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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    We don't have another century for people to realise that it's worth investing money in the environment. We have under 10 years now to start significant cutting out CO2 emissions (not reaching equilibrium but actively reducing by >5% a year) to avoid the international limit of "catastrophic climate change", essentially rendering the planet significantly less habitable for humans for the next millennia. That's not scare-mongering, that's a universally accepted scientific fact. We haven't got the time for the free market to come to our rescue - the markets are responsive, not proactive. They might respond to a crisis but by the time catastrophic climate change kicks in, it will be decades too late to do anything about it.
    but people are willing to invest money into the environment, if you create incentives for them to do so and you have an economy which gives them the money to do so. The latter seems to be something the Greens actively want to reduce.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    I've got a mission for you. Go to a dictionary, and look up the word "sustainable". When you do, you'll find out it means an activity that can be sustained. Hence, if an activity is not sustainable, it cannot be sustained. The clue is in the word. Sustainability is by definition the only resource model that works in the long term because any unsustainable activity will eventually be forced to stop by nature.
    If we're going to be pedantic, I put this to you: There is no viable, truly sustainable model, or at least not one that doesn't necessitate a massive step back in development.

    I don't even know why I'm bothering to respond to this, but I'm going to do it anyway. You cannot bet on future technology that does not currently exist. "Digging deeper" is not an option for many resources, which you'd know if you knew the slightest bit about geology, and from economics you should realise that this also renders it unreasonable for all but the most expensive of resources.
    Oh, so because it's not economical to do something now it won't be in 10 years time? Or a century? I suppose the whole oil price business is a prime example. What is the current thinking on the reason for OPEC letting the price drop? Little more than to crush the likes of US shale, it cannot be economical with $50 per barrel prices, neither can opec really, but they can handle it a lot better and ultimately they're in control. Does the fact that US shale (and North Sea for that matter) isn't economically viable now mean it won't be in a year? Well, no, expectation is for the prices to go right back up in the next year and then it will be again.

    No amount of technical development is going to make digging deeper an option for the resources we use the most. Using different resources is also not an option for a lot of things. Virtually the entire planet has been prospected for minerals and practically all of the high-yield deposits have been mined or are being mined. The only exceptions are those in the Arctic and Antarctica which aren't going to be mined for obvious reasons. And if you genuinely think that Space is going to solve our problems, I think you're living on a different planet (no pun intended).
    Which resources are you thinking of in particular, and for what reason(s) are you declaring extraterrestrial exploration to not be a solution

    On top of this, you're completely ignoring the other side of sustainability, i.e. externalities. Conserving resources is utterly pointless if we've polluted the planet to the point where it's uninhabitable for civilization, which is the route we're heading down at the moment.
    Do you actually mean civilisation, or large civilisation
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    (Original post by KingStannis)
    but people are willing to invest money into the environment, if you create incentives for them to do so and you have an economy which gives them the money to do so. The latter seems to be something the Greens actively want to reduce.
    You've got it the wrong way round. Imagine there's a random guy and every day, he throws his trash into your front garden. When you protest, he says "I'm very willing to dispose of my trash responsibly but only if you pay me so I've got an incentive". Obviously, you'd be pretty pissed off because he has absolutely no right to throw his trash into your garden. Similarly, when a company emits air or water pollution, that goes into the environment and affects everyone. Pumping CO2 into the atmosphere affects the entire globe. Sustainability is the default - you shouldn't have to pay people not to throw their trash into everyone else's front garden. We shouldn't be creating "financial incentives" to stop people polluting, we should be creative regulations with punishments serious enough to completely destroy any business that doesn't abide with these regulations. That is the absolute only way a capitalist system can ever be sustainable because companies are never willingly going to be sustainable since it's more expensive for them.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    You've got it the wrong way round. Imagine there's a random guy and every day, he throws his trash into your front garden. When you protest, he says "I'm very willing to dispose of my trash responsibly but only if you pay me so I've got an incentive". Obviously, you'd be pretty pissed off because he has absolutely no right to throw his trash into your garden. Similarly, when a company emits air or water pollution, that goes into the environment and affects everyone. Pumping CO2 into the atmosphere affects the entire globe. Sustainability is the default - you shouldn't have to pay people not to throw their trash into everyone else's front garden. We shouldn't be creating "financial incentives" to stop people polluting, we should be creative regulations with punishments serious enough to completely destroy any business that doesn't abide with these regulations. That is the absolute only way a capitalist system can ever be sustainable because companies are never willingly going to be sustainable since it's more expensive for them.
    Nice pathos and all but the pollutant related laws, the climate, business related energy facilities et all aren't analogous to a back-garden and simple property rights. It's not the same at all.

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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    If we're going to be pedantic, I put this to you: There is no viable, truly sustainable model, or at least not one that doesn't necessitate a massive step back in development.


    Oh, so because it's not economical to do something now it won't be in 10 years time? Or a century? I suppose the whole oil price business is a prime example. What is the current thinking on the reason for OPEC letting the price drop? Little more than to crush the likes of US shale, it cannot be economical with $50 per barrel prices, neither can opec really, but they can handle it a lot better and ultimately they're in control. Does the fact that US shale (and North Sea for that matter) isn't economically viable now mean it won't be in a year? Well, no, expectation is for the prices to go right back up in the next year and then it will be again.


    Which resources are you thinking of in particular, and for what reason(s) are you declaring extraterrestrial exploration to not be a solution


    Do you actually mean civilisation, or large civilisation
    It's not true to claim that sustainability is impossible. It's difficult, but many academics have proposed models that could easily work. What definitely is true is that a capitalist and consumerist society is incompatible with sustainability, there's no two ways around that. Capitalism is great for rapid development and we couldn't have got where we are now without it, but it's now the greatest risk we have for our species' future. If you have an economic system where the dominant force is corporations whose only goal is to make money and where laws are cost-benefit calculations, you're not going to have a system that develops for the good of the people. The only truly sustainable future is a future of communal ownership. I understand that this is completely unacceptable for all major economic powers that exist this day but they're probably not really going to have a choice in the matter. People are already voting in favour of communal ownership all over the world, it's a social movement rapidly growing in strength.

    Firstly, there are theoretical limits on resource extraction. There is absolutely no way it is ever going to be possible, at least within any kind of imaginable human future, to do any kind of large scale mining for affordable minerals any deeper than a few kilometres. And shale really isn't the greatest example because shale extraction is mutually exclusive with preventing catastrophic climate change. No degree of cost decreases will make that affordable.

    I'm thinking about virtually all mineral resources we use as a society. And extraterrestrial exploration is not a solution because it doesn't exist. There's a remote possibility that it could be potentially feasible in over a century but even that is totally speculative. And on top of the massive economic problems, there are lots of ethical problems attached too.

    Fair point, I mean a large civilization. The planet is never going to be uninhabitable for civilization completely, but by uninhabitable I mean a situation where you've got billions of people dying over the course of the next few centuries and probably massive land and resource wars.
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    (Original post by AntisthenesDogger)
    Nice pathos and all but the pollutant related laws, the climate, business related energy facilities et all aren't analogous to a back-garden and simple property rights. It's not the same at all.

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    Why? Explain to me how they're not analogous. Businesses are sending pollutants into the environment that is polluting the water that everybody owns, polluting the air that everybody breathes and is causing the environment that everyone lives in to become less inhabitable. If anything, the garden analogy is a massive understatement. A better analogy would be someone urinating in your water supply and placing a timebomb under your house.
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    (Original post by Green_Pink)
    Capitalism has definitely improved the lives of most people across the world, and can continue to do so.
    Thomas Piketty would disagree.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...thomas-piketty
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    Why? Explain to me how they're not analogous. Businesses are sending pollutants into the environment that is polluting the water that everybody owns, polluting the air that everybody breathes and is causing the environment that everyone lives in to become less inhabitable. If anything, the garden analogy is a massive understatement. A better analogy would be someone urinating in your water supply and placing a timebomb under your house.
    No it wouldn't because we don't own the climate, air or flora. There's no property to which you can reasonably legislate in terms of particular or singular right to.

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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    X
    You're very confused, and as you yourself conceded, economically illiterate.

    I'm not going to play anymore pigeon chess with you
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    (Original post by AntisthenesDogger)
    No it wouldn't because we don't own the climate, air or flora. There's no property to which you can reasonably legislate in terms of particular or singular right to.

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    We breathe the air, drink the water, live in the environment. We're all stakeholders. I don't understand your obsession with "legislative ownership", it's completely irrelevant nobody holds a piece of paper than entitles them to owning the air or owning the water. It's owned by nobody and belongs to everyone. If someone pollutes the environment, they are committing a crime against humanity and a crime against nature. Why do you hate life so much?

    (Original post by young_guns)
    You're very confused, and as you yourself conceded, economically illiterate.

    I'm not going to play anymore pigeon chess with you
    If I'm so confused and economically illiterate, you'd be more than able to actually respond to my points. You've not given an effective counterargument to any point that I've made. You claim the air is cleaner than it's been since the middle ages, I ask for evidence and you give me an article about smog from the 20th Century. You've not been able to respond to any of my points on the theoretical limits of productivity due to nature - your arguments literally defy the laws of physics. Please actually respond to what I'm saying rather than using that cop-out.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    Why? Explain to me how they're not analogous. Businesses are sending pollutants into the environment that is polluting the water that everybody owns, polluting the air that everybody breathes and is causing the environment that everyone lives in to become less inhabitable. If anything, the garden analogy is a massive understatement. A better analogy would be someone urinating in your water supply and placing a timebomb under your house.
    They are not analogous because your garden is privately not publicly owned. As for your other examples, unless the time bomb had a countdown longer than your life expectancy and our water supply wasn't being cleaned by the state, then it falls into the same trap of indifference as the first example.

    The point being - most people don't take offence to the environmental exploits of businesses because it simply doesn't affect them. Yes they pollute the air and water but our water is cleaned and the air is seemingly fine. There's certainly nothing inhabitable about the street I live on - how about yours? I'm not saying this attitude is right or wrong; I'm explaining to you why your examples won't hold up to public scrutiny.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    You've got it the wrong way round. Imagine there's a random guy and every day, he throws his trash into your front garden. When you protest, he says "I'm very willing to dispose of my trash responsibly but only if you pay me so I've got an incentive". Obviously, you'd be pretty pissed off because he has absolutely no right to throw his trash into your garden. Similarly, when a company emits air or water pollution, that goes into the environment and affects everyone. Pumping CO2 into the atmosphere affects the entire globe. Sustainability is the default - you shouldn't have to pay people not to throw their trash into everyone else's front garden. We shouldn't be creating "financial incentives" to stop people polluting, we should be creative regulations with punishments serious enough to completely destroy any business that doesn't abide with these regulations. That is the absolute only way a capitalist system can ever be sustainable because companies are never willingly going to be sustainable since it's more expensive for them.
    You've contradicted yourself somewhat. You move from "We shouldn't use incentives to help protect the environment" to "Only a regulated economy can cause people to behave environmentally". The moral argument you propose doesn't conclude that, it instead implies that incentives would work but we shouldn't do that.

    I take issue with your example; the key thing with you example is that the man is putting his trash onto someone else's property. That has nothing to do with environmentalism and everything to do with private property rights. But the argument is an irreducibly ideological one, whereas I am talking about purely practical concerns, so I shall ignore it.

    With pragmatic concerns in mind, I reject your final remark because I think that incentives would be a better solution. Assuming companies will always act selfishly, if you make it so that they have no selfish reason not to be green, through tax breaks and tax disincentives etc, then they will certainly pollute less. The same with the regulations you propose, however they have the double edged sword of a command economy where efficiency and growth is reduced, because there's more barriers to entry for a company in the market. That, coupled with the blanket tax increases on everybody the greens will impose, will be economically detrimental. This will reduce the money which the government has at its disposal to fight the environmental issues. We need to use markets as a tool for good, not stifle them out of existence.
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    You're very confused, and as you yourself conceded, economically illiterate.

    I'm not going to play anymore pigeon chess with you
    Considering what you said made no sense I think he won.
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    It never ceases to amaze me how Greens confuse the two very basic concepts of resource consumption and economic growth, and erroneously conclude they are the same thing.

    How anyone other than a complete moron could conflate the two is a mystery
    Hear hear.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    It's not true to claim that sustainability is impossible. It's difficult, but many academics have proposed models that could easily work. What definitely is true is that a capitalist and consumerist society is incompatible with sustainability, there's no two ways around that. Capitalism is great for rapid development and we couldn't have got where we are now without it, but it's now the greatest risk we have for our species' future. If you have an economic system where the dominant force is corporations whose only goal is to make money and where laws are cost-benefit calculations, you're not going to have a system that develops for the good of the people. The only truly sustainable future is a future of communal ownership. I understand that this is completely unacceptable for all major economic powers that exist this day but they're probably not really going to have a choice in the matter. People are already voting in favour of communal ownership all over the world, it's a social movement rapidly growing in strength.
    models such as?

    Firstly, there are theoretical limits on resource extraction. There is absolutely no way it is ever going to be possible, at least within any kind of imaginable human future, to do any kind of large scale mining for affordable minerals any deeper than a few kilometres. And shale really isn't the greatest example because shale extraction is mutually exclusive with preventing catastrophic climate change. No degree of cost decreases will make that affordable.
    I maintain that there largely isn't such a thing as "impossible to be affordable" as long as it is possible, even if it costs millions to get unobtainium, whether it be manufactured, mined, artificially produced, whatever, if somebody is willing to pay enough for it it will be done. And I think we're thinking of different "affordable"s

    I'm thinking about virtually all mineral resources we use as a society. And extraterrestrial exploration is not a solution because it doesn't exist. There's a remote possibility that it could be potentially feasible in over a century but even that is totally speculative. And on top of the massive economic problems, there are lots of ethical problems attached too.
    And a century ago the same was said of travel to the moon; heavier than air flight two centuries ago; lighter than air three centuries ago. Do I need to find things to keep going with?
    And what exactly are these ethical issues? I suppose in theory you could run into issues with the Outer Space Treaty, but I that would be a pretty desperate attempt given it says nothing about private entities.


    Fair point, I mean a large civilization. The planet is never going to be uninhabitable for civilization completely, but by uninhabitable I mean a situation where you've got billions of people dying over the course of the next few centuries and probably massive land and resource wars.
    May well happen regardless, and I can't see that as a necessarily bad thing anyway.
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    (Original post by macromicro)
    They are not analogous because your garden is privately not publicly owned. As for your other examples, unless the time bomb had a countdown longer than your life expectancy and your personal water supply was being cleaned again by the government, then it falls into the same trap of indifference as the first example.

    The point being - most people don't take offence to the environmental exploits of businesses because it simply doesn't affect them. Yes they pollute the air and water but our water is cleaned and the air is seemingly fine. There's certainly nothing inhabitable about the street I live on - how about yours? I'm not saying this attitude is right or wrong; I'm explaining to you why your examples won't hold up to public scrutiny.
    Try telling that to the people in Japan who were killed in their hundreds from Mercury poisoning, or the people in Bangladesh who are still currently suffering from Arsenic poisoning. Try telling that to the millions of asthma sufferers, the majority of those conditions being blamed on the toxic levels of nitrogen oxides in our cities. Try telling that to residents in many parts of China whose kids can't play outside because of the smog. All of these things are visible and dramatic, and that's only the tip of the iceberg. Climate change is a much more significant threat and it's going to affect everyone - to claim otherwise is outright denial. To claim that environmental pollution from big businesses doesn't affect us is just plain wrong. If the public doesn't believe it or Industry denies it, that's another thing. But to claim that these things aren't destroying the environment we all need to live is factually incorrect.


    (Original post by KingStannis)
    You've contradicted yourself somewhat. You move from "We shouldn't use incentives to help protect the environment" to "Only a regulated economy can cause people to behave environmentally". The moral argument you propose doesn't conclude that, it instead implies that incentives would work but we shouldn't do that.

    I take issue with your example; the key thing with you example is that the man is putting his trash onto someone else's property. That has nothing to do with environmentalism and everything to do with private property rights. But the argument is an irreducibly ideological one, whereas I am talking about purely practical concerns, so I shall ignore it.

    With pragmatic concerns in mind, I reject your final remark because I think that incentives would be a better solution. Assuming companies will always act selfishly, if you make it so that they have no selfish reason not to be green, through tax breaks and tax disincentives etc, then they will certainly pollute less. The same with the regulations you propose, however they have the double edged sword of a command economy where efficiency and growth is reduced, because there's more barriers to entry for a company in the market. That, coupled with the blanket tax increases on everybody the greens will impose, will be economically beneficial. This will reduce the money which the government has at its disposal to fight the environmental issues. We need to use markets as a tool for good, not stifle them out of existence.
    Why do you love selfishness so much? If you admit that companies can only act selfishly, why are you fine with this? You're not benefiting from it, this selfishness is destroying the environment that belongs to you just as much as it belongs to everyone else! I don't understand why you're willing to give away the basic things that belong to everyone away to private entities who treat it like dirt.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    If I'm so confused and economically illiterate, you'd be more than able to actually respond to my points.
    I have responded to your points. The fact you're incapable of understanding my answers indicates I've reached a point where it's not worth my time. I will try one last time though.

    Say you have this tree-based logging society we were talking about. 100% trees with $100 of GDP. And then one day Citizen 1 writes some software, and Citizen 2 buys it for $2 and uses it. The economy has just grown by $2, GDP has gone from $100 to $102. No issue with resource exploitation, it's just very very simple. The fact you can't comprehend it is astounding.

    You claim the air is cleaner than it's been since the middle ages, I ask for evidence and you give me an article about smog from the 20th Century.
    You didn't ask me for evidence, you made a snide comment indicating you are utterly ignorant of the fact that air is cleaner now than it was 50 years ago. Do you deny that?

    There is also evidence to suggest air in London is cleaner than it was 500 years ago, because we don't have tens of thousands of wood and coal fires burning in the city.

    I'm sorry, you're utterly clueless, you're even "remembering" things you didn't even say
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    (Original post by Aph)
    Considering what you said made no sense I think he won.
    You might well think that if you have trouble understanding basic concepts like GDP. :lol:
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    Try telling that to the people in Japan who were killed in their hundreds from Mercury poisoning, or the people in Bangladesh who are still currently suffering from Arsenic poisoning. Try telling that to the millions of asthma sufferers, the majority of those conditions being blamed on the toxic levels of nitrogen oxides in our cities. Try telling that to residents in many parts of China whose kids can't play outside because of the smog. All of these things are visible and dramatic, and that's only the tip of the iceberg. Climate change is a much more significant threat and it's going to affect everyone - to claim otherwise is outright denial. To claim that environmental pollution from big businesses doesn't affect us is just plain wrong. If the public doesn't believe it or Industry denies it, that's another thing. But to claim that these things aren't destroying the environment we all need to live is factually incorrect.



    Why do you love selfishness so much? If you admit that companies can only act selfishly, why are you fine with this? You're not benefiting from it, this selfishness is destroying the environment that belongs to you just as much as it belongs to everyone else! I don't understand why you're willing to give away the basic things that belong to everyone away to private entities who treat it like dirt.
    You haven't addressed my post at all here. But I'll address yours anyway. I was assuming the worst case scenario environmentally to show the the reasoning still checks out. Obviously some companies are entirely selfish, some aren't. But all want to make a profit.
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    I read somewhere that they were going to legalise membership to terrorist organisations !!!!

 
 
 
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