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September 09, 2021

Comments

It is an absolutely appropriate way to protest American academia and publishing for attempting to price out everyone who isn't part of the in group.

I'm fortunate enough to have institutional access to most things. Please, however, do not mistake academic publishing with academia. It's not academics in general that want paywalled publishing because most of the people doing the writing never get any money from it. In fact some actually pay to get published.

(Nota bene, I have had between one and four chapters published in our programs campus level textbook for a decade or so, it was only in the last year that the department saw fit to pay me for any of that, and once I got paid for it, they would no longer count the writing as service. Even now, though, the pay is a pittance compared to how much the department makes off of my work.)

Individual academics and campus librarians mostly want all this information accessible to people. Departments and administrators want to develop revenue streams and are the ones that try to keep the racket going, and the few rock star professors that sell enough textbooks to get academic autonomy float on those results and mouth a few marxist platitudes to ease their bougie guilt.

The tough part of all this is dismantling the racket without in-turn taking away any small benefit or rewward that the producers of that work might get for the work they did (mostly in security of employment through tenure or longer contracts). They are being exploited just as much as the people being charged for access are. Only the gatekeepers profit.

“ And if you think that having the politicians in Congress (fonts of probity that they all are) do the investigation -- well, I do not refrain from snickering.”

The Democrats in Congress, or some of them, actually did investigate the CIA torture scandal. And I think there probably are honest officers in the military as well, but people who make it to the top are presumably the game players.

I am going to ask my own congressperson to launch an investigation. One person doing this means nothing, but if enough people got outraged it might have some effect. But yes, it might take years or decades. Right now officials lie because it is the path of least resistance for them and there are no consequences.

On a related note, the NYT had a story last week about an FBI agent who was sickened by the way they went after American Muslims. He leaked info about the policies to the Intercept and went to jail for it.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/01/magazine/fbi-terrorism-terry-albury.html

So there’s another governmental institution which badly needs a shakeup.
I don’t think slogans like “ Defund the police” or the FBI or the military are politically effective (ObiWi had that argument) but there is a lack of accountability in these organizations.
I don’t know what slogans would

Didn’t finish my thought— I don’t know what slogans would work, but it ought to be possible to persuade people that we have a problem.

They have no luxury to do this because they must consider the character and will of the people or else they will not remain the leader.

right. plus, there is no really such thing as "the will of the people". there are 320M opinions and the best a President can possibly do is try to please most of them most of the time. every bill you get is a compromise, your power is constrained for reasons that are sometimes obscured and ridiculous and many of the decisions you have to make are nearly-literally trolley problems.

then we excuse the deaths of those others so long as we don't have to look at them and see them as people.

because that is how human brains work. it's easy to criticize people for not caring what happens on the other side of the world. it's literally impossible that people could actually truly care about people on the other side of the world the way they care about people they know. and, as COVID keeps demonstrating, a lot of people are absolutely OK with putting people they do know in harm's way.

Americans are OK with blowing people up? yep. and so are all our allies. and so are the Russians. so are the countless local militias roaming Africa trying to stake out a claim.

America's only distinction here is scale.

I don’t know what slogans would work, but it ought to be possible to persuade people that we have a problem.

Here's a radical idea: Avoid slogans. Any slogans. Avoid them like the plague. And do everything you can to keep your supporters and allies from committing sloganeering either.

Slogans can be useful in some circumstances, by making the issue easy to understand. But they can also, witness "Defund the Police," be counterproductive. Because those opposed can twist them into something which seems like what you said (perhaps simply by taking it literally), even though it's not what you meant.

witness "Defund the Police,"

not sure how you can stop people from dredging Twitter to find things your base will find alarming.

it's easy to criticize people for not caring what happens on the other side of the world. it's literally impossible that people could actually truly care about people on the other side of the world the way they care about people they know. and, as COVID keeps demonstrating, a lot of people are absolutely OK with putting people they do know in harm's way.

All true, but I don't believe there is nothing to be done about this. A lot of the blame for how shit all of this is lies with editorial cowardice from the media. It's not just that we have a hard time caring about more distant people, it's that our media leans into the spectacle and soft-pedals the truth when that spectacle is proven to be an atrocity.

Yes, media can be suppressed, but there is no need to do so when they are complicit in the mythbuilding.

Morning, thanks for the pointers nous. Schimitt is a really interesting case (I don't want to say person, because he was a rabid anti-semite and a fervent Nazi supporter) cause he identifies a lot of the problems with liberal democracies, but ewwwww, if you hope that insight would be part of a personal history you wouldn't feel bad about, you would be deeply disappointed.

I'm not going to enter the slogan wars except to point out that 1) you need slogans and 2) they are always subject to deconstruction, so they may always backfire. I just had a person who I assumed was relatively sane post a long screed about how 'I believe in science' is a recipe for disaster. While there might be a bit of a problem, honestly, as slogans go, it seems pretty anodyne. Yes, there are times when science gets a head of itself, but that's the problem of people doing it, not of science.

Anyway, it's pretty clear to me that the only slogan that works is 'Purge the right'. I mean, taking aim at an undefined other that changes whenever the discussion point changes has always worked so well... [/sarcasm]

I'm not going to enter the slogan wars except to point out that 1) you need slogans and 2) they are always subject to deconstruction, so they may always backfire.

Yes, any slogan can be deconstructed. Which is one reason to resist using them. Or, if you just cannot resist using one (perhaps you feel one necessary in a specific case), run them outside your personal ideological bubble to see how they will be readily misread by others. You may still get deconstructed, but make 'em work for it. Don't hand them a gift on a platter.

Case in point

https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/politics/2019/11/18/gov-kristi-noem-launches-anti-meth-campaign-meth-were-it/4227949002/

Though I have a hard time thinking of Noem consulting anyone on anything...

"Though I have a hard time thinking of Noem consulting anyone knowledgeable and/or competent on anything..."

Fixed that for you.
(Which, note, makes her a leading clone of the previous guy.)

But yeah, "Meth, We're On It" is a classic made-to-be-effortlessly-misinterpreted example.

You have to have a pretty inflated view of human intelligence to suggest that slogans are unnecessary at best and counterproductive at worst.

"Make America Great Again" is a slogan. Whatever the fuck it means, however incoherent it might be and however open to parody, it worked in 2016 and keeps on working now. It's comforting to imagine that essay-length responses will somehow de-convert MAGAts from their sheep-like devotion to it, but it's a pipe dream.

America contains enough stoopid people so that faith in reasoned discourse is rapidly becoming Panglossian. If it takes slogans to motivate non-MAGAts to show up at the polls, then bring on the slogans, sez I.

--TP

Not all slogans are created equal. True, "Make America Great Again" is a slogan. But it's not trivial to make it seem to mean anything other than it obviously does. (America was great . . . when we were young. But "those people" have wrecked it, and we should undo the damage.)

As opposed to, say, "Defund the Police". It being trivial to misread that as "reduce police funding to zero."

Like I said, slogans have uses, but can also be counterproductive. At minimum, you need to have someone outside your immediate circle cross check to make sure you aren't making it easy to misunderstand.

Hmm, interesting. I mean, who came up with 'Make America Great Again'? Or 'Defund the Police?'? Or my favorite 'Cows Kill Salmon' (a Northwest slogan, if you want to go in the weeds, we can talk about it)

Deconstructing slogans is great fun because it is easy to assign people to it without actually having to prove that they were the ones who started it, without having to question why it arises and what it means that people use it.

I've explained why I think 'Defund the Police' is not that bad, and I realize that people disagree. But it is not like there was an author of the slogan (wikipedia suggests it was 'popularized' by the Black Visions Collective in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing.) Context matters, and given the situation in Minneapolis, 'Defund the Police' makes perfect sense, but when you have people who willfully ignore what that context is and it is picked up by people who can't be bothered to learn about the context, there is not much you can do. Except to wait until something happens that is so general that everyone everywhere feels the same way about it. But in that case, you don't need any slogans. And if the only response to its perceived badness is 'get better slogans', I don't actually think we will get very far.

"Defund The Police" is a Republican slogan. it wasn't Republicans who came up with the text, but it was Republicans who popularized and capitalized on it because Republicans think it says something simple and powerful about Democrats. it was never a Democratic slogan - Democrats never used it among themselves.

I'm not sure about that, according to wikipedia (which is never wrong, ya know!), it has this

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defund_the_police

My understanding is that it gained prominence with the George Floyd protests. I mentioned that the context of Minneapolis and the city's relation to the police was an important factor. I'd also highlight that Philando Castile was shot in Minneapolis in 2016 and immediately after George Floyd's killing which was followed by this report
https://www.mpd150.com/report/

Lots of stuff in there, but what caught my eye was the employment of the term 'abolitionist movement'. That plugging into that set of frames was pretty interesting for me.

Another aspect of this is that the city was pushing to 'increase' the number of police officers. Analyzed without connection to anything else, it is understandable (attrition and retirement as well as leave because of PTSD in the wake of the Floyd protests), but if you think about the optics, it's not really optimal. In addition, a lot of this is baked into the city charter, so that's another level of frustration.

I try to be pragmatic about this, I can see how the slogan didn't work, but I don't dumping on the people who resorted to it and telling them to shape up is really helpful.

My understanding is that it gained prominence with the George Floyd protests.

the Black Visions Collective is a small local group that is only tangentially related to electoral politics. the slogan bounced around Twitter for a while, but gained prominence (as in something you can hear in mainstream reporting) because the GOP adopted it as a slur.

another way you can tell it's not a Democratic slogan is that no Democrats advocate for what the GOP says it means: literal defunding of police departments. "Democrats have concerns about municipal budget allocation priorities!" isn't what the GOP has taught people to hear.

It's true that you can't control what your opponents will claim you said. But you can refrain from handing them something on a platter. Which is why I pushed back originally on what I took (perhaps incorrectly) to be Donald's meaning when he said "I don't know what slogan would work..."

I can see that, but, and this observation is not trying to slam you here but can you see how this might sound a little like victim blaming?

Perhaps I've got a thicker skin/harder head about this than other folks here, I have to see and sometimes deal with slogans done by Japanese groups, so I try to not to be too judgemental. Even though it kills me, a lot of times, I'd tell them for free what was wrong (though it would be nice to do that as a job in my dotage...)

This poor man didn't have COVID, but he died of it, anyway.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/alabama-heart-patient-dies-after-hospital-contacts-43-icus-3-n1279025

case in point

https://japantoday.com/category/national/english-mistake-makes-kyoto-the-enemy-of-the-world

but, and this observation is not trying to slam you here but can you see how this might sound a little like victim blaming?

It wasn't my intention, but I can see that.

My intent was more in the nature of how, when you are planning anything, you give some thought to what might go wrong and how to avoid it. For example, you can get hurt in an auto accident that wasn't your fault. Deciding to encourage the use of a seat belt isn't really victim blaming.

This poor man didn't have COVID, but he died of it, anyway.

that man was from Cullman, AL.. that's where my MiL lives. wife was down there a few weeks ago to visit and she was appalled at the lack of precautions.

Sorry, kind of participating while doing Japanese stuff, so cleek's point (or what I think cleek's point) went right passed me.

If I am interpreting it correctly, it would be
1)A group outside of electoral politics generates the slogan defund the police to address issues in their community (The title of the MD105 pamphlet was 'Enough is enough', but if you look at the 8 times they use 'defund', it is to provide a nuanced explanation)
2)Other groups protesting in other communities pick it up
3)No elected or running Democratic uses it except and until a Republican challenger/incumbent demands that they locate themselves in relation to a warped idea of what 'Defund the Police' means

At this point, you have two options. You could dimiss the slogan, say it's just not appropriate and hands something to the opponents on a silver platter. Or, you could try to explain why it arose and why something needs to be done. I believe that AOC is someone who has done that, but if you look at the articles about her stance, it often overlooks basically everything before that. Here are a couple

https://nypost.com/2020/11/12/aoc-defends-defund-the-police-mantra-after-dem-losses/

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-aoc-nypd-de-blasio-george-floyd-protest-defund-police-a9553606.html

Now, you could suggest to her that she should have said she doesn't agree with the slogan, preserving her own position, but leaving a lot of grassroots organizers hanging. Or you could accept that what she did was what was needed. I lean towards the latter.

I'd also argue that her particular stance is shaped by her context, which is cuts to the $6bn NY City police budget

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/nypd-budget-cuts-aoc-defund-protests-black-lives-matter-new-york-city-vote-a9595146.html

since the slogan is a horrible misphrasing of what some Dems actually want, as a Democratic slogan it's abysmal. which is why it was never an actual Democratic slogan of any kind. but is close enough to the caricature Democrats the GOP runs against, so the GOP was able to popularize it as a demagogic strawman, and then demand all Dems answer for it.

AOC and some other Dems thought they could seriously engage the issue and try to explain that they really meant ... zzzz ... all that did was make them sound defensive and evasive and provide opportunities to take parts of their explanations out of context to legitimize the GOP's strawman.

ex. last year, in a neighboring district, an accomplished and well-respected judge ran for a House seat as a Dem. the GOP accused her of wanting to "defund the police", of course. and one of her responses to that was:

“I am not in favor of taking all of the money from law enforcement,” ... “In terms of reallocating, I certainly would be in favor of taking a look at the priorities and doing whatever allocating of resources to accomplish those things.”

and then the GOP used that second sentence in their attack ads as proof that she did want to "defund the police". "reallocating!" she's a radical leftist!

their strawman could not be beat.

Back to the State of Exception for a moment. I started rereading Agamben (last time I read it was during the height of the Iraq War) and there is just so much that is relevant to our discussions here. One representative example:

Because the sovereign power of the president is essentially grounded in the emergency linked to a state of war, over the course of the twentieth century the metaphor of war becomes an integral part of the presidential political vocabulary whenever decisions considered to be of vital importance are being imposed.

Thus, in 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt was able to assume extraordinary powers to cope with the Great Depression by presenting his actions as those of a commander during a military campaign:

"I assume unhesitatingly the leadership of this great army of our people dedicated to a disciplined attack upon our common problems.... I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures that a stricken
Nation in the midst of a stricken world may require.. . . But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take [the necessary measures] and in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis—broad Executive power to wage war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe. (Roosevelt 1938,14-15)"

It is well not to forget that, from the constitutional standpoint, the New Deal was realized by delegating to the president (through a series of statutes culminating in the National Recovery Act of June 16,1933) an unlimited power to regulate and control every aspect of the economic life of the country—a fact that is in perfect conformity with the already mentioned parallelism between military and economic emergencies that characterizes the politics of the twentieth century.

This as part of Agamben's review of the historical use of the state of exception in France, Germany, Italy, England, and the US.

It's not the easiest read, but it's clearly written and only about 88 pages long.

ask any cop you know what they think about being called to deal with mentally ill people in distress.

then let that guide your thinking about "defund the police".

Meanwhile....

Climate change is a serious problem. One way to address it involves conversion to green energy sources (i.e. ones not involving combustion of carbon). There are a multitude of alternative options, all of which have drawbacks. For example, solar power is only available during daylight hours, wind power is only available when the wind is blowing, hydro power is widely used in the Western US but is increasingly threatened by drought reducing the available water supply.

Then there is nuclear power. It has fallen out of fashion, but still provides something like 20% of electric power generation. And falling -- there has been only 1 new plant in the US in the last 20 years, while 9 have ben shut down in just the last decade.
https://news.yahoo.com/illinois-set-rescue-ailing-nuclear-100000733.html
In spite of being available 24/7.

The drawback here is disposal of the waste -- nuclear fuel rods which are no longer radioactive enough to drive power generation, but still dangerously radioactive. There are possible ways to address that, from the futuristic (drop the waste in subduction zones in mid-ocean) to those which are merely politically difficult (consolidate waste in some remote, underground location such as the US facility in southern Nevada). The politics may eventually change. But not as long as those most concerned about climate change are generally knee-jerk opponents of all things nuclear.

Then there is nuclear power. It has fallen out of fashion, but still provides something like 20% of electric power generation.

About 10% globally. About 25% of the supply in the US Eastern Interconnect last year, less than 9% in both the Texas and Western Interconnects. Will drop below 6% in the Western within three years or so when Diablo Canyon shuts down. Various renewable sources (including conventional hydro) accounted for a bit over 40% of total production in the Western last year.

hydro power is widely used in the Western US but is increasingly threatened by drought reducing the available water supply.

Also a problem for nuclear energy with its reliance on cooling, no? The plants themselves are vulnerable to the effects of surface water temperatures rising and that is causing more shutdowns with longer restart times.

I just went and did a quick review of the different sides, and while there is a lot of entrenched opposition to nuclear power from the largest of the environmental groups, the factor that most of the environmental scientists point to as being the argument against nuclear power is the cost and time for developing new plants. Nuclear plants take a long time to build and are not suitable for rapid and flexible expansion.

The gist of their current argument is that nuclear power remains an important low-carbon energy source, but that the need of the moment is for a big push in renewables to extend the timeline enough to allow a more measured response in subsequent decades.

Nuclear plants take a long time to build and are not suitable for rapid and flexible expansion.

Certainly not a complete solution. But for providing the baseline supply, still looks like a sensible approach. Compare the time and expense to build either highways or railroads. (Being in California, I'm sure you are aware to the expenses we are looking at for the planned high speed rail line.)

Climate change is a serious problem.

As if. But it is just about always framed in the context of a basic assumption that the way we live now (aka maintain/grow the standard of living), and our demand for an ever growing population and GNP shall remain unchallenged now and well into the future.

To my way of thinking this kind of thinking is simply suicidal.*


*PS: All my solutions are currently politically untenable (i.e., abandon the burbs to take one example)....but eminently DOABLE from a technical standpoint. When things heat up (to borrow an expression) to the existential crisis point, minds will finally get focused....but I fear it will be too late.

Reader alert-I am a fuzzy headed socialist.

I lean towards the latter.

Good on you.

Maybe some of our Dem betters need to learn how to wave the bloody shirt:

"Defund the police, you say?", said Dem candidate X.
"I am here to tell you that we need more funding! More funding for schools, health care, retirement assistance, community assistance!!!"

"Republicans are AGAINST FUNDING any of those things!", she went on.

"They want to DEFUND everything except putting money in their own pockets!", she thundered.

"The GOP needs to be squashed. Mindless greed needs to be defeated, and defeated soundly. I ask for your vote to make that goal a reality."

"Thank you."

Also a problem for nuclear energy with its reliance on cooling, no?

In a drying western US, this is an argument against all thermal power plants. Here in Colorado one of the reasons that wind farms produce power more cheaply than new gas-fired power plants is that wind farms don't have to shop for water rights.

the context of a basic assumption that the way we live now (aka maintain/grow the standard of living), and our demand for an ever growing population and GNP shall remain unchallenged now and well into the future.

To my way of thinking this kind of thinking is simply suicidal.

You may be convinced, even to the point of restricting your personal standard of living. But your chances of convincing any significant portion of the world to buy in are nil. Even after climate change has already happened, it's simply not going to fly.

i'm not moving to any city.

Great stump speech, bobby! I hope lots of candidates adopt some variation on it.

Even after climate change has already happened, it's simply not going to fly.

I'm not sure what "has already happened" means exactly, but once it's happened enough, people's standards of living will be restricted for them. So it is going to fly, just not voluntarily.

(Not that I think you disagree, wj. Just taking it a bit further down the logical road.)

"Reader alert-I am a fuzzy headed socialist."

You also think living in a city is acceptable. So its not that your solutions are not politically feasible, they are inhumane and lack any empathy from the perspective of someone like me who feels crushed in a suburb of a city of 250k. I would die if I had to live in an inner suburb, much less the actual city.

So its not that your solutions are not politically feasible, they are inhumane and lack any empathy from the perspective of someone like me who feels crushed in a suburb of a city of 250k.

Not to mention being inhumane and lacking empathy for those who are currently living at bare subsistence level elsewhere in the world. It's fine to say that you (and those at near your level) need to forego rising standards of consumption. But there are far, far more folks out there who are simply not going to accept that.

You may be convinced, even to the point of restricting your personal standard of living. But your chances of convincing any significant portion of the world to buy in are nil. Even after climate change has already happened, it's simply not going to fly.

After the worst effects of climate change are unavoidable, not much will fly. Everyone will be dealing with refugee crises and instability.

Spring 2019 was a dress rehearsal.

There is no status quo option.

Not to mention being inhumane and lacking empathy for those who are currently living at bare subsistence level elsewhere in the world.

They're going to die first because of AGW.

It's fine to say that you (and those at near your level) need to forego rising standards of consumption. But there are far, far more folks out there who are simply not going to accept that.

The groups driving ecological collapse are not saving the lives of the poor by raising the global standards. The groups driving ecological collapse are not acting in the interests of the poor and at-risk. The values driving their economic and political activity are not altruistic.

The people trying to avert disaster spend a lot of time trying to find ways to mitigate the harms to the at-risk.

Your scolding is misplaced.

(i.e., abandon the burbs to take one example)

Given the political resistance to this, at least in the US, it might be more useful to ask "Can the suburbs become efficient enough?" The answer to that may be different in different places. Bear with me for a minute...

Now that the Census Bureau has made it possible to calculate population density based on built area rather than simple county area, a bunch of conventional wisdom turns out to be wrong. In the CB's 13-state western region, suburbs average almost double the population density of suburbs in the rest of the country. Many/most of those western suburbs are on the urban side of the most common density value for dividing urban/suburban. A southern exurb at <2,000 people per square mile might never be efficient enough. A western burb at >4,200 people per square mile may do fine.

The national labs have looked at how to do low carbon/no carbon grids in the US for decades now. Their results for the Western Interconnect say that it's straightforward. That's not the same as simple, especially since the politics will likely be harder than the technology. The renewable resources are large relative to demand. Those resources are both type-diverse and geographically-diverse, so statistical load balancing is much easier. Because the population is concentrated in a handful of major metro areas, the routes for bulk transport are obvious. The labs have looked at the problem in great detail. They also have looked at the Eastern and Texas Interconnects, and shown those are considerably harder problems.

All our lives are going to be a cakewalk compared to what my students and their children will face if we don't curtail our current way of life.

Their lives will be a cakewalk compared to the lives of the marginal who suffer now and will suffer worse after the conspicuous consuming sociopaths get their way.

And the conspicuous consuming sociopaths will likely go to their great reward just before the rest of us go over the cliff they have been driving us towards.

We aren't constraining people to smaller, harder lives. Those are the circumstances we have already built for ourselves through the accumulated momentum of unwise choices.

No one wants or hopes for these changes.

A man said to the universe:
“Sir, I exist!”
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.” - Stephen Crane

Please define conspicuous consumption sociopaths. Because it seems that every person living in a city can be defined as that. I live on less than almost every one I know that live any where near a city. The cities have filthy air, constant light, too much noise,limited Greenspan, who would want to live there? Now that I do 99% of my work by zoom I never drive more than 50 miles a week.

But no, we don't have a local opera house.

It seems unlikely moving me to a city saves the environment much.

Please define conspicuous consumption sociopaths.

"Here we calculate final energy footprints; that is, the energy embodied in goods and services across income classes in 86 countries, both highly industrialized and developing. We analyse the energy intensity of goods and services used by different income groups, as well as their income elasticity of demand. We find that inequality in the distribution of energy footprints varies across different goods and services. Energy-intensive goods tend to be more elastic, leading to higher energy footprints of high-income individuals. Our results consequently expose large inequality in international energy footprints: the consumption share of the bottom half of the population is less than 20% of final energy footprints, which in turn is less than what the top 5% consume." - https://www.nature.com/articles/s41560-020-0579-8

The top 5% of the population measured by wealth consume more energy than does the bottom 20% and they have far more discretion over where they spend their money. They are also the ones profiting off of all that fossil fuel extraction. Everyone else's growth has been flat.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51906530

But Professor Kevin Anderson, from the Tyndall Centre in Manchester, who was not involved in the study, told BBC News: “This study tells relatively wealthy people like us what we don’t want to hear.

“The climate issue is framed by us high emitters – the politicians, business people, journalists, academics. When we say there’s no appetite for higher taxes on flying, we mean WE don’t want to fly less

“The same is true about our cars and the size our homes. We have convinced ourselves that our lives are normal, yet the numbers tell a very different story,” he said.

The study says transport energy alone could increase 31% by 2050. “If transport continues to rely on fossil fuels, this increase would be disastrous for the climate,” the report says.

It suggests different remedies for different types of energy use. So, flying and driving big cars could face higher taxes, while energy from homes could be reduced by a housing retrofit.

The groups driving ecological collapse are not saving the lives of the poor by raising the global standards. The groups driving ecological collapse are not acting in the interests of the poor and at-risk. The values driving their economic and political activity are not altruistic.

I'm afraid that you've totally missed the point. Which is that those who are currently very poor are going to want to raise their standard of living. And they are not going to accept "global warming" as a reason why that shouldn't happen.

So either we make power consumption at a far higher level available to them, at a price they can afford, without burning carbon, or they (as China is currently doing) go big on coal burning and other problem technologies.

I'm afraid that you've totally missed the point. Which is that those who are currently very poor are going to want to raise their standard of living. And they are not going to accept "global warming" as a reason why that shouldn't happen.

I don't remember anyone saying that the poor should not get power or food, so this is a strange argument to make to counter the people wanting more sustainable energy and agriculture.

Now that I do 99% of my work by zoom I never drive more than 50 miles a week.

when I lived in cities, I didn't have or need a car. when people talk about urbanization as a way of reducing overall carbon footprint, I think that's the kind of thing they're talking about.

and FWIW, Zoom is not carbon-neutral. better than driving, but that's a low bar.

'move to the city' is probably not a sufficient answer for global warming, and everyone isn't gonna want to do it anyway.

I don't see a solution to global warming that doesn't require some significant number of people accepting limits of some kind on what they consume and how they consume it. people in the first world aren't gonna want to give up what they have, people not in the first world aren't gonna want to be told they can never have what people in the first world have.

So the laws of physics and human nature are just going to play out.

Young people alive today and the next few generations after them are going to have a fncking mess on their hands.

maybe there will be some wonderful technical discovery that will let us replace our use of fossil fuels, plastics, and similar with some other marvelously impact-less alternatives. that would be great, where for 'great' please read 'miraculous'.

absent that, our progeny are gonna be stuck making all the hard decisions we have refused to make.

people seem to be waiting for a solution that doesn't require them to make any unwelcome adjustments to their way of life. I'm not sure that exists.

Well, someone is getting the message...

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/sep/06/gen-z-climate-change-careers-jobs

My thinking too has changed on this, but not sure when I can point to an a-ha moment. I was more generally a person who thought that if growth could be harnessed and done, a sort of faith in technocracy. I knew there were problems with that, but I thought if minds could be sufficiently concentrated, it could be done.

Now, I don't think that is the case and I pretty much fully accept the case for degrowth.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/24/economic-crisis-degrowth-green-new-deal

Yet to fixate on the question of growth risks exaggerating the differences between the Green New Dealers and degrowthers – elevating the former as practical-minded technocratic capitalists who want a return to normal economic activity, just motored by a different energy source, and dismissing the latter as abstemious, back-to-the-land utopians who want to deprive us of most of the luxuries of modern capitalist life.

This in turn could lead to our learning only some of the lessons of the current predicament, and taking only some of the opportunities it offers. What both strands of climate thinking ask us to consider – and what the current crisis poses with special, brutal force, as phrases like “key workers” and “essential services” enter common parlance – is the question of what kinds of jobs we need, and what kinds our planet needs of us.

Which goods and services are indispensable, and which would we be better off without? Degrowth and the GND offer different answers to this question – from green infrastructure construction to the care economy – but they both pose it, as well as raising important broader questions about how, how much and why we work. Once it is safe to emerge from economic survival mode, I hope we will have the wisdom to follow the lead of both movements by systematically reflecting on which kinds of productive activity actually enrich our lives – and which among these our planet can sustain.

What makes me feel shittiest is that my kids have to navigate a world where I can't really give them much advice. I suppose that every generation feels that, and I often think if my mom and dad had known some things rather than been locked into their histories, I would have done different things. But looking at that, it is more doing things that I imagine _might_ have been more exciting, not behaving in a different way because the planet depends on it. If my kids (or descendents, though that implies too much optimism) ever find my writing here, all I can say is sorry, I wish I had figured it out sooner...

One of Colorado's contributions to the Christian conservative death-loving, death-dealing subhuman bug up America's ass all these decades:

https://www.reddit.com/r/HermanCainAward/comments/pnhcnb/another_antivaxx_conservative_talk_show_host/

One bullet saved, but one that should have been used years ago.

Genocidal fucking republican party murderers:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2021/09/13/pandemic-school-in-deflorida/

And yet the fewer of them there are, the minority killers cheat, lie, and steal to become a greater majority:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/republicans-gerrymander-redistricting-voting-rights

Well, if it's legal, what's the problem?

Kill all republican/conservative-made laws and courts.

This suicidal mass psychosis isn't killing enough of them fast enough to save the country.

They grin like addled suicide bombers when they threaten on the fucking goddamned public airways to murder half the country in their civil war:

https://www.mediamatters.org/one-america-news-network/oan-wayne-allyn-root-warns-civil-war-its-coming-i-promise-you-its-coming

I'm not smiling. I derive no joy whatsoever from the horror I regret is coming.

I have a promise for Root.

Elder, the subhuman conservative vermin, won't accept the results of the California recall:

https://digbysblog.net/2021/09/13/the-best-republican-california-could-dredge-up/

Free elections in America are now dead fucking dog shit.

America is ungovernable by conservative decree.

Their only recourse is savage violence, as the facile rhetoric of watering the tree of liberty and the rest of the rhetorical horseshit about anti-gummint insurrectional crapola is now exhausted.

The only thing they have left is trying to kill all of us.

Stealing elections can't satisfy them.

Is there any reason why we cannot both have degrowth and increase the standard of living for the least fortunate?

I don't remember anyone saying that the poor should not get power or food, so this is a strange argument to make to counter the people wanting more sustainable energy and agriculture.

Well, that's how I read you saying:

The groups driving ecological collapse are not saving the lives of the poor by raising the global standards. The groups driving ecological collapse are not acting in the interests of the poor and at-risk. The values driving their economic and political activity are not altruistic.
Specifically the part about objecting to "saving the lives of the poor by raising the global standards." Glad to hear that isn't what you intended.

Is there any reason why we cannot both have degrowth and increase the standard of living for the least fortunate?

If you just want to limit growth for those in the first world, no problem. But the way you have phrased it, you want to restrict growth everywhere. It is, I suppose, a "defund the police" phenomena -- apparently what you said (as I heard it) wasn't what you were actually trying to communicate.

Specifically the part about objecting to "saving the lives of the poor by raising the global standards." Glad to hear that isn't what you intended.

Not at all. I was thinking (in writing that) about the fieldwork interviews that Justin Farrrell did working with the ultra rich in Teton County, WY. The ultra rich he spoke with align their environmental activism with their personal priorities and values, not with the needs of the poor - even the poor that they are personally involved with. I'm just saying that if we want to help the poor, we can't rely on the people with the most ability to take voluntary action to help the poor in any meaningful way. The policies they favor don't do that.

And as for restricting growth, yes, degrowth everywhere, but not as a flat policy. Progressive degrowth that allows relief for the economically at-risk, but probably puts a big crimp in the lifestyles of the rich and famous to do so.

Here's the thing. To someone not familiar with the degrowth movement**, "degrowth" sounds like it's obviously a synonym for "shrink." As in, "we want to shrink your personal economic circumstances" -- not, note, restrain growth, but shrink. And no hint that relief for the economically at-risk might be included.

If you are going to use the word, outside the small group who are already onboard, you need to make a major effort to spread familiarity with the term. Or you are going to shoot yourself in the foot, over and over.

Communication, not to mention persuasion, requires using vocabulary that your audience understands.

** Which is the vast majority of the population. Including me, until just now when I looked it up.

wj - I didn't mention the term degrowth until after you and Marty had already started making noise about the less fortunate as if environmentalists were indifferent at best to their plight.

LJ introduced the term, not as a slogan but as something he had come around to after taking the time to educate himself.

I'm still baffled as to why you and Marty think that those who wish to scale back our ecological burden on the environment would think that means ignoring the needs of the worst off. No one who has proposed that has done so with the intention of putting the burden on the less fortunate. We have all, to a person, been advocating for change in order to protect the least well off and those who do not have a say in the future we are building for them.

And all the major environmental groups have, for quite some time now, been aligning their environmental activism with economic justice and improving the lot of the impoverished around the world. Certainly that is a major part of what Patagonia and the Sierra Club are doing as part of their goals of creating a circular economic model.

Check it out.

Communication, not to mention persuasion, requires using vocabulary that your audience understands.

OK...let's give it a try:

"Folks, we are now experiencing the onset of an ecological and existential catastrophe. Some say it is fake news. That is the voice of clowns, psychopaths, liars and unforgivable greed.
Some say we should just wait for the next technological miracle. Well, how long will that take? That is the voice of the hopefully delusional.
I liken this moment to a lifeboat decision on a sinking ship. Given our current weight, we cannot all get into the lifeboat. It would sink. Some would simply say, throw the weak overboard. I reject that inhumanity unequivocally. Who amongst you would cast the first stone? (heard that somewhere).

So let's commit to each of us losing weight. Those with the most weight to lose will have to lose the most weight.

This is both fair and reasonable. If we ALL pitch in to help each other, we can do this. Let's go!"

here is how the ground reality looks to me.

the top 3 selling vehicles in the US right now, in order, are:

* Ford F-150
* Chevy Silverado
* Dodge Ram pickup

all around 20mpg average with regular gas, knock a couple of mpg off of that for E85.

we - the US - can't even get people to get a freaking vaccination without them throwing a shit-fit about their sacred inalienable rights. imagine trying to persuade people to (a) drive a small hybrid sedan or (b) take the bus.

or, you know, live somewhere that they can walk to work or ride a bike.

we're the 4th largest consumers of beef per capita. try to persuade people here to eat half the beef per year that they eat now.

a couple of weeks ago I was in northeast OH visiting family. kind of mid-way between Cleveland and Akron. no curbside pickup for recycling on offer. all of it - glass, paper, plastic, metal - goes in a landfill.

there are 10 states in the US that have some level of ban on single-use plastic bags. 2 more have some kind of tax program to discourage their use. 18 states not only have no law against, they have laws banning local municipalities from passing any restriction on the use of single use plastic bags.

We're dealing with tens or hundreds of millions of people who approach this stuff like Brett with his incandescent chicken coop bulb. Nobody wants to give a freaking inch, and more than that, they believe they are entitled to not give an inch. About anything.

I hate to say this, but I don't see this country doing one damned thing about global warming or global-scale environmental issues of any kind, any time in my lifetime or likely a generation after that. We are persuaded that we are entitled to do whatever the hell we want, and no small number of us threatens to shoot whoever tries to tell them different.

if somebody somehow discovers an efficient way to turn dirt into a clean fuel with an energy density approaching that of petroleum, maybe there's a way forward. even dirt wouldn't work, it's bulky and awkward to move around. it would have to be something like ocean water. and even that wouldn't work, because it would be too hard to make it an excludable good, so nobody would be able to get sufficiently filthy stinking rich off of it.

Americans have a deep and abiding sense of entitlement. We consider ourselves exceptional. The idea that we should willingly give up any bit of what we think we are entitled to is, socially and politically, a non-starter. the kiss of death.

even 50 years ago, we were able to agree about stuff like this to a degree sufficient to create the EPA and pass basic environmental legislation.

now we can't even agree to wear a mask in public during a pandemic. people will literally start fights in public places if they're challenged on it.

we no longer have the social cohesion or sense of simple, basic responsibility to other people to make anything like concerted action about global warming feasible.

I'm just talking about the US here, but I'm sure there are analogous issues other places. Like, for example, all the places where people are finally able to afford to buy a car or an air conditioner. Who's gonna tell them no?

I don't see how we get to where we need to be until some very serious damage starts getting done. Like, much worse than now. At which point, I'm not sure what options are available.

The world is going to change. How much, where, I don't know. But it's already happening, and as far as I can tell outside of a handful of places we aren't even trying to keep up, let alone get ahead of it.

I'm sure it sounds like I'm being all gloom and doom and hating on America, but I'm just looking around and telling you what I see.

Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, Dodge Ram pickup. #1, #2, and #3. Every year, for years. How many freaking carpenters are there?

And we knew this was coming 40 years ago.

Suburbs are economic and ecological superfund sites. They were built on pipedream lies. They are subsidized by taxes generated in urban areas. They do not have the tax base (this takes density) to maintain their infrastructure, much less the lifestyle. Ecologically? Well, pavement from horizon to horizon is, simply put, extremely stupid.

As for those of you who have decided at long last to take up the cause of Indian peasants, well, when are you going to do something about it? There are public policies that would actually promote that good thing...policies that would have us give up some of our good things so they can also have some good things.

Conceptually, this is not hard. In political practicality, yes, I would agree....well neigh impossible.

But we, as a species, are going to be faced with such tough decisions in short order.

Count on it.


I would die if I had to live in an inner suburb, much less the actual city.

Your disdain for the millions who happily live in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, St.Louis, and maybe, just maybe, Boston, is duly noted.

But really, it's not all about you.

I haven’t read the whole thread, but tend to agree with wj on slogans, whether it is degrowth or defund the police. I have sympathy with what I think are the goals of both. I have read some things about degrowth from both adherents and its critics and am not sure where I fall— some of the critics seem to misrepresent what the advocates want. And on substance I am not sure who is right.

But substance aside, leftist sloganeering seems terrible. I think the right is better at this. Pithy slogans by their nature are about emotion, and so you want the emotion that the slogan elicits to support the goal you want to push. Conservatives say things like “ no new taxes” and the emotion stirred up is that people want to keep their money from the greedy hands of the bureaucrats and tax collectors. Liberals who argue against this are like parents trying to tell their young children they have to eat their vegetables before they can have ice cream. Pithy slogans that stir up emotions are more powerful than rational arguments.

But lefties seem to pick out slogans which stir up the emotions that oppose what the left is trying to advocate. Defund the police makes people think we won’t have police protecting us from criminals. Degrowth— well, we are all raised to see growth as good and so you have to make a long argument explaining what one really wants.

I think people like Jason Hickel might be right. I’m not sure. But the slogan just invites misinterpretation.

I'm still baffled as to why you and Marty think that those who wish to scale back our ecological burden on the environment would think that means ignoring the needs of the worst off.

I can't speak for Marty, obviously. But my personal experience (admittedly not particularly current, hermit that I have become) has been that those arguing for "no growth" do, in fact, mean no growth anywhere. It's as if they can sort-of grasp what poverty means in the US, but have no clue that the poor here (not homeless, but poor) would be considered quite well of in much of the world.

If the ecological movement has gotten past that, wonderful. But I have to say that they rather understate it in their news releases. Just as you only brought it up when challenged. I'm guessing that's because you simply assumed that everybody knew. But everybody doesn't. Including, as you can see, me.

Degrowth means less energy and resources consumed in aggregate. You could make the lives of the worst-off so much better in terms of quality of life (which, for them, translates fairly well to standard of living on a marginal basis) by reallocating resources from the best-off in ways that are virtually meaningless in terms of quality of life (which, for them, translates very poorly to standard of living on a marginal basis). People don’t need most of the kind of high-end sh*t that the most well-off in the world consume.

What the f**k does anyone need with a goddamned fat-ass diamond ring? What’s wrong with you if you think that can make you truly happy?

But lefties seem to pick out slogans which stir up the emotions that oppose what the left is trying to advocate.

"Liberte, equality, fraternity"

"Eat the rich"

"From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs"

"All power to the soviets. Bread. Peace. Land."

"Whose side are you on?"

"The union makes us strong"

"I like Ike"

"Power to the people"

"Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today"

"Let freedom ring"

Find the one that does not fit.


what hsh (that dirty commie) wrote at 11:51 abv.

Fear, anger, and mockery are easy to do. They also all feed tribalism and shut down curiosity. A constant diet of these conditions a mind to find reward in them and reinforces the notions fed by them.

Pretty soon, the people conditioned this way get fixated on the damnedest things. My relatives were afraid of the malicious influence of vegans for a while.

This is the land in which RW slogans live.

Left wing slogans can live in that land too, but that's the revolutionary left. We're trying not to feed that beast any more than we have to to keep the 3%ers at bay.

Curiosity and openness are hard. They're doubly hard during times of great stress.

Guess what we have been living through, and what is in the forecast for the foreseeable future?

It would be grand if people of good faith on the right would maybe try to stop gorging their amygdalae on outrage and start looking for the good in others long enough to find some common cause.

nous, It would be grand if people of good faith on the left right would maybe try to stop gorging their amygdalae on outrage and start looking for the good in others long enough to find some common cause.

Just as true.

And, bobbyp, my disdain is for people who insist the way they live is right for everyone. And then use climate change as the excuse to enforce it.

I would die if I had to live in an inner suburb, much less the actual city.

I remember when I went to Japan on a government program, they took special pains to explain how Japanese residences were like 'rabbit hutches' which is often how Japanese apologize for their housing. Here's an interesting discussion of why the rabbit hutch image is correct as an observation, but fails to understand the context of that system

https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/things-to-do/transcreating-tokyo-part-14-in-praise-of-rabbit-hutches

Above all, what I want to get across is that although Edo commoners’ homes may have looked like rabbit hutches, they more than served their purpose as residences within the context of the city’s overall urban system.

Well then, what about contemporary Japan? Ever since the Meiji era, Western lifestyles have slowly permeated Japanese society, resulting in a gradual decline of the technology and equipment required for Edo-style communal living. In my opinion, urban life is becoming increasingly difficult to get a grip on, as the ‘rabbit hutch model’ survives both as a result of complacency and due to the parallel realities of incompletely adapted Western ways of living and the impossibility of returning entirely to an Edo lifestyle.

However, the notion that ‘a small home doesn’t prevent one from living large in the city’ certainly applies to modern-day Tokyoites. That reality is based on the rather amazing achievement of public space utilisation in Edo’s rabbit hutch lifestyle, developed until the mid-19th century. Not touching upon the forms of control that these public spaces were put under would make my argument awfully glorifying of Japan – but developing that point would require another column altogether.

There were people who really chafed at the size of Japanese residences, but I'd been to Europe and it wasn't that different. I had stayed a week with a Spanish assistant who taught at the same lycée that I did. They had 6 people in an 2 room apartment, the beds folded out of the wall.

So it does come down to what you are used to, and I can see how some people can't really imagine themselves living in different circumstances. However, only given the changes we've seen in weather in the past 5 years, I would assume that people are going to have to make pretty substantial changes to the way they live. 'insist' on it? I don't think it's me that's insisting that people might not be able to live in Miami or New Orleans, or various areas of California, Oregon and Washington.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/13/us-wildfires-california-oregon-washington

There is a piper to be paid, the only question is who is going to pay them.

What per capita carbon footprint can the world afford? What's your personal carbon footprint? If your second answer is more than your first, what are you going to do about it?

I don't want to tell anyone how to live. But I do want a liveable environment for my children and grandchildren.

Bobbyp—

The left used to be good at slogans. Not lately.

I am not big on slogans anyway. The details matter. The Bolshevik “ bread peace land” slogan was a good one, but the delivery left something to be desired.

Even the nazis nicked it for their 'for work and bread' campaigns (before they came to power and the first few months after). Of course "THEY take/took your work and bread away" played an equal if not even larger part (and the 'they' were of course varied depending on the occasion, it was not just 'the Jews').

They are subsidized by taxes generated in urban areas. They do not have the tax base (this takes density) to maintain their infrastructure

the people on my road literally own the road and pay for its upkeep. there are no public utilities whatsoever.

and that's a pretty common situation, actually.

Ecologically? Well, pavement from horizon to horizon is, simply put, extremely stupid.

what are the streets in your eco-Oz paved with?

Then there are slogans originating on the Left, first taken apart by the Right, and then successfully repurposed by same:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/defunding-the-worlds-policeman/

My favorite repurposing by the malignant racist rightwing in America, besides their recruitment of racist white conservative southern Democrats, is Ronald Reagan's ("those monkeys", referring to African UN delegates, and plenty more) and his fake, bullshit embrace in 1987 (like air-kissing Sammy Davis Jr and then throwing up a little into his hankie) of Martin Luther King's "judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character" ideal.

And then Reagan and his henchmen feeding the Neshoba County candidacy announcement and later Willie Horton and much more directly into the ready and willing woodchipper of the American conservative amygdalae, goosing and oiling it up for inevitable and subsequent feedings of hate against gays, immigrants, Muslims, masks, vaccines, all things gummint, all things Democratic, feminazis, tree-huggers, all taxation, all science, all things not dogshit conservative dogshit republican.

Including every election from now on across the country.

If republican prostates are as soft and supple as their endlessly receptive and voracious amygdalaes, no wonder we have an abortion problem.

But now their testicles are swollen to go with their big swinging dicks:

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/09/now-look-at-what-you-just-saw-this-is-what-you-live-for


what are the streets in your eco-Oz paved with?

Children's tears.

cleek,

Propane for heat, water from wells, septic tanks not sewers -- but how about electricity, telecom, mail?

I know that in one sense, electric and phone/broadband companies are not "public utilities" like the USPS. And I'm not trying to antagonize you, I'm actually curious.

--TP

And, bobbyp, my disdain is for people who insist the way they live is right for everyone. And then use climate change as the excuse to enforce it.

That's funny. I suppose there are people like that, but I think a lot of us are forced to live in ways that we, ourselves, think are wrong. I don't know how to arrange my and my family's affairs in realistic ways to seriously and significantly fight climate change because I live in a system not of my making, one that makes it extremely difficult to use a lot less energy and consume far fewer resources.

I'm not completely helpless as all that goes, but I'm also not all that powerful.

The website of the leading GOPster candidate for the Californian governorship (Larry Elder) seems to have acces to either an oracle or a time machine since it already cries (and seems to have for days now) that statistical analysis of the results clearly show that it was stolen from him. It also makes open threats of violence saying that, the ballot box not having been protected, citizens cannot really wait for the soap box and the jury box to do their work but trust has to be put into the fourth box of American liberty, the ammo box (although he hopes that, if enough citizens join him in his fight, this box 'closest to the Pandora's box' can stay closed).
I assume the latter is pure CYA.
If not and if there are actual riots after him (hopefully) losing, he should be made an example of and put on trial for calls for violent insurrection. I assume California has laws against that sort of thing.

"I don't know how to arrange my and my family's affairs in realistic ways to seriously and significantly fight climate change because I live in a system not of my making, one that makes it extremely difficult to use a lot less energy and consume far fewer resources."

I think all of us feel that way. But I lived on well water and septic tank most of my adult life. The electricity was coal fired, since retired, and I couldn't do much about that. The only other services were telecom/cable and we heated with oil. I dont know what that carbon footprint is, but I'm not sure where you reduce it except for solar on the roof for heat and electricity, with questionable results in NE.

I mostly had pretty fuel efficient cars, for cost purposes.

The trade off was a long commute, sometimes bus or train, more often car. But I couldn't afford to live closer in even had I wanted to.

So now, how does that fit a conspicuous consumption model? I know it's not a 80 Sq ft shared space in downtown Boston but no. I don't want to live that way. Now I'm looking at downsizing to 1200 Sq ft but on 3 acres. No idea what those carbon tradeoffs will be. Which I think is the biggest challenge of all. Who knows what they individually cost? I did quit using straws and buying bottled water. Did that really help?

Who the fuck knows, lets tax some rich guys, that will fix everything.

Who the fuck knows, lets tax some rich guys, that will fix everything.

Because letting them not pay anything and fly off into space has worked so well.

I know that in one sense, electric and phone/broadband companies are not "public utilities" like the USPS.

it's a pretty important sense! city dwellers' precious tax dollars don't pay for our phone or electricity.

it's possible tax dollars were used to pay to run the electric/phone lines down the road when the first houses were put up. i don't know how that works.

on the other hand, a big portion (~25%) of our monthly telco bill is made up of taxes and various fees having to do with different kinds of "cost recovery" (aka. paying to run new lines). so we're paying for someone's new lines. i don't have an electric bill handy.

I don't know how to arrange my and my family's affairs in realistic ways to seriously and significantly fight climate change because I live in a system not of my making, one that makes it extremely difficult to use a lot less energy and consume far fewer resources.

I'd like to see a concise, coherent description of how we would rework our current economy to provide food, shelter, clothing, power and a reasonably free and agreeable lifestyle to everyone under whatever Green Regime the climate change consensus calls for. I doubt it actually exists, and if it does, I'm pretty sure the greens are keeping it quiet for fear of terrifying everyone else into completely ignoring what they (the greens) have to say.

Further, when you have the uber greens going maskless at mega-rich galas, the message falls a little flat. For your daily dose of lefty hypocrisy:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/celebrities/2021/09/13/aoc-met-gala-tax-the-rich-dress/8327295002/


The larger picture is (a) you'll never convince Americans to cut their consumption/lifestyle in half (and it isn't the uber wealthy, it's the hoi poloi), but even if you did, we'd be singing solo because (b) the PRC and others aren't having it and (c) if we do cut ourselves in half figuratively speaking, or whatever fraction it takes, no one is going to look to our example and say "yeah, that's for me too!". Not happening.

So, we either plan to mitigate the effects or take it on the chin. Trying to tell the world to get by on less is a nonstarter.

nobody is under any illusion that the party of Occupy The ICU To Spite The Libz is going to agree to anything any Democrat wants.

So, we either plan to mitigate the effects or take it on the chin. Trying to tell the world to get by on less is a nonstarter.

I don't disagree. Humanity is going to take it on the chin, ISTM. The world is going to cut people's consumption for them in chaotic ways, with attendant political, social, and economic instability.

I'm starting to feel like I don't want my kids to have kids. It's bad enough worrying about what the world is going to be like when my kids are somewhere around retirement age.

The difference between how people Marty and my age grew up, and now, is that there are about 3x as many people on the planet now as there were when we were kids. There are a third again as many people on the planet now as there were when I was 40.

33% increase in world population, in 25 years.

I completely identify with hairshirt's dilemna. The reality on the ground is that most of us reading this live in a physical context based on burning fossil fuel. It took maybe 100 or 200 years to build that out, it's not something you can walk back in less than a generation or two.

And that is apparently not fast enough.

I don't see how we address this without concerted public action. And this country is not oriented toward concerted public action at the moment. We aren't capable of it, as far as I can tell.

I don't have any answers. What I think is that a lot of choices are going to be made for us.

Some folks - a lot of folks, probably - will be mostly OK. Lots of other folks won't.

I'd like to see a concise, coherent description of how we would rework our current economy to provide food, shelter, clothing, power and a reasonably free and agreeable lifestyle to everyone under whatever Green Regime the climate change consensus calls for.

We'd all like that. It probably doesn't exist. The situation is too complex to be addressed by a solution that is both concise and coherent.

We burn too much carbon. Full stop. We live in a society that is based on being able to burn a lot of carbon. If we don't change voluntarily, changes will be imposed on us.

It's not politics, it's physics.

To be honest, IMO the best - maybe the only - way forward is going to be for all of us geezers who can't imagine making the kinds of changes that are needed to die off. we're in the freaking way.

Another 10 years and the kids will have the money and social and political juice to tell us all to STFU and let them get on with fixing the mess we've left them.

Another 20 and we'll mostly be gone, and they'll be able to get stuff done.

Not soon enough but they'll deal. In spite of us.

The larger picture is (a) you'll never convince Americans to cut their consumption/lifestyle in half (and it isn't the uber wealthy, it's the hoi poloi), but even if you did, we'd be singing solo because (b) the PRC and others aren't having it and (c) if we do cut ourselves in half figuratively speaking, or whatever fraction it takes, no one is going to look to our example and say "yeah, that's for me too!". Not happening.

This sort of statement makes me angry.

The fact is that if the US cut its per capita CO2 emissions in half it would then be at the same level as China. Once you've made that cut, you can sit down with the PRC and talk about how you'll both make reduce further.

And after you've both cut another third, you can talk to UK about how we should join in. Except that we already have, because we don't feel entitled any more to destroy the planet.

80 years ago, our parents and grandparents put up with rationing of all sorts and all kinds of other limitations on what they could do, where and when they could do it. there was a war on.

50 years ago, our parents and (in some cases) we addressed the poisoning of the natural environment by establishing the EPA and passing landmark legislation protecting air, water, and other resources.

We lost the plot somewhere in the intervening years. We aren't the people we were then.

Maybe someone can explain it to me. I don't understand it.

This sort of statement makes me angry.

it's lazy excuse-making.

we should throw everything we can at finding tech that can reduce CO2 emissions (and plastic waste).

but no. it's more important that we pretend to uphold simplistic notions of "freedom".

Maybe someone can explain it to me. I don't understand it.

i bet this graph has something to do with it.

our politics are so broken, we can't even address a pandemic. and the biggest reason it's broken is the fact that the Senate kills everything because of its ludicrous super-majority requirement.

nothing will ever improve until the filibuster is dead.

So much for that mythic American can-do attitude.

So many members of Generation Peak American Prosperity grumbling about Kids These Days and their Senses of Entitlement.

The Party Of Personal Responsibility sure has come a long way.

Another 10 years and the kids will have the money and social and political juice to tell us all to STFU and let them get on with fixing the mess we've left them.

Another 20 and we'll mostly be gone, and they'll be able to get stuff done.

My prediction is that in 10-20 years neither climate change nor the arguments about it will have progressed much from where they are now.

as recently as the mid-80's we understood that CFCs and similar chemicals were compromising the ozone layer. they were banned by 1989.

it was a much simpler and smaller lift compared to CO2 generation - CFCs were in widespread use, but weren't as deeply baked into daily life as fossil fuels are, and there were suitable replacements.

but we somehow found a way to turn that around in about 5 years.

I can't imagine that happening now. somebody would start shooting before they'd let Big Government take those CFCs from their cold dead hands. folks would be deliberately venting their ACs into the atmosphere just to piss off the libs.

maybe it's just me looking back with rose colored glasses, but it seems to me that we used to be able to do stuff like this. people would bitch and drag their heels, but it would get done.

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