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Thread: Conservative answer to Global Warming

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    tWebber Leonhard's Avatar
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    Conservative answer to Global Warming

    Global Warming is happening.
    Human industry is largely responsible.
    The consequences of Global Warming will be severe.
    If action is taken now a lot of it can be averted.

    I don't want to start a discussion about whether these statements are true or not. I think we know where people stand. I'm just interested in the political question of whether US Conservative politics could even deal with the situation where these statements are true. Conservatives are all about minimizing government, deregulating the markets and (seemingly to me) supporting the growth of large corporations.

    But since the cheapest energy sources are also the ones that pollute the most, notably coal and natural gas, this results in a situation where the free market will tend to favor those actions. If humans were rational actors, they'd accept that their choices have consequences and buy accordingly. But one thing we know is that the market isn't entirely rational, and short term gain is favored a lot more than gain that happens over decades or a century.

    So barring this I just don't see how Conservatives could even deal with a world where Global Warming was happening.

    What do you guys think? Can the only political response to Global Warming by Conservatives in the US be to deny it?

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    Global Warming is happening.
    Human industry is largely responsible.
    The consequences of Global Warming will be severe.
    If action is taken now a lot of it can be averted.

    I don't want to start a discussion about whether these statements are true or not. I think we know where people stand. I'm just interested in the political question of whether US Conservative politics could even deal with the situation where these statements are true. Conservatives are all about minimizing government, deregulating the markets and (seemingly to me) supporting the growth of large corporations.

    But since the cheapest energy sources are also the ones that pollute the most, notably coal and natural gas, this results in a situation where the free market will tend to favor those actions. If humans were rational actors, they'd accept that their choices have consequences and buy accordingly. But one thing we know is that the market isn't entirely rational, and short term gain is favored a lot more than gain that happens over decades or a century.

    So barring this I just don't see how Conservatives could even deal with a world where Global Warming was happening.

    What do you guys think? Can the only political response to Global Warming by Conservatives in the US be to deny it?
    First Leonard, the government has put all kind of road blocks in for nuclear power. This is a free market solution that is being prevented by our government. And natural gas is very clean and should be used more, not less.
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

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    tWebber Leonhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    First Leonard, the government has put all kind of road blocks in for nuclear power.
    I'll grant that answer, and would actually be a fan of the Trump administration if they succeeded in rolling back red tape on nuclear power. Europe scared to death by Chernobyl, even though the surviving nuclear technicians of that plant were pro-nuclear, and argued that if done properly it was the safest energy source. Even considered the 5000 estimated cancer death toll of Chernobyl, it still vastly outranks coal power in terms of health effects.

    Being pro-nuclear as a liberal is a lonely place.

  4. Amen oxmixmudd, Chaotic Void, RumTumTugger amen'd this post.
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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    I am about as far as you can get from being an expert on this issue. There's a lot I just don't understand; my mind isn't science oriented at all. But I have seen some articles about new technology that can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. That seems promising to me if it can be used on a wide scale. I don't know what economic incentives would be needed to get it to be used widely? Maybe something similar to cap and trade where you have to pay for so much to be removed for however much you pollute?
    For what was given to everyone for the use of all, you have taken for your exclusive use. The earth belongs not to the rich, but to everyone. - Ambrose, 4th century AD

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    tWebber Leonhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    Maybe something similar to cap and trade where you have to pay for so much to be removed for however much you pollute?
    Would a cap and trade system be consistent with Conservative political philosophy? After all this is about global pollution. I think both sides have a good sense of property right, and that if the local coal power plant spills toxic sludge and ruins a river, they have to pay for the clean up and thereby go bankrupt.

    However, how do you extend the notion of property rights to the entire planet?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    Would a cap and trade system be consistent with Conservative political philosophy? After all this is about global pollution. I think both sides have a good sense of property right, and that if the local coal power plant spills toxic sludge and ruins a river, they have to pay for the clean up and thereby go bankrupt.

    However, how do you extend the notion of property rights to the entire planet?
    As a ("small-l") libertarian, I've actually done some looking for writings on this and similar questions. I haven't found a whole lot yet, but my searching hasn't gone all that deep, either.
    Hofstadter's Law: It will always take longer than you expect, even if you take into account Hofstadter's Law.

  8. Amen RumTumTugger amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Leonhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zymologist View Post
    As a ("small-l") libertarian, I've actually done some looking for writings on this and similar similar. I haven't found a whole lot yet, but my searching hasn't gone all that deep, either.
    Let me know if you find something. I'm curious about it.

  10. Amen Zymologist, RumTumTugger amen'd this post.
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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    Would a cap and trade system be consistent with Conservative political philosophy? After all this is about global pollution. I think both sides have a good sense of property right, and that if the local coal power plant spills toxic sludge and ruins a river, they have to pay for the clean up and thereby go bankrupt.

    However, how do you extend the notion of property rights to the entire planet?
    Within a conservative paradigm, you could view pollution as a negative externality and enact Pigovian taxes, and from what I have seen, a number of conservative politicians have proposed just that. I don't see a way to extend that worldwide, though. The most you can probably do is provide strong tax disincentives toward companies moving overseas to avoid these taxes.
    For what was given to everyone for the use of all, you have taken for your exclusive use. The earth belongs not to the rich, but to everyone. - Ambrose, 4th century AD

    All cruelty springs from weakness. - Seneca the Younger

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    tWebber Leonhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    Within a conservative paradigm, you could view pollution as a negative externality and enact Pigovian taxes, and from what I have seen, a number of conservative politicians have proposed just that. I don't see a way to extend that worldwide, though. The most you can probably do is provide strong tax disincentives toward companies moving overseas to avoid these taxes.
    That doesn't seem to be the mainstream conservative view though, who charge that anything even remotely resembling that is Communism. Granted that is mostly just rhetorics, but that's still what is said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    Global Warming is happening.
    Human industry is largely responsible.
    The consequences of Global Warming will be severe.
    If action is taken now a lot of it can be averted.

    I don't want to start a discussion about whether these statements are true or not. I think we know where people stand. I'm just interested in the political question of whether US Conservative politics could even deal with the situation where these statements are true. Conservatives are all about minimizing government, deregulating the markets and (seemingly to me) supporting the growth of large corporations.

    But since the cheapest energy sources are also the ones that pollute the most, notably coal and natural gas, this results in a situation where the free market will tend to favor those actions. If humans were rational actors, they'd accept that their choices have consequences and buy accordingly. But one thing we know is that the market isn't entirely rational, and short term gain is favored a lot more than gain that happens over decades or a century.

    So barring this I just don't see how Conservatives could even deal with a world where Global Warming was happening.

    What do you guys think? Can the only political response to Global Warming by Conservatives in the US be to deny it?
    I doubt this is the answer you're looking for but I'd support putting serious effort into reversing desertification worldwide - the ecological, economic and environmental benefits would be huge and there's evidence that grasslands sequester carbon far better than previously believed.

    Not gonna support pointlessly destroying the US economy while the Third World finishes off the planet, however.

  14. Amen RumTumTugger amen'd this post.

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