Our youth skips school and demonstrates instead. They complain that the Austrian government is doing too little delaying climate change. Politics is not easy, but undoubtedly they could do more. Today’s Youth in Austria, for the most part, is materialistic and demanding: they should limit their needs under the motto – Make It Better!
Roland Leithenmayr VFV
The market share of SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles) is growing. SUV drivers are looking down on others demonstrating their social status. One’s safety is certainly highly motivating for a person to acquire an SUV, even though the fuel consumption and associated CO2 emissions are high and do not relieve the climate change. The SUV is technically efficient but usually bulkier and consumes more energy and resources. The big front of SUVs dramatically increases the air resistance of the vehicle compared to streamlined cars. From physics lessons, we know that air resistance increases quadratically with speed. Accelerating, the speed of the SUV from 130 to 140 km / h, increases the air resistance over 20%.
Source: Christoph E. Mandl, Lernen S‘ in bißschen Physik, Herr Minister! Der Standard Sa/Do., 16/17 February 2019.
Roland Leithenmayr VfV
The IPCC (Weltklimarat) comes to the conclusion that even a warming of two degrees Celsius has severe consequences for our planet and with the currently planned measures of two-degree-celsius-limit cannot be achieved. The focus is therefore on urgency. Ms. Alzbeta Klein, Director of Climate Business at the World Bank Group’s International Financial Corporation (IFC) mentioned in an interview in the Wiener Zeitung 27/28 October 2018 “Climate change is a financial risk!” two technologies to mitigate the climate change problem: one is the storage of solar energy (including for the household) and the other Off-shore-wind power. For both, the World Bank Group is launching a $ 5 billion investment program. Ms. Klein notes a lot of movement at the corporate level citing several reasons: leadership vision and increasing pressure from customers. In summary, Ms. Klein enumerates three levers: visionary business leaders, a government that takes the climate change seriously, and finally the consumer who demands a greenhouse,green car, and food with a good carbon footprint.
Roland Leithenmayr VFV
IIASA (1) criticise the assumption of international policymaker that heavy implementation of negative emission technology later can offset the slow decrease of fossil fuel emission today. IIASA proposes that the policymaker “…need a broader range of scenarios as they seek to limit climate change to below 2°C above the pre-industrial level .”
(1) IIASA – International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, www.iiasa.ac.at is located in Laxenburg near Vienna, Austria. IIASA uses systems analysis to research the critical issues of environmental, economic and technological change we face today.
(2) Thinking outside the box on climate mitigation, Option Summer 2018, page 5.
Further reading: Obersteiner M, Bednar J, Wagner F, Gasser T, Ciais P, Forsell
N, Havlik P, Valin H, et al. (2018), How to spend a dwindling greenhouse gas budget.Nature Climate [pure.iiasa.ac.at/15031]
Roland Leithenmayr VFV
Climate change is a serious threat! One of the primary causes is our current wealthy lifestyles affecting poor countries, human, animals, biodiversity and our future generation. Certain individuals want more evidence and deny the problem caused by climate change. Most of the arguments used in a climate change debate turn around giving up their own conveniences to help the poor or weak. This is not a convincing argument to someone who is tough-minded, suffers under close-mindedness and predisposition, and considers the world from a hierarchical view. It’s better to describe how everyone will benefit to battle against the climate change and don’t see it as a threat to their own economy or current social structure. The question is how the issue of climate change can best be presented to people to convince them of the need for action.(Kirsti Jylhä)
Web source: accessed 7. July 2017
A note of concern
Mr. President, you have withdrawn from the Paris Agreement at your peril – and at the peril of humankind.
The main objective of the agreement is to protect our planet from environmental, economic and social catastrophe and so safeguard its future.
Global warming is a man-made threat to the Earth and its inhabitants. The global climate is changing, seas are rising and ice caps are melting. Our habitat and we are at enormous risk on account of greenhouse gas emissions.
All nations, developed and developing alike, have accepted those facts. They came to the negotiating table in Paris and brokered an honest and historic deal to prevent our planet from overheating to such an extent that it may never recover.
You, Mr. President, have elected misguidedly to break that deal. You have abandoned your country’s leadership role. Most regrettably, you have explicitly refused to do as much as you can to clean up the atmosphere that we all share. Sustainable energy and cleaner energy are key factors in the survival of humankind.
Mr. President, you have squandered an opportunity to pave the way in key emerging industries, thus creating a vacuum that China will waste no time in filling. You have also forgone the opportunity for your country’s industries and businesses to develop and profit from new solar and wind technologies. Moreover, you have wittingly ignored the growth potential for jobs in the related industrial sectors and the economic benefits of reduced emissions.
Overall, climate change will make it more difficult to grow crops, raise cattle and catch fish. Malnutrition and famine will follow in the wake of environmental collapse. Violent storms, warmer temperatures, and unrelenting drought will pose a threat to pastures and food supplies. Many of those most in need will lack the water and food essential to their survival. The children of the world and their children’s children are at an almost insurmountable risk.
Nothing, Mr. President, stands to be gained from ignoring climate change or hankering nostalgically for the past. For the sake of the world’s population, all countries must take up the challenges and seize the opportunities of the future. We must all make the world great again.
NGO Committee on Sustainable Development
For the first time, a large-scale project in Austria was rejected by the Federal Administrative Court (BVWG) referencing to climate protection targets and ground consumption. It is the third runway at the Vienna Airport. This causes clashes between the supporters and opponents of this third track. The advocates see the danger that the Vienna airport will no longer be able to fulfill the unique feature of “the gate between West into the East” and that the economic- and employment situation in Vienna and around it will be negatively affected. The opponents are glad that this practice will lead further stops for large projects in Austria and abroad. They point to the 21st climate conference of the United Nations (COP21) and to the voluntary reduction plans (NDCs- Nationally Determined Contribution), and that the emissions of Austria have not declined since 1990. The author of this posting recommends applying the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) approach (PPP – Prosperity, Planet, and People) and the 17 SDGs to accomplish a fair evaluation of projects such as the third runway of the Airport Vienna. It shall be noted that the three dimension of the TBL shall be treated equally and balanced and that among the factors of the TBL as well as between the 17 SDGs exist dependencies.
Roland Leithenmayr, FVF
The demand to transform current systems seems to be a depressing diagnosis. It takes a holistic package were almost everyone gains by those desired transformations. The problem is, – contrary to the holistic solution -, that attempts are made to solve each problem isolated and the suggested solutions are zero-sum games. It’s a political, social, ecological and economical arrangement that one set of players would gain at the expense of another set. Because the prospective losers could be a powerful nations, multinational corporations or influential stakeholder, they are not willing to negotiate adequately or refuse it entirely fearing they would be losers. To break this deadlock, a non-zero-sum game has to be started; therefore, the suggested solution is instead to solve each problem by itself (individually) applying the holistic approach with the chance everybody wins.
Previous game theories based on the assumption that one party’s loss was always the adversary gain. John Nash, 1928-2015, he shared the Nobel Prize with two fellow game theory pioneers 1994 (depicted in the hit 2001 Hollywood film “A Beautiful Mind”), developed the Nash Equilibrium where each party gets the best deal possible under the circumstances and is now used to underpin everything from nuclear arms talks to developing contract negotiations tactics (Source: Obituaries, The troubled mathematician who inspired A Beautiful Mind, The Week, June 5, 2015, Volume 15, Issue 722).
Here is an amusing example of the Nash Equilibrium as shown in the movie “A Beautiful Mind”: Five girls meet in the evening in a bar five lads. All ten persons are interested in making an acquaintance, so there are ten persons with the same objective. One of the five girls looks very beautiful and all five young men desire to have a date with her. According to the theory of John Nash, none of those young men will achieve his objective. The beautiful girl would, if at all, select no more than one of them, but probably none, because it feels obliged to her girlfriends who are not cherished by the boys. To preserve her status in the group, the sought-after girl will do anything not to be separated from her group. So no one will achieve his or her goal: the girls who want to make the acquaintance, not, and the young men not because they interfere with each other due to their mutual interests. John Nash calls this a “non-cooperative equilibrium“: five possible relations, bit five times a failure.
It seems that in this “Nash Equilibrium” are stuck the negotiators at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 or CMP 11 being held in Le Bourget near Paris, November 30 to December 11. In case of post-capitalism, the economists (or self-proclaimed one), politicians and well-meaning people hinder and denigrate each other at every given opportunity at low level by discussions about the transformation of the capitalism or about the climate change. In the case of economics, the conclusion is that the originators of the well-known schools of economic suffered less of a tunnel vision that some of their followers today: they caught in the Nash Equilibrium! (Source: Josef Taus, Oliver Tanzer, Umverteilung Neu, Ideen für die Zukunft von Wirtschaft und Finanzsystem, 10. Kapitel, Chancen der Synthese, Plädoyer für eine neue Sicht der Ökonomie).
Although the Nash Equilibrium appears mathematically and abstract, it should be applied in conjunction with synthesis. Maybe a reader of this Post has an idea how this “non-cooperative equilibrium” could be bypassed whether in the negotiations in Paris or to create an adequate system for the Post-Capitalism?
When it comes to climate change, there are the Do-Gooders who categorize typically between the good and the bad. The Good, the NGOs and politic who are committed to environmental protection and the Bad primarily the neo-liberal businesses and multinational corporations, – and very evil they oil companies. These are now trying to improve their image, and ten (10) of them support the global climate agreement: global warming of max. 2 degrees Celsius. These ten oil companies campaign for a global CO2 trading system. The immediate actions would be the application of (innovative) technologies, such as “Carbon Capture and Storage”. And the restriction of gas flaring at oil fields, – blasting around 300 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, corresponding to the driving of 77 million cars a year (total of 1.2 billion cars worldwide). Greenpeace – an environmental organization – views this critically: the initiative has no concrete objectives. US oil companies which are not involved in this project assert that there are (innovations, state of the art) technologies available to solve this problem in short-medium term.
According to recent studies there will be up to 2.7 billion cars on the Earth in the year 2050; and therefore, 8 billion tons of carbon dioxide are projected to be discharged annually. Whether by then so many fossil fuels will still be present is questionable.
Roland Leithenmayr VfV