Climate Change Policies: 2 required + 1 optional

Most scientists consider 2 degrees of warming to be dangerous. Common sense says 1 degree is unsafe because the recent extreme weather and loss of Arctic ice and glaciers have been caused by 1 degree of actual warming.

A new paper in the journal of Science Advances says 7 degrees is likely this century because the climate becomes more sensitive to greenhouse gases as the temperature warms.

Independent newspaper overview.

Full paper.

Interview with the author.

To be clear on the implications, 7 degrees will kill your children.

Much time and effort has been wasted establishing climate change agreements that will not work because the relationship between wealth, consumption, and CO2 has not been acknowledged or addressed.

We have not to date met any of our (ineffective) commitments because we do not understand the nature of our predicament. We cannot reduce climate change with a different type of economic growth. We must stop growing and contract.

Assuming feedback loops have not already taken over (meaning there is nothing we can do to avoid runaway climate change), here are the only 2 policies that would positively impact climate change and every other overshoot threat we face:

1) Increase the interest rate until the economy begins to contract on a sustained basis. An economic crash may or may not be avoidable but we have no choice.

2) Establish a one child policy with a penalty tax of say 25% of total income for every extra child. No exceptions. Countries with cultures that value males more than females should provide a subsidy to families with a daughter to keep the male/female ratio at about 50/50.

Wise countries will implement one additional optional policy:

3) Tax excess wealth and use the funds to pay down public debt.

As the economy and population contracts there will be a natural tendency for the wealth gap to widen which usually leads to social unrest, despots, and war. Wise countries will anticipate this and implement policies to prevent the wealth gap from widening. Collected taxes should be used to pay down public debt because this will help to stabilize our debt backed currency as the economy shrinks.

These policies will cause pain but doing anything else (or nothing) will cause a lot more pain.

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