Free, subsidized world-wide shipping for products from China is a price we just can't afford to pay.

On the contrary, we're overpaying for this by further destroying our environment and economies.

Mind you: I'm not trying to bash Chinese products here. But please, let's not pretend shipping something worth $5 across the entire globe is something you'll get for free.

@fribbledom That is all true, but at the same time, that $5 product is shipped together with hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of other similar products on a single massive cargo ship for most of the journey. The shipping cost will indeed tend to approach zero.

@brunoph @fribbledom Not when marine fuel is one of the most polluting forms of gas burned on the planet it's not. We're paying the environmental cost of it, slowly but surely.

@mdm @brunoph @fribbledom exactly; the price isn't the instantaneous financial burden, but the long-term environmental effects of this continued practice being expected and reinforced through consumer demand

It probably isn't when it arrives in 3 weeks time (in Austria) -- most of the small stuff I buy is probably coming by air mail. @fribbledom

@brunoph @fribbledom
And I thought they were sent via planes, whenever there's space left in a plane after all the priority parcels have been loaded.

One way or another, if you weren't shipping that 5$ item, you'd be shipping air instead.

> The shipping cost will indeed tend to approach zero.
Only since destroying nature and climate change are not taken into account.

@fribbledom either way the products will come from China as probably most of the stuff we consume is produced there nowadays. Regardless if we buy from Aliexpress or Amazon or any other local reseller. To fight this we would need to buy locally produced electronics. I'm wondering what kind of consumer electronics is still manufactured in Europe at all 🤔

@aslmx @fribbledom And also we would have to consider the whole production chain of a product, not just the 'last assembly'. I would like to see a whole graph with locations for all steps in the chain for a product. E.g. a Jeans -> the fabric is produced in V, then shipped to W where it is treated with colors/chemicals, then shipped to X where the fabric is cut into pieces, then shipped to Y where it is sewed and MAYBE finally Z where it is packaged. There are presumably even more steps involved

@fribbledom also it is funny how oversized packaging for some orders is. Sometimes 80% of the package is air or filling material...

@aslmx @fribbledom You're not buying air, you're buying standardization - those comically off box sizes are easier for robots to sort and handle, and human time is money; far more so than cargo space these days.

@feonixrift @aslmx @fribbledom of course that is legimate... to some degree. Obviously industry uses different standard sizes. That could simply be optimized. If 80% of the package volume is not used for the payload, then something is wrong - IMHO...

@fribbledom I think it's less the problem with low-cost/free shippign and more the fact that we don't have any clean energy sources for boats and planes

I have to disagree. Lowering the overall carbon footprint is a chain of many events. Since planes are the most polluting mode of transport and ships are the least, the first link should be less planes and more ships. Of course that brings second problem - ships are still not fossil free, so the second link should be less fossil fuel ships and more electric ships. Which brings the problem with toxic chemicals in batteries, so the next link is ...

@fribbledom ... less li-ion batteries and more carbon-carbon batteries. This is already pretty far away in the future so it's harder to predict what the next link might be after that. Maybe less carbon from ground and plants, and more carbon from the atmosphere.

But if you just delete ships in the first link, you will actually have more planes and worsen the overall situation.

@fribbledom I've always wondered how it makes sense that you can buy a single USB cable from China for 99p including shipping. And that's before you consider the externalities.

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