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Climate Change and the rule of reason

Interesting chain of arguments. I don't buy that batteling the global climate change will lead to depression, rather the opposite: I see advances in technology and accellerated growth in developed nations since less resources are needed to achive something. Have a look and see if you can find a flaw.

Posted by on 04 February 2008 | Comments (2) | categories: After hours


  1. posted by Jonathan Wong on Monday 04 February 2008 AD:
    Here's the whole series:

    { Link }
  2. posted by Nathan T. Freeman on Monday 04 February 2008 AD:
    The author does a pretty good job of snowballing the audience by listing "political, social, environmental and health catastrophes" in the lower right box -- all the while ignoring that those will be caused by global depression anyway.

    Infant mortality and life expectancy are directly correlated to per capita wealth anywhere on the planet. Increasing the cost of food, clean water, transportation, communication and education leads inevitably to reduced life spans. Loss of jobs leads to social and political strife (and really, is there a difference? If we're not talking about economics or politics, what is "social" anyway?) Environmentally neutral processes require wealth to enact -- so if you destroy wealth, you destroy environmental protection. (Unless you're simply willing to let people starve to death by the millions, of course.)

    This also leaves open the question of knowing what the right action IS. Assume you take action. How do you know it's the correct action? If there is some question about whether your worry is true, then it's even less clear what to do about it.

    For instance, activists in the US are fond of driving hybrid vehicles. And it's true that they use dramatically less petrol on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the manufacturing process uses dramatically MORE oil than is saved over the lifetime of the automobile. So in net carbon terms, the world is worse off when someone drives a hybrid vehicle. But they're real easy to market, so you won't hear auto manufacturers talking about that. (Some will say it's an emissions issue -- if you want to solve emissions, make cars fall apart 5 years after they roll off the assembly line. It's OLD engines that pollute. Not simply GAS engines.)

    Part of the problem with all such arguments is that they look at cost as some "economic-only" problem. But that's not how human beings work. Every single choice in a person's life is a cost/benefit consideration and outcome. You can't escape it. You can't get out of the problem by just saying "ah that's just an economics issue." EVERY issue is an economics issue, because every issue is about subjective valuation of individual priorities and the acquisition of the knowledge on how to reach those priorities.