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Can we similar mass-measures to mitigate climate change as we've taken w Covid?

Because the externalities are foisted, the person making the sacrifice isn't going to be the one to receive the benefit. That's the majority of the problem. If people can kick the can down sufficiently, they can even prevent themselves for being liable for the damages caused, for all practical purposes.
 
Because the externalities are foisted, the person making the sacrifice isn't going to be the one to receive the benefit. That's the majority of the problem. If people can kick the can down sufficiently, they can even prevent themselves for being liable for the damages caused, for all practical purposes.

Yeah, that massively screws with incentives. Also some trouble since in order to push externalities back on them, you actually do need to be able to trace and assign cause. And you need buy in from other governments, both so that their people don't just cause them anyway and so that your own don't simply go there in some capacity.

It's not clear to me what solution actually works, but finding one will be less expensive in the long run than just ignoring the problem, if we can manage.
 
The actual solution is cost-effective energy sources that out-compete fossil fuels. Outside of that will require regulation. Allocating the remaining atmospheric buffer is a political question where equity bumps up against realpolitik. In the immediate term, we need efficacious buy-in from allies, such that the amount of buy-in compounds. This requires pivoting consumption, if only to free up the resources needed for lobbying or effecting change directly.
 
Killing emissions with tech would be ideal, but if we anticipated that as likely there wouldn't be much need to discuss hard tradeoffs or optimization of climate change damage.

Realpolitik is a bigger elephant in the room than usual. And somewhat ironically/unfortunately, countries taking a short run hit to productivity in the name of mitigation will have less functional leverage to pressure countries that do not.
 
I'm not just engaging in wishful thinking when I talk about my solution. This interlinks with this thread's AGW discussion, because I'll continue to point out that this might be our last global pandemic set to 'easy' mode, due to the escalating threat of bioterrorism or accident.

Having the tools for early detection and early suppression of the virus would have made all the difference. But the only way to get these is to have sufficient social will in place ahead of time. Like with AGW, it's not just governmental efforts that matter, because it's partially a function of sufficient resources invested.

Whether someone's concern is future equity or future liberty, the game-winning move is to invest sufficiently to not have the problem actually actualize. With regards to the free-riders, either the investment has to overwhelm the damage they do or they have to be brought on board to help.
Your game-winning move is still idealism, sorry. We're past the point where we can plan for the future, because in terms of climate change it's been proven companies knew about the risks decades ago, and suppressed that information. How do you get ahead of that? You can't.

(the same goes for the pandemic at this point, too)

Looking back at what might have been possible is good for study. I'm not saying it's worthless. But the proverbial ship has not only sailed, it's circumnavigated the globe, when it comes to pre-emptive measures. I can't see how that's anything but idealism. To take us back to process for a second, there is no process that involves us getting ahead of what has already been done. Ergo, any process has to account for the fact that society has been allowed to cultivate anti-science groups (for either climate change or vaccines, take your pick), which the Internet and the private companies that have made it the place it is today (and their generally laissez faire approach to moderation of content, because Profits™) have empowered their spread (among other reasons). The seeds for the public response to various aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic are very similar to the response to climate change, though far more concentrated across a shorter span of time.

It's not like I disagree that government (of any country) hasn't had a part to play, either in the long, medium or short term(s). But there's no point in coddling people who want to insist the problem isn't a problem. Unlike the pandemic (which even in its timespan has managed to generate immutable mindsets), climate change has had decades for the denalism to set in. Backed up by companies telling you everything is fine, backed up by governments criminalising protestors and pushing the burden of mitigation onto individual actions. Maybe it's something you think you can argue through. In which case I wish you the best of luck.
Cause doesn't really matter as much as solutions.

The Buddha had an allegory about a man who, after being shot w an arrow, demanded to know who shot it and why before taking action to remove it.

But the problem w solutions is that they'll require coordinated sacrifice where the gain to be had for those not sacrificing is very large. Even if the world world 'loses it's shirt', w $100 billion you can likely survive in an underground luxury mansion.
I mean, you're right with the last line there, but that in of itself proves why in this case the cause and the solution are intertwined.

If someone is shot with an arrow, anyone can try and assist with that injury if they're able to (physically and mentally is all I mean by this). Here, a large part of the cause also affects the solution, because the companies that have profited from a bunch of the relevant factors in climate change are still profiting from it. Will continue to profit from it.

So the cause (with regards to human actions) is relevant in order to build a viable solution. Unfortunately this also requires political will (to actually move the needle on the private sector), which is another large hurdle to attempt to get over.
 
I am not sure what you mean by 'idealism'. This confusion interrupts my interpretation.
Sorry, I forgot to clarify / replace it. Use it as a stand-in for wishful thinking in this context, even though that's probably not a fair association.
 
I think the opening post overstates the public's willingness to put up with measures that significantly alter their quality of life, especially for an extended period of time and for something that is not perceived as life threatening.

Early reports from Wuhan indicated that covid fatality rates may be as high as 10%. That is enough to scare people. As more data became available - and crucially, testing expanded significantly - it became apparent that the overall risk (averaged across all age groups) was more like 1%. But in those first few months when the restrictions were most severe, the 1% figure was not yet known, and we were reading about health care systems being entirely overwhelmed quite quickly in places like Italy and Spain. The perceived threat was, if anything, greater than the actual threat.

I think the fact that there was a conceivable end goal - vaccinations - also helped contribute to people putting up with restrictions even after the lower fatality rates (especially for younger-than-50s) became clear. They were always going to be a temporary thing. The obvious question for climate change mitigation restrictions would be how long would they last? I think there was some optimism that maybe the mRNA vaccinations would be ready in a year, and it turned out to be warranted optimism. If we had got to November and Pfizer and Moderna had said, sorry, our tech just isn't going to work on this virus, I'm not sure how much longer the public would have been willing to put up with restrictions. Why did a lot of people not gather and celebrate the holidays last year? Because they knew vaccines were around the corner, and they could gather for Easter or the 4th of July or next Christmas or whenever. Some point that was far enough out you could understand it. Not 2027.

Even so, restriction fatigue has by and large only increased over time. I would suspect that most of us attended at least one gathering that didn't fully comply with CDC or other local health authority recommendations in 2020. For me, I'm only surprised that I didn't until the fall. But when I did, one of the friends there was a doctor, fully in the know about the risks, but also starved for socialization. In the spring of 2021, I'd attend an event that technically required cheating on the "only attend after two weeks after two doses", since after all, one dose gave 80% protection against Alpha and that was probably enough. And I'm sure a lot of people were ignoring recommendations far more often and far more carelessly than I was.

Now, we've already passed what was pitched as the end goal - vaccinations of significant parts of the populace. I think there's a significant sense of, if I'm fully vaccinated, why should I restrict my lifestyle? We have American football games with 100,000 people in the stadium, very few of whom wear masks, some of whom are surely not vaccinated. Restaurants operate normally. And a lot of people have seen the mental health effects of isolation, and the restorative effects of socializing again post-vaccination. I count myself in this group, and at this point am more than willing to accept some risk of catching covid in exchange for being able to enjoy life with good mental health. I'm not completely careless - I already have received my booster - but with it looking all but inevitable that covid will be around every year like the flu, accepting restrictions to try to contain it no longer makes sense to me.

It's also instructive to travel outside the big cities to see what the reality is on the ground there. I went to a festival in rural Ohio in October; about 0.1% of people were wearing masks, and my group would have been willing to bet money that they had traveled down from the city. Traveling through the Appalachians this fall, outside of college towns, almost no one was wearing masks - and these were the same areas that had below average vaccination rates. In April of 2020, that may have been a different story. But nowadays, life has resumed as normal, other than more people getting sick and going to the hospital and in some cases dying. Still, if you are fully vaccinated, it is really nice to experience life in those areas where things are normal. I'd initially thought my travels would gravitate towards the higher vaccination areas (mostly New England), but found that the areas where everything appeared 100% normal outside of hospitals were the best for vacations - you really could forget about the pandemic for days at a time, and being fully vaccinated, I learned to not care, either.

From what I've read about the bubonic plague, this pandemic fatigue also extends longer-term, with a somewhat fatalistic/live-now-while-you-can attitude setting in. One of the ways this manifested in the 1300s was the marriage rate plummeting, with 25% of English adults not marrying, instead pursuing informal or shorter-term arrangements. Why follow the Church's regulations when you might die in two weeks anyway? There were still aftershock waves of the plague for many decades, albeit not as devastating as the initial wave, but enough to remind people that they couldn't count on the next year as reliably as they had pre-1348. In today's terms, we'd call the result a YOLO attitude. I've noticed this in myself; while I was always very methodical and long-term focused in my life plans before, in the second half of this year my focus has been very much on enjoying life now, without care for building a more secure future. Initially this was motivated by a fear that the Delta variant would result in more restrictions, and wanting to fit in some real life before that happened, but as time went on I realized I was enjoying life with the shorter-term focus more than I had before the pandemic, and that change in lifestyle itself became a motivator for continuing it.

That plague after-effect is an area I want to read more about, notably Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror, which focuses on that time period.

So in summary:

1. There has to be a significant perceived threat to put up with restrictions. Covid-19 met that threshold early on, but less so as time went on and most non-elderly people realized their personal risk was fairly low (partially balanced by risk to older relatives they may be in regular contact with).
2. There is a relatively short time tolerance for lifestyle-altering restrictions. This can vary by populace, but to quote a newspaper article I read recently, even blue states are seeing significant pandemic weariness by this point.
3. Having experienced restrictions once may make people less tolerant of them in the future.

Not that I think it's all hopeless on the climate front. But I think that instead of the type of restrictions seem in 2020, a better approach would be mass investments in infrastructure to support a clean energy transition. Basically a New Deal style investment plan... whether that's the Green New Deal as proposed, or something somewhat different, can be debated. But making huge investments in wind, solar, battery storage, and - crucially - nuclear, could tip the scales significantly. I'm reminded of the Civ4 Edison quote, "We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles." Make it the equivalent, "We will make clean energy so cheap that only the rich will burn fossil fuels."

Whether that will happen quickly enough is questionable (perhaps "doubtful" is a better word). But again, I don't see it as all hopeless. In Ohio's capital, voters passed a measure this year that will result in 100% renewable energy by default (opt-out) for all residents - approximately 900,000 people - starting in 2022, and over the next few years local capacity will be built to serve those needs. And while Ohio may not be where you think of first when you think of green energy, the ballot measure was not a particularly close one. If 20 other similarly-sized cities across America did the same thing, it would be a significant step both towards cleaning up the energy grid, and towards establishing economies of scale that would encourage green power grids elsewhere.
 
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I think the opening post overstates the public's willingness to put up with measures that significantly alter their quality of life, especially for an extended period of time and for something that is not perceived as life threatening.

Early reports from Wuhan indicated that covid fatality rates may be as high as 10%. That is enough to scare people. As more data became available - and crucially, testing expanded significantly - it became apparent that the overall risk (averaged across all age groups) was more like 1%. But in those first few months when the restrictions were most severe, the 1% figure was not yet known, and we were reading about health care systems being entirely overwhelmed quite quickly in places like Italy and Spain. The perceived threat was, if anything, greater than the actual threat.

I think the fact that there was a conceivable end goal - vaccinations - also helped contribute to people putting up with restrictions even after the lower fatality rates (especially for younger-than-50s) became clear. They were always going to be a temporary thing. The obvious question for climate change mitigation restrictions would be how long would they last? I think there was some optimism that maybe the mRNA vaccinations would be ready in a year, and it turned out to be warranted optimism. If we had got to November and Pfizer and Moderna had said, sorry, our tech just isn't going to work on this virus, I'm not sure how much longer the public would have been willing to put up with restrictions. Why did a lot of people not gather and celebrate the holidays last year? Because they knew vaccines were around the corner, and they could gather for Easter or the 4th of July or next Christmas or whenever. Some point that was far enough out you could understand it. Not 2027.

Even so, restriction fatigue has by and large only increased over time. I would suspect that most of us attended at least one gathering that didn't fully comply with CDC or other local health authority recommendations in 2020. For me, I'm only surprised that I didn't until the fall. But when I did, one of the friends there was a doctor, fully in the know about the risks, but also starved for socialization. In the spring of 2021, I'd attend an event that technically required cheating on the "only attend after two weeks after two doses", since after all, one dose gave 80% protection against Alpha and that was probably enough. And I'm sure a lot of people were ignoring recommendations far more often and far more carelessly than I was.

Now, we've already passed what was pitched as the end goal - vaccinations of significant parts of the populace. I think there's a significant sense of, if I'm fully vaccinated, why should I restrict my lifestyle? We have American football games with 100,000 people in the stadium, very few of whom wear masks, some of whom are surely not vaccinated. Restaurants operate normally. And a lot of people have seen the mental health effects of isolation, and the restorative effects of socializing again post-vaccination. I count myself in this group, and at this point am more than willing to accept some risk of catching covid in exchange for being able to enjoy life with good mental health. I'm not completely careless - I already have received my booster - but with it looking all but inevitable that covid will be around every year like the flu, accepting restrictions to try to contain it no longer makes sense to me.

It's also instructive to travel outside the big cities to see what the reality is on the ground there. I went to a festival in rural Ohio in October; about 0.1% of people were wearing masks, and my group would have been willing to bet money that they had traveled down from the city. Traveling through the Appalachians this fall, outside of college towns, almost no one was wearing masks - and these were the same areas that had below average vaccination rates. In April of 2020, that may have been a different story. But nowadays, life has resumed as normal, other than more people getting sick and going to the hospital and in some cases dying. Still, if you are fully vaccinated, it is really nice to experience life in those areas where things are normal. I'd initially thought my travels would gravitate towards the higher vaccination areas (mostly New England), but found that the areas where everything appeared 100% normal outside of hospitals were the best for vacations - you really could forget about the pandemic for days at a time, and being fully vaccinated, I learned to not care, either.

From what I've read about the bubonic plague, this pandemic fatigue also extends longer-term, with a somewhat fatalistic/live-now-while-you-can attitude setting in. One of the ways this manifested in the 1300s was the marriage rate plummeting, with 25% of English adults not marrying, instead pursuing informal or shorter-term arrangements. Why follow the Church's regulations when you might die in two weeks anyway? There were still aftershock waves of the plague for many decades, albeit not as devastating as the initial wave, but enough to remind people that they couldn't count on the next year as reliably as they had pre-1348. In today's terms, we'd call the result a YOLO attitude. I've noticed this in myself; while I was always very methodical and long-term focused in my life plans before, in the second half of this year my focus has been very much on enjoying life now, without care for building a more secure future. Initially this was motivated by a fear that the Delta variant would result in more restrictions, and wanting to fit in some real life before that happened, but as time went on I realized I was enjoying life with the shorter-term focus more than I had before the pandemic, and that change in lifestyle itself became a motivator for continuing it.

That plague after-effect is an area I want to read more about, notably Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror, which focuses on that time period.

So in summary:

1. There has to be a significant perceived threat to put up with restrictions. Covid-19 met that threshold early on, but less so as time went on and most elderly people realized their personal risk was fairly low (partially balanced by risk to older relatives they may be in regular contact with).
2. There is a relatively short time tolerance for lifestyle-altering restrictions. This can vary by populace, but to quote a newspaper article I read recently, even blue states are seeing significant pandemic weariness by this point.
3. Having experienced restrictions once may make people less tolerant of them in the future.

Not that I think it's all hopeless on the climate front. But I think that instead of the type of restrictions seem in 2020, a better approach would be mass investments in infrastructure to support a clean energy transition. Basically a New Deal style investment plan... whether that's the Green New Deal as proposed, or something somewhat different, can be debated. But making huge investments in wind, solar, battery storage, and - crucially - nuclear, could tip the scales significantly. I'm reminded of the Civ4 Edison quote, "We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles." Make it the equivalent, "We will make clean energy so cheap that only the rich will burn fossil fuels."

Whether that will happen quickly enough is questionable (perhaps "doubtful" is a better word). But again, I don't see it as all hopeless. In Ohio's capital, voters passed a measure this year that will result in 100% renewable energy by default (opt-out) for all residents - approximately 900,000 people - starting in 2022, and over the next few years local capacity will be built to serve those needs. And while Ohio may not be where you think of first when you think of green energy, the ballot measure was not a particularly close one. If 20 other similarly-sized cities across America did the same thing, it would be a significant step both towards cleaning up the energy grid, and towards establishing economies of scale that would encourage green power grids elsewhere.
There is a lot of truth here, but the difference between the sacrifices we make for covid and those we make for global warming are very different. For global warming the big thing is to spend more of our leisure on the interpersonal pleasures rather than acquiring things, and be more restrained with transport, for example cycle rather than drive and holiday local rather than on the other side of the world. These sort of things should be better for us if not the "economy", so once we start we recognise it is a good way to live. That cannot be said for the covid restrictions.
 
t's also instructive to travel outside the big cities to see what the reality is on the ground there. I went to a festival in rural Ohio in October; about 0.1% of people were wearing masks, and my group would have been willing to bet money that they had traveled down from the city.
Were you wearing one?

Also how was the festival? I haven't been to one since March 2020.
 
There is a lot of truth here, but the difference between the sacrifices we make for covid and those we make for global warming are very different. For global warming the big thing is to spend more of our leisure on the interpersonal pleasures rather than acquiring things, and be more restrained with transport, for example cycle rather than drive and holiday local rather than on the other side of the world. These sort of things should be better for us if not the "economy", so once we start we recognise it is a good way to live. That cannot be said for the covid restrictions.

I would agree with that as a more likely and more palatable way to address global warming. It's also a different type of change - cultural - that can be challenging in its own right, but as you say, once enough people decide a new way is "better", there can be a bandwagon effect. Perhaps ironically, the example that comes to mind is clothing styles changing, and everyone wanting to replace their wardrobe lest they be seen in bell bottoms once they're no longer considered fashionable.

Were you wearing one?

Also how was the festival? I haven't been to one since March 2020.

No, but this was in October, so by that point everyone in my group was fully vaccinated. That county has 50% vaccination across all age groups now, so it was probably just over 50% among adults at the time. In the end, we were confident in our Pfizer/Moderna vaccines, and all age 41 or younger, so our level of concern was low.

The festival was fun. Lots of pumpkins, plenty of food options. Some midway rides, although we didn't ride those. All the streets in the area closed down, with lots of pedestrians walking through. A parade. It was for all intents and purposes the same festival as it had been two years ago, the main difference being it wasn't freezing outside like it was in 2019. It did feel pretty crowded at first, even though I have no reason to believe it was any more crowded than when we went in 2019. I just hadn't been anywhere with a lot of people since... probably the same festival in 2019.
 
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