> Except a single factory in China emits more CO2 than all the readers of this HN thread combined
This is just not true. World's richest 10% produce half of global carbon emissions  I would guess a fair share of HN readers are in the top 10%
I agree with everything you say. But let me offer a slight critique of "As I'm posting a lot of such disbelieving comments". Please consider that HN is also a media outlet. And while mainstream media wouldn't engage in consumption reduction brainwashing, you can offer a counter voice and do your own brainwashing. And HN crowd is the right audience. I believe a fair share of us belongs to the top 10% that emits half of carbon globally (https://www-cdn.oxfam.org/s3fs-public/file_attachments/mb-ex...).
The absolute emissions reduction from individual lifestyle adjustments is not that important in itself. But it should create a cultural space required for the current and future politicians to take action. Politicians don't lead, they follow. We live in a democracy after all. But hopefully it apparently takes only 3.5% of the population to take an active stance on something to cause a change (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=YJSehRlU34w).
I want to be part of that 3.5%. And I will keep brainwashing (eh, I mean inspiring) people around me.