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Cost-effectiveness of US policy fighting CO2?

RoyLatham
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8/11/2011 11:32:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I attempted a debate with Lasagna on this subject, but he ended up forfeiting. http://www.debate.org...

Here's the main issue:

EPA mandates recently imposed will cost $78 billion per year for the next 90 years. That's $7 trillion spread over the 90 years. In return, according to the EPA analysis, the earth's temperature will be reduced by 0.00375° C. http://wattsupwiththat.com... That is not measurable. We should not spend large sums to achieve a result that is not measurable. By comparison, $15.6 billion was spent on AIDS research in a recent year, a shortfall of $7.7 billion. There is no justifications for a policy that spends $78 billion on a result that cannot even be detected if successful while the money is much better spent on things that do measurable good.

I did a separate calculation supposing what would happen if the US got really serious, spending $25 trillion in about ten years to convert to green energy. That's more than tax revenues, so it would utterly cripple the US economy. Then we could obtain 0.026 degree less warming.

The calculations assume that CO2 is as bad a culprit in global warming as crisis advocates say. If they are wrong, then the reductions would be less.

The economic impact is far worse, because the US has about $300 trillion worth of fossil fuel reserves, most in oil shale, locked up due to CO2 concerns. We could be energy exporters in ten years if we wanted to, with enormous tax revenues as well.

So what's the point of an economic-death-by-choice energy policy?

One alternative is to develop climate models that work reliably, then use them to evaluate climate engineering alternatives. Climate engineering is much cheaper and they work regardless of the cause of warming. The reason they are not done now is uncertainty of how climate would react.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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8/11/2011 11:52:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I agree Roy its a total joke, we all know that we are living in the last days (no really this time it really is the last days) where Jesus will return and make the world new.

Scientists don't have faith in the bible as interpreted by Jerry Falwell and Co cause they are blinded by satan.

Less science more bible, what could possibly go wrong ?
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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8/11/2011 11:59:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
all irrelevant. The cause of global warming is the cyclic and natural increase and decrease in water vapor in the atmosphere, as water vapor is a far more effective green house gas than CO2. The effect of human released CO2 is so minimal on the environment, that it isn't worth addressing. (http://www.skepticalscience.com...)

Do we not all breathe out CO2? We'd need need to purify our breathes first before releasing them into the atmosphere! Of course not. Water Vapor is the sole catalyst of the global temperature increase, the increase that has steadily been going on since the end of the ice age, the same increase that melted the snow and ice from the ice age.

In conclusion, the U.S should not be fighting CO2 or anything related to climate change for that matter its a waste of billions in tax payer money, adding to the national debt, and helping fuel the ignorant media induced global warming hysteria among the American public.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
jharry
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8/12/2011 12:50:26 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/11/2011 11:52:45 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
I agree Roy its a total joke, we all know that we are living in the last days (no really this time it really is the last days) where Jesus will return and make the world new.

Scientists don't have faith in the bible as interpreted by Jerry Falwell and Co cause they are blinded by satan.

Less science more bible, what could possibly go wrong ?

How dare you blasphemy science god!!!!!

Don't you know peer reviews are never hushed?!?!?

Findings are always made public and would never be thrown out if they didn't meet the agenda!!!!!!

Studies are always honest and all possible data is followed regardless where it might lead.

Human beings (especially scientists, the smartest and most trustworthy) would never let personal agendas hinder the pure and holy practice of science.

Now, you must repent. Say the periodical tables 10 times. :)
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen
RoyLatham
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8/12/2011 1:33:19 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/11/2011 11:52:45 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
I agree Roy its a total joke, we all know that we are living in the last days (no really this time it really is the last days) where Jesus will return and make the world new.

Scientists don't have faith in the bible as interpreted by Jerry Falwell and Co cause they are blinded by satan.

Less science more bible, what could possibly go wrong ?

I don't get it. I'm assuming that CO2 crisis calculations are correct. The question is, assuming the CO2 climate models are correct, what should US policy be? What part don't you understand?

You seem to be saying that your religion/science demands paying $25 trillion for 0.026 degree. Is that what you are saying?
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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8/12/2011 3:03:25 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Why not use nuclear energy? Unless you consider the gas used to mine and enrich the uranium, it essentially emits no carbon emissions. Likewise, one can use carbon capture and storage techniques instead of using green energy.

Also, the whole calculations can get quite complex, If one considers that the cost of green energy can become cheaper over the years through advancing technology.
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Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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8/12/2011 10:28:26 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
The math is a bit of a joke about it costing $1.9 quadrillion per global degree.

For example, if the US spent $500 billion to lower CO2 by 5 ppm, and China did nothing and raised CO2 by 5 ppm, that would have a global net of $500 billion and no effect.

Based on this guys math, that would mean no amount of money would every make a change in CO2, which is false. For one, it is completely false to believe that such spending/results would be completely linear. For two, it should be looking at what the results will be vs doing nothing, not vs today's numbers.

But apart from that, the things suggested are still the wrong ways to fix things.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
RoyLatham
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8/12/2011 1:21:20 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/12/2011 10:28:26 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
The math is a bit of a joke about it costing $1.9 quadrillion per global degree.

I'm ready for the data that shows it's cheaper. Go ahead. The EPA does not have skeptics, they are full believers. It's hard to believe they are exaggerating.

For example, if the US spent $500 billion to lower CO2 by 5 ppm, and China did nothing and raised CO2 by 5 ppm, that would have a global net of $500 billion and no effect.

If neither we nor China did anything, the rise would be 10 ppm. If the US acts and China does not, 5 ppm s saved. That reduces global warming compared to what it would have been.

Based on this guys math, that would mean no amount of money would every make a change in CO2, which is false. For one, it is completely false to believe that such spending/results would be completely linear. For two, it should be looking at what the results will be vs doing nothing, not vs today's numbers.

It's not linear. All the models have a logarithmic behavior. Doubling CO2 doesn't double temperature, it raises temperature by 1-3 degrees, depending on what you believe climate sensitivity to be. Doubling CO2 again would add another 1-3 degrees. The calculations all assume doing nothing versus acting.


But apart from that, the things suggested are still the wrong ways to fix things.

Huh?
RoyLatham
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8/12/2011 1:32:10 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/12/2011 3:03:25 AM, darkkermit wrote:
Why not use nuclear energy? Unless you consider the gas used to mine and enrich the uranium, it essentially emits no carbon emissions. Likewise, one can use carbon capture and storage techniques instead of using green energy.

The reason nuclear is ruled out is superstition. That's not a good reason, but is the case. The capital costs of converting to nukes is enormous. Note that there a lot of home heating done with natural gas. Natural gas is a lot cheaper than electricity, even with nuclear. Also, electric cars now cot twice as much and only go about 70 miles. Hybrids are efficient and work well, but the entire car fleet has to be changed over. That ordinarily takes 20 years.

Also, the whole calculations can get quite complex, If one considers that the cost of green energy can become cheaper over the years through advancing technology.

Green energy is going to ultimately win, for the simple reason that there is only a finite amount of fossil fuel. The US has 300 years of fossil fuels, but for the world as a whole it's probably a hundred years or so. However, CO2 restrictions are destroying the US economy right now. Killing the US leaves the job to the Chinese, who are not about to commit suicide to please an energy god.
RoyLatham
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8/12/2011 1:41:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/12/2011 11:04:43 AM, Kinesis wrote:
What does climate engineering involve?

There are many schemes ranging from putting reflectors in space (global warming is equivalent to 3% of the incident energy) to pumping sulphates into the stratosphere. We know sulphates work, because that is what volcanoes do, dramatically upon occasion. Only a few volcanoes are powerful enough to get sulphates into the stratosphere; Mt. Pinatubo in the early 90s was one.

The cost of the sulphate thing is put at roughly $600 - $800 billion or so. The worry is that there would be unintended consequences that climate models do not reflect, although if the pumping is stopped, it clears in a few years. What's needed are climate models that everybody trusts so the effects are predictable.

There are a dozen or so climate engineering methods proposed.
darkkermit
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8/12/2011 2:23:07 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/12/2011 1:32:10 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 8/12/2011 3:03:25 AM, darkkermit wrote:
Why not use nuclear energy? Unless you consider the gas used to mine and enrich the uranium, it essentially emits no carbon emissions. Likewise, one can use carbon capture and storage techniques instead of using green energy.

The reason nuclear is ruled out is superstition. That's not a good reason, but is the case. The capital costs of converting to nukes is enormous. Note that there a lot of home heating done with natural gas. Natural gas is a lot cheaper than electricity, even with nuclear. Also, electric cars now cot twice as much and only go about 70 miles. Hybrids are efficient and work well, but the entire car fleet has to be changed over. That ordinarily takes 20 years.

Well, natural gas emits CO2. I thought this was based on energy that does not produce CO2 emissions. Also, although the capital costs are high.
Also, would it be possible to convert at least part of a Coal, natural gas, or petroleum plant into a nuclear plant? They all use the rankine cycle. If you use a pressurized water reactor, you don't need to worry about contamination. Although I suppose the actually nuclear reactor, the containment structure, and extra safety measures take in a nuclear reactor might increase costs.

However, since interest rates are as low as ever, now is the best time to build nuclear reactors.

Also, why isn't carbon sequestration on the table?

Also, the whole calculations can get quite complex, If one considers that the cost of green energy can become cheaper over the years through advancing technology.

Green energy is going to ultimately win, for the simple reason that there is only a finite amount of fossil fuel. The US has 300 years of fossil fuels, but for the world as a whole it's probably a hundred years or so. However, CO2 restrictions are destroying the US economy right now. Killing the US leaves the job to the Chinese, who are not about to commit suicide to please an energy god.

However, If you include coal, the world has thousands of years worth of reserves in that.

Yes, If we assume global warming to be true, then everyone would have to participate in CO2 emission reduction. However, not every nation will participate. It leads to a prisoner dilemma type game. Currently the US is the only nation who has not signed the kyoto protocols. However, the Kyoto Protocols are quite unfair and ineffective anyways,. since it lets developing countries to emit as much CO2 as possible. Basically, China uses CO2 because it can since its developing.
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Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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8/12/2011 3:07:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/12/2011 1:21:20 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 8/12/2011 10:28:26 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
The math is a bit of a joke about it costing $1.9 quadrillion per global degree.

I'm ready for the data that shows it's cheaper. Go ahead. The EPA does not have skeptics, they are full believers. It's hard to believe they are exaggerating.

For example, if the US spent $500 billion to lower CO2 by 5 ppm, and China did nothing and raised CO2 by 5 ppm, that would have a global net of $500 billion and no effect.

If neither we nor China did anything, the rise would be 10 ppm. If the US acts and China does not, 5 ppm s saved. That reduces global warming compared to what it would have been.

Based on this guys math, that would mean no amount of money would every make a change in CO2, which is false. For one, it is completely false to believe that such spending/results would be completely linear. For two, it should be looking at what the results will be vs doing nothing, not vs today's numbers.

It's not linear. All the models have a logarithmic behavior. Doubling CO2 doesn't double temperature, it raises temperature by 1-3 degrees, depending on what you believe climate sensitivity to be. Doubling CO2 again would add another 1-3 degrees. The calculations all assume doing nothing versus acting.

The blog did the math linear. It assumed that if spending $7 trillion (over 90 years) reduced the temp by 0.00375 degree (or whatever it was), then spending $1.9 quadrillion would change 1 degree. That is a linear relationship (between money spent and results), which is false.



But apart from that, the things suggested are still the wrong ways to fix things.

Huh?
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Ore_Ele
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8/12/2011 3:13:05 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/12/2011 2:23:07 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 8/12/2011 1:32:10 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 8/12/2011 3:03:25 AM, darkkermit wrote:
Also, the whole calculations can get quite complex, If one considers that the cost of green energy can become cheaper over the years through advancing technology.

Green energy is going to ultimately win, for the simple reason that there is only a finite amount of fossil fuel. The US has 300 years of fossil fuels, but for the world as a whole it's probably a hundred years or so. However, CO2 restrictions are destroying the US economy right now. Killing the US leaves the job to the Chinese, who are not about to commit suicide to please an energy god.

However, If you include coal, the world has thousands of years worth of reserves in that.

Yes, If we assume global warming to be true, then everyone would have to participate in CO2 emission reduction. However, not every nation will participate. It leads to a prisoner dilemma type game. Currently the US is the only nation who has not signed the kyoto protocols. However, the Kyoto Protocols are quite unfair and ineffective anyways,. since it lets developing countries to emit as much CO2 as possible. Basically, China uses CO2 because it can since its developing.

Developing nations should be excluded. If you are overweight and so need to cut back your fat intake, you don't have to cut it out 100%, just cut it down. Same goes with cutting carbon emissions.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
TheAtheistAllegiance
Posts: 1,251
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8/12/2011 4:07:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/11/2011 11:52:45 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
I agree Roy its a total joke, we all know that we are living in the last days (no really this time it really is the last days) where Jesus will return and make the world new.

Scientists don't have faith in the bible as interpreted by Jerry Falwell and Co cause they are blinded by satan.

Less science more bible, what could possibly go wrong ?

Although I am on your side of the fence, that did not address any of Roy's points whatsoever..
RoyLatham
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8/12/2011 4:56:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/12/2011 3:07:45 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
The blog did the math linear. It assumed that if spending $7 trillion (over 90 years) reduced the temp by 0.00375 degree (or whatever it was), then spending $1.9 quadrillion would change 1 degree. That is a linear relationship (between money spent and results), which is false.

Oh, I see your point. Usually, there is "low hanging fruit" so that the low-cost easy stuff gets done first, then it gets harder and more expensive. There are some economies of scale, so maybe something like batteries would be less expensive if manufactured in quantity. But get the raw materials for enough batteries for every car in the world would be an expensive proposition. I say it's moot, because it isn't going to happen.
RoyLatham
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8/12/2011 5:18:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/12/2011 2:23:07 PM, darkkermit wrote:

Well, natural gas emits CO2. I thought this was based on energy that does not produce CO2 emissions. Also, although the capital costs are high.

Yes, my point was that going to nuclear includes converting cheap gas heat to more expensive electric heat.

Also, would it be possible to convert at least part of a Coal, natural gas, or petroleum plant into a nuclear plant?

The steam turbine could be reused, but I'll bet that's less that 10% of the cost. Aside from the nuclear plant assembly, a cooling tower with a water supply is needed, and there are high percentages of the costs associated with shut down and waste disposal. Coal plants are sited near rail lines to bring in the coal, nuclar plants usually near a source of cooling water.

However, since interest rates are as low as ever, now is the best time to build nuclear reactors.

Good point. I think we should be building about 100 nuclear plants. Switching serviceable coal plants off destroys the capital investment in the plant, so the best approach is to make new plants nuclear and the replacements for coal as the old plant wear out.

Also, why isn't carbon sequestration on the table?

As far as I know, it's not remotely cost-effective. It's another way to spend trillions to get 0.001 degree.

Yes, If we assume global warming to be true, then everyone would have to participate in CO2 emission reduction. However, not every nation will participate. It leads to a prisoner dilemma type game. Currently the US is the only nation who has not signed the Kyoto protocols. However, the Kyoto Protocols are quite unfair and ineffective anyways,. since it lets developing countries to emit as much CO2 as possible. Basically, China uses CO2 because it can since its developing.

China, India, Brazil and the rest of the developing world are not going to participate. They would have to stay in the dark ages, and it's both immoral to ask that and foolish to suppose they will volunteer. The US is now 18% of world CO2, behind China's 23%. We'll be below 10% soon enough, as the world economy grows.

The Europeans subscribed to the Kyoto Protocol, making them morally superior to the US. However, their CO2 emissions actually grew more than that of the US. Spain was among the most aggressive in going for green energy. The cost helped bring them to the edge of bankruptcy, and they have abandoned green energy in favor of surviving.

The route for China et al is to agree to wonderful goals, then ignore them.
Illegalcombatant
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8/12/2011 8:45:14 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/12/2011 1:33:19 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 8/11/2011 11:52:45 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
I agree Roy its a total joke, we all know that we are living in the last days (no really this time it really is the last days) where Jesus will return and make the world new.

Scientists don't have faith in the bible as interpreted by Jerry Falwell and Co cause they are blinded by satan.

Less science more bible, what could possibly go wrong ?

I don't get it. I'm assuming that CO2 crisis calculations are correct. The question is, assuming the CO2 climate models are correct, what should US policy be? What part don't you understand?

You seem to be saying that your religion/science demands paying $25 trillion for 0.026 degree. Is that what you are saying?

I think you mis-read the point here, if Jesus is coming soon to make the world anew, it would be unnecessary to spend billions, trillions and bazillions of dollars to tackle climate change.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Lasagna
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8/12/2011 9:32:14 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/11/2011 11:32:30 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
I attempted a debate with Lasagna on this subject, but he ended up forfeiting. http://www.debate.org...

Here's the main issue:

EPA mandates recently imposed will cost $78 billion per year for the next 90 years. That's $7 trillion spread over the 90 years. In return, according to the EPA analysis, the earth's temperature will be reduced by 0.00375° C. http://wattsupwiththat.com... That is not measurable. We should not spend large sums to achieve a result that is not measurable. By comparison, $15.6 billion was spent on AIDS research in a recent year, a shortfall of $7.7 billion. There is no justifications for a policy that spends $78 billion on a result that cannot even be detected if successful while the money is much better spent on things that do measurable good.

$78B is small change. The DEA spends nearly two-thirds of that every year just to harass potheads and arest NCAA coaches, and all of a sudden we can't "afford" to stop destroying the atmosphere because the Chinese are going to win if we don't? Roy, I don't think you and I are ever going to see eye to eye on this because I don't think that industry is our god-given right as people. I don't respect property rights like you do, I don't see the global community as my competitor, and I don't consider my country to be broke when I drive down the street and 7 out of every 10 people have a newer SUV or cross-over vehicle. "Broke" is a relative term and we have decided, as Americans, that we are going to be broke indefinitely because otherwise we will act like we did during the 60s and 90s when liberals and hippies took over. Perpetual war and economic strife keeps belts tight and protects those in power.

I did a separate calculation supposing what would happen if the US got really serious, spending $25 trillion in about ten years to convert to green energy. That's more than tax revenues, so it would utterly cripple the US economy. Then we could obtain 0.026 degree less warming.

Why not just lower consumption?

Jimmy Carter wore a sweater during one of his Presidential speaches and told the country that it was time we stop wasting so much energy. He said we should turn down our thermostats and dress warmly inside, as well as other obvious measures that would lower our footprint. The speech was such a horrible failure that some say it was the sealing of his doom during re-election. Reagan rode in on his horse, shot all the environmentalists, and put foxes in charge of every environmental hen-house in government. The people decided that they could simply vote enviro problems away, and the green movement has yet to recover 30 years later because politicians know they cannot repeat Carter's mistake if they have any desire to win office.

That is part of the reason why your paradigm is so different than mine; I am not a product of this political takeover of science. I don't see a bunch of gases being emitted into the atmosphere and then consult my checkbook to see whether I can "afford" not to emit them anymore. That is a fundamentally unsound way of approaching the problem. Economics has become the mature, responsible, higher power to be consulted on all problems and it sickens me to the point where I feel like I am walking around in the Matrix on a daily basis. Playing with economic figures doesn't change the science underlying GCC. If you want to bring these into the economics forum then I won't even bother responding to them because I don't respect economics as a superior discipline to biology, physics, and other more established sciences. Economics is only useful as a subordinate to these, to be consulted after the ecologists et al. make their determinations.

The calculations assume that CO2 is as bad a culprit in global warming as crisis advocates say. If they are wrong, then the reductions would be less.

They could be wrong, but one thing's for certain - if we continually destroy the environment, it's not a good thing.

The economic impact is far worse, because the US has about $300 trillion worth of fossil fuel reserves, most in oil shale, locked up due to CO2 concerns. We could be energy exporters in ten years if we wanted to, with enormous tax revenues as well.

So what's the point of an economic-death-by-choice energy policy?

What's the point of an ecological-death-by-choice energy policy?

One alternative is to develop climate models that work reliably, then use them to evaluate climate engineering alternatives. Climate engineering is much cheaper and they work regardless of the cause of warming. The reason they are not done now is uncertainty of how climate would react.

That's like raping someone and then paying for the counseling and stitches - it's much more sensible just to stop the damage than it is to try and go through all the effort to keep consumption levels high, try to get exact predictions and models of a system that is more complex than any supercomputer can ever hope to apprehend, and trying to waste even more effort trying to clean something up afterwards. I can't give you an exact reason why, but I can say with reasonable certainty that efforts to engineer the climate will have their own detrimental effects that we won't know about until it's too late.
Rob
RoyLatham
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8/13/2011 12:53:28 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/12/2011 9:32:14 PM, Lasagna wrote:
$78B is small change. The DEA spends nearly two-thirds of that every year just to harass potheads and arest NCAA coaches, and all of a sudden we can't "afford" to stop destroying the atmosphere because the Chinese are going to win if we don't? Roy, I don't think you and I are ever going to see eye to eye on this because I don't think that industry is our god-given right as people.

You are free to try to sell the proposition that $7 trillion over 90 years is a worthy expenditure to reduce global warming by 0.00375 degree. Similarly, you can try to convince the entire world to adopt a primitive lifestyle. However, what you are making is fundamentally a religious argument. It's along the lines of "human sacrifice is necessary to please the gods of nature." It has nothing to do with solving the problem in a practical way. Pragmatism lies in finding a climate engineering solution that works at a reasonable cost. You reject that in favor of the moral purity of asceticism.

My problem is being forced to obey the teachings of your religion. However, I'm satisfied with making the nature of the choice clear. If you can sell honorable suicide over grubby engineering, you win.

Christians and others who are part of a religion are rarely interested in studying the general phenomenon of religion. Religions offer moral certainty, bonding of believers, and other benefits that accrue independent of having a named god. Believers are willing to trade reason for the benefits. Modern analogues of religion are competing with the traditional ones.
Lasagna
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8/13/2011 4:09:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/13/2011 12:53:28 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 8/12/2011 9:32:14 PM, Lasagna wrote:
$78B is small change. The DEA spends nearly two-thirds of that every year just to harass potheads and arest NCAA coaches, and all of a sudden we can't "afford" to stop destroying the atmosphere because the Chinese are going to win if we don't? Roy, I don't think you and I are ever going to see eye to eye on this because I don't think that industry is our god-given right as people.

You are free to try to sell the proposition that $7 trillion over 90 years is a worthy expenditure to reduce global warming by 0.00375 degree.

Do your numbers include projections of increased output over that 90 years or do they assume 2010 values?

Even so, we are only one country and our contributions to GCC can't be labeled as "too minimal to matter." If we want to solve this problem then we have to cooperate, not make economic excuses to rule ourselves out. That is so arrogant it's unbelievable.

Similarly, you can try to convince the entire world to adopt a primitive lifestyle.

"Primitive" is in the eyes of the beholder. I view unadulterated luxurism as primitive, and I do believe we will grow out of it when our habits start catching up with us. People are pretty brain-washed these days; we labor to produce luxuries, simply because we are addicted to the luxuries ourselves. But it's more than that; the underlying cause of economic strife these days is that people just don't realize they do have a choice. We are all taught from birth to envy the rich man and to emulate him, and no one is taught to control their greed. Not being able to afford something is the only reason to control it, but we are taught that we must overcome this deficiency by laboring long hours in menial and subserviant positions. This could be considered psychologically primitive.

However, what you are making is fundamentally a religious argument. It's along the lines of "human sacrifice is necessary to please the gods of nature." It has nothing to do with solving the problem in a practical way. Pragmatism lies in finding a climate engineering solution that works at a reasonable cost. You reject that in favor of the moral purity of asceticism.

My beliefs are based on science; we are over-consuming and damaging our environment. It's similar to a drug-addict destroying his life through not being able to overcome his habit. Your beliefs, I would say, are fundamentally religious; you believe that science should be discarded because we have a fundamental 'right' to consume, as shepherds of the land; as the heirs to the resources it provides. I am merely stating that our methodology is unsustainable; just like a person who uses credit cards to live beyond her means.

My problem is being forced to obey the teachings of your religion. However, I'm satisfied with making the nature of the choice clear. If you can sell honorable suicide over grubby engineering, you win.

Look around, Roy: who is being forced to obey? You or me? Your way of thinking has prevailed for the last 30 years and there is no signs of it changing. Environmentalists make a lot of noise, and we do make a small dent here and there, but like I said, $78B is drops in the bucket. What % of capitalist ventures are halted because of people with my sort of ideology?

Christians and others who are part of a religion are rarely interested in studying the general phenomenon of religion. Religions offer moral certainty, bonding of believers, and other benefits that accrue independent of having a named god. Believers are willing to trade reason for the benefits. Modern analogues of religion are competing with the traditional ones.

Again, I see you as the religous one. I am agnostic in all my beliefs, and I hold to science as a truthful venture. Science is clearly on my side, while you hold to this anointment of economics as more fundamental. Economics merely studies human economic behavior; it is intrinsically inferior to nearly all other disciplines. Yet you use it like it's prime... Don't you realize that economics depends on fields like ecology, biology, and sociology to reach its conclusions? And I'm not talking about how biology, for example, depends on chemistry (and in turn chemistry depends on physics); economics isn't just another chain in the link of human understanding, it is a completely contrived discipline that uncovers no intrinsic universal theories. It's like the rules of a game; they are completely dependant of physics and nothing that happens in the game can be used to determine physics. All physical laws must be respected before you make the rules.
Rob
Lasagna
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8/13/2011 4:47:05 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
This video represents the American Dream, that was sold to us and never came true. At 4:55 we are told that we will have "more time for liesure" in tomorrow's technological, luxury-rich world. Little did we know that Americans were already enjoying more liesure than they ever would at the time this was made, with people never having to rely on credit (even for home purchases) and being able to pay cash for their homes while working low-skill jobs and even being able to afford letting the wife stay home and not work.

Then something happened. Fast-forward to today, and the bills are piling in. Credit is needed for everything, and homes and autos are NEVER bought with cash. We need credit (or out-right assistance) just for food. Liesure? Forget it; you and your spouse probably work 3 jobs between the two of you while your children are cared for in a facility somewhere so you can stay working.

Is this religion, Roy? Am I just religious because I think we were better off in our "primitive" lifestyles? Sure, we didn't have as many toys, but are the toys really worth the trouble we go through for them?
Rob
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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8/13/2011 8:46:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/13/2011 4:09:44 PM, Lasagna wrote:
You are free to try to sell the proposition that $7 trillion over 90 years is a worthy expenditure to reduce global warming by 0.00375 degree.

Do your numbers include projections of increased output over that 90 years or do they assume 2010 values?

It makes also no difference. The assumption appears to be 2010 values, but if increased output is assumed then the effect would be less, the $7 trillion would produce less than 0.00375 degree.

Even so, we are only one country and our contributions to GCC can't be labeled as "too minimal to matter." If we want to solve this problem then we have to cooperate, not make economic excuses to rule ourselves out. That is so arrogant it's unbelievable.

So you assume that China, India, and everyone else will adopt dire poverty in order to "solve the problem." That's absurd. The realistic approach is climate engineering. That is certain to work (because we have the data from volcano sulphates), costs much less, and does not depend a all upon a universal vow of poverty.

Similarly, you can try to convince the entire world to adopt a primitive lifestyle.

"Primitive" is in the eyes of the beholder. I view unadulterated luxurism as primitive, and I do believe we will grow out of it when our habits start catching up with us. People are pretty brain-washed these days; we labor to produce luxuries, simply because we are addicted to the luxuries ourselves. But it's more than that; the underlying cause of economic strife these days is that people just don't realize they do have a choice.

The present population of the world is only supported through energy-intensive agriculture. To get back to the wonderful pre-industrial lifestyle you desire, the first thing is to get rid of post-industrial population. So step one is to starve off most of the world. It's not going to happen, period. Per capita energy consumption in the US has been steady since the last 70's, all the growth has come from population. Large famines due to genuine food shortages were common through the 60s, now famines are only a result of politics. You need to get back to times of population limited by food shortage. That's possible by restricting energy use, but it's nevr going to be voluntary. Now, the world population is projected to stabilize on it's own within 50 years at a level that's sustainable with modern technology.

However, what you are making is fundamentally a religious argument. It's along the lines of "human sacrifice is necessary to please the gods of nature." It has nothing to do with solving the problem in a practical way. Pragmatism lies in finding a climate engineering solution that works at a reasonable cost. You reject that in favor of the moral purity of asceticism.

My beliefs are based on science; we are over-consuming and damaging our environment.

My whole argument is based upon the assumption that IPCC climate science is true. That's where the 0.00375 degree per $7 trillion comes from. The EPA computed it. So why do you think I'm denying science? The sole question is about practical solutions. I claim climate engineering is the way to go, you claim killing off most of the population and returning the rest to pre-industrial times is the way to go. I claim your approach just will not sell.

Look around, Roy: who is being forced to obey? You or me? Your way of thinking has prevailed for the last 30 years and there is no signs of it changing.

I fully admit that people have overwhelmingly opted for technology over starvation. I think that choice was voluntary, you think it was forced. There is no question but to undo that decision it would have to be forced.

>>Environmentalists make a lot of noise, and we do make a small dent here and there, but like I said, $78B is drops in the bucket. What % of capitalist ventures are halted because of people with my sort of ideology?

The obvious one is the $300 trillion in unexploited energy reserves that have been blocked. California has so far driven half the industry out the state by unnecessarily high energy prices, and that's the pattern for the whole country. The beneficiaries are the Arabs who sell us oil, and the Chinese who are doing all the manufacturing. The EPA has an absolute stranglehold on industry. I don't know what the percentage is, but the country could be out of recession overnight by getting rid of energy restrictions.

>>I am agnostic in all my beliefs, and I hold to science as a truthful venture. Science is clearly on my side, while you hold to this anointment of economics as more fundamental.

Science says $7 trillion gets 0.00375 degree. No rational person opts for that over climate engineering, therefore you are pressing a belief that is of a "religious" nature.

>>Economics merely studies human economic behavior; it is intrinsically inferior to nearly all other disciplines. Yet you use it like it's prime... Don't you realize that economics depends on fields like ecology, biology, and sociology to reach its conclusions? And I'm not talking about how biology, for example, depends on chemistry (and in turn chemistry depends on physics); economics isn't just another chain in the link of human understanding, it is a completely contrived discipline that uncovers no intrinsic universal theories. It's like the rules of a game; they are completely dependant of physics and nothing that happens in the game can be used to determine physics. All physical laws must be respected before you make the rules.

The logic you present is the "if man were meant to fly, he would have been born with wings." The laws of nature are a given, but we choose what to do with them. Economics just attaches numbers to costs and benefits, and there is no escape from making choices based on costs and benefits.
RoyLatham
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8/13/2011 8:59:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/13/2011 4:47:05 PM, Lasagna wrote:


This video represents the American Dream, that was sold to us and never came true. At 4:55 we are told that we will have "more time for liesure" in tomorrow's technological, luxury-rich world. Little did we know that Americans were already enjoying more liesure than they ever would at the time this was made, with people never having to rely on credit (even for home purchases) and being able to pay cash for their homes while working low-skill jobs and even being able to afford letting the wife stay home and not work.

Then something happened. Fast-forward to today, and the bills are piling in. Credit is needed for everything, and homes and autos are NEVER bought with cash. We need credit (or out-right assistance) just for food. Liesure? Forget it; you and your spouse probably work 3 jobs between the two of you while your children are cared for in a facility somewhere so you can stay working.

Is this religion, Roy? Am I just religious because I think we were better off in our "primitive" lifestyles? Sure, we didn't have as many toys, but are the toys really worth the trouble we go through for them?

I can personally testify as to the period from the 1950s to the present. There isn't the slightest doubt that the world is a better place now than ever before. Sudden early death from natural causes was common back then, and uncommon now. Official poverty now is more comfortable than middle class back then. The one exception to progress is the social fabric, where responsibility and the work ethic in the US have been deteriorating since the 60s. That may or may not be turned around. If the US fails, China and India will be responsible for the advance of civilization. They'll succeed.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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8/14/2011 8:35:25 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/13/2011 8:59:04 PM, RoyLatham wrote:

I can personally testify as to the period from the 1950s to the present. There isn't the slightest doubt that the world is a better place now than ever before. Sudden early death from natural causes was common back then, and uncommon now. Official poverty now is more comfortable than middle class back then. The one exception to progress is the social fabric, where responsibility and the work ethic in the US have been deteriorating since the 60s. That may or may not be turned around. If the US fails, China and India will be responsible for the advance of civilization. They'll succeed.

Interesting. Do you think this is preference based: society just no longer values responsibility and work ethic or incentive based: more technology and higher real wages means the marginal utility of money received from work decreases rapidly, social welfare programs, laws created that disincentives work, etc.
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RoyLatham
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8/14/2011 9:57:44 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/14/2011 8:35:25 AM, darkkermit wrote:
Interesting. Do you think this is preference based: society just no longer values responsibility and work ethic or incentive based: more technology and higher real wages means the marginal utility of money received from work decreases rapidly, social welfare programs, laws created that disincentives work, etc.

Good question. I think the advances n technology from 1900 to 1950 had a more significant impact on everyday life than the advances from 1950 to the present. The advances from 1900 to 1950 didn't destroy responsibility and the work ethic, so it couldn't be the technology at fault.

If you doubt that 1900-1950 had a greater impact consider telephones, electricity, indoor plumbing, refrigeration, automobiles, mass production, television, movies, and industrialization. Electricity was a really big one, much bigger than computers. In 1900, over 90% of the population worked in agriculture. By the 50s that was dramatically changed.

The Depression and World War II had an enormous sobering effect on society. There was social pressure on everyone to make positive contributions. The deterioration since the 60s is, I think, an unintended consequence of the Greatest Generation wanting their children to be spared the pressures of war and depression.

There is discussion of how uncivil politics is these days. I think that's because the period after the War was one of unusually high civility. The last of the WWII generation left politics in the 90s, so we are back to normal incivility.

There are metrics of the quality of the social fabric of society. One is the rate of births out of marriage, but here are many others. Studies show a deterioration since the 60s. One of the most perplexing is that Black society was improving up to the 60s and has been deteriorating since. I'd think that civil rights and improved education would have very much the opposite effect, but apparently not so.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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8/15/2011 1:49:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/14/2011 9:57:44 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 8/14/2011 8:35:25 AM, darkkermit wrote:
Interesting. Do you think this is preference based: society just no longer values responsibility and work ethic or incentive based: more technology and higher real wages means the marginal utility of money received from work decreases rapidly, social welfare programs, laws created that disincentives work, etc.

Good question. I think the advances n technology from 1900 to 1950 had a more significant impact on everyday life than the advances from 1950 to the present. The advances from 1900 to 1950 didn't destroy responsibility and the work ethic, so it couldn't be the technology at fault.

If you doubt that 1900-1950 had a greater impact consider telephones, electricity, indoor plumbing, refrigeration, automobiles, mass production, television, movies, and industrialization. Electricity was a really big one, much bigger than computers. In 1900, over 90% of the population worked in agriculture. By the 50s that was dramatically changed.

The Depression and World War II had an enormous sobering effect on society. There was social pressure on everyone to make positive contributions. The deterioration since the 60s is, I think, an unintended consequence of the Greatest Generation wanting their children to be spared the pressures of war and depression.

There is discussion of how uncivil politics is these days. I think that's because the period after the War was one of unusually high civility. The last of the WWII generation left politics in the 90s, so we are back to normal incivility.

There are metrics of the quality of the social fabric of society. One is the rate of births out of marriage, but here are many others. Studies show a deterioration since the 60s. One of the most perplexing is that Black society was improving up to the 60s and has been deteriorating since. I'd think that civil rights and improved education would have very much the opposite effect, but apparently not so.

Just look at where technological advancements have been applied during different decades. In earlier decades, it was more geared at improving industry (while electricity certainly helped the homelife, what it did for industry was nothing short of a super power). Now, most technology is geared at making our personal lives easier (thus causing us to want less work and lower our work ethic), and some of that seeps into businesses to make them function smoother. For example, a lot of businesses now use face book and twiter as part of their marketing campaigns, but facebook and twiter certainly didn't form for the use of businesses.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
RoyLatham
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8/15/2011 2:29:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/15/2011 1:49:04 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:

Just look at where technological advancements have been applied during different decades. In earlier decades, it was more geared at improving industry (while electricity certainly helped the homelife, what it did for industry was nothing short of a super power). Now, most technology is geared at making our personal lives easier (thus causing us to want less work and lower our work ethic), and some of that seeps into businesses to make them function smoother. For example, a lot of businesses now use face book and twiter as part of their marketing campaigns, but facebook and twiter certainly didn't form for the use of businesses.

I think the major application of technology in the last decade or two is the expanding "green revolution" that has vastly increased food production. Automation of arm work is significantly reducing the demand for farm labor. In the US, corn production per acre is 12x what it was years ago. Second to that is pharmaceuticals for preventing and treating disease. In industry, computers and automation are continuing to have a major impact. Computerization of business really did not take root until the 1990s, and it still going on. The US is just starting to get into robotics.

I'm not denying the impact of social networking, computers, and smart phones on leisure life, but I think that's because the impact on work life is much harder for the average person to see. The market cap of IBM recently passed Microsoft -- who would have guessed?