Thanks for a great post! I think it's very reasonable to focus on what is growing, instead of thinking that more equals better, no matter what. I find that best cases might be more interesting than averages, so I've written a post about how individuals can use a surplus of money to actually increase happiness: https://medium.com/@goranhaden/ten-ways-to-buy-happiness-395cea718440
Ok, I was not searching for biodiversity, so I was not aware of that tag. I guess more people are searching for environment. I do not think there would be too many tags if we also have one for environmental problems, and I do not think we need more environmental tags than these three: climate, biodiversity and the environment.
The combination of environmental problems can be a global catastrophic risk, even the combination of exceeded planetary boundaries and other huge problems.
How about a tag for environmental problems? Now it's only climate change. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_boundaries
Thanks for re-reading and considering arguments.
1-2: In the study I mentioned it’s within 50 years. Will it stay there? Earlier studies estimated this would take around 200 years, according to
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/27/science/intolerable-heat-may-hit-the-middle-east-by-the-end-of-the-century.html (I can’t access these studies)
Of course I do hope and believe that we can avoid the business as usual scenario, but at the same time we have all these feedback loops and combination of effects that IPCC doesn’t count. On the other hand we also have more technichal progress than expected. On the third hand, it might be a harder time for all these refugees in the future.
As the study also mentions: “warming to 2 °C, compared with 1.5 °C, is estimated to increase the number of people exposed to climate-related risks and poverty by up to several hundred million by 2050”. Here’s another study about future wet bulb temperatures in South Asia:
The heat deaths in India and Pakistan now, is expected annually with 2 C warming.
That contributes to less cheap food. Already, 2 in 5 britons buy less to eat in a new study: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/may/13/cost-of-living-golden-era-of-cheap-food-over
But I think we will also use new ways to produce food (Allfed, etc).
I haven’t seen any numbers like: So many people will die and so much suffering/happiness do we get during next 50 years if global GDP during next 10 years is -3% annually instead of +3% due to degrowth only in rich countries. And degrowth or not, we can still choose to stop extreme poverty.
According to a study 2020 where artificial intelligence processed as many as 500,000 scientific articles and reports from the past 20 years to find the most cost-effective balance of measures, the cost to largely eradicate global hunger by 2030, is only $ 33 billion per year in addition to what is currently being invested. That's less than 5 percent of the US military budget. If we only take the most cost-effective measures, it's enough with Sweden's defense budget to almost halve world hunger. Now it’s 2022 and with covid-19 more is required. But still, it’s not a question of increasing GDP, it’s a question of (political) will.
I have also summarized what IPCC says about mental health 2022, and these problems start to increase already when temperature exceeds +20 C: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EAmentalhealthandhappiness/posts/4914186425331333
With all this together, perhaps we can guess some overall numbers you’re asking for?
3. One term suggested is growth agnostic, another growth realist, a third is to say the whole sentence each time: “we should prioritize the environment and other central societal goals and then GDP will be what it becomes”.
4. Yes, EKC is a common argument. I think we have a pretty good summary of pros and cons about EKC here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuznets_curve
I can also add that we now are in the situation that less environmental impact is not enough, we need drastically less environmental impact starting now. That means we can’t have the same strategies now as 20 years ago.
I agree that it’s a big change when we spend money on renewables instead of fossil fuels, but we’re mainly not there yet and we still have other planetary boundaries.
Yes, degrowth now might mean more growth in the future than otherwise. It's better to let some air out of the growth balloon than to inflate it so hard that it bursts.
If we done the "right" things historically, we could have done so much more space exploration and other valuable choices before we caused the environmental crisis of today. But now we have wasted Earth's resources in so many useless and destructive ways in a global consumption society that now even challenges our mental health.
What we need now globally is not more overconsumption, but enough basic needs for everyone within the planetary boundaries, and free extensive sharing of the best tools for well-being, like 29k.org
Most people agree to reduce their consumption if everyone have to do it, so we should try rationing like in past huge crisis. You can offer more free time instead of higher salaries on a society level, and compensate poor people.
Here's my brand new EA music playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5TyxPYMTFv8rhdY2NoQVM4