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Enjoy Earth While It Lasts: Atmospheric Carbon Levels Pass the Point of No Return

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posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 12:05 AM
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Enjoy Earth While It Lasts: Atmospheric Carbon Levels Pass the Point of No Return


Assuming that climate change - attributable to global warming - is real (with the chaotic disruption to moderate global weather systems seeming to bear it out, year-on-year), we all knew that once CO2 reached 400 ppm that a point of no return (for the life time of every man, woman, and child living today) would have been reached. The planet will now continue on a run-away warming, especially so because we won't reduce our CO2 emissions, apart from a few token gestures.

This run-away warming will also induce new 'triggers' in the climate, because this is now where things start to speed up. The planet's climate will lurch like a drunken fool from one extreme to the other, with brief interludes of moderate climate appearing and disappearing.

Is it too late to do anything? Well, it is in respect of greater warming occurring. The climate dynamics will seek to balance out (which is why we will see and experience weather extremes). More warmth means more energy in the atmosphere, and this will drive (and has been doing so) stronger weather events, locally and globally.

What we can do is to try to lessen the long-term impact, but let's face it, it's us we are talking about...mankind, and there are no leaders willing to take the actual necessary steps to bring in the real legislation to drastically reduce our CO2 emission, and even if they did, there are many who would ignore it due to the inconvenience it would cause them. Yeah, you're right, I have no faith in humanity doing what it needs to do to even cater for its own survival...but we are many years away from such things right now.

Still, the coming decades are going to get quite uncomfortable for many around the world, and we can't simply blame the people we elect to manage our societies. Every single one of us has a carbon footprint that carries our lifestyle, and not a single one of us is going to reduce that lifestyle. The situation with global warming is analogous to standing under a piano being hoisted high up to a window above our heads. We can see the ropes fraying and are about to give way, but we don't step aside, because the danger (although we can see it) is not actually apparent yet, it's a future event, and need not concern us right at this moment, and to actually step aside is just too damn inconvenient. When the rope snaps, then we'll move. Stepping aside is not going to stop the piano falling. So doing something when the effects really begin to fall on us will be far too late.

Obviously, the planet is going to be fine, no matter how the environments change. Life, however, is not going to be fine, it is going to get real hard for many around the world. Climate extreme impacts will eventually begin to force people to migrate from their own corner of the world to that of others, and they will not be welcomed. The current conflict and economic refugee will become a climate refugee, and there will be a lot of border wars breaking out. Meanwhile CO2 emissions will still be pumped out into the atmosphere. The 2040s and the 2050s do not bode well at all, for any country.

If we see the sea level rises that have been predicted, we will lose a fair amount of food producing land, which will just be an addition to extreme weather effects on crops, so food production will take a hit. The irony is, our pursuance of trying to maintain our lifestyles, will ultimately be the cause of losing them.

In the movie 'Contact', Arroway is asked what sole question she would ask if she met with the aliens she was hoping to meet? Her reply was that she would ask how they did it? How did they survive their technological adolescence? From where I sit, we don't look like a species who are going to be successful. We simply do not have the ethical and moral maturity to have done or to do the right thing.




posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 12:06 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

I disagree that we have proof of increasing temperatures globally.
Ok. You are correct that we disagree.


There was no magic that caused dinosaurs to sequester carbon dioxide better than humans do.
I know. But they didn't have cities and stuff either. By the time of the dinosaurs most of the carbon had already been sequestered. And they weren't burning fossil fuels.


Humans are just burning oil in addition to breathing.
I know. And increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations in the process. Higher than they've been in quite some time (and climbing). I guess we can wait for evolution to catch up.
www.earth.columbia.edu...

edit on 10/1/2016 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 12:14 AM
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originally posted by: TheRedneck
a reply to: Greven

Again, the point is the same. The process produces an oxygen molecule for every carbon dioxide molecule consumed. If you do not input any carbon dioxide, you won't get any oxygen. The fact that water is consumed during the process is not relevant to the conversion. Under normal conditions, carbon dioxide is the limiting factor, not water.

Oxygen produced by the atoms in water is no different from oxygen produced by the atoms in carbon dioxide.

If 12 molecules of water are used, and 6 molecules are produced, the net result is that 6 molecules were used in the process. That's why the formula does not indicate 12 in and 6 out: it is irrelevant to the overall process. Try that explanation in any chemistry course and you'll be laughed out of the room.

The only context in which this matters in the least is in the attempts to create artificial photosynthesis. In that context, we need to understand the internal bond dynamics so they can be duplicated. That's the only reason it was even tested using isotopes.

TheRedneck

Normal is relative... ever have to water grass or garden? It's fortunate that we can extract and/or store water these days. I suppose it's not a problem for aquatic life, while carbon dioxide would be significantly moreso due to low diffusion rates.

They both have to be there, and they're equally important. Of course, temperature is a pretty big factor, since photosynthesis generally doesn't work so well outside of the 15 to 40 degrees Celsius range (outside Crassulacean acid metabolism plants).

The atoms aren't different, no. What matters is how they get from one molecule to another. One would think that, if CO2 was the primary limiting factor, then plants ought to keep up. Yet, clearly plants aren't quite keeping up with our carbon dioxide production. Obviously oxygen levels are also declining. I wonder how long it takes to build them up? After all, plant cells still have to breathe oxygen, too - they just produce more than they need.

Photosynthesis is a bit more complex than a single equation. Let's try this explanation, then:
Hypothetically, if you were able to feed a plant only 6CO2 + 6H2O, you would not get C6H12O6 + 6O2.
Kind of makes the simplification to 6CO2 + 6H2O → C6H12O6 + 6O2 wrong, don't you think?



posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 12:18 AM
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originally posted by: TheRedneck
I am talking about carbon dioxide levels here, not temperature. I disagree that we have proof of increasing temperatures globally. We have sketchy evidence and unproven hypotheses.

Interesting, yet you once said this:

originally posted by: TheRedneck
If an explanation cannot be presented consistent with the basic laws of physics, the claim is almost always wrong.

Do you see the greenhouse effect not being consistent with basic laws of physics?



posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 12:18 AM
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Hello!
1. We need to turn off city lights from 1030 pm until 500 am daily and the air conditioners and heaters at night in office buildings.
2. Have all welfare and people in jail picking up roadside trash, parking lot trash, and beach trash daily.
3. Make everyone reduce, reuse, and recycle.
4. Bundle your errands, share a ride. Expensive gas cuts down on waste. I am sorry but it does.
5. Share your stuff with relatives, friends, neighbors. Trade magazines and dvds.
6. Don't have so many kids. Use Norodom implants on those who are on welfare.
7. The attitude of more, more, more... has to end. Sustainability and spirituality of peace and harmony must come into our lives. Shut down the media gossips and have only responsible journalism that is educational and wise.
8. China, India, and Egypt need to comply to these rules and environmental protocol of a clean reusable environment.
9. Factories need to be taxed and fined.

We must give up the easy polluting ways and take a difficult road to wise consciousness of our behavior and actions.



posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 12:29 AM
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It doesn't compute with me... They say co2 levels will never get below 400 again yet we can see from ice core samples that co2 levels have been much higher in the past, which means they came down again... Duh... All without our intervention.

The whole thing is poppycock!



posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 12:32 AM
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originally posted by: frugal
Hello!
1. We need to turn off city lights from 1030 pm until 500 am daily and the air conditioners and heaters at night in office buildings.
2. Have all welfare and people in jail picking up roadside trash, parking lot trash, and beach trash daily.
3. Make everyone reduce, reuse, and recycle.
4. Bundle your errands, share a ride. Expensive gas cuts down on waste. I am sorry but it does.
5. Share your stuff with relatives, friends, neighbors. Trade magazines and dvds.
6. Don't have so many kids. Use Norodom implants on those who are on welfare.
7. The attitude of more, more, more... has to end. Sustainability and spirituality of peace and harmony must come into our lives. Shut down the media gossips and have only responsible journalism that is educational and wise.
8. China, India, and Egypt need to comply to these rules and environmental protocol of a clean reusable environment.
9. Factories need to be taxed and fined.

We must give up the easy polluting ways and take a difficult road to wise consciousness of our behavior and actions.



Do YOU live like that now yes or no?



posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 12:40 AM
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a reply to: Meee32

They say co2 levels will never get below 400 again
Is that what "they" said? Or did someone say this:

Brief excursions towards lower values are still possible but it already seems safe to conclude that we won’t be seeing a monthly value below 400 ppm this year – or ever again for the indefinite future.

scripps.ucsd.edu...

One might assume that when that someone says that, they are talking about a time scale of hundreds rather than millions of years. Because to talk definitely about what's going to happen in millions of years would be sort of ridiculous.

Of course if monthly levels do drop below 400, even for one month, there sure will be a lot of "See! They don't know what they're talking about!" I predict that.


All without our intervention.
Our intervention has certainly caused an increase though, right?

edit on 10/1/2016 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 01:15 AM
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There are things that can be done to alter this trajectory, or at least minimize the impact over the long term. The goal of 2015's UNFCCC COP21 was to reach international agreement to establish carbon neutrality throughout most of the world by 2050, and a decrease thereafter. The goal was to halt warming below 2 degrees C above baseline.

The Paris Agreement did come out of COP21, and the goal at least is to begin adopting the changes outlined in it beginning in the year 2020. So, hope is not lost. But, unfortunately, very little consensus or action has been taken since then to see that this actually happens, with only four years remaining. And even the proposals raised during and prior to the drafting of the agreement are not believed to be sufficient to achieve the above stated goals by 2050.

If we exceed 2 degrees C above baseline, the general scientific consensus seems to be that we will risk runaway warming that becomes self-sustaining and self-feeding because the heat itself will result in natural reservoirs of other greenhouse gases being massively released into the atmosphere. It would take time to happen, but could become irreversible. That's the operating theory, at least.

This is all if you believe in AWG and those doom models, of course. If you don't, then there's nothing to worry about obviously, and this is all just either bad scientific modelling, and/or an attempt to institute a global tax system and curtail domestic economic control. Personally, as a layperson, I can't know with certitude what the truth is... but I choose to err on the side of the emergent scientific consensus personally. To each their own.

If you do believe it's real, there's still time to course correct, but it would require massive international effort and severe and rapid change to the world's industrial and economic models. The longer we wait, the harder and more drastic those changes will be for societies the planet over. And the greater the likelihood of failure.

While we can indeed all do our tiny little part, this is really a challenge for governments and institutions.

Peace.



posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 04:13 AM
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originally posted by: Meee32
It doesn't compute with me... They say co2 levels will never get below 400 again yet we can see from ice core samples that co2 levels have been much higher in the past, which means they came down again... Duh... All without our intervention.

The whole thing is poppycock!


Why would CO2 go down? Have we magically stopped producing insane amounts of CO2 every second of every hour and we haven't been told about it? No...

The Earth is big, but man has covered almost every inch of it with machines that pump out CO2. Now the Earth is a small enclosed space filling with CO2. Earth used to have a bunch of nooks and crannies for CO2 to get absorbed into and stored away for a bit, but we are overloading them and filling it to the brim. Now it has no choice but to stay in the air.

Unless we stop producing CO2 like right now, we are pretty much all up sh!t creek without a paddle nor a boat, we are neck deep in it.


edit on 1-10-2016 by WeAre0ne because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 05:19 AM
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a reply to: network dude

There is another danger that is rarely spoken about. As the temps go up, two things happen to the ocean. It absorbs more CO2, which makes the water more acidic. This will start to kill off the plankton at some point,and then the food chain in the ocean is severely compromised. The second thing is heating will affect water circulation in a way that oxygen will not circulate to the lower depths. What can happen is anaerobic bacteria which hate oxygen could thrive in the new low oxygen water, and their waste product is hydrogen sulfide, which is a deadly gas. The bacterial population could explode in the lower water column globally. So you could have an absolutely titanic release of this gas, which could kill literally everything that breathes. It may have caused mass extinctions in the past.
www.sciencedaily.com...

edit on 1-10-2016 by openminded2011 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 05:59 AM
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So found this interesting article today.

phys.org...

I guess it''s time to ban and drain all the reservoirs then.. ? Or do we just slam them with reservoir tax and that fixes the issue ?

edit on 1/10/16 by Thill because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 07:50 AM
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a reply to: Phage


You are correct that we disagree.

And I will take this moment to say I consider it an honest disagreement. I concede there is no absolute proof the planet is not warming.


But they didn't have cities and stuff either.

I'm not sure I understand your point. What does having 'cities and stuff' have to do with natural sequestration of carbon?


By the time of the dinosaurs most of the carbon had already been sequestered.

I thought your theory (I subscribe to abiotic oil) supposed that oil was created from biomass that existed during the time of the dinosaurs? If that is so, where did carbon sequester to? And where did all that carbon dioxide that caused the high levels go to?


I know. And increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations in the process. Higher than they've been in quite some time (and climbing). I guess we can wait for evolution to catch up.

I suppose we have to now, seeing as we are past the tipping point. It's ironic you point to an article by Columbia University for support on your concerns; they are the ones who proposed a carbon dioxide scrubber many years ago, but were dismissed and never obtained funding. People were too engrossed with trying to pass a tax instead of cleaning the problem.

TheRedneck



posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 07:59 AM
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I have an honest question, and I apologize if it has been answered before, but can the normal carbon sequestration of the Earth's various forms of biomass be the main factor here? In other words, is the taxing of emissions a distant second to the cessation and reversal of deforestation?

I have a sneaking suspicion, if the above is true, that the real hard problem with climate change is getting a global society to change almost every aspect of its unsustainable culture which, at the moment, contributes to a yearly net loss in biomass. And is a simple tax stamped onto a corrosive culture the easiest solution at the moment, and that is why one's "carbon footprint" is a buzzword with more success in the minds of humans than the true and effective alternative of questioning the core methods of the way we live?

edit: I found this which seems to support the above...

www.scientificamerican.com...

Seems to me like true sustainability is a pursuit that fertilizes many aspects of what we call being human. From nutritious food, to stronger families/communities, to a more stable climate both locally and globally.
edit on 1-10-2016 by SlickMcFavorite because: cause



posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 08:41 AM
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a reply to: Greven


They both have to be there, and they're equally important. Of course, temperature is a pretty big factor, since photosynthesis generally doesn't work so well outside of the 15 to 40 degrees Celsius range (outside Crassulacean acid metabolism plants).

All three are critical and can be limiting factors in photosynthesis... and if you wanted to stretch this a little, so is sunlight.

But the normal plant life cycle has sunlight in an acceptable duty cycle for operation. It also has access to proper temperatures, at least in the tropics and during the warmer seasons in temperate zones. And water is not as big a deal as you like to suggest. There is a mountain of virgin forest behind me as I type; I have never watered it.

The ground in most areas outside of deserts contains enough water to satisfy the requirements for photosynthesis. We water our lawns because we want that nice pretty green carpet, not because it helps remove carbon dioxide. We irrigate drier climates because we want to produce food, not because we want to remove carbon dioxide. Compared to the flora biomass on the planet, the part we water is infinitesimal.

Carbon dioxide, however, is a limiting factor. Greenhouses provide extra heat to increase photosynthesis rates and extra water to ensure it does not become a limiting factor, but the largest growth increases by far come from the increase in carbon dioxide levels they employ. Increasing water beyond sufficient levels gives no increase, increasing temperature gives some increase, and increasing carbon dioxide levels gives huge increases.


One would think that, if CO2 was the primary limiting factor, then plants ought to keep up.

One would think so, if one was not versed in differential calculus.

All control systems contain a propagation delay and a maximum velocity when attempting to correct. If the inputs are dynamic, that will lead to a temporary error while the system attempts to adjust. Notice the term 'temporary.' It's no different than driving a car with cruise control up a steep hill: the speed will drop slightly, the car will downshift for more power, and it will climb the hill, temporarily slightly slower than the set speed. Once the road levels off, the car will return to the set speed. We all know that and we don't panic when our speed drops 2 mph. But somehow we think we should panic when nature has a normal lag in response?


Photosynthesis is a bit more complex than a single equation.

It is actually much more complex. But I am not discussing the individual steps involved; I am discussing photosynthesis in the context that it is the major source of atmospheric molecular oxygen and that carbon dioxide is the limiting factor for the vast majority of cases.

If you want your get into the internal nuts and bolts of the process, you left out the necessity of sunlight and its interaction with the chlorine in the leaves to initiate one of the two complementary internal processes. I assume that is due to a recognition that sunlight is typically available and not to a lack of comprehension. A good metaphor to this as well as the necessity of water, is that when I want my car to go faster, I press the accelerator pedal... I don'the concern myself with timing advance, sensor detection, fuel mixture adjustment, or any of the myriad of necessary internal operations. I do not need to.

To consolidate your posts:

Do you see the greenhouse effect not being consistent with basic laws of physics?

Not to the extent others seem to believe. I believe that sufficiently high carbon dioxide levels could lead to a slight temperature increase, but I also believe that the present natural control systems are sufficient to handle the levels we are experiencing with no concern.

That is consistent with the basic laws of physics.

TheRedneck



posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 09:04 AM
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a reply to: frugal

Hello

1. Turning off lights would increase crime and could prove dangerous for those who need emergency services (ambulance, fire, police) during those hours. A better solution is to use LED lighting, which is already being tried. As for heating/air conditioning, turning them all on at the same time in hot/cold buildings would collapse the electrical grid and save very little.

2. Not a bad idea and already used (for inmates) in my area.

3. Not as simple as your post suggests. Many materials are not recyclable using present technology, and others are so expensive as to be impractical. Plus, any regulation on this would invariably prevent people from repurposing materials and slow progress toward more efficient reuse techniques.

4. A great idea; impossible to legislate. I do this quite frequently, but I do not want nor need a beaurocrat telling me how to do it.

5. Same answer as #4.

6. I oppose the forced use of drugs on anyone. I also do not think regulating family size is a good idea.

7. Agreed.

8. Agreed. Do you support open war to accomplish this?

9. Only after you throw away your computer, cook over an open fire, wash your clothes in the local creek, stop using heated water, stop using any mechanical means of transportation, give up all TV and radio, and live in a shelter that was not made of pre-cut lumber or metal. Oh, and you either grow your own cotton, spin it on a manual wheel, weave your own cloth, and sew your own clothes... or go naked.


Posts like this scare me. Living as a caveman is not a wonderful life. While there are typically good ideas for personal use, legislation of this sort would destroy society and kill millions.

TheRedneck



posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 09:11 AM
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a reply to: SlickMcFavorite


I have an honest question, and I apologize if it has been answered before, but can the normal carbon sequestration of the Earth's various forms of biomass be the main factor here? In other words, is the taxing of emissions a distant second to the cessation and reversal of deforestation?

I believe you are correct. Deforestation is a major issue, not just for the carbon sequestration issue, but because we lose natural resources on a daily level. Not just in guantity, but in availability. I once read that there is an amazing number of plant and insect extinctions happening due to deforestation.

The real problem is our leaders don't want to work to help offset the economic difficulties which drive deforestation, and are more interested in money-taking schemes that profit them than in actually making a difference in the ecology.

TheRedneck



posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 10:16 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

I believe the current "leaders" are either true reflections of the aggregate will of the people (with regard to sustainability) or they are slightly behind the curve of the will. There are few areas of our lives we have asked to be governed in which I think this is the case, but I believe sustainability is one where the "elite", or whatever the term for them is, is essentially doing our aggregate bidding. Sure, a few more people care about trees today than say even 5 years ago but, for the most part, it is the myopic focus of most of my generation (x) on tech science (to the ignorance of natural system science) that results in most government's lack of care for ecosystems. Nobody is leading us in our focus/affections. We are still capable of doing that ourselves. I think, as your posts suggest, that a well informed, good-hearted person must, in this age, look to themselves as the leader.



posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 11:19 AM
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a reply to: SlickMcFavorite

That is an extremely interesting philosophy.

As I read it and contemplated the implications it contained, it dawned on me that you may have the answer to the political question of why there is so much political strife in this present election cycle. Sustainability (along with self-reliance) is a major concern for me. I am amazed at the ability of nature to self-sustain, and also dismayed at the the failure of technology to do so.

Example: I have chickens in my yard. To have chickens, all I needed to do was to purchase them, feed and protect them to adulthood, and turn them loose. They eat the bugs in the yard and produce eggs, with no additional work from me needed. If I leave some eggs, they will produce more chickens to continue the process beyond their individual lifespans.

I also have a car. I have to put gasoline in it every few days, change out the oil every few months, replace worn parts when they malfunction, replace tires when they wear out, etc. That car represents advanced technology and requires multiple methods of assistance from outside sources which I cannot provide on my own. Chickens are relatively low life forms (the equivalent of primitive technology) and yet require none of that external assistance to operate. When the car's lifespan is over, it will have to be recycled or will sit and corrode, polluting the environment. I will be forced to purchase a new car. When the chickens' lifespans are over, they will disappear within a couple weeks, and will have made more chickens to take their place.

That's a heck of a difference!

I know that a lot of people today have become so dependent on machinery to conduct their lives that they literally would not be able to live without it. I know others tend to use machinery only as conveniences and try to minimize dependence on them. Is it possible that the political divide, as well as the Global Warming controversy, is rooted in a battle between dependency and independency?

It's an interesting thought, to be sure.

TheRedneck



posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 12:18 PM
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originally posted by: Misterlondon
Problem is it doesn't make enough money.. And it doesn't fill the pockets of the greedy 1% elites..

You think it is just them?

What happens when a company decide to be "green" and therefore needs to increase the price of the product, as it usually does? Retooling and environmentally conscious resources cost more money. Can't use slavery or filthy factories, need to pay for dumping of hazardous materials.. etc.

Do you think the majority of the people, many whom are already struggling, will choose to wear that cost? Of course not!
Two products on the shelf, look the same, smell the same, taste the same, one is double the price. People go for the cheaper.

Well you might say the 1% can wear the cost. If they don't make a certain amount of profit, the company becomes non financially viable, shareholders aren't interested when the other company turns more profit. Green doesn't pay.

Who does it come down to? US.
Yes, our stuff is going to get more expensive and we need to make it known that we are willing to wear at least some of the cost of retooling and "going green". Being environmentally conscious, costs.
Eventually it will stabilise as everyone catches up and pretty much produces the same products with the same resources again. Anyone dumping will be shut down because it will be seen as a rare and obscene act.

Right now.. people demand cheap. This is what you get.



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