- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Here we go again

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on July 13, 1999 at 16:59:51:

In Reply to: but you do posted by Gee on July 13, 1999 at 12:22:22:

: : SDF: And I'm arguing that you're arguing corporate nonsense. Glad we got that cleared up.

: So, when scientists receive funds from industrialists they are wrong, when they receive them from the WWF or Greenpeace they are right and when government funded they refelct the 'will of the people'?

SDF: Let's avoid the assumption that scientific truth is produced with certain types of money.

: : derived from Julian Simon's The Ultimate Resource II

: Thanks for actually linking the book, you no doubt see it as damning itself, but linking it is surprisingly non partisan of you.

SDF: I've already argued why in great detail, too.

: My caution, ofcourse, is in inteprating scientifically gathered data and making conclusions ther on.

SDF: That's why you provide links to the Greening Earth society, which starts from the premise that "CO2 is beneficial to humankind and all of nature." This would of course explain why the planet Venus is so vibrant and full of life, but let's excuse that clunker, momentarily, and ask why it's important for such so-called scientists to put CONCLUSIONS such as the above BEFORE they do studies as to WHETHER the above is true. Caution is clearly advised with such spurious renditions of the scientific method.

: The herman daly review relies heavily on nitpicking Simons book

SDF: No, it's a reductio ad absurdum of Simon's logic.

: and 'proving' via entropy that if the universe is slowly dying

SDF: This is a misconception of the notion of entropy. Entropy argues that increasing the order in one sphere will decrease the order in other spheres. This is meant to puncture the balloon of Simon's assertion that human society is already a utopia of ever-increasing cornucopia.

: then resources cant really be infinite thus we must start now, today, in restricting our use of them. The premise is accurate the conclusion spurious and unconnected.

SDF: Daly's REAL conclusion, for those still interested:

We must abandon the shallow, contrived optimism of growthmania once and for all. The end of growthmania is no cause for despair; it is a hopeful new beginning. To me the optimistic alternative is that of a steady state at a sufficient, sustainable level in which many future generations can rejoice in the loving study and care of God's creation.

Further prolongation of the current compulsive quest for infinite growth, power, and control is what I find depressing. We should learn to be good stewards of what is already under our dominion rather than seek always to enlarge that dominion. We who have done a poor job of managing a small domain should not trust ourselves to take over control of an ever larger "infinite" domain.

Putting aside the idea that Daly's article is a call for "restrictions," which are mentioned nowhere in his conclusion (thus one can conclude that Gee's characterization of it is spurious), I'd like to know which simple declarative sentence Gee thinks is "spurious," since he has already declared that he thinks so.

: :SDF: This article has as its presupposition the notion that scientific truth is a matter of taking a vote among scientists.

: Strange you would be against this, as you seem to think it proper to apply them same to peoples lives.

SDF: We decide things by vote because we have to work together. We don't decide what to believe by vote because we believe separately. Having trouble with this? Apparently so.

: : SDF: This tries to discredit the idea of CO2 as a "greenhouse" by making an illicit comparison between global warming in natural history as a product of increases in solar luminosity,

: Illicit because you have decided that it must be CO2. Loads of CO2 and you get a greenhouse effect, its been shown to happen therefore it must be the cause of current warming on earth. Well this is the same as saying pollution has been shown to affect so called 'monitor' animals like frogs therefore a mutated frog *must* be a sign of pollution. hence my reference to the frog debacle recently which made such a blind stab in the dark connection without seeing what was *actually* happening.

SDF: An example that would disprove the notion that significant increases in CO2 content create global warming would be an example from natural history where some other animal increased the CO2 content drastically, without any significant change in global climate. That wasn't what was provided in your article. Try again.

: You seem to have a lot of confidence that humans *must* be the cause of global warming based upon the above type of leap from a true premise (CO2 is shown to be a 'greenhouse gas')

SDF: What is behind this true premise? The fact that 1998 was the hottest year (for aggregate temperatures) in recorded history (and much further back) perhaps, as correlated with increasing CO2 atmospheric buildup?

: to a conclusion (therefore humans cause global warming) without having absolute certainty.

SDF: If this is indeed your logical speculation as to why people think global warming is anthropogenic, you should set about disproving it by showing that SOME OTHER FORCE is increasing global atmospheric CO2. Given the enormous effluent of global oil consumption, one might be hard-pressed to find it. This Newt Gingrich stuff about volcanoes has already been shown to be a wash. Solar radiation changes can only account for a portion of global warming, as shown previously. In short: try again. Meanwhile you can go respond to Gideon Hallett's further demolition of your premises.

BTW, if you're really such a believer in Simon's notion of the infinite substitutability of resources, why don't you switch over to non-CO2-producing resources today, if it's so easy? What cause for worry do you really have? If there's a problem with oil, we just stop using it, as recommended by Simon, and everything will be OK.

: Mankind - guilty unless proven innocent?

SDF: The oil industry, long may its profits and propaganda flow.

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