A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

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

Post by daylen »

@Hristo

Implicitly derived from my web of goals. Explicitly, my autobiography... in sum, several activity nodes centered around appropriate technology, practical skills, DIY, etc. and several other nodes on the peripheral signalling on the internet and building computational tools for human understanding. Helping myself become independent of external circumstances while attempting to help others understand themselves and where they stand within their external circumstances. Indirectly decreasing individual resource depletion by promoting attention to replicators in relation to those resources.

You know, ERE with my own personal twist.
Last edited by daylen on Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by classical_Liberal »

daylen wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:32 pm
@c_L The classic red-shirt blue-shirt dilemma: should we change the economy or culture?
Well, again, I think "culture" is a misrepresentation of human actions. I think what we are doing is much more deeply seeded than even culture, because change of culture can change behavior. I'm not sure living organism doing living organism things is changeable.

wrt Economics, my point is that the model of classical economics is not wrong, just lacking complete information and basic enforcement. If we spend our energy trying to switch to a model that is wrong, or at least potentially wrong, instead of trying to get more complete information and properly enforcing a good model, then we are just wasting valuable time and energy.

This is all theoretical. As Jacob has pointed out many times, all of these problems are theoretically fixable. The problem is in implementing action. Implementing action in the classical economics model (ie "carbon cost", "environmental cost", etc) means the cost of doing traditional business changes dramatically. The economy would eventually adjust, though it would be a shock. No one wants to live through the shock period (see living organisms wanting to thrive), so it's not going to happen. All I'm saying is changing to a less reliable model is not going to be a magical fix. If we ever do decide, as a society, we're going to cause some present pain for future gain, let's at least make sure it has some real benefit under a good model.

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

Post by Hristo Botev »

daylen wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:57 pm
You know, ERE with my own personal twist.
Thanks Daylen. With that background and your conditions, if you were in my shoes at this workshop, and the question came around to you to provide an answer as to what governmental policies you advocate for to ameliorate the impact of climate change, what would your answer be? (Assuming it needs to be something short of the Tyler Durden approach.)

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

Post by daylen »

@c_L I find it hard to separate biology from culture. Hence why I am pushing a model that assumes human behavior can be described via a combination of biological replicators and economic resources such that neither biology or economics is substituted for each other but are synthesized. Incrementally filling in the incomplete information.

@Hristo It will be hard to get much out of me here, since I have a tendency to continuously ask questions to further constrain the situation to the point of logical triviality. Our personalities are probably opposed to each other in this sense. I would be more apt at approaching the situation with the mindset of triggering the audience just enough so as not to put them off any policy/solution but to make them rethink what a policy/solution might look like. I would rather do just about anything else than proclaim what a policy/solution should be for everyone.

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

Post by Hristo Botev »

daylen wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:26 pm
@Hristo
Totally understand (well, I at least think I do); also, I'm not sure if our personalities are THAT opposed--I'm sure the reasons I've never before researched or even given much thought to what an effective policy/solution on climate change might be for everyone are: (a) I'm not a policy maker, thank God, and I don't envy those who are (a/k/a, not my problem); and (b) I'm probably starting from a defeatist mindset anyway, as in, what's the point--I just assume we're all f'ed and am trying to arrange my life (and the lives of my kids) accordingly (i.e., my evolution in mindset up the WL scale from Ramsey (yeah, no debt!), to MMM (yeah, no job!), to ERE (OK, if no job, what goals should I be working toward), to post-ERE (oh shit, we're all screwed--hope you know how to generate electricity with a car alternator and a propeller, cuz I sure do).

But, that being said, are you telling me that in playing Devil's Advocate in this workshop scenario, you wouldn't have a policy/solution you'd be trying (however subtly and adeptly) to push your fellow workshop participants toward?

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

Post by Hristo Botev »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:12 pm
The real problem, since the industrial revolution, economic actors have gotten a free ride in the damage they cause via CO2 or other natural world damage. . . . Now we are so reliant on this "free" source of capital that including it into the economic models would be catastrophic to our way of life. So we mostly ignore it.

tl;dr It's not a failure of economics, it's a failure of not including all factors into the economic model.
and
classical_Liberal wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:58 pm
wrt Economics, my point is that the model of classical economics is not wrong, just lacking complete information and basic enforcement. If we spend our energy trying to switch to a model that is wrong, or at least potentially wrong, instead of trying to get more complete information and properly enforcing a good model, then we are just wasting valuable time and energy.
I haven't studied economics since undergrad, but can we not include CO2 into the economic model, through a carbon tax (or cap in trade)? Or would that be too much of an artificial fix (I don't know what the economics terminology would be, but I guess I'm basically asking if a carbon tax wouldn't work because the economics model would recognize that the carbon tax isn't a real factor--CO2 damage won't be a real factor in the economics model until the damages are present damages, as opposed to future damages)?
classical_Liberal wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:58 pm
As Jacob has pointed out many times, all of these problems are theoretically fixable. The problem is in implementing action. Implementing action in the classical economics model (ie "carbon cost", "environmental cost", etc) means the cost of doing traditional business changes dramatically. The economy would eventually adjust, though it would be a shock. No one wants to live through the shock period (see living organisms wanting to thrive), so it's not going to happen. All I'm saying is changing to a less reliable model is not going to be a magical fix. If we ever do decide, as a society, we're going to cause some present pain for future gain, let's at least make sure it has some real benefit under a good model.
We've kind of done this (in a half-ass way) with the cornoavirus, haven't we? We've not done all of what Fauci et al. wanted us to do, but we've suffered through the shock and some present pain of the lockdown for, hopefully, some future gain.

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

Post by classical_Liberal »

@HB
I think you could. To avoid pareto principle problems it'd have to be a progressive thing, like income taxes or SS. Basically acknowledging a natural right of each individual to use a certain amount of carbon or energy freely, then having to purchase more at increasing levels of cost. The incentive is still there for people who want more luxurious lifestyles to pay. I don't like the idea of a "tax" in the sense it can be misused, rather more like a utility that you pay for, regulated so that recapture has to equal the amount sold. This incentivizes better, more, more efficient recapture development under normal capitalistic conditions.

Edit to add: from a production standpoint, they'd have to pay the utilities too, maybe at a seperate industrial rate. This would incentivize lower energy/carbon production techniques.

"Could" being the operating word of that whole paragraph.

What future gain with COVID? It's all about people wanting to survive today. It's just a matter of how much an individual actor is afraid of severe illness or death. The more afraid they are, the more they advocate for government controls. The less afraid, the more they are concerned about economy being destroyed by government controls. There is no long term in COVID, just living things trying to keep living and/or thriving based on personal needs. Also, some culture in how the "Teams" form based on the individual actor's personal concerns.

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

Post by daylen »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:47 pm
But, that being said, are you telling me that in playing Devil's Advocate in this workshop scenario, you wouldn't have a policy/solution you'd be trying (however subtly and adeptly) to push your fellow workshop participants toward?
So, you do want to play? :)

First pass from postmodern instincts, such a tendency may well correspond to a particular policy/solution, but from what perspective or in what frame is this going to be interpreted? Does there exist an external observer which can answer this unambiguously? Subtly on subtly on ..

Second pass from a more modernist stance, presuming there is in fact a policy encoded somewhere in my presentation, how to decode?($) How about we break this up into four corners to elaborate on my thought process.

Strategy: Ideally, this preach is backed by my own practice so that a slightly modified version of my own web-of-goals can be universalized to all attendants with minimal risk of near future disruption to any one of these webs or in the webs of non-attendants (on some unknown time horizon). In which case we might assume that it is in the best interest of all agents within this context to adopt this web with slight modification indicative of their own flavor of Agency (otherwise why am I even preaching).. leading to...

Agency: Imagine that I have built a machine before hand that can convert conversational data of these participants into a distribution of replicators telling me how each type of agent must modify my own web so as to achieve the strategy in the previous paragraph.. leading to...

Eventual: What is the event in which I must execute this conversion? Under such constraints what objectives should I set forth to measure my success? In what macro-event is this micro-event located? That is, are there additional constraints imposed from a wider spacetime interval?.. leading to..

Econvolution: How are resources distributed across these macro and micro events? How fast are they depleting?(#) How do these distributions overlap with the replicator distribution produced by the Agency machine? In other words, do we have an over or under representation of certain replicators as expressed in previous higher-level agent interactions, what does this tell us about their rate of resource depletion, and what does it tell us about how they will interact with other agent clusters with a different distribution of replicators in the macro-event?

Anyway, how did this thought process lead to my answer above to trigger the audience into confusion? I do not really know because that was a sub-conscious response and this post was more of an attempt to make it conscious. Or perhaps I just like to complicating things.

($) In such a way that is, hopefully, conducive to the thread context, its progression, and its resolution in the minds of its participants.

(#) Presuming that the climate change problem is reducible to a kind of entropic budget that sets a limit to the amount of energy any agent living during the next X years/generations can convert into heat before the whole system is too broken to fix. Obviously this is too hard to measure so in practice we resort to carbon taxes.
Last edited by daylen on Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:20 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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

Post by Hristo Botev »

@CL: What do you mean by the tax being misused? Do you mean in the sense that Jacob mentioned about it never being a good idea to give politicians a new revenue stream to waste (I'm horribly mis-parahprasing here)? If so, wouldn't the concept of a carbon dividend address that, with ALL taxes collected through the carbon tax being paid back to consumers through direct, quarterly payments--with the intention that the payments would help offset the increased costs of goods and services caused by the carbon tax? So the politicians never have access to the tax revenue.

On the progressiveness of the tax, I can see that a carbon tax (even with the carbon dividends) would end up being at least somewhat regressive, in the same way that consumption taxes on alcohol, and cigarettes, and sugary drinks, etc. tend to be regressive. That's to say, a rich person and a poor person who consume the same amount of carbon-heavy goods/services would be taxed the same. (In my town we have a consumption tax for trash, with residents only able to use city-issued (and very expensive) trash bags--this is a great idea, but it does of course hit poor folks harder than rich folks.) Perhaps this could be remedied by paying more in carbon dividends to poor people than to rich people?

Also, as an aside, presumably the carbon pricing aspect (i.e., the tax) would need to ALSO be coupled with carbon subsidies of various forms, in the form of tax breaks or whatever, to incentivize green innovation.

Re COVID, that's my bad for inserting that into this discussion--but my point is that with the right propaganda (and, to Quadalupe's point, the right "influencers"), I think you can get Americans on board with some present sacrifice (even pretty drastic sacrifice) in exchange for some future gain--WWII is probably the most obvious example, but there are others from history. And my reference to COVID was that I think there was a point, early on in the initial lockdown, when even folks who felt pretty much bullet proof were voluntarily opting to stay home, not because they feared for their own safety, but because they bought what they were told that they had a civic duty not to spread this thing to others (even knowing that we were crashing the economy in the process). 15 years ago it was still pretty easy for most Americans to ignore climate change (having a hyper-political spokesman in Gore was NOT a good idea), but I think that's probably changed to the point that with a concerted, bipartisan effort (with a LOT of money spent on propaganda--and NOT of the Gal Gadot Imagine video variety), you can scare the shit out of parents like me about what an absolute train wreck we are going to leave for our children and grandchildren if we don't step up to the plate NOW and make some really big sacrifices for the greater good. I honestly think that could totally work--just wave the flag and play some Lee Greenwood (I'm not kidding). BUT, we can't be talking about this stuff in the abstract--we have to have a clear plan in place, with bipartisan agreement as to that plan. Climate change might now be imminent enough that that could happen.

ETA: I think we've got to be on a sort of a war footing mindset for this to happen--i.e., it's us against our former selves for the fate of all humanity.

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

Post by Hristo Botev »

Daylen, I think you just provided me my script for this workshop. Thank you!

Also,
daylen wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:59 pm
Obviously this is too hard to measure so in practice we resort to carbon taxes.
did we find common ground?

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

Post by daylen »

In a vague sense, but I do not have enough information to derive the details which I assume are significant. :P

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

Post by classical_Liberal »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:08 pm
@CL: What do you mean by the tax being misused? Do you mean in the sense that Jacob mentioned about it never being a good idea to give politicians a new revenue stream to waste.
Yes, partially. Also, and maybe even more importantly is governments are inherently inefficient. When you ask the government to do something it will be done in the most expensive, inefficient way possible. This is why private "utility" (for lack of a better word) companies would provide this function better. If a company can prove recapture or mitigation techniques then they should be able to sell that mitigated or recaptured carbon. This way it becomes integrated into the economy like other natural resources people can own. Instead of wasting energy mining bitcoin or gold we can harvest carbon. The profit motive is the key to ensure efficient use of resources. Now, instead of creating profit by freely destroying the environment, you have to pay for that privilege by buying from a company that is repairing the environment at an a rate equal to the destruction.
Hristo Botev wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:08 pm
On the progressiveness of the tax, I can see that a carbon tax (even with the carbon dividends) would end up being at least somewhat regressive
I think it can be modeled in many different ways. However, we have to acknowledge equal opportunity in some way. Also address pareto principle to ensure social stability. You don't need socialism, you just need the biggest winners in the system to acknowledge that it's worth the price of some redistribution to maintain stability.
Hristo Botev wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:08 pm
Also, as an aside, presumably the carbon pricing aspect (i.e., the tax) would need to ALSO be coupled with carbon subsidies of various forms, in the form of tax breaks or whatever, to incentivize green innovation.
This is the same as the government offer tax breaks to incentivize behavior. This is a big part of what got us into this situation to begin with, IMO. No model can run with complete information, so some degree of this may be needed to tweak the system as new information becomes available. I think it's a slippery slope. It's best to simply directly work the new information into the economic model as it comes in.
Hristo Botev wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:08 pm
I think we've got to be on a sort of a war footing mindset for this to happen--i.e., it's us against our former selves for the fate of all humanity.
We just have to fear for ourselves in the shorter term. It seems this can be accomplished in many ways with modern information sharing techniques.

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

Post by Lemur »

The source is questionable: https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/new-york-post/ but there is some information here:
https://nypost.com/2020/01/11/meet-the- ... te-change/

I mean...I've pretty much learned that the entire world needs a huge overhaul the likes of which we've never seen to be effectively saved. Likelihood of this happening ...less than 1%.

I mean to even stand a chance.....and from what I've come to understand....not only do we need bullet point 1 but we also need bullet point 2:

1.) Need to stop emitting CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
2.) Need to sequester CO2 and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

To ultimately reverse this trend:
The global average atmospheric carbon dioxide in 2019 was 409.8 parts per million (ppm for short), with a range of uncertainty of plus or minus 0.1 ppm. Carbon dioxide levels today are higher than at any point in at least the past 800,000 years.

https://www.climate.gov/news-features/u ... 00%20years.


It is like a diet...to lose weight; eat less calories than your body needs to maintain homeostasis. Thermodynamics. But ...we need to get the entire world on a diet....a CO2 deficit .....most people fail diets.

All the above, of course, is very much an oversimplification but probably 'about right' when I think that the odds of us avoiding millions of climate migrants this century is zero.

Good Luck...Luckily I am finally coming out of depression and into the 'acceptance' stage haha..... :|

But to answer your question...yea the above sounds about right if you want to convince conservatives. You can't limit their personal freedoms to any degree without pushback. Carbon tax, carbon dividends...subsidies for 'job creating' programs in solar, wind, nuclear is probably the way to go I guess.

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

Post by classical_Liberal »

Lemur wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:12 pm
to lose weight; eat less calories than your body needs to maintain homeostasis. Thermodynamics.
@BRUTE is turning over in his ERE grave. :lol:

Toska2
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Re: A Conservative Policy Solution to Slow Down Climate Change?

Post by Toska2 »

Bomb the living bejeezus out of our enemies, real or imagined. The added bonus is that promotes healthy tribalism in the countries, ironically stabilizing them.

This is also a liberal plan.

Sorry smaller countries, its for the higher good.

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

Post by Dream of Freedom »

Toska2 wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:21 pm
Bomb the living bejeezus out of our enemies, real or imagined. The added bonus is that promotes healthy tribalism in the countries, ironically stabilizing them.
I guess we'll have to vote out trump. All those pesky peace deals! Three nominations for the Nobel Peace prize. This cannot be tolerated!

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

Post by Lemur »

OP: Maybe you can get some more insight from this one?
https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/06/politics ... index.html

There is a small slither of hope here that maybe one day climate change will not be a left/right political issue but an issue that everyone can come together on and tackle...it starts with the young as they say. At least in the U.S.

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

Post by Alphaville »

Rethinking your pension may just be the greenest thing you can do
Changing where you keep your money could reduce your carbon footprint by up to 27 times more than giving up flying or going vegan, writes Graham Lawton

Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg ... z6b957zJog

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

Post by Hristo Botev »

Alphaville: On voting with your wallet, this post popped up today on the blog, with a block quote from none other than the father of American conservatism: http://earlyretirementextreme.com/

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

Post by jacob »

To reiterate and capture some important points (so we're not missing the forest for individual trees). And also to answer some of the direct questions to me.

Policy solutions have been attempted for 40+ years without success. The only policy solution that would work is a GLOBAL agreement WITH TEETH. <- That is the most important takeaway here. Humanity has yet to develop the institutional maturity or skill level to create and operate such a system. As it is, we're still operating with the Westphalian system of national sovereignty for good and bad.

For example (to answer Jean's question), cap and trade is theoretically a solid method that would work but if and only if it was applied globally. If it is used nationally or supranationally (like the EU cap and trade market), national politics rather than global science will set the cap higher than it should be. Otherwise, the cost of the permits would drive polluting businesses to countries with less expensive permits in exactly the same way that government regulations drive businesses away to countries with less regulations. Of course the CO2 from those countries come back via the atmosphere, so all such a market achieves is a token effort. The issue is that no one country or group of countries can solve the problem on its own which brings us back to "global and with teeth".

The Paris agreement was the first global agreement even if it didn't have teeth. That took decades of policy negotiations to achieve.

There's no end of particular solutions (to answer RealPerson's question) and each of them adds something but none are a magic bullet to solve the whole problem. Regenerational agriculture is certainly nice and better than current practices, but it is not enough. It is similar to afforestation (planting trees where no trees were before) in the sense that all progress can be undone shortly in the future by e.g. plowing up the fields again. It's not hard to imagine people getting desperate or uneducated enough to do this. As with all complex problems, humans like to project their personal framework and expertise onto the problem thinking that all will be solved if only we implement their particular project or method.

The difficulty in agreeing on a global solution is compounded by needing to agree with future generations as well. Currently future generations have zero representation anywhere. People younger than 18 can't even vote much less those unfortunate enough to get born in 2050 even though current decisions affect them vastly more than someone who is currently over 60 now. Culturally, most people have some concern for their own children (and their children's children) but in practice most demonstrate much less concern for other people's children and so on. There's no real "consideration of one's actions 7 generations out" in our culture. We're culturally accustomed to their idea of progress and that the next generation will be better off than the current generation. A big part of the current grieving and gnashing of teeth is that it is becoming personally clear to many that this is no longer the case---that our children will be worse off than we are; their children, if any, worse again and so on. I have no doubt that many will seek a realpolitik solution to this zero/negative-sum game fighting for their own tribe and in turn killing others either directly or by starving them out rather than changing their own values.

However, these human limits to concern for others also explain much of the current policy deadlock. There's no easy choice between "how many" and "how well", that is, choosing between the size of our population and how well we should live (standard of living). You can have one or the other if you choose now but ultimately nature will prevent you from having both and eventually neither if the choice is postponed for much longer. Note that this is not necessarily equitably distributed. Some can have a lot while others are starving. This is the normal situation and the one we have to day. This is e.g. why malnutrition is referred to as an "economic distribution" problem---rather than e.g a moral problem, say---because we've defined the problem and therefore the solution in market terms. (Within this century it will become "an agricultural production problem". At that point economists will likely try to write big checks in an attempt to make food magically appear out of droughts.). When people talk about "climate equity" it is essentially about which generations and locations (countries) get to live and how well. This is not really any different than standard politics in terms of agreeing on the limits of being rich or poor (if any) except it extends globally and into the future rather than just the current election year/map. And as I said, humans have no system for deciding this other than national leaders meeting and talking at conferences over and over again.

This, then comes down to a discussion of how large should the world's human population be; how well should it live; and how should the wealth/children be distributed in both current and subsequent generations. These choices have to be made both in present time but also for future generations. By future generations I don't mean in the abstract but specifically for those of us living now, those being born now, and those being born 30 years from now, and so on. These are or will be real humans with all their limits and aspirations. If we don't set our own limits (and clearly we don't) then nature will set them for us. The natural limit that keep popping up in the literature is between 500 million and 1 billion humans living with an overall 18th century standard of living by the end of the 22nd century regardless of what we do. Note that this does not require some kind of single-event apocalypse to happen. It could be achieved over time by substantially higher death rates (translation a return to shorter lifespans on average ~ say 40 years or so) most likely through a higher disease burden following widespread poverty and increasingly worse/unavailable nutrition with human conflicts (wars, refugees) about how will be better off and who will be worse off relative to that trend. That is the most likely way.

National policies are by [unintentional] design limited in terms of what they can do as are human individuals. Thus I strongly believe that "conservative policy solution" is a kind of oxymoron---because "policy solution" has demonstrated its futility for decades now. You can have a "conservative policy" for sure ... and seeing what young GOPs doing is a good start because they're somewhat more concerned than older voters because it affects them more. You can similarly have a "progressive policy". However, neither will ever go much beyond subsidizing technologies, programs, or industries, calls for actions, and taxes/credits to nudge individual behavior and otherwise not interfering too much with other economic or individual concerns until there's a way to enforce a global cap on the emissions and a global cap on population (size and/or movement). My prediction is that this will never happen.

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