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Forced Responses: Jul 2018

Filed under: — group @ 1 July 2018

Open thread for climate policy and responses.

287 Responses to “Forced Responses: Jul 2018”

  1. 51
    alan2102 says:

    30 Carrie: “You cannot greenify the supply side, while doing nothing on the demand side, in other words, without making systemic changes to the way western society is set up.”

    I think what you mean is that you ought not greenify the supply side while not undertaking a bunch of other changes (conservation, stopping the insane waste, etc.). Ought not. And I agree. But what is actually happening is that the supply side is being greenified, slowly, without those other changes. Enough to avert catastrophe? Who knows? Probably not, if catastrophe were the baked-in outcome otherwise. But what if it were not the baked-in outcome otherwise, but rather just a possibility, depending? There’s too much that we don’t know.

    As for a “cap on concentrated wealth in ever fewer hands”, that means the socialistic reconstruction of society. Big subject. We (humanity) got started on that project in the 20th century, but it ran into problems. Terrific backlash. The biggest war machine the world had ever seen was hurled at it. It survived, but with ~25 million dead and stupendous other losses; it stagnated after that, and later became the subject of further vicious attacks from the West. Another branch of the project got started further East, and ran into resistance somewhat less overtly violent but equally determined. The eventual result was that “concentrated wealth in few hands” had to be tolerated (albeit within a strong socialistic structure) for a number of decades, in order to allow development. They’ve done well, all things considered: hundreds of millions lifted out of poverty, the creation from scratch of a middle class larger than the total population of the U.S., life expectancy more than doubled, etc., etc. Not bad. It is possible that this branch of the project will find its way back to a more-complete socialism, eventually evolving into communism, and it will be a wonderful thing if it does.

    The prospect in the U.S. for socialist reconstruction is poor, it seems. The nation has been steeped in organized and well-funded right-wing, anti-socialist and insane “libertarian” propaganda for generations (basically same stuff as the “1%/scumbag propaganda” that I referenced earlier); the result is stiff resistance to even tiny and decades-overdue social democratic reforms — e.g. $15/hour minimum wage — let alone caps on concentrated wealth! On the other hand, there are the millennials, who are much more open to socialism than previous generations, and who are under great pressure as unbridled capitalism makes life more and more intolerable. It is possible that an economic collapse could galvanize the millennials and others, and move things leftward, toward sanity. But given still-prevailing anti-socialist sentiment, it is equally possible that an economic collapse could foster further right-populist/fascist degeneration (like Trump, except much worse).

    You speak of “making systemic changes to the way western society is set up”, but as the West declines toward collapse, (well underway and accelerating, with ETA of perhaps ~2040), this becomes less important. What is most important is the way Eastern society is set up. We in the West are the past, they are the future, and I for one look to them with hope and cautious optimism. If you listen carefully to Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party, I think you’ll see what I mean. When they speak of climate change remediation, environmental restoration, and the building of “ecological civilization” (one of their favorite phrases), they are serious. And they are equally serious about lifting the boats of all across Eurasia and Africa — an enormous ambition, and just as urgent as environmental remediation. Of course this is a long march, over decades and half-centuries; Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither Beijing. But they have the leadership, the vision, the resources and the commitment. If the worst (catastrophic) climate scenarios don’t play out, and if nuclear holocaust can be avoided, then they stand a fair chance of building a green and far-more-just new world, between now and end-century.

    (The reader will kindly note that I said “FAIR CHANCE”: not a good chance, not a great chance, just a FAIR chance… and that only with big qualifications: IF the worst climate scenarios don’t play out, and IF nuclear holocaust can be avoided. Very big IFs. Thank you for reading my words, understanding them, and not reading-in to them mindless Pollyanna-oid utopianism. — alan2102)

  2. 52
    Mal Adapted says:

    Carrie:

    You cannot greenify the supply side, while doing nothing on the demand side, in other words, without making systemic changes to the way western society is set up.

    I agree that consumer demand drives the socialization of every private cost the market can get away with, so that society can’t be ultimately sustainable without internalizing (i.e. re-privatizing) all costs of goods and services. Yet IMO, collective action specifically against AGW can more realistically be achieved. Market intervention in the form of a carbon tax or fee, targeted specifically at fossil carbon transfer to the atmosphere, has a non-zero probability of reducing demand, and thus the rate of transfer, substantially if not all the way to zero (I offer no quantitative confidence limits however).

    In the US, national legislation similar to Carbon Fee and Dividend with Border Adjustment Tariff, now being discussed in majur meejuh, would require fossil fuel producers to ‘greenify’ by accounting for the fee in their production costs: IOW, internalizing a fraction of the marginal (i.e. per-unit) climate-change cost of their products. They’d be free to decide just how much of the additional cost to pass on to customers in the market price, against how much profit margin to forego. It’s reasonable to predict that a carbon fee/tariff large enough to eliminate the current market advantage fossil fuels enjoy by socializing climate change, bringing fuel prices into parity with currently available carbon-neutral supplies, would influence demand in non-linear fashion, and promote capital investment in build-out of the ‘alternative’ energy economy.

    In my UM political analysis, if Trent Lott, in an Op-Ed in the NYTimes, proposes the CF&D/BAT he got from James Hansen via George Schulz, the idea is becoming mainstream. David Roberts for one is suspicious, OTOH. I choose to be guardedly optimistic 8^|. I’d support an effective carbon price, but not a Trojan horse.

  3. 53
    alan2102 says:

    40 Carrie says: “35 alan2102 says: some really stupid things.”

    Carrie, I look forward to your substantive contributions and replies, beyond just spitting insults. And btw spitting insults is fine; I enjoy doing it myself. But always in context with substantive contributions and replies.

  4. 54
    alan2102 says:

    41 Carrie says: “33 zebra says: “output of consumed electricity” … great question.
    real basics, take a refrigerator it need X KwH of electricity per day to maintain it’s temperature. It cycles on and off through the day…..” SNIP

    All this desperate anti-renewables flailing is so… so 2005! Or maybe 2010. These are the shopworn arguments that used to be trotted-out by the fossil shills, but you don’t hear them much anymore, since renewables have become such a clear-cut winner on practically every front. You don’t hear them much anymore because those who used to mouth them wish to save what remains of their credibility. Yes, renewables still have a few hurdles, but nothing major, and they are being resolved as we speak. And no, renewables are not perfect and do not solve all of our problems; just many of them. Boo-hoo.

    Carrie, please read the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, cited above (post #22), then come back and tell us, if nuclear is so much better than renewables, why new nuclear construction is dwindling toward zero.

  5. 55
    nigelj says:

    Carrie @43, Kissingers AI article was pretty good, and yes I’m not normally a fan of his either. I tend to view new technologies as pretty unstoppable, and I would say 1) we will literally need something like Asimovs “laws of robotics and 2) don’t connect some huge AI computer to the defence grid….

    But there are other things to consider. Resource limits make hundreds of millions of walking robots unlikely, to it will be a combination of computer based AI and specialist robots for selected applications. Sadly to say a lot of all these could end up in military applications, or serving cups of tea to wealthy oligarachs. But hopefully sanity prevails, and AI is directed into useful life enhancing applications, and maybe scientific modelling, but this will only happen if the wider public push for it to happen, and stop voting for stupid leaders.

    Some wealthy people (quite a few really) are just into self promotion and some make an honourable and generous contribution to society. To me its a bit pointless generalising and putting them all in the same box. Again, its up to the general public to elect more fair minded egalitarian leaning politicians.

    The other option is for people to leave the current socio economic system for alternative lifestyle communities. However it’s hard to escape technology entirely if you want a reasonable life, so the same philosophical issues about AI will still remain.

  6. 56
    Hank Roberts says:

    Phenology — observations taken from old videos of an annual bicycle race, comparing the same trees year after year

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/07/climate-change-cycling-bike-race/

  7. 57
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @46, I have read about the Koch brothers. They are at the extreme outer edge libertarian fringe and have clearly become infatuated by Ayn Rand. Perhaps a lot of it comes down to greed, but sadly they have succeeded in giving that word a bad connotation. I dont share their political and economic views. We have to fight their ridiculous ideology, although without going to the other extreme either.

    Wealth taxes can come in various forms. Both our main political parties have implemented various types of property related capital gains taxes, and the current government is considering a wider wealth tax. I think some mild inheritance tax and capital gains tax can go a fair way. Yes sure, people can shift money offshore, but they cant so easily shift property offshore or avoid death duties. We do what we can in this world.

    Im not opposed to multi millionaires anyway. I think its about keeping things within some sort of reasonable band, and we did this in the 1960s and many European countries still do. Its outlier countries like America where wealth and income inequality has sky rocketed.

    Inequality becomes problematic to me when 1) it distorts investment in the real economy towards speculation and 2) leaves blue collar workers almost destitute. However these people go on voting for stupid leaders, and the GOP, so only shoot themselves in their own feet. I only have so much empathy to spare for them.

  8. 58
    Carrie says:

    47 Killian, “If the “renewables” build-out reaches its greatest logical conclusion, it will have played a large part in guaranteeing the worst case in the 6th Great Extinction.”

    So very true. What’s needed is a new Revolution in Values of what it means to be Human and how to live like one.

    To myself, it doesn’t matter ‘why’ the great white men and mega powerful & wealthy do what they do or if it’s a ‘collective conspiracy’ or not. The only thing that matters is they are dead set wrong and dangerous to all.

    Psychopaths are not fully human because they have a serious coding error in their software programming. These kinds of things flow into their AI algorithms at the speed of light unseen. :)

    You see, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with ‘things’ like Soviet Gulags in and of themselves. They are merely buildings and fences. What we keep getting wrong is putting the wrong people into them.

    49 Al Bundy, point taken, we’ll see.

    48 Dan H. & niglej, taxes are Off Topic – that’s why I ignored the question. :)

    But if you really must know, it’s asking the wrong question because it is 100% based upon BAU thinking – that’s the wrong kind of thinking to dig ourselves as a species out of this deep hole we keep digging.

    re “Neven, has difficulty with those who disagree.”

    A common human trait. He also doesn’t ‘fight fair’ another very human trait. Power corrupts. Happens here too all the time. :)

  9. 59
    Carrie says:

    a quick comment

    51 alan2102 says: “There’s too much that we don’t know.”

    That’s where I disagree with just about everyone. We do know. We know more than enough already. Have done since the 1960s but ‘we’ keep ignoring what we know. That’s a choice. Everything else we have leaned since the 1960s e.g. climate science data, cognitive science and economics, we keep ignoring it and pretending it doesn’t exist. So we ‘believe’ falsely we have to know more ….. we do not.

    The climate scientists et al that keep telling you this are (basically) lying to you. Ponder that one for an age and see where it gets you. :)

    Have to run.

  10. 60
    Carrie says:

    54 alan2102 says: “All this desperate anti-renewables flailing is so….”

    What is wrong with you? There was nothing anti-renewable about anything I said in the answer to his question. Your response is ridiculously inane. Besides, I am not anti-renewable in the least. Go have a lay down or something.

  11. 61
    Carrie says:

    45 zebra says: “Most people here probably understand the concept of capacity factor, and we know that PV will have lower CF than coal or nuclear. I think that’s what you are trying to get at.”

    Then why did you ask for an explanation, or not ask if CF was what I was referring to?

    “But more important, your basic idea is wrong because we don’t actually have to “replace” the FF plant in the sense that you describe. ”

    How could I be wrong when I was only providing very rough examples of the issue I was referring to in the first place? You didn’t ask me a explain every last nuance possible such as Walmart is quite capable of installing solar pv on their shopping centers. You imagined I live under a rock and didn’t know that? Seriously. Be nice and don’t ask questions you already know the answers to. Unless you want to appear uninformed on purpose.

  12. 62
    tamino says:

    We talk about climate change, about how necessary it is to do something about it. That’s important, and I commend all of us who do.

    But there’s a group of kids who are going to march on Washington to press the issue. They need our help. Anything you can do will go a lot further than you might expect.

    Because this is zero hour. They need our help. Let’s not fail them.

    One thing you can do is publicize. If you have a blog, post about it. If you’re on twitter, tweet about it. I suggest the hashtag “#zerohour”

    Don’t just do it today. That will make people think “good for ’em!” Then they’ll forget. Tweet about it every day. The march is set for July 21st, so tweet about it at least 10 times — at least once every day. Get your twitter friends to do the same. Let everyone know that this is important, and that the kids need our help.

    They are shouldering the burden of taking to the streets. We can make it easier for them, we can make them more successful, we can get them the notice they need, the notice we all need.

    Now is not the time to sit back on your hands. Now is the time to push this like there’s no tomorrow. Because this is zero hour.

  13. 63
    Killian says:

    When I discuss sustainability, I start with sustainability. What you are all doing, jumping right over that to discussing issues whether or not they are related to sustainability? Pointless.

    That said, here’s a bone for you all to chew on. Dog fights are like any other terrible thing: Hard to look away. Here’s a bone to fight over. Getting my popcorn ready.

    https://www.currentaffairs.org/2017/06/its-basically-just-immoral-to-be-rich

    A reminder that people who possess great wealth in a time of poverty are directly causing that poverty…

    Here is a simple statement of principle that doesn’t get repeated enough: if you possess billions of dollars, in a world where many people struggle because they do not have much money, you are an immoral person. The same is true if you possess hundreds of millions of dollars, or even millions of dollars. Being extremely wealthy is impossible to justify in a world containing deprivation.

  14. 64
    Mal Adapted says:

    Following up on my previous comment, David Roberts has this to say about the CF&D/BAT proposal by the Climate Leadership Council:

    There are two ways for climate-concerned folk on the left to react to something like this. One is to think, gosh, climate change is such a compelling and urgent problem that even oil companies and lobbyists have seen the error of their ways. And if they’re willing to help, gosh, we should make every effort to meet them halfway! Let’s signal that we’re eager to compromise.

    This is the way of the Very Sensible Centrist, an American political creature that rarely produces tangible results, but always garners heaps of praise. Many center-left Dems view it as the sine qua non of politics.

    But it’s utterly disconnected from anything going on in US politics right now. It’s a fantasy, a trip to la-la land. It amounts to a kind of enforced naivety that centrists too often mistake for virtue.

    Another way to react might be to see the industry bid through the lens of power, to think about how to get more and better. Oil companies are giving ground? Push harder. That’s what Republicans would do.

    IOW, climate realists must adopt Republican tactics! Clearly, we’ll need to push hard against any decarbonization proposal that doesn’t reduce emissions rapidly and at the lowest aggregate cost.

    Nor is naivety a virtue. Fossil fuel producers and their investors have the most to lose from the inevitable carbon-neutral transition, and will fight to be made whole. Their political power is undeniably proportional to their wealth. Our natural allies, therefore, are alternative energy capitalists (e.g. Elon Musk). Yes, capitalism itself is a root cause of AGW, but capping the warming below a globally tragic level requires making deals with capitalists. To expect otherwise ensures defeat.

  15. 65
    Hank Roberts says:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/11/climate/climate-emails-group-lawsuit.html

    He Sues to Discredit Climate Scientists. Now He’s Being Sued by His Allies.

    David Schnare’s conservative legal group seeks to expose science fraud. But it appears to be imploding amid allegations of financial mismanagement, attempted extortion and faked documents

    …David Schnare, center, a founder of the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic. He also worked at the Environmental Protection Agency last year under Scott Pruitt, the former administrator…. Mr. Schnare, 70, was part of the Trump “beachhead team” at the Environmental Protection Agency during the transition between presidential administrations, though he did not last long there.
    .

    Don’t be fooled again.

  16. 66
    Al Bundy says:

    zebra: we know that PV will have lower CF than coal or nuclear.

    AB: “We” Kemosabe? Solar and wind have SHORT TERM intermittency while nuclear has LONG TERM /PERMANENT intermittency. When a nuke goes down, it’s 100% down for the long haul, while wind and solar are short term and/or extremely partial shutdowns. Thus the need for backup for a nuke far exceeds the need for backup for renewables. “We” can easily deal with a few hours of lapse due to renewable shortages via demand adjustment (reduce prices for folks who use their hybrid vehicle batteries as grid storage, for example – which is one more reason why biofueled hybrids are superior to EVs) but when that nuke has the inevitable crisis, well, you can write many megawatts out of the equations for months or forever. That folks simply wave off nuclear intermittency as a exceptional event and so should not be counted is just stupidity.

    ———

    Killian: So, is it a global coup, or a bunch of selfish so-and-so’s coincidentally seeing the same way out?

    Truly do not know.

    AB: You’re right, other than your waffling at the end. Read “Democracy in Chains”. The wealthy’s plan has been uncovered. You see, James Buchanan and Charles Koch had a falling out just prior to Buchanan’s death so Buchanan’s papers were stored haphazardly at George Mason “university”. A historian saw some references to Buchanan and decided to check him out. She found the mess and dug through the discarded papers, resulting in the above mentioned book. To paraphrase, the plan is out there.

    ——–

    nigelj: we will literally need something like Asimovs “laws of robotics

    AB: LOLOL. As if nobody except those who like said proposed laws will have the ability to build robots. Relatively soon any brilliant but damaged person will be able to amass great body counts through microrobotics. By fighting “terrorism” “they” (I opt out of the “we” pronoun) are guaranteeing that millions will die in the game “they” have been setting up. Note Carrie’s, “Psychopaths are not fully human because they have a serious coding error in their software programming. These kinds of things flow into their AI algorithms at the speed of light unseen”

    I’m reminded of the programs that siphon value off the stock exchanges. HUGE amounts of effort and carbon are invested solely to transfer your limited wealth into their insatiable pockets. And Bitcoin is precisely the alchemististic conversion of carbon to wealth. Burn through electricity “mining” and have lots of zeros added to your account while producing absolutely nothing.

    nigelj: Resource limits make hundreds of millions of walking robots unlikely,

    AB: As if a robot needs to be more than a few grams to be deadly, and as if said robot won’t be able to harvest the chemicals of its victims to reproduce. Perhaps you should consider the pseudolifecycle of viruses?

    nigelj: Again, its up to the general public to elect more fair minded egalitarian leaning politicians.

    AB: WRONG!!! Folks are folks and probabilities are irrefutable. To say “If only folks weren’t folks” flies in the face of insurance analysis, for example. Tis the system, not the folks, always and forever.

    nigelj: property related capital gains taxes

    AB: Ah, but capital gains taxes fail because they are ALWAYS based on sales. If your house goes up in value by $10k this year then you rightfully owe taxes on that income at a rate equal or greater than the slob who dug ditches (actually worked). But in the current system, the tax is not collected for decades, and by then the person who has made millions screams that the government is overtaxing them. That makes sense; if you have paid no tax on your income for decades then the bill becomes onerous when it comes due. The solution is to tax non-realized capital gains every year or five (minus inflation) at or above the rate charged for actual work.

    But, note that I agree with the vast majority of what you’ve posted on these subjects.

    ————

    Mal: IOW, climate realists must adopt Republican tactics!

    AB: YES! YES! YES!

    Mal: Yes, capitalism itself is a root cause of AGW, but capping the warming below a globally tragic level requires making deals with capitalists.

    AB: Not exactly. I’m taking another path. You see, I’ve spent the last few years building up a repertoire of inventions along with a totally new economic system, which I call “Laborism”. The key is to deny that capital is superior to labor and to eliminate the coercion factor. Folks should be able to give the finger to ALL employers without starving. A guaranteed basic income, free healthcare, and the elimination of the minimum wage is the start. How to “win”? Why, my inventions will generate all the non-profit “capital” needed to game the system and eat the capitalists with predatory non-profits. (Note that non-profit organizations get wonderful tax advantages and don’t have to pay dividends to leeches :-) )

  17. 67
    nigelj says:

    Carrie @58, taxes are definitely not “off topic”. They are a major source of government income that could help boost renewable electricity generation and similar programmes. They are vitally on topic.

    You can call this “BAU” in terms of socio economic systems, but its extremely unlikely BAU will change very quickly, so we should at least have sensible taxes in the interim period.

    I have respect for alternative communities, but the book “Limits to Growth” came out in the 1970’s I think, and the alternative community response has only grown incredibly slowly, and so its hard for me to see this speeding up exponentially. If it does, all well and good.

    In the interim period, we have urgent problems to deal with and at least some renewable electricity generation is required now.

    However people do need a set of better values far more aligned with sustainability and all that, but such things are obvious or should be. I guess the word sustainability does need repeating, a lot.

  18. 68
    nigelj says:

    Carrie @60

    “Besides, I am not anti-renewable in the least.”

    That’s not how you come across. Perhaps you are frustrated at lack of of progress, or perhaps you are against centralised deployment and prefer local small scale applications, but I shouldn’t have to guess at what you are implying.

    Plus have a read of my comment @44 on solar panels and the internet links. You are way too pessimistic, but I wonder if the facts and progress being made would ever actually change your mind! :)

  19. 69
    Al Bundy says:

    Carrie: Go have a lay down

    AB: Are you English? (I lived in Feltwell, which is in Norfolk near the border with Suffolk, for four years)

  20. 70
    alan2102 says:

    60 Carrie says: “I am not anti-renewable in the least.”

    Come off it, Carrie. Every word you utter on the subject of renewables disparages them, disparages those who speak positively about them, attempts to minimize or deny their advantages, and wildly exaggerates their costs or disadvantages. You’re an Energizer Bunny of of Koch-oid anti-renewables talking points, for God’s sake. And in a way rather charming, since there are so few of your ilk left. They were more common in ~2010, back when those arguments still had some rough contact with reality.

  21. 71
    nigelj says:

    Mal Adapted @64, I think centrism is generally the best place to be, not only in terms of sensible policies, but you have to be able to persuade the great middle ground of people to your message, especially swing voters, and this will include business people. Hard left socialism doesn’t work (think Venezuela) and strongly right wing economics is ultimately doomed and unsustainable.

    The Democrats are not really centrist anymore, and have if anything drifted a little too far to the right. I wouldnt advise shouting and inane abuse like Trump does, but the Democrats seem afraid to say “boo” in case it offends someone.

    Agree totally with your final paragraph. Curiously enough it seems fairly centrist to me.

  22. 72
    alan2102 says:

    59 Carrie says: “51 alan2102 says: “There’s too much that we don’t know.”
    That’s where I disagree with just about everyone. We do know.”

    OK. Then kindly tell me what the SLR and degrees C rise in global temps will be in 2100, to +/-10% (a reasonable error tolerance), and explain your reasoning as to why you CANNOT POSSIBLY BE WRONG because, as you say, WE DO KNOW. That is, we KNOW FOR SURE, THE DEBATE IS OVER, THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC DISAGREEMENT. PERIOD. END OF CONVERSATION.

    After that, please explain how all efforts to adapt will be utter failures, dieoff of billions is inevitable, and Guy McPherson is probably right and human extinction is at hand. Explain your reasoning as to why you CANNOT POSSIBLY BE WRONG because, as you say, WE DO KNOW. That is, we KNOW FOR SURE, THE DEBATE IS OVER, THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC DISAGREEMENT. PERIOD. END OF CONVERSATION.

    …………………..

    What’s that you say, Carrie? You say you’re NOT sure about all those things? Well all righty then! Perhaps we can agree after all, that there is a GREAT DEAL THAT WE DO NOT KNOW. I suspected that at the end of the day, we would find agreement.

    ……………………

    All kidding aside: I really would like an SLR estimate for 2100 that is not something meaningless like “well, it will be somewhere between .5 meters and 35 meters”. Please provide with your estimate the names of a significant number of scientists or scientific bodies that have endorsed that estimate and that state it to be, if not certain, then at least quite high-probability. “Quite high-probability” should be an easy bar to clear, if indeed as you say WE DO KNOW.

  23. 73
    Al Bundy says:

    Off topic current events:

    Tariffs are easy to solve. Simply pass a law that zeroes out your nation’s tariffs. NO tariff on anything. But then you charge a broad-based tariff on the goods from every other nation that adds up to the tariffs charged by said nations on your exports. Then give the proceeds to the exporters who export your goods. Thus, NO country can charge a tariff on your goods because your exporters are 100% compensated for other countries’ tariffs via retaliatory tariffs that are determined by THEM, not you. QED.

  24. 74
    Carrie says:

    64 Mal, the CF&D/BAT proposal is not a global deal to cap emissions let alone a formula to cap warming below 2C. It’s holy neoliberalism writ large. Try not to frame everything within the myopic repub/demo delusion of the USA either. The world is a lot bigger than that.

    Besides to be successful and win, that you do not make deals with capitalists. The People only need to tell them what is acceptable and what they cannot do. It’s called the Law. Change the Law and you change what capitalists do. It’s simple because they have no power beyond their ability to con the people about their own grandiosity. Like how Trump won and election and how Hillary became the demorat candidate. You’d be well advised to heed what Roberts is saying and do more research on the topics.

  25. 75
    Carrie says:

    54 alan2102 says: (snipping the emotional output) the man on a mission asks:
    Carrie, please read the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, cited above (post #22), then come back and tell us, if nuclear is so much better than renewables, why new nuclear construction is dwindling toward zero.

    TL:dnr it all, but I did read the main summary in an attempt to find something close to new nuclear construction is dwindling toward zero yet could not find it. If you Alan would open up the doc in pdf and copy/paste the section you “interpret” as saying that with a Page no. that would be great.

    If you cannot then perhaps your interpretation of what the Report is saying is not correct. Much like your interpretations of what you think I am saying and mean is incorrect too.

    Here are few take aways of what I did see and know:

    1) The Tepco reactors at Fukushima were very old tech from the 1960s which had their lifetime extended. Those reactors types were and still are quite dangerous wherever they are operating.

    2) One could reasonably compare the state of technology from the 60s and 80s as outdated as much as a 1980s Toyota Crown is to a new electric car today. In the 1980s MV tech was shifting from old school carburetors with points to electronic digital fuel injected versions of IC engines. Could you imagine still trying to keep a 1950s Ford running in Cuba the last several decades?

    3) At the peak when most # reactors had been built and operating in the 1987 Europe’s nuclear output was https://www.worldnuclearreport.org/The-World-Nuclear-Industry-Status-Report-2017-HTML.html#&gid=1&pid=49
    Equivalent to what it was in July 2017 @ about 117 GWe. That output peaked in 2000 @ 136 GWe.

    4) Can you do the Math of what the EU GHG emissions would have been over the 40 years from 1977-2017 if they did not have so much Nuclear operating? Now while their decisions were not based on minimising GHG look how lucky we all are that global temps, ASI loss, ocean acidification and SLR is not much higher than it otherwise would be. So rather than “hating nuclear” I more rational fact based attitude might be one of gratitude and thanking our lucky stars it was so – and still is so having so much GHG free electricity generation still running today.

    5) Even if so much of it is still ancient technology at least it still works.

    6) Here’s Global Figure 5 | World Nuclear Reactor Fleet, 1954–2017
    https://www.worldnuclearreport.org/The-World-Nuclear-Industry-Status-Report-2017-HTML.html#&gid=1&pid=5

    Global Nuclear Output 1987 = 300 GWe vs 2017 351 GWe – 17% Higher

    This is despite all the new Renewable supply, all the old unit shutdowns, all the delays in finance and approvals, all the bankruptcies, the 2008 GFC, the Tepco disaster 6 years ago and the global delays of 3-4 years on finishing existing constructions and new starts globally as a DIRECT RESULT of the IAEA (Govts) REVIEW implemented because of that Tsunami.

    7) Now given there was no alternative renewable supply available in the 1960s through to the early 2000s can you calculate how much GHG emissions would have been spewed to replace that 300+ GWe of nuclear energy supply from 1987-2017 and what the global temps would otherwise be today? I think you should be nicer to past nuclear plants and to those people who have kept them running all that time despite such a low level of technology being used.

    8) It’s now 2017. We are not building 1960s Tepco versions or 1980s versions or even 2000s versions of Nuclear reactors anymore. While new cars cost a heel of a lot more than a 1987 Toyota Crown did but are packed full with new technology and safety systems we would not have dreamed of in 1987. The same goes with Nuclear reactors. They cost more to build, the technology has improved significantly, the energy efficiency has increased too (more GWe per Unit), but the safety levels have skyrocketed the last 30 years.

    9) Price – well obviously given all the current data it “appears” that solar and wind are cheaper than coal, gas, nukes these days. Price is important but it is not the only important aspect of what makes a product good or better. Only a fool would install PV solar in Antarctica to provide all their power needs when clearly a Wind is far superior no matter how much more that might cost per KWh to build or maintain.

    PV and Thermal Solar are not the necessarily the best option at the most northern points of Finland or Siberia either. Wind might not even cut it in some places. Thermal Solar would go gangbusters able to supply multi-million cities of residents in the Sahara and in central Australia and the Chinese Steppes but what’s the point? No one lives there to use it and you can’t transport solar electricity any easier than one c an transport nuclear or coal fired energy through wires.

    So when it comes to electricity supply it is and will remain a matter of Horses for Courses … and the old adage of Location, Location, Location as to which option is the best – Price is only ever a part of that decision making process. Always has been. Always will be.

    The other obvious issue is what does one want to use that electricity for and what level of sustained supply output do you need. Some options are better than others and surpass the importance of Price alone.

    10) Then there is the present reality that there are alternatives to the old tech nuclear reactors still running. There are many being explored and a few being deployed as we speak. Their development is equivalent to the last couple of decades in renewable energy developments – based on real science engineering and modern cutting edge technological know how. One such option are modular designed HTRG-PM 100% safe meltdown proof GenIV Gas Cooled reactors in China today.

    It’s still early days, time will tell how successful that option will be in the near future. But we’re about to find out. Meanwhile improvements and deployment of renewable continues. I can chew gum and walk at the same time. Can you?

    If you can find that quote, send it through. I will look at it in context of the whole report you recommended I read. It looks like a credible very useful report on the surface – sorry no time to check their refs so I will assume they are as genuine as I am. :-)

    excuse any typos errors as I am in a rush and have to run along.

  26. 76
    Carrie says:

    72 alan2102, writing in caps won’t make your argument anymore convincing or diminish the level of strawmen being deployed. Your emotional overreactions are, I suspect, based solely on your own misinterpretations and assumptions being made of what I said and mean. Trying to correct those is not a productive use of my time.

  27. 77
    Carrie says:

    67 nigelj says: “Carrie @58, taxes are definitely not “off topic”. They are a major source of government income that could help boost renewable electricity generation and similar programmes. They are vitally on topic.”

    Open thread for climate policy and responses. Nigelj, you asked me what I thought about “wealth taxes/death duties” didn’t you? You provided zero context except making ME the context. Seriously, pay more attention to what you say before complaining about what I say (which you clearly do not wish or cannot understand correctly.)

    ” but its extremely unlikely BAU will change very quickly

    Go tell that to the people in the Soviet Union in 1989 and to the Chinese at about the same time period. I have the impression they will disagree with you. That’s about 1.5 billion people on my side. How many on yours? :)

  28. 78
    Carrie says:

    65 Hank Roberts says: Don’t be fooled again.

    Yeah right, like that’s going to happen. Unless you’re operating in some other fictional dimension multi-verse.

    Damn, if only Trump didn’t get elected we’d all be living in Nirvana now. Let’s all come together to hate Trump. That’ll fix it so it never happens again. But just in case I’m sure the Kiddies March will do the trick. Blessed be the Children.

  29. 79
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @66, bit coin had a monumentally huge crash a few days ago. I dont know much about this currency, but it smells all wrong, and looks like it could be some sort of pyramid scheme to me, and obviously a way of hiding dirty money. It uses a lot of computing power, so probably has a huge carbon footprint.

    We dont NEED this particular sort of technology, because it doesn’t really add much real value. But it looks like it is self destructing anyway. How terribly sad.

    I’m not a huge enthusiast for “new technology”. Perhaps I’m just getting old or something because I used to be.

    But even AI is basically a tool, and it’s value will depend on what its used for. You sound a bit paranoid. It does do some things so much better than people that this gives it value.

    The fact stinking rotten people would use it for nefarious purposes doesn’t seem a good enough reason to reject it totally.

  30. 80
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @73 several countries already have zero tariffs without your idea, and do just fine. Your idea would break WTO rules about charging different tariffs to different countries. Clever idea though.

    This is what amazes me. Check the WTO list of countries by Tariff rates. America is not much different to Europe! The USA is down around position number 60 in the world with position one being no tariffs. But Trump has got his supporters fooled as usual. Its mostly low income countries that have high tariffs (this should tell genius Trump something)

  31. 81
    Al Bundy says:

    Nigel,
    I was just wearing my tin-foil hat and having fun. I’ll take it off and…

    Chips can have embedded logic so ethical rules for AIs can be made quite difficult to alter/override. (Though lots of folks love a challenge)

    Nukes v solar/biofuel/wind/wave/OTEC/et al…
    As I’ve said before, my opinion depends on which hat I’m wearing. But one thing is certain: nukes might kill but even if one ignores climate change coal kills via radiation, mercury, and other spewed toxins. Extrapolating from Carrie’s comment, until the fossils are all gone, rejecting a low carbon energy source is fraught. There’s strength in diversity.

    On ever so many subjects my answer tomorrow will reflect a different perch from which to view a complex system and one would need a book or twelve to delve appropriately, especially since every subsystem links to many others via a system and ditto for systems and supersystems.

    On tariffs, well, perhaps the system I described could expand so as to replace the WTO for one’s country. IOW, leave the organization. Or, just change the rules. “Allow the US to do this or we’ll leave” (OT so I’m done. You can have the last word if you like)

    Perhaps I’m wrong but it seems to me that Carrie’s frustration arises from the fact that she can hold ever so many perches aloft and it peeves her to have to put up with the pontifications of folks who never leave their nest. (Maybe she should change her name to Robin cuz she’s constantly kicking little birdies “Fly, dang you, fly!”)

  32. 82
    alan2102 says:

    66 Al Bundy says: “Solar and wind have SHORT TERM intermittency while nuclear has LONG TERM /PERMANENT intermittency.”

    Thanks for making this fantastically important point.

  33. 83
    alan2102 says:

    75 Carrie says: “dnr it all, but I did read the main summary in an attempt to find something close to new nuclear construction is dwindling toward zero yet could not find it.”

    Why were you looking THERE for it? I did not say that that report described how new nuclear construction is dwindling. (Maybe it did, somewhere, but that was not my assertion.) That fact is easily obtained from many sources; a quick goog will give you plenty.

    here, I’ll even do your homework for you:
    https://www.vox.com/2014/8/1/5958943/nuclear-power-rise-fall-six-charts
    … scroll down to #6: Without further action, nuclear power could vanish in 50 years

    Carrie: “Can you do the Math of what the EU GHG emissions would have been over the 40 years from 1977-2017 if they did not have so much Nuclear operating?”

    Why bother? No one denies historical reality. Nuclear was developed and built-out, and of course it produces power with minimal GHG emissions. No one denies that. Did you think someone did?

    Carrie: “Even if so much of it is still ancient technology at least it still works.”

    Yes, at huge cost and substantial (or greater) risk. But no one denies that it works. Did you think someone did?

    Carrie: “Global Nuclear Output 1987 = 300 GWe vs 2017 351 GWe – 17% Higher”

    Thanks for underscoring that statistic. Gads, how miserable! 17% higher in 30+ years! Truly a dying technology. Meanwhile, renewables grow by 17% in MONTHS, not years!

    Carrie: “Now given there was no alternative renewable supply available in the 1960s through to the early 2000s can you calculate how much GHG emissions would have been spewed”

    I love your use of the word “given”: “GIVEN there was no…”, as though such things are simply facts of nature. Things could not possibly be otherwise! It was inevitable!

    Why do you suppose there was “no alternative renewable supply available in the 1960s through to the early 2000s”? Do you think that was inevitable, or a choice? Answer: it was a choice. A politically-motivated choice. The first solar PVs were developed in the early 1950s — based on discoveries by Einstein 50 years earlier — and were hailed by the NY Times as “the beginning of a new era, leading eventually to the realization of harnessing the almost limitless energy of the sun for the uses of civilization.” The NY Times was right, just a half-century too early, since they did not account for the political forces. Countless $billions were poured into nuclear and fossil development instead of solar and other renewables. The same kind of money that was poured into nuclear development — which you seem to think was A-OK — was poured by the very same people into fossil development. One establishment beast with two heads.

    Carrie: “Only a fool would install PV solar in Antarctica to provide all their power needs…. PV and Thermal Solar are not the necessarily the best option at the most northern points of Finland or Siberia either.”

    Why do you waste our time with such idiocy? NO ONE is suggesting solar PV in the arctic circle.

    Carrie: “Location, Location, Location”

    Perhaps you missed my posts about the global UHV grid? Yes, it will take a while; a few decades. Meanwhile, we don’t have to worry about antarctica or siberia, since the vast majority of the human population lives in latitudinal areas that are easily powered by renewables. There is almost no one IN siberia, for God’s sake; so why worry about how we are going to power siberia? That’s the kind of “argument” that only exhausted fossil shills try to make when they’re desperate (which is most of the time, these days).

    Carrie: “Then there is the present reality that there are alternatives to the old tech nuclear reactors”

    True. Some of the newer stuff like pebble bed looks pretty good. We’ll see how they do, whether or not they are competitive. Probably not, but maybe. We’ll have to wait and see. China is the leader in this area, and they are smart. Maybe the sector will recover somewhat, by China’s hand. But it will never be like it was back in the heyday of the old fossil/nuclear establishment — which was only able to maintain its hegemony by robbing the public purse and stacking the deck against superior alternatives. And these are the people that you defend!

    ……………………

    bonus insight:

    https://repository.wellesley.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1019&context=library_awards
    “In the three decades following World War II, solar cells did not gain any momentum in
    the energy market because of the emerging consumer culture and falling fossil fuel prices. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, U.S. electricity consumption increased 5-fold as consumer demands for home and electrical appliances grew.11 Falling fossil fuel prices, caused by larger supply and high government support, led manufacturers and consumers to view gas as almost a renewable energy source.”

    Right. The heavily-subsidized nuclear/fossil establishment had no interest in building out clean, safe renewables with vast potential for further efficiency and cost gains, in addition to allowing decentralization/democratization of power generation.

    Defending the nuclear/fossil establishment — an axis of evil if there ever were one — is indefensible and abhorrent to any thinking, decent human being.

  34. 84
    Hank Roberts says:

    > Carrie: Yeah right, like that’s going to happen. Unless you’re operating in some other fictional dimension multi-verse.

    So why are you here? You use up a lot of attention, and don’t seem to be going anywhere with it.

  35. 85
    nigelj says:

    Carrie @77

    “Nigelj, you asked me what I thought about “wealth taxes/death duties” didn’t you? You provided zero context except making ME the context. Seriously, pay more attention to what you say before complaining about what I say (which you clearly do not wish or cannot understand correctly.)”

    What is wrong with asking your for your personal view? I mean seriously, shakes head in bewilderment. And I gave context.

    Im actually just as interested in your views as copy and paste text of various experts opinions. While you are erratic, you have an interesting perspective.

    Your response is also illogical. What I did or didn’t ask is nothing to do with your unjustified response that taxes are off topic, when they obviously aren’t. My advice, dont play word games, because its easy for me to see through them.

    ” but its extremely unlikely BAU will change very quickly”

    “Go tell that to the people in the Soviet Union in 1989 and to the Chinese at about the same time period.”

    Irrelevant. Those were forced changes under autocratic governments. Its a lot different in western democracies in today’s world.

  36. 86
    nigelj says:

    Carrie @75, I don’t oppose nuclear power electricity generation in principle, but here are some of the rather troubling issues.

    Firstly I grew up when we had the three mile island scare, and then chernobyl, and it made me very sceptical about nuclear power. Since then I have “walked back” my position. Although these were terrible accidents, death rates per Giga watt hour are actually less than coal fired plant.

    However the intractable problem is that many people are very afraid of nuclear power and its hard to change this, and in democratic countries that makes nuclear power hard to build. My feeling is we will need a technology breakthrough in safe technology that doesn’t blow up. So its possibly no surprise that nuclear power is being built mostly in the more autocratic countries where public protest is supressed.

    Nuclear power is also slow to build and get approvals for, and uses a lot of scarce metals. I suppose renewable energy does as well, but it seems more a pressing concern with nuclear power from what I have read.

    But the fact that Nuclear power is slow to build is crucial, given the climate change problem.

    India has just cancelled its nuclear projects because of trouble finding specialist labour skills and components.

    Nuclear is still slightly cheaper than wind and solar power, but this advantage will probably soon disappear. Google the Lazard costs of electricity generation analysis.

    I think the bottom line is nuclear power has a limited future globally. I think you are right that its logical place is in countries with few other options.

  37. 87

    Interesting:

    http://www.wired.co.uk/article/climate-change-prediction-game-theory-tragedy-of-commons

    Parts of this have been articulated by multiple commenters here; other bits sound more novel.

  38. 88
    nigelj says:

    https://phys.org/news/2011-05-nuclear-power-world-energy.html

    “Why nuclear power will never supply the world’s energy needs.”

  39. 89
    Al Bundy says:

    Alan: the socialistic reconstruction of society

    AB: Actually, tis a quite conservative view in its essense. A return to the Eisenhower tax rates, along with the elimination of loopholes, such as not taxing or undertaxing leech’s income (unrealized capital gains and inheritance) is quite well aligned with conservative principles, don’t you agree? That would accomplish Carrie’s goal.

    Then there’s the conservative core belief in equal power, economic freedom, and the elimination of coercion. To achieve that, we need to provide people with the ability to give the finger (or fingers if you live across the pond) to employers. Free healthcare, the expansion of social security to encompass all types and levels of income, and a citizenship stipend, along with the elimination of the minimum wage, would be an entirely conservative and workable solution.

    The problem is that Republicans have twisted conservative beliefs into Total coercion as directed by the wealthy, taxation only on the not wealthy, maximization of inequality, the transformation of limited liability corps into shields that avoid personal civil and criminal responsibility, and conflating amplification with free speech. Note that when workers’ organizations speak Republicans call union dues coercion, but when corporations lobby and toss millions into elections, somehow the individual stockholder isn’t being coerced. (Buying a share of stock and suing to eliminate corporate “free speech” is on my to-do list.)

    And, of course, calling traditional conservative ideas “socialist” (with a sneer) Remember “Romneycare”? The Dems, who won in a landslide, abandoned Single Payer and adopted the Republican demands, so the Republicans rebranded ” Romneycare” as “Obamacare” with distain while working diligently to ensure that inventors, the driving force of advancement, don’t have access to healthcare. How many times has Drumpf declared corporate bankruptcy so as to screw people who actually work? Limited liability is anathma to conservative beliefs.

    OTOH, he, like the Republican party, is morally bankrupt.

  40. 90
    Al Bundy says:

    I hope folks enjoyed my cheekily pointing out how so-called conservative leaders violate their so-called core beliefs. In fact, they are Randians who believe that the definition of worthy is wealth, so by placing all resources and power in the hands of “Captains of Industry” things will be most efficient, and so most goof. (I like that typo) They forget (or not) that the Nazis were way efficient.

    It isn’t socialists who are engaged in the ongoing redistribution, but Randians. Was Eisenhower a flaming commie? Who was more right wing, Eisenhower or Obama? Are Europeans correct in labeling Sanders “middle of the road”?

    If we’re to cure climate, we need to excise the cancer: Randians. Seriously, guaranteeing coal’s future by fiat?! Increasing the Offense budget?! A dollar spent on the Peace Corps prevents terrorism. Buy a shoe phone (for those who are too young for the reference: Get Smart)

    Nigel, you said that tariffs must be equal by country. Now that I think of it, that’s not true. I haven’t looked up the WTO, but I do know that invoking national security drumpfs all and most favored nation status discriminates as well.

  41. 91
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @81, the humour is appreciated. While I disagree with you on some things, its mainly agreement.

    Some people around here make quite big claims. I like the quote “extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence”. It doesn’t mean I oppose them in principle, or haven’t considered all the options.

    To be honest, I’m also a bit suspicious of AI, and clearly there are risks. The movie “The Terminator” does have an interesting message. However the technology seems inevitable and could help with difficult scientific issues, and like most technology we will be running to catch up with the ethical dimension.

    But notice the recent push back against facebook and google etc. A good sign.

  42. 92
    Carrie says:

    86/88 nigelj; “Why nuclear power will never supply the world’s energy needs.”

    I don’t recall anyone in recent decades suggesting it should, would or could. :) NO says this about solar, or wind, or geothermal or hydro or coal or gas so why pick on nuclear with unrealistic un-meetable expectations. This is how ‘spin’ works, people (not you) say things that are disconnected from any semblance of reality and declare it “meaningful”. It isn’t. Not in the 2011 ref not today either.

    India like all other nations has it’s own specific issues technology wise, political and legal that are not relatable to other nations situations. If they find a workaround their intentions are to go full on with nuclear and renewable energy decades into the future. Maybe they will end up taking thorium to a mass scale production.

    What’s I find humorous is how the very low use of renewables and electric vehicles for example are and have been that there is this endlessly cheering chorus about how rapidly and exponentially the growth is and will continue to be – once costs come down, once deployment speeds up and the known logistical financial and Govt approval barriers to their introduction are overcome. When a wind farm or a solar farm is announced and hits multiple delays no one says a thing about that. It’s a non-issue.

    Yet despite all the massive progress in state of the art new nuclear technologies, the massive improvements in safety, the fact that there are over a dozen different kinds of plants today not one primary tech, that costs have actually come down per GWh over decades from new plants, and the speed of building them will be revolutionized if/once modular mass production gets up and going a few years time – and thus easily exportable and quickly built on time the naysayers (not you) keep on trotting out the old complaints form the 1960s, and 1980s.

    People complain about govt regs, subsidies for fossil fuels, and health scares holding back the roll out of solar/wind and building approvals by local govts but no one complains about the unnecessary extreme scare mongering around modern designs of nuclear plants – especially those that can actually permanently destroy radioactive nuclear waste.

    Yes, I find it humourous. It’s equivalent to people complaining about ICE vehicles because of the Lead content in petrol. And saying nuclear wouldn’t survive without govt subsidies and govt direction over decades while every renewable activity has had the same kind of support and new regulations for supply conditions in many high uptake renewable nations for decades as well. I do think it’s funny. It’s hard to see the big picture while grasping at the low lying fruit. :-)

  43. 93
    Carrie says:

    81 Al Bundy, thanks I like that analogy. :-)

  44. 94
    Carrie says:

    83 alan2102 – “Why were you looking THERE for it?”

    Gosh Alan, I have no idea why – but maybe this is a clue for you?

    Carrie, please read the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, cited above (post #22), then come back and tell us, if nuclear is so much better than renewables, why new nuclear construction is dwindling toward zero.

    Still think I am the problem here? Don’t think so. You’ll need to adjust your attitude before I am going to play. :)

    Yes, I am ignoring the rest of what you wrote. I figure, with high confidence, there’s nothing there worth reading.

    But consider this, I do not base my personal opinions on what media articles or journos might ‘conclude’ or have to say on any topic. Hint hint, find better refs.

  45. 95
    Carrie says:

    85 nigelj
    “Irrelevant. Those were forced changes under autocratic governments. Its a lot different in western democracies in today’s world.”

    That’s a belief not a fact. Shows the power and long term effectiveness of advertising and socialization.

  46. 96
    Mr. Know It All says:

    82 – alan2102 says:
    “66 Al Bundy says: “Solar and wind have SHORT TERM intermittency while nuclear has LONG TERM /PERMANENT intermittency.”

    Thanks for making this fantastically important point.”

    Here’s an infinitely more important point for alan2102: Solar has a 100% power shutdown every single night! I’m all for it, don’t get me wrong, but for the grid it will not work; for a single home with battery or some other backup and low night-time power requirements, not a big problem.

    83 – alan2101 again:
    ““In the three decades following World War II, solar cells did not gain any momentum in
    the energy market because of the emerging consumer culture and falling fossil fuel prices. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, U.S. electricity consumption increased 5-fold as consumer demands for home and electrical appliances grew.”

    Another fantastically important tidbit for alan2102: Solar PV was not commercially viable in the 3 decades following WW2.
    https://www.solarpowerauthority.com/a-history-of-solar-cells/

    84 – Hank
    Do you think Thomas changed his name to Carrie?

    86 – nigelj
    “But the fact that Nuclear power is slow to build is crucial, given the climate change problem.” The time required to build can be cut to a very few years if we need to do that and it could be done safely enough if the government decides it is important.

    88 – nigelj
    ““Why nuclear power will never supply the world’s energy needs.””

    Fact is, it is already supplying a good sized chunk of it.

    89 – Al Bundy
    Equal power is not a conservative belief. Equal opportunity is a conservative belief, not equal outcomes. Each of us has different capabilities and different levels of discipline and drive, and thus our outcomes will not be equal.

    The capital gains on such items as real estate are not capital gains – they are merely losses in the value of the US dollar. A home today is worth no more than it was in 1950 when it was built – the dollar has become worth less. And no, excessive capital gains taxes that you propose are not a conservative value. Inheritance taxes should be eliminated for the most part, and should be very small to zero for even the wealthiest. They earned their money – it is theirs to pass on to their heirs as they see fit. Stop coveting the money that others inherit and/or earn. If you want money, get off your butt, invent something useful, or start a successful business (like Trump), take some risks (like Trump), and watch the money roll in as people flock to buy your product. For all of you folks bawling and squalling about evil Trump destroying the environment, why don’t you produce some products that will actually help the environment – products that people want to buy? What’s wrong with that? No imagination? Or are there so many effin’ government regulations that you can’t produce anything without getting your a$$ sued off?

    Oh, and one more thing – that free everything society you are pushing already exists – it’s in Venezuela – have at it. Send us a post card.

  47. 97
    alan2102 says:

    89 Al Bundy says: “Alan: the socialistic reconstruction of society. AB: Actually, tis a quite conservative view in its essense. A return to the Eisenhower tax rates, along with the elimination of loopholes, such as not taxing or undertaxing leech’s income (unrealized capital gains and inheritance) is quite well aligned with conservative principles, don’t you agree?”

    Yes, I agree, and it goes a lot further than that. Oft forgotten is that capitalism is a radically destructive system in some respects — the polar opposite of anything that might be called “conservative”. Capitalism destroys bedrock institutions embraced by authentic conservatives: communities, families and churches — not to mention the ecosystem. It does this by expanding the scope of the market until near-everything becomes commoditized or viewed in the context of exchange values; i.e. everything is objectified and reduced, more or less, to money. This is sometimes called “creative destruction”; capitalism’s boosters do not even try to hide the “destruction” part, but sugar-coat it with extravagant tales of all the benefits that will arrive as part of the package (the “creative” part). I don’t see how any fair-minded person can, at this moment, but see that the destruction part far outweighs the creative part. Yes, we all have cell phones with the computing power of a 1970 mainframe; and meanwhile, the planet is heading speedily toward what might be a catastrophe — the most destructive, radical and UN-conservative outcome imaginable.

    Bertolt Brecht remarked, pithily: “It is not communism that is radical, it is capitalism.”

    I might add that many traditional conservatives of decades past have presented withering critiques of capitalism. Notably, the Popes of the Catholic Church, in two encyclicals, denounced capitalism in the most blistering terms, almost indistinguishable from the words of fired-up Marxists.

    And not just the Catholics; many others. All of the tradition-oriented conservative groups (e.g. the Muslims) have critiques of unchecked capitalism, which they recognize (correctly) as being profoundly destructive of traditional human institutions. Some of the best critiques of capitalism come from cultural conservatives.

    AB: “The problem is that Republicans have twisted conservative beliefs into Total coercion as directed by the wealthy, taxation only on the not wealthy, maximization of inequality…” etc.

    Yes, that’s correct. In a bizarre caricature of “conservatism”, the ideas of radical psychopathic Rand-oid crazies are embraced and labeled “conservative”, when they are the opposite of that.

  48. 98
    alan2102 says:

    90 Al Bundy says: “If we’re to cure climate, we need to excise the cancer: Randians”

    You’re not being entirely serious, but I am when I say the following.

    We need to excise the cancer: PSYCHOPATHS. This is an extremely serious problem, debateably more critical than broader systemic issues (e.g. capitalism as growth-obsessed system that dooms the planet). Psychopaths, if there are enough of them, will pervert any social/economic system, though they are especially effective in the context of capitalism.

    Psychopaths lack empathy and remorse; they are egotistical, even egomaniacal; they are narcissistic; they are charming, glib pathological liars; they are unable to accept responsibility for their actions; they are callous while appearing concerned.

    Psychopathy is the key element of the “dark triad” — narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy — with lots of overlap between the three. You will note that the people most assiduously destroying the planet have these qualities, usually all three, to a pronounced degree.

    Psychopathy is rampant in upper echelons of most organizations, both private and public. Psychopaths routinely push aside non-psychopaths, rising to the top in most fields. (Paradoxically, the only real way to stop a psychopath from rising is to be a psychopath yourself! It takes one to stop one.) This is especially so in the U.S., a sort of hot-house for rapid cultivation of psychopaths and their tendencies. The result is pathocracy, or social dominance by a small group of sick people, a situation which obviously exists today.

    Details, Google: psychopath psychopathy

    For more illumination, add these words: pathocracy ponerology

    The relation with Randians is that Rand herself, and most of her followers, are psychopaths and/or they celebrate psychopathic tendencies and ideas; e.g. “greed is good”, or Rand’s own literal words: “The Virtue of Selfishness”. There are more Randians and psychopaths here in the U.S. than anywhere else.

    So what do we do about them? I have an idea. Yes, I know it has a snowball’s chance, but here it is anyway: Put them all on a tropical island, somewhere. Give them decent dwellings, plenty of food, amusements, etc. In other words: no punishment (nothing severe, I mean), no torture, no executions. They can live out their lives in four-star-hotel comfort. BUT: they cannot destroy our society and our planet any more than they already have. They cannot get off the island, and they cannot communicate with the rest of society except through censors (to ensure that their toxic ideas cannot be transmitted). They have been quarantined, just like the infectious, civilization-threatening disease vectors that they are.

    You might say that they deserve to be severely punished and executed, but I would disagree. They are snakes, and just like snakes, they are not responsible. They just are who they are; it is not their fault. It is our responsibility not to treat them harshly, but to quarantine them (in a humane way) so that they cannot perpetrate evil. Of course, they do not perceive what they do to be evil. To them, what they do is normal and unquestionable. They act in accord with who they ARE. Just like snakes.

    You will note a correspondence with two suggestions sometimes seen elsewhere:
    1) the suggestion to put all the bad guys in a concentration camp, and perhaps torture or execute them all, and
    2) the suggestion by prominent “libertarian” psychopaths (e.g. Peter Thiel) to establish a new country to which all “libertarians” can repair, perhaps on a tropical island somewhere, run in accord with Randian free market principles.

    My suggestion corresponds with #1, partially, with the big exception being no (severe) punishment, no bloodshed. My suggestion corresponds with #2, partially, with the big exception being no interaction with the rest of the world (i.e. their destructive influence is OVER).

    Yes, I know: “putting them all on a tropical island” means violent revolution and forcing them at gunpoint to move to the island. That IS hard to do, perhaps impossible. But I just wanted to take a moment to seriously explore Al Bundy’s “excise the cancer” idea, and refine and focus it. My idea WOULD excise the cancer, and would do so with minimal abrogation of civil and human rights. (Some abrogation, of course, as must needs be. Nothing’s perfect.)

    …………………….

    Paraphrase of Kyle Reese, from The Terminator (1984 movie): “The Randian psychopaths are out there. They can’t be bargained with. They can’t be reasoned with. They don’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you and the planet are DEAD.”

    The original: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zu0rP2VWLWw

    Note that “they don’t feel pity or remorse or fear” is literally true of psychopaths. Those words are as though taken straight from official definitions of psychopathy. Psychopaths are like the cyborg Terminator: cold, without human emotion, and relentless.

    ……………………….

    http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/official_culture.htm
    Official Culture in America: A Natural State of Psychopathy? — “[T]he American way of life has optimized the survival of psychopaths with the consequence that it is an adaptive “life strategy” that is extremely successful in American society, and thus has increased in the population in strictly genetic terms. What is more, as a consequence of a society that is adaptive for psychopathy, many individuals who are NOT genetic psychopaths have similarly adapted, becoming “effective” psychopaths, or “secondary sociopaths.”” end quote

    Great point! American society encourages and even forces non-psychopaths to behave in a psychopathic manner — sometimes doing so just to survive. In our society, the cancer metastasizes to tissues that were otherwise healthy, non-cancerous. Can this be corrected without excising the cancer? I am open to suggestions.

  49. 99
    Nemesis says:

    So, this is the “Forced Response”- thread, this must be the right place for some rather “funny”(?) Forced Response:

    The 1%, the socalled “powers that be”, is feverishly preparing for the socalled “Apocalypse”^^

    What do you think does that mean? Does that mean anything to you at all? And if so, what do you think about this kind of Forced Response?

    Here the link to some extraordinary interesting article, implying extremely far reaching consequences for all of us:

    https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Der-Exodus-der-Geldmenschen-4110247.html

    Surprise(?), surprise(?), THIS is the world we live in 8)

  50. 100
    Nemesis says:

    Addendum to my last comment

    Here is an article about that 1% preparing for the “Apocalypse” written in english- Survival Of The Richest:

    https://medium.com/s/futurehuman/survival-of-the-richest-9ef6cddd0cc1

    Extremely interesting and informative article, isn’t it?^^ Let’s see how that will play out, we are still listening to the prelude yet, the real theme will follow soon and it will be a Hell of a ride 38D

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