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The free market’s inability to handle climate change

Written By: - Date published: 9:49 am, November 8th, 2015 - 150 comments
Categories: Environment, trade - Tags: ,

Earth climate change

Two recent examples suggest that the free market can be a hindrance to the development of policies that address climate change.

The first one is news that the US complained about India’s solar power to the World Trade Organisation.  The WTO then ruled against India’s incentive policies for domestic solar companies to manufacture solar cells and modules in the country.  You would think that with India being amongst the heaviest polluters everything possible would be done to accelerate any development of the local industry.

From Common Dreams:

According to Indian news outlets, the WTO ruled that India had discriminated against American manufacturers by providing such incentives, which violates global trade rules, and struck down those policies—siding with the U.S. government in a case that the Sierra Club said demonstrates the environmentally and economically destructive power of pro-corporate deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

“Today, we have more evidence of how free trade rules threaten the clean energy economy and undermine action to tackle the climate crisis,” Ilana Solomon, director of the Sierra Club’s Responsible Trade Program, said on Thursday. “The U.S. should be applauding India’s efforts to scale up solar energy—not turning to the WTO to strike the program down.”

And India has a rather herculean proposal to increase its solar power generation capacity to 100 gigawatts by 2022 from about 4 gigawatts now.  Total electricity generation is 278 gigawatts.  Hindering the growth of renewables is insane.

And for a local example of strange thinking the Electricity Authority is consulting on the implications that solar power has for the electricity distribution network.  “Climate change” does not appear in the report, nor “greenhouse gas”.  Footnote 52 does contain this comment “consumers may also choose to install solar panels for non-economic reasons, such as perceived environmental benefits.”

There are implications for the grid.  As more and more people install solar power the profitability of the network goes down.  Long term the other benefit is that the need for a highly centralised system is reduced and locally sourced power is a more efficient use of what is essentially a finite resource.

But the discussion paper does not have long term sustainability as a focus of its attention.  Instead it focuses on the economics of the local system.

For instance there is this passage:

Distribution prices should:

  • encourage consumers to take actions that reduce current or future network costs (eg, draw electricity for the household from battery storage systems during a period of network congestion, or recharge electric vehicles off-peak instead of during a period of network congestion)

  • not encourage consumers to make decisions (eg, over-investing in solar panels or in new gas supply) that increase the price of electricity paid by other consumers.

While the first bullet point is appropriate, the second is crazy.  Why shouldn’t there be an emphasis on solar panels that allow for supply of energy to the grid.  Instead of relying on large hydro dams in the South Island why shouldn’t there be a distributed network of solar panels throughout the country supplying us with electricity.  And panel owners should be paid an incentive to do so.

What does a successful electrical system look like?  The state of Lower Austria with a population of 1.65 million recently declared that its electricity was fully supplied by renewable sources.  The cost was 2.8 billion euros but apart from the environmental benefits the state also created 38,000 green jobs.

It can be done.  Not only can the world’s biggest threat be addressed but also jobs can be created.  All that is needed is some political will.  And the understanding that market will not necessary provide the optimal result.

150 comments on “The free market’s inability to handle climate change”

  1. While the US military complex is off the table nothing can or will be done about climate change (as pointless as anything we could do is) and as long as the maternity wards keep pumping out little climate fuckers nothing will change, and while every New Zealand politician backs a growth based planet fucking savings scam …. nothing will change.
    So yeah, why just blame the ‘free market’ everything is geared to destroy this human friendly environment, while we are at 600 ppm CO2/CO2e for the foreseeable future (as in 10’s of thousands of years), nothing, absolutely nothing is going the slow this train down.
    There are 440 nuclear power plants, which will need upwards of 50 years continuous electricity supply and educated ‘sustained’ workers and massive amounts of fossil fuels to decommission, not forgetting finding and cleaning up the 3 melted reactor cores at Fukushima.
    The Paris Cop out talks are going to be exactly that a cop out, an utter bullshit talkfest, I lay a million to one, that not one official attendee will come out and say maintaining investments in this system (Kiwi Saver) will destroy your children’s future.

    Maybe we need some bigger statues ?

    • yep you certainly are a tack – a little point and big head – “as pointless as anything we could do is”

      Luckily we have you to point out how we are all going to die – will anyone hear the ‘I told you so’, will anyone care?

    • alwyn 2.2

      “while we are at 600 ppm CO2/CO2e for the foreseeable future” you claim.
      And just how do you come to this conclusion? On this very page I see the claim that in September the atmospheric CO2 in was at 397.64.
      Out of curiosity where did the extra 200 come from in a month and a half?

  2. Bill 3

    Okay, two terms – oikonomia and chrematistic. I hadn’t heard of these terms until the other day when I was cheering myself up by viewing some Kevin Anderson presentations.

    Anyway, they are both terms for types of economy. The first term refers to an economy concerned with the stewardship or management of things. The second term refers to an economy concerned with the acquisition of wealth.

    Now, if we were to tackle climate change, it would very much be a case of managing things with a huge measure of efficiency and….well, just fucking well doing it. But the market economy is chrematistic and so we demand of our acts and actions that money is made.

    Market economics doesn’t just display an inability to deal with climate change, it actively stymies our ability to deal with climate change.

    • CnrJoe 3.1

      Yep Bill – “Market economics doesn’t just display an inability to deal with climate change, it actively stymies our ability to deal with climate change.”


      On Everything

  3. Paul 4

    Naomi Klein

    ‘Forget everything you think you know about global warming. The really inconvenient truth is that it’s not about carbon—it’s about capitalism. The convenient truth is that we can seize this existential crisis to transform our failed economic system and build something radically better.
    In her most provocative book yet, Naomi Klein, author of the global bestsellers The Shock Doctrine and No Logo, tackles the most profound threat humanity has ever faced: the war our economic model is waging against life on earth.’


    • Sorry Paul … not about carbon ? If we removed everything related to capitalism tonight (except the carbon) ‘we’ would still be going extinct.
      Klein added another potential 70 years of planet fucking to this shit system via that hole between her legs, she lost all credibility then. And currently that child will have a bigger footprint than an entire African village. I bet it has a bank account?
      And if she was living in NZ she would be voting Green, so the kid could get on the Kiwi Saver band wagon at birth FFS???

      • Nic the NZer 4.1.1

        Yes, its absolutely key to remember that the real menace here is Kiwisaver. /Sarc

        • Draco T Bastard

          Yes, it is. Kiwisaver and things like it that require exponential growth.

          • Colonial Viper

            yep, the fund manager demands for ever increasing yields force corporates to cut corners, lower wages and fuck the environment in order to deliver.

            Lefties need to figure out how the system works.

      • One Two 4.1.2

        Angry hateful and incorrect

        • Robert Atack

          I’m not angry or hateful in the least 1-2, I’m just pointing out the facts.
          Incorrect about what? She did have a kid, it is a big consumer and CO2 emitter, and it will be extremely luck to see it’s 10 birthday.

      • Paul 4.1.3

        People who say give up are as dangerous to life on this Planet as the deniers.
        I wonder if some deniers have chosen this line to sabotage change.
        What about you Robert?

        • Robert Atack

          So Paul please list all the things you have successfully done to remove CO2 from the environment, because reduction is just not going to cut it.
          People who vote Green and back electric cars, child birth, full employment, warm houses for all, and kiwi saver are as responsible for the destruction of the human friendly environment as any ‘denier’
          So impress us what have you done?

          • odot

            Instead of aggressively bitching, how about you show your hand eh? List the things that you’ve done to mitigate your CO2 output.

            The thing about climate change is that we (as individuals) can only do so much to limit how much CO2 we produce. Yes we can walk/cycle/take public transport more, or any number of other options that reduce CO2, but at the end of the day its down to our governments/industries to regulate carbon output.
            We currently have a government that is stacked with people who clearly and actively dont give a flying f*** about climate change, so instead of spouting hate towards people who are actually trying to make a difference (like Klein), maybe you should redirect it towards people who are actively trying to keep the status quo or worse those that actively deny climate change.

            • Colonial Viper

              Atack is quite right though. The majority of the world is going to have a very unpleasant 2050 to 2060 and all we are doing is uselessly tinkering.

            • Robert Atack

              I was posting or hand delivering DVDs and information to parliament for about 5 years
              Match this http://oilcrash.com/articles/thankyou.htm .

              And $900.00 personal spend giving away about 100 info booklets at the Al Gore talk in Auckland http://oilcrash.com/articles/algore01.htm as another example of time wasting, I think I handed John the pack, which consisted of 4 DVDs with 17 ‘skits/documentaries (16 hours worth) including the late Dr Peter Lloyd’s talk ‘Peak Oil Meets Clime Change’ , available on YouTube.

              What I worked out was that no one gave a fuck.
              Then the greens voted for a growth based savings scam ????
              I bumped into the Governor General, about a week after Al’s talk, and mentioned the DVD’s and Auckland, he sent me a nice letter saying thanks for the information I posted him.

              So yeah I tried for ya )

              • DoublePlusGood

                Wait, so you were using DVDs and getting booklets printed? And using the postal system? That’s a massive waste of resources and a big swag of CO2 right there. I guess you must just use CO2 and resources like Naomi Klein’s kid and the rest of us. We just get on with supporting the measures we can to reduce things instead of telling everyone else they are pond scum.
                As a general rule, running around insulting people, or at least those philosophically on the same side of an issue as you, has a low probability of success for your endeavours.

                • Mr anonymous, yes and I drove from Wellington to Auckland, mission being as always to convince people (fucking idiots) that bringing a child into this soon to be uninhabitable planet is a mistake.
                  If I stop one birth I’ve reduced more suffering than any current politician that is for sure.

          • johnm

            You’ve done a great job on this blog R.A. The links are educational and cannot be ignored. Like the drama as well about popping out another human out to fuck the Planet! Sadly this is true. 🙁 At 67 this stuff shouldn’t bother me as I’m facing nthe, but it does: we’ve destroyed a beautiful romantic eloquent sacred balance if we were truly real we would lament inconsolably. Instead we pursue our place in the rat race for money, gain and social status. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sacred_Balance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVqnmX4Lh9U

      • McFlock 4.1.4

        Carbon is the symptom.
        Capitalism is the disease, associated with damned near every bad symptom we have.

        Currently, we’re addicted to capitalism in the same way that some folks are addicted to P or worse drugs: a constant craving for ever-increasing quantities while side effects include festering sores, brain damage, other organ failure, rotting bones, whatever. We kick the addiction, yes we’ll still have those to sort out. But we’ll be in a state where we’re able to address those side effects.

      • DoublePlusGood 4.1.5

        Your bile shows up your issues here.
        Naomi Klein has one child. That happens to be a number that if everyone did that, would result in a quite precipitous population decline. Plus, it requires a second person to have a child. By reducing things to “that hole between her legs” you make plain your misogyny.
        Then you express an issue with long term investment in a government saving plan.

  4. Draco T Bastard 5

    More and more we see that there is no ‘free-market’ with no or few regulations. What we have is a regulated market which has been, and is further being, regulated to produce profits for the corporations. These profits are everyone else’s expense as the regulations prevent people and governments doing what needs to be done and they will prevent it against the wishes of the people thus making them totally undemocratic.

    These FTA’s that we have now are Forced Trade Agreements. They are against the freedom of a society/nation to choose.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      These FTA’s that we have now are Forced Trade Agreements. They are against the freedom of a society/nation to choose.

      That’s rather good.

    • Daniel Cale 6.1

      Another excellent piece by Mr Hide. Thanks for the cite.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1

        A loser who took his party to 0% support. No wonder you worship him 😆

        • Daniel Cale

          You have a penchant for inaccuracy OAB. In 2008 (Hides last as leader) Act won 3.65% of the vote and 5 seats. Now as a lefty I’m sure you will how that compares with, say Hone Harawira, OAB?

          (FYI Internet Mana won 1.42% of the vote in 2014, and no seats.)

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            I vote Green. Nice try though. Better luck next time.

            • Daniel Cale

              Still a leftie lol.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                And proud of it. That’s a consequence of having things to actually be proud of, unlike the right’s substandard track record and complete lack of personal responsibility.

                • Daniel Cale

                  Lack of? Come on OAB. Unfettered welfare and a soft law and order platform is the domain of the left, not the right.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    A typical case in point: you promote policies that increase recidivism and unemployment then duck responsibility and blame someone else.

                    Thank you for validating my criticism.

                    • Daniel Cale

                      No, I don’t. Perhaps that’s why you don’t understand where I’m coming from.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yes, you do, and you’re so ignorant you don’t even know it. That’s because all your opinions are right wing dogma that you didn’t even fact check let alone author.

          • McFlock

            That was before people had found out that the “perk buster” had taken his girlfriend to London on the taxpayer dime, fucked up the supercity, and faceplanted the party so bad that he was ousted from the leadership by Don Brash. Seriously, they thought the plank-walker was a better bet that the perkolator.

  5. Ad 7

    Mickey, Rod Oram’s SST column today is precisely on this point.

    But hw also lambasted Bridges, and local business community, versus international energy density policies.

    • Bill 7.1

      From an IEA report that was linked off that Oram piece. Given that no government has honoured any CC commitment in the past and the IEA are assuming complete implementation of all submitted ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contributions’ (INDCs) …

      Pledges for COP21 will have a positive impact on future energy sector trends, but fall short of the major course correction required to achieve the agreed climate goal. If climate ambition is not raised progressively, it is estimated that the path set by the INDCs would be consistent with an average global temperature increase of around 2.7degrees Celsius (°C) by 2100, falling short of limiting the increase to no more than2 °C. …

      (emphasis added)


      • Daniel Cale 7.1.1

        Bill let me say this as politely as I can. The majority of us ordinary people are sick to death of hearing exagerated claims and predictions that ultimately fall flat on their face. And while your trying to scare the living daylights out of us about a 2 degree warming, you might want to read what people such as Valentina Zharkova are predicting about a mini ice age arising from the suns solar cycle.

        • One Anonymous Bloke


          One plagiarised nonsense after another. A solar minimum, if one occurred, would shave approx. 0.12°C off global surface temperatures.

        • marty mars

          I cannot see how you can call yourself ‘ordinary’ daniel – your views are extreme. I’m certainly sick to death of your input into these discussions – it’s like listening to a racist talk about how they aren’t a racist – predictable and only good for a laugh.

          • tc

            He’s an ordinary troll ignoring the facts and science in favour of convenient ideology that keeps him cosy and smug.

            • Daniel Cale

              I go where the science goes, tc, not where the politics goes. When the science tells me we can have anything more than a miniscule impact on climate change, I’ll consider joining you’re army and let a global government start running the world.

              • Colonial Viper

                forget the science mate, we all have to drop our energy and resource consumption by 75%.

              • mickysavage

                So Daniel, 97% of the climate change scientists not good enough for you?

                How many do you need? 100%? 105%?

                • Daniel Cale

                  1. Truth is not determined by consensus.
                  2. Quote for me, word for word, the consensus that 97% agreed to.
                  3. Explain this: “Only 36 percent of geoscientists and engineers believe that humans are creating a global warming crisis, according to a survey reported in the peer-reviewed Organization Studies. By contrast, a strong majority of the 1,077 respondents believe that nature is the primary cause of recent global warming and/or that future global warming will not be a very serious problem.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2013/02/13/peer-reviewed-survey-finds-majority-of-scientists-skeptical-of-global-warming-crisis/

                  • McFlock

                    Yes, a survey of oil industry professionals gave those results. For your next trick you’ll show us a paper that says only a third of tobacco industry scientists think that smoking is a serious risk factor for your health.

                    • Daniel Cale

                      “…a survey of oil industry professionals gave those results.”

                      No. It was a survey of meteorologists.

                    • McFlock

                      The first study mentioned in the forbes article, from Organization Studies, was of oil industry workers.

                      The two other studies were one of TV weather announcers and the other wsaid 89% of AMS respondents said GW was happening and 70% of those thought that human factors were primary causes (either exclusively or alongside natural processes).

                      Read. Your. Links.

                    • Daniel Cale

                      I. Do. They are scientists. Meteorologists.

                    • McFlock

                      Now you’re just being stupid.

                      You do realise that everyone can read the links in that forbes article and see how wrong you and it are? That’s how the web works. You’re a disgrace to yourself, your family, and any educational institution that didn’t kick you out.

              • Daniel – what is this global government thingy that you are talking about? Are you serious? Seriously?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                When the science tells me we can have anything more than a miniscule impact on climate change…

                That day passed years ago.

                More than once.

                Now it’s an engineering and political issue.

                Watch Danny twist and turn and bleat and blather and do anything but live up to his craven boasts. Observe with disdain as he exhibits no personal responsibility whatsoever.

              • DoublePlusGood

                If you went where the science goes you’d pay attention to the 97% of climate scientists who tell people that climate change is a serious issue and we need drastic action now to avoid serious adverse consequences.
                Alas, it seems that you’ll trawl through all the science you can ignore to find one person who will say something that aligns with what you want to believe.

                  • McFlock


                    The Forbes article talks about a “peer reviewed” article. From the link in your Forbes article:

                    […]we reconstruct the frames of one group of experts who have not received much attention in previous research and yet play a central role in understanding industry responses – professional experts in petroleum and related industries. Not only are we interested in the positions they take towards climate change and in the recommendations for policy development and organizational decision-making that they derive from their framings, but also in how they construct and attempt to safeguard their expert status against others

                    So, short answer, even a third of scientists and engineers in the oil industry are prepared to admit that climate change is a serious problem caused by humanity. And that’s with about the most extreme sample bias you can wangle.

                    • Daniel Cale

                      You have just joined in OAB’sdishonesty.

                      “The survey results show geoscientists (also known as earth scientists) and engineers hold similar views as meteorologists. Two recent surveys of meteorologists (summarized here and here) revealed similar skepticism of alarmist global warming claims.”


                    • lprent []

                      Meteorologists look at weather. What does that have to do with climate? Climate causes weather patterns. Learning about weather doesn’t tell you much about climate.

                      Incidentally my first degree was in earth sciences, and I don’t know any earth scientists apart from a few religious nuts who’d disagree that human caused climate change is occurring. Some miners look at it as being a downstream consequence of what they do, but will be handled by engineers when it does.

                      I have spent much of my working life surrounded by engineers. I haven’t run across more than a small handful of those who deny it either. They are convinced by the basic physics and maths. What you find is a diversity of opinion about how much of an effect it will have within whatever time horizon they are looking at. They are confident of their abilities to out think and out engineer the consequences like the flooding of cities. That confidence appears to be a trait that is required for any useful engineer.

                      My favorite argument with such intelligent skeptics (a group that you clearly don’t belong in) is to point out the inherent fragility of agricultural systems to any type of climate shifts and the vast populations teetering between prosperity and war on top of them. THen I point out to the great engineering civilizations that died because of climate shifts dropping agricultural production. Then I ask them about how they’d engineer a solution for raising for maintaining overall food production when crops fail because when planting, the weather they expect months later doesn’t happen. I point to the effects on whole economies from simple droughts, frosts and floods from the widely separated climate abnormalities now, and ask what happens if they increase in frequency (as they know that climate shifts will make happen).

                      I usually make them think about the fragile social foundation that funds their engineering..

                      However I suspect that you won’t have any idea of what I’m talking about.

                      BTW: did you leave out the reference/link to your quote deliberately? You are such a dickhead that I suspect you haven’t looked at what the questions asked were, and how the audience for such a survey was gathered. In short – you are almost certainly just stupidly lying by omission.

                    • McFlock


                      Study one: Television meteorologists. Heavy sample bias there.

                      Study two: ” A very large majority of respondents (89%) indicated that global warming is happening; in contrast few indicated it isn’t happening (4%), or that they “don’t know” (7%). Respondents who indicated that global warming is happening were asked their views about its primary causes; a large majority indicted that human activity (59%), or human activity and natural causes in more or less equal amounts (11%), were the primary causes. ”

                      Again, read your own fucking links

                      The forbes article basically lied about the research it summarised, and you copied the lie. You’re a fucking tool.

                    • Daniel Cale

                      “Meteorologists look at weather. What does that have to do with climate?”

                      If you have to ask that, you’re aren’t worth spending time debating. But for the record, what profession was the head of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri? A railway engineer.

          • Daniel Cale

            My views are mainstream on most issues Marty, including climate change. You need to get out more often.

        • Bill

          You’re a dick. Regret not reading this comment before wasting two minutes of my life responding to your later comment below.

          • Daniel Cale

            That’s not how you debate Bill. That’s not how scientists work either. That’s why you don’t grasp the extent to which you are being conned.

  6. Daniel Cale 8

    The ‘free’ market (if any such thing actually exists anywhere) is well able to meet the challenges of climate change, because it will respond to consumer behaviour. When consumers decide to support efforts to adapt to climate change (there is nothing we can do to mitigate it), then the market will move meet that demand.

    But to indulge the alarmists here, the same applies to reducing carbon emissions. When consumers have an appetite for electric cars, they will be commercially viable and available. Likewise renewable energy sources (which NZ is rapidly adopting).

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      How would you know the first thing about it? You’re in denial over the whole topic, you plagiarise all your opinions from The Daily Mail, and you have a woefully inadequate grasp of Physics and Chemistry.

      Not to mention your pitiful faith in Rodney Hide.

      • Daniel Cale 8.1.1

        I don’t plagiarise anything. I provide my cites, and I only use reputable scientific sources. I will debate the science, if you can move beyond ad hominem.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          All your opinions have entries in Skeptical Science’s list of denier talking points.

          What do you propose to debate that you didn’t copy?

          • Daniel Cale

            Skeptical Science isa blog OAB. You don’t accept blogposts as cites. Try again.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              I accept them as evidence that all your denier talking points are denier talking points: ie: copied: ie: you’re a plagiarist.

              Where’s the personal responsibility, twisting hypocrite boy?

              • Daniel Cale

                You don;t understand the meaning of the word ‘plagiarised’. You’ve also just shot yourself in both feet by citing a blogpost after criticising my having referenced one. You can;t have it both ways OAB.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  You witless idiot, a list of denier talking points is all I need to demonstrate that all your plagiarised opinions are denier talking points.

                  • Daniel Cale

                    What list? I am citing scientific sources and peer reviewed literature. You;re citing newspapers, and then contradicting yourself over blogs.

                    • McFlock

                      You’re linking to “scientific sources” like forbes magazine, the telegraph, and the daily mail.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You haven’t in fact cited a single scientific source. You’ve linked to articles misrepresenting them, or in fact contradicting you.

                      The funniest part is that all your plagiarised lies can be found on the list of denier talking points at Skeptical Science, along with fully cited articles refuting them.

                      I offer this fact in evidence that you are a plagiarist, copying articles without thought or comprehension. You don’t like me pointing this out, so I’m going to keep on doing it.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              What do you propose to debate that you didn’t copy, plagiarist?

    • Bill 8.2

      1. Can’t biologically adapt to 3 and 4 degrees (35 degrees wet bulb temp = death in ~ 6 hours) – and that’s the path we’re on with current emission rates.
      2. If the market can’t ‘provide’ the tech in time then we are at 1.
      3. There is no time left to lay in renewable or low/zero carbon energy sources. On that front, the market has already failed. Miserably.

      • weka 8.2.1

        “1. Can’t biologically adapt to 3 and 4 degrees (35 degrees wet bulb temp = death in ~ 6 hours) – and that’s the path we’re on with current emission rates.”

        Not sure what you mean there. The human body has a pretty narrow range of temperature fluctuation it can handle without dying, but that’s completely different to air temperature. Obviously many places in the world could increase 4C average and would still be livable biologically for humans. There are many places in the world with average temperatures more than 4C higher than Dunedin for instance.

        • Bill

          Wet bulb temperature is temperature and humidity. At 35 degrees C (air temperature) and 100% humidity we die. As the humidity drops, so the temperatures we can withstand increase. In a global warming situation, humidity as well as temperature is generally increased (the atmosphere is loaded with more water vapour due to increasing rates of evaporation).

        • Bill

          Sorry, to qualify.

          I wasn’t suggesting that the whole world becomes inimical to human habitation. It has been suggested that places like Iran and the Gulf States will see such temperature and humidity correlations at around 2 degrees C. Obviously, other areas will present us with a similar situation as average surface temperatures increase above 2 degrees C.

    • Colonial Viper 8.3

      Daniel Cale you forget that corporations actively manipulate consumer behaviour to drive maximum consumption and higher profits.

      Why would you back such a cynical and short sighted system?

      • Daniel Cale 8.3.1

        I’m not. Humans change their behaviour with or without encouragement from businesses. If there’s a buck to be made from electric cars, renewables etc etc, the market will provide. There’ll be a buck to be made when consumers vote with their buying behaviour.

        • Colonial Viper

          If there’s a buck to be made from electric cars, renewables etc etc, the market will provide.

          this weird market worshipping religion of yours has just about had its day.

          • Daniel Cale

            The ‘market’ isn’t something to be worshipped. It is not a deity. The market provides goods and services to meet consumer demand. The market creates and sustains employment, returns profit to investors. The market has been around for almost as long as mankind.

            • McFlock

              … blessed be the name of the market

            • Colonial Viper

              The market has been around for almost as long as mankind.

              yeah and the East India Company has been impoverishing colonies, extracting wealth from workers and enslaving indigenous people before your grandmother was born.

            • Draco T Bastard

              The market provides goods and services to meet consumer demand.

              No it doesn’t else we wouldn’t have people in poverty, living in cars and not having enough to eat.

              The market creates and sustains employment, returns profit to investors.

              No it doesn’t although the RWNJs like to think that it does. Also, the economy always runs at a loss so where does the return to the bludgers come from?

              The market has been around for almost as long as mankind.

              No it hasn’t. In fact, indications are it’s fairly recent invention. Seems to have come up with the invention of agriculture ~5000 years ago and at no time in that 5000 years has it worked. It’s why every single major religion in the world bans usury. Why the Jews traditionally 9I don’t think that they do any more) write off debt every seven years and also ban interest.

              BTW, ‘The Market’ is a social construct which means we can change it or replace it whenever we choose.

              • Daniel Cale

                “Seems to have come up with the invention of agriculture ~5000 years ago and at no time in that 5000 years has it worked. ”

                Are you seriously suggesting people only started trading 5,000 years ago?

                “Also, the economy always runs at a loss so where does the return to the bludgers come from?”

                Huh? The market can not run at a loss, by definition. It is only when Governments interfere that markets run at a loss, e.g. by taxation, welfare (including paying ‘bludgers’) etc etc.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Humans change their behaviour with or without encouragement from businesses.

          If that were true then corporations and other businesses wouldn’t spend billions per year in advertising.

          Man, you RWNJs sure do come up with some crap to try and defend an indefensible position.

          • Daniel Cale

            Businesses advertise to lure consumers away from competitors.

            • McFlock


              Just when I thought you couldn’t get any dumber…

              I thought your IQ was approaching single digits, but apprently that’s the number of functioning neurons you possess.

              • Daniel Cale

                Well you clearly don’t know anything about business if you don’t understand why they advertise.

                • McFlock

                  They advertise to change human behaviour.

                  In order to drive maximum consumption of their products and higher profits, as CV said. By creating new customers and by, as you said, taking current customers from their competitors.

    • tracey 8.4

      Thank god nature will wait til humans want lots of electric cars

      • Daniel Cale 8.4.1

        Are you suggesting we should be supplied with things we don’t want?

        • KJT

          I do want an electric car, that can be charged for $12 overnight.

          But, like the original petrol cars, the market will not supply them until the Government supplies the supporting infrastructure.

          • Daniel Cale

            And the government will (or at least should) only provide that when there is a demand. Remember the government is you and I, not some fantasy creature.

            • McFlock

              …and you have the complete lack of self-awareness to write this on the fucking internet. Developed purely from blue-skies research funded by the US government.

              • Daniel Cale

                …for military purposes, and therefore there was a demand!!!!. And then developed and refined for personal use by commercial interests to meet (and continue to meet) consumer demand. Thanks for making my point.

                • McFlock

                  Ok, let’s go with your (crude and obtuse) assertion that the initial blue-skies research into integrating different network protocols was done for government military purposes.

                  Your argument is therefore that the government funding is evidence of government demand. Because there was demand, then the government should have funded it.

                  While Sir Humphrey Appleby might agree with your circular argument, the concept that the existence of government expenditure justifies that government expenditure seems to be more fiscally irresponsible than you intended. Would you care to try again?

  7. Matthew Hooton 9

    Haven’t read WTO judgment but assume there would be no problem with India subsidising all solar panels etc at point of sale. The issue would be about limiting the support programme to only locally made panels, thereby creating a trade barrier to people from other countries selling solar panels etc in India.

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