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Forced Responses: Feb 2019

Filed under: — group @ 1 February 2019

A bimonthly thread on societal responses to climate change. Note that there is another open thread for climate science topics. Please stick to specifics as opposed to arguments about ethics, politics or morality in general.

493 Responses to “Forced Responses: Feb 2019”

  1. 351
    Nemesis says:

    @nigelj, #51 in the “The best case for worst case scenarios”- Thread

    ” Point well made, but 10 bliion people on the planet with some sort of fairer distribution of wealth, (and this is desirable) still pollute and consume, every one of them. It’s a huge load on the environment. Population is a problem. Full stop.”

    Right now we are 7.5 billion, while the debate about “overpopulation goes on for decades and still no effective proposal how to curb the global population. It’s a strawman. It’s a strawman setup to distract from global socio-economic inequality. Where would you like to curb the population? In the rich countries where the co2 emissions are highest per capita and the birth rate is decreasing rapidly or in the poor countries where the co2 emissions are lowest per capita? You’d like to cut down the population in the poor countries, because there is the birth rate high, but the co2 emissions per capita are lowest, right? Ineffective and unjust. IF “overpopulation” is a problem, then you’d have to raise the standard of living in the poor countries, because the birth rate correlates directly to the standard of living. Anything else will not work. Inequality is one of the root problems of climate heating and there is no change in sight. Inequality will get worse, climate heating will get worse as everything is interconnected.

    Anyway, I’m very happy to have no kids, I didn’t want to see my kids growing up in this kind of system, I look at it this way:

    This Be The Verse

    They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
    They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.

    But they were fucked up in their turn
    By fools in old-style hats and coats,
    Who half the time were soppy-stern
    And half at one another’s throats.

    Man hands on misery to man.
    It deepens like a coastal shelf.
    Get out as early as you can,
    And don’t have any kids yourself.

    – Philip Larkin

    That’s exactly my point of view, so I did not procreate and I’m extremely happy about that. Btw, how many kids do you have? And what is your solution for “overpopulation”?

  2. 352
    Carrie says:

    331 nigelj says: NZ Greens “Has a principles based approach.”

    333 Carrie said other times and elsewhere the GND Resolution would have been better as a single page that listed Key Principles only as a GND guide for future legislation Bills.

    261 Killian says:
    25 Jan 2013 at 9:05 PM
    “Until I can sit you down and walk your through the principles of sustainable design, you are never going to agree to anything I say. You want to discuss parts, but these problems are systemic and you apparently have pretty much zero knowledge of the design principles I’m always referencing.”

    271 Killian says:
    27 Jan 2013 at 3:15 AM
    “I’m not inherently against anything with the exception of nuclear (and non-mass transit; should be obvious to any and all that we can’t have cars much longer, and certainly not for 9 billion people), and that because it doesn’t meet the criteria of principles of sustainable design. A thing, process or system is either sustainable or is not, but the accounting has to be done, and it has to be endlessly reproducible. Is solar? I doubt it as currently produced, but I suspect there is a low-tech way to make solar cells that can support an extremely low-energy society.

    301 Killian says:
    18 Aug 2018 at 3:29 AM
    “That kind of thinking got us in this mess. You build what you need within the resource base available. This isn’t rocket science, just sound decision making based on principles of Nature. Take a permaculture course.”

    305 Killian says:
    22 Aug 2018 at 5:37 PM
    Principles – natural principles – are universal, values are not.”

    202 Kevin McKinney says:
    19 Nov 2017 at 2:02 PM
    “I like the your first principles in many ways. But I feel like we’re long overdue for some “reasoning from there.”

    206 Killian says:
    19 Nov 2017 at 9:43 PM
    “First Principles. Everything belongs to everyone. Act like it.”
    adding later –
    http://www.onthecommons.org/magazine/elinor-ostroms-8-principles-managing-commmons

    BPL’s contribution?
    205 Barton Levenson says:
    19 Nov 2017 at 6:34 PM
    K: Ceasar
    BPL: “Caesar”

    110 Killian O’Brien says:
    24 Dec 2018 at 3:10 PM
    “There are many kinds of tribal people. Monolithic building goes very, very far back in human history. And, in adapting the *patterns* of regenerative societies, we have to follow the principles: Design for place. Use what you’ve got. We will do exactly that. A general pattern is not a template, and no permaculture designer would design to someone else’s template, and especially at a specific location.”

    301 nigelj says:
    30 Jan 2018 at 3:02 PM
    I think Killian is more right about principles. People need to embrace living with sustainable principles, or regenerative principles, and this might help make it easier to formulate more quantitative goals.”

    Could be a little pattern worth pursuing deeper? :-)

  3. 353
    alan2102 says:

    Nigel asked: “The question is would it make sense to fund the GND with money printing?”

    And I answered: “Yes. Few things have ever made more sense.”

    So-so answer.

    A better answer would have been this:

    In the MMT model, which is said to represent a reality tacitly accepted by all economists (even if they don’t like to openly talk about it), EVERYTHING in a sovereign currency-issuing nation is being funded with money-printing. Every single thing. Therefore the GND is nothing exceptional, just one more thing on a long list.

    MMT’ers claim (and there seems to be a lack of meaningful objection to these claims) that a sovereign currency-issuing nation does not use tax revenue when it spends money. It prints the money, and then spends it. Taxes are irrelevant. Taxes, they say, are used to manage aggregate demand, and perhaps to achieve certain desired social ends, not to fund spending. It is not necessary to tax the rich more heavily, for example, to fund government spending. It might be desirable for other reasons to tax the rich (to reduce their purchasing power and therefore their influence in society), but not to secure funds for government spending. Borrowing is also irrelevant. The government borrows to manage interest rates, not to fund spending.

    As far as I can see, there is no intellectually substantial objection to these claims. This suggests, though does not prove, that the claims are correct. The objections that exist are not intellectually substantial; they amount to shrieking by deficit hawks, old-fashioned hard-money types, and austerians, rather than considered views of economic heavyweights.

    Am I saying that I am sure all this is true? No. I don’t know nearly enough about economics to be sure. But so far, from all I can gather, (I’ve been reading and observing for ~6 years now, including reading many long debates, from which one can learn a lot), it seems likely that it is true.

    And yes, YES, I KNOW that all of this sounds terribly counter-intuitive and impossible to wrap one’s head around. That’s how I felt at the beginning, too. And that is probably why it is taking so long for MMT to be universally and explicitly accepted. (The MMT’ers claim, again, that all economists tacitly accept that MMT describes the reality of how the modern money system works, but many of them are hesitant to admit it for fear of being called “irresponsible”.)

    Please read these two items:

    Taxes for revenue are obsolete [that’s a verbatim quote from a Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York!]
    http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2010/04/fed-chairman-ruml-got-it-right-in-1946.html

    Taxpayers don’t fund anything
    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=9281

  4. 354
    nigelj says:

    Carrie @333

    Fair comments. One clarification is much of the hydro and geothermal power in NZ was built before the climate issue emerged ( as in the link I posted). I dont want to imply we have had some miracle conversion. Like P Scadden says we have done some good stuff, but theres a way to go yet.

    Some research has been done on low methane cattle foods and looks promising but early days:

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/105185884/dutch-company-hopes-to-pilot-methane-reduction-compound-in-new-zealand

    You asked about a NZ GND. The nearest thing is probably The Green Parties policy manifesto that I have posted. I think its quite close to my views, uses a price on carbon, and some government spending but for the right things when really needed, and has some social overtones but not to the extent of Americas GND.

    The Americans GND has a lot of social goals, so its a target for the haters and radical right. Hence why I thought better to have a couple of different plans. However they appear to have have softened some of those social goals down a bit, and this could make the GND much more palatable to a wider audience, and they need those votes. The social goals are still strong.

  5. 355
    nigelj says:

    rtremblay @348, I don’t personally know anything much about Fox Glacier, but try this wikipedia article:

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

    NIWA our climate agency would probably know, and have a contact box.

    https://www.niwa.co.nz/

  6. 356
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @335 “Zebra,Yes, and just to round out your point”

    Could you please number all the posts you are replying to? Otherwise it’s frustrating to those of us who might be interested.

  7. 357
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @342

    “You miss the point. Downturns, and especially depressions are opportunities for the purchase of the means of production at rediculously low prices. Only the poor and/or the stupid and/or the moral fear depressions. Dude, have you never played a game? Or do you not see the link?”

    You should probably add (sarc)! Point well made of course. The rich were not too worried by the great depression, its in books on the history.Their buying power increased and it was for everything not just for property. Prices fell even for the basics. Hence they were somewhat opposed to Keynsian style solutions like the New Deal, and they preferred austerity instead.

    But the rich were actually stupid. The 1930’s could have spiralled down into something horrendous taking the rich with it. They don’t understand how market economic systems work and can fail very badly sometimes (not that the alternatives are bullet proof). Keynes was trying to save them from themselves but he had other motives as well, but his solutions are still valid.

    And the parallels with the climate problem are obvious.

    I dont know that I’m much of a moral do gooder. I do like systems that operate as fairly as possible, and I don’t like seeing people suffer is all. But I’m a realist and and I used to love monopoly, shock, horror. Some of us are just interested in systems like economic systems and how they behave when prodded and pushed.

  8. 358

    #353, Alain–

    I’m woefully underinformed on all of this, but would have thought that Paul Krugman counts as an “intellectual heavyweight”, what with that Nobel of his:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Monetary_Theory#Criticisms

  9. 359
    zebra says:

    #353 alan2102,

    Yes, alan, but you can’t print land, or oil, or labor….

    As I’ve pointed out many times, people consistently fail to distinguish between “capitalists” who accumulate paper or electronic tokens, which can indeed be printed, and the concept of individuals “owning” resources.

    Resources are finite, duh.

    I get tired of pointing this out, but all the wonderful ideas people present here can actually be achieved if you have a small population relative to resources which are effectively renewable/recyclable.

    This applies to your suggestion as well. In that situation, money serves to extend the accumulation of labor value into the time domain; you accumulate “wealth” so that you can buy labor in the future. And, you buy labor to develop future value (e.g. you feed, clothe, and house scientists to figure out useful stuff.)

    But, also as I’ve pointed out many times, achieving the goal– whether it be carbon reduction through expanded grasslands and forests, or your monetary utopia, or whatever– doesn’t count if it is achieved naturally. It only matters if one gets to exercise conversion or coercion, and/or demonstrate one’s “moral” superiority.

  10. 360
    Carrie says:

    351 Nemesis says: “It’s a strawman. It’s a strawman setup to distract from global socio-economic inequality.”

    That would be correct. As is the explanation above why it is correct.

  11. 361
    Nemesis says:

    @nigelj

    There’s a solution to “overpopulation”:

    Just tell all men and women around the globe about the horrible future, tell them all the hard facts, tell them about the grilling party that is waiting for all kids. When the masses really realize the hard facts, birth rates will drop rapidly.

    Man I am so happy to have seen shit coming decades ago and therefore did not breed. I even contributed my part to solve the “overpopulation” problem this way :)

  12. 362
    nigelj says:

    Nemesis @351,

    “Right now we are 7.5 billion, while the debate about “overpopulation goes on for decades and still no effective proposal how to curb the global population. It’s a strawman. ”

    We do have some useful proposals, and its not a straw man. Several countries already have falling population trends eg S Korea and countries in western europe. We know why, and it’s a combination of things and so it could be applied to the whole world in theory at least. Its been found that simply having free contraception alone makes a big difference, especially in poor countries. Could all be easier than getting people to consume less.

    “It’s a strawman setup to distract from global socio-economic inequality. Where would you like to curb the population? In the rich countries where the co2 emissions are highest per capita and the birth rate is decreasing rapidly or in the poor countries where the co2 emissions are lowest per capita? You’d like to cut down the population in the poor countries…”

    I disagree. I repeat even if there was no inequality the pressure of 10 – 11 billion people on the environment is obviously going to he huge.They are all still consumers, the wealth is just spread around more evenly. I agree inequality is a problem but its a separate problem to population, largely.

    We need lower population everywhere. I think you have a point that its a more critical issue in high consuming countries, but population is already slowing or falling there, so its a case of reinforcing those trends, ideally. But low income countries still consume and are determined to consume more, so it makes sense for them to reduce population growth, they will benefit.

    “IF “overpopulation” is a problem, then you’d have to raise the standard of living in the poor countries, because the birth rate correlates directly to the standard of living. ”

    I have no problem with improving the standard of living in poor countries. This will help promote the demographic transition we know this, but its been found even just free contraception makes a big diffence in poor countries. Wealth is not an essential condition to get the numbers down, it just helps.

    ” Inequality is one of the root problems of climate heating and there is no change in sight. ”

    Yes it is, but you cant really change that properly with population numbers. What do you do? Try to reduce birth rates drastically in rich countries and increase them in poor countries? Its only going to reduce inequality between countries, not total global inequality!

    Even poor countries often have very high internal inequality! Just google the gini coefficient.

    The solutions to income and wealth inequality include things like tax and income redistribution policies, capital taxes, legislative limits on high wages. I dont have an objection to some form of this although clearly there is huge opposition.

    Then there’s more radical change to society and its structures, like some form of shared ownership, roughly equal incomes, and more egalitarian power structures. But people like private property and status, and have to mostly be dragged kicking and screaming to equal income structures and shared ownership, eg The Soviet Union. Perhaps a more voluntary mass movement to an alternative shared ownership and equal society may emerge. I’m not holding my breath. There are no easy answers.

  13. 363
    nigelj says:

    alan2102 @353

    Yeah it’s interesting. I’m just not that 100% convinced about MMT but its interesting and clearly not fantasy garbage as below:

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

    There is also the Positive Money Movement which is closer to the government simply taking over creation of money supply away from reserve banks and private banks. This would risk reckless creation of money to win favour and elections, and might be inflationary. Money supply has to correlate with production thats basic.

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

    But theres nothing to stop reserve banks boosting the money supply in certain situations when inflation is low, so that could work to fund the GND. This would be closer to QE than MMT but there are overlaps. I would like to hear what an economics major has to say.

    I think the safest way to fund the GND would be raising taxes on middle to higher income earners, but this is politically near impossible, so money creation is an option. Deficit financing would have to be the last resort. I hate debt! Look what happened to Greece. Austerity was also a bad policy, but their problems came from too much government debt

  14. 364
    zebra says:

    #351 Nemesis,

    You have one point right but you are mostly impractical in your thinking, because you want to feel “morally” superior.

    Yes, prosperity will tend to cause declines in TFR, assuming other factors are constrained. But prosperity has two parts, as I said to alan in my 359.

    Globalization results in increased wealth in, say, Bangladesh, where they sew clothing for USA. But what happens to the dollars we send them? Well, if they buy oil from Russia, that will increase CO2, correct?

    So, in one case, the “wealth” is in the form of labor, but in the other it is in the form of resources, that being both the extraction and the pollution of the environment.

    But, if the population is declining, the balance shifts between those with resources and those with labor. So, there is no real mystery on how it works.

    If you have globalization, and constraints on the choices made by women are removed, then you can move along the path underlying Paris– promoting the energy transition in those developing countries. That way, the dollars sent to Bangladesh go to buy solar panels or other equipment from the developed countries.

    That economic exchange is now more weighted towards labor for labor.

    And, to promote this even further, immigration to the developed countries will mitigate any problems caused by low TFR there, while accelerating the decline of TFR in the source country.

    And finally, please, if you are not a woman, stop telling us how your “decision not to procreate” makes any difference to population. You and others here just can’t let go of the “global sperm shortage” myth, apparently.

  15. 365
    Nemesis says:

    @nigelj, #362

    Sorry, your reply does not convince me. Anyway, good luck with solving “overpopulation” ect ect ect.

  16. 366
    mike says:

    look what happened to Greece:

    “there is a great temptation to resort to a political explanation of the Greek crisis, based solely on fiscal indiscipline. However, Gourinchas et al. (2016) highlight the role of the sudden stop suffered by the private sector in the output drop. This suggests there may have been, before the crisis, broader pernicious dynamics at play in the economy that have not been investigated so far. The objective of this column is to study the dynamics of national wealth accumulation prior to and during the Greek crisis.”

    https://voxeu.org/article/investigation-root-causes-greek-crisis

    I think the financial crisis in Greece is a complicated story. I think Hyppolite is correct that is tempting to present it as a simple example of fiscal indiscipline.

    Thank you to alan2012 at 353 for a pretty sophisticated analysis complete with links. I appreciate folks who engage in that kind of presentation. Makes me think. But it’s hard to compete with more simple-minded meme presentations that are quite tempting and coincidentally serve certain right-wing political ends.

    Cheers

    Mike

  17. 367
    nigelj says:

    Mike @366 “I think the financial crisis in Greece is a complicated story.”

    Very complicated, and not all their fault.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_government-debt_crisis

    However I have had a look into this thing and the start of the problem was deficits and debt. For decades the government was poor at actually enforcing the collection of taxes, and pensions were very generous. As a result the government borrowed (deficit financing) and debt got to dangerous levels especially for such a weak economy. However some of the blame is with their stupid, blinkered creditors for making such ridiculous loans.

    Then in 2008 the financial system collapsed stressing Greece’s economy. The tax take dropped further and Greece couldn’t borrow any more because payments on interest rose, their creditors panicked, as a result Greece had to cut pensions, healthcare, everything which caused huge hardship.

    Since they are in the euro monetary mechanism, they could not devalue their currency to boost the economy. Unemployment soared, growth plumetted. Their creditors extended some more loans but with tough conditions (Austerity). Growth is now positive but it will take ages to recover.

    Hipplites analysis seems right in at least some regards but doesn’t change the problem of poor tax collection, excessively generous pensions, and the debt problem.

    You definitely appear to think deficits and the high debt they create dont matter. Good luck with that reasoning. You are on the way to bankruptcy. Ironically its the political right in America that have created most of the deficit and debt problem despite their fiscal rhetoric. Debt increased under Reagon, both Bushes and Trump. It fell under Clinton, and rose again under Obama due to the GFC.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_of_the_United_States#/media/File:US_National_Debt.png

    I’m not saying borrowing is always wrong. It makes sense during recessions, but Greece was unable to borrow much more because it already carried so much debt.In the end it had to beg its creditors for more but it came with strict austerity conditions attached.

  18. 368
    nigelj says:

    Mike, you are right about some things, but you suffer from an extreme case of left wing group think. Just the mirror image of the same thing on the right.

  19. 369
    Nemesis says:

    @nigelj

    This should help to tackle the “overpopulation” meme quite a bit:

    ” Chemical Pollutants In the Home Degrade Fertility In Both Men and Dogs

    New research by scientists at the University of Nottingham suggests that environmental contaminants found in the home and diet have the same adverse effects on male fertility in both humans and in domestic dogs.

    There has been increasing concern over declining human male fertility in recent decades with studies showing a 50% global reduction in sperm quality in the past 80 years…”

    https://m.medicalxpress.com/news/2019-03-chemical-pollutants-home-degrade-fertility.html

    More related good news:

    ” Humans Now Producing More Chemical Waste Than Can Be Tested”

    https://phys.org/news/2019-02-humans-chemical.html

  20. 370
    mike says:

    Nigel says “You definitely appear to think deficits and the high debt they create dont matter.”

    Incorrect read on my position and thoughts. I think governments should be careful about what they fund and I think failure to control sovereign debt can have severe consequences sometimes.

    WAPO has the following headline out today:

    “The federal deficit ballooned at start of new fiscal year, driven by GOP tax cuts and higher spending
    The federal government spent $310 billion more than it took in during the first four months of the new fiscal year, a 77 percent jump from the same period a year ago.”

    I think this is indicative of very poor fiscal and budgetary policy and it creates debt issues that make it more difficult for Congress to commit funds to important programs like the GND or Medicare for All or higher education. In the current US political environment, we can pass a tax cut that benefits the most well-to-do US citizens, but there is no support for GND debt that some would characterize as huge, humongous, etc.

    Further, I believe that the US (and other countries) should treat global warming as a national security threat and a higher priority for incurring new sovereign debt than a tax cut. I believe that the US should fund appropriate responses to global warming with the same intensity with which we undertake the global war on terror. At no point since September of 2001 have I heard any serious discussion in the US as to whether we can afford to fund the global war on terror. If people are truly concerned about sovereign debt issues, it makes sense that they would review which financial endeavors receive a blank check and which financial endeavors are subject to a reasonable level of scrutiny as to the economic consequences.

    The wikipedia piece on Bucky Fuller is a good piece if you have a few minutes and want to think outside the box a little. I was thinking I might find something from Fuller on economic constraints and how silly that concept truly is, but I did not find it. I think the short Bucky quote on economic constraints was that we can afford to do anything we have to do.

    Nigel, would you take a few minutes to read through the Bucky Fuller wikipedia article and cut and paste anything there that really speaks to you?

    here is the link:

    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Buckminster_Fuller

    I like this quote from that website: “Quite clearly, our task is predominantly metaphysical, for it is how to get all of humanity to educate itself swiftly enough to generate spontaneous social behaviors that will avoid extinction.”

    I also like the direction to dare to be naive.

    Cheers

    Mike

  21. 371
    mike says:

    economics is seldom very interesting to me, but it seems to come up in the FR thread a bit. Zebra says at 364: “So, in one case, the “wealth” is in the form of labor, but in the other it is in the form of resources, that being both the extraction and the pollution of the environment.”

    Here is an interesting and maybe useful definition of wealth from Bucky Fuller:
    Wealth is our organized capability to cope effectively with the environment in sustaining our healthy regeneration and decreasing both the physical and metaphysical restrictions of the forward days of our lives.

    It’s not Adam Smith, but maybe the Adam Smith approach has some drawbacks. Could that be the case?

    Cheers

    Mike

  22. 372
    Killian says:

    Re #349 Carrie,

    Nope. Consistent w his past.

  23. 373
    Killian says:

    Re #368 nigelj said Mike, you are right about some things, but you suffer from an extreme case of left wing group think. Just the mirror image of the same thing on the right.

    1. How did this not end up in the Bore Hole?

    2. Ad hom.

    3. Even worse, utterly useless as feedback.

    All: You will never see a better example of an utterly pointless, useless post. Let us use it as a reminder that we don’t need to post every thought that goes through our heads.

    nigel, please stop commenting on literally every point raised on these fora. You post far too much. Please recall your cheerleading for word counts and posting percentages, eh? Maybe count your own over the last 6 months and consider the sound/noise ratio.

    A few others, too.

  24. 374
    nigelj says:

    mike @370

    “Incorrect read on my position and thoughts. I think governments should be careful about what they fund and I think failure to control sovereign debt can have severe consequences sometimes.”

    I accept you are worried about debt. Just remember you have criticised me for saying that deficit financing is not the ideal solution for the GND. You quoted an article which claimed Greeces problems were mostly not financial indiscipline (ie debt) therefore you appeared to be dismissing the significance of deficits and debt!

    “The federal deficit ballooned at start of new fiscal year, driven by GOP tax cuts and higher spending……”

    I agree totally with your comments on the current federal deficit in America. They have blown money on ridiculous tax cuts, created a deficit / debt problem and thus there is no money for real priorities (climate change, social problems etc). There might also be a certain deliberate and insidious intent to build up federal debt to the point where the GOP will argue that social security has to be cut.

    “Further, I believe that the US (and other countries) should treat global warming as a national security threat and a higher priority for incurring new sovereign debt than a tax cut….”

    Well yes, but because sovereign debt is so high in some countries (not all) it only leaves options like tax increases or money creation schemes like QE, but those are reasonable options. I suspect that in reality America will do a combination of funding options and muddle through, we all will.

    “I believe that the US should fund appropriate responses to global warming with the same intensity with which we undertake the global war on terror….. At no point since September of 2001 have I heard any serious discussion in the US as to whether we can afford to fund the global war on terror. …..”

    Yes again. In fact I think global warming is a bigger threat to America and my country. Terror is insidious and serious, but the actual average yearly number of victims in developed countries is very small. However the money America spends on the war on terror is probably not huge and you do need CIA keeping watch on the issue. I think a greater potential problem is wasting public money on ridiculous wars, like the invasion of Iraq. That would have bought a lot of wind farms.

    “The wikipedia piece on Bucky Fuller is a good piece if you have a few minutes and want to think outside the box a little.”

    I know of the guy. He is right we can afford to do anything we have to do. Funding something like the GND is more a case of figuring out the “best way”. As I have stated deficit financing might not be the ideal way in America, but they have several other options like money creation (QE) and taxes. I will read his wikipedia article later if I have time.

    “Quite clearly, our task is predominantly metaphysical, for it is how to get all of humanity to educate itself swiftly enough to generate spontaneous social behaviors that will avoid extinction.”

    The million dollar question. We are asking human beings to become more socially aware and altruistic and abandon ingrained habits and buy different sorts of cars and commit public money, and see through all the denialist garbage, and well the list is large…. Like RL says maybe humanity is just not smart enough. Or is humanity not morally good enough? Although that is all somewhat pessimistic.

    I dont know of magic words to change people, but we are all chipping away at the issue in different ways. Sometimes turning big ships around takes time.

  25. 375
    nigelj says:

    Nemesis @351

    “That’s exactly my point of view, so I did not procreate and I’m extremely happy about that. Btw, how many kids do you have? And what is your solution for “overpopulation”?”

    I missed this comment before. The poem reminds me of Pink Floyds album The Wall.

    I have a small family. It’s getting too personal so I’m not going there in detail.

    Population growth rates are already slowing. It happens as countries become wealthier.

    I think theres much more governments in poor countries could do to get population numbers down faster, by education programmes, free contraception, improving womens rights and better basic healthcare (it doesn’t have to be gold plated). We know this stuff works. I won’t fill up this website with details, or Killian will blow another fuse. The information is out there.

    In developing and moderately rich countries financial incentives can help. Singapore has tried this with some success.

    In several rich countries numbers are already falling. Governments need to just let them fall and stop trying futile programmes to reverse this (unless the rate of drop is unusually high).

    And yeah sperm counts are down. Scary. Not the proper way to reduce population.

  26. 376
    Nemesis says:

    @nigelj

    Good news, women start to solve the “overpopulation” problem:

    https://www.wnd.com/2019/03/too-scared-to-have-children-women-go-on-birthstrike/

    https://birthstrike.home.blog

    If I were a woman I’d join them. Maybe tell your beloved ones and friends about it.

  27. 377
    zebra says:

    #371 mike,

    The common practice of right-wingers for a while now is to redefine terms in order to achieve some rhetorical/propagandistic goal. This is not restricted to RW folks; it is a practice that clever 12-year olds like to employ as they first engage in “debates”. (Perhaps there’s a connection, eh?)

    So, the question is, how is some arbitrary re-definition of wealth “useful”? If Bucky, or you, have some terribly clever, original concept to convey, why not do what scientists do, and create an appropriate label? Bealth, for example?

    The answer, of course, is that the point is not to solve the problem of climate change (or inequality, or human suffering, or…), but to provide some mushy, clever-sounding and virtuous-sounding vague fluff, that can’t be tested against reality, prospectively or retrospectively.

    This is from the first hit I got on adam smith + wealth:

    The term ‘wealth’ has a special meaning in Economics. In the ordinary language, by ‘wealth’, we mean money, but in economics, wealth refers to those goods which satisfy human wants. But we should remember all goods which satisfy human wants are not wealth. For example, air and sunlight are essential for us. We cannot live without them. But they are not regarded as wealth because they are available in abundance and unlimited in supply. We consider only those goods which are relatively scarce and have money value as wealth.

    What I wrote was intended to clarify these ideas in the current context– how money, goods, services, and resources fit into how humans interact with the environment.

    But, I know, scientific reasoning doesn’t make one feel virtuous, it just solves problems. Carry on.

  28. 378
    Nemesis says:

    @nigelj, #374

    ” And yeah sperm counts are down. Scary. Not the proper way to reduce population.”

    But it’s very effective, way more effective than decades of just blah blah about “overpopulation” ;) I always trust in the Laws of Nature. Any species that doesn’t respect the Laws of Nature will be doomed anyway. That simple.

    Btw, the right wingerz do not love the birthstrike movement, in fact, they hate it^^… why is that? 8))

  29. 379
    alan2102 says:

    #345 Killian 2 Mar 2019: “alan, yes, there are people smarter than you. Deal with it. I do. Also, there are people who know things you don’t. Deal with it. I do.”

    No, Killian, the problem is that you don’t. You never deal with it. You fire off silly insults, petulant barbs, angry denials, and so forth, whenever challenged. Apparently, that is all you know how to do when faced with a challenge. You’re the picture of an adolescent, defensive egoistic personality, possibly even tinged with paranoid personality disorder (I am unsure about that, but it is possible). Carrie, your sycophant, foolishly dismisses this as your “style”. Yes, it is your style, that’s for sure! And it is adolescent, immature, and possibly worse. You have serious personality and character problems, and it is reflected in your behavior — evident for all to see, so you cannot deny it.

    This is bad insofar as you have value to offer; i.e. you actually have a good deal of knowledge that could be useful to others, but your efforts to communicate are hamstrung by your character problems. At the same time, it is good insofar as you discredit yourself, thereby ensuring that people will not take you seriously — and that includes not taking seriously your misconceptions, over-statements and oft-stupidity; for example, your ridiculous Luddism and anti-modernism.

    In other words, you are terribly wrong about a lot of things, and it is a good thing that your character problems interfere with the delivery of your message, freighted as it is with that terribly wrong stuff. I regret that this also interferes with the effective communication of that which you are correct about — an unfortunate side-effect.

    Ah well. Can’t be helped. Unless, perchance, you were to grow up and get rid of the adolescent egoism, and unless you were to get rid of the laughable anti-technology and anti-industrialism bias and start thinking realistically about what is actually possible in this world. Possible, and extremely desirable, considering that technology and industry are absolutely necessary for the survival of the current population of humans. (Yes, it is possible to imagine different worlds, but THIS WORLD is the one we inhabit, and we will NOT convert 7 billion people to frugal pre-industrial pre-modern permacultural lifestyle. Deal with it. Grow the fuck UP.)

    Your biases doom you and your message to permanent obscurity. If you continue on this path, you will die a frustrated and thwarted old man who no one ever listened to — except for a tiny circle of vacuous cheerleaders like Carrie. A sad fate for a person with real passion and energy, and latent intelligence, and the ability to do serious good in the world.

    Continuing in response to what you wrote: Yes, of course there are people smarter than me. Many people. MOST people. And also many people who know things that I don’t. In fact, EVERYONE knows things that I don’t, and everyone knows more than me about some things. Further, and much more important, some people are vastly WISER than me. I aspire to wisdom, but my accomplishment in this regard is small. I wish you could come to the same realizations. It would be a better world if you did.

    Meanwhile, I generally routinely skip over your posts. Not because you have no value to offer, but because the value is too freighted with adolescent and imperious (character-disordered) bullshit. You’ve effectively neutralized your own value; a terrible shame. I’m sure I am not the only one who ignores your posts for this reason.

  30. 380
    alan2102 says:

    358 Kevin McKinney 3 Mar 2019 — “I’m woefully underinformed on all of this, but would have thought that Paul Krugman counts as an “intellectual heavyweight”, what with that Nobel of his: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Monetary_Theory#Criticisms”

    Kevin, here’s what that link says: “New Keynesian economist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman argues that MMT goes too far in its support for government budget deficits and ignores the inflationary implications of maintaining budget deficits when the economy is growing.[42]”

    Perhaps so, but where’s the evidence? Where are the “inflationary implications” in reality? We’re not seeing them, in spite of MASSIVE money-printing and huge budget deficits, over decades. Yes, there’s inflation, but it is trivial. If the Austrians, austerians and hard-money types — like John Williams, Peter Schiff, and many others — were right, then we would be in hyperinflationary meltdown right now, today. So what gives?

    I want to believe Nobel-laureate Paul Krugman, but that belief must be accompanied by a smidgen of EVIDENCE. Fair enough? Argument from authority only gets you so far.

    “Trust, but verify”, as they used to say.

    For the record: I, too, am woefully underinformed on all of this. After several years of reading, I feel slightly less underinformed than the average person.

    …………………………….

    359 zebra 3 Mar 2019: “Yes, alan, but you can’t print land, or oil, or labor”

    No, of course you can’t. Who said otherwise? Not the MMT people. They are quite explicit about resource constraints on money-printing.

    Please READ, and think, Zebra, before you speak.

    Zebra: “YOUR monetary utopia”

    It is not a “utopia”, and it is not mine. Apparently you did not read, nor think, before you wrote. Consider the implications of this. The more such posts you write, the less your credibility, and the less people will be inclined to take you seriously. This has already happened to a large extent with your posts on population.

    I have serious misgivings about the ethical implications of MMT. Not MMT itself, and its quality as a DESCRIPTION OF REALITY. It is probably right about that. My misgivings have to do with the implications of it, which no one has asked me about, and that’s fine. All that stuff is a different subject. My intention was to discuss the IS, not the OUGHT. (Ontology, not ethics.)

    That being said, it is ridiculous, in light of MMT, to oppose for example the Green New Deal because “we can’t afford it”, or because it would require too much money-printing. The great benefit of MMT is that it exposes such arguments as rubbish, since EVERYTHING the government spends money on involves money-printing; i.e. why single out the GND for that criticism? No reason, of course, if you are not in the pocket of established military-industrial-“security” and other fascist and anti-democratic (and anti-life) interests.

  31. 381
    alan2102 says:

    PS: Briefly: the worst thing about MMT is that it ignores the possibility (and ongoing incremental reality) of global dollar-repudiation. The dollar might collapse, or be seriously eroded, not because we printed too many of them, necessarily, but rather because of how they were spent: on mindless massive domestic consumption/waste (think, for just one example, U.S. retail space fully EIGHT TIMES anywhere else in the world!), and on maintenance of an illegitimate global empire which has ruined countless nations, killed many millions, and reduced the survivors to desperate poverty. In other words: the money was used for evil and stupid/lazy purposes. It could have been used for good purposes, such as the build-out of infrastructure necessary for development of the whole world, notably Eurasia and Africa, as China is doing. But it was not. It was used for evil, and the rest of the world is justifiably angry about this and anxious to dump the dollar as soon as they can. THAT is what will cause collapse of the dollar, not “too much money-printing”. We did not print too many dollars. We used too many dollars for Satanic purposes. But when the dollar DOES finally collapse, or take big hits, the austerians will claim that it was because of “too much money-printing”; i.e. the austerians are stuck in their paradigm and will probably never learn. And that is why the U.S. will lose its global standing for at least a half-century. It will take that long for the idiots to die off and be replaced with generations who have better understanding.

  32. 382
    mike says:

    from the Guardian, of course:

    “If America can find $716bn for the military, it can fund the Green New Deal
    At long last the political debate in the world’s richest country is vibrant with proposals that would help the most vulnerable in our society. And what do we hear in response? A growing chorus of naysayers.

    “Just pipe dreams” – that’s how the Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson referred to proposals for guaranteed jobs, Medicare for All, universal childcare, and the Green New Deal.

    Like many other pundits and politicians, Samuelson says we can’t afford such luxuries. Taxing the rich wouldn’t raise enough money. We’d have no choice but to resort to deficit spending.

    Funny how some politicians have no qualms about ballooning the deficit with tax cuts for the rich but balk at investing in the long-term health of our people and communities. Just as peculiar: the fact that military spending cuts are virtually never mentioned as an option for freeing up funds for social good instead of war.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/06/progressive-agenda-us-military-funding

    The Green New Deal is something we can do. It is something we should do. The renewable energy aspects of the plan are probably something we have to do. If the cost of the GND puts the squeeze on available funds for war and the next generation of nuclear weapons and requires rollbacks of tax breaks for the very wealthy, maybe that’s a good thing?

    The political establishment in the US from Diane Feinstein to Donald Trump like to spout the idea that we can’t afford such an expansive and expensive piece of legislation, but that is clearly not the case. We might have to cut our funding of wars and weapons to fund the legislation and Eisenhower’s military industrial complex finds that unthinkable.

    On another topic: global population growth is slowing. I had to google that to be sure. https://overpopulationisamyth.com/episode-5-7-billion-people-will-everyone-please-relax/

    I have no idea how many humans the planet can support, but it seems like maybe we have gone forth and been fruitful a little too much. Like economics, population news has not been very interesting to me, but the slowing growth is a contrast with the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere and oceans. I would love to read that the CO2 accumulation is slowing. I think it’s comforting to have the numbers going in the right direction. That is something to keep in mind in the context of the population control discussions that arise here.

    Cheers

    Mike

  33. 383
    nigelj says:

    alan2102 @380

    The Green New Deal could be funded with some form of money printing without needing to invoke MMT. It’s important to realise this because presumably all our aims here are firstly the climate issue.

    Regarding MMT more generally and its relative lack of concern about deficits and inflation. Deficits are potentially inflationary because “if” they get too high, they ultimately suck money out of the private productive sector and push it into what is effectively over consumption, thus fuelling classic inflation. The reason inflation isn’t happening much in America is their economy is fairly strong still, and the globalisation phenomenon has had ‘deflationary effects’, and has kept wage demands down, countering the inflation of deficits. But eventually inflation could come roaring back if deficits go on forever, and as globalisation starts to create inevitable demand and supply imbalances (we aren’t there yet but its inevitable).

    It’s important to also realise there’s hidden inflation. It’s all gone into the share market.

    Now deficits also equals government debt. Nobody in their right mind believes debt can just increase forever without negative consequences, and no clever pseudo economics can change that. Eventually it means ever more money goes on paying interest rather than government programmes, and creditors will get nervous. Greece is the classic example of a deficit and debt crisis, and America will eventually reach it’s own limits.

    Now basic keynsian economics which is sensible (and you would be aware of it) says deficits are ok in recessions, provided surpluses predominate in boom periods (ie government run surpluses and pay down excessive debt). Unfortunately America is running defecits all the time (Clinton excepted I think and Obama managed to get deficts down near the end of his term). Continual deficits and high debt are just not good economics.

    I agree with all your comments @381, except that even if deficits or money printing (and you seem to be confusing them) all went towards production there is always a risk of inflation. Of course its all relative, small deficits are not really a problem.

    So yeah I’m still quite suspicious of MMT. But I’m in agreement with you on a lot of things.

  34. 384
    nigelj says:

    alan2102 @380

    Another point on the GND. I think theres a window of opportunity to fund the GND with money printing while inflation is low, but obviously such policies of money printing can’t go on forever. There are no magic bullets. Governments should be funding things mostly through taxes.

  35. 385
    zebra says:

    alan2102,

    “PS: Briefly”

    Yeah, sure. Haven’t seen you do that so far– you sound an awful lot like the Killian you excoriate, both in style (the prissy scolding in particular) and column inch addiction.

    “READ and think”

    But your response to what I said had nothing to do with what I said, so maybe you should try that yourself.

    My (brief) point was only that printing money is perfectly fine if you have an abundance of resources. For example, China understands that, so they are engaging in their neo-colonial project of gaining control of the world’s resources.

    And my other (brief) point, was that you and your fellow-travelers are less concerned with solving the climate problem, and more with seeing yourselves as exalted and pure, set against the “Satanic” others.

    Satanic…talk about losing credibility.

  36. 386

    Mike, #382–

    Funny how some politicians have no qualms about ballooning the deficit with tax cuts for the rich but balk at investing in the long-term health of our people and communities. Just as peculiar: the fact that military spending cuts are virtually never mentioned as an option for freeing up funds for social good instead of war.

    Unless, of course, for some the inequality isn’t a bug, but a feature. Quite a few people seem to think that the rise of others means that they are less ‘special.’ Call it “unenlightened self-interest.”

  37. 387

    Alain, #380–

    Yes, there’s inflation, but it is trivial.

    Not everywhere… but substantively, perhaps this issue is related to the slowing of economic growth in the developed world? It seems to be structural, and has as yet no accepted explanation that I’m aware of.

  38. 388
    Carrie says:

    379 alan2102

    Ouch!

  39. 389
    nigelj says:

    alan2102 @379, I agree about technology. I think it’s very unlikely that many humans would make huge voluntary reductions in the use of technology and energy given all the trends we see, and the obvious value of much of our technology to quality of life. I have said so myself several times. We have to have realism.

    The solutions to scarce resources and environmental degradation seem more likely to come from wasting less, living in smaller homes, renewable energy, recycling more and smaller global population. Possibly some form of zero economic growth. Probably regenerative farming.

    None of this will be easy, but it at least seems possible. It also looks to be possible to encourage this before it becomes a dire nesessity.

    If not all that, then what?

  40. 390
    Carrie says:

    TruthDig – Constructing Rebellion, The Overthrow of Corporate Tyranny

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30GusMbvj9k

    ROFL

  41. 391
    John Kelly says:

    #381, alan2102,

    I post infrequently because I’m not a climate scientist, just an enthusiast. However, as I do happen to buy government bonds for a living, you’ve wandered into something I’m familiar with. The USD is the world’s reserve currency, and that’s not changing for the foreseeable future. A US government obligation is considered the world’s risk-free asset benchmark because it is the most likely to be repaid, and that is based not only on economic strength but more importantly on certain non-economic characteristics of the US: respect for the rule of law, private property ownership, transparency, and strong institutions, the revelation of the durability of which is the one good thing to come from the current administration.

    China’s economy will eventually be bigger, but its structure, the lack of the characteristics mentioned above, will prevent it from becoming a leading reserve currency. Of course the projection is just my opinion, but it’s based on a long history of investors voting with their money, as it were.

    Also, the US is deeply flawed and has made many mistakes, but it has probably had the lightest touch of any world’s greatest power. Marshall Plan? Take a longer view, looking past the current electoral stumble.

    One last thing. The idea that we have to (we don’t), or will (a fantasy), transform society away from materialism and capitalism, is an example of the perfect being the enemy of the good. While it would be nice, it’s completely unrealistic, as demonstrated by thousands of years of civilizational development. We don’t need to turn society upside down, we need to change our energy infrastructure. We now have the technological ability to do that, and the will is growing. Whether it’s the Green New Deal or more focused decarbonization measures, the developed world is headed there. Then the developing world will be a generation or so behind that. We’ll miss 1.5C and probably 2C and have to hope the feedbacks don’t kick in too hard. That’s my optimistic view, but I’m not going to own coastal real estate in any circumstance.

  42. 392

    John Kelly, #391–

    …the developed world is headed [decarbonization]. Then the developing world will be a generation or so behind that.

    Maybe. But I note that right now the leading edge of energy transformation is in the developing world, and that there is much less extant infrastructure there in proportion to current (no pun intended) demand.

    So it seems at least conceivable to me that the developing world won’t be quite so far behind as you think. A related development (at least analogically, and perhaps more directly, too) is seen in the fact that one of the leading mobile money services, M-pesa, originated in Kenya, due to the widespread adoption of 3G phone technology there:

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/fueled/how-kenyas-mobile-apps-ar_b_5577233.html

  43. 393
    Carrie says:

    391 John Kelly says many things worthy of debunking as false fantasies, however I’ll start with one of them: “Whether it’s the Green New Deal or more focused decarbonization measures, the developed world is headed there. Then the developing world will be a generation or so behind that. We’ll miss 1.5C and probably 2C and have to hope the feedbacks don’t kick in too hard. That’s my optimistic view…”

    imho it’s psychological compartmentalisation and Dunning-Kruger rationalisations that are the enemy of the good.

    Please discuss:

    ” A US government obligation is considered the world’s risk-free asset benchmark….”

    Until the moment it isn’t. That moment is coming faster than +1.5C is. But please do direct all your investments into US Govt Bonds John and reap your just desserts. :-)

  44. 394
    nigelj says:

    I would agree with #391 the climate problem is mostly an energy substitution problem. This might not be popular comment, but dismantling capitalism looks like a utopian fantasy land proposition and guaranteed vote loser.

    By all means knock the rough edges off capitalism. I have always advocated this. Scandinavia knocks the rough edges off capitalism quite well with a good regulatory framework, child centred policies, good social safety net universal healthcare etc, but is also business friendly. I regret this is not interesting Buckmaster Fuller theorising and revolutionary ideas, but at least it’s real.

  45. 395
    Killian says:

    Re #379 alan2102 said a degree of bile rarely seen on these boards.

    This is an insanely personal, nasty rant. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a worse one. How does it survive not being Bore Holed?

    You are grossly reaching to take this, “#345 Killian 2 Mar 2019: “alan, yes, there are people smarter than you. Deal with it. I do. Also, there are people who know things you don’t. Deal with it. I do.” so personally, particularly since it was a *defense* against whomever you pointed your previous nasty little rant at. You hypocritically created this entire quagmire. Gaslighting is the term these days.

    You wrote a truly shitty attack on other people posting here and were called on it in a quite gentle manner considering how nasty that post was. The above hihglighted language is a very, very mild take down, but you come back nuclear.

    Issues, dude. You have serious damned issues. Get your projection under control.

    I mean, I stated with zero obfuscation that both you and I run into people who are smarter than we are, but you took it so personally I worry for whomever or whatever was within arms reach when you banged out that horrifically nasty post.

    No, Killian, the problem is that you don’t.

    In fact, I do. You think you know me? Funny. You’re out of control, hypocritically spewing diarrhea all over this board – and the detente I surprisingly managed to encourage, but know me? Cute.

    Your real problem is I am a better analyst than you. History bears that out. Ten years now of pretty much nobody on this board predicting or setting out scenarios, at all, vs. me setting out a handful of them and being on the mark with almost all.

    I know that bothers you, but, dude, grow up a little, eh?

    Carrie, your sycophant, foolishly dismisses this as your “style”. Yes, it is your style, that’s for sure! And it is adolescent, immature, and possibly worse.

    Ah, the irony of such a puerile post attacking another…

    You have serious personality and character problems

    No, you’re just scared, intimidated, embarrassed at your own inadequacies, at always being bettered by someone you consider less skilled than yourself.

    1. ASI near-new low in 2016, predicted in 2015.
    2. Multi-meter SLR by 2100 a full decade before it became a common discussion in climate science.

    Shall I go on? I embarrass you. That is why you get so angry about not even being insulted. You can’t even understand you were not insulted by my post. You were pulled up short for being an asshole in YOUR post. Of course that would trigger you.

    you have value to offer

    Yes, I do. What have you ever offered? That is the other source of your bile. I have contributed to the conversation around climate, adaptation and mitigation, effectively, for over a decade. Hell, I even was talking about Detroit preparing for climate refugees in 2010! Were you? No?

    you actually have a good deal of knowledge that [is] useful to others, but your efforts to communicate are hamstrung [by our ridiculous defensiveness, lying, straw men, etc.]

    Indeed. You truly do not understand how stupid and maladaptive it is to refuse solutions because you just don’t like someone who you constantly try to bully.

    that includes not taking seriously your misconceptions, over-statements and oft-stupidity; for example, your ridiculous Luddism and anti-modernism.

    Ah, hung on your own petard. I don’t know which is worse, that you don’t understand what Luddites, so-called, were protesting, or that you lie about my views on technology when I have so consistently expressed them here for so long. As for misconceptions, over-statements and oft-stupidity, you, like all before you, have absolitely nothing to support those characterization.

    Or are you just *that* childish and petty that you throw out a compliment you think is an insult, but that is a blatant lie as you intended it? I have to assume you’re going with, “If you repeat a lie often enough…”

    In other words, you are terribly wrong about a lot of things

    You can’t name one, which is why you assert rather than provide evidence. Over ten years of such weakminded attacks…

    freighted as it is with that terribly wrong stuff.

    First, let me repeat: You have nothing to show. There is no cut-and-paste for you to use to support your lying and assertions. Second, let’s unpack the true problem, for you, here, and why you are actually writing this ridiculous rant.

    What you are reacting to is your own fear. You are scared. I scare you because I am prescient and accurate. You know what’s coming, and it does not include your beloved tech fantasy. First, let’s address your earlier historical inaccuracy and mis-appellation:

    2. historical
    a member of any of the bands of English workers who destroyed machinery, especially in cotton and woolen mills, that they believed was threatening their jobs (1811–16).

    You, stupidly, think being a Luddite means hating tech. Just. So. Utterly. Stupid. Do you not fecking read? See, this *does* bother me. This is the kind of lie, painting people fighting for survival as somehow stupid, ignorant, irrational. People were being put out of their jobs because of mechanization. They didn’t give a damn about the machines, but about their *incomes.* Had the owners paid them for work made easier by machines, no problem. Was it economic? Don’t know. But given the greed of owners, it might have been. Regardless, they wanted to eat, but their jobs were taken and could not take care of their families.

    The same debate is going on now, and many, many jobs have been and will be lost due to technology, and a far, far greater number have been pushed into slave wage jobs as machines took the middle class-wage jobs.

    I guess everyone’s a Luddite who has lost their job, is underemployed, committed suicide due to financial stress, lost their homes, etc., eh?

    How dare you. You owe the origninal protestors, the current victims, and me an apology.

    But, yes, this tripe is what I expect from you.

    This is what you *thought* the term meant: 1. derogatory
    a person opposed to new technology or ways of working.
    “a small-minded Luddite resisting progress”

    Problem? I am on record for over ten years stating the opposite personal opinion. The difference between you and I is maturity: I love technology. I am sitting in my bed typing on a laptop with my cell phone next to me charging on a nifty little miniature charger plugged into an extension cord in this comfortable house kept warm in -7C winters by a boiler run for nothing more than bathing and cleaning – not even to actually heat the 3-floor house – in a city with enough mass transit, especially extensive subway/train lines and buses, I do not need a car, and using internet speeds the fastest to be found in the world.

    /sarc Oh, yes, I absolutely fecking HATE it. /end sarc

    /not sarc You’re a damned fool. /not sarc

    In reality, I have learned to see what is, not what I wish. To know what must be, not what I wish. Will we do what we must? I have said many times the chances are small, but we have an obligation to try. Yet, you throw this misshapen mess onto the web:

    unless you were to get rid of the laughable anti-technology and anti-industrialism bias

    LOL…

    and start thinking realistically about what is actually possible in this world. Possible, and extremely desirable

    You ignore facts, you ignore maths, but I am working from bias? You choose to try to make happen what you *wish* for, but I am biased in my view? I love technology, always have, have no desire to be without it, have never stated otherwise, yet know we must deeply curtail our use of it due to environmental damage, resource limits, and FF and other emissions, but *I* am the one seeing what they want to see, the one being unrealistic?

    You personal dislike of another human leads you to put all humans at risk? I’m not sure we can even call that still sane.

    considering that technology and industry are absolutely necessary for the survival of the current population of humans.

    LOL… Right. Prove that. What a ridiculous assertion. You are the only person I’ve ever seen make such a bizarre statement.

    and we will NOT convert 7 billion people to frugal pre-industrial pre-modern permacultural lifestyle. Deal with it. Grow the fuck UP.)

    Oooh. Stripes shown. Note my comment above before getting to this. Your fear is palpable. It’s not a case of, “Can’t be done! People won’t!” it’s a case of YOU won’t. YOU aren’t willing to. YOU can’t.

    It’s your fear of a future you have no idea how to handle.

    you will die a frustrated and thwarted old man who no one ever listened to

    Which is it? I should talk like you – mouth filled with venom?! – to get my message across, or my message is shit?

    You’re absurd. I have, and continue to understand, the odds. I have stated over and over and over and over we are unlikely to pull out of this nose dive. Yet, you think I am expecting to be heard? What is supposed to leave me frustrated? My own prescience?

    LOL…

    except for a tiny circle of vacuous cheerleaders like Carrie.

    Interesting that the two people you hate are the ones telling you you can’t have your cookie because it’s killing you.

    Hmmm….

    A sad fate for a person with real passion and energy, and [clear] intelligence, and the ability to do serious good in the world.

    Awww… How sweet. So you’re not *completely* stupid, just too scared of the future to not attempt to take out the messenger.

    I aspire to wisdom

    Accurate word choice.

    Meanwhile, I generally routinely skip over your posts.

    Oh, son, you know you are lying, else we’d not be having this conversation.

    Whatever you might ignore, it is done out of fear, nothing more.

    Proof in the pudding? Who triggered the recent relative detente on this forum? Me. (And not for the first time, either, and by far bearing the brunt of hostility for over half a decade… for being right.) You have done nothing but to tear down the detente, yet you state I post negatively all the time.

    Hypocrisy. Lie.

    You said you went back over my posts. Yeah? How far back? You had to go a goodly ways back. And it’s just sad the post you *did* respond to had none of the types of comments you claim are the problem.

    Hmmm… wherefore art thy true reasons, alan2012?

    Fear. You hate the idea your tech will not save you. That you would have to live differently. Exist differently. Get your nasty little bile-filled fingers dirty.

    Oh, well! Too bad!

    The truth has always been I have been treated boorishly by a group of regulars who fancy this board their domain, and who look down on anyone not having hard science chops, dismiss intuition (remember in January those two days of elevated CO2? For some reason caught my eye? Damned if we didn’t end up with a long string of high emissions, and are still having them) and other forms of knowledge, often with great disrespect. Most have decided to chill out of late. You are the biggest exception.

    Please try to behave better. These are serious times for serious people. Right now, you aren’t one.

    Cheers

  46. 396
    Killian says:

    Further to RANT2102:

    Carrie was called a sycophant because she and I often agree. Let me first point out a sycophant would *always* agree, at least publicly. Second, here is the definition:

    syc·o·phant
    noun: sycophant; plural noun: sycophants

    a person who acts obsequiously toward someone important in order to gain advantage.

    Now, RANT’s whole claim is I am not important, nobody listens to me, I have nothing to offer because of my ways. What advantage is Carrie supposed to be currying, quickest to bitter old age obscurity? You said that’s where I am headed.

    The frequency with which people use words incorrectly on this forum is alarming.

    So, alan, dear boy, do pay attention: Two people who have similar views are not sycophants. There is no power dynamic. I recently called Carrie out on her treatment of Mike. She told me to go fly a kite. She called me out for calling you out on being shitty. I told her, no, you were just being shitty. I was right. She was wrong. Neither of us are sycophants.

    For the record, this is called a healthy relationship.

  47. 397
    nigelj says:

    People who promote a “low tech” culture need to walk the walk, or alternatively better define what they really mean. Computers, phones, boilers, mass transit and highrise or high density city living does not look very low tech to me.

    Lay people who make predictions of massive sea level rise by 2100 need to own their bad predictions. Scientists have recently generally reduced claims of possible multi metre sea level rise by 2100, and extended them to 2200 -2300 (still a huge problem for humanity) as below:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/01/sea-level-rise-may-not-become-catastrophic-until-after-2100/579478/

  48. 398
    Carrie says:

    396 Killian says: “For the record, this is called a healthy relationship.”

    Between two healthy psychologically rational sane people who speak to each other about “issues” with the respect they deserve. They focus on the real issues and not the bullshit, naive fantasies, denial of reality, or the manipulation of others. The exceptions to this, eg 395 and some of my comments that address the BS that gets put out here ad nauseum by a few (speaking to you too Zebra) prove this rule. :-)

    That being said I truly wish the mods would post posts in a timely fashion. So normal natural conversations could be had. The delay in letters arriving over the seas is something from a past gone by era.

  49. 399
    nigelj says:

    Kevin McKinney @386

    “Unless, of course, for some the inequality isn’t a bug, but a feature. Quite a few people seem to think that the rise of others means that they are less ‘special.’ Call it “unenlightened self-interest.”

    Fair comment. It would be good if we could ignore inequality and see it like this, and not let it get us down, but its not so easy. Apparently inequality has real impacts on mental and physical health of all classes of people, especially those further down the wealth scale. Status seeking goes deep. The following is from scientific american. The full article is paywalled, but it’s worth a read, or a google search might find free articles on it by the specific authors.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-science-of-inequality/

    “High economic inequality negatively impacts nearly every aspect of human well-being—as well as the health of the biosphere. Contrary to intuition, it affects the wealthy and the middle classes, not just the poor. Here several leading researchers discuss these wide-ranging effects. Economist Joseph E. Stiglitz explains the origins of U.S. inequality and suggests measures to alleviate it. Political scientist Virginia Eubanks describes how digital systems often hurt, rather than help, the most vulnerable members of society. Neuroscientist Robert M. Sapolsky details the mechanisms by which inequality damages mental and physical health. And economist James K. Boyce describes how imbalances in economic and political power injure the environment—and how communities are coming together to combat such harm.”

  50. 400
    Killian says:

    Yes. A resource-based analysis of mitigation and adaptation shows, rather instantly, tech can’t get us there. Bauxite, phosphorus and on and on… And all the energy uses that have nothing to do with electricity…

    https://consciousnessofsheep.co.uk/2019/03/06/the-green-deal-is-hopium/