Re: >H ENVIR:Is the planet really dying?

From: Anne Marie Tobias (
Date: Tue Jul 03 2001 - 00:23:13 MDT

"Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:

> On Sun, 1 Jul 2001, Chris Hibbert wrote:
> > Sometimes these laws achieved their effects by outright prohibition, but
> > the more effective of them were designed to reduce the impact of
> > externalities on third parties.
> Yes, the focus should be to identify the costs of the externalities
> and make them be paid for up front. A more advanced analysis would
> include estimates of technological progress and determine whether
> paying for them later would actually be less expensive. The actual
> cost of paying for them now or later has to be balanced with
> the impact on humanity (and the potential loss of life).
> > If you read Julian Simon's "The Ultimate Resource 2", you'll see lots of
> > arguments that many of these changes would likely have come about
> > without infringing on anyone's freedom. One of Simon's arguments is
> > that as societies get richer, industry develops technologies that use
> > ever more of the inputs effectively, and that side effects are mitigated
> > because companies find it more cost effective to reuse and recycle.i
> The development of these technologies is predictable so long as competition
> exists. However, there may be investment & profit barriers to implementing
> the technologies (wind & solar power come to mind). Since the cost of
> technologies may scale inversely with demand, then the imposition of
> freedom violating regulations or laws may be necessary to get over
> the barrier to the production of low-cost technologies that can be
> used by everyone. [The needs of the many outweigh the needs of
> the few, or the one???]
> > Another driver is that the public wants a cleaner environment for lots
> > of reasons, and finds ways to encourage their neighbors to not mess up
> > the neighborhood.
> This is the "art of the long view" -- it only comes when people collectively
> begin to realize that *they* may have to pay for the mess they are creating.
> So long as you "know" you are going to be dead in 100 years, it is in one's
> [did I get that apostrophe right???] self-interest to borrow from the
> commons and let the next generation clean up the mess. However, once
> one begins to realize that one may reap what one has sown, then clarity
> begins to emerge.
> It would be interesting to run this simulation all over again, only instead
> of managing it with "freedom" violating impositions of law to manage
> it with government funded "advertising" to the public about the shame
> they should feel for burdening their children with the consequences
> of their choices.
> Robert


Robert! I love it when men talk smart! It's so damn sexy!!!

Any basic for an economic system must include the inherent cost of
the short and long term effects of that economy. Those effects must
include resouce utilization, sustainability, ecological and environmental
cost, and the cost benefit of that economic venture to the culture in
which it operates. An equitable system must be established that does
not allow one person to benefit at the harm or death of thousands or
millions of others. Our current system lives inside completely fallicious
concepts. Resources are not endless (at least as long as we live on this
planet, and even shortly after we leave the planet, resoures may indeed
become limiting factor for growth.) The world cannot endure unlimited
damage, or pollution. The world cannot sustain unlimited human
populations. Yet, the basis of our economics assume these very things.
As long as it is less expensive to dump waste illegaly, then it is to do the
right thing, there will always be somebody, who feels that the money to
be spent on waste handling could be doing something better... to the
detrement of those poor bastards downstream... and if caught, oh well
the hand slap fine for getting caught 1 in 500 times makes this a boom
business in some states.

A sane economic system includes the cost of cleaning it's messes and
repairing the damage done (if any) as a function of doing business. It
makes ecological disasters so expensive at the onset, that they are
never financially feasible on planet (as it should be...) It makes the cost
of doing business balance with the responsibility of sustaining human
life at a workable level of quality of life. It also supports a world that has
room for other species, habitats, and ecological diversity... not because
there is any inherent value in one deer, but because we are biotic, and
as long as we are, we had better manage to keep the biosphere in
sufficient working order to sustain us through transition to the our next
level of evolution... it would also do us well to remember the power of
exponential growth... just as our technology is taking off, so is our
ability to turn the world into a toxic toilet. I would highly recommend
that we make sure the curve towards our acension as higher forms
of intelligence, isn't terminated by the curve delineating the exponential
growth of the impact of our reptile thinking stupidity.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:39:41 MDT