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View Diary: Tiptoeing into solutions: Dieter Helm's The Carbon Crunch (20 comments)

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  •  We can't win by playing by the rules (14+ / 0-)

    Capitalism is like yeast. It will grow until it consumes all in a suicidal feast of terminal narcissism.

    Unfortunately, all "modern" growth oriented systems suffer from the same basic flaw as capitalism. Nature is treated as a place where you can get something for nothing or very little.

    Traditional societies that were based on survival, not growth, are more sustainable and durable.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 03:09:43 PM PST

    •  Right -- (7+ / 0-)

      this is what Bill McKibben gets.

      "Every time you opt in to kindness/ Make one connection, used to divide us/ It echoes all over the world" -- from Dar Williams' "Echoes"

      by Cassiodorus on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 03:49:54 PM PST

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    •  And This Shows That Both Individuals and Human (10+ / 0-)

      culture generically are adapted to scarcity and hard limitations. But our modern economies and governing systems have spent the last 1,000 years with cheap surpluses flowing into the system and so they're very poorly adapted to scarcity and as you say zero growth.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 04:37:01 PM PST

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    •  Yeast analogies (10+ / 0-)

      have a glaring truth to them that is often missed. Yeast, in their "suicidal feast of terminal narcissism" are natural organisms; they have evolved their behavior over aeons and it has led to their success at surviving in Nature's evolutionary forge.

      When we compare ourselves to yeast we are comparing ourselves to a natural organism. "Narcissism" - a hungry lion would kill and eat the last black rhino on the planet without a second thought.

      The thing that has really screwed us up is our unique pre-frontal cortex wherein we can escape the natural narcissism of evolution and think about what we are doing... while at the same time thinking up powerful tools to enable that natural narcissism to realize the "goal" of every species - to cover the planet with their, and theirs alone, offspring.

      Death keeps this natural narcissism in check - whether it be predation, disease, starvation or competition - all forces we are actively fighting against with our uniquely capable big brains. Brains that may end up destroying the planet we have evolved to survive upon.

      muddy water can best be cleared by leaving it alone

      by veritas curat on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 04:47:24 PM PST

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      •  Yeast sporulate (0+ / 0-)

        Then they sit dormant in the bottom of the bottle for a long time, until conditions are again favorable to reproduce.

        Do the Kochs know something we don't?  Have their paid shills figured out a way for them to sporulate until the next Ice Age and global warming is but a distant memory?

    •  yeah. that's the scary part. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassiodorus, SolarMom

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 10:13:18 PM PST

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    •  People are conserving, driving smaller cars b/c hi (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean, SolarMom

      Of high gas prices. Now. Already.  With a carbon tax on gas, the higher price of gas will change people's consumption habits.  You dont have to convince them of climate change with elaborate theories and extensive, complicated data.. etc.  The high price will tell them to use less gasoline.  The revenue from a carbon tax could be invested in more renewable energy, green jobs or to balance the federal budget.  In Texas, wind farming is taking off - not because people are environmentally conscious and concerned about AGW - but because it is an easy way to make money.

      •  That's nice. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If more people use less gasoline per person, the price of oil goes down and more people will be able to afford gasoline.  Good optimism about the capitalist system, but not about the Earth's atmosphere.

        If they pump it, it will be burned.

        "Every time you opt in to kindness/ Make one connection, used to divide us/ It echoes all over the world" -- from Dar Williams' "Echoes"

        by Cassiodorus on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:01:23 AM PST

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        •   Solution : Gas price support (0+ / 0-)

          Peg gas price at a certain level - high.  Even if demand drops and price drops, make it up with an sliding tax.

          Another solution would be for government to raise prices by buying gas when prices fall, putting gas into a reserve.

          Frankly, everything points to higher energy prices in the future, especially oil.  And if renewables - like wind power - becomes profitable, as in Texas and Iowa, the private sector will take the lead.

          And people want to spend less on heating and cooling.  My apartment building is an example.  We use all flourescent lighting; low flow faucetts; we are charged extra if we surpass electricity quota, so I shut off air conditioning during the day.

          If you dont use market incentives and price incentives, you  must "force" and "coerce" people to do things.  And if you think people hated a minor change like Obamacare, wait to you get the huge backlash when you force/ command them to do things...

          •  No. (0+ / 0-)
            If you dont use market incentives and price incentives, you  must "force" and "coerce" people to do things.
            This assumes the market economy beforehand.  People are forced to participate in "markets" when they could do otherwise -- capitalism IS something people are forced to enjoin.  

            And I'm not seeing a lot of recognition of the major change coming down the pipeline.  Global warming will terminate major ecosystems.  Do you imagine that life will go on as usual?

            "Every time you opt in to kindness/ Make one connection, used to divide us/ It echoes all over the world" -- from Dar Williams' "Echoes"

            by Cassiodorus on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 05:01:56 AM PST

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    •  Scarcity, High Prices will change behavior (1+ / 0-)
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      We have already entered a period of scarcity.  Tax revenues are down at all levels of government forcing cut backs in government services.  In my state of Michigan, low tax revenue has meant that the road system is not being well maintained, let alone expanded.  The automakers in Detroit are ,  for the first time in my memory, emphasizing small cars, fuel efficiency and electrics.  Lack of government revenue means government workers are being laid off.  Jobs are scarce.  People are questioning - for the first time - the high cost of a college education.

      Scarcity, is having some effect on federal spending.  There is much talk of cuts to military spending and cuts to social spending - Social security and Medicare etc..

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