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View Diary: Saving the Earth is Not An Ego Trip (44 comments)

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  •  So Socialism will save the environment? (3+ / 0-)
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    A Siegel, FerrisValyn, Cassiodorus

    There are so many things wrong here.

    I've yet to see any evidence that any "collectivist" entities have done any better on the environment, and have probably done worse. See China and Soviet Union for details.

    Your dismissiveness towards Cap and Trade schemes is unfounded, and your reliance upon Kyoto as an example of cap and trade failing is a complete non-sequiter.  Kyoto failed because LDCs were not made signatories, and the US refused to join.  That's not a failure of Cap and Trade (which would lower emissions, and has where it has been tried), but rather a failue of diplomacy.  

    And you're also incorrect about the "air-tightness" of the LDC argument that they should get to pollute too (therefore, you posit, we should separate them from the capitalist system.  In other words, socialism will save them!).  The simple and direct response to that is that there is no reason for LDCs to spend any time in a fossil-fuel heavy economy at all.  We can jump them up to a 21st century energy grid, and it will benefit both our business and labor interests and the global environment.  Too argue otherwise is to argue that all nations should go through a horse-powered economic stage as well.

    But I do see where you're coming from: if Cap and Trade were implemented, it would be capitalism being used to improve the environment, and that destroys your facile "capitalism iz teh bad" world-view.

    I could go on like this, but I'll take a pass on the rest since it's all grounded in the same faulty assumptions.

    "When your enemies are throwing Teabagging Protests, mock them." -- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

    by Maimonides on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 10:17:23 AM PDT

    •  So... (0+ / 0-)

      There are so many things wrong here.

      Will having a big ego and supporting regimes of profit save the Earth?

      I've yet to see any evidence that any "collectivist" entities have done any better on the environment, and have probably done worse. See China and Soviet Union for details.

      The Chinese regime under Mao was far more environmentally friendly (although not intentionally so) than the PRC is at present.  Please see Minqi Li's book "The Rise of China and the Demise of the Capitalist System."

      Both the Chinese and the Soviet regimes were "mercantilist semi-retreats" from the world system, for the sake of authoritarian forced-march "catch-ups" with the capitalist world.  Please see Kees van der Pijl's history Global Rivalries from the Cold War to Iraq for the details.

      Moreover, the PRC and the USSR do not by any stretch of the imagination exhaust the possibilities for socialism.

      Kyoto failed because LDCs were not made signatories, and the US refused to join.

      That's not the case.  GHG emissions among the signatories have themselves increased.  Please read Raupach et al. in '07's PNAS.

      The simple and direct response to that is that there is no reason for LDCs to spend any time in a fossil-fuel heavy economy at all.  We can jump them up to a 21st century energy grid, and it will benefit both our business and labor interests and the global environment.

      It will still be FAR cheaper for them to use fossil fuels, and cheap matters when only 0.1% of India's public is in the "middle classes."

      I could go on like this, but I'll take a pass on the rest since it's all grounded in the same faulty assumptions.

      It is your assumption that is faulty.  Let's see your disproof of Prew.

      "You must do what you feel is right, of course" -- Obi-Wan Kenobi, in Episode IV

      by Cassiodorus on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 11:04:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Point by Point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FerrisValyn, Cassiodorus

        The Chinese regime under Mao was far more environmentally friendly (although not intentionally so) than the PRC is at present

        This is like arguing that the US was more environmentally friendly in 1850.  And regarding that, and your second point, if you can only argue from the POV of collectivist systems that do not exist, you aren't proving anything.

        That's not the case.  GHG emissions among the signatories have themselves increased.

        This is still not a failure of cap and trade.  That's a failure of diplomacy and enforcement.  From the game theory perspective, if everyone else is cheating (not participating) why should I?

        It will still be FAR cheaper for them to use fossil fuels, and cheap matters when only 0.1% of India's public is in the "middle classes."

        There's an embedded assumption in there--a false one--that the total extraction and plant building for them would be cheaper than the renewable generation.  Simply not true any more.

        As for Prew, that's easy to refute.  He uses the "economics violates thermodynamics" fallacy, which, as any physicist will tell you is an application of physical laws to another subject, and invalid.

        The moral of that story: never send a sociologist (especially one who's a closet socialist) to an economic summit. We'll eat his lunch, and then explain to him why it wasn't free.

        BTW, my ego received quite a boost from the tip I received from A Siegal, local energy expert.  He apparently agreed with me, which makes me happy.

        "When your enemies are throwing Teabagging Protests, mock them." -- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

        by Maimonides on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 11:25:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I may not be A Siegal, but (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cassiodorus, Maimonides

          I hope my tip builds your ego as well :D

        •  All to no avail (0+ / 0-)

          This is like arguing that the US was more environmentally friendly in 1850.

          So the US was a "socialist" regime in 1850?  Either you must give up the "socialist" bogeyman at this point, or admit that capitalist "growth" is not good for the environment.

          This is still not a failure of cap and trade.  That's a failure of diplomacy and enforcement.  From the game theory perspective, if everyone else is cheating (not participating) why should I?

          Oh, I see.  So from some "ideal" cap and trade reality ("if you can only argue from the POV of cap-and-trade systems that do not exist, you aren't proving anything," to paraphrase what you just said)...

          There's an embedded assumption in there--a false one--that the total extraction and plant building for them would be cheaper than the renewable generation.  Simply not true any more.

          Reality says otherwise.  And this assumption itself needs to be proven, rather than merely asserted.

          As for Prew, that's easy to refute.  He uses the "economics violates thermodynamics" fallacy, which, as any physicist will tell you is an application of physical laws to another subject, and invalid.

          So one reality for thermodynamic phenomena, and another for economic phenomena?

          "You must do what you feel is right, of course" -- Obi-Wan Kenobi, in Episode IV

          by Cassiodorus on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 11:42:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Do you often feel quixotic? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cassiodorus

            So the US was a "socialist" regime in 1850?  Either you must give up the "socialist" bogeyman at this point, or admit that capitalist "growth" is not good for the environment.

            You're conflating capitalism with the industrial revolution, which are related but not the same.  I chose the point in history because industrialization in the US was just getting started, a parallel to Mao's China.  Find me a real example of how socialism is more environmentally conscious.

            Oh, I see.  So from some "ideal" cap and trade reality ("if you can only argue from the POV of cap-and-trade systems that do not exist, you aren't proving anything," to paraphrase what you just said)...

            Huh?  You must not be aware of the working cap and trade systems.  Again, you've yet to point to a failure of cap and trade, preferring to point to a treaty that is universally considered flawed and a failure.

            Reality says otherwise.  And this assumption itself needs to be proven, rather than merely asserted

            So you're saying that it's more expensive to purchase wind and solar panels with zero need for fuels than it is to build coal-fired generation and proceed with expensive extraction.  I think that point makes itself, and current fuel and extraction costs bear this out.

            So one reality for thermodynamic phenomena, and another for economic phenomena

            By jove I think you've got it!  I don't expect economics to follow ANY physical laws.  It has no inertia, no magnetism, and no friction.  To apply thermodynamics, which appliles to closed physical systems, not open economic markets, is just wrong-headed.  It would be the same as applying chemistry to anthropology and then wondering why culture doesn't follow physical laws.

            "When your enemies are throwing Teabagging Protests, mock them." -- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

            by Maimonides on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 11:56:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Just silliness (0+ / 0-)

              Find me a real example of how socialism is more environmentally conscious.

              Uh, Cuba?

              You must not be aware of the working cap and trade systems.

              Show, don't tell.

              So you're saying that it's more expensive to purchase wind and solar panels with zero need for fuels

              You can make wind and solar panels with zero need for fuels?

              I think that point makes itself

              Tell the Chinese -- I await the spectacular results!

              To apply thermodynamics, which appliles to closed physical systems

              No laws of thermodynamics apply to open physical systems?

              "You must do what you feel is right, of course" -- Obi-Wan Kenobi, in Episode IV

              by Cassiodorus on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 12:04:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Got to jump in here (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Maimonides

                No laws of thermodynamics apply to open physical systems?

                You have to appriciate the level at which various sciences act.  From a purely theorectical stand point, all of science should be able to be merged, into 1 giant equation, which means that at some point, the open economic theories could be merged into the closed physical theories of thermodynamics.  HOWEVER, to see that happen would require much deeper and greater understandings than we currently have.  We are just beginning to probe how to merge the sciences of sociology, economics, and neurological bio-chemistry, but we are at VERY early stages.  To move that to include things like physics, and thermodynamics, is a scale that we can't even approach.  

                In short, unless there is a very specific reason (like the thermo energy released from the sun going supernova, thus ending all human economics) applying physics principles to economics is a mistake.

                •  I can't seem to get him to accept this. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Cassiodorus

                  But I think his belief in this Prew person has something to do with it. God save me from hippie sociology professors and those that read them.

                  "When your enemies are throwing Teabagging Protests, mock them." -- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

                  by Maimonides on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:06:58 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yeah -- (0+ / 0-)

                    But I think his belief in this Prew person has something to do with it. God save me from hippie sociology professors and those that read them.

                    You don't need God for that -- you've discovered the easy way out, which is to avoid examining Prew's arguments.  Good sweeping dismissals help preserve the ideology in your head against the possibility of alternative ways of thinking.

                    "You must do what you feel is right, of course" -- Obi-Wan Kenobi, in Episode IV

                    by Cassiodorus on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:39:12 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  start with: (0+ / 0-)

                  Joan Martinez-Alier, Ecological Eocnomics
                  John Peet, Energy and the Ecological Eocnomics of Sustainability
                  Robert H. Edgerton, Available Energy and Environmental Economics
                  Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, The Entropy Law and the Economic Process

                  "You must do what you feel is right, of course" -- Obi-Wan Kenobi, in Episode IV

                  by Cassiodorus on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 11:21:48 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Still tilting at my windmills? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cassiodorus

                Cuba’s progress obviously has a LOT to do with having no other choices (once the trade embargo with the US, and the collapse of the Soviet Union cut off most its external trade).

                -- From the report YOU cited.  Reading is fundamental.

                California SOx & NOx for starters, Europe is trading C02, look them up, it's only a google away!  

                You can make wind and solar panels with zero need for fuels?

                At a lower cost than the plant.  Apples to apples, generator to generator, fuel to fuel.

                Tell the Chinese -- I await the spectacular results!

                So do I!  The contracts that resulted in their current spate of coal-fired build-out were signed in the 90s.  Welcome to the world of long time horizons.

                No laws of thermodynamics apply to open physical systems?

                The universe is a closed system.  You're going to have to show how thermodynamics applies to economics to make this work.  And you can't, but I'll give you the opening and let you try.

                "When your enemies are throwing Teabagging Protests, mock them." -- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

                by Maimonides on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 12:15:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Now you're just babbling (0+ / 0-)

                  At a lower cost than the plant.

                  Last I checked, it still took fuel to make solar panels.

                  -- From the report YOU cited.  Reading is fundamental.

                  I'm sure that invalidates the idea of ecological socialism tout court.

                  The contracts that resulted in their current spate of coal-fired build-out were signed in the 90s.

                  How many degrees of global warming in the long run?

                  You're going to have to show how thermodynamics applies to economics to make this work.

                  Go back and read Prew.

                  "You must do what you feel is right, of course" -- Obi-Wan Kenobi, in Episode IV

                  by Cassiodorus on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 12:42:14 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I see you've given up. So goes socialism. nt (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Cassiodorus

                    "When your enemies are throwing Teabagging Protests, mock them." -- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

                    by Maimonides on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 12:56:13 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So please declare victory (0+ / 0-)

                      and go home.  After all, it was relatively cheap -- you didn't need to deploy any evidence.

                      "You must do what you feel is right, of course" -- Obi-Wan Kenobi, in Episode IV

                      by Cassiodorus on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:00:19 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You've insisted on misunderstanding things I've (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Cassiodorus

                        explained to you twice (the difference between fuels and generators), and you continue to rely on thermodynamics and this sad "prew" character's mischaracterization of it's relation to economics to support your wn misconceptions.  

                        I can't help you if you won't admit you have a problem.

                        And a rhetorical victory it is.

                        "When your enemies are throwing Teabagging Protests, mock them." -- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

                        by Maimonides on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:05:23 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  So if I were problem-free (0+ / 0-)

                          I can't help you if you won't admit you have a problem.

                          I would accept your conclusions without the least hint of evidence supporting them?

                          "You must do what you feel is right, of course" -- Obi-Wan Kenobi, in Episode IV

                          by Cassiodorus on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:33:07 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You ignore them entirely. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Cassiodorus

                            You've yet to address the problem of using thermodynamics, and you keep not understanding the difference between fuels and generators.  I can spell it out for you again "It takes fuel to make all generation, but once a generator is built then there is a distinct difference between those that require extraction (fossil and nuclear) and those which are, by definition, renewable."

                            And really, citing some socialist thinkers who don't know that economics isn't a physical science is no way to convince me.

                            "When your enemies are throwing Teabagging Protests, mock them." -- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

                            by Maimonides on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:51:31 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  This is a problem only in your head (0+ / 0-)

                            which continues to tell you that we shouldn't "go there."

                            "You must do what you feel is right, of course" -- Obi-Wan Kenobi, in Episode IV

                            by Cassiodorus on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:57:22 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  A Siegel also rec'd and tipped this diary (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Maimonides

          go figure.

          "You must do what you feel is right, of course" -- Obi-Wan Kenobi, in Episode IV

          by Cassiodorus on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 11:45:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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