IPCC Report

Should you squeeze the toothpaste tube in the middle or from the end?
User avatar
7Wannabe5
Posts: 4207
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: IPCC Report

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:12 am

There is some fairly convincing evidence that the majority of economic growth experienced over course of last 200 years of so is due to availability of fossil fuel supply for energy rather than human ingenuity/inventiveness or even form of organization of economic activity, although these are also factors. Therefore, dwindling supplies of fossil fuels, economic growth, and CO2 emmisions levels will quite possibly ratchet about wildly in rough correlation.

I don't know exactly what BRUTE currently does for a living, but he might gain a glimmer of what I am trying to communicate if he constructed a little systems diagram which connects his high tech work being done down the chain to a fuel supply. Every bit of efficiency gained through improvements to technology and organization (and I agree that free market capitalism is likely best possible organizational system we have yet conceived) is still necessarily linked to energy supply for production of service or good. The fact that petroleum is still intermittently very inexpensive actually hides its ultimate importance.

User avatar
BRUTE
Posts: 3763
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: IPCC Report

Post by BRUTE » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:03 am

good thing humans invented fracking. uranium will last ~150 years at current levels.

and apparently those renewables are cool, so in 10 years petroleum products will only be used in marginal applications anyway. peak dinosaur averted.

User avatar
7Wannabe5
Posts: 4207
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: IPCC Report

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:45 am

BRUTE wrote:so in 10 years petroleum products will only be used in marginal applications anyway.
Care to place a wager, Mr. Simon? ;)

Campitor
Posts: 581
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:49 am

Re: IPCC Report

Post by Campitor » Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:43 am

BRUTE wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:31 am
if the last decade is any indication, the opposite will happen. brute used to be a communist. but who knows. past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Brute I'm with you on this one. Free markets are not perfect but they are the least harmful of all other systems. A free market will always win because people like to make stuff and people like to get compensated for making stuff. And others like to purchase and enjoy the surpluses of production. Individuals know what they want or need and act accordingly. That is basic human nature which is universal. This is what makes free markets work despite its flaws.

I don't think we will get off of oil anytime soon despite any advances in green energy. Green energy will circumvent oil like smart phones and digital cameras circumvented film. Oil companies don't want to be the next victims of creative destruction - they will do whatever it takes to keep their energy market share which is why we're seeing these surges in oil production - it keeps the price low. If oil companies weren't being pressed by green technology, the price of oil would be much higher. But they're feeling the heat hence the R&D dollars being spent on technologies that sequester the GHG from fossil fuel sources. Something which I find funny. This is like horse dealers of the last century researching how to stop horses from defecating and eating in order to compete against Henry Ford's automobile.

tonyedgecombe
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:11 pm
Location: Oxford, UK
Contact:

Re: IPCC Report

Post by tonyedgecombe » Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:30 pm

The free market delivers some things. Cheap food, air travel, iPhones, etc. What it isn't so good at is health insurance, education, prisons, all of these have incentives that don't align between the business and society or consumers. All of them require regulation otherwise you end up with monopolies and distortions that look very similar to communism.

chenda
Posts: 996
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm

Re: IPCC Report

Post by chenda » Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:20 pm

As far as I am aware the energy market is very far from being a free market of any description.

daylen
Posts: 803
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:17 am

Re: IPCC Report

Post by daylen » Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:27 pm

Capitalism and communism are not stable games in their pure forms. The only option is to have a continuous conversation that navigates between them. I do not think this is possible given what we know about human biology (along with the sheer size of humanity). It looks like this game we are playing is becoming increasing multi-polar(*) and heading towards fragmentation.

We are in a game of chess where the pieces are abandoning their teams to form tribes. Each tribe is signaling a different interpretation of the current rule set or attempting to rewrite the rule set entirely. Outrage is being rewarded with attention, and nearly everyone is too busy worrying about how they fit into the current system to care about how that system might change in the future.

As much as I desire humanity to just be one great big happy family, it looks like the only viable strategy left is to start preparing for the end game by developing scale-free production skills and strengthening relations in our immediate social network. Individuals are becoming increasingly vulnerable, it seems.

(*) Driven by fake and/or unimportant dimensions.

Campitor
Posts: 581
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:49 am

Re: IPCC Report

Post by Campitor » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:33 pm

@chenda - I agree. It's run by a cartel.

@daylen - I don't think it's that bad. We have the appearance of extreme tribalism because extremist are always the most vocal. And the internet has given vocal minorities a megaphone which is good unless they are spewing venom. I agree that Capitalism requires some checks and balances otherwise we get runaway externalities like GHG.

daylen
Posts: 803
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:17 am

Re: IPCC Report

Post by daylen » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:03 pm

@campitor If the general population cannot distinguish extremists from moderates and the extremists start leading(*), then I do not see how people can navigate the problems that lie ahead without fragmentation. I could be wrong, but it seems that people are becoming increasingly confused and disoriented by our rapidly changing world.

(*) Seems likely to be the case given that extremists generate outrage which attracts attention. Politics is becoming more of a popularity contest.

User avatar
BRUTE
Posts: 3763
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: IPCC Report

Post by BRUTE » Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:13 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:45 am
Care to place a wager, Mr. Simon? ;)
Simon won the wager.

here's brute's wager: DLj can pick any date at least 1 year from today, and if at that point climate change has ruined everything and humans haven't kept up via economic/technological progress, brute will buy DLj a medium-rare steak at Chicago Cut. 7Wannabe5 can come too.

tonyedgecombe
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:11 pm
Location: Oxford, UK
Contact:

Re: IPCC Report

Post by tonyedgecombe » Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:17 am

BRUTE wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:13 am
here's brute's wager: DLj can pick any date at least 1 year from today, and if at that point climate change has ruined everything and humans haven't kept up via economic/technological progress, brute will buy DLj a medium-rare steak at Chicago Cut. 7Wannabe5 can come too.
Doesn't that imply that we have done something about this problem? Whatever that economic or technological progress is we would have chosen to take that path rather than relying on doing nothing.

User avatar
BRUTE
Posts: 3763
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: IPCC Report

Post by BRUTE » Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:28 pm

yes

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 10633
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: IPCC Report

Post by jacob » Sun Dec 16, 2018 6:20 pm

I should mention another few issues with the [economic] IAM calculations that are easy to miss due to "standard assumptions" about life as we're used to it.

In all of human experience over the past 250 years, pollution has been seen as a reversible problem. This could very well be the foundation of the whole "lets wait and see [how bad it gets] before we act"-sentiment observed in consumer-voters as well as expert-technocrats. If you know that the problem doesn't show hysteresis then you can push it beyond the edge and if it's bad enough, you can always "pay to fix it insofar you have the monies"/"throw resources at it insofar you have them". An example would be cleaning up Love Canal, dealing with Los Angeles smog, restoring the damage from acid rain, restoring some level of green that's attractive to humans after removing a mountain top, and maybe even the ozone layer.

Nerds: The assumption of reversibility as a key assumption makes the problem linear and mathematically very easy. Basically, you now get to optimize and find optimal solutions. If it was nonlinear, not so much. When you can't reverse, mistakes become more costly because they're now permanent/not payable meaning that the price is infinite.

Double nerds: Economics is well capable of dealing with Knightian risk and reversible damage ... but climate change is a problem of Knightian uncertainty and irreversible damage.

In economics, paying future costs is often reduced to trying to set the proper discount rate---a one (1!) variable problem. What I want to know is whether such a discount rate only makes sense locally (my position) or whether one can really extrapolate and use the same rate "all the way out to children, grand children, and the next seven generations" so to speak, that is, globally in space-time(*). What I do know is that the market doesn't allow me to participate in past economic decisions. OTOH, scientifically I know that past decisions do influence the present and the future. For example, the climate we see today is due to what was economically known/tractable as per market efficiency some 40-50 years ago. But if I don't like the result, it's not like I can go 2 generations back in time and competitively outbid the dumbass choices of my parents and grandparents. It does me no good that I'm now richer (and economically more powerful) than my parents and grandparents who caused the problems I'm suffering because basically it's physically impossible to go back in time and outbid their preferences even as I know have more knowledge and financial power.

Basically, my position is that while I think the free market is the best at allocating resources insofar participants have about the same bidding power and face the same consequences ... I'm far from convinced that the free market is the optimal solution when I have 1000x more market-directing firepower than 90% of the rest of the living population while the unborn basically have no firepower at all beyond what their ancestors can afford/fail to afford.

(*) Going back to the equity problem again. It exists in space and in time (generations). For example, currently (in space), buying a fancy cup of coffee costs more than the survival of the poorest human being currently living. This is because the person buying the coffee has way more money than the poorest human being. Similarly (in time), the current generation can bid and buy stuff ... whereas future generations are temporally excluded from bidding and changing the price according to their preference. Also see "sell down the river".

User avatar
BRUTE
Posts: 3763
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: IPCC Report

Post by BRUTE » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:57 pm

what it comes down to for brute is that even with non-reversible, non-linear phenomena, there is still an opportunity cost to fixing them. plenty of tragedies in human life have these characteristics.

a human child only needs to run into a speeding car once for the non-reversible tragedy to strike. the cost is infinite in the sense that the human child can never be brought back. still, humans do not pay infinite costs to prevent this tragedy from happening. i.e. even a non-reversible event with infinite cost does not necessarily warrant paying X to prevent it, only if X < cost.

so it boils down to "does an individual think that future humans will be able to deal with the climate change damage". simplified, the 2 variables that go into it are human ingenuity + capital, and extent/cost of climate change damage.

brute would agree that both of these are difficult to model and predict, but that does not mean "ergo humanity must pay an infinite amount to prevent them". it just means that it is virtually impossible to determine exactly how much should be paid.

going from "it's hard to determine" to "humanity should pay the maximum (infinite) because it might be the worst case" is a Pascal's wager, which brute considers a fallacy.

Jean
Posts: 684
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:49 am

Re: IPCC Report

Post by Jean » Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:40 am

I partialy agree with brute, but I find it antilibertarian to tolerate aggressions like cars that might run over kids or burning fossil fuel that change the atmospheric composition. Perpetrator of those action should be shot in a libertarian ideal world.

tonyedgecombe
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:11 pm
Location: Oxford, UK
Contact:

Re: IPCC Report

Post by tonyedgecombe » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:14 am

@brute There are plenty of problems that are hard to predict but we accept are worth trying to avoid. We don't know if there will be a flu epidemic this winter but we still vaccinate the vulnerable. The only difference with climate change is the current generation will pay the cost of limiting it but future generations will benefit from that.

User avatar
BRUTE
Posts: 3763
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: IPCC Report

Post by BRUTE » Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:21 am

but presumably tonyedgecomb assumes the cost of vaccination is lower than its benefit. if the cost was higher, it would not be done.

@Jean
death penalty for potential aggression ("might run over") seems excessive to say the least. negative externalities should certainly be handled.

Jean
Posts: 684
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:49 am

Re: IPCC Report

Post by Jean » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:49 am

If I start shooting in your general direction, it is an aggression even if no bullet hits you.

User avatar
BRUTE
Posts: 3763
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: IPCC Report

Post by BRUTE » Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:36 am

but if Jean drives a car on a generally accepted roadway in parallel to brute's path of pedestrian travel, where's the aggression?

Jean
Posts: 684
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:49 am

Re: IPCC Report

Post by Jean » Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:18 am

The atmosphere is partly your property. Unless i confine exaust gaz, I would be dammaging you property and commiting an aggression. Fossil fuels are key here, because taking this carbon out of the atmosphere was neccessary for humans to exists. Normal breathing is just cycling what is left and isn't an aggression (like drinking water and pissing around).

Post Reply