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  •  right (0+ / 0-)

    the structural changes required to accommodate reduced consumption pretty much mandate ditching capitalism as a perquisite.  That puts it in the category of long term goals where slashing carbon emissions is an immediate goal.

    •  um (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sacramento Dem, offgrid

      the structural changes required to accommodate reduced consumption pretty much mandate ditching capitalism as a perquisite

      I'm pretty sure Italy is, ya know, capitalistic.  FIAT, Pirelli, and all that.

      Heck, France, Great Britain, Germany -- they all have far lower energy consumption than we do, too.

      I'm pretty sure they're all capitalistic, as well.

      Seems to me that all that's needed for reduced consumption is . . . well . . . using less.  Pretty simple, huh.

      The question is whether we WANT to or not.

      And, of course, we DON'T want to.

      So the rest of the world will continue to subsidize our bloated lifestyles.

      At least until they get tired of it.  (shrug)

      Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

      by Lenny Flank on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 07:05:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the economy depends on consumption (0+ / 0-)

        If we stop buying useless cheap plastic crap, all the people involved in the production of useless cheap plastic crap are out of a job and wall street takes a hit resulting in more people being out of work and not having money to buy cheap plastic crap.  Short of transitioning to a command economy I don't really see any way to get there from here.  Not that I think that's a bad idea, I just don't expect it to happen for another 50 years or so.

        •  let me repeat one more time (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wondering if

          Italy, Great Britain, Germany, Japan and France all consume less energy per capita than we do.  By about nine times less.

          They don't seem to have gone bankrupt lately.

          Speaking of command economies, it doesn't appear to me that the Leninist economies did any better, energy-consumption-wise, than France or Italy are.  Indeed, the Leninist command economies seemed to have been, by any measure, environmental disasters.

          Not surprising, since their raison d'etre was simply to increase industrial production and accumulate surplus value, just as the corporados.

          Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

          by Lenny Flank on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 07:33:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I commend you for your stamina (0+ / 0-)

            I got my figures here Link

            I think nine times less is not accurate (more like one half).

            . There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS. Mahatma Gandhi

            by Sacramento Dem on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 08:07:47 PM PST

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            •  the nine times (0+ / 0-)

              is the figure for the entire planet, excluding the US.  We use, on average, nine times more electricity than all the rest of the world, averaged.

              If you take just the "developing nations", it's about 15 times as much.

              (see:
              http://www.solarenergy.org/...

              I'll accept your "half" figure for the other "industrialized" nations.  And if we'd cut our energy use in half, I'd be happy with that.  As a start.

              :)

              Nevertheless, the fact remains that the US monopolizes more than its share of energy.  Just as it monopolizes more than its share of . . . well . . . virtually everything else.

              We live on the backs of the rest of the world.

              I doubt they'll be willing to carry us forever.

              Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

              by Lenny Flank on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 08:24:39 PM PST

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              •  I have to agree with this (0+ / 0-)

                I doubt they'll be willing to carry us forever.

                Even when we cut our usage, we still have to figure out how the rest of the planet can acheive a decent standard of living in  a way that is sustainable.

                . There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS. Mahatma Gandhi

                by Sacramento Dem on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 09:34:55 PM PST

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                •  I have a feeling they won't ask us (0+ / 0-)

                  They'll just show up at the gates with pitchforks in their hands.

                  And I'll be cheering them on.

                  Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                  by Lenny Flank on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 10:10:16 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That doesn't sound like fun to me (0+ / 0-)

                    (I don't even like to get a shot at the doctors). I guess I have my work cut out for me.

                    . There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS. Mahatma Gandhi

                    by Sacramento Dem on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 10:41:25 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  I think the idea that we don't want to reduce (0+ / 0-)

        consumption is really all about our standard of living. As you say Italy gets by on a fraction (42%) of what we use. I've never been but members of my family have and say it's nice there. In CA, as well as much of the northeast Americans use much less than in WY, LA, and TX. If we made a serious effort we could reduce consumption dramatically.

        . There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS. Mahatma Gandhi

        by Sacramento Dem on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 08:03:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  but that is the problem . . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sacramento Dem

          If we made a serious effort we could reduce consumption dramatically.

          We won't make any serious effort.

          We don't want to.

          As a nation, we are bloated, lazy, gluttonous and greedy, and have no qualms at all in sucking wealth from the rest of the world so we can live an indolent lifestyle here while the rest of the world lives in hovels.

          What can one say about a nation whose primary causes of health problems are eating too much and not exercising their fat asses.

          Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

          by Lenny Flank on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 08:13:05 PM PST

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          •  Americans want a lot of things that we don't (0+ / 0-)

            get: Universal Healthcare, Out of Iraq, and Real Progress on Global Warming. We don't want it bad enough I guess.

            . There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS. Mahatma Gandhi

            by Sacramento Dem on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 08:20:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  or (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sacramento Dem

              we don't want to get off the couch long enough to do what it takes to get it.

              We Americans prefer to hire others to do all the hard work and solve all our difficulties for us.  In politics, just as in, say, moving our furniture.

              Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

              by Lenny Flank on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 08:27:20 PM PST

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              •  Well if this writer's strike goes on much longer (0+ / 0-)

                I will have to get my fat ass off the couch.

                . There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS. Mahatma Gandhi

                by Sacramento Dem on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 09:29:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

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