Global warming denial

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Vienna
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#41
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#41
(Original post by Laika)
It's got nothing to do with neoconservatism and my post clearly didn't suggest any such thing.
I was merely observing that it is often people who swing that way politically who are the ones denying the problem of global warming.

So its important to state that its often neo-cons that deny the problem of global warming, but its completely irrelevant to and you are not suggesting that this was related in anyway to the fact that they are neo-cons?

Kyoto has been, by all accounts, a half-hearted attempt at change and something of a failure. But that doesn't undermine the principle of attempting to be more environmentally friendly. As far as I'm concerned attempting to reduce carbon emissions/fossil fuel usage and being friendlier to the environment in general is a positive change
I agree.

regardless of how much money it is going to cost us.
You see, this is the problem. Wouldnt you prefer to support positive change that made us money?

The current lifestyle the world enjoys is unsustainable anyway
Can you give me an example?

and whether you believe the threat of global warming or not, i think it is in our interests regardless to make long term changes to the way we use energy.
I'll let the individual make that decision for themselves. You dont have a right to decide what lifestyle choices I should be making.
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Vienna
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#42
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#42
(Original post by Agent Smith)
So. Because it has not been 100% proved that the threat is an immediate and a catastrophic one, we can all sit back and do absolutely *****all about it, and indeed about pollution in general. Terrific. Help me on with this gas-mask.
No, id rather assess the problem so we can apply the most appropriate solution before shooting ourselves in the foot.
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Vienna
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#43
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#43
(Original post by Ulv!)
Which of my claims exactly would you like sources for?
i) That Exxon employs politicians.
ii) That they refute global warming is taking place
iii) That Exxon is not investing money in finding greener solutions
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Laika
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#44
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#44
(Original post by Vienna)
So its important to state that its often neo-cons that deny the problem of global warming, but its completely irrelevant to and you are not suggesting that this was related in anyway to the fact that they are neo-cons?
No, it wasn't important to state it, I merely stated it as an observable fact. Pursue this thread further if you like but it's utterly irrelevant.

You see, this is the problem. Wouldnt you prefer to support positive change that made us money?
What do you mean by make 'us' money? I think that changing our energy consumption habits drastically would be a good route to take, even if that includes incurring financial losses.

Can you give me an example?
Well you know...our whole reliance on non-renewable energy sources for one...

I'll let the individual make that decision for themselves. You dont have a right to decide what lifestyle choices I should be making.
That's a farily ridiculous statement. If an individual's lifestyle choices have implications for the environment and therefore other people then it is our responsibility as a society to restrict those lifestyle choices. This doesn't mean we will be infringing on people's personal freedoms, unless you consider creating as much pollution as possible a freedom. It means making a concious movement as a society to reduce pollution/fossil fuel consumption and move to a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. A lifestyle where we are dependant on 'clean' energy, if we were truly commited to it, would be fairly incompatible with our current lifestyle (in terms of energy consumption - which has implications on consumerism, travel etc).
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Ulv!
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#45
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#45
(Original post by Vienna)
i) That Exxon employs politicians.
ii) That they refute global warming is taking place
iii) That Exxon is not investing money in finding greener solutions
Once again,on Sunday, dearest Vienna. I DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE ARTICLE AT THE MOMENT, BEING SEPARATED FROM IT BY THE ENGLISH CHANNEL, AMONGST OTHER THINGS. But when I am back home, I will type it out for you, since I am not sure it is available in its entirety on the net. Is that fine with you:rolleyes: ? :deal:
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Agent Smith
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#46
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#46
(Original post by Vienna)
No, id rather assess the problem so we can apply the most appropriate solution before shooting ourselves in the foot.
Assess my ass. I could tell you right now that pollution is a bad thing, isn't that good enough?
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Ulv!
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#47
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#47
Could anyone actually share their thoughts on this issue :
(Original post by Ulv!)
Just so this post doesn't remain completely pointless: do you think that the private sector should leave it up to governments, etc.. to regulate environmental policy, and not take any action on their own, or is a greener way of doing business an integral part of the "business/market ethic" today? (I will gracefully accept any complaints on formulation ).
Thanks for your thoughts on this, in my eyes, rather crucial issue.
Vienna, amongst others, formulated a vague response: could you elaborate? Let's do some in-depth brainstorming!
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bikerx23
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#48
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#48
Businesses are free to take their own initiatives regarding the environment, but this does not necessarily mean that they are influencing government policy. Government policy is, ofcourse, dictated (in most cases) by the desires of the majority, hence if people care, it will change - industrial influence (with the negative connotations you are suggesting, yet have currently provided no evidence for) is rare to say the least.
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Ulv!
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#49
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#49
(Original post by Agent Smith)
Assess my ass. I could tell you right now that pollution is a bad thing, isn't that good enough?
I think short-term money losses to protect the environment are compensated several hundred times by the long-term benefit of having a cleaner, healthier world to live in. If you extend the social contract to the Earth, then the following seems perfectly natural to me: this planet spawned us (and it remains our master, whatever we egotistic humans might think), and therefore it is our duty to respect it and to live in harmony with it. Don't dismiss this opinion as naive, hippie balderdash. I would take that very seriously. I actually care about the people coming after us (and the animals, plants, etc..), not just about the losses my firm will make because it has to reduce its energy consumption. In any case,profitable private sector means to protect the environment would definitely be an interesting option. How could this be made possible, do you guys think?
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Agent Smith
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#50
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#50
I mentioned one solution on another thread: Insurance. Insurance companies' reasoning goes like this:
1. If your company's not bothered about green initiatives and the like, there's a strong possibility that they're equally unbothered about other things for example safety.
2. If you're not bothered about safety, you're not going to get insurance for your company.
3. So, if your company is obviously not concerned with green activities, you might be seen as a liability for insurers, who will then not insure you.

This is not just theoretical - in Australia, and possibly elsewhere too, it is happening already. Don't ask me for a link, because I heard it on Radio 4 long enough ago that the broadcast won't be on the BBC website any more.
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Ulv!
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#51
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#51
(Original post by Agent Smith)
I mentioned one solution on another thread: Insurance. Insurance companies' reasoning goes like this:
1. If your company's not bothered about green initiatives and the like, there's a strong possibility that they're equally unbothered about other things for example safety.
2. If you're not bothered about safety, you're not going to get insurance for your company.
3. So, if your company is obviously not concerned with green activities, you might be seen as a liability for insurers, who will then not insure you.

This is not just theoretical - in Australia, and possibly elsewhere too, it is happening already. Don't ask me for a link, because I heard it on Radio 4 long enough ago that the broadcast won't be on the BBC website any more.
That is a fine policy for insurance companies to adopt, methinks. Thanks for the info on that point (throughout the thread), I hadn't heard of this before. :yy:
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Vienna
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#52
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#52
(Original post by Laika)
No, it wasn't important to state it, I merely stated it as an observable fact. Pursue this thread further if you like but it's utterly irrelevant.
Well, I was obviously mislead, since most people dont post utter irrelevance.

What do you mean by make 'us' money? I think that changing our energy consumption habits drastically would be a good route to take, even if that includes incurring financial losses.
I mean: helping the environment and making a profit in the process.
Do you think we have explored all possible alternatives to fossil fuels?

Well you know...our whole reliance on non-renewable energy sources for one
And how do we develop the technology that allows us to switch to renewable energy sources?

That's a farily ridiculous statement.
Well, now we know where you stand on questions of liberty.

If an individual's lifestyle choices have implications for the environment and therefore other people then it is our responsibility as a society to restrict those lifestyle choices. This doesn't mean we will be infringing on people's personal freedoms
It does, as your last sentence proudly announces. "Society's" restriction on individual choices is not an infringement on individual choices? Go figure.

One persons lifestyle choices may have implications for the well being of the planet, but that persons lifestyle and their choices consists of interaction with the liberty of others, on the basis of which we can make choice in favour of the environment more profitable to one another, without the need to have "custodians of the environment" telling us what and how we should live.

unless you consider creating as much pollution as possible a freedom.
Of course its a freedom, but its unlikely to be a very profitable one and thus one few people should be inclined to consent to.

It means making a concious movement as a society to reduce pollution/fossil fuel consumption and move to a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. A lifestyle where we are dependant on 'clean' energy, if we were truly commited to it, would be fairly incompatible with our current lifestyle (in terms of energy consumption - which has implications on consumerism, travel etc).
You talk about "society" which is misleading because you don't actually mean the will of all individuals all making their own free judgements and choices, but the rule of a small dicatating elite.
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Agent Smith
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#53
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#53
(Original post by Vienna)
Of course its a freedom, but its unlikely to be a very profitable one and thus one few people should be inclined to consent to.
You forget the difference between the short- and the long-term. People will put their short-term gains at the expense of the environment above its long-term wellbeing - and indeed, that statement could be a summary of the entire Industrial Revolution. The need to make people see the bigger picture is the strongest argument in favour of enforced greenification by the State - although this is a far cry from the "dicatorship by an elite" that is suggested by your hyperbole.
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Vienna
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#54
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#54
(Original post by Ulv!)
Once again,on Sunday, dearest Vienna. I DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE ARTICLE AT THE MOMENT, BEING SEPARATED FROM IT BY THE ENGLISH CHANNEL, AMONGST OTHER THINGS. But when I am back home, I will type it out for you, since I am not sure it is available in its entirety on the net. Is that fine with you:rolleyes: ? :deal:
I responded to your question, "Which of my claims exactly would you like sources for?". I provided three accordingly. I made no comment regarding a response.
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Ulv!
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#55
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#55
(Original post by Vienna)
I responded to your question, "Which of my claims exactly would you like sources for?". I provided three accordingly. I made no comment regarding a response.
Then please excuse my misinterpretation. Sources on Sunday!
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Vienna
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#56
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#56
(Original post by Agent Smith)
You forget the difference between the short- and the long-term. People will put their short-term gains at the expense of the environment above its long-term wellbeing - and indeed, that statement could be a summary of the entire Industrial Revolution. The need to make people see the bigger picture is the strongest argument in favour of enforced greenification by the State - although this is a far cry from the "dicatorship by an elite" that is suggested by your hyperbole.
Enforced but not dictated to? What type of enforcement doesnt dictate?

People put their interests first. The environment will be somewhere within those interests. Everyone has the right to prioritise the environment in their own decision making, without such decisions being enforced or dictated to by others. If I care about the environment more than Mr.X, I buy from Mr.Y who is greener. We can improve the benefit of going to Mr.Y, and thus the demand for his greener product, by making it beneficial for him to choose a greener supply from Mr.Z. Why do you need to dictate to X, Y and Z?
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Ulv!
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#57
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#57
This article isn't directly related to our discussion, but it contaisn some stuff on issues we talked about "short-term and long-term inteest", "Conservative pig-headedness on environmentalissues", etc..hope you find this interesting.




New York Times, WASHINGTON, May 4 — Under pressure to deal with high gasoline prices, President Bush and Republican leaders in Congress are struggling to marry a newfound zeal for energy conservation with their traditional loyalty to big cars and Big Oil.

In one sign of the awkward straddle, the Bush administration proposed on Wednesday to overhaul fuel-economy requirements for cars while also saying that it opposed "perverse incentives for manufacturers to produce smaller and more dangerous vehicles."

In another sign, House Republicans moved to slap oil companies with one hand while trying to help them with the other.

Voting 389 to 34, the House approved steep new penalties for oil companies convicted of "price gouging," a crowd-pleasing but largely symbolic measure. Republicans then tried but failed to rush through a bill long sought by the oil industry that would speed regulatory approval for new refineries.

The uneasy balancing act is proving difficult. Conservatives worry that Republicans are interfering too much in the marketplace and embarking on a misguided effort to subsidize favored industries.

"Republicans are capitulating to pressures to do something, even if they would be doing things that make no sense," said Kevin A. Hassett, a senior economist at the American Enterprise Institute. "The proper course is to let the remedy for high prices be high prices. If it turns out that biofuels are more economical, then you don't need government subsidies."

But that view has not stopped Republican lawmakers and the Bush administration from circulating proposals for more tax breaks for hybrid cars, more subsidies for renewable fuels and more government-financed research for areas like battery technology.

Even so, supporters of conservation and alternative fuels, including some within the Republican Party, are unsatisfied.

"It isn't enough," said Representative Sherwood L. Boehlert, Republican of New York, a champion of higher fuel-efficiency requirements.

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers are also renewing their wish list for the oil industry — opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for exploration and drilling, as well as millions of additional acres in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic Coast. They are also blocking calls for a windfall profits tax on the major oil companies.

The political pressures created by soaring gasoline prices have pulled Republicans in Congress and the administration in different directions. While blocking higher taxes on the oil industry, for example, the While House and Senate Republicans are likely to try to eliminate or at least cut back on $2 billion in tax incentives for oil and gas drilling that Congress passed less than a year ago.

But the greatest challenge lies in formulating a consistent policy that would help reduce the demand for imported oil.

Almost all Republicans, along with many Democrats, are adamantly opposed to higher taxes on gasoline, seeing it as a political loser despite support from economists who argue that painful as it might be in the short run, a stiffer gas tax would be the most effective way to encourage Americans to drive more fuel-efficient cars.

At the same time, unlike Democrats, Republican lawmakers have repeatedly defeated proposals for higher fuel-economy requirements on passenger cars. Indeed, in the 2004 presidential election, they ridiculed such proposals as job-losing Democratic ideas.

Now, with gasoline prices above $3 a gallon, Mr. Bush is asking for new authority to modify the current requirements, an average of 27.5 miles to the gallon, but only in a way that the White House says would not hurt domestic companies whose greatest strength has been in big cars and sport utility vehicles.

Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday that Congress should not impose an "arbitrary" standard on its own. Rather, Mr. Mineta said, it should let the administration develop "size based" rules that would impose different requirements for big cars and small cars.

"A size-based system eliminates the perverse incentives for manufacturers to produce smaller and more dangerous vehicles, instead of introducing fuel-saving technologies," Mr. Mineta said.

That was good news to the Big Three automakers in Detroit whose businesses are heavily dependent on sales of big S.U.V.'s and light trucks.

Mr. Mineta refused to say how strict the new mileage requirements might be or even if they would be higher than the current standards. He also predicted that the administration would not be able to devise new rules for two years, and that the rules would apply only to cars produced in 2009 and later.

This week, 10 states, including New York, sued the administration over a set of new fuel-economy rules for light trucks and sport utility vehicles. The states contend that the rules are too weak and disregard the full environmental benefits of stricter standards.

"If the light truck standard is any indication, it's hard to believe the administration is serious about upgrading," said William R. Prindle, deputy director of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, a policy research and advocacy group in Washington.

Mr. Boehlert, a liberal Republican who is chairman of the House science committee, expressed similar skepticism.

"If we just give the administration authority, we know what will happen," Mr. Boehlert told members of the Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday. "We would produce a long rule-making and probably tepid results."

Yet almost any Republican discussion about higher fuel-economy requirements represents a big change in tone if not substance.

In five years, House Republicans have defeated three bills to raise the average fuel efficiency of cars to 33 miles a gallon, from 27.5.

During the 2004 presidential campaign, the House speaker, J. Dennis Hastert of Illinois, warned that Sen. John F. Kerry's support for tougher rules would cost Michigan 100,000 jobs in the automobile industry.

Vice President **** Cheney said, "You can rely on President Bush to fight to keep auto jobs where they belong — right here in America."

The automobile industry, though it counts many Democrats as powerful supporters, has contributed three times as much to Republican candidates as to Democrats. Oil and gas producers have even closer ties to Republicans in general and Mr. Bush in particular.

The industry's political action committees have given $1 million to Republican candidates and groups in the last 18 months, eight times what they gave to Democrats, according to PoliticalMoneyLine, which monitors political donations.

"Their desire to do corporate America's bidding has run squarely up against public outrage over Big Oil ripping off America," said David J. Sirota, a Democratic strategist and the author of "Hostile Takeover," a new book on corporate influence here. "In reaction, they have made a U-turn."

To be sure, Mr. Bush and Republican leaders have stepped up support for alternative fuels. Last August, Mr. Bush signed a sweeping energy law that offered big new subsidies for ethanol and more than $2 billion in tax breaks for hybrid cars, renewable fuels and energy conservation.

"We have an opportunity to re-invent the car," said Representative Bob Inglis, Republican of South Carolina, who has voted for higher fuel-economy standards and is pushing for more government support for hydrogen-powered cars.

"We Republicans have a conservationist heritage," he added, "and we really should rediscover it and display it."
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Agent Smith
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#58
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#58
(Original post by Vienna)
Enforced but not dictated to? What type of enforcement doesnt dictate?
Of course it dictates, but it is not dictatorship, any more than the enforcement of laws is dicatorship.

People put their interests first. The environment will be somewhere within those interests. Everyone has the right to prioritise the environment in their own decision making, without such decisions being enforced or dictated to by others. If I care about the environment more than Mr.X, I buy from Mr.Y who is greener. We can improve the benefit of going to Mr.Y, and thus the demand for his greener product, by making it beneficial for him to choose a greener supply from Mr.Z. Why do you need to dictate to X, Y and Z?
Doesn't the process of "making it beneficial for Mr. Y" involve some element of stepping in and telling people what to do - an example of that very dictatorship you claim to abhor?
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Laika
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#59
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#59
(Original post by Vienna)
I mean: helping the environment and making a profit in the process.
Do you think we have explored all possible alternatives to fossil fuels?
I don't have the authority to comment on that, as I do not know. But I would rather pursue a plan of action to alter our current lifestyle using existing technology now, then wait around scrabbling to find alternatives while our current energy supplies run out. As we must consider the length of time it takes to plan and consturct alternative energy outlets, it is not wise to continue searching for alternatives when we need fairly rapid change.

And how do we develop the technology that allows us to switch to renewable energy sources?
Well the technology already exists - albeit it is incompatible with the extent of our current fuel usage. Which is exactly my point - we need to change our lifestyles in addition to using alternative energy sources, or at the very least replace our fossil fuel consumption with renewable sources.

One persons lifestyle choices may have implications for the well being of the planet, but that persons lifestyle and their choices consists of interaction with the liberty of others, on the basis of which we can make choice in favour of the environment more profitable to one another, without the need to have "custodians of the environment" telling us what and how we should live.
But we don't have complete and utter personal freedom. There are laws regulating our individual actions to protect and pursue the interests of other citizens.

You talk about "society" which is misleading because you don't actually mean the will of all individuals all making their own free judgements and choices, but the rule of a small dicatating elite.
You may well have a point. But if it could be shown the concensus amongst the population veered towards a change; or it could be shown that global warming is a genuine threat faced by society which we can act to stop, then it would become the responsibility of all citizens to make the change.
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Vienna
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#60
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#60
(Original post by Agent Smith)
Of course it dictates, but it is not dictatorship, any more than the enforcement of laws is dicatorship.
I said that it would involve a small elite 'dictating'. You agree with this.

Doesn't the process of "making it beneficial for Mr. Y" involve some element of stepping in and telling people what to do - an example of that very dictatorship you claim to abhor?
No. If Mr. Y makes cars, he is likely to make cars for which the fuel or technology is profitable to him. If we want Mr. Y to supply clean cars we make that profitable to him, either by goods at a lower price, by taxing him less or taxing those that supply him with goods less. He is free to choose.
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