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Unforced Variations: August 2017

Filed under: — group @ 2 August 2017

This month’s open thread.

592 Responses to “Unforced Variations: August 2017”

  1. 501

    Mal, #479–

    I may well be wrong, but it’s my understanding that the ‘fiduciary duty to valorize profit exclusively’ is a bit of a myth–or perhaps an ideology.

    I did do a little cursory poking about, and the ‘fiduciary duties’ I found articulated could be interpreted in quite disparate ways.

    http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/fiduciary-responsibility-corporations.html

  2. 502
    Mal Adapted says:

    BPL, you are welcome to anything in my comments. Everything I’ve said on RC has been said by someone else, at some time, here or elsewhere.

  3. 503
    Nemesis says:

    @Mal Adapted, #479

    ” First, while individual officers and directors of ExxonMobil Corporation may or may not qualify for a judgement of insane, that word can only be metaphorical when applied to a corporate ‘person’.”

    Hahaha, yeah, it was very clever, to invent the “corporate personhood”. A person, but not a person, hahaha. So, “no body” did it.

    ” Next, it’s likely that, seeking to avoid civil liability, ExxonMobil’s board of directors voted to instruct its employees to withhold ‘proprietary’ information that would reduce its share value in the short and/or long term. In many economically-developed countries, a corporation whose equity is publicly traded can legally have only one goal: maximizing its equity value measured in currency. Any ExxonMobil shareholder who suspected its directors or officers of conflicting goals could vote to replace them, and even sue them for monetary damages.”

    Let’s tell it like it is:

    ExxonMobil knew since at least 1974 of anthropogenic induced climate change, because they had their very own scientific research at hand, while financing denier campagnes ect and decieved the public. That’s a CRIME against planet Earth and humanity.

    This is the way how capitalism works in the upper league. There existed (and still exists) a globally operating consortium, where crucial decisions are made behind closed doors (call it the “military-industrial complex”, if you like). I hope, Schneiderman will rip their asses.

    ” Barring a political ‘miracle’, our government will defend the economic status quo.”

    Well then, BAU is what they do all the time anyway, it’s all just show business after all, until SHTF.

  4. 504
    nigelj says:

    Nemesis @490

    “Sure, the Russia bashing makes sense on a lot of issues, but, there is more than enough to do in the own backyard. And:”

    Yes and no. Personally I think some Americans over demonise Russia, the cold war is actually over. However their interference in elections can be serious and has possibly lead to the election of Trump which could have devastating consequences. Things tend to be interrelated like this. So yeah we have to prioritise but russian interference is not insignificant.

    “You can never ever solve any capitalist problems by some repetitive prayer like “Look at the USSR, look at these evil communists, they got their just punishment!” all the time. Makes no sense, because communism is long dead, but capitalism is still alive, for now :-)’

    Yes ok, and I’m the first to admit that capitalism as practiced (especially in its neoliberal “interpretation”) can have big negative consequences. Pointing at communism certainly doesn’t change that.

    But the point I would make is its hard to see a genuinely different alternative to capitalism that is not alarmingly like communism.

    Western states have got by from the 1930s with a sort of mixed economy that combines elements of capitalism and socialism (huge simplification but i don’t have all day to write an essay on it). It’s actually worked quite well on the whole and is practical.

    So Im seeing three alternatives: capitalism in its laissez faire and neoliberal leaning forms, socialism (communism), and a combination of both typified in Scandinavia.

    Im stumped if I can see another alternative that is radically different. This is why I get frustrated with Killian and want him to spell out his alternative a bit better. (as much as one can in a couple of paragraphs, just a few elements)

    Killian may ultimately be right.The planet may be best with a zero growth, organic farming based low tech system, may even be forced into this anyway, but how do you organise such a system economically and politically? And not resort to something like communism? Please tell me at least some of the elements, obviously I don’t expect the full picture on a blog site. I’m trying to figure it out myself as well.

    Such a system will have one big issue. It is essentially freezing expansion at a certain point and material quality of life. It could stagnate and end up going backwards.

    At the very least I want to see an end to dire global poverty so we need some growth to achieve this before transitioning to a new system and essentially freezing the system.

    These are tough issues. If Killian can literally design such a society that would be useful, but its a tough one.

    This is why I promote just put more environmental laws in place as this is politically at least possible, to give capitalism big push, and see what happens. Trial and error. Treat it more as an evolutionary thing than trying to come up with a grand plan or model. Communism / socialism did that with a s called plan and vision down to the details, and it turned out to be a failed model overall, as it was inflexible and contrary to human nature, although I stress not all socialistic ideas seem bad to me. But this shows the problems of trying to come up with grand plans, that’s the point I’m making.

    It probably needs more of an evolutionary and goal based vision. Perhaps a combination of free markets, and some basic goals and planning from the state,(especially environmentally) but without becoming rigid and top heavy.

    But I’m also interested in a grand plan of a totally new alternative society and economic system if someone has such a thing, and I’m open minded about it. I would not attack it on principle or for the sake of it.

  5. 505
    nigelj says:

    Zebra @498

    ‘If you agree that social security for all and empowerment (de-subjugation) of women leads to lower birthrates, then biological urges are probably a constant.’

    I would agree, fwiw.

    If you look at global population growth its been virtually exponential, but has slowed drastically in Europe as everyone knows or should know. This demographic transition has been driven by wealth creation that has allowed better food and healthcare (and social security) and thus lower infant mortality and longer lives, thus people have less reason to have huge families. This is all good because population growth puts pressure on the environment.

    The problem is the third world. Africans still have huge families and this combined with economic expansion means they are living longer and so you have a population explosion. To transition further to small families means they need even higher incomes and more social security (which unfortunately puts pressure on the environment.)

    But zero growth low prosperity economic systems may be a problem. They will still have high population growth which its environmental pressures. This is a potential problem with killians ideas. Even billions of low consuming people will strain the planet if you have enough of them.

    So you have to reduce population growth, and also reduce environmental pressure due to material consumption, but without killing prosperity.

    The only way to do this is capitalism but with better environmental controls.

  6. 506
    nigelj says:

    Thomas @495, thank’s for that. I find everyone’s opinions on this website interesting, although a couple of the climate sceptics drive me nuts.

  7. 507

    ” Mate, mate, ….. maaaaaate, there’s enough to keep you busy in your own back yard without needing to travel to Ukraine or Russia or even laying blame for MH17 or chemical weapons or nations chasing defensive nuclear weapons of their own. ;-)”

    Ne 487: Hahaha, mate, mate, you nailed it down once and for all XD

    BPL: And would those poor third-world souls seeking “defensive” nuclear weapons be Iran and North Korea, by any chance? I know if I were running a desperately poor country where people were suffering, my main priority would certainly be building nuclear weapons and launch vehicles for them.

    How God damn stupid do you think we are?

  8. 508

    Th 492: BPL … Que Hasbara? :-)

    BPL: What would I have? I would like an answer to my question. You always defend Russia, you seem to hate capitalism, and your Australian accent doesn’t ring quite true to me (it’s not enough to say ‘mate’ a few times, cobber). Are you, or are you not, a Chekist?

  9. 509
    Thomas says:

    482 nigelj says: “But just because intelligence agencies get some things wrong, is not a reason to totally dismiss them.”

    1) I totally agree. For the record, and clarification, I do not totally dismiss them. You maybe misunderstanding my point here due to a few examples worthy of recalling, which you addressed above quite well.

    2) In particular Nigelj I note this true comment by you: “Politicians look for scapegoats and to create fear.”

    Then you say: “You also have to look at Putins own history on all sorts of things.” Please see points 1) & 2) above.

    Keeping in mind I have a good grasp of Putin’s history, and an excellent grasp on US political intel mil history as well. None of which is based upon “media reporting”, News Editorials, Politician’ Sophistry, nor self-congratulations ad nauseum by either. :-)

    Nigelj, you also say, I totally understand where you’re coming from and why this is widely held “belief” … “The type of evidence presented on Russias involvement in the 2016 election is broad and multi faceted, and I think there’s something in it.”

    You do know the difference between real hard data, hard evidence, provable evidence trails, and hearsay – yes? You do know the difference between a newspaper report and a Trial Court too I assume. And you do know the difference between ‘an unnamed official said’ and a Joe Blogs Intel Officer or White House Aide/Intern sitting in the witness box swearing under oath to tell the truth, the WHOLE Truth, and nothing but the Truth, yes? :-)

    Knowing that the US Mil, Intel agencies, CIA, FBI et al are all political entities with their own internal intrigues and factional IDEOLOGIES playing out, then point 2) might make much more Holistic sense to all.

    History proves this truism via Watergate – ‘Deep Throat’ was no JEHoover lover boy.

    However Nigelj, you are correct when you also say: “The devil is in the detail [the actual hard evidence] on these sorts of things, and also the motives of different groups.”

    Good to see you reading up on Chomsky. Keep going. Chomsky has a rare profound talent for reminding people of the hard to swallow truths by laying out the hard evidence of historical fact better than most.

    eg Watergate was a timely public distraction away from the widespread and institutionalized Unconstitutional Criminality surrounding Cointelpro and the many State sanctioned murders and other abuses of the Bill of Rights in the USA in the 1960s early 1970s by the FBI and others. imho not much has changed in this regard – appearances can be and are deceiving. Hey, look over there, there’s an alt right rally and Trump said sumptin’. Hey look over here, Putin did done it …. (sigh)

    Public Opinion is manufactured with the aid of PR marketing staffers working for the powers that be …. see that century of self doco I offered if still in any doubt about this centuries old historical fact. Some call it Koolaide others will willingly go to war over it because they just know it’s true! Hey look at all the evidence!!! And our Media and our Politicians and our Intel Services and our FBI and our Military would never lie to us about such life and death issues as this “one”.

    Biased self-interest groups and the Neoliberal Thought Collective surrounding AGW/CC are not the only ones in the world who are so delusional as to justify their non-stop self-deceit & delusions and then rationalise away their own hypocrisy and outright lying in their pursuit of a greater cause to save the “sheeple” and “nation” they Love. Mmmm …. think about that.

    imho, only the unbiased objective observer can see plain as day how the US places it’s boot upon the throat of anyone standing in the way of Corporate profits and GDP using the entire world as it’s playground. And then gets away with it so easily as the rest of the world complies with their distorted world view perspective. Public Opinion is manufactured as well as Geopolitics in general.

    Drinking the Koolaide 24/7/365 one’s entire life causes blindness imho.

  10. 510
    Thomas says:

    Sorry for repeating myself yet again … there’s a reason why AGW/CC Denial Ground Zero is the USA. Because it’s American’s who have successfully built multi-Trillion dollar global industries based purely on American Bullshit. Why? Because they’re experts at it! Have been for hundreds of years.

    While the ‘decent’ Americans who cling to beliefs that the likes of the Democratic Party or people like HRC, or Hansen’s Our Children’s Trust court case, are going to save you or hoping that they’re your only option left for genuine systemic change or reform are profoundly fooling yourselves imho.

    Such well intended souls would do well to check the ‘evidence’ underpinning their beliefs. Not holding my breath waiting for that to happen though. Just sayin’.

  11. 511
    Thomas says:

    Nigelj, thx for various comments. and also thx to Nemesis comments and refs re exxon etc etc etc. I like those Monks baby!

    and fwiw, I do accept that some incremental change and reform is still better than none at all.

    Some think Bruce Lee was all about kung fu and action movies. Not realising all his movies were ancient chinese philosophy/temple monks’ parables reset in the 1970s culture of the day. eg https://www.brucelee.com/podcast-blog/2017/2/8/32-finger-pointing-to-the-moon

    Bruce Lee ‘Enter The Dragon’ – “Boards Don’t Hit Back!”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zRsgsUWYks&feature=youtu.be&t=10s

    I really liked Bruce Lee and his movies back when I was a young teen. My mates and I made our own “nunchuks” to play with. Bruce was a real Monk taken way too soon. Sweet simplicity in action, imho. Quite ‘on topic’ for the eclectic among us. (smiling) Yes, my work is done, enough of my bs, so moving back to the hard climate science topics and queries is probably in order here. Go for it.

  12. 512
    Brian Dodge says:

    “Next, it’s likely that, seeking to avoid civil liability, ExxonMobil’s board of directors voted to instruct its employees to withhold ‘proprietary’ information that would reduce its share value in the short and/or long term. In many economically-developed countries, a corporation whose equity is publicly traded can legally have only one goal: maximizing its equity value measured in currency.”
    Witholding known factual information that would materially effect the price of a companies stock is investment fraud, and ExxonMobil is currently under investigation by the attorneys general of Massachusetts and New York for exactly that.

  13. 513
    Killian says:

    #481 Nigel said But I really, really do, Auntie Em!”

    No, you don’t. You stop at the political. You constantly state as sustainable things which are not. And again you sputter nonsense about where to draw the line according to what the system tells you is approved.

    What do you not get about the system being clueless on sustainability, thus you being clueless on sustainability?

    You have yet to have ever spoken of sustainability in any meaningful sense on this forum. Stop typing. Listen. Because you do not know what you are talking about. You keep telling us we are in a capitalist system so there we must stay.

    Good god…

  14. 514
    Nemesis says:

    @Thomas, #510

    Bruce Lee studied philosophy actualls, he was a very clever and friendly guy. One of my all time favorites of Bruce Lee’s sayings:

    ” Be like water, my friend.”

    Now I will go to the sauna. Not climate related? Don’t say that, I’m preparing for what’s coming, at 95°C :-P

  15. 515
    Mal Adapted says:

    Brian Dodge:

    Witholding known factual information that would materially effect the price of a companies stock is investment fraud, and ExxonMobil is currently under investigation by the attorneys general of Massachusetts and New York for exactly that.

    Brian, IANAL (though I gather you are?), but it sounds like that to me too. The courts will decide, however. I wish the Attorneys General luck, but I’m not optimistic. The Koch club’s long-term strategy of reinvesting a tiny fraction of fossil fuel revenues to protect the rest has paid off handsomely, in favorable election results and SCOTUS decisions. My own faint hope of limiting global tragedy still rests on US voters, dog help us! I’m planning on a political ‘miracle’, quote marks implying the small but finite probability it will occur.

    The problem, IMHO, is that the liberty we all cherish has historically entailed the freedom of individuals to socialize our private marginal climate-change costs. The much-maligned 30th POTUS Calvin Coolidge, in a speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors titled The Press Under a Free Government, said:

    the chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with producing, buying, selling, investing, and prospering in the world.

    He ought to have added “externalizing every cost they can get away with” to the list. Meaningful reduction of America’s fossil carbon emissions will require US voters to surrender some of our freedom. I’m afraid that means a plurality of us must acknowledge the Tragedy of the Commons, apparently a difficult concept even for some RC regulars. Meanwhile, the Koch club’s investments in professionally crafted disinformation are generating positive ROI as well. Does anyone remember that in the same speech, ‘Silent Cal’ also, as one newspaper headline put it, “Warns Them Against the Evils of Propaganda”?

  16. 516
    Mal Adapted says:

    BPL:

    Are you, or are you not, a Chekist?

    I haven’t followed Thomas’s comments on this subject, but in fairness even to him, you may be employing a logical fallacy here. Animosity toward nominal Capitalism needn’t imply partiality to nominal Communism or any actual implementation of it.

    In any case, by inspection all actual economies combine ‘free’ markets of every shade, and collective intervention for reasons that seemed good to someone at the time.

    BTW: I assume you all know that to an economist, “rational” just means “seems like a good idea at the time.”

  17. 517
    Mal Adapted says:

    Also, Barton:

    The evidence I’ve seen strongly suggests that Russian government operatives interfered in some way with last year’s Presidential election. Unfortunately, I don’t fully trust any of the sources of that evidence. ‘Smoking gun’ primary documents of this nature are occasionally shown to be altered or manufactured, and eyewitness testimony to be suborned, using resources proportionate to the stakes.

    Your suspicions may well be correct, but I for one feel I’m on firmer ground with climate science.

  18. 518
    Thomas says:

    503 Nemesis SAYS: “….where crucial decisions are made behind closed doors..” it’s called confidential Board Room meetings Nemesis. Where barely 2% of the what is said (and known) is recorded in the Official Minutes. Some call it plausible deniability, others name it asymmetrical information. Then there are the real facts where never a word is spoken in a board room. VW diesel engine emissions manipulation anyone? (Oooh, must have been a one off – they would not do that Shirley! Wanna bet? Been there done that bought the T-Shirt using Exec. Options)

    Nemesis, it’s only a ‘real crime’ when the evidence can be located and laid out in court or it’s ‘discovered’ during sworn depositions. Don’t know the evidence exists? Can’t ask the right questions to begin with. Catch-22. Ever read it? :-)

    507 Barton Paul Levenson asks: “And would those poor third-world souls seeking…”

    Thomas: I never mentioned any ‘poor third-world souls’ so why did you? lol

    BPL: And would those poor third-world souls seeking “defensive” nuclear weapons be Iran and North Korea, by any chance?

    Thomas: Yes, of course. Plus Israel, Pakistan, India, China, Russia, France, UK, and then there’s NATO. There was also Iraq, South Africa, Libya, Japan is pretty close could convert in under 12 months they are way ahead of Nth Korea and Iran tech & financial & capacity wise.

    Why do you ask? :-)

    BTW since when was IRAN a “third-world” nation? Like seriously, don’t you know anything about which you speak? I’m gobsmacked, which is why I have to ask – where on earth do you get these fantasies from? [but if you’re just ‘playing’, having ‘fun’, then hey, that’s ok … ignore my questions.]

    BPL: “How God damn stupid do you think we are?”

    Thomas: Um, that depends Barton. Who exactly is “we”?

  19. 519
    Thomas says:

    508 Barton Paul Levenson asks ‘nicely’: Are you, or are you not, a Chekist?

    Barton, I am here to help.

    When did you stop beating your wife Barton?

    BPL: “You always defend Russia, you seem to hate capitalism, and your Australian accent doesn’t ring quite true to me (it’s not enough to say ‘mate’ a few times, cobber).”

    Oh really? How nice. I much prefer your sci-fi persona. Paranoia simply doesn’t suit your style that well, mate!

  20. 520
    Nemesis says:

    @nigelj, #484

    Thanks for the link to scepicalscience about Exxon, I appreciate it!

  21. 521
    Mal Adapted says:

    Nemesis, emphasis (‘Nemphasis’?) in original:


    ExxonMobil knew since at least 1974 of anthropogenic induced climate change, because they had their very own scientific research at hand, while financing denier campagnes ect and decieved the public. That’s a CRIME against planet Earth and humanity.

    You can throw around words like CRIME all you want, but in the real world those words have meaningful denotations.

    You’re only one human, not ‘humanity’, and you’re not ‘planet Earth’ either. I happen to agree with your summary of ExxonMobil’s actions as a corporate person, and I’d love to see the individuals who supported those decisions held personally accountable. Neither you nor I, however, have any practical way to enforce our moral judgment. In the here and now, only courts of law can issue legal judgments, and have the effective monopoly on violence required to enforce them. Unfortunately for both of us, law’s relationship to morality is often perverse.

    Meanwhile (paraphrasing Lech Wałęsa), the supply of words in the marketplace greatly exceeds demand. Your nemphatic declarations might be worth more if there were fewer of them.

  22. 522
    Nemesis says:

    Imagine, Geoengineering back in the 1945(!):

    In 1945, there was a corporation, who thought, that it would be a good idea, to own the weather and even the climate. They thought “Wouldn’t it be nice, to put the climate into a CAGE and tame it like a dog or something?”. Yes, that’s no joke of some psychopath in a b-movie, it’s real:

    ” This advertisement from Shell Oil Company describes Shell’s foray into agricultural and food production science. The ad describes carbon dioxide enrichment of greenhouse air to enhance plant growth. Industry-funded climate denial efforts would subsequently extrapolate this beneficial “greening” effect to the climate context to argue that rising emissions of greenhouse gases would actually benefit agriculture and the planet.”

    Here the link to the ad (Titel: Climate in Cage):

    https://www.smokeandfumes.org/documents/47

    Clearly, Shell, ExxonMobil and others were/are part of that global Geongineering experiment. I am curious, if they (whoever they are) will go on with Geoengineering one way or another^^… and I tell you (if you shouldn’t know it already):

    They will go on with Geoengineering one way or another. Muhahaha, they are playing with Fire, these megalomaniacs, sssssshhhh, and they will lose that game, I swear.

    Cheers,
    Nemesis

  23. 523
    Nemesis says:

    @Thomas

    OT: Btw, about the finger pointing to the moon: You might know, that it’s a very old analogy, it’s roots go back to the Surangama Sutra (page 59 – 60):

    http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/surangama.pdf

    (No, I am no Buddhist.)

  24. 524
    Mal Adapted says:

    Kevin McKinney:

    I may well be wrong, but it’s my understanding that the ‘fiduciary duty to valorize profit exclusively’ is a bit of a myth–or perhaps an ideology.

    I did do a little cursory poking about, and the ‘fiduciary duties’ I found articulated could be interpreted in quite disparate ways.

    As I often have been, I may well wrong myself. I think we’re both right this time, though. Myth and ideology are popular vehicles for deception, especially of oneself; and the ambiguity you noted leaves plenty of scope for interpretations favorable to corporate directors’ personal interests. Assuming directors are major shareholders, that is.

  25. 525
    Thomas says:

    511 Brian Dodge “Witholding known factual information that would materially effect the price of a companies stock is investment fraud…”

    Yes it is. And Brian do you know how many listed companies could be charged for such activity IF investigators could actually lay their hands on “hard evidence” in the first place?

    Guess. 1 out 1000? 1 out of 100? Or could it be closer to 99 out of 100?

    And Brian how many “investigators” would you think there are to check the bona fides of the all US Companies where ~4,300+ companies listed in the USA? And why has that dropped from the 8,000 from 20 years ago?

    And what about all those millions of Private Companies with shareholders, and who may hold significant Patents/IP, and who borrow money from Banks Lawyers Family and Friends, that are not listed Publicly and thus not captured under such laws? Who is ‘investigating’ their fraud?

    While you’re at check do a quick history review of the ‘companies and banks’ and Directors busted by Eliot Spitzer over 2 decades before he was ‘busted’ for being a naughty boy the very weekend he was giving evidence to Congress about the institutional corruption/fraud of Banks/Mortgage lenders/Insurance Companies and Hedge Funds 6 months before finally the SHTF in the GFC and could no longer be lied about 24/7/365 by The Fed, the politicians, the White House, the finance institutions and the media.

    Who else do you know busted and charged for using those very same “services” Spitzer was using, and who else do you was investigated for possible money laundering for sending through payments to ‘business services’ of under $3000 a few times a month? Seriously. World.com and Enron and now ExxonMobil are “one-offs” and the results of the great work of Federal Agents and the Dept of Justice?

    Fair dinkum folks, where on earth do you imagine people like Marohasy and Abott get their money from to “live in luxury” and sit around producing fake FRAUDULENT science papers? http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/08/sensible-questions-on-climate-sensitivity/#comment-682201

  26. 526
    Thomas says:

    There’s a meme about ‘academics’ are known as “living in ivory towers”. Like all memes there’s some truth to this yet also a lot of abuse of it too. There are no straight lines and generalities are always based upon a logical fallacy.

    There is however an aspect to this meme that is fairly accurate imho. Academics and scientists do live and work within a particular kind of ‘culture’ where all kinds of ‘norms’ apply and are accepted as ‘givens’. Plagiarism is definitely a no go zone. The Data and Evidence rules the day. Academic integrity and honesty is not only expected but demanded by peers. Openness of one’s work for scrutiny is a key norm once the research stage gets to publication time. Academics have to back up their conclusions with facts and logic. Few if any other domain in life operates on such a level.

    Therefore, without even noticing usually, academics and scientists swim in an ocean where Ethics and Morals and not lying are not only high ideals but practiced (most of the time). Behavioral psychology and cognitive science however (and common sense too) indicates that living within such an environment becomes a sense of this is the way it is, and should be. When you expect honesty and integrity 24/7/365 one can easily assume the same is how it is in other walks of life, such as in business or politics and the media.

    But you know what they say about making ‘assumptions’ … yet what about when one doesn’t even consciously realise that is exactly what they do by default? Academics and scientists all have family members, long term friends and acquaintances who work outside of academia circles – let’s say the ‘real world’ outside the domain of academic Ivory Towers.

    You meet them at family gatherings, at parties and BBQs. Chat with them on a plane flight next to you on your way to your next ‘conference.’ It’s really common for people to expect that others they meet are much like you – have the same values. Oh you’re an American, or from Ohio, hey so am I, so we have a LOT in common. But do you really?

    You don’t lie about your work to others, so there is no expectation your uncle on the other side of the table who works for a highly regarded Corporate giant is juts like you are, having the same ethics, morals, standards, honesty, and reliance upon factual evidence, the facts, and would go about his day much like you do.

    But this is not how the “real world” operates at all. There are standard norms and prevailing cultures in every walk of life. Be it the Police services, the Fed, the Military, or Publicly Listed Companies such as VW or Enron or McDonalds, as well as in mafia/criminal organizations, or say ‘legal’ special event Ticket Brokers (hey I worked for one in America, wanna here a few ‘stories’ about their home truths from an anonymous whistle-blower character online?) in all these different walks of life where the RULES OF THE GAME ARE ENTIRELY DIFFERENT.

    When academics simply cannot imagine that a HRC would blatantly lie to your face about AGW/CC science and proposed mitigation actions, or health care policy, during an election campaign or when the SoS, well this is a result of ‘living in ivory towers’ for too long. Even when hard evidence in their own words is laid out in plain english, still some believe such people have integrity and are honest and reliable when patently they are not based on the known evidence in the public domain via ‘whistle-blowers’ or email hacks that lays out their own words in ‘private’ that displays a totally different side to their stated opinions and beliefs and actions and policy proscriptions.

    To ignore such matters known and little known, is being more or less disconnected from the Real World and how things actually happen out there.

    I am not generalizing beyond reason here … for each individual is different and has different degrees of awareness and internalized self-delusions about what is – and different personalities as well. Yet it is well known that such psychological matters do affect everyone no matter what walk of life (look at any alt-right protester or Trump voter lately to see that in spades) but it is a two-edged sword that cuts both ways.

    Many Academics and Scientists do tend to live a life wearing Rose Coloured glasses – and then wonder why so many ignore them or even ridicule them openly accusing them of sucking $millions in largess from the Tax payers as if they are the equivalent to a Bernie Madoff. Yes, oddly enough, I am here to help. BUt make up your own minds and trust your own instincts. I am not here to tell people what to do nor what to think. That’s your job, not mine. :-)

  27. 527
    Killian says:

    #478 Mal Adapted said Killian:

    who cares what voodoo priests do?

    I’m certain my older brother isn’t a mambo, and I’m pretty sure he isn’t a houngan either.

    Sure he is. And I’m sure you are biased by the relationship because economics is voodoo. It is based in philosophy and the “logic” has that as its rather poor foundation. It is not a science, it is philosophy with numbers laid over it – and that a rather recent phenomenon, relatively.

    To an evolutionary biologist, an economy isn’t magic, it’s a mechanism of intraspecific resource allocation in Homo sapiens, therefore susceptible to scientific investigation.

    An does not equal all. To you, I think you mean.

    …Economics is a ‘social science’, thus commonly dismissed as ‘magic’, i.e. ‘not-science’, by those trained in physical sciences.

    Or just sane people.

    To anyone trained in Evolutionary Biology and/or Economics, it’s science.

    False premise leads to false conclusion: “Economics podcast Phil Dobbie asks Professor [of economics – K] Steve Keen whether this means economics should never be seen as a science. Steve says economics can be a science, if economists behaved like scientists – that means recognising anomalies and adjusting their theories accordingly. To date, this isn’t happening. [Thus, it’s not a science. – K]” https://debunking.podbean.com/

    Genuine skeptics who keep those things in mind can learn a great deal of Economic truth.

    http://berkeleyconservative.blogspot.kr/2011/03/economics-is-voodoo-science.html

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/06/mainstream-economics-is-a-cult.html

    (There’s a really nice article from some years back I tried to find; the articles above approximate the same thoughts.)

    Economic TRUTH? Holy housing bubbles, Batman! That’s absurd, delusional and funny all at the same time!

    Mal, I have been telling you all for years that one needs to know what to pay attention to. Your brother ain’t it. The fact two hundred years of economic voodoo still doesn’t work should tell you something.

  28. 528
    Killian says:

    #491 Thomas said Sometimes I cannot help being pedantic.

    Indeed.

    465 Killian says: “Anyone can figure this stuff out. We need no more supermen.”

    Well my dear friend Killian. If that was true (and it is not true)…“We” would already have this figured out.

    It is pedantic to pretend I was literally saying any human could figure this out. As that is literally impossible given the intellectual limits of some, the informational limits of others, the blinding beliefs of still more, etc., I clearly was not saying any human can do this.

    I am disappointed in this sophistry.

    Further, we have figured it out. You haven’t, we have. You choose not to accept that and take a McPherson-like fatalistic view. That is your issue, not mine, not ours, not humanity’s.

    First principle before all others is – face reality and the truth first

    That’s not a First Principle.

    Killian also says: “… the idea we need some special person somewhere to sort it all out for us is dangerous, insulting and false.”

    Thankfully RC has someone special to set us all straight on that point. (grin)

    Despite the intended humor, the falseness of this statement requires response: I am no superman. Millions of people on this planet *could* come to the same conclusions, and many thousands have – or come close. We need no supermen. Take permaculture, knowledge of resource limits, basic knowledge of climate science, and *any* community of people can sort this out. *any.*

    Do try and chill out a bit though. It doesn’t matter as much as you may believe it does. imho.

    Wrong again. So long as I see a timeframe available to reverse things, it matters more than anythign ever has. This is no game. You think it’s all just fun and games because you have already given up. A comfortable and lazy position, but it certainly would be a luxury. It’s a luxury I do not have.

  29. 529
    Thomas says:

    523 Nemesis, yes I do know that. It also pops up in all manner of teachings/religions in various forms too. Very little is truly new or original in this world. Part of why I brought it up, but that’s another story. Isn’t everyone a Buddhist? Would be a much better world if they were.

  30. 530
    Thomas says:

    You’re welcome Killian. I’m pretty good hey? While you were directing your comments towards me the 3rd parties here were looking on and without feeling “defensive” were able to better grasp your more accurate meaning, intentions, and values and motivations here. Now everyone should understand you a little better and not feel so under direct attack all the time. See, I have broad shoulders and been around the mill once or thrice.

    Did you like how I did that? Drew you out to put your case in a way that is more socially acceptable and likely to be listened to rather than ignored and dismissed out of hand. :-)

    Connor McGregor should have hired me as personal advisor. I believe had he had the luxury of said advice he would have in a position to ‘possibly’ win by KO in round 6. As it was he was never a chance. Nay but, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  31. 531
    Thomas says:

    514 Nemesis, yes indeed know that advice by BL well. Be like a Duck also helps a lot. And when all else fails, remember to duck! Something McGregor forgot entirely.

  32. 532
    nigelj says:

    Thomas @509

    Yes well we always have to be sceptical of anything really. But its a question of sensible scepticism, not flat earth type of scepticism.

    I suppose it comes down with whether one believes the intelligence agencies and media on this Russia thing. I do on this one, reluctantly.

    They have outlined a specific trail of evidence and known hackers and trolls with russian origins, etc, and the media have reported it. Its a trail of several different things so we aren’t reliant on just one suspicious looking thing. For me it seems unlikely they would or get all of them wrong. Something went on. And look at Putins general history, and you may well know it better than me. Its not pretty.

    I could be wrong about Russia, but there’s nothing to be lost by improving cyber security. Its not like the invasion of Iraq that all had such terrible consequences. Just my way of seeing / rationalising the situation.

    There’s one thing that gets on my nerves its spin artists.

  33. 533
    Thomas says:

    A little side bar fwiw – June 2017 – Menadue told ABC Melbourne Radio’s Jon Faine in an interview that focused on the power of Rupert Murdoch. “It is a disgraceful organisation.” – “Step after step [Murdoch] seeks favours from government[s] to promote his rent seeking.” – “In recent decades his organisation has become a disgrace,” Menadue, 82, who was general manager of News Limited Australia for seven years said. “It’s trampled on democracy in three continents, it’s damaged the media enormously in three countries.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/jun/28/news-corp-is-a-disgrace-and-should-not-get-hands-on-ten-former-manager-says

    Just saying, there’s many people, especially in America, who do not know the basics let alone History very well.
    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/14/520080606/murdoch-and-trump-an-alliance-of-mutual-interest

    PS 514 Nemesis, there’s a lesson there that scientists and academics, especially those dealing with AGW/CC issues could learn. Reacting to every BS distraction that’s floated by the deniers, their media cohorts and anti-science activists because that is precisely what the ‘thought collective’ want to see happen. Keeps them away from their day job and can unsettle their peace of mind and focus. Maybe one day M Mann will stop showing up at congressional hearings and being a useful ‘pawn’.

    Gavin appears to be one who tends not to get suckered as often as most do. He sets a good example for others to follow imho. But will he take up a position in France has me curiously looking on from a distance and wondering (out loud.)

  34. 534
    Charles Hughes says:

    Thomas says:
    26 Aug 2017 at 8:27 PM
    “Sorry for repeating myself yet again …”

    Which time?

  35. 535
    Mike Roberts says:

    nigelj,

    The RMA doesn’t have sustainability as its goal, it has something called “sustainable management of resources”. It uses a definition similar to “sustainable development”. If the RMA had a goal of sustainability, no new mining operations would be allowed under the act, since none are sustainable and all degrade the environment.

  36. 536
    Mike Roberts says:

    nigelj,

    “The only way to do this is capitalism but with better environmental controls”

    Perhaps you could try to get a copy of this issue of New Scientist.

  37. 537
    Mr. Know It All says:

    456 BPL asks “Vwy Chekista?”

    I could not translate it. Tried on Google translate:
    https://translate.google.com/?sl=gu#ru/en/Vw%20Chekista

    I’ll guess you are asking if I’m a Chekist. Nah. AGW believers would be a better fit for that type of system where the state police control everything. That’s one of the main reasons many in the USA oppose AGW beliefs – we want freedom – not state control. That’s why we voted for Trump. We do not admire how the rest of the world does things – we prefer doing it our way. To date we’ve fought quite a few wars to be able to do it our way – many have paid the ultimate price for our freedom to do it our way so we will not just roll over easily to government control because a bunch of globalists say we should.

    481 – nigelj

    So your 1991 RMA is an awesome environmental law, eh? Here is some information about environmental laws here in the USA for you: If we dumped all our environmental laws on NZ, you’d be buried so deep the island would sink far below sea level. That’s one reason we voted for Trump.

    504 – nigelj
    Show us just 1 vote changed by Russian interference in US elections in 2016. You can’t. BPL can’t. Thousands of Democrats, investigators, and Trump-haters have been looking for that 1 vote for over 8 months and it has not been found. I’m betting it will not be found. Most folks understand that there is no intention of finding it – the whole purpose is to make Trump’s election look illegitimate; and now that has expanded thru hard-left special counsel Robert Mueller to look for ANY wrongdoing by anyone on his team in their entire lifetime. All to discredit president Trump and for no other purpose.

  38. 538
    Mr. Know It All says:

    MKIA said: “We do not admire how the rest of the world does things – we prefer doing it our way. To date we’ve fought quite a few wars to be able to do it our way – many have paid the ultimate price for our freedom to do it our way so we will not just roll over easily to government control because a bunch of globalists say we should.”

    I do think the Trump administration will look at the evidence for AGW. Secretary of State Tillerson, I think, said he believes it. So do not despair. If it’s a real problem, we’ll do something about it.

  39. 539
    Nemesis says:

    @Mal Adapted, #521

    I find it really interesting, how you are trying to defend ExxonMobil :-) Really interesting 8-) You know, I am so happy to have no children, who’d have to grow up and live in a world full of denial, ignorance and catastrophic climate change. Back in the 80s, when I left brainwashing school and started to think on my own, I thought, something about the system is very wrong, it’s full of corruption, crimes, denial, ignorance, greed, lies ect ect. And I thought to myself, this can’t go on forever, at some point, there will be a catastrophe, a crash of the system. Back then, I started to study global ecological destruction and anthropogenic climate heating. And I decided, not to procreate. Nowadays I can see, reality confirms all of my worst nightmares. Not to procreate was the BEST decision I ever made and I don’t regret it for second.

  40. 540

    K 527: economics is voodoo.

    BPL: No, economics is a science. You talk about economics like deniers talk about climatology.

  41. 541
    zebra says:

    nigel,

    “prosperity”

    Another one of those words…

    The question, nigel, is what those Africans (actually poor people everywhere) would have to experience in the near term in order for the economic incentive to shift from “more births” to “fewer children”.

    If you think about it, yes, many in the third world are living in “Killian’s Utopia”– local, simple, “organic”. That includes watching their children die of waterborne illnesses easily eliminated, or from malnutrition during the occasional (inevitable) famine. It includes women walking miles back and forth every day to fetch (almost clean) water, risking rape. BTW, did you ever read the “toilet divorce” article?

    You like to say we can’t precisely pin down many of the issues, but certainly we can apply some kind of quantitative thinking and evaluation.

    Here’s the question: Is n-capitalism what everyone needs to feel secure? If we start out giving those villagers local solar/wind grids, so they can pump water and spend the evenings getting educated, does that inevitably lead to them living in McMansions and driving F-150 pickup trucks?

    It’s easy to say “environmentally responsible capitalism”, but that is really as vague as Killian’s “simplicity” and “sustainability”.

  42. 542
    Mal Adapted says:

    Killian:

    I’m sure you are biased by the relationship because economics is voodoo…Mal, I have been telling you all for years that one needs to know what to pay attention to. Your brother ain’t it.

    Heh. It looks like Killian wants to Tango. Maybe later, kid, if you ever get interesting enough. I’ll be in the virtual tall grass.

  43. 543
    Mal Adapted says:

    Thomas:

    But you know what they say about making ‘assumptions’ …

    Thomas, Thomas, Thomas 8^).

    He’s like a moth to a flame, isn’t he?

  44. 544
    Hank Roberts says:

    Maybe the global climate self-adjusts, not by using an “adaptive iris” but by using a different adaptive, er, orifice:

    http://wallstreetpit.com/114022-italys-earthquake-lit-fuse-europes-most-dangerous-supervolcano/

    I can imagine that argument being made if we experience a convenient supervolcano global dust cooling event … Deux ex machina stepping in.

  45. 545
    Steven Emmerson says:

    #526 Thomas,

    I’ve spent the majority of my life and all my career in Science.

    I’m well aware that the values and norms of that field are not, in general, regarded as highly outside it.

    To the best of my knowledge, all my colleagues feel the same.

  46. 546
    Killian says:

    #504 nigelj said So Im seeing three alternatives: capitalism in its laissez faire and neoliberal leaning forms, socialism (communism), and a combination of both typified in Scandinavia.

    First, stop talking within the context of the current paradigm. Look around you, it isn’t working. We are a hair’s breadth from the final convulsions of a very sick system if you understand what Al Bartlett’s work and the Hubbert curve mean. We are in the last doubling and are over the top of the curve on too many resources and degraded systems.

    Just stop.

    Despite the rather unintelligent responses on First Principles in this thread, such thinking is a key. It is what Einstein and Fuller meant when they spoke of using different thinking and creating new systems. You keep starting and ending with capitalism because you simply cannot imagine anything else. You keep using meaningless labels like… capitalism, socialism, communism. These mean nothing. They are empty constructs because the system of the last 900 years or so they arose from is already dead, it just doesn’t know it.

    All of the above require growth. Ipso-facto, they are no longer relevant. Only communism, if pure, could survive contraction then steady-state.

    Stop talking about them. Go to First Principles.

    Im stumped if I can see another alternative that is radically different. This is why I get frustrated with Killian and want him to spell out his alternative a bit better. (as much as one can in a couple of paragraphs, just a few elements)

    Why don’t you pick up a book on permaculture so you can begin to understand why I cannot tell you what to do where you are, and why I shouldn’t even try. You have made no attempt to understand, but keep complaining about not being explained to.

    Killian may ultimately be right.The planet may be best with a zero growth, organic farming based low tech system, may even be forced into this anyway, but how do you organise such a system economically and politically?

    You don’t. Economics is voodoo, politics is power acquisition. Neither can exist in a sustainable system. You organize them from the ground up. Sustainability aka regenerative systems aka permaculturally-designed systems are ultimately local. As with the Amazon, you have small communities that are networked. Each small community does sustainability. If they all do sustainability, you get a sustainable bio-region. Ultimately, you need bio-region scale problem solving because resources are not equally spread around the world, but bio-regions should be self-contained, though meta scale interactive.

    This small-scale, networked problem solving (not capitalism, not socialism, not communism) is the pattern we see in all sustainable societies. It’s what was in Africa and the Americas a few centuries ago, and likely East Asia a few millennia ago. It matches First Principles drawn from Nature’s processes and patterns: Build in chunks; be sure an element works before building the whole system. Design from patterns (water and sunlight and geography, e.g., and networks) to details, e.g. where to put the wind generator.

    And not resort to something like communism?

    Communism is a construct, and a twisted one. Sharing is human. Some form of shared economy/Commons existed in all pre-agricultural societies, and still exists in those sustainable societies that still exist. A Commons is not communism, communism is a failed attempt at recreating the Commons, layered with a bunch of supposedly sophisticated B.S. that was nothing more than intelligent men trying to rediscover what their societies had long forgotten.

    Class! Gotta go! More later…

  47. 547
    Thomas says:

    There’s an aspect to the recent Exxon-Mobil ‘exposes’ that I find concerning. for example Katharine Hayhoe’s article here https://theconversation.com/i-was-an-exxon-funded-climate-scientist-49855

    she writes: “Investigative reports in 2015 revealed that Exxon had its own scientists doing its own climate modeling as far back as the 1970s: science and modeling that was not only accurate, but that was being used to plan for the company’s future.” and
    “A scientist is a scientist no matter where we work, and my Exxon colleagues were no exception. Thoughtful, cautious and in full agreement with the scientific consensus on climate – these are characteristics any scientist would be proud to own.” and

    “The only requirement was that a journal article with an Exxon co-author pass an internal review before it could be submitted for peer review, a policy similar to that of many federal agencies. Did I know what else they were up to at the time? I couldn’t even imagine it.”

    Acknowledging I have no direct idea what the system was at Exxon from the 1970s through the 1990’s when Hayhoe says she was funded and they spent time at Exxon facilities, were funded by Exxon, passed on their work to Exxon, or so it appears. Therefore on face value, there were multiple ‘Scientists’ and/ specific climate scientists who were engaged working for/on behalf of Exxon-Mobil (and others no doubt) which included doing research work as well as publishing peer-reviewed papers.

    OK. And so all this focus on Exxon-Mobil and what did they know and how did they deal with that – it’s been suggested that the company is now under ‘investigation’ by several state A’sG and other institutions. And fair enough.

    However, what about all these scientists and academics from the 1970s to the present? What did they know, and when did they know it? More importantly WHY has no one ever heard a word from them about what their work entailed and what Exxon-Mobil knew as a direct result of their work?

    Including why do we only now hear from Katharine Hayhoe about this subject? has she ever mentioned these matters before? I am not aware if she has or hasn’t. What about all the others?

    Why 40 years of silence from all these ‘climate scientists’ and the work they were doing FOR or ON Behalf of Exxon-Mobil? Do they not have a conscience? Were they silenced due to “legal contractual arrangements”? And if so why would they respect them if they knew that Exxon was “covering up” data and knowledge as Katharine Hayhoe seems to be suggesting is the case?

    Not one ethical “whistle-blower” in 40 years? Sounds very strange to me we only get to hear about these matters publicly now, today, in 2017. Any thoughts, ideas or direct knowledge about this historical issue?

  48. 548
    Nigwil says:

    You say: ‘You think it’s all just fun and games because you have already given up. A comfortable and lazy position, but it certainly would be a luxury. It’s a luxury I do not have.’

    Killian, your comment struck a chord with me. I find I am like a man on a badly holed ship. While there is a chance that the breach can be filled and the ship will limp to a safe port, there is an increasing chance that the inflow will overwhelm the pumps, and she will founder.

    So the crew is in a constant state of furious effort to save her, while keeping a weather-eye on the rate she is settling and listening to her noises. Initially it is enough to swing out the boats just in case. but as the situation becomes increasingly finely balanced then more effort is directed to preparing the boats and rafts, donning survival equipment and loading stores in preparation for departure.

    Passengers generally seem to be prepared to be guided by the crew, “They know what to do!”. So the passengers will be the last to know its all gone pear-shaped.

    Every human is in that process of active evaluation or wilful ignorance in regard to climate change issues. We are all somewhere along the continuum between sitting in the deck chairs listening to the band, to being poised on the lee rail fully kitted and ready to jump.

    You are clearly of the opinion that the ship can be saved from the present committed 2C global average warming, and so you continue to man the pumps as your strength lasts. You are to be admired for the persistence and clarity of your beliefs. Others (and I admit I am one) am somewhat more skeptical of our Earth-ships chances. We are devoting a significant proportion of our time and resources to figuring out what best to do to improve our chances in the shark-infested waters which are likely to envelop us, and to making those preparations.

    For both you and me – and others I am sure – our beliefs and actions are not luxuries. They are born of our inbuilt imperative to survive. You are as entitled to your belief that the ship can be saved as I am to mine that she is too far gone already, for each of us views the situation through a different lens.

    Each of us applies themselves to the balancing act between plugging leaks and preparing the boats according to his knowledge of what is possible in the time available, and in terms of his skill and remaining strength. See you on the beach, I hope.

  49. 549
    Tom Adams says:

    Opinion piece by David Leonhardt: humans helped cause Harvey:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/29/opinion/harvey-the-storm-that-humans-helped-cause.html

    He has some interesting things to say about climate scientist’s reticence about making such specific links, claiming there is less reticence about linking smoking to cancer, alcohol to fatalities, seat belt use to lack of fatalities.

  50. 550
    Nemesis says:

    @Thomas, #529:

    ” Nemesis, yes I do know that. It also pops up in all manner of teachings/religions in various forms too. Very little is truly new or original in this world. Part of why I brought it up, but that’s another story. Isn’t everyone a Buddhist? Would be a much better world if they were.”

    No, not everyone is a Buddhist, some are Advaita, some are Christians, some are Muslims, some are Jews, some are Taoists, some are Agnostics, some are Atheists and so on. I don’t know, if the world would be a better place, if everyone were a Buddhist^^ I came to know a lot of Buddhists, who were quite stupid. I came to know some Buddhists as well, who were really wise and enlightening :-) After all, human Character doesn’t depend on religion nor philosophy, it depends on awareness and the willingness to grow inside. Was Siddharta Gautama a Buddhist? Was Jesus a Christian? Was Laotse a Taoist? No, I don’t think so. Siddharta Gautama didn’t say “You have to become a Buddhist to get to Nirvana”, nor said Jesus “You have to become a Christian to get to heaven”, nor said Laotse “You have to become a Taoist to unite with the Tao” ;-)

    BTW:

    What has this got to do with anthropogenic induced climate change? It has a lot to do with anthropogenic induced climate change, because the destruction of Mother Earth is rooted in greed and ignorance, it is rooted in spiritual underdevelopement. Modern man developed science, he developed technology, he developed capitalism, but he didn’t develop HIMSELF so far.