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Old March 9th, 2010, 04:26 PM   #1
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From "cap and trade" to "pollution reduction targets"

Politics- what a game it is. Those trying to pass the "cap and trade" bill which has received a lot of heat over the past few months have apparently ditched the name for something that would appeal more to the unknowing eye: "pollution reduction targets." We have seen it time and time again (Patriot Act anyone?), so I really shouldn't be surprised, but it is unfortunate that this sort of tactic has to be used to try to ram things through.

link: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6284M120100309
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Old March 9th, 2010, 04:35 PM   #2
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This is peanuts - there's a bloody world to save. We don't need to reduce pollution, we need to eviscerate it, before we do something horrible and irreversible. Which i'm not entirely convinced we haven't done, yet.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 04:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
This is peanuts - there's a bloody world to save. We don't need to reduce pollution, we need to eviscerate it, before we do something horrible and irreversible. Which i'm not entirely convinced we haven't done, yet.
This legislation would result in the loss of thousands of jobs, many which would most likely just move to India/China where they simply aren't as concerned with pollution. Furthermore, there are better ways to combat pollution than this. People are starting to live more "green" as it is and with that demanding more green products. The market should be allowed to play out here.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 05:11 PM   #4
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I'm not sure about overall, but I think that China has more restrictions on how green cars are, than the US, if I remember correctly.

I think that it's important that more green jobs need to be created, to ensure the change to sustainable and renewable energy (not the same thing). But I think that it's imperative to stop pollution (notice I didn't say reduce).
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Old March 9th, 2010, 05:33 PM   #5
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I'm not sure about overall, but I think that China has more restrictions on how green cars are, than the US, if I remember correctly.
Their cities are still some of the most polluted because of factory pollution and other forms of pollution.

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I think that it's important that more green jobs need to be created, to ensure the change to sustainable and renewable energy (not the same thing). But I think that it's imperative to stop pollution (notice I didn't say reduce).
More green jobs should be created by the market not the government. When the government does it, it effectively will destroy more jobs by creating these unneeded jobs through taxes and inflation.

As for energy, again let the market compete- give nuclear power a chance, etc. The whole green energy movement with wind-power, etc. is very misleading. Not only can wind power not provide nearly what we need, but in order to make up for the energy that it took to make those propellers it takes some 20 years (don't quote me on that, but I remember seeing a figure around there a bit back.)

And stopping pollution completely- we simply can't do that unless you are fine with millions, if not billions of people starving, losing their jobs, losing their homes, etc. Stopping pollution would mean almost every piece of technology we use today would either become unusable or the price for such goods sky rocket beyond imagination. It just isn't plausible right now.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 05:54 PM   #6
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I did not specify who i think should do it. I'm not convinced either way. I think that jobs should be created, thus alleviating unemployment, and at the same time dealing with the environmental problem, to some extent. I doubt it would create a net loss of jobs if Government were to do it, especially not if tax is sharply progressive, and that way accumulating stationary wealth and also securing a long-term economic stability by making the super-rich leave.

In regards to wind energy, new technology is being deployed all the time. Just the other day, I was down at the harbour in a nearby town and a single huge blade from those new hyper-efficient high-output turbines turned the junction onto the main road on the back of a large truck.

As for nuclear, I very much dislike fission energy - I much prefer EGS.

Your presumption of economic collapse is encouraged by the misguided perception that society is static. I am not suggesting primitivism, I am suggested that pollution is eliminated. The technology exists to achieve this. To pre-empt your argument, remember that people will be employed to fit, make, collect resources for and prepare the new equipment. I don't know if it would be a net gain or loss, but it certainly wouldn't be as devastating as you suggest, if it is at all. In any case, securing the future of humanity should be the primary consideration.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 06:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
I did not specify who i think should do it. I'm not convinced either way. I think that jobs should be created, thus alleviating unemployment, and at the same time dealing with the environmental problem, to some extent. I doubt it would create a net loss of jobs if Government were to do it, especially not if tax is sharply progressive, and that way accumulating stationary wealth and also securing a long-term economic stability by making the super-rich leave.
Put simply, even the rich don't just hold on to their money. Most people use at least banks and as such that money is lent, etc. Furthermore, let's remember that the rich provide jobs, the poor do not. When a government taxes to "create" jobs, it is adding bureaucratic costs as well as not adhering to market demand as private corporations do, since that is the only way they can make money. Also, the track record of government is filled with waste and often overpaid employees, etc. (and that extra money in wages could be used to get others jobs instead, which also leads to more relative unemployment.)

Quote:
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In regards to wind energy, new technology is being deployed all the time. Just the other day, I was down at the harbour in a nearby town and a single huge blade from those new hyper-efficient high-output turbines turned the junction onto the main road on the back of a large truck.
While the tech is improving, it is no where near enough at this point. The market would innovate on its own if the demand is there anyway (and it certainly is.)

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As for nuclear, I very much dislike fission energy - I much prefer EGS.
Just throwing out an example there. Really, we should let the market innovate and advance these different techs to the point where some will be the "chosen" ones by the market based on efficiency, etc.

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Your presumption of economic collapse is encouraged by the misguided perception that society is static. I am not suggesting primitivism, I am suggested that pollution is eliminated. The technology exists to achieve this.
That's not true. Think about it- the vast majority of products, from the bulk of goods (including essentials such as food) to transportation all require energy to make. Where do you suppose we get that energy from considering that the current non-polluting energy sources can barely help support the system along with the polluting ones?

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To pre-empt your argument, remember that people will be employed to fit, make, collect resources for and prepare the new equipment.
Where do you suppose we get the energy to make that new equipment from? Furthermore, are you suggesting the majority of the workforce simply get up and move to the energy business based on a government or societal mandate? Doesn't really seem plausible or conducive to freedom in my opinion.

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I don't know if it would be a net gain or loss, but it certainly wouldn't be as devastating as you suggest, if it is at all. In any case, securing the future of humanity should be the primary consideration.
"Securing" the future of humanity on ideas that are still very unclear and without considering options that could be tremendously cheaper and more effective (such as perhaps geoengineering)? Seems a bit preemptive and open to the realm of scaring people to manipulate them. Remember that 30 years ago the prospect of overpopulation was a huge "crisis" that needed to be "fixed" as well and 20 years ago the Ozone problem was also such but we were able to get passed both without shuffling up the entire world economy (and I know government had a role in the latter, but it was no where near as binding and restrictive as the as cap and trade)
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Old March 9th, 2010, 06:36 PM   #8
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Long posts make my eyes bleed. Failure of the capitalist system, which is not inherent. Cut taxes in other areas. Bureacracy and inefficiency are not inherent in state industries. Neither is unprofitability, by the way. Technology should be improved full stop. The requirement of energy increases demand for creating new means of providing it, no? In many cases, anyway, it just involves the fitting of a few new pieces of equipment. And where specifically - EGS. The unemployed go to where there's employment. No coercion required.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 06:40 PM   #9
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When you tax the hell (excuse the French) out of companies to pay for these government energy projects, you are destroying jobs and in turn, you essentially are making people move towards these jobs. Furthermore, government always has more bureaucracy than the private sector, even if it can be "limited" because they don't have to worry about profit margins or staying in the green- they have taxes and inflation on their side.

As for cutting taxes in other areas- you will just end up taxing others more heavily then. Also, technology is almost always furthered faster and more efficiently through the market than the government. Virtually every major economic boom, invention, etc. is the production of the private sector, not some bureaucrat. The market runs on the demand of the people- if clean energy or more energy is demanded (as currently is) the market will move to meet that demand. This is how we moved from the stone age to where we are today- demand.

And on EGS, I am not too familiar with the tech, but how costly is it and how much energy does it tend to harvest (relative to other common forms of energy harvesting?)
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Old March 9th, 2010, 07:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myp View Post
When you tax the hell (excuse the French) out of companies to pay for these government energy projects, you are destroying jobs and in turn, you essentially are making people move towards these jobs. Furthermore, government always has more bureaucracy than the private sector, even if it can be "limited" because they don't have to worry about profit margins or staying in the green- they have taxes and inflation on their side.
If we had to resort to Government here, then I would only support taxing big business a lot. Especially the super-rich. That's economic sense (and okay maybe a BIT of a personal vendetta). But taxes - excuse me, revenue - can be cut from other areas - like nukes or the army.

+ Not necessarily.

Quote:
As for cutting taxes in other areas- you will just end up taxing others more heavily then. Also, technology is almost always furthered faster and more efficiently through the market than the government. Virtually every major economic boom, invention, etc. is the production of the private sector, not some bureaucrat. The market runs on the demand of the people- if clean energy or more energy is demanded (as currently is) the market will move to meet that demand. This is how we moved from the stone age to where we are today- demand.
Excuse me, cutting revenue. And as above.

Aviation and nuclear energy.

Quote:
And on EGS, I am not too familiar with the tech, but how costly is it and how much energy does it tend to harvest (relative to other common forms of energy harvesting?)
Costs quite a bit, but provides vast amounts of energy. Compared to others, better and cleaner. By my biased opinion.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 07:14 PM   #11
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The way I look at it, there are too many special interests in government and too much room for manipulation to do this sort of thing. The recent "climategate" ordeal and the refusal to even consider geoengineering such as a sulfur pump, just proves that point in my opinion. History and economic law also show that such intervention in the market could cause major problems down the road- housing bubble anyone?

Furthermore, this is a problem that we all know of and want to fix- including the market and including corporations. People know they need energy to keep the things they love and to maintain the lifestyles we have grown accustomed to. That being said, even if a corporation is out just for the money, it will still be interested in solving this energy problem because there is frankly money in it for them too. When it comes to green tech, people are becoming more aware of that and with the immense growth of that market, they are starting to buy more sustainable products- again companies will move to meet that demand.

The rich exist because others (usually consumers) placed their faith in them by buying their products. No coercion, just one company making a product more appealing than competitors. That system can drive this and solve our problems. No outside interests, simply self-interest on everyone's part. If we can all agree that everyone is self-interested (at the most basic level,) I don't see why the checks and balances of the free market are so absurd to consider in situations as important as pollution. Is it just simply because we have grown to demonize self-interest?
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Old March 9th, 2010, 07:24 PM   #12
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"Climategate" was much ado about pretty much nothing. Rhetoric noted and appreciated. In practice, short term profit trumps the fate of the planet. People are self-interested, but they are also compassionate and caring, with strong moral convictions and a dedication to justice. There is nothing wrong in serving your own interests, but you also have a social duty to others.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 07:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
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People are self-interested, but they are also compassionate and caring, with strong moral convictions and a dedication to justice. There is nothing wrong in serving your own interests, but you also have a social duty to others.
I agree- we have a guilty conscious. Further support for a market, instead of a false "savior" government- in addition to their self-interest, humans are still willing to help others, which again requires no state. In terms of the environment, this could mean buying green products even if they are a little more expensive- a phenomena which can easily be seen in retail stores across the world right now even most of us are in recession.
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