Let The Free Market Address Conservation ?
Posted: 13 April 2011 09:00 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hope you folks don’t mind me sharing an essay I just finished - any feedback (grammatical or philosophical) would be appreciated
It’s intended for the local paper, but those buggers have a nasty habit of editorially mangling a letter’s intent, so I was curious to see what others might think of this before I send it out.  wink


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Perhaps the most popular argument global warming “skeptics” use against the “climatological consensus” regarding people caused global warming is attacking the iconic Mann “hockey stick” graph.  Many argue Mann’s team intentionally misrepresented data in order to mute the celebrated Medieval Warming Period signal.  The reasoning goes that these scientists did so to unduly alarm the public about the seriousness of our society injecting more than a couple billion gigatons of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere month after month.

The Republican message is that the supposedly doctored hockey stick was part of a plan to hobble growth of our consumer/industrial/military/oil complex.  As an aside, some also claim: scientists want to promote a one world government and actually shut down our economy altogether.  Sounds a bit silly to me, but so long as the Republican mass media machine focuses the discussion on that story line, it leaves no time for considering the actual critical issues facing all of us.  With that introduction here’s some MWP back story.

Regarding Mann’s tree-ring studies.  It was a young science and a work in progress, Mann’s further studies incorporated lessons learned.  The “skeptical” demand of some perfection is at best disingenuous, at worst willfully ignorant of how science works.  After all science is a learning process. 

The valid corrections that did result from the champion “skeptic” statistician Steve McIntyre’s work amounted to slivers of adjustments to Mann’s original graph and did not overturn, or add, anything of dramatic substance.  Yet the denier echo-chamber keeps trying to present those tiny corrections as somehow overturning the whole field of climatology, something that’s pure political propaganda far removed from real facts.

While Mann focused on tree ring data, since 2000 dozens of independent teams have studied and published reports using many other natural recorders of Earth’s climate variability - yet the same basic hockey stick shape keeps appearing. 

As for the Medieval Warm Period, it certainly happened.  However, as more information has been gathered these past decades, the image resolving is of a MWP who’s extremes were centered on Atlantic ocean currents, the North Atlantic and Europe.  The increasing evidence points toward a combination of factors: an ebb in global cooling caused by a lull in vulcanism; a period of more intense Earth warming solar activity; and most dramatically ocean current oscillations.

We should be clear that these factors are playing a part in today’s situation.  Volcanoes have been adding their cooling aerosols; our sun is at a historic minimum, so it’s actually helping cool Earth.  And, although oceans are known to be warming, there has been no extreme heat flux in the North Atlantic as studies indicate occurred during the MWP.  For these reasons climatologists will point out that the MWP, even if it were warmer than studies indicate tells us nothing about today’s unique global warming situation.

The reason the MWP tells us nothing about today’s situation is because of those greenhouse gases we keep hearing about.  Previous to 1800, CO2 levels hovered around 280 (±15) ppm for around 400,000 years giving our biosphere the stability to develop to the biological cornucopia that the age of discovery learned to exploit so well.  It wasn’t until the 1800s that atmospheric CO2 started increasing, then a hundred years later that rate of increase really kicked in with our society’s exponentially increasing consumption of coal, oil, gasoline and other carbon based energy sources.  Currently, our atmosphere has surpassed 390 ppm, a level unexperienced on Earth in over ten million years.

Today all but the most committed quacks agree that CO2 is indeed a potent greenhouse gas and significant regulator of our planet’s temperature.  And while there isn’t agreement on the exact amount of CO2’s atmospheric warming, the arguments are over fine details.  And of course, there is the other complication of how Earth’s many feedback mechanisms will magnify that initial direct CO2 warming.

However, we should find no comfort in that uncertainty, since Earth observations of the past two decades are revealing that past IPCC predictions have been erring on the conservative side.  A good-faith review of observation studies across the full spectrum of Earth processes is resolving an image of changes happening faster and effecting more than has been previously hinted at.  Yes, this is cause for alarm.

What the so-call Global Warming Skeptics ignore is that this isn’t a parlor game of who can best manipulate the “debate.”  We are talking harsh real down to Earth consequences, that are already beginning to be felt across the planet and that promise only to get worse as the Republicans continue their contemptuous political games geared toward faith-based willful ignorance of science.  When are we the people going to demand of our politicians that faith-based dreams no longer trump real down to Earth science.

[This one just doesn’t seem want to lose any words ~ -6=803 words]

[ Edited: 18 April 2011 09:59 AM by citizenschallenge.pm ]
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Posted: 13 April 2011 03:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Excellent, CC. Thanks for sharing.

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Posted: 14 April 2011 04:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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What would the FREE MARKET be like if accounting had been mandatory in high school for the last 50 years and everyone understood enough about technology to comprehend planned obsolescence?

The Free Market ideal is just about based on the assumption that everybody is SMART.  Adam Smith talked about enlightened self interest.  But in the real world there are lies and information hiding and most people cannot figure out what is going on.  So most of the people screaming FREE MARKET really mean, let me rip off all of the dummies I can help create.

When have our educators advocated a NATIONAL RECOMMENDED READING LIST or mandatory accounting in high school for that matter?

http://www.bsu.edu/news/article/0,1370,-1019-11714,00.html

Does this look familiar?

Cost of Living, by Robert Sheckley
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/29458/29458-h/29458-h.htm

psik

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Posted: 15 April 2011 04:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 13 April 2011 09:00 AM

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Let The Free Market Address Conservation” the headline screamed. Say what?  Leave the “free market” alone to address our environmental crisis as it sees fit? You mean the “free market” that sent USA manufacturing jobs overseas, effectively gutting the future of America’s middle class? The “free market” that is bulldozing mountain after mountain in the Appalachians only to fill in valley after productive valley with rubble and poisonous tailings?

This, and the other examples you provide, are examples of failures of the U.S. economic and social system, which is not an actual free market. It’s a partially free market, and a much better descriptor is modern capitalism.

I find it unconvincing. It’s a short essay written for those people who already agree with you, using popular political complaints.

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Posted: 15 April 2011 11:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 15 April 2011 04:30 AM
citizenschallenge.pm - 13 April 2011 09:00 AM

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Let The Free Market Address Conservation” the headline screamed. Say what?  Leave the “free market” alone to address our environmental crisis as it sees fit? You mean the “free market” that sent USA manufacturing jobs overseas, effectively gutting the future of America’s middle class? The “free market” that is bulldozing mountain after mountain in the Appalachians only to fill in valley after productive valley with rubble and poisonous tailings?

This, and the other examples you provide, are examples of failures of the U.S. economic and social system, which is not an actual free market. It’s a partially free market, and a much better descriptor is modern capitalism.

I find it unconvincing. It’s a short essay written for those people who already agree with you, using popular political complaints.

The question is: Are these complaints true?
IMO Capitalism and Conservation are mutually exclusive. In order to practice conservation we must give up some profits. But, we like money in the bank more than we do clean air, which you can’t even see. If it gets dirty, we’ll just buy a airconditioner or air cleaner. Hey, that would be good for free enterprise and Capitalism.

[ Edited: 15 April 2011 11:37 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 15 April 2011 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 15 April 2011 04:30 AM

This, and the other examples you provide, are examples of failures of the U.S. economic and social system, which is not an actual free market. It’s a partially free market, and a much better descriptor is modern capitalism.

I find it unconvincing. It’s a short essay written for those people who already agree with you, using popular political complaints.

Unconvincing of what? 
That the “free market” is a fallacy?
Or that, our traditional Profits Über Alles way of doing business is suicidal?

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Posted: 15 April 2011 08:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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IMO Capitalism and Conservation are mutually exclusive. In order to practice conservation we must give up some profits. But, we like money in the bank more than we do clean air, which you can’t even see. If it gets dirty, we’ll just buy a airconditioner or air cleaner. Hey, that would be good for free enterprise and Capitalism.

I don’t think anybody can really lay this at the feet of any one system. Take a look at the environmental disaster areas that much of Russia turned into under the old Soviet system, and what you see there is not a very pretty picture. I think the problems in this area have less to do with any given system than it does with an all too human desire find the easiest way to achieve certain goals.

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Posted: 15 April 2011 09:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 15 April 2011 08:59 PM

IMO Capitalism and Conservation are mutually exclusive. In order to practice conservation we must give up some profits. But, we like money in the bank more than we do clean air, which you can’t even see. If it gets dirty, we’ll just buy a airconditioner or air cleaner. Hey, that would be good for free enterprise and Capitalism.

I don’t think anybody can really lay this at the feet of any one system. Take a look at the environmental disaster areas that much of Russia turned into under the old Soviet system, and what you see there is not a very pretty picture. I think the problems in this area have less to do with any given system than it does with an all too human desire find the easiest way to achieve certain goals.

I mostly agree, but I believe that most of the problems can be solved with setting certain boundaries of economic profit and the environmental impact on the country and the world.
We must tend the garden of capitalism the same as any organic garden by preventing the weeds from taking over and killing the the more fragile but beautiful flowers for which the garden was designed.
Strictly enforced controls and heavy penalties (taxation) will keep the financial wizards (weeds) in their place.

[ Edited: 15 April 2011 09:32 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 15 April 2011 09:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 15 April 2011 04:30 AM

a much better descriptor is modern capitalism.

What does MODERN CAPITALISM mean?

Henry Ford did not introduce the Model-T until 1908.

Before 1900 there was no planned obsolescence because the technology did not provide a high enough productivity to make it possible.  That higher productivity could probably have been used to eliminate poverty but that did not suit the Euro-American psychology.  So competing over status symbols became the new form of dog eat dog.

The laws of physics do not care about money or egos though.  Manufacture junk and it is still junk regardless of whether or not consumers are dumb enough to buy it.

So talking about MODERN CAPITALISM without discussing planned obsolescence is nonsense.

This is pretty funny:

http://www.usmessageboard.com/3536705-post148.html

psik

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Posted: 16 April 2011 04:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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psikeyhackr - 15 April 2011 09:58 PM
TromboneAndrew - 15 April 2011 04:30 AM

a much better descriptor is modern capitalism.

What does MODERN CAPITALISM mean?

Henry Ford did not introduce the Model-T until 1908.

Before 1900 there was no planned obsolescence because the technology did not provide a high enough productivity to make it possible.  That higher productivity could probably have been used to eliminate poverty but that did not suit the Euro-American psychology.  So competing over status symbols became the new form of dog eat dog.

The laws of physics do not care about money or egos though.  Manufacture junk and it is still junk regardless of whether or not consumers are dumb enough to buy it.

So talking about MODERN CAPITALISM without discussing planned obsolescence is nonsense.

This is pretty funny:

http://www.usmessageboard.com/3536705-post148.html

psik

Well, sure. Planned obsolescence is even evident at the most basic levels of the U.S. economy: the Federal Reserve goal of keeping inflation above zero. Planned obsolescence of the currency.

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Posted: 16 April 2011 04:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 15 April 2011 06:08 PM
TromboneAndrew - 15 April 2011 04:30 AM

This, and the other examples you provide, are examples of failures of the U.S. economic and social system, which is not an actual free market. It’s a partially free market, and a much better descriptor is modern capitalism.

I find it unconvincing. It’s a short essay written for those people who already agree with you, using popular political complaints.

Unconvincing of what? 
That the “free market” is a fallacy?
Or that, our traditional Profits Über Alles way of doing business is suicidal?

The first, that the “free market” is a fallacy. I think that I’ve had this discussion on this board before, that there is really no place on Earth that a “pure” free market exists; there are always some kind of variations. A free market is, in reality (ironically) a theoretical model to explain the basic underpinnings of trade in a variety of econimc systems. Oh, and, in my humble opinion, economics and sociology should not be separate branches of study. I know this is not a new idea - Isaac Asimov thought this too with his “psychohistory” concept.

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Posted: 16 April 2011 09:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 15 April 2011 08:59 PM

IMO Capitalism and Conservation are mutually exclusive. In order to practice conservation we must give up some profits. But, we like money in the bank more than we do clean air, which you can’t even see. If it gets dirty, we’ll just buy a airconditioner or air cleaner. Hey, that would be good for free enterprise and Capitalism.

I don’t think anybody can really lay this at the feet of any one system. Take a look at the environmental disaster areas that much of Russia turned into under the old Soviet system, and what you see there is not a very pretty picture. I think the problems in this area have less to do with any given system than it does with an all too human desire find the easiest way to achieve certain goals.

An old (communist era) Hungarian joke:

You know the difference between the capitalistic system and the communistic system?
No, I don’t the difference between the capitalistic system and the communistic system.
Well, in the capitalistic system, man exploits his fellow man,
In the communistic system, it is exactly the other way around.
LOL

So your point is taken, natural human biological greed is at the root of all evil.

However, I find it interesting and tragic that embedded in our laws is the demand that corporations maximize profits regardless of the destructive consequences of maximizing those profits.

disgusting and on the long term suicidal…. as we are witnessing the drama play out before our eyes.
~ ~ ~

{Now, here’s a fun aside…
Have you ever thought about all those generations who wondered at the arrow of human progress and how it would all end.
We are the first generation who have a realist opportunity to see for ourselves.
Amazing
who says i’m all negative   shut eye }

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Posted: 16 April 2011 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Write4U - 15 April 2011 09:29 PM

I mostly agree, but I believe that most of the problems can be solved with setting certain boundaries of economic profit and the environmental impact on the country and the world.
We must tend the garden of capitalism the same as any organic garden by preventing the weeds from taking over and killing the the more fragile but beautiful flowers for which the garden was designed.
Strictly enforced controls and heavy penalties (taxation) will keep the financial wizards (weeds) in their place.

Nicely said, sadly many demand to be beyond controls.

Capitalism, Free Market is fantastic until,
it starts coalescing into monopolies and corporations morph into behemoths bigger than governments,
who can afford to > and do buy the politicians of their choice,
while the other 90% are just along for the ride.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

TromboneAndrew - 16 April 2011 04:19 AM

The first, that the “free market” is a fallacy. ...There is really no place on Earth that a “pure” free market exists; there are always some kind of variations. A free market is, in reality (ironically) a theoretical model to explain the basic underpinnings of trade in a variety of economic systems.
Oh, and, in my humble opinion, economics and sociology should not be separate branches of study.
I know this is not a new idea - Isaac Asimov thought this too with his “psychohistory” concept.

I don’t think I could disagree with a thing you’ve said here.
cheers

[ Edited: 16 April 2011 10:22 AM by citizenschallenge.pm ]
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