Author Topic: The Official Climate Change Thread  (Read 19609 times)

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Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #35 on: September 04, 2012, 11:49:51 AM »
It's amazing, but time and time again I've seen that government really is the problem. It's also unfortunate because they would provide the swiftest and most effective solution by merit of their being the government.

Makes me wish there was another entity that could be trusted with enacting sweeping environmental change.
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Offline Orthogonal

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #36 on: September 06, 2012, 09:31:24 PM »
I hear what you are saying. Political activism seems like the easiest and simplest solution, but it's clear that in practice that is a no go.

I've said this before, but it is worth reiterating. The real answer to protecting the environment is by clearly defined and enforced property rights. Having said that, it doesn't mean that is necessarily an easy thing to do, which is why people feel the need to gravitate to a governmental solution because property rights are so difficult to define in something so dynamic and open, but this is the way to do it.

If you are interested:
http://mises.org/etexts/environfreedom.pdf
 

Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #37 on: September 06, 2012, 09:41:57 PM »
How are property rights going to help with what is literally a global problem, both in its causation and its eventual consequences?
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Offline Orthogonal

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #38 on: September 06, 2012, 10:04:57 PM »
How are property rights going to help with what is literally a global problem, both in its causation and its eventual consequences?

Because the things that are being effected by it are not owned by anyone. Oceans, atmosphere etc... If we had clearly defined and enforced property rights, then they would be protected in the same way your lawn would be protected from someone dumping garbage in your yard. It is an invasion of your property rights and the offender's are charged with crimes (criminal, not just civil) and injunctions are put in place. Now, like I said, defining property rights for the Ocean and atmosphere is no easy task, but that is the solution.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 10:12:39 PM by Orthogonal »

Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #39 on: September 06, 2012, 10:28:40 PM »
But I suppose part of your solution would be to hand over those property rights to corporations, right? Businesses who can achieve optimal use of resources as well as efficiency.
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Offline Orthogonal

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #40 on: September 06, 2012, 10:55:03 PM »
hand over? No.

There's no reason it couldn't also be owned by a conservationist.

"who can achieve optimal use of resources" is completely subjective. Some people think the Earth is theirs to pillage, others think they are stewards to protect it in its natural state. Neither is necessarily right or wrong. However, If it is owned privately, it is more likely to remain healthy and sustainable over the long term.

EDIT: If you read the paper I linked above, it actually talks about how the very idea you brought up is the reason we are in the place we are today with respect to the environment because of government. In the early 1800's, property rights were vigorously enforced in protecting health and property from industrialization, however, by the 1850's, the modus operandi had changed to "the good of society" so health and environmental concerns took a back seat to progress. It has been that way since.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 11:14:45 PM by Orthogonal »

Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #41 on: September 07, 2012, 05:26:28 AM »
Are not health and environmental concerns part of what would be considered "the good of society?" And how would one give property rights to conservationists/environmentalists except through government institutions and NGOs such as advocacy groups? Not to mention the trouble that solving these environmental problems requires an active approach rather than a conservationist one.
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Offline Orthogonal

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #42 on: September 07, 2012, 03:22:55 PM »
You would think that environmental and health concerns would be for "the good of society", but it wasn't for over 100 years. It was only in the late part of the 20th century that people began to again see it in those terms and by then the the State sponsorship of Corporations was fully entrenched.

You don't need the government to "give" property rights to conservationists/environmentalists or other advocacy groups. If they homestead or purchase and own the region in question, it is theirs and the governments only function would be to protect those property rights from aggression. Given their historical track record, I wouldn't hold my breath. However, You wouldn't need an "active approach" to solve the environmental problems, conservation will work just fine. The "active" portion is built into the legal structure of protecting property rights.

Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #43 on: September 07, 2012, 06:52:58 PM »
You would think that environmental and health concerns would be for "the good of society", but it wasn't for over 100 years. It was only in the late part of the 20th century that people began to again see it in those terms and by then the the State sponsorship of Corporations was fully entrenched.

You don't need the government to "give" property rights to conservationists/environmentalists or other advocacy groups. If they homestead or purchase and own the region in question, it is theirs and the governments only function would be to protect those property rights from aggression. Given their historical track record, I wouldn't hold my breath. However, You wouldn't need an "active approach" to solve the environmental problems, conservation will work just fine. The "active" portion is built into the legal structure of protecting property rights.

Conservation is not going to keep our greenhouse gases down to a safe level, or bring them down 50 ppm in the next century. The actions of mitigation and adaptation to climate change are necessarily activist.
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Offline Orthogonal

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #44 on: September 12, 2012, 09:50:24 AM »
Greenhouse gases are a little more complicated since they aren't something associated as a direct harm against property. I can understand why people would say this is something so big and complicated that a Government is the only plausible solution. It certainly seems so at first glance.

Were it not for the State, people would be much more willing to accept the Science behind it. Most "Deniers" arrived at their opposition to the research because of its association with political activism to impose draconian regulations and their distrust of the State and not because of the data in the theory. Once people accept the science behind it, the market will very quickly adapt and change to reflect desire of consumers.

I don't know that the Scientific community can gain the support of the far-right at this point for GW, it's far too politically polarizing now, but what I do know is that putting its fate in the hands of the State is a very dangerous proposition. You really want to turn over the future of the environment over to the same people that invade other countries, torture prisoners and borrow/print money for any boondoggle they desire? This is a non-starter.

Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2012, 11:56:48 AM »
You really want to turn the future of the environment over to the same entity who began creating these problems in the first place? The ones whose business model necessarily requires further environmental damage and indefinitely into the future?
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Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #46 on: September 12, 2012, 12:08:15 PM »
You know, there's a reason why libertarianism is basically a fringe concept that's never gained any meaningful traction in our society.    "Property Rights" is not a panacea.  And it won't solve the global warming problem. 


Broken down to its simplest elements, global warming is the result of the burning of fossil fuels.  Until or unless we, as a society in general, stop or reduce the amount of fossil fuels we burn, it will continue to be a problem and no amount of "property rights" is going to change that.




Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #47 on: September 12, 2012, 12:21:42 PM »
I normally try to avoid agreeing with people who randomly shout the names of handsome Mexican actors at the top of their lungs, but you're right on it.
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Offline Orthogonal

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #48 on: September 12, 2012, 10:11:52 PM »
You know, there's a reason why libertarianism is basically a fringe concept that's never gained any meaningful traction in our society.    "Property Rights" is not a panacea.  And it won't solve the global warming problem. 

History would disagree (See America circa 1776 for one particularly good example), but go ahead and believe that.

Quote
Broken down to its simplest elements, global warming is the result of the burning of fossil fuels.  Until or unless we, as a society in general, stop or reduce the amount of fossil fuels we burn, it will continue to be a problem and no amount of "property rights" is going to change that.

You really want to turn the future of the environment over to the same entity who began creating these problems in the first place? The ones whose business model necessarily requires further environmental damage and indefinitely into the future?

That's essentially what I just said, if "society in general" accepted it, no business who operates against this principle could hope to survive. It still doesn't explain how a government is going to solve the problem. The same guys who fight bloody wars over oil are the ones who are going to green up the world? I still haven't seen either of you make a case that the government could make it work. Waving the magic regulation wand isn't good enough, there's a political structure in place that makes any meaningful green agenda a non-starter.

Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #49 on: September 13, 2012, 05:53:54 AM »
It already has begun working. With government intervention, since Obama's term began, we've saved hundreds of millions of barrels of oil every year, and we've raised the fuel standard, closed a bunch of coal-fired power plants, subsidized more solar and wind projects, etc. And guess what? After that, 2011 became the first year in which America's carbon output was a net loss.

It's really amazing how libertarians and Republicans call liberals the hopeless idealists, yet hold up this free market utopia with so many unrealistic expectations. I support the government intervention approach because there is real evidence that it has worked, whereas the ills of a totally free market have been proven repeatedly and rather definitively.
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Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #50 on: September 14, 2012, 05:37:05 AM »

It's really amazing how libertarians and Republicans call liberals the hopeless idealists, yet hold up this free market utopia with so many unrealistic expectations. I support the government intervention approach because there is real evidence that it has worked, whereas the ills of a totally free market have been proven repeatedly and rather definitively.


Even more amazing that defenders of the libertarian utopia need to go back some 250 years to find an example of when libertarianism was anything more than a fringe concept.

Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #51 on: September 14, 2012, 06:43:10 AM »

It's really amazing how libertarians and Republicans call liberals the hopeless idealists, yet hold up this free market utopia with so many unrealistic expectations. I support the government intervention approach because there is real evidence that it has worked, whereas the ills of a totally free market have been proven repeatedly and rather definitively.


Even more amazing that defenders of the libertarian utopia need to go back some 250 years to find an example of when libertarianism was anything more than a fringe concept.

And even if it wasn't, 1776 was neither purely libertarian nor entirely ideal.
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Offline theseoafs

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #52 on: September 14, 2012, 08:44:11 AM »
It wasn't even close to being ideal.  In fact, the lack of federal authority over the states was making things really difficult.  That's why we needed to enact the Constitution.

Offline Orthogonal

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #53 on: September 14, 2012, 12:45:10 PM »
I think you guys are all starting to take this off topic a bit, but I don't know why you think I'm pushing some sort of Utopianism. No, there has never been an ideal Libertarian society, and I agree that it has been a fringe concept for pretty much all of human history. History is replete with power struggles and conflicts. I'm merely proposing a solution to the OP. It's about time we move Liberty into the mainstream.

SuperDude says that we have begun to see some improvements with Green policies in the US in lowering green house gas emissions. Ok, great, now what do we do about China, India and the rest of the quickly modernizing world? Unless you are going to propose a world government that can oversee environmental issues on a global scale, you're solution no less a pipe dream than what I've said. This still doesn't solve the problem of Ocean's and the atmosphere. No one owns them, so they will always be compromised. Without clearly defined ownership, they will never be fully protected.

Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #54 on: September 14, 2012, 12:52:18 PM »
Among other things, you seem to forget that the US is actually still the worst offender. China is installing at least as many wind, solar and hydro plants as coal plants, and European states such as Norway are doing fantastically at developing a green infrastructure. Funny also that the countries doing the best job at it are ones with big government and high tax rates, and they're also weathering global recession unusually well.

Also, I was not aware liberty was a fringe concept? ???
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Offline Orthogonal

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #55 on: September 14, 2012, 05:55:41 PM »
Among other things, you seem to forget that the US is actually still the worst offender. China is installing at least as many wind, solar and hydro plants as coal plants, and European states such as Norway are doing fantastically at developing a green infrastructure. Funny also that the countries doing the best job at it are ones with big government and high tax rates, and they're also weathering global recession unusually well.

I guess there's no further point in discussing this. I've tried to explain opportunity costs before, but I guess it's not to be. Most pro big government folks are blind to it because it shatters the foundation of their entire belief structure.

Quote
Also, I was not aware liberty was a fringe concept? ???

Well, the practice or application of it surely is fringe, even though the concept is fairly well known. There are a few societies in history that were successful in living in true Liberty without any apparatus known as the State, but they were all eventually swallowed by expanding States.

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #56 on: September 14, 2012, 06:52:22 PM »
Among other things, you seem to forget that the US is actually still the worst offender. China is installing at least as many wind, solar and hydro plants as coal plants, and European states such as Norway are doing fantastically at developing a green infrastructure. Funny also that the countries doing the best job at it are ones with big government and high tax rates, and they're also weathering global recession unusually well.

I guess there's no further point in discussing this. I've tried to explain opportunity costs before, but I guess it's not to be. Most pro big government folks are blind to it because it shatters the foundation of their entire belief structure.

Quote
Also, I was not aware liberty was a fringe concept? ???

Well, the practice or application of it surely is fringe, even though the concept is fairly well known. There are a few societies in history that were successful in living in true Liberty without any apparatus known as the State, but they were all eventually swallowed by expanding States.

Most sense you've made in the whole exchange.
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Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #57 on: September 14, 2012, 09:01:14 PM »
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Offline Scheavo

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #58 on: September 15, 2012, 12:08:53 PM »
but they were all eventually swallowed by expanding States.

Which, you would notice, is the number end-all complaint I have raised against your, time and time again.

For those interested in practical discussion: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/sep/14/nuclear-global-warming

Until liberal environmentalists come around to this fact, we really aren't going anywhere too soon. Nuclear isn't bad, it isn't something to be massively afraid of, and it can help us bridge the problem created by storing energy (sun is only active half the day, wind is sporadic, etc).

I'll have to do some searching, cause I heard this over a month ago, but I remember one guy talking about climate and the midwest - and how if we grain fed our cattle, instead of massively producing corn, not only would the soil conditions have been better, but the drought they were experiencing would probably not be occurring, and co2 emissions would be much less. The issue doesn't solely come down to our energy use, but our food system, our transportation system, etc. It's basically a gigantic problem with the way our entire society is set up to operate and currently runs.

My advice, is to move away from coastal cities, deserts and start thinking about the future. Individually. It much too complex of a problem to have a one size fits all solution. Government could help us along in terms of our energy infrastructure, but they aren't going to change our habits of driving in from the suburbs, or the food we eat, etc.

Offline Super Dude

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #59 on: September 15, 2012, 01:48:17 PM »
Not to mention consistently more people die from coal and oil well accidents each year than from nuclear accidents. And that's not counting the black lung and whatnot that just come from normal, everyday exposure to that smut on a daily basis.

As for the second bit, I totally agree with you, but the problem is in the timing. A piecemeal process towards sustainable society would've been a great thing to start 40 years ago (and of course I'm not against it taking place today), but the longer we take the more radical the solution that's called for. It's unfortunate but it's a fact of hiding from a problem rather than actively confronting it. The reason federal governments have to get involved now is because people didn't individually move towards a solution until the '90s or so.
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Offline Scheavo

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #60 on: September 15, 2012, 02:04:48 PM »
But what are the solutions you're talking about that the government needs to do? Something drastic like blocking some of the suns rays to cool the earth, or something sensible like directing national resources to being more energy efficient, or changing our subsidies and farming practices to sequester more carbon?

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #61 on: September 15, 2012, 02:16:49 PM »
Definitely the latter. Sequestration projects, solar panels and wind farms (apparently Apple is constructing a huge solar panel complex), more fuel efficient/oil independent cars, etc. etc. Although yeah, the longer we wait, the more ridiculously drastic we're looking at.
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Offline Chino

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #62 on: September 20, 2012, 03:50:48 AM »
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2012/09/201292051955741907.html

Quote
As the ice cap melts over Greenland vast amounts of methane - a greenhouse gas - trapped in the permafrost are likely to be released.

The methane comes from the remains of the region's plant and animal life trapped in sediment and later covered by ice sheets in the last Ice Age.

Methane is 25 times more efficient at trapping solar heat than carbon dioxide. As the methane is released into the atmosphere and the planet warms further due to the greenhouse effect, more ice in turn melts, freeing up locked-up carbon.

Offline Chino

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #63 on: September 20, 2012, 03:54:29 AM »
But what are the solutions you're talking about that the government needs to do? Something drastic like blocking some of the suns rays to cool the earth, or something sensible like directing national resources to being more energy efficient, or changing our subsidies and farming practices to sequester more carbon?

By 2022 every production vehicle must get a minimum of a 150 mile range on an 8 hour charge. If your vehicle does not meet these standards, it can't be sold in this country.

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #64 on: September 20, 2012, 05:20:10 AM »
That sounds about right.
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Offline Chino

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #65 on: September 20, 2012, 07:43:09 AM »
Why we aren't focusing on hydrogen fuel cells is also beyond me. We also need to utilize the fuck out of nuclear power and focus as many resources as we can on nuclear fusion. It's a shame that the mishaps in Chernobyl and Japan have really tainted people's perception of nuclear energy. I'm no engineer, but it can't be hard to design a nuclear facility that is 99.9% safe, even in the event of a massive catastrophe. I'm not saying it is easy or cheap, but I'm fucking sick of seeing price caps put on projects that will directly (and with almost 100% certainty) affect the fate of our species. But hey, an event resulting in the near extinction of the human race wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.

Offline theseoafs

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #66 on: September 20, 2012, 07:45:23 AM »
I can't remember:  does nuclear energy provide us with a net energy gain?

Offline Chino

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #67 on: September 20, 2012, 07:56:00 AM »
I can't remember:  does nuclear energy provide us with a net energy gain?

If it is a system with a little amounts of fusion occurring, you will see very little net gain. There are two other types of systems. One that operates in a constant state through a magnetic confinement, and one that achieves extremely high temperature/density. Both of those tend to yield huge net gains... from what I understand anyway. I'm not a physicist.


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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #68 on: September 20, 2012, 11:59:21 AM »
Why we aren't focusing on hydrogen fuel cells is also beyond me. We also need to utilize the fuck out of nuclear power and focus as many resources as we can on nuclear fusion. It's a shame that the mishaps in Chernobyl and Japan have really tainted people's perception of nuclear energy. I'm no engineer, but it can't be hard to design a nuclear facility that is 99.9% safe, even in the event of a massive catastrophe. I'm not saying it is easy or cheap, but I'm fucking sick of seeing price caps put on projects that will directly (and with almost 100% certainty) affect the fate of our species. But hey, an event resulting in the near extinction of the human race wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.

The answer you're looking for is thorium.
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Offline Scheavo

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #69 on: September 20, 2012, 01:16:01 PM »
I can't remember:  does nuclear energy provide us with a net energy gain?

If it is a system with a little amounts of fusion occurring, you will see very little net gain. There are two other types of systems. One that operates in a constant state through a magnetic confinement, and one that achieves extremely high temperature/density. Both of those tend to yield huge net gains... from what I understand anyway. I'm not a physicist.

I think you mean fission. Nuclear fusion still isn't possible, not without a big, big boom.