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A Thousand Words

Written By: - Date published: 9:12 am, August 11th, 2018 - 139 comments
Categories: capitalism, climate change, economy, Environment, global warming, science - Tags: ,

Lifted from this piece (“Welcome to the Pliocene”) published on the Skeptical Science web site.

Data details: atmospheric CO2, temperature anomaly relative to the pre-industrial era and sea-levels relative to now measured and from palaeoclimate records. The graphic, created by “JG”, is adapted from Table S1 from the paper’s supporting information section, available here. Data sources are fully referenced.

Besides the supporting information used for the graph (the link’s in that there small print) the full paper by Will Steffan et al is here.

It should probably be noted that “just about everyone” suggests that around 3°C of warming will result from the full implementation of current government pledges given at Paris – not the 2°C mentioned as “a target” by those attending Paris.

And 2°C isn’t even anywhere near close to being ‘safe’.

So, if climate changes are the bullets shredding our futures and we want ‘safe’, then we need to drop the uzi we’re spraying those bullets from. In other words, capitalism must go.

Any objections?

139 comments on “A Thousand Words”

  1. marty mars 1

    “The big problem we have is that we happened to develop as a species during an icehouse climate, and especially during a relatively stable interglacial – the Holocene – during which we have created a widespread high-tech and interdependent infrastructure (i.e. civilisation as we know it), much of which is rooted to the ground. A transition, over the coming centuries, towards Hothouse essentially means an ongoing battle with us on the one side and changing weather-patterns and rising seas on the other, until there is no more Polar or mountain ice left to melt. Chaos, in other words.”

    sums it up well.

    • Bill 1.1

      Yes, that descriptive quote from the Skeptical Science piece does sum stuff up.

      But beyond mere descriptions that provide us with zero agency, we really need to address how the us on the one side (as the piece positions us) are going to arrange ourselves- how we’re going organise our societies and lives.

      We can’t do ‘capitalist’ if we want a shot at survival, because maintaining capitalism necessarily means chewing through fossil.

      So the sooner we stop doing it, the better our future prospects in a fairly dire world will be.

      • Cynical Jester 1.1.1

        There is no happy ending to humanity. We’re not going to organize. We’re not going to get rid of capitalism and even if we do its already too late, We are going to die out and probably closer to 20-50 years than a hundred… what we are gonna do is ….. get rid of plastic bags and straws so middleclass people can lie to themselves that they are delaying what at this point is inevitable….

        I wonder if the species that replaces us as the predominant species will have meusems and fossils of us and our artifacts like we do the dinosaurs, i hopen so I alwas wanted to be a star 😜. Have a great weekend

        • jimekus 1.1.1.1

          Our last invention will be nano-machines made to not only sequester excess CO2 but to deconstruct ALL human artifacts from plastic bags in the ocean to all objects, traces of our DNA, and any evidence that we ever existed, a bit like in the movie The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008).

      • marty mars 1.1.2

        I find most spend too much time on solutions without really understanding the problem – the problem isn’t global warming – it is human behaviour that led to global warming imo.

        Running around with premature solutions is as bad as having none at all imo.

        I really do not think the problem is understood anywhere near enough which is why any of the solutions seem unworkable and fanciful.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.1

          I find most spend too much time on solutions without really understanding the problem – the problem isn’t global warming – it is human behaviour that led to global warming imo.

          I keep telling people that Climate Change is proof that we can’t afford cars. Most people are somewhat taken aback by it.

          When they come back with electric cars I tell them that we can’t afford the congestion.

          • marty mars 1.1.2.1.1

            yes you have consistently understood one of the real problems, as bill has, and that is/are the behaviours caused by capitalism.

        • Bill 1.1.2.2

          it is human behaviour that led to global warming

          Really? So are you suggesting it’s “in our genes” or something? That global warming was inevitable from the moment we dropped from some trees somewhere? That we “couldn’t help ourselves”?

          We have an economic system that elevates and rewards certain behaviours or traits. And that economic system could have arisen – in fact did arise – without a dependence on fossil fuels.

          But then, exploitation plays out ‘better’ when there’s an increased and secure power disparity between those doing the exploiting and those being exploited.

          That was where fossil came into the picture – its very particular and deliberate use empowered industrialists and disempowered workers and the peasants who weren’t yet workers.

          And that economic system of exploitation that intensified off the back of fossil – that realised a ridiculous amount of power off the back of fossil – is utterly dependent upon it. In that regard, fossil’s both the power and the Achilles heel of capitalism.

          Not that physics is paying any attention to the finer points of human shenanigans. (410ppm and counting, is it?)

          The problem is simple to understand – CO2’s being released into the earths bio-spheres and building in the atmosphere and oceans causing an increase in temperature. The solution’s easily grasped. Stop doing it.

          • marty mars 1.1.2.2.1

            for gods sake – your first paragraph is demented.

            I’m just not going bother with shit like that from you anymore.

            • Dennis Frank 1.1.2.2.1.1

              Well I see where Bill is coming from. Seems like he isn’t rating addiction psychology sufficiently highly as an operative factor. Combine addiction to fossil fuels, addiction to business as usual, addiction to co-dependency on employers for our survival, it’s a powerful mix.

              • David Mac

                I get Marty’s point. I agree, the fine mess we’ve got ourselves in is a product of our desire to keep bettering and improving. It is a human trait. We all want our kids to have what we believe is a better life than us, always have, evolution. Winding back the clock is such a hard sell, a big bitter pill to swallow. Fiddling around with Countdown bags isn’t even moving around the deck chairs on the Titanic, it’s moving a side-table ashtray 3mm. Dammit, I’ve grown to like glass windows and writing with a found seagull’s feather in vegetable dye on my hand made flax linen paper just doesn’t appeal. (Beetroot stains are forever.)

                • marty mars

                  thanks david but my original points raised for discussion in support of this post have been trashed now and sinister meanings dug hard for and deliberately misinterpreted, then taken and judgments made and that is really the low level of debate from some people. I’ll not comment on this post again or any of bills posts – I just don’t need the fucken bullshit frankly.

                  • Gabby

                    But at least it’s clear that Billy is a clever fellow.

                    • marty mars

                      Well it is bills post and I am the one who dropped the ball. Seems I have a communication difficulty that has nothing to do with bill. My bad. Sorry bill.

            • Bill 1.1.2.2.1.2

              That first para is the basic rationale that underscores notions about us entering into a period that should be called the Anthropocene.

              Maybe you didn’t mean to invoke Anthropocene nonsense with your original comment. But if that’s the case, then I’d suggest you avoid using grand sweeping claims that orbit around nebulous notions of human behaviour.

  2. greywarshark 2

    I like your heading of your post about climate and global warming Bill written in 2014.
    https://thestandard.org.nz/idiots-cowards-and-bastards/

    Some good thinking going on there. I haven’t time to read it as I am popping 5 mins to town to expand some pages on genealogical chart to A3 size, only 8 cents for A4 so good price. I’ll put down what I know about family history so family has some idea of who we are, and where we were, as civilisation erodes from nature’s
    excesses and our lack of nurture.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    I’ve long been advocating the radical centrist option: take the best of both & integrate them via sophisticated design. But I’m open to the possibility of a radical leftist option. The reason I stopped expecting one to arrive long ago was the obvious failure of the leftists to learn from mistakes of the past & think differently.

    So the central design conceptualising has to be around incentive structures. Unless the left get their heads around how they can be designed into a system so as to produce collaboration for the common good, they’ll remain on square one. The Blairites managed to do it with stakeholder psychology but inexplicably applied it to the status quo rather than the future. Thus, no progress. Pretend to be progressive but not actually be progressive – that’s a central part of the traditional leftist sham.

    But critical analysis isn’t enough, we must proceed to creative synthesis. That requires overcoming internal prejudice enough to identify the requisite design elements necessary to produce a viable system that will work better than capitalism. Ponder this question: if businesses are driven by enterprise, then what common interests are shared by those who participate, and how can the business provide mutual benefits to society as a whole (as well as organisational profits)?

    • Incognito 3.1

      I like your comment(s).

      Taking the best of both worlds – assuming the political polarisation is as real and extreme as some have us believe – and bolting them together is neither synthesis nor integration; it’s moving deckchairs.

      Perhaps we should view our current dilemma not as either-or-and, as (mutually exclusive and polar) opposites, but as complementary (see The Complementary Nature by Engstrom and Kelso). That opens the possibility (in our minds) for emergence (of new ideas and mind-sets).

      Jung proposed the transcendent function in psychology, or psychotherapy rather, and perhaps the latter better describes our current situation and way forward …

      In other words, we’re possibly looking for ‘solutions’ in the wrong way: abandon Capitalism and replace it with something else appears to be based on old (false) dichotomous thinking, which hasn’t got us anywhere and it never will IMO.

      • SPC 3.1.1

        An option has been and will remain, finance.

        Should the state allocate to itself, free of debt, a share of finance?

        This gives it the means to do more, while leaving the private sector, including property buyers, to compete over the rest of the allocation.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.2

        I take your point and agree that transcendence is an essential part of what is required. However it isn’t enough. People must start to work together. For the left, this means a pendulum back from individualism to collectivism. “Yay, Marx!” they will shout, leaping in the air. Not so fast. The rebel yell ought to signal the future, not the past.

        • Bill 3.1.2.1

          ffs – how “transcended” does anyone have to be in order to not spark fossil!?

          It’s not like it’s hard. There’s no great awareness or intelligence or skill required.

          Last time you drove your car, or flew off abroad, or whatever, were you not “transcended enough” to not do it? 🙄

          • Dennis Frank 3.1.2.1.1

            Yeah, but your personal current outlook isn’t the issue. The issue is what it takes to shift the consciousness of others out of complacency or victimisation into a proactive, future-orientated attitude. Do we become fatalistic and allow the boiled frog to be our role model? Not if I can help it.

            • Bill 3.1.2.1.1.1

              We’re not going to join hands in one big happy global family of humanity because we “transcended”.

              Fossil burning will cease when capitalism collapses. And capitalism will become untenable when enough of us withdraw our consent and participation.

              Middle classes aside, it’s hardly difficult to convince people to do that. All that’s lacking is permission.

              • Dennis Frank

                And I’m trying to get you to focus on the change that is required in the psyche of people to make happen what you want. Seeing the situation from your personal point of view isn’t enough. We must see how to trigger the mass shift.

                • Bill

                  What change in whose psyche?

                  We’ve been conditioned into believing that we must have a job and what not. Most working class people I know “work to live” – ie, they’d walk at the drop of a hat if they thought they wouldn’t be punished/starve.

                  The middle classes on the other hand, are invested. They have a “superior lifestyle” and certain privileges they’re wont to defend. As such, they are the House N****s of capitalism.

                  They can be by-passed.

                  And workers, done in and done over, merely need self belief – permission.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    I agree. As a middle-class person, I operate from the perspective of one originating in a family on the lowest rung of that ladder, struggling for a fulfilling life, finding it at times then accidentally ending up on the top rung.

                    Middle-class complacency is undeniable, and characterises the kiwi way. The rightist ethic is work hard to prosper. I guess I did, reluctantly, after the hippie phase. But prosperity is as much myth as reality, eh? What about those who never achieve it?

                    If, by workers, you mean them, then the bad news is that they exhibit no sign of any focus on a positive alternative. So where the hell are they gonna get that self-belief you mention?? And that permission to co-create something different to business as usual. No, they’re too bound into the system by their mental horizon.

                    They will only become able to shift out of that state of captivity if they are shown a different path into the future. There’s only one kind of human who can help them out: those with the know-how, can-do attitude and expertise. Learn to work that magic!

                    • David Mac

                      Yes, much better that I want to give up my V8 than have it taken from me. Show me something I want more or I’ll fight kicking and screaming the whole way.

                      If an option to use an ‘in warranty’ wind turbine to charge an infrequently used electric car was cheaper than using Contact, we’d see whirly sculptures on garages.

                    • Bill

                      So where the hell are they gonna get that self-belief you mention??

                      Step one might be as simple as simple as normalising “non-compliance” by way of thought or action. It’s what I routinely did in my former life as an active unionist. Thing about a mind that’s been parched, is that it’s often quick and enthusiastic when it’s offered forms of sustenance. And it doesn’t just give it all up again and drop into docility for no reason.

                      Workers in general already have the know-how and can-do attitude – more than most middle class people I know. But unlike the middle class that’s been encouraged to train, channel and therfore limit its potential for the benefit of “our masters” (and to a degree their own, as measured by capitalist notions of “betterment” ), the working class has simply been conditioned to discount itself.

                      What do you think the possible outcome is if millions, gradually but speedily, wake to their potential and ignore the source and machinations of conditioning that would have them think that they have none?

                      Any who seek to lead or harness any such awakening of self belief deserve to be strung up 😉

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Funny how sometimes on this site no reply button shows up under a posted comment. Anyway, to Bill, I agree that millions adopting non-compliance would force a shift in the right direction. So is it only desperation likely to trigger that shift, or can it be catalysed sooner?

                      Any who seek to lead or harness such shifts normally do become targets, which is why the yippies went for non-leaders in ’71 & the Greens went for convenors rather than leaders in ’91. Both strategies failed because humans are primates: leadership is a natural function.

                      Lao Tzu: “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”

                    • Bill

                      I’m with Lao Tzu on the question of leadership. And that means rejecting all forms of organisation that would elevate leaders and lock them in position – whether that be ‘locked in’ as individuals, cliques or by way of political or cultural dynasties.

              • Pat

                unfortunately Bill withdrawing from capitalism is self inflicted death for far too many to be a viable option…never mind there is an aversion to minor inconvenience.

                we know the future just not the timing

                • Bill

                  withdrawing from capitalism is self inflicted death for far too many…

                  I can see how chaos impacting on, say, a city of 5 million will result in death for many, in much the same way as a war or famine or whatever other catastrophe within a capitalist framework brings death to many.

                  But I can’t quite see what’s intrinsic to capitalism that the absence of it would result in death. Food can be grown and medicines manufactured and whatever services we wish to provide to ourselves as a society can be provided with different rules of production and distribution than those that define capitalism.

                  • Pat

                    your faith in the collective abilities of populations with no understanding of what is required to feed and shelter itself other than parting with cash (or electronic transfer) for their every want is admirable but I fear greatly misplaced.
                    Even with the best will and the existing model to enable and fall back on it is a precarious proposition….and so many will seek the easy option in the short term even in the knowledge it isnt sustainable…as we well know.
                    I believe a life expectancy without food is around 2 weeks.

                    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/10/paradise-lost-what-happened-to-irelands-model-eco-village

                    Theres a very good reason the worlds population never reached a billion prior to the industrial revolution, a population with huge fluctuations.

                    • Bill

                      I have faith in our potential collective abilities, and fully acknowledge that we’ve been inculcated by cultures of individualism. So the sooner we get on with de-conditioning and relearning/rediscovering, the better.

                      People will die, but that’s not because capitalism contains some life giving property that will be lost in a “baby and bathwater” scenario.

                      And as of right now, with the conditions we have set in place, many millions of people in tropical and equatorial regions are going to die. And those numbers are only going to skyrocket in the event we cling to capitalism.

                      edit – many factors contributed to a “bounded” global population. Disease was a major one. Avoidable famine was another. And limits to available energy too. None of those things and/or their former consequences are inevitable.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Good to see this report. Here’s the kicker: ““When I arrived, I thought the work was to bring a lot of approaches – green building, permaculture, renewable energy – together in a community,” says Philip. “Now I see the real work, in every community, is how do we cooperate when we have different values and world views?””

                      Stop. Look. Listen. Working together for mutual benefit only becomes possible when we first work at finding common ground upon which to build collaboration. First step is always to hear where the others are coming from. Second step is to include them in the mix. If opinions differ, as they will, don’t exclude them via polarisation. Work at identifying points of agreement.

                    • Pat

                      I’m sure however Dennis you will have also noted the following…..

                      “Some of the houses are self-built – Philip points out a hobbitish “hand-sculpted” dwelling with a roof made of recycled plastic “slates” – while others are contract-built.”

                      “They are kept warm by the district heating system up the hill, whose boilers are powered by wood chips from an Irish sawmill.”

                      “As a result, the community has had to rely on mains electricity to drive the pumps.”

                      “Their wood-fired oven restricts output to 350 loaves a week and they supplement their income by running baking classes.”

                      Many who consider themselves part of the project, including Philip, live in the old village of Cloughjordan nearby.

                      “Some people in the pub will give out about us after a few drinks, but that’s to be expected,” Philip says. He points out that the population of Cloughjordan has increased, while many other Irish country villages are losing residents, so schools are better attended and staffed as a result.”

                      Self sustaining outside of capitalism?…I think not

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Yes, Pat. Teething problems. But for an enterprise founded prior to the gfc, they’ve done well to remain on track so far. Other intentional communities have survived much longer, seeming sufficiently resilient to serve as models of sustainability.

                  • Pat

                    Capitalism (and its offspring industrialisation) does though provide “life giving properties” for the number that now call this planet home, albeit temporarily.
                    The choice is whether it is controlled now or uncontrolled later and my contention is given that that choice the overwhelming majority will select ‘later’ by inaction.
                    We all know we are going to die someday but few of us will select a date next month for the event.

                    • Bill

                      People growing food, and people researching medicines, and people developing engineering or practicing medicine or bringing goods and services from A to B is what provides “life giving properties”.

                      Capitalism is just the sets of rules that govern how all that activity unfolds.

                      If it wasn’t for the fact that we have to forego a major source of energy, then new rules could – probably would – be beneficial.

                      But given that we have to forego that major source of energy, we either try our best to develop systems such that we avoid getting caught up in some of the worst aspects of chaotic disintegration….or we get hopelessly caught up in chaotic disintegration.

                      Act now and avoid the rush? (I know, I know – we’re likely going to opt for the rush…)

                    • Pat

                      Im sorry Dennis but you are dreaming…remove the prop of the surrounding capitalist society and these communities would have failed in the first year (and failure without that prop means death)….and 10 years on this one is little removed from whence it started

                    • Pat

                      Bill, I’m all for NZ striving to become self sufficient and self reliant but am realistic enough to know that abandoning the outside world immediately makes that an impossible task…we are stuck with the international paradigm until such time as we achieve that self reliance…if we ever do.

                    • Bill

                      I don’t ever put forward the argument of “self sufficient and self reliant“.

                      As human beings we are interdependent, and in line with that, politically I’m internationalist.

                    • Pat

                      “As human beings we are interdependent, and in line with that, politically I’m internationalist”

                      even if the rest of the world retains capitalism?…I agree humans are interdependent and it would be difficult for me to be xenophobic however IF we are to begin the journey away from capitalism I dont think you are suggesting we wait until others do so, therefore self reliance (at a national level) would be prerequisite…and carbon neutral while were at it.

                    • Bill

                      Well, let’s take your NZ as international pariah and run with it.

                      What’s wrong with being only as independent as the environment and circumstances allow, and keeping an eye out for opportunities that would enhance any non-capitalist trajectory?

                      I’m kinda interested in how we’d go about positioning NZ as that intelligent pariah of the international community though, given that NZs domestic institutions are as arrayed against a move away from capitalism as those foreign or international ones you allude to.

                      Like the intentional communities you and Dennis have been discussing, I can only obtain flour or bread by non-capitalist means when someone else is producing and distributing flour or bread by non-capitalist means….

                      And we can “encourage” that development by being the “threat of the good example” 😉

                    • Pat

                      How indeed….and frankly I can see no viable way hence my original comment. As you have rightly noted there appears a disturbing correlation between economies that attempt to buck the trend and sanctions….I would add the example of capital flight to that which has equally as devastating consequences.

                      Ce la vie

                    • Dennis Frank

                      A useful model for how easily an alternative economy can snowball in the right conditions was provided long ago by James Lovelock: daisyworld. A dim memory now for me, but I recall it running as a computer model of the surface albedo in respect of global warming. Black daisies spread when sunshine breaks through cloud cover and supplant white daisies. In a partly-cloudy state of Gaia, you get homeostasis, thus the Holocene.

                      So by analogy, dependence on employers/capitalists prevails when self-reliance is harder. When employment gets dodgy, self-reliance spreads. The green-dollar schemes of the eighties did spread, but not enough to become contagious. Time-banking likewise. This may change now. If someone bakes good natural bread in a co-operative social ecosystem like those, they feed folks dedicated to providing the way toward a sustainable society.

                    • Gosman

                      Places like Venezuela and Zimbabwe should be excellent proving grounds for this ability of allowing a new approach to take root when the old system starts falling apart.

                    • Bill

                      Rojava might be a better starting point. If the people involved survive the coming months.

                    • Pat

                      there are I guess things we could try but again I reiterate that I believe none will achieve widespread support nor critical mass until such time as it is enforced by circumstance….meanwhile there will be minor attempts at the likes of ‘intentional communities’ with varying degrees of success.

                  • Pat

                    You asked…
                    “Well, let’s take your NZ as international pariah and run with it.

                    What’s wrong with being only as independent as the environment and circumstances allow, and keeping an eye out for opportunities that would enhance any non-capitalist trajectory?”

                    The only potentially viable pathway I can see is a wartime like footing whereby all resources of the country are applied to transition,
                    To start with that would likely require a government of national emergency (technocratic) and the suspension of democracy……problematic before we even start,

                    Oil use would have to be rapidly reduced and phased out almost entirely (be generous and say over a period of 10 years)…transport other than shanks’ and pedal powered would be electric therefore extremely limited….problematic for emergency services and distribution not to mention food production.

                    Food imports would cease and exports would be reduced due to a reduction in ag output…tourism would be virtually non existent.

                    All manufactured goods would have to be both repairable and long lived and only bare necessities manufactured. Recycling would be paramount.

                    Carbon sinks developed at great scale

                    All tasks allocated and performed on equity basis subject to ability and capacity…recompense (if any) at a standard rate…all necessities provided by state.

                    There will be a million things unmentioned and clarifications needed, but consider that list and ask yourself what chance it being adopted?…then consider the immediate response should it be….and yet as far as I can see without these few draconian steps a rapid reduction in CC emissions cannot occur. NZ is fortunately placed in that its population density is low, its power generation largely carbon free, its water resources relatively secure, and it is able to produce far more food than needed for local consumption..those elements are not necessarily the case elsewhere, in fact hardly anywhere, so what chance even should we achieve this nigh on impossible rapid transition that the rest of the world would be either willing or able to replicate?

                    We wont …and nor will the rest of the world until it occurs catastrophically and as said the only real question is when?

    • greywarshark 3.2

      If anyone manages to get their local government or useful charities going with some idea can they please publish it here. And perhaps establish a specual email address for answering questions and giving opinions and receiving them.

  4. SPC 4

    Do we give/get a Maunder minimum retirement present for the baby boomers golden years – more than they/we deserve?

    • Dennis Frank 4.1

      Only if God is willing. Thus far, he’s not. But a good mention nonetheless because a helpful trend like that from Sol would operate like a hand-brake on the global warming locomotive. Could make all the difference necessary for humanity to survive – limit the average global temperature rise to around 2 degrees rather than the 3 or 4 that our current trajectory will provide.

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Mass transformations often have archetypal forces driving them. Climate change can be seen as a product of the changer, as conceived by indigenous Americans, because capitalism globalised more from its newer power base in the USA than the original one in Britain.

    The Archdruid has been explaining how this significant cultural archetype is operating via Trump. He clarifies further in his response to a commenter: ” We don’t have healthy societies in the modern industrial West, so we get clobbered over the head by archetypes we’ve ignored too long. It’s quite possible that Obama’s constant meaningless babble about “change” served as a summoning; he talked change and then changed nothing, and that sort of doublebind is a good way to generate a collective psychological crisis.”

    A very perceptive insight. Obama came in via his evocation of change, rode the wave. Then failed to deliver it. Think a tsunami coming in to a tsunami wall like the one at Fukushima that wasn’t built high enough. So the archetype just keeps driving the ocean at the wall of cultural resistance, escalating the psychological pressure at the leading edge of the wave. Trump emerged in consequence of the pressure on resistant voters. For more on the changer as native american myth/archetype: https://www.ecosophia.net/the-kek-wars-part-four-what-moves-in-the-darkness/#comment-23342

    • SPC 5.1

      The market does not know how to be responsive to sustainable economic limits, until there is crisis – which means collapse. Which means they have failed to work.

      There is intellectual knowledge of them, but the profit motive market operates on shorter time frames. Making money now and leaving the public sector to solve such things, as with the Great Depression/2008 GFC.

      Knowing all of this does not result in anyone doing anything. Change will still only occur after there is system collapse. And even then, as with 2008, there is no guarantee that government will seize back power off capital.

      • Bill 5.1.1

        And if government “seizes back power”, that means we stop spewing CO2…how?

        • SPC 5.1.1.1

          In terms of GW impact, it would have to be inter-national. No single state would be able to even set the appropriate example under the current financial regime.

          At the moment the indebtedness of government is such a constraint nations cannot/do not act.

          For mine nations have to take back some semblance of control of the financial system to be able to afford to take the required action. Once this is done then international agreements that would have impact could be reached.

          • Bill 5.1.1.1.1

            In terms of GW impact, it would have to be inter-national. No single state would be able to even set the appropriate example under the current financial regime.

            NZ is one of the few countries that can. (The UK and Japan are similarly placed).

            And there’s no need to give a hoot about the current international financial regime to do it (not saying some international players wouldn’t get their knickers all in a twists mind)

            Buy our current fossil needs and give them away under a “hard sinking cap” regime. It’s not rocket science, the $ numbers stack up, and we’d get NZ to zero CO2 emissions from fuel in whatever time scale we chose….and also have the inevitable knock-on effect in terms of reduction to agriculture/land use emissions.

            Oil and Water Mix.

            • SPC 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Good luck winning a nation state election on this strategy when the rest of the world was not also invested, so it would make a difference where it is required – at the global aggregate.

              No party here that seeks to govern dares to challenge the right of those working past age 65 to continue to receive super, not even if it means their children get paid properly when working in health (and their parents are the beneficiaries) and education (their grandchildren). Instead their priority is health insurance for themselves, some inheritance capital for their children and private schools for the next generation. While that is the gated community haves and have nots of our political division – it speaks to the inherent competition between competing interests in domestic/national politics.

              It is not impossible to build a consensus for action, if TINA is accepted, but only if it is seen to be part of a greater collective effort that had some prospect of success.

              For mine that means direction of resources, and states can only afford this if there is financial reform (many first world nations are not even able to contribute to existing promises of support to the third world for renewable energy investment because of debt).

              • Bill

                Yeah. I wouldn’t be a vote winner. Free petrol!? Who-ever heard of such nonsense!!?

                But what about when or if we step beyond or over the denialist* smash that oozes from our media?

                * denialist in the form of the discouraging “it’ll be right, just carry on” nonsense – y’know, so there’ll be carbon sucky machines and/or “important” people will make “important” decisions tomorrow or the next day or whenever “important” people deem the time is right to be making those “important” decisions that you, the unwashed, needn’t bother your head about.

                Where I am (Dunedin), the council is sinking millions of dollars into drainage systems in S. Dunedin that, unless there’s been engineers studying drainage in Atlantis, and unless geneticists have been working on flipper and fin transplants, is millions for the salty brine. Oh yeah. And a hospital on reclaimed land that will be claimed back by the sea a mere decade or three after completion. And 50 odd km of road around the harbour that will not be negotiable at high tides sometime in my lifetime. I could go on.

                My point is that there is a moment sitting beyond today when political managerialism will meets reality, will be found wanting, and….well, knowing that, why wait?

                • SPC

                  I suppose, in the end, this comes under informed decision-making.

                  And this is as important as fiscal responsibility, so if we as a nation note there is no international effort to minimise future consequence, then we factor in the likely future environment reality into decision-making.

                  Which would require a ministry dedicated to providing this expertise to those making them (decisions).

                  • Bill

                    Seems you (and others) think that capitalism is compatible with some sort of viable future. And yet, the required reduction in CO2 is such that the economy wouldn’t withstand the shock, while on the other side of the coin, anything less than the required reduction will result in climate changes that neither the economy nor our physical infrastructure will withstand.

                    And so I’m puzzled at your position.

                    I guess, in short, you object to the post’s conclusion that capitalism must go if we’re to avoid much more widespread devastation and chaos than that entailed by the mere rejection of a particular economic model/theory/ideology (and whatever else may be dependent upon it).

                    And yet, that objection absolutely ensures the destruction of capitalism and much else besides.

                    • SPC

                      You surmise this from my saying, that government needs greater control over more of (allocation of money) finance if there is to be successful international action, and a process by which environmental forecasts are factors in government decision-making?

                      Saying that “the economy would not survive” the shock of the required action, is not going to win the cause popular support. And claiming that the “destruction of capitalism is essential” is only going to perpetuate the myth that the crisis is something manufactured by the left.

                      The world economy can survive action, and the more easily the sooner it is taken – because inaction will have consequences. And while there is a need for greater regulation of economic activity, and a re-direction of financial resources, this does not require the end of capitalism/private sector.

                    • Bill

                      Well, I could have surmised as much from your focus on finance that’s configured to accommodate and promote capitalism. And the reply to my previous comment is pretty explicit in wanting to preserve capitalism too.

                      I’m not interested in teams of politicians winning elections – those processes belong to institutions that, if we make the necessary shifts that will give us an outside chance of avoiding the worst of climate change, are more than likely going to be obsolete.

                      Why prop up and infuse with importance institutions that have developed hand in hand with a milieu that has to be dumped?

                      And no, it’s not just some opinion I have on that front (abandoning capitalism). If you delve into IPCC literature, you’ll find the criteria set down that all modeling has to be economically viable, and that if it isn’t, the models have to be reworked.

                      So somewhere in the region of 5% p.a. reductions in carbon are the order of the day in models , when the reality requires somewhere around 15% p.a. (and rising) And the models then accommodate that economic make belief by conjuring up carbon capture; using false peak dates; using lower than actual emission rates…

                      The consequences of inaction will be the end of globally integrated civilisation, and much else besides – not merely the end of an economy. And the scale of action required to save those things involve abandoning capitalist economics, or allowing them to be destroyed under the impacts of the necessary actions taken to avoid catastrophes.

                      And sure. I fully take your point that, in terms of a popularity contest, reality isn’t going to be getting clapped and cheered on. But that’s no reason to stick our heads down into the box that’s marked “delusional nonsense”.

                    • Philj []

                      Bill.
                      ” .. all modeling has to be economically viable, and that if it isn’t, the models have to be reworked.”
                      That’s a telling quote which basically infers the capitalist ship will sink with all aboard.

                    • SPC

                      So you think that greater control over allocation of finance, to enable debt free finance of government, is not a PC form of socialism victory over capitalism, so call it support for capitalism.

                      Banal.

                    • Bill

                      So you think that greater control over allocation of finance, to enable debt free finance of government, is not a PC form of socialism victory over capitalism, so call it support for capitalism.

                      No. I think institutions that were conceived and developed with capitalism in mind – that underscore, protect and promote capitalism will, one way or another, be rendered obsolete or inoperable because of climate change.

                      Nation states, and governments presiding over nation states, are things included on that list.

                      A call to inaction would have us fiddle around with those concepts and institutions, and end with their destruction under CC impacts, while leaving us with nothing in the way of even nascent organisational structures geared to new realities.

                      edit – very short term, but only in terms of better preparedness (adaptation) debt free finance of governments looking to build and relocate and retrofit infrastructure makes sense. But it can only be short term, and new (parallel?) institutions need to be encouraged and developed.

              • KJT

                Surprised you support the neo-liberal drive to privitise super. And leave the elderly to starve or work zero hours jobs in McDonalds, like the USA.

                • SPC

                  How is restricting super to a retirement benefit, privatising super?

                  It is in fact making tax paid super at the current rates affordable (without an increase in age beyond 65) and ensuring better public funding of health (which those over 65 need more than most) and education.

                  • KJT

                    The finance industry has been claiming super is unaffordable for as long as I can remember.

                    I wonder why??

                    Super. Reprise.

                    • SPC

                      If a government is going to continue to underfund health, education and state housing, as it intends, is it really affording super?

                      The answer is clearly no.

                      The problem can be sorted, by simply paying super to those who have retired. No one goes into any hardship – they are able and willing to work and earn at 65 as much as they did at 64 that is all. No need for a top up at 64, why at 65?

                    • KJT

                      It is blatantly obvious that the Government has too small a part of the economy. The reason why all these things suddenly become unaffordable.
                      Too much privatisation. And too little tax paid by the wealthy who have benefited from it.

                    • SPC

                      Yeah sure paying tax paid super to people still working is really sticking it to those who have not paid enough tax …

                  • greywarshark

                    If we created NZ money that can only be spent in NZ and has no overseas exchange value and paid that out to oldies, it could work. At present we make notional systems of money work. The oldies would have to do a few hours or more a week, and they would be paid adequate funds for living and have simple houses provided fi needed like pensioner housing now.

                    We shouldn’t forget the stabilising effect of having a flow of cash coming into the economy from OAP (superannuation).

                    • SPC

                      At the expense of staffing in hospitals, sufficient numbers willing to train as teachers, a sufficiency of state housing for those who retire without owning property, the ability to provide health care support to those over 65.

                      There is no stability at the moment, we are witnessing a developing crisis, if Labour does not deal with it and we go back to another 9 years of National without it being resolved … then the future for our public services and our ability to provide for the retired is dire.

                      It will lead to those over 65 without home ownership having to work to survive and health care and education run down permanently – with consequent escape to private education/charter schools and health insurance for the haves.

                    • greywarshark

                      SPC
                      What you refer to seems a return to 18th-19th century conditions that many have ‘slaved’ and sacrificed to rise above with improved conditions for all. We cannot give this up. Or can we?

                      Listening to Media Watch this morning it was about the media in general shutting out information that they have decided doesn’t concern us. For instance Yemen with the most horrific conditions in the world and a huge cholera outbreak threatening to paralyse the port city where all aid is unloaded = hardly mentioned. Whereas, Trump and some porn star Stormy someone, over same period, mentioned 355 times.

                      The small percentage of the literate and educated world who have some agency, need to join hands,. fund their outlets, try to stick to facts and honour those supplying them in a reliable way (not Jordan wossname) and allow truth to seep

                      I think it is important to get a hold on this situation. There is only so much time to inform oneself, if it gets filled with trivia, lies of politicians and demagogues, how can you get past this to see the truth in the background. How do you find the time to check whether what you regard is truth, actually is, and if not how much is truth and how much do you understand the reporters’ biases? It is easier to be informed if you give up on television and don’t bother with blogs with opinion popping up like weeds.

                      Even following the satirists gets in the way of enquiring and thinking for yourself, and when you just laugh at politicians and the foibles of powers that be you are accepting them, and the reaction should be to spend time trying to inform others and join improvement groups.

                    • Gosman

                      NZ money already can only be spent in NZ. You don’t need to create a different currency.

        • Ed 5.1.1.2

          Regulations….

  6. Ed 6

    Increasingly the truth is coming out

    This Rollong Stone article is sobering.

    “Our future,” scientist James Lovelock has written, “is like that of the passengers on a small pleasure boat sailing quietly above the Niagara Falls, not knowing that the engines are about to fail.”

    I thought about Lovelock the other day as I drove across Idaho, watching plumes from a forest fire rise in the distance. My mom and two of my kids were texting me about their experience driving through Redding, the city in Northern California where a “firenado” had devastated the region and accelerated a wildfire that killed six people. Not far away, in Mendocino, the largest fire in California history was burning an area the size of Los Angeles.”

    https://t.co/FyZzblUVXm?amp=1

    • Dennis Frank 6.1

      ” “You might think of the climate as a drunk,” Alley wrote in his great book The Two Mile Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future, which was first published in 2000. “When left alone, it sits; when forced to move, it staggers.”

      “two key attributes of the climate crisis. The first is that the real threat of climate change is not a slow slide into a warmer world; it’s a fast change into a radically different climate. How fast that change could happen, and how radically different it might be, no one can say for sure. But by continuing to dump fossil fuels into the atmosphere at an ever-increasing rate, we are rolling the dice. As Columbia University scientist Wally Broecker famously put it, “If you’re living with any angry beast, you shouldn’t poke it with a stick.””

      But that was a decade ago. Continual poking ever since is due to everyone’s dependency on business as usual. Collective death wish, induced in our collective unconscious by Gaia.

  7. Whats the bet that a global economic crash and the ensuing nuclear war in the middle east along with famine and a nuclear winter wont take out most of us long before we have to sprout gills caused by rising sea levels?

    One lump or two? , here, have a gingernut.

  8. corodale 8

    Free market capitalism is natural and acceptable, until it is mixed with religion and used to control governance. The narcissistic impulse behind global environmental destruction, is a natural part of humanity, mitigated by good governance and spiritual healing.

    This narcissistic impulse is today most visible, in Zionist interference, declaring religiously driven sanctions of war, aiming to govern capital away from collective and state ownership.

    To maintain healthy environment and community, we work hard to be loving individuals, while also working hard to enforce safe boundaries for the collective good.

    • KJT 8.1

      Capitalism works fine at the level of the corner store, small tradesperson and market garden.

      Anything more needs to be democratically regulated, so that dysfunctional accumulation of wealth, power and rent seeking, and subsequent immunity from a businesses real costs, cannot destroy the ecosystem

      However the current system of “Capitalism”, requiring constant growth in consumer numbers and resource use, is incompatible with a finite world.

      • Gosman 8.1.1

        You don’t understand the concept of growth.

        • KJT 8.1.1.1

          Really. economic growth in a society dependant on debt interest finance is essential for the system to function. This requires exponential economic expansion. Unless it is offset by equivalent inflation then increasing use of resources is essential for “economic growth”. The ones who don’t understand are the ones, like Gosman. Those who think that the exponential “growth” necessary for “the miracle of compounding returns”, from debt, in a finite world, is even possible.

          • Gosman 8.1.1.1.1

            Your answer highlights why you don’t understand economic growth.

            Can you tell me what uses more resources – Your phone or a 1980’s Apple Macintosh?

            • corodale 8.1.1.1.1.1

              that is cheap bro. Where is her mistake? You might claim thta its low interest rates in US, Europe, or… But QE takes the cream off, riddle that into a smart-arsed defense of statisquo.

              • Gosman

                I asked a simple question. What uses more resources. An Apple McIntosh from the 1980’s or your phone?

                • Bill

                  Depends on what resource you have in mind, innit?

                  Did the manufacture of an Apple Mac in the 1980s include as resource use the deaths of factory workers? Does the modern phone?

                  You want to stack up one list of resources from the 1980s against a list of resources from the present day, then how do you go about comparing those lists in terms of “greater use”, given that not all resources are equal?

                  • Gosman

                    I don’t know if the manufacture of an Apple Macintosh lead to the death of workers in the 80’s. Quite possibly it did. What is your point?

                • KJT

                  Actually. The I phone does. Requiring huge server farms, to support the services it provides.

                  • Gosman

                    No, that is the service that goes along with the iPhone. An Apple Macintosh could have a similar service if it was connected to the internet (of course it would be very slow).

                    • KJT

                      Splitting hairs now Gosman. Getting a bit desperate. Eh.

                      BTW. An internet at McIntosh speeds would use exponentially less power.

      • Bill 8.1.2

        However the current system of “Capitalism”, requiring constant growth in consumer numbers and resource use, is incompatible with a finite world.

        Then take out the one resource that literally fuels that growth, and that’s also warming this planet by amounts that are going to be inimical to human well being and survival.

        Simple.

        • KJT 8.1.2.1

          We can swap to resources that are more sustainable, but eventually, exponential growth necessary for debt driven Capitalism, swallows them up also.

    • Bill 8.2

      Free market capitalism is natural and acceptable..

      It’s neither of those things. It is a deliberate set of rules devised by men (white ones) that confers advantage in perpetuity by rewarding those who exhibit and practice some of the less desirable attributes of human nature.

      As for your signposting of a rabid conspiracy theory…nothing to say beyond noting that you did it.

      • Dennis Frank 8.2.1

        I think he meant trading is natural & acceptable. I don’t think he meant capitalism as a system. Or at least, if he did, he’s part-wrong, part-right.

        As for the conspiracy theory dimension, zionists are bit players in the system as a group. However, the Rothschild gig has been the power center of Eurocapitalism for two centuries, and is probably operating withing the Bilderberg network on that basis. What, me rabid? 😎

    • adam 8.3

      I find your comment corodale one of the oddest I’ve ever read here, logically and historically flawed coupled with then racist in its application. You sound like a bat shit crazy conspiracy theorist.

      You know the church opposed capitalism, well the Catholic church at least. Many of the historical socialists in the NZ were very religious.

      Capitalism is neither natural nor acceptable unless your greedy, selfish, and embrace exploiting people.

      As for your anti-semitism – sad, just really sad.

      • SPC 8.3.1

        Then there was the alliance between those of faith and the political right against communism/socialism (Tory in the UK, arguably fascists, and post WW2 – Christian Democrat in Europe) one renewed in the Americas via the suppression of liberation theology as part of winning the Cold War.

        Then there is American Christianity, wealth as a sign of blessing from God, portraying the sojourners social gospel, and universal health care, as socialism – in US terms something to be rejected, as neither of their Christianity nor American.

  9. Gosman 9

    Calling for Capitalism to go seems to be making the already difficult task of tackling climate change virtually impossible.

    • KJT 9.1

      https://interc.pt/2KovNpu

      “Capitalism killed our response to Climate change, not human nature”

    • KJT 9.2

      I know that the wealthy still think they can load the entire cost of coping with climate change, on the poor.
      Not going to happen, Gosman.
      A degree of sacrifice from the well of is required, and I don’t mean forgoing plastic bags, unless you want to live in a State of siege, hoping that your underpaid security force will protect you.

      • Gosman 9.2.1

        None of what you posted changes the dynamic I raised. By making this about systematic change you make the job of addressing it so much harder. Nothing I’ve seen to date suggests a World wide systematic change is remotely close at hand

        • corodale 9.2.1.1

          To be fair, there are plenty of signs systemic change is required, regarding security, capital-concentration and banking, how else will military expansion be slowed?

          Weather wise, we are going through the warming phase of a 20 year cycle, so the speed of weather changes look slightly more extreme at present. Also the weather modification programmes are experiments with mixed results, adding to the extremes.

          But it’s fair to say the world biological systems are under extreme pressure, regardless of detail on cc.

          Don’t panic, go organic!

          • Gosman 9.2.1.1.1

            Organic farming has little to no relationship with tackling climate change

            • Stuart Munro 9.2.1.1.1.1

              How would you know? No one is tackling climate change.

              Organic farming is one set of technologies with the capacity to reverse the trend of carbon release. If we propose to mitigate climate change it is one of the obvious mechanisms.

              • Gosman

                Organic farming is at best neutral in relation to tackling climate change.

                • Stuart Munro

                  So you want us to believe that in addition to your claimed (but never demonstrated) economic expertise, now you are suddenly an authority on organic farming. Have you studied it?

                  Some real people have. A move away from contemporary agriculture has been shown to be sufficient to have significant benefits in terms of climate change: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/08/if-everyone-ate-beans-instead-of-beef/535536/

                  Understand – this is not a proposal that everyone turn vegan, but a calculation of the effect of moving away from contemporary agriculture. The results would be significant, even without the many permaculture type techniques designed to improve soils by increasing their organic fraction.

                  It seems that, as usual, you don’t know wtf you’re talking about.

                  • Gosman

                    Ummm… People going vegan might help tackle climate change. I have no problem accepting that logic. People going organic is not same thing though. Remember what you are arguing.

        • KJT 9.2.1.2

          It will not be addressed without systemic change.

          The poor will not continue to bear the cost of change, without the pitchforks coming out.

          How many jobs, these days, actually contribute to well being and human satisfaction?
          Many are just ever more elaborate ways of extracting money from communities.

          We can still have the incentive to produce goods and services, without the opportunity to get extremely wealthy at others expense.
          It is only the right wing that assume people are solely motivated by money, and or power. The left wing know that concern and altruism are also natural characteristics of Homo Sapiens. And probably the main reason for the success of a physically lacking animal.

    • Bill 9.3

      Calling for capitalism to go isn’t something that sits separate from tackling climate change – it is tacking climate change.

      Not impossible then (it’s only a set of rules and norms in the final analysis).

      Though I agree with your implied suggestion that we’ll probably choose to keep doing things in the ways that we do until climate changes make those things and ways impossible.

      • Gosman 9.3.1

        I’d argue it is INCREDIBLY difficult especially considering you haven’t got a ready made alternative ready to go.

        • Ed 9.3.1.1

          Be aspirational Gosman .
          🙂

        • Bill 9.3.1.2

          I wouldn’t argue the difficulty.

          But I’d ask where this idea of a “ready made alternative” is coming from?

          What’s the world going to look like in 30 years time from now, or 100 years from now? The natural environment is going to be changing and containing phenomena we currently can’t envision and that will in all likelihood delimit institutional and physical possibilities that we currently take for granted or as read.

          What you’re asking is akin wanting a game plan set in place for some sporting event when the team are still outside the stadium and have no idea what sport they’re going to be engaging in.

          • Gosman 9.3.1.2.1

            You are expecting people to accept the need to ditch the current economic paradigm and you haven’t even worked out the basic fundamental of a new one. It won’t fly.

            • Bill 9.3.1.2.1.1

              I have no “expectation”. I’m merely pointing to the simple fact that capitalism is the existential threat to our survival because of the global warming it occasions.

              And there’s discussion to be had around that.

              Beyond the personal preference for deeply democratic structures (which I’d harbour regardless) no – I have no blueprint to recommend. Why would I have? Blueprints and such like are just recipes for those with an authoritarian bent. And those constructs always end well, dunnit? /

              • Gosman

                I’m quite aware you think that. I’m quite aware you keep posting material which you think is evidence that is the case. I’m obviously not convinced but you may well convince others and that is great for you. However it is all vety well to convince people here of a need to ditch Capitalusm but it is meaningless unless you have some action to effect change. At the moment you have no real activity along that path. Not even The Greens (who you woukd expect to be the most sympathetic) are calling for the end of Capitalism. I don’t even see a significant grassroots movement away frim Capitalism developing.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  As a species, our unparalled capacity for rational thought seems powerless against our biology and the lures of capitalism guiding us to self-destruction.

                  Suppose we must ‘enjoy’ “the current economic paradigm” as long as that blip lasts.

                  Humankind is too big not to fail.

                  • greywarshark

                    Made me think of Ozymandias. Here is Horace Smith poem on similar theme – To a Great Leg of Granite in a Desert or such.

                    On A Stupendous Leg of Granite, Discovered Standing by Itself in the Deserts of Egypt, with the Inscription Inserted Below”.

                    In Egypt’s sandy silence, all alone,
                    Stands a gigantic leg, which far off throws
                    The only shadow that the desert knows:
                    “I am great OZYMANDIAS,” saith the stone,
                    “The King of Kings; this mighty city shows
                    “The wonders of my hand.” The city’s gone,
                    Nought but the leg remaining to disclose
                    The site of this forgotten Babylon.

                    We wonder, and some hunter may express
                    Wonder like ours, when thro’ the wilderness
                    Where London stood, holding the wolf in chace,
                    He meets some fragments huge, and stops to guess
                    What powerful but unrecorded race
                    Once dwelt in that annihilated place.

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

                • Bill

                  I’m quite aware you think that.

                  – sigh –

                  It’s not an opinion Gosman. There is a carbon budget for 2 degrees. To stay within that budget requires cuts in emissions to be around the 15% p.a. mark. (Simple arithmetic)

                  Economic constraints placed on scientific models by the IPCC (they had to be “economically viable”) meant that negative emission tech and what not got incorporated into the models to satisfy economic considerations.

                  No CC model used by the IPCC for 2 degrees goes anywhere near the 15% p.a. in cuts that must be made for an outside shot at anything under 2 degrees. (5% is typical)

                  No-one in the scientific community, or elsewhere, sees much of a future for humanity at warming around the 4 degree mark.

                  If all pledges made in Paris are implemented in full, we’ll hit 3 or 4 degrees.

                  To join the dots for you – economists have locked us into inaction or inadequate action because there’s a fixation with maintaining the economic order of liberal capitalism.

                  That is sending us towards 3 or 4 degrees (at best) and nothing much by way of globally integrated human civilisation withstands that warming. Human civilisation includes the economic order that’s being protected in lieu of paying attention to physics.

                  You being “convinced” is by the by. I mean, it’s in the ballpark of you saying you weren’t convinced that eating copious amounts of strychnine would be fatal.

                  • Gosman

                    Bill, I’ve read your arguments. I am not arguing against them here. I disagree with many conclusions you make but also know trying to argue the point is useless. Just accept that you have your views and I have mine. What I am more interested in is what you think should happen as a result of your views. Simply calling for the end of Capitalism is meaninglessness. It is like calling for Global peace or a World Government . Well intentioned but hopelessly utopian.

                    • Bill

                      Suggesting we stop with the capitalism is much more like suggesting we stop swinging the hammer that keeps hitting our thumb than suggesting “global peace” or “world government”.

                      Cessation of a negative thing? A no brainer really.

                      And after we stop with the dumb hammer stuff, well we can make a decision about what we’ll do in lieu of obsessively turning our thumb to a pulp.

                      Nothing “hopelessly Utopian” about it.

                      Of course, we could scribble up some Utopian blueprints, and after a time get all puzzled on how we wound up in an oppressive hell zone. Again.

                      Odd that you take my honest attempt to reflect the views of the scientific community and literature as “my view”.Y’know, pitching it all in terms of “your view versus my view” is convenient if the idea is to “reasonably” maintain a position that’s actually rooted in bullshit 😉

  10. David Mac 10

    I think the dismantling of capitalism will require wheeling the guillotine into the village square. We live in a country where a million of us can’t find 20 minutes on a Saturday morning every 3 years.

    I think solutions will come out of monetising doing the right thing by our planet. BP just need a strong enough reason to spend their exploration money on planet friendly R and D. Company mission statements moving focus from satisfying customers to satisfying Earth.

    Then consumers, with no skin off their noses could be steered towards supporting those companies that are deemed to be making the greatest effort towards our common goal. eg: For the next 10 years buy our fuel at Mobil outlets because Exxon Mobil have made a commitment to get out of the oil game and go clean in 10 years. By proxy we could give them a cash injection in order to pursuit their new direction.

    I’m chucking mud at the wall but I do think solutions will come out of coaxing folk, not whipping them.

    • Gosman 10.1

      Apparently that is not removing the root cause of the problem which is Capitalism itself.

      • David Mac 10.1.1

        It’s hard not to wonder if some that see solutions in the dismantling of capitalism did so prior to climate change awareness.

        Lets not ask the NZ Stock exchange to walk the plank, lets manipulate them. They’re worth more to us alive and without us, they’re dead.

        • Gosman 10.1.1.1

          Quite possibly accurate but people like Bill disagree with your position hugely and I suspect will spend quite a bit of energy arguing that it is you who is wrong.

        • Bill 10.1.1.2

          You don’t have to wonder where I’m concerned. I’ve never been emotionally or intellectually “invested” in capitalism.

          But what that has to do with the objective or dispassionate message coming from the scientific community is a bit beyond me.

          Maybe, having never been “invested”, it’s merely easier for me to accept what’s being said?

          • Gosman 10.1.1.2.1

            The scientific community has NEVER made a comment in relation to Capitalism and actions to combat climate change. That is just your spin on it.

            • Bill 10.1.1.2.1.1

              You mean you didn’t hear the scientific community’s head honcho spokes fella’s comment?!

              • Gosman

                The scientific community has a “head honcho”???

                • Bill

                  Well, you seem to think so with your “the scientific community has NEVER made a comment in relation to…” 🙄

                  • Gosman

                    You haven’t provided a link to anyone prominent (not a “head honcho”) involved in the Scientific community involved in climate research stating that the economic system is to blame.

  11. David Mac 11

    Corporate entities the world over astray and are required to pay fines. The big guys see it as part of doing business, “Yeah we trashed that pristine eco-system, here’s 50 million.”

    Digits in the ledger, no sweat. What if instead we did a stock-take on the company’s assets and made part of their fine a project that milked their extensive resources. I suspect the guys in the British Petroleum labs would welcome the challenge of developing a brilliant clean fuel from hemp.

  12. David Mac 12

    What a massive sleazy affair Volkswagen were at the core of. Their emission cheat device was activated by steering wheel movement. When strapped down in a test device and no steering movement the vehicle’s computer delivered a ‘cheat’ message to the vehicles combustion system, Lovely clean result. Drive it, move the steering, up to 600% levels above those in testing.

    Cold-faced dirty rotten lying cheating of the first order that has cost their share-holders billions.

    Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Bentley, Skoda, Lamborghini…. serious facilities.

    Rather than the billions of $. We could be ticking off heaps on our climate change wish-list with billions of dollars worth of access to their 200,000 strong staff and kit.

  13. 44 south 13

    Today for lunch I had three of my own free range eggs with my last cabbage from the garden and a brought onion. I fried them in a little olive oil that came from Australia and a little butter that came from some kilometres away. I cooked them on a low heat using LPG that came from the Maui field, using a simple cast iron cooker and a cast iron frypan both made in the 1970s,both will last a lifetime, perhaps several,(but for global warming). I ate my lunch in a home which is a converted bus with a million miles on the clock that will still be intact when we are gone. With a little help, all the ingredients for my lunch could have been sourced within walking distance at virtually no cost other than labour and it could have been cooked on a wood stove. It doesn’t matter if my olive oil and butter and LPG and stove were supplied by a capitalist system or a system run by the “STATE” at cost. All that matters is that it’s sustainable. I think my lunch probably is. How about yours?

    • Dennis Frank 13.1

      Very good. Assuming that not all your meals are free-range eggs, could be the rest of your diet isn’t quite up to that standard?

      Closest I ever got to your lifestyle was early ’72, at the Reef Point commune. Three weeks of eating fried paua every night with just a few vegetables & eggs as variations was a severe test of my capacity for asceticism!

  14. Philj 14

    Bill.
    ” .. all modeling has to be economically viable, and that if it isn’t, the models have to be reworked.”
    That’s a telling quote which basically infers the capitalist ship will sink with all aboard.

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