Calling names isn’t nice, especially when you’re wrong.

I previously blogged about last night’s climate change target meeting in Wellington, where amongst other failings, Nick Smith, accused the Green Party of only caring about the environment and having no regard for the impact on the economy.

In the spirit of economic literacy, I wanted to remind our readers of these words from a recent Australian Treasury report into the economics of climate change:

The Treasury’s modelling demonstrates that early global action is less expensive than later action; that a market-based approach allows robust economic growth into the future even as emissions fall; and that many of Australia’s industries will maintain or improve their competitiveness under an international agreement to combat climate change. “

Australia and the world continue to prosper while making the emission cuts required to reduce the risks of dangerous climate change. Even ambitious goals have limited impact on national and global economic growth.

So please, when you hear the National-Act Government talk about “balancing” the economy with the environment, remember that “balancing” is Newspeak for “doing whatever the industrial polluters and intensive dairying lobby want”.

314 thoughts on “Calling names isn’t nice, especially when you’re wrong.

  1. Valis

    One other thing it requires is near perfect information access and learning by all the people all the time. If someone doesn’t get the news about the crisis events or gets distorted or incorrect information, they will also decide not to act and the disaster will overwhelm the individuals, no matter how strong.

    Libertarianism is a philosophy that has not , to my knowledge, ever been successfully used in government long enough to be recorded in history.

    Communism which is deeply flawed, managed to do better.

    Libertarianism does provide some excellent critical analyses of problems of Democracy and its adherents can help balance excessive statism… but it isn’t viable for real-world real-people organization.

    respectfully
    BJ

  2. Thanks Sally. I asked how you’d deal with a global disaster that required the quick actions of many nations to avert. You answered essentially that if everyone wanted to avert it, they would take steps to do so, implying that if they didn’t want to, or didn’t know enough or whatever, then they wouldn’t, in effect saying that if we don’t act individually to avert the disaster, it is ok and logical that it overcomes us.

    Thank you for being clear about that. It confirms a few of my fears about Libertarianism. First that, as a philosophy, it lacks the ability to organise the sort of collective response needed to avert certain types of catastrophe, particularly those requiring a quick response globally. Second that, due to its complete reliance on (glorification of even) selfish individual motivation, it best suits a context where such motivations don’t come into conflict very easily, like a planet with not many people and effectively infinite resources to expand into. In the context we have where neither of these things is true, it seems inevitable that insurmountable challenges will present themselves, be it AGW or something else.

  3. Sally,
    My philosophy is informed by the world and is almost entirely of my own deriviation. That famous philosophers agree with me only serves to save me having to right even more than I do.
    Yes, it is neccacary to be alive to pursuse an ought but whether you ought pursue the continuation of your own life so that you may pursue other oughts or even for such continuation itself it is still an ought and unless derived from another ought is entirly subjective.
    That you dont understand this philosophy despiteposts and posts on the subject where I have explained it clearly speaks volumes to your character and lack of intelectual vigour. That you can stand the work of Rand says more still.
    You speak as if, at maximum, a 18 year old first-year, though you seem to lack the capacity one needs to actually finish a bachelors degree with anything greater than a C average.

  4. To Sapient.

    From my observation of reality (the is) it is clear to me that if you loose you mind and your body (your life) you cannot strive for any ought whether your oughts are subjective or ontological cause and effect evaluations. You cannot act on your challenge to preserve the human species and planet if you are dead. So if you don’t act as if your own life is a value you are … well … F*#@ed!

    I too am bored with our discussion. I suggest you develope your philosophy from observation of the real world rather than reading paralyzing skeptics like Hume.

    FYI from the philosopher who has influenced me the most is quoted below on the is – ought dichotomy – for any still reading this thread who want to consider some further reading:

    “It is only an ultimate goal, and end in itself, that makes the existence of values possible. Metaphysically, life is the only phenomenon that is an end in itself: a value gained and kept by a constant process of action. Epistemologically, the concept of “value” is genetically dependent upon and derived from the antecedent concept of “life.” To speak of “value” as apart from “life” is worse than a contradiction in terms. “It is only the concept of ‘Life’ that makes the concept of ‘Value’ possible.”

    In answer to those philosophers who claim that no relation can be established between ultimate ends or values and the facts of reality, let me stress that the fact that living entities exist and function necessitates the existence of values and of an ultimate value which for any given living entity is its own life. Thus the validation of value judgments is to be achieved by reference to the facts of reality. The fact that a living entity is, determines what it ought to do. So much for the issue of the relation between “is” and “ought.”

    From the essay “The Objectivist Ethics” from the book “The Virtue of Selfishness” by Ayn Rand

  5. The thing about CATS is that a working prototype was discarded and another prototype was at 95% completion when the project got canned. The costs were already sunk.

    The hard work has already been done.

    BJ

  6. Bj, you over state your case somewhat re business long term planning. Just Google “long term business plans” and you’ll get 104,000,000 results you can also see that companies specializing in development of long term plans is an industry in itself. Obviously US auto companies failed in this. On the whole, companies that do plan long term are more likely to survive long term. Companies are focussed on their bottom line but they fail if they don’t respond to consumer demand. the consumers are the community.
    CATS is “cheap-access-to-space”? Aren’t space projects very expensive to get of the ground?
    (excuse the pun :->)

    We agree that there is a precarious balance of power to be found and maintained. We just have a different assessment of where that balance should be.

    It’s time to agree to differ as we have both stated our case and are now just repeating ourselves.

  7. Sallydeb

    For all that governments are lousy at long term planning, they are the best and only tool the society has to do it. Companies as a rule, suck at anything more than 2 quarters out, and the exceptions can be counted on the fingers of one hand. The Companies though are strictly concerned with their own bottom line. The society has interests that DO NOT include that company’s bottom line as the most-important thing. The CATS example I gave earlier is a case in point. The companies involved all benefit from the existence of a large and expensive expendable booster market. The paradigm of cheap-access-to-space provides societal benefits but the corporations do not care about that at all. No profit in it for their existing business. Profits a decade or more away are irrelevant.

    Similarly, the Automobile industry in the USA. Focus on the short term. Toyota got their hybrid tech and ideas from a US government run workshop that provided them freely to the US auto firms. The folks at Toyota saw the value and worked at it. The US firms have almost completely self-destructed. US Taxpayer money needed to bail them out.

    So so so… Turnip’s point that we humans suck at this is pretty clearly true, and the AGW debate is yet another case of this…. but the interests of the society, as I noted in another thread, are almost uniformly ignored by libertarians in their pursuit of maximum individual freedom. The balance has been lost. That balance between individual freedoms and societal “goods” is critical. Communism lost its balance on the other side…. neither is correct for human societies. Balance is correct for human societies.

    Find that precarious balance and work to maintain it, and the society continues happily. It is not easy work.

    respectfully
    BJ

  8. Sally,
    On the contrary, you have provided what is an example of my is/ought argument
    The human, and all other creatures, have evolved for one reason and one reason only; because they proliferate genes. If there is anything that could be a should it would be the continuation of that. But it does not follow that we ought proliferate out genes despite it being our entire evolutionary purpose. Even if god created us with this purpose it still does not follow logically. It requires the moral axiom that we should do what we have evolved to do or that we should follow the will of god. It is only once we have both an ‘is’ and an ‘ought’ that we can derive further ‘ought’. That first ‘ought’, the moralistic axiom, must, however, be entirely subjective as there is no objective way of arriving at one.
    You argue that you act in your own self-interest and that is your ultimate ‘ought’. Your moralistic axiom is thus “I ought act in my own self-interest”,a positions which itself can not be derived from an ‘is’ in the absence of an ought, a position arrived at totally subjectivly. Presumably such that you may derive ought’s and thus have direction in life.

    You are being very selective in your replies and in your reading, you are eaither doing this intentionally or it is the result of cognitive dissonance. I hope the latter. This is apparent both in your replies to myself and to turnip. I tire of you. Come back when you learn to debate and are more widely read and considered. I would recommend first: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is-ought_problem

  9. Oh and governments are not good at long range thinking either. I’m sure you can think of many examples including response to AGW concerns. I would say private organizations have done more about alerting people and companies have done more to change their policies often in response to consumer demand.
    Turnip, if most humans are lousy at long term planning, remember that government is made up of humans who are mostly lousy at long term planning and they are voted in by humans who are mostly lousy at long term planning.

  10. As you said Turnip a small minority of people indulge in theft, assault etc.
    Surely it is indeed in our own interest to have an objective justice system with authority and police. We could constitutionally confine them to retaliatory force. Libz are not anarchists. We are for small limited government. It’s a matter horses for courses. Government, properly used, is the best tool for certain jobs – jobs where authority and force is appropriate.

    Government force should not be used force everybody to do what you want, what ever that may be as long as you can get the majority to agree with you. If the majority were Muslims and decided to use govt. authority to get everyone paying for mosques and learning Islam at school – would that be OK?

    What do y’all thing should be criteria for limiting government force?
    What principles would you put in a constitution and bill of rights?

  11. Your example doesn’t work sallydeb when it is subjected to reality.

    If we change your example and replace the emitting of C02 with say stealing people’s property.

    Then according to you we don’t need courts or a police force since people will voluntarily not commit robbery. Let’s say 90% of the people agree not to steal from other people, those 10% who decide to steal have a huge advantage they can freely take as much property as they like from everyone else.

    No true libertarian ever argues for the above society, so why do you present it as your solution to global warming. Libertarians know that not everyone will voluntarily do something, some times force is required.

    Force becomes necessary when there is no benefit for the individual to voluntarily comply. When it comes to global warming the benefit is long term and inter-generational. Long term planning is something most humans are lousy at doing, we are the best animal on the planet at long term planning and we still suck at it. I personally believe long term planning is probably the best evolutionary trait for any species; long term planning is so helpful for avoiding extinction.

  12. Valis,
    I have said earlier in the thread what I think those who are worried about AGW worst case scenario should do, which is what I would do. A large majority of the population have this concern (so they say) and have not done as much as they could have to reduce their own emissions where ever practical voluntarily. That is what they should have done and can do more of now. Surely it would be in their own self interest if they believed this disaster is likely to occur. Also start planning for self and loved ones to be able to adapt to the climate change is obvious. Most people are not doing that either. If they believed that government authoritarian measures are the best way to reduce emissions or prepare, they have been wrong – it hasn’t worked. Even if governments get their A into G they may very well introduce policies with perverse effects that do more harm to our long term well being than AGW. So I would not be calling on government authority to enforce emissions reduction. I believe it would be more effective to encourage my fellow citizens to get on with acting in their own self interest voluntarily and join and fund organizations to get big alternative energy projects done etc. To be able to do all of that lower taxes would also be of help – so I would have voted for lower taxes too :->

  13. I see is/ought slightly differently from you Sapient.
    I derive what I ought to do from evaluation of what is. On a very basic level we observe what is i.e. the nature of entities in action in reality; their effects on ourselves and others. We come to learn what is beneficial to us and what to avoid; what is valuable and what is detrimental. Identifying what we ought to do is a matter of identifying what is valuable in reality and what actions (virtues) are required to achieve those values. So ideals and morals arise from our evaluation of what is rather than being separate from our perception of what is. Otherwise how did you come to the conclusion that you ought to do as you desire? Was it a purely subjective whim?

    However the term value is meaningless without considering value for whom and for what. If I wanted to die then aquiring food would not be very useful to me so not valuable. So evaluation will depend if you want to live or die, achieve pleasure, avoid suffering.

    My primary value is my own life. My primary ought / ideology is to act in my own self interest, not simply to do as I desire. I desire some things that are self destructive like eating and smoking too much so pure desire is only part of what I have to consider If I wish to live a long quality life, enjoying pleasures and avoiding suffering.

  14. My primary goal is not the net benefit to society – I am not a utilitarian. My primary goal is to achieve my own personal aspirations, my own happiness. I do not accept the idea that being selfish is immoral. In fact acting in my own self interest is a virtue. I am arguing for my right to focus on my own priorities. I have also identified that I can better achieve my aspirations in a truely free society. I hope to convince other people that they too can achieve their aspirations more successfully in a more free society.

    This is the crux of course. What I want to know and never can get a Lib to talk about, is how you deal with a global disaster. Take as given that AGW is true, incredibly urgent, incredibly bad for everyone if we don’t reduce emissions by 80% by 2050, and that the worst consequences are avoidable if we act very quickly. What would you do, how, and why?

    (now here’s hoping my home broadband link gets fixed soon so I can see your response before Monday)

  15. Sally,
    lol, I cant help but find the second paragraph hilarious.
    Yes, in many instances my arguments appear intuitive, but they are entirely logical. The reason that they appear intuitive is because I intentionally present them in the most simplistic manner I can think of, as this reduces the ability of the opposition to argue on trivialities, and use many unstated premises. I use unstated premises because it would make my postings excessively long and tedious should I include them all. If I did that each would in itself be the equivalent to a honours project. :P

    It is important that your realise this; an ‘ought’ cannot be derived from an ‘is’. The ontological axiom can never give birth to a ‘ought’ as it is based entirely on observation of the world and the ‘is’.
    The ‘ought’ is derived from the ideological/moralistic axiom which is itself an ‘ought’, in deciding what to do we combine our ontological belief with our ideological/moralistic belief. If you see someone being raped that is an ‘is’ there is no reason why you should help them based only on that ‘is’, what you ‘ought’ do is derived from your ideological/moralistic axiom; be it to help or to run away.
    My primary, and only, ideological axiom is “I ‘ought’ do what I desire”, and ultimately it would seem yours is the same. This is what I have been attempting to establish this whole time and have asked you very clearly several times. That you have not responded clearly until now is not my failing; though admitting to such an axiom does increase my respect for you.
    You are correct that concepts such as justice are complex in nature, this is because they result from a jumble of multiple, normally contradicting, moral axioms; they are not themselves axioms though “I ‘ought’ work toward achieving justice for all” can be such. The concept of justice itself is best represented as the perception that all ‘ought’ are realised; thus why the concept varies so much between individuals.

    Now that you have established your prime ‘ought’ it becomes apparent that the only way to argue with you in a non-philosophical manner is to seek to convince you of the advantage of any change to yourself; an argument hard to level without intimate knowledge of the state of the individual. The axiom I was hoping you would say you adopted would have it much more easy to argue as it is separate from that selfish taint and is far more ideological in nature.

    For more on the is/ought problem read some of David Hume’s work or do a search on “Hume’s guillotine”.

  16. You seem to use the term axiom in a different way to traditional philosophy as I understand so you may get the cart before the horse :->

    Though I remember that you favour an intuitive means at arriving at conclusions where as I am a great fan of logical reason.

    You say ” An axiom is the central, pivotal, component on which the rest of the argument both relies and is derived.” I agree and I was using the term axiom for the observable nature of the world and the nature of human beings that we perceive – the ontological type. Ideals, morals and justice are sophisticated concepts, not basic axioms. However it is very important that they are grounded in the relevant ontological axioms. The arguement (eg. a conclusion about what is moral) will be valid if it is abstracted from true observations of what actually occurs in reality.

    You wrote:
    “I take from this that your axiom is “the maintenance of the maximum liberty possible whilst the cessation of that liberty would not produce a net benefit to society where that benefit is defined as increasing any individuals ability to achieve their personal goals.”

    No. Not what I said and not what I meant. Go have another look. And BTW I would not describe far right wing as liberal in any sense of the word.

    My primary goal is not the net benefit to society – I am not a utilitarian. My primary goal is to achieve my own personal aspirations, my own happiness. I do not accept the idea that being selfish is immoral. In fact acting in my own self interest is a virtue. I am arguing for my right to focus on my own priorities. I have also identified that I can better achieve my aspirations in a truely free society. I hope to convince other people that they too can achieve their aspirations more successfully in a more free society.

    However as I said before “That’s not to say that free agents would not be a community and not work with collectives for common causes. It is just that these causes are more likely to be of prime mutual benefit if entered into voluntarily. People don’t generally enter into voluntary collective projects unless they see a benefit for themselves.” So we can retain economies of scale.
    You talk of affordable public (government) health and education etc. I say that is a contradiction in terms. Government services are jolly expensive – costing low and middle income people a considerable chunk of their income. I believe we can get better value for money in a truely free market. The majority of taxpayers are concerned about supporting the very poor and disadvantaged. IMO they too would get better value for money by spending through private voluntary organizations rather than paying taxes for social welfare etc.
    So happily net benefit for society is consistent with net benefit for me.

  17. Sally,
    I look forward to your continued presence on this forum, you have shown quite interesting to debate with thus far.

    An axiom is not always in the form you suggest. An axiom in its most simple is similar to the axil of a cart around which the cart-wheel rotates. An axiom is the central, pivotal, component on which the rest of the argument both relies and is derived. I would suggest that important here are two types of axioms; those ontological in nature and those ideological/moralistic in nature.
    The ontological axiom is that which you cite, it is derived from your experience of the world and defines how you interpret the world. The ideological axiom, to which I have been making reference, does not and cannot be informed by objective reasoning. It is this axiom from which we draw the concepts of justice, fairness, etc., etc.

    I am familiar with your concept of the best society; It is in fact my secondary parameter for judging the desirableness of a society. I take from this that your axiom is “the maintenance of the maximum liberty possible whilst the cessation of that liberty would not produce a net benefit to society where that benefit is defined as increasing any individuals ability to achieve their personal goals.”. If this is so then you are not a libertarian, mearly a very right-wing liberal not dissimilar to myself. That your position comes out like that of the libertarians can be attributed to the interaction of your ideological axiom and your ontological axiom. That is, I expect that your interpretation of the world leads you to think that minimal government such as proposed by the Libz, and rights such as they support, are the best way to obtain this ‘best world’. It is that which I have been intending to contest and which BJ has started to contest before I saw your response.
    I would suggest that the Libertarianz society is not one that provides a net benefit to society by increasing the ability of any given individual to obtain their personal goals. While I am certain it is true that the rich and the powerful will be better able to achieve whatever ends they desire under this system, though only slightly more so than today, the ability of those in society not born to the wealthy and powerful is deminished vastly, and they would make up the vast majority of the population. Without some degree of affordable (I.e. public) health their lives would be short and miserable, this would impede their ability to achieve any goal. Without affordable (I.e. public) education they would lack the capacity to achieve their goals. Without a safety net they would perish, or at least have their progress disappear, with the smallest fluctuation in the economy or at the whim of the powerful. The people would persist as little more than peasants and thieves, that is until Marx’s proletarian revolution takes place spurred by the vast majority of the proletariat and their lack of education or prospects. The economy of scale that is non-minimal government adds much to the obtainment of goals whilst sacrificing near nothing. Especially due to the diminishing value of each additional unit of currency.

  18. Sallydeb

    The point I raise is that survival may impose responsibilities on individuals that curtail other freedoms. That the survival of the group may well require sacrifices on the part of individuals.

    The “ultimate” sacrifice is one that the group has no right to ask… it is morally ONLY something that can be given, but sacrifices short of that?

    Then one has to consider what is entailed in “survival” of the group. Keeping it healthy? Keeping it from having too much difference between the most and least privileged? Caring about its weaker members? Allowing new members? What makes the group strongest socially? All manner of considerations are permitted here and the argument between libertarian and liberal is (I think) mostly over the lines drawn in this arena.

    There is an interesting psychological dynamic operating too. We don’t really relate well in groups larger than about 150 individuals.

    AGW enters at a whole other level. It threatens civilization as a whole, and it even provides challenges to species survival. When I meet libertarians who engage at the usual level, the argument about the extent of government, the conversations are interesting and challenging. Such people think deeply and respect the science that is done. The question of how to limit government being a separate issue.

    When I run into someone who has let the problematical nature of all the solutions available to us for AGW color their perceptions of the science, the conversation turns to custard rapidly. Unfortunately things have gotten way out of hand now. We had a shot in 1991 with Kyoto, and effectively nothing was done because the US refused to act meaningfully.

    Not realistically Gore’s fault, as the Republican “Contract on America” was just getting started. He didn’t have a prayer of ramming it through a Congress that was little removed from a lynch mob. Then we got the worst administration in the history of the country… Cheney.

    With 16 years of easier targets wasted we start afresh looking at a much much worse problem.

    The stakes we are betting on have not changed… and I think that it may be that we can’t be patient with the denial industry any more. The odds of success have gone from 50-50 to 9-1 or worse against us.

    Without a substantial cost applied to the emission of CO2 and that very promptly placed, there is no way to avoid dangerous and incredibly damaging warming. I don’t expect that this will happen, but it is my obligation to attempt to MAKE it happen.

    It is OK to try and then fail, but it is not OK to fail to try. Given the odds it would also be irresponsible to try to do it alone, to ignore what others do, and to kill ourselves trying… but we have to go in boots-and-all, to get this done

    …and accept making sacrifices for the survival of the group is going to be part of our foreseeable future… one way or another.

    respectfully
    BJ

  19. Since we are a community of individuals, I don’t see how community aspirations are likely to be all that different from individual aspirations. Survival would be an example. If you sacrifice individual aspirations for the sake of the aspirations of the collective… well… that’s what you got in communist Russia and China….. you end up achieving no aspirations, just misery and poverty.

    That’s not to say that free agents would not be a community and not work with collectives for common causes. It is just that these causes are more likely to be of prime mutual benefit if entered into voluntarily. People don’t generally enter into voluntary collective projects unless they see a benefit for themselves.

  20. Quite a few people would place somewhat more emphasis on pursuit of community aspirations.

    Like survival.

    BJ

  21. Sallydeb,

    You raise an interesting point. While you (and I suspect many other westerners) believe “The best kind of society is one where we can maximize the great benefits of interacting with each other while in pursuit of different individual aspirations”, this is by no means a universal belief. Quite a few people would place somewhat more emphasis on pursuit of community aspirations.

  22. I would say that liberty is not an axiom, it is an abstract concept. Axioms are irreducible primary attributes of reality. Empirical, heuristic facts of nature are the axioms from which abstract concepts are derived.

    The discussion started in the political context but I guess all things are interrelated and relevant.

    The best kind of society is one where we can maximize the great benefits of interacting with each other while in pursuit of different individual aspirations. An environment where people can interact and co-operate when mutual benefit is identified. It is important that people can say no thanks to interactions that they do not find benefit in. While no system is perfect, the best political system is the one most conducive to this social climate of live and let live.

  23. Sally,
    I think that every effect has a cause and where every instance is exactly the same as another instance the result will be the same also. Basically i belevie in a deterministic universe. If you flip a coin you would guess there to be a 50% chance at eaither heads or tails. But if you were to rewind time and then push play, every time that coin is flipped you would get the same result as that is teh only result that could of happened. In reality there was a 100% chance that that outcome would occur, the 50% guess is guided by non-perfect knowledge. You hit one ball against another and it flies off. Repeating that in exactly the same manner under exactly the same circumstances will result in exactly the same result.

    I am not guided by “net benefit to society”, that is mearly a handy summary. My guidance is much more selfish; I do what satisfies me. At the moment what satisfies me most is challenge. The greatist challenge i can see that leaves open the possibility of more satisfying pursuits latter is to ensure the ultimate survival of the human species and gaian life. Everything is towards that goal. judging by the benefit to the functioning of society is mearly a heuristic judgement process.

    Those with sufficent power need not respect rights as rights are infered by society giving up liberties and enforcing that ceasation. If one has sufficent power then his rights are self-assured and if he violates the rights of others they are unable to enforce apon him the consequences of that violation.

    Yes, the LibertariaNZ define which force they belevie should be illegal. But in doing so they move away from the axiom of “liberty” that would see the worse possible form of government and toward eaither an axiom which considers liberty as secondary to the benefit of society, an axiom which considers liberty only as a political tool to promote their own self interest, or they dont even question it. I have shown that these concessions are made; my question is why these concessions and not others when others may be just as benificial or more to society? I expect the answer is self-interest and ideology.

    I was not aware this was a discussion of the best political system, but i would be happy to engage in such conversation. First however you must define ‘best’.

  24. Sapient,

    Yes there are different forms of power/force if you use the terms broadly to include all attempts to manipulate. Libz have carefully outlined physical force, the threat of force and fraud should be illegal. The context here is a discussion of the best political system. We certainly don’t want too outlaw every human interaction. Sapient defines every human interaction as force. Sapient, I guess if you were to define personal freedom it could only be find yourself a shelter in the wilderness where no one can find you and keep to yourself.

    Some agreement with you here – You can’t have your cake and eat it too. To live in a society with more personal freedom and responsibility we would have to give up the use of force. The powerful are only as powerful as we let them be. We could choose to cede power to leaders that constitutionally limit their use of force; that protect personal freedoms such as freedom of speech and freedom of association and property rights.

    Oh, just remembered, you think human volition is an illusion. No wonder you think every human interaction is force as you think we are easily and totally manipulatable just by the use of words, no physical force needed. You do say though that even canines “temper decision making”. You also say those with sufficent power need not give up such liberties. Would you say people who have more liberties have more volition? I would say that liberties and volition are effectively expressions of one and the same thing. A robot that has it’s every action pre-programed has no free will, no volition, no liberties.

    “Net benefit to society” seems to be the only thing close to a principle that guides your political action. What do you consider to be beneficial, prosperity, happiness, non-fat health? And since you consider justice and fairness to be entirely subjective, how would you legitimize any law?

  25. Now it’s a question of citizenship is it. Before, you said ‘responsibilities to the group’, but now you’ve changed it to citizenship. They are not the same concept at all. You are wriggling, being evasive and changing your position.

    Wow.. being a citizen is not to be a member of a specific group. Who would have thought that? I have a special membership card, exclusive rights within the country including the right to influence the direction the group (Country) takes in managing its internal and external affairs. I am very sorry Wat, but the difference, if it is significant, needs to be explained a lot better than the sophist’s argument that I used a different term. I did so deliberately of course, because the Libertarian insistence that we manage things with private and self-organizing groups is so completely parallel to what a country actually is that the insistence that the government is somehow different and NECESSARILY “evil” becomes bizarre.

    What responsibilities does a citizen have? Hmmm…. I suspect that obeying the law has to be high on the list. Paying your fair share of the cost of government comes to mind as well. Is there something about citizenship that bothers you? Perhaps you should renounce yours and leave?

    re temperature…

    Specifically, all the times in the Earth’s history when it was warmer than today there was no net positive feedback and no runaway warming. If there had been, we wouldn’t be here now talking about it.

    What on EARTH are you talking about? The last time we saw CO2 this high the temperature finally stabilized at 3 degrees warmer. It didn’t get there without positive feedback from water vapor. If you are imagining that somehow we are postulating a “venus effect” that isn’t true and I am sure you know it. This paragraph of yours is best regarded as an outlying aberrational thought, and ignored.

    “the evidence is that the feedbacks are negative.”

    No Wat.. that’s just wrong.

    The CURRENT temperature the planet enjoys is largely as a result of the feedback of the water-vapor… (which might proved that feedback unevenly through its full range of action, but there is no proof of or evidence for that supposition), which, since it is positive for the range of temperatures from 255 to 288 degrees kelvin really has to be expected to be positive through 291. Just as it was 3 million years ago. Spencer and Lindzen notwithstanding.

    respectfully
    BJ

  26. Greenfly has the right of it.

    The problem with all the energy getting trapped and the rapid changes is that it is likely to cause weather to get much LESS predictable.

    The east coast could get drier, the west coast wetter, the wind patterns more changeable and the temperature extremes in both directions larger. Places that never froze before (Wellington) might see winter snow AND summer temperatures in the 30’s. Typhoons might hammer us in season and the farmers could be trying to cope with a lot of rain some months and none in others.

    All of that can happen with even a small amount of additional temperature change.. even without watching the sea-level rise as much as 2 meters by 2100 and 5 by 2200.

    New-Scientist has a headline on sea-level rises, 2m for the price of 1.

    Not really…. passable article though.

    respectfully
    BJ

  27. Ergh, the bus was full of dirty first-years; im probally going to come down with swine flu now. :P

    Now to complete that post;

    Keep in mind that rights and liberties do not exist without cost. The state of nature is the theoretical state of absolute freedom. Removing ourselves from the state of nature entails ceeding certain freedoms.
    In having a negative freedom (rights) realised we must in-turn give up a positive freedom (liberties). So to obtain the right to not have our life extinguished by community members we must give up our liberty to kill community members. To obtain the right to own property we must give up the liberty to use whatever property we like. To obtain the right to not be enslaved we must give up the liberty to enslave. It is notable however that those with sufficent power need not give up such liberties as they may discourage using fear instead of the coercion of mutual agreement.

    That which is Just and that which is Fair are concepts entirly subjective and as such I do not deal with them nor debate them from my perspective. On the rare occasion that I do use them in arguement I use them as an arguementive tool and from the subjective perceptions of the opponent. If I must define them from my perspective they too would fall under might-makes-right.

    As to whom deserves to benefit and whom deserves to incur cost; I do not care :- it is irrelivant given my perspective. If a change produces a net benefit to society, all side-effects considered, then that change is desirable without reguard to if it makes the poor poorer, the poor rich, induces equality, etc, etc, etc. The end always justifies the means as the end takes into account the means by which it is acheived.

  28. Sally,
    Indeed, but it is important to realise that all people have power and power is more than simple physical force. While the mightest might rule that might can be the composite of many small bearers of might. As is the case with democracy; tyranny of the majority. If the powerful are overthrown then they lack sufficent power to retain rule and as another force has reared its head with superior might and different ideas.

    I make no such assumption that all which benefit most will cost some, mearly that those i listed were examples of things which tend to benefit most but most certainly cost some. Property rights is one such example. Every human interaction is one of force. I dont steal from or assult my friend because I fear the loss of respect and familarity which would result.

    The ‘state of nature’ is a theoretical concept proposed by Thomas Hobbes. It is not the state nature exists within. Canines for example do not exist within the state of nature for power structures exist within and between packs which temper decision making through fear of consequences. They are not much more simple than humans in this respect.

    I must catch the bus.

  29. Sapient,

    Obviously those who are able and willing to apply the most force get to set the rules so in that sense might is right. We the people in society still have to decide whether we should tolerate the ones weilding the force or if we should try to overthrow the bastards, if they are bastards. Should we be apathetic or is it time to get active?

    Also we can try to insist on limiting the use of force or the threat of force.
    You seem to be quite sure that all policies that benefit some or most will do so at the expense of some others. I’ll accept that for now. Then you come to the question of what is just or fair – who deserves to benefit from a policy and who deserves to pay the cost of a policy? Obviously libertarians have decided that individual liberty is the key guide on this issue. They support policies that benefit people who don’t use physical force or the treat thereof to thrive. And they support policies that punish those that do thrive by the initiation of force.
    The ideal being that individuals are more able to achieve their hugely varied aspirations if able to choose their own priorities freely.

    Salient weote:
    “you do not support the state of nature for you support both property rights and the abolition of slavery.”

    Actually you do see aspects of property rights in non-human areas of nature. Lots of animals have territorial behaviours. And the abolition of slavery is a matter of protecting individual property rights. Libz uphold the right to own your own body and the fruits of your endeavours.

  30. Sally,I use legitimacy in the sense that that which is legitimate is ‘right’ and that which is illegitimate is ‘wrong'; so yes, I mean ‘might makes right’. A cruel reality but ultimately how the world would seem to work.

    In my equation (0 + 1 + 5 + 4 – 2 = 8), the example I made, there were five actors making up a group or ‘society’. Change X means that the first actor receives no net benefit or cost, the second actor benefits by one unit, the third by five, the fourth by four, and the fifth actor looses out and the change is two points to his detriment. The point here is that over-all the ‘society’ has benefited a net of 8 points but two members have not benefited, one of which has actually had costs imposed upon them. This is in refutation of your statement that whatever is good for society is good for the individual, and visa versa, since society is a composite of individuals. What is good for society may indeed be bad for some individuals.

    ” would you support this change or fight it? If it increases liberty? If it is liberty neutral? If it impinges on liberty?”

    Obviously I actively promote more liberty.

    You were not as clear as I had hoped you would be, answering the questions individually, but I shall take your answer as “yes, I would support a change that is good for society when this change promotes liberty or is liberty neutral but not when it compromises liberty”.

    Now for where I was headed. You state that you will act to promote liberty. Maximal liberty is known as ‘the state of nature’ but the state of nature is the worst possible state for society, you do not support the state of nature for you support both property rights and the abolition of slavery. Both property rights and the abolition of slavery are positive for the well-being of society, they allow man to prosper. As do the most fundamental rights. Yet both are liberty negative. Hence you are making an exception to this ‘I will promote liberty’ here by ceding liberty, and actively promoting such ceding of liberty, so that society may benefit. So you have now established a basis where-by liberty is not the most important factor but can be over-ruled by the social good if that social good is sufficiently large. Presumably where there is a net benefit to society and the individuals of which it consists.
    This is the biggest fault of the libertarian in that they preach ” ‘total liberty’ save these few exceptions which will benefit me greatly” they build hypocrisy into their argument by promoting, ideologically, only those cessations of rights which benefit them greatly such that they may protect their own gains whilst taking those of others.
    Now, you must decide, what is you axiom? Is your axiom “maximal liberty” or “Maximal liberty except where the cessation of that liberty produces a net good for society”? If the former then you have no ideological basis to promote property rights and arguably slavery. If the latter then you have an ideological basis from which to argue for property rights and for the abolition of slavery but that same ideological basis demands other concessions of liberty where there is a net benefit to society so you are then driven to promote taxation, welfare, etc, etc, etc. Of course this is a false dichotomy, there is a third axiom, that from which most people whom call themselves ‘libertarians’ operate; “that which benefits me is good, that which does not is bad”. Of course, most whom operate by this axiom state that they operate under the first axiom and just bathe in their own hypocrisy.
    So which are you?

  31. Gerrit and Sally – the climate has already changed. My expectation is that the weather will become chaotic. That means traditional crops and practices can’t be relied on to gaurantee harvests. This is a serious issue. Starvation is not a welcome development. Expecting a warmer, benign climate is naive. A food producer must now be taking all potentials into account and preparing for the worst. Crop failure will have serious repercussions. Prince Charles is correct. :-)
    You’ll note Gerrit, that the plants I mention are ‘hot climate’ plants, so I am establishing those also but to rely on them would be foolish. They are not, in any case, staple crops. The vision you appear to hold, Gerrit, of warm seas and higher sea levels, differs from mine. I see turbulent oceans and eroding coastlines – not the places to establish food production at all.

  32. Sallydeb

    I want the coffee here before the climate wars start. :-)

    The warmer temperatures won’t stabilize for centuries. I have no idea when the climate here might become suitable for coffee, but I have seen Wellingtonians who have not had their caffeine fix… it isn’t pretty.

    … and is there life without chocolate?

    respectfully
    BJ

  33. I presume you are stocking plants that will grow in a warmer climate. Surely you expect that you will be ale to grow plants like coffee bean here in NZ when the climate gets warmer. Since climate change is considered imminent, then the plants that should be suitable for the out door conditions in NZ now will probably not do very well in the future. Hmm. Of course y’all will have thought through all this.
    I guess there are many plants that can cope with a wide range of temperatures and CO2 levels – these can survive now and be expected to survive in the future.

  34. I’ve managed to track down all sorts of food plants that do well in cooler areas;

    But with global warming should you not be looking at food plants that thrive in a hot climate?

    Hope you have the true faith greenfly, dont want to see you wasting time on plants that wont grow here due to higher temperatures.

    And with the rising sea levels, should you not be looking at aquaculture in warm seas? After all, with less land to live on where will you grow this food?

  35. I’d be keen to grow it in hothouses. Geothermal hothouses if necessary.

    Without coffee BP will be right, and our export earnings will never cover our habit :-)

    BJ

  36. bj – I’ve managed to track down all sorts of food plants that do well in cooler areas; a grape that produces sweet, sweet bunches out of doors in the south, feijoa, fig, lemons, kiwifruit and so on but as yet, no coffee or cacao. I’m looking hard as it is a critical aspect of my future happiness! There is a coconut that nuts well in NZ and bananas that grow and produce down here. If, in the course of your investigations you uncover the cool climate coffe plant, see me first! I’ve the world’s best blueberries to trade :-)

  37. Hmm, BJ, you are right – missing a comma I think – It does look misleading especially to people who are keen to spin what you say.

    To be clear then: Force is not legitimate unless used in defense.

  38. Sallydeb

    Probably a typo here

    ” I’d say no force is not legitimate unless ” should be
    “I’d say no force is legitimate unless ” – cause that way it parses and makes sense.

    respectfully
    BJ

  39. Oh what a tangled web we weave.

    Sapient wrote:

    “I view the world in terms of ‘force = legitimacy’ so my views of what is legitimate will be rather different to yours but do you consider slavery legitimate and why? ”

    I’m not sure what you mean by legitimate. If you men justifiable I’d say no force is not legitimate unless one is using force to defend or retaliate.
    However you probably don’t mean justifiable since you don’t believe we have choice at all. You believe all is pre-determined, that choice is an illusion. So to your mind what would be the point in weighing the value of actions and deciding which ones are justifiable? And you are a pragmatist so even if you came to a conclusion as to whether an action was justifiable that would not necessarily guide your actions.

    When you say ‘force = legitimacy”, do you mean might is right?

    Sapient wrote:
    “In my equation above society and most individuals in that society benefit greatly from whatever change is happening but some are also hurt”.

    Most benefit from whatever change?
    That doesn’t make much sense to me.

    Sapeint asked:

    ” would you support this change or fight it? If it increases liberty? if it is liberty neutral? If it impinges on liberty?”

    Obviously I actively promote more liberty.

  40. bjchip,

    – “The same responsibilities that everyone else recognizes go with the rights associated with citizenship. It IS pretty simple. ”

    Now it’s a question of citizenship is it. Before, you said ‘responsibilities to the group’, but now you’ve changed it to citizenship. They are not the same concept at all. You are wriggling, being evasive and changing your position.

    And you still haven’t answered the question: what responsibilities?

    – “Lindzen and Spencer hold that there is a negative feedback that will limit the effect. Not proven or disproven. There is reason to think they are mistaken, but proof isn’t easy in science”

    Since the onus is on you to prove that the recent unremarkable climate changes are not natural, it sounds like you have your work cut out.

    And whilst the alarmists are forced to assert that feedbacks will be positive (because even they have to admit that the tiny, tiny, tiny change in the huge natural greenhouse effect cannot by itself result in any meaningful change), the evidence is that the feedbacks are negative. Specifically, all the times in the Earth’s history when it was warmer than today there was no net positive feedback and no runaway warming. If there had been, we wouldn’t be here now talking about it.

    Unless the laws of physics have changed recently (like they did for the missing ocean warming perhaps, which apparently dived down to the bottom of the sea just a few years ago?) then you simply don’t have a case.

    So when you claim that this particular issue is “not proven or disproven” you are being disingenuous.

  41. “I aim to please. Really Valis, where would you be without me?

    More hair.”

    Sorry about that, I will get my wife to knit you a hat :)

  42. “Lable them for me (assign them a political wing if you wish).”

    It will be a new wing altogether called:
    “The United Nations do what we say or else commission of planetary cohesive progessive all encompassing plan for everything” wing.
    Or:
    TUNDWWSOECOPCPAEPFEW
    for short.

  43. “Those rotters you fear will pocket our emissions fines .. what sort of people are they? Are they greenie environmentalists?”

    No they are not, that’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. Imagine all the trees we could plant if OUR money stayed in NZ.

  44. greenfly, stop feeding the conspiracy theory! You drop THAT and then leave for the night? Shunda will be going for a week!

    I aim to please. Really Valis, where would you be without me?

    More hair.

    We will have to make sure the shovels are blunt, just in case things get a little tense

    Very wise.

  45. Hey Shunda – re the trees, go nuts! (I planted 50 hazels out today :-)

    Your idea is the best! Plant for Victory! (I’ll manage the southern branch of the tree..planting project)

    Keep us informed of how you go. I’ll see your 500 trees and raise you 500!

    Just out of interest (and I’ll have to respond in the morning – the kids are away staying at friends so it’s early to bed, early to rise :-)

    Those rotters you fear will pocket our emissions fines .. what sort of people are they? Are they greenie environmentalists? Lable them for me (assign them a political wing if you wish).

    Cheers digger!

  46. “Christ, Shunda, that’s a howler even for you!”

    I aim to please. Really Valis, where would you be without me?

    “Nothing wrong with your tree planting idea though.”

    We will have to make sure the shovels are blunt, just in case things get a little tense :)

  47. Are you really denying there are some scientists making sure AGW is true?

    Christ, Shunda, that’s a howler even for you! Nothing wrong with your tree planting idea though.

  48. “Gosh Shunda – do you think AGW might not be real ????”

    You know what I mean you pesky bug!! :)
    Instead of arguing unproductively on exactly how we are stuffing the planet, how about we argue while planting trees. Anyone up for a planting and bitching session?
    (I’m serious I will organize it)

  49. Shunda

    It isn’t necessary to “make sure” AGW is true… (taking your meaning to be outright falsification or subtle shading of experimental results to bolster the evidence). The arguments mostly come from outside, from people who are not climate scientists or simply not scientists at all.

    Lindzen and Spencer hold that there is a negative feedback that will limit the effect. Not proven or disproven. There is reason to think they are mistaken, but proof isn’t easy in science. Pielke seems to go along in a similar vein,. This sort of agreement among the people who specialize in atmospheric science or ANY science, is pretty unusual.

    The problem is not the scientific disagreement, such as it is, it is the UNscientific disagreement, which is so often accompanied by diatribes against excessive governmental power.

    The thing that embarrasses/angers me is that what Chilingar et.al. got their paper published without anyone even asking whether it made sense in terms of the science. A rebuttal to the paper was published later which tore it to small smoldering shreds, but the damage was done. It WAS published and the right wing blogosphere went wild and Plimer published his nonsense based on it, and the truth is STILL tying its shoes.

    (referent is Twain, regarding the distance a lie will travel).

    The whole point to having referees is to be sure that nonsense doesn’t get through. It doesn’t always work, but Chilingar is not exactly well regarded as a scientist.

    http://wah-realitycheck.blogspot.com/2008/09/khilyuk-and-chilingar.html

    respectfully
    BJ

  50. I’m sorry? My “responsibilities to the group”?

    I thought I was a free person with the right of free association. What responsibilities would they be then?

    The same responsibilities that everyone else recognizes go with the rights associated with citizenship.

    It IS pretty simple.

    respectfully
    BJ

  51. “If I am angry it is with geologists who write books as though they actually know about climate science… and other geologists who publish the cr@p without properly checking it.”

    From what I have read BJ, that is very much a two way street. Are you really denying there are some scientists making sure AGW is true?

  52. greenfly,

    You are free to engage in mutually beneficial trade with other adults.

    Most gracious of you wat. I feel free.

  53. Wat

    I am not “angry” with you. I am however, consistently amused by how far off you go to find justifications for your unwillingness to participate fully in the society and nation called New Zealand.

    It is very strange to me to find you deny that you think that the UN is trying to impose a tax or charge on your use of CO2.

    It is equally strange to me to see you claim (apparently) to support that notional imposition.

    After all, when I said that you didn’t, you then said THAT was a lie.

    The flailing charge doesn’t work when you contradict yourself in the same sentence. Unless of course you DO support those things and regard them as good.

    The unfailing return to home base for you is that taxation is theft by violence.

    The particular point I was making was that you smug lefties like to use the threat of violence to steal people’s money and justify it with the pretext that you are helping the poor. I simply pointed out that , in that case, you should use the stolen money where it will do the most good – which means buying lots of healthcare for Africans dying of simple dysentry, rather than on 42″ plasma TVs for a handful of other rich people who just happen to live in New Zealand.

    Except that that is NOT what we do Wat. Maybe Labour has the “pretense” bit down pat, I don’t hang with those morally bankrupt slaves of bankers, I wouldn’t know about that.

    Nor is what you THINK we should do appropriate. There is this little thing we support very strongly… democracy is the popular word. I know you won’t get it, few people with your prejudices about Green politics do, but we take it seriously. We can help people in THIS country because people in THIS country agreed to help each other… that is what government allows us to do. When and if we and the majority of other people in this country agree to tax ourselves help everyone else on the planet, THEN it will be appropriate to give away the country. I reckon they’ll play ice-hockey in hell first, but THAT is the condition for what YOU think we should do.

    No Wat… not angry. Just patient. If I am angry it is with geologists who write books as though they actually know about climate science… and other geologists who publish the cr@p without properly checking it.

    respectfully
    BJ

  54. Sapient,

    These “choices” the black slaves had, would they involve running away and being tracked by men with guns and dogs and then hung from a tree?

    Hmm, choices choices.

    “wage slave” is just a term; you can leave any time you want. Nobody will come after you with rottweilers (except WalMart. Right Greens?)

  55. Wat, Valis,
    Lol.
    It is not that I do not consider that instance to be slavery but mearly a continuation of the previous posts on the degrees of slavery, i beleive it was sally whom first brought it up. The black slave was mearly an example and does most definatly have choices availible to them and because of this cannot be seen as completly enslaved where slavery is considered the removal of all choices. Accepting the existance of ddegrees of slavery it then follows that different where coercive forces come into effect we are under a certain degree of slavery even when we appear to have much choice. e.g. the wage slave.

  56. Wow. Just, wow.

    I have to agree with you on this, wat.

    And still you leftists do it, because free people just won’t do what you want them to do…

    Well that dosn’t follow at all. sap is known to be a bit “different”. Don’t think for a second other Greens would agree with him.

    What you are advocating will let millions of poor people die so that the stolen money can be used instead on more consumer electronics for rich westerners.

    And this is Green policy.

    Not just Green policy any more. The threat is global and urgent and cannot be compared to the atrocities you mention above. If you weren’t so blinded by the climate science liers, it would be interesting to hear how you’re approach would solve the problem. As it is, your whole position depends on denying AGW, so its a pointless debate.

    I thought I was a free person with the right of free association. What responsibilities would they be then?

    So long as your actions don’t endanger others, I don’t care what you do. At the moment people like you are a threat to the whole planet.

  57. Sapient,

    – “I would say that slavery has consequences for society that I consider undesirable, and as such where possible it should be avoided, but I do not consider it morally wrong…were the black slaves of america really slaves? They wernt paid and they were forced to stay on the plantation but at the same time it was their choice, for the most part, as they could have attempted escape should they desire independant of how poor the choices may be.”

    Wow. Just, wow.

    This sentence is particularly revealing: “I would say that slavery has consequences for society that I consider undesirable.” It highlights the fact that so many of the atrocities throughout history – and particularly the 20th century – were perpetrated by those who justified their actions by claiming it was for the good of society. The Jews were to be eradicated for the good of society. Oppressive Communism and National Socialism must be forced on people for the good of society. The BNP says blacks should be kicked out for the good of society.

    Every time, those inconvenient individual rights were swept aside “for the good of society”.

    And still you leftists do it, because free people just won’t do what you want them to do…

    bjchip,

    – “There IS an organization OF nations that is trying … to impose a tax on nations, … How strange, I support that notion, you oppose it, yet you argue here that I should support it. ”

    Please stop inventing lies and putting them into my mouth; you just come across as someone flailing badly.

    Initiating violence is wrong. If you point a gun at me, take my money and buy yourself a new TV with it, that is wrong. If you point a gun at me, take my money and buy someone else a TV with it, it is still wrong. What don’t you understand?

    The particular point I was making was that you smug lefties like to use the threat of violence to steal people’s money and justify it with the pretext that you are helping the poor. I simply pointed out that , in that case, you should use the stolen money where it will do the most good – which means buying lots of healthcare for Africans dying of simple dysentry, rather than on 42″ plasma TVs for a handful of other rich people who just happen to live in New Zealand.

    For some reason this angers you.

    – “Problems that affect families not part of my region are less important than those who are closer. Problems that affect regions not part of my country are less important than those in my country and problems in countries in more remote parts of the globe are less important than those closer.”

    This is just your own ugly bigotry. It has no more foundation in morality than someone favouring his own race over others. By all means be a prejudiced bigot on your own dollar, but don’t imagine for one second that you have any right whatsoever to spend other people’s money according to your own twisted priorities.

    What you are advocating will let millions of poor people die so that the stolen money can be used instead on more consumer electronics for rich westerners.

    And this is Green policy.

    – “It is all too clear how you define morality without borders, conveniently for your argument of the moment. Anything at all to avoid your responsibilities to the group.”

    I’m sorry? My “responsibilities to the group”?

    I thought I was a free person with the right of free association. What responsibilities would they be then?

  58. Sally,
    I guess what i was getting at is; what degree of choice is neccacary to make someone a slave? We all need to eat and in absence of this consumption we die, the ultimate coercion. In this respect we are slaves to our metobolic processes. If we dont work then our ability to aquire food is severly limited and, where a state protecting property rights but not offering a benefit exists, totaly removed in the absence of strong coercive forces. In this respect people are wage slaves as an extension of their need for nutrition and the alienation of resources through the institution of private property (not that i object to that institution :P ). The black slave is made to work through coercive force applied against himself and those he holds dear, I would call this slavery, but make no mistake; the black slave does have choice in so much as a living thing can have choice, he has the option of running and of taking on the risks associated.
    I say “does have choice in so much as a living thing can have choice” because i do not beleive in choice; It defies the laws of physics in any non-random system. We thus far have no indication that randomness exists anywhere in this universe, it is possible it does, but even if it did the faculty of choice is still extremmly unlikely. The universe is chaotic in that there are many many particles of varying energy on varying paths interacting with each other, we can not predict them as we do not have th power but it is very deterministic; if we could know the details of every particle we could predict the future 100%, every choice, every thought.

    Yes, slavery has consequences that are undesirable for society. I would add that society is the sum of individuals – slavery is undesirable for individual.

    Interesting, reminds me of thatcher, though not logically valid. An action that benefits society will tend to benefit the majority of members alittle or a minority alot but by no means will it always benefit all. 0 + 1 + 5 + 4 – 2 = 8, this equation is overwhelmingly positive but there is still a cost imposed on an individual that exceeds the benefit received (-2).
    Take for example the abolition of slavery; I would suggest this benefited society greatly. The black man gained his freedom, more economic actors were created, etc, etc, but at teh same time the economy of the south suffered heavily, all those whom relied on exploiting the blacks were hurt. Think tabacco and cotten barons, they received a massive hit.
    I view the world in terms of ‘force = legitimacy’ so my views of what is legitimate will be rather different to yours but do you consider slavery legitimate and why? In my equation above society and most individuals in that society benefit greatly from whatever change is happening but some are also hurt; would you support this change or fight it? If it increases liberty? if it is liberty neutral? If it impinges on liberty?

  59. We are talking about the morality of using force to take the earnings of some to distribute to others.
    There is no moral argument which stops at notional national boundaries.

    Really? I am a citizen of the planet? I know I am, but there is no organization that taxes my nation for the good of others. The hierarchy of governance leaves me beholden to the Nation at the highest level.

    Wait! There IS an organization OF nations that is trying to impose some sort of tax – to stop the planet from changing for the worse for everyone on it – but it to impose a tax on nations, not directly on me.

    How strange, I support that notion, you oppose it, yet you argue here that I should support it.

    Perhaps you are more confused than I at first thought. Difficult to believe but increasingly possible.

    Problems that affect individuals not members of my family are less important than problems within my family. Problems that affect families not part of my region are less important than those who are closer. Problems that affect regions not part of my country are less important than those in my country and problems in countries in more remote parts of the globe are less important than those closer.

    Never completely unimportant, but the structures of society and government we have created to deal with the complexity of relations between 6 Billion individual humans are the framework in which responsibilities from each to each are managed. You call your governmentally assigned responsibilities (taxes) a matter of theft with threat of violence.

    It is all too clear how you define morality without borders, conveniently for your argument of the moment. Anything at all to avoid your responsibilities to the group.

    respectfully
    BJ

  60. Wow last of posts since I last checked in… Interesting reading, it’s gotten deep down into the theoretical..!

    Turnip I absolutely agree with on Austrian economics, I think if NZ moved on the gold standard tomorrow, it would give people much more power over the banks and the government and remove those two “hidden” taxes in the reserve banking system… Fab, I think it would greatly enhance democracy… It would hurt our exports hugely a few years though I think…

    Now in your last response to me, when talking about the C4L and Ron Paul campaigns you said “we” like you’d been actively working on it, how can you be actively working on that and in the NZ Green party..? Or are you one of those Green Libertarians, who still think property rights are the answer to every thing and just add pollution into their definition of force..?

  61. e-aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhrrrrrrrrrrrrr
    floi um
    Sally- Can you say whereabout your hospital is? (they vary)
    Head Offfice is always a good place to go if it becomes a menagerie! Hey ???
    If my Public Hospital was a turkey (Nuthins perfect)
    I couldn’t say7 so -it’d be professional suicide – i’ll be interested ti hear your profesional views on the life/death equation

    else, you what, clean our collectives and struck wordless !
    thank god it’s omtly temporary, the Ashes are on you know?
    This shit goes all the way back toi WW1 and before……………

  62. confusion is the ultimate state before knowledge
    thank you angel. i’ll try and stay out of the wards tonite
    the ones that need you -need song, opium
    who knows, it’s not your fault
    When occupied by the sick and dying,
    one doesn’t need clarification mucp can you specify?
    Please expand why the Public Hospital is Dreadfull; – I fear we may give these Greene tree-huggers a whole new perspective!!!
    Sans Birgs Fly.

  63. Mark,
    You’ll have to clarify, your post has me confused.

    However I have a 12 hr shift at that dreadful public hospital tomorrow…

  64. undesirable is permission for torture, why nz is a 3rd or 4th world country?
    Slavery is Our term for murder – so sorry.
    Death comes in more disguises than one might guess Sally
    best not to fool around with her.
    Though I am curious as your i8deas about ‘work’

  65. Sapient,

    Yes, slavery has consequences that are undesirable for society. I would add that society is the sum of individuals – slavery is undesirable for individual.

    If someone would die but for the work they put in is that slavery?

    Yes, if they are forced by someone threatening death.

    If they are forced to work in order that they may live but in where they work they do have choice and they do receive pay are they still slaves?

    I’d say the nature of reality is such that work is required in order that we may live as the food, shelter, medicine etc we need have to be produced. There are people who aquire these things as a result of work done by other people. If they got these goods with the informed consent of the people who worked to produce the goods then slavery has not been imposed by one person on another.

    ” Alternativly, were the black slaves of america really slaves? They wernt paid and they were forced to stay on the plantation but at the same time it was their choice..”

    No, not their choice if, as you said they were forced to stay on the plantation. Perhaps they could have escaped but the threat of being chased and beaten was as effective as keeping them in chains would be. I would say they were partial slaves if they were allowed out some of the time and had control of part of the fruits of their labour – maybe had some pay that they could spend as they wished.

    Prehaps the only people free of slavery are the billionaire living off his interest and the benificiary living off the efforts of others?

    They are perhaps the only ones free of needing to work.

    If the need to work is imposed by nature, then that is morally neutral – nature can’t be blamed as nature doesn’t have the faculty of ethical thinking and moral choice. Men do have such a faculty so it is only when we discuss people imposing slavery on other people that the question of morality has any valid application.

  66. Trevor, I was only talking about those things that people can control as an individual – picking out what you should buy at the supermarket etc. Setting up websites that advise which producers to stay away from etc – probably already happening. You buy things every day – how far have the goods travelled etc – stating the obvious to this audience – No?
    Local roads could be owned and managed by immediately local people, then individuals would have more direct power. LED bulbs would be more available in the shops if there had been greater demand.
    As for affordability of another car and rego etc – you can afford it even less with high taxes and emission charges, You’s have more consumer power with low taxes. Individuals obviously feel powerless – could that be because they are pretty powerless?
    Power stations – there obviously are ways to minimize your use of grid power – again your ability to afford alternatives is affected by the mount of income you get to keep.

  67. Wat

    Since the cost of the health CARE needed is easily a third less than the payments actually being made, and the insurance companies have been pocketing some of the largest profits seen in the corporate sector for decades, my EXPECTATION is that if they were put out of the loop the costs would drop quite enough to make the process “affordable” for some level of basic care… something like we have in NZ.

    This is not “wildly” at odds with reality. It reflects it quite nicely thanks.

    BJ

  68. Turnip

    The point here isn’t so easily turned aside. I have good health care and have kids and then the employer drops the scheme or I have to change jobs and oops, there I go.

    If the insurance is too expensive for some and not for others, the problem is obvious to anyone who shifts from “others” to “some”.

    The problems ARE NOT going to go away as long as for-profit insurance exists. The inefficiency of keeping the private sector involved in this is apparent when you look at the money going into the system. Americans are paying a LOT more for care than anyone else in the OECD, yet rank way down on their life-expectancy and other health outcomes.

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1374/is_3_59/ai_54574807/

    My take on this is that health insurance is one of the areas in which the profit motive runs counter to the best interests of the society.

    If the democracy is functional, my money doesn’t wind up in the hands of people who have more than I to start with.

    Every other country I’ve ever visited had better arrangements for health care than those in the USA… except for the very wealthy. Then they decided to take my taxes and my kids taxes and hand THEM over to Goldman-Sacks-The-Planet. I have to conclude that democracy is no longer functioning. Which is I think an area where you and I agree. I just don’t think that the answer is to dump bathwater, baby and basin out the window.

    As for the freeloader, that would be anyone making a good dollar who isn’t willing to pay his fair share of taxes. Which seems to be a fairly significant group given the amount of tax fraud the IRS handles every year. Perhaps you’d like to figure out how a “voluntary” system of taxation would actually work? Lets see a show of hands, how many think that greed would dominate at the “I’ve got mine Jack” households?

    The reason it is a TAX is to reassure people like me who have made just barely enough to pay the highest possible rate of tax all my life, that people higher up the food chain aren’t shorting their payments somehow. With that assurance I am happy enough to endure some pain at tax time to ensure that social programs that benefit a lot of people less fortunate than me, are in place… because I see the value of a more egalitarian society.

    The wealthy have of course, been shorting the system systematically for decades. Some seem to regard it as their birthright. Importantly however, they do not ALL try to do this. Some are downright generous, so it isn’t fair to paint all with that brush.

    I call them freeloaders, but that isn’t REALLY true because they aren’t getting anything from me… (except corporate welfare and bank bailouts). Individually they are only getting the benefit of my efforts to make the society more even-handed, while contributing little to that effort. Maybe freeloaders isn’t the right word… I might consider some others but they are actually far more pejorative in nature.

    There is a little philosophical test for whether a society is fair or not, and it goes something like this. You are in a waiting room in heaven, about to be born. The organizer of the place comes around and asks you which society you want to be born into. You have a choice of country, but not a choice of parents income or station in life. Choose.

    Not wanting to provide equal opportunities to the people who are lower down on the income ladder is a symptom of the hijacked Republican, the original party would be appalled at what has been done since Reagan took office. Not being willing to do so through government is a purely libertarian concept.

    respectfully
    BJ

  69. sallydeb,

    One of the reasons that people who believe in AGW don’t do more to reduce their own emissions is that there are obstacles in their way. EECA said there were a range of more efficient light bulbs that could replace existing bulbs without having to change the fittings and that these were available at two named chain stores. I visited both stores and no one had heard of these bulbs. The light bulbs that are available don’t give their efficiency or light output – only how much power they consume and in some cases a fairly meaningless comparison with a standard incandescent bulb.

    I have considered buying a second more fuel-efficient car, but I need the capabilities of the car that I do have for specific tasks. It would cost me around $500/year to be allowed to park that car on the street (in insurance, registration and WOFs) even if I don’t drive it any further, plus the cost of the tied up capital. I wouldn’t make that saving in reduced petrol consumption. What I would like to have is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) but I haven’t seen any here at all, and I am not sure how the government would tax a petrol vehicle that runs most of the time on electricity from a standard (i.e. unmetered) power point.

    That leads me to the other problem which is that individuals are not in a position to make the changes. I don’t own any power stations which I could convert from coal to biomass. I don’t own the street light outside my house so I can’t change it to a more efficient LED street light. I don’t own the traffic lights down the road so I can’t change them over to LEDs either. I don’t own any buses which could be converted to run on battery power. I don’t own the house I am in so I can’t install a heat pump or double glazing. I can and have swapped some lights in this house, but I have yet to find a truly suitable replacement for many of the bulbs here. I have no say in whether Genesis proceeds to burn all the gas that might power our vehicles in the following decades in their proposed Rodney base-load power station.

    Trevor.

  70. Well since i’m a paid up member of the green party I think I will continue to post here, not all greens are raving communists like you.

    Libertarian-type in the Green party. How’s that going for ya? :-D

  71. Sally,
    I would say that slavery has consequences for society that I consider undesirable, and as such where possible it should be avoided, but I do not consider it morally wrong.
    Partial slavery, that is interesting. If someone would die but for the work they put in is that slavery? If they are forced to work in order that they may live but in where they work they do have choice and they do receive pay are they still slaves? marxists would seem to think so :P . Alternativly, were the black slaves of america really slaves? They wernt paid and they were forced to stay on the plantation but at the same time it was their choice, for the most part, as they could have attempted escape should they desire independant of how poor the choices may be. I would say there are degrees of slavery but that the definition of slavery is a hard one. Prehaps the only people free of slavery are the billionaire living off his interest and the benificiary living off the efforts of others?

  72. Yes when people are enslaved, they are being treated like the property of someone else and that is wrong. Would you be pragmatic about that or maintain consistently that that is wrong?

    And would you say that there are degrees of slavery. Far example if a person is forced to work for someone else some of the time. Are they a partial slave?

  73. sally,
    opps, I ment that I have a malevolent attitude towards ideology not that this blog considers ideology itself to be malevolent. :P

  74. Sally,
    Indeed, I have a distaste for ideology over pragmatism.
    What I mean by that statement is that when people are enslaved, be it through official slavery or through the institution of marrage (in many countries and here not so long ago), the are owned and are thus property. Humans are no different to fine china, a peice of land, nor a rugby ball in this respect.

  75. Define what you mean by “..except when people are property…”

    Do I rightly detect here an ethos that ideology in itself is malevolent whatever that ideology may be?

  76. kahikatea,

    Property rights are a corollory of the principle that someone is a free person and not a slave.

  77. Sally – I’m so delighted that you’ve found the Frogblog. When the weather turns to custard, check us out to learn what to do. We’re nice. We’ll help.

  78. Sapient,

    OK, now I see how you think this may be the main reason why most people don’t act as much as you would like on AGW.

    I don’t see people behaving that way on the whole on other issues- they work out their aspirations and what would be good for themselves and their loved ones set their goals and make productive efforts to achieve those goals without resorting to cheating or defaulting even though they see some other people cheating and getting away with short cuts. Of course there are some counter examples in nearly every person’s actions and some much more than others but primarily in our everyday lives most of us work hard, play and interact with our fellow citizens in a reasonable, responsible and polite manner even though we see that there are are some others that get benefit by behaving differently.

    I think it is more likely that it is a matter of priorities. Maybe most people are concerned about AGW but also have other issues that are of greater concern to them. Maybe they believe that GW effects wont be very severe and are way off in the future and we have time to adapt and other concerns such as quality of life and enjoying life are high priority too. That sounds a lot like agreeing with me so it must be rational :->

    I still re-iterate my other theory that on the whole there is an awful lot that people think government is responsible for fixing and can do best.
    Those who thought government would fix AGW were wrong. Perhaps it’s time to try other strategies.

  79. # wat dabney Says:
    July 11th, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    > > “Personally I would never use violence to force anyone to pay for anyone else’s healthcare. Initiating violence is wrong. Didn’t they teach you that?

    > > except when it’s in defence of your beloved ‘propoerty rights’?”

    > In which case I would not be the one initiating the violence. I would be defending myself and my property.

    > A key distinction.

    actually it’s a completely meaningless distinction. You’re defining a property right as valid, therefore you argue that using violence to defend it is not ‘initiating violence’. You’re defining taxation as invalid, so you say that using violence to defend it is ‘initiating violence’.

    Either way, it is using the threat of violence to protect a principle that the person threatening to use violence considers valid, and it is only because you have already decided that you personally consider one of these uses of violence to be valid that you label it as ‘not initiating violence’.

  80. Sally,
    Yes, true, I have the basic moral presupposistion that I should do what I want to do; that is my ethical axiom. I mearly said I have none for it is easier than writing a page worth of material explaining it; There is probally already a book worth of discussion over the philosophical positions of myself and others on this blog and I beleive my standpoints are probally well known by most of the main commentators. There is a wealth of material in the archives here :P .
    The example I gave you of the prisioners dilemma was deliberatly simple, it was the most simple example I could make; a simple two by two matrix, any less and there is no dillema to be had. The matrix can easily expand to a massive number of participants and options but conveying that to someone whom has said they do not under stand that most basic of formations is hardly a task I would envy.
    The fact remains that noone can be perfectly informed and people dont trust others entirly. If people see that someone can default with almost no consequnces so long as every one else continues then they too will default rather than continue and it will snowball, if people see that this can happen before the desirable state is even acheived then it will never be acheived without a change of the costs of performing such and action. It is rational. To acheive the greatist good in a anomious society such as the world has become we need the coercive force oft weilded by government. In a society non-anomious this coercive force is weilded through social structures more close to the individual but it is still there, prehaps even more strongly.

  81. bjchip,

    Your expectations are wildly at odds with reality.

    $50k is around the median US household income. Since the state’s financial ability to provide healthcare (and everything else) must be tied to a large extent to the median income, it is unreasonable to expect such a household to magically receive higher healthcare benefits under a state system.
    Remember, the alternative to limited private cover is not infinate healthcare for everyone, it is state rationing: in the UK, the NICE committee has banned a number of life-saving drugs on cost grounds.

    And that’s a thought for those here who recently insisted that GDP is not a a good measure of wellbeing.
    You tell us what a sufficient and reasonable income is, then we’ll calculate how much healthcare, education and food etc you can buy for that amount. bjchip here thinks that US$50,000 is not enough.

    – “We are discussing the national situation. If you want to advocate international government to share the wealth more effectively through the UN that is another issue entirely. This was about health care in NZ and the US.”

    We are talking about the morality of using force to take the earnings of some to distribute to others.
    There is no moral argument which stops at notional national boundaries.

    Forced redistribution and subsidy within national boundaries is not a moral proposition, it is the plunder of the minority by the majority, while those who could really benefit are left to die by the million.

    kahikatea

    > “Personally I would never use violence to force anyone to pay for anyone else’s healthcare. Initiating violence is wrong. Didn’t they teach you that?

    except when it’s in defence of your beloved ‘propoerty rights’?”

    In which case I would not be the one initiating the violence. I would be defending myself and my property.

    A key distinction.

  82. It would be nice to limit children to only those whom could provide for them. If I could do so without approaching terribly close to an authoritarian state then I would promote such an approach. Alas, a meathod avoids me thus far.
    Do you have a meathod?

  83. 1-2% of 2030 of GDP Valis ?
    Oh well that’s not too bad. Phew, when we had people here talking about and extra $8 per litre of petrol and applying enough stress for bankruptcy – that really got me going -. 1 to 2 % of GDP at least wont be as bad as that.

    Oh don’t worry, as oil gets ever more expensive to produce, you will certainly see petrol prices that high. That’s another reason to invest in carbon reduction now, while oil is still relatively cheap.

    So please stop with the long explanations of the prisoners dilemma – you’re making me go cross eyed.

    You raised the issue to which Sap gave a very good and important answer. If you don’t understand it, you should investigate further until you do.

  84. turnip, I’ve no argument with your reading of evolutionary theory. In fact I should have left those bits out, because they occluded the main point, which is that “human tribes can and do set rules which distinguish intentional freeloaders from others that require protection”. It is the breaking of a society’s rules that is relevant to bj’s argument.

  85. sapient,
    We are not criminals living in a prisoners dilemma.
    We can inform eachother for one thing – the Greens have done a great job of informing people that there is a significant problem. There are not just 2 or 3 or 4 participants, there are millions. And there are not just 2 options, there are thousands of relevant choices to be made; dozens in any one visit to the supermarket. So please stop with the long explanations of the prisoners dilemma – you’re making me go cross eyed.

    You say you have no ethics. You have ethics in that you have decided what is the greatest value and you have worked out what virtues are needed to achieve that value. Not that I agree with your premises or conclusions.

  86. “Humans, but other species too, are simply more sophisticated than your black/white assessment would have it (what species kicks out its young for goodness sake?). Human tribes can and do set rules which distinguish intentional freeloaders from others that require protection. There is an evolutionary basis for all of this, read Hamilton, Dawkins and others.

    You have read Dawkins right valis.
    Meerkats kill their young
    The reason valis is the selfish gene.

    The list is also long valis but we wont let evidence get in the way of your reality now will we that might upset you right.

    The evolutionary evidence valis comes from the perceived notion that the individual will at some point pay back the favour, be it a child or another member of the tribe have you read Dawkins and his theory’s about altruism?

    I await your defense of BJ’s position where he claims someone not giving him something is freeloading? The individual can choose not to practise altruism iin fact if he believes the favour will NOT be reciprocal it is in his best interests to deny the favour.

    “This also helps explain why having children IS usually seen as a right that even modern societies have found ways to accommodate.”

    I fail to see how you draw your ideological conclusion from scientific theory’s. Children die all the time all over the world why? because the society can’t afford to have them. Your use of the word “Modern” is a misdirection what you should of said was a society that has MORE resources can allow its members to have more children, calling it a right is a huge stretch since according to you if every family in NZ had 10 children then everything would be fine since according to you NZ has infinite resources to take care of their needs. That unsustainable position will always result in the exhaustion of a society’s resources, history shows this to us over and over again.

  87. 1-2% of 2030 of GDP Valis ?
    Oh well that’s not too bad. Phew, when we had people here talking about and extra $8 per litre of petrol and applying enough stress for bankruptcy – that really got me going -. 1 to 2 % of GDP at least wont be as bad as that.

  88. Sally,
    Ok, obviously you wernt a silent reader of this blog before you started commenting. I have little to no ethics, I dont care if individuals are made worse off so long as it benifits my goals; goals which neccesitate that society functions to the greatist extent possible. I argue here from that point, I use that as my axiom from which I create my ‘shoulds’. It just so happens that that which is neccacary to achive my goal is exactly that which BJ and many other scientists and greens strive for.
    So, that established; There is a very very good chance that global warming wil happen and that it will happen to the extent that society is greatly hurt not just in the short term but forever. The extent of that hurt depends on the extent of the warming. Even assuming the most optimistic outcomes billions will loose their livelyhoods and at minimum several million will die as a dirrect result of the warming, even more indirrectly. There WILL be much suffering, even if we were already to reduce our emmisions by 80%. UNDER THE MOST OPTIMISTIC SITUATIONS. The chances seem to be stacked highly in favour of it being far far worse. This isint lotto, it is rusky roulette with a 100 barrel revolver loaded with 99 live rounds and a 100th that has a very small chance of being a blank. And thats being optimistic.
    The damages will not be as large as you state should a trading system be put in place, people will adapt and substitute. We wont suddeny loose shipping, we wont suddenly loose cars, they will become more expensive and there will be some shipping that suffers but if it got as high as you cite then other fuels would have been substituted long ago, that which was flown by air would be shipped, that which would be powered by coal would be powered by ‘renewables’. People substitute. You also seem to forget that inefficency makes jobs; when you put up trade barriers external things become more expensive and local goods are more readily substituted this results in job creation. We will not see lots of people homeless and without food because its too expensive; we will see a reevaluation of the price of goods relative to other goods. Some people will suffer but that is a insignificant number comparitive to those that would suffer under even the most optimistic projections.

    I do not deny that vounentary action could of been effective, would have been effective, but this does not mean that this is the approach we should take.
    I shall explain the prisioners dillema; The most simple example has two participants and two options, these participants were partners in crime. Each partner is caught and is offered amnesty if they provide evidence against the other. They have the option of eaither keeping quiet or providing evidence. If both keep quiet the cops have no evidence and they get away stain free, in this case they can split the loot, we shall give this a value of 3 each, so the total utiity between individuals is 6. If they both blab then the cops have evidence against the both of them and they both go to jail, I shall give going to jail a value of -1 (since it is bellow escaping without loot), in this instance the total utility is -2. If one blabs and one keeps quiet then the one who blabs gets 5 since they get all the loot but are now less trusted among the community and have to worry that the other will blab while the one whom keeps quiet is sent to prision and get -1. total utility 4. In this situation is better for them to cooperate as the total utility is the greatist but if you keep queit and the other blabs then you are screwed and if you both blab your also screwed, but you have a benefit if you blab and the other doesint so being rational, when you cant trust the other, you choose to blab (not make to many carbon sacrifices) and so does he. You get the worse possible outcome.
    1
    quiet talk
    2 quiet 3, 3 5,-1
    talk -1, 5 -1,-1

    The only way to consistantly get the better option is to have an external force motivate you to do so through the use of coercion (though this coercion does not have to be as big as if you got the worse option as this coercion acting on the other helps you trust them more).
    THAT is the role of government.

  89. A quick google again.
    Roughly 70% of Americans and 80% of New Zealanders consider AGW to be a significant concern.
    My observation is that most of them have made much smaller efforts to reduce their carbon foot print than they could have done. If they had done more then CO2 emissions would would have been reduced more than have been and the chances of worst case scenario GW would have been reduced. I still don’t get why it would have been irrational for the majority of the population to get on with reducing their carbon foot print voluntarily. Surely it was irrational of them not to.

  90. Your logic again makes no sense in a tribal based society the ones who would be kicked out are those that don’t produce anything of benefit to society such as the unemployed, terminal ill, sick, young and other parasites.

    Humans, but other species too, are simply more sophisticated than your black/white assessment would have it (what species kicks out its young for goodness sake?). Human tribes can and do set rules which distinguish intentional freeloaders from others that require protection. There is an evolutionary basis for all of this, read Hamilton, Dawkins and others. This also helps explain why having children IS usually seen as a right that even modern societies have found ways to accommodate.

  91. Please consider the possibility that policies to curb emissions might be a cure that is worse than the disease

    We have done so. Our conclusion, and that of many economists is that there is no strong argument for this, though it gets worse the longer we wait. The last numbers I read were 1-2% of 2030 GDP if a real effort started now.

    A lot more voluntary action by those that are concerned about climate change over the last few decades might have been more effective in lowering emissions than waiting for governments to do something significant.

    Of course true, but irrelevant to the current debate, which is what do we do NOW.

  92. Sapient,

    If you did get my concerns, you certainly didn’t address them really though I appreciate the considerable effort in your long post.

    1.
    Please consider the possibility that policies to curb emissions might be a cure that is worse than the disease – that they will cause the costs of essentials like food, clothing and medicine to be so high that they cause more suffering and death than the effects of AGW. So please, please thoroughly asses perverse unintended consequences before you support any particular policy. Your attempt to convince me that AGW is going to do a lot of harm does not mitigate my concern that $10 per litre of fuel for example will be a vicious didaster and sooner than any dreadful GW disaster.

    2.
    A lot more voluntary action by those that are concerned about climate change over the last few decades might have been more effective in lowering emissions than waiting for governments to do something significant.

    You say it would be irrational to do so. I just don’t get what you are saying for the rest of that post – I read it 3 times – you may have to try putting it another way.
    Surely if you want to reduce CO2 emissions and millions of you make an effort to reduce your output and producers respond more to the demand for carbon neutral products, then you will have achieved some of your goal.
    BTW I know green party make more of an effort than most – I’m talking about the rest of the population. What proportion of people in developed countries do you think are convinced that AGW is a significant problem – I need to google to see if any surveys have been done.

  93. BJ I have to disagree with you logic, you claim that it would cost you 13000 per year for health insurance for a family of 4. Well if you can’t afford to take care of your family why did you have the family in the first place. You do not have a RIGHT to produce children BJ. If you can’t take the responsibility for raising children then you shouldn’t have had them.

    “People who refuse to participate in their society get cast out of more primitive communities, and because the individual (no matter how strong) is not as powerful as a group, this is survival negative. The group has the right to exclude freeloaders who don’t pay their dues. When it is governments and citizens we call it taxation because we aren’t revoking your citizenship. Perhaps that would be a more appropriate penalty.”

    Your logic again makes no sense in a tribal based society the ones who would be kicked out are those that don’t produce anything of benefit to society such as the unemployed, terminal ill, sick, young and other parasites. If the human race behaved in the manor which you claim we would never have survived and you and I wouldn’t be here posting. Calling someone a freeloader because he doesn’t want to pay for your healthcare is reverse natural selection. Why do you embrace science but then ignore it when it no longer suits you ideology.

    As far as the US health care system goes the fundemental problem lies in the HMO and the forced employer schemes. The government created the health care problems via employer mandated health care. This effectivly turns employees into serfs who can’t leave their jobs for fear of loosing health care coverage. Fixing health care in the US is easy, dump the employer schemes and force everyone to buy an individual plan. People earning too little can be subsidised.

  94. Wat

    A number of things wrong with this… and I am sure that if I investigate further I will find more.

    1. The ocean chemistry of 500 million years ago is of almost completely unknown and unknowable alkalinity. No proxy exists to tell us about it . The science DOES NOT say what the pH was at that time.

    2. Simply taking the atmospheric carbon inferred and using it to claim this knowledge is wrong. Scientists know that there is more to ocean chemistry than just CO2. Just as there is more to climate than just CO2.

    3. The gradual evolution of existing corals to the current pH and conditions took millions of years. We are changing their environment in 100’s of years.

    Finally if you will read down the comments you will find a more detaild comment on the nonsense of the initial post. Look for…

    Bill D (01:46:55) :

    Doing the homework is important Wat. Even on that blog site.

    BJ

  95. wat dabney Says:
    July 11th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    > Personally I would never use violence to force anyone to pay for anyone else’s healthcare. Initiating violence is wrong. Didn’t they teach you that?

    except when it’s in defence of your beloved ‘propoerty rights’?

  96. Wat

    You obviously haven’t priced insurance in the USA anytime lately. If I have a family of 4 and no help from my employer I can easily see a cost of $13000 per year. That’s a quarter of my take home pay at $50000 a year. A mortgage on the house? That’s another $20k most places. Wholly cr@p Batman! Now we only have $17k for heat and electricity and food and petrol for the year. If you think that’s a lot I have some bottomland to sell you. Just don’t ask what it is at the bottom of.

    Perhaps you’d like to think really hard about the numbers. If you are on a really good job you have medical benefits. You pay a fraction 20-50% of the 13k and you probably have more income to pay it from. Most people on $100k wind up paying 4% of their income for insurance. Poor folks wind up looking at most of a third of theirs. How EXACTLY does this help the poor to improve their situation?

    The majority of the world lives on less than $10 a day

    Irrelevant, we are discussing NATIONAL health care schemes. We are nowhere near any international share the wealth for individuals.

    But those that advocate such violence I would at least expect to have the logic and compassion to do as much good as possible with the money by spending it where it will do most good, i.e. in areas of real poverty such as Africa.

    Again, this isn’t Africa. We are discussing the national situation. If you want to advocate international government to share the wealth more effectively through the UN that is another issue entirely. This was about health care in NZ and the US.

    Finally, I think I have had it with your “violence-based” cr@p.

    Wat, the fact that the state requires you to pay taxes and penalizes you if you do not is not violence. If you resist the law physically there will indeed be “violence” but if you do what the nice policeman says you will pay a fine or go to jail… without anyone laying a stick on you.

    People who refuse to participate in their society get cast out of more primitive communities, and because the individual (no matter how strong) is not as powerful as a group, this is survival negative. The group has the right to exclude freeloaders who don’t pay their dues. When it is governments and citizens we call it taxation because we aren’t revoking your citizenship. Perhaps that would be a more appropriate penalty.

    You like inflammatory language. It isn’t backed up by the reality.

    BJ

  97. “The researchers warn that ocean acidification, which they refer to as “the other CO2 problem”, could make most regions of the ocean inhospitable to coral reefs by 2050, if atmospheric CO2 levels continue to increase.

    This does indeed sound alarming, until you consider that corals became common in the oceans during the Ordovician Era – nearly 500 million years ago – when atmospheric CO2 levels were about 10X greater than they are today…one might also note…that there was an ice age during the late Ordovician and early Silurian with CO2 levels 10X higher than current levels, and the correlation between CO2 and temperature is essentially nil throughout the Phanerozoic.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/31/ocean-acidification-and-corals/

  98. bjchip,

    I’m just making the point that because someone doesn’t have insurance doesn’t mean it’s because they are too poor. You yourself quoted the statistic that: “Nearly 40 percent of the uninsured population reside in households that earn $50,000 or more.”

    That’s about NZ80,000!

    Good grief but you have distorted priorities.

    The majority of the world lives on less than $10 a day and you are advocating force to be used so that the super rich can have their healthcare subsidised by the super super rich.

    Personally I would never use violence to force anyone to pay for anyone else’s healthcare. Initiating violence is wrong. Didn’t they teach you that?

    But those that advocate such violence I would at least expect to have the logic and compassion to do as much good as possible with the money by spending it where it will do most good, i.e. in areas of real poverty such as Africa.

    Yet people like Jezza here, and all you other Greens, advocate nothing of the sort. You smugly congratulate yourselves on how caring and compassionate you are compared to evil (i.e. non-violent) people on the right like me, but your violence-based policy is actually aimed at spending the extorted money not saving millions of Africans but on expensive advanced treatments for a tiny handful of rich westerners.

    That is not compassionate. That is sick.

  99. Maybe most who are concerned about AGW have not done much about it in their own lives because they are so hooked on the idea that government should fix such things.

    Not a chance Sallydeb. We almost all practice what we preach WITHIN the limits of what is possible while still competing a living in the current economic environment, where there is no benefit to us of our sacrifices and it cannot make a difference. We are NOT going to martyr ourselves so that some smiling simpleton can burn more rubber on the road outside our doors. That is where we are RATIONAL, and where you are asking us to act irrationally. Examine carefully the time and utility components of the unnatural acts you are requiring of us.

    Those of us who understand the science and who understand the need are never going to be a majority while things still appear to be normal and changes appear small… but to influence the CO2 emissions of the planet, everyone has to participate.

    Not just us. If you can think of another way to stop the apoco2ypse that doesn’t involve government, we’re happy to try it, but don’t hand us a line about what we didn’t do.

    respectfully
    BJ

  100. Sally,
    I have read them, ive been following all of your posts on this blog. It is an interesting leason in ideology and as a psychologist I find it very interesting.
    I shall answer your second point first:
    Because it would be irrational to do so. Think of a person with so a disease and little money donating a portion of their income to a charity dedicated to helping people with that disease on the premise that giving money means they will get more money and help. While doing so does provide some benefit to the individual through increasing the capacity of the charity to use and distribute money it ultimatly is likely to provide less utility than if the individual had used the money themselves as that money instead of being spent on themselves is being divided between all users of the service. Thus if the utility gained from this donation is less than the utility which would otherwise be extracted from that money then the action is irrational and should not be performed. Because of this no individual is likely to go too far out of their way to reduce their emmisions where doing so does not benefit themselves greatly, those on this blog are simply acting rationally towards a a more complex version of a game of game theory commonly referd to as “the prisoners dilemma”, while all bodies stand to gain the most by choosing the first option (decreasing emmisions) unless you can trust everyone else to play the same way you are making a martyr of yourself and choosing the inferior option. Where you cannot trust the other players the safist option for yourself is to continue poluting. It is for this reason that even libertarians recognise the neccesity of government for the protection of property rights.
    By using government to lock everyone into option A society benefits far far more than could ever be acheived with imperfect rationally motivated actors. It is the same with the concepts of property rights and the illegality of murder.
    This is of course assuming that there is a cost associated with this misuse of the commons. Note that it would be different if an entire city decided to do this as it is a more significant portion of a population, just as while if NZ was the only one to do this we would risk loosing at other benefits but gain partially from setting an example. Many countries have already started to set examples, it is rational that we too move along these lines.
    When everyone else is getting a subsidy it is irrational to deny yourself it too unless you can nullify the subsidy to all.

    In reply to point one:
    The concept is fairly simple; you put a tea bag in hot water and the taste changes, you put a gas into the atmosphere which has a greater insulating effect than the net effect of the atmosphere and you increase the over-all insulating effect. While I dont deny it is more complex than this, the basic concepts are what is most important. But for the sake of this arguement I will assume their is no other effect of putting CO2 into the atmospher than changing the concentration.
    Fact1: Earth is a system with a limited mass and volume of atmospheric gas. (we will discount the effects of solar wind on the atmosphere, etc. for the purpose of simplicity)
    Fact2: When, in a closed system, you transform molecule A to molecule B you decrease the concentration of A and increase that of B. (for the purpose of simplicity we shall treat earth as a closed system)
    Imagine for a moment that you were not in an atmosphere as large as that of earth but instead in a habitat floating inspace. The air supply is limited at 2000 units in total of which a time X all are A. The systems can only convert twenty units of B into A each hour. A is neccacary for life. B is essentially poisonous in high concentrations. There is only you and nine other people in this habitat and you each need one unit of A per hour to live and convert that to one unit of B. Therefor you need atleast 10 units of A each hour for you all to survive. You have 10 units left over for whatever you want at a rate of use = replacement. Using more than 10 units more will result in your eventual death. Each person is using 40 units total instead of the 20 they should use. You will all die in 100 hour unless you decrease your usage. How do you solve the problem? You could decide on individual wisodm and all die as everyone is imperfict, you could work together as a collective and decide that everyone is to use only 20 units per hour and anyone using more will loose the right to use the full 20, or you each have an allocation of 20 and using more means you must pay another to use some of their unit, or for every unit over 20 you use you must provide the systems with the extra energy to convert that unit. The last three options result in you surviving due to the use of coercon, the first results in you all dieing due to liberty and imperfect humans. In the even of perfect humans the liberty option becomes the other three options anyhow. Earth is save size, its atmosphere is just bigger. We adopt one of those three options or we die. We are presently increasing our use but decreaseing our “system capacity”, we need a coercive option even assuming that there is no greenhouse effect. It is an extremme example of the tragity of the commons. Libertarians propose solving that tragiy through privitisation, for all essential purposes thats what purring a price on carbon is.

  101. And BJ, I said that the US model was NOT a good one and pointed out how it was nowhere near a free market model.

    Good…. I was writing sleepy and responding to something Wat said… as long as we know well that the US isn’t real good we can argue other things on points. I’m happy.

    Doesn’t have much to do with AGW.

    So you agree that our current environmental controls and worker benefits increase the price of clothes a lot.

    Yes, to reflect something more like their real value. If the environment is destroyed and inaccessible to future generations in order to subsidize my shirt purchase, that is a form of theft. It isn’t “more efficient” it is merely cheaper. Only the “economy of scale” argument works in their favor, and the shipping has to take a chunk out of that margin. The question of what powers the production and how much carbon is emitted in that production is also to be asked.

    You seem to want to play guessing games about the final price, but as that depends on the CO2 emissions for any given product and would have to be analyzed individually and painstakingly, and is irrelevant to the point being made, I am not going to tie myself in knots like that for you.

    The way to find out is to put a price on the CO2 and let the market figure out how that price gets allocated. Something that has been Green policy since Moby Dick was a minnow.

    “Think of it as a mob of people who are attacking us with CO2 bombs. Its effects are spreading over the entire planet. How do you STOP them? Is this NOT a place where the government is required?”

    Are you and other people here like greenfly who seems to be doing a lot of traveling around the country among those who are dropping those bombs?
    Are you in a glass house while throwing stones?

    Interesting non-sequiter. Most of us greens will car-pool, take trains and buses and basically work pretty hard to avoid increasing our carbon footprint. I am among them. I take the train to Wellington. The point however, is that the CO2 being emitted now, and that has been emitted in the past few decades is no different in principle from having people dropping a bomb on all of us. The only difference is that the destruction takes place in slow motion, over generational time.

    If there is no price put on the destruction of the commons it WILL be destroyed and I have yet to hear a non-government-intervention answer that can work. I don’t think there is one, but I am willing to be surprised.

    The answer from some libertarians is that this is a problem and we have to be careful to control what government is allowed to do. The answer from others is to attack the science. You backed the business interests and the “free market” so we have an ETS with all the graft and corruption possibilities that entails. The revenue neutral tax would have been a cleaner solution with closer control by the taxpayers. The market would then have been able to pick the winners in terms of efficiency as it does so well.

    Your problem is that the invisible hand is a HAND.. it hasn’t got eyes, or brains or a sense of direction. It is able to perceive what actually touches it, and it reacts quickly and efficiently to whatever that happens to be… IF it can. It is also quite capable of missing any signal that is not sensible to touch.

    So it is quite possible to unknowingly work on plutonium, warm to the touch, and mistakenly think that this is a good thing. The hand dies rather horribly sometime later, but there is no connection it can make between what has happened and the work it did.

    To make that connection requires knowledge of science. To know that there is danger requires foreknowledge that only science can provide. To avoid being damaged the science must provide input to the hand which allows it to respond appropriately.

    respectfully
    BJ

  102. Like I said, that you won’t answer bj’s question, “How do you STOP them? Is this NOT a place where the government is required?” but can only lob stupid cheap shots says a lot.

  103. Are you and other people here like greenfly who seems to be doing a lot of traveling around the country among those who are dropping those (CO2) bombs?

    Yes that is an important question BJ.
    Do you have an answer?

  104. Sapient,

    If you look back to my early posts here, I came essentially to ask two things.

    One, to please consider the possibility that policies to curb emissions might be a cure that is worse than the disease – i.e. bring on a more severe economic depression and cause more suffering and death than the effects of AGW. So please, please thoroughly asses perverse unintended consequences before you support any particular policy.

    Two, that a lot more voluntary action by those that are concerned about climate change over the last few decades might have been more effective in lowering emissions than waiting for governments to do something significant.
    Maybe most who are concerned about AGW have not done much about it in their own lives because they are so hooked on the idea that government should fix such things. Perhaps a change in that aspect of our cultures would help to get emissions down after all it seems that most people are convinced that AGW is a significant problem. So why are they not taking responsibility for reducing their own personal carbon foot print. Perhaps because most people these days think government is responsible, individuals don’t have to be.

  105. Sorry, so many important questions have been discussed here. I’m not sure which one you mean.

    True, you have avoided more than one. I meant the last one in your post, to quote:

    BJ::
    “Think of it as a mob of people who are attacking us with CO2 bombs. Its effects are spreading over the entire planet. How do you STOP them? Is this NOT a place where the government is required?”

    Are you and other people here like greenfly who seems to be doing a lot of traveling around the country among those who are dropping those bombs?
    Are you in a glass house while throwing stones?

  106. Sally,
    You seem to make the assumption that cheeper goods is a good thing. Cheeper is not always better, im sure you would agree that subsidies make goods cheaper to the consumer (though tend to increase the over-all cost of production) and that subsidies are generaly bad for society as they introduce inefficency and increase tax burdens. Just because clothes will becomemore expensive it does not neccacarily folow that this is undesirable. Yes, some people will no longer be able to get the exact clothes they desire and they may have to pay more than they would consider ideal but the alternative is that society ultimatly pays more due to the destruction of the commons. I butcher could give you cheaper sausages by kidnapping people and mincing them up but the need to protect yourself from this behaviour and the stress thus induced would cost you more than the price benefit. The price benefit comes about because a protion of the costs incured in production are externalised, this applies to all the aforementioned cases. Just because the people over at not-PC are constanty in violation of section 125 of the crimes act (Indecent act in public place; in this case mutual masturbation) does not mean that everyone else carries the same view or same distorted realities and self centered ideologies.

  107. This is THE most important question, sally. Stop running away from it. But you don’t have a good answer do you, so all you can do is take stupid cheap shots at those who are actually trying to do something about it.

  108. Do you mean each doing these things individually or still with specialization and division of labour?

    BJs’ answer:
    “As a society of course… accepting that we will not have the “economies of scale” , lack of environmental controls and lack of worker benefits that allow the chinese to produce shirts at a third the price of a shirt here. …”

    So you agree that our current environmental controls and worker benefits increase the price of clothes a lot. I still haven’t had an answer on how much your proposed policies including environment policies will increase the price of goods and services. I’ve only been told that it doesn’t matter!

    BJ::
    “Think of it as a mob of people who are attacking us with CO2 bombs. Its effects are spreading over the entire planet. How do you STOP them? Is this NOT a place where the government is required?”

    Are you and other people here like greenfly who seems to be doing a lot of traveling around the country among those who are dropping those bombs?
    Are you in a glass house while throwing stones?

  109. Turnip,

    Yes many NZ libz are influenced by Rand – I count myself among them.
    Where do you get the idea that we are not influenced by Austrian economics?

  110. Jezza,
    Take another look at that health insurance link.
    The Smith family, (two adults mid-30s, two children) $108.97 per month with no excess. As I said a cut in GST would be enough to cover it.
    http://www.sovereign.co.nz/section76.aspx

    And BJ, I said that the US model was NOT a good one and pointed out how it was nowhere near a free market model.

    The French and Dutch systems look better – they make make some effort to ensure competition between insurance services. In both countries, healthcare costs are rising faster than either the public – or the country’s business interests – would like so my be unsustainable in the medium to long term.
    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2009/07/05/healthy_examples_plenty_of_countries_get_healthcare_right/?page=3

    No system will ever be perfect. Also our societies and economies and medical science change a lot so an adaptable system is also impoetant. And then there is the tragedy of the commons – overuse of a system when the costs are not direct. The most important thing about the truely free market for anything is that if one service is not working, providers can offer new models and people can move their spending elsewhere if a better model is offered. Government monopolies and regulations that shoehorn people into corporate insurance monopoliess are slow to change. The NZ health system has not improved in the 30 years I have been involved in it under successive governments.

  111. Kahikatea,
    A cap of zero would not requre us to cut emmisions any faster than at present.
    At present kyoto allows countries bellow a certain level to sell and requres those above to buy, this is discriminatory in nature as it is indexed against the levels of 1990 and as such benefits vastly the more intesive countries. Even if that was not so a percentage accountability system would be vasty more equitable.
    We need our net emmisions to be zero. By reducing the cap to zero and instead requiring a percentage accontability, those whom emit the most will pay the most reguardless of previous emmisions.
    At a national level if they have carbon sequestering resources equal to 10% of their emmisions then there will be a net inflow of money so long as the percentage rate is bellow 10% accountabiity but when it is over 10% there will be a net outflow. This would work in local trade system or under a tax based system. At the subnational level the percentage accountabiity would work in much the same way and this gradual change, say increasing percentage acountability by 1% per quarter, would allow for a gradual introduction of the price, this would mean that companies were far more able to adapt and new developments taking advantage of the increasing accounting would pop up e.g. those sequestering carbon. In this way the impact on the economy will be minimised and equitable and the environment will benefit greatly. It is a system which better acheives is stated goals, has far less room for corruption, and can be implimented on a global scale in such a way that bias effective subsidies are not proliferated.

  112. Jezza said: “If by unfunded liability you mean future taxes that is how all government insurance schemes work, are you planning on having no people in any countries with government run insurance in the future..? Guess they probally all moved to New Free Land… Our own ACC works this way and guess what these schemes are more efficient BECAUSE the profit motive has been eliminated… ”

    Unfunded Liabilities NEED to be funded TODAY, if you bothered to take some accounting classes maybe you might learn something. You can’t fund these on future tax revenues. Are you actually that naive to think that the US government pays for its services via TAX revenue.

    As for ACC and the New Zealand health care system, how do you plan to pay for it in 5-10 years time. The current National party isn’t willing to address the long term lack of a New Zealand economy, that along with GW and peak oil means there will be less resources for New Zealanders to spend on health care and ACC. How do plan to pay for advanced costly care for the elderly when the country is broke. The private debt levels in NZ is off the charts and trust me that private debt is going to come home to roost in a bad way for all of New Zealands social services.

    Jezza: “Wrong, has more to do with them being bat sh*t crazy… Libertarian parties don’t promise people money..? Go to their tax cut policy page and then try and type that with an ounce of credibility, didn’t they have an ad a couple of elections ago showing their leader throwing $20 bill after $20 bill on the table saying this is the tax cut you’ll get if you vote libertarian…? Didn’t happen to mention what people would have to give up though did he, hypocrite much..?

    Socialist parties promise services, many of them necessaties IMO…”

    If your talking about the NZ Libertarian party then I agree with you they are bat shit crazy, they are not even a libertarian party but rather an Ann Rand party, I mean they don’t advocate Austrain economics or sound money, two pinicale signs of a true libertarian.

    Jezza said: “I’m sorry how did that last Neo-con president do on reducing the deficeit..? Balanced budgets for 8 years, yeah right… You know that president the one who was the closest America’s ever going to have to a Libertarian President… The problem with the ultra right wingers (like you) is they promise to cut taxes and spending, when they get into power they cut the taxes but never seem to get around to cutting the spending…”

    The typical socialist making his assuptions, the republican and democractic party are two wings of the goldman sachs party. The US hasn’t had a balanced budget for over 30 years and don’t give me that Clinton crap he never balanced the budget he just used accounting TRICKS. The Conservative camp in America does have a growing movement under the C4L and Ron Paul. We advocate a smaller federal government, bringing ALL the troops home and gutting the US defense budget.

    Jezza said: “No doubt the American budget is out of control but how about we look at NZ hmmm, you know where we live, where we’ve had a Socialist finance minister for 9 years who paid down government debt..!”

    Haha the NZ economy is joke and was a joke during all those 9 years. I see you ignored the massive private debt built up during those 9 years which is now slowly being transfered over to public debt. Where do you think all the money came from to pay down the government debt, fund healthcare and the massive public sector spend up. I find it strange that you can see GW as a threat to New Zealand yet the trade deficits can be forever ignored by you and New Zealanders can continue forever spending more money than they make. When the IMF comes a calling and mark my words they are coming, how do you plan to pay for all your socialist services. I care for one thing from a government that it is honest about how it intends to pay for things, that it doesn’t just kick the can down the road and it doesn’t borrow the money from the private sector via encouraging private debt.

    Everywhere else in the world people are trying to lower their debt levels, except of course the NZ rural sector which is binge drinking debt like a 16 year old CHCH school kid hanging out on the strip on friday night.

    Head on over to interest.co.nz to get an education on the NZ economy.

    Jezza said: “Of course..! Having people decide how and who should govern themselves is absolute madness… Shessh we got a little brooding dictator here…”

    Yawn, the typical reply from the rapid defender of democracy. Oh but its okay because 51% of the people said so. The US founding fathers all rejected democracy as a form of government because they could all see its failing. Your justification that just because a majority votes for it makes it moral and just is absurd. History is full of majorities violating the rights of minorities. Further your absurd sugestion that somehow my calling democracy for what it is and not bowing down to it makes me a brooding dictator shows our little you understand civics. To the minority, being ruled by a dictator or ruled by the majority sees no difference.

    Jezza said: “You know what isn’t sustainable our current economy based on relentless growth on a finite planet, one way or another that will eventually have to change…”

    Yeah and that has nothing to do with free markets and everything to do with fiat money. Austrian economics is far more sustainable since it bases its moneytary system on a finite resource rather than an infinite one.

    Jezza said :”Government has some very sensible laws in place right now limiting their powers, I personally like the seperation of powers (my fav)…”

    Haha are you talking about NZ which has no sensible laws limiting the power of government, have you actually read the NZ Bill of Rights. All power in NZ resides within the cabinet (The Executive), go read unbridled power before making absurd statements like the one above.

    Jezza said: “Now please can you libbers bugger off to wherever it is you hang out on the internet when your not trolling here, I come on here to learn more from people with half a brain about the green issues that actually matter to our future health and wealth, not sure if this is some kind of retaliation for greenies coming onto your site or what… I can tell I hit a raw nerve when I pointed out you have about as much chance of getting into parliament as a snowball does of well existing on our planet in 2200 but first please read these sites in their total:”

    Well since i’m a paid up member of the green party I think I will continue to post here, not all greens are raving communists like you.

    Yawn again I don’t want the Ann Rand party in power in NZ, of course I also know that with less net energy to go around in the future all these government services you think your entitled to are going to go poof and then what will you do when you actually have to take personal responsibilty for the first time in your life.

  113. Do you mean each doing these things individually or still with specialization and division of labour?

    As a society of course… accepting that we will not have the “economies of scale” , lack of environmental controls and lack of worker benefits that allow the chinese to produce shirts at a third the price of a shirt here. Sometimes I wonder if you are serious.

    Remember that the result of NOT stressing the system can easily be the death of much of the population centered on the Equator, and yet the only way to go ahead with this is if the entire world participates. We have to pay for what we do to the planetary commons.

    We HAVE to put a price on the commons, or the tragedy will play out.

    Think of it as a mob of people who are attacking us with CO2 bombs. Its effects are spreading over the entire planet. How do you STOP them? Is this NOT a place where the government is required?

    BJ

  114. There are arguments that the libertarian philosophy adds value to, but health care is probably one you should simply avoid.

    BJ

  115. Wat, Sallydeb

    I REALLY don’t think you want to argue that the US health care system is the model to follow. I find your misinformation about it somewhat amazing.


    If someone in the US doesn’t have health insurance it doesn’t automatically mean they have been “left without it.” Many people on good incomes simply choose not to buy it.

    You care to quantify that? Here, let me help.

    * Nearly 46 million Americans, or 18 percent of the population under the age of 65, were without health insurance in 2007, the latest government data available.1
    * The number of uninsured rose 2.2 million between 2005 and 2006 and has increased by almost 8 million people since 2000.1
    * The large majority of the uninsured (80 percent) are native or naturalized citizens.2
    * The increase in the number of uninsured in 2006 was focused among working age adults. The percentage of working adults (18 to 64) who had no health coverage climbed from 19.7 percent in 2005 to 20.2 percent in 2006.1 Nearly 1.3 million full-time workers lost their health insurance in 2006.
    * Nearly 90 million people – about one-third of the population below the age of 65 spent a portion of either 2006 or 2007 without health coverage.3
    * Over 8 in 10 uninsured people come from working families – almost 70 percent from families with one or more full-time workers and 11 percent from families with part-time workers.2
    * The percentage of people (workers and dependents) with employment-based health insurance has dropped from 70 percent in 1987 to 62 percent in 2007. This is the lowest level of employment-based insurance coverage in more than a decade.4, 5
    * In 2005, nearly 15 percent of employees had no employer-sponsored health coverage available to them, either through their own job or through a family member.6
    * In 2007, 37 million workers were uninsured because not all businesses offer health benefits, not all workers qualify for coverage and many employees cannot afford their share of the health insurance premium even when coverage is at their fingertips.1
    * The number of uninsured children in 2007 was 8.1 million – or 10.7 percent of all children in the U.S.1
    * Young adults (18-to-24 years old) remained the least likely of any age group to have health insurance in 2007 – 28.1 percent of this group did not have health insurance.1
    * The percentage and the number of uninsured Hispanics increased to 32.1 percent and 15 million in 2007.1
    * Nearly 40 percent of the uninsured population reside in households that earn $50,000 or more.1 A growing number of middle-income families cannot afford health insurance payments even when coverage is offered by their employers.

    This in a system that provides results that are, for the population, arguably the worst in the civilized world.

    http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/media/Files/Publications/In%20the%20Literature/2008/Jan/Measuring%20the%20Health%20of%20Nations%20%20Updating%20an%20Earlier%20Analysis/1090_Nolte_measuring_hlt_of_nations_HA_01%202008_ITL%20web%20%20pdf.pdf

    At the a price that is not arguably, the highest per person in the civilized world.

    http://www.kff.org/insurance/snapshot/chcm010307oth.cfm

    Not even close. My PERSONAL experience with the system provides me with some perspectives that often get missed.

    The MD’s often share offices to reduce staff requirements for recordkeeping. This isn’t unusual, we do it here. What is unusual is that there are often 3x more staff trying to sort medical insurance than there are nurses. This is NOT efficiency in terms of the delivery of medicine, it is efficiency in the service of insurors who are financially motivated to deny payments for service.

    The HMO denied us access to a child pediatrician for years while my daughter suffered from a secondary milk allergy.. The GP didn’t even know there WAS such a thing. The child pediatrician identified the problem in 5 minutes. However, this took an enormous toll on my wife and I, and my wife has never recovered her ability to sleep.

    There is a joke, that we don’t need physician assisted suicide laws, we have HMO’s. My salary alone would not cover the “best” insurance… not even close (again), so I had to work through the “managed care” system.

    No folks you DON’T want to go there. Medical care here is ENORMOUSLY better than in the USA. My friends from Germany (when I was still in the US) were astounded by the stupidity of the system.

    Yes, if you want the very best care and you can pay for it, the US will deliver, but as a society it rations health care based on ability to pay, and the result is horrible.

    The inherent morality of “for-profit” health insurance companies is questionable at many levels, Most civilized people recognize the difficulty.

    Health care costs are often cited as part of the reason for the GM bankruptcy. I think they were making trash and got hammered as the primary reason but note that all the foreign competition? IT doesn’t have contracts with health insurance to pay.

    respectfully
    BJ

  116. Of course as a typical socialist you leave out the part about how you would pay for all this extra medicare coverage.

    Bollocks, I’ve said all through this thread I support the French system and pointed out it uses a compulsary system complimented with a market system…

    Medicare has a 60 Trillion unfunded liability so before Jezza the socialist waves the magic socialist wand and extends medicare to 25 million people you need to find 60 Trillion dollars, then you need to find the money to cover these extra 25 million.

    If by unfunded liability you mean future taxes that is how all government insurance schemes work, are you planning on having no people in any countries with government run insurance in the future..? Guess they probally all moved to New Free Land… Our own ACC works this way and guess what these schemes are more efficient BECAUSE the profit motive has been eliminated…

    Libertarian parties will never get elected because they don’t promise money to the voters.

    Wrong, has more to do with them being bat sh*t crazy… Libertarian parties don’t promise people money..? Go to their tax cut policy page and then try and type that with an ounce of credibility, didn’t they have an ad a couple of elections ago showing their leader throwing $20 bill after $20 bill on the table saying this is the tax cut you’ll get if you vote libertarian…? Didn’t happen to mention what people would have to give up though did he, hypocrite much..?

    Socialist parties promise services, many of them necessaties IMO…

    Democracy is a bad form of government because the people who have the right to vote are retarded and each election they ALWAYS vote for short term gains regardless of the long term costs.

    Maybe in all your wisdom Turnip you should decide who votes, oh heck why not institute the type of government you want and never let anyone vote, that sounds like a swell system… Democracy isn’t perfect but voters know the current system and the parties in it are a damn sight better than your offering…

    This is one reason why the Green party can’t get any traction on GW because human beings are lousy long term planners.

    Agreed, thats the only sensible thing you said in the whole post… From reading the rest of the post I guess the only sensible thing you’ve said for a long, long time…

    Right now in the US President NoBama is spending money at a rate that has never been seen in the History of the US. Some people are reaping the rewards of that short term spending. When the results of this borrow & spend come due those same humans will not be able to link this cause and effect, smart socialists who caused the problem will simply blame the free market, CEO’s and companies. They will then lie to the people and tell them they can save them as long as they vote them back into office and the democratic stupidity will roll on.

    I’m sorry how did that last Neo-con president do on reducing the deficeit..? Balanced budgets for 8 years, yeah right… You know that president the one who was the closest America’s ever going to have to a Libertarian President… The problem with the ultra right wingers (like you) is they promise to cut taxes and spending, when they get into power they cut the taxes but never seem to get around to cutting the spending…

    No doubt the American budget is out of control but how about we look at NZ hmmm, you know where we live, where we’ve had a Socialist finance minister for 9 years who paid down government debt..!

    Of course it will all end in complete collapse, democracy isn’t a sustainable form of government unless you place checks on what the government can and can’t do.

    Of course..! Having people decide how and who should govern themselves is absolute madness… Shessh we got a little brooding dictator here…

    You know what isn’t sustainable our current economy based on relentless growth on a finite planet, one way or another that will eventually have to change…

    Government has some very sensible laws in place right now limiting their powers, I personally like the seperation of powers (my fav)…

    Now please can you libbers bugger off to wherever it is you hang out on the internet when your not trolling here, I come on here to learn more from people with half a brain about the green issues that actually matter to our future health and wealth, not sure if this is some kind of retaliation for greenies coming onto your site or what… I can tell I hit a raw nerve when I pointed out you have about as much chance of getting into parliament as a snowball does of well existing on our planet in 2200 but first please read these sites in their total:

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/

    http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/

    Then maybe you’ll see there are very good democratic limits under the law right now and that you are living in a country with a social liberal history that doesn’t want any part of your fantasy land…

  117. Jezza: “If the federal government eliminated the age of entitlement of medicare from 65 to any age up to 25 more million Americans could get health care and it would save up to 10,000 lives…”

    Of course as a typical socialist you leave out the part about how you would pay for all this extra medicare coverage. Medicare has a 60 Trillion unfunded liability so before Jezza the socialist waves the magic socialist wand and extends medicare to 25 million people you need to find 60 Trillion dollars, then you need to find the money to cover these extra 25 million.

    Libertarian parties will never get elected because they don’t promise money to the voters. Democracy is a bad form of government because the people who have the right to vote are retarded and each election they ALWAYS vote for short term gains regardless of the long term costs.

    This is one reason why the Green party can’t get any traction on GW because human beings are lousy long term planners.

    Right now in the US President NoBama is spending money at a rate that has never been seen in the History of the US. Some people are reaping the rewards of that short term spending. When the results of this borrow & spend come due those same humans will not be able to link this cause and effect, smart socialists who caused the problem will simply blame the free market, CEO’s and companies. They will then lie to the people and tell them they can save them as long as they vote them back into office and the democratic stupidity will roll on. Of course it will all end in complete collapse, democracy isn’t a sustainable form of government unless you place checks on what the government can and can’t do.

  118. Great link Sally proved my point exactly, the only plan able to be afforded by the families on the benefit I deal with, with the elimination of GST (and that is if they spend ALL thier money on things with GST applicable) would provide them with basic cover AND a $4,000 excess and that is if both parents are non-smokers (don’t know of too many of them in the lower socio-economic areas) and it is still in the insurance companies interest to deny as many claims as possible… Again great link if you can keep proving my points so effectively I guess I’ll just leave you to blog with yourself…

    How many MP’s have you met Sally..? I’ve met quite a few and the majority of them really do care about making other people’s lives better and think that their ideology is the best way to go about it, sure a few are only in it for the power (one of the biggest and his party got kicked out last election) but your solution is eliminate government almost completely and all the positives it can provide… Talk about throwing out the baby with the bath water…

    @ wat, I don’t really have to answer your question as I’ve stated earlier I think the French system is the best in the world and that is a compulsory government scheme that adds principals of a market, its fantastic, but I’ll answer it anyway…

    I’ve stated they should remove the age requirement for medicare… That would make health insurance available/affordable to up to 25 million of the 47 million (if I remember the number correctly) currently without, these would be the “better off” of those currently without…

    As to what wage level, well off the top I’ve my head I’d say the 20 million workers on or close to the minimum wage of $6.55 an hour or $13,624 a year… Or in your opinion is that plenty..? For a more detailed study of what level would be most appropriate you’d have to put that big cumbersome Department of Health with all those loathesome punlic servants to work… Maybe we should follow your advice and get rid of all their taxes and bump their wages up to a staggering $19,000 a year and all they have to pay for then, is, um, well everything and they’ll have to make sure they save a lot for all that suing they are gonna have to do when those with means take advantage of them…

    Oh and Sally if there is a idea you can comprehend that I can’t I’ll go for a swim with a lead vest on… Don’t mistake rejection for your nutty beliefs for misunderstanding, I mean for crying out loud you people actually believe people will pay taxes voluntarily, how are you going to afford all the courts you’ll need for the people suing each other constantly..?

    Your party should give up on ever getting close to parliament, people want the services government provides and these things cost money and have to be paid for… People realise that the universal education and health systems put them in the tiny fraction of lucky people in the 2 million year history of humanity and they are not going to throw it away to vote for your ridiculous bollocks…

    Thats why Labour and the Greens are in parliament, people want what they provide but not what your team offers, you see there are these things called markets and if there is a demand for a service someone will fill that need… Seems to me the market demands Socialist MP’s but not Libertarian ones…

  119. No no wat, these folks don’t comprehend the idea that people are savvy enough to have free choice on important issues. However they do think that people are savvy enough to be able elect a good government and that people in government are very savvy.

  120. Jezza,

    If someone in the US doesn’t have health insurance it doesn’t automatically mean they have been “left without it.” Many people on good incomes simply choose not to buy it.

    The question you must answer is at what wage level would you consider a household too poor to buy insurance.

    Then, anyone above that level is rich enough, but presumably chooses to spend their money on other things. And that’s their choice, right?

    So, what wage level?

  121. Jezza,

    Actually $50 a week would be more than enough to provide pretty good health insurance cover for a family if corporate health insurance is the way people want to go.

    this from a quick google search
    http://www.sovereign.co.nz/section76.aspx

    Of course if you get your way with emissions costs we wont be able to afford anything after struggling to pay for food and transport.

    I’d have to examine the source of your figures or do my own search before I can comment on the rest of your comment.

    Always the skeptic – that’s me.

  122. I notice you didn’t address my last post… The US system is by far the most free market in the first world and that has left almost 50 million people without cover so your solution is more freedom, less rules, less government and the result of course would be less coverage…

    18,000 people die in America every year from lack of cover, that’s six 9/11s… Weird thing for a nurse to advocate, more needless deaths…

    If the federal government eliminated the age of entitlement of medicare from 65 to any age up to 25 more million Americans could get health care and it would save up to 10,000 lives…

    Left is right and right is wrong, get used to it…

  123. Cap and trade will only make a real difference if the cap is zero. Anything else is just grandfathering and benefiting those already there, it locks out new shoots.

    In the current ETS, entities are only liable for their growth and at various percentages over time depending on the industry. The plan was also to hold some credits back for allocation to new entrants that use lower emission technologies so they are not disadvantaged.

  124. I certainly would not propose the US model. They have nowhere near a free market over there. Contrary to popular NZ opinion the US system is heavily regulated, the FDA and legislation that incentivizes work related insurance with perverse unintended consequences being just two examples. They also have a lot of state based government funded programs. That they spend more on health does not imply less efficiency – they may get more for more and as I said, given the choice we might spend more on health.

  125. sallydeb Says:
    July 10th, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    > Perhaps if we were spending our own money we would spend a higher prportion on health rather than a whole lot of crap that our elected Govt. spends our money on for us. … My ideal is to see the less well off able to have private health care too

    To be affordable it would have to be through insurance, leading to something like the US system. The US spends significantly more per person on health care than New Zealand, and access to health care there is at least as bad as here. The evidence is that their system leads to a much higher proportion of money being spent on overheads and unnecessary treatment, making it less efficient, not more.

  126. You think if you cut the $50 a week a family on the benefit spends on GST they would then be able to afford a private $8,000 shoulder surgery..?

    I can see why you believe GW is a fraud if that is your perception of reality…

  127. Kahikatea,
    Re Health spending.

    Perhaps if we were spending our own money we would spend a higher prportion on health rather than a whole lot of crap that our elected Govt. spends our money on for us. As for a two tier system – private for the rich and waiting lists for the poor. My ideal is to see the less well off able to have private health care too – something they would be able to afford if we cut GST.

  128. kahikatea,
    I actually ment on a sub-national basis, not national. But meh, applies to both. Instead of saying “you can emit this much for free” it should be “you can emit as much as you like so long as you offset it. Initially you must offset 1% and this percentage will increase quarterly” or something along those lines. Would work far better and no grandfathering or inhibition.

  129. sallydeb Says:
    July 10th, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    > I don’t think the NZ health system is any batter [than the US one].

    It’s not just about how the system is run or how the money is spent. It’s also about how much money is spent. The US spends 14% of its GDP on health care, and New Zealand spends only 8% (and that’s 8% of a lower GDP). What the New Zealand health system needs to work better is more money (but then I would say that, having been on a waiting list for surgery since last August).

  130. Re food, clothing and medicine cost when we have reached an adequate level of stress?

    BJ:
    Has it occurred to you yet that it DOES NOT MATTER? As a society we can grow our own food, weave our own cloth, sew our own clothing and manage our own medicine.

    Do you mean each doing these things individually or still with specialization and division of labour?

  131. I think you’ll find the golden age of welfare is behind us. We’ve got a boomer problem.

    Suprising what happens to a social programme when it is gutted but I take your point, welfare was becoming as profitable as labour in the 80’s and had to be changed but instead of dealing with the three main problems, the governments just decided gutting it was easier… The three problems were; the fact that the system was so fragmented from 50 years of development (which is only close to be resolved NOW with the universal benefit), the inter-generational dependence and the fact the system was designed to deal with the 1935 world… Douglas’s GMFI you referred to earlier would have been a good first step in this regard and shows what a crap PM Lange was by allowing GST but pulling out before the payoff for the working class…

    In terms of health, I’m reluctant to advocate free market healthcare, unless we guarantee a minimum liveable wage for all.
    My experience of the US health system when I used it was that it was of a very high standard, and the price was affordable. But I think the US health system suffers from corruption.
    My experience of the NHS was dire. In London, they often won’t give you an appointment three weeks away. Service levels are appalling. They have a tragedy of the commons problem, so you pay the fee (taxes), but you don’t actually get the service. New Zealand has a reasonable balance in this regard.

    The best Health system combination is a mix of market and government control, always is, the French system is fabulous and if NZ had any sense we would steal it, put on a few Kiwi touches and call it our own…

    I think you’ve been fooled into thinking the government will cover your back.

    I come from a family of entreprenuers who taught me how to invest and the fact I try to live sustainably means my salary could support me many times over, this has allowed me to build up quite an asset base behind me… I don’t need the government to “cover” for me, in fact I would be one of the 10% of the population that would do very well if we were to follow the libs and become New Free Land, I haven’t been fooled into believing in Socialism…

    We still must be vigilant, because they are taking a lot of money and providing very little in return. That is wasteful, and it is not transparent.

    Lets get it right, they are providing YOU very little in return and as a single 26 year old, employed, male me too but for the 40 year married man who just lost his job (through no fault of his own) with two kids in public school, one of which has cancer they are providing a LOT..! It’s the only way its going to work, welcome to society, group Socialist hug…

    I think you should compare our tax system to some others, we are one of the lowest taxed countries in the OECD… Our government stretches their tax take quite well… The Clark government was getting too liberal with the purse strings, I think that is one of reasons that lead to Labour’s demise but our public services were dying in 1999… The majority of public servants work harder than their pay grade, I know us in law enforcement do…

  132. I don’t think the NZ health system is any batter.

    I haver had to cut down my hours because of the stress of working in a NZ hospital. We are chronicly short of staff and and space and we only avoid disaster day after day by working above and beyond, shot breaks and going home late. As I said, I had to cut down my hours or lv with chronic burn out.

    My mother has been on the waiting list for over a year with a painful condition and just recently got a consultation appointment after waiting for monthst to even see a specialist. This is a woman who worked hard all her life and paid a lot of taxes. She would have been better off paying less tax and going private IMO.

  133. BluePeter Says:
    July 10th, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    “My experience of the US health system when I used it was that it was of a very high standard, and the price was affordable.”

    apparently they always charge lower rates to patients who are paying directly than if it is being paid for by an insurance company.

  134. # Sapient Says:
    July 10th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    > Cap and trade will only make a real difference if the cap is zero. Anything else is just grandfathering and benefiting those already there, it locks out new shoots.

    no, the national cap doesn’t have to be zero – only the initial allocation of carbon credits to industries within the country has to be zero.

    a cap of zero would require us to cut emissions much faster than can safely be done.

  135. >>were significantly worse off then than now

    I think you’ll find the golden age of welfare is behind us. We’ve got a boomer problem.

    >>were significantly worse off then than now

    I didn’t say “always”.

    But it very often is. In terms of health, I’m reluctant to advocate free market healthcare, unless we guarantee a minimum liveable wage for all.

    My experience of the US health system when I used it was that it was of a very high standard, and the price was affordable. But I think the US health system suffers from corruption.

    My experience of the NHS was dire. In London, they often won’t give you an appointment three weeks away. Service levels are appalling. They have a tragedy of the commons problem, so you pay the fee (taxes), but you don’t actually get the service.

    New Zealand has a reasonable balance in this regard.

    I think you’ve been fooled into thinking the government will cover your back. We still must be vigilant, because they are taking a lot of money and providing very little in return. That is wasteful, and it is not transparent.

  136. What complete nonsense.

    That would only happen if the community saw fit to let it happen. Charity organizations, personal insurance, personal savings plans….there are a number of ways to achieve the same ends.

    You know, we tried that for all of human history, before Savage here and FDR in the States etc introduced the first trance of welfare, and guess what all the groups of people I named were significantly worse off then than now…

    Why is churning money through wasteful government such a great idea?
    What if you left money with the people who earned it to choose the services they want?

    I can see why think the way you do because you’ve been fooled into thinking that money spent by the government is always spent less effectively then the private sector, that is wrong, for example the adminstration costs of medicare (US) are only a few percent while the private HMO’s spend well over 20%, that costs american citizens hundreds of billions of dollars of healthcare all going into some corporate pocket… The solutions is more civil watchdogs and better spending guidelines in regards to government departments not smaller government…

    Imagine having to be vigilant about every situation in your life if we disbanded the systems that protects us as consumers, the leaky building saga (you’d have to be an architect), the people who lost their savings in the financial societies (better get your accounting degree while getting your architecture one) and that is just two of the systems that have failed us let alone purposefully blowing them up…

    These people are dangerous and they are either tradically misguided (I prefer to believe this) or willing obtuse and uncaring…

  137. BP

    IMHO we have to try… really try, to keep the problem from happening. That means we participate for real, with really hard targets.

    We also have to watch carefully for signs that the bigger players are cheating. That means we do a lot more “due diligence” than the usual Kiwi investor is used to doing.

    We can’t afford to be cheated (Your point) but we can’t do less than our share if the world is actually trying to work through this together.

    If others cheat and won’t stop… we go to survival mode (I still reckon that the Frigates are the wrong ships to be taking into this).

    We also have to watch carefully for signs that the methane clathrates or permafrost are starting to release. Either of those takes it out of our hands big-time. If those feedbacks start we go to survival mode as well.

    I say this because we DO NOT know that 2 degrees is safe. It is much much safer than 3 degrees, but there is NO guarantee that they won’t start an uncontrollable feedback with as little as another 0.1 of a degree added on. So we have a couple of things to watch as we work on this problem.

    respectfully
    BJ

  138. Cap and trade will only make a real difference if the cap is zero. Anything else is just grandfathering and benefiting those already there, it locks out new shoots.

  139. I remain to be convinced that trading is worse than nothing at all. Yes, a tax would be better in that is doesn’t create a property right or allow others to clip the ticket. But it is more easily manipulated by politicians wanting to keep the price too low to have the desired effect. On the other hand, an ETS at least has the benefit that credits go to developing countries to assist with green development, which helps with equity and is more likely to bring them on board (their programmes have to be verifiable, but there is good work being done in that area).

  140. Prince Charles says ‘it’s too late’ already;
    I tend to look for my new friend’s gin and agree with Dr Nick.
    Another Scam you mean Pete surely?

  141. Shift into survival mode? Not before trying option One (avert the disaster). Jumping to option 2 (Hunker down) will lessen the chances of #1 succeeding. Imho.

  142. This is progress. But remember that, ETS or not, we have a half billion dollar carbon liability coming due soon. Before you say we should withdraw from Kyoto, is not reducing emissions a part of any survival plan? We need to keep the problem manageable to survive it. If not with a price on carbon, then how? Government fiat? I can’t see how that would work.

  143. I don’t know, Greenfly. I honestly don’t.

    Having read Gareth’s book, I’m warming (heh) to the idea. I think the more difficult question, is what, exactly, to do about it. What if it is worse than is being imagined? Wouldn’t the right thing to do be to shift into survival mode?

  144. Right BJ.

    Therefore, isn’t a good course of action to play cap-n-trade for what it is: a scam. Use all the smoke and mirrors we can to make it look like we’re on-board, whilst at the same time not damaging our economic well-being. In other words, do the very least possible (because we know it makes no difference to temperature)

    Then, use the money saved to do things that actually DO make a REAL difference. Alternative power infrastructure, etc etc……

  145. Yes BP…

    I agree with this. The implementation of any method to achieve reduction of CO2 is NOT determined by science. Cap & Trade or Cap & Betrayal seem to be more or less built to benefit the financial sector, and the financiers won’t allow anything else to come through the political system. It is ugly and it won’t work as well as other methods and it will be harder to get it to do what is needed… and yet it is the only game in town.

    I don’t like making Goldman-Sacks-The-Planet wealthier, but if I have to pay brutally to ensure that there is a planet, I will do so, and explain it to my children as best I can.

    Eventually the inequality will be corrected and the people currently bleeding us will themselves bleed. It has always been thus. Even Marx was right about SOME things.

    respectfully
    BJ

  146. I didn’t see any recent “science” related to climate change being addressed. There was an oldish referent to MacIntyre’s site and the nonsense claim that the planet isn’t getting warmer.

    One day it will dawn on them that ideology doesn’t impress a scientist, it doesn’t matter, left, right or incoherent. I have known too many scientists of all political persuasions (including libertarians) to fall for that. They all agree on the science. Even the libertarians among them saw little hope for anything but government cooperation to get it resolved.

    This is every bit as bad as people physically invading and shooting up the place and stealing from us, but they (libertarians) don’t recognize the assault as the CO2 bomb that has been dropped has yet to see its full impact realized.

    respectfully
    BJ

  147. Take them whatever way you like.

    Sometimes we’re talking ideology in an academic sense, and sometimes we’re talking the practicalities of implementing ideology. For example, one could ideologically support the c02 reduction, whilst at the same time calling cap-n-trade a total scam.

    Depends….

  148. Peter – so I take it from your description that when listening to the things you say, I should remember that in practice, it wouldn’t really be as you claim?
    Your pronouncements are ‘just a frame for debate’?
    Got it.

  149. bjchip said:
    I went to visit Sallydeb’s link….

    Was it very, very quiet there bj?
    Was there a ‘Science Fiction’ section (or is it all science fiction)?

  150. Greenfly, the academic ideological position is just a frame for debate. Everyone knows – except crusty old Marxists – that the implementation changes the theory. It always does when you add people.

    Also, political leanings exist on a continuum. I’m not a hardline libertarian, just like many Greens aren’t hardline Communists.

    I see a role for the state. I think it is morally right to protect and support people when all goes pear shaped for them. I just don’t trust politicians to do it. They’ve had decades, and we still have a lot of poor people. Their schemes haven’t worked.

    There are always other ways worth considering. Personally, I trust individuals to make better decisions about themselves than collectives.

  151. I went to visit Sallydeb’s link…. posted a comment and left.

    I think I understand why they come here though. The acid has noplace to go. We don’t bother with them and they are not that happy talking to themselves. Given the stereotyping I have no intention of going back. Waste of time really.

    They can talk to themselves all they like. They won’t learn a thing from it.

    respectfully
    BJ

  152. Peter said:
    ” I still can see a role for the state and a need to collectively pick up the pieces when all goes wrong .”

    Sooo… you’d like the State to magically form itself when the Libertarian utopia ‘all goes wrong’? How nice.

  153. Libertarian is an academic ideal. It would change significantly in actual implementation, as all theories.

    I’m libertarian-leaning but I still can see a role for the state and a need to collectively pick up the pieces when all goes wrong.

    What I strongly dislike is political elites, who are often incompetent, wasteful and corrupt, wasting resources. What is moral about that?

    I trust the person who earned the money to spend it a lot more wisely than any faceless bureaucrat.

    I have more faith in people than those of the left of the spectrum, who seem to think everyone else needs to be told what to do – BY THEM.

  154. Jezza – harsh! The lot of a Librarian can’t be an easy one. Let’s cut them some slack, after all, imagine if it was you stuck inside a soundless room all day, filing cards and glueing spines. Put yourself in Sally’s sensible shoes.

  155. >>libertarians ARE evil because they say tough luck to elderly, diasbled, addicted and victims of the drivers of poverty and crime,

    What complete nonsense.

    That would only happen if the community saw fit to let it happen. Charity organizations, personal insurance, personal savings plans….there are a number of ways to achieve the same ends.

    Why is churning money through wasteful government such a great idea?
    What if you left money with the people who earned it to choose the services they want?

  156. Libertarians are more batty than communists, a few examples:

    I spend a lot of my working life in the poorer neighbourhoods in South and Central Auckland dealing with people’s finances, the banks and finance companies have found a way to turn these people into slaves, not in the old way but debt slaves and it only took 150 years from when outright slavery was legal…

    These people need government regulation and a lot more than exists now so to you rational people out there (i.e. non libs) please lobby your local MP to support Charles Chauvel’s private members bill about this…

    Secondly, before superannuation, social security etc. 1 in 4 elderly people died in poverty now almost none do, only a concerned government can do this and positive initiatives of this scale, libertarians ARE evil because they say tough luck to elderly, diasbled, addicted and victims of the drivers of poverty and crime, disguising… They refuse to accept GW and science as a reality because it does not fit into their model of the world…

    Finally I pity libertarians for the self deluded fools they are, for such individualistic thinkers they seems perfectly happy to follow the advice of the leaders of their party that the Greens are the devil and deserve their venom, try thinking for yourself, come to a green meeting or talk to a Green member they are not all hemp wearing communist activists as they seem think…

    The truth, like so many things in life is a shade of grey, a functioning democratic government, that takes care of the essential needs of its people, allows for a sensibly regulated market and protects individual freedoms is the best solution we have come up with so far (I hope we can improve on it in future)…

    Sally I suggest you, Danton (sp?) and Pregino (sp?) buy an island in the Hauraki declare you independence and let us all have a good laugh until it all falls over and you come crawling back in 15 years or so…

    Voluntary taxes, ha ha ha ha…

  157. Suppressed climate change? You mean like this?

    http://www.propublica.org/article/nasa-report-confirms-science-distortion

    …or should we pay more attention to the economists who have NO idea what the hell the science is, as shown here. .

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/06/bubkes/#more-691

    That wasn’t a scientific paper Sallydeb. It wasn’t science being argued. The fact that the News media did a beat up on it isn’t particularly surprising

    I should point out that the Libertarian ideal relies on everyone having good information about just about everything. That doesn’t happen in the real world either. Mostly we are given infotainment and the media foments controversy. If the media itself were to report the information fairly with respect to the amount of information, there would be 20 pages of AGW information and a 3 inch column reporting the anti-AGW information. Not because the scientists are biased, but because the theory is rapidly becoming as near to a fact as any scientific theory EVER gets.

    If you don’t trust the scientists, it is not the fault of the science. It is the fault of people who are relying on wishful thinking INSTEAD of science and you for listening to THEM and not the scientists.

    respectfully
    BJ

  158. Sallydeb

    The problem goes back further than the problem with the “current crisis” to be sure. Perhaps I should say that they PROXIMATE cause of the current crisis was deregulation and non-regulation of the paper that the banks were exchanging between themselves and pretending that they were worth something.

    Ahead of that problem was the effect of the government giving control of the money to the banks, a problem that goes back to the inability of any US government to overcome the long-term advantages given to banks by fractional reserve debt-based currency. (Don tinfoil hat) Worth noting that the last two Presidents to try to end this were shot dead, and the one before that was impeached.

    The quote by Jefferson I noted earlier. Baron von Rothschild weighs in with this…
    “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes the laws.”

    Also… any illusion that the US government is an actual democracy would have to be abandoned from the days of Lincoln onward. It has been run for and by the wealthy class ever since then. The bankers had control of the money. That let them take control of the legislature.

    The point I support here is that if the GOVERNMENT controls the money supply, the bankers no longer have power over the government (and indirectly the people) , the government (and indirectly the people) has power over the bankers.

    To the extent that the government can be kept honest even the system with the bankers in place works. It is the basis of the most desirable/livable societies and governments on the planet. The libertarian success stories can be counted on the fingers of one foot.

    Bliss talks of imbalance of power while supporting big powerful government with their inevitable corporate cronies which leave little liberty and property rights for individuals.

    So the big corporations will go away at the same time you do away with big government? I submit that the imbalance of power will then be ENTIRELY one-sided. A government “of the people” is the only real defense that the people have against the corporations. Or shall we gather our pitchforks and torches and march on their headquarters… in Delaware?

    have you figured out how much our food, clothing and medicine will cost when we have reached an adequate level of stress?

    Has it occurred to you yet that it DOES NOT MATTER? As a society we can grow our own food, weave our own cloth, sew our own clothing and manage our own medicine. We can adjust to the stress and create those things.

    If we do not achieve that level of stress, have you figured out how much it will stress our children when there is little food available at any price and rude strangers come a-calling to take what little we have because WE are the only ones who have any at all?

    There is NOT a “no-stress” solution Sallydeb. That is what I was pointing out earlier. A 50 cent revenue neutral tax on fuels in the early nineties going to $1 and $1.50 and then $2 would have moved the issue of carbon having a cost into national economies with LESS stress. It wasn’t done.

    respectfully
    BJ

  159. And you wander why I am skeptical about interpretation of climate data coming from state funded scientists.

    I’m sceptical about interpretation of climate data coming from economists like Carlin. Looks like he got told to stick to his day job…

  160. Sally – Firstly, I’m sorry about the overdue book and the chewed cover, but I’ve just got a new puppy and, do you have the Harry Potter series?

  161. You insist on affirming that that US crisis was due to deregulation. The US has BIG government with heavy interference in the economy from the Fed Reserve down to thousands of state subsidies and everywhere inbetween. One of Obama’s stated reasons for standing was to deal with the Corporate lobbyists to which he is now doling out trillions of dollars. The US economic crisis most certainly cannot be blamed on Lassaize Faire free market.
    For one of the local comments:
    http://pc.blogspot.com/2009/02/good-on-you-dr-brash.html

    And you will find plenty more on that site as to why AGW skepticism is not so silly and why legislative measures to attempt to prevent GW may be more harmful than the proposed effects of GW itself.

    Our discussion here is being referred to on NotPC, the third highest ranking NZ political blog:
    http://pc.blogspot.com/2009/07/quote-of-day-robert-murphy-on-climate.html

    Blog rankings http://nzblogosphere.blogspot.com/

  162. from what I have seen here greens would deliberately impose “stress” on their fellow citizens until their “persuasion” is successful.

    As usual, you talk like there is a no-stress alternative, but there is not. We only get to choose how to manage this crisis, not whether it exists. That you don’t think your approach would cause stress is your great blind spot. You live in a dream world. This “all men are islands” individualism is fatally flawed in other ways as bj and bliss say, but even if it were not, it would still depend on a model of never ending growth and unlimited resource usage. This, if for no other reason, is why you’ll never get it off the ground.

  163. Bliss talks of imbalance of power while supporting big powerful government with their inevitable corporate cronies which leave little liberty and property rights for individuals.

    Left anarchists are strange – the ones I have spoken to don’t like the idea of smaller government. Hmm, confusing.

    from what I have seen here greens would deliberately impose “stress” on their fellow citizens until their “persuasion” is successful.

    Libertarians propose to eliminate the initiation of force. Our ethos is basicly live and let live and voluntary co-operation. We do not need to be forced to get together to improve our communities – that is in our self interest so we act voluntarily. You folk seem to think government authority is needed to maintain a decent society or improve things for the better. We seem to have a quite different estimation of human nature from what I have seen here. A much higher estimation of man’s capability in intellect and natural tendancy to gregariousness and community spirit – that co-operation for good can be achieved voluntarily.

    I think we are perhaps the least hypocritical when we sign off with peace as Bliss is in the habit of doing. Peace is the absence of force.

    Peace be with you

  164. Bliss you are a man after my own heart:

    Did you know that when Hayek expounded his economic theories at the university of Vienna, from those hallowed ivory towers he spent most of his life. Pontificating. He never actually went into business.

    I think that Friedman will go the same way Hayek and Dr. Sigmund Freud , practitioners of very dangerous pseudo- science.

    Capitalism is bad news for environment and Dr. Sukuki’s research has proven correct unfortunately.

  165. Which means that I would prefer Jefferson and Jackson to anarchy, immediate descent into tribalism and emergence of dictatorship.

    Do not confuse libertarians with Anarchists. They are very different. Anarchists acknowledge the role of community and are sophisticated organisers. They believe in looking after the weaker members of their community. All anarchist experiments have been destroyed from without. (The Zapatistas are hanging on in Mexico, currently. Just)

    The Libaterians are individualists. They eat their young. Would sell the Grandmother if there was a quid in it and they caught her not looking.

    I have sympathy for the Anarchists. They mean well, they do good work in our communities.

    The Libertarians are a plague. Their individualist philosophy has attraction for the young, fit, rich and strong. But it is anti community, essentially anti everything I am for. They disgust me!

    Sure some Anarchists are screwed up and confused. But Libertarianism is way beyond screwed, it is evil.

    Their analysis is incredibly wonky. Like Silly Sally saying that in the absence of banking regulation she would closely study the policies of a bank before she invested. No concept of what imbalances in power do to relationships. Totally cloud eight (not even making it to nine) thinking.

    bjchip got it right talking about the role of the state in intermediating the public’s relationship with banks. The role of the state is to protect the wek (public) from the strong (bank). This goes way way beyond enforcing contracts.

    peace
    W

  166. BJ:
    “You may not like it but governments are how we actually protect ourselves from fraud and assault and all the rest that go with it, and the government ACTUALLY has to have the power to do that and protect us from other governments in the bargain. ”

    Actually we do like these roles for government – we are not anarchists. You could call us minarchists. There are anarchist libertarians but the NZ Libz are not among them.

    Democratically elected governments have not protected us fro the crisis you are worried about and they have not protected us from the crisis I am worried about. They have perpetuated both problems and don”t look like improving their game to a significant degree anytime soon.

    That’s a nice way of putting it BJ.
    “…has to be a strong enough signal to persuade people that NOT changing is the same as bankruptcy…”
    Yes you would have to get up to where we have more than “some signs of stress” before we stop using our cars.

    have you figured out how much our food, clothing and medicine will cost when we have reached an adequate level of stress?

  167. I thought I made it clear enough that I wasn’t sure what the real number would be… I chose $8/liter as a price that would put people off business-as-usual.

    A price high enough that very few people would be able to ignore it. and nobody would even THINK of just casually hopping in the car. Might be that $5 would do the job. I know that we were at $3 and some signs of stress were showing but most people simply nibbled at the edges. Changing their lifestyles was still not happening.

    There is nothing ulterior about this. It has to be a strong enough signal to persuade people that NOT changing is the same as bankruptcy… because if enough people don’t change their ways, not changing is also the same as death.

    respectfully
    BJ

  168. sallydeb Says:
    July 9th, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    > $8 per litre? Do most of you agree with this?

    Bliss probably knows the figures better than me, because he’s an economist and I’m not. But if he’s right about $8 per litre being the price that would include all externalities, then clearly our economy can’t afford to move to charging the full price in a hurry.

    Basically, our infrastructure has been built around energy being so heinously underpriced that we are not set up to cope with using as little energy as we would have to at that price. We would have to slowly move the price closer to the real price to give the economy time to adapt, and we could use regulations and incentives in the meantime to help the infrastructure adapt faster.

    But if you’re a real libertarian, I would expect you to believe in moving immediately to whatever is the real price and not mucking round with stuff like that to make it manageable for people.

  169. Sally

    There is a reason, a very good one, that people have banded together to form governments. You may not like it but governments are how we actually protect ourselves from fraud and assault and all the rest that go with it, and the government ACTUALLY has to have the power to do that and protect us from other governments in the bargain. That means the bigger the country, the better. Size matters.

    Which may explain why no example of a successful or even an unsuccessful “libertarian” government exists or in the history of the species has ever existed. Hell, the Communists managed to do better than libertarians on that score… at least they lasted long enough to leave a mark. Libertarian philosophy, leaves the government and the people in it, incredibly vulnerable.

    Leaders WILL emerge, will take ever increasing power and will devolve the system on you. It happens automatically. It is HUMAN nature. Logic has nothing to do with it. Rational behavior is honored in the breach.

    I understand the philosophy all-too-well. I understand the idealism that encourages and feeds it…. but with REAL people at least at our current stage of evolution and information distribution, it DOES NOT WORK. The observable absence of examples is a very difficult thing to explain if it is actually the superior form of self government. It is an IDEAL form of self-government, but you cannot apply it to real people.

    Which means that I would prefer Jefferson and Jackson to anarchy, immediate descent into tribalism and emergence of dictatorship.

    We the public need to be savvy and vigilant about which institutions we deal with

    Ah… so now in addition to my real jobs I have to do the job of the accountant and audit the banker as well. Have you got any more things I need to do that the government used to do for me? Taking care of the sick? Arranging pensions? Accounting for projects undertaken to improve the amenities of the city or countryside? Infrastructure? I doubt that I would be able to do as good a job as a fraudster might do setting up some fake accounting relating to all those things. Nor is it reasonable to expect everyone to know everything.

    I prefer a real government with the people, democratically, in control of it. I prefer to regulate the banks and keep the issuance of currency out of their hands. I prefer things that have some chance of working, with positive examples.

    respectfully
    BJ

  170. Gee whizz, that Libertarian stuff sounds interesting! I must get across to that site and give it a fair go. Cripes! Maybe they have the answer to everything! Their people sound so nice!

  171. No I wouldn’t trust the bankers any more than I would trust the government to manage my money. I would investigate a banks policies before I place my earnings or borrow. In a deregulated market I would be able to choose to avoid conventional banks and use alternatives like bartercard. We the public need to be savvy and vigilant about which institutions we deal with.

    As for libertarian ideas being instituted in the past – I wish!
    You wrote:
    “The gained some popularity in the 1970s in economic circles and were implemented with disastrous social results in a few countries (notably UK, Chile and New Zealand) in the 1980s.”

    If you have a look at our policies (www.libertarianz.org.nz) you will soon see how few of our ideas were implemented. Disastrous social results? Please elaborate.

  172. Freidman was also a reputable economist with a Nobel prize who argued for deregulation of the money supply by reserve banks and a return to the gold standard.

    The key word is “was”. Friedman formed his ideas contemporaneously with Hayek in the 1950s in Chicago. The gained some popularity in the 1970s in economic circles and were implemented with disastrous social results in a few countries (notably UK, Chile and New Zealand) in the 1980s.

    Over the past decade there has been a lot of research into why free market liberalism has such bad results. (This is a little hard, as the system enriched a powerful elite who still try to pretend it worked and they have a lot of power and influence).

    Most prominent and highly qualified economists both in the private sector and employed by governments failed to warn of this current crisis – most were taken by surprise when it hit. Do you really have faith in their ability to design a new regulatory system?

    It is true that most economists did not warn of the crises (look up Nassim Talieb sp? Of “Black Swan” fame). Boogle, not an economist but a fund manager, warned of it too.

    Do I trust them to design the regulations? That is a silly question. Regulations are designed by democratic systems.

    Try the counter factual. Would you trust the bankers that created this mess (out of greed incidentally) if they were not regulated at all? Would that be a stable system?

    My question, too, is silly. Of course the answer is No! and No!

    peace
    W

  173. Sally’s on duty. All questions re. Libetarianism should be directed to her. Enjoy.

  174. sally (hungry for air time) No. ‘Not Pakeha’ doesn’t mean Maori, but it’s revealing that you think it does. Yay Tim Wikiriwhi! Does he comment on blogs?

    we certainly do spend more time badgering the Nats.

    Nice. So you’ve a team of committed ‘badgerers’ eh! What fun!
    Your ‘assignment’ on Frogblog – how long did you sign up for? Who’s going to follow up after you? What a lark, eh!

  175. On externlity cost:
    “……Figure $8-10 per liter in the current economy. In the US as well of course. Everyone has to be hammered in much the same way and it would have been better if it had been brought in gradually with revenue neutrality when it was FIRST proposed back in the early 1990’s. Since people have procrastinated and obfuscated so long, it is no longer possible to “play nice”. If the cap and trade doesn’t set the price high enough to make a difference, it simply won’t work….”

    $8 per litre? Do most of you agree with this? It would cost me $500 to fill my petrol tank! How much would it cost for our trucks to transport food to the supermarket? How much would the cost of food go up? How much would our taxes have to go down to make this revenue tolerable?

  176. Sallydeb

    The proportion emitted by humans is found by using isotopic analysis. Mass analysis.. . several ways. We’re putting the CO2 in, we’re also eliminating things that take it out.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/how-do-we-know-that-recent-cosub2sub-increases-are-due-to-human-activities-updated/

    There is no question at all that the CO2 is due to human activity, at least up to now . It the methane in the permafrost or under the ocean starts to bubble up the situation gets is then in positive feedback and we’re no longer in control. Google “Methane Clathrate”

    And yet this was enough to bash us with – for a decade we were told that the catastophy of global cooling

    I lived through the seventies, and I don’t recall being “bashed” about global cooling. I remember a speculation in Newsweek or something like that and that was IT! No serious and sustained science actually supported the view because it turned out to be wrong. That is how science works. If something is clearly wrong it gets bounced by the scientists quite rapidly.

    Now you have a sustained and very pronounced weight of scientific evidence, growing stronger each day for the past 2 decades, with institutional pronouncements and G8 summit statements. It isn’t because the science is bad. The way science works the level of agreement alone is downright scary… and extremely unusual. You get agreement like this about the theory of evolution. All the scientists on one side of the room, all the ideologues on the other.

    I agree… Cato is pushing its own barrow. I don’t know much about the Ayn Rand group. I know her writing, and her fantasy, but that’s not likely to map the group views. I also agree that there is a problem with the way the government currently manages things. However, I don’t think de-regulation is the whole answer.

    I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
    Thomas Jefferson,

    I’d do away with the central bank as it is constituted and go with the government controlling the release of money into the system directly. I want the money redeemable in some manner. My preference is physical work, but there are any number of choices. People on this blog were aware of the crisis coming and predicted the crash a year and more before the takedown. We’re not in need of economics lessons, thanks.

    The deregulation and lack of regulation in the USA allowed the bubble blowing. If you have a FIAT currency you actually have to regulate because the banks will cheat. Things got ugly when they realized that they were dealing with other banks who were also cheating and wondered what sort of paper they were actually holding. Mostly I think it was the type used in toilets.

    With either better regulation or a redeemable currency standard, it might have come out better. Certainly the blowing of such big bubbles would have been restrained.

    respectfully
    BJ

  177. “…Sally – your concern then is over ’state coersion in dealing with AGW’.
    Oughtn’t you be talking with those who are in the driving seat of the ’state’ – Key and co…”

    Oh goodness you are not the only ones I talk to – I’ll be off somewhere else soon and we certainly do spend more time badgering the Nats.

  178. greenfly Says:
    Sally – you first (you didn’t answer my question – can you tell me if you know of any Libertarians who are not pakeha?) It’s not a hard question.

    Not Pakeha – must mean Maori. We have Tim Wikiriwhi – has been a prominent activist for the Libz for Oh must be 10 years. So what?

  179. Bliss:
    “The Cato institute and the Ayn Rand outfit are *political* not economic. They are pushing their own selfish agenda.
    Check out what Joseph Stiglitz has to say about the GFC. He has been calling for years for *better* regulation of banks and capital flows. He has done a lot of research and is a reputable economist (with a Nobel prize).”

    I would not divorce politics and economics. The government manages the economy – unfortunately.
    Freidman was also a reputable economist with a Nobel prize who argued for deregulation of the money supply by reserve banks and a return to the gold standard. That would have prevented malinvestment in housing, the current credit crunch and the inflation that will follow.

    Most prominent and highly qualified economists both in the private sector and employed by governments failed to warn of this current crisis – most were taken by surprise when it hit. Do you really have faith in their ability to design a new regulatory system? Again I fear a rash of new regulations with perverse unintended consequences. Examine closely for this before you support such regulations.

  180. Things have changed somewhat – now we have green types giving credence to insurance corporates.

    I don’t remember “green types” ever claiming insurance companies didn’t know how to calculate risk. Are you saying they are wrong? Or just avoiding another argument altogether because it doesn’t fit the answer you want?

    Should we swallow such assertions whole?

    Give is a real reason for rejecting that pollution causes serious health conditions leading to death. You want to challenge it, so put up then.

    Your arguments are shallow and trivial. You’re skeptical to the point of it being comical, or would be if so many lives weren’t at stake.

  181. Sally – you first (you didn’t answer my question – can you tell me if you know of any Libertarians who are not pakeha?) It’s not a hard question.

  182. What has a person’s race got to do with anything?
    greenfly Says:
    Just as I thought another blind-spot!

    You didn’t answer my question.
    Tell me why I should not be blind as to what race a person is.

  183. “If you don’t believe the Pentagon how about insurance companies..? Now long term policies have huge increases in payments taking into account GW…”

    Things have changed somewhat – now we have green types giving credence to insurance corporates.

    “Exhaust emissions are estimated to contribute to respiratory disease equal to the premature death of 400 Aucklanders a year…”

    Should we swallow such assertions whole? As always I want the detail about how they come up with such an estimate before I swallow it. What I do see is that the vast majority of us who live in the most affected places are living longer with minimal effects. I find it hard to believe until I have time to look at the research properly to check whether there has been some spinning going on.

  184. C’mon Greenfly, the Green Party isn’t exactly the United Nations. Mostly white, mostly urban, mostly middle class.

  185. “…scientists have calculated the volume of the atmosphere, measured the parts per million of Greenhouse Gases in the atmosphere, compare the increase from the previous year and then multiply this increase by the volume of the atmosphere, voila global yearly emissions of 27 billion tons,..”

    Fine, what I wanted to know was how do they measure what proportion of greenhouse gases are emitted by man – how do they get to the figure of 70 million tons per day? I googled it but didn’t find the answer. Is it simply that the increase is presumably man made?

    Jezza:
    “…exhaustive searches have found 5 papers by climate scientists in the 1970’s which stated that global cooling MAY be a result of green house gas emissions and still I think three of them stated the overall trend was warming…”

    And yet this was enough to bash us with – for a decade we were told that the catastophy of global cooling and imminent ice age meant we had to mend our greedy ways and heavy government intervention was essential.

  186. What has a person’s race got to do with anything?

    Just as I thought another blind-spot!

    I take it then, sally, you don’t know of any non-pakeha Libertarians (and if you believe race has nothing to do with anything, it will be of no consequence to reveal the answer to my question).

  187. Do they have a blog of their own to haunt? (It must be so dull there)</i?

    A dull blog would be where everyone is of the same political persuasion. Incidentally NotPC is more or less like that, so frogblog’s gain ;-)

  188. Are the Libertarians ‘tag-teaming’ Frogblog? (I think so)
    Are they making any gains? (Or are they firming our resolve?)
    Do they have a blog of their own to haunt? (It must be so dull there)
    Is their purpose to ‘talk us round to their way of thinking?( Hardly a ploy that is likely to succeed)
    or, are they gathering intelligence? (goading ‘greenies’ to reveal their thinking)
    Can someone tell me if they know of any Libertarians that are not pakeha?

  189. I say – so you go in boots and all and use government force in the form of legislation that inflicts costs on people who don’t want to reduce their emissions voluntarily

    You have a better way? I haven’t heard it. I have heard from you only the assertion that voluntary efforts of some people (who will be essentially martyring themselves for your sake) can make up for your refusal to take any responsibility for the physical assault your carbon emissions constitute on my share of the atmosphere and by extension, me.

    It won’t WORK, because the emissions are so far out of line that if we all committed suicide tomorrow and quit emitting completely you folks would STILL blow the carbon budget. It’d take you longer, but you’d do it because you don’t want to believe there is a problem.

    That doesn’t cut it Sally. We have as much right to the air as you do. If OWNERSHIP of these commons were possible some financial wizard would have done it already and you’d have been sued senseless. This isn’t going to be solved by the free-market. Libertarians have never had any answer as to how to do this without government, and they all say “government bad” anyway. Go ahead and repeat the mantra, IT DOES NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

    But the usual libertarian is generally better informed about the science than you seem to be. Most of them recognize that there is a problem. WE agree that there is a problem with making government vastly more powerful in that sense which is why we argue for revenue neutral tax.

    And you are presumably willing to stand by while billions of people loose their properties, livelihoods and lives due to misguided government policies

    If you meant property and meant “money” by that, I accept that as an easy typo to have made.

    …..degradation of the air due to the emissions……
    …Half the people among the climaticide committing minority who visit this place say agree to anything and then cheat…..
    ……..That isn’t “silly”, it is terminal stupidity……..
    . People are going to die. Do nothing, do something, doesn’t matter. The only question is who and how many will survive..

    This is hyperbole? By what measure?

    Emissions degrade the atmosphere? True.

    Half the people among the climaticide committing minority ? Maybe I am counting BP too many times. He seems ubiquitous, but I am fairly certain that I have heard this at least 3 times out of 6 such posters in the past month. If you object to the description I can always go back to “denialist”. What else to call killing the climate? Possible hyperbole.

    That isn’t “silly”, it is terminal stupidity Sally, I am an engineer by training and I worked at NASA JPL for most of a decade. Ignoring the science when the scientists themselves are scared sh!tless by what they see, about something that has the capacity to kill more than half the people on the planet can ONLY be described as terminally stupid. The only problem is that it is terminal for a lot more people than the one ignoring the science.

    “People are going to die” – True. No way to argue that. We’ve overshot the carrying capacity of the planet. People WILL die. We can kill them fast, kill them slow, kill ourselves or others… the only question is how hard we will make it on our children.

    Almost invariably in my experience I find that acting in my own rational self interest is compatable with other people acting in their self interest.

    Except now. Your self-interest is not well informed. You are not aware of a risk to your children and their children, you are not willing to consider that there is a sword hanging over our heads, constrained by a thread, and we are holding a match under the thread.

    If everyone DID understand the complexities of this issue and were intelligent and honest about it, voluntary could work. Everybody doesn’t, everybody isn’t.

    That is the Libertarian fallacy. That people will all be well informed, and honest, and able to detect their neighbor’s cheating and sue him for damaging their property… it fails at the human level just as thoroughly as communism does. It doesn’t work well on environmental issues.

    I hope some of the misconceptions are cleared up. The real problem is that you think that there is equally good science supporting the idea that there isn’t AGW, and that it won’t matter very much.

    This is actually a very common problem with the libertarian ideology.

    There is research to support this…

    http://pus.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/15/4/481

    …also a recent study showing that the same science is perceived differently by “conservatives” based on what solutions are proposed. IF a scientific study is presented with detailed information about a long term threat to our existence and it states that major changes in the economy and government regulation the solution, conservatives (but not liberals) tend to diss the science, suspect the scientists, say that it isn’t happening, it isn’t us, and it doesn’t matter. If the SAME science base is used to propose deregulation and building of nuclear power plants. The very SAME description gets supported with urgency, it really is a serious problem and it matters a lot.

    In psychology this effect is related to cognitive-dissonance.

    Now I personally reckon that there are some types of nuclear reactor (Accelerator driven, Thorium fueled) and methods of using the atom that could be appropriate north of Auckland. Partly because that area is going to wind up a separate island.

    Will it be North-North or will we have a “Middle Earth” island. :-)

    That doesn’t sit well with my fellow Greens but I don’t insist on it because we can probably do without it. NZ is very wealthy in terms of potential energy from renewable sources.

    However, the science is NOT equal on both sides, and if you are getting that impression you are making a mistake. That was the real value of Gareth Morgan’s effort, and while I doubt his book is better than “Climate Wars”, he did something few of us can afford to do. He set up a competitive effort with teams of scientists on either side of the issue and tried to treat it as a judicial exercise. He educated himself.

    Long enough and then some.

    respectfully
    BJ

  190. Yes, with the assumption that there’s nothing really wrong, so why would we want state intervention. Sally doesn’t want to debate the facts of AWG and thinks we can have the conversation she wants in a vacuum.

    So still leaves my question to be answered.

  191. I didn’t come here to argue about the facts of AGW effects. They are in dispute with strong arguements from learned people on both sides as to whether there is significant man caused warming and how severe the effects will be.

    Like Bliss said, this statement is just not true. You need to read some more.

    What I am sure about is that governments are using AGW as one of their excuses to continue to grow their power over us. Most lately as an excuse to deepen the credidit crisis, to borrow or tax or print more money for research and subsidies and major projects etc. etc.

    I’d say a lot of things about National, but you can’t pin that on them. They want no part of dealing with climate change and are only doing so because they have no choice politically. Obama isn’t forcing change in the States either. People are calling for it and did so throughout Bush’s reign. Again, the politics will keep the change minimal and not enough to really deal to the situation.

    I am quite sure that deepening a recession into a severe economic depression will bring as much harm as worst case scenario AGW effects and sooner.

    Then you haven’t a clue. Get out their and educate yourself.

    I am also certain that over the last few decades those who were concerned about AGW, the majority of people from what they say, could have reduced their emissions a lot more by now if they had made changes in their lives as individuals rather than expect governments to fix it.

    Personal responsibility is important, but so is government intervention. One example: individuals can’t build major infrastructure like public transport.

    Consumer power is starting to take effect now but could have done much more, much sooner. if there are benefits in efficiency with new sustainable methods, they are and will be taken up voluntarily.

    Important, but not enough time left for this alone to work.

    Relying on government action has not been very effective in the past and probably wont be in the future.

    We must use the tools we have.

    And government policies frequently have counter productive unintended consequences.

    Yes, but the alternative is too dire to let happen without trying everything we can to stop it.

    Sally, you flick away seemingly with little thought every reason we put up for taking strong action. You may be sincere as you claim, but this gives us the impression you really haven’t done your homework and are unable to engage with the facts on the ground. That’s fine for you, but its wasting our time. So I have to ask again, just where do you want to go with this discussion?

  192. I cannot resist another jab at SillySal

    I didn’t come here to argue about the facts of AGW effects. They are in dispute with strong arguements from learned people on both sides

    Wrong! They are in dispute, yes. On one side is science and data, getting stronger every day. On the other there are vested interests and lunatics.

    Try this: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0907/S00082.htm

    peace
    W

  193. More hits from SillySally

    You don’t need to go on an outlawing/regulating rampage.

    First you can toss out the Reserve Bank ACT. That would be a reduction in government attempts to manage credit.

    Second we the people have to learn from our mistakes and act accordingly rather than put blame elsewhere and expect government to solve our problems for us. We need to act more wisely in a free market.
    “…the “delusion of credit,” a mass delusion as widespread now as it was in the 1920s. And as destructive.

    I am gobsmacked.

    If banking regulation is done away with, or weakened, fractional reserve banking, and irresponsible credit will increase, not decrease!

    I looked at those websites. One wants me to go looking at the sites of lunatics like the Ayn Rand Institute. Life is too short for that nonsense. How about some economics? Western economics has 200 years of continuous development (starting with Adam Smith) and encompasses a huge range of view points from the extremes of Karl Marx through Milton Friedman. The Cato institute and the Ayn Rand outfit are *political* not economic. They are pushing their own selfish agenda.

    Check out what Joseph Stiglitz has to say about the GFC. He has been calling for years for *better* regulation of banks and capital flows. He has done a lot of research and is a reputable economist (with a Nobel prize).

    Responding to a crises like the GFC with “we should have less regulation” is nutty. Using the Ayn Rand Inst and co to support the ideas is empty.

    Economists do not all agree. They do not all agree with Stiglitz. But there are very few economists with any credibility left who support the “less/no regulation” approach. The reason is we now, in the 21st century, have the data. It does not work.

    Such a strange turn of events. Now it is the Greenies (usually associated with the Left) who have the sensible economic analysis. The right wing has descended into blithering idiocy. The exact reverse of the 1970s!

    Have a Blissful day, you need it!

  194. It is hard having work to do. Turn your back for moment or two and silly sally says:

    Frog described so called externalities as “unpriced”. I don’t need an economist to tell me the obvious. They are not unpriced, they are jolly expensive – whenever we use carbon emitting fuels it costs us a combination of the actual production cost plus profit for the fuel providing companies plus a lot of tax on top of that. The taxes we already pay go towards your externalities. They are not unpriced.

    SillySally can be told, but cannot be made to understand. There are no taxes at the pump to cover the environmental externalities of your use of fuel. ACC levy to cover the cost of fixing you up if you get broken and levies to build and maintain roads. Nothing for the costs we will face reducing green house gas sources elsewhere or increasing sinks. Unpriced externalities. It is obvious. Has been said. Has it been understood?

    peace
    W

  195. No.. is Doan slap dat Mudda Nature chick cuz, cos she a REAL B!YATCH when she wake up cranky.

    :-)

    BJ

  196. “Neither the air itself nor the degradation of the air due to the emissions, are priced”

    I say a reflection of the price you tout has been reflected in added taxes.

    Really? How much is the only habitable planet we can get to worth do you reckon?

    The question is what price point reduces our use to what the natural processes of our atmosphere CAN cope with. Whatever that is, that’s what we should be paying. It has to be enough to force you to think about taking a bus or train wherever possible, to conserve as much as possible.

    Not even close. Figure $8-10 per liter in the current economy. In the US as well of course. Everyone has to be hammered in much the same way and it would have been better if it had been brought in gradually with revenue neutrality when it was FIRST proposed back in the early 1990’s. Since people have procrastinated and obfuscated so long, it is no longer possible to “play nice”. If the cap and trade doesn’t set the price high enough to make a difference, it simply won’t work. People will be hurt either way.

    respectfully
    BJ

  197. Sally

    The referent here is to our evolutionary history. It wasn’t ever pejorative. It just points up the fact that we have developed engineering and science far more quickly than the social sciences and that we have instincts that work for us in science (curiosity, natural grammar… many things), but no instincts that allow us to function well in groups of more than a couple of hundred people.

    It is also a very obscure referent to a game by Ybarra on DOS that dates back to the 1994. A favorite of mine. Interestingly, the militarist whose advice will get you killed in the game at the point that this is used, has exactly the same reaction to it that you just did.

    respectfully
    BJ

  198. Sally – your concern then is over ‘state coersion in dealing with AGW’.
    Oughtn’t you be talking with those who are in the driving seat of the ‘state’ – Key and co.
    You say, ‘ Consumer power is starting to take effect now ‘ and that causes me to wonder if your presence here, coinciding as it does with the ‘meetings with Mr Smith’, reveals that you fear the influence we ‘consumers’ might have over government policy and drives you to try to weaken the resolve of the ‘alarmists’ on this blog.

  199. I didn’t come here to argue about the facts of AGW effects. They are in dispute with strong arguements from learned people on both sides as to whether there is significant man caused warming and how severe the effects will be. Hopefully y’all will have read widely on the issue before you became certain. I have read a fair bit and am still uncertain.

    What I am sure about is that governments are using AGW as one of their excuses to continue to grow their power over us. Most lately as an excuse to deepen the credidit crisis, to borrow or tax or print more money for research and subsidies and major projects etc. etc.
    I am quite sure that deepening a recession into a severe economic depression will bring as much harm as worst case scenario AGW effects and sooner. There are no guarentees that CATS costs or emissions taxes will be offset by taxes reductions elswhere. Even The Rogernomics crowd failed to lower government revenue and that was their professed ideology.
    I also do not underestimate the benefits we enjoy as a result of burning fossil fuels until such time as we have alternative energy sources on a mass scale.
    Just take a long look at your home and every thing in it and do the same next time you go to the supermarket and picture these things being made and transported.
    I am also certain that over the last few decades those who were concerned about AGW, the majority of people from what they say, could have reduced their emissions a lot more by now if they had made changes in their lives as individuals rather than expect governments to fix it. Consumer power is starting to take effect now but could have done much more, much sooner. if there are benefits in efficiency with new sustainable methods, they are and will be taken up voluntarily.
    Relying on government action has not been very effective in the past and probably wont be in the future. And government policies frequently have counter productive unintended consequences.

  200. Sallydeb said:

    I am hardly going to advance my cause by only talking with people who already agree with me. The green movement has succeeded in getting the centrist parties to take their ideas seriously surely by talking to all sorts of people. That is what I am doing with my alternate view.

    Sally wants to ‘advance her cause’ by coming to Frogblog and ‘talking to all sorts of people..getting them to take her ideas seriously’.

    How’s it going so far sally? Has your ’cause’ advanced yet?

  201. sallydeb,

    Running out of oil won’t help greenhouse gas emissions much although it will cause problems. There will be a shift to other fossil fuels such as gas and coal, but the gas will run out soon after. This will create a big transport fuel problem, but electricity and heating applications can switch to coal – the fuel with the highest greenhouse gas emissions. That will run out too. Eventually we will have to develop renewable energy sources and improve our efficiencies.

    Meanwhile builders are installing LPG space and water heating, and Genesis is planning a new gas-fired base-load power station, and the government is cancelling initiatives that would improve efficiencies (e.g. lighting) and buying petrol-guzzling limos, and you wonder why some of us are alarmed?

    Trevor.

  202. I literally don’t know where to begin Sally…

    Emissions are calculated using a wonderful new thing called science, you may have heard of it, it uses some of the same principles that enable the heart surgery in that hospital you work in…

    For example: scientists have calculated the volume of the atmosphere, measured the parts per million of Greenhouse Gases in the atmosphere, compare the increase from the previous year and then multiply this increase by the volume of the atmosphere, voila global yearly emissions of 27 billion tons, divide by 365 days a year = 73.9 million tons per day… You then plot this increase on a graph against the measured temp increase and suprise, suprise they match…

    The world is overpopulated you just happen to live in one of the least densely populated countries on the planet…

    The overwhelming number of scientists believe human caused climate change is happening… Ah yes the global cooling argument, have you been listenening to dottery old Rebulican Senators..? Well exhaustive searches have found 5 papers by climate scientists in the 1970’s which stated that global cooling MAY be a result of green house gas emissions and still I think three of them stated the overall trend was warming (doesn’t stop deniers from quoting from them), we also now know our air pollution was causing global dimming (i.e. air pollution was having an effect on the amount of light reaching our surface) this is now being reduced by burning our fossil fuels more cleanly but still releasing the emissions…

    Exhaust emissions are estimated to contribute to respiratory disease equal to the premature death of 400 Aucklanders a year…

    If you don’t believe the Pentagon how about insurance companies..? Now long term policies have huge increases in payments taking into account GW…

    We have developed an alternative to fossil fuel driven cars in fact we invented it 100 years ago, they are electrically driven trains…

    We have to start to leave the oil, coal and gas in the ground, not burn it till it runs out, the world will not negotiate with us, just like we can’t increase the speed of light, reality has limits…

    I used to be where you are Sally, I know its scary and easier to grab at straws and vote for Rodney Hide… I used to be the biggest denier there was, talking about how weather stations are in the cities where all the concrete is so they give false readings, that GW would probably trigger an ice age, anything I could think of… The truth is different, at first you feel robbed that no matter what you work so hard for it is going to be stolen away but its better to get active because the nightmare I talked about earlier isn’t inevitable YET but we can’t wait for the politicans or corporations to do it for us, the way they work is what has gotten us into this mess..!

  203. sallydeb

    The green party’s stated preference is for a carbon tax rather than a cap and trade system. A carbon tax can be revenue-neutral. This means that the extra cost of petrol, oil, gas, coal etc is balanced by a reduction in one or more other tax streams, such as a decrease in income tax or possibly an increase in benefits. It does NOT mean that motorists automatically pay more, only that motorists that reduce their fuel consumption will gain a greater financial benefit from doing so.

    If New Zealand does manage to get its emissions down 40%, then rather than paying for our emissions, we could be being paid by other countries for their emissions. Measures that reduce our dependence on overseas oil will have a double benefit as we watch oil prices climb higher and higher, because even if you don’t believe in AGW, peak oil will hit us, followed by peak gas and peak coal.

    Trevor.

  204. We see the world quite differently it seems. Most of you are quite certain that we face catastrophic effects from AGW. I am not nearly so certain.

    How is the 70 million tons per day figure derived by the way? How is it measured?
    It sure is hard to believe when you observe the sky – not just here in NZ – I have travelled around this still beautiful planet quite a bit. Some of the most lovely places I’ve seen we are told dreadfully over populated. To me it looks like there is plenty of space.

    There are certainly well qualified scientists on both sides of the argument on AGW today from what I’ve read. Some decades ago scientific models were telling us that emissions will bring on catastrophic global cooling – whatever happened to that idea?

    I find it very hard to believe that 400 Aucklanders die every year from exhaust fumes too. I’ve worked as a nurse in Auckland Hospital for 30 years and have never come across a patient who’s illness or death has been diagnosed as by exhaust fumes. And our life expectancy has increased despite increases in such pollution.

    ” US Pentagon lists climate change and resource depletion (mainly oil and water) among the biggest security threats to the US due to the expected global instability that they are expected to cause, and are scenario planning as we speak.” I wouldn’t give much credit to any claims coming out of The Pentagon – the history of lies coming out of that place gives me some cause for sceptacism. Still if oil stocks will soon be depleted, most of you will be quite happy about that. That should help you cut emissions by 40% and no more Aucklander killing exhaust fumes. I would not be happy about that though – if we run out of oil before technology has developed replacement energy on a mass scale.

  205. There are plenty of better reasons to clean up the planet than AGW. Making it a single issue approach to environmentalism is a sure fire way to miss all those essential little steps that are required for society to really change for the better.

    Only works if we have enough TIME Shunda, and the best estimates are that we have far too little to take such a relaxed approach.

  206. Well I don’t agree with your assessment of what is hyperbole and what is not. But let’s just say that we’re both concerned about the same thing in the end, which is the quality of our lives and those of our children and theirs. We feel there is a clear and present danger in GW that is more likely to result in the stuff we both don’t want than anything else. I could add that not only do the great majority of climate scientists agree, but the US Pentagon lists climate change and resource depletion (mainly oil and water) among the biggest security threats to the US due to the expected global instability that they are expected to cause, and are scenario planning as we speak.

    But you don’t agree, so where do you want to go with this?

  207. Well I would have thought that all “pumping 70 million tons of burning crap into the air A DAY” would tell you is that we are polluting (just like volcanoes by the way).

    That volcanic emissions are 1/130th of human emissions and have been enough to be part of the natural movement between ice age and current temperatures should be warning enough I would think…

    Although I agree with your other comment, I overly focus on GW…

    And Jezza I did not suggest that you spoke of setting other people on fire -have another look at my post.

    In this as in all things, context is king…

    I’ve just come in from a walk outside – lovely clear starlit night – looks to me like the planet is coping rather well with the pumping of 70 million tons of burning crap into the air each day.

    Hope you didn’t walk too close to any arterial roads, I don’t want anyone to join the 400 Aucklanders dying every year from exhaust fumes or is that more hyperbole..?

  208. sally said:
    looks to me like the planet is coping rather well with the pumping of 70 million tons of burning crap into the air each day.

    and she’s right! It does look that way to her. A walk along the beach would no doubt confirm to sally that the oceans are coping rather well too, with no sign of diminished fish stocks or pollution (especially at night) nor would the rivers look as though they are suffering – still flowing aren’t they? Perhaps sally saw a tree whilst walking? She’ll be certain now that the forests of the world are safe.
    70 million tons of burning crap per day? A mere trifle and if it can’t be seen down here in Aotearoa, it surely can’t be a reality!
    Or did she mean her statement’

    looks to me like the planet is coping rather well

    to be an example of the other side of the hyperbole coin, understatement?

    Who can know?

  209. Well we dont so much need to reduce emissions as reduce net emissions. That is, instead of reducing the emissions from travel, energy, and agriculture by 40% we could decrease it by less that 40% and make up for that difference through increases in carbon sequestering.

    Well that’s good to hear actually. Actually reducing emissions by 40% seems a bit impossible, but I guess if we planted up the country hardcore in forest then we might have a shot at reducing net emissions by 40% in the next 11 years.

  210. hyperbole |hīˈpərbəlē|
    noun
    exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.
    exaggeration, overstatement, magnification, embroidery, embellishment, excess, overkill, rhetoric; informal purple prose, puffery.
    ———————————————————–

    There are dire predictions being thrown around all over the place here Valis.

    As I said we could all still be sincere and mean to be taken literally.

    I certainly am. The current petrol taxes have already been coercive and harmful to our prosperity. More measures to impose more costs will be more so. I mean that literally. I’m not indulging in hyperbole.
    As I said: To me much of what you folks say about the armagedon of AGW looks like hyperbole to me but I concede that you folks are may be really sincere too.

    And Jezza I did not suggest that you spoke of setting other people on fire -have another look at my post. And re “social engineering on global scale” was an genuine error in identifying the writer rather than resorting to misquoting.

    I’ve just come in from a walk outside – lovely clear starlit night – looks to me like the planet is coping rather well with the pumping of 70 million tons of burning crap into the air each day.

  211. “The principle of cause and effect tells me GW is true and anyone with a shred of common sense knows a few other things”

    Well I would have thought that all “pumping 70 million tons of burning crap into the air A DAY” would tell you is that we are polluting (just like volcanoes by the way).
    It is undeniable that humans are stuffing the planet, it is not so certain whether we are causing it to heat up as much as proposed. There are plenty of better reasons to clean up the planet than AGW. Making it a single issue approach to environmentalism is a sure fire way to miss all those essential little steps that are required for society to really change for the better.

  212. Not wishing to speak for BJ but I think he was referring to our ancestors when he called us Monkeys…

    Don’t misquote me Sally I never said social engineering on global scale, that was BJ and he said he thinks it will never happen, also I was referring to protest that will cause people to WAKE UP when it comes to GW when I talked about the monk who set himself on fire, i.e. a form of protest not setting other people on fire… The debater who reduces themselves to misquoting their opponent is surely losing…

    I find you deniers hilarious, so I simply state:

    Globally we are pumping 70 million tons of burning crap into the air A DAY..! You may not like the fact that we have to pay for that but we do… The principle of cause and effect tells me GW is true and anyone with a shred of common sense knows a few other things:

    1). Global warming is true and the largest threat facing mankind since we were being out competed in Africa a few hundred thousand years ago and our numbers dwindled to a few thousand.
    2). If the earth is finite (and this is again undeniable) then our current model of ever expanding money supply, economies and consumption MUST be wrong.
    3). Anyone who doesn’t realise the above two obvious points is worthy of my contempt…

    Just because it doesn’t fit into your ideas of the “free market” doesn’t make it any less true…

    I’m glad to see people talking about monetary policy..! I’m not too worried about the future of money as the bankers got a bit too greedy in 1973 and moved completely off gold and into fiatcy… As we know any system that moves to full fiat currency is not long of this world, I only hope it happens before its too late..! Then our world can get back to using real money that flows to efficiency and enterprise, a “true” free market…

  213. Bj Did you read my post on “Brave New World” ?( on medicinal pot post) Now you are talking social engineering.

    Scary scary scary.

    Seriously I do take your point we have been overpopulating the planet and the contributing factor to that is the low mortality rate.

    I have nothing against a low mortality rate but that has to balance by a virtualy zero growth population (no more than three?) by means of the intellegent use of contraception.

    Otherwise we are going to achieve a “Soylient Green” scenario where humans have to practice cannibalism in order to survive.
    Or we could get governments and corporations to mass steralize us and reproduce us via the test tube. AH La Brave New World.

    But the Pope isn’t going to have any of this contraception (even in marriage!!!)
    No my children go forth and multiply!!!

  214. Those are dire predictions. Hyperbole is claiming a carbon tax would produce stomping boots when it would no more do so than the petrol tax you currently pay.

  215. I’m accused of hyperbole however I am quite sincere about my concerns about unintended and unconsidered consequences of proposed policies to use state coersion to deal with AGW.

    To me the following quotes look like hyperbole but I concede that you folks are probably really sincere.

    Jezza Says:
    ….We have about 10 years to do something we have never done before… social engineering on a global basis……
    boiling smogball 5 – 10 degrees hotter than now, with severe droughts, floods, collapsed fisheries, collapsed agriculture, no or no remaining forest cover, civil and world war on a never seen before scale…
    ……I used to think that monk who set himself on fire in protest of the Vietnam war was crazy, now I think it’s the only reasonable response..!

    Shunda – It’s war in any case, no matter what ideologies you factor in. The largesse of cheap, concentrated, abundant resources we inherited is about half gone, pissed into the atmosphere in a high entropy state, and the children will be fighting over the scraps of the estate while nature forecloses on the property for a failure to live within her means. That’s the apocalyptic version of what’s coming.

    BJ:
    …..degradation of the air due to the emissions……
    …Half the people among the climaticide committing minority who visit this place say agree to anything and then cheat…..
    ……..That isn’t “silly”, it is terminal stupidity……..
    . People are going to die. Do nothing, do something, doesn’t matter. The only question is who and how many will survive..

    valis:
    ….Now there’s no time for a slow response, particularly with people like you….

  216. Cigarettes and logs have butts, Shunda. You are neither.

    Tell us more about your Christian leaders discussion. What possessed them to talk the way they did? :-)

  217. If you drew a line in the sand and got the “GW caused by human activity” believers on one side and the ” it’s not us, it’s happened before” on the other you would make people think about where they are on this issue.
    If you then made some observations on what movements there were across the line you may well find that most of the traffic is going one way.
    As human beings, we feel that something is not quite right with the way we are conducting ourselves on this earth and some people believe that the earth is suffering as a result. History tells us that warming and cooling events have happened in the past and also that dinosaurs disappeared quite quickly from the earth. Human beings may well do the same but it would be a shame to think that we would go in ignorance.
    It does make me wonder what the next step in the evolution of the earth would produce.

  218. “I’d be perfectly happy to save your butt along with the many others.”

    Well you can stay away from my butt thank-YOU very much!! :)
    There are a lot of butts that need saving though.
    A lot indeed.

  219. So it’s time to put the boots on and stomp all over the ones who aren’t concerned enough to act voluntarily?

    Putting aside your hyperbole about the coercive nature of laws, I’d be perfectly happy to save your butt along with the many others.

  220. sally said: bj chimp

    The title of this post is:

    “Calling names isn’t nice, especially when you’re wrong.”

    Are you new at this game?

  221. Why wont voluntary work?

    Valis:
    “Because if it did work, it would have already. The problem has been known for decades. Now there’s no time for a slow response, particularly with people like you around who will boast their intention to do otherwise….”

    So it’s time to put the boots on and stomp all over the ones who aren’t concerned enough to act voluntarily?

  222. BJchimp says:
    The problem comes when you define that self-interest as JUST you, omitting your children and their children and the human species as a whole.

    I didn’t define my own self interest as just me. Almost invariably in my experience I find that acting in my own rational self interest is compatable with other people acting in their self interest. I also see that the most prosperous countries are gaining the most ground in managing environmental concerns so our own self interest does not necessarily conflict with the interests of future generations. However if it was necessary, i do not think we should sacrifice our lively hoods for future generations.

    BJchamp says:
    You don’t believe its happening AND you don’t believe it is us AND you don’t believe it will be that bad?

    I say – I am not convinced

    Me: And you are presumably willing to stand by while billions of people loose their properties, livelihoods and lives due to misguided government policies designed to reduce our use of fossil fuels

    BJ:
    I haven’t worked out how we are taking properties, that seems to have been thrown in there gratuitously.

    Me:
    I didn’t say you are taking properties (unless you include money as property which it is). I mean that people will loose their houses if they can’t afford to pay for them in a severe economic depression; if they have to pay too much in emission costs.

  223. Why wont voluntary work?

    Because if it did work, it would have already. The problem has been known for decades. Now there’s no time for a slow response, particularly with people like you around who will boast their intention to do otherwise. We only have a chance to avoid a catastrophic rise in temp if a very diligent and coordinated effort is made. Some think it too late already.

  224. Bjchip says:
    Are you familiar with the “tragedy of the commons” meme? If you understand it and you understand human nature, you will have to accept that there will be people who cheat in any voluntary arrangement.

    I say there are even more people who get away with cheating in INvoluntary agreements (a contradiction in terms). Obviously the people who are using force rather than persuasion to auquire agreement have the upper hand.

    Bjchip:
    For most of us, as well as for most countries, there is no point in going in boots and all, and disadvantaging ourselves if everyone else isn’t doing the same thing. The cheaters would prosper and dominate and because of the shared nature of the commons, it would be destroyed despite our efforts.

    I say – so you go in boots and all and use government force in the form of legislation that inflicts costs on people who don’t want to reduce their emissions voluntarily.

    Bjchip:
    Voluntary won’t work, but the BS about coercion that comes from the free-market evangelists is beyond belief.

    Why wont voluntary work?

    Bjchip:
    Did the collapse of the banking system espoused by the “free-the-market” school teach nothing?

    It isn’t a free market banking system. Franctional reserve biggest perpetrators are government reserve banks. In NZ for example the government’s Reserve Bank ACT is designed to manipulate the money markets by manipulating the money supply. Such heavy government interferance can hardly be called a free market. The money markets and private banks have in fact been heavily regulated and manipulated.
    Excessive investment in housing is as a result of government policies especially in the US where interest rates were driven down by the Federal reserve.

  225. What do you derive an ought from then?

    What ought we to do about GW? How do we arrive at what we ought to do about GW if not by deduction from observation of what is happening in reality and it’s effect i.e. from what is?

  226. sallydeb says:
    “I try to base my ideology on reality and use both to inform policy.”

    That is an untenable and irrational position. As David Hume showed you can never derive an ought from is.

  227. bjchip says:
    “Neither the air itself nor the degradation of the air due to the emissions, are priced”

    I say a reflection of the price you tout has been reflected in added taxes.

    Greenfly says:
    “Go elsewhere and mingle. If perchance you do arrive at the opinion that ‘human activities have a significant effect on earth climate’, come back here and join the conversation.”

    I am not here just to mingle. I am hardly going to advance my cause by only talking with people who already agree with me. The green movement has succeeded in getting the centrist parties to take their ideas seriously surely by talking to all sorts of people. That is what I am doing with my alternate view.

    I truely am not aware that this blog is purely for the expressions of people who agree with frogblog – forgive me if I am wrong. I though it was common acceptable practice to express counter views in blog comments.

  228. Frog,
    Yup, and that is what i proposed it as; a part of the solution. Once emissions are cut to a certain point it will be more economic to buy sequestration than to cut them further. I suspect that will happen well before 40%.

  229. You are obtusely missing the point. I stand by my position that most of the people who say they are concerned about AGW are not taking significant action to reduce their own carbon footprint while supporting government measures to coerce the total population.

    Are you familiar with the “tragedy of the commons” meme? If you understand it and you understand human nature, you will have to accept that there will be people who cheat in any voluntary arrangement. For most of us, as well as for most countries, there is no point in going in boots and all, and disadvantaging ourselves if everyone else isn’t doing the same thing. The cheaters would prosper and dominate and because of the shared nature of the commons, it would be destroyed despite our efforts.

    Voluntary won’t work, but the BS about coercion that comes from the free-market evangelists is beyond belief. Did the collapse of the banking system espoused by the “free-the-market” school teach nothing? The dishonest people WILL take advantage of trust. That means that for a nation to make sacrifices it must be convinced that all the others are making proportional sacrifices as well and that the rules are enforced somehow. Similarly for an individual family within the nation.

    No student of actual human nature could fail to see the problem here. Half the people among the climaticide committing minority who visit this place say agree to anything and then cheat. The problem here is that you CANNOT cheat Ma Nature.

    It’s not silly to act in your own rational self interest. Using reason to take all relevant factors of reality into account.

    The problem comes when you define that self-interest as JUST you, omitting your children and their children and the human species as a whole, and then ignore the information that comes from your best informed sources about a problem that is coming… because it is inconvenient to your current lifestyle.

    You are right Sallydeb. That isn’t “silly”, it is terminal stupidity.

    You don’t believe its happening AND you don’t believe it is us AND you don’t believe it will be that bad?

    And you are presumably willing to stand by while billions of people loose their properties, livelihoods and lives due to misguided government policies designed to reduce our use of fossil fuels

    Yes. I would prefer better policies but I will take what is on offer until the bankers are put where they actually belong.

    What is clearly outside your belief matrix is that the CO2 we emit or do not emit can make a difference.

    I haven’t worked out how we are taking properties, that seems to have been thrown in there gratuitously. I don’t like the fact of the likely loss of life, but we are in population overshoot already. People are going to die. Do nothing, do something, doesn’t matter. The only question is who and how many will survive. Preventing too-much warming gives us more choices… letting it go un-addressed could easily kill two thirds of everyone now alive.

    BJ

  230. frog Says:
    July 8th, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    > Too bad the sequestering is far more dear than the reductions, for all but forestry planting, at the moment anyway.

    does that include sequestering carbon by building up topsoil? I understand that it’s not counted in the Kyoto protocol, but how does its cost compare as a way of actually sequestering carbon?

  231. Sapient, you are right. Too bad the sequestering is far more dear than the reductions, for all but forestry planting, at the moment anyway. But why not do both, and wean ourselves from our profligate use of fossil fuels and leave some for our kids?

  232. Jarbury,
    Well we dont so much need to reduce emissions as reduce net emissions. That is, instead of reducing the emissions from travel, energy, and agriculture by 40% we could decrease it by less that 40% and make up for that difference through increases in carbon sequestering.

  233. Who’s name calling now?

    Not me. Your name is Sally, isn’t it?

    You say, ” I am not convinced that human activities have a significant effect on earth climate

    Then why are you here on Frogblog? Go elsewhere and mingle. If perchance you do arrive at the opinion that ‘human activities have a significant effect on earth climate’, come back here and join the conversation. That’s not a silly suggestion, is it Sally.

  234. Unpriced externality??? Tell that to me when I fill my petrol tank. Tell that to producers and transporters of goods who use coal and gas etc. etc. Use of fuels is most certainly not unpriced.

    However, the use of the atmosphere IS. The physical reality is that part of what you burn IS air, and part of what you emit remains IN that air, stuff that wasn’t there before. Neither the air itself nor the degradation of the air due to the emissions, are priced. If you were in a space station, this would be obvious. You are on earth and never experienced that price. It still gets paid… if not by you then by your children.

    BJ

  235. Sounds like Nick Smith is finding this whole consultation thing pretty uncomfortable. Setting a target of 40% by 2020 would be great – but really the bigger question is “how the heck would we even get close to that?”

    As far as I can see NZ’s emissions come from three main sources:

    1) Energy generation
    2) Transport
    3) Agrictulture

    We can probably do something about reducing energy generation emissions by building more windfarms and – crucially more baseload renewable power generators like geothermal and tidal power in Cook Strait. This might mean we’re able to close down Huntly Power Station – what would that reduce things by?

    Regarding transport, I actually think there’s masses we can do to reduce our CO2 emissions, although unfortunately the government is dragging us completely in the wrong direction by investing $27 in state highway building for each dollar spent on new public transport infrastructure. Steven Joyce & Nick Smith might go on a bit about electric cars, but they’re a red herring – unlikely to be mainstream any time soon unless the government starts subsidising their sales BIG TIME. If we are to reduce transport emissions then I think we probably need to stop building more roads altogether, and throw all our “new infrastructure” investment into public transport, walking and cycling initiatives. Oh, and get A LOT of electric buses. Quickly.

    Which leaves us with agriculture. Clearly to reduce our emissions by anything we have to do something about our agricultural emissions – but what? I guess we can throw money at R&D and we’ll probably get some good outcomes, but will that actually reduce our emissions any time in the next 11 years? Unlikely.

    I’m all for a 40% reduction by 2020, but we must realise what that will actually mean. It will not be business as usual by a LONG stretch.

  236. Who’s name calling now?
    It’s not silly to act in your own rational self interest. Using reason to take all relevant factors of reality into account. Consider unintended consequences carefully when developing policy is all that is being asked of political lobbyists, activists and politicians on this or any other issue.

  237. No, I’m not and I haven’t stated any such unlike you. I do however prefer to put reality ahead of ideology when it comes to informing policy.

  238. And you are presumably willing to stand by while billions of people loose their properties, livelihoods and lives due to misguided government policies designed to reduce our use of fossil fuels and prevent other poor peoples around the world from building up the wealth that we in the western world enjoy even if it makes little or no difference to GW.

  239. So what you’re saying is that you’re happy to go on burning fossil fuels even if it causes billions of people to loose their properties, livelihoods and lives. Nice.

  240. greenfly asks If I am doing enough to reduce my carbon footprint.

    Yes I am – which is to say that I am making no particular effort at all – which is enough in my estimation.

    I am not convinced that human activities have a significant effect on earth climate given that there have been considerable changes in climate through eons of time without any help from man.

    Even if AGW is happening, I am far from convinced that it will result in “living on boiling smogball 5 – 10 degrees hotter than now, with severe droughts, floods, collapsed fisheries, collapsed agriculture, no or no remaining forest cover, civil and world war on a never seen before scale…”

    Even if I was convinced of AGW worst case scenarios, I would still be even more concerned about the detremental effects of trying to significantly reduce use of energy sources that are the lifeblood of our productive economies before we have anywhere near adequate alternatives. Surely that is just as much a recipe for suffering, strife and war – economic depressions certainly have led to similar worst case scenarios in the past.

  241. Bliss says:
    “How on Earth can you do stop fractional reserve banking in a free market? If you want to stop fractional reserve banking you need to outlaw credit. How is that compatible with a free market?”

    You don’t need to go on an outlawing/regulating rampage.

    First you can toss out the Reserve Bank ACT. That would be a reduction in government attempts to manage credit. Some further reading:
    http://pc.blogspot.com/2009/04/ignoring-crisis-causes-promoting-of.html

    Second we the people have to learn from our mistakes and act accordingly rather than put blame elsewhere and expect government to solve our problems for us. We need to act more wisely in a free market.
    “…the “delusion of credit,” a mass delusion as widespread now as it was in the 1920s. And as destructive.
    The general shape of this universal delusion may be indicated by three of its familiar features.
    First, the idea that the panacea for debt is credit. . .”
    http://pc.blogspot.com/2009/06/creditdebt-delusion-faster-you-go.html

  242. sally said (eventually):
    I stand by my position that most of the people who say they are concerned about AGW are not taking significant action to reduce their own carbon footprint while supporting government measures to coerce the total population

    That’s better sally. Say what you mean.
    I think most here would agree that the bulk of the population is not doing enough to reduce their own carbon footprint. Many people here in this ‘online community’ will be doing more than most, and some may bristle at your broad-brush painting.

    Are you ‘doing enough’ to reduce your carbon footprint?

  243. bliss Says:
    “That is what economists are telling you. The taxes on petrol (transport generally) do not come close to covering the externalities of your use of transport.”

    Frog described so called externalities as “unpriced”. I don’t need an economist to tell me the obvious. They are not unpriced, they are jolly expensive – whenever we use carbon emitting fuels it costs us a combination of the actual production cost plus profit for the fuel providing companies plus a lot of tax on top of that. The taxes we already pay go towards your externalities. They are not unpriced.

  244. greenfly Says:
    “Those people might be alarmed by AGW, but that doesn’t make them ‘alarmists’. Do you then classify those who aren’t alarmed by AGW, ‘denialists’?”

    Oh for goodness sake!
    Those who are not concerned about AGW either deny that GW is man made or deny that is is a problem of significant concern.
    You are obtusely missing the point. I stand by my position that most of the people who say they are concerned about AGW are not taking significant action to reduce their own carbon footprint while supporting government measures to coerce the total population. That is not to say that there are not examples of people who have made significant efforts to reduce their emissions, just that such people are a minority.

    Are you a hypocricy denialist?

  245. fractional-reserve banking system most characterized by government reserve banks leading the way. This has been a dreadful distortion of the markets

    and

    concerned citizens acting on their concerns in a free market with their purchasing power could be the the most effective way forward

    How on Earth can you do stop fractional reserve banking in a free market? If you want to stop fractional reserve banking you need to outlaw credit. How is that compatible with a free market?

    blissfully

  246. Unpriced externality??? Tell that to me when I fill my petrol tank.

    Yep. That is what economists are telling you. The taxes on petrol (transport generally) do not come close to covering the externalities of your use of transport.

    That is why we need a “carbon tax” of some sort.

    peace
    W

  247. And yes the current government has grasping ways.
    And indeed our governments worldwide have continued the fractional-reserve banking system most characterized by government reserve banks leading the way. This has been a dreadful distortion of the markets. To my mind big government is and has been a more destructive problem than AGW. I don’t see much sign of the Green parties being much different.

    It is good to see that some here see that concerned citizens acting on their concerns in a free market with their purchasing power could be the the most effective way forward whether your main concern is prosperity for the people on the street or AGW or both at the same time. Just google “Free market environmentalism” and you will see plenty to think about.

  248. There in lies your problem sally. Those people might be alarmed by AGW, but that doesn’t make them ‘alarmists’. Do you then classify those who aren’t alarmed by AGW, ‘denialists’?

  249. Greenfly
    “” The majority of the people in the western world say they believe AGW is a major concern ..”
    Are these the people you describe as ‘alarmists’?”

    Yes

  250. sallydeb is right when he describes those distortions to the true market mechanisms. Curse the present government for their grasping ways!

  251. Frog says:
    ” Who’s been talking about totalitarian force? I thought we were discussing a market mechanism to put a legitimate price on an unpriced externality..”

    Unpriced externality??? Tell that to me when I fill my petrol tank. Tell that to producers and transporters of goods who use coal and gas etc. etc. Use of fuels is most certainly not unpriced. The market price of fuels has already been substantially added to with various taxes while public transport is subsidized so we already no longer have a true market mechanism. But that’s not enough “incentive” for you guys is it? You want to use more government authority to distort the market some more.

  252. Neither blind nor deaf nor stupid sallydeb. Perhaps the confusion comes from your definition of a GW alarmist,

    ” The majority of the people in the western world say they believe AGW is a major concern ..”

    Are these the people you describe as ‘alarmists’?

    You certainly are mistress of the sweeping statement!

  253. Sallydeb – show me how a carbon trading system is in any way coercive? Is it not just pricing an unpriced externality in the market? Even if we greens preferred a carbon tax, even a low one, to put this very real price into the market, how is this coercive rather than an appropriate economic response to a market failure?

    Hey, the IRD alone saved over a $100 million with it’s carbon reduction scheme, a net savings to the taxpayer of tens of millions of dollars, but the programme was scrapped by the current govt for ideological reasons. They preferred to lay people off to save money rather than do what is economically efficient.

    People everywhere are making changes. Significant and economically rational changes. You just want to cling to an irrational paradigm and point fingers and share blame. Why don’t you just join us and make the changes that you can make?

  254. Greenfly wants proof that most GW alarmists are not acting on their own belief. Just look around. The majority of the people in the western world say they believe AGW is a major concern and support at least some coercive legislation. This is certainly true of the majority in my circle of aquaintance; in family, work, friends. Also among media commentators, politicians and celebrities. Nearly all of them have not made significant changes in their own carbon footprint consistent with their professed beliefs. Do I have to name them all for you? Are you blind and deaf?

  255. Shunda

    I was responding to someone who was calling CATS a “technofix” and apparently rejecting it on that basis.

    I personally reckon that the species is not smart enough socially to do what it has to without going to war first and failing to do anything at all. Which is why it has never been done before.

    CATS on the other hand, is almost dead easy. It IS a technical fix. It does put off the date by which we MUST fix our social structure. However it is the sort of thing we smartmonkeys are good at and it will allow us to survive the current stupidity.

    Not doing it is quite possibly the same as death.

    Sallydeb – the criminals in the past 30 years, actually the past 300 years, are the bankers. The reason for the problems we have with shrinking middle class, struggling to get by, poverty and wealth stratification all can be sheeted home to the single focus – the currency.

    A long time ago bankers with the help of some economists managed to persuade us that a fractional-reserve banking system was legitimate and this allowed them to create money. Debt-based money. Somewhat later, the innovation of irredeemable currency was introduced. Fiat currency. Today Debt-based, Fractional-Reserve Fiat currency is the only sort used anywhere on the planet.

    What they don’t mention is that the system requires inflation and forces growth of consumption at a small fixed rate IN PERPETUITY, and since this is impossible it suffers massive crashes (sound familiar). It also causes wealth AND power to be concentrated in the hands of the bankers.

    We’re still trying to use this currency because the bankers are still in power. This is actually a schwerpunkt that we could use to force the system to revert to sanity. A place where the current social knot of disorder is vulnerable to cleansing simplification.

    http://mises.org/
    http://www.notjustnotes.ws/howbanksrobyou.htm

    If it were changed here, even here in little New Zealand, the example would collapse the assumptions of the financial world and stop the bubble machine on a global basis.

    With that revolution sustainable economics (saving and spending in balance – the Austrian model) would (I hope) become the normal condition. Growth would slow to a natural rate and could we control our population, it would become technology and efficiency based. In other words REAL.

    The demand to consumeconsumeconsume would cease to be pounded into us through every medium.

    We would still have “poor people”. The fact that our technology already permits a fraction of the population to produce everything that everybody needs or wants is a real problem. It is a different problem to the usual sort of unemployment but it provides a frightening measure of our excess growth of population. Social adjustments needed extend to more than just the banking sector, but there would be a chance.

    Under the current management we would wind up being (on a planetary basis) poorer. The wealthy folks in management (Goldman-Sacks-The-Planet) will wind up wealthier still.

    Yet I accept even that. That is reversible. That is correctable.

    The alternative to action is all too likely to be death for our children.

    That is NOT reversible.

    respectfully
    BJ

  256. Shunda – It’s war in any case, no matter what ideologies you factor in. The largesse of cheap, concentrated, abundant resources we inherited is about half gone, pissed into the atmosphere in a high entropy state, and the children will be fighting over the scraps of the estate while nature forecloses on the property for a failure to live within her means. That’s the apocalyptic version of what’s coming.

    I’m a bit more optimistic than that, but strife is coming and if we don’t start working together, across ideologies and based on the science, those doomsayers will be closer to the truth than bj’s difficult, but optomistic scenario.

  257. sallydeb – Who’s been talking about totalitarian force? I thought we were discussing a market mechanism to put a legitimate price on an unpriced externality that the science says is destroying our prosperity now and holds worse for our children.

    As for living what we preach, what rock have you been hiding under? Are you not aware of the transition town movement, the huge growth of farmer’s markets and localisation in general, the boom in gardening for food and relative self sufficiency? Is there not a reason that big corporates are falling over themselves to greenwash their products? It’s because we are real, a real market force, a real social movement, voting with our dollars as well as as our hearts and ballots.

    Do you feel threatened sallydeb? A natural response to change you don’t understand. But the planet is changing even faster. That’s what I feel threatened by. Humans have never existed on earth with this much carbon in the atmosphere before. I want my kids to enjoy a similar natural environment to what I have, if at all possible.

  258. sallydeb said:

    Most of the GW alarmists are not acting on their belief while insisting that we should all be forced to change our ways. They have no credibility

    You’ll have examples to share with us? Most is quite a claim, but once you’ve shown that you are not just making it up, your argument should look strong.

  259. GW worst case scenario would imply we need to cut back emissions by a large proportion and soon. How many of you GW alarmists are doing that now in your own lives? Are you making the sacrifices that you advocate for all? Do you really believe the effects of GW are so bad?

    Actions speak louder than words. Most of the GW alarmists are not acting on their belief while insisting that we should all be forced to change our ways. They have no credibility; no integrity. If all the people who say they believe anthropomorphic GW is a cause for concern acted on their belief, emissions would be reduced without resorting to enforcing legislation. The majority of people in the western world would be reducing their emissions already. GW denyers are a minority. Attempts to get significant legislative force into place have not been successful.

    Get on with it, act on you own beliefs and use persuasion if you want to change the behaviour of others. Use of totalitarian force is ALWAYS wrong and often less effective in achieving your goals. This has been shown throughout history.

  260. “We have about 10 years to do something we have never done before… social engineering on a global basis and pulling back from the carrying limit of the planet, or building CATS.”

    And just who is going to carry out this “engineering” BJ? and under what ideology.
    Sounds like a recipe for war to me.

  261. Imagine your grandchildren’s weekly salary in the year 2100 if runaway climate change happens and they are living on boiling smogball 5 – 10 degrees hotter than now, with severe droughts, floods, collapsed fisheries, collapsed agriculture, no or no remaining forest cover, civil and world war on a never seen before scale… Their is no economy without a habitable planet… If the science on feedbacks is correct (i.e. the worst case scenario) this is the outcome and so far the climate has been following our worst predictions…

    The solution is obvious to the scientists too, the world needs to spend 5% of its GDP a year for 30 years on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and switching our transport to an electrically based one from renewable energy, research into steel, cement and agricultural prodcution that has little or no emissions, eliminate waste through true recycling and then we need to BUILD and GIVE this to the third world… What is so frustrating is that this will never happen until their is a revolution in the average persons mind or a first world government takes the plunge, makes the changes and proves to the rest of the world that living sustainably will make you richer, richer in money, richer envornmentally, richer in society…

    I used to think that monk who set himself on fire in protest of the Vietnam war was crazy, now I think it’s the only reasonable response..!

  262. Use your imagination a little people. I’m no expert, it is just obvious to me that forcing up the cost of emissions will be detrimental to prosperity. The producers and transporters of the goods and services we use every day, our food, our clothing, our transport, will have to pass their cost on to us. Some of us are struggling to get by now. Consider the possibility that hikes in the cost of oil have contributed to the current economic downturn and job losses – as with the 1970s oil shock.

    If greater efficiencies can be achieved by emission reducing methods, then producers wont need coersion – they will adopt new methods voluntarily.

    Please, please consider the possibility that the effects of further economic depression might be as bad for the well being of people as the speculated effects of global warming.

  263. Trees

    We are smart monkeys. We have some talents and some weaknesses. We grew up and grew too numerous… far faster than our social sciences and social evolution can handle. We have power but no maturity. We have the knowledge to do all sorts of technical tricks but we can’t decide how to govern ourselves.

    The result is that we have not once, ever in history, limited ourselves to populations that did not stretch the carrying capacity of our environment. We cannot control our appetite for sugar, alcohol or procreation, and we cannot control our larger social structures called government well either.

    We have strengths and weaknesses. Our weakness is in our poorly evolved social communication and self governance abilities. Our strengths are in the physical sciences.

    The “technofix” I described plays to our strengths and has a couple of redeeming features that may have escaped notice as they differ from just making a more efficient engine or developing a new fuel from stuff we have on this planet. CATS is a game changer for the human species. It takes us from being confined to a single planet to being able to inhabit space itself… and there is a lot of that. It buys centuries more in the quest to finally figure out how to govern ourselves.

    …and it has one very important consideration. Before we can pursue equitable solutions or permanent solutions we have to ensure our species survival.

    We have about 10 years to do something we have never done before… social engineering on a global basis and pulling back from the carrying limit of the planet, or building CATS.

    One of them plays to our strengths, the other to our weakness.

    respectfully
    BJ

  264. i would think that sustainability and investment in things like renewable energy would be a good move…

  265. I have it as a tenet of my optimism, that the Chinese will get the Venturestar design and build it, giving them CATS and a means to build mirrors up there to alter the insolation. It isn’t JUST atmospheric chemistry.

    BJ

  266. it isnt quite as doomy as lovelock, but potentially where things are going if status quo keeps up the head in the sand pretenses. not something to read to the little ones each night before bed.. :(

    looking forward to tonight’s consultation meeting – climate camp, save happy valley, green and greenpeace messages amongst others will be strongly given to the govt representatives.

    http://www.climatecamp.org.nz
    http://www.greens.org.nz
    http://www.savehappyvalley.org.nz
    http://www.greenpeace.org.nz

    get involved – get active

  267. For those interested in climate change and the impact it may have on societies around the world I recommend this podcast series from Gwynne Dyer. It’s based on his latest book Climate Wars. He interviews experts, like James Hansen, and looks at the scenarios military analysts are developing for various governments as climate change triggers an unparalleled crisis.

    http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/features/climate-wars/index.html

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