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Forced Responses: Oct 2020

Filed under: — group @ 10 October 2020

Bimonthly open thread for discussing climate policy and solutions. Climate science discussion should go here.

413 Responses to “Forced Responses: Oct 2020”

  1. 201

    #198, J–

    Hey, mods!

    He’s talking about altogether the wrong kind of heat!

  2. 202
    mike says:

    Nigel at 197 says: “It’s pretty simple. I’ve said it a dozen times. We need to build a new zero carbon energy grid as a priority, and do what we can to reduce our carbon footprints and energy use as a secondary goal.”

    questions:

    Do you really mean a zero carbon energy grid or are you talking about a net zero carbon energy grid?

    How soon do you think we need to accomplish this?

    I might understand your thinking a bit better with a little more detail.

    https://medium.com/climate-conscious/whats-the-difference-between-net-zero-and-zero-carbon-and-why-does-it-matter-aaab9c3c9fdd

    Cheers

    Mike

  3. 203
    nigelj says:

    Ray Ladbury @194 says:

    “Ladies and Gentlemen: We are not looking for “the solution”. “The solution” does not exist. We are looking for solutions, for things that make the situation better, that buy us time, and we’ve reached the point where we cannot afford to be picky.”

    I’m glad someone else gets it. The physicist and aspiring stand up comic. I was beginning to wonder. No doubt Killian will respond with something like you are forgetting ‘simplification’, which appears to suggest we live as close as practically possible to an indigenous farming community in terms of socio economic structure and shared ownership and we rely a lot on biomass for energy, building, carbon sinks, and replacing steel and aluminium wherever possible. We use modern technology sparingly for essentials. The plan is to be scaled up rapidly in about decade. I don’t think there’s enough biomass to do all these things with a population of 7.6 billion people and growing, even with thermostats turned down a bit.

    The Amazon RF is already dwindling down in size. And its at least debatable whether shared ownership is better than private ownership, regardless of what criteria you use. . The plan as a whole appears to be partly based on the notion humanity will soon run out of non renewables, so we need to ration these materials now to make them last longer. Its almost like ‘simplification’ in some form is a longer term solution phasing in slowly as population growth slows and falls, but I think right now we need a lot of new clean energy, whether it’s renewables or nuclear power even if its quite resource intensive. I think some components of the simplification plan would help right now like no till farming, wasting as little as possible, and passive solar buildings.

    ——————-

    Mal Adapted @199

    “Halle-freaking-lujah: BIDEN BEATS TRUMP!”

    Yes I second that!

    —————————-

    Jolbjwueby @198

    “quarter of a tablet makes all the difference…”

    Please just go away, and find a rock and crawl back under it. I’m not sure why this gets passed the moderators, and assume its just they are busy with other stuff.

    ————————-

  4. 204
    Al Bundy says:

    Sigh. No victory for those who respect science, yet. But if we win both of the USA’s Georgia’s run off elections, then we win (for now).

    But as it stands, we lost the USA’s Supreme Court for either decades or it gets expanded (I suggest a ‘nonpartisan’ expansion to one justice per federal district).

    We also lost seats in the US House and (I think) in state races. GOPpers will draw the district lines for the next decade as the Supreme Court wrings its hands at how awful that is but gee, they’re just the Supreme Court and so have no jurisdiction.

    One bright spot in a field of losses is not a win. It is future ‘”proof” that Democrats can’t do shit. Biden has pledged to follow Obama’s stupid plan of making concesions to GOPpers in the vain hope that they’ll change their ways when they see how nice Biden is, gee willikers.

    Keep Georgia on your mind. And if you have ever wondered when and where to dump 90% of your lifetime’s polical contributions in service of Science, EVEN IF YOU’VE NEVER SET FOOT IN THE USA:

    Now. Georgia. But to somebody vicious, not the milquetoasts. Hmm
    Who?

    The bottom line:

    We win both Senate seats or get mired in Mcconnell’s GOPswampia with little power and all of the blame.

    GOP to Libtards:

    Stomp your foot about how unfair this is for as long as you want. It’ll just buy you a sore foot, loser.

    Covid to GOP:

    You sure about that? January 20th is a long way away and you GOPpers have seeded me throughout GOPlandia. Ya cut off the obviously moldy part of a loaf and you leave my fillaents throughout, waiting for winter.
    Can you say “Death Panels”?

    GOP to the gods; How about some of that Global Warming? Pretty please?

  5. 205
    Al Bundy says:

    NigelJ: Clearly I didnt feel under personal attack.

    AB: Which leaves the question:

    Will Killian act like a scientist by focusing on evidence that does not support his beliefs, perhaps by revisiting some old conversations or by “putting a pin in it” so as to gather future evidence supporting or detracting from what appears to be an anomaly (to him)?

  6. 206

    @194:

    The whole point of moving to AM is that you don’t HAVE TO make engines/engine parts. You can make pretty much whatever you want, subject to the constraints of the materials your 3D printer can use.

    Could you make a hydraulic pump with AM, given the extreme limitations of things like porosity, surface finish and properties like heat treatment you have with it?  You can’t make electronics, you can’t print a silicon chip; you’d probably have major issues printing something as simple as a resistor.  You can’t make real fiber-reinforced ANYTHING, because the fibers can’t go past the boundaries of the grains you lay down.

    It would take days to print something as simple as the plastic tub of a washing machine using AM, and porosity means that it would almost inevitably leak; an injection-molder turns one out in about a minute, and it’s a far simpler and cheaper machine to boot.

    What would drive you to make other things? Well, how about when your customer realizes that they can have a car that lasts for 30 + years, rather than 10 years.

    What on earth makes you think that a car built by AM would last even as long as one made by conventional means?  You can’t make galvanized steel with AM, and rolling produces much superior mechanical properties with less weight (grain structure is a HUGE thing with most metals).  You’d need far more weight for the same strength, which cascades through the system.  NOBODY would want an AM-built vehicle.  NOBODY.  It would make more sense to automate classical metal-forming machinery like the English wheel than to try to build up a steel or aluminum auto body by adding metal droplets a few at a time.  You’d get a vastly superior product too.

    And a printing press is way too expensive to use for any but the most popular books like the Bible or the latest bawdy tales.

    Additive manufacturing is to casting, stamping and injection-molding as pen plotters and ink-jet printers are to the modern web press.

    And there is no way whale oil will ever be replace for household illumination.

    Additive manufacturing is to casting, stamping and injection-molding as machine-dipped taper candles are to mass-produced CF bulbs.

  7. 207
    nigelj says:

    “Here is a thought from Ursula le Guin: “Capitalism’s growth imperative stands radically at odds with ecology’s imperative of interdependence and limit. These two imperatives can no longer co-exist with each other. Either we establish an ecological society, or society will go under for everyone.”

    Economic growth might not be a function of capitalism, per se. Capitalism is normally defined as private ownership and the profit motive. Even the medieval, fuedal “middle ages” period had some economic growth, and could not be categorised as capitalist. Economic growth might be a function of humans simply trying to improve their lot. It did become supercharged by industrialisation, and fractional reserve banking relies on economic growth to function, but profitability can exist at a crude level in a zero growth society even if its a zero sum game.

    But obviously economic growth is associated with capitalism, and economic growth based on resource extraction cant go on forever on a finite planet. In fact economic growth long term equilibrium rate is 3% per annum, but rates have been slowing in developed countries over the period 1970 – 2020 despite the best efforts of governments to boost them with fiscal stimulus, and the experts say its all due to aging populations, saturating markets and increasing costs of some resource extraction. So if economic growth is a problem it is fixing itself, but perhaps not quickly enough. The increasing per capita output of goods is obviously a heavy footprint on the planet with some negative consequences.

    You could force economic growth to zero within a capitalist system by using reserve bank monetary policy of very high interest rates. Right now reserve banks are trying to do the opposite to stop growth hitting zero by cutting interest rates to near zero. Crazy world eh?

    But careful what you wish for. Zero economic growth freezes material output, and that might be ok in countries like America and the wealthy OECD countries, but will be harsh on most other countries. And the impact of economic growth on the environment could be mitigated with appropriate practices around mining and waste disposal and rules about conservation of forests and fisheries to stop their depletion. Lower human fertility rates while rates of economic growth slow as well would greatly improve environmental outcomes, all other things being equal.

  8. 208
    Kimimiles says:

    Why don’t we make a whole desert into a bid soler powerhouse and preserve the energy with lithem iron battery? I also recommend reading this review https://websolarguide.com/backyard-revolution-review/

  9. 209
    Mal Adapted says:

    nigelj:

    “Sap[i]ens: A Brief History of Humankind”, by Yuval Noah Harari, eye opening, erudite, witty and utterly compelling.

    Thanks Nigel, I’ve seen multiple effusive reviews of that book, and yours just sent me to Amazon to buy it. After I read the prose version, I might try the graphic one. I like Larry Gonick’s “Cartoon History of the Universe” series, as east-to-ingest historiography for high school students and middle-aged doctoral dropouts alike 8^D!

  10. 210
    Mal Adapted says:

    Special k” apparently makes you lose track of which blog you’re commenting on.

  11. 211
    Mal Adapted says:

    Moi:

    “Special k” apparently makes you lose track of which blog you’re commenting on.

    You’re all smart enough to figure this out, but just in case: my previous comment was in reply to Jolbjwueby. I don’t need ketamine, to lose track of which blog I’m on!

  12. 212
    Mal Adapted says:

    Ray Ladbury:

    Ladies and Gentlemen: We are not looking for “the solution”. “The solution” does not exist. We are looking for solutions, for things that make the situation better, that buy us time, and we’ve reached the point where we cannot afford to be picky.

    Well said, Ray. Moral clarity is admirable. Demands for moral purity are merely narcissistic.

  13. 213
    S.B. Ripman says:

    Mike #195: Thank you for the profound quote from Ursula K. Le Guin. It bears repeating: “Capitalism’s growth imperative stands radically at odds with ecology’s imperative of interdependence and limit. These two imperatives can no longer co-exist with each other. Either we establish an ecological society, or society will go under for everyone.” It is clear that the ecological imperative is showing its force around the world and the countries of the world are being forced to adapt or face the consequences. Each has its own particular set of reasons for making moves toward sustainability but the major issue has come down to how fast they can realistically move. When leaders are venal or stupid the population … assisted by scientific support … must apply pressure as best they can.

  14. 214
    nigelj says:

    mike @202,

    “Do you really mean a zero carbon energy grid or are you talking about a net zero carbon energy grid?….How soon do you think we need to accomplish this?…I might understand your thinking a bit better with a little more detail.”

    I did really mean a net zero carbon elecricity grid and net zero in terms of reducing wider emissions. I really just used shorthand, because I was making the point in very simple terms that to me the urgent priorities are renewable energy first, energy efficiences a close second, and truly radical lifestyle changes, and finding a preplacement for capitalism might be more of a worthy longer term project.

    Half the American population struggle with the idea of AGW, and renewable energy, and sensible attempts to make healtcare easier to acces for ordinary people, so I think its fair to say there will be some serious scepticism about replacing or radically altering capitalism! But a Biden presidency can achieve some things, and should be good for the climate even with the obvious Senate problem. He can make prolific use of executive orders. I suspect he will.

    But coming back to this net zero issue. I go along with the mainstream Paris Accord targets of getting to net zero by 2050, because its going to be very hard to end that final 10% or so of emissions without some form of carbon extraction. Right now with most things its either very expensive or we just dont know how to get to zero carbon. With electricity generation it gets expensive and there is the carbon content in the manufacturing process, and with things like cement manufacture or air travel we just dont quite have the technology, although its getting there. Of course we could get 20 years down the line from now and find we can do zero emissions so no need for carbon sinks. It looks like we could get very close to actual zero with electricity generation the main issue being carbon in the manufacturing of the first full generation of wind and solar power.

    We do have various effective and proven carbon sink options with planting forests and regenerative agriculture and carbon capture and storage, and sucking the stuff out of the air. The costs are not as good as preventing the problem in the first place, but are starting to look a bit better.

    But the key problem is well outlined in the article you posted which I had already read: Carbon extraction becomes an excuse to delay reducing emissions and some carbon extraction schemes like BECCS are of dubious feasability. And people run around buying carbon offsets for their plane flights which delays takling the real issues. And I just dont think there enough spare land to grow enough forests to make a huge difference, so we should prioritise it for things where there is no alternative.

    I mean I really want governments to priortise renewable energy and energy efficiency ( and they can do stuff which helps these things) and treat carbon capture as just a small part of things, and not rely on it as some sort of “get out of jail free card”. In NZ we have planted a lot of trees which is kinda good up to a point, and better than doing nothing, except a lot of reliance is being placed on it, and its starting to displace good farm land. Not much has been done to actually reduce methane emissions and industrial emissions. Fortunately our current left leaning government is aware of these problems and is moving more towards reducing emissions. They are aiming for a 100% renewable electricity grid, by 2040, and we already get 80% of electricity from renewables (mainly hydro power) so it looks feasable.

    There seems to be a pattern of left leaning governments wanting to reduce emissions and right leaning governments wanting carbon sinks. Doesn’t surprise me. But the bottom line is I think we just HAVE to discipline ourselves to focus right now mostly on reducing emissions, and not rely too much on carbon sinks or carbon capture.

  15. 215
    nigelj says:

    Five Industries Utilizing 3D Printing: Aerospace, automotive, robotics, manufacturing, education. (Five second google search.)

    https://markforged.com/resources/blog/five-industries-utilizing-3d-printing

    https://amfg.ai/industrial-applications-of-3d-printing-the-ultimate-guide/#tab-con-1

    Its quite surprising what is being achieved, although I don’t buy the hype that anything can or should be done this way. Nobody claimed that the materials all have magical properties that mean they would last longer than conventional manufacture. But 3d printing doesn’t rely on mass production, so there is not as much incentive for built in obsolescence especially if the clients want and ask for products to have a long life. I think this was RL’s point?

  16. 216
    James Charles says:

    ” Either we establish an ecological society, or society will go under for everyone.”
    ‘We’ may not have time to ‘establish an ecological society’?

    “our best estimate is that the net energy
    33:33 per barrel available for the global
    33:36 economy was about eight percent
    33:38 and that in over the next few years it
    33:42 will go down to zero percent
    33:44 uh best estimate at the moment is that
    33:46 actually the
    33:47 per average barrel of sweet crude
    33:51 uh we had the zero percent around 2022
    33:56 but there are ways and means of
    33:58 extending that so to be on the safe side
    34:00 here on our diagram
    34:02 we say that zero percent is definitely
    34:05 around 2030 . . .
    we
    34:43 need net energy from oil and [if] it goes
    34:46 down to zero
    34:48 uh well we have collapsed not just
    34:50 collapse of the oil industry
    34:52 we have collapsed globally of the global
    34:54 industrial civilization this is what we
    34:56 are looking at at the moment . . . “
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxinAu8ORxM&lc=UgxhYY5IrpUZFoafYut4AaABAg.9EXZClgWnnS9FrQJEmrdPW&feature=em-comments

  17. 217
    S.B. Ripman says:

    Just saw a headline that is food for thought, given the principal currently in vogue among climatologists that with the warming climate hurricanes are becoming stronger but not more common. The headline: “Subtropical Storm Theta became the 29th named storm of the tumultuous 2020 hurricane season, breaking a record set in 2005.” Doesn’t it seem that with warmer bodies of ocean water stretching over vaster more area, there would be more opportunities for circulating masses of air to develop into hurricanes?

  18. 218

    #206, E-P–

    Once again, some criticisms from E-P that seem a bit–er, charitably, dated.

    Counterexamples:

    https://www.mmsonline.com/articles/three-examples-of-additive-manufacturing-in-production

    Personally, I don’t know much about this topic, and am no more than mildly interested. But the line in “this can’t possibly work” hooha from E-P seemed awfully familiar. For example, E-P contended:

    It would take days to print something as simple as the plastic tub of a washing machine using AM, and porosity means that it would almost inevitably leak…

    I contrast that with this:

    Applications in aerospace, for example the fuel nozzles for the GE LEAP engine, highlight the possibilities of AM in this demanding sector. Additive Manufacturing allowed engineers to design a fuel nozzle which is 25% lighter and five times more durable than the previous part.

    https://www.metal-am.com/introduction-to-metal-additive-manufacturing-and-3d-printing/applications-for-additive-manufacturing-technology/

    And that’s not vaporware: as of 2018, they’d produced 30,000 of those things.

    https://www.ge.com/additive/stories/new-manufacturing-milestone-30000-additive-fuel-nozzles

    I have no idea whether Al’s vision of AM is viable, but it’s quite clear that it works very well indeed in some applications, and will be an enduring part of the manufacturing sector.

  19. 219
    Mal Adapted says:

    zebra, over on the UV thread:

    Absent collective action, there is no such thing as property, nor is a true free market possible.

    Unsurprisingly, I have lots to say about that 8^)! We ought to discuss it on this thread, however. Having interjected Libertarian metaphysics over there, I’ll initiate the move. Disclaimer: I’m not looking for a slapfight.

    Again, z, I completely agree you. I can be more specific in my criticism of ontological libertarianism and the LP platform, as announced on the party’s about page:

    Libertarians strongly oppose any government interference into their personal, family, and business decisions. Essentially, we believe all Americans should be free to live their lives and pursue their interests as they see fit as long as they do no harm to another.

    For a more extreme example, from the “Journal of Libertarian Studies” in 1980:

    The popular conception, embedded also in most libertarian literature, is that voluntariness means non-coercion. As long as you’ve not been coerced, this argument suggests, your decision is voluntary. But in my view much more than this is required.

    The author goes on to reject all forms of social coercion, governmental or otherwise. IMHO, that insistence on non-coercion is why ontological libertarians, i.e. Libertarians with a capital ‘L’, can’t write a less-than-tragic ending to the drama of the climate commons. That’s because the “free” market socializes every cost it can get away with, and will simply reject any evidence of “harm to another” when threatened with internalizing legislation. Absent coercive collective intervention, IOW, “the invisible hand never picks up the check” (KSR) for the homes, livelihoods and lives lost to AGW! However sadly limited “free will” may be: to preserve the organized society required for its freest practical exercise, fossil fuel producers must be coerced by force of law to pay for the marginal social cost of each unit of carbon they produce. IMHO, of course!

    That’s enough Mediocrity metaphysics for one comment. I don’t think I’m challenging any views of yours here, z, but I’m sure you’ll correct me if I’m right ;^).

  20. 220
    mike says:

    a good read on Capitalism and Growth: https://www.greenhousethinktank.org/uploads/4/8/3/2/48324387/why_capitalist_economies_need_to_grow_-_for_green_house_-_10_10_14.pdf

    Here’s a quote from the piece: “Jackson’s book Prosperity Without Growth(2009) comes complete with forwards from environmentalist royalty, in the form of Daly and Bill McKibben, and the real thing, in that of HRH The Prince of Wales. As Jackson writes, there is a difference of opinion among environmentalists as to whether an end to growth must also mean an end to capitalism. In this essay I will refer to the first group, those who are agnostic about whether a post-growth economy could remain capitalist, as the “steady staters”; the others, those who agree that growth must be halted but say that capitalism would have to be ended with it, I will call the “ecosocialists”. There is also another set of environmentalists, ones who don’t even agree that growth could or should be ended, let alone that capitalism should be abolished—but I will not deal with them here. My starting assumption for this essay is that the underlying belief uniting steady staters and ecosocialists is correct:growth does need to be halted—and urgently—in order to give humanity a chance of staying within crucial environmental limits.”

    My guess is that it might be possible to have commerce and economic activity where individuals might acquire something that we would think of as profit, but that capitalism as we presently know it is quite extended and would likely collapse in many ways(Soviet Union style) if growth was suddenly limited. Collapse is an ugly scenario. An extinction event is an ugly scenario. We may have to make some ugly choices before too long. Or not, I think it is possible to just sleepwalk our way further into the sixth great extinction event.

    Cheers,

    Mike

  21. 221
    nigelj says:

    “The world’s best solar power schemes now offer the “cheapest…electricity in history” with the technology cheaper than coal and gas in most major countries.”

    “That is according to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2020.”

    https://www.carbonbrief.org/solar-is-now-cheapest-electricity-in-history-confirms-iea

  22. 222
    Killian says:

    nigel whined, when does he not?

    Killian @186

    “175: “But” change has to be well considered and rational”

    “Really? I’m pretty fucking sure it was shown not long after the voyage of the Beagle that it must be ADAPTIVE……You are doing harm to our collective future.”

    How can change that is rational and well considered by a bad thing? And where did I say change should not also be adaptive?

    What does that phrase mean to you? It means completely ignore the risks, ignore the nature of tipping points, ignore that collapse is coming in terms of climate, resource exhaustion AND ecological collapse, lie about wht people who understand these things have to say, and DO NOTHING at all that will actually SOLVE our problems.

    Further, you are insulting the people who know a shitload more than you by implying the changes being laid out are NOT well-considered and rational. #$%@ you. What is irrational is saying nothing can be done because people, chiefly yourself, just don’t WANNA, which is what you are constantly saying. In fact, simplicity has been very deeply considered by a very wide range of people. The need to simplify is stated as an absolute necessity by people like Joseph Tainter, Catton, and many others.

    SCIENTISTS are saying collapse is very likely coming, but you keep running your smarmy little unintelligent mouth doing everything you can to STOP urgent, necessary changes all because, once again, YOU JUST DON’T WANNA!

    STFU!

    Take your damn hostility to some other website. People don’t want it here.

    Take you sniveling, milquetoast, fear-based, I-don’t-wanna!, ignorant stupid ass elsewhere.

  23. 223
    Killian says:

    190 Mal Adapted says Good job, Brownie!

    Praising failed logic/analysis is a good thing to do?

    Kevin McKinney: If my model of “profit” is accepted

    Nope.

    the “surplus” is the subjective difference between the value to trader A of the item he offered versus the item he received.

    What surplus? What has surplus got to do with it? One can profit and have no surplus. Say I come from a starving village. I trade my pig for a cow. Subjectively and objectively I have made a profit. That cow is gone immediately to satisfy the starvation.

    Why did you bring surplus into it? That’s an entirely different concept.

    The ‘surplus’ in that sense is the whole point of *any* trade, and doesn’t slip in at some point in history, because it’s been there all along.

    We already covered this. Surplus is *not* the sole point of *any* trade, it is the sole point of the selfish, acquisitive trader, otherwise, they would be seeking a fair trade so that future trades can occur. If trader A destroys the economic health of trader B by constantly besting them, the system is unsustainable. Witness the current massive inequality of our current economic insanity, which is based exactly on that insane idea of always profiting.

    nigelj also gives a good account of himself:

    Only if you don’t understand jack or shit.

    But I was really just saying very early examples of trade probably didnt involve any notions of making a profit as such, and perhaps K is right to that extent.

    Yes, as ever.

    It was probably a more naive transaction of swapping things based around different groups having different resources or skills.

    Yes. Aaaand here comes the stupid:

    Whether this is based on needs or wants is clearly immaterial. Its just a process.

    Drivel. Worse than drivel, it is intentionally obtuse. Needs have limits, wants have none. How is this immaterial? Needs are based in keeping self and community functioning, wants are pure consumption. How is this immaterial? Needs keep us alive, wants consume the living ecosystem without meeting any need. How is this immaterial?

    This is **obvious.** How do both you and Mal screw this up after all this time? Good job, Brownie! Good job, William Barr! Good job, GOP! Good job, Shell, BP, et al.!

    And I think the difference between a naive form of trade and making a profit is actually a very fine line.

    Because your head is filled with straw.

  24. 224
    nigelj says:

    Killian @222, I don’t think I “ignore” urgent necessary changes. For example @203 I listed a number of things I think we can do right now that you have ‘also’ mentioned, including passive solar construction, eliminating or at least vastly reducing waste, and no till agriculture. However it pays to bear in mind that even with the best will in the world new buildings are not quick things to build. I also listed some things that don’t look like they would work at least in the short to medium term. It’s not the first time I have said those things. So I don’t know why you go on just making things up.

    If you are worried about resource scarcity, particularly non renewables, eliminating waste is probably one of the most practical ways of mitigating that problem. I’m not just saying throw less away and recycle more. Wars are very wasteful as well. And eliminating waste solves a range of problems so makes a lot of sense. But Im not going to waste my time trying to convince people to go without a car or vacuum cleaner or television because one day we will run short of copper or something. It just doesn’t make sense because we cannot stop the inevitable and it will just mean an inevitable reversion at some future date to a low tech culture maybe mostly reliant on iron and scavenging what other materials are left. I prefer to put my energy into things that might gain traction with the public. I doubt many people will listen to me anyway. But you go right ahead if you want. I don’t care.

    Simplicity means different things to different people. Are you seriously trying to tell me there’s some global consensus on it? Some agreed prescription? If so, prove it. I think we should simplify in a very general sense, but definitely not the exact version you have referred to.

    We have a difficult situation with a huge global human population reliant on technology and various advanced technology based energy sources, and if we switch this too fast to making more reliance on the biosphere this will obviously cause its own set of huge problems.

    The list of so called experts you list are not god. I find a lot of what’s written is very valuable but a lot is very vague and dubious. You get all upset when I criticise experts and think I’m being insulting, but you criticise experts yourself constantly. I mean I just don’t know what to say to you on that. It defies words.

    The situation is very complex, and I dont think you fully understand how complex. The two things that resonate most with me and probably the public and which make the most sense are getting population growth to stop and fall and eliminating or vastly reducing waste, and I’ve said it several times, so I don’t think you can claim you are unaware of this, but I suspect because it doesn’t perfectly 100% align with your views you are utterly dismissive. There’s nothing much I can do about people who are like that.

  25. 225
    nigelj says:

    Killian @223,

    “One can profit and have no surplus”

    I don’t buy into that idea (pun not intended). The idea of profit and a surplus is actually much the same. Three definitions:

    “The concept was subsequently developed and popularized by Karl Marx. … According to Marx’s theory, surplus value is equal to the new value created by workers in excess of their own labor-cost, which is appropriated by the capitalist as profit when products are sold.Surplus value – Wikipediaen.wikipedia.org › wiki › Surplus_value”

    “Surplus Definition – Investopediawww.investopedia.com › terms › surplus Jul 13, 2019 — A surplus can refer to a host of different items, including income, profits, capital, and goods. In the context of inventories, a surplus describes …”

    “A surplus is used to describe many excess assets including income, profits, capital, and goods. A surplus often occurs in a budget, when expenses are less than theincome taken in or in inventory when fewer supplies are used than were retained. Economic surplus is related to supply and demand ( An economics teacher on Quora)”

    “Whether this is based on needs or wants is clearly immaterial. Its just a process.”

    “Drivel. Worse than drivel, it is intentionally obtuse. Needs have limits, wants have none. How is this immaterial? Needs are based in keeping self and community functioning, wants are pure consumption. How is this immaterial? Needs keep us alive, wants consume the living ecosystem without meeting any need. How is this immaterial?”

    What I said clearly went well over your head again. In terms of making a trade this can happen regardless of whether its needs or wants. And and whether its profitable it doesn’t matter whether we are talking needs or wants. A farmer can profit out of selling grain which we need, surely? And he can also profit out of selling something that satisfies more of a want, like sugar cane, surely?

    The rest of what you say about needs versus wants is largely non controversial, but beside the point. Obviously needs essential for survival like food and shelter should take precedence over wants, but without meeting at least some wants, life is pretty awful. And are education and entertainment needs or wants? Either way, life would be awful without them. So your analysis looks very simplistic to me.

  26. 226
    nigelj says:

    Killian @222

    “nigel whined, when does he not?”

    I whine a lot when I read the voluminous crap people write on this website, particularly coming from you and Z :)

  27. 227
    nigelj says:

    mike @220

    “In this essay I will refer to the first group, those who are agnostic about whether a post-growth economy could remain capitalist, as the “steady staters”; the others, those who agree that growth must be halted but say that capitalism would have to be ended with it, I will call the “ecosocialists”. There is also another set of environmentalists, ones who don’t even agree that growth could or should be ended, let alone that capitalism should be abolished—but I will not deal with them here. My starting assumption for this essay is that the underlying belief uniting steady staters and ecosocialists is correct:growth does need to be halted—and urgently—in order to give humanity a chance of staying within crucial environmental limits.”

    Great essay, but doesn’t this just show just how much the so called experts disagree on these issues? And yet Killian is trying to tell me how wonderful they are and how ignorant I am. So hilarious.

    Instead of navel gazing these people should look at the frigging real world data. For example Japan has had near zero economic growth for ages, and theres no sign capitalism is “collapsing”. Now yes its not “zero growth” but you would expect to see huge stress and we just dont! Of course they do have problems, but they are related more to an aging population and various political issues.

    Like I said before, if we halted growth urgently it would lock the third world into material poverty. They would not get to share the abundance and much of the modern technologies we have and . I can’t in good conscience inflict that on them. But the self appointed experts dont always think through the consequences of their grand proclamations.

    Its also a question of how exactly is growth hurting the environment and how much? Mining causes local damage but this can be easily mitigated just by being smarter how we mine. Dumping waste causes damage but there are known solutions to this problem. We damage the environment because we are lazy and selfish. Even zero growth economies damage the frigging environment. Doh!

    Now the real challenging growth related problems are resource extraction surely? But the planet doesnt feel pain if we use up the mineral base. The real problem is depletion of the biosphere, for example the fisheries and forests, but that is far more a result of bad farming and population growth, than economic growth per se.

    Clearly and indisputably population growth needs to stop urgently, and the great thing is this doesn’t cause the sort of pain stopping economic growth causes and its politically feasible, and has been slowing since 1970 anyway.

    I’m just putting it in perspective. Economic growth itself is still obviously problematic for the environment to some extent. The solution that just might be feasible in the real world of human beings and their mixed motives is to allow growth to continue in poor countries for a decent while but phase back growth in developed countries until it hits zero in coming decade or so. Theres an argument that we already have enough “stuff”. And growth might be able to continue in some areas of the economy that dont hugely relate to the environment.

    And again all this is somewhat academic. If the so called experts opened their eyes and looked at the data they would see economic growth is slowing anyway and might stop of its own accord!

    Sorry Im just not that impressed with the so called experts in this area.

  28. 228

    #222-3, Killian–

    Another few hundred words wasted because Killian won’t read for comprehension, or take anyone else’s perspective seriously.

    Ah, well.

  29. 229
    zebra says:

    Mal Adapted #219,

    Mal, how is your characterization of any critique or disagreement about your pontifications as a “slap fight”… different from the Libertarians claiming authority over defining what constitutes “harm to others”?

  30. 230

    @214:

    to me the urgent priorities are renewable energy first, energy efficiences a close second

    This, IMO, is a mistake.  Carbon-free energy, from whatever source, should be the first priority… and it has to be vetted for fitness for purpose of replacing fossil energy.  So-called “renewables” do not have the fitness claimed for them, as both wind and solar require fossil or other backup.  This is why, aside from the low-penetration phase in which they work as fuel displacers, they should be a lower priority than even efficiency.  Nuclear energy and hydro should be #1.

    Hydro is maxed out in the USA, and is decreasing as existing dams age out and are removed.  The world needs LOTS more nuclear.

    I go along with the mainstream Paris Accord targets of getting to net zero by 2050, because its going to be very hard to end that final 10% or so of emissions without some form of carbon extraction.

    The world needs serious net NEGATIVE, not by 2050 but today.  We need to get down to 350 ppm or so just to halt the bad events and trends already happening.  Carbon extraction is essential.  Also probably geoengineering, especially around the poles.

  31. 231

    @218 quotes a statement about a low-volume, high-value part for which porosity is generally not a serious problem.  IOW, one where machining either from a billet or other workpiece can lose out to AM.  This is not true for mass-market items.

  32. 232
    mike says:

    At Nigel: so you think we need to move to a net zero carbon energy grid. Thanks for adding that detail. You did not answer my other question from 202: How soon do you think we need to accomplish this net zero carbon energy grid?

    These details are important. Otherwise, the thought and aspiration hangs there like Brown v. Board of Education from 1954 which mandated the end of segregated education “with all deliberate speed.”

    To folks in charge of education in the South, where I grew up, that really meant Never. How does never work for you? I think never does qualify as deliberate speed. I suppose the Supreme Court might have argued that this was just shorthand, but again, the details are important, shorthand may not communicate the real meaning and imperative for action.

    When a person looks at the environmental destruction that is occurring, they may make some evaluations as to the urgency of the problem, the change needed to handle the problem and the time available to make the change. If a person does not address all those issues, it can look like they are just spouting comforting platitudes. I don’t think that is your intention, so maybe fill in a few more details about your vision please.

    Cheers

    Mike

  33. 233
    mike says:

    Here is an interesting article about Japan’s economy and the sustainability of their weak growth model: http://postgrowth.org/japan-the-worlds-first-post-growth-economy/

    Here is a quote from the piece: Japan’s GDP “is living proof that growth isn’t necessary to deliver a high standard of living.

    That’s not to say that Japan is to be envied or emulated. A legacy of failed stimulus ideas has left it with big debts, and the future is as uncertain as it is anywhere. Neither is it a steady-state economy in the way that matters most – in its materials. Japan consumes considerably more than a one-planet share and is not sustainable in that sense.”

    The details are important to a meaningful analysis. Experts will disagree, that’s what experts do. We may evaluate the arguments and positions of the experts and render our judgment about which experts are likely to proven correct in the areas of disagreement. Time and patience will sort a lot of this out for us.

    Cheers

    Mike

  34. 234

    @221:

    “The world’s best solar power schemes now offer the “cheapest…electricity in history” with the technology cheaper than coal and gas in most major countries.”

    Now total up the costs of making solar power provide 24/7 electricity WITHOUT fossil backup.

    Nobody’s even talking about that.  There’s talk of covering a few hours of demand to cover the evening peak, no more.  Nothing overnight, nothing about the morning peak.  But the industry required to create solar power needs juice 24/7.

  35. 235

    @227:

    if we halted growth urgently it would lock the third world into material poverty.

    Third-worlders cannot generate prosperity; if they could, they would do so on their own.  We don’t owe them, especially not at the cost of ecocide.

  36. 236
    Mal Adapted says:

    MPassey, on the UV thread:

    @22 “The upshot is that climate realists are consequentialist libertarians.” You seem to be saying that a libertarian stance can be evidence based. I think this is supported by the evolutionary perspective on human progress.

    And nigelj:

    I cant help but feel that inside every consequentialist libertarian there lurks an ontological libertarian trying to get out. The history of our own libertarian party suggests this. FWIW, I really just don’t much like libertarianism, and its dog eat dog mentality. Ayn Rand is entertaining but shouldn’t be taken too literally.

    Guys, what I’m trying to say is that ontological, upper-case ‘L’ Libertarianism, if sincere, is based on a fantasy of a moral framework built into the universe, as though a cosmic overmind has given them freedom from restraints on their willful behavior. A theistic Libertarian, who “answers only to God”, may deny AGW because he believes that God enjoins us to be fruitful and multiply without limit, and that fossil supplemental (non-food) energy is divine providence, surely without hidden or deferred cost. A cynical Libertarian may understand market externality perfectly well, and wish only to disguise purely self-aggrandizing motives. As an atheist, I consider all claims of evidence for God to be at best presuppositional, thus smoothly shaved away by Occam’s Razor. Pursuant to the mediocrity principle (i.e. “You’re. Not. Special.”), I reject ontological Libertarianism similarly. AFAICT ontological Libertarians, sincere and otherwise, make up the US Libertarian Party.

    I’m also saying while some people may privately fear even their own freedom, most of us who aren’t ontological Libertarians are consequentialist, lower-case ‘l’ libertarians by default, simply because we like the consequences of some liberty. That is, we want all the liberty we can get to pursue our personal goals, but we recognize physical, psychological, social, and economic realities. Indeed, we all do what we will unless something stops us, even if we oppose the LP platform. If we are theists, we may believe God enjoins us to be stewards of His creation, and not to impair its providential bounty, while Jesus wants us to love our neighbors as ourselves. From both selfish and prosocial motives, we wish to take all discoverable constraints into account whenever we act. If we get the equivalent of high-school educations, and escape burdensome cultural impedimenta, we recognize science as the superior method of discovery. We are therefore appropriately alarmed by the verified evidence for AGW. We do not want the earth’s climate to become inhospitable to the organized society required for the maximum practical personal liberty. IOW, consequentialist libertarianism is the adaptive stance. In that view:

    If the overwhelming preponderance of scientific evidence reveals that the freedom Americans currently enjoy to externalize the cost of our private emissions when we buy fossil carbon or any good or service produced with it, is causing mounting losses in money and tragedy for involuntary third parties, often wildly out of proportion to their private emissions but already including ourselves;

    Then any evidence-based person would agree to careful collective interference in our choices on the otherwise-free market for supplemental energy, in order to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity” (preamble to the US Constitution).

    MP:

    How do you reconcile this evolutionary libertarian view with the need for climate change mitigation?

    Do I need to? WRT human “progress”, I maintain its drivers are genetic and cultural evolution (h/t Nigel for “Sapiens: A Brief History”, BTW). We inherit the genes for both selfish and prosocial “instincts” from our primate ancestors; we are developmentally inculcated with cognitive predispositions, slowly accreted in living human brains across generations until we invented durable recording media, when the pace of global cultural evolution accelerated dramatically. At no point in our evolution, however, have we been free of either the laws of physics or the expectations of our nested social groups. As individuals, we are predisposed on behalf of our extended phenotype, within physical constraints; but our behavior is also constrained by our larger social environment. At every scale, L’enfer, c’est les autres 8^D! Nonetheless, history shows we are, on average, capable of cooperating with supra-kin groups when it’s adaptive.

    Y’all know I could go on and on, but I’ve got other stuff to do today!

  37. 237

    Full paper: “Are We Approaching the End of the Linear No-Threshold Era?”

    http://jnm.snmjournals.org/content/59/12/1786.long

    A Chernobyl per year might not be an actual problem beyond the immediate vicinity.

  38. 238
    William B Jackson says:

    #237 A near permanent loss of 1000 square miles to an exclusion zone each year might be problematic? Ya think?

  39. 239
    Mal Adapted says:

    Sorry, the full title of the book Nigel recommended is “Sapiens: a Brief History of Mankind”, by Yuval Noah Harris. Locate with your favorite search tool. So far I’m on the fence about a genetically-based Cognitive Revolution around 70 kya, as a punctuational event that propelled our African exodus. Admittedly it seems somewhat favored by experts over a gradual cultural evolution, in a species emerging 300 kya in Africa with as much innate cognitive capability as humans today, that reached an inflection point around 70 kya, triggering our spread around the globe. It’s just that the evidence to date is oh so sparse and ambiguous.

  40. 240
    Mal Adapted says:

    zebra:

    Mal, how is your characterization of any critique or disagreement about your pontifications as a “slap fight”… different from the Libertarians claiming authority over defining what constitutes “harm to others”?

    I’ll bet you already know the answer. Now it’s time for my afternoon nap.

  41. 241
    Mal Adapted says:

    Engineer-Poet:

    Third-worlders cannot generate prosperity; if they could, they would do so on their own. We don’t owe them, especially not at the cost of ecocide.

    Moderators, this is bald-faced victim-blaming, informed solely by hateful prejudice. IMO it is harmful to the value of this blog, and ought to be firmly rejected, or at least quarantined!

    Climate realists, let’s here it from the rest of you.

    E-P, if you truly don’t care what the rest of us think, why bother exposing your hate in your comments? Please, just leave it out!

  42. 242
    nigelj says:

    Engineer-Poet @230

    “Carbon-free energy, from whatever source, should be the first priority…”

    Yes I’m ok with “carbon free energy”. I’m pretty relaxed about whether we go renewables or nuclear, as I’m sure you are aware of. Its not a debate I want to get deeply into right now.

    “The world needs serious net NEGATIVE, not by 2050 but today.”

    Yes and I agree with your sense of urgency, but its not a very realistic goal is it? We need a goal that has at least some chance of being met, or we will go crazy.

    Or are you saying we just start sucking CO2 out of the air right now as much as we can? Personally I think we should definitely do SOMETHING and as I previously noted we have a pretty big tree planting programme in NZ. The rock weathering you mention is another possibility that could be done right now. I like the fact that its appears fairly environmentally benign.

    But if we are talking things like carbon capture and storage that is only leading to neutrality.

    If we are talking sucking CO2 out of the air with fans, and chemically converting it etcetera, the technology exists, but I would suggest given technology related resources limited at any one point in time, especially this sort of stuff, right now the overwhelming focus should instead be on preventing the problem by using carbon free energy and low carbon cement etc? When we are winning ‘that’ battle it might be the time to be sucking the stuff out of the air with fans?

  43. 243
    nigelj says:

    mike @232

    “At Nigel: so you think we need to move to a net zero carbon energy grid. Thanks for adding that detail. You did not answer my other question from 202: How soon do you think we need to accomplish this net zero carbon energy grid?”

    I did actually say @214 that “I agree with the paris accord timeframe of aiming for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.” And yes that would include electricity generation. Some countries might want to do it sooner, I did mention we in NZ are aiming to do it by 2040.

    I’m aware of the plan to stop warming getting over 1.5 deg c which would mean more ambitious time frames, and great if people want to do that I have no objection, ‘but’ it just looks so practically unrealistic, sadly to say, that I think I will talk about preventing warming going above 2 degrees and the associated Paris time frames of 2050.

    I do totally agree we need firm time frames or things just dont get done. The can gets kicked down the road. I work in a design profession with numerous deadlines, and I meet those deadlines.

    I wouldn’t say I’m proposing some sort of “vision” as such. I do have my own perspective on things but I’m not proposing anything particularly different from the general mainstream view on mitigation which appears to be renewable energy ( although I don’t mind some nuclear power in the mix) energy efficiency and some use of carbon sinks and with a goal of getting there by 2050. I think we still have a chance of doing that and its a goal that has both a sense of urgency, is well defined but is practically possible as well. I mean it was formulated by a lot of experts, so alternatives do need to be convincing.

    Other people on this website argue very different alternatives like for example ‘simplification’ or smaller population as a primary sort of tool, or KIA and geoengineering, and while there is some value in these things I think there are problems as well and its hard to fault the more conventional approach. Of course if that doesn’t work, we may be forced to rely on other alternatives.

    Zebra is very cynical about the whole thing and thinks nothing might work other than getting population size down, as both a mitigation and adaptive strategy. I totally understand where he’s coming from, but there’s some chance the conventional approaches will make a good difference and I prefer to spend time advocating those and trying to be a bit optimistic (which doesn’t come naturally to me). Rates of population growth are fortunately declining anyway so I dont see the point in talking about it too much. You can only lobby your politicians about it to ensure people have good access to contraception.

    I have also done some quality assurance work and I fear its turned me into a bit of a nit picking critic! But ideas must always be critically examined no matter how convincing they seem or feel. Mine included. What really annoys me is blatant personal attacks, and people who never address the specific issue people raise ,but instead go of on tangents or shift the goal posts. Not suggesting you are doing this or I’m perfect.

    ———————————

    mike @233

    “Here is a quote from the piece: Japan’s GDP “is living proof that growth isn’t necessary to deliver a high standard of living.”

    Yes it just goes to show. As I stated previously, the western world probably has enough stuff already. Low or even zero economic growth wont kill us. But we cannot expect the third world to adopt zero or very low economic growth, not yet anyway. Its just neither right or fair.

    The problems are complex.

    “That’s not to say that Japan is to be envied or emulated. A legacy of failed stimulus ideas has left it with big debts, and the future is as uncertain as it is anywhere. Neither is it a steady-state economy in the way that matters most – in its materials. Japan consumes considerably more than a one-planet share and is not sustainable in that sense.”

    Agreed. Their problems started with a big housing crash which they didn’t deal with properly and the result was economic stagnation, but it hasn’t killed them.

  44. 244
    Mal Adapted says:

    Holy false equivalence, Russell! How One Firm Drove Influence Campaigns Nationwide for Big Oil:

    FTI, a global consulting firm, helped design, staff and run organizations and websites funded by energy companies that can appear to represent grass-roots support for fossil-fuel initiatives.

  45. 245

    @237:

    A near permanent loss of 1000 square miles to an exclusion zone each year might be problematic?

    WTF do you mean, “near permanent”?  That’s an overabundance of caution.  The current thinking is that most of the Fukushima evacuations were unnecessary, even temporarily.  And given the fact of radiation hormesis, spills may even be slightly healthful.

  46. 246
    David B. Benson says:

    A variety of links to papers on the superiority of radiation hormesis in explaining the effects of low-level ionizing radiation:
    https://bravenewclimate.proboards.com/thread/312/wade-allisons-radiation-critique?page=2

    As for Chernobyl, nobody builds RBMK nuclear power plants any longer. Modern designs are safe.

  47. 247
    Killian says:

    236 Mal Adapted: MPassey, on the UV thread:

    @22 “The upshot is that climate realists are consequentialist libertarians.” You seem to be saying that a libertarian stance can be evidence based. I think this is supported by the evolutionary perspective on human progress.

    The only truly free societies on the planet are aboriginal: Absolute personal freedom. Yet, they do not (knowingly) destroy their environments. Show me ANY libertarian living truly sustainably and I will show you a lie or a failure to understand “sustainably.”

    And nigelj:

    I cant help but feel that inside every consequentialist libertarian there lurks an ontological libertarian trying to get out. The history of our own libertarian party suggests this. FWIW, I really just don’t much like libertarianism, and its dog eat dog mentality. Ayn Rand is entertaining but shouldn’t be taken too literally.

    Huh? That is exactly what you argue: We can’t do what we must to solve our problems because: People. Won’t. How is that not Ayn Randian?

    Guys, what I’m trying to say is that ontological, upper-case ‘L’ Libertarianism, if sincere, is based on a fantasy of a moral framework built into the universe, …A theistic Libertarian, who “answers only to God”…

    Is a dangerous fool.

    A cynical Libertarian may understand market externality perfectly well, and wish only to disguise purely self-aggrandizing motives.

    As so many of any and all stripes do…

    As an atheist, I consider all claims of evidence for God to be at best presuppositional, thus smoothly shaved away by Occam’s Razor.

    But also utterly irrelevant.

    I’m also saying while some people may privately fear even their own freedom, most of us who aren’t ontological Libertarians are consequentialist, lower-case ‘l’ libertarians by default, simply because we like the consequences of some liberty. That is, we want all the liberty we can get to pursue our personal goals, but we recognize physical, psychological, social, and economic realities.

    And this caps off the utter uselessness and, frankly, maladaptive stupidity of all philosophies. You think you have labeled something, intelligently, perhaps usefully, and are patting yourself silently on the back for your rhetorical brilliance, no? No matter either way. The point is you are playing word games with things that existed long before you lived or any city existed anywhere on the planet.

    Intelligent people do not need philosophies: Politics, economics, psychology, et al., because they understand the old joke, in an inherent sense,

    Patient: “Doc, it hurts when I do this.

    Doc: Don’t do that.

    Indeed, we all do what we will unless something stops us

    I disagree. Modern fools do. That’s not “all.” And that you externalize that as “something stops us….”

    we may believe God enjoins us to be stewards of His creation… Jesus wants us to love our neighbors

    high-school educations… science as the superior method of discovery.

    My ten+ years here call B.S. on this claim. You (specifically and the posters generally) do not believe in science, you believe in the science you choose to believe in.

    We are therefore appropriately alarmed by the verified evidence for AGW.

    No, you are inappropriately alarmed, dismissing the worst case scenario out of hand.

    We do not want the earth’s climate to become inhospitable to the organized society required for the maximum practical personal liberty. IOW, consequentialist libertarianism is the adaptive stance.

    Is it? I think it’s living in harmony with Nature and choosing not to shit where you eat because… that’s just the not-stupid, the obvious, thing to do. It requires no more philosophy than to not want to die of slow suicide.

    If the overwhelming preponderance of scientific evidence reveals that the freedom Americans currently enjoy to externalize… causing mounting losses in money and tragedy for involuntary third parties…

    So, they’ll do it for others, but not to simply keep living, eh?

    Then any evidence-based person would agree to careful collective interference in our choices on the otherwise-free market for supplemental energy, in order to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”

    Why? You have not connected the health of those other parties to the abusive over-consumers of resources.

    How do you reconcile this evolutionary libertarian view with the need for climate change mitigation?

    Do I need to? WRT human “progress”

    Oh, good thing you added quotes there…

    We inherit the genes for both selfish and prosocial “instincts” from our primate ancestors

    Again, what instincts? To live, perhaps. Anything else is philosophy, but no point in debating it. However, it is simple:

    A: Hey, let’s use that stuff over there, all of it! We could live quite high!

    B: (Does math.) Yep, for about a minute-and-a-half. Then what?

    A: Who cares!

    B: Hey, you guys, we got another crazy one!

    A: Wha….?

    B, et al.: Look, you can use all that, we won’t beat you up or anything, but you’re not an idiot. You know what we know: If you do that, we all eventually are dead. Are you sure you wanna do that?

    A: Err… How much can we have today?

    B: (Does math.) About thiiis much. (Indicates volume with hands.)

    A: Cool. Who wants to brew some zoomzoom juice?

    B, et al.: Let’s do it! Sustainable party tonight!

    The more observant reading this will note I am not disagreeing with your conclusions, per se, but how you come to them. Divorced of Nature, you ignore Nature in deference to various tortured beliefs and logic puzzles when all you need to do is follow the principles of Nature to get there far more efficiently, effectively and accurately.

    The consequential libertarians of the tribal societies don’t need your tortured philosophies because every person of a certain age knows what happens when you cut down all the zoomzoom plants for a short-term high: It disrupts the ecosystem in ever-widening disruptive circles of destruction till everything is bye-bye.

    As Peter Gray relates of the teaching style of an indigenous mother, while he marveled at her allowing a 3~4-year-old girl to muck about with the fire and a sharp knife, the mother marveled (I paraphrase) at his stupidity: What?! She’s been watching people use that knife and the fire for YEARS. If she doesn’t know the fire burns and the knife cuts by now, she damned well had better learn fast, and there are no better teachers than the fire and the knife!

    I suggest you all figure out the fire and the knife a hell of a lot faster than you have been.

  48. 248
    Killian says:

    228 Kevin McKinney: #222-3, Killian–

    Another few hundred words wasted because Killian won’t read for comprehension, or take anyone else’s perspective seriously.

    Ah, well.

    You need to ask yourself, “Am I lying, or are my biases just that knee-jerk, or just that huge?”

    Look yourself in the eyes when you ask.

  49. 249
    nigelj says:

    Mal Adapted @ I understand what you are trying to say. Its intriguing for me because Ive long been a bit interested in libertarianism, and I suspect its a key factor behind climate change denial which is why I slipped it in innocently into the UV thread.

    What I was trying to say is this. I’m not sure the differences between ontological and consequentialist libertarians are genuine. Or it certainly isn’t with all of these guys. Because we have a self proclamed libertarian party in NZ called ACT, and they promote themselves as being consequentialist libertarians (although not in so many words but its the stance they promote) but their actual voting pattern in parliament suggests they are really a lot closer to ontological libertarians.

    I do identify a little with the consequentialist libertarian position, but not fully, and I appreciate your comment about it at least being adaptive, I think. I lean more towards a moderate form of liberalism ( the modern definition). All this stuff looks to me like it exists on a spectrum, but I stand to be corrected. But the hard core libertarians seem like they have a sort of mental disorder in the way theres this obsessive focus on maximum possible personal liberty. I mean it just reminds me of OCD. Or its like they have this yearning for one fixed principle they can hang their lives on. Some of these guys think the role of the state should be reduced to property law and defence forces and pretty much nothing else.

    There are other schools of libertarianism people. Look the subject up on wikipedia. If it rocks your boat.

  50. 250

    E-P 230: wind and solar require fossil or other backup.

    BPL: Fortunately, backup is available.

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