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Forced Responses: Dec 2018

Filed under: — group @ 2 December 2018

A bimonthly thread for discussions on solutions and responses to climate change. For climate science topics, please comment on the Unforced Variations thread.

622 Responses to “Forced Responses: Dec 2018”

  1. 351
    nigelj says:

    Mike @348, ok lets not talk about this anymore for a while anyway, but I need to clarify a couple of things:

    I promise I wont ever use the term huge, or humungous again!

    And yes I dont know the nuances of American policy. But this website is not all about America. I think carbon tax and dividend has some political possibility in other countries.

    I REPEAT. My concern is not about being excessively worried about costs. It really is just “how” the green new deal is funded. Whatever we do to fix climate change will cost money, including my preferred options, and the money must be found, but some methods are better than others. If we destabilse the economy by the wrong funding mechanism, fixing climate change will be even more difficult I assure you.

    I’m behind the causes you outlined, and one must have vision and ideals, (preferably achievable ones). Medicare for all sounds sensible, and NZ has free public healthcare for all, tax payer funded. I’ve never understood how America hasn’t had some form of universal healthcare.

  2. 352
    nigelj says:

    I googled republican talking points. I get it now. We get the same from the ACT Party (hard right / libertarian).

    “It involves putting aside “morality”, “ethics”, “fairness”, “equality”… it’s about the mission.”

    Well ok, but part of the ‘mission’ means convincing people. If anyone wants to understand how liberals and conservatives think, and what they respond positively to, and how things might be “framed” then google “moral foundations theory.”

  3. 353
    Killian says:

    Re #332 Ray Ladbury said nothing.

    Killian, I realize that it is galling for you that some of us choose to share our time between the real world and the world that might be achievable

    You mean you are not willing to do what must be done and believe few others are, either. Please be honest.

    For the umpteenth time on the record, I have never said we will make the necessary changes, only what those changes are.

    Also, you do not live in the real world, you live in a fantasy that ignores facts: The resources do not exist for continued industrialization and high consumption regardless how powered. This is fact. You can choose to be dishonest and paint this statement as a leftist fantasy wherein I do not understand people are selfish, weak, uneducated on these issues and will not change enough to get to regenerative status, but I refer you to my first sentence and remind you, again, I have always maintained the *likelihood* of enough change is very small, but the *possibility* continues to exist.

    Why do you make a false claim? Waht agenda causes you to do this?

    but some of us would like to be relevant.

    Yes. I have pointed out the ego-based discussion on this forum many times.

    But, by all means, continue to be a caricature of what the right thinks a leftist is.

    I suppose if I were a leftist this might matter, but I am not.

    And, those who continue to seek solutions via false avenues of politics and economics will fail. They do not function within the principles Nature does, so cannot create solutions that keep the ecosystem viable.

    The solutions lie within communities.

  4. 354
    Mr. Know It All says:

    349 – nigelj
    1 & 2 sound pretty doable. 3 will be needed to achieve 1. 4 is happening in developed nations – but any “policy” toward reducing number of kids in the USA would fail politically.

    350 – nigel j
    “…… argued that solar power and electric cars etcetera are good things, and inevitable eventually and at the same time argues fossil fuels are necessary. Now please enlighten me on why this isn’t a contradiction.”

    For now, FFs are needed to run airliners, big trucks, mining equipment, agriculture machines, etc. The battery technology is not adequate as your article admitted. Also, some manufacturing draws too much power for renewables (except hydro). It will take decades to upgrade US buildings/homes/manufacturing before the power draw is low enough to be fulfilled by renewables; most home owners and many manufacturers, cannot afford major remodels – they’re barely paying their current bills. How long would it take to replace just passenger cars/trucks with EVs? Decades even if people could afford to do it (and many cannot) – I doubt the raw materials are available that quickly.

    I doubt we will get it done until some catastrophic event forces us to reset EVERYTHING and start over.

  5. 355
    Killian says:

    Re #335 nigelj prevaricated.

    No. Your original quotation defined capitalism as just private ownership

    My original quotation? What I actually posted:

    Capitalism is quite simply defined, as you have here: Private ownership. Extended: “Capitalism is an economic system where private entities own the factors of production. The four factors are entrepreneurship, capital goods, natural resources, and labor.”

    When one must distort the words of others to win a debate, they have already lost.

    and I simply pointed out no its about private ownership and profit and a range of other things, and you now seem to agree.

    No, I do not. Economics is nonsense. I do not ever agree to nonsense. Everything you list is a result of ownership. It is causal. No ownership? No profit. No ownership, no entrepreneurship. No entrepreneurship, no business.

    A Commons eliminates every ill of ownership while causing no negatives.

    So its absurd to suggest ancient peoples practiced some form of capitalism.

    No, it is absurd you comment on every issue on this board, yet have useful knowledge of none.

    Therefore inequality predates capitalism because it existed well before capitalism.

    The “inequality” of H=G and other aboriginal groups – that live regeneratively for centuries and even eons – is virtually non-existent compared to today. It is not as if the Headman or Headwoman has a Cadillac and everyone else not even shoes. We’re talking the difference between owning 10 bicycles and 5. And many don’t even have that. Most, unless I misunderstand.

    You are raising a Red Herring: There was nor is no inequality worth mentioning. And, to the extent there was some, it was tiny in comparison and there were mechanisms for correcting it such as gifting.

    But, please, keep talking as if you understand and do not intentionally mislead about the nature of regenerative vs extractive “economics.”

    Well the federal government are at least voted into power.

    How do you think leaders get to leadership in a Commons? These things are not hard to find online.

    Do you really think the leader of some new age smaller scale sharing community would be much better?

    New Age? Those who must lie in debate already know they have lost.

    Do you really think the leader of some smaller-scale sharing community would be much better?

    We know, they are, in fact, better.

    Have you ever had to deal with small scale local government officials? The heads of smaller organisations? Quality is variable.

    Another false statement. There is no correlation between current governments and how an egalitarian Commons functions.

    Why would the system you propose be fundamentally different?

    Why *wouldn’t* it? First, there would be no leaders in the system I propose. They are unnecessary and have created what we have now. Why have them? Second, if there were, they would be nominal with no power to wield, only responsibility. Third, they would be related to a significant portion of their immediate community and also related to other groups in the network over time, if not immediately. Fourth, they would know all the people in their community/network which enhances empathy and relationships.

    Yet you want to let some Shaman… some “wise person”

    Who has ever said shaman, etc? This is bigotry, at best, as you know I, nor anyone else has ever suggested this.

    determine what people can own and much more besides.

    Another lie. I have never said anyone in the community controls what anyone else has or does. In fact, the opposite. Repeatedly, in fact. Yet, you knowingly falsify the conversation.

    Luckily, there are those who do not choose to remain ignorant:

    To assume that only large-scale industrial and post-industrial societies are of relevance today would mean a high level of ethnocentric ignorance. Pretending that our world is the only thinkable and livable one is not a solution. In that respect, engaging with hunter-gatherers, including the radical differences through which some of them define themselves and others, is an important empirical and theoretical imperative, as long as we do not romanticize assumed and performed alterity.

    Hunter-Gatherers in a Changing World – Victoria Reyes-García • Aili Pyhälä
    Editors

    Granted there was higher infant and childhood mortality, but it was still less than in the 17th century Europe; the general consensus of ethnographies was that hunter-gatherers were extremely competent people using simple technologies to live long, healthy lives of plentiful leisure: affluence, albeit without luxury.

    …You would think that it might be a relief to know that 99% of human evolutionary history was NOT played out in misery. But the idea of progress is important to people who identify with the ideals of the Enlightenment. Rationality, the rule of law, and the social compact were all closely entangled with the dawn of the “modern era” – the dawn of the age of Galileo and Copernicus that led inevitably to the likes of Hume, Hobbes, Darwin, Pasteur, and Henry Ford: thence to the explosive growth of our contemporary sciences and democracies. It was the Enlightenment that made, of history, a magisterial progress out of the darkness of past ignorance.

    Both this myth and its opposite: a golden age represented by the “harmless” people; arise from a false duality. …If the data disproves the previous stereotypes – characterized by brevity, hardship, violence, and a constant struggle to find enough food – does the demolition of such a previous negative stereotype necessarily require that we now must consider the domestication of plants and animals the “worst mistake in the history of the human race”?

    Surely not.

    Economies as Trophic Flows – Helga Ingeborg Vierich

    And so, as I have said repeatedly for YEARS here, the patterns and principles, not the lifestyles, per se. But you falsely represent this over and over and over, yet object to your falsehoods being called lies and your actions dishonest.

    I have seem communities of this nature turn into cults and do terrible things.

    Bull.

    Everyone hates capitalism, because it causes toxic effects, and blames capitalism. I have often done the same, but the real problem is toxic people who abuse the capitalist system

    So, the system that enables intense inequality isn’t the problem? The human nature you always talk about is the problem, but designing a system that begets that bad human nature is not the problem?

    This is laughable.

    and those same people often find their ways into alternative communities.

    So, let’s see: In capitalism “those same people” act out their avarice, but capitalism is OK. In egalitarian Commonses they don’t/can’t, but those are not good systems.

    That, too, is laughable.

    They certainly will if you expect everyone to live that way

    They certainly do not because it is not tolerated… which is how they have existed for centuries, if not millennia, without destroying their ecosystems. but you are right, massively destructive Capitalism… oh, sorry, capitalists… is the preferred set of patterns and preferred set of ethics.

    “The Cultured Rainforest project has shown how profoundly entangled the lives of humans and other species in the rainforest are,” says University of London anthropologist Monica Janowski, a member of the project team who has spent decades studying highland Borneo cultures. “This entanglement has developed over centuries and millennia and succeeds in maintaining a relatively balanced relationship between species.” Borneo’s jungle is, in fact, anything but untouched: What we see is a result of both human hands and natural forces, working in tandem. The Kelabit are a little bit farmer and a little bit forager with no clear line between…

    When delegates from 142 countries met for the World Forestry Congress in September 2015, they adopted a declaration stating that forests “are more than trees.” Forests are, in fact, critical to climate change adaptation and “fundamental for food security.” Borneo’s rainforests exhibit this through the vast diversity of foods they foster, Hunt says.

    Not only does scientific research in the Kelabit Highlands underscore Hunt’s point about food security, it also lends evidence that can help arbitrate land disputes today. The Cultured Rainforest Project and other studies highlight the reciprocal relationship between people and place. They provide arguments for saving the forest and the peoples who steward it.

    “There is no legal land ownership in the Kelabit Highlands,” Janowski says. There are no titles or documents; territory is communal, and people allow others to use their resources “so long as permission is asked.”

    https://www.sapiens.org/culture/the-myth-of-the-virgin-rainforest/

    Centuries and millennia. Nah… they can’t do better.

    [edit – many of your comments have crossed the line into abuse as opposed o constructive discussion. Please refrain from insulting other commentators or demanding that they ‘stop speaking’. If you find yourself repeating yourself because others don’t agree with you, please consider whether making the point again is a good use of your time.]

  6. 356
    zebra says:

    #346 Kevin McKinney,

    First, I don’t want to spend a lot of time on it, but you aren’t going to find an analogy that refutes what I said about which paradigms are shifted by EV. Print v internet doesn’t work. Too great a difference.

    Let’s do a little sci-fi. For whatever reason, all-powerful aliens could set things up so that all drive-trains are fully electric, but… we would think we were still driving ICE. Some vibration/noise generators in the vehicle, gas station pumps would gurgle but really be doing a superfast recharge, a small tank of fake gas/oil scent, and so on.

    EV are still just automobiles.

    With respect to the “exponential” numbers, studies show that EV buyers in Europe are motivated mostly by environmental consciousness, while those in the US by the coolness factor. Neither of those characteristics fits the majority of the population. (I conjecture that in China, the primary motivation is/will be availability, because the government will see to it.)

    And, with respect to the major players in the auto industry– for heaven’s sake, Kevin, these are the people who had to be forced to install seatbelts and airbags and other safety features, whose impact on their bottom line was trivial compared to giving up ICE.

    I’ll make another comment about how we differ on the timescale, but real-world work is calling.

  7. 357

    K 355: Economics is nonsense.

    BPL: However many times you post this, it will never become true.

  8. 358

    #354, KIA–

    For now, FFs are needed to run airliners…

    Semi-correct–more on the ‘semi’ part later. But as for the ‘correct’ part, says here the first all-electric liner expects certification in 2021.

    https://robbreport.com/motors/aviation/eviation-alice-electric-airplane-revolution-sooner-than-you-think-2830522/

    Yeah, it’s a ‘mini-liner’, meant to compete against regional commuter turboprop planes. But it should, given that operating costs are projected to be i/5 those now prevailing. And yes, battery tech is not yet sufficient for long-haul applications, so there’s quite a ways to go if electric aviation is to completely replace conventional propulsion tech.

    big trucks…

    https://electrek.co/guides/tesla-semi/
    https://www.businessinsider.com/companies-that-ordered-tesla-semi-2017-12

    Tesla has been using at least 3 prototypes for internal operations on public roads for well over a year, plus a cross-country sale tour, and has at least 450 pre-orders on the books. Production is supposed to start this year, but Tesla–read “Musk” here–is prone to over-optimism on timelines, so that remains to be seen.

    Nor are they the only game in town when it comes to heavy trucks; start-up Nikola (I know!) is also pressing forward, and Freightliner, Volvo and Cummins have forthcoming models:

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/12/volvo-trucks-teases-the-all-electric-semi-truck-its-bringing-to-california-in-2019/

    https://wattev2buy.com/electric-vehicles/daimler-freightliner-ev-strategy-freightliner-electric-trucks/freightliner-ecascadia-electric-semi-truck-specs-range-battery-price/

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/joannmuller/2017/08/29/take-that-tesla-diesel-engine-giant-cummins-unveils-heavy-duty-truck-powered-by-electricity/#37baa51f78f1

    (Though Cummins isn’t going to be competitive in this space if they don’t up their game considerably; the AEOS is *way* behind the capabilities of the Semi.)

    mining equipment…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0TmTVyjGTo&feature=youtu.be

    Short on specifics, but interesting. Note that one of the big advantages of BEV mining equipment is that it can save a lot of money by reducing ventilation needed–a big cost when mines go deep underground. So the open-pit project in Quebec doesn’t even play to one of BEV tech’s main strengths in the mining sector. (Of course, Quebec also has ample supplies of very affordable hydroelectric power, so there’s that.)

    https://www.abb-conversations.com/2016/12/why-electric-mining-vehicles-are-starting-to-take-off/

    From 2016. ABB is one of the majors in the industry.

    agriculture machines…

    https://www.rurallifestyledealer.com/articles/6595-fendt-launching-e100-vario-battery-electric-compact-tractor-in-2018

    Launched last year, with wider sales coming this year. John Deere has a larger model–shown in prototype form in 2017–expected to launch as a commercial product in 2-3 years.

    So, not only is BEV substitution for FF tech possible now in all of these areas, it is beginning to happen as a commercial reality, too. It is true that battery tech limitations do not yet permit complete substitution in all areas (as for instance in long-haul heavy-duty aviation.) However, that still does not mean that fossil fuels are “needed.”

    That’s because completely operationally equivalent alternate fuels are available in the meantime, in the forms of biofuels and synfuels. Anything that can be done with fossil fuels can be done with either alternative–technically speaking, that is. The economics are another issue; such fuels haven’t been cost-competitive. Presumably, this is an area where carbon taxes/fees could make a very big difference very fast.

    However, though apparently the numbers weren’t released, they must have been pretty good in the deal that has United flights originating out of LAX using a biofuel mix that is supposed to reduce emissions by 60%.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/03/11/united-airlines-is-flying-on-biofuels-heres-why-thats-a-really-big-deal/?utm_term=.2e774b2bdbc9

    And although United is the first to use biofuel commercially, the story notes that there are a couple of competitors on United’s heels. (It also points out that 100% substitutably biodiesel is a reality, and that marine applications are very much in play.)

    The battery technology is not adequate as your article admitted.

    As demonstrated above, I think that that statement at the very least requires a whole lot of qualification before it can be considered anything like accurate.

    Also, some manufacturing draws too much power for renewables (except hydro).

    I’m going to be blunt on this one. That seems to me to be a completely nonsensical statement. Electric power is fungible; there is no difference between a charge being pushed by moving water, burning coal, moving air or sunlight. If you’ve got a gigawatt of power coming out of a wind farm, you can make anything with it that you can make with a gigawatt of nuclear power or coal power or hydro. (No, not when the wind is still, of course–but you can’t use the reactor or the coal plant or the dam when they are out of service, either, so that is not a qualitative difference.)

    As a practical example, Portugese wind farms generated 103% of national power demand last March:

    https://www.goodnet.org/articles/portugal-sets-record-for-generating-renewable-energy

    You wouldn’t have us believe that ‘certain manufacturing’ had to shut shut down as a result, would you?

    What I suspect you may be thinking of (but misremembering) is heat needed for industrial processes. Most processes don’t need really high heat, and these are easily electrified. But “43 percent require heat above 750 F.”

    https://www.epa.gov/rhc/renewable-industrial-process-heat

    And that is harder to do with pure electric technology (though it’s often cost-effective to ‘pre-heat’ electrically, apparently.) However, that doesn’t mean that FF are in any technical sense ‘needed’ for the same reasons given above: combustion doesn’t necessarily have to the combustion of fossil fuels. Synfuels and biofuels are entirely workable. It’s just a matter of economics.

    And again, in today’s context, fossil fuels receive a huge hidden subsidy by their combustion residues being external to the market. An honest accounting of those costs–difficult in practice, admittedly–would likely render them uncompetitive.

    It will take decades to upgrade US buildings/homes/manufacturing before the power draw is low enough to be fulfilled by renewables…

    I think this is fatally mis-framed, and my remarks above go a long way to show why. Renewables do not impose any limit on power draw at current usage levels; it’s just a matter of building out capacity. And the main reason that I favor renewables is precisely that they are by a long shot the fastest-constructed energy sources buildable today. Bottom line: the limit isn’t retrofitting housing stock; it’s transforming the power grid.

    It remains to be seen how much capacity we can build a year if we really try.
    But for BOTE purposes–that’s “back of the envelope”, for those who might wonder–consider that per the EIA, 2017 US generation was a tad over 4 trillion kWh, and of that 17% was renewable (687 billion kWh). Wind was about 250, solar PV about 50. Essentially all of the former was added within the last 15 years, and all of the latter within the last 5.

    According to a FERC report, that capacity could essentially double by “by 2020”.

    “Proposed additions for wind total 72.5 GW with only 68 MW of retired capacity, while solar could add 43.5 GW and experience just 2 MW of retirements.”

    So, under present, rather lackadaisical efforts, we can add at least 30 gW of capacity a year. Since we have ~3300 billion kWh to replace, we’re looking at a little over a century to ‘giterdone’. But the essence of a GND would be accelerating those rates (and they are likely to accelerate considerably anyway, just on cost factors today.) I think a factor of 6 or better would be quite doable, if we really decided that’s what we need to do.

    …most home owners and many manufacturers, cannot afford major remodels – they’re barely paying their current bills.

    What? Even after a decade of GOP legislation and 2 years of Trump? Isn’t America great yet? ;-)

    How long would it take to replace just passenger cars/trucks with EVs? Decades even if people could afford to do it (and many cannot) – I doubt the raw materials are available that quickly.

    In my comments in the dialog with zebra, I suggested that plausible doubling rates could get this done well before 2050. And that’s already much more conservative than some published analyses, notably the Tony Seba ReThinkX modeling, which sees all-electric personal mobility not only as *possible* much sooner than that, but *inevitable* much sooner than that. That analysis proposed a sub-decadal transition time beginning as soon (possibly) as 2023, IIRC. Note that this supposed market factors driving the whole process, largely independent of government policy.

    On the ‘raw materials’ piece of it, I know what you’re thinking; you are paying attention to naysayers who focus on cobalt, or neodymium, or lithium, or *something*, as ‘the next chokepoint.’ There’s been a lot of that. But IMO, it is misplaced in terms of practical purposes over, say, century timescales. The reality is, not only are alternatives available, they are in most cases already in service. For instance, BYD–actually the world’s biggest EV seller 2015-17–doesn’t use cobalt at all.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_battery

    https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1115398_chinas-byd-tops-global-electric-car-production-for-third-year-in-a-row

    Serious analyses that I’ve seen don’t expect serious bottlenecks to be imposed by materials constraints over the next couple of decades. Least of all in lithium!

  9. 359

    #356, zebra–

    I hear what you’re saying, and with all respect, I’m not persuaded. But I’d just as soon leave this part of the discussion at that, in the name of rabbit-hole avoidance (or at least limiting the depths of exploration involved).

    With one exception, that is.

    WRT your sci-fi thought experiment, of course technologies serving the same function are going to look awfully similar *if you deliberately strip away every distinctive characteristic.* I don’t see that that is very persuasive, however; after all, in the real world, those characteristics do remain, and will have their effect (regardless of the predominant motivations of early adopters.) The dominant factor driving EV adaptation will, IMO, be one not readily adaptable to your analogy: the drastically lower lifetime ownership cost. It’s not here yet–now costs are roughly at par, considered over typical ownership lifetimes, AFAICT–but it’s coming fast. If GM or Ford can’t or won’t do it, Tesla or BYD or Renault/Nissan will.

    Again, monkey behavior, with only a dash of frontal cortex function required.

  10. 360
  11. 361
    nigelj says:

    Killian @355

    Man you sure can type and type. The cut and paste quotes are good.

    “and I simply pointed out no its about private ownership and profit and a range of other things, and you now seem to agree.”

    “No, I do not. ”

    Well you did, because you posted another quote talking about capitalism being a combination of ownership and profit and other elements, which is the same as what I posted.

    Lets not nit pick anyway. I get your point that capitalism evolved from ideas about private ownership. Just remember capitalism is more than just private ownership and that’s just how it is and definitions are important. And even hunter gatherers owned the clothes on their backs so its a question of what things are appropriate to be communally owned.

    “Economics is nonsense. I do not ever agree to nonsense.”

    Well yahdeeya, that’s a big assertion and not very nuanced.

    “A Commons eliminates every ill of ownership while causing no negatives.”

    This is just an assertion. As I pointed out a commons verifiably worked for ancient hunter gatherers, and that is all we know. But it did not even perfectly for them, because according to the research links I posted it doesn’t always work because some people abused it.

    As to suggesting a commons has no negatives, there are always problems with communal ownership structures, just look at history.

    A modern commons would presumably include farms and buildings and industry and all the historical evidence we do have suggests collective ownership doesn’t work that well. A commons only seems to work for natural resources and this is where we need to ensure we do have some form of commons.

    “The “inequality” of H=G and other aboriginal groups – that live regeneratively for centuries and even eons – is virtually non-existent compared to today. It is not as if the Headman or Headwoman has a Cadillac and everyone else not even shoes. We’re talking the difference between owning 10 bicycles and 5. And many don’t even have that. Most, unless I misunderstand.”

    This is true, but hunter gatherers had few possessions to cause any inequality so the problem barely arose. Times have changed and so getting back to some form of equality is obviously incredibly difficult, and doesn’t seem terribly realistic. Reducing inequality a bit does look realistic.

    “Do you really think the leader of some new age smaller scale sharing community would be much better?”

    “New Age? Those who must lie in debate already know they have lost.”

    I was simply categorising the most convenient description of what you appear to be promoting for modern humans, as some form of new age community. Call it whatever you want.

    “Do you really think the leader of some smaller-scale sharing community would be much better?”

    “We know, they are, in fact, better.”

    That is just your assertion. Given most such communities fail, the evidence suggests otherwise. Refer to the links I posted on intentional communities.

    Perhaps some work. I have asked you before give me a link on regenerative governance and its definition.

    “Why *wouldn’t* it? First, there would be no leaders in the system I propose. They are unnecessary and have created what we have now. Why have them? Second, if there were, they would be nominal with no power to wield, only responsibility. Third, they would be related to a significant portion of their immediate community and also related to other groups in the network over time, if not immediately. Fourth, they would know all the people in their community/network which enhances empathy and relationships.”

    I find it impossible to see how any community would function without leaders. It defies all we know about reality. Even if as many things as possible are decided by some vote, this can become cumbersome and can lead to poor quality outcomes. Look at history.

    Having said that, I don’t not like authoritarian leaders and dictators.

    “Yet you want to let some Shaman… some “wise person”

    “Who has ever said shaman, etc? This is bigotry, at best, as you know I, nor anyone else has ever suggested this.”

    You referred to a shaman and wise person controlling elements of ownership.

    “To assume that only large-scale industrial and post-industrial societies are of relevance today would mean a high level of ethnocentric ignorance. Pretending that our world is the only thinkable and livable one is not a solution. In that respect, engaging with hunter-gatherers, including the radical differences through which some of them define themselves and others, is an important empirical and theoretical imperative, as long as we do not romanticize assumed and performed alterity.”

    There is no connection between proposing that larger scale industrial societies are the most realistic model and having no knowledge of ancient cultures. I have read entire textbooks on anthropology (well worth it I have to say). We can learn something from them, but I just don’t see their lifestyle, or small scale communities of the sort you propose as a workable model for modern humans. Too much has changed. I have tried to explain some of this already.

    There might however be a half way house form of solution between the two.

    “Granted there was higher infant and childhood mortality, but it was still less than in the 17th century Europe; the general consensus of ethnographies was that hunter-gatherers were extremely competent people using simple technologies to live long, healthy lives of plentiful leisure: affluence, albeit without luxury.”

    Well I don’t know about long lives, but the rest is consistent with what I have read. However populations were small relative to today so resources were reasonably abundant and clashes with other groups not too common. Obviously our circumstances are hugely different ,and its not possible for modern humans to ‘literally’ practice a hunter gatherer lifestyle because populations are far too large, currently anyway. (I’m not saying you are suggesting this literally). In a sense we have burned our bridges.

    I have said myself things fundamentally changed with the development of agriculture.

    “…You would think that it might be a relief to know that 99% of human evolutionary history was NOT played out in misery. But the idea of progress is important to people who identify with the ideals of the Enlightenment….”

    Well yes I have sometimes wondered if modern humans are actually that much better of than hunter gatherers. But as I said there may be no going back, at least not for a long time and it would require populations were much smaller and circumstances forced it.

    But anyway, I quite like my audio system…

    “And so, as I have said repeatedly for YEARS here, the patterns and principles, not the lifestyles, per se. But you falsely represent this over and over and over, yet object to your falsehoods being called lies and your actions dishonest.”

    Yes obviously ‘principles’ are the important thing, but you consistently highlight their lifestyles and demonise technology and this leads people to wonder if you ARE actually suggesting we live literally like this. It happens with numerous people on this website. You have to constantly make sure you are clear about the difference.

    But anyway, once the principles are applied to the real world, we come up against entrenched human nature and its deep seated mix of selfishness and altruism, and other problems in the real world. We end up with a clash between regenerative principles and the desirability and very real benefits of high technology. Its going to be a fine balance getting it right.

    “I have seen communities of this nature turn into cults and do terrible things.”

    “Bull.”

    Well I simply have in New Zealand. Its just a fact. It tends to be religious self sufficient communities that go so wrong.

    “Everyone hates capitalism, because it causes toxic effects, and blames capitalism. I have often done the same, but the real problem is toxic people who abuse the capitalist system”

    “So, the system that enables intense inequality isn’t the problem? The human nature you always talk about is the problem, but designing a system that begets that bad human nature is not the problem?”

    No system is going to be perfect. Human nature is more of the problem and you haven’t provided an answer to how to change human nature. The only thing that has worked in modern times has been controlling the worst of it with the rule of law and good leadership examples. Its sad we need these things, it would be great if everyone just did the right thing, and perhaps hunter gatherers did, but as Bob Dylan said the times they have changed (or something like that). Much has changed and we do need some idealism, but we have to work with realities and what is realistically possible.

  12. 362
    nigelj says:

    Kevin McKinney @359

    I think you are right overall. But I do think we have to acknowledge the car manufacturers are obviously not hugly enthusiastic about electric cars. They are somewhat lukewarm, pardon the pun.

    However I think it comes down to the “almighty dollar” as many things do. Industry analysts are predicting electric cars will have the same purchase price as ICE’s within 10 years or less. It will only take one company to do this to push all companies to do it. Once we have price parity, it wont just be eco enthusiasts and cool people wanting electic cars, no rational person would not buy one.

    Of course government could force the issue in various ways, something Zebra ignores.

    America is not a great example to discuss in the sense petrol is so cheap. But other countries….

    Plus on your previous post. I agree cobalt is not the limiting factor. People who have done a bit of chemistry rather than just anthropology know the numerous materials substitutions that are possible.

    We have numerous battery technologies in working prototype form, enhanced high performance lithium, solid state lithium, advanced carbon, aluminium and others I have forgotten, but all using different materials some admittedly scarce but some abundant, so add the various types together and resources exist for billions of electric vehicles.

    Honda also have a very effective hydrogen powered car already available, but only in a couple of countries and they dont advertise it much. They are busy pushing their turbocharged new civic, but anyway its another renewable technology, at least to the extent it doesnt rely on fossil fuels and complex carbon based compounds. However hydrogen fuel cell cars require extentive recharging networks so I suspect they will not be a dominant player, unless problems arise with materials costs for batteries. Yet they are another alternative available.

  13. 363
    nigelj says:

    Correction to my previous comment. I meant to say I don’t ‘like’ authoritarian leaders and dictators. Damn the typos.

  14. 364
    Killian says:

    Re #357 Barton Paul Levenson said the same thing, again, and again without anything but his opinion.

    We are not surprised by ankle-biting.

    I have posted analyses that say it is. What have you refuted with? Nothing but ankle-biting.

    Try again.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-economist-has-no-clothes/

    https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/09/famous-economist-paul-romer-says-macroeconomics-all-bullshit/

    https://www.fscomeau.com/economics-a-complete-waste-of-time/

    https://rwer.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/what-is-wrong-with-neoclassical-economics/

    https://www.quora.com/Why-does-it-seem-like-economics-is-just-pseudoscientific-nonsense/answer/Michael-Coburn-7

    Even this defense of economics… from an economics journal… uses weasel words like are beginning to, have begun to, more are…. etc. These are not declaratives like do, are, nor are they looking backwards with phrases like have always done, etc.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-08-02/how-economics-went-from-philosophy-to-science

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debunking_Economics

    The book strongly criticises many of the key ideas and assumptions of neoclassical economics.[3] It argues that components… are theoretical constructs that have little empirical support. …ideas such as capital and profit are ill-defined.

    One of the book’s main critiques is that macroeconomic models or theories such as the efficient-market hypothesis rely on the assumption… equilibrium. But… an over-simplification… economists need to become more familiar with the mathematical tools needed to study dynamical systems, such as nonlinear differential equations. [This layering of math over economics assumptions is considered by critics to only paper over as the underlying assumptions and disregard of physical realities remain.]

    …possible alternatives, such as Marxian economics, Austrian economics, complexity economics, and so on. Keen concludes that, while none of these theories are completely satisfactory, pursuing them may lead to a more realistic [Note: not realistic, just closer… egad…] understanding of the economy.

    Even Steve Keen, perhaps the sharpest tool in that particular drawer, makes the mistake of putting economic theory before Nature. Donut economics is no different though both make the effort to *include* Nature. But it should be obvious, even to you, that garbage in is garbage out and starting with not-Nature is stupid. Thus, economics is stupid.

    This is simple to understand, but, imo, your world view depends on it not being true, and your view is entrenched because of not *wanting* it to be true, ergo…

    Go ahead, get Mother Nature into an economics class or two; I’m sure she’ll bend reality to accommodate you. /sarc

  15. 365
    Mr. Know It All says:

    358 – Kevin
    Outstanding little airplane! Very cool. 650 miles range – WOW – not bad for an EV. Let me know when an electric airliner goes from LA to Sydney with 300 passengers. :)

    Nice looking electric trucks! Lots of companies have reserved Tesla orders. Hope it works! I hate when you’re in stop/go traffic on a 90+ degree day and are surrounded by stinky diesel trucks and your car has no A/C! GAG! :)

    Article quote: “Portugal’s environmentally friendly milestone means that the country is one step closer to achieving their goal of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions and going carbon neutral by 2040.”
    Ocasio Cortez would not be pleased – missed the Green Deal schedule by 10 years! :) They’re making progress – and that small nation with a Mediterranean climate helps:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portugal#Climate

    I agree – progress is being made – and that’s a good thing!

    361 – nigelj
    “As to suggesting a commons has no negatives, there are always problems with communal ownership structures, just look at history.”

    You are correct there. Even the USA started out communal. It lasted 2.5 years before it failed, then they went to a private property system and prospered. Source:
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jerrybowyer/2012/11/21/how-a-failed-commune-gave-us-what-is-now-thanksgiving/#1eb031fd67e5

    360 – Hank
    Article quote: “…So yeah, a lot of it is political. People trying to understand the other side. We have a massive rise in partisanship and it’s become more vicious and extreme, so people are reaching for explanations.””

    It’s no secret why partisanship is so extreme. Leftists have gone completely off the deep end – they push dumb policies on society: open borders, military to pay for transgender operations, boys showering with girls, unvetted immigrants from terrorist nations, free college, free healthcare, conservatives not allowed to speak on campus – but it’s liberals who are “tolerant”, Christians bad – other religions good, national sovereignty bad – UN rule good, etc. The list is endless. Reasonable people recognize blatant stoopid when they see it. :) I suspect quite a bit of the problem is that a great deal that liberals are fighting for is anti-America, and believe it or not, families that have sacrificed for the USA don’t care for that. And the other big problem is that, because of anti-America indoctrination in government schools, young people don’t know what America is, don’t know we are the best, or why, or how we got to be that way, etc. What we’re witnessing is the death of the greatest nation ever on the face of the earth caused by liberalism – and surprise, surprise people are upset and political about it! Hope that helps?

    Article quote: “…“The fact is, that’s Trump in a nutshell. He’s a man with zero political skill who has no idea he has zero political skill. And it’s given him extreme confidence.” ”

    The net value of the article is on display in this quote. Trump had so little political skill that he beat the smartest candidate EVER for president, because she was too stupid to campaign in the swing states! This quote proves that the authors have FAR less on the ball than Mr. T. ;) I admit Mr. T is not a typical slick talking lying politician, but he fights for America First – and that’s what we want; we’re tired of the nation being destroyed by the left.

  16. 366
    zebra says:

    #359 Kevin McKinney,

    I’m not really sure what it is of which you are not persuaded.

    There are 250 million ICE vehicles in the US.

    Vehicle sales are 17.5 million a year.

    There is no non-magical path to eliminating all those ICE in 30 years.

    The most likely progress for this kind of transition is at best logistic; your “continued exponential” suggestion has no physical basis.

    The long-term cost issue is initially going to be a factor for fleet sales. But we have ample evidence about how individual monkeys think, and it will take a lot more frontal cortex activity than you suggest. Again, a small fraction of the population will take those costs into account, and most will think short-term, which is what we observe in all other areas of consumption.

  17. 367
    Al Bundy says:

    Nigel,
    What about Solomon?

    What about a law where the elected must live like the middle class while in office, and their net worth is frozen?

    And dude, you just came up with the autocorrect ap we’ve been hoping would replace auto incorrect:

    Dam typos

  18. 368
    alan2102 says:

    318 Kevin McKinney 4 Jan 2019 at 10:17 AM: “in 2021, we’ll be seeing above two million [EV] units sold globally. In 2025, maybe four. By 2030, eight or more.”

    You are much too pessimistic, Kevin. China alone will come close to a DOUBLE of your 2025 number; they have a target of 7 million/year by 2025. Note that the Chinese have a long history of doing what they say they are going to do. The goals in their 5-year plans are almost always met, and often exceeded. Socialistic big government WORKS, when the leaders are intelligent, science-oriented (most Chinese leaders have advanced degrees in science and engineering) and non-psychopathic, and when the people overwhelmingly support and respect their government, like in China. It would not work so well in backward places like the U.S. where many of the “leaders” are unintelligent, nearly illiterate (in science, among other things), and psychopathic, and where scores of millions hate and fear their own government (sometimes with good reason), having been steeped for decades in anti-public-sector hate-big-gov Randoid propaganda.

    The global transition to EVs will be led and fueled (pardon pun) by China. Zebra’s concerns about manufacturer reluctance might be significant for a few years, but it will only slow things down slightly, and only in the West.

    Consider the implications of this:
    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612566/why-chinas-electric-car-industry-is-leaving-detroit-japan-and-germany-in-the-dust/
    $14,000 — Cost of a license plate for an ICE car in Shanghai
    $0 — Cost of a license plate for an EV in Shanghai

    i.e. who cares if Western manufacturers are dithering? Facts like that one point to rapid and overwhelming change. The tide is rolling in and it cannot be stopped.

    See:

    https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/07/146699.html
    Annual Electric car sales will increase ten times by 2025
    Brian Wang | July 16, 2018
    “Bloomberg is forecasting sales of electric vehicles (EVs) increasing from 1.1 million worldwide in 2017, to 11 million in 2025 and then surging to 30 million in 2030 as they become cheaper to make than internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. If electric vehicles become cheaper than combustion engine cars at an earlier date then the predicted surge in electric cars could happen sooner.”

    https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/10/electric-car-domination-in-2025-2030.html
    Electric car domination in 2025-2030
    Brian Wang | October 11, 2018
    “China is calling for the production of 2 million electric vehicles (EVs) a year by 2020, and 7 million a year by 2025. By 2025, electric vehicles would be 20% of total new car production for China…. China’s government said it was working on a timetable to phase out fossil-fuel powered vehicles. It is probable that China will pick 2030. Nine countries and a dozen cities or states have announced plans to ban diesel or gasoline cars…. California wants to stop making and registering gasoline cars by 2040…. Nissan has a target of 1 million electric vehicles and hybrid sales by 2022. Nissan expects that electrified vehicles – including electric vehicles and e-POWER models – will make up 40% of the company’s sales in Japan and Europe by 2022 and 50% by 2025. In the US, the expectation is about 20-30% by 2025, while in China it’s 35-40%.”

  19. 369
    alan2102 says:

    https://voxeu.org/article/riding-energy-transition-oil-beyond-2040
    Riding the energy transition: Oil beyond 2040
    Reda Cherif, Fuad Hasanov, Aditya Pande
    24 September 2017
    snip
    In a new paper, we use the horse-car transition pattern a century ago to forecast the motor vehicle displacement today (Cherif et al. 2017). If the motor vehicle displacement follows the same pattern as horse displacement in early 1900s – that is, a fast adoption scenario – we project that within a decade, by late 2020s, motor vehicles per thousand people would decline by 30% in the US, followed by another 90% fall over the next 15 years (Figure 2). The share of electric vehicles could reach 30% of the vehicle stock by the late 2020s and about 93% by the early 2040s. In a slow adoption scenario, based on the growth of motor vehicles in the early 20th century shows a 36% electric vehicle share by the early 2040s. This forecast is closer to others’, such as Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Carbon Tracker and the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London, OPEC, and the International Energy Administration (IEA). Our fast adoption projection has been consistent with the recent growth of electric vehicles (Figure 2). It is also within the range of estimates of the Bass diffusion model, widely used to predict the rise of new technologies, as well as in line with recent technology adoptions (Figure 3).
    snip
    obstacles such as high cost, lack of infrastructure, and short range face early adopters of electric vehicles. Yet these hurdles are disappearing, lending support to the projected rise of electric vehicles. In particular, the announced price of Tesla’s Model 3 at $35,000 is about the average price of a new car sold in the US in 2015 (NADA 2015). More important, it is at the threshold price, in terms of affordability, of the Ford Model T, at which motor vehicle adoption started accelerating rapidly in early 20th century (Figure 4).2

  20. 370

    #366, zebra–

    What I am not persuaded of:

    “There is no non-magical path to eliminating all those ICE in 30 years.”

    Virtually 100% of those 250 million ICE vehicles will be junked in 30 years, so the question becomes how fast ICE manufacture–which, you’ve argued, is not that different from EV manufacture–will be replaced by the latter. Both Norway and India have the non-magical path of government fiat in mind, and with a growing list of countries doing following their lead with varying degrees of aggressiveness:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_banning_fossil_fuel_vehicles#List_of_jurisdictions

    The US could certainly follow their lead, if we could find the political will to do so. I’m not going to say that seems likely right now, but it is still a ‘non-magical path’ for the US.

    In addition to outright bans, there are numerous other policy levers governments possess in this context: congestion fees chargeable by municipalities with exemptions for ZEV vehicles; registration restrictions; EV tax credits such as exist in the US now (albeit both Tesla and GM have hit their respective caps); R & D supports to industry (also active in the US currently); and of course, carbon taxes such as the one just implemented in Canada.

    And, lest we forget about manufacturers altogether, Volkswagen has stated that the generation of ICE vehicles currently under development will be their last. That implies that VW–co-contender with Toyota for the title of world’s largest auto manufacturer–plans not to be selling ICE vehicles by 2040 or (earlier) regardless of government actions. GM has said, a bit less concretely, that it plans to offer 20 or so battery models in the nearish future. (One hopes they will support them a bit more seriously than past offerings; at some point, they will have to, or continue to lose ground in the marketplace.)

    “The most likely progress for this kind of transition is at best logistic; your “continued exponential” suggestion has no physical basis.”

    Correct, but not all that relevant for estimating possible uptake during the earlier part of the transition, which is what I was doing.

    nigel, #362–

    Yes, auto manufacturers span a bit of a spectrum in terms of their action on BEVs. Although the number and capability of models on offer continues to climb, some of the automakers remind me of wannabe dieters–‘I really am going to lose weight! Starting promptly–tomorrow!’

    Or me myself, when contemplating starting a swim on a less-than-hot day: I know I’m going to take that plunge soon, and I know that dallying doesn’t improve the overall experience any, but still, that water looks a bit chilly…

    And part of it is no doubt due to the fear of lost profit zebra has pointed to–particularly since the stock market has this short-termism built in to its current culture and practice. They may believe, as I do, that BEVs can potentially be just as profitable as ICE vehicles from the manufacturer’s perspective. But right *now*, actually building BEVs takes investment and costs more, challenging profit margins on the vehicles and/or competitiveness in the market. So they build a few, just to make sure that they *can*, and to satisfy the regulators in California and similar jurisdictions, but keep the numbers low in order to minimize the cost downside.

    (The dealer’s perspective is another story, as I’ve pointed out; BEVs pose a serious challenge to their business model, and one they mostly seem to be dealing with by not thinking about it. Or BEVs at all, actually. That’s one reason that Tesla set themselves up on a direct sales basis, presumably–it avoids a potential source of institutional resistance, even if it has proven a barrier in some states, which effectively mandate dealership structures.)

  21. 371
    zebra says:

    #365 KIA,

    Often, it really is difficult to tell if you are serious or doing a parody.

    If you think about it, liberals tend to embody the characteristics often described as “American”.

    -They believe in progress and change, not stagnation.

    -They believe in fair competition to achieve progress, so they try to eliminate barriers to education and employment like bias against skin color and reproductive parts.

    -They believe that ambition and risk-taking are characteristics that contribute to progress, so they think immigrants are more likely to contribute than small-minded small-town people afraid to move to a slightly bigger town, much less a city or another country. (Immigration, actually, is what made the USA “great” if you want to call it that.)

    -They don’t think negatively about Christianity; there are lots of “liberal” churches in the US. The problem is fake Christians, the Evangelicals whose foundation was in racism and sexism, and rejection of scientific reality.

    I could go on, but as I said, most of what you say here sounds like a parody. Too easy.

  22. 372
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @367

    “What about Solomon?”

    King Solomon? I have no idea, my knowledge of the old testament stories is “shite”

    “What about a law where the elected must live like the middle class while in office, and their net worth is frozen?”

    I doubt that you would get a law making them live like the middle classes passed.The ramnifications would be disruptive, selling houses etc. If you did, it might alienate good quality people from doing the job.

    However regarding freezing their net worth. Yeah maybe!

    In fact we were all sick and tired of the politicians getting higher than average salary increases. Interestingly, our new government got the message, and has frozen their own salaries for the length of their term. This at least brings them back more to the level of the middle classes!

  23. 373
    nigelj says:

    Regarding economics. I do not have an economics degree, but I have read introductory texts and books and articles by Krugman and Stieglitz etc and I subscribe to the Economist.

    I think it’s a bit unproductive and lacks accuracy to just say economics is garbage. This sort of trolling doesn’t get us too far. However Killian is right there are some legitimate criticisms of economics.

    Microeconomics deals with market behaviour, and is pretty solid science.

    The problems are more related macroeconomics which is economics at larger scales. The trouble is this branch of economics combines science and economic prescription in a bit of a mess.

    The science is confounded by the difficulty making long term predictions because these are confounded in turn by the complexities of human behaviour. So economic predictions on economic growth are often woefully wrong. But things are slowly improving.

    The currently fashionable prescription is labelled neoliberalism. This free market ideology does have its good points (free trade and immigration) but has proven to cause a whole lot of problems especially for lower skilled people, and is clearly a “half baked” sort of ideology. Its been bad for efforts to deal with environmental problems. Even the IMF has admitted the shortcomings. Reluctantly of course.

    https://www.salon.com/2016/05/31/wrong_all_along_neoliberal_imf_admits_neoliberalism_fuels_inequality_and_hurts_growth/

  24. 374
    nigelj says:

    “There is no non-magical path to eliminating all those ICE in 30 years.”

    Yes there is, if we assume something realistic, like eliminating the vast majority of them.

    Government forcing the issue with subsidies or a dozen other possible mechanisms.

    And more attractive costs so that you have price parity between ICE vehicles and BEVs, and its on the horizon within ten years. If prices are more or less equal electric cars become hugely attractive, this is plain economic rationalism, so huge growth would be possible within 30 years, or close to it.

    Right now I think manufacturers in America are trying to have things both ways. Obviously they resist electric cars to an extent, Zebra is right, because of the costs with electric cars in retraining staff etc, but this hasn’t stopped them developing electric models. The manufacturers can see the writing on the wall that electric cars are the way of the future, and they don’t want to be left behind by competitors. They are caught in the trap of reality!

    Ayn Rand is infantile. A dead end. Sensible economies like Scandinavia mix the best of big and small government ideas.

  25. 375
    flxible says:

    “There is no non-magical path to eliminating all those ICE in 30 years.”

    Not magic, but entirely possible with some political will and a scrappage program to take care of the real gas hogs Mericans are so attached to – think outside the box

  26. 376
    Al Bundy says:

    Hank, Nigel, et al,

    Starting and stopping an ICE does not cause wear or stress. Temperature change and oil starvation are the culprits. Given that future ICEs will be heavily insulated (necessary for both efficiency and to ensure the passengers can’t detect any noise or vibration), especially the oil supply, as long as the ICE is run every few hours or so there’s no significant wear.

    That current ICEs are unacceptable is no more significant an issue than that current EVs are unacceptable. I say we need both, but only in acceptable models. (My standards are rising. Now I’m shooting for 300mpge city and 200mpge highway.)

    Hank, yes, Uber, Lyft, and others, though the transition to self-driving will be interesting because performance will become almost irrelevant. You ain’t driving, you’re cruising the Internet and g-forces might be annoying instead of fun.

    Zebra, I haven’t forgotten that I owe you an answer.

  27. 377
    Killian says:

    Re #373 nigelj nipped I think it’s a bit unproductive and lacks accuracy to just say economics is garbage.

    That is a fairly stated comment. It is incorrect, but at least expresses an opinion. That said, how is it unproductive or inaccurate to state what one considers to be fact? You don’t like it so it’s unproductive, not factual? Trying to steer people from thinking of the problem-solving and right action based in voodoo rather than basing it in natural systems, First Principles, logic, systems analysis, Chaos, etc., is unproductive, inaccurate? Stating that continuing to use economics as a metric for climate adaptation and mitigation is suicidal because I actually think that is unproductive, inaccurate?

    You dismiss my opinion and/or analysis as unproductive and inaccurate merely because you do not like it.

    This sort of trolling doesn’t get us too far.

    But this? This is garbage. This is why I am thoroughly disgusted with your participation here. This is not the first time you have called me a troll in your vast ignorance. This is a troll:

    In Internet slang, a troll is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses[2] and normalizing tangential discussion,[3] whether for the troll’s amusement or a specific gain.

    How is stating a well-supported (I have posted any number of articles/analyses that support my position) position trolling? My comments on economics are founded in an understanding of the Natural world that you do not even comprehend. It is based in the FACT that economics is based in philosophy and is NOT a science. There is no Nobel for it for a reason. It cannot be falsified. It cannot be tested. Any rigor to it has only come in recent years and STILL does not justify the (varied and competing) conclusions within the field.

    Where were the economists in 2008? Getting it wrong. Only heterodox economists were getting it right. *I* got it right because what the heterodox people were saying made sense to me. It was clear they were correct. Daly, Keen, et al., are also correct that only a resource-based economics can approach sanity. But it can only approach it, not reach it, because they still *begin* with the irrationality of philosophy. Even they have not dismissed and overthrown all the errors of the *philosophy*, not science, of economics.

    The garbage is how you engage. You troll. Calling people trolls without cause or reason *is* trolling. The sole reason is to sow anger, discord, to provoke.

    However Killian is right there are some legitimate criticisms of economics.

    Microeconomics deals with market behaviour, and is pretty solid science.

    It is in no way science. Look up the damned definition of science!

    The problems are more related macroeconomics which is economics at larger scales.

    Is that not economics? You think bifurcating it makes it better? How do you do economics for a PLANET without macro? For chrissake… “Economics” necessarily includes ALL economics, just as “Biology” includes all living biota and “Mathematics” includes all maths. If the fundamental, foundational concepts of Biology and Math were wrong, then the fields would be garbage. They would produce garbage. They do not because they are legitimate disciplines built on solid fundamental concepts. Economics is not. Until that changes, it is garbage in, garbage out. Voodoo.

    The science is confounded by the difficulty making long term predictions because these are confounded in turn by the complexities of human behaviour.

    How is that any different from saying it is voodoo? It’s semantics.

    So economic predictions on economic growth are often woefully wrong. But things are slowly improving.

    So, economics is pretty useless, but less so year by year? Again, how is that not voodoo?

    If you cannot engage without lying, without deeply insulting the intentions and efforts I present, stop responding to me. It is exactly this crap that I had great patience with for a full six months with you. Neither you nor anybody else here acknowledges that. I was extremely patient with you for a long time because I thought you sincere. It changed nothing. Over time you have continued to spew ignorance, but worse, you flat out lie. Calling a firmly held opinion that has support trolling is the worst you can say of someone in internet etiquette, but you are **allowed to do it.** Repeatedly. Straw Man after Straw Man. It never ends, it never improves.

    You falsely presented simple, egalitarian, regenerative communities as shamanism, for chrissake. You described *egalitarianism* as one person telling everyone else what they can do and what they can have!

    Your faux middle way? OK, Laodicea.

  28. 378
    Killian says:

    Everything, and I do mean *everything*, points to the need for simplicity. Nature quite simply does everything better.

    https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/food/indigenous-food-must-be-brought-back-to-plates-say-ecologists-62381

  29. 379
    Hank Roberts says:

    https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/1/7/18172275/supreme-court-exxon-climate-change-massachusetts

    Vox
    Tuesday, January 8, 2019

    The Supreme Court just declined to hear Exxon Mobil’s appeal in a climate change lawsuit

    Exxon will now have to turn over internal documents about its knowledge of climate change….

  30. 380
    Nemesis says:

    So what. Science piles up numbers, but politics creates reality. See you there.

  31. 381
    Killian says:

    I strongly suggest all you here wagging your tongues about things without a sensible context will make some effort to educate yourselves about how non-human systems work. You waste time talking about:

    * ICE vs EV engines despite both being unsustainable;
    * Replacing oil w/ electricity despite it being impossible to do 100% replacement of fossil fuels and maintain industrial societies, or even at all no matter the scale due to FFs being needed for manufacturing in parts, machines/factories, roads, etc.;
    * Replacing industrial ag with what you mistakenly call “regenerative” industrial ag, never understanding/acknowledging the nonsense of calling ag using massive, unsustainable machines regenerative (how do those machines get accounted in closed loops, e.g?);
    * The nonsense of gov’ts and industries uncreating themselves to allow regenerative communities to exist within bio-regional vs national/state/State boundaries;
    * The continuation of Capitalism even though Piketty, the BIOS Research Unit in Finland and others stating this is not possible;
    * Extremely slow change processes even as it is clear tipping points have been/are being/will be crossed and we have no way of determining when those feedbacks will become so interconnected we cannot stop them – which could have already happened…

    and more.

    This is willful blindness. You cannot be an effective part of the solutions if you do not understand the problems.

    Additionally, the continued wolf pack mentality among those who understand too little, but love to see themselves in print that has existed here for about the last 5 years has got to end. You are like ogres under the bridge, not keepers of the scientific gates. You attack people you should understand are your allies, even if not 100% aligned, but your egos are too important, your power here, abetted by biased moderation, too much to let go of (yet you think monolithic governments and corporations will walk away from power for the good of all!), so you are rude, disrespectful, insulting, dishonest to and about people here trying to do good.

    You are a microcosm of why we will almost certainly fail. Not failing is incredibly simple, and compared to maintaining the insane systems you want to keep going, easy. In the end, it will come down to ego. The ego of power, of control, of want, of having more, of being the loudest, the biggest, having the biggest spotlight…

    Ego.

    Keep it up. You will reap what you have sown.

    Don’t bother responding: I know what you each will say.

    Be better.

  32. 382
    Al Bundy says:

    Durn. Drumpf might implode too quickly. Donald’s exit strategy might be Nixonesque… President Pence pardons feloneous Trump.

    The story is simple: Our policies were working perfectly and now that a Real Republican, someone with 20:20 vision is at the helm we’ll drive the USA straight to the 1920s, only more gilded.

    Melt, sea ice, melt or we’re gonna see a whole lot more drill baby, drill.

  33. 383
    Killian says:

    Let’s see if we can wake some of you up.

    The first identifiable tipping point, afaict, was the reversal of CO2 and temps @ 1700-1900. The second was crossing 300ppm and the beginning of ASI melt, closely followed by Greenland and Antarctica. The third would be the discernible rise of temps beyond the noise in the last few decades. Fourth? Perhaps melting permafrost and clathrates.

    That’s four, imo. Take a look at a bifurcation graph.

    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Logistic-burification.png

    See what it looks like, already, at the 34th bifurcation. Let’s back off that and say the first *climatic* tipping point – as opposed to an effect of human action as rising CO2 is – was the ice beginning to melt. That’s still 2 already.

    Look at that chart.

    Hell, let’s be even less sensible about risk analysis and say there has only been one, but the 2nd is happening or will soon.

    **Look at that chart!**

    Gavin will say climate in not chaotic. That’s no solace: That chart is for non-linear systems, and chaos can arise from non-linear systems, even simple ones. The chart is equally effective for chaotic and non-linear.

    What are the tipping points? the ice melt beginning? Doubling melt rate? Tripling? The die-offs? The glaciers? The corals? Accelerating extinctions? The blowouts in Siberia? The melting of permafrost throught the Arctic? The shifting of species? The Jet Stream slowdown? Slowing of the AMOC?

    An easier question might be what *isn’t* already changing. Answer: Probably nothing. I’d bet money there is not one unaffected bio-region on the planet.

    So, keep arguing. Keep refusing how to understand the role of deep systems thinking in all this. Continue to falsely portray what I and others are trying to share with you.

    I’m sure that will work out for all of us.

  34. 384
    zebra says:

    Kevin M (and other Magicians),

    Come on, I have been talking about both the technology and the politics all along; it’s not about the ability to physically melt down ICE.

    So, in the USA surely, and even most elsewhere, I suspect, it would be magical if governments instituted policies that would result in that rapid a decline.

    Kevin, I have said over and over that the transition will occur. The question is, how fast. It isn’t meaningful for you to say, over and over, “well, if only”, and invoke some low-probability event.

    This is really very much like modeling climate, and thinking about climate instead of weather, and recognizing that the error bars go both ways. It also requires keeping the underlying “physics” (socioeconomic and geopolitical forces) in the equations.

    Here’s my “if only” to illustrate: Al Gore, HRC. Where would the transition be 30,60,90, years from now if things had gone the other way? But, bad stuff happens. Even if Al Gore himself magically got elected in 2020, there is no guarantee about 2028.

    My approach to minimize harm to humans, and move towards a sustainable human presence, assumes that a realistic time to achieve near-complete reduction of FF use would be around 2150. So far, I am “not persuaded” that something much sooner is remotely likely.

    And, here’s the main point: If you really care about reducing harm, or believe that there is potential for climate disruption to pose an existential threat (which I do), you plan for the worst-case scenario, not the best.

  35. 385
    mike says:

    from Robert Nadeau in the Scientific American:

    “The causes of the environmental crisis may be hugely complex, but the most effective way to deal with it in economic terms seems rather obvious. We must use our best scientific understanding of how environmental problems can be resolved as the basis for implementing scientifically viable economic policies and solutions. If this could be accomplished within the framework of the economic theory that we now use to coordinate economic activities in the global market system—neoclassical economics—there would be no cause for concern. But as this discussion will demonstrate, there is a large problem here that should be cause for great concern: Neoclassical economic theory is predicated on unscientific assumptions that massively frustrate or effectively undermine efforts to implement scientifically viable economic policies and solutions.”

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/brother-can-you-spare-me-a-planet/

    I think if I was going to study up on economics as it relates to global warming, I would start with Nadeau.

    Cheers

    Mike

  36. 386
    alan2102 says:

    Tesla, China, gigafactories.

    Fasten your seatbelts to prevent future-shock whiplash.

    https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/12/china-could-save-tesla-by-getting-gigafactory-3-built-and-operating-in-6-months-instead-of-years.html
    China Will Ensure Tesla Survives by Getting Gigafactory Built and Operating in 6 to 12 Months Instead of Years
    Brian Wang | December 6, 2018

    https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/12/china-will-help-tesla-go-foxconn-scale-to-stop-air-pollution-and-save-the-planet.html
    China Will Help Tesla Go to Foxconn Scale to Stop Air Pollution and Save the Planet
    Brian Wang | December 6, 2018

    https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2019/01/tesla-and-china-could-complete-gigafactory-3-by-march-2019.html
    Tesla and China Could Complete Gigafactory 3 by March, 2019
    Brian Wang | January 4, 2019

    https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2019/01/china-tesla-model-3-will-be-28000-and-tesla-has-a-44-electric-motor-advantage.html
    China Tesla Model 3 Will Be $28,000 and Tesla has a 44% Electric Motor Advantage
    Brian Wang | January 8, 2019

    https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/11/teslas-twenty-gigafactory-plan-for-new-products-and-global-domination.html
    Tesla’s Twenty Gigafactory Plan for New Products and Global Domination
    Brian Wang | November 30, 2018

  37. 387
    nigelj says:

    Killian @377

    “Re #373 nigelj nipped I think it’s a bit unproductive and lacks accuracy to just say economics is garbage.”

    “That is a fairly stated comment. It is incorrect, but at least expresses an opinion. That said, how is it unproductive or inaccurate to state what one considers to be fact? You don’t like it so it’s unproductive, not factual? ”

    “Trying to steer people from thinking of the problem-solving and right action based in voodoo rather than basing it in natural systems, First Principles, logic, systems analysis, Chaos, etc., is unproductive, inaccurate? Stating that continuing to use economics as a metric for climate adaptation and mitigation is suicidal because I actually think that is unproductive, inaccurate?”

    I just dont think its correct to categories economics as garbage. I agree it has some problems but you go too far I think. I have already explained why its not garbage. The substantial parts of economics are credible science and prescription. It has some faults. Having some faults does not make an area of knowledge garbage. Climate science isn’t perfect. This does not make it garbage.

    Claiming economics does not use logic and systems analysis is not tenable, and doesn’t warrant a response beyond that. Crack open a text.

    Economics is not voodoo that is destroying the environment. Economics is growth neutral. Growth is a choice made by society and business. Economics has modelling for systems based on both continued economic growth and steady state growth.

    “You dismiss my opinion and/or analysis as unproductive and inaccurate merely because you do not like it.”

    No. I dismiss you opinion because its often wrong.

    “This is not the first time you have called me a troll in your vast ignorance. This is a troll:”

    “In Internet slang, a troll is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive,[1] extraneous,”

    This describes you perfectly, with your inflammatory statement that economics is garbage. You were therefore trolling.

    “How is stating a well-supported (I have posted any number of articles/analyses that support my position) position trolling? ”

    I never said that was trolling. So you see now you are putting words in my mouth.

    “My comments on economics are founded in an understanding of the Natural world that you do not even comprehend.”

    Empty assertions. I have studied the natural world at university level.

    “It is based in the FACT that economics is based in philosophy and is NOT a science. There is no Nobel for it for a reason. It cannot be falsified. It cannot be tested. Any rigor to it has only come in recent years and STILL does not justify the (varied and competing) conclusions within the field.”

    No. Economics is based on empirical data and analysis. It is a social science. It can certainly be tested and falsified at least at the microeconomics level.

    “Where were the economists in 2008? Getting it wrong. Only heterodox economists were getting it right. *I* got it right because what the heterodox people were saying made sense to me. It was clear they were correct. ”

    Read what I already said. Economics is not good at making long term predictions. This does not mean economics is without skill and without value. Climate science has not got all longer term predictions 100% right, but it is not without skill and value. Or do you disagree?

    I don’t care about your claims about what you think you got right. Show me documented proof, copies from your diaries. This is a science website, not a platform for peoples bragging rights.

    “The garbage is how you engage. You troll. Calling people trolls without cause or reason *is* trolling. The sole reason is to sow anger, discord, to provoke.”

    You provide no proof that I troll. I don’t troll. I avoid making inflammatory statements, I’m reasonably polite, I do not bully people with accusations that they are stupid and liars. Therefore I don’t troll and I’m using the definition YOU posted above.

    “Microeconomics deals with market behaviour, and is pretty solid science.”

    “It is in no way science. Look up the damned definition of science!”

    Microeconomics is classed as a social science, (visit a library) and is based on data and analysis. It sits with psychology and anthropology, which you appeared to have studied. Is anthropology rubbish as well? There are huge gaps in the field of anthropology, with much that is not well understood, yet you appear to base your world view on it!

    “The problems are more related macroeconomics which is economics at larger scales.”

    “Is that not economics? You think bifurcating it makes it better? How do you do economics for a PLANET without macro? For chrissake… “Economics” necessarily includes ALL economics, just as “Biology” includes all living biota and “Mathematics” includes all maths. If the fundamental, foundational concepts of Biology and Math were wrong, then the fields would be garbage. They would produce garbage. They do not because they are legitimate disciplines built on solid fundamental concepts. Economics is not. Until that changes, it is garbage in, garbage out. ”

    Economics has two branches, three really. Microeconomics is a pure social science, macroeconomics combines social science and prescriptive policy. I suggest you should actually crack open a text book if you haven’t already.

    The foundational basis of economics as a whole is not wrong. Most of the science side of economics is correct. The problems, as I already stated, are principally with the prescriptive side: Neoliberalism.

    “If you cannot engage without lying, without deeply insulting the intentions and efforts I present, stop responding to me. It is exactly this crap that I had great patience with for a full six months with you. Neither you nor anybody else here acknowledges that. I was extremely patient with you for a long time because I thought you sincere. It changed nothing. Over time you have continued to spew ignorance, but worse, you flat out lie. Calling a firmly held opinion that has support trolling is the worst you can say of someone in internet etiquette, but you are **allowed to do it.** Repeatedly. Straw Man after Straw Man. It never ends, it never improves.”

    I haven’t lied about anything you have said or in any other way. Nobody else is accusing me of lying, here or on other websites, or certainly it has been rare. This suggests you have some problem of perception. I might sometimes misinterpret what you say. Big deal, get over it and clarify what you mean.

    The screeds you write on this website don’t convince me and are very unlikely to convince anyone here because they are so full of, assertions, inconsistencies, sophistry, word play and the like. I’m honestly not sure why I bother to respond. I have tried to highlight areas where I agree to get the message across that 1) there is some definite agreement and 2) I’m not attacking you personally, but you just don’t seem to get this.

    “You falsely presented simple, egalitarian, regenerative communities as shamanism, for chrissake. You described *egalitarianism* as one person telling everyone else what they can do and what they can have!”

    No I didn’t. I said that one of your quotes talked about a shaman or wise person controlling ownership of resources. Perhaps I had the words slightly wrong, but here is the quote from, your post at 319 “As Helga Ingeborg Vierich points out, even the Big Man of H-G communities is more of a resource manager than a chief. They don’t own what they keep, they are keeping it *for* the village. They are trusted, not powerful nor power-full.”

  38. 388
    Hank Roberts says:

    … You attack people you should should understand are your allies, even if not 100% aligned, but your egos are too important ….

    It’s a self esteem problem. Way too much of it.

  39. 389
    nigelj says:

    Killian

    Continuing on from your comments at 377.

    Regarding the issue of the “commons”:

    There is a substantive difference between the hunter gatherer commons of the natural world,and your apparent definition of the modern commons which appears to include farms and industry as well as nature. Its fairly normal for communities to share natural resources, and even in our society the state owns mineral resources on our behalf, so this is a form of communal ownership. Any squabbles over rights to extract resources can be resolved by all sorts of different methods. I would never suggest mineral resources or conservation estates should be privately owned.

    But shared ownership of things like buildings, farms and industry is different. This is a productive activity, and the evidence suggests shared ownership leads to poor economic outcomes, inefficient use, lack of productivity. Communal ownership just doesn’t work, except for a few things like basic health and education services and we know why that works.

    “Your faux middle way? OK, Laodicea”

    It’s the only approach that is realistic imho. You idea appears to be billions of people deciding to leave the current socioeconomic system over the next couple of decades or so, for some form of alternative lifestyle community. I cannot see it happening, not in a voluntary way. Very few people have elected to join these communities, despite the fact we have known about the resource problem for decades.

    But experiments are important, and I don’t criticise the people involved in alternative communities, and there’s more to them than hippie pot smokers.

    You have posted material suggesting people cut their use of resources and technologically drastically. You have quoted numbers of 90% reduction in resources. I don’t see people electing to do this. All the evidence suggests many want to get richer.

    I also think drastic reductions would be a disproportionate response to the resource problem. Resource shortages in the future will hurt poorer people but there is no evidence or logic to claims they would lead to human extinction. In addition we wont be running out of minerals in the next 50 years, there are vast deposits in sea water, in undiscovered reserves, and in conventional reserves but at higher prices. This buys us time to get population numbers down.

    Imho what we need to do is promote something more useful, proportionate and realistic. We need to accept steady state economic growth and a realistic reduction in the quantity of technology we buy. Don’t buy things you don’t really need or which save insignificant quantities of labour, but expecting people to reduce things like home heating would be unrealistic. If you are suggesting this.

    I suggest you might be better off promoting something a bit more realistic, but based on the same regenerative/ permaculture principles. Up to you of course. By all means keep banging the same exact drum if you want, but don’t expect a different result in terms of responses to your views.

  40. 390
    nigelj says:

    Killian @381

    “* Replacing oil w/ electricity despite it being impossible to do 100% replacement of fossil fuels and maintain industrial societies, or even at all no matter the scale due to FFs being needed for manufacturing in parts, machines/factories, roads, etc.;’

    Who has suggested we stop absolutely all extraction of fossil fuels? Who has suggested we stop using them for bitumen on the roads, for plastics, for fertilisers and pharmaceuticals?

    Why do you think this would cause an emissions problem? Provided they are disposed of properly it will be ok.

  41. 391
    nigelj says:

    Zebra @384

    I suppose it depends how one defines magical, – which you didn’t do. I would say expecting governments to provide a huge boost for electric cars is low probability. You can call low probability magical if you want.

    However expecting prices of BEV to drop to price parity with ICE within a decade is not magical. Numerous analyses by credible commentators easily googled attest to this, and it is likely to cause numbers of BEVs to increase rapidly. Smartphones took off once prices hit less than about $500.

    Then there is China and Alan is right.

    Rapid reduction of fossil fuel use, say by 2050 is technologically and economically viable. It will probably take longer because of politics, but please don’t fill up the internet with too much pessimism. I do totally get what you are saying.

    We are all just speculating anyway. Would be good to have a bet on it all.

  42. 392
    nigelj says:

    Killian says:

    “The first identifiable tipping point, afaict, was the reversal of CO2 and temps @ 1700-1900. The second was crossing 300ppm and the beginning of ASI melt, closely followed by Greenland and Antarctica. The third would be the discernible rise of temps beyond the noise in the last few decades. Fourth? Perhaps melting permafrost and clathrates.”

    There is some evidence early agriculture / deforestation lead to slightly elevated CO2 and a milder interglacial than expected (Ruddiman). This could be a tipping point I suppose, but quite a helpful one, as its probably stopped us entering the next ice age, according to what I have read.

    In effect we have overshot the boundaries of what is necessary to stop or mitigate an ice age, and are now causing dangerous warming.

    The mid last century ASI melt was mostly the result of natural warming. If you look at CO2 levels, they would have caused the arctic to melt but at a very slow rate. Is that a tipping point? Not a very dramatic or concerning one. Its all largely about rates of change.

    The science community has defined the following tipping points:

    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/hothouse-earth-climate-change-tipping-point-2018-8?r=US&IR=T

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/tipping_point.htm

  43. 393
    Carrie Kant says:

    It’s 1000X easier to change from an ICE car to a EV car than it is to change your mind about anything … and changing your mind is 1000X easier than changing “The System” that brought us all here, now.

    You know that THING we were all born into … all of us, everyone, no exceptions, none.

    Why it’s time to think about human extinction | Dr David Suzuki
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktnAMTmgOX0

    Richard Manning on catastrophic agriculture, population overshoot, industrial civilization
    Complete and slightly edited interview footage with Richard Manning in 2005, in preparation for the feature-length documentary What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire, from Timothy S. Bennett and Sally Erickson.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_RzVcPM3yo

  44. 394
    Mr. Know It All says:

    390 – nigelj

    Good comment. FFs are OK as long as we don’t burn them. We will need them for lubricants, plastics, etc. Should not be a problem.

  45. 395
    Al Bundy says:

    Carrie:It’s 1000X easier to change from an ICE car to a EV car than it is to change your mind about anything

    AB: Not if you live in an apartment or don’t have a garage. Then EVs are a pain in the ass. Dragging extension cords and/or worrying about theft and vandalism is not easy at all.

  46. 396
    Al Bundy says:

    Hank:It’s a self esteem problem. Way too much of it.

    AB: You didn’t say who you’re talking to/at. Oh, that’s right, it’s friggin’ obvious.

    ———

    Nigel, to paraphrase everyone’s favorite regular, “You’re pissing me off.” Please, please, please stop rattling the cages at the zoo.

  47. 397
    Al Bundy says:

    Fly based dog food is coming on the market. Personally, I’m not sure I could get around the yuck factor of eating insects (or cannibalism), but feeding insects to pets sounds grand. It might be a way to ease our culture off our aversion to eating insects. Maggot burgers would seriously lower land and water use while spewing little carbon as compared to moo burgers.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46811358

  48. 398

    K 381: despite it being impossible to do 100% replacement of fossil fuels and maintain industrial societies, or even at all no matter the scale due to FFs being needed for manufacturing in parts, machines/factories, roads, etc.;

    BPL: None of those things absolutely require fossil fuels. They require electricity or fuel, none of which has to be fossil. They may be fossil now, that doesn’t mean they have to be fossil forever.

  49. 399

    K 383: Let’s see if we can wake some of you up.

    BPL: Way to start out. Let’s see if we can wake some of you pathetic slobs out of your dim, dreamy sleep. Arrogant much?

  50. 400

    zebra, # 384–

    …assumes that a realistic time to achieve near-complete reduction of FF use would be around 2150. So far, I am “not persuaded” that something much sooner is remotely likely.

    Fine. YMM always V, of course.

    But I think you are wrong. You accuse me of ‘magical thinking,’ but I’ve pointed to extant policies, and extant trends. And you’ve yet to explain why the kinds of growth rates we are seeing now should flatten out any time soon, particularly given that the economic factors would seem to be going in quite the opposite direction.

    On the other hand, I think there is absolutely no way that fossil fuels will be in use *at all* even by 2100, let alone 2150. And yeah, we need to get them gone sooner than that–per SR 1.5, 2050 would be good. (Or at least good-ish.) That’s what I’m working toward.

    And frankly, I’ll be lucky (or maybe not) to live to see 2050, so excuse me if I don’t focus quite so much on timelines which I am unlikely to influence in even a tiny way. It’s tough enough to have any influence even on one’s contemporaries. But you’re probably noticing that yourself.

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