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Author Topic: Global warming - entrepreneurial market response  (Read 1676 times)
blogospheroid
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July 07, 2011, 10:42:31 AM
 #1

I thought of a cluster of ideas to combat global warming that, I'm really dumbstruck, didn't occur to me earlier.

I'm posting this as a separate thread because the global warming thread has got derailed into a discussion about regulation and government.

In the world of competitive city governments with a free exit structure (Libertarian at the macro-most level, but individual cities or phyles may not be libertarian), there will be free markets in almost everything, including idea futures and real estate.

As the idea of global warming becomes more prominent, with possible impacts listed out, then idea futures would be floated for various parameters of the global warming model. Some ideas would win out.

Now let us consider the scenario that global warming is occuring. Then the ideas futures markets will discover this pattern. Rainfall futures contracts would discover effects on rainfall. Fertility futures contracts would discover the patterns on soil fertility. Various social indicators contracts on global health would discover impacts.   

Then the ones who see the pattern would very quickly start buying up land near canada and siberia. They will combat personal impact to themselves from global warming. The antarctic and the tibetan plateau would start experiencing a real-estate buying spree. Ships and floating platforms would become popular. Dam and dyke builders will be in demand. Hilly and mountainous regions would experience building booms. Green houses and controlled temperature environments for growing crops will become more reasonable as a technological solution.

There are those who think that - all this innovation is wasteful. All you need to do is come to a global agreement on reducing emissions. But that is just the statist part of us thinking. We are used to thinking in the form of governments and imposion of laws. Thinking entrepreneurially is a little alien to most of us. There are a million micro impacts of global warming. Those million micro-impacts are best studied by the thousands of people getting affected by each. Getting 7 billion people to agree on anything is a much much larger problem.

It is part of the human condition that it is easier to make techno fixes than to setup an establishment that will not get corrupted. Get used to it.

Or create friendly AI. The Singularity institute is working on it. www.singinst.org


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benjamindees
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July 07, 2011, 11:40:14 AM
 #2

Broken window fallacy.

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July 07, 2011, 06:22:18 PM
 #3

Broken window fallacy.

Um. I don't think that means what you think it means.

The Broken Window fallacy is that a broken window (or other damage) stimulates the economy.

This is Market forces reacting to a global increase in temperature by buying land in now livable climates and creating new technologies which will not increase the temperature. He's not saying 'Yay global warming! It helps me make moneys!', He's saying 'Here are some solutions to Global warming which do not require shooting people. Yay!'

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July 07, 2011, 11:18:27 PM
 #4

Shutting down coal power plants and instating carbon tariffs doesn't require "shooting people".

But I like how you use the term "market forces" to neatly de-humanize the future generations who will bear the brunt of the consequences of global warming.

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July 07, 2011, 11:25:18 PM
 #5

Shutting down coal power plants and instating carbon tariffs doesn't require "shooting people".

But I like how you use the term "market forces" to neatly de-humanize the future generations who will bear the brunt of the consequences of global warming.

And what happens if the owners of the coal plants or those you would like to charge the carbon tariffs to say 'No'?

"Market forces" refers to everybody, current generation included.

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July 07, 2011, 11:48:30 PM
 #6

You're really suggesting that society needs to move production 200 miles north and live on floating platforms in order to accommodate polluters?  Really?

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July 07, 2011, 11:54:56 PM
 #7

You're really suggesting that society needs to move production 200 miles north and live on floating platforms in order to accommodate polluters?  Really?
No, I believe the OP did that. Personally, I'd rather if those kinds of industries were done in space, where toxic chemicals can't affect living beings.

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July 08, 2011, 05:57:15 AM
 #8

You're really suggesting that society needs to move production 200 miles north and live on floating platforms in order to accommodate polluters?  Really?

Hi Benjamin,

Sorry if the point didn't come across clearly enough. My main point is that coordinating the actions of 7 billion people with an institution that won't get corrupt is a very difficult task. Any government strong enough to institute a carbon tax on the whole world can get very corrupt and make life really difficult for a lot of people.

In a libertarian world, the various courts would work on the basis of shunning and boycotts. There will be multiple idea futures markets and there will be a lot of people, selfishly motivated, who will be monitoring all aspects of rainfall and weather patterns. If there is a strong correlation, then all the activity in OP will happen.

But also note that for global warming, causation is a much more difficult beast.  When you have to isolate causes, the chances of getting  a world wide approval on these causes will be very difficult. Data will have to be collected on nearly every volcano that is spewing out smoke. If this is an actual legal case, the chances are, it will stretch on for a very long time. The surety that so many people display here will melt away in court cross-examination. And mind you, this will be a case with a very strong verdict - the case for boycotting entire industries and processes, some of them like the fossil fuel indsutries, the vaery basis of modern economies. It will be scrutinused heavily.

Also, the motivation to collect this  data will be much greater in the libertarian world, where a bunch of government ministers can't just meet and decide to have emission caps (that are later given up, anyway). Nobody will be expecting a handout. People and firms will be looking out for themselves and innovating in every way possible. That is the point I am making.

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July 08, 2011, 06:22:53 AM
 #9

Shutting down coal power plants and instating carbon tariffs doesn't require "shooting people".

And what happens if the owners of the coal plants or those you would like to charge the carbon tariffs to say 'No'?

I wonder if he'll ever answer the question.
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July 08, 2011, 07:23:38 AM
 #10

Shutting down coal power plants and instating carbon tariffs doesn't require "shooting people".

And what happens if the owners of the coal plants or those you would like to charge the carbon tariffs to say 'No'?

I wonder if he'll ever answer the question.

I highly doubt it. And am sure he will not acknowledge that govt is the main driver of CO2 emissions because of it's subsidizing fossil fuels and inefficient transport. Or that the single biggest polluting entity in the world is the US Military.

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July 08, 2011, 01:01:40 PM
 #11

I think in theory global warming is tough bite to libertarianism, as simple analysis of game theory tells there almost zero incentive to reduce your 'polluting' in fear of law-suits. As long as you are marginally small 'polluter' compared to the whole amount of carbon accumulation your responsibility is insignificant. If you happen to be a big polluter, the most damage has already been done so on the margin polluting more is irrelevant. As all will think the same, the 'solution' of the game is inaction, which in this case could be 'game over'. As discussed already, there are many juridical problems to solve that are difficult for single legitimate court, not to mention the wild west court model of the libertarianism.

In practice this is very boring debate as I have ceased believing in AGW long time ago. It is not an issue of this thread but it would be interesting to debate science behind AGW too.
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July 08, 2011, 02:44:17 PM
 #12

In practice this is very boring debate as I have ceased believing in AGW long time ago. It is not an issue of this thread but it would be interesting to debate science behind AGW too.

Finally someone said it...  Thank you.

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July 08, 2011, 04:05:54 PM
 #13

I think in theory global warming is tough bite to libertarianism, as simple analysis of game theory tells there almost zero incentive to reduce your 'polluting' in fear of law-suits. As long as you are marginally small 'polluter' compared to the whole amount of carbon accumulation your responsibility is insignificant. If you happen to be a big polluter, the most damage has already been done so on the margin polluting more is irrelevant. As all will think the same, the 'solution' of the game is inaction, which in this case could be 'game over'. As discussed already, there are many juridical problems to solve that are difficult for single legitimate court, not to mention the wild west court model of the libertarianism.

In practice this is very boring debate as I have ceased believing in AGW long time ago. It is not an issue of this thread but it would be interesting to debate science behind AGW too.

An excellent synopsis of the problem. Thank you. As for you not believing in anthropogenic global warming, I'm not sure why you think the evidence is thin.

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Jaime Frontero
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July 08, 2011, 06:02:38 PM
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An excellent synopsis of the problem. Thank you. As for you not believing in anthropogenic global warming, I'm not sure why you think the evidence is thin.

i don't know either - but i know the lies people have been led to believe.  for example, here's a list of the most common misconceptions about climate science, with debunking by some of the actual, working, lead climate scientists who put the (overly conservative, as it's turning out) IPCC report together:

http://www.realclimate.org/wiki/index.php?title=RC_Wiki#By_Myth

i have yet to see any of their points shown to be wrong, in any even marginally important peer-reviewed work.  mostly, the deniers prefer 'articles' and blog posts written by journalists and politicos of one stripe or another.  and the deniers with even remotely acceptable credentials have some pretty dicey financial and political connections...

And yet, it moves...
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July 09, 2011, 03:19:26 AM
 #15

Did you mean ManBearPig?

http://stansdad.com/season10/episode6

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July 09, 2011, 09:54:47 PM
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I think in theory global warming is tough bite to libertarianism, as simple analysis of game theory tells there almost zero incentive to reduce your 'polluting' in fear of law-suits. As long as you are marginally small 'polluter' compared to the whole amount of carbon accumulation your responsibility is insignificant. If you happen to be a big polluter, the most damage has already been done so on the margin polluting more is irrelevant. As all will think the same, the 'solution' of the game is inaction, which in this case could be 'game over'. As discussed already, there are many juridical problems to solve that are difficult for single legitimate court, not to mention the wild west court model of the libertarianism.

In practice this is very boring debate as I have ceased believing in AGW long time ago. It is not an issue of this thread but it would be interesting to debate science behind AGW too.
An excellent synopsis of the problem. Thank you. As for you not believing in anthropogenic global warming, I'm not sure why you think the evidence is thin.
It would be better to make a separate thread for AGW-theory criticism, but I'll sum few points, some refuting the AGW, other the doomsday scenarios:
  • Basic knowledge of physics tells us that solubility of CO2 (and most other gases) to water is reduced significantly as a function of temperature (think of soft drinks). When global temperature rises, oceans will also rise in temperature but with lag, thus leading them to start releasing CO2 to the atmosphere. When climate cools oceans become CO2-sinks again. From this background it surprises me little that historically CO2 concentration happens to follow temperature with few century lag, not the other way around.
  • Warming of the climate reduces not increases extreme weather patterns. Simple physics again: When the globe warms, poles warm up the most. This is due to the fact that in the equator the excess heat is goes to vaporizing which leads to cooling cloud cover. This leads to the reduced temperature-difference (=energy difference). If you think climate as heat engine, this reduces the heat to mechanical-energy conversion rate significantly. (Local temporary exceptions possible)
  • Warming climate does not necessarily lead to reduced ice and thus rising sea levels. Warm climate –> vaporization –> more rainfall, that is also more snow –> Ice-cover thickens. Glaciers have indeed increased during past few years.
  • Melting ice, when floating, does not rise sea-levels. Simple Archimedes law in action: the ice has displaced amount of water exactly of its weight. How large portion do you think the water will replace when it melts? Same as it's weight, logical? It makes me facepalm every time somebody tries to induce panic mood by showing cracking ice-bergs. North Pole is by the way completely floating ice.
  • Modern temperature records happen to start from the coldest moment for a very long time. It is only natural that temperature records have risen with the coincidental industrialization.
  • The famous hockey-stick curve is blatant lie: it misses the medieval warm period and Maunder minimum. Also temperature was at par to now at 1930 (at least in northern europe). Climategate and other similar stories have revealed other consistent frauds in the climate-science community. There have been many 'fixes' to make the story more consistent. All the time it has been 'precise science'. If it isn't objective, then it isn't science and worth believing.
  • Sun activity (sun spots) has far higher correlation with temperature than CO2. Some scientist have suggested we are heading to mini-ice-age as sun is heading to inactivity. Last time this happened was the already mentioned Maunder sunspot minimum which 'coincidentally' was very cold time. I agree it is very dubious claim that earths temperature would be related to the input of it's main source of energy...
  • Most long time temperature measuring spots have been corrupted with growing nearby cities. Satellite data and uncorrupted spots show no significant trend. The corrupted data was used to calibrate the six IPCC climate-models which are the base of all doomsday scenarios.
  • During Jurassic period CO2 concentration was whopping ~2000 ppm. Earth didn't transform into Venus. (surprise)
  • The media saturation of climate-truth is just unrealistic. Agreed, if true it is damn important, but do you need all the time bombard people with emotion inducing crap that is not founded on any known science (not even the mainstream climate one). My propaganda-alarm has been in lot of use lately with climate-change and terrorism and swine-flu scare and who knows what will instant kill us next time. These things just happen (coincidentally?) to keep the populace under iron grip of fear. Fear and anger, two emotions that are the key to mass manipulation.
  • "The only constant in the climate is change" -some smart dude whose name I don't remember.

If you really want to start discussing this, copy-paste the points with credentials and make another thread, or ask me to make one. I don't want to entirely off-topic this thread as I truly enjoy watching the silence indicating lack of proper counter-arguments by the libertarians.

Edit070812: I could swear I wrote this differently back then; here's one important correction to the second dot: The cooling cover of the clouds sets in effect maximum temperature for equatorial areas. This in turn means rising aggregate temperature causes lower temperature difference leading to the lower efficacy of the imaginative heat-machine. Extreme weather patterns should be reduced by this mechanism. I would like to change few other parts but I'm going to leave the post as it is. I don't want to tamper the original post.
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July 09, 2011, 10:10:54 PM
 #17

If you really want to start discussing this, copy-paste the points with credentials and make another thread, or ask me to make one. I don't want to entirely off-topic this thread as I truly enjoy watching the silence indicating lack of proper counter-arguments by the libertarians.

Um... What? I was applauding you until you came out with this, and I'd just like to point out that prior to the AGW tangent, the last comment was:
Shutting down coal power plants and instating carbon tariffs doesn't require "shooting people".

And what happens if the owners of the coal plants or those you would like to charge the carbon tariffs to say 'No'?

I wonder if he'll ever answer the question.

I highly doubt it. And am sure he will not acknowledge that govt is the main driver of CO2 emissions because of it's subsidizing fossil fuels and inefficient transport. Or that the single biggest polluting entity in the world is the US Military.

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July 10, 2011, 05:44:21 AM
 #18

This is Market forces reacting to a global increase in temperature

At a loss, due to an increase in temperature directly caused by other market participants.  Normally that would be considered a crime.  At the very least it's an economic catastrophe and nothing to applaud.

"Market forces" refers to everybody, current generation included.

Unfortunately, no.  Current generations will only bear a miniscule cost of the environmental destruction they have caused, while simultaneously consuming the most easily-exploited energy sources necessary to mitigate them.  Emitted CO2 remains in the atmosphere and in the oceans for a hundred years.  In the atmosphere, it increases heat retention and causes global warming.  Those are basic physical facts.  It is easy to induce, from them, that the bulk of the warming is yet to occur, and always will be until long after fossil carbon combustion peaks.

Quote from: myrkul
And what happens if the owners of the coal plants or those you would like to charge the carbon tariffs to say 'No'?

Those who are actively harming others don't just get to say "no" when they are asked to stop.  They can be forced.  Borders can be policed.  Tariffs can be enforced.  Polluters can be shut down.

Quote from: blogospheroid
My main point is that coordinating the actions of 7 billion people with an institution that won't get corrupt is a very difficult task.

And your point is a non-sequitur since all it takes is a small handful of people to make large scale fossil fuel combustion uneconomical.  So the options are simple: play nicely and pay a tax to subsidize non-polluting alternatives, or say goodbye to profits.

Quote from: GideonGono
I highly doubt it. And am sure he will not acknowledge that govt is the main driver of CO2 emissions because of it's subsidizing fossil fuels and inefficient transport. Or that the single biggest polluting entity in the world is the US Military.

Another non-sequitur.  I'm not here to defend the US government or the US military.

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July 10, 2011, 05:48:36 AM
 #19


Quote from: myrkul
And what happens if the owners of the coal plants or those you would like to charge the carbon tariffs to say 'No'?

Those who are actively harming others don't just get to say "no" when they are asked to stop.  They can be forced.  Borders can be policed.  Tariffs can be enforced.  Polluters can be shut down.

Thank you. You have now put the lie to this:
Shutting down coal power plants and instating carbon tariffs doesn't require "shooting people".

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July 10, 2011, 07:00:14 AM
 #20

  • Melting ice, when floating, does not rise sea-levels. Simple Archimedes law in action: the ice has displaced amount of water exactly of its weight. How large portion do you think the water will replace when it melts? Same as it's weight, logical? It makes me facepalm every time somebody tries to induce panic mood by showing cracking ice-bergs. North Pole is by the way completely floating ice.

Why the misdirection? Argue the points made by climate scientists, not points that the deniers claim the climate scientists have made. It detracts from any credibility you might have.

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