Celebrity Addiction 1 – Economic Sanity 0

June 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Economics

economic_sanitySo Michael Jackson succumbed to the demons within. The  news junkies and celebrity addicts are now focused 24/7 on the demise of a musical genius who was defective in almost every other human category. So be it. At least he had talent, unlike Anna Nicole Smith whose death weirdly distracted so many for so long. 

Meanwhile, Pelosi and comrades are trying to quickly jam the cap and tax bill down our throats, hoping we won’t notice. It’s working, thanks in part to Governor “my brain is behind the zipper”  Sanford, the tragic failure of yet another government-run transportation system, and now Jackson’s death.

No matter who looks at the cap and trade bill (officially the Waxman-Markey Bill), they conclude that it will have a direct cost on taxpayers. What few in the media are talking about is how it will suppress our national GDP, creating even larger indirect costs for consumers. The Heritage Foundation puts the GDP hit at $161 billion or $1,870 per family. I’m guessing that most folks don’t care because the emission caps don’t get screwed down tight until 2020.

The other part of the cap and tax silent killer that isn’t being talked about is how other countries are backing away from it. It seems that scientists in these countries have stopped drinking the Al Gore climate change Kool-Aid.  They have different views about the shaky scientific foundation on which the cap and tax frenzy is premised. Do you think they know something we don’t? They might but our “leaders” are too enthralled with their own mission to consider the possibility.

So back to the celebritainment. I wonder when the first Jackson sighting will be reported. Do you think he and Elvis will find each other?

Photo credit: cesarastudillo


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44 Responses to “Celebrity Addiction 1 – Economic Sanity 0”
  1. SJ says:

    I dunno… I just finished reading “Hot, Flat, and Crowded’ so maybe I’m a bit biased.

    But my understanding of just CO2 numbers is that it has been rising dramatically. A nice side effect of such a bill would be more R&D into renewable energy, which regardless you must think is good?

  2. lurker carl says:

    The atmospheric carbon dioxide level always rise as the world temperatures increase, more plants and animals thrive on a warmer Earth. More life means more respiration, thus the rise in carbon dioxide levels. Carbon dioxide levels drop as the Earth cools, less life exists at the colder temperatures.

    Carbon dioxide is less than 0.04% of our total atmosphere by volume; a “dramatic rise” is actually a very, very small increase. Any carbon dioxide rise is to be expected since the Earth has only recently recovered after centuries of considerably colder temperatures.

    A heat wave is preferable to an Ice Age. The Vikings discovered the same thing when their once thriving colonies in Greenland and New Foundland perished with the last cool down. It’s hard to survive on frozen tundra.

  3. Rick Beagle says:

    Um Lurker Carl, I am guessing you haven’t done much reading on the subject, but global warming is about climate change (not just a general warming trend). Areas that were fertile become barren, places that are productive get their own little ice age. Do a little research buddy on the Gulf Stream, changes in salinity, and how that is predicted to impact climates… pretty scary stuff.

    As for your Mr. Tough, how much credibility does the right have to lose before you stop drinking that koolaid? You are quoting The Heritage Foundation? Has the sun at the lake baked what sense you had (lol)? Please try looking for something a bit more balanced before you write on the subject of climate change again.

    Peace.

  4. lurker carl says:

    Hey Rick, I’m not much on predictions of the future. I have yet to find anyone who can forcast next week with any degree of accuracy, much less looking decades into the future. According to experts from 30 years ago, we were on the cusp of entering a new ice age. Then the experts decided the Earth was warming instead. Now they call it climate change. I’m a bit cynical when these experts cover all possible options with respect to their theories. These theories are driving political agendas based on recent climactic events – not long term trends from past millenia.

    Just like most government initiatives, this one is designed to transfer tax dollars from many into the pockets of a few. Pollution reduction, not so much. The money is far too tempting.

  5. SJ says:

    Do you accept the science that CO2 and other greenhouse gases trap heat in?
    Do you accept the science that CO2 and other gases have been increasing dramatically? It’s increased by a factor of 30%+ in ~200 years.
    Then you should come to the conclusion more heat is trapped in.

    We constantly are learning of dangers of various things and evaluating risk. And it’s true, experts ARE covering a lot of options, i.e. weather will change. For years people thought… oh CO2? Oh Mercury? Oh Lead paint? Science has shown these are bad for your body. (feel free to eat lead paint to try and dissuade it)

    Originally experts believed that increasing CO2 just increases heat. This is strictly true. However, there is no guarantee on how the increased heat will be distributed and effect the world. Take for example, the Northeastern Passageway. W/ the weather shifts we’ve finally discovered one :O!!! Just as possible is that the heat will cause increased rain and flooding (rmbr, heat causes evaporation which causes clouds… and it’s not Zeus who causes thunder bolts…)

    Calling it climate change is more accurate. (Like how saying mercury made hatters mad vs. causing brain damage)

    As for political agendas, there are infinitely more agendas attempting to ignore the problem then there are to deal with it. Why all the fuel subsidies? Why are solar/wind/nuclear research sooo much slower? Why drill drill drill?

    The only way to get pollution reduction is to take a more authoritarian long-term view on things. People aren’t to be trusted with power. No one can go ahead and propose raising gas taxes without getting destroyed in polls. Yes, money is tempting, votes are even more so a drive.

    This was poorly organized. I should sleep. yup.

  6. One of the problems is that the environmental lobby that relentlessly supports cap and trade as an interim measure also opposes clean coal, solar farms, and wind farms. They also oppose nuclear power generation which is the cleanest of all of them, taking into account the footprint required. They will not be happy until we are forced to use less energy by the cost.

  7. MasterPo says:

    OK. So we do all this. What about China? SE Asia? Africa? South America? Russia?!

    IOW, what is the rest of the world doing to “tap and trade” it’s own industry too? Isn’t this supposed to be a GLOBAL problem not just an American one? Afterall, liberals always said the U.S. is just 20% of the world. So what is the other 80% doing about it? (answer: Very little!!!)

    Rick – You have an extra $1800-2000 to send me to pay my bills? My daughter will make you a nice ‘Thank You!’ card in return.

  8. SJ says:

    Wow. That’s kind of stupid. Read “Hot, Flat, and Crowded”. Fun easy book to read.

    One analogy is that developed countries went out to eat, ordered appetizers, steak, salad, soup, a massive full course meal while the over developing countries showed up late and had just a salad. Now the developed countries have the audacity to split the check evenly?

    First, US is X % of the world. And produces significantly MORE than X% of the CO2. Sooo… isn’t it fair that US decrease it to a fair share?

    Next, all this does it (in a highly theoretical goal) aim to properly price coal/carbon based fuels in an attempt to raise green spending.

    Btw, does anyone see else dirty fuels as identical to derivative trading? Both cases are trying to cash in short-term gains at the expense of possible long-term death.

    @MasterPo: Does your daughter like polar bears? Coral Reefs?

    @TML: Clean coal is not clean. Past week was bad, so I’ve been lost in news; but skimming up on that I’ve yet to see anything about anti-solar/wind. Btw, they are inefficient as is due to transmission loss and location fixation. Also, is using less energy that much worse? I’m not saying be Amish. But using LED’s/CFL’s, turning off lights when you aren’t in the room, etc. etc. etc.

    A step in the right direction if not optimal.

  9. Rick Beagle says:

    I find it difficult to talk to conservatives on the subject of global warming. Conservatives are a good bunch, but outside of long term financial planning, their vision of the world is incredibly short sighted. Take for example tax rebates. A conservative will be the first one to proclaim that it is “our money” and we should spend it how we feel, but they fail to consider what exactly that lack of public funding will do to their local schools, job opportunities, and the ability for Americans to compete globally.

    It is also telling that something akin to 9/10 conservatives trust the various financial gurus on tv more than the science of global warming. As you stated Lenny, you scoff at their ability to predict long term impact, but I bet you review this page, and perhaps the WSJ for long term financial predictions. You would surely agree that your local weather man has a better track record that most of the financial talking heads? But you somehow trust them more?

    Global climate change is real. The only differences in opinion have to do with the impact this will have on our planet. Understandably, after spending enormous political capital and cash, companies who have a vested interest in our continued dependence have for far too long dominated the air ways, buried science, and drove public opinion. It will be many years before that stain on our public perception will diminish. The time of profits before the lives of the human race is at an end, and while you may suggest that others will get rich off these new policies, I would counter, good for them. Liberals are not opposed to people making money, we are opposed when profit is more important that the long term health of our planet, and her people.

    As to TML comments on the various green technology you confuse concerns and criticisms about elements of those systems with a disgust for the entire solution. You could not be more wrong.

    In conclusion, the time of maximizing profits at the expense of American’s future and her people is at an end. The liberals while not perfect by any stretch of the imagination are trying their best to govern over the long term, and it would be my hope that conservatives could find a way to marry their love for financial long term thinking and governance.

    Peace.
    Rick Beagle

  10. MasterPo says:

    Rick – So how will doubling my costs for food, clothing, electricity, just about everything I need in life going to make my life better?

    ps- Still waiting for you to send me the check.

  11. lurker carl says:

    The “cap and trade” legislation is more about collecting money than reducing pollution and global warming/climate change. It will be the way for government to pay for the past, present and future financial messes they create. Of course, that money ultimately comes from us.

  12. Rick Beagle says:

    Thank you both for providing examples of my point. The conservative movement does not have the capacity to govern over the long term, all they see and care about is their comfort. In all the articles that have been posted about the selfishness of today’s consumer it is ironic that you folks do not see yourselves in those posts.

    If people had not accepted the bribes provided by the government at the expense of our national debt and our infrastructure, had not buried research on global warming, or stifled advancements in renewable energies, we wouldn’t be in this mess. The fact is, they did. And now the costs of those bribes are coming back with a wicked vengeance, and you would blame the people in charge now for it (take a look at the incredible damage the Republicans did to California (deregulation, Enron, social unrest, etc.), which used to provide cash hand over fist into the treasury). Look at the southern states who have tragically become more and more dependent on the Federal Government to remain in business. Man up a little bit, and take responsibility for your support of the very things that got us here.

    In conclusion, we are trying to save the planet, and its people – in the big scheme of things I could care less if it causes minor ripples in an economy, an economy we should mention that is on an unsustainable tract. Greed can not and should not replace common sense, but somehow, here we are. The question I would leave you with is simple, are you someone who is going to help chart out our future or will you simply be another choir boy in the Church of greed?

    Peace.
    Rick Beagle

  13. lurker carl says:

    Rick, you may not be old enough to know of one of the biggest lies is, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.”

  14. avery says:

    I am not a conservative. Global warming is bunk. Hot, Flat and Crowded is a scary bedtime story.

  15. SJ says:

    Rick: Nice posts. (Tho a tangent from the question at hand. It’s not so much a conservative/liberal issue and more a science issue) But one massive point of disagreement:
    “Man up a little bit, ”

    Just a little bit? That’s why we’re gonna bake.

    MasterPo — I’m still wondering if you daughter likes animals. Also an extra 2k doubles your costs? Wow and I thought I had low costs.

    Do you agree w/ free markets? Do you agree with properly priced markets? Let the govt do so and let human ingenuity (in response to incentive) take over and handle the rest. (Kind of) We’ll also need natural costs to force energy frugality.

    Think about it this way; the govt has been massively subsidizing everything (this is true; utilities, corn, corn, cows, etc.) and now in an attempt to counter balance that… Shouldn’t you be happier now?

  16. Rick Beagle says:

    Lurker Carl,
    Unfortunately I am old enough to recognize that quote from Ronald Reagan, and as I have stated in many, many posts, my opinion of his views and policies is extremely low.

    As luck would have it, one of my favorite people – Paul Krugman – wrote a terrific piece on this very subject yesterday. What timing huh?

    Peace.
    Rick Beagle

  17. Paul Krugman and global warming – is there any topic off limits for his claims of superior knowledge and expertise? He needs to stick to liberal economics so we have less to ignore.

  18. Rick Beagle says:

    TML,

    Yeah, ignore that pesky “liberal” with a Ph.D. from MIT and who happened to win that little old Nobel Prize for Economics in 2008. Yeppers, you keep quoting from the Heritage Foundation, they have LOADS more credibility….

    You know what they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink it.

    Hope you are enjoying your time in the sun.
    Peace.
    Rick Beagle

  19. SJ says:

    TML,
    Dismissing someone who has more credentials without a reasonable argument seems somewhat unreasonable.

    One question no one has addressed is why are you against the bill? The crux of it has been “it costs me moneies OH NO’S!!?!?!!!”
    Of course that is ignoring just how little we are paying for energy vs. the rest of the world.

    Do you disagree with:
    1. Humans are increasing greenhouse gases at an increasingly dramatic pace?
    2. Greenhouse gases will really screw with the environment and cause OMG waterworld~~~ (jk of cuz)
    3. The government needs to step in to encourage green research vs. step out of subsidizing energy prices?
    4. The present bill is sub-optimal but a step in the right direction
    5. Conserving energy is good.

    The biggest problem I think is 4. But that’s a reflection of our democratic process. SO… yup.

  20. AnnJo, Seattle says:

    I can’t claim to be a climatologist, but I have skimmed through the actual IPCC reports (rather than the political summaries which are almost exclusively the source of media commentary about the “science” of climate change) and it is clear they are far less definitive and far more tentative than climate change advocates would have us believe.

    Here’s why I remain an “urgent need for action on climate change” skeptic:

    1. The disparity between what the scientific reports say and what the media/politicians say that they say.

    2. The convenient way that climate change hysteria plays into the predisposition of the Left to control as much human activity as possible, consistent with its elitism and general contempt for most people (see SJ’s post at 3:59 arguing for “authoritarian” solutions because “people can’t be trusted with power.”)

    3. Although generally I tolerate hypocrisy as “the tribute that vice pays to virtue,” I can’t help noticing that it doesn’t bother the Left to try to scare people into compliance with climate change totalitarianism, a tactic it seemed to regard as the work of the devil (aka Dick Cheney) when it came to fighting terrorism. If it is wrong to play on people’s fears to advance public policy, why haven’t Al Gore and his ludicrously inaccurate and over-the-top propaganda been laughed off the public stage yet, or at least disavowed by the “serious” climate change advocates?

    4. When reputable scientists who do not recite the correct party line are fired from their jobs, subjected to demagogic attacks, and threatened into silence, I am inclined to wonder whether the reason is that their criticisms and questions can’t be answered honestly and forthrightly. Good science does not thrive in an environment of vitriol and intimidation.

    5. The last few years, with the switch from “global warming” to “climate change” as the boogeyman, seems to me to have created a nonfalsifiable hypothesis. Nonfalsifiable hypotheses are not the realm of science, but of theology.

    6. There is a HUGE pot of money at stake. Greed, corruption, deception and violence invariably follow big pots of money. I don’t trust my government, and I trust international organizations even less than that, to use massive new powers sparingly and with only the highest motives. Life and people just aren’t like that.

    7. No one seems to be saying exactly what difference any of the proposed policies are going to make in the long run. What is “cap and trade” actually going to accomplish? If it reduces emissions X%, what effect will that X% reduction have on the “crisis” of climate change we are supposedly facing? Will it make it 1% less damaging, 20% less damaging, or what? I suspect we aren’t geting such analysis because it is impossible to do, and if so, then how can any rational person be persuaded we should make huge sacrifices for possibly trivial effects. No matter how serious a problem is, yelling about how we HAVE TO DO SOMETHING RIGHT NOW, no matter what it costs in loss of freedom, economic decline, and lives lost, is not good policy.

    So my skepticism of climate change is not based on extensive scientific analysis but on a lifetime of reading history and watching people in general and a few con artists in particular. I haven’t read “Hot, Flat and Whatever” yet, but I have read “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” (Charles Mackay, 1852) and even though it’s a little out-of-date, its principles still hold and probably always will.

  21. Rick Beagle says:

    Annjo,

    LOL!
    I wrote a counter for your nonsense, but alas, this topic has gone on long enough. So let me be succinct Annjo, you would warn us about the loss of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness because the greed of these “climate change” companies will harm us all. My retort to this is rather simple, why are you ignoring the currently loss of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness because of the greed of our oil companies? The latter group has a list of atrocities that are well documented and can be verified at the pump, at a VA hospital, and a peek at our economy (anyone here think that the spike in oil prices wasn’t the trigger for our economy free fall?).
    It is also true that these folks have been aggressively pursing policies, manipulating science, and positioning themselves within our government to hinder activities that would promote a self awareness of global change. This is also well documented, and one of the more famous examples of this interference was the chanting of “drill baby drill” at the Republican convention by it’s participants. Do you happen to know what line of work the Bush family was in prior to ending up in the white house? How about Dick Cheney?
    But you ignore all of that to mention your book about delusion, so I have another one for you – “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems” published in 1632 by Galileo Galilei. Another fine example of wonderful science almost destroyed by the wealthy under the guise of religion. The parallels are remarkable. You should give it, and its history a good read.

    Peace.
    Rick Beagle

  22. AnnJo, Seattle says:

    Rick,

    Hmmm. I believe your non-response is the verbal equivalent of laying down your king on the chessboard – or is it ADHD?. There’s some misdirection about greedy oil companies but no actual rebuttal. But I’ll play along for a bit:

    Even at the peak of oil prices in 2008, those “greedy” oil companies (Exxon, 11%; BP, 6%; ) had profit margins well under the margins of companies like Microsoft (25%), Google (20%), Cisco (19%), and many others, and that doesn’t account for the bad years, when there is no profit margin at all (Conoco-Phillips currently has a MINUS 11% profit margin).

    Between gas taxes, payroll, severance, excise, property and income taxes, the U.S. and state governments always make a heck of a lot more money from oil than the oil companies’ shareholders do. So if “cui bono” is the standard for judging, then “atrocities” you complain of are not due to the greed of the oil companies as much as the greed of politicians who want to keep the tax revenues flowing. And if so, what makes you think those politicians will be any more public-spirited when they implement “cap and trade”?

    The line of work the Bush family was in prior to entering the White House is what is euphemistically called public service (Bush-41, V-P; Bush-43, Gov. of Texas). If you look at the Bush-43 Financial Disclosure Form before he entered the White House, his oil company holdings where trivial in value, probably held indirectly through mutual fund holdings. Cheney’s unexercised stock options in Halliburton and various other companies he had worked for were all irrevocably assigned to charities when he was elected Vice-President and his stock holdings in them were liquidated, so he had no financial stake in them at all.

    But who cares about facts when you can have a great conspiracy theory without them, right?

  23. SJ says:

    Why are people so harsh online?

    AnnJo:
    Intro: Taken off wiki b/cuz I’m lazy to research it right now:
    “The IPCC does not carry out research, nor does it monitor climate or related phenomena”

    1: Isn’t this obvious? Media reports what sells. Politicians report what sells (themselves) to the voters?
    2: People are notoriously bad at predicting what they want. Furthermore, the consider speed-limits. If we went with “OH drive w/e speed you want… more accidents would prolly occur.” You need an OUTSIDE party that isn’t completely short-sighted. Rmbr, in politics cycles last 2yrs, 4 yrs, 6 yrs… nothing else matters.
    3: I don’t understand now. In 2 you argue that the Left strives for more govt control… so the Right did the same?
    4: I agree. But good science shouldn’t be ignored. My understanding was that the oil company scientists were always the one being silenced…
    5: The change is because it’s more accurate. And “large” climate change I guess. Technically global warming will occur. I.e., more heat will be trapped in the earth. However, the distribution isn’t uniform. Some places will get very hot, some will flood like crazy, some will dry out, etc…
    6: You just said you don’t trust people or international organizations but you are quoting the IPCC and also attacking my authoritarian view? Which, btw, was somewhat in jest.
    7: The only way to give accurate estimates are to run controlled experiments. How about we don’t do anything on this Earth and try something on another Earth? Oh wait…
    What about mercury and lead poison in the past? Or asbestos poisoning? It took a while to realize the effects… and now tuna everywhere is mercurified =(
    Yes what you are suggesting is somewhat rational. So is screw your partner in the prisoner dilemma. That again is why you need an outside regulatorial party

    My arguments form above that NO ONE has attacked yet is
    1. Is Climate Change real and are we causing it?
    There’s no way to run a controlled experiment but the best thing we can do is look at Venus. It’s atmosphere is almost completely CO2.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus#Atmosphere_and_climate
    Compare it to Mercury!
    Now obviously that was a bit extreme example… but honestly, do you want to risk it?
    More over if you accept this argument then you’ll have to realize that this is an INEVITABLE problem that we can try and face now while it’s still rather unmanageable instead of completely… Or wait till your kids never see snow again.

    This is indicative of people in general… bubbles, mortgages… short-term gains at the expense of long-term stuff.

    2. This is a step in the right direction, but sub-optimal. I agree with this. I would argue part of this is because we’re a democrazy.

    The thing that pisses me off about this bill is it’s soooooo politicized. Just tell the companies to man up. The US got to the moon in what? sub-decade. Built an A-bomb. Had two bubbles.
    What else is there to do but green it up?

  24. SJ says:

    That was long.
    Btw, thanks for the book titles, I’ve added both to my “To-Read list”… ::sighs::
    It grows too fast.

  25. AnnJo, Seattle says:

    SJ,
    Thanks for at least making an effort to answer my points. Yes, I know that the IPCC does not do its own original research but rather provides something like a meta-analysis of available research. Doesn’t it reduce your anxiety at least a little to know that they are not quite as alarmist as the politicians?

    Can we agree that climate change, sometimes even dramatic change, would have taken place even in the total absence of humans? In other words, with or without us, the Earth’s climate has never been and never will be in stasis.

    So when we talk about anthropogenic climate change, we are saying that human action is either moderating, reversing or exacerbating a change (call it a default climate course) that would have happened without us, that default being, on a net basis, either beneficial to humans or harmful to humans.

    The climate change alarmists take it for granted that the change they are predicting will be, on a NET basis, harmful to humans. I’ve never seen a study that actually tries to prove that – a fatal flaw to convincing me to make major personal or national sacrifices for planetary welfare – but for the sake of argument, assume that’s true. That must mean that either:

    1) The climate was changing in that harmful direction anyway and we are exacerbating the change, in which case it is reasonable to ask whether “cap and trade” or any other public policy measure will have any appreciable effect in moderating the change, and whether our collective efforts should not be directed to adaptive measures instead.

    2) The climate was changing in a beneficial direction and we are moderating that effect, in which case it is reasonable to ask whether action is needed at all.

    3) The climate was changing in a beneficial direction and we are reversing that effect, which credits human action with more climate power than I am willing to concede.

    I take it your position is that, even if we can’t really be sure what will happen in the future without action, and even though we don’t have a clue what effect the proposed action will have on the future we fear, we should proceed in great haste and ignore all naysayers.

    Is that the way we usually deal with high-consequence uncertainties? If you have a bad cough, do you rush to the surgeon, oncologist and radiologist and start treatment for lung cancer? What lobe do you resect? What particular chemo do you take? And would you ridicule anyone who suggested further testing before such drastic measures?

    That’s why the difference between the political summaries of the IPCC and the reports themselves is so important, and why the brushing off or outright silencing of dissenters is so troubling. The politicians are wheeling us in to surgery, while the scientists are saying, these are very worrying symptoms but there’s a lot we still don’t know about what exactly it is and we’ve never tried to treat a patient with this particular ailment before so we also don’t have much idea which measures will work and which will simply weaken the patient’s overall health.

    I hope you won’t consider it harsh that I think your faith in “outside” regulatory parties as a counter to self-interest is touching. There ARE no “outside” regulatory parties on this issue. Al Gore may really believe in global warming or he may be in it for the millions of dollars he makes off his schtick – or both. The UN is blatantly corrupt at every level. Congress is in perpetual power-grab mode at all times. Scientists dependent on government research grants or academic positioning are just as liable to bias as oil company scientists.

    I’ve replaced my light bulbs with CFLs, commute less than five miles a week, dry my clothes on a clothesline in the summer, etc., both for the sake of frugality and “just in case,” but when it comes to writing Congress and the UN a blank check, my frugality trumps my precautionary principle. I need to be convinced not only that there is a problem, which I concede is possible, but that what they propose to do about it will solve the problem, for which I’ve seen no evidence at all.

  26. SJ says:

    AnnJo,

    P1: Not really… panels can be manipulated just as easy as politicians. I’ve read that IPCC is really really really conservative in what it admits.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intergovernmental_Panel_on_Climate_Change#Conservative_nature_of_IPCC_reports

    P2: Yes climate change will occur without us burning gas and raising cows. But as I mentioned prior the RATE we are causing change outstrips the natural changes. Because of that you can more or less treat the natural change as … negligible.
    (1 + 1000 ~= 1000, don’t teach your kids that)

    If you worked with radioactive stuff, smoked and drank regularly, etc… and then noticed some lumps… would you rush to the hospital? At the very least you’d take a few days off work and cut smoking and drinking right?
    We aren’t even doing that.

    We’ve been pumping out gases like crazy (smoking). The legendary Northeastern Passage way has been found due to arctic ice melting (lumps).

    For outside regulatory parties I meant me with a Hockey Stick. I said authoritarian right? As soon as you disconnect those making the “sacrifices” and what not… it gets easier to implement stuff.

    Someone mentioned China earlier; China has implemented laws to catch up to Euro standards in half the time (for cars). Reason? Populous has no power and no fear of rebuttal. They don’t have to worry about their people typing up and debating how stupid the ideas are. It just happens. However, I am *slightly* more optimistic than that.

    Two things need to be done.
    First, gas and energy prices should be a more accurate representation of true costs. Provide incentive. Why make a super efficient homes and power supplies if we can keep burning cheap coal? Do you see that as a right?

    Next, the govt needs to spin this as a Green Energy Research Movement. Sinking tons of money into doing research into new breakthroughs and guaranteeing that there be a market. The govt already does similar things for utility infra-structure.

    What you are doing has negligible impact; Furthermore, we all share the world. What about the developing countries who are quickly catching up to us in standard of living? If they chose to copy our standard of living with our excessive energy consumption we’re all sunk. Thus we should LEAD by SHOWING how to cut greenhouse emissions.

    Either Climate Change or 0 fuel will kick in. That is a finite resource. I hope we can all agree on that. As humanity we HAVE to do research EVENTUALLY. Might as well provide incentive NOW.

  27. MasterPo says:

    Sj – If you think it will stop at ‘just’ $2k then I have a bridge to sell you. Besides, you think I can pull an extra $2,000 out of my butt? Maybe you and Rick should team up and both sned me checks since paying for all this garbage is no big deal to either of you.

    Ann (and SJ and Rick) – Just tell me about aaaaalllll the additional regulations, controls and TAXES being imposed on industry and consumers in China, India, Africa, South America, Mexico, the Philipians, and Russia at the same time we are being taxed and regulated to death and I’ll stay quiet.

  28. SJ says:

    I’m a grad student. I make very little. 2k is really that large? Interesting…

    I have responded to the other countries issue already:

    “One analogy is that developed countries went out to eat, ordered appetizers, steak, salad, soup, a massive full course meal while the over developing countries showed up late and had just a salad. Now the developed countries have the audacity to split the check evenly?”

    If you think that unreasonable then eating out with you must be quite a chore.

    I understand that people are naturally selfish… but my understanding is that we also strive for fairness. It seems to me you want the entire rest of the world to have a stronger policy towards becoming Green before the US should even consider doing anything.

    I notice you left out Europe. So I’ll make the assumption you think Europe is doing a decent job. China has past regulations to catch up to present European standards by 2010. Did you know China has higher gas mileage standards than US?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/28/business/energy-environment/28fuel.html?_r=1

    Oh hrm… I suppose you ARE right. Relative to the US other countries DON’T need additional regulations. Oppsies. Sorry. I guess you can retain your speaking privileges.

  29. Rick Beagle says:

    “Even at the peak of oil prices in 2008, those “greedy” oil companies (Exxon, 11%; BP, 6%; ) had profit margins well under the margins of companies like Microsoft (25%), Google (20%), Cisco (19%), and many others, and that doesn’t account for the bad years, when there is no profit margin at all (Conoco-Phillips currently has a MINUS 11% profit margin).”

    But those other companies are not trying to destroy the planet. Again, Liberals are NOT opposed to people making profit, but we are opposed to profit gleaned at the expense of the planet and their denizens. Furthermore, we oppose companies using their money to purchase clout with our government in an effort to staunch, delay, modify, and bury scientific research into the matter.

    As for you MasterPo, it is time for you to admit that all you really care about is retaining your money. While I do not begrudge you your greed, it does make your comments seem myopic, selfish, and well, forgive me, small. Have a heart for our future….

    Peace.
    Rick Beagle

    PS SJ, thank you for jumping into the fray. Your comments were well reasoned and your tone even keeled. Well done!

  30. MasterPo says:

    SJ – Why is it to a liberal it’s “only” this or that money when it comes to taking money from someone else’s pocket but their own?

    Rick – So keeping the money my hard work has earned me is being greedy? Thank you.

    SJ & Rick –

    Tell you what.

    Since you gentlemen seem to think that $2,000 is no big deal and I (and others who agree with me) are just being selfish and greedy I’ll make you this deal:

    If *BOTH* of you *each* send a check for $2,000 made out to the Internal Revenue Service right now simply as a no-big-deal tax payment (not for back taxes, estimated taxes, penalities etc.) than I will send a check of my own money to charity.

    Just send me a copy of the cancelled check, front and back, that proves it was cashed by the IRS before the end of July 2009.

    Deal?

  31. lurker carl says:

    Since SJ and Rick believe the government is really going to help, I guess their checks are in the mail.

  32. lurker carl says:

    Please forgive my multiple posts but I forgot something. I wonder if they will still respect the government in the morning?

    Peace,

    lurker Carl

  33. Rick Beagle says:

    Master Po.

    I am not sure what you are trying to prove, but you should really send that money to charity. They really could use it.

    Peace.
    Rick Beagle

  34. SJ says:

    Again, this is a two part post.
    First, is there a general consensus here that climate change via human actions is real? Let’s lookie surveys:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/10/science/10survey.html?hpw
    (Such good timing!)

    Accepting it’s real then there’s 2 options:
    1. Ignore it. Let the future deal with it (I believe TML is a biiiig fan of responsibility…)
    2. “Man up” and deal with it.

    Just as all ya all think the govt is “evil”, I think people are inherently un-ant-like. And I would argue that’s a good thing.

    That means we’re always looking for the easy way out and blaming other things. People hate accepting responsibility. Furthermore, we all over-value our own sacrifices.

    The reason I mention this as the amount of change any individual can really do is minor. I said it. YOU can do crap. In BOTH directions. Want to kill the earth? Sure leave all your lights on and leave the water running and so on… Want to save the earth? Become a hermit! (Or better yet kill yourself. 0 energy used) Problem solved right?
    I hope no one feels that way…

    So if we want to actually deal with the problem a more concerted effort must take place. And I don’t mean the govt will fix anything. By taxing energy and carbon it will create an opportunity for companies and individuals to be able to do research into green power. Funding for this field SUCKS. I should know. I’m a grad student. (And no, my research isn’t in that field; but reviewing possible projects @ my school and comparing w/ other fields it’s rather clear…)

    One other point I think very few people felt like mentioning is just how much the govt subsidies fuels as is. Incentives for drilling, utilities, etc. Honestly, with such a setup why would Energy want US consumers to conserve? And dang… gas is crazy cheap here… so yeap.

    Consider this; would Apple succeed if it were telling you “don’t upgrade, don’t buy the newest IPhone… you don’t need it!!”

    Honestly, without some sort of govt intervention how do you deal with the problem? This intervention provides incentives for R&D. Telling people to conserve won’t work as long as energy prices stay low; again incentives.

    Name a better solution. It’s easy to criticize. Unless of course you really don’t see a point in trying to lower emissions.

    MasterPo:
    Your offer is confusing. That and it’s spoken like a true politician. The issue at hand is climate change. Do we deal with it or do we ignore it? How do we deal with it?
    This is actually the BIGGEST piece of sh!t about this whole bill. Reading the treatment of it by some politicians.

    And fine, I’ll recant my “just” 2k statement. It is a decent amount of money. Now will you make any comments about the long-term stability of climate? I’ve yet to hear anyone respond to that argument. I’ve TRIED repeatedly to respond to your points. It feels almost like I’m talking to trolls. Ohwellz.

    So how about the long-term existence of the Arctic Ice Caps. It’s melting. Rather quickly. Even if you consider that acceptable… how in the world are you going to explain it to your grandkids who ask how in the world Santa lives in the N. Pole!?

    And yes, that above isn’t a good argument. But it’s true. And it’s not based off of any models. Go visit. The North Pole is a melting.
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-north-pole-is-melting

    (I don’t know what sources you’d trust… so I just googled north pole melting and took the first result. I do recall reading Sci. American for my science projects in high school. I hope it’s not too technical.)

    Let me end this by tossing a grenade or two,

    What are you views on abortion? How about mothers drinking lotsa liquor and smoking when pregnant? How about dropping babies on their heads? (I’m sure we can agree on the last one at least) You are jeopardizing the livelihood of someone who currently has no voice.

    I guess maybe our view points are slightly different? I guess I am younger… so I will hopefully be using this earth for a longer time into the future.

    And yes, my last few arguments were set up just to invoke emotional responses. NO real substance. ::shrugs::

    lurker:
    You have to respect a prez who can hits three’s and kill flies. And governors who can have affairs, escorts, and be inspiration for porn.

  35. SJ says:

    Again, this is a two part post.
    First, is there a general consensus here that climate change via human actions is real? Let’s lookie surveys:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/10/science/10survey.html?hpw
    (Such good timing!)

    Accepting it’s real then there’s 2 options:
    1. Ignore it. Let the future deal with it (I believe TML is a biiiig fan of responsibility…)
    2. “Man up” and deal with it.

    Just as all ya all think the govt is “evil”, I think people are inherently un-ant-like. And I would argue that’s a good thing.

    That means we’re always looking for the easy way out and blaming other things. People hate accepting responsibility. Furthermore, we all over-value our own sacrifices.

    The reason I mention this as the amount of change any individual can really do is minor. I said it. YOU can do crap. In BOTH directions. Want to kill the earth? Sure leave all your lights on and leave the water running and so on… Want to save the earth? Become a hermit! (Or better yet kill yourself. 0 energy used) Problem solved right?
    I hope no one feels that way…

    So if we want to actually deal with the problem a more concerted effort must take place. And I don’t mean the govt will fix anything. By taxing energy and carbon it will create an opportunity for companies and individuals to be able to do research into green power. Funding for this field SUCKS. I should know. I’m a grad student. (And no, my research isn’t in that field; but reviewing possible projects @ my school and comparing w/ other fields it’s rather clear…)

    One other point I think very few people felt like mentioning is just how much the govt subsidies fuels as is. Incentives for drilling, utilities, etc. Honestly, with such a setup why would Energy want US consumers to conserve? And dang… gas is crazy cheap here… so yeap.

    Consider this; would Apple succeed if it were telling you “don’t upgrade, don’t buy the newest IPhone… you don’t need it!!”

    Honestly, without some sort of govt intervention how do you deal with the problem? This intervention provides incentives for R&D. Telling people to conserve won’t work as long as energy prices stay low; again incentives.

    Name a better solution. It’s easy to criticize. Unless of course you really don’t see a point in trying to lower emissions.

    MasterPo:
    Your offer is confusing. That and it’s spoken like a true politician. The issue at hand is climate change. Do we deal with it or do we ignore it? How do we deal with it?
    This is actually the BIGGEST piece of sh!t about this whole bill. Reading the treatment of it by some politicians.

    And fine, I’ll recant my “just” 2k statement. It is a decent amount of money. Now will you make any comments about the long-term stability of climate? I’ve yet to hear anyone respond to that argument. I’ve TRIED repeatedly to respond to your points. It feels almost like I’m talking to trolls. Ohwellz.

    So how about the long-term existence of the Arctic Ice Caps. It’s melting. Rather quickly. Even if you consider that acceptable… how in the world are you going to explain it to your grandkids who ask how in the world Santa lives in the N. Pole!?

    And yes, that above isn’t a good argument. But it’s true. And it’s not based off of any models. Go visit. The North Pole is a melting.
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-north-pole-is-melting

    (I don’t know what sources you’d trust… so I just googled north pole melting and took the first result. I do recall reading Sci. American for my science projects in high school. I hope it’s not too technical.)

    Let me end this by tossing a grenade or two,

    What are you views on abortion? How about mothers drinking lotsa liquor and smoking when pregnant? How about dropping babies on their heads? (I’m sure we can agree on the last one at least) You are jeopardizing the livelihood of someone who currently has no voice.

    I guess maybe our view points are slightly different? I guess I am younger… so I will hopefully be using this earth for a longer time into the future.

    And yes, my last few arguments were set up just to invoke emotional responses. NO real substance. ::shrugs::

    lurker:
    You have to respect a prez who can hits three’s and kill flies. And governors who can have affairs, escorts, and be inspiration for porn.

  36. SJ says:

    Hrm… for some reason I can’t post my response. Maybe it was too long? Here it is split into two parts.

    First, is there a general consensus here that climate change via human actions is real? Let’s lookie surveys:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/10/science/10survey.html?hpw
    (Such good timing!)

    Accepting it’s real then there’s 2 options:
    1. Ignore it. Let the future deal with it (I believe TML is a biiiig fan of responsibility…)
    2. “Man up” and deal with it.

    Just as all ya all think the govt is “evil”, I think people are inherently un-ant-like. And I would argue that’s a good thing.

    That means we’re always looking for the easy way out and blaming other things. People hate accepting responsibility. Furthermore, we all over-value our own sacrifices.

    The reason I mention this as the amount of change any individual can really do is minor. I said it. YOU can do crap. In BOTH directions. Want to kill the earth? Sure leave all your lights on and leave the water running and so on… Want to save the earth? Become a hermit! (Or better yet kill yourself. 0 energy used) Problem solved right?
    I hope no one feels that way…

    So if we want to actually deal with the problem a more concerted effort must take place. And I don’t mean the govt will fix anything. By taxing energy and carbon it will create an opportunity for companies and individuals to be able to do research into green power. Funding for this field SUCKS. I should know. I’m a grad student. (And no, my research isn’t in that field; but reviewing possible projects @ my school and comparing w/ other fields it’s rather clear…)

    One other point I think very few people felt like mentioning is just how much the govt subsidies fuels as is. Incentives for drilling, utilities, etc. Honestly, with such a setup why would Energy want US consumers to conserve? And dang… gas is crazy cheap here… so yeap.

    Consider this; would Apple succeed if it were telling you “don’t upgrade, don’t buy the newest IPhone… you don’t need it!!”

  37. SJ says:

    Now if we accept that it is a problem and people will have trouble making sacrifices themselves without the cost of said action being proper. Then we should try and fix it.

    Honestly, without some sort of govt intervention how do you deal with the problem? This intervention provides incentives for R&D. Telling people to conserve won’t work as long as energy prices stay low; again incentives.

    Name a better solution. It’s easy to criticize. Unless of course you really don’t see a point in trying to lower emissions.

    MasterPo:
    Your offer is confusing. That and it’s spoken like a true politician. The issue at hand is climate change. Do we deal with it or do we ignore it? How do we deal with it?
    This is actually the BIGGEST piece of sh!t about this whole bill. Reading the treatment of it by some politicians.

    And fine, I’ll recant my “just” 2k statement. It is a decent amount of money. Now will you make any comments about the long-term stability of climate? I’ve yet to hear anyone respond to that argument. I’ve TRIED repeatedly to respond to your points. It feels almost like I’m talking to trolls. Ohwellz.

    So how about the long-term existence of the Arctic Ice Caps. It’s melting. Rather quickly. Even if you consider that acceptable… how in the world are you going to explain it to your grandkids who ask how in the world Santa lives in the N. Pole!?

    And yes, that above isn’t a good argument. But it’s true. And it’s not based off of any models. Go visit. The North Pole is a melting.
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-north-pole-is-melting

    (I don’t know what sources you’d trust… so I just googled north pole melting and took the first result. I do recall reading Sci. American for my science projects in high school. I hope it’s not too technical.)

    Let me end this by tossing a grenade or two,

    What are you views on abortion? How about mothers drinking lotsa liquor and smoking when pregnant? How about dropping babies on their heads? (I’m sure we can agree on the last one at least) You are jeopardizing the livelihood of someone who currently has no voice.

    I guess maybe our view points are slightly different? I guess I am younger… so I will hopefully be using this earth for a longer time into the future.

    And yes, my last few arguments were set up just to invoke emotional responses. NO real substance. ::shrugs::

    lurker:
    You have to respect a prez who can hits three’s and kill flies. And governors who can have affairs, escorts, and be inspiration for porn.

  38. SJ says:

    Honestly, without some sort of govt intervention how do you deal with the problem? This intervention provides incentives for R&D. Telling people to conserve won’t work as long as energy prices stay low; again incentives.

    Name a better solution. It’s easy to criticize. Unless of course you really don’t see a point in trying to lower emissions.

    MasterPo:
    Your offer is confusing. That and it’s spoken like a true politician. The issue at hand is climate change. Do we deal with it or do we ignore it? How do we deal with it?
    This is actually the BIGGEST piece of sh!t about this whole bill. Reading the treatment of it by some politicians.

    And fine, I’ll recant my “just” 2k statement. It is a decent amount of money. Now will you make any comments about the long-term stability of climate? I’ve yet to hear anyone respond to that argument. I’ve TRIED repeatedly to respond to your points. It feels almost like I’m talking to trolls. Ohwellz.

    So how about the long-term existence of the Arctic Ice Caps. It’s melting. Rather quickly. Even if you consider that acceptable… how in the world are you going to explain it to your grandkids who ask how in the world Santa lives in the N. Pole!?

    And yes, that above isn’t a good argument. But it’s true. And it’s not based off of any models. Go visit. The North Pole is a melting.
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-north-pole-is-melting

    (I don’t know what sources you’d trust… so I just googled north pole melting and took the first result. I do recall reading Sci. American for my science projects in high school. I hope it’s not too technical.)

    Let me end this by tossing a grenade or two,

    What are you views on abortion? How about mothers drinking lotsa liquor and smoking when pregnant? How about dropping babies on their heads? (I’m sure we can agree on the last one at least) You are jeopardizing the livelihood of someone who currently has no voice.

    I guess maybe our view points are slightly different? I guess I am younger… so I will hopefully be using this earth for a longer time into the future.

    And yes, my last few arguments were set up just to invoke emotional responses. NO real substance. ::shrugs::

  39. SJ says:

    That was fun. I didn’t realize I typed so much.

    Here’s a question for MasterPO and lurker.

    Where do you really stand? Are emissions a problem? Is climate change a problem? Do we need to try to fix it? Who is going to fix it?

    I mean… how about this. Man the mob is killing a kid a day. This is a problem. Are we willing to pay 2k each/yr to get security to deal with it? Or maybe we should just take our kids out of the streets? I dunno. With a focus on the cost and no insight on what you think needs to be done… I guess I would have to agree with you?

    Btw, I’m not sure how I’m a liberal. I’m trying to conserve the earth after all =)
    Hrm. If I realized this would be this long I would have tried to organize it better. ::shrugs::

  40. MasterPo says:

    Rick/SJ – Nice double speak and issue dodging.

    Both of you claim it’s no biggie for Americans to pay H-U-G-E taxes in order to *supposedly* stop global warming while the rest of the world doesn’t have to pay taxes, radically change it’s life style, etce etc.

    My deal is very simple (I made it that way so even the most devout liberal could understand it):

    If you think it’s no big deal for the average American to pay at a *minimum* of $2,000 MORE a year in taxes then put your money where your mouth is NOW!

    Both you send a check payable to ‘Internal Revenue Service’ as a mere tax payment just because of paying more taxes (no back taxes, estimated taxes, penalties, etc just an extra payment) then send me a copy of the cancelled checks. I will then send a check of my own money to chartity.

    If you TRUE believe it’s no big deal for the average American to pay at least $2,000 in extra taxes then you should be willing to pay more to the IRS now.

    My offer stands. I must receieve a clear copy (front and back) of the check by July 31 otherwise this deal is cancelled.

    Send me an email and I will provide a friend’s PO box you can send the copy to.

    But I’m willing to bet you won’t take this. Most liberals are great at telling others to pay more but won’t lift a finger to lead by example.

  41. Rick Beagle says:

    MasterPo,
    My utility company has afforded me the opportunity to pay a little extra to insure that my energy comes from “green, renewable energy”. I have been paying that amount gladly for the last fifteen years or so, so no, I have no need or desire to send a check to the IRS. My money has been with the environment for many many years, no need to pay more dues.

    Peace.
    Rick Beagle.

  42. SJ says:

    MP:
    Right back at you =)
    I try and address your points and you ignore them. So w/e. I’ll keep this short and sweet.

    H-U-G-E taxes — We receive massive subsidies for energy. I wonder if we removed these subsidies then what kind of prices we’d be paying for power. And don’t forget… subsidy money comes from somewhere.

    Have you ever left the country and done math? I understand that math can be kind of hard… but you can always use a calculator. SO ::shrugs::

  43. MasterPo says:

    SJ – If the subsidies where removed I am SURE the price would come DOWN for just your reason! No one would pay it.

    Why do think the price of something is what it is? A business always wants to charge all it can for a product/service but the MARKET place prevents the price from going too high. I presume you’ve studied economics and know the concept of “utility” so I won’t do a 101 lesson on it.

    Certain factors affect all businesses in an industry. As such sometimes they all have no choice but to raise prices. But the one that raises too much loose business. That’s just reality.

  44. Holly says:

    You are all very cerebral…whoops- my head just exploded! LOL

    Look, we are a nation that always likes to think that we are leading, but are we? We have become a laughing-stock. NO JOKE!

    Look at China… all smoke ‘n’ mirrors during the Olympics… people could hardly breathe. Get a grip on yourselves and give our Prez (and peace) a chance. God Bless!

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