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View Diary: Global Warming - Creating the Conditions for a Cronkite Moment (183 comments)

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  •  so the argument is (0+ / 0-)

    that because we can't take measures to make sure every poor person is compensated, we should just wreck the planet?  The impacts on the world's poor from climate change are going to be one heck of  alot worse.

    The problme is the disastrous socio economic organization we have

    (and the democrats had the house, but not the 60 votes in the senate)

    •  Nice of you to sacrifice the lives of today's (0+ / 0-)

      poor in favor of poor people decades from now who will theoretically receive the benefits. I wonder how they would feel about that . . .  

      •  Well (0+ / 0-)

        this is an empirical difference.  
        1) I have seen no analyses suggesting that this would be some back breaking impact that could not be mitigated,
        2) in fact I have seen a fair number suggesting that it might well improve the plight of the poor (whow disproportinately suffer the impacts of localized pollution)

        3) I think all analyses suggest that the impacts of climate change will be faced most by the poor (see for example the demands of African countries for action at Durban
        4) and the poor people decades from now would be wiped out.
        5) All analyses that I have seen are clear that the costs of avoidance are substnatially less than the costs of adaptation or damges from climate change.  Even if it's 30% likely, the bet is that avoidance is cheaper.

         I suppose we can argue that we owe nothing whatsoever to future generations.  I do not hold this view.

        •  I think you have to consider the reality (0+ / 0-)

          that billions of people already live on the margins, barely surviving, often not. People live without reliable electricity, heat, a/c, sufficient food, transportation, etc., and all of these things are at least in part dependent on affordable energy. If you make energy more expensive, all of those things will also become more expensive, and less available. That is an impact on poor (and middle class) people that is not likely to be fully mitigated.

          Fighting localized pollution can be in conflict with cutting greenhouse gases. I've worked a lot for example on cleaning up diesel pollution at the Ports of LA and Long Beach. Our best solution would be some sort of electrified cargo mover. That would clean up pollution at the source, but it would also require massive amounts of electricity, much of it provided by coal fired power plants in the Mojave Desert. Personally, I don't give a shit if we burn coal in the desert if it means that poor people in Long Beach and East Los Angeles can breath cleaner air. Others may differ.

          Again, any analysis that says that poor people today should suffer a little bit more in order that poor people in the future will suffer much less is asking today's poor people to sacrifice in favor of some nondescript group of "poor people" living at some point in the future, who if today's poor people have anything to say about it, will NOT be the descendants of today's poor people. I don't think very many of them will voluntarily take that deal. Their "representatives" at climate change talks are people who are personally not going to suffer either way, and if the talks are successful, they will personally be the beneficiaries of the funds that are going to those countries supposedly to mitigate the suffering of the people there. That you have to know is a very old story throughout the world.

          "The poor people" in the future are not going to be wiped out. Again, if there are poor people in the future who will be wiped out, they won't be the same ones now making the sacrifice, but more importantly, I plain don't believe in those kinds of catastrophic scenarios. Human beings aren't anything if we are not adaptable, and we live in the tropics, in the arctic, in the desert, in the mountains. We developed from apes into human beings during the period in Earth's history when we went from no glaciers on Earth to an ice age, and we developed into the advanced civilizations that we have now AFTER the receding of the last glaciation 12,000 years ago. I strongly believe that we will survive and thrive in any climate scenario.

          The analyses I've seen of the cost of avoidance versus the cost of suffering from climate change are highly speculative at best. If you want to make that argument, you need to present a real scenario where we are able to actually control global CO2 emissions. If I'm not mistaken, a lot of countries put in a lot of energy and resources to complying with Kyoto, yet emissions have risen apace nonetheless. I think Canada said when they walked out of COP17 that there was no point in it if every country wasn't going to have emissions reductions requirements, and China and India are not going to subject themselves to that. So in the end we end up paying the "cost" but we will still suffer from whatever effects are coming.

          I'm not sure what we particularly owe to future generations, but I would think a free and prosperous economy that can provide for their needs and comforts would be the most important thing I'd like my soon-to-be born son to be able to enjoy when he becomes an adult.

      •  And one more thing (0+ / 0-)

        If you are in SF join up with the SF kossacks if you aren't already or pm me.   I'm buying!

        •  I dunno if I qualify . . . (0+ / 0-)

          I live in LA, but I find myself SF quite a bit because most of my family and friends are there, having grown up and lived there for many years. Maybe I can be an honorary SF Kossack!

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