Climate Change

A combination of technologies and approaches like the balloons used by Loon, the microtrenching techniques used by Google Fiber in certain places, better satellite internet, and tying internet to existing infrastructure like electricity or roadways by design.

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And there is the rub. If I were younger and didn’t have a kid, I’d be more inclined to move to a city. Heck, at my current age and without a kid, I’d also be more inclined to move to a city. Once kids get into the picture, things get much more complicated.

As it stands, I wouldn’t want to live hundreds of miles away from a city the middle of nowhere either. I may not live in a city proper, but I’m only a wee bit outside of one and can drive or take commuter rail (my preference, schedule permitting) into the city easily enough. I’m not sure if this counts as city-adjacent or not, though.

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New York is in such demand that people will live 2 hours away because that’s as close as they can afford to.

2 hours away from GCS via MTA is just over an hour more than starting in Prospect Park and taking the Q-train, so that’s not as extreme as it sounds.

In fact someone living in Brighton Beach going to mid-town probably has a solid 1.5 hour commute unless they live directly next to the terminal and time their departure perfectly every day.

But a 2-hour commute is definitely still pretty extreme. It means you get to work in the city miserably, and then you don’t probably feel like going in on the weekends when there’s actually stuff going on. And once you’re there you’re stuck the whole day; no going out for a quick morning trip, going home to relax, then going back out in the evening.

I live 3 hours away and it’s close enough I could go down for the weekends but not close enough that I’d work there without moving. For me to actually live close enough to enjoy the normal benefits I’d have to be within range of at least the subway system proper.

But the area right around your house or apartment also has a million restaurants and things to do. And there are jobs that aren’t that entire distance. There are big office buildings and such all over NYC.

More to the point, almost anyone living out there would rather live closer but can’t afford to. Rent is waaay higher close to a good subway station that further away from it.

I don’t bother going into Manhattan unless I’m going to work. I hang out in Queens.

Even more to the point, those far-flung neighborhoods aren’t really where commuters life. It’s mostly retirees and other non-commuters.

In St Louis it was pretty common with all the “white flight” for people to be commuting an hour or two hours to work in the city. I never understood it, I always tried to minimize my commute, but there’s so much weird like… status-seeking involved as well I think. Then you have the people that want to “live in the country” that for whatever reason find multiple hours of travel time to get anything done fine.

Rich city people tend to have a city apartment and a also house further away. You may have heard people talk about having a house in the Hamptons. What they are talking about is the far Eastern end of Long Island. There are several towns with “Hampton” in the name like South Hampton, East Hampton, etc. What these people do is live in the city during the week. But then on Friday after work they drive on the LIE all the way to their house. They also spend the holidays in the house, and such. Their city apartment is really just a place to sleep after work, and the house is their actual home, even though they sleep in the city more often.

What if cities were planned such that, no apartments are for permanent residence, can only be occupied by those who work in the city?

With social housing provided outside the city, for permanent residence.

How would that impact the way mass transit and other utilities are planned?

Isn’t that basically just what a company town is?

Yes, except not owned by any company. But maybe alotted to companies.

Interesting article, although not about Climate change, that seems somewhat appropriate in our discussions about the rural versus urban divide:

"The Brookings Institution has shown that since the financial crisis of 2008, 72 percent of the gains in U.S. employment have accrued to the country’s top 53 metropolitan areas. To understand the structural division this causes, keep in mind that all U.S. cities together contain 62.7 percent of the country’s population but occupy just 3.5 percent of the land.

The Wall Street Journal has pointed out that the fate of urban vs. rural America has been turned on its head. In 1980, cities were dysfunctional, crime-ridden and struggling to keep residents from leaving. Today they are thriving, growing and relatively safe, while rural areas are racked with problems. This urban-rural chasm is also true in France, Italy, Britain and many other Western countries."

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Damn, beat me to that article. I was just about to post it myself.

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Even if it’s 100% real, I’m not a fan of solutions like this. Granted, this one isn’t a panacea, which is good. But imagine if someone did invent some kind of machine that cleaned the atmosphere. All the climate change deniers and oil companies would be thrilled and completely embrace it because it means they can just go on polluting like crazy.

Even if there was no climate change, we still need to force industrial behavior to change. If climate change has a miracle cure, then it will be even more difficult to do so.

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Again, solutions like this aren’t as effective as just not burning fossil fuels and planting more trees.

You to energy for the process. If it’s from renewables, you still need to build renewable plants, which requires energy…

The energy requirements to do chemical processing of the atmosphere… it’s not going to happen in the time we have to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5C.

Longer term plans may include, removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere with these methods. In fact for carbon neutral aviation fuel, this may be the only method.

To transition from fossil fuels to renewables/ nuclear may require the burning of more fossil fuels. So in that time period all that carbon still needs to be offset somehow.

Eg. instead of buses and trains, cycling and walking. So how many cities are optimising their streets and paths for walking and cycling at present? Levies on diesel vehicles?

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London Greens recognise this. We want paths and roads optimised for walking, cycling and public transit.

If we were smart we’d also get rid of buses too and bring back trams.