A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

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Hristo Botev
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Hristo Botev »

Alphaville wrote:
Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:12 pm
e.g. no need to go to tahiti if we just untrash florida :lol:
Speaking as someone raised in Florida, I say: fat chance.

Alphaville
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Alphaville »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:17 pm
Speaking as someone raised in Florida, I say: fat chance.
yeah... i have family there too

i’d like to see the keys before they drown though :(

Hristo Botev
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Hristo Botev »

Couple things, as I'm jotting down notes from what I've learned here and elsewhere over the past couple weeks (eta: in preparation for my "red"/"blue" workshop).

First, and primarily:
jacob wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:49 am
Overall, I doubt either will work. Humans are essentially looking for an economic or a technological solution to what is really a deep cultural problem. We're essentially trying to solve our problem at the level of thinking that caused the problem in the first place. As individuals we are on average way in over our heads. As institutions we're barely there. We simply don't have the brain space necessary to deal with the impact of our multitudes.
Kingsnorth says the same thing in what I've read/seen of him in the past few days, about this being at its core a cultural problem (not an economic one or political one, etc.). This makes perfect sense to me. My question (as I grasp with my fingernails for any shred of hope), is "culture" not something that politics and economics can influence? The only example I can think of is housing and suburban development in the States. Suburbia (and the big, bigger, biggest houses that are part of suburbia) is certainly a cultural phenomenon; but recognizing there's a chicken/egg issue, politics and economics had something to do with creating that Suburbia culture, no? Put another way, can we not use the tools of politics and economics to influence culture in a way that will slow down climate change (and also make us, collectively, better prepared for its effects)?

Second thing:
jacob wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:49 am
PS: If forum history is any indication, this thread won't last long until it gets locked down.
Still going!
Last edited by Hristo Botev on Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Hristo Botev
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Hristo Botev »

Alphaville wrote:
Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:25 pm
i’d like to see the keys before they drown though :(
Ditto; which of course immediately brings to mind that it was Jerry Jeff Walker, who died this week, who first drove Jimmy Buffett down to the Keys.

Buffett's island escapism is less and less appealing, as those islands cease to exist.

Alphaville
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Alphaville »

scarcity drives up demand though

Riggerjack
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Riggerjack »

The first thing they could do is stop those policies that make climate change worse. IE, building infrastructure that encourages fossil fuel consumption (roads, airports, etc). They could stop waging wars in the middle east. They could stop the campaign of dis-information on climate change. They could stop consuming fossil fuels as part of their day to day activities. They could remove any tax breaks that favour carbon intensive industries.
:lol: :lol: :lol: so your idea of how conservatives should resolve CC is to act against their perceived best interests, and abandon thier values, to embrace your values, and hope this new unity generates the solution. Good luck with that. :D :lol: :D

If there is any lesson in these CC threads, it is that to the extent that anyone believes that "their side" has figured out the solutions, and they are being held back by political opponents, that person clearly doesn't understand the the problems, their own proposed solutions, or how any of these systems interact.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that to the extent one has political opponents one is captured by our political system in a way that makes one an obstacle to progress, rather than a facilitator, regardless of political leanings.

But then, I am insane. :twisted:
Put another way, can we not use the tools of politics and economics to influence culture in a way that will slow down climate change (and also make us, collectively, better prepared for its effects)?
I think you have causation reversed there. I think we use tech to drive culture to drive politics. The other way around is hampered by perverse incentives.

Deeper thoughts on the subject here:
https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB ... HECsZHnQml

nomadscientist
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by nomadscientist »

The question assumes that Climate Change (capitalised) is an honestly presented technical problem to be solved which it isnt, even if climate change (uncapitalised) is real.

Of course any "conservative" (read, free marketeers, I guess) would support treating carbon damage as a regular tort, pricing the damage at cost. Some will object that this is complex to implement but not really. We already know who emits (at source) and roughly how much. We already have the class action lawsuit. So what's the problem?

Well, the economics literature is pretty clear that climate change isn't that important and probably isn't worth mitigating. Even with cooked assumptions like zero discount rate, the Stern Report couldn't come up with a carbon price that would imply UK fuel duty should be higher than it was already. Other energy use would of course be taxed much more than it is now, and UK fuel duty was already much higher than US gas taxes, but it's not like the UK has no cars on its roads, and other energy use should be expected to continue as well. Fewer SUVs maybe, or at least SUV ownership pushed further up the class pyramid, but no qualitative difference to any other developed country with roads and highways packed with CO2 emitting cars.

What such a pricing system would do is push all electric generation to nuclear fission. A policy strenuously opposed by... environmentalists! There you begin to see the problem. Conservatives simply do not see Climate Change as an honest technical problem with a technical solution, but rather a Trojan horse for far left policies their supporters want for entirely unrelated reasons. Some are more or less technically informed but almost all agree that it's a political manoeuvre and little more. Indeed, the main demand of the big Climate Change movement in the UK right now is to abolish democracy and hand over total power to itself and its friends and allies - to do whatever they want with, forever.

tonyedgecombe
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by tonyedgecombe »

Riggerjack wrote:
Thu Oct 29, 2020 2:35 pm
:lol: :lol: :lol: so your idea of how conservatives should resolve CC is to act against their perceived best interests, and abandon thier values, to embrace your values, and hope this new unity generates the solution. Good luck with that. :D :lol: :D
I was trying to respond to the part "wouldn't require that we hand over yet more of our personal autonomy to bureaucrats in Washington" and what the "free market" could achieve.

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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by tonyedgecombe »

nomadscientist wrote:
Thu Oct 29, 2020 11:14 pm
Well, the economics literature is pretty clear that climate change isn't that important and probably isn't worth mitigating. Even with cooked assumptions like zero discount rate, the Stern Report couldn't come up with a carbon price that would imply UK fuel duty should be higher than it was already. Other energy use would of course be taxed much more than it is now, and UK fuel duty was already much higher than US gas taxes, but it's not like the UK has no cars on its roads, and other energy use should be expected to continue as well. Fewer SUVs maybe, or at least SUV ownership pushed further up the class pyramid, but no qualitative difference to any other developed country with roads and highways packed with CO2 emitting cars.
Interestingly the carbon intensity of transport in the UK is rising, it seems we are buying bigger cars and SUV's faster than we transition to electric (also Amazon delivery vans). I suspect this is a relatively short term problem though, electric car sales are rising fast and there seems to be a real commitment from the government on them.
nomadscientist wrote:
Thu Oct 29, 2020 11:14 pm

What such a pricing system would do is push all electric generation to nuclear fission. A policy strenuously opposed by... environmentalists!
Not all environmentalists. Within my family it's the conservatives that are sceptical about nuclear. Also the free market doesn't like it much now that renewables have become so cheap.

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fiby41
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by fiby41 »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:14 am
Interesting, but isn’t it the case that training a model is more like designing/building an airplane as opposed to taking X airplane trips?
You are right. Another defense I've heard is that the model has to be trained only once and then many can use it apart from the 'if we don't, someone else will.' How shall I add to my footprint if I use any of the models- Total CO2 emissions divided by number or people using their API. Or emissions multiplied by what my calls were as percent of total calls. This number is almost impossible to estimate as, things being open-source, money cant be used as proxy.

--
Regarding the population question and 'policy solution' aspect, how effective is raising the legal age for marriage?
I remember reading a century old discussion when the proposal was to raise the marriage age from 11. Currently it is 18 for girls and 21 for boys and PM had appointed 10 members who are saying female enrollment in higher education will increase by 7% if legal age to marry is raised to 21 for girls too. Jacob made a point about how higher formal education for women means lower birthrates.

Hristo Botev
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Hristo Botev »

fiby41 wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 7:47 am
Regarding the population question and 'policy solution' aspect, how effective is raising the legal age for marriage?
I remember reading a century old discussion when the proposal was to raise the marriage age from 11. Currently it is 18 for girls and 21 for boys and PM had appointed 10 members who are saying female enrollment in higher education will increase by 7% if legal age to marry is raised to 21 for girls too. Jacob made a point about how higher formal education for women means lower birthrates.
This is exactly the kind of dystopian thinking that scares the hell out of me.

7Wannabe5
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@fiby41:

It is moderately effective. Many or most cultures have age or financial barriers to reproduction/marriage. For instance, a young man might have to work in his future father-in-law’s fields for 3 years before marriage. In Ireland, marriage was free delayed until early 3Os by cultural requirement of saving money for purchase of housing first. However, it was still not uncommon for 4 or 5 children to be born to a marriage between two 30 year old people.

Secondary education for women does limit fertility by simple mechanism of delaying reproduction, but it seems to me that the more important mechanism is that it increases the opportunity cost of having a child or another child. This is apparent in the commonly used metaphorical phrase “get back to her own life.”

Hristo Botev
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Hristo Botev »

There's a difference between cultural and/or financial barriers impacting when women have children (and how many), and a top-down system like the one suggested by @fiby41 where the government imposes when women (and men) can have children, in a social engineering manner to meet certain goals deemed to be good and virtuous for the collective. It's the latter scenario I'm getting at with subpart (b) of my original question:
Hristo Botev wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:15 am
So, MY QUESTION: Are there any policies the federal government could put into place that: (a) could actually ameliorate the impact of climate change; AND ALSO (b) wouldn't require that we hand over yet more of our personal autonomy to bureaucrats in Washington, DC (or, worse, to the UN)?
It's one thing to fiddle with the various tools government has to encourage (and discourage) certain behaviors (taxes, subsidies), it's another thing to prohibit certain conduct outright--i.e., putting homicide and pre-21 procreation in the same basket of prohibited activities.

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jennypenny
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by jennypenny »

@HB -- You might be overstating that a bit. We don't allow people under 18 to vote, but that's not in the same 'basket' as homicide. I also don't think raising the legal age to marry = banning pre-21 procreation (at least not in this century ;)). As 7W5 said, there's a lost opportunity cost when we have a higher earning capacity.

Try to look at it from a female perspective ... you see it as handing over 'yet more of our personal autonomy' yet I see it as promoting female agency, with the side benefit of helping the planet.

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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by jennypenny »

**I wrote this post, shelved it, and am now reviving it based partly on HB's comments. I think the idea of separating practice from beliefs is key, and is evidenced by HB and I sharing a political leaning and religion, and yet disagreeing on some basic issues.

We all want to do what we can to mitigate climate change, but the values we use internally as motivation may be very different for each of us, even when supporting the same actions.***


Has anyone read Empire of Things? There’s a thread on it. The book is a bit of a slog, but it gives some good insight into cultural norms regarding status, including how important consumerism is to aspiring classes. That aspiration should not be viewed as frivolous regardless of the environmental impact.

I agree with what some who've said that the only effective change would be a deep cultural shift towards other kids of status.* Religious adherence to the goal is required IMO to make a substantial enough change.

On that note, I think some of the religious arguments upthread get it slightly wrong. There’s a difference between belief and practice when it comes to religion. Some people are devoted to the practice more than the belief. Buddhists get this right — some of their backstories are as fanciful as Catholics and others, but the focus for Buddhists is on the practice. I know many Catholics who will recite the Creed and other required testaments without hesitation, but in truth, their commitment is to the fellowship and practice of Catholicism. Those religious practices can be very beneficial in everyday life, and become an integral part of someone’s identity, which is why people will then defend the religions vigorously despite reservations about the backstory.

If you want meaningful change in behavior wrt climate change, a religious devotion is needed, but a devotion focused on practice, not belief. I think that would also solve the problem of the differences in the most valued traits between left and right leaning people. The belief related to the value can be whatever backstory appeals to the individual, but the practice, and the benefits that come from practice with and in the eyes of, others, should benefit the individual directly, regardless of their inherent values. I think there is evidence of that in religions like catholicism where a person’s practice is judged/rewarded with social status more so than their overt demonstrations of belief.**

All that said, I think it’s very difficult to find shared practices when the disparity in lifestyles is so great. There has to be an evening out between rich and poor. I don’t mean a forced equality. I mean more that the lifestyles of the very rich can’t be so completed removed from the lifestyles of the less fortunate that they have no shared life experience whatsoever on which to base their practice.


Status is important to social cohesion, and while normally viewed as a benefit of the rich, it is also a way for those less fortunate to rise through the social ranks. What we’re trying to eliminate is the focus on buying status, not achieving it.


** The congregant who always devotes weeks to running the thanksgiving day meal donation is afforded the same status (or more) as the congregant who writes a check when the church roof needs repair. Relating it to climate change … there has to be a way for each person to gain status through their inherent traits that’s on the same scale as the person who uses money and consumption to gain status.

It’s kind of the reverse of the different types of capital that people should acquire, they should be able to give those back and receive status in return. That kind of ‘practice’ based climate change policy would refocus people on best practices vs. beliefs or even a comprehensive understanding of the problem.


-----------

btw ... we have all downshifted as a result of covid, and our carbon output has dropped. Most people though, including people on the forum, say they can't wait for things to 'get back to normal'. I was told in a thread that I was foolish for suggesting that we should find a better way to communicate to develop more of a tribe feeling virtually instead of insisting it could only truly happen in person. Point being -- it's our inability to evolve our sense of social connection and standing that IMO is the biggest hurdle, here and elsewhere.
Last edited by jennypenny on Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

Hristo Botev
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Hristo Botev »

@JP: I can (and try to) look at things from others perspective, but I don't think conflating your perspective with the female perspective is fair, at all. I for one know at least one female who would take up arms before allowing the government to say her daughter couldn't marry before the age of 21.

This strikes me as the classic progressive/conservative divide: top-down vs. ground-up.

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jennypenny
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by jennypenny »

@HB-- if you're classifying me as progressive, you haven't read many of my posts.

I'll bow out of this discussion though since it's your thread.

Hristo Botev
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Hristo Botev »

@JP: Apologies, my first and second sentences/paragraphs there were meant to be two different threads of thought; I wasn't classifying you (or anyone) as progressive (or conservative). But from a policy perspective, a federally-mandated minimum marriage age to socially engineer more climate-friendly behavior is about as progressive and top-down an idea imaginable (well, short of Brave New World state incubators).

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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by jennypenny »

But we already have mandated minimum ages at which one can get married. Do you disagree with that entirely? Or are we arguing over the age at which it becomes overreach?

This goes to my other point that it's the reason for the rule, not the rule itself, that often determines support or disapproval.

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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@jennypenny:

+1

I have taught many recently immigrated Muslim girls, and I would not say that it is the case that they are the ones who want to marry early and forgo further education. In fact, many of them tend towards valuing the opportunity to receive an education much higher than their slacker American born peers, because they don’t necessarily want to share the fate of their mothers. The girls who want to drop out of school and get married at 16 (which is not frowned upon in their culture) are more likely to start behaving like an odd mix of delinquent and housewife as early as 6th or 7th grade.

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