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Last Build Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2017 23:06:36 +0000


Comment on Unforced Variations: August 2017 by nigelj

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 23:06:36 +0000

zebra @369 "Say that tomorrow, the world population stabilized, and started to go down, as it has wherever there is social security and women are empowered. Would there still be “growth”? Would there still be poverty, and great wealth/power disparity?" Gdp growth is increased output of goods and services. Smaller global population would not require so many goods and services, so I think the impetus for growth would stall a bit. Smaller population would struggle to achieve growth with less people to contribute, but it would be counter balanced to some extent by potential robotics and automation. There would still be severe poverty especially with lower growth rates to lift everyones boats. There's enough wealth in countries like America to end poverty within that country, its a distribution question. There would still be income and wealth inequality. Changing the size of population or gdp growth rates obviously doesn't alter wealth distribution or wage rates. Capitalism tends to generate inequality ( as a negative sort of side effect). The only period where inequality was reasonably low in the western world was in the period 1945 - 1980 as in the article below. This was in capitalist economies like America that had policies of trade protectionism, trade unionism, high marginal tax rates, inheritance taxes, income support, well regulated banks, etc. I'm not saying go back to all those things, but it may become necessary to adopt some of them somehow.

Comment on Unforced Variations: August 2017 by Thomas

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 23:03:03 +0000

373 Kevin McKinney - PS - I think ti is useful and insightful to understand that like that idiot in Charlottesville there are thousands more who would happily put a bullet in every climate scientists head or run them down with a truck at the next AGU meeting. That's the reality, that's how totally bereft of reason and sanity many of these people are. It's rhetoric by the likes of Trump, Victor, WUWT, KIA, Breitbart and Fox News, and Lamar Smith, and Judith Curry and Facebook, Twitter and Google's Youtube who inspire such morons to action - and create enough crap in the public domain that psychotic delusional incompetent idiots like Trump get voted into office in the first place.

Comment on Unforced Variations: August 2017 by Thomas

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 22:57:03 +0000

373 Kevin McKinney asks: "More interesting to me is, what would you say on the vexed topic of transition to a sustainable world? I have already stated my position on that topic on a number of occasions. Basically, (or shall we say simplistically lol) it isn't going to happen voluntarily nor by planned intent. The current paradigms are too entrenched in the collective psyche, imho. That and it is not the majority will or commons sense that rules this world, but the beliefs and actions of extremist minorities who will do and say anything to get what they want. There's the ISIS cliche and then there';s the neonazis who will drive through a crowd of people to make their point and insist upon acting out their attention seeking psychopathology. Trump and HRC are simply less violent versions of that kind of behaviour - same bone different horses. Look at it this way, Hitler's nazis never once held a majority in the German parliament and yet Hitler was still made Chancellor and took control of the majority and the nation. Those extremists that push for AGW/CC denial and blocking any and every rational response to it are no different to Hitler or ISIS recruits. Then there are their enablers such as Rupert Murdoch who infest the news media of today - and for a majority of people in the west having the freedom to lie and manipulate is far more important to their corrupt values and belief systems than the freedom to know the Truth. In such circumstances as this, the most likely outcome based on human history and human psychology is reflected in the fall of Rome - things "could" change for the better - the problems/causes "could" be solved but history suggests other outcomes are far more likely at this point. Thanks for asking. No worries about the little error, I wasn't upset/angry, merely correcting the record, for the record. :-) With "video" refs, when I note set time in the url's usually 1 to 5 minutes conveys what I am pointing to for consideration. Up to you how much to view. The other alternative is note the speaker/source and do some research via google scholar or some other means to get where they are coming from. Often I provide urls to the home pages (and academic papers) of such people like Lakoff, K Anderson, Mirowski etc as a time saving help to readers interested in learning more. Each to their own though. :-)

Comment on Unforced Variations: August 2017 by Thomas

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 22:27:42 +0000

@ zebra "People come to the very scientific RC and criticize the Denialists for being unscientific and rhetorical in their arguments, but demonstrate the same lack of reason and self-discipline when it comes to their own emotionally-driven position on everything else." That's worth repeating. :-)

Comment on Unforced Variations: August 2017 by Thomas

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 22:23:16 +0000

366 nigelj says: “It’s just not that simple.” #3, hi mate, not picking on you, "simply" using your comment as a 'teaching moment'. :-) You mentioned "Obama also wanted more support for home owners, but was voted down by congress." While my ref'd article also said "One cannot blame Obama for Trump. It was the Republicans – craven to the mob within their base, which they have always courted but ultimately could not control – that nominated and, for now, indulges him (trump). [...] what Obama did – or rather didn’t do – economically. He entered the White House at a moment of economic crisis, with Democratic majorities in both Houses and bankers on the back foot. Faced with the choice of preserving the financial industry as it was or embracing far-reaching reforms that would have served the interests of those who voted for him, he chose the former. Even as we protest about the 'new normal', we should not pretend it is replacing something popular or effective. Just a couple of months into his first term he called a meeting of banking executives. “The president had us at a moment of real vulnerability,” one of them told Ron Suskind in his book Confidence Men. “At that point, he could have ordered us to do just about anything and we would have rolled over. But he didn’t – he mostly wanted to help us out, to quell the mob.” People lost their homes while bankers kept their bonuses and banks kept their profits. In 2010 Damon Silvers of the independent congressional oversight panel told Treasury officials: “We can either have a rational resolution to the foreclosure crisis, or we can preserve the capital structure of the banks. We can’t do both.” They chose the latter. Not surprisingly, this was not popular. Three years into Obama’s first term 58% of the country – including an overwhelming majority of Democrats and independents – wanted the government to help stop foreclosures. His Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, did the opposite, setting up a programme that would “foam the runway” for the banks. So when Hillary Clinton stood for Obama’s third term, the problem wasn’t just a lack of imagination: it was that the first two terms had not lived up to their promise. So much for Obama being an inspirational leader who would bring CHANGE to Washington. :-) and "And even as we protest about the legitimacy of the “new normal”, we should not pretend it is replacing something popular or effective. The old normal was not working. [...] Symbols should not be dismissed as insubstantial; but nor should they be mistaken for substance." It's Trump who is now using precedents set and highly empowered institutions by Obama to chase down and imprison "leakers" exposing Trump's white house shenanigans and bs. Timothy Geithner (liberal democrat leftie pro-unionist pro-equality people person) left the Obama administration on January 25, 2013, and joined the Council on Foreign Relations as a distinguished fellow. In March 2014, he became the president and managing director of Warburg Pincus, a private equity firm. In February 2016, it was announced that JPMorgan Chase would provide a line of credit to help Warburg Pincus executives invest in a new multibillion-dollar fund at the firm. Go figure .... Obama hired him as Treasury Secretary in the first place. Obama was not and never will be a solution to any ills or problems - Obama was the problem - as was/is HRC and the rest of these slippery bs artists who falsely claim they care about the people and are "liberals&quo[...]

Comment on Unforced Variations: August 2017 by nigelj

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 22:11:54 +0000

zebra @370 "Zcapitalism is characterized only by the existence of “money” and the rule of law (meaning, everyone in society accepts some durable token as having value, and the State enforces that.)" Well hmmm. What about an economy based on bitcoin? Doesn't that undermine your argument? I don't think you can reduce capitalism to one simple definition related to the money system. Governments enforcing value of money was something that enabled capitalism to grow, but doesn't seem an essential defining feature. However I agree you could argue the rule of law was defining of capitalism, as it enables individuals to own private property if they want, but doesn't stop the state also doing this! So you may be onto something... "I make the distinction between real property ......We also agreed citizens may vote" Yeah agreed on all that. "Declining populations?" But this is only happening in a few limited countries. The main trend is global population growth (unfortunately), that hopefully eventually stabilise. This is a separate from economic growth. "First, the value of labor increases as it becomes more scarce. Will robots replace some humans? Sure, but at some point there must be an equilibrium that will be determined economically." Yes eventually, and it could be at zero economic growth. My concern was more should society deliberately aim for zero economic growth starting right now, both philosophically, practically and with the law etc. I'm not convinced. "In terms of resources and resource extraction and consumption– well, you can only “eat” so much..." Yes obviously. "Anyway, my point is that if you begin with the assumption of continued population growth, you might as well give up. " I'm not talking about population growth, never have been. I have been talking about economic growth, as in increasing output of goods and services driven by better technology etc. I certainly agree we should stabilise population growth asap. Population puts pressure on the environment. We don't need any more people!

Comment on Unforced Variations: August 2017 by Thomas

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 21:36:43 +0000

366 nigelj says: “It’s just not that simple.” #2 Consider how deniers leapt upon the shift in global temps growth and falsely claimed global warming had stopped. They took one simple number and proceeded to abuse the complicated truth unstated in that Simplistic Yardstick. People who do not know much and are not experts in economics, marketing, business or government do the very same thing about national and global GDP Growth - it's a false Yardstick that's far more complex than the simple minded would like it to be. Manipulators pushing their own self-interest also misuse such Simple Numbers to lie endlessly to the people - be they politicians, extreme ideologues or corporate boards. Of course I and others could present 100s of "facts" regarding the nuances and complexities and distortions within the simple notion of Growth % however what's the point? Telling people facts makes no difference when they insist on merely defending their own "beliefs/ideology" as opposed to learning something new and accurate. They need a new story, a new narrative to educate them better. However, as it's not the climate scientists job to tell people HOW to fix the current system to radically and rapidly cut GHG emissions, it's not my job or responsibility to educate people better on the complexities of GDP Growth either. Mr KIA is not the only KIA in this world. Gavin doesn't bother, and neither will I - for very sound rational reasons. :-) Like, it's easy to blame Trump today for all the current ills in America, however there's a lot more "Trumpism" lurking inside most peoples Psyche today than they are capable of admitting. Bottom line? GDP Growth is about as real and accurate and meaningful and useful as a Simplistic Yardstick as the NYSE DJIA is .... like in Global mean Temps the devil is in the complex details. *twinkle*

Comment on Sensible Questions on Climate Sensitivity by Nic Lewis

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 21:33:47 +0000

@-1=e^ipi "What you are referring to is more commonly referred to as coverage bias. It’s important to distinguish between the two. There is a cooling bias due to inadequate coverage in HadCRUT4, which is corrected by Cowtan & Way. " The difference between HadCRUT4 and C&W warming in recent decades has very little to do with HadCRUT4 having inadequate coverage per se, in particular too low coverage in high latitudes in the Acrtic. That is shown by the fact that, per ECMWF's analysis of ERAinterim (the best regarded reanalysis) surface air temperatures over 1979-2014, warming is slightly greater if coverage is reduced to match that of HadCRUT4. As I implied, the difference between HadCRUT4 and C&W warming relates principally to the treatment of temperatures where there is sea ice. "However, since Cowtan & Way assumes constant instead of decreasing sea ice, there is an additional cooling bias, which is mostly corrected for by Berkeley Earth since they allow sea ice to vary. From 1990-2016, Cowtan & Way uses satellite data (if you are referring to the short C&W version), where as Berkeley Earth does not, which can allow Cowtan & Way to warm faster than Berkeley Earth." As I wrote, Cowtan & Way examined this bias and found it to be immaterial, which is consistent with the fact that Cowtan & Way v2 warms faster than BEST over 1990-2016, when the vast bulk of the decline in Arctic sea ice occurred. I referred to the long C&W version, which does not use satellite data.

Comment on Unforced Variations: August 2017 by nigelj

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 21:28:26 +0000

Killian @368 "nigel is paraphrased as saying Aiming for zero growth doesn’t make sense to me.Yes, we know. Thus the endlessly pointless debate from two people with extremely little understanding of economics taking up half the Unintended Variations. You don’t get it, so stop talking about it." Really? In fact quite a lot of people on this thread question aiming for zero growth. Most of the economics profession are against the idea. "Capitalism, to be successful, requires endless growth, which is impossible, which is ALL you need to know, yet, you still don’t get it." Capitalism doesnt require endless growth to work. Private ownership and making a profit does not require growth. Capitalism has ALREADY been successful. Obviously endless growth is impossible in a finite world, but we are a long way from such constraints. There's room for growth yet. Capitalism will eventually change as circumstances change.Its about what we do right now and whether limiting the system to zero growth today makes sense, and I don't think it does. "Creation and consumption of virtually everything we use in modern society requires destruction of the environment and an increase in GHs, which ALL you need to know, yet you still don’t get it." Yes I agree everything humans do has environmental impacts. Even steady state zero growth economies have environmental impact! On that bases human beings might as well commit mass suicide. Lets leave the planet to itself. Is that what you want? "There is only one economics system that works with nature, and that is simple exchange within a series of bio-regional Commonses, and Commonses down the line to the level of the neighborhood/village." Vague, wishy washy and undefined. Any tool using culture still has environmental impacts. There's no ideal system that does not "disturb" nature. However organic farming may well have merit. The answer is capitalism, but with much better environmental laws and controls (and controls on the bankers). This would encourage organic farming and things like that which you support. I have yet to see a sensible alternative. Growth will find its own level within such a system, and may ultimately get towards zero growth, but that is not my prime concern. Theres also such a thing as good forms of growth and bad forms of growth. This is what debate should be about.

Comment on Unforced Variations: August 2017 by Thomas

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 21:08:09 +0000

366 nigelj says: "It’s just not that simple." Yeah I know Nigel. However my nz 'bro' sharing different views perspectives angles frames beliefs has to be done "simply", one simple step at a time, one simple link at a time, one simple blog comment at a time. *twinkle* Economics is no less complex than climate science. It's the deniers who irrationally and unreasonably demand that it should be and is "simple" or who falsely claim that climate scientists asserting there is a "consensus" is a simple point that proves all their work and opinions / conclusions a failure and a definite conspiracy by crazy greenies and radical left wing anarcho-communists intent on destroying the world and turning them into slaves imprisoned in Gulags. Nothing is simple, imho. However there some pretty simple people out there with access to very complicated computer tech they bought at a shop that convinced them they are just as good as PBS/ABC/NZTV. Unfortunately. :-)