Conservative policies working better to curb greenhouse gases
Liberal rhetoric often sounds sweeter than conservative truth, but conservative ideas often work better in the real world. An interesting example of this is in greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. is the world leader in reducing CO2 emissions, despite having not ratified Kyoto or putting in in any meaningful regulations of CO2. Meanwhile the Germans, with a supposedly benign GHG policy have seen their emission RISE.
The more people talk about doing something, the less they often do. For some people, mostly on the left, "raising consciousness" is the goal. They sponsor days or rage, or pride or identity. Then they go home and congratulate themselves on being progressive.
In the short and medium term, the only way to rapidly reduce CO2 emission is with nuclear power and natural gas from fracking. That is how the U.S. achieved its impressive reductions since 2006.
The "green" Germans went the other way. They want to phase out nukes and go with solar (not a great idea in Germany where the sun is not all that common much of the year). Last year, Germany's solar panels produced about 18 terawatt-hours. Great. But ONE new coal plant (replacing that bad nuke power) will, all by itself, produce about 16 terawatt-hours of electricity.
Our leftist friends will tell us that renewables will develop and they are right. But they are not here today, tomorrow or anytime soon. The massive and sustained German investment in solar has achieved as much energy production as one coal plant, and BECAUSE of their green policy, not in spite of it, they are building coal plants and increasing emissions.
The problem with many environmentalists is that they really don't care as much about the environment as they do about the silly politics that go with their leftist agenda. This leads them to demand perfection from alternatives that really work while working on alternatives that promise but don't deliver.
Instead of being pleased that the U.S. is reducing CO2 emission faster than even Al Gore thought possible, they are angry that we have figured out ways to do it w/o buying in to their Luddite leveling agenda. They oppose scientific and technical developments in areas like biotechnology, nanotechnology or energy production, basing their objections on the superstitious "precautionary" principle. They are like the Medieval Church anathematizing anything outside the faith, ESPECIALLY things that work well.
Meanwhile, practical people are "saving" the planet and we have to put up with these well financed shit-heads. They try to make us feel guilty for the original sin of being human and for not being perfect.
I think the real question is whether you want an improving environment or do you want to have the satisfaction of saying your supposed virtue created an improving environment. Do you want to side with protestors and have a dirtier world while seeking a perfect one, or do you want to make things better in a practical way?
Posted by Christine & John at November 27, 2013 12:45 PM
It’s a happy accident that what is most profitable now is also cleaner. It’s not by design. Let’s not pretend that conservative policy gives a damn about CO2. The only green big business cares about is money. The point you keep missing in all of this is we need green house gases reduced whether it’s profitable or not.
We are kicking ass and taking names. Those with green laws are just not doing the job we are.
So why is the U.S. beating the world for the last seven years now?
Free market policies find the best way to do things. Central planning gives us long lines, Soviet bakeries but really good slogans.
I’ve never understood the simplistic view that progressives have towards capitalism… It’s all about the money. Is it? Usually it is never ONLY about the money for most people. Several other factors come in to play, but they are individual factors that define their specific needs or desires.
For example, some people ‘buy american’. That isn’t a money only choice. Others only want to buy from local vendors instead of large box sellers. Some prefer to use online services as opposed to brick and mortar. Some use services from sellers they trust and are willing to spend more money to get that level of comfort. Some people by Apple products, not a money only decision at all.
The same goes for businesses. Some business managers and CEOs want to create a good work atmosphere and provide better than average benefits to attract more qualified workers, others want to run to the bone with less than qualified in order to maximize profits. Some businesses see themselves as part of the community and give back to the community greatly, others do not. Some businesses take the short play in determining their energy needs going with what is cheapest at that moment, others are in for the long play and invest in alternative energies that will pay out over the life of the business. Others just want to be green companies for either personal or marketing reasons and follow those lines.
If the people buy from businesses that can demonstrate that they are green, more businesses will become green.
WE dictate how our companies operate in this country, we do this freely through the free market. We don’t NEED to have bureaucratic government programs if we all just buy smart based on what we individual desire. If enough people are willing to vote to be ‘green’, then enough people are powerful enough to make it happen themselves without the need for coercion. Coercion that is corruptable and can be used by businesses to actually make things worse by keeping competitors out of their markets and barely scrape by with the bare, legislated, minimums.
We still have all of the power in a free market, not the companies. That’s the reality that the progressive ideology just hasn’t been able to come to grips with.
CJ’s article reminds me of the argument that the inoperable brain cancer patient is the healthiest person on the terminal ward. Becoming energy independent through fossil fuels is but the first of 240 layaway payments on purchasing a future environmentally sound energy policy.
Our lefty friends like the world simplistic. For a business, profit is the price of sustainability. It is immoral for a business to be consistently un-profitable, because that would mean it was unsustainable, but, as you say, the goal is not only profit.
I think that we will transition to another fuel. What exactly that will be is unknown and unknowable. What we know today is that we have lots of natural gas and that it is allowing us to reduce drastically our CO2 emissions.
Conservative policy is to turn more of your lights on and run your lawn mowers for no purpose other than that you saw a liberal trying to save energy on TV. Conservatives shouldn’t try and pretend they found a solution to a problem they can’t even bring themselves to admit really is a problem. I’m glad the current money lies in a clean energy source but I dread the day when that isn’t true anymore and business moves on to the next best thing that may or may not be clean.
The beauty of our system, both the traditional American economic system and the American democracy, is that it does not depend on virtue. That said, I find that I am generally more virtuous in action than my liberal friends, although they talk a better game.
As an effective environmentalist, rather than a rhetorical one, I find that many of the pious prescriptions are useless or actually harmful. Recycling small amounts of paper, for example, wastes energy and harms forest health, for reasons I have explained elsewhere. I refuse to participate in such activities. When lectured by liberal colleagues, I patiently explain to them. Those who know me leave me alone, since they cannot handle the truth.
Germany’s massive energy transformation is a more massive example. It is loved by liberals, but actually producing MORE CO2 than a “no changes” policy would have done.
One more virtue thing - I ride my bike to work, always have. My liberal friends feel it necessary to explain to me why they need to drive instead of using a bike. They have lots of nice sounding reasons, most of them invalid. It seems that most of them are much busier than I am and just don’t have the time, at least that is what they explain. Then, some are too old. I am 58, but evidently some people get too old to ride a bike about the time they turn 40. Of course, there is the weather. I am lucky, evidently, since the weather gives me special favors unavailable to liberals, or at least they think so.
My complaint against liberals is that too many of them substitute rhetoric or political ideals for action and personal virtue.
CJ: “My complaint against liberals is that too many of them substitute rhetoric or political ideals for action and personal virtue.”
Liberals do some ridiculous things to feel better about themselves, especially on the environment. I didn’t know the truth about paper until I saw your article. Now I cringe every time I’m at a health food and hear people moan that they have to use a paper bag instead of a plastic one. Now the store I shop at has switched completely to plastic grocery bags and they aren’t even trying to guilt me into buying a reusable bag. If you want to see liberal bullshit just spend time at a health food store. I digress…
This is true of all politics though. You could spend as much time poking your side as mine. Conservatives often talk a big game about handouts and big government and boot straps and then turn around and take advantage of whatever programs they can whenever they can. I guess it’s not big government if it helps you get a home even though you have low income, or feed your children better, or send your child to an early intervention pre-school.
Just as an aside, as many here know, I don’t eat meat and very little animal products in general. I have to shop at health food stores to find good tasting meat replacements. This means I get subjected weekly to health scams and hoaxes and other liberal naturalistic bullshit. It drives me crazy.
Strangely enough the best steak I have ever had was purchased from a “natural foods” store. The health scams and hoaxes are everywhere, even on “conservative” radio.
That you ride a bike to work is admirable, even at the “advanced” age of 58.
It’s a fact that bikes and cars don’t play well together, and in the past it was a fight to get bike lanes and paths available for use. Some of us can’t ride a bike to work. The jobsite I am at now is a 40 mile comute each way.
Yeah, right, it’s “never about the money”. That’s why Walmart, the company that singlehandedly put mom and pop out of business with it’s “American made” policy, and Carhart, that bastion of Americanism sells clothes made in Pakistan, are so popular.
I agree that even conservatives promote health scams (right wing prepers for instance) but I think this whole thing is rooted in hippy liberal naturalistic nonsense. It’s largely gone mainstream though and scam alternatives are huge.
I love CJ’s comment: ” It is immoral for a business to be consistently un-profitable,”. So emblematic of conservatives trying to turn business and profit into a religion. Immoral? Really? The Pope would beg to differ. Also, there is the stubborn fact that the majority of start up businesses fail. Does that make the majority of entrepreneurs immoral? Some Communists might think so, but, I am shocked by the implication that CJ implied as much. GRIN!
You are right about both sides. Conservatives do indeed often try to get what they can from government programs. But that is one reason we are suspicious of growing government. We know that almost everyone - even we - will abuse.
I will also point out that I do not oppose all government or even most government. Most of the government I dislike grew out of the 1960s. I really don’t like the equality thing. I used to feel guilty saying that, but I am way beyond that now. I believe government should treat all citizens equally and help create the environment of prosperity, but I don’t like direct interventions.
Glad to have you back. I understand that some situations are different. I am often talking to people, however, who could ride bikes. I also don’t really care if people drive. But I get sick of people who drive claiming they would ride a bike. Each year they have a bike commute day where I work. I never go. All those wussies come out once a year, stand up on their hind legs and howl. I prefer the SUV owners who are at least honest.
The Pope can think what he wants. He works for a totalitarian organization that makes its money by getting others to give to it. I think the Church is generally a good thing, but we should remind them what Jesus said about rendering onto Caesar.
A business that does not make a profit cannot sustainably create wealth. If it does not create wealth, it must be consuming it or just not doing anything at all. In the long run, such a business will stop working and cost others wealth. Immoral is perhaps a loaded word, but a business that does not create wealth is destructive of its own ostensible aim.
Notice, however, that I do not say MAXIMIZE profit. IMO, businesses are in businesses to produce wealth. Not all wealth is profit. Profit is required to keep on producing wealth. A firm that does not produce profit in the long run will die. Profit is the price of survival.
Re start ups - their goal is to create wealth. That they fail is not immoral. If they start up w/o the goal to create wealth, they are immoral (caveat the word as above) and if they consistently fail to produce wealth, they are just stupid.
CJ, define wealth. My understanding is it means an abundance or profusion of things of value with exchange value. By this definition, health for example, is a state of being with exchange value as employers seek healthy employees who will not be out sick during work hours. By definition, employers then, should promote health in their workforce and compensate their employees for remaining healthy enough to not take off work. As a prescription for all businesses, however, this concept will fail to provide health for all employees. In fact, many jobs are inherently deleterious to employee health, absent regulations.
So, I need you to define wealth as you use it above. It is not a concept most people appreciate in its full breadth and depth of meaning as it relates to a nation’s population or even a workforce.
CJ, thank you for admitting that Republicans partake in a self-fulfilling prophecy of abusing sound governance, and then in turn, condemning government size for their own capacity to abuse it. This is of course, also true of others in business and other political parties. Republicans working ardently to insure ObamaCare fails to meet its objectives, and then condemning it for failing is: well, I can’t find the appropriate words for public dissemination. I will simply call it a lack of integrity. I understand their rationale, however, if the poor and powerless are getting benefits from the government without paying taxes, why should the rich and powerful not dip into that same well. That rationale is one of the central differences between the philosophy of the current Republican and Democratic parties.
All men are sinners. I believe that we all should pursue private virtue, but do not expect to attain perfection and never build a political-economic system that requires it.
Re ObamaCare - I do not believe it can be made to work in an acceptable fashion in anything like its current form. Obama agrees, in action if not in word, as he keeps on postponing and exempting. In five years time, there will be no ObamaCare as it is today. The Republicans need not kill it. It is unsuited to survival in its environment.
Re wealth - I take it in the broad sense that you describe. As a practical matter, I have to define it more narrowly in things that we can measure and or things that we can reasonably convert into measures.
Much of my wealth, for example, is in the form of expertise, experience and education. I cannot directly measure much of that, but I can translate it into the potential ability to earn money. I do not consider this a perfect measure. For example, my classical education is worth less, and maybe even worthless, in the marketplace as compared to my MBA. But I value it as much.
My definition of wealth is the capacity to produce things that you or society values. Your and my definition will vary and they need not be reconciled unless we want to enter into a transaction. The market is this writ large.
Re health - there is sometimes a trade off. I have voluntarily done jobs that were unhealthy or dangerous. I have not done this strictly for money, but I do not object to money as an incentive. I went to Iraq, where I endured hardship, discomfort and danger, for mostly patriotic reason. But they also gave me a pile of money that I was pleased to take. I looked down on those who came only for the cash, but if they did the same job I did, they were as useful.
Re the poor and the powerless - I believe things are dynamic. today’s poor and powerless need not stay that way. My objection to the poor and powerless is that they often have bad habits that make/keep them poor and powerless. I want them to stop doing those things and start pulling more of their own weight. The loser pulls himself down and hinders me too. I am eager to help people who deserve it. I will even help some that don’t deserve it out of a mixture of compassion and simple curiosity to see what they will do given the chance. I might be wrong about their “deserving” status.
But I don’t feel any moral obligation to the concept of sharing with the poor in general.
“I agree that even conservatives promote health scams (right wing prepers for instance) but I think this whole thing is rooted in hippy liberal naturalistic nonsense. It’s largely gone mainstream though and scam alternatives are huge.”
I don’t mean to rock your boat but your “hippy” inference is absurd.
When I was a hippie in the ’60s and ’70s there was no such thing as “hippy liberal naturalistic” anything.
We ate lentils, rice, beans, fresh bread and vegetables, and ocasionally meat. We didn’t need “health food” scams or suplements because we ate a balanced diet.
We would willingly share our meal with you, but wouldn’t ever try to sell it to you, because that’s what hippies did.
Find someone else to blame.
Don’t shoot the messenger. It’s your hippie people that started health food stores and helped promote an interest in alternatives to science based medicine. The idea that natural foods are better lead naturally to natural medicines being seen as better. The integration of Eastern ideas and thoughts lead naturally to Eastern medicine being considered as on par with Western medicine. First you start with the healthy eating and then a few generations down the road folks are cleaning out their colon with a coffee enema to fix some imaginary problem or drinking the urine of pregnant women to lose weight.
Right. Alternative medicine just means superstition and crap. If it really works, it becomes standard very rapidly. But people are willing to pay more for “natural” products. They have the will to believe and there is a strong anti-science streak in many people. They prefer the mystery to the facts.
I shouldn’t complain much because I enjoy the meat replacements that are delicious and healthy which no doubt came from the same hippie movement. But I just want to get in there and get my meat replacements and my dairy replacements without being told I can regrow my hair with some magic drops, or that I can look younger if I take a pill, or that I need to eat like a cave man and throw away everything we know about modern nutrition.
What you are describing is a mere caricature of what the hippie movement was actually about.
We were not the hucksters you seem to think.
Natural living and nutrition does not require suplements, nor does it subscribe to the vanity of looking younger. It doesn’t require a trip to the “health food” store or eating like a caveman.
Eating processed “meat replacements” that taste like meat is a bullshit cop out.
A healthy, balanced diet does not require such things.
You’ve been sold a bill of goods pal, and if I were you, I’d ask for my money back.
Have you ever noticed the commercials selling a service or product you need to protect yourself?
For instance, in the 90’s the big scare was virus protection for your computer. Everyone selling virus protection would get on the air and tout their product as being able to protect you against the next destructive virus to come along. You had to have it to protect your “valuable data”.
I went for about 10 years without virus protection before I finally got one. But, during those 10 years the virus protection software companies were constantly putting out commercials about their software and how they protect your computer from a virus that “attachés itself to your hard drive’s boot sector” or “monitors your keystrokes”. In other words the virus protection software manufacturers were telling the hackers what to do to infect a person’s computer. After a while enough people knew enough ways to infect a computer and having virus protection software became a necessity.
I’m noticing the same thing about identity theft today. Life lock in selling this product by describing how a neighbor took pictures of a person’s mortgage application while it was exposed. I never would have thought to do that and perhaps a large number of people who will do it never would have thought of it without hearing that commercial. Lifelock is creating a market for it’s product by educating future criminals in their commercials.
Many of the beliefs/fads of the day are just someone saying it over and over. I’ve often wondered how civilization survived by using salt as a preservative while the media was bashing the heck out of it for years. Or why the human race didn’t go extinct because it was eating eggs throughout it’s existence.
I take most of what I hear with a grain of salt. It’s sad though, some of what I’m hearing is a self fulfilling prophecy. I will be hearing it enough for it to become a reality and therefore a necessity.
Perfection: cudn’t build a perfect economic system even if we tried. But, how about truth in advertising, why shouldn’t the FDA regulate herbals, with 30% fake in a $5B biz? Why should corporates garner more human rights than real humans?
Obamacare in 5 yrs: Agree, O’care is just a starter, to get a bill passed that lends itself to carte blanche amendments. Much of O’care law hasn’t been fleshed out and won’t be till 2015 and later. Please be assured that in the end each will get less and pay more, IMO. Just part of the plan to get HC cost in line with the NWO as globalisation moves forward. Doc’s will be forced to work in/for hospitals, only the well heeled will be able to afford the top end HC products. More wealth distribution and so on - - -
Moral obligation: There seems to be plenty of safety net support for those who aren’t doing well during the ongoing recession. I believe the figure is 47% receiving some kind of gov’t support. Includes some millions of illegal immigrants as I understand. IMO, real unemp is running about 20-25% currently. I would think every blogger on WB knows some families that were once strong and now living back under one roof. Often it’s the grandparents providing the support with Pension/SS income. One thing that is down right scary is the number of dysfunctional familes with children/grandkids that are, or going to have some serious social shortcomings, IMO. Today, most violence comes from children or near children, IMO. Back in the day I don’t recall school shootings or young people shooting other young people. Violence was more related to gangs or criminals. Large number of kids taking some kind of brain deadening drug for treatment of various mental syndromes. Seems necessary that insurance start covering mental stuff.
CJ said: “My definition of wealth is the capacity to produce things that you or society values.”
Capacity alone produces nothing. There has to be will and exercise of that capacity to produce wealth. Sorry for being pedantic, but, your definition would make a great measure by which to compare nation’s future wealth if that capacity is exercised.
Eliminating the poor and educated in the world would theoretically increase the potential wealth of nations by reducing the outlays directed at support of the poor and uneducated. For moral and ethical reasons however, modern nations since Nazi Germany, do not pursue potential wealth capacity as a superordinate goal and objective above all others, precisely because they are democratically oriented; which holds the leaders to some account to the poor and uneducated who do vote, and to the educated and wealthier in the society who vote and hold moral and ethical priorities higher than maximizing wealth potential.