Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community  

Go Back   Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community > The Academy > Tilted Politics


 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-10-2004, 10:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
follower of the child's crusade?
 
This is what is at stake

Let us at least gve the capitalists the fullest understanding we can of what they are doing. How can a capitalist state stop the damage we are doing to our physical environment?

Lets be realists. In the world today, when even the most powerful nation in the world (America) will not even agree to limit its production of climate change producing pollutants... what sort of a world do you imagine you are leaving for your grandchildren's children?


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3384067.stm

Doom warnings sound more loudly

By Alex Kirby
Our environment correspondent considers why warnings about the state of the planet are becoming more insistent

For the doom merchants amongst us, 2004 showed its fearsome teeth in a cracking start before it was even 10 days old.
On 7 January a report in the journal Nature said climate change could speed a million land-based species towards extinction within the next 50 years.

The next day the Worldwatch Institute declared modern lifestyles were bad for us and unsustainable for the planet.

The UK Government's chief scientist now says climate change is a far worse danger than international terrorism.

A triple onslaught like that defies anyone to head into the new year feeling even slightly positive about the human condition.

Yet life goes on, and most of us worry more about paying the Christmas bills than about a world bereft of a quarter of its animals and plants.


We believe the scientists: we simply do not connect their findings to our lives, our families, ourselves even.

Some of us just refuse to react, blaming the messengers for their message and accusing the scientists of scaremongering.

But (at the risk of tempting fate) my inbox has been blessedly much freer recently of flat-earthers and foam-flecked contrarians.

Most of us are convinced by the message - yet still we go on as if we had not a care in the world.

But whether because of climate change or not, we are already losing species so fast that biologists talk of the Earth undergoing its sixth great extinction since the Big Bang. We are losing species we do not know exist, which could be vital to our survival.

A few years ago, when the world's gross national product was worth about $18 trillion, the value of Nature's goods and services to us was estimated at $33 trillion.

Similarly, the evidence that human activities are intensifying natural climate change is impressive, and hardening. The world really is changing, almost imperceptibly, but in line with what science says will happen.

I know there are sincere people who regard both the global extinction rate and the changing climate as entirely natural developments which need not concern us.

But I met a man recently who told me how he could see the effects of the warmer climate in his local park in Birkenhead, in the north of England.


I talked to another whose research has convinced him there may be only 20,000 lions left in the whole of Africa.

The trouble with imperceptible change is that for a long time it has virtually no impact, certainly not on the political timescale of four or five years. And politicians respond (often) to what they think matters to voters.

Yet the record preserved in cores drilled out of the Greenland icecap shows climate change can be very rapid indeed, flipping from one stable state to another in a few decades.

It is not fanciful to envisage our children living in a Britain where the Gulf Stream has ceased to flow, and where climate change means winters as cold as northern Canada's.

Perhaps it will take some sudden, savage reversal of Nature to make us sit up and take notice.

But we can change just as unpredictably as Nature can. Who predicted the peaceful end of apartheid South Africa, the melting of the Soviet Union?

When enough of us have changed imperceptibly enough to start acting on the warnings we are hearing, the resulting critical mass will cause some very rapid change of its own.
__________________
"Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate,
for all things are plain in the sight of Heaven. For nothing
hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain
without being uncovered."

The Gospel of Thomas
Strange Famous is offline  
Old 01-10-2004, 06:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
Psycho
 
Location: Sweden
Re: This is what is at stake

Quote:
Originally posted by Strange Famous
How can a capitalist state stop the damage we are doing to our physical environment?
Capitalism doesn't damage nature, people who aren't willing to pay the price of a healthier enviroment do the damage. When people are ready to pay the price then capitalism and the capitalists will be ready to deliver.

Capitalism is a great tool for humanity to use. If you blame it you don't understand it.
__________________
Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. - Psalms 137:9
Nad Adam is offline  
Old 01-10-2004, 07:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Re: This is what is at stake

Quote:
Originally posted by Strange Famous
How can a capitalist state stop the damage we are doing to our physical environment?
By inventesting money in energy sources that don't dammage the enviornment instead of throwing all the money at something that only delays the enivitable.
Rekna is offline  
Old 01-10-2004, 08:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
この印篭が目に入らぬか
 
Location: College
Quote:
Originally posted by Nad Adam
Capitalism doesn't damage nature, people who aren't willing to pay the price of a healthier enviroment do the damage. When people are ready to pay the price then capitalism and the capitalists will be ready to deliver.

Capitalism is a great tool for humanity to use. If you blame it you don't understand it.
I think that one of the fundamental weaknesses of capitalism is that it tends to emphasize short-term gain over long-term (especially very long-term) costs. It is hard to imagine how a capitalist could be motivated to invest in something that is more environmentally friendly but less profitable -- the benefits are both distant and vague. The impact of any one individual's actions are minimal. Plus the capitalist isn't too interested in what happens 100 years from now.

It is in such situations where individualism fails -- each individual does what is best for them, but the overall long-term outcome is much worse than what it would be if each individual did what was best for the group.
lordjeebus is offline  
Old 01-10-2004, 08:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
Mencken
 
Scipio's Avatar
 
Location: College
You might think that many of the "profits" made by polluters are ill gotten gains. The economic activity they generate would hardly pay for the cleanup costs.

I hold firm to the idea that unregulated corporations will do things like pollute, treat workers unfairly, and provide potentially dangerous products. I'm not talking about guns, but rather about baby toys that contain lead, ladders that break, and "bag-o-broken glass" type stuff. In this case, the market might tolerate a product that kills 40 people nationwide (or even 400!) but I think we all agree that the government is justified in keeping such products off the market, and in holding companies that produce them responsible.

Quote:
Capitalism is a great tool for humanity to use. If you blame it you don't understand it.
On the contrary, you can understand it well, and then point out its problems, and perhaps even "blame" it for a lot of things. However, it would be foolish to advocate an unregulated market. In a lot of circumstances, capitalism is a fine way or organizing production. However, when companies reach a certain size, or have a certain kind of leadership, they can behave in ways that undermine the market. You might say that this is the result of deviation from capitalism, or business outside the capitalist ethic, but the truth is that such behavior is born out that system. Regulation can prevent these things, and produce a purer form of capitalism. Think of it that way.

Capitalism or "the free market" or whatever you call it is a valuable tool, and is responsible for a lot of the success America has had. However, never believe it is perfect. Nothing is.
__________________
"Erections lasting more than 4 hours, though rare, require immediate medical attention."
Scipio is offline  
Old 01-11-2004, 02:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
follower of the child's crusade?
 
Capitalism cannot operate in any way other than that which creates the greatest accumulation of further capital, or which makes the greatest profit.

Companies are powerless, literally powerless, to prevent themselves polluting the environment in any way that can make a profit - if the state is also captured by the interests of capital, then it is hopeless - you have a situation where the most advanced nation in the world refuses to sign up to greenhouse gas limits and the world in 100 years will be in many ways a hostile environment to life.
__________________
"Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate,
for all things are plain in the sight of Heaven. For nothing
hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain
without being uncovered."

The Gospel of Thomas
Strange Famous is offline  
Old 01-11-2004, 02:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
Cracking the Whip
 
Lebell's Avatar
 
Location: Sexymama's arms...
Quote:
Originally posted by Strange Famous
Capitalism cannot operate in any way other than that which creates the greatest accumulation of further capital, or which makes the greatest profit.

Companies are powerless, literally powerless, to prevent themselves polluting the environment in any way that can make a profit - if the state is also captured by the interests of capital, then it is hopeless - you have a situation where the most advanced nation in the world refuses to sign up to greenhouse gas limits and the world in 100 years will be in many ways a hostile environment to life.

False.

That is a simplistic model of capitalism.

More advanced models take into account other factors that affect the company's health and hence long term profitability.

These factors include the community, the workers and the environment.

Only the greedy short sited ones do not acknowledge these other factors and ruin perfect capitalism.

Sorta like the greedy short sited ones who ruin perfect communism
__________________
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." C. S. Lewis

The ONLY sponsors we have are YOU!

Please Donate!
Lebell is offline  
Old 01-11-2004, 05:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
Right Now
 
Location: Home
Re: This is what is at stake

It's pretty easy to refute data that consists of polled opinions, even easier when the poll sample is one.

Quote:
Originally posted by Strange Famous
But I met a man recently who told me how he could see the effects of the warmer climate in his local park in Birkenhead, in the north of England.
I asked the cab driver on the way over here about the weather this winter, and he thinks it's colder than last year.

There. I just doubled your sample. The opinions look inconclusive to me.
Peetster is offline  
Old 01-11-2004, 06:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
follower of the child's crusade?
 
Global warming could well mean colder winters. What are you arguing though? Global warming clearly IS happening, the levels of the sea ARE rising, these are facts.
__________________
"Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate,
for all things are plain in the sight of Heaven. For nothing
hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain
without being uncovered."

The Gospel of Thomas
Strange Famous is offline  
Old 01-11-2004, 07:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
42, baby!
 
Dragonlich's Avatar
 
Location: The Netherlands
Strange Famous, the question is not whether global warming is happening (it is), but more: what is the cause of it, and what will happen?

We've had these things happen before, only to be followed by a colder period. I for one would not be surprised if the temperature will go *down* in the future, thanks to global warming...

After all, if all that polar ice melts, the salt level in the oceans will drop, which might affect the gulf-stream, which in turn affects the weather in the US and Europe - we'd be freezing our arses of if it wasn't for that oceanic current. (As has happened before, during the ice ages.)
Dragonlich is offline  
Old 01-11-2004, 12:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
MSD
The sky calls to us ...
 
MSD's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: CT
According to a report that was featured on CNN two days ago (sorry, no text source, I just overheard it while my mother was watching,) by 2050, 38% of the world's species will be extinct due to global warming.
MSD is offline  
Old 01-11-2004, 01:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Seaver's Avatar
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Global warming is true, but how much impact is human done has been yet to be proven.

I dont know if you realize this but we are still in an ice age. Yes, and ice age, proven by scientists working in both poles and ancient tree rings. But this warming trend was started over 20k years ago, long before modern industry.

You can talk about all the other damage we have done to our planet, fine, but unless you have absolute scientific proof to back it up dont throw it out there.
__________________
"Smite the rocks with the rod of knowledge, and fountains of unstinted wealth will gush forth." - Ashbel Smith as he laid the first cornerstone of the University of Texas
Seaver is offline  
Old 01-11-2004, 01:35 PM   #13 (permalink)
Rawr!
 
skier's Avatar
 
Location: Edmontania
we're coming out of our ice age. The planet is warming at an accelerating rate. In northern canada, thousands of square kilometers of tundra are melting into a stinking morass- a swamp. This new swamp is made of peat, and is decomposing to release tons of methane into our atmosphere. Sea ice depth under the northern pole has shrunk 40 feet! in the last 4 decades. Canada will be in a position in 10 years to open a northern shipping route through our arctic. But nothing is being done because the vast mojority of people just don't care. We're too concerned with earning material wealth to get up off our asses and save something important.
__________________
"Asking a bomb squad if an old bomb is still "real" is not the best thing to do if you want to save it." - denim
skier is offline  
Old 01-11-2004, 01:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
Minion of the scal馘 ones
 
Tophat665's Avatar
 
Location: Northeast Jesusland
OK,
First off, this is a very tentative report. The authors admit that, if one wants to take issue with it, it can be picked apart. They do not consider it proof, but rather an indication that they need to look at this some more, and a wakeup call that habitat destruction may not be the only thing to really worry about. (My source for this is NPR, a report I remember hearing last week which can probably still be heard on NPR.org, butwhich I am not going to go looking for.)

That said, while it makes perfect sense, but this report is not a standard to wave in battle. It's too ambiguous as of yet.

As for capitalism and the environment, I don't really have a gripe with the philosophy of capitalism provided the actual cost of environmental degradation and general pollution is factored into the price of things, something that hitherto has not been done in any sort of structured way. I don't know how this would work or even whether it would mesh with capitalism, so if one of the more ardent capitalists here wants to take a stab at explaining why that's a good/bad idea that should/would never work, please, educate me. (Really, I am asking for enlightenment, not being sarcastic.)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm a radical moderate living on the left while the balance is tilted to the conservatives. I really only disagree with extremism, and I believe that the answer to any economic problem is going to be part capitalist, part socialist. Communism is a nice dream (in one way, and a nightmare in another), but human nature will undermine it every single time. It's never been tried because it can't even be set up on any large scale. On the other hand, rampant capitalism starts to verge on kleptocracy when it gets too comfortably entrenched, like things are now.

Can't we all just get along? (Don't be silly!)
__________________
Light a man a fire, and he will be warm while it burns.
Set a man on fire, and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

Last edited by Tophat665; 01-11-2004 at 01:52 PM..
Tophat665 is offline  
Old 01-12-2004, 12:56 AM   #15 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Location: Soviet Canukistan
Quote:
Originally posted by Lebell
False.

That is a simplistic model of capitalism.

More advanced models take into account other factors that affect the company's health and hence long term profitability.

These factors include the community, the workers and the environment.

Only the greedy short sited ones do not acknowledge these other factors and ruin perfect capitalism.

Sorta like the greedy short sited ones who ruin perfect communism
I agree that long term can be taken into account with captialism. However, I'd argue that few choose to exercise that option.

Any steps made into that direction are however difficult and risky for a good capitalist to take since they have to be able to justify it.

Few companies are really willing to make the truly tough choices for long term survivability...especially when they have competition who can beat them in the cost zone because they don't make the change.
MrSmashy is offline  
 

Tags
stake

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:07 AM.

Tilted Forum Project

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
© 2002-2012 Tilted Forum Project

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73