The terrible human cost to end global warming
It appears driving an electric car, recycling your newspapers, and turning the thermostat down a degree or two aren’t nearly enough to stop (nevermind slow down) the global warming apocalypse.
To do that will require draconian lifestyle and economic changes that would make the world resemble a Soviet collective. As Reason’s Ron Bailey writes:
…to save the planet from catastrophic climate change, Americans will have to cut their energy use by more than 90 percent and families of four should live in housing no larger than 640 square feet. That’s at least according to a team of European researchers led by University of Leeds sustainability researcher Jefim Vogel. In their new study, “Socio-economic conditions for satisfying human needs at low energy use,” in Global Environmental Change, they calculate that public transportation should account for most travel. Travel should, in any case, be limited to between 3,000 to 10,000 miles per person annually.
And that’s just the beginning of the changes awaiting us:
In addition, food consumption per capita would vary depending on age and other conditions, but the average would be 2,100 calories per day. While just over 10 percent of the world’s people are unfortunately still undernourished, the Food and Agriculture Organization reports that the daily global average food supply now stands at just under 3,000 calories per person. Each individual is allocated a new clothing allowance of nine pounds per year, and clothes may be washed 20 times annually. The good news is that everyone over age 10 is permitted a mobile phone and each household can have a laptop.
You may be undernourished, and jammed into a cubicle, but at least you’ll still have a computer (which you will have to share). Just don’t count on ever getting an upgrade…either in software or living conditions:
Two things that humanity for sure doesn’t need according to the study are economic growth or the continued extraction of natural resources such as oil, coal, gas, or minerals. Vogel concluded: “In short, we need to abandon economic growth in affluent countries, scale back resource extraction, and prioritize public services, basic infrastructures and fair income distributions everywhere.” He added, “In my view, the most promising and integral vision for the required transformation is the idea of degrowth—it is an idea whose time has come.”
Only if you view the future with fear, and humanity with dread.