiers in Afghanistan clearly only considers US soldiers. What about all the Afghan soldiers? (In a German newspaper only the problems of German soldiers would be mentioned).
    More relevant to this posting is that the crazy guys who want to continue ruining the environment are called “conservatives”. There is no mention of the fact that the word really means the opposite!
    (I am writing the following from memory; please excuse any wrong details).
    Even more relevant was a piece about the predicted 1% “damage” to the world economy of reducing CO2 output by 20% over 20 years, (i.e. less than 0.05% per year). This was regarded as acceptable even for “conservatives”. This is crazy. It is not the rate of CO2 output that is the problem; it is the total that will be in the atmosphere. A 20% reduction in output is nowhere near enough. There may easily be positive feedback effects that make the situation much worse; for instance methane release from the tundra, or reduced albedo near the poles. Anyway, of course one cannot calculate the “damage” accurately. The way the world economy goes is rather unpredictable. I heard that this 1%, (for insufficient CO2 output reduction), has now been revised up to 2%.
    As Roland writes, we shall need real changes in life-style. My household (3 people) spends more than €4000 per year on heating and car fuel together. The costs of these things must at least double. Savings are difficult. The cars are used mainly in connection with work. Public transport is hardly an alternative. Yes, I could wear thicker clothes, and take fewer showers. I could change to a nearer squash club, and see my old friends much less often. I already see too little of my extended family (in England and Prague). I could play chess just in my club, instead of travelling to Passau or Ingolstadt with my team. Holidaying will also cost a lot more. USA will be more affected than European countries. Obama has an (almost?) impossible task to do what is needed. I can understand if he does not want to fight the conservatives on too many fronts at once. And China plans to increase CO2 output.
    The same piece praised the system of carbon-credits, as the right way to save the environment at minimum cost. The Americans may well be right to use capitalism to attack the problem. Why do we hear so little about this in Germany? The paper mentioned a serious problem here with Russia. As with DDR, their heavy industry has seriously declined. So they already have plenty of carbon-credits. If they sell these off quickly, they will drive down the price of them, so that countries will have little incentive to reduce CO2 output. Carbon-credits may be a good idea, but the initial allocations were dubious. The earlier polluters profit (even more) from what they did. No wonder the developing countries object.

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