Climate Change

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moda0306
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Re: Climate Change

Post by moda0306 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:05 am

pugchief wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:31 pm
moda0306 wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:03 pm


Well the answer is kind of obvious in some ways... the "prosperity" of the working class of our economy is utterly and completely resting on continued and growing conspicuous consumption. When people talk about how "wealthy" we are, they're certainly not taking about the balance sheets of the working class and the ability of those balance sheets to functionally feed their current lifestyle for any decent period. This is why I can't stand talking about "wealth" as flat screen TV's, great TV shows, and the internet. All are great from a consumption fun standpoint, but owning goods produced is NOT owning the means of production.
I would disagree with that. The standard of living of 'poor' people in this country is really good. They still get decent health care and food, have cell phones, TVs, air conditioning, etc, and most basic needs met. Way better life than the middle class 100 years ago.
Don't you think "value is subjective," though? I truly wonder how much happier some 25 year old working a construction job in West Virginia is today vs his counterpart in 1965 (assuming not drafted). Even if we abandon the subjectivity argument for a while and try to be more "objective" about value, yes some things are better, but other things are worse or similar. Ipads and air conditioning are no replacement for meaningful human interaction, quasi-autonomous work, outdoor time, and economic flexibility. If somebody handcuffed me to a treadmill and held a gun to my head forcing me to run but put any entertainment on a screen in front of me that I could request, I think I would tire of that pretty quick, and while it's a harsh exaggeration to prove a point, I think to a degree that's how a lot of low-wage working class folks feel today.

Even a lot of the structural base support that might be keeping them from abject poverty is resting on a myriad of federal and state "welfare" programs that may be difficult to get or phase out as soon as they make a bit more income. So this whole "everyone's got it great" attitude, while I'll defend in some ways without apology (some things truly are amazing today), there are other aspects that appear to be withering away that I think are stupid to ignore just because people have a handful of little luxuries to enjoy while they truly want a bit more financial security and human connection.
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Re: Climate Change

Post by pugchief » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:39 am

moda0306 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:05 am
pugchief wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:31 pm
moda0306 wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:03 pm


Well the answer is kind of obvious in some ways... the "prosperity" of the working class of our economy is utterly and completely resting on continued and growing conspicuous consumption. When people talk about how "wealthy" we are, they're certainly not taking about the balance sheets of the working class and the ability of those balance sheets to functionally feed their current lifestyle for any decent period. This is why I can't stand talking about "wealth" as flat screen TV's, great TV shows, and the internet. All are great from a consumption fun standpoint, but owning goods produced is NOT owning the means of production.
I would disagree with that. The standard of living of 'poor' people in this country is really good. They still get decent health care and food, have cell phones, TVs, air conditioning, etc, and most basic needs met. Way better life than the middle class 100 years ago.
Don't you think "value is subjective," though? I truly wonder how much happier some 25 year old working a construction job in West Virginia is today vs his counterpart in 1965 (assuming not drafted). Even if we abandon the subjectivity argument for a while and try to be more "objective" about value, yes some things are better, but other things are worse or similar.
Ignorance is bliss. Mr. WV 1965 didn't know what he was missing compared to Mr. 2019, so how could he be unhappy that he didn't have it? So his happiness was relative to the times, but not relevant to this point which was that Mr. 2019 has it pretty good even if his balance sheet says otherwise.
Ipads and air conditioning are no replacement for meaningful human interaction, quasi-autonomous work, outdoor time, and economic flexibility.
This is not a problem of the poor. Rich kids have the same (or maybe worse, bc they can buy more and better tech) issue.
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Re: Climate Change

Post by Xan » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:53 am

Marx was thinking of big factories and manufacturing plants when he wrote about the "means of production", wasn't he? Certainly those are one form of a means of production, but in a knowledge economy, the means of production are a computer, even the most basic one. In a service economy, the means of production are a smile and a good attitude. Are these things hard to come by?
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Re: Climate Change

Post by Mountaineer » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:15 pm

moda0306 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:05 am
pugchief wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:31 pm
moda0306 wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:03 pm


Well the answer is kind of obvious in some ways... the "prosperity" of the working class of our economy is utterly and completely resting on continued and growing conspicuous consumption. When people talk about how "wealthy" we are, they're certainly not taking about the balance sheets of the working class and the ability of those balance sheets to functionally feed their current lifestyle for any decent period. This is why I can't stand talking about "wealth" as flat screen TV's, great TV shows, and the internet. All are great from a consumption fun standpoint, but owning goods produced is NOT owning the means of production.
I would disagree with that. The standard of living of 'poor' people in this country is really good. They still get decent health care and food, have cell phones, TVs, air conditioning, etc, and most basic needs met. Way better life than the middle class 100 years ago.
Don't you think "value is subjective," though? I truly wonder how much happier some 25 year old working a construction job in West Virginia is today vs his counterpart in 1965 (assuming not drafted). Even if we abandon the subjectivity argument for a while and try to be more "objective" about value, yes some things are better, but other things are worse or similar. Ipads and air conditioning are no replacement for meaningful human interaction, quasi-autonomous work, outdoor time, and economic flexibility. If somebody handcuffed me to a treadmill and held a gun to my head forcing me to run but put any entertainment on a screen in front of me that I could request, I think I would tire of that pretty quick, and while it's a harsh exaggeration to prove a point, I think to a degree that's how a lot of low-wage working class folks feel today.

Even a lot of the structural base support that might be keeping them from abject poverty is resting on a myriad of federal and state "welfare" programs that may be difficult to get or phase out as soon as they make a bit more income. So this whole "everyone's got it great" attitude, while I'll defend in some ways without apology (some things truly are amazing today), there are other aspects that appear to be withering away that I think are stupid to ignore just because people have a handful of little luxuries to enjoy while they truly want a bit more financial security and human connection.
I think a key, perhaps the key, to valuing ones situation in life is attitude, perspective, and worldview - not what someone else has or someone else says you need to be happy, e.g. TV advertisements pushing the latest cell phone or look good product that reinforce "it's all about me". When one views what ever ones job is as something to help others (particularly those with whom one is in routine contact) rather than being totally self-centered or self-focused it makes a big difference in ones outlook. The shift from "getting mine" to "helping others" is mind boggling in its positive effects. For example, my various vocations include husband, father, house maintainer/fixer, car maintainer/fixer, next-door neighbor, teacher, resource provider (whether by working, pension check, aid, or just the smile that Xan mentioned), organization member, student, etc., etc. If I keep that in mind as I do my various tasks it makes the work far more enjoyable knowing I'm making a positive difference now or in the future to those who benefit from my work; it is the motivation to do the very best at my task that I'm capable of and to always try to do better each day. Worth, value, and satisfaction then become far more than the quantity of numbers before a decimal point or getting the biggest handout possible from big brother, whatever your definition of big brother may be.

FWIW, I was in WV in 1965 happily pursuing my vocations of student and capturing my future wife's heart. ;D
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The devil accuses us; the Word sustains faith.
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Re: Climate Change

Post by pugchief » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:21 pm

Mountaineer wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:15 pm
moda0306 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:05 am
pugchief wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:31 pm


I would disagree with that. The standard of living of 'poor' people in this country is really good. They still get decent health care and food, have cell phones, TVs, air conditioning, etc, and most basic needs met. Way better life than the middle class 100 years ago.
Don't you think "value is subjective," though? I truly wonder how much happier some 25 year old working a construction job in West Virginia is today vs his counterpart in 1965 (assuming not drafted). Even if we abandon the subjectivity argument for a while and try to be more "objective" about value, yes some things are better, but other things are worse or similar. Ipads and air conditioning are no replacement for meaningful human interaction, quasi-autonomous work, outdoor time, and economic flexibility. If somebody handcuffed me to a treadmill and held a gun to my head forcing me to run but put any entertainment on a screen in front of me that I could request, I think I would tire of that pretty quick, and while it's a harsh exaggeration to prove a point, I think to a degree that's how a lot of low-wage working class folks feel today.

Even a lot of the structural base support that might be keeping them from abject poverty is resting on a myriad of federal and state "welfare" programs that may be difficult to get or phase out as soon as they make a bit more income. So this whole "everyone's got it great" attitude, while I'll defend in some ways without apology (some things truly are amazing today), there are other aspects that appear to be withering away that I think are stupid to ignore just because people have a handful of little luxuries to enjoy while they truly want a bit more financial security and human connection.
I think a key, perhaps the key, to valuing ones situation in life is attitude, perspective, and worldview - not what someone else has or someone else says you need to be happy, e.g. TV advertisements pushing the latest cell phone or look good product that reinforce "it's all about me". When one views what ever ones job is as something to help others (particularly those with whom one is in routine contact) rather than being totally self-centered or self-focused it makes a big difference in ones outlook. The shift from "getting mine" to "helping others" is mind boggling in its positive effects. For example, my various vocations include husband, father, house maintainer/fixer, car maintainer/fixer, next-door neighbor, teacher, resource provider (whether by working, pension check, aid, or just the smile that Xan mentioned), organization member, student, etc., etc. If I keep that in mind as I do my various tasks it makes the work far more enjoyable knowing I'm making a positive difference now or in the future to those who benefit from my work; it is the motivation to do the very best at my task that I'm capable of and to always try to do better each day. Worth, value, and satisfaction then become far more than the quantity of numbers before a decimal point or getting the biggest handout possible from big brother, whatever your definition of big brother may be.

FWIW, I was in WV in 1965 happily pursuing my vocations of student and capturing my future wife's heart. ;D
+1, Well said.
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Re: Climate Change

Post by Kriegsspiel » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:43 pm

moda0306 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:52 am
You had mentioned that "buying less stuff never gets a plug." I wasn't very clear about it, but when looking at the reality of the well-being of working-class Americans, I think it's relatively clear that their incomes rest on the production driven by a massive amount of consumption, and if you simply lowered growth to 0% (keep in mind this is still MASSIVE consumption and production every year) capital would instantly cut wages and employment. So anytime there's a tension between growth and environmental protection, it's dealt with by "Green New Deal" instead of "Quit Consuming So Much You Bougie F'ks" :)
Gotcha, yes. People wouldn't be employed to work producing things people weren't buying, but the shareholders would also see their dividends and capital gains cut too. That's kind of what I'm getting at. To actually live in a sustainable way right now, everyone needs to use less stuff and energy. I suppose increasing efficiency would theoretically work too.
I think holding all other things equal, it's clear that any increase in bargaining power & income by the working class would likely realize itself in a mix of "buying more stuff" (the income on the other side of these transactions going more towards labor and less towards capital income), owning the means of production (in the old days this was represented by a Pension
Buying more stuff (and more people doing it) is more resource intensive than not, so in a discussion about climate change (read: burning fossil fuels) and environmental destruction (mining/metallurgy, modern agriculture, shipping, etc) it would be a bad thing. That said, the concept of a pension, or making your own pension by saving money on your own, doesn't have to be destructive if it's just enough to buy some food and shelter, which goes back to the ERE thing. And saving up enough to live a sustainable life is easier than saving up enough to live a destructive one, win!
& a paid-off home)... yes I realize the latter isn't officially "the means of production" but it's a productive asset when compared to having to rent, not to mention it's an extremely imperfect but meaningful store of value to pass on to "heirs."
It's got its pluses and minuses.
But I also think higher bargaining power by the working class would result in a couple other things... 1) Working less, 2) Hating your job less because you have more autonomy & bargaining power, and 3) more of your "production" AND "consumption" coming through things that economics doesn't measure, as they don't necessarily involve trade.

There are a lot of benefits to the working class getting a higher share of profits.
1. Possibly. High income earners nowadays work more hours than low income earners. If people can live better (unsustainably) by working more hours, then they'll probably do it. This is possible without increased working class bargaining power though, again, through living sustainably (I'm just interchanging "ERE" and "sustainable" and "green" etc even though they're not exactly interchangeable).

2. Maybe. I've worked low wage working class jobs and high wage white collar jobs, and by far people hate the white collar jobs more.

3. Yea for sure. I'm thinking robot butler/3D printers in the technologically-optimistic future, and more gardening/home crafts/stay-at-home-mother/canning in a less technological future. But like I said before, I think it's joining the capitalists by saving money and investing it that will get people there, not just mandating owners give them more money, but that's kind of the same thing you're saying WRT getting a higher share of the profits.
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Re: Climate Change

Post by Kriegsspiel » Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:50 pm

I want to add that massively reducing the population would also work (temporarily). It could even raise wages for laborers, making moda happy :D

Check out that wage spike after the Black Death!
Image

I don't know if the Black Death period was analyzed, but the massive die-off in the Americas after the Europeans arrived allowed vegetation to regrow and sequester tons of carbon.
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Re: Climate Change

Post by jacksonM » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:18 pm

Population reduction is the only solution to the problem, as defined, that I have ever actually heard that would probably work IMO, and by "work" I mean keeping alive the human species assuming the worse case scenarios that scientists are describing.

1.) 6 billion people on the planet cannot be re-programmed, either voluntarily, or otherwise to reduce their consumption and use fewer resources in time to avoid the catastrophic tipping point scheduled to happen in 12 years. This is especially true since mother nature isn't co-operating as I pointed out in my original post on this thread. Maybe that's her strategy all along, assuming she exists and has a strategy, of course.

2.) The AOC/GND strategy is an even bigger fantasy because the technologies simply do not exist to do what she is proposing. I heard Bill Gates pointing this out in a Youtube video the other day. I would definitely not mistake him as someone to be confused with a "denier" of science but he is a realist. The GND crowd is saying that we decided to put a man on the moon and did it in X number of years but that problem, it seems to me, was simpler by orders of magnitude than turning down the temperature on the whole planet. To begin with we knew how to do it and we knew it could be done, at least theoretically.

So if what they are saying is true I say batten down the hatches mates and get ready for the rough weather ahead.

Kriegsspiel wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:50 pm
I want to add that massively reducing the population would also work (temporarily). It could even raise wages for laborers, making moda happy :D

Check out that wage spike after the Black Death!
Image

I don't know if the Black Death period was analyzed, but the massive die-off in the Americas after the Europeans arrived allowed vegetation to regrow and sequester tons of carbon.
Last edited by jacksonM on Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Climate Change

Post by Kriegsspiel » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:15 pm

jacksonM wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:18 pm
Population reduction is the only solution to the problem, as defined, that I have ever actually heard that would probably work, and by "work" I mean keeping alive the human species assuming the worse case scenarios that scientists are describing.
Assuming the worst case scenario, the population will be reduced as a matter of course. In my post I meant that if there happened to be a virulent pandemic or war or natural disaster that wiped out tons of people, the remaining people could enjoy higher resource consumption until the population recovered, which it would as long as resources remained.
1.) 6 billion people on the planet cannot be re-programmed to reduce their consumption and use fewer resources in time to avoid the catastrophic tipping point scheduled to happen in 12 years. This is especially true since mother nature isn't co-operating as I pointed out in my original post on this thread. Maybe that's her strategy all along, assuming she exists and has a strategy, of course.
Your population figure is 20 years out of date, but yea I pretty much agree with you
2.) The AOC/GND strategy is an even bigger fantasy because the technologies simply do not exist to do what she is proposing. . . The GND crowd is saying that we decided to put a man on the moon and did it in X number of years but that problem was simpler by orders of magnitude than turning down the temperature on the whole planet. To begin with we knew how to do it and we knew it could be done.
Mmmm, I think the technologies DO exist to do at least some of the stuff in the GND that I read, I know you meant "to do what she is proposing" to mean economically feasible, but I want to spew out some idearrhea.

For instance, insulating buildings was in there. Insulating buildings is a pretty mature concept, people already do it when it makes sense. The GND would mandate it for all buildings, new and existing, which is the issue. The technology that doesn't exist is how to heat and light all those buildings, smelt the metal used to make them, and run the construction equipment to build them, etc, all on renewable energy and how to do it economically/at scale. You could do it, but just not like we do now. Maybe if everyone was content to live in a basic 500 sq ft? I think that could be done with existing technology. If anything, it should have been done like 80 years ago when pretty much all of modern America was built. There was something about the GND that seemed kind of off to me, and I think it's that there is such a strong element of wishing it was possible to go back in time and do things in a better way. Since that isn't possible, it's kind of like a temper tantrum that a child throws when they can't defy reality.

Same with eliminating air travel (for commoners, of course, not the politicians). You could do it, but people would have to accept the trip from NYC to LA taking several days to a few weeks, depending on mode of travel.

Reducing meat consumption is a non-technological fix. Stop subsidizing the agriculture industry and, along with the transportation infrastructure reduction, the price of meat would rise, lowering its consumption. That's an easy one. I think the cow farts would be offset by all the new human farts caused by eating more beans, but that's neither here nor air.

100% renewable energy is impossible with current technology and energy use levels, not withstanding being done in conjunction with all the other stuff. Building smart grids is already underway (The Grid by Bakke talks about it more), but is meeting resistance (heh) and even if you were an authoritarian, by its nature it's a local issue anyways.

The insane identitarian stuff that was included in there is the anti-environmental stuff we've already discussed in this thread so I won't bother with it.
So if what they are saying is true I say batten down the hatches and get ready for the rough weather ahead.
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Re: Climate Change

Post by pugchief » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:35 pm

Kriegsspiel wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:15 pm

idearrhea....

....I think the cow farts would be offset by all the new human farts caused by eating more beans, but that's neither here nor air.

Krieg, you are on a roll! ;D
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Re: Climate Change

Post by jacksonM » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:36 pm

Kriegsspiel wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:15 pm
Collapse now and avoid the rush!
If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you. - Calvin Coolidge

Maybe this will be the one but if you have lived long enough on planet earth you know one of those troubles will eventually do you in so you need to be prepared. If you are lucky, as I have been, you are given a lot of years to think about it.

So just do what you can and enjoy the ride on a planet hurtling through the universe that could end any second. Personally, smoking a pipe helps a lot. Might even be a good solution to the problem.
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Re: Climate Change

Post by dualstow » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:08 pm

Depends on what’s in the pipe.
Vanguard treasury money market still paying 2.17%
TODFTHR
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