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Author Topic:   The Failure of Progressivism
Posts: 612
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004

Message 23 of 61 (882686)
10-05-2020 11:34 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Hyroglyphx
08-18-2020 11:51 AM

Thanks for starting this topic. It is interesting. Your thinking seems to be quite US-centric. Someone like AOC or Bernie Sanders isn't very extreme in a European context. Do you think their views are extreme specifically in the US context, or for you are views like theirs extreme wherever they manifest?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Hyroglyphx, posted 08-18-2020 11:51 AM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by Hyroglyphx, posted 10-05-2020 2:06 PM Tusko has responded

Posts: 612
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004

Message 26 of 61 (882694)
10-05-2020 4:06 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Hyroglyphx
10-05-2020 2:06 PM

I'm going to react primarily to the video you supplied. This isn't something I'm very well versed in, so please point out any issues.

I smell a bit of disingenuousness in the headline argument, but I'm not sufficiently knowledgeable to say how significant it is. The main thrust in the opening minute or two is that the carbon emitted and the minerals extracted building the massive infrastructure is going to result in environmental costs greater than business as usual, and that those who propose it are at best misguided or ill-informed. This seems a little suspect to me, a little bit like a sleight of hand, and I want to see the working behind this assumption.

It doesn't seem take into account that the infrastructure, once built, will be making carbon reduction "gains" year after year after the one off outlay. Surely there is a carbon spent/carbon saved arithmetic here that would make the massive initial outlay something worth doing in environmental terms? If you could prove that the Green New Deal failed in these terms, and was indeed going to do more environmental damage than if we did nothing at all, then this would be the argument to make refute it, rather than saying some big numbers and sniping at the (assumed) foolishness of the deal's silly proponents, surely?

So they don't address the issue of the carbon spent/carbon saved by the New Deal, which is disappointing (if you've got something that addresses this point I'd be very interested to see it). However, their next step isn't to offer an alternative; rather they seem to be content to settle into a council of despair.

They seem to make the assumption that because the initial outlay is significant, there can be no solution to the problem, because it is in human nature (or specifically people with environmental concerns?) to reject the only actual solution, nuclear power.

Personally, I tend to think that while we're hanging around for cold fusion, a patchwork of renewables and nuclear is probably our best bet. The fact that only 3% of US power comes from solar and wind isn't itself a good argument not to increase the solar and wind mix in the US. In the UK it is approaching 50%, and although the geographical/meteorological realities of the two countries are very different, it would suggest that a concerted increase in the mix would get the US to a more sensible spread relatively quickly.

The video makes a reasonable point - we don't want humanity to take actions to mitigate that is worse than inaction. To be fair, I don't think anybody who is serious about the problem wants that. The question is, if we accept that climate change is happening, is already having significant effects, and is only going to get worse at current rates, what do we do instead to prevent massive social and economic upheavals in the coming decades as a result of the climate changes coming down the pipe?

As far as I see it, the GDP losses we risk from doing nothing - not guaranteed losses of course, just risks - are so massive that what we need is a workable solution, even for the more conservative projected risks.

As an aside, I find it interesting that their headline bullet point at the end is the cost to the poor. I wonder if these commentators take a similar hard line about the disproportionate damage to the poor from private healthcare, trickledown economics etc...

This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Hyroglyphx, posted 10-05-2020 2:06 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by Hyroglyphx, posted 10-05-2020 5:52 PM Tusko has not yet responded

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