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Author Topic: Seriously, though, how would a libertarian society address global warming?  (Read 27431 times)
MoonShadow
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December 08, 2011, 02:02:51 AM
 #421


That's funny, but not only do I have no corporate interest in the topic, I actually understand much of the underlying science.  At the politcal level, particularly surrounding the UN, understanding of the science and thus the real risks are lacking.  Of course, the real risks are beside the point, since the real goals of most of those political agents is to use the fear of an unknown (possible climate catastrophy) to consolidate political power at the UN level.

The best answer to what the real science says about the future of global climate is basicly "we don't really know yet".

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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December 08, 2011, 07:19:18 AM
 #422

The best answer to what the real science says about the future of global climate is basicly "we don't really know yet".

From my understanding it's more like "We have a clear indication that ..." meaning that while they don't really know everything since they're dealing with complex systems their current understanding points to bad things. 
Then you have the politicians who have to cry wolf to get anything done.

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December 08, 2011, 01:36:45 PM
 #423

The best answer to what the real science says about the future of global climate is basicly "we don't really know yet".

From my understanding it's more like "We have a clear indication that ..." meaning that while they don't really know everything since they're dealing with complex systems their current understanding points to bad things. 
Then you have the politicians who have to cry wolf to get anything done.

There is a clear indication that the climate is trending warmer, and has been since the end of the 'little ice age'.  There is also a clear indication that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.  There is not a clear connection between the two.  The environment is a very complex system and the concentration of CO2 a very small part of it.  Both the climate and the level of atmospheric CO2 are in constant flux over millienia, but the CO2 concentration tends to be a lagging indicator; implying that the increases of CO2 in the atmosphere are an effect of a warming global climate, not a cause.  Although it's certainly possible that CO2 is, itself, a feedback loop.  There is no indication, nor any logical reason to assume, that even a tripling of the amount of carbon in the air would result in a catastrophic degree of climate change.  Even a 4 degree global change would take at least a century to materialize.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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December 08, 2011, 03:29:19 PM
 #424

There is a clear indication that the climate is trending warmer, and has been since the end of the 'little ice age'.  There is also a clear indication that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.  There is not a clear connection between the two.  The environment is a very complex system and the concentration of CO2 a very small part of it.  Both the climate and the level of atmospheric CO2 are in constant flux over millienia, but the CO2 concentration tends to be a lagging indicator; implying that the increases of CO2 in the atmosphere are an effect of a warming global climate, not a cause.  Although it's certainly possible that CO2 is, itself, a feedback loop.  There is no indication, nor any logical reason to assume, that even a tripling of the amount of carbon in the air would result in a catastrophic degree of climate change.  Even a 4 degree global change would take at least a century to materialize.

The only references to this are publications that don't exactly have the highest academic credibility. Is there any serious research going into this? I have a feeling that most researchers are quite honest and if there was something going on we'd see more peer reviewed papers about it.

Does it really matter if it takes a century to materialize? You're not really that egocentric that you're willing to screw your children and grandchildren for the comfort of driving a SUV today, are you?

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December 08, 2011, 06:55:41 PM
 #425

Does it really matter if it takes a century to materialize? You're not really that egocentric that you're willing to screw your children and grandchildren for the comfort of driving a SUV today, are you?

Yes. If it takes so long that our descendants can engineer their bodies by then, they might be glad we pulled out all the stops to allow them the chance to exist. Tolerating some pollution may enable some fantastic technological developments. Whether or not it's worth it is not my place to say.
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December 08, 2011, 07:00:17 PM
 #426

I encourage destruction of this planet. I applaud the pollution of remaining potable water, breathable air and fertile terrain. That will only give us further incentive to leave this blue sphere and reach for the stars. Maybe, just maybe, it will be the ignition to get us to a post-scarcity situation. Humanity has already proven itself as a virus on a smaller scale. We might as well embrace the role to its fullest potential; to the rest of the universe and possibly beyond.

@HarveyAlpha (https://twitter.com/#!/HarveyAlpha) | It would be foolish to assert that there is no power above mine. Only the attitude that I take toward it will be quite another than that of the religious age: I shall be the enemy of every higher power.
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December 08, 2011, 07:11:30 PM
 #427

I encourage destruction of this planet. I applaud the pollution of remaining potable water, breathable air and fertile terrain. That will only give us further incentive to leave this blue sphere and reach for the stars. Maybe, just maybe, it will be the ignition to get us to a post-scarcity situation. Humanity has already proven itself as a virus on a smaller scale. We might as well embrace the role to its fullest potential; to the rest of the universe and possibly beyond.

Well Atlas, that certainly puts your opinions on the role of the state as part of a civilised society in context.  If your objective is elimination of life on Earth as we move to a "post scarcity situation in the starts," or Heaven as my old Grannie called it, then clearly anything that impedes that goal will be against your ideology.

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December 08, 2011, 07:20:18 PM
 #428

There is a clear indication that the climate is trending warmer, and has been since the end of the 'little ice age'.  There is also a clear indication that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.  There is not a clear connection between the two.  The environment is a very complex system and the concentration of CO2 a very small part of it.  Both the climate and the level of atmospheric CO2 are in constant flux over millienia, but the CO2 concentration tends to be a lagging indicator; implying that the increases of CO2 in the atmosphere are an effect of a warming global climate, not a cause.  Although it's certainly possible that CO2 is, itself, a feedback loop.  There is no indication, nor any logical reason to assume, that even a tripling of the amount of carbon in the air would result in a catastrophic degree of climate change.  Even a 4 degree global change would take at least a century to materialize.

The only references to this are publications that don't exactly have the highest academic credibility. Is there any serious research going into this? I have a feeling that most researchers are quite honest and if there was something going on we'd see more peer reviewed papers about it.


This is pretty much what all the serious research and academic publications say, it's the media and the political class that turns these research papers into something that they are not.  There are very few academics (in the fields that are relevent to the topic) that will state that either the Earth is not warming as a whole or that necessarily means that such warming will continue in the future.  The exceptions are provablely biased by political ideologies.  Honest scientists can't reliablely predict the weather 20 days from now, and they will be the frist to say that the long term climate models (all of them) are based upon many assumptions about how certain varirables affect the outcome or even what those variables' values are with any precision.

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Does it really matter if it takes a century to materialize? You're not really that egocentric that you're willing to screw your children and grandchildren for the comfort of driving a SUV today, are you?

Yes, it does.  If it takes three generations for the worst case scenario (+4 degrees C) that the models predict to occur, it can hardly be considered a catastrophe can it?  IT's not like humanity ats a whole won't have time to adapt to a (potential) 1.2 meter high rise in the ocean's median level.  Even the worst of the poor could walk away from such areas long before that.  Nearly every sandy beach in the world would be under low tide, but that's only a catastrophe to sunbathers and surfers.

And I don't own an SUV.  I've ridden a 21 speed bicycle to work 250+ days per year to work since May 2nd, 2008.  I'm doing my part, but for my health and my checkbook.  What are you doing?

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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December 08, 2011, 07:49:02 PM
 #429

This is pretty much what all the serious research and academic publications say, it's the media and the political class that turns these research papers into something that they are not.  There are very few academics (in the fields that are relevent to the topic) that will state that either the Earth is not warming as a whole or that necessarily means that such warming will continue in the future.  The exceptions are provablely biased by political ideologies.  Honest scientists can't reliablely predict the weather 20 days from now, and they will be the frist to say that the long term climate models (all of them) are based upon many assumptions about how certain varirables affect the outcome or even what those variables' values are with any precision.

Yes, it does.  If it takes three generations for the worst case scenario (+4 degrees C) that the models predict to occur, it can hardly be considered a catastrophe can it?  IT's not like humanity ats a whole won't have time to adapt to a (potential) 1.2 meter high rise in the ocean's median level.  Even the worst of the poor could walk away from such areas long before that.  Nearly every sandy beach in the world would be under low tide, but that's only a catastrophe to sunbathers and surfers.

And I don't own an SUV.  I've ridden a 21 speed bicycle to work 250+ days per year to work since May 2nd, 2008.  I'm doing my part, but for my health and my checkbook.  What are you doing?

Believe it or not but I was actually working in meteorology some 20 years ago. Back then we had rolling 3 week schedules that we refined each day. Obviously the predictions 3 weeks away was very rough, like saying that it would rain in the entire state of Connecticut, which obviously wasn't true, but we knew that it was going to rain around that time in that general area. I'm well aware of the assumptions that must be done and that things will change. That doesn't mean that we didn't have a model that was fairly good. The same applies to larger weather systems. The models aren't perfect but they aren't worthless either.
Magazines like Nature or New Scientist are fairly respected publications and neither of them are sceptical of climate change, even though the do publish cock-ups by scientists when they're found. Are you saying that they too have a political agenda, and goes against good science to push it?

Rising sea level isn't the biggest threat in itself. I'm sure people will have time to get out of the way when the water is coming. Flooded farmland leading to food shortage, ecosystems out of balance and other things are more of a concern I think. That's not something I'd like to leave behind when I go.

I wasn't talking about you specifically. But I'm happy to hear that you're doing your part. So am I. Sadly I don't work close enough to ride my bike to work, but I do commute with public transport, among other things that reduce my footprint. I'm still far above a sustainable level if you look at the web-tests you can do however.

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December 08, 2011, 10:22:16 PM
 #430

Magazines like Nature or New Scientist are fairly respected publications and neither of them are sceptical of climate change, even though the do publish cock-ups by scientists when they're found. Are you saying that they too have a political agenda, and goes against good science to push it?


Real scientists are always sceptics, but nor am I very sceptical that climate change exists.  The climate is always changing.  The part that is sceptical is the role of human activity in the matter.  Is humanity to blame for the catastrophy that has been known as the 'Medieval Warm Period'?  What about the 'Littile Ice Age'?  As a professional meterologist, certainly you studied these historic periods of relatively rapid changes in worldwide climate?  In either case, it took about a century to change at the inflection points.  We're beyond a century since the dawn of the Industrial Age (age of oil), and the most credible of negative 'worst case' models take another century to rise global temps to a point that the poles actually do melt.  The melting of said poles doesn't even necessarily imply a net negative impact upon humanity or life in general, since this also implies the associated expansion of agricultural land in the northern latitides, the increase in growing seasons in all lower latitudes and the productive increases that can be expected from increases in ambiant CO2 available to agricultural plantlife.  That's not even considering the vast energy savings in winter heating among the entire population beyond the 75th parrallel.  The official records concerning the MWP imply that we crossed the average global temps in 1990's, but last I checked wine vineyards are still not viable in Northern Britian like they were for 400 years during the MWP.  If anyone is growing wine grapes in Scotland without a glasshouse and we still have economicly viable fossil fuels left, I might have something to worry about, but I doubt it.  I've literally seen wealthy people buy lakefront property around the Great Lakes on the potential that global warming would make such areas more valuable for their grandchildren.  There are always things that real people can do to mitigate the risks of change.

Quote
Rising sea level isn't the biggest threat in itself. I'm sure people will have time to get out of the way when the water is coming. Flooded farmland leading to food shortage, ecosystems out of balance and other things are more of a concern I think. That's not something I'd like to leave behind when I go.
Food shortages, as a result from climate change, isn't a credible threat.  Far more likely is the rapid expansion of agriculture for the above noted reasons.  Whoever tells you such things is trying to scare you, or are simply scared themselves.  As a trained meterologist, I think that you know this is so on some deep, rational level.  Food shortages in places where food is already difficult to grow, now that can get worse.  Fresh water sources could become a real issue with an expanding population and expanding agricultureal base, since is already is (but not as a consequence of climate change, but poor resource management with an expanding population).  This is, ironicly, one of the reasons that I choose to live in this city of Louisville, Kentucky.  I live 26 feet over the top of one of the largest replenishing known in the US.  I have both the legal, and pyisical, capability of driving a wellpoint in my own backyard if I choose to do so.
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I wasn't talking about you specifically. But I'm happy to hear that you're doing your part. So am I. Sadly I don't work close enough to ride my bike to work,

Define 'close enough'.  I live 8.5 miles form work.

Quote
but I do commute with public transport, among other things that reduce my footprint. I'm still far above a sustainable level if you look at the web-tests you can do however.

ironicly, public transport isn't normally going to reduce your carbon footprint by any non-neglible degree in most US cities.  New York or LA, yes.  Cincinnati or Indianapolis, no.  The reason for this is because public transport must run whether or not you are using it, public transit's average ridership is too low to compete with a modern compact car.  Such public transit might make you feel good about it, but it exists as a transit subsidy for the poor; and no other reason is historicly or scientificly accurate.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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December 08, 2011, 11:46:34 PM
 #431

Magazines like Nature or New Scientist are fairly respected publications and neither of them are sceptical of climate change, even though the do publish cock-ups by scientists when they're found. Are you saying that they too have a political agenda, and goes against good science to push it?


Real scientists are always sceptics, but nor am I very sceptical that climate change exists.  The climate is always changing.  The part that is sceptical is the role of human activity in the matter.  Is humanity to blame for the catastrophy that has been known as the 'Medieval Warm Period'?  What about the 'Littile Ice Age'?  As a professional meterologist, certainly you studied these historic periods of relatively rapid changes in worldwide climate?  In either case, it took about a century to change at the inflection points.  We're beyond a century since the dawn of the Industrial Age (age of oil), and the most credible of negative 'worst case' models take another century to rise global temps to a point that the poles actually do melt.  The melting of said poles doesn't even necessarily imply a net negative impact upon humanity or life in general, since this also implies the associated expansion of agricultural land in the northern latitides, the increase in growing seasons in all lower latitudes and the productive increases that can be expected from increases in ambiant CO2 available to agricultural plantlife.  That's not even considering the vast energy savings in winter heating among the entire population beyond the 75th parrallel.  The official records concerning the MWP imply that we crossed the average global temps in 1990's, but last I checked wine vineyards are still not viable in Northern Britian like they were for 400 years during the MWP.  If anyone is growing wine grapes in Scotland without a glasshouse and we still have economicly viable fossil fuels left, I might have something to worry about, but I doubt it.  I've literally seen wealthy people buy lakefront property around the Great Lakes on the potential that global warming would make such areas more valuable for their grandchildren.  There are always things that real people can do to mitigate the risks of change.

Quote
Rising sea level isn't the biggest threat in itself. I'm sure people will have time to get out of the way when the water is coming. Flooded farmland leading to food shortage, ecosystems out of balance and other things are more of a concern I think. That's not something I'd like to leave behind when I go.
Food shortages, as a result from climate change, isn't a credible threat.  Far more likely is the rapid expansion of agriculture for the above noted reasons.  Whoever tells you such things is trying to scare you, or are simply scared themselves.  As a trained meterologist, I think that you know this is so on some deep, rational level.  Food shortages in places where food is already difficult to grow, now that can get worse.  Fresh water sources could become a real issue with an expanding population and expanding agricultureal base, since is already is (but not as a consequence of climate change, but poor resource management with an expanding population).  This is, ironicly, one of the reasons that I choose to live in this city of Louisville, Kentucky.  I live 26 feet over the top of one of the largest replenishing known in the US.  I have both the legal, and pyisical, capability of driving a wellpoint in my own backyard if I choose to do so.
Quote
I wasn't talking about you specifically. But I'm happy to hear that you're doing your part. So am I. Sadly I don't work close enough to ride my bike to work,

Define 'close enough'.  I live 8.5 miles form work.

Quote
but I do commute with public transport, among other things that reduce my footprint. I'm still far above a sustainable level if you look at the web-tests you can do however.

ironicly, public transport isn't normally going to reduce your carbon footprint by any non-neglible degree in most US cities.  New York or LA, yes.  Cincinnati or Indianapolis, no.  The reason for this is because public transport must run whether or not you are using it, public transit's average ridership is too low to compete with a modern compact car.  Such public transit might make you feel good about it, but it exists as a transit subsidy for the poor; and no other reason is historicly or scientificly accurate.

Sadly I'm not a meteorologist. My fields of expertise are elsewhere. I just happened to work there and got basic training in meteorology. I probably know more about weather prediction than most people, but that's about it. That said, I know of these periods you speak, although not in great detail. And certainly not enough to draw any sort of conclusions from those periods.

There's a lot of farmland close to sea level and while I agree that new land probably will open up to agriculture. Lots of very good soil is in the lowlands. New land isn't sure to have the same properties and could produce lower yield per area. But we're going into a bit too much detail here.

I have about 100km one way. It would take me well over 5hours by bike. I travel by bus and it's about 80% full, so I think this makes a difference since most of my fellow travellers would drive their own car if the bus wasn't there. And I can work on the bus too, so it's a double benefit for me. An extra hour of work each trip.

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December 13, 2011, 01:12:19 PM
 #432

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BB0aFPXr4n4

Its not scientific proof or anything, but rather rational thinking and logic. And a little bit of humor  Grin

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December 13, 2011, 10:55:30 PM
 #433

Does it really matter if it takes a century to materialize?
Yes, it really does matter. If it's a century off, we'll probably manage it all wrong if we try to manage it now. The longer we can wait to deal with the problem, the more prosperous we'll be when we deal with it and the better the technology we'll have to address it with. Also, the more science we'll know, so our chances of screwing it up will be lower. (Imagine if we invested tens of billions into electric cars and trillions into nuclear power in the 70s because we were told we only had 20 years of oil left.)

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You're not really that egocentric that you're willing to screw your children and grandchildren for the comfort of driving a SUV today, are you?
The difference between this simplistic silliness and reality is why this kind of reasoning is complete nonsense. It's not about driving SUVs, it's about growing global economies so that we have the resources and understanding to deal with big problems the best way possible.

Every reduction in human population is one less ticket in the lottery for the next Einstein or Beethoven. The stakes are as high as they can be.

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December 14, 2011, 09:21:25 AM
 #434

Yes, it really does matter. If it's a century off, we'll probably manage it all wrong if we try to manage it now. The longer we can wait to deal with the problem, the more prosperous we'll be when we deal with it and the better the technology we'll have to address it with. Also, the more science we'll know, so our chances of screwing it up will be lower. (Imagine if we invested tens of billions into electric cars and trillions into nuclear power in the 70s because we were told we only had 20 years of oil left.)

The difference between this simplistic silliness and reality is why this kind of reasoning is complete nonsense. It's not about driving SUVs, it's about growing global economies so that we have the resources and understanding to deal with big problems the best way possible.

Every reduction in human population is one less ticket in the lottery for the next Einstein or Beethoven. The stakes are as high as they can be.

There's an old truth saying that the longer you wait the more expensive and hard things will be to change.
Wouldn't it have been great if we'd done that? Invested in electric cars, and nuclear? Then we would probably have an efficient electric car today, and knowledge about nuclear power unknown to us. Perhaps we would use thorium reactors? Perhaps something better?

I'm all for growing economies. I'm against waste. Be frugal when possible and use resources where it does good. You can achieve the same thing with a different type of car as you can with a SUV. You're just wasting resources by building and driving that. Not that SUVs are the main problem, but they illustrate a point.

I'm in total agreement with you about the population thing though. But I have one more thought about that. How do we make sure that the potential Einsteins/Beethovens are able to reach their full potential? How do we equalize the chance everyone gets when starting out their lives?

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December 14, 2011, 03:23:08 PM
 #435

Yes, it really does matter. If it's a century off, we'll probably manage it all wrong if we try to manage it now. The longer we can wait to deal with the problem, the more prosperous we'll be when we deal with it and the better the technology we'll have to address it with. Also, the more science we'll know, so our chances of screwing it up will be lower. (Imagine if we invested tens of billions into electric cars and trillions into nuclear power in the 70s because we were told we only had 20 years of oil left.)

The difference between this simplistic silliness and reality is why this kind of reasoning is complete nonsense. It's not about driving SUVs, it's about growing global economies so that we have the resources and understanding to deal with big problems the best way possible.

Every reduction in human population is one less ticket in the lottery for the next Einstein or Beethoven. The stakes are as high as they can be.

There's an old truth saying that the longer you wait the more expensive and hard things will be to change.
Wouldn't it have been great if we'd done that? Invested in electric cars, and nuclear? Then we would probably have an efficient electric car today, and knowledge about nuclear power unknown to us. Perhaps we would use thorium reactors? Perhaps something better?
the electric car was invented before the internal combustion engine driven car.  The electric one lost due to real physical disadvantages and economic realities that persist to the present day.  So your assumptions are demonstratablely wrong.  We also know how to build thorium reactors, we just don't.

Quote
I'm all for growing economies. I'm against waste. Be frugal when possible and use resources where it does good. You can achieve the same thing with a different type of car as you can with a SUV. You're just wasting resources by building and driving that. Not that SUVs are the main problem, but they illustrate a point.
The SUV has a valid use case.  It's not significantly different than a minivan, nor are they less efficient; and they can be used as a small truck as well.
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I'm in total agreement with you about the population thing though. But I have one more thought about that. How do we make sure that the potential Einsteins/Beethovens are able to reach their full potential? How do we equalize the chance everyone gets when starting out their lives?

We can't.  The best we can do is to present a level playing field and hope that the law of averages will permit these talented types to rise to their potential.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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December 14, 2011, 04:01:41 PM
 #436

the electric car was invented before the internal combustion engine driven car.  The electric one lost due to real physical disadvantages and economic realities that persist to the present day.  So your assumptions are demonstratablely wrong.  We also know how to build thorium reactors, we just don't.

The SUV has a valid use case.  It's not significantly different than a minivan, nor are they less efficient; and they can be used as a small truck as well.

We can't.  The best we can do is to present a level playing field and hope that the law of averages will permit these talented types to rise to their potential.

What economic realities are you talking about? The fact that you don't have to pay for your pollution? And physical disadvantages? Like in real physical hurdles that can't be overcome? Or problems to be solved?
Yes, and why do we use uranium instead? To produce weapons. Sad but true. Thorium waste can't be refined to nuclear bombs so that line of research was killed. Depressing isn't it? Is that really the end of the line in nuclear research? Don't you think we could have gotten a bit further if we didn't focus most of our energy on burning oil?

Sure the SUV have valid uses. Is that how most of them are used? The idea of using 3 tonnes of steel to transport 70 kg of flesh is bloody stupid.

How do you present a level playing field? Education for everyone? Nutrition to help them develop their physical and mental strength? Who will pay for this?

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December 14, 2011, 06:40:30 PM
 #437

the electric car was invented before the internal combustion engine driven car.  The electric one lost due to real physical disadvantages and economic realities that persist to the present day.  So your assumptions are demonstratablely wrong.  We also know how to build thorium reactors, we just don't.

The SUV has a valid use case.  It's not significantly different than a minivan, nor are they less efficient; and they can be used as a small truck as well.

We can't.  The best we can do is to present a level playing field and hope that the law of averages will permit these talented types to rise to their potential.

What economic realities are you talking about? The fact that you don't have to pay for your pollution? And physical disadvantages?


Batteries are heavy, and include a huge 'sunk' energy cost in their production.  They also don't last very long relative to the steel block combustion engine.  They contain huge amounts of poisons that would contanimate any area that a major accident occurred.  They are relatively slow, and have very limited ranges and long 'refueling' times.  Even many 'green' leaning inventors have acknowleged the problems with electric transport, which is why the Revopower Wheel was invented.  Pity it never made it to mass production, I would have bought one straight away.  There is no substitute for the energy density of petrol.

Quote


 Like in real physical hurdles that can't be overcome? Or problems to be solved?


Mostly matters of physics and economics, not matters of technology.  Electric vehicles will become commonplace as soon as the economics of peak oil force the issue, and then people get accustomed to the particular inconviences that electric transport presents.

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Yes, and why do we use uranium instead? To produce weapons. Sad but true. Thorium waste can't be refined to nuclear bombs so that line of research was killed. Depressing isn't it?


That is an accurate assessment.

Quote

 Is that really the end of the line in nuclear research? Don't you think we could have gotten a bit further if we didn't focus most of our energy on burning oil?


Perhaps we could have, but again, there isn't a lot of further research to be done.  Again, we know how to build thorium cycle reactors, and we did it fourty years ago, but we just don't.  The infrastructure, as you noted, exists for the refinement and production of uranium fuel rods, because of the military's desire for plutonium.  We no longer need any more of that, and really need a lot less than we have, but the infrastructure exists.  So uranium fuel cycle reactors not only have a precedent, they have an economicly mature nationwide/worldwide supply chain.  An equivilent supply chain for thorium reactors would have to be built up from scratch, which can be done if we had the political will, but it seems that no one but India has any such will.

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Sure the SUV have valid uses. Is that how most of them are used? The idea of using 3 tonnes of steel to transport 70 kg of flesh is bloody stupid.

No contest there, but it's not really your's to decide.

Quote

How do you present a level playing field? Education for everyone? Nutrition to help them develop their physical and mental strength? Who will pay for this?

True equal rights under the "law" (common law or natural law, like how the term was intended when the framers spoke the term.)  No special rights for historicly oppressed groups, no identity politics.  As a parent, I am responsible for the quality of their education and their health care, and no one else gets to intervene in my decisions. (excepting, perhaps, the child) 

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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December 15, 2011, 11:24:58 PM
 #438

There's an old truth saying that the longer you wait the more expensive and hard things will be to change.
Ironic, since the truth is the reverse.

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Wouldn't it have been great if we'd done that? Invested in electric cars, and nuclear? Then we would probably have an efficient electric car today, and knowledge about nuclear power unknown to us. Perhaps we would use thorium reactors? Perhaps something better?
But that's not what would have happened. We'd have built dozens more crappy reactors like the ones at Fukushima. And the resources devoted to electric cars wouldn't have gone to developing the more sophisticated computers and basic research that is making *good* electric cars possible.

The reason we can design such great nuclear reactors and electric cars today is not because of all the research into electric cars and nuclear reactors we've done. It's because we have (or at least *had*) a prosperous economy with good basic research, so we can do *everything* better.

When these things will really work, the profit motive will direct money into them. If you have to push to get money into them, it's strong evidence you're trying to do it wrong. You don't know if solar is right. You don't know if hydrogen is right. You don't know if thorium is right. Central planning will always tend to move resources to less productive uses because the information to make the right decisions simply does not exist without an open market.

Quote
I'm in total agreement with you about the population thing though. But I have one more thought about that. How do we make sure that the potential Einsteins/Beethovens are able to reach their full potential? How do we equalize the chance everyone gets when starting out their lives?
We don't want to equalize the chances. If your children get an equal chance regardless of what you do, why bother to do much for them? If you want excellence, you have to try as hard as you can *NOT* to do anything that tends to even things out.

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December 16, 2011, 12:26:34 AM
 #439

There's an old truth saying that the longer you wait the more expensive and hard things will be to change.
Ironic, since the truth is the reverse.

Quote
Wouldn't it have been great if we'd done that? Invested in electric cars, and nuclear? Then we would probably have an efficient electric car today, and knowledge about nuclear power unknown to us. Perhaps we would use thorium reactors? Perhaps something better?
But that's not what would have happened. We'd have built dozens more crappy reactors like the ones at Fukushima. And the resources devoted to electric cars wouldn't have gone to developing the more sophisticated computers and basic research that is making *good* electric cars possible.

The reason we can design such great nuclear reactors and electric cars today is not because of all the research into electric cars and nuclear reactors we've done. It's because we have (or at least *had*) a prosperous economy with good basic research, so we can do *everything* better.

When these things will really work, the profit motive will direct money into them. If you have to push to get money into them, it's strong evidence you're trying to do it wrong. You don't know if solar is right. You don't know if hydrogen is right. You don't know if thorium is right. Central planning will always tend to move resources to less productive uses because the information to make the right decisions simply does not exist without an open market.

Quote
I'm in total agreement with you about the population thing though. But I have one more thought about that. How do we make sure that the potential Einsteins/Beethovens are able to reach their full potential? How do we equalize the chance everyone gets when starting out their lives?
We don't want to equalize the chances. If your children get an equal chance regardless of what you do, why bother to do much for them? If you want excellence, you have to try as hard as you can *NOT* to do anything that tends to even things out.

I totally agree. Great response.
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December 16, 2011, 06:20:12 AM
 #440

There's an old truth saying that the longer you wait the more expensive and hard things will be to change.
Ironic, since the truth is the reverse.

Quote
Wouldn't it have been great if we'd done that? Invested in electric cars, and nuclear? Then we would probably have an efficient electric car today, and knowledge about nuclear power unknown to us. Perhaps we would use thorium reactors? Perhaps something better?
But that's not what would have happened. We'd have built dozens more crappy reactors like the ones at Fukushima. And the resources devoted to electric cars wouldn't have gone to developing the more sophisticated computers and basic research that is making *good* electric cars possible.

The reason we can design such great nuclear reactors and electric cars today is not because of all the research into electric cars and nuclear reactors we've done. It's because we have (or at least *had*) a prosperous economy with good basic research, so we can do *everything* better.

When these things will really work, the profit motive will direct money into them. If you have to push to get money into them, it's strong evidence you're trying to do it wrong. You don't know if solar is right. You don't know if hydrogen is right. You don't know if thorium is right. Central planning will always tend to move resources to less productive uses because the information to make the right decisions simply does not exist without an open market.

Quote
I'm in total agreement with you about the population thing though. But I have one more thought about that. How do we make sure that the potential Einsteins/Beethovens are able to reach their full potential? How do we equalize the chance everyone gets when starting out their lives?
We don't want to equalize the chances. If your children get an equal chance regardless of what you do, why bother to do much for them? If you want excellence, you have to try as hard as you can *NOT* to do anything that tends to even things out.

So if you design a new car, and you find a flaw in the design, would it be cheaper to fix it at the design stage, or after you've set up a production line, done all your tooling, trained your staff, ordered all components and started rolling out cars?

I agree with your assertion that a prosperous economy does a world of good for research, but basic research? Assuming we're talking about the same things here I'd say that's not something done by most companies. Companies does applied research, and they're damn good at it. Basic research is just a money sink to them and something most often done with taxpayers money. Solar is a good example.  Now they're beginning to become efficient and many companies are investing in researching it, because of the research done over the last 30 years or so, mainly funded by taxpayers. Does that mean that the research done over the last 30 years have been wasted? Or that they've provided a foundation that companies can build on?

When it comes to the children then. I thought the race was on to find the next Einstein/Beethoven, not to provide a comfortable life for your children. Perhaps one of the snotty children of that poor family over there have the potential, but don't get the chance to proper education because of their socio-economic status. While we all like to think that our children are geniuses, the likelihood of that being true is slim. So you need a broad search scope, meaning that you'd want to give the largest amount of people possible the chance to test their potential. Not just the ones lucky enough to have good parents.

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