Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

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Re: Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

Postby fred smith » 28 Apr 2012, 12:17

I'm sure Fred Smith will have something to say about that


One feels that one has gone to sleep and woken to an alternate world. Has it really come to this? Has everyone really come over to my side of the argument? Has everyone suddenly discovered the development vs. emissions paradigm and bought into my side of the equation? How in the name of G-d have things come to this state... not that I am not most pleased, just hugely surprised.
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Re: Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

Postby finley » 28 Apr 2012, 21:05

Ah, right on cue :)

Fred, I think you missed the entire point. All of your threads conflate policy with science. A lot of people here agree with your views on policy, or at least understand where you're coming from. What they disagree with are your rather odd views on science.

Thing is, the policy bit - the actual doing - is the important bit. So if there are enough like-minded people who are prepared to actually do something useful - that is, to prepare for the inevitable and ensure that we have a functioning economy when it happens - we might be onto something. Our respective views on the underlying science, or even the politics, are irrelevant ... as long as we're working towards a common solution.

Personally I believe it is possible to 1) adapt to climate change 2) reduce pollution by an order of magnitude, including CO2 (although whether that matters is up to you to determine) and 3) generate wealth while we do it. The uphill struggle is convincing people that doing so will make things better. To my mind, consuming less, wasting less, and letting nature give us free stuff must make us more wealthy, but try telling a classical economist that. And have a look at Divea's post back there.

We know the world is full of incompetent leeches who make their living spending other people's money on stupid stuff. 'Twas ever thus. Doesn't mean the rest of us can't get on with something useful as best we can.
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Re: Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

Postby Dog's_Breakfast » 29 Apr 2012, 11:21

finley wrote:Ah, right on cue :)

Fred, I think you missed the entire point. All of your threads conflate policy with science. A lot of people here agree with your views on policy, or at least understand where you're coming from. What they disagree with are your rather odd views on science.


You've nailed it there, Finley. If I'm not mistaken, Fred and I both agree on cap-and-trade, for totally different reasons. I see it as a Wall Street scam that has little to do with actually reducing CO2 and thus is no use in preventing climate change. Fred, I assume (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, Fred) is against it because it's become associated with the Democrats - if the Republicans were for it, then he would be too. I couldn't care less about which political party supports what, I want to see reductions in CO2 production, and cap-and-trade in my opinion would be next to useless. Fred and I seem to be in agreement on nuclear power, though also for slightly different reasons. I see it as the key to reducing CO2 production, and Fred (I assume) supports it because many or most Democrats are anti-nuclear. Republicans, to their credit, at least pay lip service to nuclear power - Bush claimed to be pro-nuclear during a speech about energy, but he never even tried to license a new nuclear power plant during his presidency, and mostly promoted expanding coal and natural gas production. So I'm not really sure if the Republicans are truly pro-nuclear, but if the assumption is that they are, then Fred can be counted upon to support it.

Well Fred, if you're reading this, I do hope we can continue to agree on those issues: anti-cap-and-trade and pro-nuclear. Even if your "science" is in flat-Earth territory, it's results that counts, as Finley said.

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Re: Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

Postby fred smith » 29 Apr 2012, 12:51

Ah, right on cue


When someone asks what I think... I would imagine that we would all be expecting me to answer eventually... so the right on cue is sorta kinda confusing as yes... there was a cue... and so I was yes right on that cue... is that odd? unusual? unexpected? worthy of comment?

Fred, I think you missed the entire point. All of your threads conflate policy with science. A lot of people here agree with your views on policy, or at least understand where you're coming from. What they disagree with are your rather odd views on science.


Hmmmm.... the climate change issue is for the most part policy is it not? say 80 percent? as we are constantly being asked to do something that costs money to prevent something or ameliorate the effects... so would not the policy especially who should pay and under what circumstances be the most important component? Or this conversation would end up being among scientists at scientific conferences and it would never have reached the US president or UK prime minister or tax advisor or IPCC's desk, non?

Thing is, the policy bit - the actual doing - is the important bit. So if there are enough like-minded people who are prepared to actually do something useful - that is, to prepare for the inevitable and ensure that we have a functioning economy when it happens - we might be onto something. Our respective views on the underlying science, or even the politics, are irrelevant ... as long as we're working towards a common solution.


Ah... yes, we agree then.. the policy bit is the actual doing (or not doing at great expense and with the creation of yet another massive bureaucracy that subverts rule of law for social justice or at least the pretense of the same) and it is as you say and as I have always stressed the important bit.

Personally I believe it is possible to 1) adapt to climate change 2) reduce pollution by an order of magnitude, including CO2 (although whether that matters is up to you to determine) and 3) generate wealth while we do it.


The very admission of the same, would you see, vindicate my argument ALL ALONG on these threads. You are a relative newcomer. Scroll back to the original threads where I always said the issue is to a large degree moot unless any action beyond making people feel good about themselves would lead to anything tangible or beneficial.

The uphill struggle is convincing people that doing so will make things better.


Who decides "better?" The capitalist world that this IPCC effort is seeking to subvert through costly bureaucracies to fund the endless desire of many to serve in lucrative functionary positions that has been around since the dawn of time, would actually SLOW the move to the new technologies and the other waste-preventing methods in my view.

To my mind, consuming less, wasting less, and letting nature give us free stuff must make us more wealthy, but try telling a classical economist that.


You have lost me there.

And have a look at Divea's post back there.


What about her post would be offensive in your view?

We know the world is full of incompetent leeches who make their living spending other people's money on stupid stuff. 'Twas ever thus. Doesn't mean the rest of us can't get on with something useful as best we can.


The very fact that you conclude with this statement, again, vindicates everything that I have been saying for seven to eight years. The ORIGINAL view was not like this. The original view is that Kyoto and other schemes would work and that people like me who scoffed were in the clutches of oil and coal lobbyists. We were the ones who could not see the possible, the unenlightened ones who did not get it. The very fact that this entire thread is now along the lines of the original arguments that I was making often alone is a huge shift in the paradigm. THAT is my point.
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Re: Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

Postby fred smith » 29 Apr 2012, 13:00

You've nailed it there, Finley. If I'm not mistaken, Fred and I both agree on cap-and-trade, for totally different reasons. I see it as a Wall Street scam that has little to do with actually reducing CO2 and thus is no use in preventing climate change.


Not just Wall Street. Please include all the NGOs, UN bureaucrats, EU functionaries and others who will feed off the trough of ADMINISTERING that program.

Fred, I assume (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, Fred) is against it because it's become associated with the Democrats - if the Republicans were for it, then he would be too.


Nope. Just as I have always criticized agricultural subsidies especially those to ethanol, sugar, cotton, peanuts and the other three that seem to get the lion's share while pointing out that more than 80 percent of all of the same go to the richest, corporate not family farmers. Wrong.

I couldn't care less about which political party supports what, I want to see reductions in CO2 production, and cap-and-trade in my opinion would be next to useless.


Utterly useless in my view and I am not a politicized supporter of any of the same. Read my very positive comments about Secretary Clinton and the two supreme court justices that Obama nominated. In fact, I have been very pleased with Obama and may ultimately vote for him. I am still concerned, however, that his administration does not quite get business. That is all. I am very happy that he has engaged in a number of initiatives and I am 80 percent satisfied. As to the stimulus and debt, well, as I pointed out earlier, Bush was just as bad at that, hence my comments regarding wherein lies the difference?

Fred and I seem to be in agreement on nuclear power, though also for slightly different reasons. I see it as the key to reducing CO2 production, and Fred (I assume) supports it because many or most Democrats are anti-nuclear.


Not necessarily. I merely point out the laughable nature of seeing the very Democrats and Greens who were so against nuclear 30 years ago now supporting it because CO2 has become the new demon. And there always is with them. Must be something about the tarot card readings that they get.

Republicans, to their credit, at least pay lip service to nuclear power - Bush claimed to be pro-nuclear during a speech about energy, but he never even tried to license a new nuclear power plant during his presidency, and mostly promoted expanding coal and natural gas production. So I'm not really sure if the Republicans are truly pro-nuclear, but if the assumption is that they are, then Fred can be counted upon to support it.


Nuclear is on its way out again not because of Fukushima but because of the high cost. If it makes sense to ensure energy security then I am all for it. I think that we need to reassess the cost of oil and gas especially in light of the security and military costs that are associated with them.

Well Fred, if you're reading this, I do hope we can continue to agree on those issues: anti-cap-and-trade and pro-nuclear. Even if your "science" is in flat-Earth territory, it's results that counts, as Finley said.


flat Earth? hahahaha So can someone show me where the great sealevel increases are taking place? and was this not the key "proof" of so many global warming alarmists a few years back and now? we cannot use these because we have to understand that global factors are involved? okay but then go back to the nuclear protesters who are now for and see why I am laughing at the current stance.
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Re: Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

Postby finley » 29 Apr 2012, 20:43

fred smith wrote:
Personally I believe it is possible to 1) adapt to climate change 2) reduce pollution by an order of magnitude, including CO2 (although whether that matters is up to you to determine) and 3) generate wealth while we do it.
The very admission of the same, would you see, vindicate my argument ALL ALONG on these threads. You are a relative newcomer. Scroll back to the original threads where I always said the issue is to a large degree moot unless any action beyond making people feel good about themselves would lead to anything tangible or beneficial.

Well, fair enough. I was referring to recent threads in which we were unable to steer the conversation past various bits of scientific flotsam. The topic of this thread is hypocrisy (in policy) and I think it's a pretty interesting one.

fred smith wrote:
The uphill struggle is convincing people that doing so will make things better.

Who decides "better?" The capitalist world that this IPCC effort is seeking to subvert through costly bureaucracies to fund the endless desire of many to serve in lucrative functionary positions that has been around since the dawn of time, would actually SLOW the move to the new technologies and the other waste-preventing methods in my view.

Very good point. At the moment its a combination of admen, politicians, and various others with vested interests who decide what's "better". And I agree with you that it doesn't matter whether they work for the IPCC, the US government, the UN, or Save The Rare Fungus - their aim is to channel as much money as possible into their own pockets or those of their friends and cronies. However, they've done an extremely good job of convincing millions of people that their way is the One True Way.

They have also, paradoxically, turned off third-world countries to the idea of sustainable development. When someone says "don't do this", the natural human response, unfortunately, is to do it anyway, often because we imagine that the forbidden activity must offer some sort of hidden benefit.

I suggest we can redefine "better" in the same way the Microsofts, Apples, and BMW's of this world do it: by developing outstanding products to replace those that need replacing. In the absence of political intervention (there's the rub, of course) the market will decide what's "better".

fred smith wrote:
To my mind, consuming less, wasting less, and letting nature give us free stuff must make us more wealthy, but try telling a classical economist that.

You have lost me there.

Well, most economists take "growth is good" as dogma. Yet they rarely examine the nature of growth, or explain why it should be good. Most of the things we consider valuable - security, rule of law, freedom of speech, clean air and water - they really don't "cost" anything, as such. Their existence depends on social constructs, not economic activity, and certainly not on economic growth. Freedom of speech can (in theory) exist in abject poverty.

It seems to me that, for any given increase in economic activity (=consumption of irreplaceable resources), the return (=quality of life) is small to nonexistent, especially once you get past a certain (fairly modest) point of technological development.

Take, for example, industrial agriculture, which has well-documented side effects, produces a poor quality product, and would cease to exist without massive inputs of energy and mined materials. The average US citizen spends about 5% of the average US income on food. Looked at another way, we can say that one person "feeds" (through a complex economic chain) 19 others. Yet most natural-farming advocates estimate precisely the same level of productivity using modern, low-input methods which require no chemical fertilizers, very limited machinery/energy, and produce almost zero pollution. In various places, natural farming is delivering results in excess of that conservative estimate. That is, most of the economic activity in modern agribusiness, with its attendant consumption and waste, is completely pointless.

And have a look at Divea's post back there.

What about her post would be offensive in your view?

Not offensive - just weird. I already answered this question in previous posts, but I cannot comprehend why she thinks poor countries should waste their scant financial resources on polluting, expensive, outdated infrastructure that "advanced" countries would like to discard, when far better methods are available to them at lower cost. You'll note that she didn't have an answer: it's simply an idea that politicians in poor countries find extremely useful, because keeping the hoi polloi poor and stupid means that they can extract whatever they like with impunity. Do you disagree?

We know the world is full of incompetent leeches who make their living spending other people's money on stupid stuff. 'Twas ever thus. Doesn't mean the rest of us can't get on with something useful as best we can.

The very fact that you conclude with this statement, again, vindicates everything that I have been saying for seven to eight years. The ORIGINAL view was not like this. The original view is that Kyoto and other schemes would work and that people like me who scoffed were in the clutches of oil and coal lobbyists. We were the ones who could not see the possible, the unenlightened ones who did not get it. The very fact that this entire thread is now along the lines of the original arguments that I was making often alone is a huge shift in the paradigm. THAT is my point.

In that case, I imagine the rest of this thread could get very interesting!

On the subject of nuclear: personally I think it's just one possible option that will have niche applications during the next couple of decades. In sunny countries with plenty of land area, solar is cheaper and (more importantly) it's very easy to operate and has no inherent safety concerns. Very very few countries have the money, accumulated expertise, and cultural wherewithal to build and operate nuclear reactors safely and effectively. I see the current obsession with nuclear as stemming directly from a one-dimensional focus on CO2, which is just one of many pollutants, and in the grand scheme of things, not the most important one. Improperly-stored nuclear waste is far more hazardous.
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Re: Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

Postby fred smith » 29 Apr 2012, 21:07

Very good point. At the moment its a combination of admen, politicians, and various others with vested interests who decide what's "better". And I agree with you that it doesn't matter whether they work for the IPCC, the US government, the UN, or Save The Rare Fungus - their aim is to channel as much money as possible into their own pockets or those of their friends and cronies. However, they've done an extremely good job of convincing millions of people that their way is the One True Way.


There are a lot of stupid people in the world... is this something new?

They have also, paradoxically, turned off third-world countries to the idea of sustainable development. When someone says "don't do this", the natural human response, unfortunately, is to do it anyway, often because we imagine that the forbidden activity must offer some sort of hidden benefit.


Bullshit. Most nations act in their best interests. Perhaps, many of these nations are not turned off by the hype of "sustainability" but fully understand that many state actors want to raise labor and environmental standards to price their low-priced rivals out of the markets in which they are succesfully competing?

I suggest we can redefine "better" in the same way the Microsofts, Apples, and BMW's of this world do it: by developing outstanding products to replace those that need replacing. In the absence of political intervention (there's the rub, of course) the market will decide what's "better".


Then neither of us needs to have this conversation and we need not engage in any more debate in international fora about these issues and anyone reading this should stop supporting NGOs by funding them with tax deducted dollars. Music to my ears.

Well, most economists take "growth is good" as dogma. Yet they rarely examine the nature of growth, or explain why it should be good. Most of the things we consider valuable - security, rule of law, freedom of speech, clean air and water - they really don't "cost" anything, as such. Their existence depends on social constructs, not economic activity, and certainly not on economic growth. Freedom of speech can (in theory) exist in abject poverty.


Do you actually write like this? or is this some kind of posture that you imagine sells well and makes you look intelligent? I suggest to you that it does not. Development everywhere has been good. There are costs but would you argue that today's hyper developed America is dirtier and more dangerous environmentally than Renaissance Italy? Tudor England? Ancien Regime France? If not, your point is pointless.

It seems to me that, for any given increase in economic activity (=consumption of irreplaceable resources), the return (=quality of life) is small to nonexistent, especially once you get past a certain (fairly modest) point of technological development.


And it seems to me that you have a propensity to speak in Academese which makes me wonder whether you understand what it is that you are discussing. Otherwise, why not just use your own words? hmmm?

Take, for example, industrial agriculture, which has well-documented side effects, produces a poor quality product, and would cease to exist without massive inputs of energy and mined materials. The average US citizen spends about 5% of the average US income on food. Looked at another way, we can say that one person "feeds" (through a complex economic chain) 20 others. Yet most natural-farming advocates estimate precisely the same level of productivity using modern, low-input methods which require no chemical fertilizers, very limited machinery/energy, and produce almost zero pollution. In various places, natural farming is delivering results in excess of that conservative estimate. That is, most of the economic activity in modern agribusiness, with its attendant consumption and waste, is completely pointless.


??? What's your point? That cheap products are not always the best? and that premium products are so priced because of a perceived quality difference?

Not offensive - just weird. I already answered this question in previous posts, but I cannot comprehend why she thinks poor countries should waste their scant financial resources on polluting, expensive, outdated infrastructure that "advanced" countries would like to discard, when far better methods are available to them at lower cost. You'll note that she didn't have an answer: it's simply an idea that politicians in poor countries find extremely useful, because keeping the hoi polloi poor and stupid means that they can extract whatever they like with impunity. Do you disagree?


No because not all of those technologies are readily accessible and readily for lack of better word implementible in these countries AT PRESENT. Eventually, they, too, will move up the technology chain but that does not mean that the economic decision to use the technologies that are available is an irrational one.

I will conclude with a laugh that we have far far FAR departed the concern for mother earth that characterized earlier discussions. Interesting how far the pendelum has swung away from, but the polar bears... but the penguins... but the glaciers... but the sealevel increases... but the coral bleaching... but the NGO bullshit... er... excuse me could not resist the latter.
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Re: Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

Postby finley » 29 Apr 2012, 22:06

fred smith wrote:Bullshit. Most nations act in their best interests. Perhaps, many of these nations are not turned off by the hype of "sustainability" but fully understand that many state actors want to raise labor and environmental standards to price their low-priced rivals out of the markets in which they are succesfully competing?

Unlikely. For one thing, as I outlined earlier, sustainable agriculture is actually cheaper than the industrial method, especially when your country is lacking the economic infrastructure to deliver chemicals, fuel, machines, etc etc. If you're talking about international trade, rich countries can block food imports from poor countries by the simple expedient of subsidising their own farmers and imposing tariffs (or other barriers) on imports. This is routine practice in the US and the EU, despite WTO rules against it.

Do you actually write like this? or is this some kind of posture that you imagine sells well and makes you look intelligent? I suggest to you that it does not.

I'm interested in debating with you, but if you don't like my writing style, go and read some facebook walls instead. No skin off my nose.

Development everywhere has been good. There are costs but would you argue that today's hyper developed America is dirtier and more dangerous environmentally than Renaissance Italy? Tudor England? Ancien Regime France? If not, your point is pointless.

Define "development". The societies you mention were so utterly different to the US, in all sorts of ways, that you can't sensibly compare. For example, Tudor England was dominated by an extractive elite, non-existent rule of law, and routine and arbitrary violence. That would have had more impact on economic performance that (for example) the absence of chemical fertilizers.

And it seems to me that you have a propensity to speak in Academese which makes me wonder whether you understand what it is that you are discussing. Otherwise, why not just use your own words? hmmm?

Again, it's not my problem if you can't cope with long words. That wasn't an especially complex sentence. If you know what "propensity" means, I'm guessing you understood perfectly well, but you don't have an answer.

??? What's your point? That cheap products are not always the best? and that premium products are so priced because of a perceived quality difference?

That much of so-called "growth" is unproductive, consuming ever-greater quantities of inputs with no attendant growth in useful outputs. Since what goes in must come out in SOME form, it usually comes out as pollution.

No because not all of those technologies are readily accessible and readily for lack of better word implementible in these countries AT PRESENT. Eventually, they, too, will move up the technology chain but that does not mean that the economic decision to use the technologies that are available is an irrational one.

No, they're not. Sustainable farming wins hands down on every single parameter, especially in third-world countries. Solar power systems can be installed and maintained by illiterates. We can go into details if you want. Just as most of Africa never bothered with landline telephones because they weren't the right solution, they shouldn't be installing coal-fired power either.

I will conclude with a laugh that we have far far FAR departed the concern for mother earth that characterized earlier discussions. Interesting how far the pendelum has swung away from, but the polar bears... but the penguins... but the glaciers... but the sealevel increases... but the coral bleaching... but the NGO bullshit... er... excuse me could not resist the latter.

Hardly. Like I said earlier, if we use more appropriate technology for solving human problems, the polar bears and the penguins benefit too. And don't be too dismissive of other species. You'd be surprised how many of them are necessary to keep Fred Smith alive.
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Re: Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

Postby TheGingerMan » 29 Apr 2012, 22:24

divea wrote:
urodacus wrote:well, I'm just glad I've not got any kids then if that is the attitude that wins out in the end.

develop at all costs, bugger the future.

Wrong again, that is the west's philosophy. Canada opted out not BRICS! :roll:

Sorry, you are still wrong, again, can you reposit that?
I fear you may be out of sorts on this.
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Kanada opted out of the Kyoto Protocol, as well it should. So have Japan and Russia, I might add.
As for BRICS, we were not even invited, though I guess that is only natural, being as our economy in not emerging, having merged long ago with our NORAD partner, and more recently our NAFTA allies.
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Re: Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

Postby fred smith » 29 Apr 2012, 23:01

What is it about the word sustainable that makes me want to run screaming while covering my ears?

The point about less developed ECONOMICALLY nations in the time frame that I provided is that they were NOT cleaner. So more development of the er economic variety has often led in the long run to in fact cleaner water, air, sewerage, food, etc. of the ENVIRONMENTAL kind, NON?

As to the economic desirability of solar and sustainable (there! I have said the word) agriculture, when the time is right, so will be the demand.

As to mobile/cellular phones vs. landlines, this is PRECISELY the technological development that the climate change alarmists refuse to acknowledge that made a whole development paradigm moot and it came from the private sector weighing risks and profits NOT from the UN or any development agency, non?

In the meantime, many thanks for your more natural choice of words... See we still can maintain communication without something along the lines of the following:

To foster and incentivize technological development of agriculture, state governments in collaboration (extra points!!!) and partnership with a confluence of private-sector actors both corporate and family-owned have resulted in a paradigm shift from non-productive, small-scale, market access lacking entities to those which are plugged in and cognizant of global trends and macroeconomic forces. While development models cannot discount or fail to properly weight traditional and culturally normative influences, they can successfuly achieve and promote to enhance to develop (deliberate... the beloved three-verb construct) the programmatic attractions to shift the perception and awareness of beneficial profit-making actions that lead to sustainable regularized (love that word!) trendlines that ultimately, and across a broad range of sectors, pluralize the cash-generating activities that prolong and extend said perceived benefit -- in the guise of profit-generating entrepreneurial forces -- to ensure and guarantee the continued buy-in (a new absolute must!) or otherwise participatory regimen (blah blah blah) of the actors and activities in question. Global organizations, such as the United Nations, can play a key role by activating and fostering a sense of inclusion (and where would NGOs be without inclusion?) in world markets to the betterment of individuals and small to medium-sized businesses and family farms, which will, in the long term, potently (ooohhhhh) address the socio-economic issues that face them and thus generate a bottom-line increase in national development indices that delivers more than the hypersensitized focus on growth and expansion of gross domestic product (GDP).

If you would prefer to talk like this, I am more than happy to generate more of the above. Oh, and it is all my work just in case you had any doubts :)
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