A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Gotcha, and I don’t disagree. I have some serious objections myself to the federal regulations applied to preschool programs. Can’t even put a freaking pumpkin decoration on the wall without violating cultural neutrality.

Unfortunately, that incident didn’t even make my top 10 very good reasons I had to quit that job list. There is a serious crisis in education going on out there.

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

Post by chenda »

Campitor wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:17 pm
Take a look at this site - it publishes the various subsidies the oil company has received or will receive. It was published in July 2019: https://www.eesi.org/papers/view/fact-s ... etal-costs
Thank you Campitor.

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

Post by Hristo Botev »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:23 pm
There is a serious crisis in education going on out there.
Well, my anecdotal experience with our very fancy public schools (typical home price is close to $600K, with a millage rate just for schools of 20.25), where both our kids started, was certainly off-putting. Though I suspect any discussion as to why would be inappropriate for this thread.

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

Post by fiby41 »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:50 pm
6th, 7th grade
Same experience as a student here. But the censorship was more institutional even though it was a public school. The teachers would declare chapters or paragraphs as 'omitted.' The most important chapter for FIRE, on Simple and Compound Interest was skipped and it took me many months to figure out on my own that the Principal was not the school 'father' but an amount.

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@fiby41:

Lol. The mandated standards in my state are actually pretty good and most states mandate very similar standards, so that’s why most kids grok climate change better than their grandparents. Unfortunately, the joint ability to teach to the level of the standards outside of the best schools in the best districts is pretty weak.

For example, here is basic information snip from lesson designed to teach standard concerning climate change at middle school level. This statement is about as “political” as the curriculum gets, but often students will come up with and offer their own opinions after working on independent group projects.


Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming). Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities.

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

Post by chenda »

tonyedgecombe wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 5:08 am
If I look around the UK the towns that have managed to keep traffic out of the centre seem to be the most desirable and expensive. Everybody likes traffic free environments but nobody wants to give up their car.
Yup, cars are freedom when no one else is driving ;) Lockdown has of course immediately eradicated congestion from our towns overnight. I am hopeful that covid will help a transition away from cars. Ever increasing costs, ever more online shopping and home delivery, permanent working from home, ride sharing apps and lower cost of car rental might help. Apparently the UK is the world leader in home delivery, presumably the high population density reduces marginal delivery costs. There has recently been talk amongst housing developers to incorporate more drop off areas and delivery storage in new housing developments.
jacob wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:10 am
IIRC, some king of England instituted the first environmental laws in the 12th century concerning the noxious fumes from coal burning.
A bit OT perhaps but the shift from wood to coal in the early modern period required a complete change in domestic architecture technology. Mediaeval hall houses usually had an open fire in the centre, open to the rafters, which everyone sat around. Smoke exited out from a hole in the roof. It was still smokey, but it meant everyone could stay warm, and the central location of the fire reduced the risk of the walls catching fire. If you look at the rafters of a mediaeval hall house (a few of which have survived and are still lived in, usually with a mezzanine level added) the timbers are blackened through centuries of smoke coming from below. Burning coal in such an open system would have been difficult as it would have lacked sufficient combustion, or otherwise would have filled the room with toxic smoke. So chimneys, small fireplaces and smaller compartmentalisation of the house were needed. Which also may have contributed to greater social stratification, as in larger houses masters and servants no longer eat together in one big room, but instead were segregated into different rooms with heating of varying quality.

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

Post by subgard »

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_emission_label

Why not mandate this for every single good and service in the economy?
Be it a gallon of gas, a stay in a motel, a pound of ground turkey, an airplane ticket, a meal in a restaurant, a new house, a month of cell service, a helicopter ride over Maui, a cup of coffee, a Swedish massage.

The average consumer doesn't know how much their individual purchases are directly placing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This would tell them. It would be an ongoing near daily education.

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

Post by tonyedgecombe »

We already have that to an extent, it's the price. I'm somewhat doubtful you can do much better than that as the incentive for the vendor is to downplay the embedded carbon in whatever you buy.

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

Post by Alphaville »

tonyedgecombe wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:04 am
We already have that to an extent, it's the price.
prices could do that, but we’re not pricing externalities at the moment.

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

Post by subgard »

tonyedgecombe wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:04 am
We already have that to an extent, it's the price.
This is definitely not true.
Items that are expensive because they're hand crafted don't have more embedded energy.
Many expensive services are not very carbon releasing because you're paying for a person's time, not the energy of manufacture.
Items manufactured with energy from nuclear, hydro, solar, wind, are much less carbon releasing.
Some foods are more expensive because of labor (like blueberries). Some are more expensive because of energy (like beef).
Depending on the economics, used items could be considered to release no carbon (while still possibly being quite expensive).

Also, few consumers make the direct connection between purchasing an item and more carbon dioxide in the air. With a carbon label, they would be confronted with that fact every time they bought anything.

It would be the opposite of a greenwashing environmental certification. It would be more like the warning labels on alcohol and tobacco.
subgard wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 2:33 pm
Be it a gallon of gas, a stay in a motel, a pound of ground turkey, an airplane ticket, a meal in a restaurant, a new house, a month of cell service, a helicopter ride over Maui, a cup of coffee, a Swedish massage.
Can anybody tell me, without looking it up, how much carbon dioxide each of those things releases into the atmosphere? With ubiquitous carbon labels, a great portion of the population could come up with a fairly close estimate off the top of their head.

How does the cup of coffee compare to the gallon of gas? If bought from a coffee shop, it would be more expensive than the gas. Does that mean it has more embedded energy, and thus releases more carbon into the atmosphere?

I actually don't know the carbon release of any of those items, and I consider myself fairly knowledgeable. If carbon released into the atmosphere is indeed the great existential threat of our times, then why not let each individual know exactly how much they are contributing to that threat, each and every day? Carbon labeling would give each person the knowledge to be personally responsible.

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

Post by Hristo Botev »

@subgard: I'd dropped out of this convo recently, so apologies that I'm catching up a bit. But is this carbon label idea basically the equivalent of the required calorie disclosures for food manufacturers and restaurants here in the U.S.? If it is, then as someone who spends some of my time practicing in this area of the law, I can think of several ideas why such a thing would be a bad idea. To list just a couple: (1) caloric disclosures are used by bigger players as a barrier to entry, as the food manufacturers and restaurants are tasked with having to hire firms to calculate the calories, and you had better not screw the calculation up, because (2) here come the class action plaintiff's lawyers; a carbon labeling program would certainly be a windfall for folks like me who defend companies facing false advertising lawsuits!

I don't see why you'd do a carbon labeling program and not a carbon fee/tax program.

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Because, as Jacob has noted a couple times elsewhere, $$$ circulating in highly fossil fuel dependent economy default to the mean energy or CO2 intensity.

Actually, it’s kind of sort of like thinking you can apply rule of herd immunity to a health-risk segmented population. It’s also kind of sort of like the chapter in Freakonomics where they show how some people maintaining strict celibacy actually increases the spread of venereal disease in the general population. The same thing would happen by analogy as if you made everybody in a population wear a jersey with their number of sexual partners on it.

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

Post by Hristo Botev »

@7w5: I don't follow your response; can you explain it to me like I'm someone who opted for law school b/c I was that bad at both math and science?

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I will try. In modern times, economists reduced Production to just being a function of Labor and Capital. Sometimes Energy is considered, but as a raw input to the process of production it doesn’t account for much, maybe 6%, so it is usually omitted. So, if you just looked at this equation or formula, you might think that the energy intensity of production of a given average good was only 6%. The problem is that this neglects the energy intensity of the production of the Labor and the Capital (tools, patents, etc) necessary for the production of the final product.

In the early industrial era in England, the minimum wage was set as a multiple of the price of grain, because workers were so poorly paid, the food necessary to “run” them was close to their wage. Fortunately, this is no longer the case in most economies, because the global median per capita income is now around 1/2 a Jacob. So, if/when you have already spent 1 Jacob = global footprint, but you think it might be carbon neutral to buy a hand-carved walking stick from a solo-preneur in Romania or the Congo, it is still quite possible that the solo-preneur will use that money to buy a mini-bike, or start a mini-bike factory that will be able to sell more mini-bikes, because will be able to price them lower, because the demand for gas has gone down among affluent-virtuous, so the price of gas has gone down for the solo-preneur and his not so affluent or virtuous mini-bike desirous customers.

Of course, affluent/virtuous/poor/not-virtuous would result in 4 quadrants. I just used the poor and not-so-virtuous example to better illustrate dilemma or trade-off.

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

Post by Alphaville »

@7w5, can we have some of that coffee?

i can’t catch up with your dialectical velocity :)

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

Post by Alphaville »

subgard wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:23 am
Carbon labeling would give each person the knowledge to be personally responsible.
i like this idea in principle, but then it seems to me it would be hard to quantify, given that the location of any given item would change its energy footprint.

so i like it as an educational tool... and i certainly can’t tell you what’s the carbon cost of anything. e.g i have a vague idea that concrete is more energy intensive than adobe but i don’t know by what factor.

i know that brazilian beef from burned out amazonian plains is costlier than beef from my local rancher.

the other day @7w5 made me realize the energy cost of flying and OUCH.

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

Post by Hristo Botev »

My initial reservations about carbon labeling:

First, in the US it'd most likely be the fed that sets the rules for calculations (think FDA for food/drugs), with the manufacturers/service providers responsible for applying those calculations to their individual products/services, with the fed (something like the FDA or FTC) charged with enforcement, but with most enforcement happening via competitor and consumer (class action) litigation. Likely there would have to be some sort of exception written in for companies under a certain size, because the costs of following the legislation would just be too burdensome for a small or even medium-sized business. This is going to result in just all sorts of issues, like yet more consolidated, massive, oligarchical companies, and also lots of big businesses pretending to be small businesses to try and fall into the exceptions. And why should small businesses get an exception? Your 10-employee lawn service company is part of the problem also.

Second, I don't for a second believe the federal government would apply calculations to get to disclosures that are actually truthful; the stakes would be way too high for lobbyists to screw around with the process--I hated my Administrative Law class in law school (though I had an absolutely fantastic professor); and the reason was because the process is all just a big pile of you-know-what.

Third, I think the result would likely be you just educate consumers to get comfortable with a certain level of emissions; you just normalize the behavior, in the same way 1,000 calorie disclosures on a Chic-fil-A sandwich (or whatever it is) haven't deterred folks from buying chicken sandwiches; it's just one more thing consumers are trained to ignore through clever advertising schemes. And what's a competitor going to say: our product gets to you with 10% less carbon emissions! Well, assuming that 10% less in emissions is still more than sufficient to destroy our climate, then who cares? Consumers will just go with the cheaper/better alternative that used 10% more in emissions.

ETA: I guess my point is if you're going to get to the level of agreement and cooperation that's going to be necessary for carbon disclosures, then you could probably get carbon fees/dividends, which seems like it'd be much more effective at carving back emissions than one more piece of consumer information that consumers will be trained to ignore.

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

Post by Alphaville »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:20 pm

Third, I think the result would likely be you just educate consumers to get comfortable with a certain level of emissions; you just normalize the behavior, in the same way 1,000 calorie disclosures on a Chic-fil-A sandwich (or whatever it is) haven't deterred folks from buying chicken sandwiches;
with you on 1 and 2 but on this one they do make different choices. not radically different but a little more conscientious

https://www.statnews.com/2019/02/19/foo ... -behavior/

however calorie count does not alter when item moves from factory to distribution center to supermarket to customer bringing item home. energy footprint does.

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

Post by jacob »

You'd need a tracking system similar to calculating VAT. Starting from the wellhead, each new layer of production would add together the carbon-"number" from each of the inputs and stamp that on the "output". I envision an entire industry of inspection and certification to avoid cheating. This is not to mention how to account for the carbon inputs of labor and depreciation of machining. (Also eminently gameable.)

Much simpler/easier to carbon-tax the wellhead. This way the carbon cost would be directly reflected in the final price---we already have a very good system for tracking costs and prices called "the market". This way the only problem is different taxes on different wellheads due to the failure of global coordination. (Same problem as today where we export polluting industries to low-regulation regions and then pride ourselves on how "green" we are locally.)

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

Post by Hristo Botev »

And it just won't be effective. It being the disclosures. I spend a good bit of my day writing those small print disclosures you see (or don't see; or ignore) with advertisements; and I've worked with some really clever advertising folks in heavily-regulated industries. The carbon "number" will be ignored.

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