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(The Nation)   Avoiding planetary disaster is as easy as convincing fossil fuel companies to give up $10 trillion in wealth   (thenation.com) divider line 241
    More: Unlikely, fossil fuels, Bill McKibben, Fort Sumter, disasters  
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1367 clicks; posted to Politics » on 22 Apr 2014 at 3:06 PM (18 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-22 01:26:44 PM
Just offer them a box of wine. That always works.
 
2014-04-22 01:30:08 PM
I think the point of the article is more than you won't convince them - you'll need to force them.
 
2014-04-22 01:43:27 PM
I think the entire article can be summed up in one word: derp.
 
2014-04-22 01:44:04 PM
i.imgur.com
 
2014-04-22 01:48:56 PM
"Averting planetary disaster "
Stopped reading right there.
A disaster for poor people and low areas is not a PLANETARY DISASTER.

PLUS, arent those same disasters taking place right now in places like bangladesh and haiti?
YUP. And we are doing nothing.
YAWN


shanrick: [i.imgur.com image 448x300]


AWESOME movie.
 
2014-04-22 01:55:37 PM

namatad: "Averting planetary disaster "
Stopped reading right there.
A disaster for poor people and low areas is not a PLANETARY DISASTER.

PLUS, arent those same disasters taking place right now in places like bangladesh and haiti?
YUP. And we are doing nothing.
YAWN


Some rich people have holdings in low areas. Doesn't that make it everyone's problem?

The article contains high levels of wailing and gnashing of teeth, but is right that money is doing a hell of a lot of yelling to cover up the noise of people trying to talk about a very real problem. Your post is a good example of how well that works.
 
2014-04-22 02:00:06 PM

DamnYankees: I think the point of the article is more than you won't convince them - you'll need to force them.


That's one angle.  The other would be to wait until we run out of fossil fuels and have no choice.  The problem with that is that we really aren't running out of them.  Sure, one day oil will be prohibitively expensive to use as a fuel, but that day is nowhere in the immediate future.  Coal will be going even longer than that.  So either the governments of the world force the pipes closed, or we keep on sucking up that sweet, cheap energy.
 
2014-04-22 02:25:19 PM
namatad:


shanrick: [i.imgur.com image 448x300]

AWESOME movie.


Once there were brook trouts in the streams in the mountains....
 
2014-04-22 02:50:05 PM

namatad: "Averting planetary disaster "
Stopped reading right there.
A disaster for poor people and low areas is not a PLANETARY DISASTER.

PLUS, arent those same disasters taking place right now in places like bangladesh and haiti?
YUP. And we are doing nothing.
YAWN


shanrick: [i.imgur.com image 448x300]

AWESOME movie.


Yes, because climatic change only affects folks in low lying areas. Just like leaded gasoline only affected auto workers and truckers.

Climate change means changes in weather patterns. You like eating? Because that affects growing seasons. That affects rain patterns, and that affects a bit more than just "low lying areas." The Big Fear, is that dumping massive amounts of fresh water at the poles, that shuts down thermohaline circulation, which means that currents go bye bye. That means massive changes to oceans, which oddly enough means huge impact to fishing, to weather patterns as energy transfers don't occur. At the worst projections, shutting down those currents, coupled with massive dumps of fresh water at the poles, means NOT massive flooding in low lying areas, that means triggering another Ice Age. How does glacier advances throughout Europe sound? What about in Russia? How do you think massive glacier advances are going to impact global tensions? That's worst case. It means pretty much an end to most civilization, as resources are locked down, populations are put into flight, and pretty much the economic systems that we rely on go away--and all those folks who are "prepared" for disaster? They're looking at getting locked into those little shelters for generations, at best--while the rest of folks roll in, strip the lands bare, and move on, leaving nothing behind. We're talking plague, famine, and an end to pretty much most industrial power, save in areas that are going to be inundated with folks fleeing the ice. Because that won't affect anyone, right? I mean, it will just be more neighbors, right? With limited growing seasons, impacted with entirely different weather patterns, so the "bread basket" of this country, and those across the world are going to NOT be exactly reliable.

Climate change, doesn't mean "oops, we have some ugly winters" or "hey, that was some hurricane season, wasn't it?" It means an end the patterns that we've invested a LOT of population centers upon. Will people survive another Ice Age? Possibly. Heck, even probably. But I wouldn't count on anything looking like civilization as we know it right now surviving.

As the "for instance" of convincing the petroleum companies: how much lead are you looking at in your gas today? Because, oddly enough, that was the last big crisis with fuel in this country, and the environmental impact of just that simple additive wound up costing us a lot more than just dollars out of investor pockets.

The worst case scenario, it is exactly that. Worst case. I think that we can probably avert that sort of environmental crash. And it may precipitate an entirely different set of events, if we just keep pumping in heat pollution into the system. Energy put into the system doesn't disappear. It changes the variables. And oddly enough, when we pretty much set our civilizations upon the idea that we have food and ready water supplies, and those things get screwed up...we're going to see migrations and conflicts over resources like we haven't seen in a long ass while. Trying to see ahead for some problems, that's how you try to avoid them. Won't mean we won't make other mistakes, but dammit, we can't just stick our heads in the sand and ignore data. That doesn't make problems disappear.
 
2014-04-22 02:59:36 PM
how about all of the pollution and greenhouse gases and destruction China is doing?

Does that $10T include stopping China?  Because even if we do that, China is just going to kill the planet anyways.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-04-22 03:08:49 PM
The cost to prevent carbon-induced global warming is no higher than the least expensive of carbon sequestration, geoengineering, sunscreens, and whatever other ideas people desperate to keep burning fossil fuels come up with. Leaving oil in the ground may not be the cheapest way to react.

But I bet we take the do nothing approach and dare those two degrees to come get us.
 
2014-04-22 03:11:58 PM

SlothB77: how about all of the pollution and greenhouse gases and destruction China is doing?

Does that $10T include stopping China?  Because even if we do that, China is just going to kill the planet anyways.


I probably shouldn't think of killing my ex-wife but then OJ Simpson did it so there's that.
 
2014-04-22 03:13:51 PM
Pretty much a perfect example why the climate harpies lose. Agree with me or you're the same as a slavemaster. Ugh.
 
2014-04-22 03:15:40 PM

Ow! That was my feelings!: Pretty much a perfect example why the climate harpies lose. Agree with me or you're the same as a slavemaster. Ugh.


FTFA:

"It is almost always foolish to compare a modern political issue to slavery, because there's nothing in American history that is slavery's proper analogue. So before anyone misunderstands my point, let me be clear and state the obvious: there is absolutely no conceivable moral comparison between the enslavement of Africans and African-Americans and the burning of carbon to power our devices. Humans are humans; molecules are molecules. The comparison I'm making is a comparison between the political economy of slavery and the political economy of fossil fuel."

Yeah.... I don't think that's what the article was saying at all.
 
2014-04-22 03:16:16 PM

SlothB77: how about all of the pollution and greenhouse gases and destruction China is doing?

Does that $10T include stopping China?  Because even if we do that, China is just going to kill the planet anyways.


They're going to need to accelerate through fossil fuels sooner rather than later. There's an article out there, which I believe was on Fark last week, about how they discovered a while ago that they've been contaminating a lot of their own arable land with heavy metals. Combine that with the insanely low air quality in places like Shanghai and you have a recipe for imminent disaster. Either they take some of that solar-power investment they've been doing and jump off the oil teat or they're going to lose a generation to starvation and cancer.

Besides, that's them and this is us. We need to take care of our own back yard before we can start worrying about anyone else's, and the U.S. still has a bigger carbon footprint than any other first-world nation.
 
2014-04-22 03:16:31 PM

Ow! That was my feelings!: Agree with me or you're the same as a slavemaster.


He made it a point to very carefully and explicitly explain he was not making that comparison. Twice. He did this twice.
 
2014-04-22 03:16:35 PM
No Problem
www.topsiderhomes.com
 
2014-04-22 03:17:31 PM

DamnYankees: I think the point of the article is more than you won't convince them - you'll need to force them.


Heh. Is that an attempt translate an article from utter derp to English to distract everyone from how embarrassing the article is? Nice effort.

"What I think my friend Mitch is trying to say is that true love is blind. So let's raise our glasses.....I'm not a talker"
 
2014-04-22 03:18:59 PM
In the interest of spite, what's global warming projected to do to Russia? Make it nicer?  Or are demons going to come out of the ground and fart fire over Moscow?  I want to know my options here.
 
2014-04-22 03:19:01 PM

mrshowrules: SlothB77: how about all of the pollution and greenhouse gases and destruction China is doing?

Does that $10T include stopping China?  Because even if we do that, China is just going to kill the planet anyways.

I probably shouldn't think of killing my ex-wife but then OJ Simpson did it so there's that.


Well to make that analogy work, O.J. would have to have killed his wife by not doing something, which slowly killed all wives equally over the course of decades, and you also didn't do that thing.
 
2014-04-22 03:20:04 PM
So the question is do we force people to comply with greener energy or not?
 
2014-04-22 03:21:05 PM

SlothB77: how about all of the pollution and greenhouse gases and destruction China is doing?

Does that $10T include stopping China?  Because even if we do that, China is just going to kill the planet anyways.


"Because if someone else is being an idiot, that makes it perfectly okay for me to act like an idiot" is not a really good justification for contributing to a problem.
 
2014-04-22 03:22:49 PM

FarkedOver: Yeah.... I don't think that's what the article was saying at all.


Dusk-You-n-Me: He made it a point to very carefully and explicitly explain he was not making that comparison. Twice. He did this twice.


Heh, probably. Why bring slavery into at all then? He knew exactly what he was doing by trying to make an analogy between slavery and climate change.
 
2014-04-22 03:22:56 PM

FarkedOver: So the question is do we force people to comply with greener energy or not?


Obviously it depends on how you define "force".  Cap-and-trade kind of situations aren't exactly putting a gun to someone's head and saying "here's the limit".
 
2014-04-22 03:23:47 PM
I heard an analysis of how much lawn mower gas is bought on the first few weekends after the grass starts growing and it was on the order of $600mil per weekend.
 
2014-04-22 03:23:53 PM

Ow! That was my feelings!: FarkedOver: Yeah.... I don't think that's what the article was saying at all.

Dusk-You-n-Me: He made it a point to very carefully and explicitly explain he was not making that comparison. Twice. He did this twice.

Heh, probably. Why bring slavery into at all then? He knew exactly what he was doing by trying to make an analogy between slavery and climate change.


Read the article:

"The comparison I'm making is a comparison between the political economy of slavery and the political economy of fossil fuel."
 
2014-04-22 03:24:05 PM

Ow! That was my feelings!: Pretty much a perfect example why the climate harpies lose. Agree with me or you're the same as a slavemaster. Ugh.


They really have to reassess their strategy.

I happen to believe the consensus of anthropogenic global warming, and think we should do something about it (higher gas taxes for starters anyone?), but these breathless and nonsensical chicken little screeds are counterproductive. It seems like they are in competition with each other to out panic the last guy. Not going to change any opinions nonsensically analogizing the cost of slavery to the cost of eliminating carbon based fuels.
 
2014-04-22 03:25:47 PM

Ow! That was my feelings!: Pretty much a perfect example why the climate harpies lose. Agree with me or you're the same as a slavemaster. Ugh.


use of a mythological creature to represent a non-existent strawman is appropriate.

Categorizing people (in any fashion) who believe the reality of ACC is just as dumb as labeling someone as a "round earther".

The comparison in the article is appropriate, albeit obvious.  Corporations and rich resisting doing what is right or smart to protect profits is an apt parallel.
 
2014-04-22 03:27:00 PM

FarkedOver: Ow! That was my feelings!: FarkedOver: Yeah.... I don't think that's what the article was saying at all.

Dusk-You-n-Me: He made it a point to very carefully and explicitly explain he was not making that comparison. Twice. He did this twice.

Heh, probably. Why bring slavery into at all then? He knew exactly what he was doing by trying to make an analogy between slavery and climate change.

Read the article:

"The comparison I'm making is a comparison between the political economy of slavery and the political economy of fossil fuel."


You're missing the point. It's a terrible analogy to try and make. Why not just go with Nazis?

Self-defeating for sure.
 
2014-04-22 03:27:07 PM

ikanreed: FarkedOver: So the question is do we force people to comply with greener energy or not?

Obviously it depends on how you define "force".  Cap-and-trade kind of situations aren't exactly putting a gun to someone's head and saying "here's the limit".


What do you think the "cap" part is?
 
2014-04-22 03:28:01 PM
$10 trillion, pfffft.  That's peanuts compared to money to be had from government grants to climatologists.
 
2014-04-22 03:28:17 PM

FarkedOver: So the question is do we force people to comply with greener energy or not?


It should be quite possible to maintain a similar quality of life with power generated from green sources and vehicles that use alternate energy sources. I doubt the majority of people would notice the change were it to be made, aside from new construction and more efficient housing.

The problem is that it would come with a societal shift, and the people who would stand to lose money if that shift occurred are the ones who are fighting it the hardest. Those are the people who might need to be forced into compliance.

Frankly, what I don't understand is why the energy billionaires don't simply get out ahead of the shift and try to make as much money as they can off of it, through investments, design contracts, and patents. Instead they seem content to try and ride the old status quo down as far as it'll go while paying as many people as possible to sow confusion about whether or not climate change is even happening. It strikes me as a low-budget "Twilight Zone" episode, where they get to watch the world burn from inside a well-furnished panic room, surrounded by millions of dollars in gold and jewels but nothing they can eat.
 
2014-04-22 03:29:00 PM

Ow! That was my feelings!: FarkedOver: Ow! That was my feelings!: FarkedOver: Yeah.... I don't think that's what the article was saying at all.

Dusk-You-n-Me: He made it a point to very carefully and explicitly explain he was not making that comparison. Twice. He did this twice.

Heh, probably. Why bring slavery into at all then? He knew exactly what he was doing by trying to make an analogy between slavery and climate change.

Read the article:

"The comparison I'm making is a comparison between the political economy of slavery and the political economy of fossil fuel."

You're missing the point. It's a terrible analogy to try and make. Why not just go with Nazis?

Self-defeating for sure.


Here read this response:

mrshowrules:
Ow! That was my feelings!: Pretty much a perfect example why the climate harpies lose. Agree with me or you're the same as a slavemaster. Ugh.

use of a mythological creature to represent a non-existent strawman is appropriate.

Categorizing people (in any fashion) who believe the reality of ACC is just as dumb as labeling someone as a "round earther".

The comparison in the article is appropriate, albeit obvious.  Corporations and rich resisting doing what is right or smart to protect profits is an apt parallel.
 
2014-04-22 03:29:40 PM
if only people cared as much about the planet as they did about money.

*kicks rock*
 
2014-04-22 03:30:33 PM

mrshowrules: Ow! That was my feelings!: Pretty much a perfect example why the climate harpies lose. Agree with me or you're the same as a slavemaster. Ugh.

use of a mythological creature to represent a non-existent strawman is appropriate.

Categorizing people (in any fashion) who believe the reality of ACC is just as dumb as labeling someone as a "round earther".

The comparison in the article is appropriate, albeit obvious.  Corporations and rich resisting doing what is right or smart to protect profits is an apt parallel.


It's debatable if it is 'appropriate', but it certainly isn't an effective approach. I never got passed the slavery analogy and didn't read the rest of the article.
 
2014-04-22 03:31:06 PM

BMFPitt: mrshowrules: SlothB77: how about all of the pollution and greenhouse gases and destruction China is doing?

Does that $10T include stopping China?  Because even if we do that, China is just going to kill the planet anyways.

I probably shouldn't think of killing my ex-wife but then OJ Simpson did it so there's that.

Well to make that analogy work, O.J. would have to have killed his wife by not doing something, which slowly killed all wives equally over the course of decades, and you also didn't do that thing.


Burning fossil fuel is an action.  That's the stabby behaviour.  Not burning fossil fuel is the non-stabby behaviour.
 
2014-04-22 03:31:07 PM

Ow! That was my feelings!: It's debatable if it is 'appropriate', but it certainly isn't an effective approach. I never got passed the slavery analogy and didn't read the rest of the article.


Well there's the problem.
 
2014-04-22 03:31:13 PM

mrshowrules: Corporations and rich resisting doing what is right or smart to protect profits is an apt parallel.


I agree, it was a perfectly cromulent parallel.
 
2014-04-22 03:31:57 PM

Kome: SlothB77: how about all of the pollution and greenhouse gases and destruction China is doing?

Does that $10T include stopping China?  Because even if we do that, China is just going to kill the planet anyways.

"Because if someone else is being an idiot, that makes it perfectly okay for me to act like an idiot" is not a really good justification for contributing to a problem.


If the EU and US move to large-scale (or distributed) solar/wind generation - one-time costs, largely; other than maintenance of equipment and lines, maybe new/better batteries every few years - and China sticks with coal/oil, they'd be shooting themselves in the dick by buying fuel. Sure, it's $1/gal (in 2050 dollars), but compare it with the one-time costs of putting up solar panel/wind generator fields, and you see how years of fuel purchases stack up against maintenance fees.

The point is to make clean generation more attractive economically, and the problem then sorts itself out. Of course, we'd need to rebalance the market first (by sharply reducing fuel subsidies and possibly rejiggering the gas tax into an "energy tax", perhaps paid by everyone based on $/kWh or a flat fee based on square footage or something).
 
2014-04-22 03:32:21 PM

wandero: It should be quite possible to maintain a similar quality of life with power generated from green sources and vehicles that use alternate energy sources. I doubt the majority of people would notice the change were it to be made, aside from new construction and more efficient housing.

The problem is that it would come with a societal shift, and the people who would stand to lose money if that shift occurred are the ones who are fighting it the hardest. Those are the people who might need to be forced into compliance.

Frankly, what I don't understand is why the energy billionaires don't simply get out ahead of the shift and try to make as much money as they can off of it, through investments, design contracts, and patents. Instead they seem content to try and ride the old status quo down as far as it'll go while paying as many people as possible to sow confusion about whether or not climate change is even happening. It strikes me as a low-budget "Twilight Zone" episode, where they get to watch the world burn from inside a well-furnished panic room, surrounded by millions of dollars in gold and jewels but nothing they can eat.


Because change is hard!
 
2014-04-22 03:34:01 PM

FarkedOver: Ow! That was my feelings!: It's debatable if it is 'appropriate', but it certainly isn't an effective approach. I never got passed the slavery analogy and didn't read the rest of the article.

Well there's the problem.


Yeah, becausing he's making a slavery analogy. To climate change. Ain't got time for that.
//seriously, climate worriers are as bad at politics as the gun control crowd.
 
2014-04-22 03:34:24 PM

Ow! That was my feelings!: FarkedOver: Yeah.... I don't think that's what the article was saying at all.

Dusk-You-n-Me: He made it a point to very carefully and explicitly explain he was not making that comparison. Twice. He did this twice.

Heh, probably. Why bring slavery into at all then? He knew exactly what he was doing by trying to make an analogy between slavery and climate change.


Because you can't talk about gas emissions and geocide without stirring up Godwin's law. Mainly because people will think you made a typo. I remember one argument where I made the mistake of using the term pogrom with people who thought I was talking about programs.
 
2014-04-22 03:36:43 PM

Ow! That was my feelings!: Yeah, becausing he's making a slavery analogy. To climate change. Ain't got time for that.
//seriously, climate worriers are as bad at politics as the gun control crowd.


He's comparing the political economy of slavery to the political economy of burning fossil fuels.

He's not making the analogy of owning human slaves is the same thing as burning fossil fuels.
 
2014-04-22 03:38:24 PM

FarkedOver: Because change is hard!


Change is always coming, though. Throw as much money at it as you want. You can't make it 1950 forever.

I can only figure that this is what you get from a bunch of loons who self-identify as Tom Wolfe's "masters of the universe," who've been rich and important for so long that it's difficult for them to conceptualize a situation which they can't simply force into compliance with their greater design. That's the only sense I can see, for example, behind the Koch brothers deciding to interfere in the creation of mass transit systems in Oklahoma.
 
2014-04-22 03:38:58 PM

Ow! That was my feelings!: mrshowrules: Ow! That was my feelings!: Pretty much a perfect example why the climate harpies lose. Agree with me or you're the same as a slavemaster. Ugh.

use of a mythological creature to represent a non-existent strawman is appropriate.

Categorizing people (in any fashion) who believe the reality of ACC is just as dumb as labeling someone as a "round earther".

The comparison in the article is appropriate, albeit obvious.  Corporations and rich resisting doing what is right or smart to protect profits is an apt parallel.

It's debatable if it is 'appropriate', but it certainly isn't an effective approach. I never got passed the slavery analogy and didn't read the rest of the article.


When you can no longer reason with the opposition, shaming and ridicule may be the only approach left to you.

People argue that a economic argument with climate deniers against greenhouse gas emissions might work better.  There is no good anti-slavery then or anti-oil economic argument now that is less than 20 to 50 years in scope.

Slavery then and burning oil now makes good economic sense when you are looking less than 20 years out which is all some companies care about.
 
2014-04-22 03:39:25 PM

Ow! That was my feelings!: Yeah, becausing he's making a slavery analogy. To climate change.


Because, if you'd bother to read, it's an apt analogy in terms of the economics and societal power structures of both.
 
2014-04-22 03:40:54 PM
Winters are colder than hell in Ohio.  I want to plant palm trees!
 
2014-04-22 03:41:15 PM

SlothB77: how about all of the pollution and greenhouse gases and destruction China is doing?

Does that $10T include stopping China?  Because even if we do that, China is just going to kill the planet anyways.


Did you read the article. Essentially there are about 10-20 trillion dollars worth of fossil fuels still in the ground (in reality this figure is closer to infinite as the stuff becomes more valuable as it becomes more rare). And the argument is that somehow we have to get the world to leave that money in the ground. A arguably impossible task.
 
2014-04-22 03:41:33 PM

FarkedOver: Ow! That was my feelings!: Yeah, becausing he's making a slavery analogy. To climate change. Ain't got time for that.
//seriously, climate worriers are as bad at politics as the gun control crowd.

He's comparing the political economy of slavery to the political economy of burning fossil fuels.

He's not making the analogy of owning human slaves is the same thing as burning fossil fuels.


I respectfully disagree. I think that is exactly what he is trying to do.
 
2014-04-22 03:41:42 PM

Kome: SlothB77: how about all of the pollution and greenhouse gases and destruction China is doing?

Does that $10T include stopping China?  Because even if we do that, China is just going to kill the planet anyways.

"Because if someone else is being an idiot, that makes it perfectly okay for me to act like an idiot" is not a really good justification for contributing to a problem.


On one hand, I am pretty sympathetic to that argument for the simple reason that it adequately sums up the "tragedy of the commons" game-theory aspect of climate change: If we can't stop the vast majority of people from exploiting a common resource, (in this case, environmental carbon sinking,) then we're still screwed even if we stop, and in that case we may be screwed worse because we've sacrificed economic standing for nothing. This is a serious concern.

On the other hand, this argument has two significant problems:

1.) Genuinely using that line of reasoning assumes that we're farked no matter what we do so we should devote our efforts to one-upping each other in preparation for a coming collapse (instead of preventing said collapse.) Climate change is potentially a big enough deal that we really shouldn't give up quite that easily.

2.) The people who trot it out most frequently tend to use it as part of a disingenuous and dizzying display of status-quo-defending kettle logic, arguing that nothing should be done to curb carbon emissions because the earth isn't really warming, and that the earth is warming but humans aren't responsible, and that anthropogenic climate change isn't all that bad, and that okay, maybe it's really bad but we can't do anything about it anyway.

/ Guilt by association is a fallacy, but association with disingenuousness does change how you argue a point.
 
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