• This has obviously been touched on in lots of threads, but I thought a thread of its own might be in order.

    As it is arising from a profoundly negative event, it is not going to be permanent at all, but soon after the crisis is over, our previous hypermobility habits etc. will quickly take over again. (If there was a very positive event that led to changes in behaviour, those would have a chance to last, but that's obviously not the case.)

    A useful comparison may be with the impact of the 7/7 bombings in London. A prominent side story was how because of the shutdown of public transport people stormed the bike shops and bought all available bikes, with spanner monkeys in the back frantically assembling all the boxed bikes that hadn't been put out on display yet. What actually happened was that this led to no significant change in behaviour. It only front-loaded the take-up of cycling by some people who had been thinking about it, anyway, while most of the panic buyers had no intention of sticking with cycling, and while this took place against a background of general growth of cycling, within a short time the growth curve had 'normalised' again, with the bounce leaving no long-term traces (i.e., as above, many of those cycling that day and/or for a short time stopped cycling as soon as things were back to 'normal', flattening the curve).

    What I wonder about is whether there may not be a similar effect following this crisis--i.e., that shortly afterwards people will try to compensate for what they 'missed' during the crisis, potentially causing higher transport emissions than 'normal', until the emission reduction gains from this are made irrelevant again.

    Also, as Rob Jackson of the Global Carbon Project puts it in the article below:

    “I refuse to celebrate a drop in emissions driven by tens of millions of people losing their jobs. We need systemic change in our energy infrastructure, or emissions will roar back later.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/a­pr/09/climate-crisis-amid-coronavirus-lo­ckdown-nature-bounces-back-but-for-how-l­ong

    Similarly, there's been good news for animals crossing streets and roads--against a background of the shocking numbers of roadkill each year:

    This year will almost certainly see a much lower toll for roadkill by cars and trucks, which – in the UK alone – annually takes the lives of about 100,000 hedgehogs, 30,000 deer, 50,000 badgers and 100,000 foxes, as well as barn owls and many other species of bird and insect.

    But afterwards? My expectation would be that, with more wild animals around again, and those who didn't experience life before the crisis perhaps less cautious about crossing streets and roads, with the crisis over there would be a death toll of animals that would soon bring levels of roadkill not only up to their usual 'normal' rate, but would run at a slowly declining higher rate for a while until the number of wild animals was re-reduced to previous levels.

    In summary, if there was actually a positive event, this could lead to sustained and sustainable beneficial change, but with this I'm much less optimistic. With the danger over, I expect people will want to compensate for the 'time lost'.

    A propos of nothing, here's an old article from The Onion.

    https://entertainment.theonion.com/a-sha­ttered-nation-longs-to-care-about-stupid­-bullshit-1819566188

    Do discuss.

  • Out here in outer north west London,
    we do have regular roadkill as roads trisect the Ruislip Woods National Nature Reserve
    and, further cut-off relic patches woodlands further west into Harefield.
    Normally, I too frequently see young foxes, badgers, but surprisingly few muntjac, (unless of course my distant neighbours just bundle the venison carcass into the boots of their SUVs).

    Currently the only bit of roadkill, nearby, is the flattened skin of a mature fox on the A312 at the Yeading Marina roundabout, ignored by the term contractors for TfL.

  • Since much of our economy is dependent on consumerism and hyper-mobility (and people's jobs and income depend on it) it will be hard to curb the tendency to bounce back to the way things were before. There will be a desire to get the economy back on its feet in the quickest way possible.

    I'd like to think that it is dawning on everyone that we don't have to live in that way, and that a 'simpler' lifestyle is actually much better (even if we have less stuff, go out less often etc).

  • There's lots that could be done to facilitate cycling and walking right now (and is being done in many cities around the world). These are described as temporary changes, but it could easily become the norm once people adapt (similar to the fact that there will probably be more working from home, less flying etc once we emerge from this).

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/a­pr/11/world-cities-turn-their-streets-ov­er-to-walkers-and-cyclists

  • Ideally we’d all realise the current system is too fragile and needs to go in the black bin.

    In 2008 it was the banks, now it’s the airlines (and any number other international businesses, RIP Debenhams 4evainourheartz) begging for free government cash because we’ve stopped buying the shit they’re peddling for a month. The same businesses that will have paid out billions to investors and The Board in previous years.

    A month.

    That’s all it’s been.

    And super-consumer capitalism has proven itself again to be too weedy to survive even that long without being propped up.

    What we need it a spiritual revolution. A realisation that we need to put people at the heart of our systems, not coin.

    What we’ll get is business as usual within a short while.

    We’ll get back to worrying about shit that really doesn’t matter, like global warming, Brexit, the left vs the right, endless economic growth and all that. And they’ll find new shit to peddle, and we’ll buy it cos maybe that’s what’s missing from our lives.

    And big pharmaceutical firms will continue charge us billions to hang on to our confused, unhappy lives a little bit longer, and we’ll not question it one bit.

    We’ll keep wanting more of everything because that’s all we can conceive we need.

    And then.

    One day.

    Something even bigger than Covid-19 will happen.

    Something huge.

    And we’ll finally realise the ultimate truth.

    That Icke was right all along.

  • and we’ll all do barspinz on the moon until forever.

  • Sorry wrong thread.

  • It all really comes down to assumptions about how quickly and in why manner we bounce back to “normal”.

    There’s a lot of talk about things never being the same again but it’s all very vague. The cynical part of me thinks people will be raring to go; travel will spike, emissions laws will be relaxed to help the economy and the Tories will have absorbed enough Labour policies to please everyone and remain in power for at least another decade.

    It’s reasonable to be optimistic... Corporate culture will obviously have taken note of the cost savings of having a WFH workforce and a lot of people will be enjoying not having the monetary and time drain of the commute also. Perhaps the environmental data is strong enough to change some policies and maybe people will go on less holidays. There’ll certainly be fewer airlines.

    One area I have no clue about is how all the people in collapsed industries like hospitality will get by. Lots of big talk about Universal Basic Income being some magic panacea but implemented by the wrong government will just be a way of trapping people in a low socioeconomic bubble.

    Basically, it’s all just guess work.

  • Since much of our economy is dependent on consumerism and hyper-mobility (and people's jobs and income depend on it) it will be hard to curb the tendency to bounce back to the way things were before. There will be a desire to get the economy back on its feet in the quickest way possible.

    I'd like to think that it is dawning on everyone that we don't have to live in that way, and that a 'simpler' lifestyle is actually much better (even if we have less stuff, go out less often etc).

    In the coming age of robotics and AI I think this whole stay the fuck home might be a reality where the hypermobility part (at least to your workspace) will lessen. I do also believe that the whole going abroad 3 times a year because of cheap airfare might lessen because of the direct correlation we see here (unless all the dumb fucks takes the RyanAir bate to go to Mallorca after the crises is over, cUz It'S oNLy oNE PoUnD!)

  • This may be a case of 'it's cheaper to fly these planes than not' or 'let's maintain a service people have come to expect to resume pretty much the same as before when this is over':

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/202­0/apr/17/us-airlines-empty-planes-corona­virus-environment

    (I realise, obviously, that distances routinely travelled in the US are rather greater than over here.)

  • In the UK, the CAA was pretty quick to relax the 'use it or lose it' rule on landing slots at UK airports. In the US, I don't know if the FAA have such powers or whether they are derogated to individual States. If the latter, rabid Republican Governors may be insisting that air services are maintained so as not 'harm the Economy'.

  • There’s a lot of talk about things never being the same again but it’s all very vague.
    Basically, it’s all just guess work.

    Every member of the commentariat thinks this is the stimulus the world needs to change its way of living.
    Every change they think this will stimulate is exactly the one they were campaigning for before.
    Every set of changes proposed is diametrically opposed to another.

  • Here's some transport data plotting.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-int­eractive/2020/apr/27/the-traffic-data-th­at-shows-the-road-into-and-out-of-covid-­19-lockdown

    I don't know how universal adoption of satellite navigation systems is by now, but I guess it can be relied upon to provide a good indicator.

    About Wuhan:

    It is striking, though, how quickly the city of 23m people returned to normal levels of circulation.

    I mean, I would always put 'normal' in inverted commas in a sentence like this, because contemporary travel patterns are bizarre and perverse, but it's basically what I expect to happen afterwards, even with a brief spike to essentially neutralise environmental gains made during the crisis.

  • I would always put 'normal' in inverted commas in a sentence like this, because...

    ...it's a secretive communist dictatorship. I'd take data from China with a pinch of salt, and the behaviour of people in China is not likely to be a good proxy for the behaviour of free people.

  • https://www.bikebiz.com/mayors-streetspa­ce-plan-could-see-cycling-increased-tenf­old-post-lockdown/amp/

    As the UK lockdown heads into its second phase, Mayor of London’s walking and cycling commissioner Will Norman outlines how London could adapt to enable socially-distanced travel…

  • Some more (global) numbers:

    “This is a really big fall, but at the same time, 83% of global emissions are left, which shows how difficult it is to reduce emissions with changes in behaviour,” said Corinne Le Quéré, a professor of climate change at the University of East Anglia, and lead author of the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. “And it is not desirable – this is not the way to tackle climate change.”

    The unprecedented fall is likely to be only temporary. As countries slowly get back to normal activity, over the course of the year the annual decline is likely to be only about 7%, if some restrictions to halt the virus remain in place. However, if they are lifted in mid-June the fall for the year is likely to be only 4%.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/­2020/may/19/lockdowns-trigger-dramatic-f­all-global-carbon-emissions

  • Just attempted a walk to Gunnersbury Park for lunchtime exercise. Aborted half way there due to pollution/ noise/ people charging about in metal boxes. Feels like a turning point.

  • You should go for the World King job Oliver.

    Shame we have those idiot blond orange buffoons in charge and not you.

  • Don't worry, I'd turn evil in no time. I'd probably be much better at being evil than all those amateurs, too.

  • I'd turn evil in no time

    An evil mastermind would be better than these incompetent fools

  • More total surprises--not:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/­2020/jun/11/carbon-emissions-in-surprisi­ngly-rapid-surge-post-lockdown

    As I wrote in the OP:

    What I wonder about is whether there may not be a similar effect following this crisis--i.e., that shortly afterwards people will try to compensate for what they 'missed' during the crisis, potentially causing higher transport emissions than 'normal', until the emission reduction gains from this are made irrelevant again.

    Lower public transport use is also an important cause, of course.

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The coronavirus crisis and the environment / reduction in transport emissions in particular

Posted by Avatar for Oliver Schick @Oliver Schick

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