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Date: January 20, 2017 12:14:01 PM PST
Subject:Why climate change “mustn’t be “
Claude,for your Octogenarians,Chet,Jane
This is a story so obvious that everybody knows it yet no one sees it, or is allowed to see it much like the “Emperor’s New Clothes”kept him naked before his kingdom.FACT:FULLY ONE THIRD of the world’s wealth=a third of everything owned by everybody-is contained in the totality of carbon fuels,oil(mostly),coal,natural gas and all of the infrastructure necessary to mine,drill,transport refine and process, ship,pipeline,sell, distribute store,remove cleanse and protect the environment from the consequences of fossil fuel.First of course,is the trillions invested in the land and water beneath and within which large amounts of fuels spread across every continent and many of the oceans.So valuable are these holdings that they have been a major factor int the great and small wars of the 20th century.Now add in the investments in drilling equipment worldwide,the enormous tanker ships,the complicated refinery structures and the vast array of corporations responsible for the manufacture of oil related products and the distribution of oil and gas to the consumers of the world.China threatens the South China Seas exactly because there may be considerable oil adjacent to Vietnam.Russia stalks the Arctic,while “frackable”land in the Midwest has inaugurated a “gold rush’. Make your own list of the wealth inherent in fossil fuels.If you have a retirement fund(401k)plenty is invested in oil related corporations. solid investments. Right? Good as gold(black gold)!!!Right? No!! THAT ONE THIRD OF THE WORLD’S WEALTH IS GOOD ONLY SO LONG AS WE DISBELIEVE IN THE REALITY OF CLIMATE CHANGE! The moment we accept the impact of fossil fuel we must move to curtail its use and search for non-fossil,renewable sources of energy i.e wind ,water,nuclear and solar.These alternatives are abundant,rapidly coming down in cost aot only replaces fossil fuel and are absolutely vital to he survival of the earth and its inhabitants.Any shift to these alternatives not only replaces fossil fuel but leaves it underground where it has been for millions of years.Conservation on a grand scale makes the fossil fuel industry worthless.That’s right.One third of the world’s wealth vanishes.No matter that alternative energy sources create new industries and new jobs,the “cruel” fact of life for the the fossil fuel industry is that the trillions invested be comes “Confederate ” money.They’ll have bet on the loser yet who could blame them for putting their money on the insatiable need of Americans for oil and the world-wide addiction to fossil energy? Solution? Make a joke of climate change.Deny it.rout climate scientists out of government(and soon enough out of universities and research institutes as well.) Make discrediting climate change and its science climatology a major theme of the Party,labeling citizens, media,educators and the cognizant public “stupid” for believing that “climate change stuff”. A reasonable guess is that if The Paris Agreement on Climate Change,signed last year,were to be well policed by the nations signing the agreement,one half of the world’s oil-coal-gas reserves would never be used.Yes a sixth of the world’s wealth locked underground would be valueless,replaced by renewable energy.And it doesn’t matter that vast fortunes would be made form the alternatives;the present “landlords” would lose everything.(Koch Bros.,Tillerson and ExxonMobile) NUFF SAID !!
The ramifications of the “climate change” issue would not be “so obvious” if the premises used by this writer were more accurate.
The writer is correct in pointing out that because it takes energy to do anything, the reserves for this important resource are vast and valuable. And, those who are serving our needs for energy will continue to engage in the business of extracting, refining, and distributing those fuels that work best for us.
The writer’s deviation from reality has to do with an excessive degree of certitude that “climate change” effects will be both rapid and overwhelmingly negative. Many , if not most of those who resist assigning government the power to quickly destroy existing economic systems that provide fossil energy are not “climate deniers”. They see in the evidence of science possibilities other than rampant killer flooding, or an ultimate destruction of life on the planet (Some are beneficial such as an increase of land capable of raising food crops.)
The writer doesn’t acknowledge that those who have created businesses linked to fossil fuels will have immense interest in shifting to other sources of profit (renewable fuels) when such options appear. In fact, research for options is valuable to any business interested in being successfully profitable – which is the life-blood essence of all business.
Because there are other “obvious” and reasonable options associated with climate change behavior, it is reasonable to wonder why they are being ignored. In general, excess certitude about any “one” possibility when in fact there are “many” possibilities indicates that some thing (like an agenda, possibly a faith) is deemed to be more important than the whole truth.
A very thought-provoking post, illustrating the powerful resistance in acknowledging the current march towards self-destruction. How not to concur? One would think that lessons abound … from the dinosaurs to the fall of empires. Not possessing the eloquence or knowledge of the contributing blogger, I am submitting, along with the link (if I may, daedal2207), the very timely op-ed piece of The NYTimes. It speaks so well to the issue. Good concluding remarks.
“SundayReview | CONTRIBUTING OP-ED WRITER
In Beijing, and Washington, a Breath of Foul Air
Richard Conniff JAN. 21, 2017
When friends cautioned me about Beijing’s notorious air pollution recently, ahead of my first visit there, I brushed it off. It was an old story, and having grown up in northern New Jersey in the era of unregulated industrial air pollution and open garbage burning on the Meadowlands, I figured I could handle it. But I began to have second thoughts on the flight in from the north, when we crossed a mountain ridge and the clear air turned instantly to dense smog. It was still 20 minutes to touchdown.
After a day or two in the city, I felt as if I had taken up cigarettes. Same burned-out feeling at the back of the throat, with bits of airborne grit catching on the epiglottis. Same clearing of the throat by soft coughing. It got worse over the weekend, when regulations limiting cars on the road don’t apply. Coming back into the city on a Sunday afternoon was like a slow apocalypse. The air was a filthy brownish gray, and pedestrians, many of them wearing white face masks, walked hunched over as if through a rainstorm. Buildings emerged ghostlike from the haze a half-mile ahead and vanished again behind.
But I was a novice. It turned out that this was a relatively normal winter day for Beijing, with the air quality index at just 269. That’s rated “very unhealthy” by the World Health Organization, and many times worse than the maximum safe exposure level, but nowhere near those headline-making, sky-darkening days when the Beijing index has topped 700.
Back in New Jersey, the air quality index was generally under 50, and it reminded me how lucky we are to have relatively strong laws and regulations to protect our air. These are the same protections that President Donald J. Trump loudly promised during his campaign to undo on his first day in office. Indeed, the new Republican-dominated House of Representatives this month passed a Regulatory Accountability Act, which will give the new president power to roll back an array of governmental regulations, including 50 years of environmental protections — with as little public notice as possible. It could undermine even the Clean Air Act of 1972 and for the first time oblige regulators to put corporate profits ahead of public health.
The disingenuous logic of this attack on bedrock environmental law is that clean air is a costly job killer and drives manufacturers overseas. But almost all studies of offshoring have found that domestic companies move abroad for a host of other reasons — mainly lower wages, tax avoidance and easier access to international markets. The cost of environmental regulations typically ranks far down the list.
The cost to business is in any case a secondary issue, as anyone struggling to breathe on the streets of Beijing quickly discovers. The more important costs are the ones the public pays, which are deeply personal, and often permanent: Air pollution kills an estimated 4,400 people every day in China — and, even with our existing regulations, 548 people a day in the United States, according to a 2013 M.I.T. study.
Companies also inevitably overstate the costs, especially when new pollution standards come up for consideration. The great debate in the 1980s, for instance, was about acid rain, the nitric and sulfuric acids from coal-fired power plants that were poisoning the Eastern Seaboard. Some industry opponents of the standards figured reducing these emissions would cost $5.5 billion to $7.1 billion a year — or, as one glib Reagan administration official put it, $6,000 for every pound of fish saved.
In fact, the first five-year phase of the cleanup cost less than $2 billion a year — and produced benefits of more than $118 billion a year, largely in improved human health and productivity. That’s because scrubbing acid-rain pollutants from smokestacks also removes large quantities of fine particle pollution, which otherwise penetrates deep into people’s lungs. The cleanup reduced the incidence of asthma and other illnesses, improved school and workplace attendance rates, and avoided thousands of premature deaths. What Mr. Trump denounced during a campaign speech to West Virginia coal miners as “these ridiculous rules and regulations that make it impossible for you to compete” actually kept Americans alive and made the country more competitive.
You don’t have to look far for other antipollution rules that have cost much less than predicted and produced overwhelmingly beneficial results for the American economy. Indeed, the federal Office of Management and Budget has consistently given its top cost-effectiveness rating to the Environmental Protection Agency, with benefits typically exceeding costs by a 10 to 1 ratio. That’s the same agency Mr. Trump has promised to get rid of “in almost every form.”
Among the E.P.A. measures the Trump administration wants to roll back is the Clean Power Plan, aimed at reducing emissions from coal-fired power plants, which would shift production to gas-fired plants — and incidentally save American lives by further reducing fine particle pollution. The new fuel economy standards for the auto industry would cut gas costs for drivers and clean up the transportation sector that is now this country’s single largest polluter.
E.P.A. regulations make economic sense for two important reasons industry lobbyists (and their hired politicians) overlook when they stage their sky-is-falling complaints about cost. First, the new rules typically drive advances in technology and efficiency, making cost-effective what formerly seemed impossible. The result isn’t a job exodus; it’s a reshuffling, with productivity falling at coal-fired power plants, for instance, but rising at gas-fired power plants. Second, antipollution regulations move us away from the illogical idea that the unsuspecting public at large should pay the cost of pollution. Instead, that cost gets shifted onto the polluters themselves and into the price of the polluting product, exactly where it belongs.
The day I left Beijing last month, the worst smog of the winter was just beginning, with a “red alert” ordering half the city’s private cars off the road, shutting down dusty construction sites and suspending production in factories. Residents were advised to stay indoors. Regardless, old people would die, babies would be born prematurely and at reduced birth weight, and economic output would stumble. (Just a few days ago, China canceled development of more than 100 new coal-fired power plants.) (Emphasis added)
At the airport, a billboard depicted an improbably healthy young woman, ponytail flying in the breeze, eyes smiling over her face mask. A corrugated plastic tube connected the face mask to a portable oxygen machine strapped to her arm, as she jogged through a city choking on its own growth-at-any-cost philosophy.
My flight home took me in over northern New Jersey, and glancing out the window, I was startled by how clear the air seemed and how even Newark seemed to glitter in the night. Maybe there were people below willing to risk their health for better jobs, and no doubt there were people yearning for a better economy. But the lesson from China is that wrecking the environment is precisely the wrong way to get there.
Richard Conniff is the author of “House of Lost Worlds: Dinosaurs, Dynasties, and the Story of Life on Earth” and a contributing opinion writer.”
When visiting our son at NAS Lemoore, CA, I would experience what the writer described: “… burned-out feeling at the back of the throat, with bits of airborne grit catching on the epiglottis. Same clearing of the throat by soft coughing.” However, I was told that agricultural spraying “trapped” in the valley was the cause, making the air quality … well, unhealthy. But, that’s another issue.
In with the new? Elon Musk’s aggressive pursuit of renewable energy … its capturing, storing, distribution and byproducts (Tesla, speed rail, outer space, etc.) to name a few should be worth following. Nothing wrong with ambition … especially when in pursuit of preserving the species. Maybe there’s some hope in an unlikely alliance: http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/20/technology/elon-musk-trump/.
P. S. I’m afraid I can’t contribute on Smith or Hume. Whatever.
“He who hesitates is lost.” “Look before you leap.” The greatest saving of life has to do with the quality of our judgment as to selecting actions that are most perfectly balanced between these two extremes.
Judgments about risks cannot be accurate without the use of objectively true premises. A claim that ignores some evidence to favor “preferred” evidence demonstrates a mind that is biased, distorted in some manner. Usually such bias serves personal emotional needs. Powerfully among them is a “special” place of meaning. The allure is seductive and destructive of rational judgment.
Science does not yet “know” the degree or the rapidity by which global warming will impact negatively or positively on the human future. Everyone can agree that the air pollution described in this New York Times piece is unhealthy and that we need to avoid its causes. Actions selected to avoid its causes will have their own risks, including possible disruptions to the economies that produce the resources needed to successfully counter the life destroying aspects of air pollution. Any claim that purports to know more than is known is a leap of faith that is serving something other than truth. A life-losing Imbalance between the extremes is the result.
It would seem that for many destroying the planet is preferable to sharing it.It was Adam Smith who wrote about and worried about the shortcomings of “the invisible hand”.,sharing his concerns with Hume who apparently took him in after Smith’s mother died.(five years before he did.) Distortion of history and creation of alternative “truths” is just more of the same..The blundering,lying and stealing is officially underway.You’re right we have lots to worry about.Look out for the increase in violent behavior!
“Look out for increase in violent behavior.”
Oh, yes, daedal2207. The frustration will manifest itself. To quote John Dean, “there is a cancer” leading our country … with also worldwide effects. All we young-at-heart folks can do is quote experience … and, continue reading.
Daedal2207, It would be helpful if you could give some examples of the “distortions of history”, “creation of alternative truths”, and “lying and stealing” that would support what otherwise is too easy for those without your research to brush aside as just scary opinions. This also allows other minds to test the validity of judgment. Hopefully we all want the most probable truths to be our foundation.
Yes, more of the same!
As my reading and listening for survival continues.The re-examination of Adam Smith (He ot”The Wealth of Nations” and the buddy and fellow Scotsman of David Hume)reveals an insistence on regulation as the only antidote to greed.(The right wing quoters seem to have misplaced the warning).There is a deliberate substitution of a Spencerian-Nietzchean doctrine of Natural Order in support of a status quo and status quo ante Golden Age for a much more benign concept of free trade by master race apologists.
Daedal2207, please provide the Smith and Hume passages that support your conclusion that they saw “regulation being the only antidote to greed”. Fundamental in the ideas of Adam Smith, and David Hume too, is awareness that the harmful excesses of self-interest (greed) are best controlled not by “regulation” but by honest competition. A regulating government itself tends to monopolize greedily its interests if it is not of divided (competing) powers. And, one person or group cannot make an “excessive profit” if other interests are selling the product or service for less money.
Pursue the retreading and/ or relistening yourself.I’ve supplied a good reference in “”Great Courses”.It may be harder to do when one doesn’t feel imperiled.
Reblogged this on daedal2207's Blog.