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View Diary: The Antarctic Half of the Global Thermohaline Circulation is Collapsing (215 comments)

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  •  Technology has to offer a better product (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ice Blue, Lujane, Calamity Jean

    ...than fossil fuels for heating, electricity, and transportation.  Without it, demand is very inelastic.    A tripling of gasoline prices since 2000 has brought only an 11% decrease in per capita consumption.

    Fortunately, the better product obstacle is looking more surmountable these days.

    •  Society needs to offer a better product (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bluehammer

      ... than capitalism.  See e.g. my John Bellamy Foster comment.

      "As long as capitalist property relations are safe from critical questioning, any economics will do." -- Kees van der Pijl

      by Cassiodorus on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:20:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mixed economies provide very high quality of life (0+ / 0-)

        I'll take my chances with capitalism with elements of democratic socialism, fairly close to current Western European countries.

        Ripping up the energy and infrastructure systems of society, as needed to deal with climate change, is enough change for this old guy.

        Ripping up the social/economic structures at the same time is asking to have people hanging from lampposts.

        •  Definition problem here: (3+ / 0-)

          Capitalism = private ownership of the means of production.  Here our problem is in allowing private capital to make energy decisions, specifically the energy decision to extract fossil energy "resources" until the planet burns up and we all die.

          Socialism = public ownership of the means of production.  Ownership of the means of production can't be both public and private, because "private" is specifically defined as "not public."

          "As long as capitalist property relations are safe from critical questioning, any economics will do." -- Kees van der Pijl

          by Cassiodorus on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:26:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exercise power of eminent domain to force fossil (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cassiodorus

            fuel owners to sell reserves to government for fiat money?  Are we desperate enough to do that yet?

          •  Mixed economies means government must have enough (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bronx59

            power over captains of industry to insist that they share and give consumers somewhat of a break, especially poor consumers, and especially on such necessities as water, food, energy, and health care.  It is not easy to keep the right balance between letting capitalists make a decent profit and letting consumers have necessities at a price they can afford.

    •  The value of the dollar has gone down a lot since (0+ / 0-)

      2000.    Energy for electricity and for space heating and cooling are somewhat more elastic than fuel used for transportation to COMMUTE TO WORK.

    •  Carbon-negative algal bio-fuels R&D by Algae (0+ / 0-)

      Systems funded by US Navy need between 8 and 13 years more work to get close enough to cost-competitive with petroleum to make subsidizing our too big to fail fossil fuel firms to mass produce them worthwhile.   I figure social cost of carbon is now double $35/metric ton of CO2eq assumed in Pres. Obama's estimate, since doubling of estimate of earth's climate's sensitivity to CO2eq in article in Nature 12/31/13.  We need high excise taxes on both emissions and energy for both prohibitive tariff effect and for revenue, and revenue needs to be split between buying equipment to harness renewable energy and buying fossil fuel even faster than just making utilities pay fossil fuel firms what would otherwise be depreciation on equipment for fossil fuel displaced by renewable energy.  Once we get fossil fuel firms mass producing algal bio-fuels, they will be a better product than fossil fuels for transportation and for what we now use natural gas for.  By time we are able to justify subsidizing fossil fuel firms to mass produce algal bio-fuels, we will need to have at least made a good start or wind, solar, and enhanced geothermal systems for electricity.

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