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dlen

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the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« on: August 15, 2013, 12:52:34 PM »
In http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2013/08/perception-of-the-arctic-2.html#more
commenter Hans Gustaddar wrote, that the ecomomy goes bust if mankind implements climate saving energy use. (In my words.)

I was thinking a bit about growth, also motivated by a post at cassandralegacy.blogspot.com and the result in full length and beauty can be read here: http://remarksandobservations.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/ber-nachhaltiges-wachstum/.

For those bored by such self advertisement or short in time, in short words:

Growth is defined as production of goods and services and the structure of an associated societal price list of those goods and services. If society changes its preferences towards low exergy products - and expresses this in the prices it is ready to pay - you get all the growth to make an economists heart joyfull without imposing a climate change probably difficult to absorb.

But this is a slow process. Modifying what evolution has teached us to like (bigger, stronger, faster, louder) and reversing the motivation-bending and brainwashing effect of decades of advertisement treatment is no easy task.

GeoffBeacon

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2013, 12:53:53 PM »

1. Saving energy is bad for growth.

2. Forest fires are good for growth.

3. Car accidents cause economic growth.


BUT

Job creation doesn’t need economic growth.
http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/is-economic-growth-necessary-for-job-creation/



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Laurent

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2013, 01:05:15 PM »
Yes, subsidise the jobs, not anyking of jobs ! At the same time you buy some lands and allocate 1 hectare per person (through a collective system of 50 local people, giving them only the ownership of use for their lifepan)(not all of them would have to grow food, some would be cookers, teachers...), these persons would grow food for themselves, for others and initiate an economy based on the vegetal. Mean not only food but everything else, bulding, medical, energy...Until they don't need any subside but generate there own income.
I can dream...no !?

GeoffBeacon

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2013, 02:33:20 PM »
Laurent

I don't see what problem you have with the "S" word.  It's too late for minor quibbles about moral hazard, we need big price signals to set the world on the right track.

If you really crave a work-around we could collect in taxes on pollution (especially a carbon tax) and just hand the out to every citizen as Hansen suggests. Unemployed citizen's could then work for less and price themselves into the labour market without starving.

I think it's too late for your back-to-the land solutions without appropriate economic signals. Markets are the only force strong enough to bring about the necessary changes in lifestyles.

It's a pity that governments seem to have ceded power over the market to the big polluters.

Geoff



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Laurent

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2013, 04:11:17 PM »
I don't understand your point with the "S" word.

It's too late for minor quibbles about moral hazard
That's not a minor quibbles and there is no moral involved...only economic !

The market as you call it is dead since 2008, only huge subvention direct and undirect did save that so called market, without it game over. The bill has still to be paid, there is some astounding debts in all major countries (even Germany)...

The only way again is to shift the economy toward agriculture with low power consumption. It does already rely on agriculture but helped with fossil fuels we have no chance to move on toward sustainability ! Subsidizing without doing that is not a solution !

JimD

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2013, 07:05:40 PM »
Laurent

....The only way again is to shift the economy toward agriculture with low power consumption. It does already rely on agriculture but helped with fossil fuels we have no chance to move on toward sustainability ! Subsidizing without doing that is not a solution !

I may be misunderstanding you, but, if you are trying to indicate that we have an option to switch to sustainable very low fossil powered agriculture by dividing up arable land and assigning it to small groups of people to produce their own food I have to disagree that such an option is workable. 

It is certainly possible for a small group of people to farm land and feed themselves.  I use to own and operate an organic farm in Virginia and am intimately familiar with what can be accomplished on a small scale.  Where my disagreement comes in (assuming I am correct in my interpretation of your post) is this will not work if extrapolated on a global scale.  We know pretty accurately how many people subsistence non-fossil fuel agriculture can support because we have done it before.  It is certainly under 2 billion.  Access to fossil fuels and using industrial agriculture techniques (I acknowledge all the bad aspects of this) allowed us to increase our population up to its present 7.2 billion.  There is just no way that sustainable agriculture techniques can feed that extra 5 billion people.  We  have to reduce population before we can implement sustainable agriculture techniques on a global basis. 

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JackTaylor

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2013, 03:14:52 PM »
~~ " Access to fossil fuels and using industrial agriculture techniques (I acknowledge all the bad aspects of this) allowed us to increase our population up to its present 7.2 billion.  There is just no way that sustainable agriculture techniques can feed that extra 5 billion people.  We  have to reduce population before we can implement sustainable agriculture techniques on a global basis." ~~
AGREE !
JimD,
Have you ever seen or heard a definition of "sustainable?" ???
I have not. Sustainable agriculture requires a lot of work in many long days.
Anyone putting hard numbers to it?
I can find a lot adjectives and generalities thrown around, but specifics elude me.

I'm able to understand perpetual growth is unsustainable.
In excess of 5 billion people to be eliminated in what period of time - by whom?

Too many people must not have a good concept of the vastness of industrialized food production and distribution......

JimD

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2013, 04:38:42 PM »
Jack

JimD,
Have you ever seen or heard a definition of "sustainable?" ???......

I'm able to understand perpetual growth is unsustainable.
In excess of 5 billion people to be eliminated in what period of time - by whom?.........

Somewhere in either the agriculture threads or the population thread both of your questions have been discussed.

I have seen many different definitions of sustainability.  Different criteria and different timeframes.  The definition of sustainable is clearly user dependent, but it cannot, of course, mean forever or until the sun consumes the Earth.  Personally I would be satisfied if we settled on a standard measured in a few 10's of thousands of years.  Others I am sure would pick timeframes both longer and shorter.  After timeframe we have to have some way of measuring that we humans are degrading the environment so slowly that we will still be able to grow enough food out to our chosen timeframe.  As to what criteria we use and what metrics we measure to determine if we are farming in a sustainable fashion I think that we maybe only know about 90% of what needs to be taken into account.  We are still learning a lot about biology, soil health and other factors.  Considering the damage primitive humans did to the biosphere long before the industrial revolution came along we would be being pretty stupid if we just assumed that returning to ancient methods would work.  And God knows what the eventual horrible impact of GM crops, herbicides, pesticides, and industrial chemicals in the environment is going to be.  We may have already crossed the Rubicon on those issues and there is nothing we can do about it.

On your population question I would wander over to the population thread and peruse the comments there and repeat your question if you still have it.  That way we keep on topic better.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JackTaylor

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2013, 07:45:01 PM »
Jack

~~ "Somewhere in either the agriculture threads or the population thread both of your questions have been discussed." ~~

O.K.
The comments - questions were posed to you because of the content of your post above.
Quote
JimD « on: August 16, 2013, 07:05:40 PM
~~ "an option to switch to sustainable very low fossil powered agriculture by dividing up arable land and assigning it to small groups of people to produce their own food I have to disagree that such an option is workable" ~~
~~ "There is just no way that sustainable agriculture techniques can feed that extra 5 billion people.  We  have to reduce population before we can implement sustainable agriculture techniques on a global basis" ~~

JimD

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2013, 09:29:20 PM »
Jack

There was no intent to be snarky.  I mentioned the other threads since you seem new here and might not know about them.

The population issue is complex and requires lots of text to address.  I as well as a lot of others have posted volumes there.  So rather than repeat it all I was directing you there where you would be able to find an answer from me and many others.

Was my answer on sustainability inadequate?
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2013, 02:42:37 AM »
The population issue is complex and requires lots of text to address.  I as well as a lot of others have posted volumes there.  So rather than repeat it all I was directing you there where you would be able to find an answer from me and many others.

Maybe we need a sticky summarising a list of the most key topics like this. I know I certainly wouldn't repeat a lot of the stuff I've typed in a hurry.

Three topics come to mind as especially prone to being restated by newcomers (from policy/consequences) with a tendency to repeat past arguments:
- the case for collapse, as covered heavily in "When and how bad" (and one or two other topics)
- the questions at the fringes of methane research
- the population issue

Anne

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2013, 09:10:38 AM »
And perhaps even a sticky at the top of each section reminding new contributors to use the search function before posting, to check that the topic isn't already being/hasn't already been discussed?

JackTaylor

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2013, 12:55:25 PM »
Jack

There was no intent to be snarky. 
JimD,

It's not for me to define your reply as "snarky."

If I made you feel uncomfortable requesting you discuss your comment(s) that was not my intent.




JimD

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2013, 05:10:55 PM »
Climate Summit Trap: Capitalism's March toward Global Collapse

An excellent analysis of where we were left off after the Warsaw climate conference.  I put it here because the core of the article is that Capitalism has triumphed over long-term concerns and it marches us towards collapse.  Sustainability?  What's that nonsense about?

Quote
The municipal utility company in the city of Potsdam is currently wooing new customers with a special "BabyBonus" offer. The slogan reads, "We value little energy robbers! Welcome to the world!" Every newborn receives a credit of 500 kilowatt hours of electricity, allowing him or her to revel from the start in a world where everything, especially energy, will always be available in abundance. ....

Hmmm...there is a nasty comment in here somewhere about that statement.

Quote
..When the United Nations Climate Change Conference wrapped up in Warsaw ..... it did....yield a result. It just wasn't officially announced: the termination of the at-least symbolic general agreement that urgent action must be taken to counter global warming. In other words, climate change has been definitively removed from the global policy agenda.

Quote
..The intense concern over climate change .... actually dissipated a while ago, but no one wanted to say so out loud....

Quote
..To put it another way: The primacy of economics has prevailed. It no longer seems to matter how we're supposed to get through the rest of this century if the world grows warmer by three, four or five degrees Celsius. National economies require an ever-growing dose of energy if their business models are to continue functioning, and, in the face of this logic, all scientific objections to the contrary are just as powerless as the climate protest movements, which are, in any case, marginal...

Quote
...The economy's refusal to set limits has set off a new race: that of which society... will be able to remain within its comfort zone the longest...

...We have to assume that expansive strategies will intensify as scarcities increase ...

...But when expansion is the central problem-solving strategy of an economic and societal system, and when that system is finite, it will eventually encounter a fatal trap when it begins to consume that which it itself requires.

..The task then becomes to extract as much out of it as possible, while we still can.
 

An interesting alternative?

Quote
'Economy for the Common Good'

... Imagine, for example, what might happen if a large number of businesses make the improvement of the common good -- instead of an increase in their profits -- the goal of their commercial efforts....

...In the medium term, the "economy for the common good" movement aims to make such accounting legally binding. The principle is that the more common-good "points" a business achieves, the more legal benefits it should enjoy. For example, companies with a positive common-good balance could benefit from lower taxes, obtain loans from national banks at lower interest rates and be given priority in public purchasing and the awarding of contracts. This reversal of the existing incentive system would serve to make products and services that are produced and traded fairly, and are environmentally sustainable, cheaper than ethically problematic products and nondurable, disposable items.

The appeal of this approach lies in the fact that -- as with the many energy and consumption cooperatives, ethical banks, swapping platforms and venues for giving things away that have sprung up in recent years -- there is no longer a reason to generate additional surplus, once enough has already been produced. This counters capitalism's logic of valuation far more effectively than any sort of symbolic act, because such experiments in alternative economic practices intervene directly in the economic metabolism. Rather than continuing to generate more and more arguments, they generate new facts......

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/warsaw-climate-conference-shows-capitalism-root-of-climate-failure-a-937453.html#ref=rss
 
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Shared Humanity

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2013, 06:01:45 PM »
On October 14, 1982, President Reagan declared a war on drugs which had become a plague in many of our communities, fueling crime and driving the murder rates in American cities sky high.

After 30 years of fighting this war, it can be declared an abject failure. The drug cartels continue to deliver the drugs that feed the insatiable appetites of the American consumer. Early in the war, when drug lords were arrested and supplies disrupted, the effect was to drive up the prices of drugs, making the delivery of drugs even more profitable for those able to deliver them and encouraging new entrants into the production and supply chain. In the face of persistent demand for a product, there will never be a shortage of suppliers to deliver this product in search of profits. All markets for all goods behave this way. Producers and suppliers will cease to exist only when the demand for the product disappears. Draconian laws, long prison sentences, even the possibility of a violent death does not prevent the drug supply from meeting demand. This is the behavior of all well functioning markets.

The markets for fossil fuels behave no differently and, in the presence of a persistent and increasing demand, any attempts to prevent the exploitation of fossil fuels until they are completely exhausted are doomed to failure. If we want to keep this product in the ground we must act on the demand side. As consumers, individually and in the aggregate, we must quickly destroy our addiction. A rapid reduction in the demand for fossil fuels will cause an immediate reduction in production and the drop in prices will make the most expensive sources of oil uneconomic, leaving them in the ground.

Focus on demand. Also, listen to the objections when a proposal is made that would serve to shrink demand. The concern will always be about the need for growth.

My only cause for optimism is that, as consumers, we could alter the marketplace for fossil fuels instantly if we were to embrace dramatic lifestyle changes.

JackTaylor

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2013, 10:26:55 PM »
Quote
Shared Humanity:
"alter the marketplace for fossil fuels instantly if we were to embrace dramatic lifestyle changes"
Well, I don't know about instantly, but, as long as there is a demand there will be a fight to supply fossil fuels, such as you aptly describe in the analogy about the "War on Drugs."

Prohibition didn't turn out too well either.  Too much DEMAND.

No way will we as a people give up this lifestyle until something catastrophic  occurs.

wili

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2013, 11:56:54 PM »
There have to be immediate tight and ever tightening limits on all sides of this monster. If you say it's just demand, that let's the people making more money than God from directly UN-sequestering carbon off the hook. And what do you think they will do (have done, are doing) with all that more-than-God money--massively misguiding/propagandizing the public, buying senators and legislators, starting faux 'astro-turf' rightwing movements...

It is relatively hard to mine oil, coal and natural gas in secret.

This should not be that hard to regulate.

But, yes, it has to even more massively be on the demand side. Rationing during war mostly worked because people saw it as immoral to shirk the law--we have to get to that level of commitment, fast.

"until something catastrophic  occurs"
The question is what catastrophe is going to do it? The mega-killer heatwave that snuffed out tens of thousands of lives in the center of Europe in '03 barely got coverage. I bet not one in ten American even knows anything about it. Katrina, Sandy, universal drought throughout the West...

What level of catastrophe with how clear a finger print of GW is needed to wake people up.

It of course takes more than any one event. It takes leaders willing to make the connection, it takes media willing to repeat those connections constantly, it takes laws and law enforcement willing to lock up people who knowingly misguide the public on the connections (just as one would someone trying to convince the public that a hostile invading army should be welcomed with flowers and kisses)...

In short it takes a massive truth offensive on all levels.

And it takes that happening in nearly every country all at once everywhere.

I see little evidence of anything close to that happening any time soon.
"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."

domen_

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2013, 01:19:44 AM »
It's not the same as alcohol and drugs. If fossil fuels can be cost efficiently replaced with other energy sources then they'll be phased out. Demand for energy can stay there.

mati

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2013, 02:30:06 AM »
Unfortunately the mix of money, and greed, and psychopathy all result in a concern only for the NOW, and oneself.

You just have to look at the multi-billionaires in the world, the vast majority of which dont care at all about anyone else, or the world, or their children.



and so it goes

JackTaylor

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2013, 02:42:50 PM »
It's not the same as alcohol and drugs. If fossil fuels can be cost efficiently replaced with other energy sources then they'll be phased out. Demand for energy can stay there.
Agree, it's not "exactly" the same as alcohol and drugs. SH use of "demand" for drugs as a driving force and - or my reference to prohibition ("demand" for alcohol) are "analogies."

"cost efficiently replaced" - cost efficient distribution is possible.  Barring a catastrophic event when do you suspect FF will be replaced?

I've been hearing "peak-oil" for at least a quarter of a century - is demand and usage up or down?
 

JimD

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2013, 04:16:24 PM »
Unfortunately the mix of money, and greed, and psychopathy all result in a concern only for the NOW, and oneself.

You just have to look at the multi-billionaires in the world, the vast majority of which dont care at all about anyone else, or the world, or their children.

Well I would certainly agree that most of them do not care about "Our" children.  I see a lot of evidence that most of them intend to give all that great wealth to their children so they at least intend for their descendants to inherit what's left of the place when the dust settles.   Wealth is measured not by the total you have, but rather by the difference between what you and the average guy has, so they will be satisfied being the kings of the future as long as we are the serfs. 
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2013, 04:45:20 PM »
Here is an interesting blog post on growth and progress from the Automatic Earth blog with comments from Yves at Naked Capitalism.

While I generally agree with what Ilargi says and also with Yves comments about his post I have an additional comment about both of their perspectives.  I read both of these blogs pretty extensively as they often present insights on current financial events.  However, both are very focused on finance/economics as they relate to the major economies and, just like Yves calls out Ilargi for not knowing his history, Yves can be called out for not understanding that her comments do not apply in many respects to the majority of the worlds population whom live in the developing world.  But it is a good read in any case.

Ilargi: All The Plans We Make For Our Futures Are Delusions

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/12/ilargi-all-the-plans-we-make-for-our-futures-are-delusions.html
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Shared Humanity

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2013, 07:42:58 PM »
Quote
Shared Humanity:
"alter the marketplace for fossil fuels instantly if we were to embrace dramatic lifestyle changes"
Well, I don't know about instantly, but, as long as there is a demand there will be a fight to supply fossil fuels, such as you aptly describe in the analogy about the "War on Drugs."

Prohibition didn't turn out too well either.  Too much DEMAND.

No way will we as a people give up this lifestyle until something catastrophic  occurs.

And since "catastrophic" will need to be within the context of our day to day lives, we are doomed. By the time we have had a sufficiently large portion of humanity facing catastrophe, it will be too late.

Shared Humanity

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2013, 07:51:58 PM »
It's not the same as alcohol and drugs. If fossil fuels can be cost efficiently replaced with other energy sources then they'll be phased out. Demand for energy can stay there.

This is true but replacing our fossil fuel dependent energy industry will take decades and we do not have decades. If you listen to the video posted on this science category thread...

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,687.0.html

....we have years, not decades.

Shared Humanity

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2013, 08:04:54 PM »
It's not the same as alcohol and drugs. If fossil fuels can be cost efficiently replaced with other energy sources then they'll be phased out. Demand for energy can stay there.
Agree, it's not "exactly" the same as alcohol and drugs. SH use of "demand" for drugs as a driving force and - or my reference to prohibition ("demand" for alcohol) are "analogies."

"cost efficiently replaced" - cost efficient distribution is possible.  Barring a catastrophic event when do you suspect FF will be replaced?

I've been hearing "peak-oil" for at least a quarter of a century - is demand and usage up or down?

And peak oil is exactly like arresting a few drug overlords. It restricts supply, drives the price up and makes it even more profitable to deliver the drug to the addicts.

Shared Humanity

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2013, 08:18:57 PM »
Here is an interesting blog post on growth and progress from the Automatic Earth blog with comments from Yves at Naked Capitalism.

While I generally agree with what Ilargi says and also with Yves comments about his post I have an additional comment about both of their perspectives.  I read both of these blogs pretty extensively as they often present insights on current financial events.  However, both are very focused on finance/economics as they relate to the major economies and, just like Yves calls out Ilargi for not knowing his history, Yves can be called out for not understanding that her comments do not apply in many respects to the majority of the worlds population whom live in the developing world.  But it is a good read in any case.

Ilargi: All The Plans We Make For Our Futures Are Delusions

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/12/ilargi-all-the-plans-we-make-for-our-futures-are-delusions.html

Great column. It points to the very heart of our conundrum. We are absolutely dependent on growth. We cannot even begin to fathom an acceptable world without it. This will kill us.

I have been coming here for more than a year. All of our discussions try to determine a way that we can continue to grow while avoiding the worst effects of AGW.

Shared Humanity

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2013, 08:29:28 PM »
I used the "War on Drugs" and the idea of addiction as an analogy but make no mistake. We are just as addicted to our toys, our material possessions, and always searching for that grand new toy that will bring us joy, that high we need. Until recently, this has been an obsession peculiar to the western world. We have now managed to export this obsession to developing nations like India and China, with predictable results. Their economies are now on a much more rapid assent, consumption on steroids.

Barring a dramatic change, our fates are sealed.

He who dies with the most toys wins.  ;D
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 08:42:42 PM by Shared Humanity »

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2013, 08:38:48 PM »
I have been coming here for more than a year. All of our discussions try to determine a way that we can continue to grow while avoiding the worst effects of AGW.

Whoa, really? Am I reading the wrong discussions?  :P

Shared Humanity

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2013, 08:40:57 PM »
I have been coming here for more than a year. All of our discussions try to determine a way that we can continue to grow while avoiding the worst effects of AGW.

Whoa, really? Am I reading the wrong discussions?  :P

Comment withdrawn. I was painting with too broad of a brush.  :-X

Shared Humanity

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #29 on: December 11, 2013, 04:40:34 PM »
A quick read that at least shows that our alternative media gets it. We need to be pounding this drum incessantly. Dramatic, gut wrenching change in our economic system is needed and this change must be done with a focus on economic justice and care for humankind so as not to foster worldwide wars.

http://www.salon.com/2013/12/09/we_are_deluding_ourselves_the_apocalypse_is_coming_and_technology_cant_save_us/

Oh! And we need to start now.

DrTskoul

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2013, 06:40:24 PM »
And we have really not started counting in resource depletion!! Talking about another complicating factor huh? Stuck between a rock and a hard place. BAU and inaction leading to dire consequences due to climate change, or inability to stay on BAU due to resource depletion, leading to minimized climate change consequences but having to grapple with food, fuel, ore shortages and whatever follows.  Pick your poison.... Yikes!  :o

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #31 on: December 11, 2013, 08:54:17 PM »
Dramatic, gut wrenching change in our economic system is needed and this change must be done with a focus on economic justice and care for humankind so as not to foster worldwide wars.

Or we just assume that business as usual is continued to the bitter end as that seems to be the intention of the socioeconomic elites of today and target the collapse period and beyond for ones actions. That's where I'm pitching my efforts. I don't see the existing system as fixable at this point. A clean sheet on the other hand...

Shared Humanity

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #32 on: December 11, 2013, 09:03:06 PM »
Dramatic, gut wrenching change in our economic system is needed and this change must be done with a focus on economic justice and care for humankind so as not to foster worldwide wars.

Or we just assume that business as usual is continued to the bitter end as that seems to be the intention of the socioeconomic elites of today and target the collapse period and beyond for ones actions. That's where I'm pitching my efforts. I don't see the existing system as fixable at this point. A clean sheet on the other hand...

A clean sheet in an 8C warmer world? I don't think we are creative enough to plan for that. It's just going to happen and we (the few of us who survive) will be reacting, not planning.

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #33 on: December 11, 2013, 10:40:39 PM »
Dramatic, gut wrenching change in our economic system is needed and this change must be done with a focus on economic justice and care for humankind so as not to foster worldwide wars.

Or we just assume that business as usual is continued to the bitter end as that seems to be the intention of the socioeconomic elites of today and target the collapse period and beyond for ones actions. That's where I'm pitching my efforts. I don't see the existing system as fixable at this point. A clean sheet on the other hand...

A clean sheet in an 8C warmer world? I don't think we are creative enough to plan for that. It's just going to happen and we (the few of us who survive) will be reacting, not planning.

True, but luck favors the prepared.  ;D Some thought and material investments has got to help some.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2013, 11:37:39 PM by ritter »

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #34 on: December 11, 2013, 10:53:31 PM »
A clean sheet in an 8C warmer world? I don't think we are creative enough to plan for that. It's just going to happen and we (the few of us who survive) will be reacting, not planning.

Perhaps but also perhaps not. There is an underlying assumption behind your statement - that it is impossible to plan for such a world - which I don't necessarily agree with, not that I'm saying it's an easy task. By assuming upon the impossibility of this one would immediately blind oneself to the notion of even making the attempt? (a criticism that can just as fairly be levelled at the arguments against a paradigm shift within the existing system of course). In any event as ritter said - any sort of preparation is a headstart - and the bottom line in the end is not that it is the technologies or knowledge of modern civilisation that we need - what we need is a change in thinking, a different outlook on the world and how to live within constraints.

If such a change in thinking (requiring relatively little to theoretically sustain) were made - that could surely be the single best move to make for the very long term future if such could be sustained across a sufficient timespan (thousands of years - but some ancient empires lasted that long).

I argue that it is is attitude that has led to our failure this time around, and it is here the fix needs to be applied - the trappings of modern civilisation are expendable in that goal.

wili

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #35 on: December 12, 2013, 12:29:02 AM »
Quote
I argue that it is is attitude that has led to our failure this time around, and it is here the fix needs to be applied

This has been my view since I was about 15 years old (more decades ago than I care to admit!).

I continue to be amazed that more people, particularly in academia, don't see coming to some understanding of this issue--historically, socially, cognitavely...--to be the overriding goal that should drive most research in the humanities ans the social 'sciences'.
"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."

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #36 on: December 12, 2013, 02:13:01 AM »
A clean sheet in an 8C warmer world? I don't think we are creative enough to plan for that. It's just going to happen and we (the few of us who survive) will be reacting, not planning.

Perhaps but also perhaps not. There is an underlying assumption behind your statement - that it is impossible to plan for such a world - which I don't necessarily agree with, not that I'm saying it's an easy task. By assuming upon the impossibility of this one would immediately blind oneself to the notion of even making the attempt? (a criticism that can just as fairly be levelled at the arguments against a paradigm shift within the existing system of course). In any event as ritter said - any sort of preparation is a headstart - and the bottom line in the end is not that it is the technologies or knowledge of modern civilisation that we need - what we need is a change in thinking, a different outlook on the world and how to live within constraints.

If such a change in thinking (requiring relatively little to theoretically sustain) were made - that could surely be the single best move to make for the very long term future if such could be sustained across a sufficient timespan (thousands of years - but some ancient empires lasted that long).

I argue that it is is attitude that has led to our failure this time around, and it is here the fix needs to be applied - the trappings of modern civilisation are expendable in that goal.

Actually, you're right. We could prepare for an 8C warmer world. I just hope we choose to avoid it instead.

8C warmer world?

1) Move underground in large measure.
2) Massive geo engineering to improve  on the capture, sequester and retention of precipitation.
3) Massive geo engineering to build the soils in areas that will see improved growing conditions but lack the  soils to support it.

What else?

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #37 on: December 12, 2013, 02:57:17 AM »
8C warmer world?

1) Move underground in large measure.
2) Massive geo engineering to improve  on the capture, sequester and retention of precipitation.
3) Massive geo engineering to build the soils in areas that will see improved growing conditions but lack the  soils to support it.

What else?

Disperse small self sufficient low tech groups into areas likely to become niche habitats for humanity? (polar fringes, possibly high altitudes on continental fringes, possibly islands in mid latitudes)

The vast majority of the existing population could not be included in such planning, all the sillier that said majority exhibits no significant desire to avoid the future ultimately implied by business as usual - as a collective solution for all would of course require serious participation by said population.

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #38 on: December 12, 2013, 04:16:04 AM »
"Move underground in large measure."

Moving crops and livestock underground may prove...challenging.
"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."

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #39 on: December 12, 2013, 04:27:33 AM »
"Move underground in large measure."

Moving crops and livestock underground may prove...challenging.
Not to mention 7 to 9 billion humans.

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #40 on: December 12, 2013, 07:53:48 AM »
At 8C there is not going to be any 7 or 9 or even 6 billion ....cannot grow crops for that many at 8C

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #41 on: December 12, 2013, 06:00:53 PM »
At 8C there is not going to be any 7 or 9 or even 6 billion ....cannot grow crops for that many at 8C

Exactly the point. At 8C, we're done and so is most of the rest of life as we know it.

Shared Humanity

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #42 on: December 12, 2013, 06:53:40 PM »
"Move underground in large measure."

Moving crops and livestock underground may prove...challenging.

I am (optimistically?/pessimistically?) assuming we will only need to deal with 1 billion and meat will no longer be in our diet.

Well, except for those of us who start eating each other.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 06:59:25 PM by Shared Humanity »

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #43 on: December 12, 2013, 07:34:40 PM »
Crops are going to be a bit...stressed...growing in a climate characterized by biblical inundations and mega heat waves punctuating catastrophic, chronic drought. Not sure how you move crops underground, though.

Maybe something like in the graphic novel/movie Nausikaa?

http://video.disney.com/watch/nausicaa-s-greenhouse-4d83c5dd9d21a73941ad8218

And be sure your caves aren't too near the ocean, especially in the Mid-Atlantic:

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/sea-level-and-risk-of-flooding-rising-rapidly-in-mid-atlantic-16822

Sea Level & Risk of Flooding Rising Rapidly in Mid-Atlantic

Do we have any posters who live or have property anywhere near the coast between NYC and VA?

They might want to read this carefully.
"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."

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #44 on: December 14, 2013, 04:11:51 AM »
Hey Wili

Clearly our headlong dive into an unsustainable growth in population, energy consumption and economics will come to an end soon enough, if not by design then necessity.

I live a hundred yards from the bay and about ¾ mile from the N. Atlantic. Hurricane Sandy put Ocean water less than 50ft from home. Over the last several months, mostly from reading here and associated blogs and imbedded links, it has become increasing clear that it’s time to leave. Not so much for me, as many more years have passed then are yet to come, however, my actions my influence my family.

Well inland in upstate NY there is farming land to be had and it’s growing cheaper by the day as many folks have just walked away because of the tax structure, that’s something the current admin is trying to change for the small farmers.

Maybe I’m just an optimistic dreamer but it seems a possibility that the public outcry will someday match that, which destroyed the nearly impenetrable wall of disinformation, deceit and money behind the tobacco industry’s support of smoking.  An environmental disaster would surely have occur in order to mobilize a large enough effort to effect change.

Your comment in another thread about the “hapless junkie” added a more palatable prospective to that equation…thanks.

The picture I snapped is of Sandy bout a mile from here, 7 hrs before she made landfall.
Of course, the fishing pier and clubhouse are gone.



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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #45 on: December 14, 2013, 02:51:06 PM »
Wow. I think I would have assumed that I was pretty safe from anything the ocean might throw at me if I lived nearly a mile away from it. I can imagine that that gave you a bit of a jolt.

Do keep us updated on your relocation plans. You might want to pick Jim's brain for farming advise, if that's what you're planning.
"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."

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #46 on: December 22, 2013, 05:31:50 PM »
I realize things like this have been posted before but this is so simple and clear, I thought I would post it.

http://www.upworthy.com/a-smartypants-scientist-makes-an-easy-analogy-about-our-planet-and-now-im-scared

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #47 on: December 22, 2013, 07:30:06 PM »
Thus we get back to my suspicion that somewhere there are a few graduate level virologists who understand that the only solution to this problem is not building more test tubes but reversing population growth. 
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Shared Humanity

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #48 on: December 22, 2013, 08:30:50 PM »
Thus we get back to my suspicion that somewhere there are a few graduate level virologists who understand that the only solution to this problem is not building more test tubes but reversing population growth.

I ignored that the 1st time you said it but the ease for someone to be the biological equivalent of Ted Kaczynski is rather frightening.

Please tell me you don't have an advanced degree in biology.  :o
« Last Edit: December 22, 2013, 08:44:33 PM by Shared Humanity »

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Re: the economy conundrum and the question of sustainable growth
« Reply #49 on: December 22, 2013, 08:37:52 PM »
Jim invented the common cold, but luckily for us he didn't get any further.  ;D
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