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(BBC)   Why climate change is a political issue, not a scientific issue for fossil fuel magnates   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 54
    More: Obvious, the City of London, exhaust gas, fossil fuels, London School of Economics, atmospheric carbon dioxide  
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2003 clicks; posted to Politics » on 19 Apr 2013 at 2:44 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-19 12:40:40 AM  
Go$h, I wonder what rea$ons$ there could po$$ibly be
 
2013-04-19 01:20:07 AM  
"The authors say the current fossil fuel business model assumes that there are no emissions limits. "

Just because they are unutterably arrogant doesn't mean they won't win.
 
2013-04-19 02:06:44 AM  
It says if this continues for a decade - and if CO2 limits are achieved - they would waste over £4tn.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

They'll just sell it to whatever country decides they aren't going to follow carbon caps.  I'll guess China or India.  Anyone who thinks extracted energy is ever going to go to waste is a fool.
 
2013-04-19 02:34:04 AM  
That reminds me I need to get petrol.
 
2013-04-19 02:47:29 AM  
It's a political issue because the issue has been hijacked by the left and made in to something they can use for their own agenda and the environment is not their concern.
 
2013-04-19 02:59:24 AM  

Lionel Mandrake: Go$h, I wonder what rea$ons$ there could po$$ibly be


well, that was easy.
 
2013-04-19 02:59:33 AM  
Mon£y
 
2013-04-19 03:03:44 AM  

randomjsa: It's a political issue because the issue has been hijacked by the left and made in to something they can use for their own agenda and the environment is not their concern.


The question was why it was a political and not scientific issue for OIL MAGNATES, not liberals.

Straw man is straw.
 
2013-04-19 03:04:01 AM  
Line them up against a wall and have them shot.

Figuratively.
 
2013-04-19 03:07:44 AM  
wow, we're really whipping through this thread. less than ten posts and we've already covered all the relevant points and got threadshiatting to boot!
 
2013-04-19 03:10:27 AM  
It's annoying we still even have these threads on Fark. They peaked around 2006. That's right --7 years ago.

This country is still way too wrapped up in the fossil fuel consumption myth, that the supply is endless and it's OK to keep belching that crap out into our environment. Interesting times.
 
2013-04-19 03:17:07 AM  

randomjsa: It's a political issue because the issue has been hijacked by the left and made in to something they can use for their own agenda and the environment is not their concern. there's money and power to be had either way


FTFY.
 
2013-04-19 03:20:00 AM  
Chemtrails and geoengineering are causing global warming and climate change, not CO2.

The black budget and military's experiments to control the weather most definitely are causing climate change, not the miniscule CO2 coming out of your tailpipe.
 
2013-04-19 03:20:37 AM  
*tailpipe or windpipe.
 
2013-04-19 03:59:18 AM  
Hold on a damn second!

You mean to tell me oil, coal and gas companies want the public at large to bear all the costs of their pollution so they can continue making obscene profits!?  I don't believe it!

I also refuse to believe that those same companies are deliberately undermining public acceptance of man made global warming so as to delay or prevent political action so they can continue making obscene profits.
 
2013-04-19 04:28:29 AM  

Kevin72: Chemtrails and geoengineering are causing global warming and climate change, not CO2.

The black budget and military's experiments to control the weather most definitely are causing climate change, not the miniscule CO2 coming out of your tailpipe.


0/10. don't sprint right out of the gate, you have to build to the good stuff.
 
2013-04-19 05:47:05 AM  
It's a political issue because it involves getting people who have money and influence to do the right thing for everyone else in the face of their own short-term economic interests. They , as they always have, are using the political process to keep the nation from making decisive regulatory action until they feel they have squeezed enough coal and oil wealth out of this country before decamping to some tiny (preferably tropical or sophisticated) data/money haven from whence they can suck the life from the rest of the planet as it suffers roiling, massive economic turmoil and expurgates their shills from power. Once the next generation of 'reformers' have made enough shady deals, screwed enough skanks and taken enough payola, they'll come back in.

... If it was a whole mass of little people poisoning the planet for profit and fun, the army would be used to wipe them out.
 
2013-04-19 05:53:23 AM  

Baryogenesis:

I also refuse to believe that those same companies are deliberately undermining public acceptance of man made global warming so as to delay or prevent political action so they can continue making obscene profits.

You would.  The humorous part is that you underestimate the sneakiness of those companies.  They have had their lobbyists write the proposed legislation in such a way that the energy companies will make even more profit for a longer time if cap and trade or a flat carbon tax passes.  They kick the greenies' asses EVERY TIME they have a conflict, and it seems that they take some sort of pleasure (beyond the savings) having the dumbass greens do their work for them.  In this case, that work is begging massa to tax you more.  Oil companies have public books, and the amount they contribute to this is negligible.  Also, most of it a couple years ago went to funding that shebang in Cancun.

Let me help you with a clue from outside the echo chamber in your head...  The IPCC reports are rife with "grey literature" inserted into them by environmental activist groups.  If oil companies are juking the table, where's the effect?  They never spend money uselessly -- unlike the greens.  So why is there NOT ONE BIT of energy company propaganda in the "grey literature" that the IPCC is passing off as "peer-reviewed?"

The answer is simple -- they aren't, don't care to, and won't waste their money.  All the juking is being done by greenies, and all of it is benefiting the energy companies.  They know that with a proper push, all sorts of brainless knights will ride into the fray, never realizing they don't have any enemies on the field of battle; in fact, nobody is there, other than them, the truth, and scientific inquiry, which HAVE been rather rude to the green cause of late.  So, now you battle truth and scientific inquiry, in valiant service to the energy companies.  I'm sure the energy company executives occasionally share a toast, and chuckle at the brainless morons doing their work for free.


24.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-04-19 05:54:49 AM  
For the same reason tobacco safety is a political issue for tobacco companies...

For the same reason ozone depletion is a political issue for DuPont...

For the same reason acid rain is a political issue for coal-fired power plants...

Oddly enough, the same names such as The Heritage Institute and American Enterprise Institute keep popping up in all of these "controversies."
 
2013-04-19 06:14:35 AM  

maxheck:

For the same reason tobacco safety is a political issue for tobacco companies...

For the same reason ozone depletion is a political issue for DuPont...

For the same reason acid rain is a political issue for coal-fired power plants...

Oddly enough, the same names such as The Heritage Institute and American Enterprise Institute keep popping up in all of these "controversies."


www.mobidroid.com
It's a conspiracy!
 
2013-04-19 07:52:35 AM  

randomjsa: hijacked by the left

blah blah blah


Once upon a time you'd bring up truths that were inconvenient for libby libs like me to confront, often enough, which made you interesting to read. Now you're just too tiresome. Buh-bye.
 
2013-04-19 08:01:31 AM  

phaseolus: Once upon a time you'd bring up truths that were inconvenient for libby libs like me to confront, often enough, which made you interesting to read. Now you're just too tiresome. Buh-bye.


no, he didn't, hth
 
2013-04-19 08:23:59 AM  
It's simple: science is about "is" questions; if there's an "ought" component, it's either engineering or politics.
 
2013-04-19 08:37:20 AM  
Because money now, while they are alive, is more useful to them than a habitable planet, when they are dead.
 
2013-04-19 08:40:13 AM  
 
2013-04-19 08:43:07 AM  

Lsherm: They'll just sell it to whatever country decides they aren't going to follow carbon caps.  I'll guess China or India.  Anyone who thinks extracted energy is ever going to go to waste is a fool.


So you're saying energy is a supply side market and demand does not play any part in how fossil fuels are traded. That a very interesting statement and has massive repercussions for global economics.

Please, tell me more about how demand is not a factor in fuel prices.
 
2013-04-19 08:54:14 AM  

GeneralJim: maxheck: For the same reason tobacco safety is a political issue for tobacco companies...

For the same reason ozone depletion is a political issue for DuPont...

For the same reason acid rain is a political issue for coal-fired power plants...

Oddly enough, the same names such as The Heritage Institute and American Enterprise Institute keep popping up in all of these "controversies."

[www.mobidroid.com image 300x225]
It's a conspiracy!


You sure you want to accuse people of tin-foil hattery when they list, you know, proven "controversies" that ended up being true and whitwashed by the industries that stood to get restricted by efforts to improve those issues?

No, no, decades of the tobacco lobby saying cigarettes were not addictive or dangerous is crazy talk. Only Alex Jones would believe that.
 
2013-04-19 09:06:38 AM  
Uh.... no shiat. And the right wing in this country is pro-business hence the pushback.
 
2013-04-19 09:43:31 AM  

Britney Spear's Speculum: And the right wing in this country is pro-business hence the pushback.


If only they really were pro-business and not just pro-big-business, specifically the big businesses who want to buy their votes.
 
2013-04-19 10:10:31 AM  

winterbraid: Kevin72: Chemtrails and geoengineering are causing global warming and climate change, not CO2.

The black budget and military's experiments to control the weather most definitely are causing climate change, not the miniscule CO2 coming out of your tailpipe.

0/10. don't sprint right out of the gate, you have to build to the good stuff.


Wow, how did you manage to identify that? I thought he was completely serious.
Damn. Who can you trust these days?
 
2013-04-19 10:22:00 AM  

Bloody William: GeneralJim: maxheck: For the same reason tobacco safety is a political issue for tobacco companies...

For the same reason ozone depletion is a political issue for DuPont...

For the same reason acid rain is a political issue for coal-fired power plants...

Oddly enough, the same names such as The Heritage Institute and American Enterprise Institute keep popping up in all of these "controversies."

[www.mobidroid.com image 300x225]
It's a conspiracy!

You sure you want to accuse people of tin-foil hattery when they list, you know, proven "controversies" that ended up being true and whitwashed by the industries that stood to get restricted by efforts to improve those issues?

No, no, decades of the tobacco lobby saying cigarettes were not addictive or dangerous is crazy talk. Only Alex Jones would believe that.


Perhaps we've discovered Alex Jones' Fark login. The level of crazy and willful ignorance seems about right.
 
2013-04-19 10:25:41 AM  

God-is-a-Taco: winterbraid: Kevin72: Chemtrails and geoengineering are causing global warming and climate change, not CO2.

The black budget and military's experiments to control the weather most definitely are causing climate change, not the miniscule CO2 coming out of your tailpipe.

0/10. don't sprint right out of the gate, you have to build to the good stuff.

Wow, how did you manage to identify that? I thought he was completely serious.
Damn. Who can you trust these days?


Not your government. All the evidence is there that the military is determined to control the weather and has been manipulating it byproduct causing ckimate change. And if you believe that the "contrails" that don't melt but rather spread out and linger all day, well I have a respiratory deaths going from #8 cause of death to #3 and autism going from one in a thousand to one in ninety to sell to you.
 
2013-04-19 11:03:57 AM  

Monkeyhouse Zendo: Lsherm: They'll just sell it to whatever country decides they aren't going to follow carbon caps.  I'll guess China or India.  Anyone who thinks extracted energy is ever going to go to waste is a fool.

So you're saying energy is a supply side market and demand does not play any part in how fossil fuels are traded. That a very interesting statement and has massive repercussions for global economics.

Please, tell me more about how demand is not a factor in fuel prices.


WTF are you talking about?  The article said if carbon caps are put into place that these companies will be sitting on fuel they can't sell.
 
2013-04-19 11:12:03 AM  

Lsherm: WTF are you talking about?  The article said if carbon caps are put into place that these companies will be sitting on fuel they can't sell.


Lsherm: They'll just sell it to whatever country decides they aren't going to follow carbon caps.  I'll guess China or India.  Anyone who thinks extracted energy is ever going to go to waste is a fool.


So which is it?
 
2013-04-19 11:40:06 AM  

Jackson Herring: phaseolus: Once upon a time you'd bring up truths that were inconvenient for libby libs like me to confront, often enough, which made you interesting to read. Now you're just too tiresome. Buh-bye.

no, he didn't, hth



It was a long time ago, and it kinda happened at random.
 
2013-04-19 11:50:18 AM  

Dusk-You-n-Me: How many gigatons


'Cause Iiiiiiiiiii hate you
And Iiiiiiii berate you
And Iiiiiiii can't wait to get to youuuuuuuu
 
2013-04-19 01:47:19 PM  
This is pretty obvious - the tobacco companies didn't exactly jump on board right away when it became clear their product was toxic, either. They spent a TON of money on advertising, on trying to create favorable research, and on paying off whoever they could to keep the noose from tightening.

The fossil fuel companies have an even more addictive product, that's more useful, that makes much more money, and is much more dangerous... Remember that even taking oil out, the world still mostly runs on coal and natural gas.

Our infrastructure, our economy, our everyday lives are propped up with fossil fuels. A hard habit to kick. Good thing solar and wind are getting cheap fast, even if it's too late to avert a nasty mess.
 
2013-04-19 03:47:29 PM  
 
2013-04-19 04:54:41 PM  

GeneralJim: maxheck: For the same reason tobacco safety is a political issue for tobacco companies...

For the same reason ozone depletion is a political issue for DuPont...

For the same reason acid rain is a political issue for coal-fired power plants...

Oddly enough, the same names such as The Heritage Institute and American Enterprise Institute keep popping up in all of these "controversies."

[www.mobidroid.com image 300x225]
It's a conspiracy!



Not sure you should be throwing stones given the glass house you inhabit:

GeneralJim: If not for the fact that literally TRILLIONS of dollars, and the control of almost all human activity, are at stake, the idea that carbon dioxide controls temperature would have disappeared.


GeneralJim: [The scientific community] is now carrying water for the environmental activist retards in hopes of scaring people into making the U.N. the world's dictator


GeneralJim: Face it -- the U.N. sees climate issues as an excuse to re-distribute wealth, plain and simple.


GeneralJim: The U.N. and U.S. leftist bungholes pushing this want to control essentially every human action.


GeneralJim: This hard-left [Obama] administration will probably be making attempts soon to have dissent from the state religion be criminal, or at least proof of insanity. Nothing like locking up any opposition.


GeneralJim: They [the UN/IPCC] have the ability to end up destroying civilization out of this, and sending us back to a new sort of hunter-gatherer society.


GeneralJim: many in the green movement DO want humanity eliminated

 
2013-04-20 12:54:42 AM  
I actually agree with TFH.

This isn't a science issue. The science was settled years ago--man is causing this planet to warm up.

The only debate we should be having is a political one: what to do, determining who are the biggest polluters, and getting this country off fossil fuel and onto viable solar and wind alternatives.

No, nuclear power is not one of those alternatives. Sorry if that makes some of you mad. Punch a pillow or something.
 
2013-04-20 01:46:59 AM  
 
2013-04-20 02:05:06 AM  

GeneralJim: KiltedBastich: You know, I'm starting to wonder if he's not a high-functioning delusional paranoid schizophrenic, or at least schizotypal, somewhere on that spectrum of mental illness. That's some really ludicrous paranoia he's got going there. A lot of schizophrenics are highly intelligent and creative before the illness begins to manifest, and they lack the context to understand why their new 'insights' are produced by their illness, not the intelligence and creativity that was the norm for them prior to symptom onset.
Well, SURE....  hurling personal slurs is EXACTLY the same as providing supporting data.
But, lest you think it paranoia, let me refute the lying sack -- and your "diagnosis," of course.  If people ARE saying such things, it is not paranoia to suggest that they are saying such things.  That, at least, seems clear...  so, onward:

Face it -- the U.N. sees climate issues as an excuse to re-distribute wealth, plain and simple.
"But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore. . ."
"The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world's resources will be negotiated." - Ottmar Edenhofer, Co-Chair IPCC working group 3.
This hard-left [Obama] administration will probably be making attempts soon to have dissent from the state religion be criminal, or at least proof of insanity. Nothing like locking up any opposition.
In his June 23, 2008 testimony before the United States Congress, James Hansen called for the punishment of climate change skeptics for "crimes against humanity".
many in the green movement DO want humanity eliminated
The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing....This ...



This sort of thing actually makes sense given GeneralJim's approach to evidence in general - cherry-pick data, misrepresent and overstate what it says, and make wild generalizations from that, all in order to serve a strong a priori ideological conviction.

I mean, it appears it does not matter to him of the really poor quality of the evidence he uses - that what he quoted (in bold above)  wasn't actually said by the person he's attributing it to, or that the opinion of one person does not somehow support the idea that the Obama administration will be "making attempts soon to have dissent from the state religion be criminal, or at least proof of insanity". Even when he has a point worth talking about (as the last one is) he manages to taint it by providing quotes that mostly do not support it.

It's as if actually considering the evidence isn't an important part of the way he forms his opinions.
 
2013-04-20 02:07:43 AM  

Damnhippyfreak: It's as if actually considering the evidence isn't an important part of the way he forms his opinions.


I should temper this strong condemnation with the hope that it's never too late to start to argue in a more rational way.
 
2013-04-20 02:15:02 AM  

Damnhippyfreak: GeneralJim: KiltedBastich: You know, I'm starting to wonder if he's not a high-functioning delusional paranoid schizophrenic, or at least schizotypal, somewhere on that spectrum of mental illness. That's some really ludicrous paranoia he's got going there. A lot of schizophrenics are highly intelligent and creative before the illness begins to manifest, and they lack the context to understand why their new 'insights' are produced by their illness, not the intelligence and creativity that was the norm for them prior to symptom onset.
Well, SURE....  hurling personal slurs is EXACTLY the same as providing supporting data.
But, lest you think it paranoia, let me refute the lying sack -- and your "diagnosis," of course.  If people ARE saying such things, it is not paranoia to suggest that they are saying such things.  That, at least, seems clear...  so, onward:

Face it -- the U.N. sees climate issues as an excuse to re-distribute wealth, plain and simple.
"But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore. . ."
"The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world's resources will be negotiated." - Ottmar Edenhofer, Co-Chair IPCC working group 3.
This hard-left [Obama] administration will probably be making attempts soon to have dissent from the state religion be criminal, or at least proof of insanity. Nothing like locking up any opposition.
In his June 23, 2008 testimony before the United States Congress, James Hansen called for the punishment of climate change skeptics for "crimes against humanity".
many in the green movement DO want humanity eliminated
The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thi ...


Lol, his post got deleted.

/bet the UN black hawks got to him
 
2013-04-20 09:50:39 AM  
Here's a different non-sucky infographic:

i.imgur.com

How about that, a "pause" in the rise of carbon dioxide output from energy related emissions in the US.
Wait, check that, a  DECLINE of emissions of carbon dioxide.
source: eia.gov
 
2013-04-20 11:40:14 AM  

RulerOfNone: Line them up against a wall and have them shot.

Figuratively.


Well, Banksey has his assignment. I'll impatiently await the result.
 
2013-04-20 12:07:26 PM  
I'm still reading Frédérick Bastiat's Beloved Liberal (Economic Liberal) manifesto, The Law.

One of my insights, or epiphanies, if you please, is that Bastiat's definition of "plunder" (spoliation in the original French) is very close to, perhaps identical with the modern concept of economic rents. An economic rent in the strict sense is money above and beyond the amount necessary for the rentier, capitalist or worker requires to reproduce. It's not unlike the concept of "fair interest" that the Roman Catholic Church adopted in its shift from regarding charging interest as unnatural and wicked (because it makes money reproduce unnaturally, just as homosexuals, contraception, and abortion stop natural human reproduction-Dante, Inferno).

Economic rents are often externalities (positive to those who receive them), namely unearned benefits (or conversely, unpaid costs).

In short, the fight against global climate change is mired in externalities and plunder. This is because the fossil fuel industry does not pay the costs (pollution, premature deaths, health care, environmental degradatio, mass extinction, etc) but acquires benefits (profits, subsidies, economic rents) well above those required to keep them happily in business for mere profits.

Those trillions of dollars of capital (in the ground) and profits (in the pockets and bank accounts) that the Wicked Environmentalists are trying to extract from the fossil fuel industry and the very few super or mere rich few who are lucky enough to own these industries and the industries, lands, etc., downstream or upstream (Rockefellers and Kochs, Armond Hammer's heirs and assigns, the Duponts, etc.) are externality-based economic rents.

Even loyal and devout liberal economists (read right wing economists in the US and Canada) have a way of criticizing externalities and spoliation slash plunder slash economic rents severely because they distort markets and because they are injust and reprehensible.

Taking somebody's money by violence is illegal. But as Bastiat and all of the liberal economists understood and very pointedly said, taking somebody's money through the monopoly of force of the State and through legal plunder is not only not illegal, but it is almost always regarded as moral and right even though it is manifestly robbing Peter to the immense profit of Paul. (Ron Paul!)

On the right you have pure capitalists who shout Free markets! while making them as unfree as possible (nobody loves competition, nobody, especially the most fiercely competitive--they love to use the State and the Law to plunder their competitors if they can't destroy them through their own little ways and means). On the left you have commies (who do not abjure violence by the State or by their own private factions), socialists (who mean well), philanthropists (who are socialists with money of their own) and the rest of us.

Because we all benefit and suffer from legal plunder, state force and economic rents, externalities and so forth, even those who most love them.

Adams, Bastiat, Marx, Hayak and the rest of the economics gang are severe critics of mechantilism, tariffs, unfree tree, Buy American and other follies which transfer money from the pockets of one group of people to another group of people without the free, voluntary, honest and above-board means of trade or contracts.

Plunder is everywhere and it has greatly increased since the days when Bastiat praised the US for being largely plunder-free except for trade restrictions and slavery and stealing land, lives and liberty from the native peoples, and so forth. (He only mentions two of these in his essay on the Law: protectionism and slavery, but obviously he is open to persuasion on other forms of plunder unknown to him at the time of writing.)

Adam Smith was a powerful and wise critic of British policy with regards to the colonies, and being a Scot of the Englightenment) was probably not too happy with colonialism, merchantilism and slavery. Whatever you or I may say against the Scots, I gladly acknowledge that dour Presbyterians were one of the most anti-slavery and anti-protectionist groups of people on Earth in the 1700s and 1800s (having experienced attacks on their own liberty and free trade by the English and some of their own allied to the English). Good on yah, Caledonia. Maybe you have a few reasons to think you are so hot after all.

It all comes down to plunder. The fossil fuel lords (literal Lords who can sit in the House of Lords, or just super-rich landowners and industrialists) have many trillions of good reasons ($$$) to hate environmentalists, but I would argue, with Smith, Hayak, Marx, and Bastiat, that YOU DO NOT.
 
2013-04-20 12:46:55 PM  
cdn2-b.examiner.com

Magnates how do they fu... uhhh nevermind.
 
2013-04-20 12:47:39 PM  
Adam Smith, in the The Wealth of Nations, talking about economic rents without knowing it perhaps, says that the rightful share of the profits of production are these:

* the worker must get enough to live (according to the custom of the country) and to reproduce, which is to say replace labour;
* the capitalist must get enough to return his capital and replace it;
* the rentier or land-owner (or owner of housing, plant, etc.) must get enough to compensate for the use to which the land or property could be put by himself. That is to say, to be able to replace it. If you rent a house, you need another house to live in. You are entitled to charge as much as will pay you to live in similar comfort elsewhere. You are entitled to charge enough to cover renovations, improvements (but only such as are required by the tenant or the market) and to rebuild the house when inevitably it burns or falls down.
*those who save and loan are entitled to the maintenance of their capital and to the return they could get if they used it personally or invested it in business at the normal rate of profit (they are capitalists, they deserve a fair return or profit).

Anything above this is "pure profit", "windfall profit" or more correctly, economic rent. The employer who obtains your work whilst paying you less than you can live on and reproduce yourself and your spouse on, is gaining economic rent from you, which is a kind of plunder, spoliation or theft. Coops and interns take note. You are being used and abused.

In similar fashion, a landlord who charges rents above what would keep him in the rental market is making economic rents. He's making out like thieves.

It works the other way, of course. A unionized worker may be making economic rents as well as an employer, and a tenant may thieve from and damage his landlady's property above and beyond the rents paid.

The worst form of economic rents or spoliation is when the State gets involved, robbing Peter to pay Paul through monopolies, taxes, tariffs, excise taxes, duty, seizure of property and persons, and so forth. If the State acts as a thief, it is a thief, even if the benefits go to somebody else.

The thing which makes this theft worse than direct plunder is that it is wrapped in the flag and the law (which is equated to justice even when it is most injust) and thus corrupts the whole social structure. We all become thieves when we condon theft on our behalf or even (with the best of intentions)  the behalf of worthy persons we think should have a bigger share.

Thus Bastiat and Smith condemn politicians, the higher criminal classes, and the population alike, because we are all parties to economic ignorance, misunderstanding and fraud.

The coal merchants are thiefs because they are given the land at less than cost to the State, and have monopolies and oligarchies thanks to the State and the Law. Their lowly minions similarly profit injustly when the price of gasoline and heating fuel is excessive and the cost of producing is paid by anybody other than the producer or consumer.

If you read the article carefully, you will realize that the money in question consists of billions of dollars a year in subsidies and other pay-offs to the owners and extractors of fossil fuels. We are paying them to find wealth for themselves (and fuel for us) and while they lose the value of their lands and mining rights if we stop consuming fuel, we also lose the billions the Government has extracted from our paycheques, profits, etc., to subsidize the fossil fuel search.

Here's the rub: if we stop using fossil fuel, we shouldn't have to pay all these billions to the buggers who profit from it. There's a big "dividend" owing to us because of all the money we pay to make gasoline cheaper than it rightfully ought to be. There's a bigger "dividend" owing to us in the form of all the monies stolen by the industry to do what it would do any way.

Which brings us back to economic rents. The fair wage, the fair profit and the fair rent are those which would supply the goods and services without any unearned benefit or unpaid cost. It is exactly the lowest price that is economically possible.

If these industrial-media-government-military complex hypocrites were honest, there would be no subsidies for anything. Subsidies are spoliation says Bastiat. The merchants understand economics better than the people or the governors, says Adam Smith, and pull the wool over everybody's eyes.

Imagine a world without subsidies. Without farm subsidies, petroleum and gas exploration subsidies, subsidies to the price of bread but also to the education of doctors and lawyers. Subsidies to everybody and their dog and their dog's fleas and the mites that dwell on them.

I don't entirely agree with Bastiat's thesis that the role of the law is solely to prevent injustice (plunder) and that the Government should not do anything but support justice (and fight plunder, domestic or external). That's a touch too Tory for my taste or my thinking. I suspect there is a flaw in his thinking, notably in his definition of socialism. But all in all he's right most of the time about most things.

If countries like China and India do take up the consumption of fossil fuel and the burden of pollution (they have, in fact, done so for our benefit by taking up the production of the goods and services we consume--they aren't given credit for that by many economists, politicians, lobbyists and ordinary people), that is of no consequence. The production and consumption are moved around, but not altered. The existence of powerful countries which refuse to bow to scientific and political consensus does not depend on whether your country is one of them or not. It's the same problem whether it is China or the USA that refuses to stop producing CO2 and consuming fossil fuels enough to destroy the atmosphere for us all. That's merely a tragedy of the commons. It is politics, not science, as you might say.

In fact, I expect China is willing to negotiate. It is aware of the problem of pollution, since it is importing it from the West in exchange for the profits and wages of industry. Pollution, labour conditions, and outsourcing are all one and the same--a way of evading US and European laws and regulations that attempt to address the externalities. China and India are selling the health of their people in the hope of creating wealth for their people, the same way our ancestors did, with maybe a few new ideas and improvements not known in the 1800s.

They argue they have a right to do what we have done and that if we don't like it, we should be the ones who pay them to do otherwise. I can't see much fault in that belief. If it was us, we would say the same. Therefore it is special pleading to deny this.
 
2013-04-20 12:52:15 PM  
CORRECTION OF MATTER OF FACT: FEW in the environmental movement want humanity to perish. These few are called "Zero Population" advocates and they number in the thousands, whilst most humans consider themselves environmentalists to some degree, even if they are delusional about how far they should go towards reducing their consumption and pollution outputs (or consumption, depending on your point of view--pollution is a form of consumption--it increase when consumption increases, it is a cost of production, it is not profit, it is depreciation on the world's resources, such as clean air to breathe and clean water to drink or cook or bathe with).
 
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