Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Trotsky or Stalin?


I've never understood the logic of 'developed nations' (read: wealthy; often approaching some reasonable form of democracy) buying carbon credits from 'developing nations' (read: cheap labour for developed nations' capital; often totalitarian, or very limited democracy). It seems to me to be the epitome of 'big business' sabotaging local industry and labour, so they reap even larger profits; all the while, they're granted an excuse to invest in less restrictive environmental policies abroad, and paying far less in wages than they would here. Meanwhile, countries with often horrendous environment records boom industrially. So when I read this I got to thinking about the revolution . . .

But, are we targeting the right noxious fumes? And, as laudable as our achievements in emissions control and fuel conservation have been here in North America, will any further improvements even be noticed?

The reason I ask is that a recent estimate sees China constructing some 500 to 1,000 coal-fired plants to fuel its thirst for energy. Yes, in this day of nuclear, wind and solar power, it is still dirty old compressed carbon that will fuel 80% of China's electricity (and, by the way, 48.2% of U.S. electrical power). I can't speak for anyone else, but from an industrial base that can't prevent GHB-related pyschotropics from being manufactured into children's toys, I'm not exactly confident of its ability to make sure all those plants' emissions are scrubbed clean.

. . .

Let me unequivocally state that it would be the height of imperialistic hypocrisy for me to be horrified at the prospect of the millions of Indian and Chinese citizens driving cars instead of scooters. With North America averaging almost one registered vehicle for every licensed driver (and far too many of those hulking sport-utility vehicles), decrying their desire for aumobile ownership would be the proverbial pot calling the kettle black. Nonetheless, if we are truly serious about conservation, we must confront it on all fronts -- both domestically and internationally.
Watch out for the ice picks.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

You folks just don't get it, do you?

The Flat Earth Society never did and likely never will. Too bad.

Mike said...

Down with the Zinovievite tendency! "Environmentalism In One Country" is the only remaining possibility.

Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence, the victory of environmentalism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist country alone. After expropriating the capitalists and organising their own zero-footprint production, the victorious stakeholders of that country will arise against the rest of the world.

If we knew in advance that we are not equal to the task of a sustainable society in Canada by itself, then why the devil did we have to make the Kyoto Accord?

basil said...

Anon:

The Flat Earth Society might be a lot more successful if they ordered the arrest of those who disagree.

Heil Suzuki!

eng said...

The Flat Earth Society might be a lot more successful if they ordered the arrest of those who disagree.

Heil Suzuki!


Glad you don't think anyone should be jailed for disagreeing.

Now what was your home address again? I have a tank truck full of sewage to dump on your lawn. You won't want me arrested just because I disagree with your view that your yard should not have sewage dumped on it, right?

If I am wrong about that, then a Heil Basil to you.

basil said...

Eng:

If you have enough sewage, perhaps you could tour the country in a nice big diesel bus, all to yourself, and dump your sewage on each of Suzuki's houses. You could tell him it's organic fertilizer.

Freedom to think, formulate opinions based on information, and speak one's mind, are one thing; intentionally dumping waste on someone's property is quite another.

I think history (and the world around us)is far to full of examples of people who felt themselves justified in their subjugation of others by their own moral superiority.

I don't eat meat (can you sit through Gore's movie and keep a straight face when he tells you his family were methane ranchers?), I eat as much local produce as I can, I compost, I recycle (despite the fact that recycle plants are known to be bad for the environment - they produce high concentrations of lead among other things), I don't spray my lawn with chemicals (so a little fertilizer might help it) nor do I waste water on it, I ride my bike as much as I can, I buy used consumer goods, drive an economical used car, etc., etc..

But I hate totalitarians. And hypocrites. But I usually ignore them until they start dumping their ideologies on my lawn.

Freedom of speech is very important in my mind: it allows you to identify your enemies.

Honey Pot said...

Well said Basil.


I have glowtardian tendencies, but not because of some strange primitive belief switch that kicked in when I watched a b-rated movie.

I have always had them, because I am cheap. I don't shop much, just because I don't like it. So I make do.

I have always had a compost because it makes my flowers bigger an prettier.

I don't drive now, I don't like it. I never did like it, just did it because it was necessary. I like walking and biking, because you always find stuff. I found a bag of herb last week, and a real nice pen. One of those expensive pens that makes the letters twirl at the tips. I am looking forward to the spring thaw.

I hang my tea bags up to dry and use one for a whole week.

Never leave a light on and turn my heat down every night, just because I like sleeping in a cold room.

If they were handing out glowtard trophies, I know I would get one.

I don't expect anyone else to live like me, and I don't care how anyone else lives. Don't care what they consume, what they spend, how they spend it. Eng, if you know any people who are serious about this glowtard movement,send them my way. For a small fee, I will teach them to be the best glowtards they can be.

eng said...

Yes, very well said. Now back to my point, which you didn't really address.

If we have laws against damaging the environment, such as pollution laws, it is hardly a Heil anyone moment if they demand people breaking such laws be jailed.

You can certainly argue that the government leaders, by their actions, are not breaking any laws that would mean they should be jailed. Though AGW seems likely to be happening according to IPCC, it is not obvious and immediate enough (compared with something like high level radioactive wsste dumping) that you could jail offenders without a specific law.

So you can argue that the "crime" Suzuki talks of is not (yet) an offense under the law, and I would agree. But you appear to be arguing that there should not be such laws at all. Hence my comparison with other activities that are currently environmental crimes, and asking if you would demand that I be prosecuted for them.

So are you arguing that environmental protection laws are totalitarian? Or are you arguing that not doing as much as Suzuki wants, as quickly as he wants, is not a crime?

basil said...

I'm saying that speaking out against "doing as much as Suzuki wants, as quickly as he wants", is not a crime and should not be. Suzuki's statement is an attack on free thought and expression. I agree, you should be arrested for your illegal dumping -but I think it absolutely appalling that Suzuki would want you arrested for arguing your reasons for wanting to dump on my lawn.

David Suzuki has called for political leaders to be thrown in jail for ignoring the science behind climate change.http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=290513

Yes, if you dump raw sewage it is a criminal offense, and I'm happy that it is, but Suzuki called for the jailing of leaders for ignoringthe science behind climate change - more or less people who disagree with him or even attempt to question his info. Suzuki has exhibited intolerant and downright petulant behaviour on the matter, by storming out of at least one radio show when merely asked questions questioning his facts. I don't think he should be deciding who gets arrested.

Where is the crime in ignoring?

He wants leaders arrested who disagree with his interpretation of the facts - even if he's got the monopoly on truth and the 'denialists' are proven fools, you do not start arresting people simply because they don't agree with you.

The Kyoto accord is a joke by demanding countries such as Canada pay fees to countries like China while allowing them to continue 'developing' (polluting unabated). As anon claims, I "still don't get it" - it would be like giving the most unrepentant serial murder (polluter) early release because he has the greatest distance to travel in his reformation, while keeping a repentant manslaughter convict in jail because he such a good role model for the rest of the prisoners.

The international transfer of funds for credits just reeks of sleaze - but like the indulgences of old, it's for a holy cause.

As the original article I posted points out, if we really want to do something about emissions it must be a global action - because those toxins from industry there are going to drift. But it's our lifestyles which are the source of the threat and our privileged way of life is spreading with the booming industry of 3rd world nations. If these emission controls are to be effective they'll have to be all inclusive.

But it is really a personal issue because it's our way of life that must change - not have it spread to other countries. Suzuki must set the example himself: sell off his houses except for enough living space for himself and immediate family, and anything extra he might have, pack a duffel bag of clothes, stop to eat at all the local farmers' markets, and tour the country, in the lowest emissions vehicle possible - I'm sure he could fit all his info on a hard drive and or laptop. If he wants the rest of us to live in solar powered huts then he should set the precedent - let him model 'right behaviour'. I bet my footprint is a lot less noticeable than his.
I won't even start on Al Gore.

eng said...

Yes, if you dump raw sewage it is a criminal offense, and I'm happy that it is, but Suzuki called for the jailing of leaders for ignoring the science behind climate change - more or less people who disagree with him or even attempt to question his info.
No, ignoring is different than questioning.

Suzuki has exhibited intolerant and downright petulant behaviour on the matter, by storming out of at least one radio show when merely asked questions questioning his facts.
He keeps forgetting that there is a very well organized effort to discredit him and provoke just that sort of emotional reaction. He needs much better press relations control, something like the Harper praetorian guard. But then you'd call him a fascist. He needs to understand you will anyway, and stop letting trolls change the channel on him.

In the Ezra fiasco, the meme is "nobody has the right not to be offended". But for Suzuki, it appears you don't think he has the right to be offended.

I don't think he should be deciding who gets arrested.
Of course not. He is not a court or police officer.

Where is the crime in ignoring?
You were happy that I would be jailed for ignoring the science that says dumping raw sewage makes a lot of people sick.

As I said, in the climate change area, it is not now a crime to do too little, but ignoring science should be. Disputing it is not.

The international transfer of funds for credits just reeks of sleaze - but like the indulgences of old, it's for a holy cause.
Always with the religious metaphors. Do you consider parking tickets to be offerings to deities? The purchase of credits is more or less like the fine. You aren't supposed to deliberately set out to have to pay it.

I am against the immediate international transfer of funds under Kyoto. However the emission trading system is modeled after the Montreal Protocol, which did work. I do not believe that converting credits into cash immediately on the international market makes sense. We don't have to pay foreign debt immediately, so why should our emission debits be immediately convertible? They should be more like a mortgage, not due for decades. Instead, the credits' "value" puts a cap (and floor) on how much we should invest in development of technologies. We develop technologies, then sell the results.

I bet my footprint is a lot less noticeable than his.
To continue your religious metaphors, Jesus rode a donkey when he was perfectly capable of walking. Do you therefore reject his message because of that? He didn't walk the walk enough?

basil said...

David Suzuki is a hypocrite until the day he walks with Jesus and forgets he's entitled to a bus or a donkey. I believe Jesus is cool because he walked on water; until Suzuki can prove he doesn't fart, he can live the life of the common man he advocates - in other words, leave the world behind, oh hallowed environmental monk, your Blackberry is choking us. Until then he will be criticized as any religious zealot aught to be.

Suzuki can be as offended as he likes. I accused Suzuki of running away from criticism, Levant stood up to it eloquently. Suzuki forgets people want to discredit him??? - who's more naive, you or him? You've sunken to the level of apologist.

Do you consider parking tickets to be offerings to deities? If you know anything about London parking history, you'll remember QAP - I consider who writes them, or tows my car, and know that some folks are exploitive bastards. And no, I'm not about to pay money to China for the gas I use.

As for religion, sorry, there's no metaphor there; indulgences were a concrete scam just like carbon credits. BTW, please cite examples of my excessive use of religious metaphors, or kindly improve your rhetoric.

There is research which contradicts the many popular theories of global warming - science is useless if it settles on the most convenient truth, e.g.: global warming is a purely man-made phenomenon. New Orleans sank because they built a city on a swamp several hundred years ago - get over it. The sun heats up in cycles - and then cools down. The earth changes, if it didn't there wouldn't be life on it. There is no one I know of who'll ague raw sewage is not bad for you. And air pollution is not good for you - that is damn obvious. But Kyoto is a scam and many of it's biggest advocates - Suzuki-Gore Inc. - are no better than televangelists.

eng said...

BTW, please cite examples of my excessive use of religious metaphors, or kindly improve your rhetoric.
You added the word "excessive", which of course is a matter of judgment, to my statement. But your comment above seems to have a good complement of religious metaphors.

Nice try at not actually answering but simply using your own rhetoric to tell me to improve my rhetoric.

basil said...

The above religious metaphor (walking with Jesus) was a continuation of yours. In evoking the image of televangelists, I am using a well known contemporary world-wide cash grabbing scam, used to bilk the naive by exploiting their faith, often through guilt - no displays of religiosity in that.

Always with the religious metaphors. If, as you so inaccurately observed, I always use religious metaphors, I would suggest it might be excessive - that would mean I use them all the time. They are useful though, as the Bible has been one of the cornerstones of Western literature for a very long time. Its imagery is kinda like a common denominator.

eng said...

Its imagery is kinda like a common denominator.
So why do you demand I cite examples of your religious metaphors?

If, as you so inaccurately observed, I always use religious metaphors
Yes, I should have said "again" instead of "always".

This is getting sillier than parsing the meaning of "sinkhole"!

basil said...

Who the hell demanded anyone cite religious metaphors???
For once I agree with you:
This is getting sillier than parsing the meaning of "sinkhole"!