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kassy

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2900 on: December 04, 2019, 09:16:28 AM »
Binntho if you woke up this morning feeling different and suddenly you know that you would live for a millenium instead of a century would you still use GDP to look at these things?
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

gerontocrat

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2901 on: December 04, 2019, 09:20:14 AM »
So we are back with the more mundane things that are easier to predict. Say the chances of a 6m rise in sea levels before 2100. If it were to happen, major disruptions to low-lying areas will cost money, major construction projects to meet the threat will cost money, moving of cities will cost money. But the impact on the global economy? Might even be significantly positive, major construction efforts, building of newer and greener cities, etc etc. Money can be produced at will by governments to meet any need, and pumping it into the economy to pay for major construction work will have a positive effect on economic growth.


It is what is known as "the broken window fallacy"

https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/08/broken-window-fallacy.asp
What Is the Broken Window Fallacy?
Quote
The broken window fallacy is a parable that is sometimes used to illustrate the problem with the notion that going to war is good for a nation's economy. Its wider message is that an event that seems to be beneficial for those immediately involved can have negative economic consequences for many others.

The broken window fallacy was first expressed by the 19th-century French economist Frederic Bastiat.

Unintended Consequences
In Bastiat's tale, a boy breaks a window. The townspeople looking on decide that the boy has actually done the community a service because his father will have to pay the town's glazier to replace the broken pane. The glazier will then spend the extra money on something else, jump-starting the local economy. The onlookers come to believe that breaking windows stimulates the economy.

Bastiat points out that further analysis exposes the fallacy. By forcing his father to pay for a window, the boy has reduced his father's disposable income. His father will not be able to purchase new shoes or some other luxury good. Thus, the broken window might help the glazier, but at the same time, it robs other industries and reduces the amount spent on other goods.

Bastiat also noted that the townspeople should have regarded the broken window as a loss of some of the town's real value.

Moreover, replacing something that has already been purchased represents a maintenance cost, not a purchase of new goods, and maintenance doesn't stimulate production.

In short, Bastiat suggests that destruction doesn't pay in an economic sense.

The War Economy ***The broken window fallacy is often used to discredit the idea that going to war stimulates a country's economy. As with the broken window, war causes resources and capital to be redirected from producing consumer goods and services to building weapons of war.

War siphons off resources and capital used to produce consumer goods and rededicates it to producing weapons.

Moreover, post-war rebuilding will involve primarily maintenance costs and further depress production of consumer goods and services. The conclusion is that countries would be much better off not fighting at all.

The War Economy ***/b] Substitute for war any disaster, e.g. Bahamas - Hurricane Dorian.
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"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

zufall

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2902 on: December 04, 2019, 09:57:55 AM »
Quote
Okay, Tom, what do we do? How are you going to live with zero carbon emissions? Forget windmills and solar, they take mining, which is also a no-go

In my view, with the above they come as close to acknowledging reality as they ever will, so there is no reason to continue the discussion. In fact, this is the point I always got to in discussions about religion (which I've been avoiding since long ago), the point where I was asked "How can you live with the belief that there is nothing else?". After all, thinking in this order

1. Realize that A would be good
2. Believe A

is the same as

1. Realize that B would be bad
2. Believe (NOT B)

To get them to acknowledge AGW, you would have to present them with an easy solution so that it's not "bad" anymore. They actually asked (begged?) you for one. But they will never believe any solution you tell them because they are already convinced that there is none (whether that's true or not), otherwise they would not be deniers.

binntho

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2903 on: December 04, 2019, 11:48:43 AM »
Binntho if you woke up this morning feeling different and suddenly you know that you would live for a millenium instead of a century would you still use GDP to look at these things?
I'm not sure if it would make any difference. And GDP is a truly narrow measure, far from being the best. But it's the only one. Health, happiness and environmental protection follow GDP - the higher the better. Total consumption also follows GDP which is a definite downside.

Our only objective should always be the maximum happiness for the most people. Biodiversity and sea level must take second place to maintaining and protecting food production.

In an ideal world we would have started a massive drive to avoid AGW some decades ago by using government funding to jumpstart a shift in energy production away from fossil fuels. But any such plans were doomed from the start, I think, and are not very likely to be adopted in future. We might stumble into a sharp reduction in CO2 emissions simply through the increasingly favourable economics of renewables, but there will be an absolute minimum of conscious common effort to do so. Unfortunately. But not an existential threat to civilisation.
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

Aporia_filia

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2904 on: December 04, 2019, 11:54:32 AM »
Binntho, in my humble opinion, you are more than average intelligent person. You have the ability to succeed in the world of ideas. But you look like Icarus.
Sidd is totally right. We are living because some 10% of our body mass are bacterias and other alien microorganisms that live in symbiosis with our body. Gaia can stay in homeostasis because of all life interacting in her guts.
Maybe one solution could be that all the tech-believers join Elon and fly to Mars so they can fiddle their environment, their GDP, their abstract ideas and with no 'nature' inconvenience, colonize again a planet till it's all overcrowded and spoilt, and then jump to another one. Good luck!
The rest of us, not regretting tech, but not idolising it, could try to live calmly controlling our numbers and not controlling the rest of Gaia. (Although I think this would need some evolution in the H. Sap.)

kassy

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2905 on: December 04, 2019, 12:43:04 PM »
Interesting answer.

GDP is very abstract. That does not mean it does not show does correlations you claim.

Although Bhutan is not great on GDP but i think it got to most happy nation in some ranking.

And in the US that does not really hold for environmental protection (or the other two but that is more fuzzy so lets just stick to the one).

Our only objective should always be the maximum happiness for the most people. Biodiversity and sea level must take second place to maintaining and protecting food production.

You run out of biodiversity at some point and nature provides really critical services. Do you want to export soy beans or seed rain for the continent for free? The latter service actually provides more value to the world but if no one accounts on it that does not exist. More soybean exports are probably good for your current GDP but they will hurt you in the long run.

And sea level rise is not going to help with the happiness. You lived in a nice place at the coast and then it is gone. And before it is gone gone you might be trapped in a house you cannot sell while the companies and people who can afford to move.

I guess it depends on whether you focus on all the unneeded suffering or stuff that smooths that out like GDP.

Especially in the first world we should pressure our governments to actually make their own goals and also invest in smart grids in the poorer countries. Especially since we have been robbing most of them since forever so it would be nice to give something back.
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2906 on: December 04, 2019, 01:16:42 PM »
Latest from them:
Quote
450 million years ago, CO2 levels were between 2000 and 8000 ppm. Earth did not turn into Venus then, either. In fact there was an ice age.
Interesting, huh? It's been both warmer and colder with far higher CO2 levels than we are at now.
Sounds to me like CO2 levels don't control Earth's temperature as much as some would like us to believe.
Anyone want to take it?
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

binntho

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2907 on: December 04, 2019, 01:31:29 PM »
Latest from them:
Quote
450 million years ago, CO2 levels were between 2000 and 8000 ppm. Earth did not turn into Venus then, either. In fact there was an ice age.
Interesting, huh? It's been both warmer and colder with far higher CO2 levels than we are at now.
Sounds to me like CO2 levels don't control Earth's temperature as much as some would like us to believe.
Anyone want to take it?
Tom, there was an article in Discovery magazine last year which I find to be very useful, it covers many of not all of the common points denialists make, starting with this one (which is a very old one).

One thing I've learned is only ever to link to published scientific articles or government organisations. In a pinch Wikipedia. Never to skepticalscience although it is often a very good starting point - and although we all know that it's highly dependable, denialists tend to claim that it's biased. So better avoid linking to it, just read the arguments, have a look at the actual publications linked and link to them.

And I find that denialists become very frustrated if you dismiss all youtube videos out of hand - as you should, a youtube video is not valid as evidence. And also if they can't be bothered to at least describe what some article is saying, and just put in a link to it. And all claims should of course have a link to supporting evidence, which can usually be picked apart quite easily.
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

Tor Bejnar

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2908 on: December 04, 2019, 02:28:00 PM »
Well said, Binntho.
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

dnem

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2909 on: December 04, 2019, 03:55:07 PM »
Binntho if you woke up this morning feeling different and suddenly you know that you would live for a millenium instead of a century would you still use GDP to look at these things?
I'm not sure if it would make any difference. And GDP is a truly narrow measure, far from being the best. But it's the only one. Health, happiness and environmental protection follow GDP - the higher the better.

Yeesh!  There is abundant research showing that many measures of health, happiness and life satisfaction plateau after the basic needs of good nutrition and adequate housing are met.  Life satisfaction is most definitely NOT directly correlated with GDP at higher levels of GDP.  Your views are completely distressing to me, binntho.

kassy

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2910 on: December 04, 2019, 07:56:21 PM »
Latest from them:
Quote
450 million years ago, CO2 levels were between 2000 and 8000 ppm. Earth did not turn into Venus then, either. In fact there was an ice age.
Interesting, huh? It's been both warmer and colder with far higher CO2 levels than we are at now.
Sounds to me like CO2 levels don't control Earth's temperature as much as some would like us to believe.
Anyone want to take it?

This is not what this thread is for.

It is really simple.
If you need help answering these questions you cannot debate the issue.
Also it is a waste of energy and a distraction here.

 
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

gerontocrat

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2911 on: December 04, 2019, 08:18:08 PM »
Latest from them:
Quote
450 million years ago, CO2 levels were between 2000 and 8000 ppm. Earth did not turn into Venus then, either. In fact there was an ice age.
Interesting, huh? It's been both warmer and colder with far higher CO2 levels than we are at now.
Sounds to me like CO2 levels don't control Earth's temperature as much as some would like us to believe.
Anyone want to take it?
"Sounds to me like CO2 levels don't control Earth's temperature as much as some would like us to believe." TOTAL & UTTER CRAP.

Read & Inwardly digest

You are being lazy, to the point of insufferably lazy. It took me less than 5 minutes to google the links. You've got some grey cells between your ears - use them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_evolutionary_history_of_life
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/05/500-million-year-survey-earths-climate-reveals-dire-warning-humanity
https://sci.waikato.ac.nz/evolution/AnimalEvolution.shtml#footontheland
Quote
Colonisation of the land

Fish continued to evolve during the Silurian period (440 - 410 million years ago). At the same time some groups of plants and animals took a major step as they colonised the land for the first time. We are not sure why this advance occurred, but it was probably the result of competition in the marine ecosystems, plus the opportunity to escape predators and the availability of new terrestrial niches.

Arthropods, which had ventured temporarily onto land 100 million years earlier, were the first animals to become more permanent colonists. Fossil footprints made in the sandy flats surrounding temporary lakes dating back about 420 million years have been found in Western Australia.

The arthropods were pre-adapted to life on land. By the time they moved ashore, they had already evolved lighter bodies and slim, strong legs that could support them against the pull of gravity. Their hard outer exoskeletons provided protection and would help to retain water, although the development of a waxy, waterproof cuticle was necessary for efficient water conservation.

Spiders, centipedes and mites were among the earliest land animals. Some of them were giants: the largest was Slimonia, the size of a man and a relative of the scorpions. This animal was still too big and too heavy and the walking legs too small to venture onto land for any length of time and so they lived in marginal marine (deltaic) environments.

"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

HapHazard

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2912 on: December 04, 2019, 09:05:41 PM »
This is not what this thread is for.

It is really simple.
If you need help answering these questions you cannot debate the issue.
Also it is a waste of energy and a distraction here.

I agree, and I'm abandoning thread.

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2913 on: December 04, 2019, 10:15:43 PM »
OK, people, I will try.
Thank you.
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

Shared Humanity

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2914 on: December 05, 2019, 01:43:52 AM »
So all in all I'm not at all convinced that we are looking at any existential threat to civilisation. I'm actually pretty optimistic that wars and famines can be avoided even in a worst-case AGW situation, and I'm absolutely convinced that humanity will not be able to do anything purposeful to avoid what is going to happen.

So, in summary, we can do nothing about AGW and everything will be just fine.

I'm not going to block you but I am certainly going to skip over anything you write from now on.

Aleph_Null

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2915 on: December 05, 2019, 01:52:04 AM »
I have a very general science question, so I hope that's not out of bounds here.

In the course of some nonsense-research I'm engaged in, I encountered Théodore Léger's objection to the term Mesmerism: "for, in the first place, no true science has ever been designated by the name of a man."

My question, then: Does Leger's objection still stand; is there any "true science" named after somebody? (Conversely, would the presence of such an identifier mark an immature discipline, a non-science?) Apologies if this one is a bit too abstract. Please ignore as necessary!

wili

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2916 on: December 05, 2019, 02:19:53 AM »
Well...Pythagoreanism is arguably one of the first attempts at science, as he/they tried to explain the physical universe (music, in particular) using mathematics.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

binntho

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2917 on: December 05, 2019, 08:02:37 AM »
Yeesh!  There is abundant research showing that many measures of health, happiness and life satisfaction plateau after the basic needs of good nutrition and adequate housing are met.  Life satisfaction is most definitely NOT directly correlated with GDP at higher levels of GDP.  Your views are completely distressing to me, binntho.

Well, I'm sorry if I am distressing you, it's not nice being distressed. My view that everything will be fine is truly ... distressing? Is that the word for it?

To me, I find extremely distressing the unquestioned assumption shared by surprisingly many people, that civilisational collapse is imminent.

So, in summary, we can do nothing about AGW and everything will be just fine.

I'm not going to block you but I am certainly going to skip over anything you write from now on.

How distressing ...
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

blumenkraft

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2918 on: December 05, 2019, 09:54:17 AM »
Quote
Yeesh!  There is abundant research showing that many measures of health, happiness and life satisfaction plateau after the basic needs of good nutrition and adequate housing are met.  Life satisfaction is most definitely NOT directly correlated with GDP at higher levels of GDP.  Your views are completely distressing to me, binntho.

OK, distressing or not, what do you say to the argument made quoted here, Binntho?
The apocalypse is already here; it's just not very evenly distributed.

binntho

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2919 on: December 05, 2019, 09:56:02 AM »
Real climate impacts happen to real people, and it is happening now. The following article from a Kenyan newspaper tells of the ongoing situation in East Africa due to an unusally strong Indian Ocean dipole (confusingly, they call these dipoles El Nino, not to be confused with the Pacific one).

Massive rains in East Africa, severe draught in Australia, India and Southern Africa are all the results of this extreme event which is most likely made worse by climate change. The effects are real, suffering is real, but civilisational collapse is not on the horizon. The next Indian Ocean "El Nino" may be even stronger, but hopefully the countries affected will be more resilient then that they are today.

https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/columnists/2019-12-03-are-we-ready-for-global-climate-upheaval/

Humanity as a whole is not going to act on the threat from AGW in any real sense. The issue is too diffuse, the consequences too unclear and the disputes too strong.

But individuals, countries, groups can respond to changes and make their societies more resilient. Massive rains become less damaging, and severe draughts less likely, with reforestation, something that is already happening on a truly massive scale, at least in East Africa.
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

binntho

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2920 on: December 05, 2019, 10:03:25 AM »
Quote
Yeesh!  There is abundant research showing that many measures of health, happiness and life satisfaction plateau after the basic needs of good nutrition and adequate housing are met.  Life satisfaction is most definitely NOT directly correlated with GDP at higher levels of GDP.  Your views are completely distressing to me, binntho.

OK, distressing or not, what do you say to the argument made quoted here, Binntho?

Well, I could make several points, such as the following:

1) GDP is obviously not a measure of happiness. But it is the closest we've got.

2) There is no research that supports the claim that happiness and life satisfaction stalls when basic material needs have been met. This sounds more like a dystopian trope of the kind common in extistentialistic literature.

3) The richer a society is (i.e. the higher it's GDP), the better off its citisens are. They have better housing, better health care, better food, better clothing, better education, safer environments, less sickness, less likelyhood of violent death, more leisure time, and are more interested in the good things in life such as red wine by candlelight, hiking, skiing and other outdoor sports, and much more interested in nature preservation. Perhaps this doesn't add up to happiness, but to me it definitely smells like it.
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

blumenkraft

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2921 on: December 05, 2019, 11:29:23 AM »
1) GDP is obviously not a measure of happiness. But it is the closest we've got.

The one is a measurement of how much trade, production, and services is done by a country. How could that measure 'closely' something like 'happiness'?

But OK, let's assume for a minute there was a relationship between the two, how is an absolute number breaking down to individuals?

Quote
2) There is no research that supports the claim that happiness and life satisfaction stalls when basic material needs have been met. This sounds more like a dystopian trope of the kind common in extistentialistic literature.

That's wrong! The point made by Dnem is accurate. There is a lot of research done.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-exactly-how-much-money-you-need-to-be-truly-happy-earning-more-wont-help-2018-02-14

https://www.theworldcounts.com/life/potentials/the-effect-of-income-on-happiness

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1813-6982.2008.00181.x

https://www.pnas.org/content/107/52/22463?etocÂ=

etc...

Quote
3) The richer a society is (i.e. the higher it's GDP), the better off its citisens are.

Only to a point as the research shows and Dnem pointed out.

BTW, multiple other income-related variables contribute to happiness. For example, you are happier when there is a certain equality in your community. The bigger the income gap between individuals, the lower the happiness-index. You see that in Nepal for example. They are poor there, but they have the highest happiness index worldwide - because they are all equally poor. This is also a very well researched topic. How is that measured by GDP?
The apocalypse is already here; it's just not very evenly distributed.

Archimid

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2922 on: December 05, 2019, 11:54:24 AM »
Quote
No, it is not going to lead to lower GDP - probably the other way round

The saddest thing is that you are partially right about this. Destruction in regions with some sort of insurance likely results in higher GDP, at least temporarily. Regions and industries that have some sort of reconstruction will certainly have higher GDP.  There will be years or decades worth of GDP growth condensed into a smaller window.

Quote
But individuals, countries, groups can respond to changes and make their societies more resilient.

You are very right that destruction can increase the GDP. You know this, I "know" this, governments know this. Why would nations undertake the cost of being more resilient when it is not going to be needed? In fact, GDP is going to grow with all the destruction! The obvious thing to do is to speed up climate change, speed up the rate of destruction thus speeding up GDP growth.

/s

This is offtopic here. I'm done replying to this.


Tom, I would love to help you debunk some of the fallacies but I also feel debunking requests are off-topic here. Perhaps a "Debunk help request" thread is in order?
I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

binntho

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2923 on: December 05, 2019, 12:00:11 PM »
Blumenkraft, the links are not real "research" in a quantitative scientific sense, which is undarstandable since it's a difficult subject to research, and an extremely subjective one at that.

Surveys done amongst people who have won large sums in the lottery show that they are mostly much happier than they were before, and happier than other people, even many years after winning. And the happiest countries in the world (as self-reported in surveys) are also amongst the richest countries in the world.

But all of that is beside the point. And the point is: In general, on a longer timescale and cross-culturally, GDP is the only proper measurement we have. And it is absolutely undeniable that higher GDP is correlated with people being better off in almost every sense. Which equates happiness.
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

blumenkraft

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2924 on: December 05, 2019, 01:09:14 PM »
Binntho, are you a sociologist? If not, why do you dismiss the findings of actual experts like that?

And the point is: In general, on a longer timescale and cross-culturally, GDP is the only proper measurement we have.

No, it's the only measurement you know. Therefore you think there is nothing else. There is a word for that.
The apocalypse is already here; it's just not very evenly distributed.

oren

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2925 on: December 05, 2019, 01:16:06 PM »
Binntho, you are confusing wealth and GDP.  GDP can be easily gamed and does not measure true economic power. It measures transactions.
Also, you are totaly missing the issue of inequality - total wealth/income might grow but most citizens might actually face reductions in these measures.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 04:01:35 PM by oren »

kassy

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2926 on: December 05, 2019, 01:37:46 PM »
Does Leger's objection still stand; is there any "true science" named after somebody? (Conversely, would the presence of such an identifier mark an immature discipline, a non-science?) Apologies if this one is a bit too abstract. Please ignore as necessary!

It would be weird to call a science after a person because you would prefer a proper name.
Often the name is tied to one of the discoveries like Brownian motion. If you discover a whole new science field it would also be in your interest to give it a clear name.

On naming things in science you might also enjoy Stiglers law.  :)
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

gerontocrat

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2927 on: December 05, 2019, 02:20:01 PM »
Surveys done amongst people who have won large sums in the lottery show that they are mostly much happier than they were before, and happier than other people, even many years after winning. And the happiest countries in the world (as self-reported in surveys) are also amongst the richest countries in the world.
Why do you not quote your sources?

So we've had the "broken window fallacy" - on economic growth. That one has been debunked since 1833, but will not die. And now you come along with lottery winners - I see a large herring coloured bright red.

Next post looks at GDP

__________________________________________________-
https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/10.1162/REST_a_00114
Review of Economics and Statistics
Volume 93 | Issue 3 | August 2011
p.961-969
Abstract

This paper examines whether giving large cash transfers to financially distressed people causes them to avoid bankruptcy. A comparison of Florida Lottery winners who randomly received $50,000 to $150,000 to small winners indicates that such transfers only postpone bankruptcy rather than prevent it, a result inconsistent with the negative shock model of bankruptcy. Furthermore, the large winners who subsequently filed for bankruptcy had similar net assets and unsecured debt as small winners. Thus, our findings suggest that skepticism regarding the long-term impact of cash transfers may be warranted.
__________________________________________________
https://wolfstreet.com/2018/04/17/nearly-one-third-of-u-s-lottery-winners-declare-bankruptcy/
In fact, nearly one-third of lottery winners declare bankruptcy, and it doesn’t end there. It’s usually followed by depression, drug and alcohol abuse and estrangement from family and friends.
________________________________________________________
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 02:32:40 PM by gerontocrat »
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gerontocrat

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2928 on: December 05, 2019, 03:20:46 PM »
Well, I could make several points, such as the following:

1) GDP is obviously not a measure of happiness. But it is the closest we've got.

2) There is no research that supports the claim that happiness and life satisfaction stalls when basic material needs have been met. This sounds more like a dystopian trope of the kind common in extistentialistic literature.

3) The richer a society is (i.e. the higher it's GDP), the better off its citisens are. They have better housing, better health care, better food, better clothing, better education, safer environments, less sickness, less likelyhood of violent death, more leisure time, and are more interested in the good things in life such as red wine by candlelight, hiking, skiing and other outdoor sports, and much more interested in nature preservation. Perhaps this doesn't add up to happiness, but to me it definitely smells like it.
1) GDP was never designed to be a measure of happiness. It is designed to measure economic activity in financial terms. It does not look at the "worth" of that activity. That it is used as a measure of happiness is just one of the really dumb things in the world.

2) There is evidence to suggest that when a society moves up from poverty to a "reasonable" standard of living discontent can emerge. "Man does not live by bread alone".  In South Korea as the economy improved so did the demand for political freedoms. The link tells you all about it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwangju_Uprising

Note that the expenses of the Government to suppress the people increased GDP.

You may wish to consider the situation in China & Hong Kong. I am sure the Central Party Committee are doing so.

1) again...GDP "is the closest we've got" to a measure of happiness. Rubbish.

UN Measures
Human Development Index (HDI)

Quote
The HDI was created to emphasize that people and their capabilities should be the ultimate criteria for assessing the development of a country, not economic growth alone. The HDI can also be used to question national policy choices, asking how two countries with the same level of GNI per capita can end up with different human development outcomes. These contrasts can stimulate debate about government policy priorities.

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of average achievement in key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable and have a decent standard of living. The HDI is the geometric mean of normalized indices for each of the three dimensions.

The health dimension is assessed by life expectancy at birth, the education dimension is measured by mean of years of schooling for adults aged 25 years and more and expected years of schooling for children of school entering age. The standard of living dimension is measured by gross national income per capita. The HDI uses the logarithm of income, to reflect the diminishing importance of income with increasing GNI. The scores for the three HDI dimension indices are then aggregated into a composite index using geometric mean.
http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/human-development-index-hdi

there are others such as the UN's Gender Inequality Index, and... also from the UN....

https://worldhappiness.report/ed/2019/#read

Other Indices
Freedom / Civil Liberties
list at this link
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_freedom_indices

That's me lot. Sorry about all this off-topic stuff, but I thought that the posts by Binntho needed a thorough debunking as that which he states as facts are so - wrong.
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

nanning

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2929 on: December 05, 2019, 04:58:12 PM »
Thank you for that beautiful on-topic post gerontocrat. Answering a "stupid" question with realism, truth and high morality :). (ok, not on arctic sea ice)

An earlier idea of mine was moving to Finland. Many sensible people there. Great education and no standing army.
And they top your list on reported happiness I see.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 05:04:15 PM by nanning »
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome

psymmo7

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2930 on: December 06, 2019, 05:54:46 PM »
A recent news item on the BBC entitled "Iceland puts well-being ahead of GDP in budget"

"https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50650155"

is  very relevant to the points being made by Gerontocrat and inspires hope, inasmuchas the Icelandic politicians are looking better indicators of well being than GDP.

Shared Humanity

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2931 on: December 06, 2019, 06:33:33 PM »
I'm not sure if it would make any difference. And GDP is a truly narrow measure, far from being the best. But it's the only one. Health, happiness and environmental protection follow GDP - the higher the better. Total consumption also follows GDP which is a definite downside.

Our only objective should always be the maximum happiness for the most people. Biodiversity and sea level must take second place to maintaining and protecting food production.

In an ideal world we would have started a massive drive to avoid AGW some decades ago by using government funding to jumpstart a shift in energy production away from fossil fuels. But any such plans were doomed from the start, I think, and are not very likely to be adopted in future. We might stumble into a sharp reduction in CO2 emissions simply through the increasingly favourable economics of renewables, but there will be an absolute minimum of conscious common effort to do so. Unfortunately. But not an existential threat to civilisation.

I don't know where to start...simply remarkable.

BAU will deliver a 4C warmer world by the end of the century at a minimum. This global temperature is absolutely incompatible with human civilization. Will we drive ourselves to extinction? No. Will those of us who are alive wish they were dead? Perhaps.

KiwiGriff

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2932 on: December 06, 2019, 08:45:01 PM »
Shared Humanity
I have kept out of this for a while because it is an off topic debate on a thread for questions and answers not long debates .
My view?
The new thread just created by Tom is the right place for this discussion.
Refute Denier arguments .
Because thinking unconstrained emissions  and the resulting climate change  is not going to have an extremely negative impact on humanity is denial according to the gold standard of the debatable conservative IPCC.

GDP?. How do you put a price on losing not only your home but your community and your entire country? What is a species worth? Do we have a right to consume now and expect future generations to pick up the tab?
 

Glen Koehler

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2933 on: December 07, 2019, 12:21:12 AM »
1. From The brutal logic of climate change
By David Roberts on Dec 6, 2011
https://grist.org/climate-change/2011-12-05-the-brutal-logic-of-climate-change/

Kevin Anderson, former Director, U.K. Tyndall Energy Program.
“...a 4 degrees C future is incompatible with an organized global community,
is likely to be beyond ‘adaptation’,
is devastating to the majority of ecosystems,
and has a high probability of not being stable.”


**************************
2. From:  Turn Down the Heat - Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided, A Report for the World Bank by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics.  2012
http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/865571468149107611/pdf/NonAsciiFileName0.pdf

"The 4°C scenarios are devastating: the inundation of coastal cities; increasing risks for food production potentially leading to higher malnutrition rates; many dry regions becoming dryer, wet regions wetter; unprecedented heat waves in many regions, especially in the tropics; substantially exacerbated water scarcity in many regions; increased frequency of high-intensity tropical cyclones; and irreversible loss of biodiversity, including coral reef systems. 
     And most importantly, a 4°C world is so different from the current one that it comes with high uncertainty and new risks that threaten our ability to anticipate and plan for future adaptation needs."

"It would be so dramatically different from today’s world that it is hard to describe accurately; much relies on complex projections and interpretations."

"We are well aware of the uncertainty that surrounds these scenarios and we know that different scholars and studies sometimes disagree on the degree of risk."

"Finding ways to avoid that scenario is vital for the health and welfare of communities around the world. While every region of the world will be affected, the poor and most vulnerable would be hit hardest.  A 4°C world can, and must, be avoided.

"Warming would not stop there. Because of the slow response of  the  climate  system,  the  greenhouse  gas  emissions  and  concentrations  that  would  lead  to  warming  of  4°C  by  2100  would  actually commit the world to much higher warming, exceeding 6°C or more, in the long term, ..."

********************
3.  From Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against
Timothy M. Lenton, Johan Rockström, Owen Gaffney, Stefan Rahmstorf, Katherine Richardson,
Will Steffen & Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Nature.  27 November 2019
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03595-0

"We argue that cascading effects might be common. Research last year analysed 30 types of regime shift spanning physical climate and ecological systems, from collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet to a switch from rainforest to savanna. This indicated that exceeding tipping points in one system can increase the risk of crossing them in others. Such links were found for 45% of possible interactions.

In our view, examples are starting to be observed. For example, Arctic sea-ice loss is amplifying regional warming, and Arctic warming and Greenland melting are driving an influx of fresh water into the North Atlantic. This could have contributed to a 15% slowdown since the mid-twentieth century of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), a key part of global heat and salt transport by the ocean. Rapid melting of the Greenland ice sheet and further slowdown of the AMOC could destabilize the West African monsoon, triggering drought in Africa’s Sahel region. A slowdown in the AMOC could also dry the Amazon, disrupt the East Asian monsoon and cause heat to build up in the Southern Ocean, which could accelerate Antarctic ice loss."

 "...the Earth system has been unstable across multiple timescales before, under relatively weak forcing caused by changes in Earth’s orbit. Now we are strongly forcing the system, with atmospheric CO2 concentration and global temperature increasing at rates that are an order of magnitude higher than those during the most recent deglaciation."

Atmospheric CO2 "... is rapidly heading towards levels last seen some 50 million years ago — in the Eocene — when temperatures were up to 14 °C higher than they were in pre-industrial times."

"If damaging tipping cascades can occur and a global tipping point cannot be ruled out, then this is an existential threat to civilization. No amount of economic cost–benefit analysis is going to help us. We need to change our approach to the climate problem.
     Act now
In our view, the evidence from tipping points alone suggests that we are in a state of planetary emergency: both the risk and urgency of the situation are acute "
« Last Edit: December 07, 2019, 12:53:00 AM by Glen Koehler »

Glen Koehler

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2934 on: December 07, 2019, 12:29:07 AM »
     No, "life on Earth" is not at risk.
The cockroaches love this stuff.  They've seen it before.  Millions of years before the first human walked on two legs. Cockroaches just need some warmth, some organic matter to feed on, and a rock to hide under.  So they will be fine.

     It is this complicated set of brittle, tinker toy supply-chain connections that we call "society" that is vulnerable to catastrophic failure.
     It is the "organized (human) global community" that is at stake, i.e. "civilization".  Things like "cities" (esp. the many large coastal ones), "grocery stores", "phones", & "hospitals".

     My guess is that not all humans would die from hunger, increased health risks with broken sanitation and medical services, or war violence by other humans competing for reduced resources. I think there will be survivors.  Some. 
     How many, living how and where, I am less sure about.
     I wouldn't count on one-day Amazon delivery, an internet connection, or an electricity grid.
     "Do it yourself" would evolve from an interesting hobby to a survival skill.

     At least the obesity epidemic is likely to be reduced, if only because there are several billion fewer people to count.

     And if you think this view is pessimistic, ask yourself if you too have considered some dire projection for 2050, 2070, or 2100; did the math in your head; and concluded "Well, i'll be dead by then anyway".  Is "Better dead than alive" not the ultimate pessimism?  What does that view of the future say about our honor, our legacy, and our responsibility to people younger than ourselves?

     Remember/imagine a time when you looked FORWARD to the future with anticipation for all the cool stuff that was/is being invented by truly awesome human ingenuity.  I want to get back to that.  I think/hope (depends on the day) we can get back to that.  We better. 

    Sorry for preaching, but there is nothing more important than this topic.  Nothing.  Because it affects everything.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2019, 03:40:32 PM by Glen Koehler »

wili

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2935 on: December 07, 2019, 04:58:09 AM »
Yes, SOME life will likely survive pretty much whatever we throw at them...tardigrades come to mind.

But we are indeed in the midst of on of only six Mass Extinction Events since the evolution of complex life, and it's just gotten started...I don't think it is our place to minimize this world-life shattering event caused by us (specifically by modern industrial society).

And the whole matters more than the parts, so the well being of the entire community of life is more important that any one species within that community, even if that species happens to be one you cherish since you are part of it :)
« Last Edit: December 07, 2019, 05:03:50 AM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

binntho

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2936 on: December 07, 2019, 06:50:23 AM »
I see that you have all been having a lot of fun debunking my claims. And perhaps they needed debunking, who knows.

I did say something way back about the only criteria for action should be maximum hapiness for the maximum number of people, bady paraphrasing John Bentham "The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation."

To me happiness here means general wellbeing, not e.g. state of bliss or self-reported feelings of happiness. The first is fleeting, the second is subjective and cultural-dependent.

And GDP is the only globally accepted and semi-reliable indicator of the general wellbeing of societies. I can tell that this is something that most people here don't like, the coupling of a nasty capitalistic measurement to a humanistic concept. But, well, we live in the real world, and my main and only concern are real people, real lives. And if I want to know what the general level of happiness (i.e. wellbeing) in a particular country is, the first and most important and most reliable measure is GDP.

So global warming. Yes, it's a disaster. No, we are not going to stop it. So how much of a disaster is it going to be? Now we are back to my original point: My recent reading of literature tends to indicate that we are in no means facing a civilsational collapse. We are facing disruptions, hardships, destruction and displacement. But we are not heading towards a dystopian future of the well-loved American trope, the post-apocalyptic world where the few and the brave (and the American) survive.

And, what seems to have riled people up no end, I did dare to claim that the effects on general happiness as expressed by the level of general wellbeing as proxied by levels of GDP will not fall to any significant degree, and may, paradoxically, rise as a result of AGW induced disruptions.

The only true threat to global civlisation would be a large and consistent disruption in food production. And I'm not seeing anybody predicting such an outcome (although it does seem to me to be at least a possibility).

As an example, from Glen Koehlers links above, one reads that a 4 degree rise in temperatures will cause "increasing risks for food production potentially leading to higher malnutrition rates". An extremely luke-warm prediction for a massive rise in global temperatures.

Another of the papers he links to makes some properly dystopian claims, e.g. that CO2 "... is rapidly heading towards levels last seen some 50 million years ago — in the Eocene — when temperatures were up to 14 °C higher than they were in pre-industrial times."

Perhaps. The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum saw much higher CO2 levels than our current ones (probably over 2500 ppm) following a period of massive release of CO2 into the atmosphere, leading to an increase in temperatures of 5-8 degrees C according to Wikipedia. It did happen a lot slower than our current massive release of CO2. But to put it into context, yes, if we do reach 2500 ppm then we propably will see temperatures 12 or 14 degrees above current.

So the claim that we are "rapidly heading" towards 14 degrees C temperature rise seems like a pile of what the bull left behind. And the same goes, apparently, for the increasingly popular predictions of global civilisational collapse as far as I can see. It's not making me popular, but hey, my opinions, when expressed, tend to rub people the wrong way so I guess I'm getting pretty used to that.

Yes I know that end-of-world prophecies are exciting and lot's of people seem to wish for some sort of apocalypse. I don't
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

sidd

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2937 on: December 07, 2019, 06:58:59 AM »
Re:  maximum happiness for the maximum number of people

1) that leads to a world cleansed of all other life except in zoos, if any, that humans see fit to maintain

2) why are humans more deserving of well being than other species ?

sidd

binntho

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2938 on: December 07, 2019, 07:09:17 AM »
Re:  maximum happiness for the maximum number of people

1) that leads to a world cleansed of all other life except in zoos, if any, that humans see fit to maintain

2) why are humans more deserving of well being than other species ?

sidd

Directly to the point Sidd! Thank you. Yes, if it does mean all other life is in zoos if that is what it takes. And since we humans are the only entity in the known universe with the concept of "deserving" anything, let alone the ability to judge deservedness and deservedability (!) then we are obviously more deserving than anybody else. We are the only deserving species!

The biosphere is wildly competitive. Other species can be ignored if they are no threat and no use, other than that they will be used, maintained or destroyed by us as need be.

But I have noticed that the higher a nations GDP is, the keener the inhabitants are on the preservation of nature - and I guess we all feel better knowing that some fenced-off part of our country is maintained as an al-fresco park for our delight and, even, use.
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

oren

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2939 on: December 07, 2019, 07:50:56 AM »
Well said Glen.

And binntho - usually I would jump back in, but I will sit this one out. As you seem to truly believe the stuff you wrote, arguments will be pointless.

sidd

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2940 on: December 07, 2019, 08:13:48 AM »
Re:  humans are the only entity in the known universe with the concept of "deserving" anything, let alone the ability to judge deservedness

How do you know this ? Looking into the eyes of other animals and watching their behaviour makes me think otherwise, that they have every bit as rich an ethical life as I do. Hence, I say grace most especially when I eat meat, not to a god, but to the creature whose flesh sustains me.

https://www.nature.com/articles/nature01963

Re:  Other species can be ignored if they are no threat and no use, other than that they will be used, maintained or destroyed

Mmmm. That assumes that we know which species are threat and which useful and which both. Unfortunately,  our difficulty is that we have no concept of the complexity of the ecosystem that sustains us. We are very naive, babes in the woods. We burn the structure beneath our feet. We have no clue which of the next strings we cut will be our jugular.

https://theconversation.com/the-bizarre-and-ecologically-important-hidden-lives-of-mosquitoes-127599

sidd

binntho

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2941 on: December 07, 2019, 08:19:53 AM »
Well said Glen.

And binntho - usually I would jump back in, but I will sit this one out. As you seem to truly believe the stuff you wrote, arguments will be pointless.

Well, the arguments marshalled so far have not convinced my re. my original posting, i.e. that there is no impending civilisational collapse to be found in the literature, and that when all is said and done, the effects on the general wellbeing of mankind will be minimal and may even in some respects be positive.

As for another bone of contention, we collectively, humanity, are not going to do anything by choice that may realistically stop or slow down AGW. We will most likely stumble into solutions over the next 50 years or so based on the economics of energy sources, but AGW will continue for at least a few hundred years (and may well be artificially maintained after that).

To me, the fact that there is no real scientific basis for claiming civilsational collapse, or even severe global hardship, came as a surprise. So I have actually changed my opinions following research, since I used to believe that the threat to agriculture was big enough that predictions of civlisational collapse were justifiable. But not having found basis for this in the literature, and thinking things through for myself, I have come to another conclusion.

But what is perhaps the most surprising thing to me is how unpopular it is to hope for a good outcome from our current predicament. If you are not one of the "the world is going to hell in a handbasket" brigade then the severest opproprium seems to be your lot.
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

binntho

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2942 on: December 07, 2019, 08:23:27 AM »
Re:  humans are the only entity in the known universe with the concept of "deserving" anything, let alone the ability to judge deservedness

How do you know this ? Looking into the eyes of other animals and watching their behaviour makes me think otherwise, that they have every bit as rich an ethical life as I do. Hence, I say grace most especially when I eat meat, not to a god, but to the creature whose flesh sustains me.

Well, anthropomorphism is one of the fundamental traits of us humans. But to my mind, the purest definition of evil is to claim that anything whatsoever is more important than human lives. Wether it be one of the religions (which all fall into the evil category), politics or policies, or nature preservation.

So there. More opproprium on the way I guess, simply for stating the obvious principles of humanism.
because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true
St. Augustine, Confessions V, 6

El Cid

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2943 on: December 07, 2019, 08:28:47 AM »
But what is perhaps the most surprising thing to me is how unpopular it is to hope for a good outcome from our current predicament. If you are not one of the "the world is going to hell in a handbasket" brigade then the severest opproprium seems to be your lot.

you are 100% right about this one

KiwiGriff

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2944 on: December 07, 2019, 09:51:43 AM »

Without significant change in policy we are heading to  over 3C this century .

Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against
Quote
More than half of the climate tipping points identified a decade ago are now "active," a group of leading scientists have warned.

This threatens the loss of the Amazon rainforest and the great ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, which are currently undergoing measurable and unprecedented changes much earlier than expected.

This "cascade" of changes sparked by global warming could threaten the existence of human civilisations.

Evidence is mounting that these events are more likely and more interconnected than was previously thought, leading to a possible domino effect.

In an article in the journal Nature, the scientists call for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to prevent key tipping points, warning of a worst-case scenario of a "hothouse," less habitable planet.

"A decade ago we identified a suite of potential tipping points in the Earth system, now we see evidence that over half of them have been activated," said lead author Professor Tim Lenton, director of the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter.

"The growing threat of rapid, irreversible changes means it is no longer responsible to wait and see. The situation is urgent and we need an emergency response."

https://phys.org/news/2019-11-climate-comfort.html

Magic thinking some as yet unknown technology will save us is not a solution it is overoptimistic fantasizing  .

Aporia_filia

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2945 on: December 07, 2019, 12:28:46 PM »
Binntho, if you stay in the human culture without a look outside you would accept humanism and anthropomorphism as absolute true. But they are what the bull left behind, as you expressed. We are only part of Gaia, not the gods of it. Today we know that mirror neurons tell us what's happening in others brains. Those of us who live with animals (in the wild, in my case), can tell you that anthropomorphism is a good idea to talk about Disney films, but not to insult our families.
Humanism can not look out of its own belly.
Our mental capacities are extraordinary, but they depend on the tipe and amounts of different bacterias we have in our guts.
You can keep looking at humanity as Narcissus looked at himself  in the pond, and then yeah, humanism makes sense.
But don't forget that no other living creature can and do murder and torture as humans do.

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2946 on: December 07, 2019, 01:10:20 PM »
Actually, I read that meerkats are the one mammalian species more murderous than humans.
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

dnem

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2947 on: December 07, 2019, 02:22:39 PM »
Binntho, there will be no convincing you until events convince you, which IMO they will. But have you at least read or heard Bobby Kennedy's iconic GDP speech from 1968? GDP is now widely recognized as a deeply flawed measure that fails to capture much of what human beings actually value in life.  It's well worth a read. Here's an excerpt:

But even if we act to erase material poverty, there is another greater task, it is to confront the poverty of satisfaction - purpose and dignity - that afflicts us all.  Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things.  Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product - if we judge the United States of America by that - that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage.  It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them.  It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl.  It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities.  It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.  Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play.  It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.  It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.  And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.

https://www.jfklibrary.org/learn/about-jfk/the-kennedy-family/robert-f-kennedy/robert-f-kennedy-speeches/remarks-at-the-university-of-kansas-march-18-1968

gerontocrat

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2948 on: December 07, 2019, 03:20:06 PM »
Well found, dnem

A pity that most of the powers that presume to govern us prefer Binntho's view.
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

Archimid

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Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« Reply #2949 on: December 07, 2019, 03:20:38 PM »
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And if I want to know what the general level of happiness (i.e. wellbeing) in a particular country is, the first and most important and most reliable measure is GDP.

Only by people that do not understand what the GDP represents. As people that know have proven to you, GDP is not equal to well being.

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And, what seems to have riled people up no end, I did dare to claim that the effects on general happiness as expressed by the level of general wellbeing as proxied by levels of GDP will not fall to any significant degree, and may, paradoxically, rise as a result of AGW induced disruptions.

Which is the logical conclusion if you begin with a literally fatal misunderstanding of what GDP represents. In this sad misunderstanding, destruction increases GDP,  destruction is good. No reason to stop climate change, all the reason on the world to accelerate it. Leaders at the highest level of world governance likely agree with this and arrived at the same conclusion as Bintho:

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But we are not heading towards a dystopian future of the well-loved American trope, the post-apocalyptic world where the few and the brave (and the American) survive.

Let's not do shit about AGW because "we" the fit and superior will be just fine. 

 The hubris and foolishness is mindblowing. The only things that make it palatable is knowing how incredibly wrong they are and knowing that they will pay for it with their lives and fortunes. Sadly, so will all of us.
I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.