- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Here's an assignment for you

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on July 15, 1999 at 10:27:31:

In Reply to: tiresome but then, thats why we post here posted by Gee on July 13, 1999 at 18:11:33:

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

: You aswell? ok.

: : 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."

: It is, want to try earth without it?

SDF: Non sequitur: nobody is recommending that we do without atmospheric CO2. Starting from the presumption that "CO2 is our friend "is NOT scientific method, like duh.

:That premise leads to no conclusion about how much. Hence that is a worthwhile focus for any study and simply saying 'its more thus its bad' is a blind leap. Venus is a non sequiter.

SDF: Please move there. If CO2 is our friend, then the more the merrier, and Venus has all you want.

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

: By employing same.

SDF: Try to actually employ a reductio ad absurdum of Herman Daly's logic -- so far I haven't seen it from you. But I have seen a reductio ad absurdum of Simon's logic, and I found Daly's logical technique to be such child's play that I used the same technique on a few pages of THE ULTIMATE RESOURCE II chosen at random and found Simon's text to be describable as complete nonsense.

: : This is meant to puncture the balloon of Simon's assertion that human society is already a utopia of ever-increasing cornucopia.

: with a time limit of, ooh, a few billion years at least.

SDF: So we can destroy the world's resource base and still live off of nothing for a few million years. Gee guarantees it, all you need to do is refuse to ask for scientific proof.

: Unless you see mankind tied irrevocable to earth with no chance of adaptation either elsewhere or on earth.

SDF: I see, so you have a cheap, energy-efficient means of moving millions of people off-planet to another safe, habitable planet. Hurry up and make millions off of it before someone else gets the same idea!

: then limit it to millions, there being no 'doomsday' dates offered except for cataclysmic fantasies about oil.

SDF: The end of cheap oil is not a "cataclysmic fantasy," and neither was the 1974 Oil Embargo.

: I am glad daly took care to personalise his conclusion as his personal wish.

SDF: Gideon has already shown how the global warming disproofs are the product of hacks paid by the oil industry -- whose personal wishes do their conclusions personalize?

: : 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

: you can if you wish


: , I'd like to know which simple declarative sentence Gee thinks is "spurious," since he has already declared that he thinks so.

: That he concludes from the universe being finite to 'We should learn to be good stewards of what is already under our dominion'

SDF: We should therefore be bad stewards of what is already under our dominion?

: : 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.

: No SDF an example is for you to PROVE that human activity is certainly responsible for climate changes,

SDF: This would be an example of the DISPROOF of global warming? Read again what I said. I said that "an example that would disprove the notion that significant increases in CO2 content create global warming would be..."

and then to show that said changes are more destructive to mankind that what is created by the human activity, its not to push it out into the open and then say "there, disprove that!" and a bag a load of legal directoves from it.

SDF: I DIDN'T DO THAT. All I did was to show that the article you cited was irrelevant to efforts to discredit theories of anthropogenetic global warming. I didn't say that this irrelevance was supposed to establish anything FOR such theories.

: Do you believe that what I am saying is that the worls is fine, who cares - or that before we enforce masses of regulation

SDF: WE? Who says that's my solution?

: we actually bother to explore all the possibilities

SDF: I've already discredited the links you showed. Please offer better possibilities.

: and to show across the board that there can be no doubt that such and such activities are more objectively demonstrably destructive than they are constructive with the standard of value being agreed upon by all concerned?

SDF: So we should wait until the icecaps are all melted, the wild species are all extinguished, the air is thick with the stink of burning shale-oil, and the hot spot for immigration is the Northwest Territories, before deciding anything. Full proof is fine: I'll take 99% proof.

: : 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?

: And no definitive evidence, rigerously attacked skeptical scientists endeavouring to disprove it and failing, that it is human activity that causes it and that its 'more destructve etc etc above'.

SDF: The skeptics you've brought to my attention so far have all been charlatans. Got any more?

: : Meanwhile you can go respond to Gideon Hallett's further demolition of your premises.

: Funny idea about what constitutes a 'demolition', a news article claiming that something like OPEC might happen again in a few years.

SDF: Go back and look again. Did GH just cite the article and leave?

: : : Mankind - guilty unless proven innocent?

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

: January 14th 2028 : A billion barrels produced today, industry is happy, abundance grows, yippee lets carry on.

: January 15th 2028 : Shit its all dried up overnight, we couldnt adapt, no one saw it coming, aaaargh.

SDF: Gee, it's amazing that you'd parade this false caricature of the end of the Era of Cheap Oil, even though I've been citing a completely different scenario time and time again. What will happen, for those of you patient enough to sit still for a zillionth reiteration of this, is that the price of oil will go up, and it won't come down again. The oil won't dry up, but there will be less of it around, and its extraction costs will be significantly higher.

: Care for any predictions? Care to explain why, however entrenched oil use is in western civilisation, its slow slow dissapearance over the next several decades will devastate mankind, why - if adaptation to its use took only a few decades, we will not be able to adapt to its non-use in the future without losing all that was gained from it?

SDF: Well, it's time to start kicking the oil habit now. Are you interested at all in how this is going to happen? Here's an assignment for you. Detail all of the uses of fossil fuels across the globe. Now find an easy transition to a non-fossil fuel-using technology for each of them. Then, show how you're going to produce the non-fossil fuel-using technology without yourself using any fossil-fuels. Finally, show how the "natural workings of the market" is going to accomplish all of this, given an oil industry anxious to increase the depletion of oil reserves to zero as fast as possible in order to increase profits, and a consumer class anxious to buy technologies and resources at the lowest possible price. Good luck.

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